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General Kelly: The Man Behind the Facade

Donald Trump Awards Medal Of Honor To Vietnam War Veteran James C. McCloughan

White House chief of staff John Kelly (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I didn’t know much about the man before he became the so-called grown up in the room in the train wreck that is the Trump administration. Former General and present White House Chief of Staff John. F Kelly looked the part of the stoic no-nonsense, call it like he sees it kind of guy. A steely-eyed battled worn soldier, a man of honor charged with reigning in the Trump circus. What could go wrong … right?

I didn’t vote for Trump I’ll admit, but this is my country and I hoped he could surprise me and the 3 million plus that voted the other way that he could bring the country together and maybe get something done for average Americans. Bringing in John Kelly seemed like a step in the right direction at the time.

The consensus on both sides of the political aisle was that this is the man for the job. He would not only protect the country from the disaster that is Donald Trump but maybe, just maybe, focuses the impish mind of the President on getting something done for the country.

Then came the botched condolence phone call and Kelly started talking and almost instantly the backlash from his false statements concerning remarks made by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, and his refusal to use her name, but instead choosing to refer to her as an “empty barrel” tarnished his once impeccable reputation.

In a matter of a few short weeks the myth, the legend, and the sterling reputation of John Kelly have been damaged beyond repair. On Oct. 19, the then seen but seldom heard White House Chief of Staff stepped into the white house briefing room to do damage control for his President, instead, he set off a media whirlwind.

In an attempted to defend Donald Trump’s calamitous condolence call to Myeshia Johnson the widow of fallen hero SGT. La David Johnson Kelly leveled false attacks against Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) Kelly accused her of fabricating the now corroborated account of the conversation and called her “An empty barrel”.

For days, and then weeks after the incident, many expected Kelly to if not publicly, privately apologize to Congresswoman Wilson for the attack. He refused to do so, and in true Trump fashion, he doubled down on his previous remarks.  In an interview on Fox, where else, Kelly was asked about the disparaging remarks he made about Congresswoman Wilson.

He was asked if he thought he anything to apologize for and the answer was pure Donald Trump, “Oh, no,” Kelly replied. “No. Never. Well, I’ll apologize if I need to. But for something like that, absolutely not. I stand by my comments.”

I thought John Kelly was supposed to be the one influencing Donald Trump, not the other way around. The real picture of John Kelly is becoming crystal clear rather it be his willingness to lie without apology, his lack of shame, or his outlandish belief that the Civil War was fought because of “lack of compromise” as he stated during the same Fox appearance.

Kelly also praised Gen. Robert E. Lee as being an honorable man during that interview, but the most striking of all his comments made was his insistence that “Men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand,” during the Civil War a reference that resembles the disastrous remarks made by Donald Trump after the Charlottesville’s Rally, where he defended neo-Nazis and white nationalists by saying that there were “fine people” on both sides of the protests.

Here is a news flash for General Kelly. Robert E. Lee was a slave-owning traitor to our country, he committed treason and fought to bring down our government in order to preserve slavery. Honorable men don’t do that.

As for the so-called fine men and women of the south during the civil war, they thought African Americans were less than human beings and that it was not only their right, but it was heavenly ordained to hold them in bondage. These are not the actions of men and women of good faith.

The façade that was the sterling General has fallen away and what we are seeing now is the mere man behind the myth. A much smaller man. A man with less gravitas. A man whose views and remarks resembles those of the man he works for.  General John Kelly may, in fact, be a good fit for the Trump administration but if that is so, where does that leave us as a country?

 

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Trump’s Obama Obsession

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I wrote an article a little while ago about Trump’s decision to end DACA and had a woman write to me that Trump ending this program was somehow President Obama’s fault. Obama’s fault? Trump has been President for going on eight months, it’s been a train wreck of a presidency no doubt about it, but he is President. Isn’t it about time that Trump starts being held accountable for what Trump does. His decision to end DACA was his decision.

Telling yourself that Obama is somehow the blame for Trump deciding to end DACA is at best laughable and at worse disingenuous. Trump didn’t have to do it. He did it first because he’s a coward, and secondly because the large portion of his base forced him to. This was about Trump keeping a campaign promise and trying to undo all of Obama’s accomplishments. He failed at trying to repeal the “Affordable Care Act” this is Trump’s proverbial second bite at the Obama apple.

The Trump administrations reckless and cruel decision will not affect Obama’s place in history, it may in effect cement his place in history. This shouldn’t be about Obama, because either way Barack, Michelle, and their children are going to be fine. The people who are going to be hurt by Trump ending DACA are the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who by no fault of their own are going to have their futures placed in jeopardy.

Donald Trump is obsessed with Barack Obama and is determined to try and erase all his accomplishments by any means necessary and if that means hundreds of thousands of young lives get ruined in the process so be it.

A Dream Deferred: America’s Broken Promise to the Dreamers

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So, now we know for sure what President Donald Trump meant when he chose the slogan “Make America Great Again” not that there should have been any doubt. Donald Trump and his band of miscreants have systematically set out to destroy in less than one year what has taken our country over 200 years of blood, sweat, and tears to build.

Although we are not perfect, and there are wounds that still need healing, in the end, America has always been a country that took pride in working toward that so-called perfect union.  The struggle to heal our divided to make this country home to all who come and work hard and contribute positively to our American community regardless of culture, racial, or religious background. The diversity of our nation is what keeps America great.

We have had our share of presidents that have put our country and its systems to the test, but never in our 241-year history have we had a ticking time bomb like Donald Trump in the oval office. His volatile mixture of willful ignorance, narcissism, and racist tendency is not only troubling it’s dangerous. It’s the end of the world as we know it dangerous.

We are living in a time when Politicians are more concern about winning elections rather than doing what is right for the country, and the Republican party has turned a blind eye to the spreading cancer that is the Trump presidency and put our nation at risk.

The once mighty America has fallen into the tiny hands of Donald Trump and has become an international punchline led by a childish, ineffectual narcissistic who is incapable of even pretending to feel even the slightest bit of empathy for others. This brings me to the unbelievable cruel decision by the Trump administration to end the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, enacted by the Obama administration in 2012.

What kind of man could casually disrupt the lives of so many young, productive, and most importantly innocent lives as Donald Trump has just done by rescinded DACA leaving many young dreamers as they are known unsure of their prospects, simply put this is cruel and unamerican.

I know there have been reports of Trump oscillating back and forth trying to make a humane decision. I don’t believe it. Donald Trump made it perfectly clear how he felt about people of Hispanic descent in his first speech after announcing he would be running for President. I won’t repeat his vile words here because they were so unbelievable offensive, but unless you’ve been living under a rock you know what he said and to further the point Trump was clear in his interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd back in 2015 that the Dreamers would have to go.

He said he didn’t want to split up families, but they nonetheless would have to go. Trump is breaking a promise made by the America government to over 800,000 undocumented young Latin and Latina men and women who came out of the shadows in good faith many of whom know of no other home than the United States.

Donald Trump is a despicable man there is no doubt about that, and those who would argue otherwise are either just as despicable as he is or is willfully turning a blind eye to his behavior which makes them complicit in his behavior. Silence is not an option.

Americans of all colors need to stand together with the dreamers against this temporary tyrant. We were all here before Donald Trump became president and we need to make sure that our American voices of equality, civility, and humanity rang out long after Donald Trump, and the Trump administration is long gone.

Eight Secrets to Writing Screenplays that Sell

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The first thing you need to realize when you begin is that the audience is fickle, the smash last week or last month could easily be this week’s dud.

Today we live in an instant gratification society and at most, you have three maybe five minutes to grab and keep their attention, how do you do that you might be asking, well this is how Bill Wilder a very famous writer and director explained it.

For those of you who don’t know who Billy Wilder was, he was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.

The Golden Rules:

  • The audience is fickle. Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
  • Develop a clean line of action for your leading character. Know where you’re going.
  • The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
  • If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
  • A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
  • In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
  • The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
  • The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.