My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, March 20

Presidential Qualities & Little Big Shots

A non-endorsement editorial in the Arizona Republic (March 18, 2016) tried to explain why it wasn’t endorsing either of the two GOP front-runners, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, by stating what a U.S. president should be and then matching Trump and Cruz to those standards, both missing the mark by miles and miles.

“This is a time to stand our ground and say no to a candidate who leads this race and is now projected to win. We don’t expect our editorial to make any difference to that trajectory, but we do think it worth putting on record what we, as Americans, should value in a president. ¶ The president of the United States should be a model citizen, an exemplar of decency and high character. ¶ The president should work to bridge the divides that separate the American people. ¶ The president should possess a strong knowledge of the important issues of our day. ¶ The president should express him or herself in ways that are refined and dignified, worthy of any audience of any age. ¶ The President should understand our immigrant heritage and act with compassion when conceiving policy that shapes the lives of newcomers. ¶ The president should make America a beacon to the world, promoting freedom and stability. ¶ The president should possess the temperament and good judgment necessary to be trusted with the most powerful military on Earth.”

Cruz misses by a good many miles on most of the above, but Trump misses by light years on all of the above. The editorial goes on to say that John Kasich would fit nearly all the above requirements but that he can’t possibly win the nomination. And there you have it, a non-endorsement endorsement.

We watched the first two episodes of Little Big Shots, a show produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey, a show that’s getting some very good press. Steve Harvey does his comic interviews with the tiny contestants before and after we see them do their things. They’re not really contestants since they aren’t competing with each other. They’ve been selected for the show for their unusual abilities, unusual because most of them are so very young and so unexpectedly talented. We saw the four-year-old pianist who had been playing for only three months, playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" flawlessly and like lightning, then telling Steve he liked Bach the best of composers. We saw a five-year-old home-schooled boy who apparently can spell correctly every word in the dictionary. We saw a tiny boy from Japan who could duplicate every karate move, every facial gesture, every scream from a Bruce Lee film in which the actor is kung fuing and swinging a lethal nunchuck. We watched a five-year-old boy shooting small basketballs into a net at least twenty-five feet away and some from even further out or below. And making all but one shot. And he never seemed to be thinking about what he was doing. He just took the ball overhead and threw it. And it went “swish!” All these acts, not exactly disturbing but provacative, made me consider what the human brains is capable of. I’ve heard that most of us make use of only about twenty percent of our gray matter, leaving the other eighty percent to just sit there taking up space in our skulls. Some of us use less than twenty percent, most of whom are now supporting Donald Trump. But what if we could use that other eighty percent? What might we be able to do? Telepathy? Teleportation? Have eidetic memories? Do math problems as fast as computers? That’s the premise behind the tv series Limitless, in which the main character can take a small pill called NZT and become temporarily a genius who aids the FBI in its endeavors to foil the bad guys. Life has become so complex, so frightening, so exciting. I feel a lot like the mom on Zits. And then there’s the son, who thinks he’s got it all figured out.
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