Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why Trump's Refusal to Play Along was Media Genius

     Our country is over. Our democracy is in trouble. It's horrifying that a major candidate would answer like that! Turn to any news outlet right after the third presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle ended and these are the things you would have heard. Even Fox couldn't resist the temptation to fall into his trap. And it hasn't shown any signs of letting up 17 hours later. The story is so big, a well timed press conference by Gloria Allred parading out yet another Trump accuser wasn't enough to knock it out of its rightful place at the top of every hour.Trump even took part as he appeared to double down at his rally in Ohio this afternoon. He emphatically insisted he will accept the election results, as long as he wins. I could hear the collective gasp of the leftist media and rino Republicans as they feinted horror and disdain against this man who would dare spit in their face and not be shamed in any way. It looked to me like Trump was thoroughly enjoying himself as were the thousands and thousands of rally attendees. And why not? For the next 24 to 72 hours, it is the only thing we will hear about concerning the Trump side of this contest. It won't stop the steady stories of corruption, graft and criminality surrounding Hillary Clinton from being covered. But as for Trump, the electorate will no longer listen to accusations about him and the media has a new bone to chew on. It's a bone most of the electorate doesn't really care about but that won't stop the media from trying to push it on us; That is the magic of it. The more the Democrats and their media puppets scream about it, the less impact it will have on the vote, if it had any in the first place. Trump has proven once again he is a master at using the media by relying on their extreme bias to help him form the real message he wants the voters to hear. In this case, the over the top coverage of one answer out of a 90 minute, mostly substantial debate, helps to prove his contention the election is being rigged. I cannot help but laugh at the simplicity of it or how well it worked for him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Three Weeks Left. Can Trump Still Win?

October 19, 2016

     Yesterday I watched two Trump rallies online while I was doing some schoolwork. Both were held in Colorado and there were thousands of supporters cheering him on. I could feel the energy coming from my laptop here in Massachusetts over 2000 miles away. It's a phenomenon which has been occurring for well over a year and as the final three weeks of the 2016 election lie ahead, one that shows no sign of stopping. According to Gateway Pundit , in August 2016 Trump held 22 rallies in which over 110,000 people came to throw their support behind him and his message. I attended his rally in Worcester MA in November of 2015 and the energy level even back then was incredible. The makeup of the crowd was interesting too. It was held at an arena, not a college, yet college students by the hundreds were there including my own daughter who went on her own and was fervently cheering him on. When I asked her why she was so supportive of Trump, her answer was the key to why he can actually win; "He is an outsider and he talks straight." In fact, that has been the appeal right along hasn't it? We have a person on the national stage who simply is not afraid to tell it like he sees it. Is he always right? No. But that adds to the charm because in those instances where his rhetoric was a little too harsh, he has shown he can soften up and be flexible. In other words, he is willing to listen to the experts he surrounds himself with. One such example comes to mind. A few days ago New Jersey Governor Chris Christie publicly chided him for not giving a good apology after the tapes. Yesterday Trump mentioned Christie as a great friend and good guy to have on his side. Trump also puts his foot in his mouth too. Yet, to his supporters, it is more proof of how much of an outsider he really is and not even close to a reason for them to pull away. To so many of the political experts, it is simply not possible for him to compete given his missteps, yet here he is.
     He's also showing he is not afraid to go toe to toe with the establishment pick, Hillary Clinton, or unwilling to get in the mud with her. Some might think that has hurt him. I can't help but wonder if his opponents timed their vicious attacks too soon. Donald Trump is weathering a storm no other Republican candidate would have survived. Ask any of his biggest supporters and they will tell you that is what they craved for; a candidate who will not run in the face of conflict. Trump did not win over 16 other Republicans because of policies. He won because the electorate knew none of them could, or would, fight Clinton and the media on the right level. Romney, McCain and even Dole proved that, not too mention the weasels like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who couldn't wait to turn on him the first chance they got.
     So where does all of this leave Trump now, just under three weeks away from the election. By almost all accounts, he is down in the polls by about 6 or 7 points. There are a couple which show him leading or tied like the LA Times and Rasmussen, but most of the media dismisses those out of hand. Can he use tonight's debate to springboard a huge political comeback? Does he even have to? My point is, there are many factors which I believe are not being taken into account so far by the corporate media, longtime pundits and others who are so used to the election norms.
     I mentioned I was watching yesterday's rallies online. The channel I was on, Reddit, listed over 40,000 viewers from across the country. This has been happening over and over again. Reddit is only one of many online streaming services available for free. Trump is driving a viewership major network sitcoms would drool over. Yet we hear none of this from the news coverage. In the last debate, Anderson Cooper tried to use Trump's familiarity with twitter as a negative point in his questions. Trump promptly turned that around and explained he has 31 million followers so it is a good way to get a message out, even at 3am. Cooper was at a loss because he, like so many others in his profession, just does not understand social media. And what about the polls themselves? One of the biggest stories out of this election cycle has been the ability of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to bring millions and millions of new voters into the process. Most polls rely on voter lists from past elections to determine likely voters. That means they are not talking to those millions of new voters! They will claim they are using registration lists but in most counties, those lists are not updated for months after the elections.
     Does this mean I do not believe the polls? No, I think Trump is behind. I also think he can win decisively if Clinton does not improve her performance. Trump is the outsider. This is a change election. Clinton represents everything wrong with the establishment. She is also trying to ride out the clock in the face of huge scandals involving her illegal activities as Secretary of State and with her foundation.
     Yesterday Trump started to hit her hard on that and has now taken up the battle cry of "Drain The Swamp" in light of the clear corruption revelations by the FBI. If it sticks among his crowds, and if he can continue to show himself to be presidential as he has done this week, he can and will win. One thing is certain; the next three weeks are going to be exciting to us political junkies. Make plenty of popcorn, your going to need it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ISIS; A Veteran's View

     For the past several months I have been going to the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain (Boston) for weekly treatments due to several service connected issues I am dealing with. Nothing new there and I am not complaining or looking for any sympathy; there are plenty of Veterans dealing with a lot more serious issues than me. What I do want to write about today is ISIS.
     As a veteran, I considered it to have been a great honor to have served my country both in peace time and in war time. Like most other veterans I know, even with the medical complications, I would not trade my experiences for anything and if I was called upon today to go back in I would. A few years ago, I started to publicly acknowledge my service, first by putting the veteran plates on my registered vehicles, then by wearing hats or t-shirts proudly displaying my service in the Army. I never thought for one minute I was putting myself or my closest associates in danger by doing this. Rather, I felt it was an extension of my marching in the Memorial Day and Veteran's day parades. I never had the unfortunate experience of being spat upon by other Americans either. Rather I joined at a time when the country was embracing its military under a patriotic President in Ronald Reagan. During the First Gulf War, the country's support was palpable and evident, at home, and more importantly, at the front line with the troops on the ground. It did not waiver even as the conflict waned and we came home, seemingly victorious, to cheering crowds and ticker tape parades. Even after almost three thousand Americans were slaughtered on 9/11, both parties came together and supported the military actions taken later. As the wars dragged on, public support for them disappeared, yet, with the exception of a few throwback hippies from the sixties, support for the troops never did. I have witnessed this first hand while traveling around the country as total strangers would stop to thank a veteran or military person in uniform for their service. During this time, I have never thought about donning a baseball cap denoting me as a veteran, as being something dangerous to do. Until today.
     I was on the commuter rail between Worcester and Boston when the train pulled in to Framingham to pick up inbound passengers. As it came to a stop, I was looking out the window when I spotted two women on the platform wearing burqas and two men who were with them who appeared to be of Arab decent. As I made eye contact with one of the men, I noticed in the reflection of the window, my hat, which proudly read US Army Veteran. For a split second I tensed up and watched for any movement which might be construed as a threat. At that moment I was saddened to think I was now profiling people who were almost certainly citizens like myself, and who never had, nor will ever have, any ill intentions against me or anyone else. Yet, because of the attacks which have occurred in the past few years on our own soil, including in Boston, the threats made constantly by ISIS and others, and the feckless response to those threats, it was not a reaction born of prejudice or bias. It was simply the reaction of a trained veteran who could not help but be reminded of other places far away, where tensing up was a constant state of being. One big difference is, I was on a commuter train going into Boston, not on a road in Iraq.
     Last week five more American Heroes were gunned down by a radical Islamic Terrorist. This is just the latest in an ever growing list of attacks attributed to this global war between the Radical Islamists and the rest of the world. My fear, and that of many other veterans and cops alike, is that the war is surely going to escalate here at home. How many more attacks will it take to wake up the general populace to this real threat to our citizenry? Right now, it is only us veterans or those on the front lines, here and abroad, who are reacting this way, rightly or wrongly. Having our leaders pretend it is something else, or ignoring these events in the hopes they will die out, is not going to work.  These enemies are motivated by deep routed beliefs coupled with an indifference to dying never before seen. In any rational thinking persons view, that is a lethal combination which can only lead to more carnage if it is not stopped.
     After contemplating my decision to wear or not to wear my hats or shirts, I have decided to not let them dictate how I live my life. I would rather go out standing up than survive cowering under a bed of fear.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Will This Storm Deserve The Hype?

     As we wake up today and brace for what is sure to be a significant storm, I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane and mention some of the more memorable snow events in Worcester's history, in my lifetime anyway.
     Although many news stories in late October 2011 claimed the heavy Halloween storm that year was the earliest on record in Worcester, they were all wrong. On October 10, 1979 7.5" of snow fell at Worcester Airport as an early rain event ran into unusually cold air over New England. Many towns West of Worcester saw even more snow.
     As far as the latest snow on record,  May 10, 1977 has the honors. On that day an official total of 7.5" snow fell at Worcester Airport. Another late Spring snowstorm happened in 1987, when on April 29th, over 17" of snow fell in Worcester. I still have the newspaper from that day with a famous front page picture of Pleasant Street clogged with cars and snow. Many other areas received much more as 2 foot totals were common all over New England.
     Large snowstorms have always held a special place in the memories of those who went through them. As for the fiercest, meanest, most memorable snowstorm for Worcester, there can be no other choice than the Blizzard of 78' which occurred from Feb 6 to Feb 8, 1978. Although the Worcester total snowfall of 20.1 inches was not especially note worthy, the duration of the storms hurricane force winds (32+ hrs.), guaranteed that storm would live on in infamy. Worcester was paralyzed by the 12 to 16 foot snowdrifts which resulted. Commutes home, which usually took a half hour, turned into 5-8 hr nightmares, if you could get home at all. East of Worcester the storm was especially deadly as hundreds of cars were stranded on the highways. Ninety nine people died in MA and RI, including an Uxbridge boy who disappeared outside his home during the storm. Those of us who lived through it will never forget it.
     As far as the most snow from one storm, the December Nor'easter of 1992 is the king of the snowdrift! In one 24 hour period 28" of snow fell on Worcester making that a one day record. The official snow total for the storm at Worcester Airport was 32.1" but areas west of Worcester, including Spencer and Paxton received measured snow of up to 49"! This storm was remarkable for its duration as it started snowing on December 11th and did not stop until December 14th. Many people in Worcester County were out of power for over a week as a high tension line came down in Auburn.
     The official record holder for snow at Worcester airport occurred on April 1, 1997 when 33" of snow fell from March 30 to April 1.  During the peak of that storm, snow fell at over 3' per hour while strong thunderclaps were heard throughout. Although Worcester broke a record, generally the snowfall amounts were up to a foot less in places as close as Boston.
     There are too many more examples of storms which dumped over 2 feet at one time over the years to mention. Although the forecast for Nemo is dire, it would have to be an incredibly powerful storm to knock the king off the snow pile.
     Stay safe my friends.