Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

(Slightly) Annotated Predictions for 2017

1)The US government will release some year-end statistics regarding things within their purview with the intention of reflecting their positive handling of those said items. My take: “Statistics are for losers..” (Attributed to many sports personages.)

2)There will be some major announcement regarding contact with aliens, i.e.the space people, not the illegal ones. It could come in the form of a confirmation of intelligible radio signals from outer space or the Trump administration seeking to “trump” Hillary and produce bodies from Area 51. My take: “We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions.” (William Shatner)

3) A  relatively unknown figure will emerge to lead a rebellion in the Democratic Party against the old fogies currently in charge. This middle-aged person will be a centrist opposed to the left-wing bomb throwers who made all the noise during the last election, but had their influence muted by the Machine. My take: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” (Will Rogers)

4) The 2017 word of the year will be “kitchen debate”.  This is actually a term we will revive from the 50s. It was then that Soviet premier  Nikita Krushchev  and American vice president Richard Nixon engaged in public arguments in a model American home in Moscow. They became known as the “kitchen debates”. Current Russian president alluded to these debates at the end of 2016 when he said that he refused to engage Barack Obama in “kitchen diplomacy”.  I assumed Putin was referring to the fact these interactions between Krushchev and Nixon were mainly viewed as a publicity stunt. Donald Trump will continue this kind of diplomacy with bombastic tweets regarding foreign leaders and governments. My take: “If you can’t take the heat, get our of the kitchen.” (Harry S. Truman)

5) Starbucks seems to be taking over the world. However, their bubble will begin to burst due to subtle changes in customer service and so-called “rewards” that have made them more like a pricey McDonalds. My take: You’re slipping Howard.” When we began Starbucks, what I wanted to try to do was to create a set of values, guiding principles, and culture.” (Howard Schultz)

6) Coverage for health care will remain as confusing as ever, if not more so, since the Republicans are going to be fiddling with Obamacare. My take: Find a financial navigator who will guide you through the morass.“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.” (Walter Cronkite)

7) After an election period in which many Americans hold young people in disdain, calling them “snowflakes” and decrying their need for safe spaces, some Millennial will become an icon to their fellows and all of the nation because of their courage. This unlikely hero or heroine will completely change youth culture and be universally admired. My take: “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” (Kurt Cobain)

8) With the rise of terrorism incidents and uncontrolled crime in cities like Chicago, Americans will mimic the Germans and begin to form vigilante groups to do the job our federal, state and local governments won’t do. My take: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” (John Phillip Curran, 19th century Irish politician and orator)

9) Though Millennials (ages 18-34) now are the largest living generation, surpassing Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) by about half a million according to Pew Research, the latter will not go quietly. Expect loud reactions from older people over the outrages constantly circulated in the media these days. These folks are twice as likely to be conservative than their youthful counterparts. That’s no surprise given the old adage “if you are young and not a liberal you have no heart, but if you are old and not a conservative you have no head.” Though conservatives are generally less likely to protest and just go about their business, the Trump victory in the recent presidential election revealed that Baby Boomers are not going to sit on their hands and watch the culture go down the toilet. My take:” Do not go gentle into that good night,.old age should burn and rave at close of day;
rage, rage against the dying of the light.” -Dylan Thomas.

10) I predict I will be wrong on at least half of these predictions. Therefore, instead of living in the past or future I intend to follow best selling author Brendon Burchard’s approach and slow time down, focusing on today and the moment, taking deepr breaths and seeking to be a better person.  My take: “A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon in superstition’s night, an inspiration and a prophecy.” (Robert Green Ingersoll, 19th century leader of the “Free Thought” movement, which  stressed science and reason over religion, tradition and authority.)

Happy New Year!

 

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Time for a Respite from Politics

From what I see from my friends on social media, nerves are raw after the election. Frankly, if people are like me they are exhausted from the political wars.

But some are so disappointed that they are out in the streets protesting. Given the rhetoric that came from the winning candidate, I suppose I can understand this, and that is there right, perhaps even there obligation. But as I said I am weary from the battle.

Politics are important because they result in government and government has a lot of power in how we live our lives. But politics isn’t everything.

Don’t get me wrong. As a person who by the 8th grade had decided he wanted to be a journalist, I am a political junkie. This truth played out this election. I had every intention of ignoring it, but I became more and more focused on it as we neared Election Day.

However, this week  I am trying to discover or perhaps re-discover other crucial aspects of life. This morning I took a walk on a sunny, brisk autumn day full of color and light. How refreshing that was.

The rest of this day I am giving attention to my personal goals and necessary evils such as paying bills. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, What’s His Name –you know, the Libertarian with the goofy look on his face, and Jill Stein will be far from my mind I hope.

Another neglected area of my life is my faith. I have not kept up with the practices that draw me closer to God.

I am not in a position to criticize other people, but sometimes I wonder if those who are so wrapped up in politics have made it their religion. If so, they have a spiritual void that needs to be filled.

The segment of life known as politics is not spiritual.Political beliefs can indeed lead to inspiration of a sort I suppose, but I am not sure they can feed the soul. There is no God at the center of those beliefs.

Who does someone worship in a political belief system?

I do realize that politics can spring from religious beliefs, as they did with Martin Luther King, Jr. for example. For some,  political involvement is a ministry of sorts.

But for me there are other spheres of life in which I would prefer to express my own faith.

So for now I am leaving politics behind, not because I am not interested, but because I am just worn out from the Trump vs. Clinton conflict.I have other fish to fry.

 

 

 

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Film Review: D’Souza’s “America” Promises Alternate History But Doesn’t Deliver

WashingtonAN ACTOR PORTRAYS GEORGE WASHINGTON AT THE BEGINNING OF “AMERICA” 

I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre known as “alternative history”. The premise of this category of literature is to ask the question “What if.” For example, author Harry Turtledove, known as “The Wizard of If”, has books about what would have happened if the Confederate States of America had won the Civil War.

Thus, when Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film “America” opened with a “what if” scenario during the American Revolution, I was thrilled. There was pageantry on celluloid at that point as well-dressed (not historical really) American soldiers went up against the Redcoats and the unthinkable happened.

Unfortunately, the beginning  of “America” was its high point for me, along with an effective conclusion, as we shall see. With what comes between, D’Souza, who narrates the movie, did not fulfill his promise to answer the question “What if America never existed?”

Instead, his documentary goes on to present propaganda defending America from criticisms from the political left. D’Souza synthesizes the arguments of both sides.

He does this well, especially when he interviews prominent leftists such as academic Ward Churchill and historian Howard Zinn, who D’Souza says is the most prominent historian of the last half century. He calls the attacks from the left “indictments”.

D’Souza himself is a conservative. He presents counterarguments to the left’s view that America got to its place in the world through theft. Popular Tea Party notable Senator Ted Cruz, for example, is interviewed.

He defends the conquering of half of Mexico (now California and the American Southwest) as a just war.  The war, says Cruz, was Mexico’s fault since their dictator Santa Ana was seeking to put down a revolt of Texans, who had joined the U.S.

The film’s best historical support for the traditional view of America is the historical account of Alexis de Tocqueville, the French aristocrat who came to the U.S. in 1831 and wrote of the entrepreneurial and religious spirit and behavior of Americans. The actor who portrays de Tocqueville does an excellent job of displaying the French value of “egalite'” and the American one of liberty.

After responding to the left’s charges, D’Souza notes how they have sought power in America by shaming the middle class into believing what he says are its deceptions and lies.

Activist Saul Alinsky, author of “Rules for Radicals” is portrayed as a thug who learned his trade from Al Capone associate Frank Nitti.  Alinsky, says D’Souza, was the original community activist who sought to turn America into a socialist state by expanding such activism all over the country.

The political savvy viewer will know of Alinsky. What makes this segment of “America” documentary noteworthy is how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have taken his ideas into government, turning the feds into an intimidating force.

For me, the most poignant moment of the documentary was when quoted Ronald Reagan, a man for whom he had worked as a policy analyst. Reagan once said, , “Our national anthem is the only one in the world that ends with a question: ‘Oh say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’ ” D’Souza  points out that  the president also noted that each generation would have to answer that question for themselves.

Reagan’s remarks are presented in a part of the film in which the overbearing use of surveillance and intimidation by the American government is highlighted. As a result, it’s use was quite moving to me.  I agree with Becky Gerritson, whose testimony before Congress is featured.  Gerritson, a Tea Party official from Alabama, told the lawmakers that the abuses of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against her party were the result of a government which has little respect for its citizens.

In an emotional conclusion, she went on to say,“Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters. And they are mistaken.

“I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in. The America that people crossed oceans and risked their lives to become a part of. And I’m terrified it is slipping away.”

If D’Souza does nothing else, his “America” offers a view of the current political and culture wars that really does make it seem that alternate history has become reality. The current state of affairs in the U.S. do seem as if they come from a Turtedove novel.

However, I left feeling I could have learned most of what the documentary had to say by watching Fox News.

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Washington empty-speak

 

Troubled

*Barack Obama, in his first comments since the Iranian elections, said he was “deeply troubled” by the post-election violence. (UK Guardian)

*U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she was “deeply troubled” by Myanmar’s new charges against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (Reuters)

*(Colin) Powell Powell said that he is “troubled” by the direction of the Republican Party…(Politico)

Concerned

*”I am concerned if these … sovereign wealth funds are motivated by more than just market considerations, and that’s obviously a possibility,” Obama told reporters….(Reuters)

*”The State Department has reached out to our Swiss contacts to ask for information and express our deep concern about this young woman’s fate,” (Hillary) Clinton said. (ABC News report about American woman arrested by Iran)

*”Colin Powell Says He is ‘Concerned” About Obama’s Spending Spree” (Headline from www.freedomslighthouse.com)

Disappointed

*…Barack Obama … said in a statement he was “deeply disappointed” in Father Michael Pfleger, after the priest… –in a scene caught on videotape– mocked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago–the home church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

*Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is “deeply disappointed by the reported sentencing of Roxana Saberi by the Iranian judiciary.” (Bloomberg)

*The retired four-star Army General (Colin Powell) gave a scathing critique of the McCain campaign and the Republican Party, saying he was “disappointed” by the approach the Republicans have taken on the issues. (ABC News)

Outraged

*President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he has been “appalled and outraged” by the threats, beatings and imprisonments against demonstrators in Iran. (ABC News)

*…Hillary Clinton …released the following statement…“I am profoundly saddened and outraged by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto…”(www.swamppolitics.com)

 

*Secretary of State Colin Powell, in an October 15 statement, said he was outraged by the murder of three innocent Americans…

ALL OF THE ABOVE

Timothy Sayre Fowler, blogger at Slow News Day said today, “I am deeply troubled and concerned by the ongoing empty talk coming out of Washington. In fact, I am quite disappointed and outraged with  government leaders. They are all talk and no action.” (Slow News Day blog)

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