Worldwide Shame Squared

On December 6, 2017, President Trump publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declared that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to  Jerusalem in order to appease some of his supporters with complete disregard for human safety and the 1967 United Nations resolution that Jerusalem’s final status would be decided by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.  Irresponsibly creating this unnecessary danger to human life without considering the consequences was a great embarrassment to the United States and Americans.

In response, on December 21, 2017, the United Nations general assembly adopted a non-binding resolution that condemns the United States for moving its embassy to Jerusalem with 128 countries in favor, 9 against and 35 in abstention.  Then to my great embarrassment and I hope the embarrassment of all Americans, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, addressed members of the United Nations with arrogance and threats that would ordinarily only be displayed by a schoolyard bully or a mobster, threatening to withhold funding from those who vote against the United States.  This is disgraceful and shameful especially for an ambassador!

Is American diplomacy extinct in the era of Trump?


How can the same species (Homo sapiens) frantically pace back and forth and put themselves in danger to save a wild baby bunny from the California wildfire, but deny healthcare for sick children?

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I believe the answer is DISTANCE.  The man saving the bunny could not stand by and watch the bunny suffer and ultimately die, while the people who vote against CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) most likely have not met the children who need this coverage.

Maybe the legislators should be required to perform several hours of community service in hospitals or Doctors’ offices getting to know the families who rely on CHIP before voting.  Then they can make a truly informed and humane decision.  Maybe money is not the most important factor in decision-making.

Known Liars…

I was wondering how some talk show hosts can defame others with impunity.  First of all, I will briefly (don’t go away) look at defamation, libel and slander.  Defamation is an area of law that provides a civil remedy when someone’s words end up causing harm to a person’s reputation or livelihood.  Libel is a written or published defamatory statement, while slander is spoken defamation.  So, how come I have seen many uncharged examples of talk show hosts making false statements that defame the reputation of others?  Well, the answer is just outrageous!

KNOWN LIARS CANNOT BE CHARGED WITH DEFAMATION!  REALLY?  The thinking is that reasonable people would know the difference between a liar and an honest person.  However, I believe when these known liars are presented within the veiled framework of a supposed news show whether on the radio or television, it makes it very difficult for people to know the difference.  So, I think it is very important for each of us to know the difference between entertainment news talk show hosts and news journalists.  When challenged about the accuracy of his views, one commentator said “I’m a talk show host, not a journalist” suggesting that talk show hosts are not accountable to the truth while journalists are.

This same talk show host has made countless false statements and gets paid tens of millions of dollars a year because his ratings are so good.  This is very sad.  While at the same time, ABC News investigative reporter, Brian Ross was suspended for saying that “candidate Trump” rather than “President-elect Trump” ordered Mike Flynn to contact the Russians about foreign policy.  I know that this mistake makes a big difference.  However, the point is that ABC News took immediate action by suspending Ross and making a public correction and apology more or less stating that regaining news consumers’ trust and being accurate was of the greatest importance to them.  This is just one convenient example of journalistic accountability and unaccountable entertainment news, I am certain there are many more examples.

The point is to be aware of the difference between entertainment news and journalism in your search for truth.

Click link below to see the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics


In Search of Truth because The Truth Matters

It seems obvious to me that Donald Trump is mentally, emotionally, socially, morally, ethically, legally and experientially unfit to be President of the United States.  However, since several people who I respect support him, I am refraining from rushing to judgement.

In my search to gain a better understanding of these differing views, I have watched a variety of news shows, read several newspapers from different sources and read more than a dozen current books on this subject.  I have explored both democratic and republican principles and have tried to improve my awareness of both liberal and conservative biases and to discern the difference between real fake news and alleged fake news.  It feels like I’m preparing for a doctoral thesis.

One book that has been very helpful in sorting all this out, is The Truth Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks by Bruce Bartlett, Ten Speed Press CA, NY, 2017.

Here are some of the sources for fact checking suggested in this book.

Facebook – Guidelines for spotting fake news.

News verification resources include:

This guide includes more than twenty-five internet sources for verifying information.  I think the truth is worth the search.  Let’s see where this journey leads…



Political Awakening

I’ve been mostly apolitical my entire life.  I registered to vote when I was around twenty years old.  My parents were working class Democrats, so I was a Democrat, too.  In addition, out of my more than 40 years in the workforce, 30 of those years involved union membership.  As a result, I would usually vote for the union’s choice of a pro-labor candidate.  On occasion, however, I would cross party-lines and vote for a Republican or Independent if I thought a change was needed.

Even though I voted, I felt I had little control over what happened in the political world.  I was a little too young to protest the Vietnam War or to, thoroughly, understand what took place during Watergate and the subsequent removal of President Nixon.  So, for me, government was what oversaw the laws that we lived by, our protection and progress as a nation and helped individuals when needed.  I paid my fair share of taxes to live free in this land of security and opportunity.

For me, government worked.  Then my sense of security was shattered by the abhorrent behavior of our newly elected President.  Because of his behavior as a candidate, I thought he had no chance of winning.  As the numbers came in on election night, I was filled with feelings of dread and fear.  I held out hope that the electoral college would do what it was created for and protect us from this outrageous and immensely inexperienced candidate who lost the popular vote by the greatest margin in U.S. presidential election history, but that didn’t happen.

President Donald Trump’s behavior shook my understanding of my American life based on my 60 plus years of experience.  This loss caused an internal discordance that manifested in a questioning of the stability of the life I knew.  It caused an underlying anxiety.  When was it going to end?  How did it happen?  What can I do?  Now, I am politically aware!

My First Blog

This blog will provide a view of American life from the bottom of the middle class that is deeply rooted in the working class with the ultimate goal of searching for truth.  Our true greatness as a country can only be measured by the quality of life experienced by all our citizens including the least of us.  Comments are welcome and I will strive to keep an open mind as few things in life are black and white, most are infinite shades of gray.