Jul 27, 2017

Reality TV is not a form of government

Opinion | Commentary
For just about everyone not part of Trump’s hard-core base, 45 may go down in history as the most unfit Twitter troll ever to sit in the Oval Office. But is that enough to make him a one-term president?
Consider Trump’s first six months in office. The Tweeter-in-Chief has made it clear that he’s terrified of what special counsel Robert Mueller might find in the tax returns he’s been hiding. His chaos-ridden White House seems to have staffer’s running for the doors, being sacked, or trying not to look stupid as the ‘boss’ throws them under a bus with unhinged tweets.
Then there are the questions about Trump’s mental stability, which apparently do not require any medical training to diagnose.
As noted by AOL News,
Another hot mic moment for two U.S. senators. This time, Republican Susan Collins and Democrat Jack Reed were talking specifically about President Trump and his budget. They both called the White House's handling of spending irresponsible, saying, "I think -- I think he's crazy. I mean, I don't say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy."
Although eight years of Trump may be a dream-come-true for some Republicans, most racists, and Vladimir Putin, it’s hard to see how he even manages to get through his second six months without a lethal, self-inflicted wound that even Republicans can’t ignore. That’s not to say that the likes of Granny-starver Paul Ryan, and turtle robot impersonator Mitch McConnell wouldn’t let Attila the Hun stampede a herd of oxen through the Capital if they thought it would allow them to take health care away from millions and give billionaires more tax breaks. But Trump is something else. The minute it looks like he’ll cost them votes in the next election, they’ll turn on him like a female praying mantis after breeding.
So who wants Trump to get a second term? There's a good chance that the sane, and anyone who prefers democracy over dictatorship hopes Trump doesn’t finish his first term and leaves wearing an ankle monitor. As for the 25 percent of low information voters in fly over states who think reality TV is a form of government? Well, lets just hope they stay away from voting booths, and everyone else has finally learned that staying home on Election Day is not an option anymore.

Feb 17, 2017

Yes, Trump Really Said That, But The Remix Is Funnier

There are both Democrats and Republicans looking for a place to hide today, after the greatest embarrassment in American history pretended to be president yesterday. Trump’s 77-minute press conference on Thursday was such an incoherent mess, the overriding takeaway is, Trump said what?
You can read the full transcript exactly as it happened here.

However, just for fun, a satirical "remix." Below are Trump’s own words from Thursday’s press conference shuffled into random order, mad-libs styleIt's just as incomprehensible, either way. Yes, he really said all this, just not in this order.

One promise after another... of politicians lying… to the American people in order to get elected… It's an illegal process and the press should be ashamed of themselves…

I called Mexico. Same thing with Australia. It's all fake news.

We have great, great people… Hillary Clinton...

Look at Rex Tillerson. Not good…. He's out there negotiating right now… as disgraceful as the failing New York Times...

Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?… I fired him… I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him… many other people say that.




North Korea.

Not good.

Here's another beauty. He didn't just call Russia... Then he said he didn't remember… I have no loans in Russia… But I will say that I never get phone calls from the media…

So I'm dealing with Mexico, I'm dealing with Argentina… What's going to happen when I'm dealing with really, really important subjects…. I'm skipping that information.

The leaks are real…. The reporting is fake.

I know who you are… Finish up then I'll get you... but let me do one at a time.

It's all fake news... That's how I won... God bless America.

Sep 22, 2015

“Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit”

This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destiny's are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book.  

Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit is available now on Amazon.com.

Also available in the Smashwords Premium Catalog https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575526


Jul 13, 2015

Why are Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump rising in the polls?

Pundit's and pollsters are scratching their heads wondering why Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and real estate mogul Donald Trump are rising in polls in the 2016 presidential race. For working class Americans, the appeal of these two candidates is clear. They have what the puppet-of-the-rich candidates can't buy: authenticity.

Americans are not as oblivious to life in the real world as wealthy candidates and pundits may think. They know that the government is corrupt and that corporations really aren't "people" no matter what the Supreme Court says. They also know that voting for whichever candidate has the most money hasn't been working out for them.

Although it could be argued that Sen. Sanders, running as a Democrat, and Donald Trump, running as a Republican, are on opposites side of the political spectrum, they actually have similar positions on things like keeping Social Security out of the greedy hands of Wall Street bankers with a government privatization scheme.

No matter what the talking heads in the media say, there is a freshness in the plain and authentic talk coming from these two men that is resonating with average Americans. They say what they mean without pandering to the lunatic fringe, and more importantly, they don't seem to care what the donor class thinks of them.

If the US has any hope of emerging from the smothering corrupting influence of Citizens United, it will have to come from a candidate that has not been pre-packaged and pre-paid for by a handful of billionaire CEO's and lobbyists interested only in their own bottom line.

Learn more about Sen. Bernie Sanders on the issues here

Learn more about Donald Trump on the issues here

Photo credits

Donald Trump image:
"Donald Trump March 2015" by Michael Vadon - https://www.flickr.com/photos/80038275@N00/16512978040/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_March_2015.jpg#/media/File:Donald_Trump_March_2015.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_March_2015.jpg#/media/File:Donald_Trump_March_2015.jpg

Bernie Sanders image: United States Congress - http://sanders.senate.gov/

Jul 9, 2015

Can Tim Cook keep Steve Jobs' dream alive?

When Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, it lost more than its focus; the vision of the company had changed and in time, began to falter. More than a decade later, in 1986, Jobs returned to Apple and the rest, as they say, is history.

What that time period seemed to demonstrate was that Apple could simply not be "Apple" without Steve Jobs at the helm.

Fate dealt the technology world a hard blow when Jobs lost his battle with cancer on Oct. 5, 2011. And that began the rule of CEO Tim Cook.

Until this year, I never really questioned Cook’s ability to continue the Jobs legacy with impunity. After all, he did lead the company to unprecedented success with the launch if the iPhone 6. But that was just building on the house that Steve built. Tim Cook had to start creating his own legacy. And so he has.

Cook revealed the new direction he wanted to take the company with new product launches in the post-Jobs era. Some think they were good, others not so much.

The first major Cook release came in March 2015, with the new 12-inch MacBook. The ultra-thin notebook, touted as the thinnest of its kind in the world, caught some by surprise, since there was speculation that the next greatest thing from Apple would be a bigger iPad “pro” or the addition of a retina display for the industry-changing MacBook Air.

Instead what we got was an underpowered, overpriced piece of “jewelry” complete with options for gold, silver, and space grey coatings. To further confound and confuse the masses, the new MacBook lost its beloved Mag-Safe charger, and all its connectivity, save for one USB C-type port. It did have a retina display. Yet some believe the trade-off for size over performance was a misstep on the part of Apple. The starting price for the new MacBook is $1299, which is a lot for a base model computer running on a 1.1Ghz core M chip.

This was Tim Cook’s MacBook, not Steve Jobs’. It featured fashion over function - words I can’t imagine ever coming out of Jobs’ mouth when it came to Apple computers - but I could be wrong.

On one hand, you can see the benefits of the MacBook’s ultra-portability. But those benefits are quickly crushed by the fact that you have to drag dongles around to plug anything into it, apart from the charger.

The shift from function to fashion was reinforced when Apple decided to hire former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts in April, 2014, to head-up the retail and online divisions.

Since then, change was indeed in the air, and in Apple stores - or should I say, not in Apple stores.

When the 2015 MacBook was released, no one could actually walk into a store and buy it, and in some areas, were also unable to see it in-person. The computers were simply not available for immediate purchase and online order delays stretched on for up to 6 weeks.

Was it fashion guru Ahrendt’s idea to tease the release of a new product to Apple’s loyal fans, then deny them access to it? Was it a supply chain issue? And if so, why bother to release a product that people can't walk into a store and buy?

If any other company had pulled a stunt like this, they would probably have a hard time staying in business.

So why would Apple customers put up with that appears to be either very bad management or an abysmal misadventure in consumer marketing? That’s easy. This is the company that Steve built and he earned his customers’ trust.

But the reputation Steve Jobs built for Apple is not impervious.

The fashion-minded Ahrendts repeated that confusing and frustrating marketing strategy with the Apple Watch. By the time the devices were actually available to purchase in Apple stores in July, the device was already being heralded as a flop.

The Apple Watch and MacBook seem to have more in common than just marketing without product availability. Both are at least trying to make a fashion statement of some sort. Apple Watch takes things a step further by separating customers into economic classes as well with the gold Edition Apple Watch. With a price tag that starts at $10,000, it screams we are now catering to the donor class. 

In the post Steve Jobs era, Apple’s new push to re-brand itself as a player in the fashion and jewelry industry might work at some point. Then again, maybe it won’t. Time will tell (no pun intended).

It would probable help if Apple wasn’t also re-branding itself as another Microsoft with updates that add headaches and break features instead of simply enhancing them.

Don't get me wrong. I love Apple products and own lots of them. But I fear that Tim Cook is forgetting how and why the company built its reputation and loyal fan base. The Apple Inc. that Steve Jobs created gave us beautifully built computers that came with great customer service and an OS that "just worked" right out of the box.

For me, the sooner Apple ditches Ahrendts in this bizarre quest to be associated with fashion, and goes back to building and selling great computers, the happier I (and perhaps millions of others) will be.

Apr 2, 2015

Windows 10 will not save Microsoft

If you are eagerly awaiting the release of Windows 10, it looks like you are in the minority.

A recent report in ComputerWorld shows that the hottest OS for Microsoft is still Windows 7.

With numbers pointing away from the tried-and-true Windows OS, why doesn’t Microsoft simply listen to its customers and come out with a updated version of Windows 7?

The answer is probably complicated, but from a consumer’s point of view, it looks like the tech giant is going to keep trying to shove a bitter pill down the throat of the public while uttering the words, “Take it...it’s good for you because we said so.”

While that marketing strategy does not seem to be working, Microsoft appears determined to stick with it anyway.

Apple anyone?

What problem are 'religious freedom' laws supposed to fix?


Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence must have believed that religious persecution was rampant in his state. The problem must have been considered so bad, it called for Senate Bill 568, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which states:

"Religious freedom restoration act. Provides that a state or local government action may not substantially burden a person's right to the exercise of religion unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to the person's exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the judicial proceeding. Allows a person who asserts a burden as a claim or defense to obtain appropriate relief, including: (1) injunctive relief; (2) declaratory relief; (3) compensatory damages; and (4) recovery of court costs and reasonable attorney's fees."

Some, including a good chunk of corporate America, instead saw SB568 as a license to discriminate against LGBT customers.

Despite claims from defenders of the new law, the message of legalized discrimination was not lost on Crystal O'Connor, co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind.

Ms. O'Connor wasted no time in getting in front of a camera to announce,  “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”

The Internet backlash against Memories Pizza was so strong, the business has had to closed its doors.

Gov. Pence and the Republican-controlled Indiana state legislature may have thought SB658 would solve a problem, but it missed the target. The problem is not religious persecution; it's bigotry among a group of radical religious fanatics who tricked voters into thinking that they were real Americans.

In less than a week, Gov. Pence and his Bible-thumping cohorts have turned Indiana into the greatest embarrassment in America, perhaps the world.

There's a lesson in this for all Americans. Be careful who you vote for, stupidity can cost you more than your job at a Pizza place.

Mar 21, 2014

Sorry, Science Deniers, the earth is not flat

The current trend among some conservatives to ignore science or change established facts to suit a religion-based political agenda is a threat to more than just the intelligence of the human species. Extolling false claims puts the entire economic and social structure of the planet at risk of catastrophic failure.

America is suffering from fundamental socioeconomic flaws that are getting worse, and reducing the role of government is part of the problem. Governments by their very nature are charged with the role of stabilizing society, protecting the public and promoting self-improvement and creativity among the general population. In a truly advanced society, basic humans needs such as food and medicine have been met, so individuals can focus on intellectual growth.

However, the exact reverse has taken hold in America. Programs that help the hungry are being cut, while government assistance for the economically sufficient is expanded. More than 50 million Americans suffer from food insecurity in a country that has an abundance of food. Another 44,000 die each year because they have no health insurance and medical care. Allowing so many people to struggle without basic needs being met is not the path to an advanced society.

Full story....