Lars Larson

by Greg Meakin

Part One

Conservative radio host Lars Larson stands hovering over a laptop, headset on. He doesn’t sit for a moment. Taking an on-air call from one of his listeners, he delivers conversation with passion, while continuously scanning his show’s inbound emails. He replies to an email or two, while chatting with the listener about politics. Not a wasted moment for this workaholic 59 year old.

Based in Portland Oregon, Larson is hosting a remote radio show at an outdoor equipment and tractor dealer in Longview, Washington. He looks calm, focused, and right at home. He is set up in the showroom of the business, and a score of people watch him, listen to him, and line up for a photo with him.

During commercial breaks, he keeps working. Posing for photos with fans, scooting back to the laptop to check emails, obliging autograph seekers, and answering small-talk questions from bystanders.

Having listened to his show for years, it is my first time meeting Lars personally. I am taken aback the minute I arrive. This is no ordinary radio guy. Not even close.

What radio guy wears a gun on his hip? The laid back plaid shirt and jeans, the easy demeanor on air, and a good ol’ pistol on his belt. He looks like he’d be comfortable in an old episode of Bonanza.

Lars Larson
Photo credit Lars Larson

But he ain’t Ben Cartwright. Lars Larson’s Ponderosa is his radio world, his listeners are his wranglers. As I watch him work, one clear thought comes to mind: This guy is American. Completely and utterly American.

When asked if he was enjoying his visit to the vastly Republican Longview Washington, Larson pauses for a moment, and a slight smile creeps into the conversation. “It’s nice being away from the Lib world of Portland” he quips.

Larson has his code words that give away his political leanings. Lib is liberal, or course. The Daily Fish Wrapper is the Oregonian, an historically left-leaning Portland newspaper. Chicken Noodle News is his lofty journalistic description of CNN.

But what differentiates this “right wing” radio guy from most is his open door to detractors and naysayers. Naysayers always go to the head of the line is a Larson trademark, welcoming spirited on-air debate. His First Amendment Fridays formalize his commitment to hear all points of view, especially naysayers.

He is much more patient with shrill lefty callers than I could ever be, and I have told him so in the many emails I have shared with him over the years.

In Larson’s world, the First Amendment is a priceless treasure unique to the United States of America, and he would take a bullet to protect our personal freedom.

And he wears Second Amendment on his hip!

Lars Larson is a Maslow Award winner because he has reached the mountain top of radio. He has an amazing, role model work ethic, he has reached the pinnacle of his profession, and he loves his family. He hosts his three-hour regional show daily, followed immediately by his national show of the same length. His website is LarsLarson.com.

Having been born a Navy Brat in Taiwan, Larson’s family eventually settled in tiny Tillamook, Oregon. After four-plus decades of radio and television, he has been presented some 70 industry awards, including two Emmys.

So what drives this dude?

… more to come in Part Two




Copyright © 2017 by Greg Meakin


GregMeakin2020@gmail.com

Suicide By Clicks

Why is the Mainstream Media committing seemingly intentional suicide?

By Lary CoppolaScreenshot 2018-02-16 at 11.00.49 AM

On the day this was written, CNN carried no fewer than 16 blatantly anti-Trump headlines on the opening page of its website. MSNBC had restrained itself to a modest nine, and the Huffington Post a mere four. On the other hand, the Fox News web page only had two headlines mildly critical of the President, and several of the Trump stories had companion pieces with equally benign headlines. Now no one politically aware is going to consider this “breaking news” any more than considering the stories themselves realistically unbiased. However, when viewed as the partisan echo chambers media outlets have intentionally become, they are a reflection of just how polarized we are as a nation.

The Fox News stories could be considered critical of the president, but the headlines didn’t scream hot-button prejudicially negative words like scandal, indicted, sentenced, bribe, torture, risky, red-handed, or chaotic as CNN, MSNBC and the Huffington Post all did on this particular day. And therein lies the conundrum for the consumer of today’s news. Based on such inflammatory headlines, why would you believe the media is actually telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Which also begs the question, is the President actually right about “Fake News?”

Is there really a concerted effort by the left to drive the President from office, with the mainstream media leading the charge? Exactly how tightly aligned with the Democrats and the extreme left is the mainstream news media anyway —and why? To quote an old tagline from what has always been known as a sensationalist and less than credible news source, “Inquiring minds want to know…”

The long, slow, and painful death spiral of the printed news media is reflective of the age health, and dwindling numbers of its primary readership — Baby Boomers. Like your uncle who lived to see 100, dinosaurs like the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and L.A. Times are still alive – albeit with much weaker, smaller, lower paid staffs..

For the most part, the printed word has been replaced by the internet, replete with news media smartphone apps, its own cult of personalities, and the introduction of the term “infotainment” into our lexicon. It has created online superstars like Jason Zengerle, and Bill Nye the Science Guy on the extreme left, as well as Tomi Lahren and Matt Drudge on the right.

The real question though is, do any of them tell the truth? Yes — all of them, to the extent it fits their politically partisan narrative. The more ethical reporters and bloggers build their stories around a set of facts that underscore their partisan talking points, often leaving out the things that don’t. However, the less than ethical on both sides play fast and loose with facts, giving credence to Trump’s fake news charges.

Journalism 101 teaches that there are six questions every news story must answer: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? From there, it should be up to the reader to make up his or her mind about the story being told. Journalistic ethics dictate that opinion belongs on OP/ED page – not on the front page and certainly not as a part of any news story. The reporter is supposed to be an unbiased observer, sharing unvarnished facts answering those six questions — and untainted by inflammatory terminology, personal or institutional bias. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Also taught in Journalism 101 is that every news story should have a source and corroborating source — someone who, by name, provides information on the record, and a second source, who by name, confirms what the first source said took place. However, today’s media reporters attribute way too many “facts” to that infamous “anonymous source,” that are corroborated by that “person who declined to be quoted for the record,” and/or, “spoke on the condition of anonymity.” For all we know, these people could be your favorite barista and the guy you called to unclog your toilet.

So obviously, journalistic ethics — along with honest answers to those six basic questions — have seemingly gone the way of the printed word. When was the last time you actually read a mainstream media political news story that wasn’t as much or more opinion than fact? Today perhaps?

The left, led by Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and of course, Barack Obama, are feverishly working towards brokering a seemingly peaceful surrender of America to Socialism. In concert with them is not only the media, but the educational establishment as well. They no longer teach actual history, but a revisionist version that vilifies everything that made America that shining light for people from other nations. They don’t teach, as much as indoctrinate liberal philosophy into our children, beginning in Kindergarten.

The recent student march calling for increased gun control and vilifying the NRA for the Parkland tragedy — coupled with relentless media coverage parroting that view — underscore this point. The NRA didn’t kill anyone in Parkland any more than General Motors did when an illegal immigrant drunkenly drove a Chevy into a crowd of children in California. Yet you didn’t hear anything about that from the mainstream media.

Except for right-wing online news sites, there was almost nothing in the mainstream media about the armed School Resource Officer who shot and killed 17 year-old student preparing to shoot up his classmates in Maryland just days after Parkland. And since she wasn’t a white male using an AR-15, you barely heard anything about the Persian leftist, vegan, animal rights activist woman who shot people at YouTube’s headquarters before taking her own life. Since those incidents don’t fit the left’s anti-gun, pro-illegal immigrant, Socialist narrative, they were systematically ignored. But are they any less newsworthy?

Another example of agenda-driven news coverage is the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, nearly two years ago? The media’s narrative was forced to change when new details were revealed during the trial of the shooter Omar Mateen’s wife. While the media repeatedly trumpeted the attack at the gay club as “undeniably a homophobic hate crime”, the actual facts are quite different.

Prosecutors in the case of Mateen’s wife confirm the club wasn’t his original target — it was the nearby Disney Springs shopping plaza. Mateen allegedly asked a security guard at Pulse why there were no women there when he arrived, and suspicions about him being a closet homosexual were never confirmed.

So while the media has framed the attack as an anti-gay hate crime, it’s now become apparent it was more about Islamic-style terror, which Mateen saw as an act of revenge against the U.S. While the motivation doesn’t make the mass shooting any less tragic, it’s just another example of agenda-driven media narratives wildly distorting actual facts. But have you heard this wasn’t a gay hate crime?

Meanwhile, 17-year old David Hogg has become the de-facto spokesman for the anti-NRA crowd, and has publicly — with unrelenting help from the media — called for a boycott of conservative media pundit Laura Ingraham’s Fox News sponsors. The blatant hypocrisy here is that the self-absorbed Hogg wasn’t a student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, didn’t witness the tragedy there, and wasn’t anywhere near there when it happened. But the mainstream media won’t tell you that either, and has led you to believe the exact opposite.

Underscoring this bias further, is the fact, the left-leaning website Politico recently published a meticulously researched and fully-sourced investigative piece by Josh Meyer detailing how the Obama administration secretly sabotaged US law enforcement efforts to shut down an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah to placate Iran, and ensure the signing of the nuclear deal.

Why wasn’t this front-page news in the NY Times or Washington Post? Why wasn’t this the lead story on CNN or MSNBC? Where’s that George Soros-funded programmed outrage from the left?

Observing the standards set by Journalism 101, this scandal should have ignited a massively widespread firestorm of coverage dwarfing Watergate, and eliciting absolute fury from media pundits and editorial boards alike. But did you hear anything about this? Probably not. However, what you have heard about daily for more than a year and a half is the Russian “collusion” investigation — which in all that time has yet to uncover any actual criminal activity by Trump or his campaign.

In fact, days after the Politico story broke, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC News — who boast a collective 20 million viewers between them — nor CNN or MSNBC, had been able to find time in between harassing Trump about Russia — to report a major story about potential collusion between the former President and a terror-supporting state. Other than Fox, mainstream media outlets largely ignored this major story.

Now take that very same story and change “Obama” to “Trump” and “Iran” to “Russia” and imagine the fireworks those revelations would ignite in the mainstream media. Can’t you already hear Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, et. al. pontificating 24/7 on every TV, online and print news media outlet that Trump should be immediately arrested for treason? But since it was Obama, not a peep from the media, and certainly nothing from the Democrats.

The few outlets that did run this story typically covered it as an afterthought, with headlines like NPR’s which read, “Politico Reporter Says Obama Administration ‘Derailed’ Hezbollah Investigation.” “Derailed” doesn’t even begin to explain the depth of what actually happened. This was a 14,000-word, diligently sourced, document-heavy deep investigative piece written by a well-respected journalist at a major media outlet — one that tends to lean left — complete with all on-the-record sources as per Journalism 101.

However, if your news comes mainly from NPR, you’d never know that. Makes anyone who lived through Watergate wonder where the Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of today’s media are hiding.

According to Politico, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) began this classified investigation into Hezbollah in 2008, learning that the Iranian proxy had laundered nearly a half a billion dollars and was moving cocaine to the U.S. The Obama administration not only road blocked investigators, but failed to prosecute any of the major players as well.

What makes what can only be described as an intentional media blackout so blatantly reprehensible is that this story is not a partisan hit piece. However, ignoring and/or diminishing intentional wrongdoing and furtively dubious dealings by Obama isn’t at all new. In fact, Obama administration officials arrogantly bragged to the NY Times Magazine how they’d purposefully created an echo chamber, banking on the ignorance, inexperience and partisanship of reporters to communicate their intentional lies to the American people.

Another example of the selective nature of the information you receive from the mainstream media disguised as “news” is the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica fiasco. While the media was highly indignant over Cambridge Analytica’s use of 87 million Facebook members’ personal data for Trump’s 2016 campaign, do you recall hearing anything about the Obama campaign being given the exact same kind of data directly from Facebook in 2012? Or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, “We did it because we liked him (Obama)? Of course not. Again, it doesn’t fit the liberal, anti-Trump narrative.

Facebook has also blatantly censored what content it allows, leaning heavily to the left, while its algorithms filter out most things right of center so you can’t see it – even if your friends post it.

And let’s not ignore Google, which owns YouTube. It also leans far-left, and censors the content it allows. For example, you can find all kinds of pro-Islamic videos — including beheadings, people in cages being burned alive, and handcuffed, blindfolded gays being thrown off tall buildings, as well as other equally barbaric acts. There are also literally hundreds of videos from Planned Parenthood and other liberal organizations. Meanwhile, YouTube has kicked Prager University — a conservative institution which publishes short videos rationally explaining conservative viewpoints on issues of the day — completely off the site. Facebook restricts access to Prager’s videos as well.

So how did we get to this point? The answers could lie in the response to two questions, “Why is the liberal agenda being pushed so hard by the mainstream media?and, “How has the conservative media reacted, and grown so powerful?”

The answers are simple. The extreme left wants America to drift into Socialism, is already deeply entrenched within the bureaucracy, and positioned for permanent control and political advantage when that happens — hence the term “Deep State.” Thanks to the millions of illegal immigrants they have registered to vote, they see the election process keeping them in power.

If you think there is a government elitist class now, just wait. If the left is successful it will get much worse, with ever escalating taxes rewarding that elitist governing class on the backs of the working class. That’s how Socialism has always worked — and why it eventually always fails.

The social justice movement disparages hard work and financial success, demanding that successful people share the fruits of their labors with those “less fortunate.” However, the people who have worked hard to attain that success disagree. Yet the mainstream media continues to vilify them as the evil ones — not those sponging off their hard work.

The business of news today is all about TV and radio ratings, eyeballs, and click-throughs. To get those, reporters need access to the major players, as access is the lifeblood of the news business. Obama understood that better than anyone. He did a masterful job of only granting access to those reporters from news outlets supporting his goals and shutting out all opposing voices. Hence, the echo chamber his administration bragged about creating.

The mainstream media unabashedly defends Socialism because most of its members make their living dependent upon that access and are openly encouraged to support what they may personally believe will eventually be a “fairer’ system. Obviously, they haven’t thought this all the way through to its inevitable conclusion. Socialism always collapses under the weight of supporting an ever-expanding governing class that steals the fruits of the labors of the masses, and de-incentivized workers whose highest standard of excellence atrophies into mediocracy. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher succinctly summed up why Socialism always fails — “At some point you run out of other people’s money.”

It’s no secret the liberal mindset infected the bizarre world of Hollywood long ago, while conservative actors and actresses remain in the proverbial closet for fear of not working. For all the publicity the #MeToo movement generated in the media, there’s no shortage of photos featuring the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and even Hillary Clinton and others all cuddling up to Harvey Weinstein. You just won’t see them in the mainstream media, because once again, they contradict the narrative.

Professional sports has suffered as well by its embrace of liberal philosophy by athletes and broadcasters alike — former San Francisco 49’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick being their poster child. The media has constantly whined about him not being signed by any NFL team, insisting there is a conspiracy against him for starting the disrespectful take a knee during the National Anthem movement. However, nowhere are you hearing about his team winning only three of the last 19 games he started as quarterback. Again, that doesn’t fit the liberal narrative.

Meanwhile, former Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett, whose leftist activities were much more vocal and visible in the media, was traded to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He’s playing in spite of his politics because unlike Kaepernick, he’s one of the best in the game. If anyone has a case about being discriminated against by the NFL because of his personal beliefs, it’s Tim Tebow. But again, that doesn’t fit the media narrative – nor does the fact TV ratings for the 2017-2018 NFL season were down over 19 percent and ticket sales are at their lowest levels ever. Is there any doubt as to why?

Yet, in spite of the Republicans ongoing political dysfunction, and bunker mentality, the conservative media has grown strong by becoming the primary combatant against the Socialist threat. When was the last time you heard of liberal talk radio? For example, even in ultra-liberal Seattle, two conservative talk radio stations flourish, while the lone liberal one shut down due to low ratings.

Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, John Kasich and perhaps even Paul Ryan have themselves become entrenched in the Deep State, and are openly anti-Trump. But conservative local talk radio, conservative TV networks like Fox and the One America Network (OAN), along with the online right-wing media have become the voice of the folks that elected Donald Trump to “drain the swamp.” It has also driven the rise of militant right-wing websites like The Blaze and Brietbart News, as well as the entire alt-right spectrum, turning demagogues like Milos Yiannopoulos into celebrities.

But the bottom line for all of this media hypocrisy is money…

The newspaper business model — display advertising, classifieds and subscriptions is dead and buried. The internet business model is paywalls, interactive ads, click-throughs, and tracking you online and via your smartphone. So driving eyeballs to your website or app is critical because that’s where the money is.

That’s also why inflammatory headlines abound — even for stories unrelated to politics. We’ve all seen them at the bottom of political stories with bold headlines that read, “You won’t believe what your favorite 70’s movie star looks like now.” Or, “Man buys Russian tank off eBay and finds surprise inside.” And “You should never shop on Amazon without using this trick.” People routinely click on those just like they do the anti-Trump or anti-Socialist headlines, even though they have nothing at all to do with the content of the original piece. And each click generates money…

However, much of mainstream America has grown weary of being assaulted by this constant barrage of sensationalist negativity that tracks our every move. Except for those inside the echo chambers on both sides who take partisan talking points as gospel, and adamantly refuse to think for themselves, the mainstream media has lost the trust of the majority of Americans.

Another example of exactly how combative the mainstream media has become towards Trump, the NY Times refuses to list the book, “Killing the Deep State” by Jerome Corsi, on its Best Seller list — in spite of the fact it has outsold everything else on it. Corsi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Obama Nation, The Late Great USA, and Unfit for Command — not exactly a “deplorable.” In the book, he pulls the veil off the Deep State and the powerful agencies behind it — the FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, and the Federal Reserve. Yet the Times whined that as long as Trump’s picture is on the book jacket, they’ll refuse to list it. Are they really being that petty, or are they afraid people will actually buy this book and learn that Trump has been right about the Deep State all along — disproving the leftist narrative they’re so heavily invested in editorially?

On the other hand, Trump’s attacks on Amazon are viewed in some quarters as an attempt to send Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos — who also owns the Washington Post — a pointed message that the paper’s coverage of Trump and his administration is unfair and heavily biased.

Either way, the electronic mainstream media is slowly, and seemingly deliberately, going the way of the printed word. While the mainstream media’s audience isn’t dying off like print’s Baby Boomers, the media is slowly but steadily killing them off — one person at a time — as it commits “suicide by clicks.” The bottom line is that the American public is clearly repulsed by the continual and blatant barrage of liberal propaganda being shoved down its collective throat by the news, entertainment and sports media. And more to the point, doing that is driving their audiences away.

Think about it. Do you spend less time on Facebook and other social media now, than you did a year ago? Do you watch less TV news — and less sports — now than you used to? Why? Is it because you’re tired of your intelligence being insulted and your values being disrespected by the liberal opinion being blasted in your face 24/7 in every political “news” story? Or is it simply because pompous, self-righteous twits like David Hogg, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, as well as bloated loudmouths like Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and even Oprah Winfrey have become so unbelievably boring by their continual spew of tired old left-wing drivel? Meanwhile Shawn Hannity and Tucker Carlson’s audiences continue to grow.

So as the mainstream media continues to censor what you see and hear, as well as sell your personal information to anyone willing to pay, how much less time will you be spending there a year from now?

Inquiring minds want to know…

 

1st GregsList Guarantee

Seattle, July 15, 2015

I have been writing for over forty years, but have never written a political piece. Business writing and hockey dad stuff are for the most part non-controversial genres. This year is different. My heart feels compelled – deeply and passionately compelled – to shout out the alarming concern I have for my country, and the direction the government has been taking us for the past few decades.

This is an election cycle where I personally believe the apple cart of politics-as-usual will be upset to a level never conceived by the political correctness crowd, or the staunch proponents of today’s status quo.

I believe the apple cart rolling out the presidential election of 2016 will not only be upset – it will be tossed high in the air like a spinning political pizza.

Thanks to a candidate named Donald Trump.


THE TOP 10 REASONS
DONALD TRUMP WILL BE PRESIDENT



1. He connects directly with the American voter
Donald Trump remembers Reagan Democrats. He also knows the founders of this particular country devised a unique form of government which allows the people, as individual voters, to “hire and fire” good or bad politicians every four years. No matter what the mainstream news media says, no matter what any academic or expert says, no matter what any shrill opponent says, Trump knows that the individual voter in America still has the power to control the political direction of the country. Kind of like cutting out the middle-man and shopping at a warehouse club.

2. He has single-issue power
Jobs. Illegal immigration. National debt. Defeating ISIS. Trump is so outspoken, and so confident in his business approach to these and other challenges (right or wrong) that he has the rare ability to earn votes on single issues. For example, he has said, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Given his business acumen, this boast doesn’t appear to be a stretch, or just superficial political posturing. Regardless of party affiliation, past tendencies, or personal feelings towards him, many voters will simply say, “…and for that reason alone I will vote for Trump.” Single issue.


3. He is a uniter
To listen to the most vocal Trump opponents — including for the most part, the mainstream news media — one might think Donald Trump is perhaps the most divisive candidate in history. To believe his critics and opponents, one might also think he has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination, much less the Presidency. The outlandishly contrarian position here is Mr. Trump is a uniter. When the votes are counted on November 8, 2016 it is my personal belief the numbers will indicate Donald Trump actually united us as Americans. The tally will confirm he united the Silent Majority; united the average workers of the country, including LEGAL immigrants; united voters who are fed up with politics as usual; united people who have had enough of political correctness; united the forgotten minorities who believe in capitalism and the American Dream; united women who believe Hillary Clinton and today’s feminist movement do not represent their views; united the military and its mission; and yes, united all of us who are simply frustrated with being silenced, minimized, disenfranchised, and shouted down during the last eight years.

4. His over-achieving family
Presidential families have been, and will be, forever scrutinized. Such is the nature of being in the public eye, and the gossipy nature of both many humans and today’s media. Anyone who has followed Trump over the years knows that he has always advocated a life of hard work and clean living to his family, and anyone else who will listen. He rails against alcohol, tobacco, and the use of drugs — the usual suspects of indulgence and under-achievement. In addition to health benefits, Trump believes if you are not shackled with time and energy-consuming bad habits, your time and energy can be focused upon more positive pursuits, such as work, family, hobbies or sports. Review the bios of his offspring, and even his critics and nepotism finger-pointers can agree the Trump family is indeed a hard working, highly successful family.

5. He’s thrives on criticism
Criticism allows Trump to engage his detractors publicly, which he loves the challenge of doing. In this Twitter Age, criticism (deserved or not) can go around the world instantly — you know, that “viral” thing. Trump, the consummate marketer, embraces the old adage that “any press is good press.” To stay in the news daily deprives competitors of the same airtime, a definitive strategy where opponents of both parties find it difficult to even be acknowledged, much less be heard. As importantly, with the evolution of social media and explosion of online conversations, this is a wholly unique era where the ordinary American can speak one’s mind publicly, free of censorship. There is the opportunity for real-time rebuttal to most news stories today, which is a secret weapon of the Donald Trumps, and other brand guys of the world. I have followed the online conversations from the beginning, and am still amazed at the support Donald Trump receives, especially with rebuttals to negative stories.


6. He is the only Republican who can take millions of votes from Hillary
As with Reagan Democrats, come election day, the rubber meets the road inside the American voting booth, where the secret ballot is the true voice of every American. If I were managing the Hillary Clinton campaign, I would not only be concerned about a Donald Trump presidential ticket — I would be petrified. One of the largest obstacles the average Republican has faced in recent years is the wildly successful demonization of their brand and beliefs by Democrats. Indeed, anyone who honestly believes the average Republican is filled with hate and bigotry, has simply embraced this Democrat marketing message. Unfortunately for Democratic strategists this time around, a savvy marketer like Trump will not be defeated by simple, broad-brush vitriol.


7. He is a New York businessman
Whether or not you love New York, it is the world’s business capital, and where Donald Trump cut his entrepreneurial teeth – not inside the Washington beltway. New York has more influence than the Pope, and more money than God. (That is a joke, folks). In the aftermath of September 11th, much of the civilized world became New Yorkers for a time. Whether you are a Trump lover or hater, he is New York and all it represents. There should be a photo of Donald Trump in the encyclopedia under the term, “Epitomizes New York; A true New Yorker; Spokesman and poster child for New York capitalism.” If any voter prefers a Washington outsider in this election cycle, where more appropriate a place to spawn a president who promises to run the country like a business.

8. He loves America and lives the American Dream
My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. I loved his patriotism. I loved his passion for America. I loved his optimism. Say what you will about the Reagan years, pro or con, it is clear that he passionately loved this country. Reagan reignited patriotism in the early 80s. That is, he led the bandwagon of patriotism and civic pride for an America that was reeling with self-doubt from the cynical 60s, and burnout from the yawning, depressing Carter years. With Donald Trump, some parallels to Reagan’s brand are remarkable, especially his direct appeal and connection to the average voter. Love him, hate him, laugh at his hair, scream at his loud mouth, there is one thing that is crystal clear: Donald Trump loves America. He is a New York capitalist – not a euro-internationalist – and not the least bit ashamed of it. Trump understands the 1776 Great American Experiment of individual freedom and capitalism can be swallowed up by socialistic internationalism and New Age revisionism in a heartbeat.


9. The Democrats now have a track record
Regardless of how the current administration’s record is spun by political operatives and media talking heads from the right or left, what is now tangible is eight years of performance by a Democratic President. The same applies to the Hillary Clinton years as a Democratic Secretary of State. Recalling Barack Obama as a campaigner in 2007, he had the benefit of no actual track record. Just like Governor George W. Bush in the late nineties. It is much easier to be a new, untested candidate, than one who has an eight year record to tout — or defend. One luxury Hillary Clinton may NOT have in this political cycle is a free pass from the media, should she proffer speculative, utopian plans, such as then candidate Obama touting he would quickly stabilize the Middle East and North Korea, and have a transparent administration.


10.
He is ratings gold
Donald Trump gets ratings. He enjoys enormous name and brand recognition worldwide. Ratings mean attention, and attention means money. No matter how provocative, he is an interesting fellow, which of course is the bread-and-butter of media ratings. The very definition of “provocative” means one provokes. Whether or not anyone saw this coming, Mr. Trump’s candidacy, coupled with his controversial words and bombastic personal style, has provoked a spirited national conversation which, in the end, means ratings. If it comes down to a televised presidential debate, is there anyone who would not tune in to watch Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump? I’m thinking ratings on steroids.

________________________________________________________________
© Copyright 2015 by Greg Meakin

Greg Meakin is a Seattle businessman and freelance writer. Email him at gregmeakin2020@gmail.com or visit his website at www.gregmeakin.com

Mayor Patty Lent

Screenshot 2018-02-22 at 4.30.48 PM

Patty Lent was a two-term mayor for the City of Bremerton, Washington. Last November, in a photo-finish election, she passed the torch to a new mayor, Greg Wheeler.

I have known Patty for over fifteen years, long before she entered public office as a city mayor.  I wanted to take a moment here to thank her for the eight years she devoted so passionately to the citizens of Bremerton.

I reached out to Mayor Lent last week. During a long catch-up phone call, I welcomed her back to the private sector and invited her to be a Contributor to my new eMagazine.

She was enjoying a well-deserved sabbatical but is enthusiastic about returning,  rested and relaxed.

I look forward to Mayor Lent contributing her expertise and wisdom to the Politics section, and maybe even a few other categories of Secrets from the Inside.

I can’t wait to read Patty’s articles — I’ll bet she has a secret or two she can share.

How fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathon Kneeland

Jonathon Kneeland is a conservative Canadian blogger. His political commentary essays have attracted hundreds of thousands of views, and generated spirited (if not emotional!) debate. I encourage readers who enjoy an intellectual read, and thought-provoking analysis, to follow Jonathon’s work. His website is newcenter.ca. and you can email him directly at jonathon@newcenter.ca.

DEFINING THE RACISM AND BIGOTRY OF THE LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA AND THE CASE FOR EXPOSING IT

WHY I CAME TO AMERICA

WHY I CAME TO AMERICA …and what I think now

by Greg Meakin

When I was 12, I decided I would someday go to America.

Specifically, it was the awards ceremony of my 1971 junior football banquet. How weird is that? But let me explain.

In 1971, I played my third season of Canadian junior football. Americans call it Pop Warner football. I was very excited to play that season. I already had a few years of organized football under my belt, I had practiced all summer long, and it was my first year as a starting quarterback. Even my coach forecast a good year for me. After all, in a league where rookies are snot-nosed 10 year-olds, a kid who’s 12 is a wily veteran indeed.

My coach designed an offense around a running quarterback. Now commonplace at all levels of football, this approach was rare back then. What he did not plan for was his quarterback (or any quarterback really) shattering every offensive record in the league’s history.

And it wasn’t even close.

In a 6 game season I gained 1053 yard on 56 carries. That’s almost 20 yards every time I ran with the football. (Hard core football fans always do a double-take on those numbers!). The kid who came in second was a half-back and scooted for 850 yards on over 140 carries. At less than 7 yards per carry, he was a distant second in league rushing.

On the scoring side, I finished with over 120 points – 20 points a game. The same kid above scored 40 less points with almost three times the carries. Even in junior football, the numbers don’t lie. My season was a “Wayne Gretzky” year; a Secretariat win by 30 lengths.

I tell this story not to boast. After all, it was kid’s football. I tell this story only because of the awards banquet. Not unlike the NFL, junior football trophies were awarded to the league’s leading rusher, leading scorer and most valuable player. That evening, I was beginning to wear a path to the podium, accepting trophies for Leading Scorer, Leading Rusher, and Team MVP. These were nice awards, but the biggest of them all was the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. As the announcement began, all eyes in the room were on me in anticipation.

What happened next was more shocking than an American Idol upset. The league’s Most Valuable Player Award went to the other kid – the one who came in second in

everything. Duncan was a school buddy of mine and a great football player, but when walking up to the podium he looked over to me apologetically – embarrassed really. My coach, who was sitting beside me at my team’s table, whispered, “Don’t feel bad — they just didn’t want to give all the trophies to one kid.”

Even at the tender age of 12, I felt jilted. You mean they wanted to spread the trophies around so the other kids wouldn’t feel bad? But what if I deserved to win? What if I practiced harder, or worked harder, or studied my playbook harder in order to be the best that year? Wasn’t trying to be the best a good thing?

In looking back, I realize it was my first personal encounter with socialism.

To be continued…

Greg Meakin is an American / Canadian dual citizen who was raised in Montreal and now resides in Washington State.

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Political Buttons

TED CRUZ CORNERS MEGYN KELLY

…and Greg’s Political Button Game is born

Finally, a politician is catching up to me. I recently watched Senator Ted Cruz corner Fox’s Megyn Kelly on her political views, and personal party allegiance. It was awesome.

In case you missed it, Cruz implied Kelly was clearly not a liberal, based on her reporting, and she and other Fox News personalities have indeed voted in presidential primaries in the past.Cruz’ claim was that journalists were ideological voters too, regardless of the objectivity they feign in their lofty media role.

My mother was a teacher for forty years, and said that her younger students were often surprised to see her shopping at the grocery store. Those youngsters believed that all teachers lived at the school. Very cute, but also applicable to some media members who believe they never leave the microphone – they remain “above” regular citizens in a way.

In their minds, they are clearly smarter than regular people, and somehow anointed with the only correct vision for the issue of the day. Volumes of public record corroborate this claim of journalistic subjectivity.  

I like Megan Kelly a lot, but it was surprising and fun to see her speechless for a change, if only for a few seconds! How could she possibly say on camera that she personally votes Republican, and voted for George W. Bush twice? Cruz was subtly goading Kelly to come clean, and she did not answer his baiting. It was fun for me to watch, which shows how old I am getting.

I was waiting to hear her tell the senator she never bought into the War on Women against Romney, and voted R in 2012.   

(Megan Kelly’s political views are only speculation on my part of course, and I invite her to counter my opinion anytime!).

Decades ago, when experiencing my government of Quebec creeping up on my civil rights, and after observing the observers observe – that is, watching and critiquing the media itself – I figured out a sure-fire way to ensure objectivity in journalism.

I dreamed up a little game — the Political Button Game — and this election cycle would be a perfect time to play. Like any game, there are rules, and the rules must be followed by all media personalities who do the news or comment about politics – in print, on television, on the radio, online, smoke signals – all of ’em!

As you will see with the game, journalists would now be required to wear a political button. If a reporter or commentator does not vote, has not voted, or is ineligible to vote, they’re not allowed to wear a button. For a radio personality, it would now be required to disclose his or her button color upfront, and at sign-off — just in case the listener missed the beginning of the radio show!

If the reporter is an illegal immigrant, then his or her button is also a GPS – to assist immigration services in tracking them down for deportation.

Here’s how the Political Button Game works, and who qualifies:


RULE 1: A big button must be worn every minute a reporter or commentator is on camera: A red button with an R for Republican, a blue button for Democrat, and some shade of purple pastel for Libertarian voters. The letter chosen must reflect the actual past votes in previous elections, or how someone is planning to vote in 2016. According to polls, most people know who they are voting for already, and wear it on their sleeve anyway. With this full disclosure on the lapel rule, if anyone doesn’t like it, or thinks it’s un-american, they don’t have to vote! And, those folks are also free to move to another country that might work better for them! That freedom thing is so awesome that way.  

RULE 2: Undecided – or registered Independents – are excluded from having their own button. For once, they have to act like grown-ups and make a choice upfront. And if they have voted the same way for the past two elections or more, they must wear that letter. (See Rule 1).  

RULE 3: For this game, the L button is just a catch-all for Libertarians, Reformers, Independents, Greenies, and all other unelectable parties.

RULE 4: Ok, here it comes. Only U.S. Citizens who are eligible to vote may vote. It’s a new concept to many Boomers and younger liberals, but it’s surely what the founding fathers of our country would insist on. Even in 2015. Living legally. And, almost as surprising, valid photo I.D. is required in order to vote. Same requirement as signing your kids up for youth sports, renting a car, or buying a drink. Sorry, it’s a rule.

Four simple rules. Easy.  


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The nice thing about the Political Buttons Game, is nothing changes in terms of the election itself. The only thing that changes is disclosure; those who feed us information and opinions must disclose upfront their political leaning and voting track record. This is a little bit like a politician having to disclose everything down to his or her bank account so that we know who we’re dealing with!

Whether or not the journalist is being objective, or tilted toward personal ideology, can at least be weighed and determined by the reader or listener. Those journalists or commentators who wear no button are not bad people, but we’re at least able to know they have no skin in the game. They’re just talking.

Now that Political Buttons must be worn, the playing field of spin, ideology, or personal bias should be much more level for the average voter like you and me. I can’t imagine the buttons not keeping everyone a smidge more honest and upfront, don’t you think?

And in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, I will wear a button too — I am an ideological Libertarian, with a big R on my big red button.

How ’bout yours?

Of Hate and Lies and Other Happy Thoughts

Originally published July 2005, and rings so true in 2018!

Is it just me, or is there a lot of hate going on these days? Am I imagining it, or is the word lie being spoken today as frequently as other thoughtful three letter words, such as cat and dog?

Examples abound. Theory research can begin by simply skimming a local newspaper or eavesdropping on a heated conversation in the bagel joint down the street. And don’t even think about turning on a television or radio unless you want your notes to give you writer’s cramp.

Forget the usual suspects associated with the term hate, such as terrorists and organized groups. Forget repetitive national talking points accusing selected human targets of lies, lies, lies. I am addressing an evident tidal wave of unspoken acceptance for these pugilistic words and thoughts that seem to have found a place in the daily vocabulary and lives of everyday Americans.

Years ago, I was listening to an inspirational friend of mine who was discussing the word hate. In a matter-of-fact way, he said the word itself was unwelcome in his home, not unlike a trouble-making patron who had been permanently banned from a business establishment. He had taught his children that this was a “strong word,” with no place in any positive environment, especially the family home.

I quizzed him further about this household policy, and his elaboration was simply that when a word or concept is accepted in a home, it would likely become a permanent house guest.

This is obviously not a new idea. Most religions, ideologies and schools of thought address this hypothesis in some way, often attaching memorable labels and acronyms. Think Golden Rule, Karma, myriad positive thinking models, among others.

And what of this lie word. Although notorious in today’s sound bite driven political battles, this happy verb is springing up as the word du jour in many daily conversations. Forget salty political operatives here, we’re talking about regular folks — kitchen workers to Cub Scouts. I can hear it now:

Cub Leader: “Ok scouts, today we’ll be doing indoor activities as it is pouring rain outside.”

Cub Scout: “But yesterday you said we’d be playing soccer outside. Why did you lie?”

When the stars align a special way, and the golden opportunity presents itself, one can perform a double whammy of sorts on a fellow human being, such as the oh so eloquent, “Because you lied, I hate you.”

At times, I rationalize I’ve been following politics too closely of late. On other occasions, I figure I’m just becoming overly sensitive. But then, without notice, a reminder pops up, often from unexpected sources.

Anyone who has spoken at hot-topic public meetings, or dealt with certain groups or associations, or been roped into office politics can probably relate. How often does a public meeting turn into a hate fest; a youth association become a weapon of discontent; or an office setting morph into covert operations of smear?

And I am not talking about the Art of Debate, or even heated debate. Disagreement, fair and square, is a sign of mutual respect and can lay groundwork to conquer challenges through cooperation and pragmatism.

No, I’m referring to that certain look, those certain words, or a certain action, which might cause the recipient to wonder, “I understand our differences here, but what’s with the personal hate?”

A definition of the word hate on a psychology website, self-knowledge.com, reads:

“Strong aversion coupled with desire that evil should befall the person toward whom the feeling is directed.”

Bingo! That’s what I’m talking about. The desire that evil should befall the person perfectly describes that certain look mentioned above. Wishing evil upon anyone during the ordinary course of daily life certainly sounds hateful to me.

Again, we’re not discussing appropriate and accurate applications of the word, such as a terrorist’s hate for America, but rather the tepid hue of personal hate in more mundane circumstances. This might include a Little League parent spewing verbal venom at an umpire or a drive-thru customer going berserk because the fries were missing!

Anyone who has worked extensively with the public has undoubtedly gone home many a night feeling pretty beaten up. Typically, these tough days are simply part of today’s demanding customer service world. However, these same employees likely have a list in their heads – hopefully a short list – of those certain customers who went far beyond simple complaints or concerns. These hateful people and their antics are often permanently etched in the employee’s lifetime memories.

Test it out sometime. Ask anyone who has worked with the public if he or she has ever felt personally hated by a customer. And get ready for some graphic stories.

Any probing discussion, even one such as this which is completely unscientific, inevitably evolves into a search for reasons.

From the outset, it seems easier to tackle core issues behind today’s predominance of the word lie than the word and concept of hate.

In a word-dissection age of focus groups and hyper-advertising, lie is not a bad word at all. Especially in the political campaign arena – which is nothing more than sales; selling a candidate — it is a word that endeavors to bloody an opponent’s nose, thus making the candidate’s mug look prettier. It delivers the blow with deadly accuracy. Like a flash grenade, “My opponent lied” lands with a thud. It’s simple to understand. “You’re a damned liar” is pretty clear.

It also can be targeted to a broad, national audience, which is the ultimate goal of effective message peddling today. Reaching consumers, with lightning speed and en masse, is the name of the game when seeking to transact with voters and other retail buyers.

With today’s technology juggernaut, once a word is selected and accepted as an avant-garde word du jour — as lie has apparently become — it will be verbally and electronically rocketed around the world, invariably landing in the mouths of the greater populace, including kids.

Even if the application of the word stumbles into the area of complete inaccuracy, perhaps being void of premeditation as in the silly Cub Scout example mentioned earlier, it is selected over other words simply to get the intended result — a means to an end.

Reflecting on core reasons for this hate wave today – both the word and the action — is a deeper mystery to tackle. Inhumanity in any context deserves volumes, not paragraphs, as a few thousand years of published and unpublished writings will attest. Nonetheless, Mirriam-Webster defines the noun version of the word hate as:

“Intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.”

In this definition, a few prospective answers are presented. At first blush, it seems straightforward. In time, however, I get the feeling the derivatives proffered – especially fear and sense of injury — subtly hint that the word in question has much depth.

Not surprisingly, the dictionary does not treat the word lightly. So why should we?

And that’s really it. As the saying goes: A place for everything and everything in its place. Is there room for the word hate and lie in the world today? Sure. Terrorists and convicted perjurers definitely make the grade, respectively. Will media super-saturation or consumer-fatigue cause the words to lose traction, making them less visible someday? Hopefully.

Finally, will verbal and written word-choosers look in the mirror first – questioning their own fear, anger or sense of injury motivations — before launching hateful words and actions onto fellow human beings? Possibly, but don’t hold your breath. Too often, trendy words exit with much more hesitation than their lavish arrival on the stage. Take the word groovy, for example!

Regardless, it does not mean we can’t stand on guard and be aware of the lie word and hate phenomenon. After all, they are discussed together here because they are akin to kissing cousins; from common roots, they often flirt with one another and appear very comfortable when working together.

And it does not mean we have to buy into this or any other in-vogue trend and become a messenger, a pawn, wittingly or unwittingly. The good news is we are free as a people to simply ignore.

The act of truly respecting our English language – as well as our fellow Man — can only lead to good, can’t it?

In our homes, in our offices – and in our thoughts — all that is required, really, is to choose our words carefully.

 

Greg Meakin
July 2005

 

American vs. Canadian

Quick link here to an American version political commentary, to a Canadian edited one. The Toronto Sun, a online and hard copy publication, recently published the second version of this Bill Cosby story. Just wanted people’s opinion of which they preferred — the American version, or Canadian…

And fun, this is the first Politics story that features my son Carson’s artwork.

Evil Bell-Hop, by Carson Meakin. So cool.

http://www.gregmeakin.com/published-works/2017/12/23/bill-cosby-sparked-this-firestorm