22 August 2016

Update no.766

Update from the Heartland
No.766
15.8.16 – 21.8.16
To all,

            Twenty-five years in the making, something like fifteen years in the writing process, and more than a year in the production phase . . . my latest book has finally been released in print and digital forms to all retail sources.
            I began researching the background history of the period (and others) to provide an accurate skeleton as well as relevant details for my “To So Few” series of historical novels.  The words from actual documents and speeches are from the three major epochs of the era: the contributory years (1916-1939), the war years (1931-1945), and the aftermath (1945-1950).  We could argue the aftermath led to the Cold War (1950-1991), which in turn produced several undeclared wars of violent, armed conflict, although not declared wars; however I had to constrain the project somewhere.
            Through the prism of the selected documents and speeches placed in the context of surrounding events, we see the evolution of the most horrific human tragedy in recorded history.  There are well-known, historic words from famous leaders as well as obscure documents only recently declassified and publicly released.  Through these words, we see more clearly why the events of the mid-20th century played out as they did and millions of people paid a grotesque and staggering price.  The magnanimity of the victors after the century’s second, great, global confrontation contrast dramatically with the retribution imposed after the first Great War.  Hopefully, the words and deeds of the era will help us avoid such tragedies in the future.  We must all learn the lessons from those years.  Peace is too precious to squander with the repetition of prior mistakes.  Lest we ever forget . . .
            For those who may wish to find more information, I have updated my website with The Clarity of Hindsight, along with pending, in work and future projects.  As always, reviews and critiques – good, bad or ugly – are truly appreciated.  Constructive criticism helps me improve my writing.
            As a post script: I point toward a cover art concept displayed on the Hindsight page of my website that proved too difficult to use on a book cover (and meet all the varied constraints), yet that particular concept art deserves recognition and praise, especially since it was developed by a 13-year-old boy.  Thank you, Nicholas.  Great job and I expect the first of many more to come.

            In a rare departure for a conservative newspaper, the Wall Street Journal offered an unusual, if not historic, editorial opinion this week.
“Trump’s Self-Reckoning – The GOP nominee and his supporters face a moment of truth.”
Editorial
Wall Street Journal
Published: Aug. 14, 2016; 6:18 p.m. ET
The WSJ Editorial Staff conclusion: “If they [the Republican Party] can’t get Mr. Trump to change his act by Labor Day, the GOP will have no choice but to write off the nominee as hopeless and focus on salvaging the Senate and House and other down-ballot races.  As for Mr. Trump, he needs to stop blaming everyone else and decide if he wants to behave like someone who wants to be President—or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence.”
            This week, we may have witnessed the beginning of change in that the Republican nominee actually stated publicly that he regretted words that caused other people pain.  His regret is a long way from an apology for any of his inflammatory, hurtful and juvenile insults, however, long journeys begin with small steps.  We still have more than two months to the election and three plus one debates to get through before we have a decision.

            On Wednesday evening, Chris Cuomo hosted CNN’s Green Party Presidential Town Hall in New York City, with the Green Party presidential and vice presidential candidates – Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, respectively.  First and foremost, I want to convey my gratitude to CNN for allowing the Green Party candidates to speak to the American people.  Jill’s calm, focused demeanor impressed me.  She is not the most persuasive or skilled orator, however she is certainly better than other candidates in the field.  I believe she clearly presented Green Party policy positions and tried to soften the contrast of their decidedly socialist perspective.  Yet, the most troubling aspect from my perspective is the Green Party approach to international relations.  I see their proposal to withdraw U.S. forces from the international arena and their espoused 50% contraction of the defense establishment as particularly unrealistic.  I view her words as naively idealistic.  While there is much that I cannot find affinity with politically, I must confess Jill Stein conveyed a respectful, measured, thoughtful and stable personality that is markedly better than other candidates in the field.  Jill Stein deserves to be included in the public debates.  She deserves to be on the national stage and to be properly considered for our votes.

            Comments and contributions from Update no.765:
Comment to the Blog:
“Mr. Fussy strikes again. Using both ‘Dr.’ and ‘M.D.’ with Dr. Stein's name is redundant.  I would keep the ‘M.D.’ in this context because it indicates she has had to learn actual facts and their application, rather than Political Science or something.
“I would like to see a debate with the five candidates you listed.  The Donald may continue imploding, but a national stage is a good place for that.  I would include Mr. McMullin.  He does not have the ballot access to win, but I would be amused to see someone try to defend whatever remains of the mainstream Republican Party.
“For the people who believe Trump says what he means, I think not.  He says what will get him attention.  Now and then he hits a nerve, which is how he was able to sound slightly like Bernie Sanders in the primary season.
“I have seen yet again the notion that the Trump campaign is a conspiracy to elect Secretary Clinton, who remains basically un-electable without Trump to arouse the fear of ordinary voters.  If this should be shown to be true, would that not eliminate both of those candidates?  Most likely, yes. The two-party system would remain, but with two new parties.
“While my choice is Jill Stein, M.D., both Governor Gary Johnson and Governor William Weld (the Libertarian ticket) have the combination of actual experience in high office and a legitimate claim to be outsiders.  I imagine that will be hard for anyone to beat in a fair contest.”
My response to the Blog:
            Re: title reference.  Well, actually, common spoken reference is “Doctor.”  Given that, there are a myriad of doctoral titles, e.g., PhD, MD, DVM, DO, et al.  Yes, I agree, the dual reference may be redundant, but it is common practice, because “Doctor” is less specific.
            Re: five-candidate debates.  Agreed.  There is always hope.  The Libertarian Party is closest to meeting the FEC criterion.  The Green Party is not as close.  Perhaps after the CNN Green Town Hall this week, it will get them both over the threshold.
            Re: says what he means.  Good point, actually, and quite apropos.  However, those who believe in the Republican nominee are totally convinced to the contrary.  We might also amend your hypothesis that he says what he believes people want to hear.  He probably picks up ideas from the Internet.
            Re: conspiracy.  Interesting perspective.  I would not be surprised, if it was possible to truly determine affiliation, that a goodly portion, if perhaps even a majority, of those who voted for Trump in the open primaries were actually dedicated Democrats seeking to vote for their best opponent, i.e., the easiest to defeat.
            Re: your choice.  It must be comforting to have decided your choice.  I am not there, yet.

Another contribution:
“FYI”
My reply:
            You have provided more information than is commonly available in the popular Press.  I suspect there is much more to this story than any of us have seen so far.  We may never know how deep this goes.

A different contribution:
“That video [765] was put together by clueless millennials looking for personal fame in leftist Hollywood .. nothing was funny ..same old negative anti-Trump diatribe ... nothing new .. or true ...”
My response:
            Thank you for sharing your opinion.

The last contribution for this week:
“I cannot resist responding to your surprisingly haughty comment about the popularity of Trump among common taxpayers ("...what does that say about the American people?").  I believe you and I can agree that these folks are distinguished from most wealthy Democrats and Repandercrats as well as the victim/dependent/slave class of voters who pay little or no taxes and will always vote for more free stuff.  However, we probably cannot agree that these folks include many informed patriots who are simply quite willing to chance a strong independent leader to avoid an acceleration of the national suicidal path led by Obama, allowed by both major parties, and absolutely guaranteed by Clinton.
“You ask,  ‘what does that {support for Trump} say about the American people?’ Well, surely you noted the worldwide and especially European amazement at the first, and much more so the second, election of a truly unknown modern Manchurian Candidate whose primary qualifications were glibness, half-blackness, and hastily accumulated marital wealth and support from Chicago and ultimately the Pandercrats?  They (and I) asked the same question with genuinely great incredulousness both times:  what does it say about the American people?
“What it said then was that the American people really hoped for hope and change, the BHO promise.  What it says today is that many thinking Americans want change in the desperate hope that it will reverse our Obama-led national downward spiral, and the Trump supporters you denigrate accept the indisputable fact that more of the Clintons means more of the same.
“Well, one thing for sure, Cap:  as we continue to nourish our mutual respect, we cannot agree on your insistence upon outlandish Hitler parallels whenever Trump's personality and character is at issue.  I am frankly surprised at each such jab, worthy of the Hillary lovers' campaign but beneath you IMHO.
“That said, we shall continue corresponding out of that profound and lasting mutual respect!”
My reply:
            Re: patriots for Trump.  Agreed.  There are many educated citizens who support the Republican nominee.  So, claims that he is playing directly to uneducated, redneck, racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobes would be highly inaccurate and inappropriate.  As other contributors have voiced in this humble forum, a fair number of good American citizens are really . . . REALLY angry, and they are attracted to the message of the Republican nominee.  Characteristics and attributes emphasized by each of us drive our choices and our votes.
            Re: “voters who pay little or no taxes and will always vote for more free stuff.  Do you want to take a bet that if we ever see Trump’s tax returns we will find out that ol’ “billionaire” Trump paid NO taxes last year?  If true, who is getting the free stuff?  I highly doubt he paid an effective tax rate even close to what you and I pay each year.
            Re: “a strong independent leader.  Part of our disagreement regarding the Republican nominee rests solely upon our view of him.  I have been a student of leadership since as far back as I could read a book.  IMHO, he is the antithesis of leadership.  Leaders have common attributes.  Unfortunately, I see the Republican nominee as being devoid of even one of those attributes.  Therein lies the rub and the essence of my negative opinion regarding the Republican nominee.  Now, that said, in this context, I am not particularly keen on the Democratic nominee either.
            Re: “thinking Americans want change.  I have wanted that change for a long time.  I have wanted the f**king Congress – whether dominated by the Republicans or Democrats – to stop spending so much money beyond the revenue the Treasury collected.  I am particularly angry that so many good American citizens had to die for presidents that refused to fight a war properly and that included Bush (43).  Yes, I give President Obama credit for at least trying to change the paradigm.  I also acknowledge there are more than a few good American citizens who refuse to see his performance that way.  C’est la guerre!  C’est la vie!
            Re: “Hitler parallels.  I simply call ‘em as I see ‘em.  Not that it matters a hoot, I am not the only citizen to note the striking comparisons.  I illuminate as an historical footnote: Winston Churchill began to sound the clarion call regarding events in Germany in the late 1920’s.  He made a passionate speech (1932) denouncing National Socialist fascism even before Hitler became Reichkanzler (1933).  He was ostracized and alienated for his outspoken illumination; they called the 1930’s his wilderness years.  While the political conditions are not as bad as they were in Germany in those years, there are far too many similarities to be coincidence or ignored.  Perhaps, I am the lone voice, but I am in good company.
            “That’s just my opinion, but I could be wrong.”
            Our exchanges are in the true spirit of this humble forum.  We can and do disagree, and remain respectful of our dissimilar opinions.  Thank you for that, my friend.

            My very best wishes to all.  Take care of yourselves and each other.
Cheers,
Cap                        :-)