(Permission to repost has been granted by the author)
When you ask why I won’t wear a mask and say - “It’s just a mask.”
.....”It's just a mask" can turn into "it's just a vaccine" very quickly. And it will, you can bet your bottom dollar on that!
In less than 5 months, our government has successfully divided the country into "obedient mask wearers" versus "selfish people that refuse to wear masks.”
"It's just a mask, you guys.” It's for "the greater good!”
Where have we heard this phrase before?
In less than 5 months, our government has dictated what events are acceptable versus unacceptable to attend. Riots are OK, but church and family funerals are not. Standing in a graduation line is a "safety hazard,” but feel free to line up at WalMart, Lowes, and Home Depot.
But it's "just a mask" & "safety precautions,” you guys.
In less than 5 months, our government successfully facilitated the closing of family-owned businesses while granting authority to large corporations that they have invested interests in.
It's "just a mask" and "safety precautions" you guys. Oh & here's a measly $1200 that we stole from you in the first place. Enjoy!
In less than 5 months, our government was able to successfully sway the population into believing that a CASHLESS SOCIETY is a good thing! In the name of a government sponsored virus. In less than 5 months, our government closed down public schools, and has "restructured" school moving forward under the guise of "public safety" from a "virus.” These same schools fed children crap per the corrupt USDA food pyramid. But "health" matters when it comes to a government sponsored virus.
It's "just a mask" & "heightened safety precautions,” you guys.
In less than 5 months, our government demonstrated how easily people assimilate to "guidelines" (that have NO scientific premise whatsoever) when they are fearful.
What was up with all that toilet paper?
It's "just a mask" & "6 foot social distancing,”
you guys. Oh, and dooky paper.
In less than 5 months, our government has successfully instilled fear in a majority of the population in America.
But citizens are not "afraid" of the people in power who are responsible for the removal of their "freedoms.” Instead, they're fearful of their neighbors and family, human touch, and air. Government created division.
There are thousands of viruses that *could* affect the population, but these viruses do not matter because MSM didn't say they do.
It's absolutely terrifying to me that so many people do not question authority because they see that authority as "all knowing." It's even more terrifying that these same people rely on corrupt "leaders" to be led, thus lacking all critical thinking skills/independence.
Slaves to the system that keeps them oppressed.
How quickly history is forgotten and repeated!
What's most problematic to me about all of this is that the people who are wearing masks "for the greater good" will be the first to sign up for this shiny new vaccine that's had
0 longitudinal safety tests against an inert placebo.
What's more problematic to me is that this
Vaccine MAY be the deciding factor in life moving forward.
You thought a mask was inconvenient? Wait until you're told that you cannot enter a store without proof of the Covid-19 vaccine. Wait until you cannot go to public events, or travel,
without proof of having received this vaccine.
To everyone that doesn't believe this is possible - do you understand that our government just successfully dictated to people WHEN they were allowed to be outside, where they were allowed to go, and how their children would be educated, in less than 5 months? And that a majority of the population followed blindly
because they were told to do so.
You're kidding yourself if you believe that they're not going to repeat this behavior with a vaccine.
If people have not protested the occurrences in America over the last 5 months, they will assuredly continue to abide by unsubstantiated "guidelines" that will include a vaccine.
It’s not about a mask, it’s about CONTROL.
I have some experience with neighborhood bullies.
Recently, a rich property flipper decided to remodel our entire community without consulting his neighbors, so we called him out. He used his wealth to hire a team of lawyers to push us around. He was a bully in a three-piece suit. He won the long legal battle, but we stood up to him. In the end, he had to increase the open space and pay our legal fees. Our community stuck together and made sacrifices to protect the legacy of our neighborhood.
Now it is my country that is being assaulted by bullies. #BlackLivesMatters and ANTIFA are promoting "moral purges" by defiling and tearing down historical monuments and in many cases, the police are standing down.
Unfortunately, many of our leaders are allowing popular social justice notions of the times to override their primary obligations to protect and to serve American citizens that obey the law. They are being gaslighted by the Progressive jihad. A generation of self-appointed, moral relativists with a God-complex, are imposing their value system on us, by force.
Have you noticed the uncanny similarities between the Jim Crow-era thugs and KKK mobs lynching blacks, burning businesses, and homes, and the unruly "social justice" creeps terrorizing our cities? Their movement has become what they claim to hate.
Just a few days after September 11. 2001, speaking through a bullhorn overlooking the smoldering ruins, President Bush promised "We heard you! And the people that brought these buildings down will hear from you soon!" It was just what America needed to hear after suffering such a traumatic sucker-punch.
This week terrorists destroyed or defaced statues of Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and George Washington, among many others. Where are the assurances from our leaders that they have things under control?
As Bush said then, "America is under attack" but you would never get that impression from watching recent news reports. All of the empathy has been directed to the mobs, excusing their excess, and shaming those that tried to protect private and public property.
Who appointed these criminals the moral guardians of our nation's legacy?
President Trump has been almost alone in condemning the "desecrations" as "disgusting" while promising to hold "weak" local officials accountable. But the silence of our state and national leaders and the pandering capitulation by some corporate interests is astonishing! They are cowering and prevaricating. Meantime, a part of Seattle has been occupied by an outlaw militia.
Yanking down publicly financed statues and forcefully occupying a major US city are acts of war. The destruction of any public statue is a felony, but when organized as a conspiracy of hate, it is no different than the 911 attack on the Twin Towers. The mobs used rope and the jihadists used jetliners. The rationalizations and tools may differ, but the goals and the crimes are the same: To undermine the stability of our Republic, and to impose an atmosphere of fear over those not deemed "believers" by the mob.
I find it shameful and disturbing...
Media intellectuals celebrate what they describe as the erasure of America's "dark history" but mob rule is unjustifiable in a civilized society. There is always a grain of truth and some righteous expectations for social unrest. Islamic fundamentalists, German Nationalists, and the PLO have all expressed moral justifications for their crimes, but anarchy never accomplishes anything good. As Martin Niemoller said about the Nazi SS, "Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."
American leaders are cowering from the issue because of the racial connotations. They are victims of a systematic campaign of percepticide. Like the victims of sexual abuse, they have had their historical perspective and value systems hijacked by a persistent threat of personal and political destruction. Too many have become Stockholm Syndrome acolytes in the Progressive Jihad.
Americans are the fairest and most socially conscious citizens on Earth. For two and a half centuries we have led the world in feeding the poor, protecting human rights, and fighting wars to protect human dignity and liberty. We have a long history of confronting bullies: Lincoln demanded freedom for the slaves, Roosevelt stood up to Hitler, Kennedy said no to segregationists, and Reagan forced the Russians to "tear down" the iron curtain. The idea that Americans lack a social conscience is a Marxist provocation with no merit.
We are, however, suffering from a lack of leadership. Unlike our Founding Fathers who stood up to tyranny, our current leaders are America's Foundling Fathers, a collection of weak, directionless, political cowards who have abandoned our national family.
I am willing to bet that the first thing that crosses your mind when you wake up every morning is "Thank God I have lived to see another day!" Then you immediately start mentally reviewing a check list of priorities: What day is it? What time is it? What is on the agenda for today? Am I sick?
That last one is new…a few weeks ago it was probably, "Is Trump still President?" I am, admittedly, not inclined to such negativity. Most Americans that go to bed healthy don't wake up wondering if they are infected with a deadly disease or why the President makes them so miserable.
But, in the era of Covid19, everything has changed.
Kids aren't going to school anymore. Mommy and daddy are not going to work like they used too, and grandma and grandpa have disappeared altogether. No more church on Sunday, no more weddings, graduations or birthday parties. No Easter, Mother's or Father's Day or family vacations. No friends over to play in the yard or to have a barbeque. Oh, and please count your tissues before you wipe.
If I were a youngster today, I would think chaos in America was normal. I would be waking up like the kids in Northeastern Nigeria, anticipating another assault on my village by disease or Boko Haram. I would be concerned with race riots, school shootings, church bombings, war in the halls of Congress, and quarantines. Childhood post-traumatic stress disorder is so normal now, there is no 'post' about it.
How can our kids look at people without noticing their skin color, sex, age and the masks they are wearing? Everything they see is focused on gender identity, race and disease.
So Americans wake up each day and carry on with our chores, our business meetings on Zoom, our malicious Tweets and FaceBook rants, and our social interactions recorded on Marco Polo for playback at a more convenient time. We patiently stand in social distancing lines and tell the checkout clerks how much we appreciate them risking their lives so we can buy toilet paper by the bushel. We watch advertisements that tell us we're "all in this together" while simultaneously getting further and further apart.
Then we hunker down at night and watch the newsfeed that the Great Satan, the most dangerous and threatening force on Earth, our illegitimate President Donald Trump, has once again ruined our day. He has wrought a pandemic of disease, racism, xenophobia and misogyny while stirring up irrational hatred and violence across the planet. He is poisoning the environment and our politics with his fascist nationalism. He pretends to be a Christian but we all know he is the Antichrist! News anchors sign off, "Good night and sleep tight!"
Then when we wake up and start the cycle all over again our anger is exacerbated because that man is still in the White House. The daily indoctrination services remind us that our solidarity comes from collective outrage and that we are justified to reinforce it with protest activities. Hold your fist high to show your pride in our social justice movement, then toss a molotov cocktail through the window of your local barber who caters to the rich.
St. Paul-based developer Wellington Management Inc. woke up on Thursday morning to find its 190-unit affordable housing apartment project in south Minneapolis had been burned to the ground by people the media describe as "protestors".
Recently, Elon Musk's company SpaceX launched the first manned satellite in nine years. An amazing technological success story that was delegated to the second page because "communities in flames" stories are "more compelling". Why celebrate success when death and destruction, like a pandemic, are more universal and less about evil capitalism?
I woke up this morning to a radio station playing "What's New Pussycat?" and now I can't get it out of my head.
Well written commentary by a retired LAPD officer Posted on Retired California Law Enforcement FB Page. He gave permission to share it.
"I haven’t really spoken out about our nation’s situation, but after the Los Angeles mayor referred to Police Officers as “Killers” I could no longer keep quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting the Minneapolis Police officer’s actions of kneeling on the suspect’s neck and for the duration he did so. The LAPD has specific training on how to deal with suspects in medical distress and this type of misconduct wouldn’t have happened or been tolerated here.
But Mayor Garcetti’s commet has to be the single most inflammatory and dangerous comment yet made by a public official towards law enforcement. What kind of vote pandering, shortsighted and reckless stupidity is this?
For 31 years my wife and I have served the citizens of Los Angeles as LAPD sworn Officers, with honor, dignity and respect. We haven’t killed anyone and the vast majority of my Brother and Sister Officers haven’t either. Most will never fire their weapon in the line of duty, yet alone kill someone! Only 1 out of a 1000 Officers are involved in a fatal use of force during their career. That means 99.9 percent of Officers don’t kill anyone during their entire career in the performance of their duties.
Yet the mayor of LA just referred to all Police Officers as “killlers.” Not the criminal element that is actually involved in committing criminal homicides. How disgusting this is! Talk about bigotry! Judging a person for the uniform they wear is no better then judging someone for the color of their skin. ￼This only gives a false justification for criminals to resist lawful arrest and motivate unprovoked attacks on Officers.
I guess I’m just sick and tired of the complaining and second guessing of how we police officers do our jobs, especially from people that have no clue on how to do my job and either couldn’t or wouldn’t imagine risking their own lives to go into harms way to protect others. Enforcing the law has always had an ugly side to it. On a rare occasion, a suspect will resist arrest. There is no such thing as a pleasant use of force, it always looks horrible to the inexperienced person.
But I can assure you, there is no way to peacefully restrain and subdue an aggressive criminal that is intent on violently resisting arrest or fighting with the police. It’s always going to look bad and unnerving. And I’m especially sick and tired of the media and the outspoken minority of individuals in this nation, completely absolving the involved criminal of any culpability or responsibility for their actions that put them in that situation in the first place. They blame completely falls on the Officer that is doing his job.
I’m so done with the, ”They shot him over a ticket or petty theft.” comment. No, the suspect was detained for a simple traffic infraction or petty crime, but was shot because sometime during the contact, the suspect decided to attack the officer or presented a deadly threat that forced the officers hand. Officers are always reactionary to the suspects actions. Here’s a simple solution to law enforcement related deaths. DON’T RESIST ARREST!!!! Submit to arrest and have your day in court. Trust me if the arrest was unlawful, you’ll get paid.
This continual dehumanizing of Police Officers is a very dangerous and slippery slope. Now there is a motion to cut the LAPD budget and calls to defund law enforcement completely. Really? Who is going to provide the security to the vast majority of the citizens that can’t or are unwilling to protect themselves?
The citizens of this nation have employed men and women to do this dangerous “dirty” work of dealing with the criminal element for centuries, but they don’t want to see what it occasionally takes to deal with them. Sometimes it’s horrible, dirty and deadly.
I’m sorry to carry on this long, but I have to say, a society that makes war on its police, had better learn to live with it’s criminals. It’s going to come to a time to pick a side. I’m all for peaceful protests and reforms, but this crap is an all out war on law enforcement.
And if you’re offended by my comments, or support the terrorist organizations of antifa or BLM then please feel free to defriend me at this time. I’ve seen first hand the destruction they have caused and deadly attacks they have perpetrated on Officers"
Drew Brees represents the ultimate American sports hero. He is humble, respectful, community and family oriented and generous with his wealth and his time. He is, or at least was, the poster boy for an All-American Team Leader.
Brees recently commented on "kneeling" demonstrations to show solidarity over the brutal death of George Floyd while in police custody. He was asked if Colin Kaepernick was, in hindsight, right to reject showing allegiance to the flag and the national anthem before NFL games. Brees had the temerity to say he respects the men and women who have sacrificed for their country and the freedom that our American flag and national anthem stand for.
For that he was immediately "gaslighted" by some of his teammates and other self-appointed enforcers of the Social Justice Movement's "Cultural Revolution".
What exactly is "gaslighting"? The term originally came from a play in 1938 that described how a husband slowly tortured and enslaved his wife by convincing her she was going insane. It has become popularized to explain how wife-beaters dominate their wives and why spouses accept physical and psychological abuse and often blame themselves for the destruction of their relationship.
In 2017 a psychological researcher named Lisa Aronson Fontes wrote a book "Invisible Chains" that describes brainwashing techniques originally developed to indoctrinate cult members or conversely, to convert prisoners of war. She called the process "Perspecticide" because it causes the death of the victim's unique perspective. The techniques she identified are designed to rob their target of their own identity and replace it with a more malleable and compliant version. Besides being universally present in cases of spousal abuse, similar techniques are used to rebuild the lives of drug addicts and alcoholics, or to train new military recruits to become fighting machines. In the more modern political form, it is used to convert vacillating moderates into Progressive Social Justice Warriors and Democrat voters.
In her book, Ms. Fontes was trying to understand women who cannot escape abusive relationships, and often end up "not knowing who they are.'' When OJ Simpson went off and attacked his wife Nicole, she would refuse to press charges because OJ made her feel responsible for "making me crazy." Photos released during the trial for her murder showed that he beat her, yet OJ was never convicted of spousal abuse. Unfortunately, Nicole dismissed his manic behavior as that of a forlorn lover with a drinking problem. He had reordered her judgement just enough it ultimately cost her her life.
In 1966 Mao Zedong used gaslighting techniques to enslave billions of Chinese citizens implementing the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Similar techniques have become the hallmark of all Communist revolutions ever since. The brainwashing is so powerful it removes the conscience that normally stop people from rampages, violence and murder. Roving hordes of Chinese students (self appointed Red Guards) killed innocent elderly men, women and even children who were deemed counter-revolutionaries because they were too slow to accept the doctrine of "The Great Leap Forward".
In 1978, collectivist cult leader Jim Jones convinced 900 recruits to murder themselves and their children in one of the worlds worst incidents of mass murder. Both events are examples of mass perspecticide and unbridled righteousness.
I find it particularly ironic that a great football player and well respected human being such as Drew Brees has fallen victim to gaslighting. Football is uniquely about unity of purpose and mutual respect. Brees had to overcome a litany of injuries and stereotyping to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. His work ethic and sense of solidarity with his teammates and his community has never been challenged.
That all vanished when he spoke about his reverence for the American Dream and the generations of men and women who sacrificed to pass it on to us.
The truth is, like most Americans, Drew Brees doesn't have a racist bone in his body. Likewise, he has been put in the terrible position of being pressured into apologizing for something he is not, was not and never will be. I am 100% positive he meant precisely what he originally said but was forced to disown his patriotic words just as American prisoners of war were forced to do when captured by Communist regimes in China, North Vietnam and North Korea. Drew has become a prisoner of war in the Progressive Jihad, which is a pseudo-religious movement disguised as a cultural revolution.
America has been careening from one hysterical cultural crisis to another, all designed and driven by those who would fundamentally change America. The race issue is just a Straw Man. The Progressive Jihad is on a warpath to convert unbelievers, or destroy those who resist. They are using the threat of violence and public shaming to induce Drew Brees and people like you and me, to kneel before the Throne of Political Correctness.
"Somebody riddle me this!
I got a question for you. For all of your virtue signaling and vandalizing property, what have you accomplished?" -- Brandon Tatum
As the nation reels from the horrific and brutal death of George Floyd, and rioting and looting spreads across the country, we all have to ask ourselves what can we do to fix the problem of police mistreatment of minorities?
We are seeing the usual litany of outrage from Hollywood and sports celebrities like Labron James, screaming about "What is it going to take?" before white people understand why blacks live in a constant state of fear. Many "woke" blacks, like Malcome Jenkins, attack whites that have been their partners in business (Drew Breeze) suggesting they still don't "get it" and can never get it, simply because of the color of their skin.
Besides being a blatantly racist concept in itself, the "woke"movement continues to sweep the country and inspire young blacks to embrace activist groups like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA.
The question Brandon Tatum asks is still unanswered.
For over fifty years, America has struggled with civil rights issues and clashing racial stereotypes. We have passed miles of legislation, contributed hours of volunteerism to help poor neighborhoods, schools and churches, donated millions to foundations, college scholarships and food distribution, and devoted large portions of our school curricula to progressive ideas about fairness, compassion and tolerance, and supported media campaigns to present people of color in their own words, pleading for us to release them from decades of hatred and discrimination.
Generations of whites signal their virtue by lambasting those they perceive as "unconcerned" about the American legacy of slavery and racial animosity.
And based on their own assessment, what have we accomplished? What are the demonstrators and vandals accomplishing with their temper tantrums of violence and looting? Unfortunately the answer to those questions are never really addressed. Why? Because there are no real answers to social issues that are reflective of our human condition. Unless or until we find a way to create flawless human beings, we will have elements of hatred and racism in a certain percentage of people.
That is why humans, for the most part, practice their religion. To help themselves to help others to be better people to each other. That kind of real change for the better doesn't come from intimidation and bullying. It doesn't come from stealing from your neighbor or smack talk. It has to come from each individual looking inside and coming to terms with themselves and their maker. Marching towards inner peace, not demanding peace from others.
Real change comes from within.
An excerpt from my first book. It serves as a little reminder...
Republicans are like Dogs, Democrats are like Cats
I like dogs because we have a win/win relationship. When I call my dog, she comes to me because she wants to. She needs me and I need her. We’re family. Dogs want to be loved. I know a few Republican Senators who want to be loved, but they seem a little too needy. They tend to be RINOs (Republican In Name Only).
Dogs tend to run in packs. They instinctively accept the need for order. Dogs are loyal, in the same way Republicans are loyal to the Constitution. Like me, they are creatures of habit; when they find something works, they do it over and over, like bringing you the Frisbee. They just know you are going to throw it again!
Dogs prefer the outdoors where there is space to run, play, bark and dig. Republicans populate the wide open states like Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Montana. Their trusty dogs help them round up cattle, ducks and geese. Republicans like to shoot guns, hunt and fish, ride horses and dig for oil.
Democrats are like Cats. They are wild, independent and selfish. They talk about love a lot, but are weary of it, because it means giving up some of their independence. It is the Democrats who push for gender blurring, freedom from responsibility legislation. Legalizing marijuana, government paid abortions, and all sorts of nanny-state rules about smoking on the beach, protecting darter snails in mud puddles, are all trademarks of Liberal legislatures.
Cats don’t work much. Ever heard of a ‘seeing eye’ cat? However, cats will give up freedom for security. That’s why they make great indoor pets. Give them food and comfort, a nice soft sofa to sleep on, and leave them alone, and they are purr-fectly content.
Democrats need many group constituencies to form a coalition to win elections. Like cats, these groups have very selfish agendas, so they wouldn’t get very far if they had to win elections alone. But, like cats, Democratic constituencies are very clever; they strategically form alliances to serve their greater need, and use their group power to buy favors. Unions have learned how to herd cats; they wave dollar bills in front of them.
There are some rather telling statistics that go along with my line of thinking. A survey found that 9 of 10 states with the highest ownership of dogs went for Romney in the 2012 election. But 4 of 5 states with the highest cat ownership went for Obama. Of course, the high density states like New York are cat states because of their urbanization.
I live in California, the state that elected Ronald Reagan as Governor. But that was many dog years ago…
We all have relatives who died in the war. It doesn’t matter what your sex, race, or political affiliation is, somewhere in your family tree there was a human being killed in a war. It may have been 200 years ago, or just recently in Iraq or Afghanistan, but we’ve all been touched by the tragedy of young people dying for the cause of the American Dream.
Whether it was the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, or any of the half dozen wars since, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died to protect an idea. They may not have all agreed on what that idea meant, but they walked into life-threatening circumstances because they believed the future of Americanism was at stake.
They didn’t do it for money, for publicity or just to avoid shame. It takes more than vanity to lay down your life for someone else’s benefit. It takes a very selfless sense of duty, a vision of the future that doesn’t necessarily include yourself. That, I would submit, is the very definition of selflessness.
I am just as certain that the families of all of the service members killed on the other team feel just as sad. They had their beliefs, their motivations to go fight for the Fatherland, or for their King. But you don’t see cemeteries full of their soldiers on foreign land. They may have been willing to die for their country but they were never willing to die for other countries, as Americans have all over the world.
Anyone who challenges Americans’ selflessness hasn’t visited any of the 25 cemeteries in 16 countries where American freedom fighters are buried.
I believe most people, even serious pacifists, would step in front of a bullet to save the life of their mother. Why is the survival of the one who gave us life so sacred? Could it be simple gratitude? Just how powerful is the gratitude emotion? Do American soldiers hold the same level of respect and love for their country as they do for their moms?
We can’t ask those questions of soldiers who died in war. We can only surmise from their actions what they were thinking when they flew that doomed sortie, charged that machine-gun bunker or crawled into that jungle tunnel, knowing there was a high probability that they would not live to see the result of their bravery.
They had to know the odds were that they would never see the birth of their next child, their kids’ graduation, or wedding. They must have been thinking that without their efforts, maybe those family hallmarks would never be possible, let alone realized. Maybe they weren’t thinking at all. Instead they were simply reacting to a threat, instinctively jumping in front of that proverbial bullet, trying to save their Mother of Freedom from a lethal wound.
The American Dream, that our citizens have a God-given right to pursue liberty, to be free from any form of intimidation and servitude, in pursuit of happiness, is always going to be on the edge of extinction. So on the battlefield, it must have been a crucial choice for our soldiers: Sacrifice now or suffer subjugation later. Every generation of Americans has a duty to stop threats to our unique American model, no matter what form they may take.
America is, after all, the Mother of Freedom for all of mankind. Memorial Day is the Mother’s Day of Americanism. She wouldn’t have made it this far if not for those veterans that never came home.
If we are looking for some entity to blame for the Coronavirus Pandemic, the obvious choice would be China. Scientists are fairly certain that is where the micro-organism began it's assault on humanity. The city of Wuhan is known as a center of bio-engineering experimentation. Whether or not the outbreak was an accident or part of, as some Russian military experts have claimed, a strategic effort to realign the political power structure on Earth, is a different question. If one wanted to put the question before a jury, as any prosecuting attorney would point out, China had the means, the opportunity and the motive. Their economic light was dimming dramatically, and the recent surge of demands for democratic reforms, and the stiff tariffs imposed by competing economic interests have shaken the Communist regime. With a population of nearly 1.4 billion, losing a few million citizens to disease would be a cheap price for them to pay to overcome America's worldwide economic dominance.
What about Russia? Not a chance. They are super dependent on oil to prop up their weak economic infrastructure and they would never have contributed to crude prices falling into negative numbers. Europe? Not scientifically or politically motivated or capable.
That leaves the USA. The Chinese have suggested we started the outbreak, though they never outlined why we would want to destroy our own economy.
There is one group within the worldwide demographic that could qualify as beneficiaries of a complete economic and political realignment: That would be the post Baby Boomer generations of Millenials and X-Gens. We have surveys that claim most of them hate capitalism and economic inequality. If, as a theoretical political force, they wanted to clear the decks for their future, what would be the one thing that could redistribute economic wealth, restore the health of the environment, and expand the nanny state?
The answer is reducing or eliminating the drag that senior citizens put on civilization. America's aging population is living longer, using more resources, drawing on retirement benefits and social services at higher rates than anyone ever predicted when statisticians did their amortization schedules back in the 70's and 80's. We old farts were supposed to have been gone by now.
If there is any group that might see an economic upside to the pandemic it would be our kids and their kids.
Do I really think our descendants are anxious to kill us off? No, but the cause and effect are intriguing food for thought…Do I really believe this Pandemic is manmade? Yes and no. I think science got burned playing with fire. In our never ending search for the elixir of youth, science sometimes ventures into dangerous territory. So I think this epidemic was probably made worse by human experimentation, trying to understand more about how these molecular killers threaten our species. We're all living a nightmare resulting from good intentions gone horribly wrong.
Whether by accident or by design the Coovid19 pandemic is effectively "culling the herd". Ranchers do this to improve the gene pool of their cattle, or to reduce their costs associated with illnesses. Mother Nature also has a way of draining the swamp just before it becomes too toxic, then replenishing it with fresh water and reviving the ecological balance.
Am I suggesting seniors are toxic and young people are willing to put us out to pasture? No, but the truth is life is terminal and living in freedom is dangerous. No society can guarantee safety and security, under any political system. During this scary period, civilization should attempt to protect the most vulnerable, the aged and the sick, and once again young people will bear the cost and lifestyle burden for them. Baby Boomers have made life extension our main goal, and now our offspring will have to pick up the tab.
"The Call To Unite", a streaming 24-hour long compendium concert is transparently duplicitous and insensitive to many Americans. Why? It is, after all, Hollywood's way of rallying the population to do good things for each other during the stressful Covid19 pandemic lockdown. They say, please join us as we celebrate and support each other!!
As long as you are part of the approved population, that is.
The Call To Unite will talk about the sacrifices many Americans are making to help each other endure these trying times, but there is one sacrifice no limousine liberal will mention: putting aside their petty animosity for Donald Trump for just a few months while the world undergoes one of the most challenging periods in recorded history. They have not stopped slandering and impugning the nation's President for 40 consecutive months, and though I doubt we will have to endure any political speeches during the weekend event, I am just as certain you won't see the President participating in it either.
That would be a bridge too far. In fact, Hollywood elites see this pandemic as a rallying point to further condemn a man who has been sacrificing his family, his business interests, his personal time, and even his salary, for the express purpose of serving his country. That is a fact and is not recognized by any of these self-righteous Progressives (my apologies to Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and Azealia Banks and a few other stars that have expressed their desire to work with the President).
Has any one of the high-profile celebrity Trump-haters given up an ounce of their time, their livelihood or their wealth (yes they raise awareness and donations, but rarely write enormous checks themselves) to get up every morning and dedicate themselves to the service of their country? Ever? The answer is no but that doesn't stop them from routinely pronouncing their hatred for Trump with vicious Tweets, TV appearances and public rants every chance they get.
They refer to the May Day Weekend live streaming program as a celebration of "some acts of humanity". It is designed to be inspirational and supportive. All very noble and appreciated. But overcoming the dangers of the Covid19 contagion requires a massive effort on the level of a war. It is battle to the death of us or the disease, whichever comes first. It is a battle to control infection, restore our livelihoods and protect our constitutional rights. Many world leaders have said they are assuming a "wartime footing".
During wartime, military leaders can't always make friends with their troops, but when it is time to confront the enemy, soldiers know they need to fall in line behind their leaders. They know it is for their own good. It requires 100% commitment to win the fight, and ask questions later. If you win, and that is always a big if, there will be time to question tactics, to hold people accountable and to replace leaders if necessary.
But you have to defeat the enemy of your species first.
Will the Hollywood Stars invite the duly-elected President of the United States of America, and the millions of Americans that voted for him, to join The Call To Unite? He is not on the announced list of contributors. If a reporter should ask about that, I am sure the answer would be, "Trump's presence would be too divisive."
It never occurs to them that not inviting him would be equally divisive.
Trump haters maintain a delusional idea that he stands alone. That he is an outlander, a mistake and a dictator who rules with no popular support. They purposely, and in my view, ignorantly, dismiss those that support Trump's Presidency. They see us as victims of an injustice. So The Call To Unite is a rally for all of those Americans that, in their mind, are suffering not just from a worldwide pandemic, but from the injustices of the Trump 'regime'.
When my son was playing organized youth baseball, I would sit in the stands and fume at the way his coaches verbally abused the kids. I disagreed with their style of coaching. But I also recognized how much time and personal sacrifice they made to work with the kids. I decided I should just root for the kids and skip the bitching. I could, after all, become a coach myself. It is easy to stand on the sidelines and complain, but it is quite another thing to put in the time and effort.
I really wish The Call To Unite would reach across the isle and make our President a part of the appeal. That sacrifice alone would make the claim "We are all in this together" sound a lot more genuine.
Today I want to talk about how we humans can look at something, and have completely opposite reactions. I think we all want to figure out why our culture is divided right down the middle about everything. We live in paradise but we are acting like we are confined to an insane asylum.
I know I have trouble understanding people who want to tell me
I find it inexplicable that those same people think
Just watch nighttime talk shows and the hosts, people like Bill Maher, Jimmy Kimmel or Trevor Noah will say something derogatory about the intelligence of conservatives every single night!
“It just so happens that almost every talk show host is liberal and that’s because it requires a level of intelligence...” - Jimmy Kimmel
I think Jimmy Kimmel proves my point about liberal arrogance...
In America we have more choices than anywhere else in the world. But that sometimes results in disagreements too..
I call that Free Dumb, with a B. Because consensus is essentially Mob Rule. Just because everybody agrees on a course of action doesn't make it the right choice.
We have been so fortunate to live in an era of enormous abundance, so in many cases the impact of making poor choices is small.
For that half of the population, being involved means tracking celebrities, sports teams, or running in a marathon. This is, after all, their choice. They find community affairs annoying and a waste of time.
We have lowered our expectations of students. By that I mean modern public schools almost universally incorporate the pedogocical template of progressive outcome based student-centered teaching promoted by John Dewey and John Rousseau in the early part of the 20th century.
The idea that teachers should not just transfer information, they should facilitate thinking. It had noble goals of producing critical thinkers that could solve problems and also collaborate with others to find solutions.
A reasonable and objective goal. But over nearly a century, the concept has morphed.
Where the noble educational experiment went wrong was:
The concept was called Progressive Educational Theory.
A perfect example of this happened recently when NY Senator Chuck Shumer speaking about two conservative justices potential rulings against abortion legislation, Schumer said "You will not know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions." Chief Justice Roberts called the comment a threat.
When Trump previously criticized Justice Sotomayor for a "terrible and inappropriate statement" about him, Democrats screamed bloody murder. Trump definitely used strong language but it was criticism.
Schumer clearly threatened Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. Democrats can't differentiate between threatening language and critical language.
This is another byproduct of Progressive thinking, and years of Progressive teaching techniques. That is something academics call "existentialism". Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on subjective meaning rather than pure rationality.
"It places the primary emphasis on students’ directing their own learning. Students search for their own meaning and direction in life as well as define what is true and what is false, what is pleasant and satisfying, what is unpleasant and dissatisfying, and what is right or wrong. The goal of an existentialist education is to train students to develop their own unique understanding of life."
And to develop their own definitions of words,
Take Marriage for example.
We are suffering from an epidemic of indifference and apathy, and dare I say IGNORANCE. How can that be after 100 years of existential progressive advanced social engineering?
Since recorded history, humans have fought over one primary conflicting value:
We sometimes confuse the forces behind the conflict with religion, politics, tribal or family wars, but the real reasons are always the underlying issue of which ideology will rule our daily lives. Like all conflict, the battle is always over CONTROL.
This is equally important in personal relationships as it is community operations.
So here we are, living in the Golden Age of Earth's existence.
And we are all undecided about Capitalism or Communism. Which system works the best?
And you and I want to know how some people still think Communism is a good thing?
I proposed a theory in my most recent book...The Illusion of Knowledge: Why So Many Educated Americans Embrace Marxism.
It didn't take long for Social Justice Warriors to pick up the mantra that Covid19 is affecting people of color in higher numbers than whites. And that we should all be ashamed that more white people aren't dying.
When I read these headlines I can't help but think, when will these people get over themselves? Oh, I forgot, they are supreme narcissists, so I should dismiss that stupid notion. We are hearing these complaints from the same people that complain about voting access, suggesting that minorities would turn out in larger numbers if they weren't intimidated by registration forms, by voter ID requirements, and by Republicans who demand they enter voting booths alone. These are the same people telling us that invading outlaws are more industrious than spoiled white Americans. The same ones that demand gender neutral bathrooms and restrictions on Christmas music in department stores.
These are the same people that demand we recognize the "accepted science" that the world is in a terminal free-fall unless we eliminate the combustion engine. Now they are ignoring the "accepted science" that viruses don't discriminate by skin color or race.
But that won't stop them from using the epidemic as a rallying point to conscript new believers in the New Green Deal and Globalism. The Progressive complainers note that minorities are disproportionately exposed to environmental decay like freeway exhaust fumes, high energy power transmission lines, and industrial air pollution because they more commonly live in lower income neighborhoods where those kinds of conditions are more prevalent. Therefore, presumably, they suffer underlying lung damage that makes them more susceptible to the upper respiratory disease.
But they show no compassion for the millions of poor white people across the nation or around the world who also live in poverty. I guess they deserve to get sick because they are guilty of being genetically linked to Civil War Era slave owners.
The idea that society has been negligent in preparing for a virulent epidemic is a reasonable assessment. That we could and should do more to be prepared and to help people be more healthy by developing public access to basic healthcare for the poor is fine. I think we have, in general, been moving in that direction. Increasing life expectancy worldwide is proof.
But the facts are clear, that even in countries with huge social safety nets, free society can't force people to be more active, to eat better, or to stop weakening their own immune systems with poor food and lifestyle choices. People have to want to make the right choices that will help them stay healthier and live longer.
Health is like education: Despite what politicians say, you can't just give people an education or good health. They have to earn it. Access is a different issue. Giving people access to healthcare is a noble goal, but if people over-indulge in poor food choices, destroy their immune systems with alcohol or drugs, and sit in front of a computer game instead of getting exercise, all the healthcare in the world is going to be wasted on them. Sending a kid to a great college will not provide them with wisdom if they are not motivated to learn.
Unfortunately Progressives have little regard for freedom precisely because it allows people to be, well, people. Instead they would prefer a society where everyone lives under a strict collectivist formula, where the good of the majority is determined by an elite group of intellectuals that act as critical parents to a population of subdued children.
Why don't those people move to China where that social construct exists right now? They would be able to get cheaper housing, full healthcare and free education as well as full government provided employment.
Look at how poorly Michelle Obama's school food program was received. The students were given healthier food selections which meant less food and more fruits and vegetables to fight obesity and diabetes. But this didn't meet the needs of many kids who got fewer choices and sometimes food that was culturally strange. A lot of food went uneaten and the administrators realized they were losing money. We can discuss the cultural reasons, but skin color had nothing to do with it. The kids didn't want airline-style box lunches made up of dry, flavorless and unsatisfying items they weren't used to. Since Michelle Obama was driving the initiative, when parents and administrators pushed back, that too became a race issue.
Catching an airborne contagion is about as indiscriminate as being bitten by a mosquito. Scientists think mosquitoes choose who to bite based mostly on the microbiota that populates the human skin, not the skin's color or odor. Likewise, Covid19 seems to prefer those with underlying immune system deficiencies, not the race of its victims. Can we say people who live in less healthy environs are more vulnerable? Yes, but that is not a function of institutional racism, it is a function of social stratification and lifestyles.
They would have a better argument if data showed that hospitals refused to treat Covid19 victims because they had dark skin. But that is not happening which proves the race card is nothing more than another attempt to blame social instability on white people.
The complainers never offer solutions other than forced redistribution of wealth. No matter what the problem is, collectivists believe more money will solve it. So before another pandemic, if we did things their way, we should simply confiscate wealth that is concentrated and spread it around more equally. Then all suffering will be equal. Then dying from contagious diseases would just be a lottery, with a much wider distribution of winners ( i.e., losers). The misery would be miles wide and only a quarter inch deep.
What made me think a pandemic that threatens all of us equally would not be used to advance the racism narrative? Maybe wishful thinking or maybe I am coming down with something...
"Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news.
And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters."
-- Official Twitter account for CNN Communications
That statement is itself a lie. Why would anyone trust a news source that has had so many instances of documented mistakes, misquotes, omissions, moral and ethical violations and blatant lies? Unless, of course, they like what they are hearing...
But the list of journalistic incompetency is undeniable:
How can you trust a media organization to be truthful when they employ so many proven liars?
CNN is not alone in the race to the bottom of journalistic credibility.
CNN has a Sunday program ironically called 'Reliable Sources' hosted by Brian Stelter who is a vociferous critic of Trump. He let Duke Professor of Psychiatry Allen Frances go unchallenged when he claimed:
"Trump is as destructive a person in this century, as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century, he may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."
Of course we know those megalomaniac Communist dictators murdered at least 100 million people. When supposedly credible news journalists accept without challenge hate speech, such as that by Dr. Frances, as a substitute for informed commentary by experts in their fields of study, they no longer deserve to be called journalists. CNN and other media operations that allow their employees to ignore industry standards are social justice advocates, not credible news sources.
Anyone that has read my op-eds or any of my books knows I often use the "Team America " analogy to illustrate why I think Americans have more in common than we give ourselves credit for. And if we think in terms of working as a franchise, we should be able to minimize our social divisiveness.
For example, during the 'Kneeling for the National Anthem' controversy, I suggested football players, of all people, ought to understand how important it is to respect each player's role, skill set and psychological makeup. To recognize that the success of the team depends on the combined efforts of everybody pulling the boat in the same direction. That everyone from one end of the bench to other has something to bring to the team. That in order to win, selfishness cannot be tolerated.
That disrespecting the flag that stands for our Team America was not helpful.
Like it or not, if you want to succeed, there must be a hierarchy and a sense of respect for the organization. That means not everyone can have their play called every time the ball is snapped. Putting personal issues before the interests of the team is a sure formula for destroying team chemistry.
Going to war against any foe, whether it's another football team or a mutant virus, requires unity of purpose and a well disciplined team effort.
I admit, getting a team of 330 million players to coordinate their efforts against an invisible enemy such as a contagious disease, is a massive undertaking. But when the chips are down (and I think we can all agree, in the shadow of the CoronaVirus pandemic, they are), we have a common goal: to survive in a hostile environment.
The CoronaVirus has created a sense of unity between Americans. It has brought into focus just how vulnerable the human species can be. It has reorganized our priorities.The planet has been around some 4 billion years, but human beings have occupied the globe for only an infinitesimal amount of time. From that perspective, Team Humanity, let alone Team America, is a longshot to survive.
As we find ourselves sequestered, the advertising industry has jumped on the Team America bandwagon. A growing number of 30 and 60 second TV spots feature unity and collaboration themes. Budweiser has a new ad, "This season, we're all One Team." The NBA has an ad that says "We're all part of the same team." Most of the networks are running public service announcements along the lines of "We can get through this together."
It is a wonderful thing to see Americans come together in a time of need. But the question has to be asked, "Why now?"
Why do we have to wait until there is a massive threat to the survival of mankind to recognize how much we have in common? How unity of purpose is not only critical, it is fun?
Some will say, " Isn't that what the Climate Change movement is all about?"
Climate Change, Global Warming, or whatever you want to call it is a housekeeping issue. It has to do with lifestyle and conservation practices. We can debate the terms of our stadium maintenance agreement during contract negotiations. The CoronaVirus is an attack on our very existence! If we don't win this game, the stadium we play in will forever be empty.
There is no question our nation is divided. No matter what the issue is, polls show we break 48% to 52% or something close to that. Is it any wonder advertisers think appealing to our unity at this moment in time is a good idea?
The "Same Team" theme is wonderful but it seems exploitive to invoke that kind of patriotism only when the country is suffering from an existential threat to our existence. As part of our economic ecology, commercial interests need us as much as we need them. Major advertisers are vital to our economic health. Their employees are customers and their customers are employees. We are all part of a symbiotic brotherhood. Wouldn't cultivating a healthy sense of cultural unity all of the time be inherently good for business? What have they been waiting for?
Wouldn't it be nice to see Budweiser-style Christmas and 4th of July ads all year long? The kind that makes you laugh and cry with pride. Why don't major advertisers point out our unity of purpose, our family traditions and the selfless sense of sacrifice so many Americans make for our communities and our country in all of their ad campaigns?
I can only hope the silver lining in this pandemic cloud will be the reunification and fortification of our Team America Franchise.
The hit NBC weekly soap opera This Is Us is certainly not easy to follow. If you haven't been watching for sometime, I don't think you can tune in now and have any idea what the heck is going on.
It is hard enough if you have been watching from day one, as I have. Because the storyline jumps backward and forward in time, and the actors change in most cases to fit the age differences, newcomers to the show are going to be baffled.
The family oriented theme revolves around a fairly large ensemble of people and their individual and collective storylines. The show is rich in plot, deep in character development and performed by extremely talented actors.
I love this form of drama. I think the writing is tight and the dialogue real. Personally, this is my favorite kind of weekly show, but I wonder why it has attracted such a wide audience simply because none of the other networks offer anything like it. Most highly rated shows reflect a predilection for fanciful escapism or formulaic cop shows. Reality shows attract massive audiences because everyone wants to see a train wreck.
There have been some great ensemble dramas in the past. Lost, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and Thirtysomething come to mind, but This Is Us is quite different. It is all about family, whereas the other shows explored relationships that were forced by odd circumstance or unusual employment. And there is no contrivance other than the unusual circumstances of how the family came together and grew and reacted to each other and the changes in relationships as they age.
So what is the hook that makes This Is Us work so well?
There are constant elements to the success and appeal of any TV program: Writing is paramount, but that is obvious. So I would suggest that pacing is a key device to keep an audience glued to the screen. Every great TV drama mixes strong emotions into the story, blending humor and heartbreak, expectation and disappointment equally, so the viewer can't wait to see what is coming next week. This Is Us moves along at a rapid, sometimes disturbing pace because of the storylines that bridge the lifetimes of the people. In just one episode we may see a character in childhood, in adolescence and in middle-age. And that is just one theme. When intermingled with half a dozen dramatic and unexpected plot twists, the combination is compelling.
Finally, I think viewers can relate to how fast life seems to go by, and how little control we actually have on where it will eventually take all of us.
This is new territory.
My fellow Americans, we are pioneering a new frontier for our worldwide community. The Boomer generation and our children have never really been tested before. The fact is the wars in Vietnam and Korea, the attack on the World Trade Centers and the Great Recession were nothing compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, the Great Depression, or World War II.
What we are experiencing during this pandemic is something our successors will be studying in the future. They will either be impressed or depressed by how we end up dealing with this international challenge.
Did we act as a unified species in defense of our existence or did we act as tribal adversaries in a way that selfishly diminished our ability to survive on Earth?
I have written about the fact that my generation and those behind the Boomers are unprepared for cultural upheaval and social chaos. I still believe that, but no one was prepared for what turned out to be a battle for the future of civilization that was World War II.
But Americans stepped up and led the way, and I believe Americans will do that again. If we get behind our quarterback and play as a team we have the people and resources to defeat this threat.
I believe Team America is the beacon of freedom, humility and humanity in the world today, and we will rise to the occasion again. The world is looking to us for leadership, as they always have. It may not be easy or pretty, and we may violate some privacy rights or hurt some feelings, but at this point we have to make some big plays before the clock runs out.
As I watched President Trump lead the warmup lap at the Daytona 500 last month, riding in the Presidential limo called The Beast, I thought it symbolized the challenge the Democrats face next Fall. Then watching the Democratic candidates stumble all over themselves at the CBS Candidate Debates, I said to myself, "Is this all they got?"
The Democratic Bandwagon is just not up to the challenge. It looks like a 4-cylinder eco-friendly Opel trying to compete with a state-of-the-art James Bond-like SuperTruck that can literally run over the opposition.
Recent events make it apparent the Democratic nomination is going to come down to two candidates: Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. This week's announcements by Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, jumping off the bandwagon and endorsing Joe Biden have stripped the Old Grey Machine of much of it's horsepower. Having spent the past few months touting their bona fides, the power trio constantly reminded us of their unique gender perspectives, their managerial successes, and their youthful energy. To turn around now and endorse Sleepy Old Joe seems totally disingenuous. They knew he was a candidate, so why didn't they join his campaign from the beginning? The fact that they all belatedly endorsed Biden exposes some disturbing truths about the conflicted Democrat Party.
The dirty tricks the Clinton controlled super delegates orchestrated against the Sanders campaign in 2015 demonstrated Old School Democrats never liked Bernie and they aren't about to jump on his bandwagon as long as Sleepy Old Joe and the Old Grey Machine is still on the track. The one thing they all agree on is that they must remove Donald Trump from office, right? But now we can deduce that Job One is to deny Bernie Sanders the opportunity to drive the Old Grey Machine. They say they want to unify America, end racism, end discrimination, uplift the disadvantaged, provide opportunities for everyone and end unfair policies that put minorities in prison and keep woman from achieving independence. But isn't that the Modified Stock Car Bernie Sanders is driving?
Biden has a car in the race but up until now no sponsor. Which begs the question, is Bernie really a Democrat? Are the Democrats relevant anymore? Is Bernie doing to the Old School Democrat Party what Trump did to the Old Guard Republican Party in 2016?
Joe Biden has been in elective office for 36 years in Congress and 8 years in the White House. He has always identified as a Democrat while Bernie Sanders has, for the most part, always identified as a Socialist Progressive. Just as we need to note the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, maybe it is time anti-Trump voters recognize the distinction between Progressive Democrats and Old School Democrats.
The Democrat Old Grey Election Machine has an identity crisis. Their reliance on big government high-tax solutions is going to be a problem for whoever wins the nomination. The new tax initiative election results in Sanders-friendly California shows voters are not enthused about raising taxes.
As for Biden, the Obama/Biden administration's emphasis on social justice issues created a cultural crisis in America. They have failed to unseat Trump with spike-strip charges about womanizing, college-era rapes, Russian collusion, and quid pro quo obstruction conspiracy theories. So now it will be up to their insider campaign mechanics to recharge the Old Grey Machine's battery during a last minute pit stop.
In the wake of the 2016 Trump victory the Old Grey Machine embraced environmental apocalypse as their strong point. They propose massive tax initiatives to save the world. Of course they haven't and won't mention how those policies would bring down the booming economy and put millions back on the welfare roles. Nor has anyone come up with a credible explanation for paying for the $93 trillion price tag of the Progressive Green New Deal.
The Sanders Socialist movement is at least completely transparent if not delusional. Sanders is the Modern Day Robin Hood and history tells us that redistributing wealth has enormous voter appeal especially to unestablished young voters. Bernie thinks he can buy the race with Other People's Money.
Biden's Super Tuesday victories have forced Democrats to decide if putting such an ill-defined, inarticulate and inefficient machine as Sleepy Old Joe out on the track would have a chance against the Beast. Or if just pouring gasoline on the event and Bern-ing it down will be better. Either way, the Old Grey Machine ain't what she used to be.
For the past three decades the media has painted all Presidents as "savvy" at using the sound bite and the news video to shape public opinion and move the populace in the direction they wanted. Clinton was deemed "cool" after appearing on the Arsenio Hall show playing Heartbreak Hotel on the saxophone. Bush stood atop a fire truck to assure Americans "The whole world will hear from you soon!" after 911. You may remember Obama dancing the Tango at a state dinner in Argentina, and breaking tradition by wearing a tan suit occasionally during press conferences. The press treated Obama like a rock-star, and fawned over just about every public event he attended during his tenure.
Most of these occasions were highly scripted to create news and build public relations equity. It is normal for Presidents to take advantage of opportunities to be seen as a man of the people, throwing out the first pitch at the World Series or starting the Indianapolis 500 with "Gentlemen, start your engines!"
Having been an observer of these Special Media Moments of Self Promotion for six presidential administrations, I have to say, Donald Trump is in a class by himself.
DJT has an uncanny knack for making everyday events into viral tornados. Ever since he announced his candidacy in 2015, Donald John Trump has dominated the newscycle unlike any human being in modern history. We are going on four years since he decided to run for the highest office in the land, and if it were possible (maybe it is) I bet a study of computer algorithms would show that the word 'Trump' has appeared more often on computers, TV, radio and podcasts than any other person in modern history. Just when it appears a massive weather story, earthquake or political firestorm is going to be in the headlines for a week or so, Boom! Trump becomes the center of attention. And much of that attention is not self directed. He gets tons of help from the media he calls fake! They hate him but can't stop talking about him.
They say any publicity is good publicity. But Trump has masterfully learned to parlay every piece of news, antagonism or conflict, into a quagmire for his critics. The harder they hit, the deeper they sink.
I thought after the initial impact of his unexpected victory in 2016 died down, he would settle into a more normal President-esque newscycle. Like any controversial political figure he would still be very prominent in the news. But boy was I wrong! As much as the media wants to destroy the man, they keep him in the spotlight 24/7. And though they do it in a mostly negative way, Trump keeps finding ways to overcome their negativity and turn a turnip into a flower.
These past two weeks have been perhaps the basis for another book for Trump to write. He has many bestsellers (The Art of the Deal, The Midas Touch, Think Like a Billionaire, etc.) and has lived up to most of his postulations. Since the New Year Trump dodged an impeachment effort, saw the economy continue to expand at unprecedented rates, enjoyed job numbers never before reached, watched his approval numbers reach new heights despite the unrelenting attacks by Democrats and the unfriendly press. He signed the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement that will replace the unbalanced NAFTA deal, and he tentatively reached an agreement with China on Phase One of a new trade deal that should yield a $200 billion boost in exports. He also reached an agreement with house Democrats on a $738 billion defense spending bill that improves parental leave policies for federal workers and funds a newly created Space Force.
A recent Quinnipiac Poll showed that 57% of Americans feel their lives are financially better since Trump took office.
On top of all that, Trump delivered one of the most impressive State of the Union speeches ever! He masterfully spelled out his campaign promises and a checklist of accomplishments, then paraded a series of emotionally moving examples of how his policies have re-established pride in America, respect for our service members and our police departments, boosted minority educational opportunities, and put Americans back to work. While the Speaker of the House made a fool of herself by childishly tearing up her copy of the speech, the nationwide audience was reminded of how America can lead and succeed if we put our priorities in order. Trump orchestrated visuals contrasting the positive aspects of his policies while the cameras showed Democrats sitting and scowling evan when the audience was celebrating a 102 year-old black World War II veteran.
Then just a few days later, Trump buzzed the Daytona 500 racetrack crowd in Air Force One, landing just a few minutes away. He quickly appeared riding in the Presidential Limousine they call The Beast, leading a warmup parade of race cars around the infield track to rousing ovations and shouts of "USA,USA!' and "Four More Years!" while over 9M viewers watched from all around the world.
The man has mastered the Art of the News Cycle.
Yeah, I am an older, white, male fuddy-duddy. I am not considered relevant.
So how I reacted to the Super Bowl halftime show will not resonate with the average fan.
Or will it?
I have my feelings about the NFL corporate focus on Progressive values and appealing to an international audience of mostly young viewers and fans. I could be outraged by the unwillingness of the NFL to punish players that disrespect the rules, that profess hatred for America, that repeatedly abuse women, drive while drunk, and fail drug tests. I could have given up on them a long time ago when they started using the Super Bowl as a Social Justice Media Platform, thrusting alt-left performers like Black-Eyed Peas, Nikki Minaj, and the famous Big Boi onto the stage, just so the world could see how diverse (and perverse) America really is!
I love the game of football and refuse to deny myself the enjoyment I get from watching phenomenal athletes perform at very high levels, so I have put the whole National Anthem disrespect thing and the bizarre halftime shows behind me. I simply won't allow the politics of the NFL's public relations department to spoil the sport and the entertainment I get from it.
And then there are the sophomoric attempts at humor and branding during the breaks. The ads are mostly self-serving exposes on cultural diversity, the plight of minorities, women and refugees. Many of us feel like we have to endure the advertising sermonizing just so we can watch a football game.
But Sunday's Super Bowl embrace of such an obviously sexual halftime routine is perhaps a bridge too far. Remember the "wardrobe malfunction" by Janet Jackson in 2004? Rapper MIA flipping off the audience in 2012? The Black Panther Tribute by Beyonce in 2016? All were clearly designed to push the cultural pendulum to an extreme. But this show redefined disgusting...I was embarrassed by the orchestrated crotch shots, the innuendo of the lyrics, and the twerking.
At what point do all of us object to such blatant female objectification? Is this the new normal for showing "respect" for women and their accomplishments? Shakira and Jennifer were degrading themselves!
Come on, man!
Don't they know millions of kids were watching? Is the collective conscience of the NFL dead? What made them think turning the halftime show into a Gentlemens Club Strip Show would be a good idea?
The women's achievement angle is great, I am all for that. But did it occur to them that featuring women who flaunt their sexuality, who tease the audience by focusing on hip grinding and crotch thrusting, pole dancing, hair flipping and cathouse kooing may not be the best way to pay tribute to the achievement of Latino women? Then they brought kids out to support the whole thing, as if to say, "That's my mommy up there pole dancing. Isn't she strong?"
I have always liked Shakira and Jennifer as they both have amazing stories of determination and accomplishment. But I am sorry, this stuff has to stop! I want to hear from the mom's that watched the show. Did they cover their kids eyes or suggest they should aspire to be like Jennifer? I want to ask those moms, Shakira and J.Lo, would you take your 12 year-old kids into a strip club? Would you encourage your girls to pursue a career in pole dancing?
As for the artists, why do they feel the need to use their sexuallity to entertain us? It is no different than comedians using profanity when it is unnecessary to get a laugh. The singing, dancing, live orchestras, marching bands and flag twirlers, and even high tech animation isn't enough? Just what are they trying to accomplish? How does such a display of female sexual exploitation make the world's biggest entertainment event better?
The sad truth is they are not thinking about any such altruism. They are thinking about creating a sound bite, a news headline, a social media reaction. It is SuperStar one-upmanship. "We made history!" according to Shakira, which illustrates her motives. Both women appeared more interested in their own legacy than on having any positive impact on our culture. Every year the halftime performers seem determined to overshadow every halftime show that came before them.
So they resort to what always gets the most attention, to what is the most salacious and outrageous. It is beyond sad that these two talented women would resort to the oldest, and cheapest attention getter in history: Sex.