Tonight’s podcast with Texas author Charlotte Canion went well. Charotte said she had had two previous radio shows, and she had much to share about caring for one’s elderly relatives, while also coping with one’s own health and family responsibilities.
Charlotte has 20 grandchildren or great-grandchildren and is a cancer survivor. We talked about her book “You Have to Laugh So You Don’t Cry.” In Chapter 5 (“Forgiveness”) Charlotte shared the story of her 14-year-old daughter’s having been molested by her grandfather (Charlotte’s dad). The actual event happened when her daughter was six years old, but did not come to light until Charlotte shared the experience with a girlfriend, who alerted counselors.
The discussion of that chapter was a late-in-the-recording moment, but we did cover it and Charlotte described it as “ripping the family apart.”
Next week, film star Eric Roberts and his wife Eliza are schedule to talk about his movie “Lone Star Deception” and their careers, in general. I hope it works, this time. Please remember that it is a “live” call-in show and you can join us with your questions. The phone number to call in “live” is 866-451-1451.
The upcoming guest list for the Weekly Wilson podcast on the Bold Brave Media Global Network, while subject to changes in these uncertain times, looks like this through mid-May:
April 2, Thursday, 7 p.m. CDT – Texas author Charlotte Canion will speak with Connie about her book, “You Have to Laugh to Keep from Crying,” which is about coping with elderly parents when you may have health issues of your own.
April 9, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – Film star Eric Roberts and his wife Eliza (also an actress) are re-scheduled after the shutdown of the network caused the cancellation. We’ll talk about Eric’s storied career, his role in “Lone Star Deception” and other topics of interest.
April 16, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – Ed Dezevallos, Executive Producer of “Lone Star Deception” and the force behind a series of instructional videos for young people called www.soyouwanttobe.com will drop by.
April 23, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – Dr Bill Kohl, an epidemiologist in charge of the University of Texas in Austin’s response to the Corona virus, will share insights and information.
April 30, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – Jennifer Berliner, heart transplant and cancer survivor and blogger (www.anewheartrocks.com) will share various tips regarding “sheltering in place” and remaining positive in the face of adversity. (Read up on Jennifer’s background at her blog)
May 7, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – TBA
May 15, Thursday, 7 p.m., CDT – Author Michael Serrapica returns to talk politics with Connie.
As always, listeners can find the podcast (Thursdays, 7 p.m. CDT on the Bold Brave Media Global Network) and phone in “live” at 866-451-1451.
The Covid-19 Coronavirus was first reported on December 1, 2019, in China by a courageous physician, Dr. Li Wenliang, who told other physicians that a SARS-like illness was spreading. For his concern, he was arrested along with 6 others and obliged to apologize for “spreading rumors.” Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID-19 on February 7th. Until January 5th, the Chinese government engaged in a cover-up. As late as January 15th, official sources were saying the risk was low and that human-to-human transmission had not been proven. Only on January 23rd, 6 weeks in, did China quarantine Wuhan.
Back in the U.S. of A.:
January 22, 2020 – “We have it totally under control.” (DJT)
February 2, 2020 – “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
Two times in February, Trump said that “When we get into April, in the warmer weather—that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.”
February 26, 2020 – (Over 60 cases diagnosed) – “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
February 28, 2020 – (In South Carolina): “This is their new hoax. (Blaming the Democrats for the Chinese COVID-19 virus.)
March 6, 2020 – Continuation of the theme that the virus was “a hoax.” and “Anyone who wants a test can get a test.” Repetition of a “fake news/Ukraine” theme saying that the tests were “beautiful” and “The tests were all perfect, like the letter was perfect, the transcription was perfect, right?”
March 7, 2020 – asked if he was concerned about the virus, Trump replied, “No, we’ve done a great job.”
Two days after declaring that the virus was “under control” Trump declared himself “a war-time president” and said, “I’ve always know this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” He also gleefully proclaimed himself as “getting it” and being extremely good at understanding the epidemic.
Will November’s voters remember the criminal dishonesty that permitted this pestilence to hit us so very hard and kept us from preparing for the eventuality for so very long? Coupled with the damage to our national parks, our environment, our very planet, our alliances, our economy now (post-pandemic), with the evidence that management is not DJT’s forte, will informed voters finally get the message that drafting this guy was a bad idea? His remarks about opening up for business as usual have alarmed health experts, with the stated date being Easter—only a couple weeks away.
For the moment, the graphs and charts showing how GREAT our economy was doing—[supposedly all because of Trump, although the last 36 months of President Obama’s tenure showed an uptick after his saving of the economy from the housing collapse of 2007-2008]—have stopped. That is the only “good” thing I can point to from a worldwide epidemic that should show very clearly the true colors of the man who is unfit to lead a nation, let alone 4 bankrupt businesses. The second good thing to come from it will be if this ousts Trump from power.
The petty actions towards the Governors of Washington state and Michigan speak volumes. The failure to have bi-partisan shows of support for the stimulus bill when it was signed in the Oval Office: small and unpresidential. The grasping, ridiculous mewling of GOP Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and 2 others delaying the passage of the stimulus bill on the floor of the Senate far into the morning (1:30 a.m.). The only voice of reason seemed to be Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.
What were Lindsey and Cruz so upset about? The stimulus package might give South Carolina workers $23 an hour for an hourly wage and, according to Graham, workers could be hired there for $15 an hour, largely because the minimum wage has been stalled for nearly a decade. And this was a problem why? Well, because, for 4 months (a finite period of time for the stimulus package), the citizens of South Carolina (whom Lindsey obviously thinks are a bunch of slackers) would rather NOT work than work, because of the pay difference. No thought given to those who welcome a return to normalcy and having something to do, including some structure in their lives.
Meanwhile, New Orleans needs 20,000 ventilators and has only received 200. Mardi Gras Parades, as usual, were, perhaps, not such a good idea. New York’s Governor Cuomo asked for 30 or 40,000 ventilators and had to argue with DJT over whether it needs that many. Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans are new “hot spots,” but New York is the worst. Parts of New York might be put under quarantine by the man who allowed this disaster to become worse, our president Donald J. Trump. Of course, the quarantine did not come up during a conversation between the Governor (Cuomo) and the President, as per usual. Management, transparency, and communication are not this president’s forte, as we know from the failure of his administration’s top-ranking officials to come to Congress when asked.
In Chicago, 3,000 cases wiith 34 deaths. Mayor Lori Lightfoot had to shut down beaches and Lake Shore Drive’s jogging trail. Young people are showing up in hospitals, like Rush. Dr. Omar Lateef, President & CEO of Rush University Medical Center expressed concern. Over 400 new cases in the past 24 hours, including within the jail population—one of the largest in the nation.640,589 cases worldwide, 111, 684 in the U.S. 1,850 deaths in the U.S. versus 29,848 worldwide. 138 people on board a cruise ship off the coast of Panama are sick. Delta is waiving costs for health care workers who are traveling to help volunteer in hard-hit states. All Nevada businesses closed by the Governor for 30 days. Los Angeles cases tripled in three days. Elon Musk took it upon himself to fly 1200 respirators to California from China. A hospital ship now sits offshore (The Mercy) of Los Angeles with 12 fully functioning medical operation rooms and a similar ship sits off the shores of New York City.
And so it goes when you elect a Con-man who is untrustworthy and he ends up heading up a nation during a national crisis. We all held our breaths when DJT was pronounced the winner of the presidency in the electoral college and hoped that he could continue skating on the thin ice that buoyed the economy—for a while.
Beyond the embarrassment we feel whenever Donald J. Trump unleashes his thin-skinned temper at an unsuspecting reporter or insults the Governor of a state for no good reason, beyond the jockeying for position our national leader displayed for the world to see, [shouldering aside the leader of Montenegro so he would be first in the picture at an international meeting]—those embarassments fade in comparison with statements that misled a nation with only a brief window of time to prepare, to get ready, to be prepared (as the Boy Scout oath says) for a once-in-a-lifetime crisis.
My mother lived through the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. She was eleven, the same age as my twin granddaughters are now. I remember her stories of how only half of her sixth grade class returned to school after schools resumed and how flatbed trucks circulated in Hospers, Iowa, to pick up the dead bodies.
DJT blew this. Big time. Like the cheating husband who tries to win back his wife after infidelity with promises of better behavior in the future, DJT has not been equal to the challenge; people are dying because of it.
Remember that in November when you vote. Before then, try to see the documentary “Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections” to prepare yourselves for the extent of the cheating that will occur this time around.
(*This is reprinted from the Opinion page of the 3/25 Austin American Statesman, who responded to the news that Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had made some remarks about re-opening the economy, which were not only controversial, but stupid).
“Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has offered a reckless and false choice: Let some seniors die or watch as our economy crumbles.
“Let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living,” Patrick said Monday evening on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “Let’s be smart about it and those of us who are 70 plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country.”
It that means taking “a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren, Patrick said, then “I’m all in.”
The suggestion from Texas’ second-highest elected official is not only wrong-headed and cold, it’s dangerous. The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t solely affect the elderly: about 40% of those hospitalized so far in the U.S. were ages 20 to 54 (50% in California). Encouraging people to “get back to living” disregards the warnings by public health experts and risks further spread of this highly contagious disease.
Morally, we cannot accept the argument that the deaths of our neighbors of any age are a necessary trade-off for the health of our economy. And, from a practical standpoint, economists tell us this is not true: going back to our old way of life while the coronavirus spreads will lead to more sickness and death, more lost wages, more strain on our hospitals and medical professionals, making it even harder to climb out of the recession that is likely already here.
Our best bet to help the economy is to contain the virus that is hurting it.
Governor Greg Abbott has worked to do so by temporarily closing schools and dine-in restaurants statewide, boosting the number of nurses and hospital beds, and asking for President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration that would provide more badly needed federal aid to Texas.
Yet there is Patrick, Abbott’s self-professed wingman, undermining all of those efforts by suggesting we ditch the social distancing efforts that are the heart of our public health response.
Patrick’s statement comes as Trump is also pushing to reopen public life while public health experts urge isolation, creating a cacophony of mixed messages when Americans need clear, consistent direction. Lives are at stake.
Yes, we all want this emergency to end.
But Patrick is asking Texans to make the wrong kinds of sacrifices to get there.”
My second podcast was an interview with Texas author Michael Serrapica, author of “Conned Conservatives and Led-On Liberals.” We talked about the various propaganda techniques that abound in politics.
Michael has agreed to join me at 7 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, March 26th, to talk more about politics, in general, and about my two political books, “Obama’s Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House,” Vols. I & II and his book.
We will probably wander off-topic and discuss All Things Political. Remember, you can call in as the program is “Live” on the Bold Brave Media Global Network (Channel 100), Weekly Wilson.
Ted Hicks (worked in film in NYC.) His degree from Iowa was as a filmmaker. He was in charge of awarding the Christopher Award in New York City for years, post military service. He was a college friend at the University of Iowa. Ted has put together a list of good things to stream, and I have added my own favorites and added some specifics to his list.
This explanation from Ted:
A few days ago, Gary Davis, who I’ve known since 1st grade in Nemaha, Iowa, asked for some TV/cable/streaming recommendations. I put together a bunch of titles and sent it to him.. I know many of you will already know a lot of these shows, but there might be some you haven’t seen.”
I have made some additions to Ted’s original list, adding some old favorites and some new, and including names of the actors/actresses involved, when relevant (and not a chore to research.) Therefore, it is now a composite list from two dedicated film-goers. I have been reviewing film uninterruptedly since 1970 and review film for www.TheMovieBlog.com, www.WeeklyWilson.com and, sometimes, www.QuadCity.com. I’m also the author of “It Came from the 70s: From The Godfather to Apocalypse Now,” which has not only a look at the sci-fi and horror flicks and major films of that time period, but 10 trivia questions per film with the answers upside-down, to pique your curiosity.
A Million Little Things – Ron Livingston (“Sex & the City”), David Giuntoli (“Grimm”), James Roday (“Psych”), Josh Ritter, and others are a close-knit group of friends who are affected by the suicide of one of the group. (rentable on Amazon Prime) 2 seasons.
Better Call Saul – prequel to Breaking Bad, 1st four seasons on Amazon Prime, 5th season currently on AMC.
Bosch – 5 seasons (Amazone Prime) – great series about an LAPD homicide cop, based on a long-running series of novels by Michael Connelly. The 6th season debuts sometime next month, I think.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – terrific Jerry Seinfeld series, all seasons are now on Netflix. We’ve seen most of them. The episode with Eddie Murphy is one of my favorites.
Country Music – Ken Burns series on PBS. Not sure if this can be streamed yet..
Criminal: UK, French, German, Spanish – Gripping series on Amazon, four separate “seasons” all taking place inside police interrogation rooms in the respective countries.
The Crown – 3 seasons on Netflix.
Curb Your Enthusiasm – Larry David and Jeff Garland in a show largely about their lives.
Gentleman Jack – new show from last year, on HBO.
Giri/Haji (Netflix) – Japanese cops & gangsters, British cops & gangsters in a storyline that combines them all. Very violent but also very well made. I liked it.
Glow – 3 seasons (Netflix) Marc Maron organizes the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling.
Goliath – 3 seasons (Amazon Prime) – Billy Bob Thornton as an unorthodox lawyer in Los Angeles. Excellent. Was not renewed.
Good Girls – 2 seasons, AMC Christina Hendricks from “MadMen” involved in a variety of criminal enterprises with her sister and a friend.
Grantchester – 4 seasons on PBS Masterpiece Theater.
Hinterland – 3 seasons on Netflix, cop show set in Wales. Dark, tragic storylines. It’s excellent.
Killing Eve – First 2 seasons on Amazon Prime (3rd season coming up on BBC America).
Life in Pieces – ensemble cast with James Brolin, Dianne Weist, Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt (“Breaking Bad”) and Thomas Sadowski and others. Canceled for next year. On Amazon Prime from 2015-2019.
Nurse Jackie – Edie Falco (‘The Sopranos”) is a drug-addicted nurse. (Showtime)
My Brilliant Friend – 2nd season started this past Monday on HBO.
The Plot Against America – David Simon series based on Philip Roth novel, also began on Monday. Elements of “what if” Lucky Lindy, the aviator, were to have been presented as a presidential candidate.
Secret City – 2 seasons on Netflix – political thriller set in Australia.
Schitt’s Creek – broad gay-friendly comedy from Eugene Levy and his son Dan, with SCTV’s Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliott. Going off the air soon. On since 2015.
The Sinner – seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix, 3rd season now airing on USA. We just started this series this year and burned through first 2 seasons, loved it. (Bill Pullman)
The Stranger (Netflix) – very good thriller.
Trapped – 2 seasons on Amazon Prime – cop show set in Iceland.
Unbelievable – Netflix mini-series. This is excellent! Young rape victim’s story isn’t believed, then two female detectives in Colorado get involved. Kaitlyn Dever (“Them That Follow”) who was just inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame is the protagonist and Merritt Weaver (“Nurse Jackie”) is one of the investigators
Unforgotten – 3 seasons on PBS (available on Amazon Prime). Cop unit in the UK finds old cases thought to have been solved, but new evidence reveals truth yet to come out. The great Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax) is head of the unit.
The Valhalla Murders (Netflix) – more cops in Iceland.
Vera – 10 seasons on Amazon Prime/BritBox. Another cop show, with Brenda Blethyn as the prickly head of a team in Halifax (UK). Each season is 4 episodes approximately 90 minutes each.
Westworld – elaborate theme park setting initially. Futuristic. HBO.
What We Do in the Shadows – FX series, 1st season on Amazon Prime, 2nd season starts on FX in April. A small group of vampires share a house on Staten Island. Very black, dead-pan comedy. This premiered at SXSW last year (2019).
Low Cut Connie, the South Philly group that emulates Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime, played a gig from the bedroom of lead singer Adam Weinert on Saturday, March 21st at 5 p.m. CDT. The group has, on a previous occasion, played the Rust Belt in East Moline, although we saw him at Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin, Texas, during 2019’s SXSW.
It was my husband’s birthday on Saturday, so we set up the television to give us the best experience of the show “live” as it played out. It was lively, but parents of small children should be warned that the language is sometimes “R”-rated. (What can you expect during a pandemic?)
The group will play another “live” concert online on Monday, March 23rd. For the exact time in your neck-of-the-woods and to be able to send remarks to the band as they play, go out to Facebook’s (or Instagram’s) Low Cut Connie page and check out the timing.
It has to be better than sheltering in place on a Monday night at home—right?
(From former Senator Al Franken, 3/19)
Well, it finally isn’t funny anymore – the grandiosity, the ignorance, the cruelty, the bullying, the racism, the petty insults and incessant stupidity. But especially the non-stop lying.
The greatest asset that a president can bring to a crisis is credibility.
On Day One of his presidency, Donald Trump chose to pick a fight with the media about the size of his inaugural crowd. On the morning of January 21, 2017, after fewer than 24 hours in office, Trump sent out Sean Spicer to tell the press corps a laughable and easily disprovable lie – that Trump’s crowd was the largest in history ever to attend a presidential inaugural.
The very next day, Kellyanne Conway let Americans know of the existence of something called “alternative facts.” Oh. So, that’s how it’s going to be, huh?
Since then, the lies have come so fast and furious that keeping track has been impossible. How do you remember the last one when three or four equally ridiculous lies are almost certain to follow that day?
“Don’t take him literally,” his supporters insisted. “Take him seriously.” Really?
Well, no. What they really were saying was how happy they were that he would be appointing pro-life, pro-corporate Federalist Society judges, cutting taxes to benefit the wealthy, undoing regulations to help corporations exploit their employees and destroy our environment, and pulling us out of the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal.
That the President of the United States is a malignant narcissist who could allow no fact to stand that contradicted his insatiable need for self-aggrandizement has been of little concern to establishment Republicans. The stock market was climbing. They were getting richer. And they had cover from the right-wing media to fool enough of his base into believing his limitless dishonesty.
At this year’s State of the Union, the First Lady bestowed upon Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor he now shares with Mother Teresa, Cesar Chavez, and the crew of Apollo 13. In 1995, I wrote a book entitled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations for a reason – the same reason that I wrote Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right a few years later. Without Rush, without O’Reilly, without Hannity, without Newsmax, Breitbart, and InfoWars there would be no Trump.
Until this crisis, Trump has paid no real price for his constant, pathological mendacity. Before politics, the man had spent his entire career in a business where, evidently, there was no accountability for inveterate lying.
But for this crisis there is accountability. And instead of leading, Donald Trump’s focus has been where it always has been – on Donald Trump. “I give myself a ten out of ten.” “We are very close to a vaccine.” “I don’t take responsibility at all.” “Anybody who needs a test can get a test. And the tests are perfect. Like the letter was perfect. The transcript was perfect.”
Of course, no leader could have prevented the devastation that this virus has and will continue to exact. But because Trump’s focus has been on himself, his reelection, and his fragile self-image, our federal government squandered our most valuable commodity. And the amount of suffering which that lost time will cost our nation is as tragic as it is unknowable.
Trump will not step away. He will continue to take the stage and our focus – but he will not be able to claim the credibility he never earned. We are left to proceed despite our president and find the leadership we need elsewhere. From governors and mayors and other civil servants. From health care professionals and scientists and economists. From community leaders and each other.
It is time for each of us to step up and fill the vacuum at the top – first by staying home. And for those fortunate enough to weather this storm financially – to help those who cannot.
Lest we forget Trump’s Houdini-like ability to escape the traps he’s set for himself, it is also time for us to commit to his defeat in November. For now, find a way to do that from home. But when it’s time to come out into the light, it must be our collective mission to make this godawful human being pay the price for every lie he has ever uttered.