Republicans and Minorities

bald eagle

 

The Republicans have a black problem. And they have a Hispanic problem. Not to mention the “war on women.” And Republicans can’t win the White House without solving them. In today’s multicultural America, you can’t win a nationwide race on the basis of white males alone.

You can have as many conservative black analysts on Fox News as you like, but minority voters have caught on to Republican tactics and will only reward them with votes if they change their behavior.

At some level, the Republicans seem to realize this. They frequently conduct and even publish surveys showing how they must diversify their base if they hope to win. But the analysis doesn’t trickle down to Republican base voters or even impact the Congressional leadership to make a difference on the policy level.

You can have as many conservative black analysts on Fox News as you like, but minority voters have caught on to Republican tactics and will only reward them with votes if they change their behavior.

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Why the Death of Police Officers is Different

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I am a Democratic liberal, a fact evident to anyone reading this blog on a regular basis. But I do not condone the killing of police officers and feel their death in this manner is fundamentally different from all other murders.

The cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown are exceptions to the rule just like the AirAsia plane crash…

One can argue ad infinitum about the death of blacks and other minorities at the hands of the police, a thoroughly justified grievance. But when a police officer dies, it is fundamentally different because without the police, our society would descend into chaos.

Police represent the rule of law, and their often thankless task deserves respect and obedience. It is not just that blacks need to conform to their orders; we all must do so. That’s why the funeral of Officer Ramos drew people of every political persuasion.

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Conspiracy Theory and Another Missing Jet

airplane

 

As another Malaysian jet goes missing, you are starting to hear the whisperings of conspiracy theorists with explanations ranging from another “Bermuda triangle” to alien abduction or a plot in progress by Al Qaeda and other nefarious groups.

That’s the main reason why conspiracy theories are faulty. They go against human nature.

While some of these explanations are diverting and may even seem plausible, the most obvious one, that it simply crashed due to inclement weather, is by far the most likely. The problem with conspiracy theories is that they require silence from a large number of people, generally a physical impossibility.

Think back to the Watergate break-in. Maintaining the secrecy of that plot only took the silence of five or six people to achieve, and they had enormous incentives to do so, yet were unable to pull it off.

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Straw Men and False Equivalency

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There are several debating techniques which detract from the truth instead of illuminating it, and two of the most pernicious involve straw men and false equivalency.

Fox News uses straw men all the time. They bolster Al Sharpton as the point person on racial bigotry and then use his actions on Tawana Brawley and other questionable statements to denigrate the entire movement.

The use of straw men involves finding the most despicable person on the other side of an issue, setting him or her up as an authority and then knocking him down. Fox News uses straw men all the time. They bolster Al Sharpton as the point person on racial bigotry and then use his actions on Tawana Brawley and other questionable statements to denigrate the entire movement.

MSNBC uses Rush Limbaugh in a similar way, except for the fact that unlike Al Sharpton, Limbaugh has real power. And this brings us to the second technique, known as false equivalency.

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The Interview

theater

 

I watched “The Interview” after attending a friend’s Christmas celebration last night and was pleasantly surprised. Without giving away any plot twists, I write in praise of the movie as a whole.

The media has been bombarded by movie critics who largely panned the film, but if you take it for what it is, a not-too-serious diversion, it does a pretty good job.

The media has been bombarded by movie critics who largely panned the film, but if you take it for what it is, a not-too-serious diversion, it does a pretty good job. It’s not too long; it keeps going; and it is mildly amusing. The actors do a good job, and the movie is well written.

Of course, the movie has been thrust into the middle of an international crisis about cyber attacks by the real North Korea and has engendered multiple comments by the President as well. Sony has done an abysmal job of reacting to all these events, but their simultaneous theater and online releases should help it to recoup at least some profits from the venture.

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Christmas-time Political Discussions

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There will be plenty of discussion around Christmas Dinner this year, and some of it will inevitably concern politics. At this time of year, family is paramount, but you are bound to be confronted by some loudmouth relative who thinks he knows everything about the subject. Here’s some ammunition for my fellow Democrats to consider:

The Republican, go-it-alone approach does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Instead Jesus teaches us to be concerned about our brother.

Jesus is the reason for the season. This trite saying should serve as a lead-in to what Jesus said and did. Did you know he mentions the poor more than heaven and hell? And it just so happens that the poor benefit a lot from an activist government when they are unable to afford healthcare or other basic needs.

The Republican, go-it-alone approach does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Instead Jesus teaches us to be concerned about our brother.

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The World on Christmas Eve

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This Christmas eve as we take stock of global conflicts, agreements and the future, we have many reasons to be concerned and many reasons to hope.

The year 2015 shows promise for many reasons with a few trouble spots to concern us.

The Pope has just finished brokering an agreement between the United States and Cuba, ending a 50-year embargo and providing hope to the Cuban people even if some U.S. politicians are dismayed. The Vatican seems to have adopted a new policy of tolerance that bodes well for the world as a whole.

On the other hand, we have seen the first manifestation of an Islamic caliphate in the success of Isis and its control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. Despite U.S. airstrikes, it appears to be holding its own in a brutal government controlling often reluctant citizens.

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Respect for the Mayor

police car

 

Respect for the Mayor of New York City has been sorely lacking since the killing of two police officers by a troubled black man. The crime was no more inspired by the atmosphere than the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords by the poisoned rhetoric against Barack Obama.

Our attention at this time should really be focused on the grieving families and any way we can assist them during their period of mourning.

Yes, the Mayor did speak out about the protests and the strained relationship among the police and young black men, and he did share a talk he had with his biracial son to be careful to follow their commands. But he has also praised police officers on multiple occasions, something some officers seem to have forgotten after this tragic death.

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Email Marketing Tips

 

Email marketing may lack the glamor of social media or search engine optimization, but it can be a powerful tool for online publicity.

Email marketing works through a process called “authentication.”

In many ways, email marketing is the workhorse of online publicity. It requires both patience and endurance. Patience is needed because the results aren’t immediately evident. The concept of email marketing is just to show up in your recipients’ in boxes once every two months or once every quarter. They may not have an opening for you immediately, but when one does occur, they will remember you.

Email marketing also requires endurance. Almost everyone can put out two or three issues; some even keep it going for a year. But to publish an email newsletter year in and year out requires commitment, and that quality is sorely lacking in today’s business world.

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President Obama, We Barely Knew Ya

 

I still remember the 2008 campaign. The then-Senator Obama’s promise of hope and change. The amazingly large crowds. The ringing refrain from his speech at the Democratic National Convention four years earlier: “There is no red America, there is no blue America. There is only the United States of America.”

The audacity of hope has returned to our President through the climate-change agreement with China, the reform of our immigration system to keep families together, the bold diplomatic move on Cuba …

Other events come to mind. The promise of a new Camelot. The endorsement by Caroline Kennedy of Obama as the fulfillment of her father’s vision.

The only regrets from that time and the only caveats came from Hillary Clinton who warned us about the 3 AM phone call and who presciently said that you need someone tough because the Republicans aren’t playing games. She turned out to be right and who knows how history may have been changed if she had been elected instead.

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