The Free Press Is The Immune System of Our Democracy

Besides the daily dissaray, here’s what I’ve noticed about Donald Trump’s first weeks in office. Trump asks for everything first, and settles for what he can get later.

He started by asking that the Republican ethics committee be disbanded. That way his shenanigans and back door deals could go undetected. That try failed.But he tried, right?

He asked for a Muslim ban, and when that did not work he has it rephrased so it has a better chance. This is what he calls the “art of the deal”, is it not?  Actually, this is a very old carnie business protocol that we both learned in the 1980’s in from salesmen-type survivors of the Great Depression – old folks, who could remember the Nuckie Thompson days of Atlantic City. It’s also a technique still used by salesmen of high-priced blind items, like diamonds. They ask for the moon, settle for what they can get. Not really an art is it?

But Donald Trump did not think this through. As a businessman, you can do this sort of negotiating over and over again, because no one is following you around from deal to deal. The deals are made in back rooms. It does not get old real fast. 

But when you are the president of a free and open society there is some transpapressrency on these deals.  And with exposure, they can get old real fast. This is why Trump says the press is a public enemy. What a lie that statement is. It is the completely opposite to the truth. 

And so, the modus operandi of asking for too much first, gets exposed if you are president, but only if there is a free press. Eventually, It makes the POTUS look like an unprepared clown, which lowers his standing in the public’s mind and also in the minds of those he might be negotiating with, like foreign rulers. That makes such a president a less effective negotiator. It works only if offers can be made in secrecy.  Amd this is why we need a free press now, more than ever before. 

What Trump Did Not Figure On

Trump thought that being president of the USA would be just like being president of Trump Inc. But it’s not. There is scrutiny. And that scrutiny has already got him alientated by almost everyone but his base.  Even his base is now beginning to see through his rough edges. In the end, all he will have left are the haters and his swamp creatures. There are not that many of them. Most folks really know we had a good thing going here in the USA. It won’t be long. His own party will be showing him the door.

This is why he selects those who will protect him from his past for his cabinet positions. He keeps people with their own dirt and people who have dirt on him close. He is sort of blackmailed. This is also why Donald has made so few position choices in the last 30 days. To work for Donald Trump, you have to abandon your private ideas of what America is, and swear to protecting the secrets of Donald Trump. This way, he can get his private agenda done and not get exposed. 

And we all know what Trump’s private agenda has been and what it has always been: to get richer. That oil deal for Putin, since the Russians have him blackmailed for tax evasion, is #1 on his list. But it won’t stop there. Beware.

Today, Trump says if you don’t share his vision of America you should step down from office – get out of the way. Tomorrow, he will say if you don’t share his vision of America, you are a criminal. That’s is how they got normal Germans to be Nazi enforcers.  It’s coming folks. He won’t let anyone stop his greed disease, because it is a disease, an addiction to fill up the void of his life.  Judges, dead war heroes, protestors, not even the Pope has yet stopped this addict from getting his fix. 

But those loyal to him are going down with his ship just the way Hitler’s henchmen did. They should think about that. They are risking it all for him. And this draft dodger risked nothing for others – ever. 

Trump is a cancer. He does what a cancer does. He eats and eats – and tries not to be detected. The free press is the immune system of our democracy. We need to bolster that immune system more than ever before, because we are under attack … by a cancer. 

RAISE OUR VOICES!

 

WHY THE GOP CAN’T AND WON’T HELP WITH HEALTHCARE

There is a saying that goes like this: There is no such thing as a free lunch. It’s a metaphor.

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Doctors and hospitals have expenses and must make a living. People get sick and need their services. Ideally, if people paid doctors directly, there would be no need for insurance. But, costs are so high for many treatments, and very few can afford to pay for some of these treatments directly.

So, healthy people and younger people pay monthly into a pool, so that when and if they are sick, there will be funds there for them. That is insurance. The only things that can affect the costs of the services are these.

#1 – The profit percentage of the administrative body, whether it be a private company or a government agency, is a real cost to consumers.  But, private insurers have an obligation to make as a high profit that they can to their investors. So right off the bat, private insurance company profits tend to be unregulated and higher and hence we, as consumers, pay more for insurance. The GOP likes to cite administrative waste as the issue with government run insurance, but in the end, this is simple math. People must be paid to “administrate” claims – and there is no reason to believe a private company can do it for less than a government agency. If that becomes an issue, I am sure government agencies can adjust their costs as easily as a private company.

#2. Bring down costs of the actual care. Note that a private company has no incentive to do this. They are only interested in their bottom line, which goes up as things become more expensive. I’d like a private insurer to explain to us how they have in the past, brought down the cost of health care. They have not. Quite the opposite.

#3. Incentivize people to get healthier. Yes, that works. But again, what incentive does a private company have for that? None. And do they do it? Not at all. Yes, people are often responsible for their own health, but not always.

#4 Change what is not covered. By covering less diseases and excluding pre-existing conditions, one can get costs down for healthier people, but the cost is that many are left to stay sick or die. This is not compassionate. This is not Christian. This is not what America is all about. Americans know this. And this is what the GOP is pushing right now. The GOP pushes it because they are sold out to the insurance companies and big pharma. They do not represent out interests as Americans. This is why they want to repeal before they replace. They know very well they have no interest in doing anything better for Americans. They know this diagram. They are hoping Americans are that stupid. What did Trump say? “How stupid are Iowans? If they cared about anyone but their own selves, they would create a replacement before they repeal the ACA. It’s OK. They won’t last 2 years if they repeal the ACA. In fact, I don’t think they will last 2 years anyway. They have shown their true colors. Trump is being exposed for the scoundrel he has always been. I’d like to start hearing “lock him up” at these town halls.

 

#5. Lobbying for big pharma and insurance companies results in bribing government officials to protect company profits.  This results in them getting what they want for their bottom lines, while people get the short end of the stick. Lobbying must end.

Conclusion: There are no reasons that private companies can administer a risk pool for less than another body of people called a government agency. Private companies have a duty to make large profits for shareholders. There is no evidence that private companies have in the past, been effective at getting doctors and big phama to ask for less for their services.

Evidence in world markets show that Americans pay more for health care and are also less healthy than folks in many other countries that use a single payer method of administration.

The ACA was not perfect but it was better than what we had before.

We can make it better.

There are only two reasons that the GOP wants to end the ACA.

#1 The GOP is sold out to big pharma and insurance companies. They cannot change the costs of actual treatments.

#2 Donald Trump said he would end Obamacare and he wants to get this done so he looks like less of a liar to his base. He’s always been a liar. His base is catching on quick. They are not as dumb as he thinks they are. We are seeing more and more of his base people showing up at town hall meetings.

Raise Our Voices. Change is coming soon.

 

“Raise Our Voices” A Song for the Resistance Being Created in Los Angeles

This new original song, with words and music by  Joseph Aronesty, e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, linguist, and activist is being recorded by a famous R&B/Gospel singer in Los Angeles. Since we have to time to waste, a link to the tune in demo mode still is posted here for our mutual support: https://soundcloud.com/aronesty/raise-our-voices-demo

raise-our-voicesThis new original song, with words and music by  Joseph Aronesty, e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, linguist, and activist is being recorded by brilliant R&B/Gospel singers and musicians in Los Angeles.

link to the song, in demo mode, is in the image to the left.

Joseph strongly advocates economic boycott of companies associated with Donald Trump. He asks that like-minded citizens boycott Exxon/Mobil gas and Carl’s Jr. food. There are plenty of other places to get similar products. Continue boycott until Trump shows his taxes! 

Trump’s ties to Russian bankers go way back to his casino cash businesses in Atlantic City. Joseph was a businessman in AC in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  “We all saw this sort of thing going down – luncheons with men with briefcases and Russian accents. Trump has had illegal accounts there for over 30 years. The system has long been in place for Russians to make payments to Trump, off the books, in those same and other new foreign bank accounts, for favors like the release of sanctions – all tied to that oil deal that Putin wants.”

Fellow Americans. Trump never had any other intention but to enrich himself in this presidential romp. Stop blaming Russia! They are a sovereign country with a different agenda, and they have a right to pursue their own agenda – or Putin’s autocratic agenda.  The blame on our side of this equation clearly lies with Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, it’s  now clear that “Make America Great” was just a slogan created to delude the most gullible and vulnerable of Americans. I think they know this by now, down deep. It’s beginning to feel like watching the lies of an unfaithful lover unravel. Heartbreak is beginning to set in among the Trump supporters – outrage among those who did not support him.

Back to strategy! So what can we do as Americans? Because Trump won’t and can’t show his taxes, we can take his power away with a simple boycott and demand his taxes move. His own business partners will walk away from Trump when they see we are determined not to spend with them because, like him, they all suffer from greed disease. They will show him the door, if they see their businesses being affected.

Fellow Americans, this is easy enough to do. Greed is their Achilles Heel, and we must attack it. We must Starve the Beast the way we do a cancer, if we sincerely intend to beat it. Greed disease is like cancer in that it saps the life force from its neighbor cells. And this is precisely what average Americans have been suffering from for so many years now.

Bernie speaks of this in his income inequality message. But, when politicians sell out for greed, they are also breaking their oaths of office. They can be removed from office for breaking that oath to serve us, not their own selves.  If we let them continue to do this, we are abdicating our duties as citizens. If we let them rule us like sheep, we deserve the lean pasture they seek to put us out to.

And since those in power hold the power, it’s very hard to put them out of office. Voting every 2-4 years does not seem to do it. We can see them working to curtail the voting rights of certain segments of Americans. So we have to attack them 24/7 with our spending habits. If we break the tie of business to government, we will get politicians who truly intend to serve their electorates, regardless of their political stripes.

Unfortunately, self-serving greed is the way of most politicians today – regardless of stripes. This will change if we stand strong now. Indivisible. Solidarity. Joined in purpose and song, we can not lose! 

contact producer/writer: josepharonesty@gmail.com

 

 

 

Why Humans Love Song & Music ~ The Durango Songwriter’s Expo

durango3What an amazing 4 days I just experienced. The Durango Songwriter’s Expo meets once a year, and this year it was in nearby Ventura, so I motored up to join them. Two hundred songwriters and industry professionals all there for each other, listening to songs primarily for TV and movies, but also for recording artists. Songwriters had a great time whilst they connected. It was really a “can’t beat it”  experience for me.So I am writing this for my new friends so they can get an appreciation for why humans love music.

As all artists know, there are two basic ways that governments view music and the performing arts. One view is that these are important cultural institutions that need to be supported. The other thought is that the arts are there to amuse us but they are essentially trivial and should not get support from tax dollars.

So let me explain why humans even like or love music in the first place. In my book “Deciphering the English Code” I put myself back into the world that existed just before humans created written symbols they could read to preserve and recall their spoken words. And I asked this question: How did humans learn about their histories before the creation of writing about 5000 years ago? 

Without written history, humans only the spoken words of their elders to learn the wisdom of the ages. And we all know how songs stick in our heads, don’t we? Rhats has always been that way. It’s that way for songbirds too. so this goes way back in time, perhaps to the dinosaurs.

In fact, “getting stuff stuck in our heads” is exactly what songwriters seek to do!  Some now call them earworms.  Nature makes things that are esearwormsential to survival to be perceived as pleasant for us. That’s why sex and eating good food are enjoyable experiences. And before we had writing, it was only music and song that served as our main memory  enhancement technique. Knowledge of the past is, and always will be, essential to our survival on many levels.

Humans existed for two million years without written language, leaning on songs and even psalms to understand our past. So the enjoyment of song and music was hard-wired into our brains – and that wiring is not changing any time soon.

There will always be an appetite for music appreciation in humans. And for songwriters that is good to know.

DURANGO

The word DURANGO also seemed like it was worth looking into. Online, we find the word seems to mean STRONG in French. I find that definition to be incomplete. I get the DUR part. Words like DURABLE suggest strength over time. But i feel more of the TIME part of that metaphor than the strength. The words ENDURE and DURATION suggest that time strectch in DUR.

And then we are left with ANGO or ANG. And here I have some unique insight. The word ORANGE has that ANG ending and OR (AUR) at the onset. We know OR is a very old word for light. It survives in English words like TORCH, MORNING and HORIZON. ANG could be ANGLE just the way you see it. But ANG can also be broken down to AN+G. And we also know that AN is a very old translingual (Sumerian) word for SKY. I believe AN meant SKY because AH is a large sound and when making an NNN one lifts one’s tongue to the roof of one’s mouth, suggesting the large roof of the sky. Words for YEAR in various languages contain AN because we measured years by noting that the objects in the sky were back inthe same place again. ANNUAL ( Latin, English and Romance languages), SHANNAH ( Hebrew ), and YAN ( Chinese ) are all words for SKY.

And G often refers to the GROUND because the G sound is made deep in our guts. So ANG seems to mean “where the sky meets the ground”. And that might be the root fo the word ANGLE as well. Also – ANGELS were always thought of as being related to the sky.

And now DURANGO takes on a much fuller meaning of LONG ( durable ) HORIZON ( sky/earth intersection). LONG SUNSET! These are pictures of sunsets in Durango Mexico and Colorado. Now that unusual word, DURANGO, makes sense to me.

durango2

 

 

The Roots of Dreams

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There is something very attractive about the word DREAM. Children are naturally drawn to the bible story about Joseph the dreamer. I’m a Joseph, and always identified with that parable – but it’s not just Josephs that have that affinity for DREAMS.

Dreams are mysterious, magical and also very important. Dreams support almost everything we see going about us in the world of men. Not much happens in that world unless its inspired  by some sort of dream. Bridges and skyscrapers are built because someone had a dream. People become doctors because they dream of helping people. So what is the root of that very important word? 

First, we have to recognize that there are two parts to that word ( and almost all words ). There is the DR and the EAM. In English, and many other languages, DR-words have one unifying meaning: they refer to WATER. Examples follow:

DRINK, DRIP, DROP
DRAUGHT—as in draught or draft beer; liquid is implied.
DRIFT—as in driftwood drifting in a watery sea.
DRIBBLE—water pouring from the mouth.
DRIZZLE—a form of rain water that is fizzling out.
DROWN—submersed down in water too long. (DR/WATER + DOWN = DROWN)
DRY—the opposite of water. (Remember: Opposites are etymologically connected.)
DRAIN—water flows down the drain; RAIN is part of DRAIN.
DREDGE—clean a bed of water by scooping out the mud; related to draining
DROUGHT—having no water for a dangerously long time; a morphed combination
of naught for “no” and DR for “water.”
HYDROGEN—it generates water.
WATER is pronounced WAW-DR.

The reason for this association is onomatopoia. When a drop of water hits a body of water, it sounds like DRIH. Say DRIH with a rising end tone, and you will hear that. So now you know where these words came from, and you won’t forget if you went through that DRIH exercise. dream

But then what does DREAM have to do with water? It seems to miss the mark.  Well, don’t dismiss that too quickly. I want you to consider one other word, very similar to DREAM in form, and that word is DRAMA. Again, there is no seeming relation to WATER. When  a word that sounds like a member of a family of words does not seem to apply in definition, it’s often time to think harder and see what else can be found. 

And this is what I found when I investigated the seeming discrepancy in the words DREAM and DRAMA. There is an almost universal equivalency between words for WATER and VISION! English examples are – SEA, SEE – MIRROR, MARINE -OCULAR, OCEAN – WATCH, WATER. But this goes through all languages. In Japanese WATER is MISU and SEE is MIRU.

So why is that? It’s seems strange, right? Think again! How on earth could you see yourself on planet earth before the invention of mirrors or shiny surfaces? The answer is – the only way we saw ourselves before mirrors was in the water! Early mirrors were just shallow bowls filled with water.

And now you have it! DREAM and DRAMA are vision words! 

DRAMA means vision+ma. And MA is a root for LARGE as in MAJOR, MAGINFICENT, MAGNIFY, MAIN, MONSTER, MAHARAJA,  ( the big Raja ). So DRAMA is LARGE VISION. And that makes total sense. A drama queen makes a spectacle. A drama is a spectacle.

DREAM is VISION (DR)+EAM. If we drop the E in EAM (vowels have less etymological weight than consonants) we are left with VISION / AM – and AM is the root for LOVE – as in AMIABLE, AMITY and AMOROUS. I think its becasue two lips come together when we say AM. 

And so DREAM’s inherent meaning is A VISION WE LOVE or a LOVING VISION. And this is really why DREAMS are so attractive. With all the nonsense we witness in the world, we still have dreams. Our dreams are our own, and they embody what we find attractive about our world.

And so, it is fulfilling to follow our dreams. As I get older, I learn more and more about the importance of following one’s dreams. If you want to live a life of love, follow your dreams. Whether your dreams fully materialise or not, the act of following them is is itself very satisfying, because by definition, dreams are the inner visions that we love. 

 

 

 

Is Trump a “So-Called” President?

Let’s analyze what “so-called” really means first. Suppose Bill Bellachic, the incomparable coach of the New England Patriots announced that he was retiring next season and that the new coach was going to be his friend, a well-known businessman and hotelier with no football coaching  experience.  That person would have the title of coach, without the authority and respect that comes with having years of hard work at being a football coach. Fans would neve respect that move, would they? That hotelier/coach could then properly be called a “so-called” coach, because he had the title of coach, but was not really a coach by trade or experience.

belachic

Calling a sitting judge a “so-called” judge exposes not only a lack of respect for the postions of president and judge, but also a  lack of an understanding of very basic phrase in the English language. You dont use “so-called” to refer to someone who actually has life experience at a job. It’s also the ultimate in the pot calling the kettle black in this metaphor.  

So I am suggesting we start using the hashtag #SoCalledPresident. It fits DT so properly. He has the title, probably won in some illegal way, the way he’s got everything in his life – but he has no real basic authority because he has earned very little respect amongst most Americans. True authority comes from respect, and respect comes from doing things right – setting a proper example – being charitable. All things Donny Trump never learned along the way. The more you learn about Donny Trump, the more you realize that Mitt Romney called it 100% right – a fake, charlatan and a blowhard is all he has ever been. 

There’s a line in Carlito’s Way, when Sean Penn, the lawyer gone renegade, is hiding in a hospital room, afraid that the mob will come to kill him. He has a gun. Pacino tells him a gun won’t do him any good. He says you can’t just say you are a gangster and be one. He reminds him that gangsters start  very young and their experience makes them who they are. And of course, Penn does not make it out of that scene alive. 

Let’s Raise Our Voices to this#SoCalledPresident !

Don’t back down! He wont be there long. His own people will show him the door, when they realize he is destroying them as well – and he is. The GOP is essentially finished. They just don’t see it yet. But we do, don’t we?

One more thing Donny. When you disrespect the laws and judges of our nation, you open the door for others to do the same. How do you expect a person who is handed a sentence in a country of laws to feel a sense of lawfulness to serve it out, if you, the so-called leader of the United States ( and you are not that either – not a leader ), do not respect the laws and judges of our country? Life does not work that way in a democracy. It works that way in Putin’s Russia. That’s an autocracy, not a democracy. Do you know the difference? And how do you expect anyone to respect you, if you don’t respect the judges of our country? 

Yes, you went to U of P. But stop saying you are smart. Your dad paid your way through college and I remember you paying for your homework there.  You’re done fooling people. Even you know that now.

Step down! Maybe it will be a good thing for you. Get your business groove back. Somehow I sense you are looking to be born again, perhaps to atone for a life of sin and emptiness.

Step down! Work on perfecting your soul. Nobody likes you anymore. No one is laughing at your jokes now. Even your wife does not want to go to Washington with you. 

Step down! You’ve had your fun with this by now. 

What have you got to lose?  If you frame it right, people will respect you for it – at last!

And then, you’ll still have the time and money to figure life out. 

Step down, man! This is not going to end well for you, your family or anyone.