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long post

Trump or country

The Republican National Convention turned into a successful Trumpfest after all. This had been in doubt for many reasons. So many invited speakers had declined to accept, so many establishment types had attached significant disclaimers to their support, failed to endorse him at all, or had even spoken out against him. And then there was always the possibility that the pledged delegates would mutiny and attempt to throw him out.

There are many reasons Trump has been snubbed by his fellow Republicans. Some clearly reject him because they see him as a buffoon, certain to lose and drag down the rest of the ticket. Still others profess high-mindedness and argue that Trump doesn’t measure up to their standards. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he can’t support Trump because of “Some of the things he said about women and about Muslims and about religious freedom….” LINK

Others see Trump as a loose cannon, as a danger to foreign diplomacy and national security. They have rejected him by professing that their love of country is greater than their allegiance to their party. Rep. Scott Riggel (R-VA):  wrote that, “My love of our country eclipse (sic) my loyalty to our party, and I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgment, temperament and character needed to be our commander-in-chief. LINK 

Trump has engendered a level of animosity so strong that many Republicans have even chosen not to attend the nominating convention. Even Sarah Palin who was one of the first to endorse him, ultimately chose to stay away, because she said that Cincinnati was too far away. LINK

There is a long list of establishment Republicans who have refused to endorse Trump.
(SEE NOTE 1, below)

And when you look at the list of speakers who did speak at the RNC, most can be categorized as either:
1) newcomers seeking the national stage,
2) also-rans struggling for political relevance or
3) party leaders who more or less had to show up.
(SEE NOTE 2 below)

So there remains a shadow of doubt about how many of them were actually bona fide endorsers and how many just showed up for their own reasons. As a group they give the appearance of people simply falling in line.

Contrast this list with the list of pols who have refused to endorse. Rather than falling in line, the non-endorsers have chosen to stand apart. The non-endorsers most often share a stated sentiment: that in nominating Trump, their party has gone too far.

Even before the rise of Trump, moderate Republicans had started to become an endangered species. Over the last ten years or so, there has been a growing sense that the Republican party had become too extreme, that they had moved too far to the right, gone too far in their support of deregulation and big corporate donors and too far towards intolerance and xenophobia.

For moderates there was a growing sense that the party had left them behind. And many have changed their party affiliation or chosen to leave politics entirely. And this trend has dramatically increased since it became clear that Trump would be the nominee. LINK

And many who remain loyal, seem less interested in governing for the good of the average citizen than in their own political survival and their party’s cling to power. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who spoke at the convention shares the predispositions of this latter group in putting his party ahead of the country.  As Senate Majority leader, his stated goal was to make Obama a one term president by blocking and discrediting him at every turn. LINK

McConnell led the “party of No” in resisting useful reforms that could have helped many ordinary citizens during one of America’s worst economic downturns. As leader of the naysayers he thought that discrediting Obama would return his party to power and allow them to ultimately retake the presidency.  LINK 

And while many would-be voters did end up blaming Obama for the lack of progress in Washington, he nevertheless sailed to victory for a second term. Even so, McConnell stayed the course and has attempted to block Obama at every turn. Ask Mitch McConnell, what’s more important, the country or his party. If he says it’s the country, it’s only because he’s a good liar and can rely on most people’s deficit attention span.

In an earlier article, I stated that the reason why many Republicans had distanced themselves from Trump was because they feared that his plain-spokenness would expose the true nature of their party platform. That with Trump, it would become less of a secret that the party had veered to the right and could no longer hide its tendencies toward racism, xenophobia and misogyny. LINK

The party had been steadily mutating in this direction for many years. In the process, the question of party versus country has become almost moot. For in the mind of a true believer, the cause and outcome are inseparable, there can be no middle ground and no other way forward. Simply stated, only the Republican party can do what’s best for the country.

So it is only natural that ultimately most Republicans would rally around Trump. The alternative is unthinkable. In the mindset of the true believer, the party leads the country and not the other way around. The good of the party is the good of the country. This is a real lock-step moment. And all that was needed was a focal point and in some ways if could have been anyone. Trump may have not been their first choice, but they can live with that. They will make it work. He will just have to do.


 

NOTE 1
Republicans who won’t support or endorse Trump (as of Jun 9, 2016)

Rep. Scott Riggel (R-VA):
Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA)
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Gov. Bruce Rauner (R=IL)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Rep. Scott Riggel (R-VA)
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Rep. Mark Hanna (R-NY)
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney
Former Florida Gov.: Jeb Bush
Former president: George H.W. Bush
Former president: George W. Bush

LINK
LINK

NOTE 2
Republican Senators, Governors or Notables who spoke at the RNC

1) New Comers (in office less than a full term)
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK)
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AK)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WS)

2) Struggling for relevance
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) (former Presidential Candidate)
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS) (former Presidential Candidate)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (former Presidential Candidate)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (former Presidential Candidate)
Rudy Giuliani (former Presidential Candidate)
Newt Gingrich (former Presidential Candidate)
Jerry Falwell Jr.

3) Ceremonial (had to speak)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Senate majority leader)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS) (speaker of the United States House of Representatives)
Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) (Republican vice-presidential nominee)
Reince Priebus (chairman of the Republican National Committee)

Doesn’t seem to fit the other categories
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) (in office since 1997)

LINK

Trump in the Republican rear view mirror

Donald Trump has engendered a level of revulsion previously not thought possible in a presidential candidate. And it’s surprising how so much of this ill will emanates not from the opposition but directly from the Republican party.

One must wonder, what do so many Republicans see in Trump that terrifies them so? Some Republicans will argue that Trump is so flawed that he is unfit to be president. That their love for the country is more important than their allegiance to the party. They might say that Trump is beneath them, that their party is better than that, that they profess to be a party of principle, tolerance and equality. So how could Donald possibly represent them?

When we look at Trump’s rhetoric we see a character who is xenophobic, racist, misogynist, pro-business, uber-capitalist and anti-regulation. But how different are these sentiments from the prevailing Republican world-views of our times? Let’s compare just a few items, just for fun.

THE WALL (xenophobia and racism)
Factions of the Republican coalition have wanted to build the wall for just about forever. It’s just that most of them have been better wordsmiths and called it “border security”. Fear of invasion from the south has been an important Republican niche issue for a long time. And before it was fear of Hispanics, it was fear of other new comers. Certain Republicans have always seemed big on fomenting fear of the “other”, whoever the “others” might be at the time.

We have always been a nation of immigrants, but have also always been a nation of racism. It’s always been easy to get people upset about some other group coming to take away their jobs or change their way of life. Certain Republicans have always been keen to exploit this fear. And have used it effectively as a niche issue to help them cling to power.

So the establishment Republicans who now boo Donald should just give him a pass on “The Wall”. Same message as before, just way more blunt coming from him.

FEAR MONGERING (more xenophobia and racism)
Republicans have succeeded in branding themselves as the party of national security. This strategy has worked hand in hand with exploiting the “fear of the other”.

After 911, it was easy to paint all Muslims as the enemy and this fear undoubtedly became a part of the unspoken rationale for going to war. The lead up to the war in Iraq was particularly troubling because it was entirely based on exploiting the public’s fear. The public was fed fudged intelligence reports hyping the idea that at any moment Saddam was ready to strike with weapons of mass destruction. And an overwhelming percentage of the Americans bought into this idea and agreed that we needed to invade. The fact that Iraq was a Muslim country made these arguments even more persuasive.

Trump is not the first Republican to fan the flames of fear and paint Muslims as the enemy. Since 911, fomenting the fear of all things Muslim might just as well be a part of the official Republican plank.

So the naysayers should give the Donald a pass on “Fear Mongering” too. He may not be as articulate, but essentially he’s saying the same thing that other Republicans have been saying for years.

WOMEN (misogyny)
It’s pretty clear that Trump doesn’t like women much. If you are a woman and you speak out against Trump you can almost rely on him to retaliate by insulting the way you look. According to Donald, women are all basically just gold diggers who can only get ahead with their sex appeal. And nowhere does Trump suggest that women have any other value than their looks and their duty to please men.

This is also the view of a particular niche of the Republican coalition that is comprised of men who actually fear women as equals. These are the same men that oppose women’s rights to control their own bodies even to the extent of putting the interests of an unborn child (read the interests of the father) over the interests of the woman. And here there is an undeniable connection to the notion of an ideal Christian family where men reign supreme and the sole purpose of women is to bear children and please  men.

So dissenters should give Donald a pass on his brand of “misogyny” too. He’s not that far off from the rest of the Republican flock.


These are just a few of Donald’s core beliefs, some which establishment Republicans seem most keen to distance themselves from. It would seem that Trump shares more similarities than differences with important factions of the Republican coalition. So, why do establishment Republicans fear him so?

I think the obvious answer is simply that they are afraid that he will expose them. By putting some of their core “values” into plain English, Trump has done a huge disservice to the Republican party. In being so blunt, he has exposed much of their worldview to be angry, racist, misogynist, reactionary, plutocratic, not to mention sometimes just damn poorly thought out.

And also (at least in theory) he has done the rest of us a big favor. By putting some aspects of the Republican world view into plain English, some of their ideas just start to sound bat-shit crazy. So no wonder Republicans fear him. He stands to expose the real agendas they have worked so hard to gloss over for so many years.

What they see in the mirror and what scares them most is their own reflection.
And they didn’t even see themselves coming.

that irritating (Bernie) (Hillary) Donald supporter

After the Bernie rally, I approached what was left of the crowd just to feel the vibe. I was soon waved down by my neighbor who was there with a friend. My neighbor thought Bernie’s speech was interesting.

And her friend chimed in “But I wonder whether he’s really qualified to be president.” (This was one of Hillary’s most recent talking points.)

In our conversation, my neighbor shuddered at the thought of a Trump presidency which she saw as the worst of all possible evils. She wondered who would do better against Trump, Hillary or Bernie. I told her, that actually Bernie had polled better against Trump.

My neighbor’s friend said that it was fine to talk about the changes Bernie wanted to make, “but how was he actually going to make any of that happen?”

I told her that I felt, “At the very least it was time to start having a conversation about changing the status quo.” “In the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis,” I said “there was very little attempt to fix the system.” “Dodd-Frank was just a band aid on a system that needed to be completely reformed.” “Wasn’t it time to start holding people accountable?”, I asked.

“Yea, yea, yea,” my neighbor’s friend said, “but that’s what Bernie just said, I already heard that.” She pivoted, clearly irritated and said, “As a woman, I just think it’s time to have a woman President.”

“I can understand why you would feel that way,” I said. “It’s really wrong that we’ve never had a woman president, but it’s also time to think about changing the status quo of our unequal economic system.”

And she pivoted again and blurted out, “I just can’t deal with this now.” And she quickly turned to leave. My neighbor, followed her, even though she had seemed to be enjoying our discussion. In an attempt to close out our conversation, my neighbor turned and said, “Let’s all say a big prayer for the country.”

In this year’s New York primary, I’ve seen this same scenario play out dozens of times in slightly different ways. I’ve worn a Bernie shirt in my hood and got many puzzled looks from my neighbors. I’ve knocked on doors for the Bernie campaign and gotten looks like: “Why are you here? Isn’t Hillary the nominee? Can you please go away?” And people who I’ve known for years have abruptly ended conversations and indicated that to question the inevitability of Hillary’s candidacy would come to no good.

And by and large, the news media has taken much the same tact. No matter the result of each primary, each story seems to begin with a Hillary inevitability statement. And looking back, they took this tact even before the first vote was cast. And more recently Hillary’s surrogates and even Hillary herself have expressed extreme frustration that her candidacy could even contain a question mark, like it’s an absurdity that the primary process is even continuing.

If anyone deserves to be president, it’s Hillary. From a resume point of view, her qualifications, are more impressive than any of the other candidates. She has groomed herself for the Presidency to be her most impressive success in a long line of impressive successes. But still the notion that now it’s her turn, the notion that anyone actually deserves to be President is unsettling to me. And what perhaps bothers me most is that so many of her supporters share the view that her candidacy is inevitable, that now it’s simply her turn.

I have no doubt that Hillary will make a good president and help bring about progressive changes that I personally believe in. And I truly feel that it’s long past due that this country has had a woman president. But still I question if she’s really the one we need at this moment.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen very few moments that held the possibility of rapid progressive change, very few game changers that could change our core values, that could change the way we do business, that could give the status quo a really good shake. And in Bernie, with the excitement he has generated, not just in young people, but in a wide swath of the American fabric, I see such a game changer. In Bernie, I see a rare opportunity to effect something more than slow incremental change. And I feel a real need to seize this moment.

One wonders under what circumstances a Trump presidency could be possible. While my own crystal ball is rusty, I do know that Trump’s odds increase when his supporters begin to turn off their minds, to no longer check the facts, to forget the practical implications of Trump’s fantasy solutions as well as to dismiss the possibility that anyone else could be the candidate. At this point it’s easy to start blocking out inconvenient facts, like the rules of the primary process or that the nomination is not yet a done deal.

As a Democratic partisan, it’s tempting for me to believe that Trump’s supporters are simply uninformed. But because an important part of their psychology is their belief in the man rather than an analysis of his ideas, I’d have to concede that much the same thing is currently going on with Hillary supporters. Both camps seem to be marching lock-step behind their candidates and mentally blocking out any new information. This makes it easy for both sides to stop paying attention, to stop listening and yes to become steadily more uninformed.

In this political cycle, it’s disturbing that there are so many similarities in the way the faithful are supporting their front-runners. In my opinion, the same mental submissiveness that could be a gateway to a Trump presidency has a hold on far too many Hillary supporters. And history tells us that this type of blind support can easily lead to mistakes on a grand scale.

So Hillary supporters should at least take notice. They would do well to realize the extent that they are emulating the mindset of their opponents. And they need to find a way to keep their minds just a little more open, to exercise just a little more caution, and to express just little more humility. And while I concede that the path ahead for Bernie has become more of a long shot, the nomination is still not a done deal. So listen to me Hillary supporters, you need to find a way to “just deal with this now.”

And while we’re at it let’s take my neighbor’s advice and “Say a big prayer for the country.” Mere humans seem all too prone to making bad choices, even for what they truly believe are all of the right reasons.

my tagline: “The future is fantastical”

Because the default tagline assigned to the WordPress default Twenty Thirteen theme  is “The future is fantastic” and ultimately I chose that same theme, (see earlier post) and ultimately I landed on using  something very close to the default tagline with “The future is fantastical”, some might think that this was straight-forward decision, since the only difference between the default tagline and mine are a mere two letters, more specifically “AL” tacked on at the end.

But truth be told (and since there is no one else alive who can say otherwise, in this case you must believe my version of the truth, and if required I would even swear to it in a court of law with no fear of perjuring myself, since it is only I who in this matter actually knows the truth and therefore I am it’s perfect and only arbiter plain and simple.) there was a wee moment when I considered using the Twenty Thirteen default tagline “The future is fantastic” without alteration. But upon “googling” its use (And I must say that I do love to say “googling” and I’m so glad that the OED has accepted it as a new verb) I found that the field of blogs using the “The future is fantastic” was way too crowded. See?

And not only was this tagline used in an abundance of other WordPress blogs, but it was also used for all other kinds of hokum and snake oil and who knows what else, that really was’t even properly part of the blogosphere. So it was destiny that my search for the perfect tagline continued.

As an aside, truth be told (see discussion of this figure of speech in the paragraph just above) I had at one point almost decided to use a different default WordPress tagline “Just another WordPress site”. With this, I thought I had a classic, because with the exception of the Twenty Thirteen template using “The future is fantastic”, I do believe that “Just another WordPress site” was the only other default tagline that WordPress.org has ever offered.

And while this type of brand consistency normally appeals to me, I just felt that “Just another WordPress site”was somehow just not catchy enough. So I did a did an extensive study of the matter, or in other words, I added and changed and rearranged the words and stuff like that.

For example: I tried “Just another amazing WordPress site” and “Just another awesomely cool WordPress site” as well as many other variations of that ilk. And at one point, I thought I really had something when I came up with “Just another really super-cool one-of-a-kind can’t-miss-it WordPress site”, which really seemed most excellent to me and not only because I really love to make up compound words.

But then I noticed another problem. When I “googled” (I will never stop loving to use that word. ) “Just another WordPress site”, I found that it’s use, while not omnipresent, was certainly quite ubiquitous. So even with a large change in wording, the general common-ness of it  would ultimately make my tagline less unique than I had orginally desired.

But more significantly, I also saw that many people were confused about how to change or remove “Just another WordPress site” as their tag line. This really started the alarm bells ringing. Not only did it seem that so many people had used this tagline and later lost interest in it, (so there must have been something lacking right from the start, right?) but also using this tagline seems to have caused a state of confusion in many people as to how on earth they would ever change or remove it. See? Clearly I wanted none of that.

So still undaunted, I continued my quest.  And in part, because I had once thought I was so close with “The future is fantastic”, I ultimately returned to it. And in the end I decided to use it while making one minor modification by adding “AL” to the end thus producing “The future is fantastical”.

For me, this added wordplay gave this tagline new life. And even for about two seconds (or maybe a minute) I thought that “fantastical” was a new word that I had just invented.But then I “googled” (Ahh!) it and found that “fantastical” had actually been in use since perhaps 2003.

According to the internets, my not-new-word “fantastical” could mean some combination of “fantastic” and “magical”. Or alternately, it could mean that something was too much of a good thing, that it was really too good to be true, just too much, “too good” in a sarcastic sense. See?

Used in a sentence: “The rapid advance of technology allows us to experience previously unimaginable opportunities for non-stop entertainment and multi-tasking thus giving us fantastical powers of concentration and the ability to truly “be here now.” Used in another sentence: “The future really is fantastical.” It really is.

So in all seriousness and yes all (at least most) kidding aside I really do mean this to be a mostly very serious blog. So I really mean it when I say that I truly do believe that the future is fantastical. Right now (which at least heavily implies the future, doesn’t it?), there are some truly fantastic things happening. And some truly magical things are definitely happening too. And some of the things happening are just too-much-all-at-once in your face in a way that many people just seem caught up in the flow when it can be hard to tell exactly where all of this is really going.  “The future is fantastical”: It may be just another tagline but you must admit (actually I don’t know what you’d admit to, or wouldn’t admit to, but you might) it’s so much catchier than “just another really super-cool one-of-a-kind can’t miss tagline”. And I’d like to think it’s kinda’ fantastical all on it’s own. Used in another sentence: “My tagline, “The future is fantastical” is fantastical.”

my WordPress theme: “Twenty Thirteen”

So there must be over a zillion different WordPress templates. So Envato alone sells over a million different ones. So I must have looked at at least 10,000 different templates before I picked this one. So, on another topic, you might ask why I am saying “so” so much. So that’s a really good question. Or maybe not. More about So and So.

So, after a lot of digging and research, I chose the WordPress 2013 standard theme “Twenty Thirteen”. In doing so, I felt the need to resist current trending trends in the “blogosphere” (Oh how I love saying that word) (but I like saying “so” so much more). I said to myself, be damned, all of you trendy trending “blogosphere” people. I’m resisting the trending trends this time and just choosing something that I like. And so, I even liked this theme so much that I integrated it into the name of my blog. You can call me a lot of things, but you can’t exactly call me trendy or even trending. If you want you could call me “old fashioned”.

So, why would I choose a theme that is over three years old, when so many incredible advancements have been made since then?

So, perhaps at least part of the reason lies in that I am after all, just kinda’ an old fashioned guy, with some kinda’ old fashioned ideas. (And maybe once in a while, a new fashioned one.) But some caution here blogosphere people. You may be trending and trendy, but careful not to overstep your boundaries. I may be slightly obsolete, but I’m not a relic yet.

It is still possible that I may serve a purpose, even in your trendy trending world. After all, science fiction was once considered old fashioned. Once everyone knew that only crazy old people came up with such rot. Remember how they laughed at Jules Verne, how H.G. Wells was taunted, how Phillip K. Dick had to die before he made any money? And that was way before the blogosphere was even a glimmer in Al Gore’s eye.

So call me old fashioned if you want, but it was clearly a good move to choose an American Standard theme rather than a pop forty hit. After all, I have history on my side and this theme has now made it over three years and some people are still using it. And in technological time that’s like centuries, right?

So also, this theme tested extremely well, but truth be told, my testing didn’t actually take place in the blogosphere. Instead I hired some other chaps for that. So, according to the market research firm* I did hire, the Twenty Thirteen theme made most people overall feel kinda’ happy, but not too happy so that they no longer had the potential to simultaneously feel kinda’ serious.

The balance between these states seemed to have something to do with the bubbles in the header image, that may have brought them back to childhood or possibly induced a self-reflective state, like taking a relaxing bubble bath, or potentially made them feel like they had been encapsulated by a single bubble and floating up into the air, like that cartoon dog whose name nobody can remember, then floating out of the room and into the sky, up into the clouds, and stars perhaps to meet alien life who would now reveal to them perhaps the meaning of life or perhaps how they were planning or not planning to take over the earth. Or maybe not.

So for the record, “or maybe not” is almost always a viable alternative to nearly everything that was just said. (Remember that Oh mighty blogosphere!) And in my book at least, (if I had a book), I’d say it’s possible that bubbles are exactly what the blogosphere is lacking. So, perhaps Hal David and Burt Bacharach got it wrong. What the world needs now is not “Love Sweet Love”, but instead the world needs now is more”bubbles sweet bubbles”. (That’s the only thing, that there’s just too little of).

Or perhaps the bubbles reminded people of the old Don Ho song, “Tiny Bubbles.” You do remember that song, don’t you? And if not, you must remember when Madison Avenue (remember Madison Avenue?) decided to Hawaianize (yes that’s a real word) parts of popular culture. It was sort of like the British Invasion (Oh how the blogosphere, still loves the British invasion) except instead of electric guitars, the Hawaiianization had ukuleles. And if you don’t remember any of that, of course you still remember Don Ho. Right? If not, I’ve provided a useful link just below, for your convenience.

So, I’m going to leave it at that. Twenty Thirteen is my theme. At least some people will disagree. But I think it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That is unless, I’m later shown to be mistaken.

So now I leave you with Don Ho, here memorialized by the internets. And just a last thought regarding my Bacharachization (not a real word, YET) of this blog entry.


Tiny Bubbles

Performed by Don Ho; Words & Music by Leon Pober

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the wine (in the wine)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)
Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
Make me warm all over
With a feeling that I’m gonna
Love you till the end of time

SING ALONG

PLAY IT (Uke Chords)


What the World Needs Now is Love

Lyrics by Hal David and Music composed by Burt Bacharach
Performed by Jackie DeShannon (and zillions of others)

Replace the word “love” with “bubbles”

Lord, we don’t need another mountain
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross
Enough to last ’till the end of time

What the world needs now is love (bubbles),
sweet love (bubbles)
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love (bubbles),
sweet love (bubbles)
No, not just for some but for everyone

SING ALONG 


*Testing performed by the Become a Millionaire Almost Instantly with Your Very First Blog Institute Brain Trust LLC**
**(very Limited Liability (and not that good of) Company)

my URL: http://www.deanheagleblog.com

I have attempted to construct this blog with the utmost care. I must have considered at least 200 different names. The address had to be descriptive, it had to be unique, it had to be compelling.

After a period of more than several months that included more than a little testing by focus groups, I had narrowed the name down to three or four choices. But oddly, the current name was not among them.

Then one night, I dreamed that that TV sets were no longer flat, that music was contained on large black plastic disks, that there was no e-mail, fax machines or even Fedex and the fastest way to send something was by telegram.

It was as if time had started going backward. But luckily for me, instead of continuing backward indefinitely to the cavemen, it stopped at about 1968 at which point I was lucky enough to have tickets for the theater. And there on the same stage were  Frank Sinatra, Dean MartinSammy Davis, Jr.Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. But oddly the whole lot of them remained stone cold silent for what seemed like hours.

And then finally the voice of Sammy rang out breaking the silence with a song. And the entire audience and even people outside started to sing along and some even broke into impromptu dancing. It was a song everyone knew. Sing it Sammy, “I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me, What else can I be but what I am?”

And I won’t give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

And that’s when it hit me. Why should I hide behind pretensions? Why should I try to be clever? Shouldn’t it be enough that I’m saying what I have to say? Won’t the whole world find the words of the average man to be enticing, even without all of the embellishments?

And that’s when, (right before I woke up) I decided I should simply name the blog after myself. Just like Sammy said, “I’ve got to be me, what else can I be?”

It hit me like a lightning bolt, like when water droplets in the bottom part of a cloud are caught in updrafts and then downdrafts push down ice which causes the cloud to be negatively charged at the bottom and a positively charged at the top creating electricity that just has to find somewhere to go. Like what happened when Ben Franklin flew that kite with that key tied to the string and that lightning just had to hit it, not just to make a good story, but also to make history and moreover science that even a child would remember. Yea like that. That’s what happened. I decided to name the blog after myself. It was truly an epiphany.

Soon after and a few more focus groups later it was decided to add “blog” to the URL name. It seemed that people in the focus groups liked “deanheagle” alone with everything from an ice cream flavor to an additive for gasoline. But no one clearly understood that it was the name of a blog until we added “blog” to the name. And so it has come to pass, just as it was what it was, it now is what it is. And just like forever, the future is now.