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Here's a Thought with Charles Shaughnessy UPDATED from Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Here's a Thought with Charles Shaughnessy part TWO, for Season Two!

Thanks to everyone who joined us on our first show back for HERE'S A THOUGHT.  If you missed it, you can still watch it at this link: here's a thought video for 9.17.15. The first three segments were on Charlie's 3 plays he did this summer & the last segment is a little touch on politics & Charlie's LIVE streaming RFK Ride for Kids.  If YOU have THOUGHTS you want to share with the rest of the class about the show, leave them here on the blog!
additional comments from:
charles shaughnessy18 September, 2015 10:10
charles shaughnessy18 September, 2015 10:10 (scroll down a bit to see 2nd post)
charles shaughnessy19 September, 2015 15:05

 "Here's A thought with Charles Shaughnessy" begins season two, LIVE online on September 17th at 3 pm PST from the studios of TradioV, that's RADIO . . . in TV!

Cartoons by Janne

I am planning to re-cap the summer this week with photos and clips of all the shows and talk a bit about each, talk about what's coming up, my virtual ride for Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corphow you can watch it LIVE on and donate to help me raise the rest of my pledge.

If there is time, also talk about what is in the news right now, on Thursday's first show. To that end, I wanted to 'throw' this THOUGHT out to you. 

To me, there is nothing surprising or shocking about the irresistible rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. When push comes to shove, I have always believed that the American people, as a kind of collective energy, will do the "right thing." Whether it be in jury trials or elections, they will, in the end, rise above the  cacophony, shrug off personal bias and make a reasonable choice. We may not always like it, but it will be an understandable choice given the evidence and circumstances. For decades Americans have been warning their politicians that they were falling short: focused selfishly on re-election, obsessed with the money/fuel to get there, cowed by small but LOUD "interest groups" and either ignorant or disinterested in the issues that actually concerned the "man in the street." Well, that same "man in the street," on both sides of the political street, has finally found a way to deliver the message once and for all. 

We are in the process of throwing out a dysfunctional political system. It is as profound and as revolutionary a process as the one that took place in 1776, but with less bloodshed. There will always be policy makers, bureaucrats, professional advisers to the President who will be responsible for the actual running of the government, gathering intelligence, steering the economy, managing The State, but the person in charge, the person with ultimate, decision-making responsibility could be someone who is making those decisions free of badgering special interest or personal ambition. It is almost like turning the clock back to the early days of this nation when politicians were made up of farmers, businessmen and lawyers who saw a civic duty to serve their country for awhile before returning to their real jobs. Trump or Sanders? Well, that depends on which vision, policy direction, future for this country you prefer. But I am excited that this is the choice we might have. It has been a long time a comin'.

If YOU have thoughts to share, please post them here on the blog in the comments section.

Be sure to LIKE my Facebook page CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY (choose the new setting available for Facebook pages of "SEE FIRST" to make sure you don't miss any of the latest news) and follow me on Twitter @C_Shaughnessy and my producer Janelle on Twitter too!

Best, Charlie


  1. I agree that the rise of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders is directly due to the fact that people are tired of politics as usual and have had enough with career politicians. A candidate like Donald Trump, can say exactly what he wants because he has the freedom of not needing money for his campaign. He is not worried at all about offending anyone, as long as his numbers stay strong. The more outrageous he gets, the more chance he will be followed by the media, and gets the publicity he wants. Candidates like Carson and Sanders have nothing to lose, and as long as they continue to do well in the polls, they will continue on their chosen path.
    Without a doubt, candidates like Clinton and Bush carry all the baggage their names, and the fact that they are career politicians, bring!
    I just hope you are right, and the American people choose wisely! I hope the fact that they want something different, doesn't make them choose someone who ultimately, may not be the right person to hold the office of President of one of, if not the most powerful countries in the world.

  2. Oh my goodness, I had actually typed a reply to Becky and Sharon about "why Trump is popular", and then deleted it because I didn't want to start a conversation prematurely. That is EXACTLY what I'd written, that Trump is bearing the "fruit" of a population who is disgusted with politicians, political corruption, and what it has done to this country. Personally, I think he's a royal putz, but everyone I know who has said they're "supporting" him(word used loosely) is to send a message to Washington. The people have been waiting for a chance to have some semblance of control over the system, to tell the Political Machines that we have had it with their nonsense. Trump's ability to say to the others "This country is a mess, and it's because of what YOU ALL have done" has people applauding. Sadly, he's rude and crude, and that makes the "right leaning" people look as if they are applauding that arrogance and lack of manners. I don't trust him, I think he does what's best for "The Donald" not the people. And while people love that he's not politically correct, he's also incredibly rude. You can reject PC without being a jerk about it.
    Bernie is a much kindler, gentler version of the same thing for the left....talking about inequality and the big banks running the show. The politicians who promised to go after Wall Street have not done so, and have instead taken money from that cabal. Unfortunately, the minions in DC have created such a huge debt, that I feel Sanders ideas are not realistic. But he IS listening to the people.
    It is exciting, the people are rising up, and to quote Peter Finch "they're mad as hell and not going to take it any more", and that's a wonderful thing. I can handle Bernie Sanders being one of the nominees, but not Donald Trump. There are third parties too, who don't even get a seat at the table.

    1. Jo, I've long thought that Trump is only in it for himself. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels that way. There has never been anything that he has done to make me trust him or believe that he really cares about anyone but himself. It's almost as though he feels invincible simply because he knows that the American people are frustrated with the current system and are willing to grasp at anything out of ye old average candidate who simply tries to say what they think the people want to hear. And since he is different, people cling to that. They want something different, regardless of the fact that he doesn't show that he cares about the country. He is also playing on the fact that so many people on the left are going to be so put off by the things he says that those on the right will automatically stand by him simply because they don't want anyone on the left to be correct in any way. But the fact that the left side is so appalled by everything the man says, and they keep waiving the bigot flag about him, keeps giving him the attention that he wants and needs to stay in the spotlight. When it comes down to it, Trump is a businessman who knows what it takes to get people to pay attention to him. It doesn't matter that the attention is negative, because, with the way America craves something different from all of the politicians that we have seen for so long, that attention is still getting to him and is still keeping him in people's minds.And yes, Sanders does seem like he is trying to listen to the American people, but he's not being realistic about how to go about it.But the fact that he is trying to listen to people is why he is getting the numbers that he currently enjoys.If it weren't for that, I think that too many people would realize that his ideas are too far to an extreme and do not provide a realistic path to correcting the problems the country currently has.

    2. Jo and Becky, I couldn't agree more with you about Trump. I don't trust him at all and totally believe he is out to do whatever is best for himself. He is in love with power and this is the ultimate power trip. He loves publicity and doesn't care at all that it's negative, as long as it keeps him the main attraction on the news! Something that the media seem only happy to oblige him.
      I agree that Bernie Sanders is listening to the people but his policies are a little extreme and unrealistic.
      It's great that we agree on this! Now we need to find a great candidate that will do whatever is best for our country! Funny how that person is so hard to find!

    3. I agree Jo! My thought about this election so far is that it has turned into a three ring circus with Trump in the center ring and Clinton and Bush in the other two. Truthfully I'm shocked people are supporting Trump. There is no way he would be any good for our country! The news media spends so much time on Trump that the other candidates don't even get a chance. Who knows maybe the person who may actually bring about change is just sitting there waiting, but can't get a word in edgewise because Trump is taking up the media with his arrogance and rudeness. Personally I think he's a waste of voters time! I want to know what the other candidates have to say on all sides not Trump ranting about something again! Clinton comes with so much baggage that is do to no ones fault, but their own. Her and Bill created that baggage and brought in on themselves with all their "lies." Bush comes with his baggage that was created by him and his brother. As far as Sanders goes, I haven't really formed an opinion. I will tell you that I do like the fact that he has supported and fought for our veterans.
      I do believe that voters across the board want change (I know I do). However we tried voting "change" when Obama was elected and look how well that turned out. Although some would say it turned out great. I however disagree!

    4. I've wondered all along if Trump is "catfishing" the Republicans, and my feelings just keep getting stronger. Other candidates have had their chances derailed over far less(Howard Dean screamed into a microphone! The horror!!), and he just keeps insulting people and getting praise for it! WTH?????? Is it that America is so sick of politicians, they'll get behind anyone who ISN'T one? Ben Carson would be a much better choice, if that's the theory. I don't agree with Carly Fiorina on 100% of the issues, but I loved her response to him(and the glare on her face when he said she was beautiful, with no apology). I signed on FB this morning, and one of the first things on my newsfeed was "Fiorina owns Trump but helps Jeb". That scared me, because it's right back to what the media and the Party Machines have wanted all along...Hillary v. Jeb. Is this really the have Trump totally screw up the Republican debates and primaries, so that Jeb waltzes in and pretends to give Hillary an opponent??!! Is this already "pre-arranged", and we're just pawns in a chess game?
      I loved Tracy's comment..."being a famous name and a Washington Insider" is NOT what is going to take down will be her own choices and actions over the years. She's sitting on the sidelines, watching Trump turn what should be real debates into a carnival sideshow, surrounded by her own baggage that is being purposely ignored. We're being played like violins. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that a debate format has turned into a "mud-wrestling reality show", where the candidates are baited with questions about their reactions to what Trump said.

  3. This is definitely a change that has been a long time coming. I don't know if we currently have the candidates that are right for that change to happen exactly the way that it needs to happen. However, the fact that such radical candidates, from any side, are being seriously considered demonstrates that people crave a change and are willing to take radical measures to see that change happen politically. Right now, I'm very sure that many Americans feel the frustration of not actually being represented by the politicians who are supposed to represent them. For far too long, we've been frustrated with the fact that our elected leaders are more concerned about securing their re-election than actually listening to their constituents. I know it's a frustration I have felt many times. But I do agree with you, Charlie; in general, the American people will collectively attempt to see things according to the big picture, and therefore try to make the right decisions. Sometimes, as we see now, that means having to reassess where society needs to go and what it will take to get us there and then adjust the way we attempt to get there. That's what brings out the extremes, within the candidates themselves, as well as in the political polarization. The trick is to not allow that polarization to become so extreme that we are too far apart to continue communication vital to progression toward to goal found within the big picture. As it stands currently, though, I don't see any candidate that I feel will be the step in the direction that the country needs to take. As you have mentioned, there will always be those who are working behind the scenes, no matter which party is heading the country, who are doing more to actively run and manage the country than whoever has the final decision making authority. That will be a big part of how the big picture will take shape. At this point, however, I, for one, don't see any candidates I feel will actually help shape that picture in the right way. I know it's early on in the process, but, if things don't change from where they are currently at, I can't say who is going to get my vote. Probably a third party candidate who can at least make me feel like the American people are a priority, not the power, fame and clout that comes from holding any political position.

  4. On the lighter side! My phone hasn't stopped pinging since the HAT Season 2, blogs were posted!! Proof of how much we have missed you guys!

  5. Really enjoyed the show. It was fun seeing clips of the shows which brought back fond memories of a great trip for me! I was watching the 'My Fair Lady' clip and was remembering the show when the theatre lost half of their power and the orchestra had to sit among the audience and in the aisles! The show must, and did, go on!
    Back to "the one who won't be named!' I think you more or less gave an answer to a comment I was about to make, that the media are driving this campaign. He boosts ratings and so it is in their interests to keep him in the forefront of the news all the time, while barely giving the other candidates a mention. The more outrageous and insulting he is, the more people watch, and the better the ratings are!
    Looking forward to what sounds like a great season ahead. It's going to be a lot of fun!

  6. One question about Trump: Would he be the best choice for diplomatic relations or destroy all our international relations? I definitely would not want Trump addressing other contry's leaders with the attitude he has expressed during his campaign. Scary thought! Now as to Clinton: If they had a question about her communications, why did they not ask during the time of the communications? It's in the past, keep it there. Besides, I cannot see anything wrong with any of it!

  7. When out comes to He Who Shall Not Be Named, I just haven't heard or seen anything from him that shows he actually cares about the country or its people. But I think Charlie hit it right on when he said that it's a monster created by the desire to have something different in the political forum. Many people are tired and frustrated with the concept that politicians from both sides of the political street are only in it for the career and the power they can gain from it. People are tired of politicians and want something else, and now that He Who Shall Not Be Named is providing something different, it doesn't matter that it's rude, disrespectful, angry at everything and attention seeking, people who fall on the side opposite the current leadership are clinging to it and drawing opposition from those who fall on the same side as said leadership. Either way, the man is getting what he wants when he gets all the attention. But hopefully the attention that his actions and attitude are getting will send a message that people don't want the career politician to simply try to schmooze their way into office. We want real people with real solutions. Of course we also want those solutions to be immediate and to not take time or effort, but that's a completely different discussion.
    As for the church versus state issue that's been a part of the news and social media circuses recently, I speak as a religious individual who feels that religion should not govern the state and that the only thing the state should regulate regarding religion is that it is not endangering or impeding the rights and safety of other individuals who do not believe the same way. The state's responsibility is to ensure that everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or practices, benefit from the same rights and privileges. That has to be balanced with the state not being able to force anyone to act in a way opposing the individual's thoughts and religious beliefs, so long as their actions do not violate the rights of others. I'm with Charlie in that I wouldn't want to live where religion has authority over the government because, within my own religious convictions, I strongly believe that one of the things that each person is afforded, by God, is the freedom to choose what we believe and how we will pursue those beliefs. A church run society that demands people follow a specific religion doesn't allow for that choice. But I also wouldn't want to live where the extremism is the opposite and the state says that people cannot choose to believe and practice things that do not interfere with the rights of others. As far as I'm conserved though, if an individual's job requires them to do something they feel strongly opposed to religiously, then maybe they need to find another job where that violation to their beliefs won't be required.

    1. Becky, as always "yeah what she said". I am a devout Evangelical, who does not agree with Kim Davis at all in this situation. She has CHOSEN a government job with government salary and benefits paid by the citizens, and she has sworn to uphold the law. If she does not feel she can do this(as is her right), then she needs to leave the job. We do not live in a theocracy, and I too do not want to live in one! God gives us free will to accept or reject Him, we can not be FORCED to believe! It is physically and spirtually impossible to "force" someone to believe as you do...they may parrot the right words to either stay safe or get you to shut up...but it is not genuine. Another issue that I have with Davis, et that they are cherry-picking one issue and making it "against their faith". If they truly want to obey God in issuing marriage licenses, then they also need to be asking if the couple has had premarital relations if they cohabitate, if they've been married before, if they have had children out of wedlock, if they've had an abortion, and most important of all...are they of the same faith(as each other) as God commands that we not be 'unequally yoked'!!!
      That said, there is one thing I will try and "explain" about Kim Davis' faith. It is not fair to call her a hypocrite for things she has done in her past, if they were "pre-Jesus". I don't know her story timeline, but if she had those divorces, affairs, and children out of wedlock BEFORE she came to Jesus...then it's all forgiven and forgotten, and no longer 'her". If that is not true, and she's been preaching Jesus while committing adultery with multiple marriages, then yes...she shouldn't be talking about the sanctity of marriage. Two different scenarios, though it would be nice if her past sins made her more compassionate and understanding.
      And as Becky said....there is another side to this coin(for NON-GOVERNMENT workers), they should not have to compromise their beliefs. If they want to risk losing business over it, that is their choice and their right(though technically they should also be asking the same above-mentioned questions of the couple, to make sure they aren't condoning sin).
      Something that is very hard for non-Bible-believers to understand, is that while Jesus LOVES everyone(even at our worst), he did not condone sin. He may have sat and ate with prostitutes, corrupt tax collectors, adulterers...but it was to teach them His Way. Jesus did not say "oh you're an adulterer? Cool!! As long as it's 2 consenting adults, go for it". He said "Go and sin no more". So it's hard to spread that message, without sounding self-righteous and holier-than-thou. We're not perfect, just forgiven, and we screw up every single day.

    2. For me, I'm looking at it from a standpoint where I have to say that it's not my place to judge on either side of the religious perspective of the situation. One of the most common things that we hear today is people saying things like "Don't judge me". We all have our problems and one of my favorite quotes, from one of my church leaders, is "Don't judge me because my sins are different than yours." I don't know Kim Davis' life and I don't know her situation, so I think I'll leave it up to God to cast judgement, and I'll just try to work on being the best person I can, following the law as well as I can.
      But, she did violate the law when she refused to do the job she willingly agreed to by denying others rights. Religion is not designed to be a shield against the law of the land, allowing us to pick and choose which laws we follow. It's a very personal, private thing that most people use as a moral guide for life. The Constitution is written to protect people's right against being ruled by the dictates of another person's religion as well as the right of people to believe how we choose without fear that the government will come in and say that our beliefs are unacceptable. Religious people do not have the right to use their religion to control the actions of others in the same way that non-religious people do not have the right to deny religious crowd the freedom and right to believe and practice as they will. The only stipulation is that we cannot use our beliefs, no matter where they lie, to justify practices that deny the same rights to other people.

    3. We are definitely on the same page, Becky!! I've always loved that quote about not judging because of different sins. I'll admit, I really struggle with "flip-flopping'' over forcing bakers to make cakes for gay weddings(or suing them into bankruptcy). One part of me understands that it opens the door for people to say "I don't believe people of different races to get married, so I don't want to make them a cake" or I don't want "group A" to be in my store...and I disagree with that. But at the same time, this is SUCH a hot topic, I can't justify demanding that someone provide you with a private product, just because you want it(or because you have targeted them to prove a point, which is what I fear is really happening). So basically....I'm all over the map, and can defend both sides LOL. Many very loving people in America have stuck their necks out to defend the right of gay people to have a civil marriage(and a church wedding if they want to and the church is amenable). But imho, it isn't right to take that to the nth degree and force those who are struggling with the idea of gay marriage(but accept the legal, civil aspect of it) to participate in the event through their privately owned business. If they want to lose that sale(and take the chance that they will lose other business because of their stand), that is THEIR right. If a bakery refuses to make cakes for Christian ceremonies(baptism, confirmation, etc)...I'm all for that! They can do what they want, and the people who need the product can go elsewhere. Obtaining a legally required license from an elected official does not fall into that category. But then, don't even get me started on people having 'the right' to pay the government to give them permission to get married!!!!
      Be afraid, my friends, be very Libertarian side is showing *wink*

    4. The bottom line is, your religious beliefs cannot override the law. I agree, Jo, that this case is somewhat different from a baker who owns his own business, choosing not to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I don't agree with it, but it is his right and he is not breaking the law. Kim Davis, by not issuing the licenses, which was her job, was breaking the law and therefore had to deal with the consequences of that.

    5. Jo, I wouldn't say that you are flip-flopping. The incidents and situations are different. The big difference between a baker refusing to bake a cake and Kim Davis refusing marriage licenses is that the baker was a privately owned business while Ms. Davis was a government employee. As a privately owned business, the baker can reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, no matter how bad of a business decision it might be. Ms, Davis, on the other hand, was working for the government and was therefore representing the government that had already determined the marriages for which she refused to issue licenses were already recognized by, and could not be denied by the government.
      The couple wanting a cake baked for them could have gone to another bakery close by to get a wedding cake. Couples seeking to marry, however, would have had to go to a completely different county to get a license. Wedding cakes are not required by law, but marriage licenses are; that's the difference.
      Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was morally right to refuse to make a cake, and I definitely don't know that it was a good business decision. I'm only saying it was their legal right to refuse service. The lawsuit in that case felt very much like a directed attack. It was, as if, only to prove a point and rub the law in the face of anyone who may have religious reservations about same-sex marriages- even if they were willing to recognize the civil rights and privileges afforded by the government. It came with a subtext that anyone who didn't morally agree with same-sex marriage would either be bullied into throwing aside their moral beliefs or be forced out of business. But that's getting into a completely different discussion and is symptomatic of a completely different issue than what's being discussed here.

  8. i thnkyour show was great really enjoy it very much so glad both of you are back love hearing about your trip to NY RI and most of all FLA i follow you the place's is u were at and i didn't have to leave my home that a lot of fun i almost made to couple of you show just didn't work out but if u come again to the boston area believe that won't happen again or fla i won't miss when u were in fla was for near yet so far even in GA to anyways your show was wonderful anything u do is wonderful and much money coming to the RFK corps will be coming thanks again for all you do !

  9. I wrote this on my FB page some time ago, when the DT phenomenon first started. It is half the story. As I said on the show, the other half is that he is as welcome as a summer storm that shakes things up and reveals a lot of what has been hidden under piles of rubbish:

    The reason Trump holds us and the media in such thrall is that he is US. He is the personification of everything that we have become: obsessed with celebrity, wealth and casual cruelty. Allergic to critical thinking or depth. Hungry for easy-to-digest sound-bites and cliche. Angry and frustrated at a universe that does not put us "front and center". Ego-centric, not confident. Distracted, not multi-tasked. Bombastic, not inspiring. Reality TV, Fox News and Madison Avenue conspired to create this monster; we embraced it and must now live with the consequences.

    1. You are right! We HAVE brought this on ourselves! I hope that over the next few months, saner minds prevail and the outcome of the election is something we CAN live with.

    2. I shouldn't even go here, because I don't watch Fox News and am not in one of the 2 main parties....but I do have to say....Fox News created this??? Have you never watched MSNBC?! Did you not see the debacle on Wednesday night...on CNN?! I think we've reached a crisis point in this country, where THE MEDIA is the problem, and we don't need to start separating them out. Jake Tapper was awful the other night...."so, Candidate x, what do you think of Donald Trump?", and having a split screen for the majority of the time so that others' time was invaded by Trumps face/reactions. I watch ABC News/Good Morning America...and they talked all morning yesterday about CNN's high ratings. The media deserves to be all lumped together, they are a disgrace.

  10. As for the Kim Davis controversy...we got a bit short-changed for time on the show so let me add this.
    I have the utmost respect for anyone's religion: it is an intensely personal relationship that we all have with our own personal choice of God, and no-one has any right to question that relationship.The issue I have with any religion is when it questions the idea of their actually being a CHOICE and that, in truth, there is only ONE God and that is theirs. Not only that, but that their choice of God (and what they believe he tells them,) guides their actions within a society EVEN when that action is contrary to that society's law. We are now talking about a Theocracy, just like the one that governs life in Tehran. There is no place for such a system in America and that is precisely why this is NOT a Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Mormon Nation. That is the very definition of " Separation of Church and State." For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone has a hard time understanding this.

    1. was wondering when the debate came on how long it would be before we had a political blog? Sorry i missed your show in Jax! Reading this comment with a big smile on my face! You rock Charlie! Dont know how else to put it! I agree and wish more people understood. You would think "Freedom of religion", means any religion! Melting pot, immigrants, & diversity = Americans! Myself (according to Ancestry dna) ethnicity=50% British and 35% Irish, 5% Russian & 5% Jewish and 5 % Finnish = Yes, an American mutt and dang proud of it! Well majority of the time! ;) Diversity = diverse religions. What is so wrong with having a Muslim president or atheist president or female president? As long as they do a good job!

  11. Really enjoyed that "Here's A Thought" is back on the air. It was fun to recap the summer since I was able to enjoy seeing Ever After and My Fair Lady. My thoughts on the DT, he is telling the american people what they want to hear even if problems do not get solved. Government has failed its people and in some respects do not want put up with it any more.

  12. A big Yes to both Becky and Jo! DT is getting exactly what he wants!! The attention all on him, and the media, BOTH the conservative and the liberal media, are giving it to him! As I said, it boosts ratings. Then, all the entertainment shows give it to him as well because, after all, he is entertainment! You are right Jo! The media all have to be lumped together! Both sides are equally to blame!
    Regarding Kim Davis, I cannot understand why there is any controversy over her at all. Her beliefs, which she has every right to have, should not interfere with the law of the land or her job. Just like my personal beliefs cannot interfere with, or enter into, my job as a teacher! Her whole situation, perhaps, should have been handled better.If granting marriage licenses to gay couples went against her faith, then she should have been moved to another department where she could do her job, and not go against her beliefs! I know a great many very religious people, and not one of them supported Ms. Davis!

  13. its not fox news or CNN or the stock any other news we are here to decides what u want o listen to i believe they are both pretty good myself and it some of the people who don't really listen for the truth anymore how can young people learn if let them decide the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket if we don't listen and learn just thought i put my two sent in thank u .

  14. I copy Tracys words : "There is no way he would be any good for our country".
    I am scared that this man -DT- could be president of the USA.
    Scared for you AND for us! :-(

  15. I'll just say a great big "Amen!" to Charlie's comments about DT. As much as I am annoyed by his behavior and attitude, I see how we have brought it on ourselves. I also see how the situation requires us getting to an extreme in the political arena before many people will recognize the changes that need to happen.
    I also must agree with the comments about the separation of church and state, as we do not live in a theocracy. As I mentioned before, i would not want to live in a state where any beliefs are pushed upon me, no matter which religion it would be. I am a Mormon, and I have been in places where people of my same faith have tried to force rules and their own personal thoughts, beliefs, interpretations and understandings upon everyone around them. It was not pleasant and left me wanting to tell them where to go and how to get there. I had the same feeling when people of differing faiths have tried to force their beliefs and practices on me. I don't want any religion forced upon me, because, as Sharon said, you can never force anyone to believe anything specific. The simple fact is that we don't have a religion tied to the law for a reason: defense of the right of everyone to choose what they believe and how they will practice that religion. The only right that we don't have is to take away the rights of others in the name of religion. The reason I think so many people have a problem understanding this is because so many people try to superimpose their own thoughts and beliefs on everyone else. That's the issue with Kim Davis, she was trying to use religion to justify denying the rights of others. Much like Charlie, I will never argue with someone's religion or their own eternal salvation, as these are very personal and deep convictions. But I can never condone the practice of trying to use your religion as a reason to deny someone else rights. Even though something about another's life disagrees with my own religious beliefs, I could never deny them any civil rights any more than I could deny them to a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist. As Charlie said, that is the definition of the separation of church and state. The controversy over Kim Davis has come from the people who believe that her arrest is the state stifling her religious beliefs and practices. What they don't understand is that the arrest she was impeding and denying others the rights granted by the Supreme Court. She is the one who involved religion in an attempt to justify it due to her freedom of religion. In essence, she was trying to superimpose her religious beliefs on the people around her. While the Constitution protects her (or anyone else's) right to believe and practice her religion, it also protects every other individual in the country from having her, a government employee, force her beliefs on them. Again, the separation of church and state. Simply put, we cannot use our own religious convictions to deny anyone else the liberties and rights granted within the U.S, Constitution. Too many people, both religious and not, feel a responsibility to ensure that everyone around them share the same beliefs and practices. If they don't, they are irrational, uneducated or just filthy sinners. They claim freedom of religion, but they don't want to allow that right for anyone whose beliefs differ from their own.

  16. 10% of a population could be identified as a "fringe" minority. 25% of a population is a minority, but could hardly be termed "fringe." 43% of a population is, in practical terms, no longer even a minority. When my Republican friends remind me that The Trump is just a crazy aberration who does not represent the true Republican ideals, I remind them that nearly half of this country's identified Republican population feels that, on the contrary, The Trump absolutely represents what it is to be Republican. In the 1980s, the CIA created Al Quaeda out of the body parts of Islamic extremists, Afghani tribal chiefs and Opium warlords, to ravage the Soviet Union. Such a monster is hard to control, as we found to our cost on 9/11. Faced with a shifting demographic and a widening income gap, the GOP has been finding it difficult to seize or maintain the "moral high ground" in American politics, as Mitt Romney found to his cost. The party most closely aligned with big business, reactionary social positions, nationalism ( or "exceptionalism", as they like to call it,) and the elite 1%, had to come up with a new tactic. To counter-act this new reality, the GOP "think tank" took a leaf out of some of History's more Machiavellian political scientists and developed what Stephen Colbert nicely described as "truthiness." It is the phenomenon by which a statement has more intrinsic value if it sounds like it "should" be true than it would if it simply WERE true. The formula was developed in the lab of Lee Atwater, nurtured into life by Karl Rove and given purpose and direction by the combined forces of Murdoch and Ailes. Fueled by a culture devoid of critical thinking or sustained thought, encouraged by the cruel shallowness of "reality TV" and delivered by a cohort of red-faced pundits and talk-show hosts, this "truthiness" was gleefully hurled into the face of reason, decorum and integrity like a toxic cream pie. Whitewater, the murder of Vince Foster, John Kerry's wartime cowardice, Obama's muslim faith and Kenyan citizenship, "Death Panels," ...the list meanders on through one outrageous fiction to another! Gorged on a diet of this pap, the Republican faithful have finally broken free of their moorings and are now, no longer able ( or willing,) to sort truth from fiction, history from myth or politics from Entertainment. The Trump is their Golem, created to smash the hopes of Democratic ascendancy. Instead he has turned on his masters. He is like a third-string, wide receiver brought into the game to create some confusion in the opposition defence. Instead he has grabbed the ball, charged off into a crowd-pleasing, grand-standing zig zag route that defies any of the standard "plays," threatens to lose as much ground as he gains and no one can stop him. He might even find himself over the end-zone and come up a winner. The horror for the GOP is that where this, right now, feels like an un-competitive AFC qualifier: such antics could cost his team a humiliating defeat in the Super Bowl.


    1. While I agree that roughly half of the registered Republicans do feel that Trump is exactly what they want as a leader, the rest certainly do not. He appeals to the 'right wing' of the party - the same people who wanted Sarah Palin as a running mate for McCain! Despite this fact, I think the Republicans were just as surprised when he entered the race. I do not think he was part of their master plan. Of course, after hearing his right wing rhetoric, many of them jumped on his bandwagon! They love most of what he says, and plan to ride him into the White House. I don't think this will happen (I desperately hope not), and, if indeed, he wins the Republican nomination, I agree that it just might lead to a Democratic win.
      I do think that the current situation in our country, where everything is taken at face value, where people are fed (and are greedy for) a diet of Kardashians and Jenners, and the line between news and entertainment has been rubbed out, has led to the current popularity of Trump. He is entertaining and outrageous, and appeals to people who don't really care what he says, more how he says it! He is, to continue with your football analogy, running down the sideline, but I think he will be tackled, fumble the ball, and the opposition will score the Touchdown.

  17. Oy, this sounds familiar. "The Republicans are the cause of all evil in the universe and don't try and tell me the Democrats are bad too because there's just no comparison". I'm a "recovering Republican" Independent, but I just can't let them be blamed for the mess in Washington. This is a 2-headed leviathan, and if you take away the far extremes on both sides...they are the same party. I don't know how these polls are taken...they ask a small amount of people, they "say" they're for DT, the number crunchers then extrapolate some % that it must represent????? I think Democrats WANT Trump to be the consummate Republican, angry, racist, misogynistic, arrogant, that they can paint an entire group of citizens with his brush. Also, it has taken any and all focus off of the Dem Front Runner...a woman who has more baggage than Samsonite, now supposedly all manufactured by some vast right-wing conspiracy of lies! There is another side to that "truthiness" coin.....the "everything is a lie" routine. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. I realize that people are sincere in this belief, but it's not true either. The Dem politicians have contributed to ALL of the things that are wrong, even if they did not have the White House. Congress plays such a big role in this, and that's where most of our current problems have originated.
    I may be wrong, but my friends who have stayed with the Republican Party(most do so because we can't vote in primaries without belonging to one of the 2 machines) are behind Ben Carson. I really can't believe that 43% are behind DT and agree with him, or that those who are replying to the polls aren't saying they are for DT just to send a message to Washington, and to mess with the polls(which we ALL hate). I left the Republican Party because I was too libertarian, and couldn't tolerate their social conservatism and "legislating morality" any longer. But that said, I can't and won't ever agree that they are the scourge of Washington. Both sides bear that burden, IMHO.

    1. Well said Jo! I have to agree with you on a couple of points. First, I do think both parties hold equal blame for the mess in Washington. I don't believe the Republican Party can take all the blame for that, and I am not a person who supports that party!
      I also cannot believe that 43% of Republicans support DT. I live in the Simi Valley/Thousand Oaks area of California, where I am completely out numbered by Republicans in this hot bed of Republican supporters, and I don't know one who is a Trump supporter. If you watched the GOP Debate here last week, he did not have the audience behind him. Perhaps the polls were taken in states like Arizona, where they are behind anyone who says they have a solution to the illegal immigration problem, no matter how ludicrous that solution!
      I do agree with Charlie however, when he says the 'truthiness' card has mostly been played by Republicans. They use the "it sounds like it should be true,so it must be true", all the time. Just look at the unnecessary focus on Hilary's emails! Well, that's my opinion anyway, though I'm sure a lot disagree with me!

    2. As with Jo, I see this kind of a problem on both sides of the spectrum. I've never actually been allowed to vote in a primary election because I have always refused to assiciate myself with any political party at all. I see, from every side possible, the animosity that each side has and I see how each side is quick to jump on the idea of blaming the other side for all of the nation's ills. Yet if you try to point it out, one of the first defenses for that is to try to deflect, saying that the other side did it first or that side A are far worse at it than side B. I feel confident in saying that as I come from a family and have many friends who fit into both sides. My in-laws are staunch Republicans who will openly accuse the Democrats of every problem possible. I have relatives who. Are staunch Democrats and who openly try to blame Republicans of the exact same problems, but with different reasons. As an outsider in those arguments, I see nothing but mutual hatred and animosity. The truthiness factor goes on both sides, though each side will try to accuse the other of being more guilty. From my perspective, it's a problem that transcends party lines, but applies to everyone who doesn't want to take responsibility for the fact that someone on their side might have made a mistake or that someone from the other side might have done something right. I'm not sure if this is either party before policy or tribalism or a combination of the two.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. I watched the show that Thursday night (9/17) since I'm at school when the show aired live, and I had to throw this out there. I'm a Republican and I do NOT want Donald Trump running this country. He is just a man who thinks that his way and his policies are the way to go. No, they're not. They're only encouraging this country to go backwards when we need to go forward. He, in my eyes, is not a very good candidate AT ALL. Firstly, his policies on immigration are brutal. When I saw Trump telling a Mexican-American reporter to "go back to Univision," and then saw one if his "supporters" aka someone who probably works for him, telling him to "get out of my country," I was upset. America is the land of opportunity, land of freedom. You can't just close them off. We can find better ways to improve the situation rather than just shutting them off as if they are aliens from another planet. They are people too. Trump just doesn't seem to understand that. Then, I watched the debate where he insulted a woman just doing her job. That is called disrespect, and he should not have even said that, even if it is just politics. Politics is not just about how well you're known or how rich you are. Politics is using your words and actions to help this country move forward and not backwards. It's almost just like the Mitt Romney scandal. Mitt Romney said something offensive in a private meeting, and those words came right back to bite him and lose his chance of Presidency. Which now leads me to my next point. As I have said on here in February, I am a person with Autism, except this time, I turned 20 in August. I'm honestly so glad you touched up on what Donald Trump said about the vaccines and Autism. He can't just go "vaccines cause Autism" when there is no link. That made me cringe because no one knows for sure what causes Autism. There's an environmental factor, a mercury factor, and the father's age factor. Like I've said before, I don't know what caused my Autism, but it wasn't the MMR vaccines. I told my mom about this and she even thought he was nuts! Mr. Trump needs actual evidence beside one story. He needs statistics, numbers, actual research findings. And all that's going to give him is that the vaccinations don't have a link with Autism. It's just going to list a bunch of other possible factors. As a Republican, I do NOT feel comfortable that Donald Trump is even in the race. I want someone who will help us move forward and not backwards to lead our nation. Donald Trump is not my choice, and I do not agree with him at all.

    1. Very well said Taylor! It's really great to hear your point of view! I am so glad you watch the show and it's wonderful to see you participating in the Blog. I absolutely agree with you that Mr. Trump is certainly not a good candidate!


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