The polls indicate some prefer Trump’s lies over the lies of others…

July 30, 2015

Donald Trump continues to confound the pundits by leading in the polls of Republicans in a super crowded field. He even leads Jeb Bush, who anyone would guess will be the ultimate nominee.

Actually, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is currently polling just ahead of Bush.

(Trump 20 percent of sample Republican voter responses, Walker 13, Bush 10)

But in current polling on matchups for the general election, as the Daily Kos blog put it: “Everybody beats Trump and Hillary beats everybody”.

Back to the Trump phenomenon:

I read the other day that one must remember that when a poll is cited it is measuring a snapshot in time which usually has been taken a couple of weeks or so prior. And I think it is correct to say that even though Trump is riding on top of the Republican heap of candidates the polls were taken before some of his latest controversial statements and stories of his past indiscretions.

And the biggee to me is what one story noted, many who answer poll questions may not be likely voters.

I have run across several  people in my lifetime who spout off stuff about politics, right and left, but who have never or at least seldom voted.

Nonetheless, it would be wrong to deny Trump is not having some success and an effect on the presidential race.

And it’s strange how some supposedly potential voters complain about how politicians lie and then will turn around and support a man with a proven track record of being less than honest. “He tells it like it is,” is the common phrase used by supporters. Well perhaps he does find things that push the right buttons in the minds of some of the disgruntled, but does he really have a solution? He does not even attempt to spell that out, so far at least.

My speculation, though, is that when the going gets tough Trump will move on.

I would speculate his appeal is because voters are jaded and worn out and super cynical. They are tired of talk and no action and empty promises or action with unclear results — I mean we do have some form of national health care now, but it seems rife with problems and way complex. We do have a peace agreement with Iran but we do not know how good or effective it is and whether we have just been bamboozled.

And the economy — well take your pick. We are doing great. We are not. It’s situational. We could do better (that’s a catch-all).

And how did Willie Brown put it this morning on KGO Radio in San Francisco? He said the flamboyant real estate mogul is a super salesman who will lie to you, overcharge you, and then not deliver. Even so, Brown, the former state speaker of the assembly and mayor of San Francisco, observed that Trump seems to have some kind of hold on people he cannot explain.

Personally, I think those who claim to support him do so more as a protest vote against all others.

It will be interesting to see how Trump does in the upcoming Aug. 6 debate on Fox.  Will he come off as more serious and thoughtful or will he continue with his normal bombast and invective and platitudes with no substance whatsoever, and for that matter little truth? He is into the big lie. He’s a salesman…

P.s.

And maybe the Trump candidacy does serve some useful purpose. I mean if his opponents cannot out debate him they don’t deserve to win. So maybe it will make them better, help them polish up their acts.

But if they do outshine him in debate and he still wins the votes in the end, the voters will have deserved what they have created, except I won’t because nothing in the world could ever make me vote for such a person.

 

———————————

 

Note:

I actually do try to proof my own stuff before posting it but sometimes stuff just slips by. I made a lot of small corrections in word usage and syntax and so forth on my last post (the looking for a gift in the big city one) about 24 hours or more after first posting it. Hope it reads better now.

 


Looking for a gift in the big city, unreported crime? A racial incident?

July 27, 2015

In my continual quest to buy a late present for my six-year-old grandson — well actually I had only made an attempt once before — I wandered through San Francisco’s Chinatown but found nothing, and that is to say that does not mean there was nothing, but nothing caught my eye. Actually I was just looking for a toy cable car. They had them, but they all seemed to be the same, cheap and flimsy — well cheap would have been okay, but flimsy not so much. If he is like I was as a kid (and then let’s hope not) he’d crush the thing in no time.

I tried ordering a toy truck via Amazon. What I got was something cheap and flimsy. I crushed it just trying to get it out of the package.

Actually he’s more into Lego sets and he’s really good at building things. Ahhh, an eye for how to put things together, shapes and sizes, how things work. They say he has my looks. Fortunately he seems to have some hand/eye coordination and problem-solving skills at a young age, not like me.

But I just wanted to get him something simple, something for a little kid his age, and something for a little guy who probably has more stuff than he knows what to do with. If he tells his kids that as a little one he had to do without he will be a liar.

Look as I did I just could not find what I wanted.

In my quest Chinatown did not seem to me what it once was. Somehow the allure, the imagination, the mystery was gone. I told that to my next oldest brother. He said that’s what they said when he was a kid. In fact, he said, “Chinatown never was what it used to be”.

A tip: if you have never gone to San Francisco, by all means do go to Chinatown. You’ll enjoy it I’m sure, actually still lots to do and experience. But get off the main street, Grant Avenue, sometimes. Probably more interesting local color there.

And it is the big city, always something unexpected going on:

My sister and I were walking along Grant Avenue when a tall and skinny young Asian man came running by in what appeared to be a panic. I did not think much of it at the time, other than to wonder what his hurry was. But right after that we witnessed a rather large black man breaking into an upstairs window from a fire escape. This was in broad daylight. People were gawking at the spectacle. My sister wondered if he had “lost his key”. A group of elderly Chinese people were among the gawkers. One woman suggested someone call 9-1-1. Don’t know if anyone did. We left the area. This was in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon. I’m curious. What was that all about? How would I find out? This is the big city. I doubt the local news covers such things, if there even was something to cover. All the witnesses but no apparent action did hauntingly remind me of the infamous Kitty Genovese case in New York all those years ago when a young woman was attacked and murdered and supposedly witnesses in a neighborhood cowered behind their own apartment windows and did not even report anything.

Another tip when visiting the city: go to all the touristy places for sure, but also get away from those places and just see the city. It is beautiful and enchanting. And parts of it are dirty and smelly. It’s a big city.

We also strolled through a part of town that was redeveloped with shopping centers and on a Sunday was deserted. My sister said at the time it was thought it would revive the area. And then when they cleaned up the Old Ferry Building people said it was a waste of time and money. The place was packed yesterday.

And we went to maybe the most touristy of all place, Pier 39. That is the one place I would advise you just don’t bother with. I mean why would you spend the money to go to the big city just to buy a T-shirt? Or to look at gaudie, cheap (but expensively-priced) merchandise? It’s at one end of Fisherman’s Wharf. I think in total Fisherman’s Wharf is still worth going to, even though over the decades of my adulthood (I am almost 66) it has been transformed from a quaint fishing port into a carnival, because if you look hard enough, some of the old flavor is still there.

Also, it’s fun to ride the old streetcars. I used to ride what I called “old streetcars” (not to be confused with cable cars, which are even more fun). I rode the old boxy kind with my mom. We lived in the Sunset District of San Francisco on the Pacific Ocean and on occasions mom would take me in hand (I was really young when we left the city to live elsewhere) and we would board the street car and go under the Twin Peaks through one of two tunnels and come out into the daylight again on Market Street (nowadays the tunnel continues down Market). I recall the old street car making a hum, mum, mum sound, and it swaying from side to side if we happened to sit in the back. Oh, and I recall the change machine you dropped your fare into and the clanking of the coins as they swirled around and hit the sides of the glass globe or whatever you call it (I’m just a writer of sorts and not always as good with words as I should be).

Then these old boxy street cars, with their dark green paint, were replaced with more streamlined looking cars which still had the dark green paint, and in turn they were replaced by even more streamlined cars and the paint scheme was changed to something somehow not as appealing I thought. But nowadays while there are the modern cars, the city has also purchased old ones from cities around the country, such as New Orleans. Maybe they even have a streetcar named Desire. Anyway I think the old ones are fun to ride on a look at.

But it is the city, and things happen. My sister and I were tired from walking around, and we boarded one of those old street cars to get back to her car, which she parks at the other end of the line (finding parking when you get downtown is difficult and can be expensive of course).  We were at Pier 39 (why did we go there? to look for the toy cable car. But same cheap stuff). We needed to get back to Pier 1 or just past, to board the other street car back to the other side of the mountain (remember Twin Peaks). At one stop a large black man got on. The car was crowded. The slightly-built Asian driver directed the man to go further back in the car — I don’t think we’re talking about to the back of the bus as it were, but maybe far back enough that he was not hovering over the much smaller driver (motorman?). The man refused to budge. The Asian driver refused to move the car any further till he did. It was a standoff. We got off the car and walked the rest of the way. I did eventually see that car move. Don’t know how it was resolved.

So we had what might have been a racial incident. But like I commented to my sister. I would have just complied with the driver. I mean he is the captain of the ship. On the other hand, I see the black guy’s point maybe. I think he thought he was being asked to move simply because of who he was — and I am not sure that was the case. But if the driver does not want you hovering over him, then why not just move a few steps back? Can’t we all just get along?

But while we are on the subject: while we were on foot, waiting at a traffic light, a convertible with a black couple (and the race may not really be important here) was sitting at a light with extremely loud rap music playing. And I use the term “music” liberally. It was annoying. I mean I love the sights and sounds of the city — except that. And I think the occupants of these vehicles know it is annoying. But they have an attitude they want to inflict upon the rest of us.

I’m planning to go to a conventional toy store in a neighboring city today and get something for the grandson. Maybe a good old Tonka Toy truck. Do they still have them? You know, the kind made of metal and sturdy as a real truck was when I was young — when everything, including real vehicles, was made of steel. I drive a big truck myself these days, but it’s mostly fiberglass. If those things catch on fire they just melt to the ground.

I usually shop at home. Shop locally. But the one toy store we had they closed.

Maybe kids don’t play with toys so much these days.

Too busy on their computers.

p.s.

Just to let you know, I finally bought a Tonka Toy, a big metal dump truck, at Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, Ca. Of course it was made in China.


Officer in Sandra Bland case should have waited for backup he had called…

July 24, 2015

Just watched the infamous video of the Sandra Bland arrest.

I could only come to one conclusion: the highway patrol officer in Texas was way out of line and obviously not fit to handle the pressure of the job. I would certainly not be able to handle it. People can make me quite angry at times but I know my limits. I could not be a policeman, but neither should the officer in the video.

I also observe, that as so often is the case in these type of incidents, the woman would have done better to simply comply with the officer’s initial request and then order. The officer actually politely requested that she extinguish her cigarette and although she apparently did at some point she did offer much resistance and copped an attitude.

And I even thought he kind of provoked her by saying at least once: “you seem irritated.”

She had every right I thought for questioning why the officer was making such a big deal about what he said was a failure to make a turn signal. But sometimes it’s better to hold one’s tongue.

But at one point the officer orders her out of the car. She eventually complies, well, after he attempts to physically pull her out and threatens to “light her up?” (not sure about the phrase) but she questions why she is being ordered out of her car and if she even has to get out.

What is not shown in any of the footage I saw was what happened after she exited the car. But there was apparently some kind of scuffle, and I think by that time other officers had arrived. And I think in a voice recording Bland is heard complaining that they had slammed her head somehow.

I was recently stopped in my own personal vehicle by a highway patrol officer. I just played it cool. He admitted up front that he was new and strangely enough he seemed to admit the stop was just a pretext. He said I had a license plate sticker that looked a little faded (whoever gets stopped for that?), and he mentioned as an aside that I seemed to be following a truck too closely. I in turn admitted to some embarrassment in that I am a professional truck driver. My excuse for the possible following too  close, which I don’t think I told him, was that I was getting ready to pass the truck but was blocked because the patrol car was coming up in the other lane. He up and told me that they (the highway patrol) were on the lookout for drugs. He asked me if I had any illegal items. I answered no (both because that was true and it seemed like the obvious best answer). We had a nice chat and I was on my way without a citation, albeit with an irritating delay and irritation I kept to myself. I mention this because in reality I was irked. I was minding my own business exercising my freedom of movement and I get stopped for what seemed like bogus reasons. He kept asking me where I had been and where I was going. Like that is really his business? I mean I know if there was some observable probable cause for stopping me and then in the course of doing so contraband was in plain sight or I consented to a search and contraband was found, then the officer would have been within the law. But I felt he overstepped (maybe he did not). But I am alive and Sandra Bland is not.

She was found dead from an apparent suicide in her cell done my hanging herself with a plastic bag. Some are questioning that. There is some indication that she had mental problems, and it was reported by police that she had indicated that she was suicidal in her booking info she filled out.

And I did not bother to mention yet, since this has been in the news, that the woman was black.

I am white. I was stopped by a rookie officer on a pretext in order that he might spot contraband.

But our deceased woman it seems may have fell victim to what black people refer to as being stopped while black. Purportedly the officer had just previously stopped a white woman and let her off with a warning (don’t know for sure about that one).

I note in the video that the officer calls for backup. Good idea. He should have left her alone in the car and waited for the backup and a woman officer perhaps to talk her out of the vehicle (if even her exciting the vehicle was necessary). And as I noted earlier once backup did arrive there were still problems. But I don’t see why it was so important for her to get out of the car. If nothing else, waiting could have offered protection against liability to the officer.

The officer may or may not have been correct in deciding to consider her to be resisting arrest. And I think the law or at least common sense requires that persons being detained lawfully by police show some amount of decorum.

And even if you feel you are being detained unlawfully, better to fight it out in an administrative hearing or court later and live to tell about it.

I don’t know if these types of incidents are escalating or if they are just being reported more frequently because they have come into the news and because these videos are ubiquitous.

Whatever the case, something has to be done to totally revamp police procedures.

If police had a different attitude eventually there might be a change of attitude by people who have been brought up to both fear and disrespect police.

There of course will always be trouble makers out there.

P.s.

There are suspicious gaps and signs of editing in the video, and then there is always the what happened just before the cameras rolled and after and what angle they were at and so on. But I think what I saw tells the story enough to show there was a tragedy that could have been avoided by an officer with a little more tact and patience. We should not have to live in fear of the police.


Is trump a secret operative for Hillary? Is he a modern-day McCarthy?

July 23, 2015

I had written that I was going to knock off writing about Donald Trump for a bit at least, but I am short of time for really serious stuff so why not say some more things?

(And it would become serious if by some fluke too many people took him seriously.)

I had been thinking that he kind of reminded me a bit of Joe McCarthy and now I read in the Daily Beast that one of his mentors was a lawyer who served McCarthy.

Trump makes wild accusations with little to nothing to back them up but he appeals to the gut instinct of many disgruntled citizens.

McCarthy called people he did not like or who crossed him or who he simply wanted to use in some way communists.

Trump just calls them stupid or cowards.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a presidential candidate, made the mistake of calling Trump a “Jack Ass” , I think in connection with Trump having questioned Sen. John McCain’s military hero status. For that, Trump in turn belittled Graham and told a story of how Graham supposedly asked Trump to put in a good word of him with Fox News. And then Trump pulled quite a stunt. He gave out Graham’s private (or previously private) cell phone number. Graham reportedly tweeted that he guessed he was going to have to get a new number.

(Calling Trump a Jack Ass is what brought on the attack from the Donald, but there might be something else working: Donald is seen as a lady’s man while little Lindsey with no woman whom I have heard of (don’t know really) seems kind of special with his slightly high-pitched Southern twang. He’s a military reserve warrior working his way up the officer ranks as a lawyer — but he likes to talk tough, talk war. )

Trump of course is nothing more than a bully. Yes, he speaks his mind (that is whatever is going on up there at the moment) and that might seem admirable in a world of political correctness and of politicians who just say what their own pollsters tell them will fly at the very moment he is speaking.

On the other hand, there is no evidence whatsoever he has any skill in governing or statecraft. He probably would be good at provocation. Is that what we need or want?

Trump reminds me somewhat of Ross Perot. Both of the them are or were novelty candidates. Perot just got sillier and sillier as things progressed until he finally got so many people excited in his last campaign and then exited with some bizarre story that there had been threats against his daughter’s wedding unless he stepped down. He did. Would a president of the United States be susceptible to blackmail such as that?

As I recall Perot served as a spoiler in his first run for president and the result was Bill Clinton won.

It appears that this time around the only ones to suffer from a Trump bid are the Republicans. I cannot imagine that anyone who might even consider voting for Hillary Clinton (the Democrat) would vote for Trump. He can only steal votes from Republicans. Gee, is Trump really a secret operative for Hillary?

Trump has threatened to run on a third-party ticket if the Republicans don’t treat him fairly.

The reactionary right and crazy right-wing radio and the tea party are all part of the atmosphere that has created the environment where Trump can flourish. And it does not help that sometimes in his wild pronouncements there is at least an element of truth.

On the up side he has interjected some excitement into the presidential race.

You have to be brave or foolish to stand up to Trump or a little of both. Probably safer for politicians to ignore him as much as possible. On the other hand, someone who could stand up to him would make a good impression on responsible voters.


ISIS could win, the West must decide if defeating it is worth it…

July 21, 2015

Mussolini was of course the dictator who ran Italy’s fascist government in World War II. There was no democracy but he made the trains run on time they say. And of course things were efficient, as one would expect of Germans, and unemployment was virtually eliminated under the tyranny of Adolf Hitler.

In that same vein now some political thinkers have observed that as bad as ISIS (the Islamic State) is, in the areas it governs, populations feel somewhat secure, as long as they don’t cross the ISIS officials or members. There is said to be little to no official corruption.

The conclusion of these expert observers is that ISIS, despite its use of terror on both the people it governs and those who oppose it, could become an actual functioning state.

They say that it appears the West cannot defeat ISIS with half measures, that only a full-scale military effort could defeat it.

I could believe that.

So I would suggest that we think this one through. Is it all worth it? If so, do the full-scale military effort. Declare war and go for total victory. If not, let’s just pull up stakes and let the Middle East take care of the Middle East.

A tough decision. We do not have a lot of people available to make these kinds of decisions.

If ever we were in need of leadership it is now.


Trump/McCain flap prompts waste of words; wounded vets should get 100 percent taxpayer funded health care

July 21, 2015

A check of the news this morning reveals that the whole Donald Trump/John McCain flap was just a crazy diversion not worth all the words and time it took to write the words about it. Both men have made up, sort of.

McCain had said that Trump attracted “crazies” and Trump had seemed to suggest that McCain was not really a war hero, that all he did was to get captured by the enemy.

But both since have made halfway conciliatory remarks towards each other — blah, blah, blah…

But since I already had drafted some more words on the subject:

As much as most people want to criticize Donald Trump for his impolite and wild accusations and name calling, some also begrudgingly seem to admire him because most candidates are so caught up in trying to please everyone they lose any sense of position on anything, they just try to tell the audience what they want to hear.

That said, this does not mean that Donald Trump has anything important to say.

I criticized him myself for his callous remarks about John McCain and his time as a POW. Trump had said or implied that McCain was no hero, he just got taken prisoner and that those who escape being captured are somehow due more respect. But as I pointed out in my last post on the subject, McCain did more than just get captured. By all reports he handled his capture in a brave way and would not cooperate with the enemy. Others reportedly did. And who knows what you or I would do in the same spot? But I also said I don’t know if McCain is a hero (I think I said that). But heroism can be subjective and the word is overused and misused.

I lost sight of why Trump lambasted McCain and then realized it was because McCain had bad mouthed Trump who I think he said stirs up the crazies or something like that. So Trump fired back. A kind of pissing match.

Trump has so far refused to apologize for his McCain remarks (well now he has in a way) and has accused McCain of doing nothing for veterans.

I don’t know what McCain has done or not done for veterans, but for my part, anyone who has been seriously injured in a war fought for the United States (and war includes any military action taken by our government no matter how it is officially classified) deserves the best medical attention at tax-payer cost. And for the life of me I cannot see why any of our presidents have not issued executive orders to that effect, separation of powers and constitutional powers notwithstanding.

And that is all I want to write about Trump for a while. Writing anything about him is probably a waste of time…


Trump certainly is no hero himself, he is more like a chicken hawk coward…

July 18, 2015

Donald Trump is using radio shock jock tactics to get attention in order to feed his ego and maybe promote his brand as some kind of entertainer. He cannot be serious about wanting to be president and he should not be taken as such. And I know that if you make a lot of money people automatically assume you must be smart. I don’t know how smart he is but I think he may have some mental problem or maybe he is just your common every-day egomaniac.

First it was his outrageous attack on immigrants from south of the border (and yes he was talking of undocumented ones), calling them murderers and rapists. I mean just like in any cross section of any society there are the bad ones. But I have worked with many (especially when I was young and working in agricultural fields) and found them to be hard-working good people. A lot better than some of our own home-grown ones.

Now Trump has stated that Sen. John McCain, who spent years in a North Vietnam prison, and who even refused early release to deprive the enemy of a propaganda coup, and who flew bombing missions in service to his country in time of war, is not a hero, and went on to disparage McCain, saying that he (Trump) prefers ones who did not get captured.

Now, for argument’s sake, I would agree that simply being captured by the enemy does not necessarily make you a hero, and in fact if you go along with your captors and help them in propaganda then you are not hero (although we might forgive someone considering the circumstances they were in). But that is not the case with McCain. From all accounts he suffered greatly and resisted his captors. One could debate whether he should be classified as a hero, maybe, but that designation is subjective anyway — and yes, it is overused. I tend to see the old guy as heroic, even if I don’t always agree with him.

On the other hand, Trump, like so many other foe patriots wiggled his way out of serving in Vietnam because of some injury to his foot but he cannot recall which foot. If it was so bad, how come he cannot remember?

With his latest blast Trump has gone beyond the bizarre or entertaining, he is now a certifiable demagogue and scoundrel, not because he chose to make untrue and unflattering remarks against McCain specifically, but because he would engage in such reckless uncivilized behavior. I have a feeling that after all Mr. McCain went through he can brush off not being liked by the likes of Trump.

Trump talks tough, but like so many chicken hawks he is a coward. I know by writing that I have almost lowered myself to his standard — but I am not name calling, just calling it as I see it.

—————————————————————-

My original post on Trump follows:

Just read an article in Politico and it seems the political experts are stumped on Trump. They cannot quite figure out what the appeal of the super rich big mouth Donald Trump is.

He just jumped into the race, berated Mexicans (and others) who jump the border, and is now polling 17 percent.

I think I read that Trump claims he is representing a new “silent majority” (shades of Nixon), even though, as the article noted, 17 percent is not a majority, but the man does show some support out there and he is confounding the expert observers so far.

My guess is that he may be attracting people bored with the same old same old, some white bigots, some mostly white people who may feel put upon by the pressures of the multicultural society, and maybe quite a few people who don’t actually vote anyhow.

So far, the Trump campaign is just a bunch of hype, kind of like a pitch to get on the ground floor of some seemingly fabulous, but questionable, investment.

Part of the supposed Trump appeal as brought out in the Politico article is that his supporters are buying the line that because he is so rich he is not beholding to any special interests — he does not need their money.

Where have I heard that one before?

Oh. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie star/producer who served as Gov. of California. But I am pretty sure his record showed that he raised a lot of money from folks with favors they wanted. And people who are super rich live so insolated from the rest of the world it is darn near impossible for them to even perceive the plight of the other 99 percent.

Mitt Romney was definitely a successful businessman but he seemed to find his business acumen and business-like approach to public issues a liability in his presidential bids.

(And by the way, just what is the nature of Trump’s wealth? Seems like he has a long record of flim-flammery and using other people’s money and bankruptcy.)

And anyway, so if a candidate is beholding to no one, only to himself, does that mean he might just do what he wants and to heck with everyone else? He might not even care what the people who voted for him think. He just bought the job.

So actually donations can serve as a measure of support and legitimacy for a candidate for political office in a democratic society.

So far all I have heard from Trump is a lot of noise, not any concrete proposals, really not even a clue.

And when I read that some of his supporters claim that they would like to see a businessman in office rather than a politician, I just think something like wait till he cuts off their Social Security:

“You see Mr. Jones, as a businessman I’ve been studying the books, and we just can’t afford to keep you around anymore. You’re too much of a liability. You’re fired.”


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