politics (50)

Fake News My Ass!

It’s called journalism and I’ve been heartened the last few days by the media refusing to be cowered by this lying bully. There was a scathing, hard-hitting editorial in the NYTimes yesterday titled “The Missing Pieces in the Flynn Story.” Right on! Then last night I watched Judy Woodruff on PBS go after the smarmy former Trump campaign manager Carter Page and his actions in Russia. He wouldn’t answer her when she asked “Were you in any kind of contact with Russian officials?” but just kept using the phrase “fake news.”

In my high school journalism class, Mr. Patterson taught us about “the five Ws and one H:” the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How questions that must be answered before any story is complete. AND about journalistic objectivity in reporting the news and saving your opinions for the editorial page. That was the ideal, anyway. The art of journalism.

I’m glad the journalists are not backing down, and the way Trump went after the NYTimes today means they’re getting to him. Viva the power of the pen! (Drawing from an old Punch magazine)

I had the thought last night that it would be good to forget about labels like conservative or liberal and have the focus be on the truth (insofar as it can be determined). What really happened?

And what is honest, what is fair, what is compassionate?

Sorry, every once in a while, the political situation breaks through here. I know people don’t read this blog for my political views, but the hideousness of what is happening right now causes me to erupt on occasion. To my amazement, there are Trump supporters that read this blog, and I just don’t get it. Everything that I write about or photograph comes from a mind and soul that is deeply opposed to this mean-spirited prick.

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Trump, Trapped in His Lies, Keeps Lying. Sad!

From the NewYork Times, article by Lawrence Downes, Jan. 10, 2017: 

He hasn’t taken office yet, but Donald Trump is lost, wandering in a labyrinth of lies and trying to drag the country in with him.

Witness his reaction to being called out on Sunday by Meryl Streep. Speaking at the Golden Globes, she said she had been stunned and heartbroken to see him mock a reporter with a physical disability.

It happened at a speech in 2015 in South Carolina. Mr. Trump’s target was Serge Kovaleski, of The Times, who has arthrogryposis, a condition that leaves his right arm and hand bent and rigid. “You ought to see this guy,” Mr. Trump told his audience, flailing his own right arm and hand in the air, making spastic movements, disgracing himself.

The act was contemptible, and in a way unbelievable: a future president showing the maturity and schoolyard viciousness of an 8-year-old.

 “I still can’t get it out of my head,” Ms. Streep said, “because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” In early morning tweets, Mr. Trump attacked Ms. Streep and swore innocence:

“Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him…….”3:36 AM – 9 Jan 2017 

 “‘groveling'” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”

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An American Tragedy

Article from today’s The New Yorker news desk by Lee Remnick:

“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.…”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-american-tragedy-donald-trump

From my brother Bob

(Let me know if you can’t get the full article. (Maybe you have to be a subscriber to The New Yorker (we are) to get the whole thing.)

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My America

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book,

I’ve been  trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

• 50 Years of Natural Building

• A book on my trips

• A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the USA popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s-’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; press men at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers,  skateboarders, lawyers and bankers (yes–there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…This just may be the next book. The glass-half-full take on America.

Photo above: on a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

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Please VOTE!!!

I’ve scrupulously avoided politics on this blog for some years now, as any post of political persuasion seems to ignite passion and lead to endless discussion. Well, I’ve kept my mouth shut for long enough during these nightmarish months and I want to say a few things that are probably obvious to anyone who reads this blog (I can’t imagine any Trump supporters finding anything of interest here).

I’m just stupefied that even 40% of Americans support this ugly, aggressive, lying bully. I have always liked (maybe “loved” is too strong a word) Americans. I’ve been in 45 states, made the 3000 mile cross-country trip by auto six times, and have had continuously wonderful experiences with Americans from coast-to-coast. Truck drivers, farmers, waitresses, gas station attendants, cops (yes — a bunch of them), store keepers, people-in-the-street, invariably friendly and helpful.

I just don’t understand how any Americans can support Trump. How can anyone look at him and not be repulsed?

Bill Maher had a wonderful program this week. He interviewed Pres. Obama at the White House, who was relaxed, insightful, and humorous. Graceful. I’m proud of him. Bill was passionate this time around. His opening remarks were carefully crafted and perceptive. Chris Christie as attorney general, Rudy Giuliani as head of the FBI… there wasn’t much comedy in this episode.

I want to encourage anyone who doesn’t intend to vote, or is thinking of a third-party candidate, to vote for Hillary. Period. Over and out. Please vote.

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