A Culture of Callousness…

Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin demonstrated a callous disregard for the life of George Floyd Jr. when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes, even as Floyd was dying and then dead. The fact that this heinous act was not hidden or done in secret and that it was carried out in a nonchalant, hands in pockets, vacant expression manner, suggests that these inhumane actions were nothing out of the ordinary for these officers. The circumstances of these actions are a sad statement for our society. Have we created a culture of callousness that is easily able to devalue the life of some?


Obvious Lies

He’s not even a good liar! It’s like a 3 year old with chocolate all over his face denying that he ate the last piece of double chocolate cake!

It is obvious that the election was not stolen and it’s obvious that there were not significant voter irregularities.

It is obvious that Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, destroyed public property and assaulted police resulting in death, not ANTIFA!

It is obvious that lies are being told to bilk supporters out of millions of dollars for personal gain.

He’s an obvious liar as its been said that he cheats at golf even though he’s a decent golfer and that he made over 30,000 documented false or misleading statements during his four year term!

It is obvious that the lies were not at all the least bit clever!

Sadly, these obvious lies were and are repeated as truths by certain media sources validating them for many and needlessly dividing our country!

I know that the people who believe these obvious lies think that I am the one who is misinformed. For me it is like being in an episode of the “Twilight Zone” where half the town was replaced by imposters from a different reality! And, there is nothing I can do in either reality to mend the division.

The insurrectionists claimed to love that which they were bent on destroying! Their conflicting actions were motivated by obvious lies!

Unfortunately, I don’t see an end to this destructive division. We need a uniting force to drown out the lies causing us to work together to regain our exceptionalism! We need to see the obvious lies for what they are! Find a neutral news source! (www.mediabiaschart.com).


Consumers of right-wing media have been groomed to be anti-government, anti-democratic, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-science, anti-intellectualism, and anti-equal rights for women, minorities, religious minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. They are taught to be unnecessarily fearful of Black Lives Matter and Antifa to the point where they think a civil war is imminent. They believe that those who do not agree with their worldview are uninformed or evil liberals.

The United States is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic nation and always has been. The fear for some is that the white, Christian majority is shrinking and they are trying to maintain majority privilege. Sadly, right-wing media is using this fear for profit and is reinforcing the racist thoughts and behavior that divide us.

As long as misinformation is advertised as legitimate news, the return to truth and unity is hopeless.

Tax Cheaters

Successful American businesses require a civil society, good infrastructure* and strong defense. This necessary foundation is supported by taxes. Those who engage in tax avoidance and tax evasion are stealing from their fellow Americans. It’s like showing up empty handed at a covered dish dinner party and still consuming and enjoying all the food brought by everyone else.

Sadly, Trump’s fortune began as a product of tax evasion/avoidance as his father illegally channeled money (money made from federally funded housing projects) into bank accounts created for each of his children. As a result, toddler Trump was a millionaire via tax evasion/avoidance. Then, tax evasion/avoidance became the standard operating procedure as adult Trump strove to become a billionaire!

Moocher, cheater, thief, drain, taker, and slacker come to mind when I think of those who don’t pay their part. Tax evasion/avoidance is not clever and strategic, it just shows a lack of character and integrity, it’s just common thievery against all Americans. All need to pay their share.

*Infrastructure is more than just roads, bridges and utilities, it is people who are healthy, educated and protected.

Demand Democracy

I’ve spent three years plus trying figure out why people I like and respect have a completely different worldview than me. It seems they consume media that PROFITS greatly by stoking emotions, fears and false grievances that are not founded in reality, not based in fact and not verifiable. As a result, these consumers live in an alternate reality that is anti-democratic,* anti-government and anti-American (and includes elements of anti-science, anti-intellectualism, racism, white supremacy and white nationalism), yet they somehow believe they are being great patriots.

While a third to a half of ordinary Americans believe these lies and are engaging in anti-democratic, anti-government and anti-American activities (sometimes illegal, sometimes seditious) and electing officials who share or pretend to share these beliefs, the super-wealthy and the Chinese are bleeding America dry. We need to pay attention to what is important and not be distracted by petty meaningless squabbling.

We need a strong, effective government, if we are going to have a fairly treated, successful working and middle class, and to maintain our standing in the world. Giant tax cuts to the the wealthy underfunds and weakens our government and America. Deregulation strips workers of fair wages and endangers everyone’s safety. We need a strong government because China’s development has exploded (under Communist rule) in the last twenty years and is on track to overtake the United States in world leadership. We need to stop bickering in order to make a good living and successfully compete in the world and protect the real American values, democracy and human rights.

The vast majority of Democrats are not radical leftists socialists (possibly none are, these false labels are used to scare conservatives), just like all Republicans aren’t Timothy McVeigh, although, Republicans seem to want to deconstruct the government. Then what? Then what?

The 2020 election was proven free and fair. Joe Biden is the legitimate President and is actually governing with great competence. The Republicans need to stop engaging in voter suppression and to work on appealing to a broader swath of Americans in order to regain power, honestly. Antifa is not a formidable threat to anyone and was not part of the January 6th insurrection. Democrats and liberals are not the enemies of conservatives and Republicans, they are fellow Americans who just want what is best for all of us. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are Ivy Leaguers despicably lying to get your votes. Ron Johnson, Jim Jordan and Majorie Taylor Greene are just embarrassing. Republicans are spending less time discussing policy and more time repeating lies. They need to come back to the table and do the peoples’ work, and stop the ridiculous obstructionist tactics that are hurting America and Americans. The culture war mentality and the cancel culture claims are just lies used to raise money from ordinary, hardworking Americans, not for policy making and good governance. It is just a ruse!

A house divided will fall! We need to work together and unify in order to survive as a great nation. It’s never been easy, but we’ve always succeeded. Our government is and always has been a work in progress because that is the nature of a vibrant democracy. Throwing it out will mean an end to America. We need to work together to improve it by changing what doesn’t work and enhancing what does. It’s a lot of work, but anything that is worthwhile is… Demand Democracy! The alternative is living under the rule of the ruthless oligarchs and the Chinese communist party. I choose American democracy!

* The small “d” in democratic means that it has nothing to do with the Democratic Party or “the libs.” Democracy means rule by the people for the people, so if you’re anti-democratic it means you want to give over your rights to an individual and no longer have a say in your governance.

Power Addiction

Henry Kissinger said “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” It seems that many of our politicians are addicted to power and will go to extremes to hold on to it. Addicts are often irresponsible, abusive, deceptive, manipulative, distant and self-centered. This addiction keeps them from truly caring about what’s best for their constituents. They can become self-centered and lacking in empathy. In Ten Lessons from a Post-Pandemic World, author Fareed Zakaria writes that many with power, wealth and prestige have less compassion, damaged empathy and heightened selfishness. In The Power Paradox, author Dacher Keltner writes that the effects of power are like a “…form of brain damage, leading us to self-serving, impulsive behavior…”

When we vote, we are giving the candidate power. We are trusting them to wield that power, but many are failing to use it for the common good as intended. I currently see some United States Senators knowingly lie on a nearly daily basis regardless of the harmful consequences to simply to hold on to power. They were elected as public servants to legislate in order to protect the citizenry and they are failing us.

They fail to understand what it is like for most Americans who are essential workers living paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford healthcare or to not have alternative housing during a disaster that makes their home uninhabitable. They fail to adequately fund education, healthcare and infrastructure and to legislate for livable wages, all the things that are necessary for their constituents to thrive.

Politicians need mandatory empathy training and daily reminders of why they were elected! Power addiction explains a lot of the despicable, uncaring, out of touch behavior we witness coming out of Washington!

NASA Works!

On February 18, 2021, the Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars after its seven month journey and immediately sent back pictures to Earth. It is an amazing feat that took years of ingenuity and hard work. The rover will explore, collect and experiment to expand human knowledge. Over 350 people worked together to make this possible. This successful government funded project provides an excellent example of what we can do when we work together.

This week also demonstrated the failure of the privatization of the Texan electrical grid that is intentionally not part of the national grid in order to avoid federal regulations. Extreme cold weather conditions caused the grid to fail leaving most residents without heat or water as pipes froze for days, sadly, resulting in several deaths. The owners of the Texas electric company chose to not implement the winterization upgrades suggested after the 2011 sub freezing temperatures. Texas residents received cheap energy and owners got rich. I think if the residents knew the future risks of this cheap energy they may have chosen to pay a little more over the years. Government regulations would have avoided this disaster and is, obviously, necessary to protect ordinary Americans.

Decades of anti-government rhetoric from the right has undermined confidence in and the effectiveness of our government. Our greatness as a nation depends on our ability to work together and good government is the key. Privatization is motivated by profit and not the common good. We need to elect good people and not those seeking personal power and the dismantling of the administrative state. We are only as good as our government which simply is us together.

JFK inspired the Peace Corps and DJT inspired an antigovernment insurrectionist mob to desecrate the hallowed halls of democracy. We are the greatest country in the world, but for how long? The Perseverance provides hope and the Texas disaster causes doubt!

Second Trump Impeachment Trial

The impeachment managers easily proved their case that one-term twice-impeached former president Trump incited a deadly insurrection that stormed and breached the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021 in a desperate last ditch attempt to stop the certification of the electoral college vote confirming Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

Now it is up to the senate to find Trump guilty and disqualify him from ever running for public office again in order to save our very fragile democracy. We need 17 Republican senators to join the 50 Democratic senators in conviction. Sadly, due to the grasping and holding of power and / or the refusal to live in reality, conviction is unlikely.

The danger to our democracy of an acquitted Trump is clear. Maybe some of the current state investigations into Trump’s wrongdoing will put a stop to his negative, dangerous and destructive political influence. We need to save our democracy from autocratic populism. Now we wait!

Victims of the Big Lie

Trump has falsely proclaimed since at least 2015 that any election he lost must be rigged in order to protect his fragile ego, while knowingly understanding that repeating any lie over and over again causes people to believe in lies. Even though the Trump appointed Director of Cybersecurity, Chris Krebs, declared the 2020 election the most secure ever and with over 60 lawsuits including one brought before the Supreme Court finding zero evidence of voter fraud, many people refuse to accept the truth because of the constant lies. As a result, ordinary Americans were radicalized by the “BigLie” that Trump won the election by a landslide and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president, and engaged in violence!

According to, “The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists” by Robert A. Pape and Keven Ruby (The Atlantic 2/2/2021) the majority of the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists were not white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazi anti-semites, anti-government militia extremists. Astoundingly, more than 80% were “normal” Trump supporters made up of middle class often middle aged-people without ties to the far-right.

According to Pape and Ruby, many of those arrested without far-right ties proclaimed that they “…were following Trump’s orders to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the presidential-election winner.” One arrestee stated “I am incredibly proud to be a patriot today, to stand up tall in defense of liberty and the Constitution, to support Trump and MAGAforever, and to send the message: WE ARE NEVER CONCEDING A STOLEN ELECTION.”

Pape and Ruby found that the average age of arrestees was 40 and that 40% were business owners or held white-collar jobs which included CEOs, shop owners, doctors, lawyers, IT specialists and accountants. Only 9% of this group was found to be unemployed. Surprisingly, most did not come from deep-red strongholds. In contrast, they report that the majority of far-right extremists are under 35 years old with 25% unemployment and almost none working in white collar jobs.

Pape and Ruby conclude that “the Capitol riot revealed a new force in American politics-not merely a mix of right-wing organizations, but a broader mass political movement that has violence at is core…” made up of ordinary Americans seduced by the “Big Lie.”

Successful, respectable, hardworking, law abiding Americans were tricked into behaving unlawfully and to engage in sedition by the “Big Lie.” Trump, Republican enablers and right-wing media need to be held accountable for lying to the American people. Ordinary Americans have committed crimes, been arrested or lost their jobs due to their lie-fueled actions on January 6th, some even unnecessarily lost their lives that day! Words have consequences!

Even Trump supporters who didn’t attend the protest-turned-insurrection and those on the “other side” (whoever that is), have been negatively affected by these lies. Families members and good friends no longer share a common reality or truth resulting in unnecessary division, division based on lies. It is disruptive to peaceful existence and civil discourse. All media needs to be held to standards of truth and accountability! Lies are destroying America and democracy! If your news source pushes you toward violence, change the channel or website!

Reality check: One term, twice impeached President Trump lost the popular vote in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, by 2.8 million votes in 2016 and by more than 7 million votes in 2020. His slim 2016 electoral college win was by only 78,000 votes across three counties in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. During his four year term, he did nothing to win over the moderate voters needed to secure a 2020 victory. He lost fair and square at his own hand!

Divided by Disinformation

I started this blog in an attempt to understand how people I know and respect could be Trump supporters. I found him to be an unacceptable presidential candidate the second he mocked a disabled reporter. My view was reinforced by a litany of other despicable behaviors and actions that showed a criminal level of incompetence and immorality.

Trump has no political ideology and was a registered Democrat who donated to democratic candidates over the years. Trump’s only ideology is “what’s in it for me.” Steve Bannon is the one who advised Trump to run on populism, nationalism and anti-immigration platforms.

To me, it was inexplicable that anyone could support him. After three years of researching, I found that my Trump supporting friends have been consuming media that created an alternate reality that is not held to any journalistic standards, no commitment to the truth. It’s purpose was to create hatred for the other side, to stoke emotion over reason and to rake in profit.

Trump’s campaign personified more than 30 years of right wing vitriol. Evangelical Christians, Christian nationalists, white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-government militias, conspiracy theorists, libertarians and ordinary republicans united in this realm of disinformation to undermine, if not, overthrow American democracy.

This explosion of misinformation was caused by the growth of unaccountable social media. It was brought to the forefront by the “false narrative” president and supported by Republican enablers. It culminated in an insurrection! But I don’t think it’s finished! This isn’t the first time that a new media source created a frenzy of misinformation.

Beth Rabinowitz reports that when newspapers first became widely available at the turn of the 19th century, sensationalism and hyperbole sold newspapers, fact and fiction were blurred, and fabricated headlines and false dangerous medical advertisements were published (BCT 01/24/2021 Yellow journalism period offers cues to fight fake news by Your Turn Beth Rabinowitz). She continues, when the dangers of this misinformation was realized, the Society of News Editors issued its Canons of Ethics which marked the beginning of responsible journalism.

This shows that we need to hold social media and internet platforms accountable, too. According to Rabinowitz, we need to get “…a handle on the viral spread of dangerous misinformation.” And, we need “…to decontaminate the country from the poison of misinformation, we have to develop clear guidelines and sanctions for social media and communication platforms.” The dissemination of false information is illegal and not protected free speech. We have existing slander laws and protections from advertisers making false claims. We must insist that all media be held accountable to providing accurate information.

So my Trump supporting friends were and are getting their news from sources not dedicated to the truth or reality. Sadly, many ordinary people have become radicalized and have engaged in seditious acts. What’s even worse, experts say that it is nearly impossible for them to return to reality. Any attempted correction of misinformation is countered with deeper conviction to the lies.

They unknowingly support the deconstruction of the administrative state which is what gives us strength and standing in the world. The only people who benefit from this deconstruction are our international enemies like Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, and the American oligarchs. The losers of this deconstruction are us, ordinary hard working Americans. The only thing that can save us is the truth!