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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, January 15, 2018

Donald Trump is not a racist. In fact, the term racist is an oversimplification that simply doesn’t apply to someone like him. The things that drive him have little or no relation to what most of us think of as basic moral values. So let’s stop muddying the waters by throwing terms like that around and then polling everyone in sight to find out if they agree.

Whether or not our president is a racist should not be the subject of a poll or referendum. That’s the kind of distraction we need to learn to avoid. It’s exactly the sort of thing Trump loves because it takes our attention away from the things that are really important.

Racists generally come in two flavors: ideologues and ignorant, uneducated people. Whether or not he is a stable genius, it’s fair to say that Donald Trump is neither…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, January 13, 2018

Since the end of the second world war, we’ve had a succession of presidents who, regardless of their overall political philosophies, all believed that increased trade and friendly, cooperative interaction with other nations were the best recipe for peace and prosperity, not to mention their personal legacies. But in the Age of Trump, governing the country the way he ran his businesses means changing that. In the Trump business world, things like fairness, mutual respect, morality, and law were sidestepped any time they got in the way of profit. All that mattered was size and money, and it’s clear that if Mr. Trump has his way that’s how our government will be run.

One can only wonder how many smaller firms, customers, and business associates he trampled for the sake of convenience, and why not? In Trump’s terms there was no reason to be fair…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, January 5, 2018

The investigation of possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign and renewed scrutiny of the circumstances that led to the president firing FBI Director James Comey are once again dominating the news media and talk shows. Reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is aware that the president ordered White House Counsel Donald McGahn to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ not to recuse himself surfaced on the heels of the president’s assertion that he has the absolute right to control how the Justice Department conducts investigations.

The White House compares Trump’s positions with President Nixon’s attempts to influence the Watergate investigations. On one hand, that seems odd, since Nixon’s actions ultimately caused him to resign under threat of impeachment. On another, the issue of using the White House Counsel as the president’s personal fixer was addressed yesterday by John Dean, who served in the same…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 30, 2017

Civility – That’s the motto of the county I live in. You see it everywhere, on bumper stickers, lawn signs, government letterheads: “CHOOSE CIVILITY.” It sounds corny, almost naïve, but it works. While my state is traditionally blue, my suburban/rural county is as purple as it can be. So the quest for civility isn’t a red or blue thing, it’s the voice of the community.

We aren’t merely tolerant here, we thrive on our diversity. Immigrants from all over the world make up almost a quarter of our population, and our very purple county has designated itself a place of sanctuary. We have dozens of Christian churches of every denomination, more than ten synagogues, a mosque, two Hindu temples, a variety of interfaith centers, and large number of people who choose not to affiliate with any organized religion. We all get along and live in…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 27, 2017

For almost my entire life, December began with a remembrance of Pearl Harbor, but that changed somewhat after nine-eleven. At the time, a Japanese newspaper columnist writing in the Seattle Times even thanked Al Qaeda for finally accomplishing what more than five decades of commerce and good relations couldn’t: displacing the Japanese navy’s destruction of our Pacific Fleet as our national Day of Infamy.

This year, I didn’t hear Pearl Harbor mentioned even once, though it’s possible someone talked about it and I just missed it. The silence really affected me because that event impacted so much of my generation’s life. It was a wake-up call unlike anything that had ever happened to our country before.

We had survived the Black Friday stock market crash and the Great Depression, and then the radio dispatches and newsreels about the growth of fascism and Nazism. Japan was…

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Tatiana stepped into my interview room this week.

alkaplan

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

As a final farewell to 2017, I’ve decided to interview Tatiana Lenusy this week. Tatiana is the eighteen-year-old protagonist in Star Touched by A. L. Kaplan. She survived the Cataclysm but life hasn’t been easy. Neither was tracking her down for this interview.

Wolf: Welcome to Wolf Notes, Tatiana. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?
Tatiana: Thank you, Wolf. I’d love to be a bird. That way I could fly anywhere I wanted, feel the wind in my feathers as I soared through the air. I’d be free, with no worries.

Wolf: That sounds nice. Any particular kind…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 12, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President for moving so expeditiously to prove my point. Referring to the president, I concluded yesterday’s article, Teflon Trump, with the words: “I think he’s insane and his functionality is hanging by a thread, more illusion than fact.” I said he moved expeditiously, but of course, that’s not true. On virtually any morning he’d have tweeted or said something equally damning.

Let’s review. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has been on a long campaign to root out sexual misconduct in the government wherever she finds it, regardless of party. It was Gillibrand who spoke out first, insisting that her democratic colleague Al Franken should resign and who said several weeks earlier that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. And yesterday, she said the same thing about Donald Trump. “President Trump should resign. These [sexual…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 11, 2017

I don’t know whether I’m more frustrated by the White House’s rejection of any point of view but its own concerning sexual misconduct, or by the strident defense of the president in this regard by people who surely know better and act entirely out of political or financial self-interest. Only the most ignorant, uneducated segment of Trump’s base can possibly believe that he’s completely innocent and that all his accusers are liars conspiring against him. Isn’t that what paranoids say?

The administration makes loud noises about border walls that will protect us from – I’m not sure who, but whoever they are, the president wants us to believe they mean us harm. He shouts about making America great again while trying to destroy its basic institutions. And his lies boldly go where no American leader has ever gone before. Isn’t it time to ask ourselves…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 13, 2017

Yesterday was a great day for America. We have every reason to celebrate today. Alabamans who disdained being told what to do by pundits and politicians from elsewhere apparently took the words of two of their native sons to heart. Richard Shelby told voters not to vote for Roy Moore, but to write in some other Republican, and the number of write-in votes actually exceeded Doug Jones’ margin of victory. And retired NBA star Charles Barclay implored Alabama’s voters to not make the state look stupid to the rest of the country. Shelby and Barclay are not welcome in the Moore home, today.

But while we’re celebrating, let’s not lose touch with reality. First, Alabama’s Secretary of State has not certified Jones’ victory yet, and Moore hasn’t conceded. You might write that off as Moore being either a jerk or a sore loser, but keep…

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alkaplan

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Give a big wolf welcome to Jennifer Della’Zanna

Jen Crop Length Purple 3 Oct 10 2013Jennifer Della’Zanna is a freelance writer in Woodbine, MD. She has published more than 40 feature articles for magazines and websites on topics as diverse as firearms, movies, and healthcare. She wrote and teaches several online courses in the allied healthcare fields and is the associate editor for Plexus, a trade magazine for the medical transcription industry. She contributed six articles to the Encyclopedia of Sex, Love and Courtship in the Medieval World (Greenwood Publishing Group, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007). Jennifer completed a Master’s of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University in…

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