Snapping Turtle
The personal blog of David W. Guth
Copyright 2018
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Blogging my way from Tornado Alley to your computer screen, these are the personal observations of David W. Guth.  There are a lot of people online with nothing much to say.  I am not one of those folks.  I hope that you find my comments insightful, provocative and occasionally amusing.  I am a college professorJayhawk Journalist and writer.  I am not software engineer.  I am a content guy. Whatever this blog may lack in flash will be more than made up for in substance.  From the photo (left) you may also assume that I have East Coast roots -- I grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and am a proud Terrapin. The purpose of this blog is simple: I want to practice what I teach.  How can a guy talk to students about social media if he doesn't participate in the online discussion?  So here is my foray into Web 2.0.  I also want to demonstrate that writing doesn't take a lot of words: My blog entries will be brief. If you wish to comment on anything you read, please feel free to do so at dguth@ku.edu.  I'll answer you directly or in this space as the demands of my real life permit. And now, the legal stuff: Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of his employer, his publisher, the Internet service provider or that of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.  Unless otherwise noted, the contents of this blog are the intellectual property of David W. Guth - which means they are copyrighted.  So there!

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Testudo's Tales

Vol. 12 No. 3 -- That Word
January 15,
2018

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Everyone is talking about That Word - the one that President Trump allegedly used to describe Africa, Haiti and El Salvador during a heated debate over immigration. There is actually a debate over whether Trump actually said That Word. I believe he did. Trump said he didn't. However, the Washington Post has painstakingly documented more than 2,000 Trump lies during his first year in office. There are two republican senators who said yesterday that Trump didn't say That Word. But they are the same two senators who claimed on Friday that they didn't recall what Trump said. Fellas, I have two words for you: credibility problem. As a former broadcast journalist, I was just as interested in how the media reported on the President's potty mouth. Most of the national broadcast media used That Word uncensored during the first few hours of the story. After all, they felt it important to report exactly what the President said. However, they were also mindful that the root of That Word was one of the late comedian George Carlin's "Seven Words that You Can't Say on Television." I doubt that the FCC will fine any broadcasters over its use. Simply stated, news content is protected speech and what the President says is news. These same broadcasters eventually backed away from using That Word after a few hours because, frankly, they were embarrassed to use it. It was as if CBS White House Correspondent Major Garrett's mom was going to crash the gate and wash out her son's mouth with a bar of soap. You may have noticed that I am not willing to use That Word in this post. It's not that I am a Puritan: I have been known to curse like a drunken sailor who had his 48-hour leave canceled. But putting That Word is writing makes me very uncomfortable. It's bad enough when you hear it. But seeing That Word in print leaves a powerful impression. It just lays there like a pile of - you pick your own euphemism. It is disappointing when anyone uses That Word to describe anybody or anything. But when the President of the United States uses it against people whose only fault is that they were not fortunate to have been born in a rich, industrialized nation, you've just gotta to wonder what he is using for brains. It makes one wish even harder that Donald Trump would go away and climb back into that hole from which he came.

That's it for now. Fear the Turtle.
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Vol. 12 No. 2 -- Oprah for President?
January 8,
2018

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Last night's Golden Globes awards were less about the world of entertainment and more about social justice. The women, the men and even the carpet leading into the theater were adored in black - symbolic of the growing resistance to sexual harassment in the workplace. You might say it was Hollywood's attempt at saying "my bad!" It is also a recognition - we all hope - of a new day when women are treated with respect everywhere, especially in the workplace. The most powerful statement of the evening came from Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Oprah Winfrey. "So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too' again." They were powerful words that deserve applause. But backstage, something equally interesting was happening. Oprah's "boyfriend/companion" Steadman weighed in by saying that Oprah is open to a run for President of the United States in 2020. Based on what happened in 2016, that statement can not be ignored. It is also a frightening prospect. We've already elected one celebrity president so far and look how that was worked out. While Oprah is kinder, gentler and arguably smarter than the buffoon currently occupying the White House, that doesn't make her qualified. If anyone thinks that the force of personality is enough to solve the nation's problems, think again. It didn't work for Barack Obama - and he brought a heckava lot more gravitas to the table than Oprah could. The last thing this nation needs is another celebrity president - no matter how well intended he/she is. Give me a boring, old-fashioned policy wonk with inside-the-Beltway political experience. With the exception of Obama's two-year stint in the U.S. Senate, we haven't had anyone like that since George H.W. Bush. And when you look back at his term in office from the distance of three decades, it doesn't look that bad. We don't need any more presidents who shoot from the hip or lip. We need someone whose backbone is stronger than his or her ego. Sure, I like the idea of President Oprah telling America to look under its seat. She'd look into the camera and say "you get a car and you get a car and you get a car!" Yeah, that would be great. But let's get real. This is what America needs: Real leaders with real vision and real substance.

That's it for now. Fear the Turtle.
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Vol. 12 No. 1 -- Resist
January 1,
2018

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I am not one who believes in New Year's resolutions. While there is something good in being aspirational, the goals we set are often unrealistic. Just because the calendar has turned another page doesn't make us more resolute to lose weight, save money, be kinder or whatever we hope to achieve. The same forces that created the situations we choose to correct remain unchanged regardless of the year. That being said, I am breaking my usual pattern and have made a one-word New Year's resolution: Resist. After more than 11 months of the train-wreck laughingly called the Trump Administration, enough is enough. Donald Trump had low expectations entering the presidency and, even then, failed to achieve them. Trump has shown himself to be an amoral, immature, thin-skinned psychotic, bully, narcissist, misogynist, racist, treasonous, anti-intellectual. He also has the attention span of a flea. But most important, he is a clear and present danger to American democracy. Through a barrage of Twitter rants and off-the-cuff blathering, Donald Trump has attempted to undermine the judiciary, the FBI, the Justice Department, the State Department, the NATO alliance and the world's free press. At the same time he has acted as if he is Vladimir Putin's lap dog - nuzzling up to the Soviet-style dictator as a man who has secrets he is desperate to hide. In short, Donald Trump has ceded America's world leadership role, leaving a dangerous vacuum. At the same time, he has been recklessly agitating Kim Jong-un, perhaps the only world leader more mentally unstable than Trump. Sure, he can "win" any war against North Korea, but at what cost? This new year is a critical one in American history. If the system is allowed to work, Trump will be either proven to have committed illegal acts that warrant his impeachment/imprisonment or he will be exonerated.  However, the key question is whether Trump will allow the system to work. There is a very real danger that he will obstruct justice by firing the special prosecutor, abusing his pardon powers or withholding important evidence. Should that happen, my New Year's resolution is to resist. I will call and write my congressional representatives - and will actively urge others to do so.  I will also be willing to do something I have never done in my life, take my protest to the streets. As Patrick Henry first declared, now is the time for all good men - and women - to come to the aid of their country. We cannot look the other way while Donald Trump and his crew of black-hearted oligarchs attempt to crush basic American values. I love my country. Resist I will if resist I must.

That's it for now. Fear the Turtle.
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