All posts by Larry Chapman

Retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd. north of SCPower's sub-station.

The Cost of Living with Trump

According to CNBC  Trump’s tariff on steel and aluminum will add $1,800 to the cost of a Toyota Camry sedan, assembled in Kentucky. A similar cost would occur for a Tundra pickup truck and around $2,900 on a Sienna minivan. To some degree the same will happen to all automobile costs because so many materials and parts are imported.

Trump loves to brag about the economy and takes major credit for it. He mostly points to the rising stock market and falling unemployment rates. What he doesn’t mention is the stagnation of wages  for the working class, the shortage and rising cost of housing, the skyrocketing cost of education, the in-affordability of medical care, and the enormous tax breaks he’s given to the super wealthy.

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A Little Political Science & History

I watched the attached video and had no problem whatsoever seeing the parallels and similarities between Mussolini and Hitler as compared to the rise of Donald Trump.

I’m not saying they are a perfect match or that the times are exactly the same. But, I do believe that Trump craves total control, has contempt for intellectuals, fears opposing political parties and ideologies, wouldn’t hesitate to stomp out the free press, curtail free speech, align himself with the military, and wouldn’t turn down an enabling act if offered one.

I don’t live my life in fear of Trump but I do keep aware of how close he comes to walking in the footpaths of Il Duce and the der Führer.

Jump Jim Crow; A Lesson in History

In my lifetime been a witness to much of the efforts to weaken or eliminate segregation in America. Unfortunately, I’m now witness to the reemergence of those forces that contributed to American segregation in the first place. I came across this short video covering  the highlights of post Civil War race relations and I think we all might benefit from a refresher course.

The ball’s now in Trump’s court

One of the great coffee shop discussions these days has to be, what does Putin have on Trump? Is there a pee pee video? Are there videos of Trump with Russian prostitutes (and are they as good as Putin claims)? Does Trump owe Russia yuge sums of money for backing his European and Asian projects? Well yesterday, I read an article that claims we now know what Putin has on Trump and the answer is simple.

Continue reading The ball’s now in Trump’s court

How about a little Russian History lesson?

On July 16, 2018 Donald Trump claimed that what Vladimir Putin says is more truthful than whatever is said by America’s entire intelligence community. He endorsed a leader, a nation, and an international viewpoint that no American president or government has ever endorsed. No American government has ever viewed Russia as an ally, a friend, a co-equal, or a friendly force in world politics. In fact, for the past 80 years America and Russia have been diametrically opposed, often at the threat of open military hostility.

Unlike Belgium, Norway, Holland and France, who were directly and almost immediately swallowed up by Hitler’s armies, the Soviet Union entered a 1939 non-aggression pact with Hitler that swung open the doors of Eastern Europe. The Soviets have to share some of the blame for the outbreak of WWII and total blame for the eventual invasion of their homeland by Hitler’s forces.

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Pick a straw, any straw!

Recently the world got to watch a viral video of a plastic straw being pulled from the nostril of a sea turtle. Connected or not, Starbucks is now all over the news because they decided to phase out plastic straws by 2020. So, should that have been a lead story or should it have been how Trump has ripped the guts out of our environmental protection laws? Should the lead stories be more about how Scott Pruitt is an anti-environmentalist who Trump put in charge of the EPA for the main purpose of dismantling it while filling his pockets with perks paid for by the taxpaying public? And after Pruitt was finally fired the guy who now has his job may be even worse.

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It’s wrasslin, wrasslin is what it is!

My great-aunt Allen got her first black and white Crosley television back in the late 1950s and instantly became addicted to Western shoot ’em ups and Saturday afternoon pro wrestling. Pro wrestling matches were held at Veteran’s Memorial, broadcast on WLWT, and sponsored by Lex Meyer’s Chevrolet. The big names of the local ring included Buddy “Nature Boy” Rogers, Great Scot, Oyama Kato, Fritz Von Goering, Johnny Barend, and Magnificent Maurice. I can’t remember which but some of these guys were braggarts, some were villains, and some were handsome and heroic. I think my aunt loved Johnny Barend and despised Nature Boy Rogers. No amount of persuasion could convince her that these matches were fake and that every step-over arm-lock camel clutch was well rehearsed.

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Why do we kill paradise?

Recently my wife and I were re-watching the 2009 blockbuster movie, Avatar. First time we saw it was with our entire family at an IMAX theater. Avatar on the huge screen is certainly candy for the eyes. But in reality it is just another retelling of the age-old tale about man finds paradise, paradise inhabited by nice but different beings, nice beings have something man wants, man rationalizes killing nice beings and taking their stuff, man destroys paradise, end of story.

The part of man is played by the owners of profit justifies anything big corporations and their army of highly paid, massively armed, and highly capable mercenaries. The part of nice beings is played by beautiful creations who live idyllic lives and are in perfect harmony with their world.

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Looking Back and Asking Questions

Recently my wife and I were watching a TV segment about a child with extreme emotional problems and was a genuine threat to his siblings. It was part of a piece about the shortage of psychiatric hospital beds for children in America. When the piece was over we put the TV on pause and began talking about our youth in the 1950s.

Neither of us could recall any examples of such children in our small hometown. Our local hospital was nothing more than a large two-story house and our doctors carried most of what they needed in leather bags and regularly made house calls. Few people knew what a pediatrician or psychiatrist was.

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Imelda & Tammy Faye were Pikers

I’m old enough to remember when Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos ruled the Philippines until the people finally rose up and ran them out. Of all they stole from the nation’s treasury the attention focused on Imelda’s love of shoes and the 2,700 pairs of high-end shoes found in her closet.

Jim and Tammy Bakker were another couple whose fall from grace made the news in the 1980s. Their ill-gotten wealth came from bilking the vulnerable through their evangelical television programs. When the hammer fell it wasn’t just a closet full of shoes the investigators found. It was millions in collectible cars, jewels, furs, homes, planes, luxury air-conditioned houses for their pets, and high-end mascara for Tammy’s eyes.

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Calling All Moderates

I was thinking about the retirement of Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and what effect it could have on America’s future. Even though Kennedy was a conservative he often acted as the swing vote in a Court of four liberals and four conservatives. If Trump appoints a conservative the Court would five-four conservative and America’s resent could revert to America’s past along with its future being very uncertain.

A five-four Court could put the hopes of continued social and economic equality on hold for a generation, or more. So, the question is, how can a minority of Democrats in the US Senate protect a balance on the Court. The only viable answer is for the Senate to find the courage to only confirm a moderate or centrist nominee.

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Shit Summary for Friday, June 29, 2018

Years ago I would carry a tape recorder with me and when some interesting thought would cross my mind I would take note and write a column I called, Random Thoughts. Since I don’t travel as much or have many thoughts of any kind I thought I’d do something similar by listing the weekly leftover shit that doesn’t demand much attention.

So, welcome to the very first Shit Summary.

Continue reading Shit Summary for Friday, June 29, 2018

You take the high road, I’ll take the low road!

In the aftermath of several Trump staffers being harassed in public, including,  Sarah Sanders being 86ed from a small Virginia restaurant, California congresswoman Maxine Waters told a group of her supporters to challenge Trump’s administrative staff where ever they are encountered.

While it can certainly be argued that Waters should have remained on the high road, she didn’t. And if her pep rally words did anything they got Trump supporters all in a wedgie over incivility.  I find such to be humorous given that Donald Trump is a poster child for incivility. He even road on the Incivility Float during the 1982 Rose Parade.

Continue reading You take the high road, I’ll take the low road!