SLOGANS, HOOKS & TAGLINES

Collective Intelligence Quota Conundrum

I worked in marketing, and all of my ilk carry bad attitudes forged by maxims of the past. In 1938, Will Rogers said, “You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” It has been said he was paraphrasing H.L. Menken’s statement in the Chicago Tribune, “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” Okay, definitely wordy but it makes the point.

Many want to attribute the Will Rogers quote to the master marketer and showman, P.T. Barnum, but that’s incorrect. P.T. said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” As time has roared forward, our language has become trimmed and sharpened. We are now in the land of short crisp slogans, hot hooks and repeatable taglines. We are a busy people and we don’t have time to read much more than headlines. The snappier the pitch line, the easier it is to remember and there is nothing better than a quotable line that gets widely parroted. Taglines are not at all bad, but we often put too much stock in them.

“Fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” is a great advertising hook even though it’s vague and passive. It uses the word “could,” not the word “will,” so there is no guarantee. If I say, “America Runs on Dunkin” you automatically think about dashing out the door in need of your morning coffee. When you hear the words, “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good” you know it’s KFC, which used to be Kentucky Fried Chicken. I guess they went with the letters because people were turned off by the concept of fried food, or maybe Kentucky.

Donald Trump was a lousy president but a great sloganeer. We remember that Mexico would pay for the wall, but they never did. We remember that everything that made him look bad was the “greatest witch hunt in the history of the world.” But really, Donnie, the actual witch hunt took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692-93. Terms like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter forced us to take stands. Are we the problem or the solution?

I loved the phrase Defund the Police, not because I thought it was a good idea but because it got people’s attention. A good slogan makes folks talk about it. H.L. Menken could have said, “We need to consider the ramifications of the budgets and the allocations of those funds so they can be modified in order to facilitate reform, which will make enforced laws appear more responsive to the needs of the community.” Oh, yeah that would have worked. Not.

The far-right radical propagandists have latched onto the phrase Critical Race Theory, and constructed a devious and destructive boogieman around it. Those jerks can’t comprehend that the “theory,” is not a school class or subject, it’s just a hook for academic masturbation. Historical realities exist and cannot be changed. Facts taught in a classroom, even when colored by the opinion of the teacher, inspire students to think. They will look at a picture of Emmitt Till in his open casket or a southern Black man hanging from a tree and then decide whether that is right or wrong. Hopefully, they will be repulsed.

When our former president kept saying the election results will be rigged, his fans could chew and swallow the tagline, Stop the Steal. When people ask if Trump caused an insurrection, all they need to consider is how the results of an election could possibly be STOPPED. Donald John Trump promoted that phrase which triggered the insurrection. He must share blame.

When the phrase Black Lives Matter became popular, some people came up with All Lives Matter as a response. Others supported the police, and their slogan became Blue Lives Matter. If Friedrich Nietzsche were still alive, he would proclaim No Lives Matter. Really, you couldn’t let African Americans have their own slogan for a while? You usurped their tagline so quickly, thereby proving you have no respect for them or what they wanted to convey. The slogan All Lives Matter is a great example of white privilege revoking Black power.

The conundrum here is the lack of awareness of words and the implication of those terms and comments. It’s like the old expression “Some of my best friends are Black.” Why would anyone say that? The only reason would be an insecurity of being white while others are judging you. If you tell an N-joke, you need to understand that you are at least a little bit racist. And if you cannot grasp that, then just come up with a statement to divert attention from who and what you truly are.

Trump used to always say, “I am the least racist person you will ever meet.” Oh really? The statement is too long to be an effective slogan. Furthermore, it’s unbelievable, has no “hook” and prompts the question “Where’s the beef?” When one constantly defends oneself by saying they aren’t what people say and think they are, then they must provide some evidence. The Trump administration had very few people of color in top positions. Maybe they just couldn’t find any smart Black people beyond Ben Carson, and the jury is still out on whether he knew anything beyond brain surgery.

Some slogans and taglines are intended to generate talk about the subject or person. Howard Stern has called himself the King of all Media for years. It’s not an actual title, but that doesn’t matter. It’s like Donald Trump saying he is a very stable genius. An I.Q. test can determine if one has a high-level quotient for learning, remembering and applying intelligence, but problem solving is a gift that some people with lower I.Q.s can more effectively use as compared to over-analytical thinkers. If Donald Trump was a true genius, why would he have suffered so many business failures and bankruptcies? Could it be that he was so damn smart he just couldn’t figure out solutions to his challenges?

The Big Lie is a slogan that the media, Democrats and left-wingers have applied to Trump’s Election Rejection Deception. O.M.G. I just created a slogan for Trump’s post-election behavior. 82 million of us Americans rejected him, and then he fired up the deception burners. The problem is our democracy is being singed by his lies and harangues and we must put out the fire right now. Donald Trump should be banned from politics.

BRAND NEW BOOK

We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some here. 

 

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


THE WOKE JOKE

American Trends & Fads

Americans either stay on top of things, or they don’t, and when they don’t, they may feel a bit out of place with the conversations around them. For the longest time, I wondered how many folks understood the term “woke” to describe people.

One of my favorite resources for understanding the street interpretations of the words and phrases in Americana patois is the UrbanDictionary.com. They define “woke” as the act of a person being pretentious about their care of a social issue. The attempts of some to impress by dishing out their feelings of importance about issues does overwhelm at times, but I think the crowd-sourced Urban Dictionary misses the mark by weaving pretention into its definition. It was similar to the way Fox News spent so much time disparaging the concept. It’s like a mother beginning to use Facebook and then her kids deride the platform because it has gone mainstream and is no longer hip.

Hip is a baby boomer word. Back in the day we used it when we liked some thing or person. When a band was hip, it didn’t mean “hipster,” like today, it meant the group was trendy, cool and up on all the latest things. Some say it was a perversion of the word “hep,” as in “hep cat” from the Jazz era, but who knows? The only hip baby boomers care about today is the joint that connects their legs to their upper torsos.

American trendsetters often guided us toward the next big things, but they weren’t always right. If you bought a Betamax video recorder, you may have been hip but you were also wrong. During the fashion era, woke fashion leaders told us guys to wear skinny ties, then wide ties, then no ties at all. Women know this game much more profoundly than men because their styles are annually dictated by the wild ideas of Paris and New York. It takes a long time for JCPenney to catch the fever of a new style, but by the time they do it’s no longer woke.

It’s funny to me how politicians get their underwear in a wad, whether they are wearing briefs, tidy whities or if they have gone commando. Thanks to the Urban Dictionary, we know that means not wearing underwear. The origins for this are either “out in the open” or “ready for action,” but one must know the difference between a fad and a trend.

In 1982, I read the book Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. This was written in our pre-internet days, so the author used newspaper coverage as a gauge for analyzing data. He simply counted the number of column-inches each subject got in all the newspapers and used that to determine how those topics were trending. He also explained the difference between a short-term fad, like Davy Crockett hats, and the true megatrends that propelled our nation. By reading that book I learned that northern industrial cities would lose populations and southern cities would grow, and that’s exactly what happened.

In June 2020, the magazine Psychology Today published an article titled, The Promise and Problems of Being Woke. Here’s an excerpt, Many people, especially the youth, have a heightened awareness of our troubled past and, understandably, seek to correct our collective wrongs. This is where the term “woke” comes into play. It is defined as, ‘aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).’” Note the difference between the Urban Dictionary definition.  In this case, being woke is all about alertness with no posing implied.

The article continues, “Perhaps the long-overdue correction of ‘wokism’ is, sometimes, leading to an over-correction of sorts.” We saw that recently with the uproar about the Academy Awards that led to the Twitter campaign of #AcademySoWhite. The Academy acted and moved the needle rapidly because they had a huge backlog of African American scripts, projects and casting. Aside from the host-less, humor-less awards show this year, there were so many honors for projects by people of color that someone commented, “Why is everything about Black people?” That wasn’t racist; it was merely an observation. It reminded me of being the only white person at a 1970s Motown review concert. I loved the music but wondered why I was the only white guy there.

Our society often uses political correctness and shunning to block people with different opinions. There was a strange reaction when the term #BlackLivesMatter surfaced. First, it wasn’t very “woke” to say “all lives matter.” The goal of that phrase wasn’t promoting equality but rather diluting the indictment. When Trump stated that the “BLM movement is racist,” all chances of respect were lost. Most people don’t understand that slogans like “blue lives matter” create one colossal petri dish of cancel culture.

Here is a question. If the idea of being woke is “seeking to correct our collective wrongs,” then aggressors who push back at the woke patrol are attempting to stop that effort. The rebellion by some Republican lawmakers against the New York Times 1619 Project is an attempt to block truth from the next generation so they will never do the “woke” thing. I used to use the term “mulatto” when referring to people of mixed race, then stopped using the word when I discovered it’s appalling “nod and wink” origin as the offspring of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare). A person of mixed race is not an animal, they are a person. Once I had the correct information, I was able to eliminate a wrong. I’m not woke for knowing, I’m just trying to do the right thing.

I would suggest that the term and concept of “woke,” is not a trend but a fad. People may hang their hat on the word, but the expression and label don’t automatically fix the world. “Woke” is just another class one joins. The belief beyond the word has the potential of profoundly changing the world. And of course, conservatives hate the word because they know, deep down inside, they will never be allowed in the club. Poor babies.

The foundation of the woke movement is people with strong social convictions wanting to make a better world, but it’s a world they are defining, not really a democrat truth. I might get canceled for suggesting here, but all they want us all to do is wake up and smell the coffee, or for a woke person, smell the cappuccino.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

COMING SOON

We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES.

 


IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

We all remember that poignant phrase from the O.J. Simpson murder trial when his lawyer Johnny Cochran said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” It could very well be that single line produced enough reasonable doubt to get O.J. off the hook.

The opening of the Britannica Encyclopedia article on the O.J. Simpson trial says, “…criminal trial of former college and professional gridiron football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. It was one of the most notorious criminal trials in American history.” It was the TV coverage that made it so intense.

The televised Simpson trial propelled one cable channel to the top of the ratings pile. It drew a massive audience to Court TV, which Time Warner renamed truTV in 2008. For years, the channel has been struggling with rebranding, trying to dissolve their courtroom image by adding more comedy and sports programming. That aside, the appeal of live courtroom coverage has never faded, especially when a compelling case is before the cameras.

Casey Anthony

According to History.com, “In 2008, the world was captivated by the bizarre behavior displayed by Casey Anthony. The then-22-year-old single mother from Orlando, Florida, was revealed to have spun a web of lies to cover up for the disappearance of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, that summer; the Facebook photos of her partying around town and a dearth of emotion in interviews fueling the charges of first-degree murder before Caylee’s body was discovered later that year.” Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez masterfully planted enough doubt in the jurors’ minds during the trial to get an acquittal. It was said there were too many unknowns, and the Facebook pictures of Ms. Anthony’s partying after her daughter was missing proved only that she was a bad mother and not a murderer. Really?

We are now in the middle of another court case being broadcast on cable TV and some Americans are mesmerized while others are repulsed. I try to avoid this TV coverage for two reasons. First, the regurgitation of the facts in the case makes me sad, angry and depressed. To repeatedly see the video of a police officer murdering a man by kneeling on his neck makes me sick. George Floyd was held down by three men face first on a Minneapolis street, and there is no US law stating that attempting to pass a counterfeit 20-dollar bill should net the perpetrator immediate execution with no trial or due process.

My second reason for avoiding the trial coverage is anger at the defense attorneys accusatory tactics and disparagements of the dead man. I know they have a job to do but that doesn’t mean I have to watch them at work. The defense has presented a theory that George Floyd died of an overdose or a heart attack induced by drugs and that contact by Officer Derek Chauvin was incidental and had little to do with the man’s demise. C’mon, we have ample proof of what happened.

Videos from bystanders, security cameras and cops alike show what happened leading up to the event, what happened outside the Cup Foods store and George Floyd’s death which took place in the street. In many ways all of us who have seen the videos are witnesses to the crime.

The release of video footage shot by a young man on the scene triggered nothing less than a worldwide response to oppression, police and government abuses and general condemnation of such incredibly brutal law enforcement. This trial has moved beyond Mr. Floyd’s murder. It’s now asking if cops have the right to kill another for any offense.

There are strong feelings in support of policework, particularly among those who have one or more family members working in law enforcement. In 2019, there were 697,195 full-time law enforcement officers employed in the United States. Various security forces and hired protection agencies are part of the more than one million people employed in United States police business, and that number does not include jail and prison corrections officers.

We should always respect the police and hope that when we need them, they arrive in time to serve and protect us. Their jobs carry a huge risk to limb and life. As we have been hearing, a cop is sometimes judged not by his body of work but rather by a single mistake they may have made along the way. That’s a tough burden to carry in any career. Many police officers and detectives retire each year without any blemish or controversial case, some even get medals for their outstanding body of work but, as the common statement goes, there are a few bad apples.

Visual Indifference Points

If convicted, Derek Chauvin will look back on the videos of him kneeing on George Floyd’s neck, cutting off the blood and oxygen supplies to the man’s brain until he died.  I wonder how many jurors will remember the look of indifference on Chauvin’s face as the testimony unfolded. What a blasé appearance, hand in the pocket and the sunglasses perched on his head as if he was hanging out with the guys at a game. It appeared to be just another day at the office for Mr. Chauvin.

I am most disturbed by the testimony of the woman who approached Officer Chauvin and identified herself as an EMT worker from Minneapolis. She asked the police to check Mr. Floyd’s pulse. A simple request really, but she was told to get back on the sidewalk. In a sense, Derek Chauvin said, “Mind your own fucking business.” She did what she was told and returned to the sidewalk, but she didn’t leave the scene. Her public duty to witness what happened was important to her. Speaking up in a court of law was paramount to her. She had no indifference, only concern.

I don’t know if a buzz word or memorable phrase will come out of this trial, but we already have those three piercing words, “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd wasn’t the first to gasp those words, but hopefully he will be the last. We give the police guns and they use them. We give the police tasers and they use them. When did we give police the right to smother, choke and strangle another human being?

Even if you don’t kill the person, if you strangle or attempt to suffocate another human, you can be charged and if convicted, punished with up 5 years imprisonment. So, any cop who uses a stranglehold on another, cuts off air to their windpipe or blood to their brain is guilty of a crime. If they kill the person, they are guilty of murder. If only we had video proof — oh wait, we do.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


WHAT IS RACISM REALLY?

Harmful Warnings, Witch Hunts & Hoaxes

I have always loved words. From the moment they taught me “Dick” and “Jane” in first grade, collections of letters into words, words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs have always fascinated me. In any language, the meanings are propelled by how those words are spoken. From facial expressions to inflections to volume, we take more than a modicum of meaning from sounds.

How many times has Donald Trump said something and within the hour, his staff had to “clarify” or “explain” what he “really” meant? It’s too easy for me to say. He’s a lousy communicator, yet, people believe him. When Republican Senators and Representatives in Congress run away from reporters, so they don’t have to answer a question about what Trump said about racism, what they are really saying is Trump’s tweets aren’t important to them. REALLY? He’s their party leader.

Most intelligent politicians openly condemn racism, but now run away from the truth and  don’t want to comment on how Trump handles the subject. They are more afraid of Donald Trump than the COVID-19 virus. Sure, Trump says OPEN, and they say NOW! What a foolish set of self-absorbed careless money grabbing grifters. Stronger description to follow.

What is Racism? First, you must decide where you belong. According to the anthropologist Carleton S. Coon, humans are a member of one of these five: Negroid (Black), Australoid (Australian Aborigine and Papuan), Capoid (Bushmen/Hottentots), Mongoloid (Oriental/Amerindian) or Caucasoid (White). In America, we focus on our populations of Black, Brown, Asian and White human beings.

Although we are pretty much the same biologically, there are differences in appearance from hair, to eyes, to the color of our skin. The things that might be not be so evident are certain diseases, ailments and disorders, which can be more likely the providence of one race. But as we meld into one human race, those traits can be eradicated by mix race births, medical advancements, better diets and the environment. We are more alike than ever.

Trump mostly focuses on some imaginary voter who he thinks is just like him. During a meeting with faith leaders in Dallas yesterday, Trump warned against labeling “tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots.” Not sure why this was said during a discussion on justice disparities, but Trump’s “causes” here is slightly out of sync with 75% of the citizenry. I am never sure if the Donald really understands complicated words, like racism and bigotry. It’s almost as if he thinks someone has to stick up for white people.

We know a racist is person who holds some prejudice, uses or endorses discrimination, or embraces some antagonism toward someone of a different race. Although they may not admit it, they base their racism on the belief their own race is superior.

Robert Sapolsky

One of my favorite books is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Stanford University professor Robert M Sapolsky. In his work, Sapolsky cites tests when certain pictures of people of different races were shown to participants. Scientists could see that brain waves reacted to certain races of people doing a variety of activities in the pictures. This kind of “systemic” and biological reaction to how we view people based solely on visual cues and skin color is real. People judge people and their brains react chemically.

One of the most absurd questions TV interviewers keep asking people on camera is, “Do you think there is systemic racism in police departments?” The answer is predictable. If the person is from the Trump administration, they will quickly answer “No!” If you are talking to someone who has been working to end police brutality in America, they will say, “Yes!” You cannot say that racism exists but declare our police departments as NOT systemically racist. People are confusing the meaning of systemic; it doesn’t mean everyone in the department is racist, it means that the system of policing provides a place where racism can grow unchecked. Pretty much what we have. Consider the facts (Stastita.com): “The rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 30 fatal shootings per million of the population as of June 2020.”

Trump isn’t trying to protect tens of millions of Americans from a “racist” or “bigot” label, he’s doing a preemptive strike against those who will call him a racist. He’s worried more about what people think about him and refuses to really comprehend the reasons behind inequality. One of the great online reference sites I use is the Urban Dictionary. I go there to decipher not only black culture and speech, but also to pick up on youth patois.

Urban Dictionary says a “witch hunt” is when a person decides to target another person for reasons which may or may not be obvious. It’s when someone decides to undermine and belittle a person. I guess to them, the head witch hunter is Donald Trump. The same site does a good job with racism, “It’s Stupid, we are all amazing so chill.”

Human beings are amazing. The war cry of “Black Lives Matter” mostly bothers people who just might have a little sense of embedded white privilege in them. That slogan has never bothered me, and it’s not because I dismiss the importance of all lives. It’s because I get the deeper meaning of the statement.

When the Selma and Birmingham, Alabama sanitation workers went on strike for better wages in 1968, they held up signs that read, “I AM A MAN.” White people in the south never really understood what they were saying, but it was a brilliant slogan.

In 1787, the US government wanted to determine the percentage of tax each state would pay, a major argument broke out. The 100% WHITE founding fathers argued whether a state’s slave population be considered in the calculation. What they came up with was called the “Three-Fifths Compromise.” It codified into law that a black man was only worth three-fifths of a white man of America. When the African American workers in Alabama marched holding signs that declared, “I AM A MAN” they were not only reacting to the “original sin” of slavery, but also the dehumanizing Three-Fifths Compromise found in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. They weren’t just on strike; they were protesting racism.

I feel sorry for Donald Trump. Here’s a man who was born in 1946 but holds the same bigoted attitudes and beliefs of someone from the antebellum south. Trump might see himself as a character in the movie Gone With The Wind, but he fails to see what actually happened then and what is happening now.

In that classic movie, Scarlett O’Hara, played by Vivian Leigh, asks her leading man, Rhett Butler, played by Clark Cable, “Where shall I go?” and Rhett says dramatically, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” That is why I feel sad and disappointed, because the answer to systemic racism is not to call it a hoax, or witch hunt, but understand how dangerously harmful it is. Part of the First Amendment is my right to call things out. Trump is a bigot and racist. It’s not my fault he doesn’t know it. And would someone in the White House tell him that all those Confederate leaders riding horses on those statues, LOST THE WAR! They are losers, I thought Trump only like winners.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs If you only read one chapter of this book, it’s called, Take a Knee for America and thought about this never-ending conflict between minorities and the police. It’s not really taking a stand I’m asking you to do, but having a real frank conversation about why some people think they way they do would be productive right now. It’s a book for the moment and starts the conservation of peace. And if you are worried about social media, check out the chapter called Social Media Menace.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


RESPECTING THE FLAG

Trump’s Failure to Recognize Human Pain

I love America. Even with all our flaws and family fights, we are united under not so much colors and cloth, but an attitude and culture. Our assertiveness does turn off people from other countries, but when that happens, I just laugh and shake my head at someone who believes speaking loudly to a non-English speaker will make them understand.

I grew up in the sixties and there were some rather radical hippies who decided to burn the American flag in protest of the Vietnam War. I never felt comfortable with that move, but I understood the symbolism.

According to BusinessInsider.com, there’s someone else who thought it was legal to burn the stars and stripes. “The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stressed that flag burning is protected by the Constitution — even if he doesn’t think it should be.

In 1989, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Texas v. Johnson, which found a man named Gregory Lee Johnson had a Constitutional right to burn the American flag during the Republican National Convention.” And I’m sure he could have done it at a Democratic National Convention, by the way.

The confusing message from Donald Trump is that the US flag is so sacred, that anyone who disrespects it, in his mind, is a turncoat. WOW! If the red, white and blue is so important to America, why is Trump protecting Confederate monuments and thus, the “stars and bars” of the flag of the Confederate States of America? That wasn’t AMERICA! Those who decided to leave the Union were “legally” traitors. Monuments, by their very nature, celebrate heroes and great leaders.

Now, I know all the rebels out there will say it’s “part of our history and heritage” and while that contains some inverted logic, you should ask yourself this question, “Would you build a monument with a slave owner standing over a black man whipping him into submission?” Of course not, but if you were wondering what the result looks like, click here. Sorry, but I wanted you to see it. That is true human pain. Remember, what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis was worse, he died.

When President Donald Trump brags and boasts he will stand against taking down status of Confederate Generals and famous slave owners, he’s on the wrong side of history. This lack of awareness of the African American experience is shameful. His antithetical response is diabolical coming from the leader of the free world. Honestly, I don’t think he will ever understand what black people have endured and continue to experience. Perhaps we should take a vote of confidence, NOW!

It’s disingenuous for people like Attorney General William Barr to state that bias and prejudice exists in society, then declare with certainty that law enforcement is NOT systemically racist. It’s like what happened in baseball until 1947. African Americans were not allowed to play the national pastime, period. But even when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, racism didn’t just go away. The man received death threats every year of his career.

Police Departments hire black men and women every day in America, but that doesn’t change the way many go after citizens of color. The one bad apple theory has denial at its core. The best question asked by one of the pundits on TV, why are we using violence against people who the police are accusing of violence? That’s like the father who says, “Stop slapping your sister!” as he is slapping the kid. Hopefully when those kids grow up, they won’t do the same.

When I wrote my book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, we weren’t facing a global pandemic or a racial relations awakening, but there are some essays in the collection that examine areas and policies of American we can improve.

In the chapter titled, American Symbolic Graffiti I wrote, “We have turned our American highway system into a maniacal wall of symbolic graffiti. As you drive from Florida to New York, you will see some people displaying giant Confederate flags. Those jerks are in some confederate mental retardation phase and I wish they would save us all from their racist-driven need to celebrate that dark part of our history. If you want to be clear and honest, why not wave a large flag that says, “BRING BACK SLAVERY!” Sorry, is it too soon?

The “Star and Bars” those folks want to wave is anti-American. They may argue it’s their right, and I can’t make them take it down, but I would like to challenge their little pea brains. Don’t you realize that symbol makes 7,144,530 people or, 12.1%, or more of the US population, feel very uncomfortable? Why would you spend that much money to make people feel awful in their own country? What if someone put up a flag saying, ALL WHITE PEOPLE GO BACK TO EUROPE! How would you feel?”

Brandon, Florida

This matter will not be solved by one blog from one American. I do understand what “white privilege” means and over my 71 years on the planet, I’ve seen some bad moments and heard some terrible words spoken. I was born in the north, but I’ve spent almost half my life in the south — Virginia, Georgia and Florida. When I moved to Florida three years ago and drove down US I75 through a town called Brandon, I saw a giant Confederate flag on the side of the highway. I am sure it’s on someone’s private property, but it’s a disgrace to the town of Brandon and our country.

Here is my message to the citizens of this great country, RESPECT THE FLAG! And the first thing you can do to respect the stars and stripes of the United States of America is to take down all the graven and craven images of the past. It’s not your “heritage and history” as much as disrespect for all those who died protecting this country. Yes, you are showing contempt for the 360,222 men and one brave REPUBLICAN President who lost their lives keeping America, well, American!

I’ve never really understood NASCAR as a sport, but I am extremely proud of the organization and especially driver Bubba Wallace. He stood up and was counted with the millions of Americans who believe we should stop celebrating hate, racism and division. NASCAR banned the display of the Confederate flag, WOW! That is change!

The strange thing about Bubba, my new favorite driver, is that I never knew he was African American. I guess I just assumed that a man wearing a NASCAR uniform would not be black. My bad. I guess we all have a lot to learn. God bless America.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs If you only read one chapter of this book, it’s called, Take a Knee for America and thought about this never-ending conflict between minorities and the police. It’s not really taking a stand I’m asking you to do, but having a real frank conversation about why some people think they way they do would be productive right now. It’s a book for the moment and starts the conservation of peace. And if you are worried about social media, check out the chapter called Social Media Menace.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


ONEROUS OPTICS OF AN OBNOXIOUS OAF

Trump’s Treachery & Actions Loudly Backfiring

We’ve all experienced the harsh reality of spending so much time with someone, like a roommate, where even small annoyances are amplified when around them. This might not be fair, but it’s something we do as human beings. I have a major uneasiness when I see Donald Trump standing. Why does he lean unnaturally forward? It looks like a bizarre attempt to redistribute his 245 pounds of heavy fat.

Off Balance President

I remember my son’s first roommate in college was an overweight guy who never went to class, stayed in the room and played video games all day. I asked my son if he was bothered by him. He smiled, “He’ll be gone soon, Dad. He doesn’t go to class.” I was immensely proud of my son’s logical evaluation of what I would have seen as a major problem. That guy was gone after 40 days and my son then had his own room.

Admittedly, I see Donald Trump much differently now that I live in Florida then how I viewed him when he was my state neighbor in New York. I always thought he was nothing more than a bottom feeder, slum lord and classless publicity whore. He seemed a bit ashamed that he wasn’t part of the ultra-rich elite of the city. He always appeared to be trying too hard. No one of any real power and intelligence ever took him seriously.

On June 4, 2020, many of the news outlets were covering the harsh rebuke of the 45th President by former Secretary of Defense and retired General James Mattis’ op-ed in The Atlantic. It reminded me of the September 5, 2018 essay the New York Times published titled, I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.

Mattis’ piece stated, “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

The most potent line in the article is, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.” While the liberal media was quoting Mattis’ frustration with Trump dividing the country, I wanted to scream, “WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?”

Fox News was doing the president’s bidding by playing up a New York Times op-ed written by Arkansas’ Senator Tom Cotton titled Tom Cotton: Send in the Troops. I’m sure Donald John Trump knew the Mattis slam job was coming and recruited another cotton-pickin’ politician to write something that attempted to take the heat off Trump. Backfired, again.

Let’s deal with the truth. Cotton is a decorated veteran who served as a Captain in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s a well-educated Harvard graduate with degrees in government and law. Cotton has been against Affirmative Action and other attempts to deal with long-term, systemic racism. This is not an opinion; it’s fact. I am not saying he’s a racist, but he’s been frustrated with mandated benefits for African Americans in education and life.

Tom Cotton has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Vice President Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket. I don’t like Pence, but if Trump were to make such a big change so close to the election there would be major backlash and possible panic with evangelicals.

Of course, a soldier takes his command from the President. I suggest that Cotton’s Send in the Troops is part of a plan for Donald Trump and his administration to take more power and control the election narrative. Captain, or shall I say Capo, Cotton is wanting to control you if you disagree with him.

Do we really need a strong man wannabe dictator in the White House? It’s so Nixon-like to say that protesters, whether looting or not, should be rapped upside the head to learn their lesson. The dissenters are trying to inform the President that we cannot keep killing unarmed people, whatever their color, and get away with it. Trump clearing out Lafayette Park so that he could walk to a church and stand, leaning into the camera, with the Holy Bible in his little hands didn’t do what he imagined.

It sent ripples through the Pentagon, which created difficulty for those men and women who are sworn to protect the Constitution. It sparked more anger from those who truly dislike Trump and forced religious leaders to take a stand against what he did. Why is no one intelligently, or even strategically, discussing what Trump will do next? Well, here he goes again, saying one thing and doing another. President Donald Trump tweeted out a letter Thursday (6-4-2020) that referred to a group of protesters as “terrorists.” The letter was from Trump’s former lawyer John Dowd, who proved he’s more an ideologue than a good lawyer.

What is so insane and so obsessive is Trump’s need to always be right or seen as an honest broker. Mark Esper, Secretary of the Defense, admitted that he didn’t know why they walked to the church. Trump claimed he didn’t give the order to clear the park. He said it was Attorney General William who decided to move on the peaceful protesters. Trump preached that his church stunt was not a photo-op, but a symbolic message of hope to the country. Really? When asked whether the bible he held was his, Trump replied, “It’s A bible.” Jeez, what a stupid thing to say.

I hope that more and more voters will come to realize that Donald Trump is more than an evil threat to the Constitution. He’s poisonousness, and if you let this obnoxious oaf spend have more time in the White House he will destroy our democracy. More people will die from viruses, military force and neglect. This insanity must stop.

When we started this blog, we asked “Why Wait 4 Years?” This is not merely a Trump-thing. It’s an enticement to every person in this great land to get involved, state your case, and make people listen to what you want from your government. America isn’t just for Trump, Cotton, Mattis and old, rich white guys; it’s for all of us. As ironic as it might seem for me to use this phrase, “It’s time to take our country back.”

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs If you only read one chapter of this book, it’s called, Take a Knee for America and thought about this never-ending conflict between minorities and the police. It’s not really taking a stand I’m asking you to do, but having a real frank conversation about why some people think they way they do would be productive right now. It’s a book for the moment and starts the conservation of peace. And if you are worried about social media, check out the chapter called Social Media Menace.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


FIRE THE SONS OF BITCHES

Trump Protests Protesters, Huh?

At one of the ego-booster Trump campaign rallies in Alabama Friday night, Donald Trump weighed in on the kneeling protests we all see during the National Anthem before NFL games. Once again, the Donald wants to fire them all and, in effect, blacklist those players. Not only is he suggesting a walkout of the fans, but now he has disinvited the NBA Champs, the Golden State Warriors, who were scheduled to visit the White House.

The Donald is confusing the Pledge of Allegiance with the playing of the National Anthem. When we take the stand in court to testify, we have a right to simply “affirm” that we will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. No gods, Bibles, or anything else religious need to be involved. So, what is this all about really?

Donald Trump has a tender spot in his ego for the NFL. When he owned the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, he manipulated the owners of that upstart league to move their games to the fall to directly compete with the NFL. Trump convinced those same owners to sue the NFL in an attempt to force a government sanction monopoly to merge with his new league. That would have increased the value of the new league’s teams. The USFL owners won damages of only $3. Yes, three dollars. The jury saw through the ruse and signed a death sentence for the new league. Trump lost lots of money.

This latest harangue of our great Orange Leader is the latest assault against people he doesn’t like, the owners in the NFL. He was spanked by them and the court when he wanted to enter their club. Trump has made some really stupid statements about the value of teams in the past. According to the Washington Post (9-24-2017), he once tried to buy into the NFL, “In 1988, he made a bid for the New England Patriots but ultimately bowed out. In 2014, Trump said he offered $1 billion for the Buffalo Bills, but he was bested by a $1.4 billion offer.”

Donald Trump’s lack of business acumen in sports is glaring. He laughed when Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys for $140 million, a team that many experts believe is currently worth almost $5 billion. Who is the genius business person now?

But let’s get back to the political cloud over the President’s put down of players who are protesting under the loose banner of Black Lives Matter, and the obvious move of the Justice Department to the white side of the story with police maleficence and racial imbalance with incarcerations.

The President is now linking this process with disrespect of the flag. It’s not the flag we stand for, it’s the anthem itself. It’s showing respect for a song about America, a song rooted in war and blowing things up. Hey, I would prefer “America The Beautiful” be the National Anthem, but I didn’t get a vote on that one.

What is Donald Trump trying to do? Why would a President use such inflammatory language in the demand that the owners see things his way and fire the players who will not stand? We saw the reaction before every football game on Sunday. Players and teams locked arms and stood up for those kneeing on the sidelines. And it’s not surprising that the majority of the players kneeing are African-American. This is Trump’s problem and he does nothing to soothe or address the issue, he just makes it worse.

Trump has decided that pushing around black people from a stage in Alabama is more important than being a role model for all Americans. He is incapable of understanding the core of American ideals and the number of people who see black football players as heroes.

Donald Trump is truly like the chemical Agent Orange being sprayed into the air for white supremacists to breathe. I must say it’s apparent that the pronouncements of his White Nationalism are not just slams, they are little pills of truth we all must swallow.

The antidote for this poison in the White House is impeachment. The President doesn’t understand why people react so negatively to him. He is beyond tone-deaf, he is actually DEAF.

The First 200 Days Of Trump

These daily diatribes from a delusional blogger give you a day by day overview of the 45th President’s first two-hundred days in office. Follow Donald Trump through the tough times on his way to impeachment. Kindle Version HERE, or Get the printed book now, CLICK HERE.