ELECTING THE PROM KING

Are We Too Dumb for Democracy?

Every spring more than 20,000 high schools have a prom, and tradition calls for each choosing a prom queen and king. These royals don’t do much of anything, aside riding around the stadium in a big car while the queen clutches a dozen roses. They certainly don’t get to declare war, make policy or even change the school colors.

Every four years, America elects a president. It might be four years between the anxiousness of election night, but the campaigning is endless and the popularity polls can make a person dizzy.

In 2020, a veteran politician of more than fifty years defeated a one-term populist whose main goal was to change government and disrupt what he and his cronies call the “administrative state.” Just like Teddy Roosevelt, the populist loved the power, fame and financial rewards of being the leader of the free world. We all know the players. Joe Biden turned 81 on November 11, 2023 and will most likely run against former president Donald Trump in November of 2024. Both sides are saying the other side’s guy is too old, and some even say the populist is batshit crazy but we will have an election, nonetheless.

Trump has dreams of repeating something that has only been achieved once before, winning a second term after taking one off. Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States also holds that crown. According to his own statements, if elected to a second term Donald Trump will demand an enormous crown for his large, narcissistic head. He plans a vindictive second term with an administration filled with loyal sycophants who will deconstruct democracy as we know it.

Now, reliable research and polling clearly shows younger voters have fallen for the cause célèbre that is Trump and will indeed vote for him. At this point, we don’t even know who the Donald’s Vice President will be. Could he name his New York son, Don Jr.? That aside, I’m pretty sure that should Trump get into power again he will never leave.

The position of vice president is a training ground for the top job. Fifteen veeps have gone on to become president and, very importantly, eight succeeded to the office upon the death of a president. So, the health of a president is as important as the confidence in the vice president. People are hyper critical of current Vice President Kamala Harris, but a long look at history will show you that most USA Vice Presidents did very little while in office.

FDR changed VPs like some people change shoes, and it was always for political reasons. We have become a bit too afraid of appearing weak by replacing people, but perhaps we should take a lesson from business where changing a player is often the best way to propel growth. A board of directors will hail a shake up at the top, especially when a more positive future clearly comes into view. 

The tough love here is simple and blunt. Kamala Harris is not ready to be president, and short of the worst thing happening to Joe she will never reach that office. She was a tough prosecutor and brilliant in her questioning during Senate hearings, but she’s apolitical and a dud in office.

I used to think we were making progress, but we are so tribal and myopic we literally cannot see the forest from the trees. While the forests are burning, there are still those who think climate change is a hoax. We have people running for president who are making anti-medicine, anti-vaccines and anti-CDC positions a part of their platforms. It’s a damn popularity contest of numbness. People want to be president because of the fame and power, not because they have an altruistic desire to help our country.

You either play this game the way it is or you need to get out of the way. Tell the people the truth, but also listen to what they are saying back at you. Trump is too fucking crazy, Biden is too old, Kennedy is too stupid, Haley is a reasonable thinker but just another politician, plus she’s NOT WHITE and a WOMAN. I’m not saying that to be myopic, racist or misogynistic. I am simply explaining how middle America thinks and feels — with the feeling part being more important than poll results.

DeSantis is a little, whiny “trumper” without a personality. The other Indian American on the stage is a lunatic billionaire who is one step away from sounding like Elon Musk. Chris Christie wouldn’t be a bad president, but he too would have to deal with the far-right of his party who would challenge him at every turn. With Mike Johnson as the Speaker of the House, we might as well have Jerry Falwell in charge of laws. The next president must be a leader, not a demigod.

Joe Biden can beat Trump, but the country needs to see what the future might look like to get out of this close-minded, mean and manipulative state. The Democratic party has a strong bench, with folks like J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California and several other strong state leaders and politicians. It’s time to trot one of them out and let the American people get to know them.

Pritzker, Whitmore, Newsome

The Democratic party doesn’t need to kick the old man to the curb, but they need to start to plan for the future. If you want to win an election and beat the pyromaniac Trump and his anti-democratic far-right, you cannot worry about the blowback from the far-left. Should you lose, the loonies on the left will be the first to blame you and the party for not acting sooner. While they are worrying about trans bathrooms, and whether Palestinians share any blame in the horrific crisis in Israel, Trump could sneak in the backdoor and begin arresting us.

I would like to see a Democratic ticket that can win. Americans are tired of trials and tricks. If Trump is guilty, put him in jail. If Hunter Biden broke the law, punish him. But if you sit back and do nothing, America will lose.

A prom king with fluffy hair was just chosen to lead Argentina. Javier Milei, a populist-trump-like former TV pundit beat a man who was the 100% wrong candidate. The man who lost was the guy running the economy of a country with 150% inflation. Milei will not ever moderate, and in two years or less you will hear the talking heads on Fox News crowing about the caravans of people crossing our southern border from, wait for it, Argentina. The peso will drop in value, inflation will get worse, and people will flee the country because they failed to field a better candidate.   

If we placed all the people running for president in America whether they be Republicans, Independents or whacko third-party libertarians they are not our best people. If you used an objective scale, it would be clear that NONE OF THEM ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Sure, Biden is old, and if the party is afraid of his age, it’s time they place a powerful, dynamic and winning person in the second slot. If they do nothing, Trump could very well win again.

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Tattoo Detective: Our Last Hope for the Future

Imagine being able to time travel into the unknown. TATTOO DETECTIVE: Our Last Hope for the Future is a science fiction novel examining the world after all the guardrails of normal society have been dissolved.

The story follows two American tattoo detectives who are sent on a mission that changes them and their world. This dystopic look at the United States and the flaw in humankind is not a Pollyanna prognostication, it’s fundamentally close to our current reality and could be predictive of where we are headed. The opening chapter says it best, “…we could have done something, but we fell madly in love with technology, weapons and wealth.”  For purchase or dowload, go here. Check out our author page on Amazon.

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THE CONUNDRUM OF COLLEGE AND WAR

A Plea to Open and Developing Minds

I felt great when I was in college, not about finally being accepted into an institution of higher learning but being able to secure a deferment from serving in the military. Sure, that would make anyone except Donald Trump get all crazy, but it was my path to a potentially longer life. Fifty years later I know that college was worth far more than getting out of the army.

The draft was a necessary part in the Pentagon’s effort to build up the military for the Vietnam War. I have no problem saying I was completely against that conflict and proud to be a protester. My parents adored Richard Nixon and his VP Spiro Agnew. They believed in the culture of war and the pride of “doing your part,” as they did during World War II. I was taking a stand against my family’s Republican values.

One of the most disgusting human habits is war making. Even our young country has been involved in far too many wars, conflicts and military operations. We fought for freedom against the British and we lost blood to fix Europe, only to go back again a few decades later and do it again. We tried to solve a problem in Korea, and, not having learned our lesson there, we did the same in Vietnam. Many were so juiced up against communism they would have killed Uncle Bob had they discovered that he was a commie. In fact, we’ve killed far too many of our sons and daughters to rectify the world order we deemed as the mighty right way to do things.

We’ve entered the forever conflicts between Muslim factions in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Syria, and we focus on these places through our own lens rather than taking the time to study, evaluate, analyze and strategize to understand their history and the many ways those nations are different.

College students are supposed to be learning how to make the world a better place and ways to make enough money to live the American dream. Sadly, there’s a mistaken belief that critical thinking no longer requires study, research or reasoning. Every college student, while not getting laid or high, thinks they are ready to take a stand. They have been taught by social media that an opinion becomes truth just by being posted.

We thought we had the world figured out in 1969, and now in 2023 most college kids feel the same. College campuses cannot stop students from protesting, and many professors encourage dissent to teach the “kids” how America works. The truth is American life is more than protesting or having an opinion.

It didn’t surprise me that students took to the streets to protest Hamas or Israel, but what comes from the mouths of these babes is quite disturbing. The lack of understanding that Palestinians are NOT Hamas and that anti-Semitic tropes have no place in a reaction to terrorism is distressing. When murder, rape, mutilation and kidnapping are the game plan, one should take some time to understand what the fighting is all about before randomly joining a demonstration.

Sure, Israel’s moves on the West Bank might be interpreted as “occupation,” but university leaders and professors must be the central repository of history, statistics, data and factual news. For example, what were the original borders of Israel?

Things have gone from bad to worse. Think of your pep rally before the big game on Saturday, and the other team has broken into the men’s locker room and killed all your team’s players. They also captured and held your coaches off campus as hostages and demanded you forfeit the game.

Now, this is where it gets complicated. Your college’s frat boys, loyal to the colors of the school, now seek recruits to bomb the rival institution. Here’s where one needs to ask who started this skirmish and why exactly would I punish students who had nothing to do with the termination of your team? This analogy perfectly fits, and protests against Palestinians or Jews are not productive ways to handle the current situation.

In 1947, the Jewish state of Israel was set up by the United Nations because after Hitler’s Holocaust the Jewish people needed a way to exist outside the constant threat of hate crimes against Jews and minorities in less knowledgeable countries.

Russia is quite jealous of the USA, and it will be wise to understand that Putin’s primary goals are pissing us off and making our lives difficult. The Russian leader wants to create chaos in the USA. Vlad is in bed with Syria and Iran, giving him major influence over Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran is manufacturing the drones killing Ukrainians, so do we truly want to defund the war in Ukraine? Palestinians allow Hamas and Hezbollah to run things because they have been duped by their religious leaders into believing they are legitimate factions that must destroy Israel. An underlying challenge is the Palestinians have no country, just like the Jews after World War II.

Please understand, I am not down on colleges, universities or professors. I’m pissed off at the laziness and stupidity of supposedly smart people. I am sure if Hamas and Hezbollah started to draft American college students to come fight their war, the wannabe-next-big-thing kids would never leave the comfort of Mom and Dad. What they should do, IMHO, is to stay home and read some books! College kids, and the general public ought to base their opinions and causes on facts. The lack of awareness of history is appalling.

To all those protesting college kids, when you finally get to run the world, please remember that “moral stand” you took and never forget that neither side can base their case on revenge and be seen on the right side of history. And, oh yea, people die, that is why we call it WAR!

As long as both sides say they want to eliminate the other, no ceasefire will happen, and no lasting peace will be found. It’s a conundrum. Have your professors taught you that word?

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Tattoo Detective: Our Last Hope for the Future

Imagine being able to time travel into the unknown. TATTOO DETECTIVE: Our Last Hope for the Future is a science fiction novel examining the world after all the guardrails of normal society have been dissolved.

The story follows two American tattoo detectives who are sent on a mission that changes them and their world. This dystopic look at the United States and the flaw in humankind is not a Pollyanna prognostication, it’s fundamentally close to our current reality and could be predictive of where we are headed. The opening chapter says it best, “…we could have done something, but we fell madly in love with technology, weapons and wealth.”  For purchase or dowload, go here. Check out our author page on Amazon.

BUY THIS BOOK AND SPREAD THE WORD.