The Majority Should Rule

Who is the majority in America?  There are approximately 124.6 million households in the United States and each household averages three people.  58.2% of households make less than $50,000 per year and more than half of those households make $25,000 a year or less.  This means that 72 million households or approximately 70-140 million voters making $50,000 a year or less are the majority of Americans.  This should be the most powerful voting block in the United States!

So why are wages for average Americans so low?  Why is healthcare so expensive?  Why are many companies no longer offering pension plans?  For a family to live comfortably in my working class neighborhood based on a 2 bedroom apartment costing $1000 per month, they would need to earn $52,000 per year plus another $20,000 to cover healthcare and pension.  Many unions that offered the power of collective bargaining have been broken by corporate American.  Workers need a fair shake and opportunities for advanced training.  I don’t have a clear answer to these questions, but I do know that if the majority of Americans voted together for better wages and benefits they would win.

It seems that many of the wealthy want to blame this majority for their own circumstances.  However, I believe they don’t consider many factors that affect income levels.  For instance, opportunity, cognitive, emotional, social, and physical abilities, and moral consciousness (meaning ethical business practices).  Also they seem to devalue physical labor which is essential to the maintenance of our collective infrastructure.  Increased wages would decrease government dependence!  Ironically, government spends about $668 billion annually to help the poor, while the wealthy cost the government $910 billion dollars a year in lost tax revenue due to holding their portion of America’s wealth in offshore accounts.

Before you vote for a candidate, make sure they truly represent your best interests.  And, remember that trickle down has been proven not to work!  Please view “The Big Picture: How We Got Into This Mess” at 


Radicalization of the Republican Party and the End of the Fairness Doctrine


Radicalization is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of the nation.

This radicalization by some Republicans has become apparent to me so I reviewed the Republican principles that I posted in a previous blog.

  1. Smaller government to preserve the sanctity of the individual.
  2. Support the federalist system of government meaning less federal government and more state control.  Against centralized government.
  3. Fiscal conservatism, limited taxation and government spending to ensure greater individual liberty.
  4. Strong national defence.
  5. Individual liberties, responsibilities and duties.
  6. Tolerance, inclusiveness and responsibilities.

Also, free enterprise, and equal rights, justice and opportunity for all including persons with disabilities, and human rights.

So, when did these principles become conflated with Conservative Christians “…not extending rights to LGBTQ citizens” and “racial resentment” that sees the government as taking money from working whites and giving it to lazy “…black and brown people?” (See  “Yes, The Republican Party has become Pathological.  But Why?” by Lee Drutman in Vox 9/22/2017)  When did science and honorable American institutions become suspect?  What happened to the overlapping values between Republicans and Democrats?

In my view, Republicans became radicalized by Conservative Media over the last 30 years.  With the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine (a policy of the Federal Communications Commission which required holders of broadcast licenses to put forth honest, equitable and balanced news) in 1987, news sources became one-sided and unaccountable to the truth.  Without the enforcement of the FCC, it is up to us to know which sources are honest, equitable and balanced.  There is a highly informative chart rating news services by their political leanings, whether they provide straight news or opinions and whether their news is fair and truthful or false connected to the following link.  Please check it out so that you can be an informed consumer of news.




What makes America truely great…

Donald-Melania-Trump-Manhattan-Penthouse_1-768x511.jpgbus driver dad.jpg

…more than a hundred million hard-working Americans who are proud of their livable wage jobs or a few who get to live in lavish, opulent, garish penthouses?  Which is more important, being the greatest country in the world or the greatest individual in the world, succumbing to the myth of rugged individualism?

Some are caught up in the social constructs of appearance, affluence and accomplishment at all costs including ethics, morals, relationships, the environment, and the exploitation of others. Competition at all costs is not healthy for our country.  It is sad to give up your humanity for excess and conspicuous consumption.

We don’t need another multi-billionaire, what we need is a 100,000,000 more jobs that pay a living wage for American families.  Fair pay for a fair day’s work.  Our industry leaders must invest in America’s human capital to make America great again.  We need to lower taxes on companies that pay Americans a livable wage for entry-level jobs that include pension, healthcare and technical or higher education benefits.  The greatest country in the world should be first in science and technology, healthcare, human and civil rights, standard of living, opportunity, education and tolerance for everyone not just the few.














Understanding Propaganda and Ethnocentrism in the Search for Truth

We are victims of propaganda everyday from advertisements, politicians and some news sources.  So, I think it is vitally important for us to be able to recognize propaganda.  In addition, everyone’s thinking is influenced by ethnocentrism and awareness of this natural bias will help us have greater understanding of the world and its people including ourselves.

According to, propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.  Propaganda is used to sway our thinking by using manipulated half-truths that appeal to our emotions and bypass our rational thought.

While propaganda is external, ethnocentrism is internal. defines ethnocentrism as the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture, a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own.  It’s a natural belief that the way you live your life is the best and right way to live and that people who live differently are not as good as you.  Ethnocentric thinking is often diminished by military service and attending college where one may be exposed to many different cultures.  Following are some activities for overcoming ethnocentrism.

In Overcoming Ethnocentrism by Tony Mathews (8/23/2017) he suggests,

  • we can lessen the effects of ethnocentrism by recognizing that we all tend to be ethnocentric
  • we can recognize our own egocentric pride
  • we can cultivate friendships with people from different cultural groups
  • we can resist efforts on the part of people in our own cultural group to put down or perpetuate negative stereotypes (through jokes and snide remarks) of another cultural group
  • we can realize that we have an opportunity to exert a positive influence in building bridges between cultural groups


Now that we have some tools for recognizing our internal ethnocentric thinking, we can look at the elements of propaganda and how their external influence affect our thinking.  The link provided the following list of propaganda techniques to recognize.

  1. Name calling and stereotyping – labeling others or ideas with a pejorative name (tree-hugger, special-interest group)
  2. Glittering Generality – words used to dupe us into accepting things without careful examination (organic, natural, scientific)
  3. Deification – when an idea is made to appear holy or sacred and therefore above the law, while opposing ideas are seen as treasonous or blasphemous (God-given, right to..)
  4. Transfer, Guilt, Virtue-by-Association – when a symbol which carries respect, authority, sanction, and prestige and is used with an idea or argument to make it look more acceptable (American Flag, University Seal)
  5. Testimonial – when a respected celebrity or alternatively someone who is generally hated claims that an idea or product is good or bad is used to convince us without examining the facts more carefully
  6. Plain folks – this is a way that a speaker convinces an audience that an idea is good because they are the same ideas of the vast majority of people like yourself (The will of the people, most Americans)
  7. Band wagon – when the speaker tries to convince us to accept their point of view or else we will miss out on something really good (act now, be the first on your block)
  8. Artificial Dichotomy – when someone tries to claim there are only two sides to an issue and both sides must have an equal presentation in order to be evaluated.  This is used to dupe us into believing there is only one way to look at an issue when there may be many alternative viewpoints.  It simplifies reality and therefore distorts it to the advantage of the speaker
  9. Hot Potato – an inflammatory often untrue statement or question used to throw an opponent off guard or embarrass them (“Have you stopped beating your spouse?” or “When will you pay the taxes you owe?”)  The fact that it may be utterly untrue is irrelevant, because it still brings controversy to the opponent.
  10. Stalling or Ignoring the Question – this is used to play for more time or to avoid answering pointed questions (more research is needed, I am calling for an investigation)
  11. Least-of Evils – used to justify an otherwise unpleasant or unpopular point of view (war us hell but appeasement leads to worse disasters)
  12. Scapegoat – often used with guilt-by-association to deflect scrutiny away from the issues transferring blame to one person or group of people without investigating the complexities of the issue.
  13. Cause and Effect Mismatch – confuses the audience about what is really cause and effect.  The causes of most phenomena are complex and it is misleading to say just one of the following (Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria, Tuberculosis is caused by unregulated capitalism that creates poor working conditions, Tuberculosis is caused by a lack or effective antibiotics)
  14. Distortion of Data, Out of Context, Card Stacking, Cherry Picking – used to convince the audience by using selected information and not presenting the complete story.
  15. Weak Inference, False Cause – when a judgement is made with insufficient evidence, or that the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the evidence given (ducks and geese migrate south for the winter, therefore all waterfowl migrate south for the winter)
  16. Faulty Analogy, Slippery Slope – when a comparison is carried too far (the economy is following the path as right before the great depression, therefore we will experience a stock market crash soon, smoking pot will lead to heroin addiction)
  17. Misuse of Statistics – Average results are reported, but not the amount of variation around the averages. A percent or fraction is presented, but not the sample size. Absolute and proportional quantities are mixed in. Graphs are used that, by chopping off part of the scale or using unusual units or no scale distort the appearance of the results. Results are reported with misleading precision.
  18. Fear – “Of course the people don’t want war.  But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.  Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to great danger.”  Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
  19. ad hominem Attack, Deflection – attack the messenger, instead of the argument or evidence that is presented.
  20. tu quoque Attack– when you respond to your opponent by accusing them of committing a logical fallacy or propaganda technique instead of addressing the claim of your opponents argument and evidence.
  21. Preemptive Framing – framing an issue before other people get a chance to (“The only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed, is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they were totally embarrassed” -Donald Trump.  When in fact the Dems did not lose big, nor was it their fault that they got hacked.)
  22. Diversion – when a major issue comes up that is embarrassing or threatening, so a diversion is created so attention is directed away from the issue.


Hopefully, being aware of ethnocentrism and the techniques of propaganda will help us to navigate current news and to become savvy consumers who can discern the real truth.

If the President was 13 years old…


I am not a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or a trained journalist, I am only an observant victim, a victim whose life is adversely affected by an emotionally stunted President of the United States.  In The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump:  27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess the President, edited by Bandy X. Lee M.D., M.Div., A Thomas Dunne Book, Saint Martin’s Press, New York, 2017, the authors suggest that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist, but they are professionally bound to not make an official diagnosis without personally assessing the patient.  Since, I am not a mental health professional, I’m only writing about what I experience.

Why am I frequently bewildered by the behavior of the president?  Why does he not act presidential?  A quick internet search revealed that the bullying, misbehaving, 13-year-old Donald J. Trump was sent off to military school,  abruptly separated and rejected by his family.  I posit that this trauma stopped his emotional development in its tracks keeping him perpetually stuck in a state of egocentrism that one would expect from a 13-year-old or possibly someone even younger.

An article by Brooke Turner called “What is egocentrism in adults?” found at, was very informative in explaining the characteristics of someone who is egocentric.  She states that egocentrism occurs when a person is unable to distinguish between their own perspective and that of another person.  They are not aware that different views exists and only understand their own point of view.  They struggle to communicate with others and don’t understand how to read another’s body language or emotional state, making it difficult for them to engage in healthy communication with others.  Egocentrics often have low-self esteem and use arrogance and pridefulness as a cover to compensate for feelings of low self-worth and insecurity.  They easily feel intimidated and inferior frequently becoming defensive.  They use exaggeration and develop a superiority complex in order to gain recognition.  In turn, they mock others, making fun of their lack of abilities to be perceived as more talented than others.

Now that I have examined the characteristics of egocentrism, I better understand some of the behaviors of the president.  Donald Trump wants libel laws beefed up to punish Michael Wolff for his book Fire and Fury that is a Whitehouse tell all, while not even considering the multitude of lies he has told about others.  In addition, he exhibited no empathy for the Hawaiian’s who experienced the false missile warning.  He could only understand how it affected him and that it wasn’t his fault.  I guess three marriages and a history of strained relationships with his children could be evidence of a struggle to communicate with others, in addition to him thinking that he is his own best advisor in the Whitehouse.  Arrogance, pridefulnes, exaggeration, superiority complex and mocking others was his campaign stance and has carried over into the presidency.  Now we understand that this is a defense mechanism for feelings of low self-esteem and inferiority which causes him to surround himself with people who know less than he does and its been said that he is not well read.  Wow, I just had a scary thought!  What happened when a bunch of schoolboys were stranded without adult supervions in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies?

Celebrate Hard Working Americans

We need to celebrate and recognize all hard-working people in America and their contributions and accomplishments;  the janitor who earns his GED, the food server who earns an associate degree and the gas station attendant who earns a service tech degree, and the woman who goes to work everyday and takes care of elderly or disabled loved ones after work and on weekends, every day.

We need to celebrate all workers including, but not limited to bus drivers, meat wrappers, gas station attendants, car wash guys, sanitation workers, truck drivers, farm workers, public works workers, factory workers, retail clerks, plumbers, mechanics, first responders, LPN’s, home healthcare aides, cab drivers, carpenters, construction workers, linemen, cable guys, lawn care workers, crossing guards, short order cooks, dishwashers, food service workers, custodians, hair dressers, barbers, hotel maids, lunch ladies, all underpaid and overworked para-professionals, and every person who gets up everyday and contributes to the American workforce even though their pay for 40 hours work per week may not result in a livable wage.

This is the heart of the American people!  These are the people who make America work!  We should not undervalue workers who fill entry-level jobs or jobs that only require a certificate, apprenticeship or on the job training.  These jobs need to be honored and recognized as important to American success!

And people who think they worked harder than these people in order to get their professional degrees or small businesses need to remember that natural ability, opportunity and support, together, determine how far your hard work can take you!  Natural ability without opportunity and support is not enough.  So, first, be thankful for your natural ability, opportunity and support before you cast judgement on others and the value of their contribution and accomplishments.  And, I want to thank you for your hard work and contributions as I thank all hard-working Americans.

Party Principles

What I knew about the differing principles of the Republican and Democratic parties was based on one sentence from a high school history class that basically stated that the democrats were for change, while the republicans wanted to maintain the status quo.  I did not think much about this elementary definition until I witnessed the immediately apparent unorthodox presidency of Donald J. Trump.  Did his unpresidential behavior including bullying, name-calling, racism and misogyny among other behaviors represent Republican principles?

To help answer this question, I read Conscience of a Conservative:  A Rejection of Destructive Politics and A Return to Principle by Jeff Flake.  Between the information in this book and an internet search I compiled this list of Republican Principles.

  1. Smaller government to preserve the sanctity of the individual.
  2. Support the federalist system of government meaning less federal government and more state control.  Against centralized government.
  3. Fiscal conservatism, limited taxation and government spending to ensure greater individual liberty.
  4. Strong national defence.
  5. Individual liberties, responsibilities and duties.
  6. Tolerance, inclusiveness and responsibilities.

Following this list of enumerated principles was an additional paragraph that added free enterprise, and equal rights, justice and opportunity for all including persons with disabilities, and human rights.

An additional internet search, found the following Democratic Principles.

  1. More regulation, universal healthcare.
  2. Provide services for the poor.  High earners pay higher percentage of taxes.
  3. Equal rights for LGTB persons.  Support for Roe vs. Wade.  Embryonic stem cell research.  Regulate right to bear arms.
  4. Government should protect the people.  Protecting every individual for an equal society sometimes at the expense of economic freedom.

Following this list of enumerated principles was additional qualifying paragraph.  Democrats believe that parties motivated by self-interest are willing to behave in ways harmful to society unless government is prepared and empowered to constrain them.  Regulation is necessary when individuals, corporations and industries pursue financial gain at an intolerable cost to society and become too powerful to be constrained by other social institutions.  Democrats value educators and trust science.


Since President Trump changed his political party more than a half a dozen times during his adult life, he doesn’t seem to hold to either set of principles.  Apparently, he is an opportunist that used each of the parties only when they served his own interests.  As a result of this lack of principled leadership, maybe we need to come with a set of human principles.

Is appearance, achievement and affluence at all costs including ethics, morals, relationships and the environment the most important American value?  Is excess and conspicuous consumption worth blatant exploitation?  Is it about being the greatest country in the world or about being the greatest individual in the world?  The greatest country in the world should be first in human and civil rights, education, opportunity, healthcare, tolerance, science, technology, and a high standard of living for all citizens.  This can not be achieved by a great individual, but only by a great country.  How we can accomplish this is harder question!


Turning Lies into Truth by Robert Reich

According to Robert Reich, “Donald Trump is the most lying president we’ve ever had, and he seems to get away with it.  This year he has lied about everything from matters of national security to how often he plays golf.  Here’s his 10-step plan to turning lies into near truths.”

Mr. Reich presented this 10-step plan in the form of a video.  I have transcribed that video to the best of my ability so that it can be more easily digested and internalized for greater understanding.

Trump’s 10-Steps for Turning Lies into Near Truths

  1. Trump lies.
  2. Experts and the media say his claim is false.
  3. Trump blasts the experts and condemns the media for being dishonest.
  4. Trump repeats the lies saying “many people say he’s right.”
  5. The media describes the lie as a “disputed fact.”
  6. Trump repeats the lies in speeches, tweets and interviews.  Then it is repeated by his surrogates and the right-wing media.
  7. The media begins to describe the lie as a controversy.
  8. Then polls show a growing number of, mostly Republican, Americans begin to believe the lies.
  9. The media, then, begins to describe the lie as a claim that reflects a partisan divide and is found to be true by many.
  10. The public becomes confused and disoriented about what the facts are and Trump wins!

Mr. Reich says the solution to this is “Don’t let Trump’s lies become near truths.  Be vigilant, know the truth and spread it.  The media should stop mincing words.  Report Trump’s lies as lies!”



Who are the poor in the U.S.?

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) thinks that people who are not rich are lazy and spend their money on booze, women and movies.  So let’s take a look at who the poor really are in the United States.

First, we’ll look at how poverty is determined.

Number of Family Members            Annual Income Poverty Level

1                                                                 $12,060

2                                                                 $16,240

3                                                                 $20,420

4                                                                 $24,600

Next, we’ll look at poverty by ethnicity.

Ethnicity                                    Number Living in Poverty

White                                           21.6 million

Hispanic                                      12.4 million

Black                                             9.9 million

Asian                                             1.9 million

Finally, we’ll look at who’s not lazy and spending their money unwisely.  This is the majority of the poor!

13.2 million children

4.1 million senior citizens

14.8 million people with disabilities

9.5 million working poor

So let’s cut entitlements so these lazy people will get to work (really?),  while nearly a trillion dollars in tax revenue is lost to corporations holding profits in offshore accounts.

*All numbers are approximate and gathered from various sources.  Fact checking welcome.