Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July! Respect ALL Americans, and...

Happy Fourth of July! We are living interesting, troubling times. But we can make it better and we will make it better. Even against these dark forces belaid against us. Just as we've always done. Just s we always will do. Remember what the fourth really means and what we went through to get here. Especially what our Founders went through to give us not a perfect country, but one where we can achieve always, greater and better things. And remember, many have actually died in order for that to be true.

If you enjoy the respect of those from other countries just because we are American...

Respect those who have achieved more in life than you have. They have earned your respect.

Respect those who are still on that path to get to where you are, or those above you, because you were once there yourself.

Respect those you believe or judge will never achieve what you have, or that of those above you, because they may one day, and you cannot know any different, achieve that, or more. Until then, until they die, you are only assuming. And yes, you may be right. But so what? Thinking that way is a petty view of life and you add to the destruction you look down on every day of your life.

Respect those who are not American, because the luck of the draw found us born in a country such as America. What if you hadn't been?

Respect those who are newly American because they have chosen to come here, because they saw America as a great place to be a part of, and they persevered to become an American.

Respect those who are newly residing in America, even if illegally, because you have not lived their life.

Respect those who are criminal, who have made bad choices, who even continue to make bad choices, because to not respect them, furthers their condition, adds on to it, and does nothing to turn them around.

Respect All Americans, regardless. The next time you talk to another American, remember all these things and treat them with the respect an American deserves.

Respect All Human Beings. Because you are one too and to disrespect them, disrespects yourself, and all human beings.

Respect ALL Americans.

Respect ALL Human Beings.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


Monday, June 29, 2020

"Gumdrop", a short horror - Wins Cult Critic Movie Award!

We just received notification about our film, "Gumdrop", a short horror from a submission to the prestigious Cult Critic' Movie Awards film festival in West Bengal!
This was a small project that, as films tend to do, grew rapidly as we began production. I decided on this project for several reasons. 


By the way, the "steps" left of the title in red in the poster, represent the stairs in the film going down into "darkness".

A little background on the film. I've been working up to making movies of my writings for years. I've studied cinema, screen/scriptwriting all through my university years, toward my degree in psychology.

So I looked over my published and unpublished writings and chose one that did not require massive special effects, crew, talent, or locations. 

I chose a true crime story I wrote in 1983 after an abnormal psychology class. In selecting that story ("Gumdrop City"). Spring of 2019 I wrote the prequel screenplay, then acquired the talent...the actors, the location, and then we began shooting principal photography. We shot through that summer. and finished in late summer. I went alone into post-production through the fall and winter.


I never expected to win any award but hoped I would at least get shown at a festival. This "learning" experience, has become much more. I will say however that I put a lot of work into this project and I was pretty pleased with it. The film came out much better than I had ever expected.

Was it perfect? Was it as good as I had wanted? No. Is it ever? In doing all of the post-production myself, I had to learn more all the time about the software I was using, the techniques of an editor (which I have some experience in going back to old celluloid films). I read a lot during production and during post-production.

Did I make mistakes? To be sure. For one? I would like a crew. My first day of shooting nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. But by the end of that first day, I had gotten my stride. The actors seemed to enjoy being on the production, so I guess I wasn't a nightmare to work with.

I learned a lot about directing, running the camera, the lights, the sound, and rewriting on the fly, on set. Then in post-production making the story work even and ever better. I acquired a composer for the soundtrack. Andrea Fioravanti, in Italy. I also had a young singer/songwriter, Alex Dewell on the soundtrack.

I also used some music from Nikolas Hayes, from his CD years ago. I used my first short, eight-minute horror film he had acted in, "The Rapping". A trifle I produced just to prove I COULD even shoot a film. And yet it won an award and was also shown at The Midnight Film Festival in New York. Perhaps I'm on a roll here. 

Concurrently, I am also working on seeing my true crime biopic, "The Teenage Bodyguard" into production along with producer Robert Mitas the head of their Originals department at Voyage Media. There is also a new podcast from the Pacific Northwest Scene of the Crime people, titled, "Enterprise". 

I am also doing a final edit on my manuscript for a sequel to my first ever published book, a collection of my short stories, that will be titled, "Anthology of Evil II". That ending novella in the first book, "Andrew" led to the creation of my next book and masterwork of fiction, "Death of heaven". My new book will also have an ending novella this one titled, "The Unwritten". 

In the midst of all that, I received this email from the Cult Critic Movie Awards.

The Official Notification Email:

Congratulations! We are so excited to announce that your project is an AWARD WINNER at the 32nd monthly season of the Cult Critic Movie Awards.
The full list of selection is about to be released on our website (http://hlc-cultcritic.com/) and will also be published on our social networks.
We'll email you shortly your laurel and certificate, and rate your project on IMDb page (If applicable).
Please note that all the monthly Award Winners are automatically NOMINATED for the prestigious JEAN LUC GODARD AWARDS. The final result will be published on September 2020.
You may follow the detailed coverage of this season on Cult Critic film magazine (http://hlc-cultcritic.com).
Cheers!

Will there be a next project? To be sure!

Also, remember the Scene of the Crime podcast, "Enterprise", which is based on the story my true crime screenplay, The Teenage Bodyguard, is based upon. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Mafia Murder And An Armed Teen

This is the story of "The Teenage Bodyguard." Who? Well, if you haven't already heard about this, in 1974 a teenager protected a murder witness, a woman and cocktail waitress for a week, from the mob, the mafia, from their "Enterprise". And he kept her alive. But did she survive?

Graphic by Kelly Hughes
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest podcast, "Scene of the Crime", who recently did a podcast titled, "Enterprise", in June of 2020. It told of the story of the Tacoma, Washington Carbone crime family who abused local Pierce County law enforcement and government all through the 1970s.

Years later, in 1978 during their San Francisco federal trial of their "Enterprise", they again murdered one of their bouncers who had been subpoenaed. But he was not the first bouncer they had murdered. The first was in 1974, and his name was Danny McCormack.

In the spring of 1974, there is a particular story that is of interest to us here. And that is the story of Gordie. After receiving a phone call from a "friend", he gave a woman who had been staying with the friend, a short ride.

When she got into his car, a 1967 Camaro RS/SS red convertible (two years later this model would be renamed as the Z28 model), she refused to give him an address to where he was taking here.

The first red light, and sign there was something wrong. Instead shea just told him where to turn until they got to her new living space. Her new home was with four people she had just met recently. With no ties at all to her past, or Gordie's friend, or Gordie for that matter.

At this point one might ask, "Why isn't this in theaters yet?" And if you're someone who could see this film produced, surely, say, "Hi!"

Exactly. Even the podcast pointed that out. The Blacklist, indicated that on an evaluation of this film. The Bluecat Screenplay Contest asked that exact question.

The Blacklist: "Since 2005, each December, the Black List releases its annual list, a survey of the most liked unproduced screenplays of that year. The annual lists are aggregated using votes from film executives working in the film industry." From The Blacklist

Bluecat Screenplay Contest: "Founded in 1998 by award-winning writer Gordy Hoffman, BlueCat has remained committed in discovering unknown, gifted screenwriters and showcases their work to a global audience year after year. Through written analysis provided to all entrants, BlueCat has supported thousands of screenwriters with many who have gone on to successful careers in the film and television industry."

Actually, I've been working with Gordie, the protagonist of this story, along with Voyage Media's head of their Originals Department, Robert Mitas. Robert has had screenplays produced himself, and worked producing films with actor and producer, Michael Douglas.
We are currently working to see this screenplay and story produced and into theaters or via another of many viewer platforms. I'd be happy with Netflix or Amazon Prime or others.


Text from Thursday, January 24th, 1974 Tacoma News Tribune article:

Patron kills bouncer at Tiki


The bouncer in a Lakewood night spot was slain early Sunday as he argued with a disgruntled customer in the parking lot.

Danny Derrick McCormick, 25, 3102 S. 47th St., was pronounced dead at Lakewood General Hospital at 2:30a.m.

He was employed by The Tiki, at Villa Plaza.

Sheriff's deputies were told McCormick was shot in the chest by a young white man who earlier had been harrassing a waitress in The Tiki.

After closing at 2AM, the suspect returned to pound on the cabaret door, unsuccessfully demanding to be let in. When McCormick and a friend went to their car, the suspect and a companion drove over and began angrily discussing the Tiki operation.

The suspect pulled a revolver, deputies were told. McCormick's friend grabbed him and told the bouncer to "get the gun."

McCormick was shot as he approached the suspect, who broke away and fled with his companion in their car.

An off-duty school security officer who had left with McCormick but gone to his own car fired a shot at the fleeing car as it sped away.

Mccormick was rushed to the hospital but did not respond to treatment.


It was this murder of a coworker that sparked this whole story. A story that led to a cocktail waitress to go on the run because, as she contended, she was IN that parking lot when Danny was murdered. A murder she said was NOT performed by an anonymous disgruntled patron, but rather by one of the capos of the head of the "Enterprise", John "Handsome Johnny" Carbone himself.

Why isn't this on screen yet somewhere?

Getting a film made is a magical thing. But we continue to work toward seeing this produced so you can see this story for yourself. And maybe, make up your own mind.

Monday, June 15, 2020

TDS is a Symptom of Obama Derangement Syndrome

For those trying to peddle the nonsense that the GOP today is Lincoln's Republican party...stop it.  You are embarrassing yourself through your lack of historical knowledge and reality.

Remember... The Republican party supported classical liberalism, opposed the expansion of slavery, and supported economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Under the leadership of Lincoln and a Republican Congress, slavery was banned in the United States in 1865.

However, this and now, "Donald Trump" Republican party today is a far cry from Lincoln's party and would be more for slavery back then than today's Democratic party, which back in the day, was actually against Lincoln.

Also and FYI, ODS, or "Obama Derangement Syndrome" led to the symptoms of TDS in conservatives. (and no, neither really exists except in the fantasies of political pundits who need to grow up and do a far better job).

Yeah, weird world...right? Hey look, I'm just getting started.

First of all this all started, of course, with a conservative pundit, the late Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Krauthammer when he originally coined the term, "Bush Derangement Syndrome" during that administration.

Krauthammer since updated this in an article from 2017. He died in 2018 of small colon cancer. If one wishes to explore derangement toward anyone it would be Pres. Obama. Take Congressional Republicans who stated that nothing Obama put forward during his administration would be acted upon as long as he was president. That, is not the orientation of a real and actual American political party. But of a seditiously extremist oriented one.

In 2010: "John Boehner, the likely speaker if Republicans take the House, offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” - Politico

There is a derangement. "We'll have none of this doing out job stuff!"

Which then led to Obama using executive orders. Which led Republicans to cry about Obama's not working with them. Seriously guys...WTF? That massively helped to spiral us down into the current polarized Congress and dysfunctional electorate that we have today.

Krauthammer makes a valid attempt at his updated explanation and revision to Trump. But misses one valid point that he almost touches on right at the article's end. Much of what Trump supporters view as deranged is actually frustration, justified anger, embarrassment, humiliation, and worst of all, contempt, on the national and the world stage.

George W Bush being so severely disliked was justified as his, to be polite and at best, "mistakes", got half a million people killed in a war that should never have happened. A war he was planning for years before he was ever elected. A war that had nothing to do with those who attacked us on 9/11 or WMDs.

Referring to the other side as deranged is somewhat immature diatribe attempting to dismiss outright, to neutralize, rather pathetically so, some very real and obvious concerns. One as such cannot argue in support of a Donald Trump, so one pivots away instead to mere name-calling. Apparently.

Aside from the fact that it is juvenile it offensively and on purpose, tries to infer that the expressed concerns of the labeled individual are simply of no matter whatsoever and attempts to in a rather weird way, gaslight the individual as well as a social group, to reduce that person's concerns to the concerns of one who is delusional.

Which, in considering Pres. Donald Trump, truly IS delusional.

Bush also, but outside of his existence as president led to 100,000s of lives lost, not so much of a concern to America as it has turned out, as is now Donald Trump. Considerations of Trump getting a second term are now of great concern.

To America, and the world at large.

As for the updated version being related to Donald John Trump, he too should have opponents in his precious political base who see him as a disaster, a mistake, a miscreant and because of HIS mistakes, literally, thousands of Americans have now died from COVID-19. That is questionable only by Trump himself and those supporters of his who truly do now appear to be delusional.

Bear with me a moment while I explain this. TDS, or Trump Delusion Syndrome (experienced only by rabid Trump supporters), has a symptom known as ATDS, Accusatory Trump Derangement Syndrome. which is actually a symptom of ODS, or Obama Derangement Syndrome which is where this particular go around all began.

Here's how that works...

A low information Trump supporter (or one of selective ignorance or what is more generally known as "stupid" or merely as a "Trump Republican"), who originally hated our last and one of our greatest presidents, Barack Obama, loses Pres. Obama as a focus of their hatred in our 24-hour news cycle as target of their incensed anti-non-conservativity.

Trump comes along and is elected presiden and is so obviously bad, so fully incompetent, that the Obama haters with ODS, do what the Republican party has taught them for decades, and best exemplified by Donald Trump in doing his very bad things and then pointing at any others, projecting his actions, or possibly crimes, onto those others who were calling him out for what he shouldn't have been doing in the first place.

Those easily distracted and convinced of this, take up his call and parrot that along into their social media bubbles and their biggest bubbleator sounding chamber of Fox News. Or today even more so, to OANN, with and as with Donald Trump, its potential ties to Russia and their state Putinesque news network, RT (Russia Today).

It's really just about slowing down and redirecting accurate attention away from Trump's actions to build an extra and bigger swamp and to deconstruct the American government.

Part of that dynamic is to use massive viral forms of obfuscating, pivots away from, distractions, and redefining everything and anything they can in a 1984ish way, so as to allow Trump to get away with those never-ending bad behaviors of his.

The Trump version of his Neverending Story. Though even more childish than the original children's tale.

Or as John Dean @JohnWDean) Tweeted: "This man [that is, Donald Trump] can really really self project.... Not since US Grant has any administration tolerated the corruption that DJT does, and no president has been as corrupt as DJT. As for incompetence I am confident DJT will be Number One, easily displacing Buchanan and Andrew Johnson!"

Yes, that IS the fucked up reality we are all now immersed in. The Donald John Trump sludge of his administration.

And thanks very much for that, Trump conservative Republican party and its previous incarnation, the once GOP... even before America and now the entire world were exposed to Donald Trump's ludicrous forms of "management" and what he likes to call, his "administration". But we all see mostly as a mob organization with Russian mafia flavors to it.

Which the rest of the world now knows as, isolating and destroying the entire American government, the cohesiveness of the nation's citizens, and the spirit of America overall.

Trump and those which no longer exist, now that he has taken them over...the once GOP and no longer Lincoln's Republican party which was never such as today's "conservative" party is.

Remember... The Republican party supported classical liberalism, opposed the expansion of slavery, and supported economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Under the leadership of Lincoln and a Republican Congress, slavery was banned in the United States in 1865.

That would never have happened under today's Trump "conservative" Republican party.

No, the GOP today and the Trump GOP has nothing whatsoever to do with the party of Abraham Lincoln.

We're now in a brave new world. One populated by Trump officials who are openly cowards.

TDS? The delusions are strong in these Trump supporters.

And yes, America. We can do better. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Ask yourself, "Am I Racist?" Just say yes... then do better.

I will not say, "I am not racist." That... is always a mistake.

I'm white, all my life. I am not as racist as many others, more racist perhaps that some. I can only say this...I always try to treat people like I want to be treated. It takes no effort from me.

And I don't feel defensive, or worried about people being better than me. I don't care. If you're better than me, cool for you! And I'd be happy to share a few moments with you to better MY life, if you would allow it. The thing about that is, you can't always tell who is actually better than you are.

I do not feel guilty about racist issues. I didn't do it. I wasn't a slaver and my Irish ancestors weren't either. In fact, they were treated like dogs in coming to America, and in staying in Ireland as the British abused and murdered them. But' that's another story.

I also recognize I'm not 100% NOT racist as I grew up after all, in a racist country. On that matter, allow me to share and highly recommend Robin DiAngelo, PhD, and her book, "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism".

But first...

Because a certain podcast comes out tomorrow on Tuesday of this week, there are two parts to this blog for this week. First, I just wanted to say a few words ON the podcast. Secondly, and the main part of this blog, the far more important part, I wanted to talk about something in the podcast related to this blog's topic.

So, about the podcast. I want to give a shout out to the, Scene of the Crime. A local Pacific Northwest podcast who is posting an episode with "Gordie" being interviewed from my true crime biopic screenplay, "The Teenage Bodyguard".This story is about a teenage protecting a murder witness, "Sara", from the local mafia crime family after she witnessed a murder. She witnessed the murder of Danny, a bouncer at the place she worked at, run by the mob in Tacoma, WA. In 1974.

 That is about the true story, soon to be produced into a film. True crime films aren't documentaries. Parts are always fictionalized. But the podcast is 100% as accurate as it could be made. Movies, need to be entertaining and follow elements of "story'.

The podcast is about the actual people and events, and what really happened back in 1974 in Tacoma, WA. We are currently looking to produce the film as a 2019 era story. I'm working with "Gordie" (his real name) and Voyage Media producer and head of their Originals Department, Robert Mitas.

The podcast comes out sometime on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020. Check it out!

I contacted the producers of the podcast on the off chance they might be interested in the story. And they were. So, some back and forth, and then they interviewed Gordie. He sent them some follow up emails and then one final one to the podcast producers. And I thought I should share it here because it relates to the blog this week. And, it's interesting in relation to the podcast should you listen to it. It's pretty interesting. Here's his email:

"Quick message. I'm watching Official Secrets (2019). It got me to thinking.
I had said in an email I was just glad to get "Sara's" story out there. I later reflected that this is also Danny's story and even fewer people know about it. The thing is, I have a connection to "Sara". None to Danny.
I really have no feelings about him. But I know he deserves to have his story told too.
And that's all I wanted to say. I suppose in a way, Danny has more right to this story and it being told than anyone. So I'm glad for him too now. If Sara survived, she along with all those women at the venue where she worked, had a rough ride.
But Danny McCormick, didn't get the rest of his life. Like the woman who got to testify and died of a "drug overdose". But her story was at least somewhat told. In court.
Danny got nothing. Now he will.
Thank you.
Hope you have a nice weekend. Don't work too hard!"

The other reason I mention the podcast is the Black Lives Matter issue, which really this blog today is about. Racism was a small part of the podcast interview related to Gordie's years at his high school. Which was anywhere from a third to half black and many of those kids were from the inner city. 1970-72 was a turbulent period. We don't know if the racism issues will be brought up in the podcast, probably not as it's about a murder. Another issue was that of sex, which I'm sure will be dealt with in the podcast.

Gordie just wanted to make it clear that his reason for taking on the protection job in this story, though initially sweetened with the potential for a young guy to get to have free sex with a slightly older woman, really wasn't his primary motivation. Then it grew to be even less important as that week developed in1974.

A comment about "Sara". there was a lot of loose sex, free love, a holdover from the 60s. still some small communes around and though today it may be hard to see this back then as what it was, there wasn't anything sleazy about it. Though some to be sure took advantage and some were abused. Overall it was an experiment that didn't last.

Some would say for good reason. I've seen documentaries about women being abuses in some of these "communes" But that wasn't all of them. I had known some people in a commune or two myself and in one everything seemed pretty equal and happy.

In another, it seemed very clear to me the women were running things. It was interesting to see the men in the group in such an environment. They weren't "wimps" or "gay" or weird even but believed in the equality of each individual. I'm not arguing for them, just saying what I had observed. And that it wasn't for me. Gordie says he feels the same. It was interesting, but not for him either. And I suspect overall, too many women may have been abused in these living situations.

The whole thing, according to Gordie, just started to help a friend out. And then things got weirder and weirder. It went from helping a friend to helping a frightened woman out. But let's face it, a seventeen or eighteen-year-old guy being promised sex when he'd at that time had only one (ex) girlfriend who he had regular sex with? Yeah, it initially held his interest. High hormones and all.

Sure, it was interesting. But he was also highly disciplined (just watch the movie when it comes out, you'll see what I mean). Not like many of the guys he had known, some who would do about anything for sex. Guys who would unquestionably compromise themselves to be a "ladies man", an orientation so popular back then. Hugh Hefner and all.

However, the other issue, considering the race riots downtown Tacoma's hilltop area back then was something Gordie grew up being aware of as a kid. His mother had told him, never to go downtown when he was trowing up. He met his first black kid in junior high. The school had one. Nice kid. Then he entered the big scary high school in tenth grade and couldn't understand why the black kids there all seemed so angry.

It would be good here to share this comment from Gordie.

Back in high school, there were reasons to not like some of the black kids. But though he was intimidated, even harassed some of them, he never felt any animosity against any of them. Actually, most white guys he knew felt that way and when they did have bad feelings it was because a black guy was dating a white girl.

Then things could get a little ugly, verbally and in private. It was the only time he said he saw it come out like that. And even then it was pretty curbed and only happened a few times that he can remember. There didn't seem to be that much racism around. Not overtly anyway. But that could also be chalked up to not wanting a beat down. It was a turbulent time and he eventually understood that by mid-tenth grade. It wasn't just him, it was a turbulent time. Blacks were coming into their own, finally and he felt justified for them. No one, no American should be treated so poorly as they had. The evening news was full of reasons why blacks were so angry.

In all the years since those days, he said he has only met a few blacks (guys mostly) who he did not get along with. But then the overwhelming majority of black people he has met or had contact with, and certainly the ones he knew and worked with in IT jobs, he really liked. The incident of his meeting unlikable back people in his entire life was in fact far below the number of unlikable white people he has met. Some of which, he thoroughly disliked.

There were fears of some of the black students in high school, kids who grouped together for protection, something the white kids didn't do to such a degree but felt like maybe they should at times. A racist reaction against perceived racism created from racism. If you see what I mean.

So he began to pay attention to the news and came to realize these kids had reasons to be pissed off. He just couldn't understand why they were pissed off at him too. Still, he treated everyone the same. Basically, he just didn't care. White, black, whatever, you're just another kid. He just didn't get "racism". His stepfather a few times had used the "N" word and he had always felt disgusted by it. And his mother didn't like it and said so in the moment. So there was that, too.

It may not come up in the podcast, but much of this was in the interview. I would say, Gordie isn't racist, though his step-father was. But then he never really liked him very much. He had reason to become racist in his high school, but it just wasn't how he was raised. His mother had raised her kids to be accepting of others, to always be fair, to know right from wrong, and stand for what is right.

And to deal with each person for who they are, not by some grouping they are included with. That never made any sense. What does it have to do with anything? Not the color of their skin, or their accent or some club they belong to (but then the KKK wasn't prevalent in his town either). In the 1960s his mother was openly accepting of Gays, Blacks, Asians, anyone really.

Gordie had mentioned in the podcast interview about his high school experience, just stating the facts, really. But later wondered how he had come off. Did he appear racist? Would he seem so in the released podcast? He had several run-ins with guys in high school and some of those were black. But he was always able to defuse the situation before it got out of hand. Because he had nothing against them. Black or white. There were a few black guys he was friendly with, but he couldn't say he had any black friends back then. Friendly acquaintances, sure. The few times he tried to be friendly with a black kid, they'd just look at him kind of weird and the group would talk about other things. So perhaps wrongly, he just gave up. But then, some of that is just high school cliquishness. And we try to assign it to racism.

Still, he had always, and I know this for a fact, treated people with respect, as long as they respected others. This past week he was at a Black Lives Matters protest with one of his kids and their spouse and another friend. So was I. We all should be or have been. But then, that also doesn't make us not racist.

Racism is just built into our country, our society sadly. And that's the problem. And why we have to try to understand and learn what the problems really are.There are many videos of blacks being abused. But a few short poignant videos that I liked are from someone who works on Seth Meyers' show, which point out what blacks go through, and whites just don't.

Here's a few fo them. Amber Ruffin 1, Amber Ruffin 2, Amber Ruffin 3.

And that, if anything, was Gordie's problem in high school. As some of the black kids would posture in front of their friends and pick on white kids when the opportunity presented itself, if a white kid stood up to them, a group of the kid's friends would surround the white kid. So it was scary at times. I don't think many of the confused white kids though, realized it was also scary for the black kids. Mostly everyone understood and shied away from one another. Which was too bad. An opportunity missed. Though there was a reason apparently that the school had several plainclothes security people wandering around. But the kids all liked them.

They could have used some kind of bringing them all together sessions, designed just for issues of race. But let's face it, America was pretty ignorant about all this still, at that time. Still is. But ways for very different kids (not so different really) to get to know one another? Because those you do not know, can seem intimidating, when really, we're all just defective and scared too much of the time. Especially in high school? It could have been a great thing.

But those students back then also, luckily, had a great man as their principle, a smart, funny black man named Willie Stewart. He was an amazing educator apparently all loved. It was a period in that school that could have been far worse. But as it turned out, it was all pretty livable and everyone pretty much got along. In great part, because of that man. But there was always that level of tension you would feel concerned over.

It was just a sign of the times, really. And again...still is.

SO NOW we are up to today and what America is suffering through. But also, we are waking up about Black Lives Matters (BLM) and continuing  Police abuse. But really it's about so very much more.

Black people in the late 60, the early 70s were finally finding, coming into their own. Standing up for themselves. Sick and tired of the incessant abuse in their daily lives. And that scared the hell out of many white people. Blacks were protesting, just as we're seeing now, all these decades later.

WHY are we still seeing this need, this inherent racism? Black people being murdered by cops? What IS that? As someone said, racism needs to evolve out of itself, or it cannot end. Which is why we're seeing it again, and again, and again.

Yes, cops murder whites, too. But that's really not the point here and now. Is it? After all, IF we help with Black Lives Matter, to fix the police and this idiotic orientation, isn't that going to help us all?

We are all Americans. Period.

And we ALL deserve respect...specially by those we pay through our taxes. I don't' know why some police don't get that, why some politicians, especially on the right, don't get that. They work for us. Someone please make them understand that because they seem awful high and mighty at times. Why do we feel like they just don't get it?

Because it's a fact! We are all, American. But perhaps even more so for our Black community, as well as our Native American, or First Nations, communities. Who really, were here first.

Now?

It disgusts me people are judged (sometimes at all) by their skin. As someone pointed out, by our largest organ. I have every reasonable reason to be racist from my past. So does Gordie. But it just never really was an issue. For either of us. I can speak for him, but I won't for myself.

We have GOT to end this administration as it is only exacerbating the situation. We have to vote Trump out of office, along with a majority of Republicans in office. And the many Trump-appointed so he'd have plenty of "Yes' people surrounding him. Never a good sign.

I feel I want to say that if you vote for Trump, you're racist.

But let's face it, if you're American, you're racist. Safer to think you're racist than to not. Then just go from there.

IF you think you're not racist, you're not examining your life well enough. See, even if you're not, you work from a foundation that is and so, you kind of are. Get it?

Pretty much black, white, whoever, you have racist elements in your life. Even when you try not to exist within a racist framework you cannot even see. And that is all many Black people are saying.

So DON'T say, "I'm not racist."
Say, "I don't want to be, I try hard not to be.and I want change so I don't have to be."

Some Black people I've known were at least somewhat racist, but it was obvious it was a reaction against racism against them. Since birth. So safer to just assume we're all kind of racist and go from there.

Racism is a defensive mechanism that comes from fear. Sometimes as with white people, also from perceived oppression and not real oppression.

When you are afraid, you naturally seek a reason, a source for that fear and you react in protective ways. Sometimes in oppressive ways. better to oppress than be oppressed? I don't think so.

As with antibodies in our system, sometimes they start to eat you, the good parts, and that has to be systemically stopped in order to save your life.

You may not be able to see it, so just be careful about denying it. Try to see how you are defending yourself, and ask why, and against what and what is the real source of your feelings?.

Because too frequently, we're railing against the wrong people. Just as police are against protesters. Trump and his Republican party are against the American people.

As our society is against minorities. Of all kinds.

We can be better. But first, it's going to hurt. But keep pushing for it. Because if we don't, our children will have to. And their children and their children will have to, on and on, until someone finally stops it.

Let's be the ones to stop it.


Monday, June 1, 2020

Democrats vs Republicans

First, pandemic. Please be safe and wear your masks, social distancing. As we open America, medical experts STILL ask people to just wear masks and continue to social distance. Masks are to protect mostly others, from you. So be a good citizen, suffer a little for what may save a life.

Jimmy Kimmel: Please, vote Donald Trump away... Video

George Floyd, love and condolences to his family and loved ones and those so affected by his death and the state of this issue overall. Black Lives Matter national and international protest, please be safe. Protest. But do what you can to stop criminals, bad actors, false flag cretins (Proud (girly) Boys, White supremacist bad actors, and so on.

Antifa and anarchists are for the most part peaceful socially conscious people. All groups have some bad actors. But these are not terrorists as Pres. Trump claims, or his right-wing bad actors like to target them as a whipping post.

Don't we have enough with a pandemic, without murdering our citizens? And all during a historic space launching of the successful NASA SpaceX Dragon to the ISS. Congrats to all involved!

Now...

America. Not socialists, not communists. However...Democrats vs Republicans

Social and human ideas of our parties:

Dems: Based on community and social responsibility

GOP: Based on individual rights and justice



Understand, America...is a country. Tough thing to understand for some, I know.

Definition of country: a nation with its own government, occupying a particular territory.

OK. Nation: a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

Except, America is a unique experiment. A mixed salad of cultures brought together by a common belief in freedom and potential, safety from abuse by others and by dictatorships or royal decrees. Equality.

America is a group. Of people, not just separated individuals.

And the GOP hates that and works against it. And so it continues to be a fundamentally flawed ideology and organization that in the end supports power and money. Preferably of individuals. Meaning, the few, the powerful, the elites. I've said for years that modern American conservatism is defective.

A couple of relevant articles also point this out:

Comprehending conservatism: A new framework for analysis

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

They tend purposely to lose the forest for the trees, focusing on the minuscule and blowing them up, to distract, obfuscate, eventually making it propaganda.

They have convinced those most harmed by this to continue to believe in it, regardless. And they really hate this being pointed out to them. But, how else does one deprogram this?

It's brilliant really. To get your victims to fight for you, loudly, whenever they can and profess to lay down their life for you. Not for themselves.

Brilliant.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Why are Conservative Trump Supporters So Confused?

Two things upfront. Wishing you all a safe and reflective Memorial Day for all those who have gone before us to protect and give us a country we can all be proud of. Also for all those first responders and front line medical workers, and workers keeping our country functional and fed through this miserable pandemic! What has happened of late under the GOP and Donald Trump certainly does them all a disservice and really we must do better in November 2020!

Also as for the title question...we can thank Donald Trump as POTUS for his supporters being so confused, and the Trump Republican party. Both, disinformation machines. Pres. Trump loves all that, loves the chaos. It's who he is, how he faultily "manages" his businesses, and sadly, so very sadly, exactly what was elected as president in 2016. History will not read well over that one.

We can do better! Quite, easily. Just about anybody viable would do better in not wanting to rip America apart for reasons of pure partisan, personal benefit and apparently just sheer joy.

My main concern now in life after Trump is his GOP's continued de-evolving that we've seen now from Reagan through to Trump, an ongoing downward spiral that turned into a rapid straight down plummet in 2016.

What disaster will next replace Donald Trump one day as the next nightmare Republican offering to evoke a political Hades? If Trump wins in 2020 even HE will be worse than 2016 Trump because then all restraints are off and he'll just continue to try getting off the rails.

What massive tragedy next will the GOP subject America to and the world, and humanity, and the ecosystem and planet? I'm just not seeing rational, functional, inductive reasoning capabilities in many of the arguments presented in support of Trump or his GOP.

I long thought conservative's issues were a lack of comprehension (or compassion) of the counter-intuitive for that of, at times ineffectual, straight forward logic. But I'm beginning to think it's actually just something closely associated with it.

Occam's Razor is a good base, but life is complicated. Though in this case, Trump does frequently appear simply stupid and we're now quite used to his typical lies and hypocrisies, all while he continues to play stupid and lie. He is after all, fairly one dimensional.

Bad president Trump! Bad! Down boy!

It seems simple enough, really. But once again, life, reality, politics, national management, and leadership are not as simple as Trump once believed. He's in way over his combed-over thinned hair and thin skinned head.

The conservative ability for deductive reasoning appears faulty much of the time whenever it comers to Trump. When you base your initial data on false evidence or fallacious logical structures, how could you ever come to a reasonable and realistic conclusion anyway?

They seem to go deductive all the way in to the most simplistic forms, frequently stumbling into logical fallacies that simply fit their inbred filters designed within ideologies, not reality.

Ideologies by the way, long since proved faulty. Trickle down voodoo economics? Please...

Trump is one major logical fallacy himself, if not simply a bag of logic traps and flaccid logic overall.

This is why Trump supporters, for the most part, aren't really bad people, or even stupid as they sometimes appear to be. I prefer to think people are in general actually, good people. They are just lost in their own morass of misobservations, Misperceptions? Maybe. Trump's incessant lies, his ongoing disinformation, and fundamentally faulty conservative/Republican platform is something to behold. To be sure. Almost worth the price of admission. If it wasn't all of our lives fundamentally involved at the focus.

So Trump's base end up being honestly and "morally" outraged. But for all the wrong reasons most of the time. I'm unsure if this explains their rage against liberal/progressiveness in merely trying to do good. Their outrange so often for people they don't even know, or understand, or are ever associated with, or a part of.

I don't personally hate anyone for their misguided misapprehensions about non-conservatives. I just feel sorry for them when they can't see it is actually they who are so solidly on such very unsolid grounds. When you make decisions from a foundation of incorrect assumptions, information and your leadership who outright knows they are lying to you, well, you are setting off from tainted realities.

On the other hand, it is much like they are standing on a sinking Titanic. Which should be obvious to them, and yet, what they see is the sea rising all around them, they are  lost. Can't be the fault of the Captain, leadership, form of administering the course of the ship, or the ship itself in any way, and so they are morally outraged at who, at what...the sea?

The sea being, "reality"?

Their frustration is as obvious. as it is misplaced. And manufactured.

Of course, greed and self-interest do enter the Republican picture at some point in their,

"You can't have MY money!" Rather than the more American and decent, "Take some, and it'll benefit me and others as well, others who desperately need it. After all, maybe one day I will too." Rather they prefer the fantasy of pay nothing and then when they later DO need it assume, "Give it the Hell to me because I'M desperate and how am I not more important than all others?!"

Hypocrisy thy name is rabid capitalist Republican.

Sounds a bit to me like the American evangelical Christian movement who allegedly "teaches" Jesus' words, then ignores them for profit, megachurches, and hatred of immigrants, minorities, and others in their xenophobic, homophobic, ignorant and bigoted ways.

When Jesus clearly taught otherwise.

Which I know is counter-intuitive since so many of them seem to think that the seas are not rising and only of late have come to the realization they may be but it WASN'T US! And yet, many still refuse to see the direct evidence of humankind as the accelerator in the climate change formula, and so much else. "It wasn't me!" As if it were their mantra.

Why?

Because it lets them continue with short term profits so easily. To have no ethical responsibility or reason to stop their bad behaviors. Behaviors, many of which, have been going on since before any of us were born but in the past thirty years or so, have been militarized in a way, or weaponized seemingly against most America citizens.

Although that is bizarre, it is also how governments work through history and why America was structured differently. But it only took 200 years for conservatives to uncover how to game the system. Democrats aren't innocent, to be sure. But for different reasons and in different ways.

Our priorities have shifted, decades ago. We never caught up as reality whooshed right past us into the future, so now our rather frightening present is killing us. With an even more disturbing, even scarier future around the bend up ahead. The planet is now rebelling against us, and for good reason. We need to change for the better.

Our environmental policies need to change. Our meat industry needs to vastly change. Our economic policies need to change and address not greed but need. Not the poor but our actual economic engine. Not the big corporations, the Trillion dollar elites, but the people, the small businesses and get back to innovation and progression.

It is a future most of us can see now. Unless we have a stock portfolio, apparently.

It is the easy, the short term profit they seems to be killing us most. The Republican mindset. The Trump style business mindset. The greedy, ignorant, short term mindset. When humankind is a long term project, as is America. We need to either all wake up to this, or take drastic action to force those in power to do something, and stick with it. 

In that way, there would no longer be a need for this zombie conservative way of thinking, this big business, multi national corporation, big money, big stupid, big dumb... Trump Republican party.

It is 2020. November will be upon us shortly. We can make changes. Even the Republican party knows we need changes and Trump ain't it.

So, will we finally act like responsible Americans?

Or do we re-elect Donald John Trump and HIS Republican party?

Because it's not up to them. It's up to... US. All of us.