Friday, December 23, 2016

10 year old Autistic girl Kaylee Rodgers singing 'Hallelujah'


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Meaning of Life


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Democrat's have lost their connection to the working class. Although I like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren going further to the left will only further alienate those that earn less a week than the going price a single ticket to "Hamilton"(about $850). A look at any election map shows the a sea of red and blue strips or dots around urban areas. We are in a cultural battle between urban elitist diversified liberals and rural working class mainstream conservatives. Underneath Donald's bluster and bravado he is essentially a right of center Republican. Hillary was a left of center candidate before the "Bernie or bust" movement forced her to move further to the left which did nothing to appeal to moderate voters. Democrats will need to find a leader in the the next four to eight years that can bridge the gap between elite urban liberals and rural working class conservatives.

Noam Chomsky on Madison and Aristotle


Monday, November 21, 2016

Perfect Storm 2016


Like many I was shocked at the outcome of the recent presidential election. Though I was nervous I had expect Hillary Clinton to pull off an election night victory. Close perhaps but still I was fairly confident of a victory for our first woman President. Like many others who saw the battle ground states that were suppose to turn blue turned red instead that expectation came to a halt. By the wee hours of the morning it became evident that the unthinkable had happened....Donald Trump would be the next President. The most despicable and unqualified candidate in our history had defied the odds and won.

Somehow the polls who had Hillary with a narrow 3-4% lead,depending on which one, were off just enough to throw almost everyone off, even the "The Donald". A lot of humble pie has been eaten since that including myself. How could this have happened? I don't think it was any one event but a perfect storm of circumstances gave Hillary a surprising defeat.  Here are some of the things which I feel contributed to our election of an unqualified President:

  • False Equivalency - The treatment by the media that some how Donald Trump was a"normal presidential candidate". In 1988 Senator Gary Hart's Presidential aspirations were derailed by a single story of sexual indiscretion yet Donald Trump endures not one but twelve alleged instances of sexual harassment(if not assault) and just seems to just brush them off without apology. Grant you Hillary's husband Bill had his issues with women but he was not the one running for President.
  • Empty Podium - This was where television news coverage failed. Too much coverage of Trump just for the sake of ratings. I have to guiltily admit that Donald has his entertainment value. He's the three car pile up you slow down for on the highway. You just can't help it. One such glaring moment was during "Super Tuesday" in March 2016 the news networks stayed glued to an empty podium waiting for Donald to shaow up(which he never did). Yet at the same time Senator Bernie Sanders was giving a speech about his evening(which didn't go that well but still news worthy) went uncovered by the news networks. 
  • Email - She must wake up at night crying "Damn emails!". Although none contained any smoking gun like evidence of criminal wrong doing, just the mere mention of the word "email" and 'Hillary" in the same sentence was enough to send the press, mainstream or right-wing, into a frenzy. Although FBI director James Comey isn't fully to blame for Hillary's defeat, in sending a letter to Congress, about just the possibility of more Hillary emails, was enough to remind Republican voters of Hillary's faults. Given the closeness of the election this may have played a part.
  • Clinton Fatigue - Although I supported her I can't help feeling perhaps she had passed her time. It wasn't entirely her fault. She's smart, hard working and ambitious. Unfortunately she also carried her husband's baggage, former President Bill Clinton, who had his own issues. Although never convicted or proven guilty in anything they had been accused of so much that it was implicated that they must be guilty of something. Her moment may have passed in 2008. Benghazi and the email server stories may have been one or two scandals too many. 
  • Rural verses Urban - You look at any post election map and you'll see that Hillary won the urban areas and Donald won the rural areas. Rural won(at least Electorally). This demographic shift isn't entirely surprising even though Obama was able to win some of these voters over in 2008 and 2012  but Hillary was not. I think it was a combination of sexism and perhaps the lack of Obama's white blue collar appeal. 
  • Change - Donald was the the "change" candidate. Almost every eight years or so since President Truman voters have opted for the opposite party every eight years. President Jimmy Carter(77-81) and George H.W. Bush(89-93) being the exceptions. Despite President Obama doing a decent job Hillary just represented more of the same. She was in a no win battle. If she separated much from Obama she could lose support and if she differentiated from him the same could happen. 
It's like I said before, it was a perfect storm of event's that landed Trump in the White House. It's not what I wished or hoped for but it's what we've got. I don't wish him failure but I don't have much confidence in his success. God help us.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in CrisisHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After seeing this book mentioned all over the place in regards to this year's election I had to see what all the excitement was about. Although it doesn't necessarily answer why poor white working class are attracted to the Republicans and the Donald Trump phenomenon this may give some clues as to what their experiences are and why they are angry.

Even though Vance is from hillbilly country in Kentucky and Ohio but it could be almost anywhere in our country. Some parts of it even reminded me of my own up bringing in Massachusetts as a child of a working class mother who was divorced with three kids. We also were helped by grandparents and are very thankful for them.

The authors story is also one of overcoming hardships and battles he fought along the way. One theme that comes out of this book is how others who support us along the way can influence us and give us a step up. Vance got it from his grandparents, the Marines, his sister and others who helped him overcome his situation. It reminds me of the Hillary Clinton book "It takes a village" in part that our success is built with the support of others.

Vance does credit his success with the help of others but even he doesn't have a single catch all answer for the majority of others in a similar situation to overcome poverty, addiction, joblessness and just plain poor decisions. No one government program, education initiative or jobs program will solve all the problem's which some of the blame also lies within their own attitudes. Though though the author does say that doesn't mean we shouldn't help "put a thumb on the scale" to help those in need. That one time may just mean the difference in someone's life.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This New Yorker cartoon is pretty much how I feel at this moment. This election can't be over soon enough.

 Emails? You can't be serious. In Donald Trump we have a person who is perhaps the least qualified temperamentally and intellectually we have ever nominated for President. Brags about sexually assaulting and harassing women. Makes fun of disabled people. Bankrupted 4 casino's. Is being sued for a fraudulent "University". Has had at least twelve women come forward and say they were sexually harassed by him. Feuded with a Gold Star family. Withheld donations to Veteran's charities and only paid(partially) when called out on it. Used his own foundation to pay off lawyers fees and reward a Florida Attorney General to look the other way in one of his lawsuits. Wondered why we don't use nukes. Had the honor of winning Politifact's "Lie of the year" 2015, not just for any one lie but his whole campaign. Let's not forget the wall he wants build to keep the Mexican rapists out. Let's keep out those Muslim's too. Had to think about disavowing David Duke, a former KKK leader. Thought women should be punished having an abortion. Thought a Federal Judge, born in Indiana, should be disqualified because of his Mexican heritage. Accused rival's father of being involved in President John Kennedy's assassination.

Yet we worry about emails sent from a wrong type of server. November 9th can't get here fast enough.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

New Rule: The Danger of False Equivalency | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

It puzzles me when I hear "ones as bad as the other" excuse. Bill's right it's people being lazy and not even really doing their homework on the candidates. The just hear the headlines or what gossip they heard secondhand at work, the bar, school or wherever. What was most damaging about the release of the FBI letter to congress was that the two words "Hillary" and "email". That's all people will hear at this point. They won't hear much after that. Not that it had nothing to do with her email server or actual email that Hillary sent.A pure case of the headline is more sensational than the actual facts behind it.




This is the full quote by Noam Chomsky that Bill cites in his video:

"Well, let me give an example. When I'm driving, I sometimes turn on the radio and I find very often that what I'm listening to is a discussion of sports. These are telephone conversations. People call in and have long and intricate discussions, and it's plain that quite a high degree of thought and analysis is going into that. People know a tremendous amount. They know all sorts of complicated details and enter into far-reaching discussion about whether the coach made the right decision yesterday and so on. These are ordinary people, not professionals, who are applying their intelligence and analytic skills in these areas and accumulating quite a lot of knowledge and, for all I know, understanding. On the other hand, when I hear people talk about, say, international affairs or domestic problems, it's at a level of superficiality that's beyond belief."- Noam Chomsky

It shows we are capable learning capable of learning about something when we choose to. We can know what a baseball batter's average is in the 7th inning facing a left-handed pitcher with the wind going out to right field when in a particular ballpark in the month of September after he had taco's and beer the night before but couldn't tell you the significance NATO, name the Secretary of State or that latest email news doesn't even involve Hillary's email server or anything sent by her. That will get lost in the headlines.

Before spouting of one's as bad as the other do some actual homework. Especially before choosing whom to vote for. It deserves a little more attention than worrying about Brangelina's divorce.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Two dollars and a nasty woman



Hillary now has 3-0 streak after last nights debate. November 8th will make it a 4-0 sweep of "The Donald". She already started ahead by an average of 7 percentage points and I doubt this will have any negative affect on her lead. She didn't need to knock it out of the park like Donald needed to.

Hillary's strategy wasn't to go for the home run with each swing but to keep knocking in runs with singles and the occasional double. Let's face it she prepares to the max for these things. As Donald reiterated she's been doing this stuff for 30 years and it shows.

I think the very first quest Fox News Chris Matthews asked about the Supreme Court painted a telling picture of this whole campaign season. Hillary gave what could be called a straight forward unexciting typical politician-like answer about her views and goals for the Supreme Court. In contrast Donald immediately started whining about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's remarks about him that apparently he hasn't gotten over yet. In other words it was all about him and his wounded pride. Him not being able let go of a perceived slight against him. He is like the paperboy in the comedy from the 80's "Better Off Dead" who chased John Cusack's character around everywhere demanding his $2.


Of course what everyone else is noting that when asked whether he'd stand by the the election result's his answer was: " I will tell you at the time." This was asked amid his recent campaign rhetoric of swearing the elections will be rigged if he loses. Of course this line plays right into his base of support that the system is rigged against. I think many may not understand that this isn't just political bravado but an affront to our given assumption that transfer of power will be honored when someone else is elected. This and his 2nd debate remark of her being imprisoned just adds to his third-world authoritarian outlook on leadership. Part of this is due to him knowing that he's probably going to lose but has to deflect blame as it doesn't fit into his brand's image of winning.

He also further reinforced his problem with women with a comment of  "Such a nasty woman" while Hillary was talking of Social Security and entitlements. Hillary didn't pause for a second or give any indication say noticed what he had said. 

Hillary's experience, knowledge and coolness prevaled. She barely give notice to whatever outlandish bull Donald was spouting out in a given moment. When she did  speak she was calm but would insert jabs at Donald in precise and almost sly way. This of course was exactly what she planned to do. After awhile Donald soon was jabbering in his best "Alec Baldwin" impersonation  "Wrong, wrong, wrong. " and sniffling his way towards the end of the debate. 

Perhaps this is what Hillary's given path to Presidency.  That it would have to go through an overgrown misogynistic playboy tough guy from Brooklyn who can't stand losing to a smart confident woman. A nasty one to boot. 

Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Don't Think Twice It's All Right - Bob Dylan

My dad used tease me about my love for Paul McCartney by saying he's no Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is one of those artists that every musician or songwriter has on their "who influenced you" list. Even The Beatles wanted meet him when they first came to the United States. Admittedly I've not been as big of fan of his as maybe I should be. Sometimes he's hard to understand and doesn't have great singing voice(which he admits). It's through his words that his mind and soul shine through. 

I think my Dad would be happy to see that Dylan had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I think he had seen or felt something that I've missed over the years. Hopefully it's not too late for me.

He's been called an "American Troubadour" and I think it fits him perfectly. 

New Rule: A Bone to Pick with Undecided Voters | Real Time with Bill Mah...




It baffles me that in an election campaign that has lasted since last year that there are undecided voters among us. Seriously? In what is probably the most contentious and partisan election in our recent history you really need more time with this? 

Ken Bone, undecided voter, enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. 

Ken Bone a recent Internet sensation is our picture of this undecided voter walking among us. His Internet fame flamed out quick when people found out he had human faults and quirks. It guess Trump misogynistic, authoritarian, demagogic  behavior wasn't enough to sway him. Donald wanting to ban an entire religion wasn't enough. Mimicking a handicapped reporter in a speech wasn't enough. Insulting Vietnam veteran  Senator John McCain because he was captured wasn't enough. Bragging about his penis size during a Presidential debate wasn't enough. Saying a Federal judge was unfit because of his Mexican heritage wasn't enough. Calling a US Senator "Pocahontas" wasn't enough. Accusing a rival candidate's father of being involved with the Kennedy assassination wasn't enough. Promising millions to veterans organizations then crying when caught by reporters for not giving a dime wasn't enough.   Getting into a feud with Gold Star parents wasn't enough. Calling a former Miss Universe "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping" (she's Latino) wasn't enough. Brags about using his fame  to kiss and grab women's genitals wasn't enough. The 11, and counting, women in the last week that have come forward saying he actually sexually harassed and assaulted hasn't been enough. How much more information do you need? He must be fun at ordering food at a restaurant.


Like Donald Trump though, Ken Bone's past comments seem to be catching up to him. Apparently made some controversial remarks about the Trevor Martin tragedy and is an apparent fan of Jennifer Lawrence's butt hole from the leaked photo's of her a few years ago. A testament and warning that anything you say or do online or on video/radio may seem harmless at the moment but can come back and grab you in the genitals in the future.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mika: Alicia Machado Comments 'Cut To The Core' | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power

Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and PowerTrump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power by Michael Kranish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually had a fear that by listening to this book I'd change my mind about him or even think that he'd be the least bit competent as President. No worries. When I finished I still thought he should never be in the same zip code as the White House. It was helpful to know where he came from and his family history. One thing to me stood out about him that really bothered me was his motivation. Most Presidents, even the awful ones, I've learned about usually feel some kind of higher calling, need or want to serve the public in someway. Throughout Donald's life has been about serving himself satisfying some inner need to be the center of attention. His motivation was always about money, attention and success of his name brand. If it had any benefit to anyone else that was just by chance. Even imperfect presidents at least gave the illusion they serving the people. Trump was just in it to serve his bank account. Even after listening to this I still think his only motivation to be President is to increase value of his brand name. Secondly his business dealings and actual worth have always been overrated. They maybe impressive to those of the middle and lower classes but he certainly blew a lot of money with bankruptcies and bad decisions. His talk is bigger than the reality. God help us if he becomes President.

P.S. This is to the authors and the Washington Post. You did a lot of work and did a great job. Now since you gave all this energy to Donald should we expect a book about Hillary?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Late Night Politics

Late Night host Seth Meyer lambasted Trump after the circus of his admittance the President Obama was born in the United States after all. This after years of stoking the conspiracy flames of birther movement which sought to delegitimize Obama's Presidency. This is one of the key issues that propelled his popularity to run for President. The thirty second confession was squeezed into Trump Hotel infomercial which also offered no apology and even put forth a new lie that Hillary had started the conspiracy back in 2008 when she originally ran against Obama. 


 

Seth's commentary was a contrast to the Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show interview with Trump which he was heavily criticized for seeming to pal around with Donald and even playing with his hair. I think some of the heat he took was a little over the top. Jimmy Fallon is not a hard core journalist or interviewer. He's a comedian/entertainer and doesn't delve into political commentary much if at all.  Although the hair rub did seem to go over the top a little.


Seth is more of a regular political commentator on his show. This clip had people comparing him to Jon Stewart in his prime which isn't a bad thing. He, and his writers, are good at it this commentary. 
 
 

What is interesting is that we seem to be relying heavily on comedians to do what journalist should do, and haven't done much of, which is to honestly call on bullshit from figures like Donald Trump who have lied so brazenly that it's mind boggling. Television media has just got into the habit of just throwing the camera on Donald and let him spew his latest con artist sales pitch. That's not journalism it's being a cameraman for a free Trump infomercial. 

The media got played big time during Trump's news conference to announce his statement about Obama. It turned out to be not only a free infomercial about his new Washington Hotel there instances of an TV feed of and empty podium waiting for Donald and then some run of the mill stump speech's by some veteran's(another pet peeve of mine). He made his 30 second announcement which then turned into a tour of the hotel. Seriously? This is news? Television news has hit a new low. The took Donald's bait and ate it all up. 

I do enjoy commentary by the likes of Seth Meyer, John Oliver, Bill Maher and so on. The only thing is that in in the end they are entertainers. They are merely filling the void the television news should be doing which is exposing hypocrisy and searching for the truth. Let's make a television news great again.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

176 Reasons Donald Trump shouldn't be President

This is the beginning Keith Olbermann's GQ series called "The Closer". He start's off with "176 reason's Donald Trump Shouldn't be President". It a straight forward yet somewhat smart aleck way he lists Trump's offenses. They are not in any particular order. It is so thorough that even I had forgotten some of them. Part of the problem with going against Trump is that as soon as we digest one offense we have another to deal with and we soon forget about what came before. Here we have it in all package but given the time left until the election there will be more added to the list. If your against Trump you'll love it but if you for some reason do like him(although it still puzzles me why) you will hate this and will be soon hurling Hillary insults and so on. So be it.

Take it Keith.....

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson

Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GIGhosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI by Ryan Smithson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When talking about books about the American experience in the Iraq War of course everyone thinks about "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle which was a huge success and was made into a hit film by the same name. What can get lost in the hype of a superstar sniper are the stories of the everyday soldier who served his country there. This is that kind of story. He was an ordinary high school kid inspired by 9/11 to join the Army. He did the stuff you rarely read about or see on the TV like build roads, drive convoys and live in an inhospitable environment. I'm sure his story is reminiscent of many soldiers who went over to do their job and serve their country the best they could. I enjoyed the book very much and recommend it to others.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Blinded by the right by David Brock

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-ConservativeBlinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative by David Brock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became aware of David Brock through a recent documentary called" The brainwashing of my Dad" in which he is one of those that are interviewed in the film. I found his insight and commentary into politics of the right verses left very interesting and thought provoking. This book show how David rebelled against liberalism in college and grew into a right wing conservative writer. He wrote a provocative and controversial bestselling book on Anita Hill, "The real Anita Hill", and also wrote about "Troopergate" that was one of many Clinton scandals that were propagated by the right wing media in the 1990's. Later in the 90's he develops conscience and slips back to being liberal. Thrown into the mix was his personal struggle being a gay conservative which brought it's own issues both professional and with family and friends.

I could identify with the premise of moving and changing sides in the political spectrum. I too was a liberal minded person in my young adult years. but I wasn't necessarily hard core believer of any one party. With the advent of having a family in the years surrounding 9/11 I became more conservative for awhile. I never caught hold of the anger, bitterness and lunacy that seems to grown part of right wing politics. David seems to have gone through a similar pattern himself.

The book was an interesting look at the inner workings politics in Washington DC and the give and go of the right verses left. You do see some of what drives those who push the liberal hatred to the brink with personal and unscrupulous attacks. I look forward to reading more of David Brock.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt

On BullshitOn Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was inspired to read this after a news commentator, Fareed Zakaria of CNN, referenced this book in regards to Donald Trump. I'd have to agree that this does apply the Republican nominee that has used his own brand of bullshit to get as far as he has. It's a very short book and dives deeper into the concept of bullshit and the difference between a lie, being a liar, truth, bluffing or bullshit. It is an excellent read for those wishing to know more about bullshit.



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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fareed's Zakaria: Trump is a B.S. artist








         


I've seen many people try and figure out Donald Trump. Many are right because Donald is many things but I think Fareed is pretty damn close to the mark. Donald is a world class bullshit artist that has nearly destroyed the Republican Party and has made a mockery of American politics. 

If you look at Donald's life it's all been about bullshitting. The money, women, power, business deals,  TV shows, tabloid headlines and Presidential campaign have all contained Donald's bullshit. Just look at all the lies and stories that he'd make up at the spur of the moment. So along with being a narcasistic sociopathic bigoted bully he is perhaps the worlds most successful bullshit artist that is trying to be  President.  , 

You might think that this bullshit part is harmless. A quote from the book Fareed mentions, On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, is very interesting:

"However studiously and conscientiously the bullshitter proceeds, it remains true that he is also trying to get away with something" 

This explains Trump lack depth in understanding of most subjects, aside from himself. He has already admitted he hasn't read a book in ages as he claims he's too busy. It has been noted by those that have been in his office that he has no books just papers and magazines(usually about him).Besides building a wall and banning Muslims he has put forth very few details of what his actual ideas or policy's are. 

It's scary that someone so thin skinned and lacking basic knowledge of the job he's seeking would be trusted to lead our country. I thought we were better than that. .

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Army Captain Humayun Khan

More Cracks

















    Congratulations to Hillary Rodham Clinton being the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. She is also the first woman doing so putting more cracks in that glass ceiling.  This picture is the most compelling and moving. It's was a quiet proud moment of a mother watching her daughter Chelsea speaking about her at the Democratic Convention. One wonders what she is thinking at that moment.                              

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Poor Susan


Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Poor Susan Sarandon looked like she was having an awful time. It must have been like going to a movie you hate. In a way she's the face and spirit of "Bernie or bust". The "I didn't get the toy I wanted so I'm going to sulk and or throw a tantrum" face. She's no Hillary fan so it's not likely she was going to get what she wanted at the convention.

Bernie did manage to move the party platform to left on issue's that were important to his movement. Not exactly sure what Susan or other Bernie or busters crowd was expecting. Bernie had already endorsed Hillary and it was clear he was moving on. Unfortunately many of those he inspired have yet to reach the same place. Recent polls do show that 90% of Bernie supporters will vote for Clinton but a staunch and vocal 10% continue to hold out.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-renegade-delegates-20160727-snap-story.html

 Many Bernie or buster's, like Susan, just can't see themselves voting for Hillary. She describes "in a way she's more dangerous" than Trump. They even boo and heckle Bernie himself and Senator Elizabeth Warren. I have a feeling nothing short Bernie running for President will satisfy any of them. Maybe they thought by holding there breathe and stomping on the ground they'd get there way.


Maybe I'll go watch Susan in Bull Durham later so I can see her act like a grown up.

Bernie Sanders Nominates Hillary Clinton | MSNBC


Hillary Clinton Delivers Message to Young Girls | MSNBC

More cracks in that glass ceiling were made. One more big hit in November should break it. 

Hey! A Message to Bernie or Bust Die-Hards


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dear Bernie or bust



It's really sad to see that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was booed and heckled in her speech at the Democratic Convention. Really people? Apparently some very vocal Bernie supporters are still peeved of her endorsing Hillary. It's time to get over it. As the famous philosopher, Mick Jagger, once said "You don't always get what you want.". Do you really think Trump will give you what you want? Your revolution will sputter and die in a Trump Presidency.

Lesser of two evil's you might be thinking. 

On one side you have "The Donald". A billionaire loudmouth bully prone to misogynistic demagogic racist like behavior. Thin skinned and prone to late night rants on Twitter, using third grade insults and name calling. Who has spent his father's money plastering his name and brand on many failed businesses. Spent the Vietnam War years busy getting five deferments. 

The other side you have Hillary Clinton. She has spent her years as a lawyer advocating strongly on family issue. Fought on issues that affected women and children especially. She fought for health care reform as a First Lady. As Senator she fought for the state of New York in the aftermath of 9/11. She traveled extensively and work tirelessly as Secretary of State representing us over the world. She has served the country for most her adult life. 

Here are sure ways to see the"Bernie Revolution" come to quick end.  

  1. Vote Donald Trump 
  2. Vote Green or Libertarian Party 
  3. Stay home on election day

Are you proud now that you made your "protest" vote. All three choices are votes for Trump. You want to support your third party candidate on a local level would be a more effective in continuing your revolution. Third party's don't work on a national scale. Teddy Roosevelt torpedoed his own party(Republican) by running third party. What happened was that neither he nor Taft(Republican) both lost to Woodrow Wilson. Even more recently we had the Green Party siphon just enough votes in a razor thing margin that we got 8 years of George W. Bush instead of Al Gore. 

I understand coming up short at the end is tough. When I saw faces in the crowd crying when Bernie spoke I could not help but admire the devotion and passion that they have. It would be a shame and a waste of the movement that Bernie worked hard to get started to be
lost in a Trump presidency.

Watch Sen. Bernie Sanders’ full speech at the 2016 Democratic National C...


Sen. Elizabeth Warren makes speech at DNC


Michelle Obama FULL REMARKS at Democratic National Convention (C-SPAN)

Amazing speech. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton

It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach UsIt Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At times I find it puzzling that people either don't understand Hillary or what she really cares about. This is actually the third Hillary book I've read this year, the others being "Living History" and "Hard Choices". Her core issues she fights for is children, families and women. The books premise is that government, family, friends and a host of other entities all work together effect one another. In ther words we should help each other. It may seem simplistic and naive but it is true. If you're looking for further insight into who maybe be the first female President of the United States I would suggest this book and along with her other books, "Living History" and "Hard Choices".

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Night by Elie Wiesel

NightNight by Elie Wiesel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was inspired to reread this again after the recent of death of the author, Elie Wiesel. I read this decades ago in school though I can't remember what grade or who the teacher was. I do remember the book though. Don't let the size of the book fool you as it packs a powerful punch. It is with stark simplicity he describes his tale of surviving the death camps of World War Two. He struggles not only for his physical survival but his relationship with God to on how the horrors he's witnessed and experienced can go on. The book is an incredible experience you won't forget.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD




I'm not quite sure how I first came across this video but I'm sure hooked on it now. Filmmaker Jen Senko explores how her Dad got hooked on right-wing talk radio and Fox News and began hating and annoying those around him. Come to find out it's not that uncommon. In fact we all probably know someone who has fallen for Fox News and talk radio mind set. That mind set of course is an emotional anger towards anything liberal or Democrat. President Obama and the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are practically his and her and antichrist's according to pundits and commentary on this media. 

I'll admit I skirted with the right-wing phenomenon also. Around the year 2000 a new FM radio station came to our area. I believe it was 96.9FM WTTK in Boston which was all news and talk radio which was a new concept in the area. Working the 2nd shift I caught libertarian Jay Severin in the afternoon drive in and sometimes I'd can't Sean Hannity at night. Matt Levin also substituted sometimes. I remember when the Bush verses Gore election controversy in 2001 was when I became glued to it. Also my in-laws born-again Christian and loved Bill O'Reilly I read some of Bill's books and liked them a lot. I never really watched him on TV as his show was on while I was working. I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed when I did see him. I felt the same about Sean Hannity as I found him aggressive and combative to those who didn't agree with him.Although I liked him in a way I found this manner unappealing and frankly tiresome. I thought his righteous mannerism and bully behavior wrong and unfair. It hardly presented a fair and balanced viewpoint as the Fox News slogan proclaims.

Over the years I had gradually shifted back to the left of politics. I put it somewhere between  2008 and 2012 because I voted for McCain 2008 and then voted to re-elect President Obama by 2012 I had voted to the re-elect Obama. I had even grown to like President Obama him despite my initial misgivings. I never hated him as some did just wasn't sure of his ability which he has proven to be quite capable.

In short this video may help explain why those on the right seem so angry and uncompromising, even to this day. The video is on demand on Amazon, YouTube and iTunes. It should be available on DVD and Blu-Ray in August of this year. It may help explain a lot about Donald Trump's rise and popularity. The video does have a warm and happy ending.


Official Website for The Brainwashing of My Dad





Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Congratulations to Hillary



I'm so glad this has finally happened. I was disappointed when Hillary almost made it in 2008. To win the Democratic nomination has been no small feat. To be the first woman to do makes it even more amazing. Despite GOP attacks on her dating back to the early 90's she has prevailed. I look forward to voting for our first woman President come November.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Elizabeth Warren as VP?

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has grown on me in leaps and bounds lately. Her Tweet wars wars with Donald Drumpf are incredible she has no fear and actually seems to enjoy it very much. Like George Patton she seems to thrive with each salvo without a blink of an eye. Anytime she speaks there is usually one shot fired across the bow of the USS Drumpf. 

 Even though she hasn't officially endorsed anyone as of yet but her Twitter war with Drumpf show's she's paying attention to whats going on. I've wondered if she's actually trying to deflect Donald's attention away from Hillary in an indirect way of helping her. With Hillary deflecting attacks from Drumpf and Sanders she could use all the help she can.

Talk of her being Vice President has heated up again which isn't surprising. She would help bridge the gap with disappointed Bernie fan's. She would also bring a passion and fire to the campaign that Hillary kind of needs at this point with constant attacks from sdanders, Trump and also about those pesky emails. 

The biggest problem is that Warren comes from Massachusetts which has a a Republican Governor, Charlie Baker, who isn't bad per say but would certainly appoint a Republican replacement. Democrats are already in the minority and would be hard pressed to lose more ground. One has to wonder if the stakes are high enough to take that risk and go for the win. For one thing you're already behind so what is to lose? What's in the balance? A Senate seat or Trump as President? Go for it!

Be the Boss Hillary


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

No patience for Bernie Babies any more.

As it looks tonight it was a split between Hillary and Bernie. She took Kentucky and he took Oregon. She now just 92 delegates short(including Super-delegates, yes I count them.) short of clinching. Baring her dropping out completely she will have the nomination after the last batch of primary's on June 7. 

Big question will be how much of a poor sport is Bernie going to be. Will he carry his illogical fight to the convention? If the mess in state Democratic convention where whinny Bernie supporters disrupted proceedings is any indication it could be trouble when the national convention starts in July. Unfortunately Sanders seems to have that lack that ability to think logically and reasonably. It seems to be that protestor/activist mentality is to win at all cost no matter how illogical or how out of touch with reality he is. 

Bernie babies seem to swarm at every social media posting about Hillary or Bernie and cry about how unfair everything is. I love the claim Hillary's not a real democrat. Really. Bernie's a only been a Democrat since last year. She has been one the late 60's. He's been and independent pain in the ass most of his life who despises both major party's. 

It has gotten tiring listening to whining and crying everything is unfair. The media's unfair. The Democratic primary is unfair. Closed primaries are unfair. Superdelegates are unfair. Bernie's hair cut isn't fair. People want pay Hillary to write books and give speeches isn't fair. It's one big bitchfest. It's getting old real fast. I was mildly annoyed before but it's really aggravating now.  I have no patience for them anymore.

I really can't wait for the primary's are over.  

92 is the magic number.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

AXL/DC - Shoot To Thrill Live Lisbon Portugal

Having Axl Rose fill in for Brian Johnson of AXL/DC does seem like an odd combination of late 70's Aussie rock and late 80's L.A. rock. Some were skeptical of this combination. It doesn't seem that bad. Axl's gravely voice is not unlike Brian Johnson or the late Bon Scott(AC/DC's lead singer before Johnson) I think it's a testament that rock stars getting old and dying off.

Most recently we lost the purple one Prince. I wasn't a huge fan of his but I respected his work and he did some songs I liked. Also to join the rock band in heaven(or hell) is Glen Frey of the Eagles, David Bowie. Just seems like many of those that dominated he rock radio of my youth are passing before our eyes.  Just another sign of getting old I guess.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Obama Out


Ted's Hail Mary Pass



Even though I despise Cruz I can see a couple of reasons he grabbed her for VP. One is a short term gain of catching the medias attention for short term. Take a little steam out of the Drumpf's recent wins. He needs every little bit of attention from the media that he can grab away from "The Donald". 

Two. Is an obvious play towards the woman's vote. Ted must have in mind that this is the one Achille's heel that Drumpf has. Despite Donald swearing he loves women(and everyone else) he has a 70% disapproval rate among women(Democrat and Republican). He must be talking about the 30% I guess. Carly also dents into Hillary territory in her appeal.

Three. Snags her before someone else does. Not that Drumpf was necessarily was going to pick her but then again who figured Christie and Carson would side with him. 

I certainly think this is a hail Mary pass as Ted and Governor Kasich have done little but be a small nuisance to the orange one. Between the two of them their only hope is to deny Donald the required delegates to clinch  and put the Republican Convention in Cleveland into chaos.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Why Bernie Sanders is Actually Winning

This isn't far from the truth if you've encounter Bernie supporters online. In fact this guy seems saner than some I've seen.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hillary should stay where she is

Couldn't agree more with Alan. No need for her to bend any more to the left than she has already to appease or appeal to Sanders supporters. The winning sweet spot in the general election is just left of center. You are more likely to attract fence riding voters in the middle of the political spectrum. Also while in office it will be easier for her work with those on other side. If you are too extreme and uncompromising then nothing gets done. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince

It's sad to hear of another pop music icon of my youth has left us way too early. To say that Prince was huge in the 1980's was an understatement. His musical style was ever evolving and growing. Like another icon David Bowie, you never knew what was coming next from him. 



The only album I ever bought of his was "1999". Which had the memorable title track of the same name, "Delirious" and "Little Red Corvette". My favorite song, "Let's go Crazy" came from his mega-hit soundtrack album to his movie "Purple Rain". That is among my top kick ass rock tunes of all time. He channeled his inner Jimi Hendrix for guitar blazing crescendo at the end of the song. It was an air-guitar favorite of mine. I didn't always like his music but I always had a respect for his work and creativity. It was always honest and from his soul. 



My best wishes to his family, friends and those he worked with in this sudden loss. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Player Two

Who says video games can't have a redeeming value?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman V Superman - Sad Affleck

Poor Ben. No one likes to hear how poorly Batman vs Superman has been recieved. I think despite his the good work he's done in the past I think he really wanted to do a superhero. He tried in Daredevil years ago but I don't think it did well compared to other superhero movies. The guy has already won Golden Globes and Oscars. Nothing to be ashamed of as far as I can tell. In all likely hood he's bone tired of promoting this film and is just bored of the interview. We've all had moments when we've been in a group conversation when our minds wander. The video is kind of humorous in any event.

Go set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did like this book very much. I was interested in this as I had just finished listening to "To Kill a Mockingbird" just before this was published. Everyone was so upset about their beloved Atticus Finch turning into a segregationist in his old age which had everyone upset because they had put Atticus on such a high pedestal.Now after listening to whole thing I realized that maybe they hadn't gotten to end or perhaps blinded by their expectations of Atticus. I Loved Atticus too but never felt he was above being human as all of us are and have our fallacies.

Set in Alabama Jean-Louise finch comes home from New York for a visit. She finds her that her world has changed. Her father, aunt, uncle, boyfriend are not what they seem as the community is heated up about segregation. The case of Tom Robinson is mentioned briefly as are some other characters from "To Kill a Mockingbird". She has a breakdown of sorts. The ending will surprise a little and bring some understanding. Read or listen to entire book before passing judgement.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Watch Hillary Clinton speak on counterterrorism


Removed from Rolling Stone




Recently Rolling Stone endorsed Hillary Clinton by Rolling Stone Magazine. Of course Bernie bots came out in force in their comments sections online. I did post this response but was removed by the admin. I kind of wished they'd give an explanation but anyhow. Perhaps it was a bit too inflammatory. Good thing about a blog is that I'm the admin so here it is.

I liked the article and I agree with the endorsement. Of course the Bernie supporter online media army has been out in force denouncing this endorsement. You'd think they(Rolling Stone) shot Bernie down cold in the middle of the street. I think many supporters that feel the Bern fail to see the forest for the trees. It wasn't Hillary that needed to move left it's Bernie that needs to move to political center to be taken seriously in a general election. A general rule in national elections is that party extreme(left or right) get taken to the cleaners on election day. Look up Goldwater(extreme right) in 64 and McGovern(extreme left) in 72 who were not just beaten but embarrassed. If you look at most recent Presidents and those that were nominated you'd find most moved to center of the political spectrum because that's where most voters are. Even George W Bush was constantly harassed by Fox News and other right-wing pundits for not being conservative enough. So all those screaming that Hillary is not to left enough it's because it would be a mistake to go too far. She needs to to be close enough to center to appeal moderate of both party's. That's the reality folks.

It would be a better to let the Republican's nominate the extreme candidate be it Drumpf or Cruz. The Republican establishment is tearing it's hair out as they don't know what to do. They have two extreme candidates who would have almost no crossover appeal to moderates of the other party and they know it. Let them make that mistake. I'm betting they'll have super-delegates in the future to prevent the nightmare they're going through. Many pick on Hillary cause she's part of the establishment. So she is. It's because to get things done in politics you need connections to those that get things done. In come's President Bernie with his anti-establishment rhetoric and how many friends do think he'll have to get things done? Very few I would imagine after he's insulted them all throughout the campaign and his career. I think he does well because he's running in one party primary. In the light of day in a general election that socialist banner will be like a lead weight.

 I've even seen the crazy idea for Bernie to run third party which would be disastrous he would certainly drain votes from the Democratic side. Apparently some have short memories of Ralph Nader sapping enough of Al Gore's votes from Florida in 2000 to give us 8 years of George W Bush. Just let that sink in for a minute. Drumpf might as well order his giant gold DRUMPF sign to attach to the White House. Again let Drumpf go third party and ruin it for GOP. I have nothing against Bernie and actually like him and many of his ideas but unfortunately I don't feel he's the right one for the job. What has annoyed me most is the followers that get so wrapped up in passion of the moment and spew hatred and disdain for those of us that don't feel the Bern. They are only topped by brainless Drumpf supporters with their atrocious behavior.

 Please keep in mind that by staying and stomping you feet on election day on principle is the same as voting for Drumpf. What exactly does that gain? Your just spiting yourself and harming the rest of us. Should Bernie be nominated I will vote for him. To not do the same for Hillary is shameful, stubborn and childish. Grow up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rolling Stone Endorses Hillary

It's hard not to love Bernie Sanders, but this election is too important for a "protest vote." Jann S. Wenner explains why we're endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton: Need Clear Objective To Defeat ISIS | MSNBC


Hillary Clinton addresses AIPAC lobby annual meeting


How the F*%k we got here

Monday, March 21, 2016

Elizabeth Warren unloads on Drumpf

Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is a loser. Count all his failed businesses. See how he kept his father’s empire afloat...

Posted by Elizabeth Warren on Monday, March 21, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hillary Bites Back

This past week the Drumpf camapign released an attack ad which in itself is not surprising but the contents were perhaps made up by a middle schooler. It shows clips of Russia's Putin and ISIS video and then show's Hillary barking at the end (presumably at a campaign stop) with Vladmir Putin chuckling at the end. With dramatic drumbeat in the background the last line say's "We don't need to be a punchline". 



Hillary's SuperPAC didn't waste any time with an ad about a day later that uses the same beginning video but the last half has Drumpf claiming "I have a very good brain" and has Hillary laughing afterward. 



Not only that The Kremlin itself has taken offense to the ad as it it makes Putin and Russia look evil. Drumpf seems to forget that Russia is our ally now and placing them in an ad with ISIS does go over well. It seems the Donald has a thing or two to learn about offending foreign relations. Especially those that are your friends. 

I find it amazing in this day in age that campaign ads can be made this quick in response. Also I think Drumpf may under estimate Hillary in a general election. Despite having Bernie Sanders give her a run for her money it will be different in an open election rather than a primary fight. 

If this little tit for tat ad battle is a sign of things to come it should be an interesting election year.

Monday, March 14, 2016

FrankenTrump

 Drumpf is so bad that he makes Ted Cruz seem like a sane choice.
 
 
 
A monstrous choice... http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-president-cruz-20160309-story.html
Posted by David Horsey on Friday, March 11, 2016