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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Archive for May, 2018

16 and Counting (and missing)

By on May 21, 2018 in See It Here

We are, for the 16th time this year, asking the usual questions after a wacko shoots up a school: what needs to be done by lawmakers and is it time to fine-tune the 2nd Amendment?

In all the responses about banning assault rifles, increasing background checks, protecting the right to concealed carry, blah blah blah, there is one word missing:

Parents.

If a mother and father are “shocked” when they get that phone call about what their son has just done, they are right to ask why they didn’t see this coming? The fact is, a family is disconnected because of smart phones, video games and being”too busy” to actually talk to their children. If you don’t look, then you aren’t going to “see.”

Incoming National Rifle Association President Oliver North told “Fox News Sunday,” many gunmen are on Ritalin, a drug given to people with anxiety issues. In other words, “it ain’t my fault” as to what just happened at (fill in the blank) School.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott almost used the word “parent” by saying if a kid takes a gun from gun owner without permission, the gun owner should be held responsible as well.

I hope that begins a conversation before shooting #17 occurs. And if “gun owners” are held responsible for access to guns, they should be responsible for access to Ritalin too.

Maybe being a “parent” should be more important than being a “gun owner.”

The TV Presidency

By on May 4, 2018 in See It Here

President Trump is to be applauded for his use of social media to talk directly to the American people. Twitter works, but…

He is treating this like a reality TV show, something with which he’s had more experience than being President. We are all hoping his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un results in no more nuclear weapons on the peninsula. We are all hoping the Americans being released from North Korea are in one piece–mentally and physically.

But…

We have been getting tweets saying ‘stay tuned” as to their release or the meeting or the venue for the meeting which is, to be cold, saying absolutely nothing. It reminds me of the black-and-white Batman TV show which always ended with a macho-sounding announcer telling us to “tune in next week to see the Caped Crusader take on the mean Mr. Freeze.”

America has to understand this is one more “look-at-me” moment and like so many other moments, there is nothing to see here.

TV Show Presidency

By on May 2, 2018 in Writing

If I have learned one thing from President Trump since January 2017 when he took the oath of office, it is that anything he does reflects a TV show because he is always worried about ratings.

Recent tweets are about his approval ratings being so much higher than that of Barack Obama during the same time he was in office. He tells us the ratings for any show on which he appears always results in higher numbers.

This all reminds me of the close of every Batman show back in the days of black and white—“Tune in Next Week when the Caped Crusader takes on Mr. Freeze…” The President does a variation on that theme with “a decision in the next few days” regarding increased tariffs or “I’ll decide soon” regarding the venue to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

It is sad to seen Wolf Blitzer and his all-too-familiar “Breaking News” banner tell us the President will let us know “soon” where the meeting takes place. MSNBC and Fox do the same thing. TV (and Trump) know that “Breaking News” makes us pay attention.

I applaud President Trump for being smart enough to work the room. He says nothing and can still be a success at doing it. But I wish “the room” would was smart enough to turn off the TV.

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