Month: August 2020

Politics

Election 2020: 10 Weeks to Make a Difference

And looking at Facebook’s lopsided political media ecosystem might be a useful reality check for Democrats who think Mr. Biden will coast to victory in November.

Kevin Roose NYT 8/27/2020

It’s easy to become despondent after witnessing this week’s American reality TV show (AKA, the Republican National Convention) which aired from various locations including the White House in Washington, DC.

One after another, the lineup of koolaid-drinking Trumpoids further fed the nation’s seemingly insatiable appetite for fear mongering. Each night was a further assault on the reality of America’s diverse citizenry and a nose-thumping to the roots of the many problems facing the country.

They screamed (at times literally) that a Joe Biden administration would destroy the America people like them – white rural and/or suburban residents – had worked so hard to build.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Don Jr’s girlfriend and a Trump Campaign fundraiser, during her melodramatic address at the RNC. Photo Credit: Reuters.

  • There was no mention of the Chinese laborers who broke their backs building railroads to the West so that Manifest Destiny could be realized.
  • There was no gratitude expressed to the enslaved from Africa who were brought to America’s shores to provide labor for the South’s agricultural plantations.
  • No respect was paid to the millions of Latino workers who now harvest the food these same white Americans buy at their local supermarkets.
  • Nor was there any mention of the millions of immigrants that fill the low-wage, dirty jobs that most white Americans refuse – working in meat-processing plants, as dish washers in restaurants or as maids cleaning rooms in hotels from sea to shining sea.

Talk about an almost complete disconnect with the reality of daily life in America! Today’s Republican Party has become nothing more than the Cult of Trump! Need we be reminded yet again of the conditions that created the rise of the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany?

As with most aspects of the US Presidency over the past four years, Donald Trump has bent the job to fit his twisted personality and enormous ego. Did anyone actually think he would grow into the job like most of his forty-four predecessors?

Trump personifies the shady businessman who massages the truth to suit his own aims and then screams ‘foul’ when he’s caught with his hands in the cookie jar. He lies, manipulates and ‘uses’ the legal system to gaslight the public and achieve his own narrow personal aims. This is hardly the American experiment the country’s founders envisioned.

A magazine spread shows the Trumps at home in their cozy, little gold gilded Trump Tower penthouse on New York’s 5th Avenue. An every man – NOT!

In short, Trump has intentionally done everything in his power to further rip apart the already fraying fabric of American society. Ever since his first appearance on the campaign trail in 2016, he has utilized the age-old strategies of divide and conquer, deny, deny, deny facts and repeat lies so often that they become the talking points of his followers. How can a leader who constantly refuses to accept responsibility be seen as someone who wants to secure a brighter future for the nation?

Trump has continually fanned the dangerous flames of division within the Us electorate. His friendship with defacto dictator Vladamir Putin of Russia has been treated like a joke by Trump’s core supporters.

And yet, incredibly, his loyal supporters continue to drink his bitter brew and blame their problems on others, particularly immigrants and other people of color. This is a reflection of Trump’s lack of humility, empathy and his complete abhorrence for facts.

I mean, hey, it’s obvious why many of the super wealthy would support Trump and his tax cuts for the rich, but what exactly is he offering that seems so attractive to the average working stiff? Wouldn’t a true leader accept responsibility for failures and work with others to repair past mistakes?

On to Election 2020

I realize this is all just a rehash of the same thoughts many of us have had since the 2016 election results. Donald Trump had long garnered publicity and it should have been clear to all but the most unaware voters that he was a sham, a snake-oil salesman (and not a particularly good one at that) merely posing as a concerned American citizen in order to promote his brand and feed his ego.

But, for those of us who believe in facts, there is a distinct possibility that this incompetent fool might be reelected. We need to network now more than ever with other like-minded, caring citizens to do whatever we can to ensure Donald Trump doesn’t buy or steal a second term in the Oval Office. Such a possibility is too dark to contemplate at the moment.

We need to do more than just preach to the choir on blogs such as this. We must work together with other groups like moveon.org and use social media to counter the fake news being churned out minute by minute by the morally bankrupt forces seeking to give Trump a sequel.

For insight into the RNC’s campaign of disinformation, please check out the following New York Times article illustrating the grass-roots movement being employed by Trumpoids on Facebook. It’s both shocking and enlightening.

What if Facebook is the real silent majority? By Kevin Roose, NYT 08/27/2020

Facebook’s Top 10 pages each week

peace~ henry

 

ArchitectureTravel

Beirut – A Visual Tribute

Looking northeast along the Mediterranean coastline from Beirut’s Dar Mreisse district. Photo: Henry Lewis

From the foundations of the ancient Phoenician Empire to occupations by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French, Beirut was destined to become a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural history.

The 20th century witnessed rapid change in almost every area of life for Beirut’s residents, particularly following WWI when treaties granted France power over the future territories of Lebanon and Syria.

After independence in 1943, Lebanon’s capital developed into an entertainment oasis that attracted Europeans looking to experience the exotic Middle East and Arabs seeking the forbidden fruits offered by the city’s nightlife districts.

However, Beirut’s privileged location on the Mediterranean Sea directly north of Israel and west of Syria also brought destabilizing forces that eventually erupted into the prolonged Lebanon Civil War from 1975 to 1990.

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