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Vile Racism On Fox News

December 12, 2018

Many people do not watch Fox News. So it might come as a shock as to what is aired on this channel. Last night on Ingraham’s show, Ann Coulter describes her version of the Democratic Party.

I mean you have the Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers … you must hate white men. It’s the one thing they have in common.

This is vile racism being openly promoted on Fox News.

Again, why?

What is the aim of allowing and promoting such statements?

The racism is more overt now than ever, whereas before we all heard the dog-whistles and euphemisms and got into arguments over whether or not the folks at Fox were actually racist.

That argument has been settled. Yes, they were and yes, they’ve always been this way; now they no longer feel the need to hide it.

Fun Christmas Idea With Little Money Needed

December 12, 2018

One of the events we do at our home at this time of year is based totally on friendship, limited artistic ability, some cookies, coffee, and tea.

We buy plain ornaments (red, blue green) and some acrylic paints in the small containers along with some small paint brushes.  We also have toothpicks for detail painting.   Then we have people paint whatever they desire be it a winter scene, holiday memory, etc.  Following a few seconds with a hair dryer the ornament is ready for someone’s tree.

About a decade ago I tried to paint my Grandma in her apron at the cast-iron stove baking cookies.  Art was not my strong suit at any time.   But it is the memory that counts.  Every year these memories are placed onto our tree.

 

 

Visions, Madison Strip Club, Should Be Run Out Of Madison

December 11, 2018

The reports of a shooting where four people were injured, along with the knifing of another this weekend at Visions, a strip club on Madison’s East Side, is just the latest evidence of the type of people who gather there, and the crime they create.  In addition to fostering the image of women as sex objects the business is a strain on the resources of this city we call home.

When the data is computed it shows that the area around the strip club has more than one police call per day.  Thus far in 2018 there have been 446 police calls to the area.  When such a listing of police calls was shown to be the case for a troubled apartment complex on the West Side it was soon reported Mayor Paul Soglin put his office front and center in amassing information and plotting  a resolution.   Nothing less should be done now for a creepy place where women strip down for the most prurient interests of men who seemingly can not create healthy relationships in their lives.

This past weekend those injured in the shooting were a 42-year-old Chicago man shot in the torso, a 46-year-old Madison man, and a Visions employee, a 35-year-old Oregon man, and a 31-year-old Milwaukee woman.

People correctly call attention in our city to the crimes from teens and young adults.  But there is no way to deny that Visions is a source of crime which impacts that region of the city.  The crime there is now also impacting business, too.  It was announced that in response to an increase in crime, including this shooting, the Kwik Trip store nearby will be closing early for the safety of their employees.

The bottom line is that Visions is a source of crime and embarrassment. I understand the zoning matter and attempt to sell the place.  But when talking about that area and crime one must  address a strip club that should be run out of the city!

Tantrum By Trump, Nation Calls For Earlier Bedtime

December 11, 2018

When one claims to have seen everything they need to be told to wait one more day.  Such was the case this morning when Donald Trump became unglued in an Oval Office sit-down with congressional leaders.

When elections are over there is a tradition where a president sits alongside top members of congress in what may be nothing more than a photo opportunity to underscore the peaceful process that is used to transfer power.  They may be of the same party, or split power, in agreement or not.  But the purpose of such an event is to underscore the larger truths about our nation.

What we are all aware of is that over the past three years the traditional foundations of the nation have been tossed about and too often discarded.  Such was the case again this morning.

Trump likes reality television and tries to turn our government–which should be serious-minded–into something akin to shock jocks on radio and trashy types who will say or do anything to get ratings on TV.  Parents and teachers alike work to move children away from such behavior.   Trump seeks to employ more of that base behavior day to day.

In a stunning statement Trump vowed to block full funding for the government if Democrats refuse his demand for a border wall, saying he was “proud to shut down the government for border security”.  While Congressional Republicans are melting as a shutdown is the last thing they desire, and Democrats are smirking over how easy it was to set the trap for Trump to walk into, the nation is left wondering where the grown-ups in the room happen to be seated.

While this makes for headiness and bluster it again proves to the world how adrift the United States is at this time.  While Britain is in a most serious situation over the flawed Brexit, France taking to the streets, and Russia fomenting stress our nation has a president who calls for a massive and expensive wall on the border and more use of fossil fuels!  If there was a need next week for a Marshall Plan somewhere in the world there would be no leader able to take on the mission.

The world needs a competent, reasoned, and level-headed United States.  The world needs a president with gravitas, intellect, and a steady hand on the levers of power.  What was witnessed in the Oval Office was a complete embarrassment.    A mature president would not have been so easily goaded.

It is no secret that Trump does not sleep much at night and science proves the long term consequences of such a pattern.   It is also no secret our nation must have a well-rested person in the Oval Office.  What happened this morning was more than just an unstable man blowing up and making a fool of himself, and the nation, before the cameras.  It was also a plea from someone to make sure he gets tucked in bed earlier with the lights out and social media devices stored away.

We all see young kids out and about acting in ways that are clear signals that sleep is required.  Today we saw that live from the White House.

What happened today must never be allowed to occur again.

Reporters And Journalism 2018’s TIME Person Of The Year

December 11, 2018

I am deeply and thoroughly pleased with who made the cover for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.  There are four covers for  2018 Person of the Year.

 

Though I had predicted another cover with an eye to international events there is no doubt whatsoever that the men and women who report the news and make people worldwide more aware of how governments function, and issues of the day less complicated, merit top billing in this annual year end ritual.

“The Guardians and the War on Truth.”  is how the magazine headlines this edition.  The publication released four covers Tuesday recognizing slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot and killed in June; arrested Philippine journalist Maria Ressa; and two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar for nearly a year, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.   As TIME notes they’re “representatives of a broader fight by countless others around the world.”

Many times I have written the truth about journalists being more vital to democracy than the military.  The banner to this blog uses a most telling quote from former CBS news reporter and anchor Walter Cronkite.  My bedrock values have always been linked to the men and women who search for the truth and report the news.

Over the past three years I have expressed much fear when it comes to how Donald Trump ramped up his diatribes against journalists during the campaign, and used the same language as tyrants from the pages of history when berating the press once in office.  My first concern was for the safety of reporters and journalists.  Second was the safety of our republic from Trump who has authoritarian aims.

Trump blasting the news media is nothing new, but it is most corrosive to our republic. At one point in a press conference Trump uttered the phrase “fake news” seven times.  But his labeling the media as the “enemy of the American people” as he has done in the past places Trump alongside tyrants throughout history that were fond of that phrase.   History buffs , like myself, remember that the phrase was used during the purges ordered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.  The expression was also a favorite of China’s Mao Zedong, who used the “enemies of the people” label against anyone who opposed his policies.  Identifying and later punishing those enemies was central to Mao’s rule.

The cover story makes clear the issue at hand.  I know this magazine edition will be read around the globe and will be well received by all those who know the value of reporters and the need for truth.

This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat. Three decades after the Cold War defeat of a blunt and crude autocracy, a more clever brand takes nourishment from the murk that surrounds us. The old-school despot embraced censorship. The modern despot, finding that more difficult, foments mistrust of credible fact, thrives on the confusion loosed by social media and fashions the illusion of legitimacy from supplicants.

Modern misinformation, says David Patrikarakos, author of the book War in 140 Characters, titled after the original maximum length of a Twitter post, “does not function like traditional propaganda. It tries to muddy the waters. It tries to sow as much confusion and as much misinformation as possible, so that when people see the truth, they find it harder to recognize.”

The story of this assault on truth is, somewhat paradoxically, one of the hardest to tell. “We all learned in our schools that journalists shouldn’t be the story ourselves, but this is, again, not our choice,” says Can Dündar, who, after being charged with revealing state secrets and nearly assassinated as a newspaper editor in Turkey, fled to Germany, where he set up a news site. “This is the world of the strong leaders who hate the free press and truth.”

That world is led, in some ways, by a U.S. President whose embrace of despots and attacks on the press has set a troubling tone. “I think the biggest problem that we face right now is that the beacon of democracy, the one that stood up for both human rights and press freedom—the United States—now is very confused,” says Ressa, the Rappler editor. “What are the values of the United States?”

Remembering Otis Redding On December 10th

December 10, 2018

Living less than 70 of my footsteps to the shoreline of Lake Monona means December  10th is always noted.

In 1967 Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash on the ‘lake of the rising sun’.  The plane carrying Redding and his band crashed into icy waters near Madison. Just four miles from their destination at Madison’s Truax Field.

 

Planned Parenthood Wins In Supreme Court As Chief Justice Roberts Understands Call Of History

December 10, 2018

What does Donald Trump do after suffering another loss on the field of the culture wars?  That battlefield is where he tries to make for flashes and sparks so investigations into his illegal actions  have to compete for headlines with the self-created chaos.  Trump knows his supporters can be easily led to chase the newest objects that glitter, regardless of credibility.  To dangle confusions for the base is essential in his bid to retain power.

But then that newest Supreme Court justice has to make a mess of Trump’s grand schemes!

Today the Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by Republican-led states that were seeking to defund Medicaid dollars for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women’s reproductive health services.

The case does not involve federal money for abortion-related services. That is barred by federal law. Rather, it involves an effort by two states to block Medicaid funding for some abortion providers that, like Planned Parenthood, get Medicaid funding for providing other services to low-income women.  Those services include health care for cancer screenings, prenatal services, birth control and ultrasounds.  Consider the type of person who would wish to curtail these services.  Ask yourself if they would push for such policies if it were men’s health at stake.   This all comes down to being against the right of women’s health needs.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberals on the court and said NO to proceeding with the funding case.  And there-in lies the political play of the day, and therefore the writing of this post.  For anyone wanting to dissect this move by Roberts it all comes down to a desire to not make the court a hot-potato for this term.  After all, Roberts has a long term need to frame his time on the bench as one that history will regard with respect.  He does not want to be a pawn for Trump and what it represents.

That move–one that each Chief Justice needs to consider–ramped up last month when Roberts issued an extraordinary rebuke of Trump’s highly disrespectful words about an “Obama Judge”.  The move today also is a rebuke for the fake partisan videos which tried to smear Planned Parenthood.  Following that low-ball attempt by anti-choice conservatives there was a move by some states to craft legislation to curtail funding to the organization.

But the Supreme Court does not want to go down such a road.  And we should applaud their high reasoning and say thanks.  And let us hope that the same reasoning continues relating to their action over federal employment protections opposed by Trump’s administration for gay and transgender people.

We all are aware Trump needs to stir the sewer and hope his base grabs a stick to help.  But historians will write of the checks and balances, such as the actions today. as the reason we survived as a nation.

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