Trump is no Boy Scout

Further proof that the words dignity and Trump will never form a complete sentence was his inappropriate remarks last Monday at the Boy Scouts’ National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

Trump hijacked the scouts’ largest event occurring every four years and put the focus on his favorite subject—himself.

Addressing 35,000 scouts ages 12 through 17, Trump claimed there were 45,000:  “You set a record today.”  He still overestimates how many people come out to see him, and wanting others to believe wherever he appears, large crowds and long ovations break records.

Trump spoke for 38 minutes not caring that this venue was not the place for his stump speech.

Promising to “put aside all of the policy fights” because “who the hell wants to speak to politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts,” Trump proceeded to do just that.

Within minutes he veered away from the teleprompter remarks, always a cover-your-eyes moment, and resurrected his favorite audience-pleasing targets:  health care (“killing this horrible thing called Obamacare”), the media (“these dishonest people”), and election day (“was that a beautiful date”).

It didn’t help that some of America’s best kids behaved like a Jerry Springer audience chanting the jingoistic “USA, USA.”

He highlighted members of his cabinet, some present on stage, who were Boy Scouts, curiously overlooking Eagle Scout and Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was not there.

He joked about getting rid of Health and Human Resources secretary Tom Price if Obamacare isn’t repealed, using his old chestnut, “you’re fired.”

When meaning to say “American success,” out came “American sex,” quite a Freudian slip considering Trump’s mindset.

When he boasted that President Obama never came to a Jamboree, Trump turned to the cabinet members behind him where they guffawed about the comment, public servants joining in the mockery of a former president in front of an impressionable audience.

Actually, Obama did record a 94-second greeting in 2010 for the Boy Scouts’ centennial.  Understanding his audience, Obama eschewed politicking and instead celebrated scouts in history, including those who aided during World War Two.

Obama could have gained their favor by mentioning his scouting days, something Trump would have exploited to no end, but he didn’t.

Meanwhile, Trump rambled about real-estate builder William Levett who “bought a yacht and a very interesting life” intimating, what, that he was a ladies’ man?

If I couldn’t make sense of this story, imagine how a 13-year-old absorbed it.

The speech dragged on for so long that Energy Secretary Rick Perry can be seen in the background using his phone.

Referencing his election, Trump said “what we did is an unbelievable tribute to you.”  Wait a minute, most of the crowd hasn’t even reached voting age yet.

Then, out of nowhere he said “under the Trump administration you’ll be saying, ‘Merry Christmas’ again when you go shopping.”  It is July, right?

Trump told the scouts “you should take great pride in the example you set for every citizen of our country to follow . . . you inherit a noble American tradition . . . remember your duty, honor your history.”

If only Trump could have been in the audience hearing his own words pertaining to the presidency.  Trump needs to take great pride for inheriting a position only 44 other Americans were blessed to hold and honor their history as well.

Instead, he torches their legacy.

And he taints the spirit of the Boy Scouts’ oath “to help other people at all times” for back in 1989, the Trump Foundation donated $7 to the organization, according to the Washington Post.   This was when $7 was the membership fee and when Don Jr. was 11 years old.

Showing how even when it comes to helping others, Trump’s most important cause is himself.  And that is why Trump could never be a Boy Scout.


Making Pirates of the Caribbean Ride PC or Ruining Walt Disney’s Legacy

If you haven’t heard, Pirates of the Caribbean, the last ride Walt Disney himself personally supervised, is going to be changed for 2018.

The ride has previously been altered.  Pirates no longer chase women (it’s food they really crave), and Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow appears a few times to help take us out of the original ride’s storyline.

Now, it’s about to be butchered, further desecrating the legacy of Walt Disney.

The famous “take a wench for a bride” auction scene will be replaced with “surrender yer loot” where wealthy people stand in line to give up their possessions.  The famous redhead will transform into a pirate.

For those who feel that too much emotion is placed on preserving a ride, not a national monument by far, remember this.

Pirates of the Caribbean was “the final attraction which Walt saw basically to its completion . . . the pinnacle of his theme park career . . . perfect on every level,” according to what Disneyland expert David Koenig said in a documentary on the ride, often referred to as the “greatest theme park attraction ever made.”

That is why preserving it exactly as it was originally intended is so critical.   If Disneyland were a museum, this would be its Mona Lisa.

The auction scene in particular tickled Disney’s fancy.  In a 1965 episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” he narrates a scale model of the ride, referencing this scene:  “here their shipmates are auctioning off the town’s beauties.”

The auctioneer pirate, which was the most sophisticated audio-animatronic built by Disney Imagineers at that point, was the only fully-dressed and operating pirate that Walt saw in a mock-up at the WED warehouse in Glendale shortly before he died.

Disney was pushed through on a dolly as if it were one of the boats to see the progress of the ride.  As mentioned in David Oneal’s documentary, “this test run-through of the auction scene would be Walt Disney’s last time working on any Disney theme park attraction.”

It would be curious to find out if Disney has had endless guest complaints about this scene or if just a few company officials were bothered by it.

Let’s face it, there is more scandalous female objectification in a Carl’s, Jr. commercial.

If you are going to ruin the ride, you might as well go all the way and drain all of the offensive material; in other words, the best parts.

Too many drunk pirates are seen in the ride.  Replace all bottles with baguettes.

The pirate who tries to have a cat drink rum can instead offer some Meow Mix.

The jailed pirates trying to get a dog to give them the keys so they can escape say “grab his ears” and “hit him with a soup bone.”  Delete these lines before the SPCA claims animal cruelty.

Change the signage on all the rum barrels to read “root beer,” then sell Pirate Root Beer in the gift shops and restaurants.

Do away with the burning of the town.  Turn it into a 4th of July firework spectacular (another thing that can be used by the marketing department).

And the dunking of the town magistrate is an act of water torture.  Replace him with the executive who approved this idea.

Of all the amusement parks, Disneyland is the only one supervised by Walt Disney.  That is why it needs to be protected more than any other park.

What I don’t get is how come a made-up fantasy of pirates’ lives holding an auction of women in an amusement park ride (emphasis on “amuse”) is viewed so inappropriately, yet no one seems to complain of billboards advertising cartoon excrement in “The Emoji Movie,” an upcoming PG-13 movie geared towards children?

It’s a small (minded) world, after all.


Americans No Longer Know One Another

How many of you remember this TV jingle?


Hot Dogs…Armour Hot Dogs; What kind of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks;
Tough kids, sissy kids; even kids with chicken pox;
Love hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs; the dog kids love to bite


Written by Clay Warnick and entitled “The Dog Kids Love to Bite,” you would probably have to be at least 50 years old to recall this ditty.

Examining the lyrics, no way would this song pass muster (not mustard) in today’s times which includes fat shaming and gay shaming.   Shows you how different the era we live in.

Such a song captured a majority of Americans’ fancy, ingrained as part of their collective TV memory, something that would be challenging to do nowadays.

The water cooler effect, of people excited to share with their fellow co-workers about something that was on TV the previous night, united a group of unlike people.

“Did you see the game?  Did you hear what Carson said?  Who shot J.R.?” are echoes from the past, a past when the regular happenings in America were discussed among all people.

We may come from different heritages, but finding common ground made us Americans.

Such sharing is impossible today.   There is not much to bring us together.

People tailor-make their own lives, self-absorbed in watching what they want when they want to, selecting radio, TV, and internet fare that reflect only their views.  In effect, they are standing at the water cooler talking to themselves—no need to be part of the American experience.

In the 1960’s, there was the generation gap; today we have an identity gap.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans think that America’s identity is fading away based on a poll by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Sure, the Pledge of Allegiance is still recited at schools though students can’t be forced to say it or stand for it.  But civics curriculum, learning the duties of citizenship, is no longer required.

Nearly half of all Americans say grace before a meal a few times a week based on a recent survey by the Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation, but the other half does not.

Multilingual ballots and product packaging enable immigrants to get by without knowing English.

And only one-third of citizens think that the USA is the best country in the world; that means two-thirds do not.

These are troubling numbers.

As the country has become more diverse, it has become more divided, proven with the past presidential election.   These fissures prevent us from forming common ground.

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently addressed the loss of identity related to race.

“We have to emphasize identities people have in common, [build] an empathetic relationship [so] people can learn one another’s racial experiences naturally.”

Brooks said that “rebinding the nation means finding shared identities.”

In other words, sharing experiences.

At least for the Fourth of July, we can all share a holiday weekend, eat hot dogs, and be reminded what happened 241 years ago that has brought us to this day.

That’s a beginning.