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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 19, 2017

Americans often have conveniently short memories. We have to be reminded of things that should be part of our DNA by now. If honest journalists like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite hadn’t had the courage and integrity to speak out against the Joseph McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s and the duplicity of the Pentagon in the early years of Vietnam, imagine where we’d be today.

If annoying and persistent reporters like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein hadn’t hounded the Nixon White House over Watergate, we’d never have learned the truth that there was a concerted effort by Nixon’s people to compromise the 1972 presidential election. And while it was mostly politically motivated, only the consistent media barrage of Bill Clinton ultimately revealed a serious weakness in the president’s character.

We’ve seen this act before. As the smoke thickens and the denials become nastier…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 19, 2017

This morning, Mitch McConnell said he imagined Democrats were celebrating today, but they ought to be clear why. That statement is another lesson in learning to translate political gibberish into English.

First, it’s not just Democrats who are celebrating. It’s every American who worries about the cost of health care, and recent polls suggest four out of five of us fall into that category. More significantly, what Americans are celebrating is the failure of an attempt to pass bad legislation crafted in secret while excluding everyone but the fifty-two members of the Senate Republican caucus. And in the twisted logic of political rhetoric, McConnell blames that failure on the refusal of the Democrats he excluded from the process to cooperate.

The truth that no Republican senator will speak publicly is that the entire conservative agenda is aimed at reducing the cost of what they refer…

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alkaplan

Great news: STAR TOUCHED will be released October 1, 2017 and is now available for pre-order through several book sellers.Startouched front cover2Eighteen year old Tatiana is running from her past and her Star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population.

Her power to heal is sometimes overshadowed by the ability to create ravaging fires. Fleeing the fear induced persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. This civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Tatiana is once again left with the choice to flee or to stay and fight for the new life she has built. Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends… and herself.

“A unique and finely crafted debut novel, the characters touched my heart as I was drawn into their plight and compelled to finish!”

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 14, 2017

Remember all the talk during the campaign about whether success in managing a business translated to success in governing? Before Donald Trump won the nomination, the Republicans were the ones asking the question loudest. It was actually the most important question being raised, far more important than Trump’s morals or principles or business ethics, more important than whether he was a liar, a racist, or a mysoginist.

The notion of a pristine, highly moral, totally honest president is a fantasy out of a children’s book. Governing and politics are hard-nosed dirty enterprises, and our fantasy candidate, should he or she ever actually win would be an innocent lamb led to the slaughter. Our presidents have to be tough, and they can’t always tell the truth, but there are certain rules they must follow.

The country is learning, now, what many of us who’ve been involved…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 11, 2017

If it wasn’t certain before, today’s revelations about Donald Trump Jr sealed the deal for the President’s leverage with Congress. The cloud of uncertainty hanging over the administration’s role in Russian meddling with our election means there will be no arm-twisting by Trump Sr when the Republican senators try to pass a health care bill.

The ball is entirely in Mitch McConnell’s court. It’s clear that the seventy-four-year-old Majority Leader desperately wants to pad his legacy with a win on health care, especially if it tarnishes the legacy of Barrack Obama. What is less certain is the lengths to which he’s willing to go to achieve it.

Despite the obvious partisan rancor in most of his public pronouncements, many observers doubt his commitment to passing a wholly Republican bill, if it means ultimately having to admit defeat when his party faces the voters in the…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 9, 2017

A good friend posted a comment on Facebook in response to my July 7 article, Korea. He said: “Economic sanctions are likely to result in increased starvation, while Kim funnels off the wealth to feed his military ambitions. Add an humanitarian issue to all the others.”

I think it’s important to respond here where everyone can see it. I admit that when I wrote about strangling North Korea’s economy, I wasn’t thinking about how that would affect the population. But the more I think about the situation, the more it reminds of terrorists using innocent civilians as human shields. The entire civilian population of North Korea are effectively hostages.

We can’t save everyone, and we certainly can’t do anything to relieve the suffering that the North Korean regime has visited on its own people. I hate the idea the we might be responsible for worsening…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 7, 2017

Given the history of Korea since World War II, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s the mess it is today. We like to think of the Korea problem as an example of the Good Guys (the South) versus the Bad Guys (the North), a left over concept from the Cold War, of which Korea was and is a perfect microcosm.

It didn’t start that way. Korea was split in half when we and Soviet Union divided the spoils of the Japanese Empire in 1945. There were no good or bad guys in Korea then. Both countries were governed by rather despicable dictatorships which were at war with each other almost from the moment of their creation. Good and bad, in 1950, were defined by the American fear of Soviet expansion which featured the Berlin Wall, The Greek Civil War, and finally, Korea. In those days…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, July 2, 2017

I’ve always had nothing but disdain for daytime television, but nine years ago, when I began working from home, I started watching Morning Joe with my first cup of coffee. I guess that was the point of the show’s name, but when the cuteness of the play on words wore off, I still found the idea of a former Republican Congressman hosting the morning show on the world’s most liberal network amusing enough to watch.

I soon noticed that Joe Scarborough liked to surround himself with smiling, nodding mannequins, ala Howard Stern, whom I detest. One was Willie Geist, a pretty face who never seemed to have anything of substance to say, and the other was a pretty face with really nice legs. The thing I most noticed was that Morning Joe’s entire marketing campaign consisted mostly of pretty face number two in poses that…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, June 27, 2017

One constant of the current administration is the level of noise coming out of both the White House and the Congress designed to distract and confuse the public. It’s a tactic Trump is famous for and one that Steve Bannon promotes relentlessly. It’s also a tactic that’s been used effectively by the Right and the alt-Right over the last decade as the Koch Network summit in Colorado Springs clearly shows. What happened to “of the people, by the people, and for the people?” This isn’t the way the process was supposed to work.

How do you navigate all the lies, distortions, and misdirections? Whatever game you compete in, every coach says, “Never take your eye off the ball.” If you do now, you’ll be a victim of a shell game. As a voter and taxpayer, keeping your eye on the ball means never forgetting that…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, June 22, 2017

There’s been a lot written about the Trump phenomenon, but it still defies the imagination in many ways. Look at the various subgroups that make up his base of support, and you’ll invariably come away scratching your head. No single piece of it makes sense; as a whole, it defies logic.

Take the group typically described as white, non-college-educated working class men. Trump claims to be their white knight riding in on a stallion handing out jobs, jobs, jobs. Really? If you grew up in New York as a Trump contemporary, as I did, you’ve known for decades that that is the worst possible description of him. His only pre-occupation has been making money, and his record with respect to working people, including his own employees, has always been abysmal. Did he suddenly wake up one morning and decide to be a better person?

I…

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