Get in a line. Shut down your brain. Never question anything. Now turn on conservative talk radio for directions on what you need to do.
And if you’re someone who listens to a lot of talk radio, you can go from Ingraham to Limbaugh to Hannity or Savage to Levin in a day and hear nary a word of displeasure with Trump. (Does this not say everything that needs saying about the intellectual heft of conservative talk radio?)
“I liken the bond between hosts and their listeners to a friendship,” said Brian Rosenwald, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has studied conservative talk radio. “Politically, the result of this bond is that when hosts talk to listeners about a candidate or bill it’s like having your brother-in-law or best friend tell you about the candidate or bill.”
Though many hosts have avoided a formal endorsement, they’ve heaped praise on the candidate and signaled to their listeners that Trump is their guy.
Going back in time today to when I was a boy under the large oak tree in the front yard of the family home.
It was there when a boy sitting on the lawn under the large oak that I would read books. I first learned of James Bond thanks to Ian Fleming under those large branches that swayed to the gentle breezes. The other day it dawned on me I had not read Fleming since my youth.
So James ordered the first one in the series (1953) and Casino Royale arrived today. God Bless Amazon!
With rain in the forecast for tonight and Saturday I think I will slip away to that tree in my memory and turn the pages.
The front page of my paper, and above the fold. That is where the action is and what pushes the news cycles today.
Once again there is a story about Hillary Clinton and the email mess. This time the story speaks to the concerns of Democratic leaders. As a liberal blogger I share the concerns registered by so many across the country about this matter.
Bottom line is Hillary Clinton is causing the party a world of hurt.
Interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members have laid bare a widespread bewilderment that Mrs. Clinton has allowed a cloud to settle over her candidacy — by using a private email server in the first place, since it was likely to raise questions about her judgment, and by not defusing those questions once and for all when the issue first emerged in March.
Yet many Democrats worry that this newly contrite tone is too little and too late to quell questions, and that it may not last — given that her responses up to now have been so varied, and her irritation with the issue so thinly veiled.
“They’ve handled the email issue poorly, maybe atrociously, certainly horribly,” said Edward G. Rendell, a former governor of Pennsylvania and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. “The campaign has been incredibly tone-deaf, not seeing this as a more serious issue. She should have turned over the email server at the start, because they should have known they’d be forced to give it up. But at this point, there’s nothing they can do to kill the issue — they’re left just playing defense.”
There are many reasons I might be called a nerd. Just last weekend I was told about the reasons being a nerd is so in fashion these days.
One of the reasons I may be a nerd has to do with my fixation of weather phenomena such as Tropical Storm Erika that forecasters are keeping an eye on as it heads to Florida. Weather radar is something that fascinates me and there is rarely a better time to get to enjoy it over a prolonged period than when a hurricane comes a’knocking.
This weekend there is a real chance that Tropical Storm Erika becomes a powerful hurricane that makes us all pay attention.
For now there are the computer models and best projections to be mindful of, but in just hours there will be a better capability to judge where landfall might take place.
The morning after the gun blazed in Virginia that required another series of headlines to race across the world about how this nation is in need of some sanity when it comes to gun control I can report at least there is a new discussion under way about fixing the problem. I am not under any illusion that anything of substance will occur. If we could not find our moral way forward after the slaughter in Sandy Hook with all those young children shot to hell and laying in pieces on the classroom floor I am not sure what needs to happen to snap the three-thumb crowd into action. But at least this morning we are talking. That is how sad and pathetic this country is when the most we can muster are words over guns.
The dramatic shootings that make the news remind us that guns are not noble instruments of freedom; they are highly dangerous machines that have some legitimate uses and many illegitimate ones. Any rational government would carefully regulate them. Instead, our leaders have declined to fix obvious loopholes in background-check systems, refused to ban wholly unnecessary high-capacity magazines, thwarted efforts to study the effects of having a society saturated with firearms and generally cowered before the lobbying might of a political fringe.
More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides every six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
■ More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history.
■ American children are 14 times as likely to die from guns as children in other developed countries, according to David Hemenway, a Harvard professor and author of an excellent book on firearm safety.
The lesson from the ongoing carnage is not that we need a modern prohibition (that would raise constitutional issues and be impossible politically), but that we should address gun deaths as a public health crisis. To protect the public, we regulate toys and mutual funds, ladders and swimming pools. Shouldn’t we regulate guns as seriously as we regulate toys?
We need universal background checks with more rigorous screening, limits on gun purchases to one a month to reduce trafficking, safe storage requirements, serial number markings that are more difficult to obliterate, waiting periods to buy a handgun — and more research on what steps would actually save lives. If the federal government won’t act, states should lead.
Australia is a model. In 1996, after a mass shooting there, the country united behind tougher firearm restrictions. The Journal of Public Health Policy notes that the firearm suicide rate dropped by half in Australia over the next seven years, and the firearm homicide rate was almost halved.
Here in America, we can similarly move from passive horror to take steps to reduce the 92 lives claimed by gun violence in the United States daily. Surely we can regulate guns as seriously as we do cars, ladders and swimming pools.
Many politicians will focus on the gunman’s troubled personality and try to cast this shooting as a summons for better mental health care, certainly not gun control. Yet that ignores a grim reality: the estimated 300 million guns in America owned by a third of the population, far more per capita than any other modern nation. Guns are ubiquitous and easy to acquire, as statehouse politicians, particularly Republicans, genuflect to the gun lobby to weaken, not tighten, gun safety.
We all know no change is likely, for all the social media grotesquerie. The woeful truth underlying this latest shooting is more mundane than alarming. There are too many guns, and too little national will to do anything about them.