The American middle class is disappearing.  It is being destroyed by big corporations that are only concerned with enriching themselves and stockholders at the expense of employees and communities.  The working class is, instead, blaming the lower classes and immigrants for their stagnant wages and lack of opportunity.

Corporations need to invest in their communities instead of hoarding the country’s wealth.  Government regulation needs to invest the country’s wealth in infrastructure, education and affordable healthcare.  America’s workers need to earn a livable wage.

The push for privatization often harms the public good.  For instance, Robert Reich reports that the administrative costs of Medicaid is 1.1% while the administrative costs of private healthcare is 11%.

I am overwhelmed because there is no easy answer.  And as soon as you say publicly funded, you’re labeled a socialist, even though, publicly funded entities have made America great (e.g. education, highway system, military).

There are news sources who are misleading the working class by making them believe that corporate greed is good and that labor unions are bad, that nationalism is better than globalism, and that our economic growth is not dependent on immigration.

There are at least a dozen topics mentioned here that could be explored more deeply and  I will try to learn more and share my findings in future blogs.  Have a Happy New Year!


Two News Worlds: Creating False Division

I am often confused and perplexed by some of the views espoused by people I know both in person and on Facebook.  Seeking to understand the source of these views that are counter to my own worldview has been a major impetus for this blog.  I have explored bias or leanings in the media and have included some guidelines for finding factual news in past posts.  This week I tuned in to MSNBC on TV and Fox News streaming on my iPad at the same time and jotted down topics from each show.

MSNBC (rated on the media bias chart as skewed left with fair interpretations):

  • Mattis resigns as President Trump withdraws troops from Syria without consulting his cabinet, the Pentagon or experts in this matter with complete disregard for negative consequences.
  • Stock market in decline due to impulsive and unpredictable actions of the President.
  • Acting Attorney General Whitaker refuses to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation even though the ethics committee recommends recusal.
  • The Democratic controlled congress will look at Trump tax returns.

Fox News (rated on the media bias chart as hyper-partisan right with extreme unfair interpretations crossing the line into nonsense damaging to public discourse):

  • Immigrants flooding across the border.
  • One immigrant arrested for crimes.
  • The President is building the wall.
  • One MS 13 gang member arrested.
  • Deregulation is saving money as Health and Human Services are reduced.
  • A video of Millennials crying when Trump was elected who are now getting therapy dogs and massages.

AP Headlines (rated on the media bias chart as neutral news with no leanings or bias):

  • A decade-long rally on Wall Street looks like it’s ending.
  • Mattis resignation letter lays out challenges for successor.
  • Trump call with Turkish leader led to US pullout from Syria.
  • Supreme Court rejects Trump plea to enforce asylum ban.
  • Trump signs sweeping criminal justice bill.
  • Virtual wall grows as Trump border fight threatens shutdown.
  • Mexico appears willing but unready to hold US refugees.

These topics show that MSNBC is reporting the same topics as the Associated Press (AP), but with criticism of the President added, while Fox News has none of the topics reported by the AP.  People who only watch Fox News or other right-wing media sources are unaware of the economic downturn, the diminished standing of the United States in the world order and the fact that illegal immigration is the least of our problems especially when homegrown mass shooters are prevalent and the top one percent are stealing and hoarding the wealth of our country.  They are also unaware that the President needs to be held accountable and that our democracy is being damaged, maybe fatally.  Please find a neutral news-source and compare with what your favorite source is reporting.  Power is in the truth.


Fear of Change Can Be Blinding

I started this blog just over a year ago and have outlined, on many occasions, my thoughts and feelings on the unfitness of Donald Trump for the office of the Presidency.  I still struggle to understand those who support Trump while remaining respectful of differing opinions.  I came across an article on theatlantic.com called “Why Trump Supporters Believe He Is Not Corrupt” by Peter Beinart (8/22/2018).  Beinart writes, what Trump “…supporters fear most isn’t the corruption of American law, but the corruption of America’s traditional identity.”

He continues, supporters fear the “…corruption of the traditional order… of traditional racial and sexual norms.”  They fear civil and equal rights for all as they see this as a challenge to their traditional identity and status in American society.  They see this racist and misogynist president as the protector of this “traditional” order.  Beinhart states that “Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of the law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.”

Many Trump supporters see minorities, immigrants and feminists as the enemies of their traditional American identity.  They see this as the corruption of America not the corruption in politics, in big business or of the law.  Beinhart says “For many Republicans, Trump remains uncorrupt -indeed, anti corrupt…” because he presents as the in-charge, strong white male of their idea of tradition.

The fear of this loss of “traditional” hierarchy is so great that many have been blinded to the damage that is being done to our democracy as the rule of law is being discarded.  We live in a multicultural/racial country.  Our success is dependent  on working together and upholding human rights for all.  Change should not be feared but embraced as we are stronger together than divided.


Bamboozle means, according to dictionary.com, to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery or the like… some synonyms include dupe, cheat, swindle, defraud, flim-flam, delude, mislead and fool.

IJRRed.com, labeled as a home for conservative news and commentary, posted a video on December 1, 2017 of President Trump’s speech during the annual tree lighting at the Whitehouse (this video resurfaced on Facebook for the 2018 Christmas season also).  The caption below the video stated “Finally, a president that isn’t afraid to say things like this.”  In the video, President Trump read a moving speech about Christ, Christmas and faith.  It would have been really beautiful if it had been read from the heart by someone who actually Talked the Talk and Walked the Walk.  (Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk was a theme for one of the Sunday School classes I taught a few years ago.)

But, instead, it was used and is being used to pander to his evangelical base who continue to give Trump endless “Mulligans” for his unacceptable behaviors in both the legal and moral realms.  As a Christian, I felt personally assaulted by his inauthenticity, and I felt that my faith was being used to give power to a soulless man who is devoid of any understanding of what it would mean to be just one of the “thousand points of light” spoken by the late former President George H. W. Bush.

Please, don’t be fooled by a craftily written and delivered speech that tells you exactly what you want to hear.  Look behind the facade for the truth and hold our President accountable for his actions.  Don’t accept his lies, bullying and incompetence.  Don’t be bamboozled!




End of a Era? Is it Gone Forever?

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away this morning at the age of 94.  He was the last living President born during what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation” (those born between 1910 and 1924).  My father and this president were members of the same generation and both served our country in WWII.  I was raised by this generation and long for its values to return.

This generation was hard-working, humble and self-sacrificing.  They had concern for others, found honor in service and put country before self.  They worked and lived for the greater good.

In contrast, the generations that followed have become self-centered, self-promoting, self-serving, greedy and selfish putting materialism before the greater good.  Our society can not survive this focus on “self.”  Society will cease to exist without concern for the greater good.

The greatest generation experienced two world wars and the great depression.  Working together to overcome those trying times, made America great.  But now we are divided into the haves and the have-nots.  What will it take for us to work together again?  Can we return to the kinder and gentler nation that Bush 41 yearned for?