As the battle over the border drags on, here is tale worth repeating...
The doorbell didn't ring, but I knew something was there because I could hear a lot of commotion .It was late at night and I wasn't expecting anyone, so naturally I became a little concerned. I went to my garage and found a flashlight.
I braced myself, pulled open the front door and...what a surprise!
The little family of about a dozen raccoons! They were so cute and innocent! Their faces looked so adorable as their eyes glowed in the flashlight beam.
I invited them in.
Obviously they were starving! Some were emaciated, tired and probably covered with fleas, so I immediately called my vet. She said unless some were dying, any house call would be out of the question. That since there was no emergency, I could bring them into her clinic in the morning.
Or better yet, she suggested I take them to the county animal protection shelter…
As the anxious and agitated group started pilfering through my house, my wife came out of the bedroom to be frightened out of her wits.
"It's OK honey" I said, "Just some hungry and homeless youngsters who are looking for some food and a place to stay. Can you rustle up some food?"
She ran back into the bedroom. I think she might have called the Police…
I was too busy to ask why she thought we needed help. These little guys were fully capable of finding stuff to eat. Within minutes they had everything in my pantry spread out on the floor and were tearing into boxes and bags, tossing cans around and licking up syrup and sugar they had spilled. A little inconvenience maybe, but how can you blame them, they probably hadn't had much to eat since there were so many of them.
I felt good about things for awhile, but I soon realized they were overwhelming my home. They were everywhere, so I started pleading with them to leave. As I wandered through the house, shooing them out of bedrooms and bathrooms, I found my wife cowering in a closet. Then I suddenly noticed a family of possums was making their way into my living room!
This is a real problem!
I was starting to get a little frightened, so I decided to go next door to plea for help. As I reached the end of my driveway, I stopped cold in my tracks...I was suddenly surrounded by a pack of Coyotes...
"But it was the Trump campaign’s coziness with so many Russians that made it all possible." - AXIOS Online
During a recent live radio interview, the host challenged my assertion that recent scholastic and media industry studies concluded that Trump received 92% negative press prior to his election and just slightly less biased coverage since. I said a lot of the 'negative' coverage is reporters allowing their bias to seep into their stories. Often it happens by simply using pejorative terms. She wanted me to sight an example.
I am relatively new to live radio, so I wasn't able to sight chapter and verse, but I did say that most mainstream media reports on the subject of "illegal' immigration never distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. Reports on Trump often say he, and Republicans in general, are 'anti-immigration'.
That is absolutely untrue and the reporters know it is untrue and still they continue to frame the story as proof that Trump is xenophobic. It all starts with, and is perpetuated by a lie of omission, which is nothing less than slander and Fake News.
For example, here is a story on the millennial website Axios, which talks about how the Russians manipulate social media to divide Americans. Not content to just spread the important non-partisan news that foreign countries are weaponizing social media platforms, Axios has to blame it all on Trump!
The last line in the story is:
"But it was the Trump campaign’s coziness with so many Russians that made it all possible."
"Coziness" is a pejorative term, and it is just nebulous enough to avoid any claims of journalistic excess. 'Cozy' is one thing in reference to a nice evening in front of a fireplace with someone you love and a glass of wine. Or, it can be very negative when placed in context of one of our own sharing too much information with a bitter enemy. Since the idea of "Russian collusion" explaining why Hillary lost the election, the latter condition is what most people think (thanks to Fake News) when the subject of Russian influence comes up.
But Axios claims it would not have been possible if not for Trump having relationships with "so many" Russians (who are unnamed). If Jeb Bush had won the nomination, does anyone think the Russians would have thrown up their hands in defeat and abandoned their media manipulation campaign? Give me a break!
Even if we were to accept, for the sake of argument, that Trump had meetings with Russian officials before the election (which I am sure he did at some point in history), how does that extrapolate to his "making it all possible" to exert immense political and cultural influence on social media users all over the United States of America?
I would suggest that it is the nature of the social networking beast that makes it all possible.
What the Russians have been doing takes an immense amount of coordination and money. If Trump had any part in it, it would be something the Special Council would have had no problem documenting.
In their article, Axios says, "These (Russian) campaigns are easier because of the U.S. government's lack of unity in confronting the practice and the platforms. That's a big win for Russia."
True, but this stuff was happening under the Obama administration. Hello? Can you put two and two together or is that asking too much of journalism today?
A common description of conservatives is that they can't embrace the 'Browning of America'. That as the population of Latinos grows, as blacks gain political clout, and as women of color expand their influence in political circles, many mostly white voters, and especially older white men, are struggling with the idea that America is now equally divided by ethnicity and gender. So older white guys like me are angry, and supporting racist, nationalist leaders like Donald Trump.
Media talking heads call us "Haters".
The demographics may well show that America's color may be darkening, but assigning the dispepsia of conservative voters to xenophobia is totally bogus, and in many ways, bigoted. Sure there are always going to be vestiges of white power racism in our culture, just as there are significant numbers of people who like creamed spinach (not me!).
But to place the blame for our cultural divisions solely on the back of one group, one political point of view (conservatism) is myopic. Suggesting that older white men resent people of color is, in and of itself, an ignorant and intolerant generalization. If people like me don't stand up and reject these charges, we become complicit in the lie.
The problem is some people cannot separate attitude from policy. Modern cultural attitudes conflate racism with sovereignty. Too often the issue of breaking immigration laws is brushed aside, and intermingled with emotional issues like the separation of mothers from their children.
Was anyone worried about the future of Ruth, Mark and Andrew Madoff when Poppa Madoff was escorted out of the courthouse and committed to jail for 150 years?
I am a 68 year old white conservative. I voted for DJT, not because he is a racist and ergo so am I. No, it was because he was willing to address a serious problem of protecting our borders and keeping our communities safe. Not safe from people of color, but safe from intruders who disrespect our laws. All the other candidates capitulated to the bogus charges of racism.
It is as simple as that. I view Trump as an advocate of law and order, not white power! Most conservatives don't care what the color of your skin is, we just want migrants to assimilate, become an American who understands what that is and what responsibilities come with it.
The idea that our country is suffering from unregulated illegal immigration should not be arguable: there is simply too much evidence that citizens are suffering from crimes and job competition by people who are by law not supposed to be here. The color of their skin is irrelevant. When a migrant starts out by immediately disrespecting our laws, it is easy to assume they will continue to do so as they encounter challenges while struggling to survive in our competitive society. Admittedly, they will be handicapped by a lack of family resources, education or job history, so it is just too easy to turn to crime.
How else do we explain that 30% of the population in American jails are illegal immigrants?
Beyond the obvious issue of illegal immigration, what many Americans are worried about is the 'diluting of Americanism' wherein our heritage of self-sufficiency, respect for law, a sense of entrepreneurship and pride of ownership, and a commitment to engaged understanding and participation in civic decisions and community building will be replaced by a return to tribalism and social isolation. That if we do not require our immigrants and our citizens to follow the law, we will devolve into something unlike the America we inherited from our folks.
Watching groups attempting to breach our border security while carrying flags of their country of origin is a red flag for anyone who naively thinks these people just want to become Americans.
So please spare me the bigoted assertion that Trump is a racist and those who support him are haters. If you really believe that, you are delusional and misinformed. Just like Colin Kaepernick won't stand for the National Anthem because he considers it 'unjust', I won't stand for people calling me a hater.
In light of the recent election results, and in response to the burning question, "Where does the Republican Party go from here?" I am passing on a sneak preview from my new book Trump's Reckoning: Bulldozing Progressivism, Rebuilding Americanism. It explores the idea that for Republicans to rebrand themselves, to attract minorities and women, they must find common ground. Here is a taste of what I recommend they do...
"Pie in the sky idealism results in chaos. Progressives want the world to conform to their idyllic worldview, so they act as though it already has. That is why it is important that they redefine language and history, so it comports with their convoluted illusionary reality.
Our priority as Republicans must be to protect our family first. To make sure our members have realistic views of reality, that they are armed with the truth so they can exercise their freedom to create jobs, homes, schools and security rooted in what the Constitution deemed 'the pursuit of happiness.' To live safely in reality.
So I believe Republicanism is synonymous with what I call Familyism. It is about starting every day with the idea that your family comes first, then the family of your community, and then your state, and then your country. By taking care of and providing safety and security for your extended family, you are actively supporting what the founding fathers envisioned for the United States of America, a family of individual states and communities, all with different personality types, but all pulling the collective boat in the same direction.
We are all roots and branches of the same tree, America.
It is time for Republicans to embrace and brand ourselves with a new definition, a new motto, a new moral imperative: Republicans, the Family First Party."
I started listening to Rush in 1985, as I was spending a great deal of time driving around Southern California, working as a manufacturers sales representative, and his show burst out on a powerhouse AM channel in mid morning drive-time.
I must admit that at first I thought the guy was a pompous ass. But I still listened, because he was funny too. And he had a way of talking about current events that reminded me of my college days. I always enjoyed a good, interactive lecture and discussion in a classroom atmosphere. I was bored by pop music, so I got hooked on talk radio, and Rush was not just a pioneer, but as I learned over time, a cultural and political genius, too. Limbaugh has built his audience on, as he puts it, "Explaining and illustrating the absurd using absurdity."
Rush has been properly credited with the resuscitation of AM Radio. He took it from a failing Top Ten records and DJ medium, which could no longer compete with the improved sound quality of FM broadcasts, to a whole new news, information, and interactive talk medium. He tapped into what is now SOP, but at the time had no outlet: the need for people to share their passions, their frustrations, and their anxieties about life, community, national politics and current events. Limbaugh's mostly "talking about what interested" him show format was the radio forerunner to Twitter. The public was slowly drowning in new ways to get their news and information, and they needed someone to help them sort it all out and talk about it.
Demographics show Limbaugh's audience is mostly older male, middle-class and conservative. My guess is, most don't spend much time on Twitter, either.
But the most fundamental reason Rush is still the leader in the huge talk radio market, is because he can make absurdity make sense. And as confusing and contradictory as some of the news is, he adds a semblance of humor to the equation. Just enough to diffuse the anger, but also to illustrate how convoluted and distressing so much of our public discourse has become.
Whether you agree with his perspective or not, the man is highly entertaining, and his brand of human interest conversation continues to compete successfully with hundreds of sources on radio, TV, the internet and on our cell phones. I could make the case that Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, and so many others, all learned a lot from Limbaugh, and owe much of their success to his success.
In the late 90's, Limbaugh formed an alliance with recording artist Paul Shanklin to produce a steady stream of musical parodies around high profile celebrity and political characters. Combined with his cartoonish nicknames for his favorite targets like 'Dirty' Harry Reid or Debbie 'Blabbermouth' Schultz, his voice imitations and creative soap-opera-style replays of controversial and conflicting sound bites, Rush consistently sets new creative standards for the radio medium.
After uber-liberal filmmaker Michael Moore released his anti-Bush film Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2006, acclaimed Hollywood producer David Zucker (Scary Movie, Naked Gun, Airplane) jumped into the fray when he decided that some of Washington's shenanigans just couldn't be ignored by filmmakers.
He formed an affinity group of conservatives in Hollywood; he got Jon Voight, Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, and Chris Farley's brother Kevin Farley together and pitched a script. His subsequent film, 'An American Carol' spoofed the limousine liberals of Hollywood. It challenged their sense of patriotism and tendency to 'blame America first.'
The film would not have happened without the groundwork by Rush Limbaugh. That reality holds true for later proteges like Dinesh D'Souza, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage.
Zucker had made a dramatic transition from being an anti-Vietnam war protester and ardent Al Gore supporter, to an outspoken JFK-style conservative. He had grown to resent Democrat's rejection of American exceptionalism and the way the Left was complicit in allowing socialism, anti-zionism and radical extremism to flourish around the world.
Limbaugh is still garnering nearly 30 million listeners any given week, and though he pioneered the format, his is still quite unique. Critics want to focus on his squeaky voice (when he gets agitated) but he has an uncanny ability to point out absurdities. Just this week, Joy Behar lamenting the election results on ABC's liberal circle-jerk daytime talk show "The View" said that Republicans increased their majority in the Senate due to 'redistricting'.
Rush, after squeaking about how it shouldn't be possible for someone so ignorant to hold a seat on a nationally syndicated TV talk show, reminded the audience that state senators serve entire states, and since there are, as directed by the constitution, only two senators from every state, there is no such thing as 'redistricting' in statewide elections.
As the self appointed 'Mayor of Realville', Rush spends a great deal of time mocking leaders in academia, entertainment and politics who constantly demonstrate little or no understanding of our constitutional republic and how it works.
"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" - Chico Marx
Recently Bill Maher, on his nighttime talk show, pontificating on Trump's popularity ratings, said:
“His popularity rating keeps going up, not down. It’s almost in the range of a normal president, which is really scary. Because he certainly is not that. So, they (his supporters) obviously don’t care about so many things they used to care about like decorum, or policy, or democracy, or freedom of the press.”
Intentional or not, Maher is impugning a massive number of people and their motivations. And of course he can't help but malign Trump, because he is appealing to his Progressive audience, and therefore, truth is relative.
Maher's choice of words are intended to invoke anger and hatred, to rally his ultra-liberal following, to create some team spirit and resistance energy. He is addressing the troops of anti-Trump Progressives and pumping them up for the second half of a game in which they are trailing, bigly.
For example, he says Trump's ratings are almost in the range of a 'normal' president. No, Bill, they are right in the same range as Obama's ratings were after his first two years. So either Trump's ratings are normal or Obama's were abnormal. You can't have it both ways.
He claims that Trump supporters don't care about decorum. I would argue that millions support Trump's position on standing for our National Anthem, not to restrict NFL players free speech, but to stop the hijacking of a public display of respect for our nation and its heros. It is the lack of decorum, the abject disrespect for the moment and the venue that is objectionable, not the credibility of the issue of police abuse or racism.
As for policy, I would suggest one 'obvious' reason Trump won is he ran against the wrong policies of the Obama era. Obama seemed to care more about illegal immigrants, Islamic fanatics, or being liked by foreign despots, than he did about the American working class, and the security of our citizenry. The same issues that drove many otherwise recalcitrant voters to vote for Trump.
Maher claims Trump policies are bad for minorities, women and gays, but the facts contradict him. Employment stats indicate all minorities are finding work at record setting rates. Hate crimes are down, female incomes are up, and it was Trump who warned Republicans to get used to gay marriage as it was now the law of the land. His stern military and domestic security measures have made us all safer from Jihadi attacks and removed weekly beheading videos from television news broadcasts.
Bill, you are too smart to keep referring to America as a democracy. America is not a democracy, it is a Constitutional Republic governed by a document that cedes power to the people, but also demands all citizens respect the rights of its minorities. The founding fathers purposely chose not to make America a purely democratic government, because it leads to mob rule. It is Progressive anarchists that invoke mob rule, using intimidation and violence to shut down debate on campus, in congress and across social media.
"No Trump! No wall! No borders at all!"
Progressivism is communism in disguise, where (in Marxist theory) everyone gives according to ability and receives according to need. One party, or a totalitarian dictator, manages everything from the top down. Under their form of government, celebrities like Bill Maher do not exist except to act as propaganda agents for the authorities. Dissenting opinions, like we see on The View or any number of American news/talk shows, are not tolerated in communist countries.
Maher conflates 'Free Press' with freedom to say anything without attribution or consequences. The abuse of those journalistic freedoms by using unnamed 'reliable sources' instead of cross-checked and verified informants, is a major threat to a free press.
I have a liberal definition of news because I think news can be what excites people. I’m not very sanctimonious about what news is and isn’t.
- Diane Sawyer
It is becoming increasingly obvious, too many MSM journalists agree with Diane Sawyer. They subjugate boring civic activities to bloodsport mayhem that attracts leering audiences and increases advertising revenues and reporter salaries.
The only current restrictions on journalistic excess are coming from powerful pressures to conform with politically correct dogma. Newspapers, TV and social media are more concerned about what people 'think' than what is true. And they feel compelled to direct what their audience thinks. The Progressive angle on censorship is over what constitutes 'hate speech', what hurts people's 'feelings', and what comports with their approved template of 'inclusion, social justice and fairness,' just as Kim Jong Un does in North Korea.
Maher worries about Trump policies that will censor Progressive thought, but it is conservatives on TV, on college campuses, on Facebook and Twitter that are being shadow banned.
Bill Maher's definition of decorum, policy and freedom of the press, is obviously, not objective. What is scary, and just as obvious, is that he has such an eager and receptive audience.