Category Archives: media

Electoral College: DO YOUR REAL JOB!!

According to Marc Schulman, editor of Historycentral.com, one of the reasons that the founding fathers established an electoral college was to protect the voters.

“The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared
that a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power
. . . . Hamilton
and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a
qualified person becomes President.
They believed that with the Electoral College
no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an
electorate that might be duped.
”  See full article here:

Well, then, the electoral college should do its job – it should protect America from a tyrant named Donald Trump who has manipulated public opinion through the use of something that the forefathers could not have possibly imagined – the internet, which he used to spread lies, fear, hate, and misinformation.  The electoral college should do its job and insure that only a qualified person becomes President.  Donald Trump is NOT qualified for this great office and unless the electors  have been deaf and blind or in a coma for the last 18 months, they know that this is a fact.

It is clear that the electoral college was never intended to be a “rubber stamp”.  If that was the intention of the forefathers, they would have required that the electors  cast their votes for the candidate who won the popular vote in their respective states.  They did not do this.  There is nothing in the Constitution or in federal law that requires this.  Most of the requirements relating to how the electoral college should vote have been established at the State level  and, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, only 26 of the 50 states have specific laws regarding this issue. Pennsylvania is not one of the 26.

The electors are people, most of whom, I presume, have families – children, parents, siblings.  For the sake of the future of their families and of this nation, I ask them to take a long, hard look at what is happening now, even before Trump officially takes office as President, and I implore them not to vote for Trump.

–Trump has appointed an alt-right extremist (Steve Bannon) as his Chief Strategist – a man who has published stories such as these on his online “news site”: See more disgusting Breitbart headlines here:

–The KKK endorsed Trump and Richard Spencer, the leader of the alt-right in Dallas, feels that Trump’s election is a dream come true.

–Trump’s ties to Russia and Putin are becoming clearer with each passing day.  Trump invited Russia to hack Clinton’s emails and now both the CIA and the NSA has stated that Russia did in fact hack the U.S. election.  Paul Manafort, Trump’s advisor, was forced to step aside when his pro-Russia activities became public.  Not only was Manafort a paid lobbyist for the previous pro-Russian leader of the Ukraine who now lives in Russia but he also received money to lobby for pro-Russian interests in the United States.  Michael Flynn, the man Trump just named as national security advisor, has appeared on RT, the Russian government propaganda network, and attended a dinner in Moscow where he sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Flynn’s private consulting firm also recently registered to lobby for a Dutch company owned by a wealthy Turkish businessman close to President Erdogan of Turkey who has been accused of war crimes and arresting journalists.

Trump did not win the popular vote.  In fact, as of the date of this post, Hillary Clinton is more than 1.3 Million votes ahead of Trump and there are still millions of votes being counted, mostly in Blue states.  In light of the frightening events that are enfolding with respect to Trump and his cabinet picks, this is the time for electors to stop being rubber stamps and start doing their real job – protect this nation from tyranny and honor the will of the majority of Americans who do not believe in racism, divisiveness, and the weakening our own country by Russia.  Do not reward corruption and do not allow a country such as Russia, who has never been a friend to the United States, to interfere with the United States’ treasured election process and benefit from their own crimes.

There are some who suggest that Trump can always be impeached.  Impeachment is NOT the answer because even if it were to happen, we would be left with Mike Pence who would most likely select the same frightening people that Trump has chosen.  We need the electors to stop Trump from ever taking office – PERIOD.

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Trump’s New Book: “The Art Of Manipulation (Confessions of a Demagogue):

In 1987, Trump wrote “The Art of the Deal”.  Well, he claimed to have written the book, but it was actually written by Tony Schwartz who said just a few months ago during an interview with New Yorker magazine:

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I
contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention
and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe
that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility.
it will lead to the end of civilization.”  If he were writing “The Art of the Deal”
today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title.
Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

After this Presidential election is over, the title of Trump’s next book should be “The Art Of Manipulation: Confessions of a Demagogue” because the one sure thing that can be said about Donald Trump is that he is a master manipulator – a true demagogue.  The common definition of a demagogue: “a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason.” (Merriam-Webster dictionary).  This describes Trump perfectly.

Donald Trump has managed to gain the support that he has by doing three things:

First, he made the people in his base believe that America is dying by lying to them about the unemployment rate, the status of jobs, the poverty rate, the crime rate, immigrants, how their gun ownership was being threatened by Democrats, how ISIS was going to place all Americans under Sharia law.  He made them fear and feel like losers.  “We don’t win anymore.  We never win.”

Second, he gave them things to blame – Mexicans, Chinese outsourcing, Muslims, a rigged system, President Obama, HillaryJ Clinton, the other members of NATO, and many more – and he gave them permission to express their anger, racism, hate and fear towards these targets of blame.

Finally, he offered himself as their savior.  During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he said “Nobody knows the system better than me.  Which is why I alone can fix it.”

Granted, many of his followers are and have always been racists.  Trump is supported by the KKK, white supremacists, the radical right, and the alt-right, many of whom are former Tea Party supporters who have never gotten over the fact that a black Democrat became President – twice – and actually rescued this country from the Great Depression in spite of the GOP obstructionists who sit in Congress.  They just feel freer to express themselves now because Trump has given them his blessings.  President Obama’s accomplishments, verifiable by facts, don’t matter to this group because they want to hear that the black Democrat has failed.  They welcome the lies that Trump has been spreading.

Many of Trump’s supporters are also misogynists (those who dislike, mistrust, or mistreat women).  They don’t believe that a woman should be President simply because she’s a woman.  Hillary’s credentials and accomplishments do not matter.  She’s still a woman.  You hear these people being interviewed from time to time at Trump rallies.  “A female has more hormones.  She could start a war in ten seconds if she has hot flashes or whatever.”  This was a statement by a female  made during an interview conducted by Jordan Klepper of the Daily Show at a Trump rally.  You can find the entire interview here.  Well, news flash – Hillary is 68 years old.  Menstrual cycles and menopause are history.  But like racists, misogynists don’t embrace facts.  Their objections are based on gender and their ingrained stereotypes of men and women.  So when Trump starts commenting on Hillary’s lack of stamina, his lies make sense to them, even though HE is the one with the mood swings, the rants on Twitter, and the inability to concentrate so that he often fails to finish sentences, rambles, and goes off on tangents.

However, aside from the racists and misogynists, many Trump supporters are just people who he has manipulated so successfully that they are deaf and blind to the truth.

Trump calls Clinton a liar and yet long lists of the lies that he has told are accessible everywhere.  Like here and here.

Trump supporters ignore these facts because their supreme leader has them believing that the media is rigged.  “Forget the press, read the internet, study other things,” he has said. “Don’t go for the mainstream media. Most of them, good news, most of them fortunately won’t be around much longer.”

He says this with a straight face even while his own supporters like Sean Hannity promotes him on Fox, Corey Lewandowski promotes him on CNN, and former FOX “News” Chairman and CEO and sexual predator Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon of Breitbart “news” occupy positions in his campaign.  Trump himself has said that he doesn’t need to raise much money because he gets so much publicity.  The New York Times in March estimated that this free publicity totaled approximately $1.9 Billion. He uses the media constantly to his benefit, but convinces his base that they should not believe any negative statements that appear in the media because the media is liberal and “rigged”.  I see it all the time on comments made by Trump supporters on stories reporting about Trump’s lies, even those that are simply fact-checking his statements.

Once he was able to convince his base that they should ignore mainstream media and only listen to him or the media that he approves, he was free to lie with impunity.  He can claim that he is “very, very rich” and believes in transparency yet refuse to produce his tax returns.  He can claim that he’s a “great businessman” although he has filed 4 company bankruptcies and started numerous businesses which have failed, including Trump “University” over which he’s being sued in 3 states.  He can claim that he will be “the greatest jobs President that God ever created” and yet outsource his own manufacturing jobs, use Chinese instead of American steel and aluminum to build his hotels, hire foreign-workers, some of them illegal, and be totally insensitive to the fact that his business failures have cost people jobs and their savings.  He can claim, as he did during the third Presidential debate, that “No one respects women more than I do” and yet appear on a video tape admitting to having committed sexual assault because he believes himself to be a star and able to get away with it and multiple women have come forward against him.  He can claim that he has a “great memory” and yet, when confronted, cannot remember David Duke, John Miller (his alter-ego), ever having said that he did in fact meet Vladimir Putin, what’s in a lease document that he signed – the list goes on and on.

Many of his lies are intended to instill fear in his supporters and fuel their inherent hatred and bias.  Trump makes them believe that their fear and hatred are justified and gives them targets to blame.

**Blame President Obama for the bad economy (even though the economy has steadily improved since President Obama inherited George Bush’s broken economy) and the massive unemployment (even though unemployment rates are at 5-6%).

**Blame Mexicans who are pouring over the border stealing jobs, many of whom are rapists and criminals, and President Obama because he allows it (even though most illegal Mexicans are considered illegal because their visas expired and President Obama has deported more illegal aliens than any other president).

**Blame President Obama and Hillary for ISIS (even though it was Bush’s war on Iraq that began the circumstances that led to the creation of what is now known as ISIS AND according to a Gallup Poll taken in 2003, 73% of Americans – including Trump – were in favor of the Iraq war.)

**Hillary is part of the rigged establishment so she’s a liar (even though he would win hands-down in a contest of who has told more lies).

**Hillary is a crook (although he violated foreign trade embargo laws by doing business in Cuba when it was forbidden, wrongfully used money from his non-profit foundation to settle personal debts and to purchase personal items, scammed hundreds of people with his fake “University” and multi-level vitamin scheme, and refused to pay people who have done business with him in good faith or provided him with financing).

He gives his supporters slogans to chant because chanting makes a group feel united and powerful.  “Build that wall!” “Make America Great Again!” “Lock her up!”. Although, if you asked the overwhelming majority for specific facts to support their chants – for example, exactly HOW is Trump going to make America great again – they can’t give you any.  They can only regurgitate what Trump has said.

How can Trump ever make America great when he is ridiculed and hated by so many other nations that the United States needs to work with on a global level and yet is praised by Putin and endorsed by Kim Jong Un?  (see my post Trump Has Made America An International Joke)  How can he fix the economy when his plan has been devised by billionaires, hedge fund managers, and bank CEOs and benefits primarily the rich?  How can he be expected to protect the rights of women or the disabled or veterans and their families or people of color or the LGBT when he has insulted all of these groups and more?  He can’t.  Yet none of these facts matter to his supporters because they are blind to reality and have adopted a mob mentality.

Now Trump has told them that he and only he can fix this broken system.

This is how demagogues gain power and THIS is what happens when they do:

Des Moines, Iowa:  Police arrested Terri Lynn Rote, 55, on suspicion of voting twice in the general election.  “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice. It was a spur of the moment,” Rote told Iowa Public Radio. “The polls are rigged.”  She claims she feared her first vote for Trump would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton.  Rote has been charged with first-degree election misconduct, a felony that could land her in prison for 5 years.

North Carolina’s Cumberland County: Sheriff’s Office arrested John McGraw who was shown on video sucker-punching a black Trump protestor who was being escorted out of the rally.  When asked by Inside Edition whether McGraw believed the protester deserved it, he said “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”  He claimed the protestor was not acting “like an American”.

New York City. A security guard took a sign from and struck an immigration activist during a protest outside of Trump Tower.  The protestor claimed that they were on a public sidewalk and had the right to protest.  The security guard claimed that he was attacked from behind (that was after he wrongfully took away the protestor’s signs)

Janesville, Wisconsin: A 15-year old Trump protestor hit a Trump supporter she claimed had grabbed her breasts and was pepper sprayed by another Trump supporter.  “You goddamn communist n***er-lover, get the hell out of here!” a person in the crowd can be heard yelling on an ABC video.

EXCLUSIVE vid shows teen get pepper sprayed after shoving protester, called a
bitch & “n****r lover” at Trump rally pic.twitter.com/kB4GqQbbaG
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) March 30, 2016

The police decided to charge the girl saying they could find no evidence of an assault on her (even though they arrived after the confrontation took place).  They are still looking for the person who used the pepper spray.

Las Vegas, Nevada:  Individual heard yelling “light the motherfu**ker on fire” as a black protester was being physically removed by security staffers at a Trump rally.  pic.twitter.com/65pXHjsJ3x

Wisconsin – A pair of football fans showed up to a University of Wisconsin game with a Barack Obama mask ― and a noose wrapped around its neck. The other fan who wore a mask of Donald Trump was holding on to the noose.  The person in the Obama mask wore a black and white jailhouse suit and later swapped the mask of the president for one of Hillary Clinton.

At the @UWBadgers game and there is a man with a mask of President Obama
and a noose. This is racism, why was this allowed into the stadium?
pic.twitter.com/zKEqhdDYny
— ? (@woahohkatie) October 29, 2016

At a Trump rally in September:  Observers tweeted about seeing a Trump supporter carrying around a mask of Clinton on a spike.

Watching the horrific image of Trump mob at his speech hoisting a bloodied
mask of Hillary being swung on a stick. What country is this?
— Kathy Savitt (@ksavitt) September 1, 2016

Someone at this Trump rally has a Hillary mask head on a spike, Game of Thrones
style. This is politics these days. pic.twitter.com/egbmkRBwly
— Emily Schultz (@emmyb84) September 1, 2016

These are just a few examples of the racism, hate, and violence that Trump is responsible for; just a few examples of the kind of country that the United States will regress to under his kind of leadership.  History is full of demagogues and the one thing that history has shown us over and over again:  Demagogues are dangerous.

In the forward of his book, Trump should give credit where credit is due:  to the Tea Party.  In 2009, after President Obama won the election, the Tea Party movement gained momentum.  Many of them claimed that they weren’t racists and that they were concerned about the economy and the socialism of  Obamacare, but the shirts they wore, signs they carried, and messages they distributed told the ugly truth and no one in the GOP did anything to stop them.  Here are two of the much milder messages.  To see a full array of offensive (and graphic) images and to read the accompanying article by Def Shepherd about this matter, go here.  (3rd article on page – “Racism Is Alive And Well: 35 Incredibly Racist Anti-Obama Images”)

pictures-2

And who was there watching and learning how easy it was to incite a crowd with fear and lies?

trump-tea-party-2-w710-h473
Donald Trump speaking at a Tea Party rally in 2011.  Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images as it appeared in the article “Trump Proves Republican Obama Hate Was Never About Obama’s Ideas” by Jonathan Chait published in New York magazine.

Sick and Tired of a Do-Nothing Congress and All The Lies Being Told

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently stated that if Hillary Clinton is elected and if the Republicans held on to the majority in the Senate, the GOP “will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.”  He later tried to back track and clarify that statement but, judging by the obstructionism of Congress over the last eight years, one can only conclude that his initial statement is the reflection of the truth and of the GOP’s plan.

Some people may not understand the importance of this issue.  One way of explaining why the appointment of the next justice to SCOTUS is so important is to look at the case of Citizens United.   The Citizens United decision, in a nutshell, removed any restrictions on corporate political spending in relation to elections.

A ruling in favor of Citizens United was handed down by the court with 5 justices in favor of no limitations on corporations and four against.  The justices who voted in favor were Chief Justice John G. Roberts and associate justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.  Dissenting were Justices John P. Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

The four dissenting justices stated that the majority opinion was a “rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt.”

In my opinion, and in the opinion of many Americans, the dissenting justices were absolutely correct.  Corporations and the mega-wealthy should never be allowed to use their monetary power to sway the vote of the American people in order to advance their own agenda which is often not beneficial to the average American.

Justice Stevens retired in 2010 and was replaced by Justice Elena Kagan.  That appointment didn’t matter to the Republicans very much because it still left them with “their” five justices.  However, in February of 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia died and the Republicans have since refused to approve President Obama’s choice of Judge Merrick Garland as Justice Scalia’s replacement because they fear that if a justice is appointed whose beliefs are aligned with the four dissenting justices in Citizens United, there is a strong possibility that Citizens United could be overturned.  That would put a stop to large corporations being able to pump enormous funds into influencing elections.

I repeat, the Republicans who have repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton of having close ties to Wall Street are the ones who want to keep the ruling in Citizens United intact.  Clinton has already stated that she wants to have Citizens United overturned.

This is not an isolated incident and if you consider yourself to be a true Republican, you should pay attention.  The stated goals and beliefs of conservative Republicans have not been represented by the Republicans in Congress.   The following is a very short list of what Republicans say they believe in and what has been happening in Congress.  For me to go into detail would require a book.

Republicans say they believe that federal and state taxes should be as low as possible because money in the hands of people creates more jobs and prosperity.  The Republicans in Congress, however, have been able to convince their supporters that “trickle-down economics” which puts more money in the hands of corporations and the wealthy is a good thing and have advocated tax cuts for the rich.  The Republicans say that by giving more money to the rich, the rich will be able to generate jobs.  In other words, make the rich wealthier and benefits will trickle down to the people.  Reputable economists have found this to be completely untrue and we saw this approach fail disastrously under George  W. Bush.

Under the Bush tax cuts, corporations and the rich received huge tax breaks and regulations on banks and hedge funds were relaxed in the name of free enterprise, another Republican buzz word.   These actions, along with the $3 trillion war in Iraq, the subprime mortgage fiasco which was a result of poor regulation, and the bailout of large corporations to the tune of $700 Million (or $12.8 Trillion according to Bloomberg researchers if you take into account all funds spent), played a big part in nearly destroying the American economy and threw the nation into the Great Recession.

When President Obama took office, he adopted the reverse view of economics to rescue the economy.  His stimulus plan put money directly into the pockets of citizens.  Individuals may not have thought that the amount of money they received was significant but, collectively, Americans took that money, spent it on goods and services, and began rescuing the economy.  The GOP in Congress objected to that plan, calling it reckless spending because obviously the President had to obtain the stimulus money from somewhere.  But the last eight years have shown that President Obama’s economic approach was correct.  The nation was slowly taken out of the Great Recession and, despite the misinformation spread by the GOP and especially, most recently, Donald Trump, statistics show that unemployment is down, crime is down nationally (despite upticks in violence in certain cities), the average American worker has experienced a rise in income, and more Americans have health insurance, including those who could never get coverage previously because of pre-existing health conditions.  President Obama wanted to spend more money towards stimulus and many economists stated that he should have done so but, once again, the GOP prevented it.

Republicans also rail against “big government” and have called for, among other things, abolishing the IRS.  However, the IRS is not responsible for the ridiculously complicated tax code.  Those are laws that were passed by Congress.  The IRS is an enforcement agency, responsible for making sure that people are paying their fair share of taxes according to current tax laws.  If there was no enforcement agency, how would anyone be assured that taxes are being collected, that large corporations and the rich aren’t wrongfully hiding their money in offshore accounts or “cooking” their books and records so that they can avoid declaring income and avoid paying taxes?

Less taxation is such an appealing idea.  However, giving the largest tax breaks to corporations and the mega-rich (once again being proposed by Donald Trump under a Republican platform) will seriously decrease the amount of tax collected.   And without taxes, where would the money needed for federal emergency aid, infrastructure, education, social programs, and the military come from?

Ironically, or hypocritically, the same Republicans who claim that the federal government should stay out of their states’ business and spends too much money have had no qualms about asking the federal government for money when a disaster hits their State.   For example, between January of 2009 and September of 2011, the state that received the most FEMA funds was Kentucky ($293 million) due to the severe ice storm in February 2009. Yet, Kentucky’s Republican senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, voted against increasing FEMA’s funding.  Republicans said they opposed legislation to increase FEMA’s funding without spending cuts, including cuts to clean energy programs for the automobile industry.  This argument might sound reasonable to those who aren’t paying attention, but McConnell and Paul were among the Republicans who, during 2010, threatened to block all of President Obama’s stimulus proposals if he didn’t agree to extend those Bush tax cuts.  They, along with Paul Ryan, are also in favor of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act which placed regulations on the financial industry – banks, hedge funds, etc. – in an effort to prevent the kind of financial crisis that occurred under former President Bush.

In short, while the Republicans make their supporters believe that federal oversight is a bad thing, it was lack of oversight that caused the financial crisis that put the nation into the Great Depression.  While they say they are in favor of cutting taxes, most of the taxes that they have sought to cut benefit the wealthy and corporations.  While they say they want to protect your farms and your small businesses, they are working to benefit Wall Street and the financial industry.  While they say they are against government spending, they have asked for federal funds for their own states.  In fact, according to a March 2016 study done by WalletHub, Blue States are less dependent on the federal government than Red States.  https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

If you are a one-issue voter – i.e., you only care about where your representatives stand on an issue such as abortion – you probably won’t care about anything that I’ve written.  However, you should also not complain about the economy or your Social Security or not being able to get governmental assistance when you need it since those things were not part of your consideration in voting for a candidate.

If, however, you do care about your economic well being, your future and the future of your children, then you should pledge to stop voting only on the basis of what you’re being told and start understanding what is really going on in Congress and in your local government where many of the laws that directly affect your everyday lives are passed.  I propose this not only to Republicans but to supporters of all political parties.  

“Ignorance is a lot like alcohol: the more you have of it,
the less you are able to see its effect on you.”

– Jay M. Bylsma

Julian Assange is no longer credible

Over the last several days, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have been releasing thousands of emails, mostly relating to John Podesta, the Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  Nothing earth-shaking has been revealed by those leaks.  For the most part, they have shown how political campaigns – all political campaigns – are run.  What is disturbing, however, is the following:

First, all of the leaks have been about Hillary’s campaign.  Wikileaks has not released anything relating to Donald Trump.  Some claim that Trump doesn’t use email but what about every other person who is or was involved in his campaign.  What about Corey Lewandowski or Paul Manafort or Roger Ailes or Steve Bannon or Roger Stone?  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see their communications?

Second, it has become very clear that Wikileaks and Julian Assange is no longer about anti-secrecy.  In fact, a strong case can be made that Assange, Trump’s campaign, and Russia are closely tied together and have been trying to influence the outcome of the Presidential election.  For instance,

(a)  How did Sputnik, a Russian propaganda site, get a hold of an email from Sidney Blumenthal to John Podesta leaked by Wikileaks before anyone else did?

(b) Why did Sputnik deliberately misrepresent the facts in that email by saying that Blumenthal had made a statement about Benghazi  when in fact the statement was made in a story that Blumental was simply forwarding to Podesta?

(c) Why did Trump, only hours later, read from that erroneous story from Sputnik at a rally in Pennsylvania and how and from whom did he get that piece of propaganda?

(d) How is it that Roger Stone, Trump’s ally, knew that a story was coming out from Wikileaks about Podesta even before the email was leaked (he tweeted about it)?

Why would Assange want to help Trump?  Assange has been in hiding trying to avoid a rape charge in Sweden.  Perhaps the Trump camp promised him a pardon if Trump got elected.  This is not that far fetched since the Sven Court just upheld the warrant for Assange’s arrest.  Why would Putin want Trump elected?  Because he knows that he would be able to manipulate Trump who has already expressed his admiration for Putin on more than one occasion.

Ecuador’s government  recently shut down Assange’s internet access.  Wikileaks has stated that it is trying to find a way around that.  Even if they do, in light of the apparent ties between Assange, Trump’s camp, and the Russian propaganda site Sputnik, and since it’s clear that Roger Stone and Assange were communicating prior to the leaks, I feel that the media should refuse to publish any further leaks if and when they become available since those leaks and Assange’s credibility are questionable.   Instead, the media should do some serious investigative work for a change and try to find out how Roger Stone knew about the leaks before they happened, why no leaks about anyone in Trump’s camp is being released, and how Trump got a hold of the erroneous report from Sputnik which he quoted from at his Pennsylvania rally.

Perhaps no one cares anymore since a Trump victory at this point is unlikely.  However, we should care.  For months, Trump has subjected the entire nation to a barrage of lies, including a claim that Hillary has Russian ties.  Yet, he has never released his tax returns so there is no way of knowing whether he has any financial interests tied to Russia and Paul Manafort, who was in charge of Trump’s campaign, clearly did have pro-Putin ties.  Now this incident has occurred.  Even if Trump loses the election, there has been talk that he won’t be going away; that he’ll continue to push his anti-everything agenda.  I, for one, would like to know whether Russia and Julian Assange have anything to do with that agenda.

(C) 2016

Understanding Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been repeatedly called a narcissist.  Is he?  You decide.

A previous director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic found that this personality type is stimulated by real or imagined insult or injury and is characterized by holding grudges, low tolerance for criticism, excessive demands for attention, inability to express gratitude, a tendency to belittle, bully, and blame others, desire for revenge, persistence in the face of defeat, extreme self-will, self-trust, inability to take a joke, and compulsive criminality.  More specifically, this personality type:

– has never shown any capacity to perceive or admit his errors and defects; has a policy of denying them, this being considered by him to be politically expedient.

– has very little respect for the female sex; believes every woman could be had.

– has an inability to resolve conflicts and to control emotion.

– has a tendency to admire and then to acquire the technique of a powerful opponent.

– has an inability to keep his word and fulfill obligations.

– has a love of power-sees himself as the country’s greatest strategist, war lord, savior of the people and as the mouthpiece of the whole people.

– has a low tolerance of belittlement, criticism, contradiction, mockery, failure; inability to take a joke; tendency to harbor grudges, not forgetting and forgiving.

– is prone to self-display and extravagant demands for attention and applause.

– plans and make decisions without consulting others; resents disagreements and interference; is annoyed by opposition.

– insists on being sole ruler of one’s home, business, political party, nation.

– is disinclined to express gratitude or acknowledge help received.

– denies or minimizes the contribution of others, belittles the worth of others especially if they are superiors, rivals, and potential critics.

– repays an insult in double measure.

– accuses, condemns, curses, or mocks an enemy to his face, or behind his back by criticism, slander, subtle undermining of prestige, smear campaigns, etc.

(Summary of a report by Dr. Henry A. Murray, pre-war Director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, who was asked to prepare a psychological report of Adolf Hitler. Personality type – counteractive narcissist)

          “But even if we could not conquer them, we should drag half the world into
destruction with us, and leave no one to triumph ….We shall not surrender.”
                                                                                                                                  – Adolf Hitler

(C) 2016

Calling out the media

Now that most people get their news online, it has become imperative that writers get readers to click on their stories.  So all we see on the homepage of our search engines are sensationalized headlines designed to entice people to click on stories.  Yet, many of those stories are misleading and not newsworthy.  .

Take a recent story that appeared in The Hill.  The headline read:  “Leaked memo shows Clinton was provided questions ahead of interview.”  There was absolutely nothing relevant about this story which concerned a television interview of Hillary Clinton by Steve Harvey, a comedian who hosts a variety talk show.   The story claimed that Hillary Clinton was given the questions ahead of the interview.  However, many talk shows (which are NOT news shows) conduct pre-interviews with their guests and provide them with information as to what topics will be covered.  So this particular story had no news value.  The ONLY reason that it was written was to imply another scandal so that people would click on the story.  It’s as though the reporter of this story wanted to imply that Clinton was favored by the media or perhaps that she received the Presidential debate questions ahead of time or that there was something shady about this practice or all of the foregoing.  And the fact that this very unimportant story was picked up and published by several online sites only demonstrates the pathetic  willingness of the media to chase innuendos instead of actually reporting news

Journalism is supposed to be the objective reporting of newsworthy events.  There shouldn’t exist “right leaning” or “left leaning” online news sites or publications.   If reporting is leaning either way, it’s not news, it’s an opinion.  But this is what happens when people like Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. are allowed to control over 100 media sites and publications (including Fox News, which really should be renamed Fox Entertainment, and the Wall Street Journal, which used to be a respectable publication).

To be fair, not all journalists are guilty of sensationalism or biased reporting.  But those who have tried to report facts seem to be completely disconnected from their target audience.  They don’t write to the reader; many write as though they are trying to impress someone with their writing skills and vocabulary.  They use words like misogynist and flummoxing.  Do they really think that the ordinary reader understands such words?   People won’t bother reading a story that’s too difficult to read and therefore will never get the message of that story.  Perhaps that’s why so many people are tuning in to watch political satirists and comedians like John Oliver and Trevor Noah.  These people, in between their jokes and idiotic gifs, actually do convey facts obtained from extensive research and they are able to do it in ways that the ordinary person can understand.  The best example of this, so far, is John Oliver’s broadcast on September 25, 2016 which examined the negative claims against both Clinton and Trump and reached a conclusion in a way that viewers could understand.  And yes, it was hilarious.

Perhaps we would all be better off if for every piece of bad news that the media reported, they would also publish a story about some of the good people in our country who are doing good things.  Perhaps then we who read the “news” wouldn’t feel so hopeless and as though the entire world has gone crazy.