America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

Our country is on fire. We have become a viciously crippled, polarized society.  These days, an increasing majority of Americans passionately ally themselves with one or the other of two competing ideological extremes, then accuse the other side of every imaginable economic, intellectual, social, spiritual, and moral flaw. Now the people who disagree with us aren’t just “wrong,” they’re grossly stupid and evilly sinful. I’m old enough to remember when  people of good will who disagreed with each other on matters of policy and action could respect their differences but still work through them to reach consensus on what all parties could commit to support. These were consensual agreements based on fact — what’s actually happening — and anchored in a common ground of shared beliefs.  We have lost that good will. In fairness, the differences that now tragically and ominously divide us have always existed in the deep fabric of our nation  since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789: finding the delicate balance between the liberty granted individuals in a republic and the responsibilities of all people in a democratic society; between the powers relegated to the states (large and small) and to the federal government;  between the proper authority exercised by the three separate branches of government; between the enabling strengths and crippling limitations of both capitalism and socialism; between the promise of unlimited entrepreneurial possibilities and the harsh reality of working for a wage — or in the case of African slaves, no wage at all;  between our prosperity as a nation and our membership in a global economy;   and between the ideal of...
5 Reasons Trump Could Involve Us in a Disastrous, Needless War

5 Reasons Trump Could Involve Us in a Disastrous, Needless War

The idea of Trump propelling America into a major, devastating war – with North Korea, Iran, or even China −  is a threat all of us need to take seriously, and act on in 2018, by restoring a two-party balance (or a Democratic majority) into Congress as a check on Trump’s dangerous instability. Colin Powell, unlike Donald Trump, served in Vietnam at the beginning of a distinguished military career.  What has become known as “The Powell Doctrine” reflects his deep knowledge of the enormous waste of war that makes it only sensible as a national strategy when all other  political, economic, and diplomatic means have been exhausted.   Is a vital national security interest threatened? Do we have a clear attainable objective? Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? Is the action supported by the American people? Do we have genuine broad international support? The answer to all these questions regarding the disastrous Iraq War was “No.” As a country, we shouldn’t repeat that mistake, especially now because it involves the potential for nuclear war. Regarding North Korea and Iran, none of those preconditions – not even the first − has been met. More dangerously, none of them are characteristic of how Trump has demonstrated he would deal with the very real foreign policy threats the U.S. is now facing. Trump has no foreign “policy” based on a well-informed, rational understanding of global threats to America’s safety and...
Make America GOOD Again

Make America GOOD Again

Consider how we use the word “good” in our daily lives: “He’s a good man.” “She’s a good friend.” “They’re good kids.”  “They’re good parents.” “I live in a good neighborhood.” “My kids go to a good school.” “I’m in a good place in my life right now.” “I feel good about this.”  “I’m blessed with good health.” My first work out of college was as a teacher and coach. I vividly remember seeing a kid come off the field having played his or her heart out and saying “Good job!!” A lot of us used to be able to say:  “I work for a good company.” “I work for a good boss.”  “I’m making a good salary.” (A whole lot fewer of us are able to say that now). We know, deep down, what the word “good” means in real, living ways. So here’s the first question: “Is President Trump a good human being?”  When I ask this question of my Republican friends, often I get a “Whatabout…” non-answer.  “Well, what about Bill Clinton?  Or Hillary?” That’s ducking the question. If you say the question doesn’t matter, as many of Trump’s supporters do, then you’re saying that “goodness” no longer matters as a value — not just for presidents and elected representatives, but as an essential human value. I’m not suggesting that the people we elect to public office should be saints. Few of us rise to that standard in our own lives. But if we don’t hold our leadership to some level of fundamental integrity and decency, our society and our country falls apart. One measure of...
Another Rave Review for The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age

Another Rave Review for The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age

Hi folks – Clarion Reviews, the industry’s first and most trusted review service for indie and self-publishers, praised The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age. “In The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age, the latest book in E. Thomas Behr’s rollicking historical series, it is the relentless action that grabs audience attention and sustains interest from beginning to end.  The plot moves quickly, capturing what is essentially a guerrilla struggle for national strategic influence. Action scenes that represent turning points are nicely drawn, from hand-to-hand combat …  to sea skirmishes where deadly splinters sweep ship decks of life. It pulls as much entertainment from history as is possible, and does so well; this is a believable peek into the past, with enough detail and thrills to enliven the record. The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age makes a cinematic hero come to life, putting him in the midst of many thrilling action scenes, with moments of romance offering pauses along the...
Liar in Chief

Liar in Chief

OK. I understand why Congressional Republicans running for office won’t criticize Trump. They run the risk of getting kicked off the gravy train: a hefty salary, better health insurance than most of us can afford, a fat pension, a luxury lifestyle paid for by wealthy donors, and absolutely no accountability to have to DO anything. If, God forbid, they were voted out of office, they might actually have to work for a living (unless they got hired as million-dollar-a-year lobbyists). But I don’t understand why my Republican friends, who are decent, well-educated people, continue to support a president who is an incorrigible, pathological liar and narcissistic egomaniac. Set aside the factual whoppers:  more people attended his inauguration than the inauguration of any other president; the Trump Tower has 68 stories (it really has 58);  the U.S. has the highest tax rate in the world; the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years; The Art of the Deal is the best-selling business book in history; the number of illegal immigrants in the United States is 34 million; thousands and thousands of people were cheering in Jersey City, N.J. as the World Trade Center collapsed; the unemployment rate may be as high as 42 percent; Trump University received an “A” rating from the Better Business bureau…  the list goes on and on. Clearly he believes his own lies. As he described them in The Art of the Deal, they are just “truthful hyperbole.” But how can someone create sane public and foreign policy if he has so little awareness of factual reality (or history, for...