This is my last blog. For awhile, anyway. Maybe much later on, I will find a new venue and start up again.
It has been a blast for me. I started with a simple premise: Write to vent. I found myself yelling at the television for the moderators to ask more incisive questions. I became so tired of he said/she said format and the false equivalency journalism so prevalent in today’s reports.
I wanted the reporters to develop an hypothesis and to prove the point with incisive questions. Instead, so many rambled on and failed to provide readers and viewers enough information to make decisions on what was right and wrong.
So, I wrote and I wrote some more. I never focused on one area because I love sports, politics, humor, history and walks down memory lane.
I received criticism for scattering my attention. I ignored that criticism. I wrote what I wanted to write. And I think, for the most part, I provided essays that readers could bite into the meat, laugh a little and argue a lot.
But as I continued to write — my first blog was in March of 2012 — I wanted more input from readers. I read the great number of hits others were getting on their efforts and I wondered why I wasn’t matching them.
I found some have good networking. Others have an “in” on Google. I would Google my blog and the pages mounted too high before I could come up with my “tag.”
And I found I still yelled at the television for moderators to ask more penetrating questions.
Oh, in writing the blog, I enjoyed the loyalty of several. And the help, too. I appreciate so much the input, suggestions and even material from Peg Nichols, Don Carpenter, Roy Beaty, Eric Greble and my daughter, Cheryl Carson.
Huffington Post triggered many ideas for me. And Paul Krugman — everyone needs to continue reading what this man has to say. Intelligent, coherent and formidable, he gives a progressive slant to the world today and everyone should pay attention to his theories.
Robert Reich is also a good one to read. Joe Conason writes a really good column and should receive more pundit time on cable TV. Occasionally, I spend time reading Katrina vanden Huevel and Tom Friedman.
A couple of reasons played big roles in ending my blog. One was time. I am embarking on another mystery manuscript. I have one novel published, A Question of Justice. I finished another but it never gained traction. I have another one started and I like it and will spend more time with it. A publisher told me that a more edgy novel would increase marketability. So, I’m giving it a try.
The other reason is the blogs were starting to sound the same. President Trump’s god-awful political presence will do that to a person. His mendacious approach to leading the country provides blog fodder that simply repeats itself. You could write the same headline over each blog: Trump’s Lie of the Day.
So, let’s hope cable TV improves, network news shows more tenacity and newspapers stop feeling sorry for themselves. Oh, there is so much they can be doing.
Here, let me give you a simple idea on coverage. Local newspapers can do their part. They don’t have to rely always on the Washington Post or the New York Times. For example, the Kansas City Star may not know it but there’s a terrific source for a helluva story on the nation’s education right here in River City.
Just talk to Mark Bedell, the Kansas City Missouri Superintendent of Schools since July 1, 2016. From being homeless to becoming an honor student at Fisk University, he can tell you he has seen the elephant and heard the owl. He earned his doctorate degree and has been at every level of the education ladder. He gave a dynamic speech last Monday at the 40 Years Ago Column Club — and he told the audience that the school system needs help, not the political divisiveness provided by so many.
Before his speech, he sat at our table and I asked a few questions on the state of education, including his thoughts on Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. He shook his head slowly, then he said the educational system in the country is headed for even deeper trouble.
DeVos is a huge supporter of charter schools. They rob from public education. Bedell noted that charter schools in Kansas City take 42 percent of his budget. And he has no sayso on what goes on at those schools.
He also targeted the Missouri Legislature as a thorn stabbing public education. Two bills being pushed will help charter and private schools with a voucher program — a program that will damage the public schools.
He framed his arguments on anecdotal and empirical evidence. His stance is braced by facts. The Star must produce that hypothesis and go after the legislature, prove the point.
See, how I am. I took off again.
But that’s what my blog allowed me to do. I’ll miss the hell out of it. But I may find other outlets, like writing to Colleen Nelson, the relatively new vice president and editorial page editor of the Star. Maybe I can make inroads to a greater circulation outlet.
Let me retrace a few points I have made through the years:
- The election of Trump is due to the deplorable people who didn’t pay attention or didn’t like Hillary Clinton for whatever reason and the country will pay for their negligence and bigotry.
- Bill Self is the best basketball coach in the universe.
- The Democrats need to fight anything and everything the Republicans put up in Congress and the legislatures.
- The cry over gerrymandering, voter IDs and election suppression must transform into a proactive front — stop whining and do the job.
- Kris Kobach and Sam Brownback and the congressional representatives are what’s the matter with Kansas.
- Name one bill congressional Republicans produced and backed that really helped the working man.
- Obama did a magnificent job pulling the country off the economic cliff and providing steady leadership through eight years without scandal.
- The guy who came up with the phrase The Right to Work was a genius on one hand and a union buster on the other.
- How much money do the Koch brothers want.
- What a job Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State.
- The Kansas City Chiefs and Royals provide a lot of entertainment for their fans but they need to be concerned about how the owners glom onto revenue and don’t put the best players on the field.
- Those seniors who voted Republican, well, let’s hope you can overcome the possibility of paying for Medicare with an inadequate tax voucher.
Writing the blog has been fun. Maybe we’ll do this again sometime.