political stupidity

Insidious

putin-on-a-bearReading time – 1:49 plus 44 seconds for the Bonus Section; Viewing time – 2:31  .  .  .

Timothy Snyder is a professor of history at Yale University and he penned a most interesting essay in the New York Times entitled How a Russian Fascist Is Meddling in America’s Election. It is a worthwhile read if you want to understand a bit of Vladimir Putin’s anti-America behavior. It seems that Putin, the object of Donald Trump’s heart-pitty-pat bromance, is much enamored of the now deceased Ivan Ilyin, whom Snyder described as “a prophet of Russian fascism”.

Ilyin was all about the demise of individuality and democrace, which he saw as evil, both of which he saw as evil. He believed in some idealistic oneness of Russia ruled by a “national dictator” who would be “inspired by the spirit of totality,” whatever that means. If you are an ordinary Russian citizen and a hammer and sickle Russian fanatic, that might sound pretty good to you, And it will stay that way until the commissars snatch you from your home in the middle of the night and send you to a Siberian labor camp. And why wouldn’t they do that if individuals – you – are evil and have no individual value?

It’s so very Soviet Union yesterday.

Which isn’t the main point for us, but it does provide context. Snyder writes,

“For a decade, Russia has been sponsoring right-wing extremists as “election observers” – most recently, in the farcical referendums in the Crimea and in the Donbas region of Ukraine – in order to discredit both elections and their observation. Since democracy is a sham, as Ilyin believed, then it is right and good to imitate its language and procedures in order to discredit it. It is noteworthy that the Trump campaign has now imitated this very practice, supplying both its own private “observers” and the advance conclusion about the fraud they will find. [emphasis mine}

“The technique of undermining democracy abroad is to generate doubt where there had been certainty. If democratic procedures start to seem shambolic, then democratic ideas will seem questionable as well. And so America would become more like Russia, which is the general idea. If Mr. Trump wins, Russia wins. But if Mr. Trump loses and people doubt the outcome, Russia also wins.” [emphasis mine]

How in the world can Donald Trump be about making America great when all that he says and all that he does rips at the very fabric of our democracy?

BONUS SECTION – PLEASE ASK THIS QUESTION AT THE DEBATE:

Mr. Trump, before and during this campaign you have said ugly things about women, including calling them dogs and worse, as well as fat-shaming one of your own Miss Universe winners. You have steadfastly refused to moderate your comments and you have refused to apologize to people you have harmed with your cruel words, much less to the rest of the women of America. Now we have seen a video of you clearly objectifying women, making cruel and lewd statements about them and claiming with pride that you are free to commit sex crimes with women because you’re a star. You responded to the unveiling of your horrific statements with a limp apology.

Given that your words and your actions loudly proclaim your disdain for women, explain to all Americans why we should even consider the possibility that as president you would care about and respect over half of us – girls, women, daughters, spouses, mothers, sisters, friends – and look out for their welfare. And don’t tell us yet again that you respect women, because it’s manifestly clear from your words and actions that you don’t.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

– See more at: http://jaxpolitix.com/7836-2/#sthash.J67dlWgD.dpuf

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Trump Debate Bingo

Reading time – 87 seconds; Viewing time – 2:42  .  .  .

In a snappy article in the New York Times cleverly entitled, A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump, authors Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns list a single week’s “.  .  .  blizzard of [Trump’s] falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies  .  .  .” and then debunk them.

After reading the piece it occurred to me that watching the September 26 debate would be more fun if I were to keep track of the false innuendo and bovine fecal matter that dribbles from Trump’s lips  .  .  .  just to record his prevarication score in Bingo-like fashion  .  .  .  to identify which lies he told the most times in just one 90-minute period.

Given that he was to be just one of the two debate participants, he would be limited to about 45 minutes of blatant deceit possibility, minus the time moderator Lester Holt might use for posing questions and suppressing audience reaction. Surely, not even Donald the Deceiver could rack up a high score in so little time, right?

Wrong.

In a debate where I found Donald Trump to be especially incoherent and non-specific, here are the top scoring Trump untruthables according to our crack CYA News staff:

  1. I was against going into the war in Iraq. He said something like that 4 times. Hard to tell because of his meandering, incoherent rhetoric. He said it other ways, too, which if added to the blatant denials of the truth brings the total to about 8 whoppers.
  2. Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. He said some form of that approximately two times – sort of. Again, it’s hard to nail this down due to the Trump verbal blizzard of non-sequiturs.
  3. Lots of whoppers vying for third place, like:
    1. ISIS is in more and more places.
    2. I’m all for NATO.
    3. The Iran agreement is one of the great giveaways of all time.
    4. We lose on everything.
    5. “Stop and frisk” wasn’t found to be unconstitutional.

Perhaps things seem hopeless and you feel your sense of dignity and even your sanity assaulted by the Trump blasts of political dishonesty. Well, take heart – there is hope!

Have a look at the newest offering from the Represent.us folks. After watching their highly encouraging video, click through to their website. Then maybe even do something to make things better. I mean, really, that shouldn’t be too hard, since the bar is set so low.

DIRTY STINKING LIES BONUS SECTION:

David Leonhardt heads the New York Times Daily Opinion report and published the following summary of Deceitful Donald’s excursions from reality. There is no link to this in the newspaper, as this material was only offered as the lead article in the email to subscribers immediately following the September 26, 2016 debate.

Dear Times Reader,
He lied about the loan his father once gave him.
He lied about his company’s bankruptcies.
He lied about his federal financial-disclosure forms.
He lied about his endorsements.
He lied about “stop and frisk.”
He lied about “birtherism.”
He lied about New York.
He lied about Michigan and Ohio.
He lied about Palm Beach, Fla.
He lied about Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve.
He lied about the trade deficit.
He lied about Hillary Clinton’s tax plan.
He lied about her child-care plan.
He lied about China devaluing its currency.
He lied about Mexico having the world’s largest factories.
He lied about the United States’s nuclear arsenal.
He lied about NATO’s budget.
He lied about NATO’s terrorism policy.
He lied about ISIS.
He lied about his past position on the Iraq War.
He lied about his past position on the national debt.
He lied about his past position on climate change.
He lied about calling pregnancy an “inconvenience” for employers.
He lied about calling women “pigs.”
He lied about calling women “dogs.
He lied about calling women “slobs.”
So… who won the debate?
You can sign up for this daily newsletter, containing commentary and links to The Times’s full daily Opinion report, here.
David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

This Spaceship Earth

this-spaceship-earthReading time – 1:29; Viewing time – 2:34 .  .  .

SPECIAL TIME-SENSITIVE EDITION

Everybody knows that climate warming is a hoax perpetrated by googly-eye tree-huggers bent on destroying our capitalist way of life. Everybody except nearly every climate scientist on the planet. And this guy. Click through and scroll slowly all the way to the bottom. Even idiot, short-term-thinking, self-serving fossil fuel executives ought to be able to understand this.

It’s not enough to engage in arguments with people bent on stupid, nor is it enough to nod heads with all the people who are smart enough to agree with you.

News flash: We – you and I – actually have to DO something.

Which is what my pal, futurist David Houle is about. He has partnered with some smart folks and published a book, formed a non-profit and established a website (watch the video and sign up for the newsletter) dedicated to ensuring a habitable planet for our grandchildren.

If you are an adult over the age of 60, it’s likely you won’t see much climate warming effect, other than ever-more severe hurricanes, like Katrina and Sandy, along with drought in places where there hasn’t been drought for thirty thousand years. If you’re between 30 – 60 you might live long enough to see Miami under water, as well as the southern third of Manhattan, but you’ll still be able to find someplace to live. If you’re a Millennial, you’re screwed. And all of our descendants – like our grandchildren – will be fighting for food and drinkable water. So, if you can think beyond what you’re doing this weekend, do something now so that there is a tomorrow and humans present to record it.

Between noon EDT on Tuesday, September 20 and noon EDT on Wednesday, September 21,

  1. Go to the 2016 Giving Challenge.
  2. Follow the instructions.

There’s a three-fer for every donation between $25 – $100, so enter your info and send them $100. They’ll get $300 to lead the fight for a habitable planet. Note that this opportunity is only available until noon on September 21.

Don’t do this for David Houle and don’t do it for me. Not even for yourself. Do it for your grandchildren. Do it now.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

It Isn’t About Your Message

Housefly.Reading time – 1:54; Viewing time – 3:17  .  .  .

The 2012 general election generated a lot of forward looking comments from pundits and political operatives, like:

The Republicans will have to change their messaging if they are going to appeal to Latinos.

“Severely conservative” Mitt Romney will have to pivot to the center in order to attract independents.

Republican candidates have to stop saying things like, “A woman’s body has a way of shutting that down [in cases of rape],” and “[Pregnancy from rape] is God’s plan.”

This year those statements are being modified only slightly by saying that Trump will have to change his messaging if he is going to appeal to Latinos and African-Americans. Like Romney, he’ll have to pivot to the center in order to attract independents. He’ll have to stop demeaning women and he’ll  have to refuse to align with hate groups if he is going to attract anyone but the hair-on-fire pissy people (my description, not a quote).

The important point, though, is that all that “how to win elections” word torturing is completely misguided, wrong-headed and even dishonest.  It seems to say that all that matters is the manipulation of the message and of voters.

To which I say, “Nuh-uh.” What is important is not the crafted messaging of an appeal to African-Americans or a pivot to the center or avoiding saying stupid stuff. What is important is what candidates would actually do. And however you dress up Trump’s piggy statements, it’s clear that even with lipstick, he will continue to be a pig and he will do what pigs do.

Charles Blow recently wrote, “Trump is an unfiltered primal scream of the fragility and fear consuming white male America.” Surely, there’s much we can learn from that. More critically, though, Trump’s frivolous comments about the use of nuclear weapons abandons common sense and even survival. In a real crisis, what would he do?

This election is about many things including what’s already been mentioned, as well as voter disenfranchisement, big money poisoning of our politics and the millions of good paying jobs that Congress continues to say “It’s all about” but consistently refuses to take action to improve. It is about these substantive issues and is not about focused-grouped, misleading messages.

TO OUR POLITICAL CANDIDATES (not just Trump) – News flash: It isn’t about your message.You need to understand that Latinos don’t care what you say about immigration reform; they care about what you would do about it. Americans don’t care how you flap your lips about Medicare, Social Security, jobs, climate warming and terrorism; they care about what you would do.

If you’re all about the hot air of your finely honed, misleading messaging, then all you are is a manipulator and we will sniff you out. You may have had your way with us for a while, but if you’ve been dishonest with us, we will swat you like we would an annoying housefly and flick you away.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Green is the New Black

Green is the New BlackReading time – 1:52; Viewing time – 3:37  .  .  .

Many Democrats are angry and some even hate Hillary Clinton. The negatives tend to cluster around two things: trustworthiness (actually, the lack of it) and her disastrous position on ____________ (fill in the blank with your key issue). That has led many Democrats to proclaim with a righteous fury that they will not vote for her and they certainly won’t vote for Trump, so instead they will either abstain from voting or will vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. To explain why that’s self-defeating, let’s look at the math.

Votes for Trump will be from “the base”, plus those Republicans who put clothespins on their noses (thanks for the visual, D.W.) and vote for him only because his name is not Hillary Clinton. Clearly, all of those will be votes against Clinton.

Next point: Jill Stein doesn’t have even a remote chance of becoming president, so a vote for her won’t get her elected. In that sense, votes for her are wasted.

Finally, making the assumption that Democrats who abstain from voting or who vote for Stein would have voted for the Democratic candidate had that been someone other than Clinton, then those abstentions and votes for Stein will be votes against Clinton, which is exactly the same as a vote for Trump.

So, the math says that if you are a disaffected Democrat and either abstain from voting or vote for Stein, you will assure that America is endangered by a sociopathic President Trump. There, I said it: President Trump. How did that feel in your gut to read those words? Really scary and black?

If you fail to vote for Clinton and instead abstain or vote for Stein, Green will be the new black.

Yes, the DNC played unfairly with the nomination process. Absolutely, there are things about Clinton that don’t comport with your ideas about how things should be and assault your sense of right and wrong. I get it. Overriding all of that is this simple imperative:

There must never be a President Trump.

On August 7, 2016 Bill Maher put into perspective the issues you have with Clinton, saying, “There’s no room for boutique issues in an Armageddon election.” Armageddon election! That’s exactly what we have when a presidential candidate speaks glibly about using nuclear weapons.

Want to feel a bit better about holding your nose and voting for Clinton? Here’s some help.

Ezra Klein has an ordinary size human head, but tucked inside is a brain the size of Delaware; he is monstrously smart. His recent Vox article is about Hillary Clinton and her “gap” – the difference between how people who know her feel about her, versus the feelings of those who don’t have first-hand experience. This piece is enlightening and is a must-read, unless you’re dedicated to being frustrated and angry about Clinton. I double-dog dare you to read it.

Libertarian is the New BlackBTW: Everything said here also goes for disaffected Republicans who are thinking of abstaining or voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. Each of those voting options is a vote for Trump. Good Republican friends don’t let their friends do that.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Yooge

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=yooge

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=yooge

Reading time -122 seconds; Viewing time – 4:04  .  .  .

Now that we’re in the midst of the political conventions and immediately following the Trump narcissist extravaganza, it’s time to do something unusual, to separate from cable blather and give our full attention to reality.

Trump’s 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” was presented as an autobiography by the then-38-year-old Trump. In truth, Tony Schwartz is the ghostwriter who penned every word of it and he has an irreparably guilty conscience now for having done so. His Faustian bargain with Trump and the truth about Trump’s dishonesty are detailed in the July 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker magazine in a critically important piece by Jane Mayer, author of “Dark Money.” Schwartz tells us that in writing the book, “I put lipstick on a pig.”

You need to read this piece to fully understand:

    1. That Trump really is a sociopath.
    2. That Trump is impulsive and has no attention span.
    3. That, “Lying is second nature to him.” “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.”
    4. That Trump has no regard whatsoever for the people he falsely claims to champion.
    5. That the only thing Trump wants to make great is his public attention. For Trump, it is not and never has been about America.

On that second point Schwartz says, ” .  .  .  that it’s impossible to keep him focused on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes  .  .  . ” His experience with Trump left him with the clarity that Trump has, ” .  .  .  a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” Those are really bad personality flaws for someone who is Commander in Chief of the world’s most powerful military. The job of president requires the ability to learn and understand deep and complex issues and all the implications surrounding them. Says Schwartz, “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.”

Regarding Trump’s claim to care about the poor and working people, “In the past seven years, Trump has promised to give millions of dollars to charity, but reporters for the Washington Post found that they could document only ten thousand dollars in donations – and uncovered no direct evidence that Trump made [the promised] charitable contributions from money earned by “The Art of the Deal.”

To illustrate the impact of the last point about public attention, George W. Bush wanted to be seen as a war president. He proceeded to lie us into invading Iraq, which led to ISIS, the Syrian civil war, an unrestrained Iran, terrorist murders around the world and our never-ending Middle-East wars, all because Dubya wanted the public attention and image of war president. And Schwartz tells us, ” .  .  . that Trump seemed driven entirely by a need for public attention.” What do you suppose that sort of personality disorder might mean for our children and grandchildren?

It’s crucial that the American people know and understand the frightening truth about this P.T. Barnum-like charlatan before it’s too late. So send this blog to everyone you know, lefty, centrist or righty, informed or not and tell them to click on the link to Mayer’s article on Schwartz, just as you will. Tell them to read the piece – it’s startling – and then to pass this along to everyone they know. Because this is about reality – actual facts – from the guy who studied Trump like no other and knows the truth about him. We can handle the truth; what we can’t handle is a yooge sociopath in the White House.

So go ahead – do it now before the next hyperbolic news cycle breaks your concentration. And remember – and I mean this literally – we’re all counting on you.

You can watch Tony Schwartz on Bill Maher’s Real Time – RNC Convention Edition here starting at 22:20.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

A Hard Time to be a Republican

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

Reading time – 2:02; Viewing time – 3:27  .  .  .

Confirmation bias is the standard issue human foible of looking at something and finding whatever supports our biases and ignoring or being blind to what contradicts our notions.

Most Democrats, supporters of Hillary and haters of Trump and anything right wing will find that all is well because Hillary won’t be indicted, per the recommendation of FBI Director James Comey.

Most Republicans, supporters of Trump and haters of Hillary and anything left wing will find that she was criminally careless and potentially compromised US national security, which confirms for them that she is untrustworthy and unfit to be President.

Before this news, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) released the House Select Committee on Benghazi Report, the seventh (or was it the eighth?) Republican investigation into the terrible events in Libya. Almost immediately after release of the report much of the center and lefty press declared that there was no new information flowing from the $7 million investigation and that the entire investigation wasn’t a serious affair, but rather, a political stunt. Looking at that same report, righties found seven key pieces of “new” information. We humans manipulate to our liking and see what we want to see: confirmation bias at work.

We are in the midst of a presidential contest that is, by any calculation, a race to the bottom, an exercise in which each candidate is working to define the other as the worst in the slime bucket – e.g. “S/He says I’m awful and not qualified but, oh yeah? S/He is far worse.” The Founders would surely be very proud. Just to be clear, that last is sarcasm.

Even if you find Hillary to be disreputable, untrustworthy, manipulative, a tool of the establishment and icky, nobody questions her intelligence, international experience and understanding of the presidency. It is impossible to see Donald the Sociopath that way or as qualified for the job. Mark Salter, the former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain, makes that point eloquently in his Real Clear Politics essay. You need to read it. And you need to send this blog to all your Republican friends and relatives because they need to read Salter’s words, too.

It’s a hard time to be a Republican. That isn’t meant as sarcasm; it’s true empathy – and it’s accurate.

NOTE: This blog was crafted just moments after FBI Director James Comey made his announcement on the FBI investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The post went live immediately, but you didn’t receive the email announcement until early Wednesday morning. By that time anything may have happened, including that the Democratic presumptive nominee may now be unelectable. Just imagine, a presidential race that hands the presidency to a known sociopath, cheat and swindler. it is as insane as the 1979 mayoral race in Chicago that was won by Jane Byrne because Mayor Michael Bilandic didn’t get a heavy snowfall removed fast enough.

This is a hard time to love American politics.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Challenge of 1776

Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress

Reading time – 1:33; Viewing time – 2:39  .  .  .

Actually, they tiptoed up to the Declaration of Independence. There wasn’t a mad rush to shove parchment in King George’s face and everyone was aware of the self-imposed threat to life and property, should they, ”  .  .  .  assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” and , ”  .  .  .  declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Yet they did that, even with only tepid support of some of the states. We are left to deal with that separate and equal station, this collection of individual states – and deal with leaders who now seem destined to continuously knock heads against one another.

Our present lunacy is not without precedent, yet that is scarce comfort, as our politicians frantically race to the bottom of human disgust. Those debating independence during that blisteringly hot summer of 1776 in Philadelphia argued with passion, but they did not pour their energies into rank personal attack devoid of meaning, nor could they have contemplated our politics as snake oil salesmanship.

And here we are, 240 years later, a divided United States.

We all value loyalty, personal independence, toughness, honor, safety, collective pride, respect, fairness, caring, inclusion and more. The sociologists explain that our problem is that we individual humans place different emphasis on those things and that leads to very different behaviors. And each of us is certain that we got it right and cannot fathom how anyone would disagree with us and we are annoyed by and intolerant of the idiots who foolishly don’t see it our way.

Surprise: The Founders had to deal with those same human dynamics. Yet, somehow they managed to create a new and united country.

If they could do that, exactly what is our problem right now?

FranklinGo to your community parade tomorrow and, as the fire trucks, clowns and floats, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and the politicians vying for your vote pass by, recognize that we’re all feeling our way forward, just as they did in Philadelphia all those years ago. As Benjamin Franklin said to the signers, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

We have big challenges right now, so it’s time for us to hang together.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Magic Beans

BrexitReading time – 2:41; Viewing time – 3:48  .  .  .

The people of the United Kingdom have spoken and, while the final count was very tight (51.9% to 48.1%), the slim majority has decided the future of the UK and it is not with the European Union. World financial markets, governments around the world and a global army of pundits are trying to sort out the meaning and ramifications of the decision. Everyone wants to know how this works, what’s next and how it affects themselves. All good questions, but the far more important question is why apparently sensible people would do such a thing. What are the drivers for this out-sized behavior? Try this.

We’ve been told since the 1960s that the world is changing and that the pace of change will continue to accelerate. Indeed, it seems that the crystal ball gazers back then were right and the world now looks in many ways as it was predicted to be by outlandish science fiction stories of the past. And be clear that there are unintended consequences to all that change, one of which is job displacement.

One of the key drivers of the Brexit impetus was a reaction to immigrants. The EU mandate is to accept immigrants, many of whom come from Eastern Europe with not much in the way of marketable skills. The belief of the UK public is that these immigrants have been stealing jobs from the “natural” residents of the British Isles and, in consequence, depressing all wages. Regardless of the accuracy of that belief, Britons have reacted in a protectionist way, wanting life to return to a time when they had a steady job with good, livable wages. All they have to do, they apparently believe, is to raise an Anglo-Saxon finger eastward and prevent all that immigration. That feels ever-so-powerful.

Another way to say that is that the world has changed, they don’t like it and they want to revert to a time before the change, when things were understandable, life was steady and predictable and they felt in control of their own lives, when “others” weren’t upsetting their equilibrium. They imagine that they felt powerful then.

And that sounds a lot like the Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” message to American voters.

Millions of Americans are angry. Their jobs went somewhere to someone who would work for 1/30th of the wages they worked for. All they can find are jobs that pay poorly and have no benefits, so they can’t support their families, even as their well educated kids are living in their basements. They’ve been promised over and over that their leaders will make things better, but those same leaders have betrayed them for selfish reasons. They’re angry and they’re raising an American middle finger in just about every direction, especially at the establishment.

We, like the UK, are living in a state of change and some of it hits us hard. Worse, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring and human beings have an existential fear of the unknown that hates unpredictability.

Circus sideshow barker Trump is doing what the Brexit leaders did: he is promising a return to a predictable world, some imagined golden yesterday. That message sells well to people desperate for some sense of control and power in their lives, but it is nothing more than the illusion of vapor, something that nobody can deliver.

No one knows how this rapidly globalizing world will work; we humans are making it up as we go along. So, beware the charlatan who tries to sell us magic beans, lest we make a mess for ourselves the way they just did in the UK.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Up To Here

Samantha Bee - Full Frontal

Samantha Bee – Click the Pic

Reading time – 47 seconds; Viewing time – 2:01  .  .  .

Read this (perhaps again). Then read this:

Political obfuscation (a “snow job”) is an elemental force which cannot be overcome by fact or reason. It can only be defeated when enough people rise up in indignation, refusing to be lied to again.

Are you there? Are you sick of the lies, the distortions, the refusal of our leaders to take on the real challenges of America, to solve the enormous problems that affect all of us? Are you longing for hope that someone will be a leader who doesn’t take us down yet another blind alley and march us into even more stagnation? Metaphorically speaking, are you furious that you’re still waiting for the men and the truck to show up and fix the damn potholes? Are you up to here with political stupid stuff?

If you’re not, you’re probably not paying enough attention, because you’re being played for a sucker every day.

From the New Testament:

James 2:17 – “Thus also prayer by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Translation: Waiting and praying leads to nothing. You have to actually do something.

Has your indignation at being lied to reached the point when you’re ready to “have works” and do something? Then make your voice heard.

Go to the Common Cause website, enter your address and click GO. You’ll see who the candidates are in your state and district and whether they support reform.  If they haven’t responded to the Common Cause questionnaire, blast ’em an email or tweet – there’s a utility for that right on the website – and tell them to get going. You deserve to know where they stand, so demand it.

Then add your voice right here in the Comments section below.

And as a reward, click on the pic above to watch Samantha Bee’s brilliance.

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BREAKING NEWS! (Wait a second – if it’s news, it must be breaking. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be news. It would just be old information, right?)

It was just revealed that the Orlando shooter had sex with two Latino men, one of whom revealed afterward that he is HIV-positive. Shortly after that the bad guy entered a gay bar frequented by Latinos (and himself at other times) and shot 103 people. So, maybe the massacre wasn’t inspired by ISIL. Maybe the guy was terminally angry over his own stupidity and took it out on others.

Maybe we need a gun law that prohibits gun purchases by emotionally unstable stupid people.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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