Welcome!
Billy Dees - Writer, Podcaster, & Media Enthusiast 

I am Billy Dees and I am thrilled that you stopped by my website!

This website is a collection of my editorials and blog posts. The site also features many of my podcasts and videos.

Social issues, politics, and pop culture are among the topics featured. I am not an ideologue. I try to objectively examine issues and hopefully present a unique perspective to the reader and listener. Thank You.

My most recent podcast, an episode list, and live podcasts will appear here:

Listen to "Billy Dees Podcast Show" on Spreaker.

Friday
Dec022016

Time to Mix it Up with Our Tyrant Comparisons 

Seems like everybody is another Hitler these days.In the rhetoric of today’s political world, it seems as though that we have no shortage of Hitler comparisons and contrasts.

As I have often maintained, as a prerequisite to being able to apply a Hitler connotation toward someone who you don’t like, you must first and at least be able to identify the Axis and the Allied powers during WWII.

The response all too often to this point is, “Axis who? Is that like the Axis Hollywood show?”

Yes, for many Americans their knowledge of tyranny throughout the history of civilization is limited to, “Hitler was bad.”

This is likely why we have such of a lack of creativity in regard to all of our “dictator gone astray” inferences. Shouldn’t we be more inspired?

So, please allow me to make a few suggestions for the sake of originality regarding our continuing totalitarian hyperbole.

“He has about as much tolerance for his opponents as Vlad the Impaler.”

“He has the same veneration for women’s rights as King Henry the VIII.”

“His tax plan is going to screw us up the ass like Caligula did.”

“He wants to run foreign policy like Genghis Khan.”

And maybe…

“He has the same culturally revolutionary philosophy as Mao Tse-tung.”

So come on, the Hitler thing is so passé!

Mix it up a bit and have some fun with the nostalgia of our favorite despots from times gone by.

…And remember, you are only as good as your last autocratic cliché.

Wednesday
Nov232016

President-Elect Donald Trump and Where We Are Now

When editorializing politics I always feel the need to post a little disclaimer about the fact that I am not a partisan. With that being said, I wasn’t going to be thrilled with the outcome of the election of 2016 no matter who won. 

Now that the election is mercifully over I do believe that it is time to move on. It's one thing to have your voice heard in a changing Washington. However, too many people continue to protest in a way that promotes unrest while others try to challenge the election process after the fact. These activities will not serve the country well. 

I’ve been snagged in a few social media threads by some of my Democratic friends. Frankly, they cannot concede that Hillary Clinton lost for any reasons other than Donald Trump is a bully and the people who voted for him did so because they are “uneducated.” Ideologically driven Democrats in particular cannot understand that these attitudes are exactly what contributed to the defeat of Hillary Clinton. 

Referring to people who do not support your candidate as “uneducated” is a strong pejorative. It will not win any influence with the voting base that you should be trying to win over. In fact, it will likely fire them up against you, which is exactly what happened. 

Concurrently, Democrats did nothing to invigorate their voters. I have been told over and over by Democrats that Trump did not really bring out Republican voters in large numbers; it’s just that former Obama voters did not show up for Clinton. They say that if Obama voters had come out for Clinton she would have easily won the popular vote and the Electoral College. Uh yeah, that is called losing. 

Democrats did nothing to invigorate their base. Bernie Sanders, the one guy who did capture the spirit of millions, was shown the door by the Democratic Party. Instead, they chose to ordain a candidate with the speaking skills of a medical examiner. 

The campaign of Hillary Clinton, along with Democrats and other liberals in the media as well as social media, only had one central message. Trump was bad. Trump was unfit to be President. Trump was a hater and love trumps hate. Those were the Democratic Party lines throughout the election. 

Trump accepted the role of antihero. For one, he understood the culture of reality TV and social media. We tuned in every week to find out who would get voted off the stage and if the scoundrel would hang in there for another week. Not to mention what in the world would he tweet next? 

Second, Trump flipped bad predictions about his performance with the oldest trick in the book; managing expectations. What was Trump during the primaries but a clown who would never get any votes? What was Trump after he was the nominee except the bombastic and detestable fool who could never win in the general election? 

This is similar to a common practice in business, which is to lower expectations when leading up to an acquisition. Then, after the deal is done any positive results seem spectacular.

This is what may be happening now as many liberals across the board are setting up Trump to be the worst president ever. For example, as Democrats set up expectations for the new administration that hit marks equivalent to Hitler, their party's favorite autocratic cliché, anything that Trump does short of genocide will likely make his approval numbers go up.

This doomsday strategy by Democrats could inadvertently create an environment where Trump could very well become a successful populist president with only minor changes and achievements in governmental policies. Trump might do nothing other than slap a different brand on the existing governmental package and if he does it better than those who came before the results might well be re-election.

Four years is an eternity in politics and I am not going to make any predictions. However, I want to throw this out there to stir you up. Even just an average presidency from Trump will dispel any fears about him. The millennial generation will be another four years older. 

Ivanka Trump is already secretly admired by millions of young professionals. The dress that she wore at the Republican Convention sold out nearly instantaneously. What Democratic woman currently has that much merchandising power? Ivanka is smart, well spoken, and attractive. 

Don’t discount the notion that Donald Trump might be paving the way for Madam President Ivanka Trump to be in the White House in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, Republicans have the White House and the Congress for the most part along with new governorships across the country. Now is their chance to get some good policies through and be inclusive to all members of society in the process. History is watching. 

Democrats need to have another theme during the next four years other than that Trump is the latest sign of the apocalypse. They also need a fresh candidate who is another version of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in terms of crafting a positive and viable message that voters can clearly identify. 

It’s going to be interesting. 

Friday
Nov112016

Election 2016 is Over and It's Time to Move Forward

Editorial

For the record I was not a Trump supporter and disliked both of the candidates. I consider the following analysis to be as objective as possible considering it is in regard to a political state of affairs.  

The election is over. It is time to stop campaigning. 

There are two initial areas of concern as we move forward. The first is that the protests around the country are becoming dangerously disruptive. The second is the unwillingness by many to accept the results of this election. 

Both campaigns played the fear card about the opposing candidate, which only fueled the discord in our country. It was a horrible election with divisive candidates. 

Now, after one of the most contentious elections in history, there are legitimate concerns and frayed nerves throughout the country. People need to have their fears allayed. I do believe that the leaders of the federal government should be doing their best to reassure the members of the losing party and America at large. 

So far, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump have been doing this. In fact, Trump commented that he would be seeking the counsel of Obama. 

In the meantime I understand that disappointed voters need time to vent and legitimately protest to voice their concerns to an altered Washington. However, lighting fires and blocking streets is not venting or protesting within the law. Planning to disrupt an inauguration (as some have already suggested) serves no practical purpose other than to disrespect the historical moment for fellow citizens, a proposed action that largely but not exclusively comes from the millennial generation who sure enough demand respect for themselves and get angry when their feelings are not acknowledged. 

I would like to say “not my president” as much as I would like to say “not my hemorrhoids” but it just doesn’t work that way.  

This comes from the same people who read the riot act about respecting the sanctity of the American election process less than a week before the big vote when they were sure that their side would win in a rout. 

The Electoral College is the system for electing United States Presidents. Until we change the system that is the one we have. 

Many disenchanted voters are now trying to undermine the integrity of the election by pointing out that Hillary won a slight margin of the popular vote. Imagine what would have happened if Trump had won the popular vote and Hillary had won the Electoral College, and subsequently a disgruntled Trump would have then tweeted that Hillary was not a legitimate president. The outrage of Trump undermining the integrity of the process and fueling unrest and hatred would be saturating the government, social media, and the public. 

There are Pros and Cons to the Electoral College. The nuances of which are extremely cumbersome to navigate but in a possibly over simplistic opinion this is why many are reluctant to change it.  

Let us pretend the majority of the population is condensed into one geographical area. That area might have a climate, an economy, or a set of social mores that are not representative of the rest of the country. 

For example, a small portion of the population centralized in a hot and drought stricken region might have a different attitude toward climate change than a larger one located in a territory that is frozen through the winter. In another case, maybe a very populated area might have an economy that is dependent on fossil fuels and collectively have much less interest in voting for a candidate who champions renewable energy than smaller sections of the country with a different economic mix. I could go on here but you get the idea. 

The old adage about two wolves and a sheep voting about what is for dinner applies to the theory behind why the Electoral College was developed.  

Some may say that the system needs changed. That’s fine but until that happens in regard to future elections, Donald Trump won fairly within the system that we have.  

For those who wish to abolish the electoral voting method I would advise modifying the system within the proper legal constructs and not just because your candidate lost. Changing the system out of being a sore loser could backfire on you. There is no predicting how the political landscape may be configured in the future. 

It may very well be that the next time around your candidate could lose the popular vote but would have won the Electoral College because, let's say, the rural vote for your candidate was not as well represented in the wide vote of the populace.    

Be very careful for what you want when it comes to changing the system because you just might get it. 

At the present time, Trump has been handed a moment in history. The next few months will set the tone for a new era in American politics.  

For many millennials, a group whose nearly entire adult life has been encompassed by the Obama administration, this is the first time they have not gotten their political way. As it goes that is part of the democratic process. You win some and you lose some.  

Four years from now the political perspective could be completely different for the millennial generation, a phenomenon they have not yet had time to experience. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama were all elected with great reservations by much of the public at first. For instance, the equivalent of the millennial generation of the time cried that Ronald Reagan was going to launch a nuclear war against Russia and it would be the end of the world. All of these men ended up being two term presidents.  

Interestingly, Ronald Reagan became so popular that he was able to usher in a third term for his party, an achievement that eluded the likes of the revered war hero Dwight Eisenhower in addition to Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. This is a rare achievement because after eight years the public wants change. Change was a successful focal point of the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Obama. This is another cycle the millennial generation has not experienced in total as adults.  

We can bloviate all day about what went wrong with this entire election. In my opinion Hillary Clinton’s political demise began with the primaries against Bernie Sanders. The Democrats fractured over his campaign instead of finding a way to include it. The Democratic base was not energized for Clinton. At the same time the Republicans did not take Trump or the unrest in their own constituency seriously until it was too late.   

You may not be happy with the results of this election and that is fine. I’m not thrilled either at the moment. 

On the other hand, we certainly cannot condone unlawful civil unrest. Nor can we undermine our system of government and our election process, the latter of which historically has been a shining example for the entire world.  

We also cannot tout the virtue of love trumping hate with the exception of the times that we do not get our way. Millions of hard working people who have paid taxes into our system for decades voted their conscience and won one for the first time in twelve years. They deserve better. 

We have periodic elections for a reason. If you are not happy your chance will come again. As a matter of fact the midterms are less than two years away. Mobilize now. If things go astray, be ready to vote.

Tuesday
Nov012016

Podcasts Reach a Busy and Active Audience

Originally the domain of disc-jockeys, music promoters, and internet geeks; podcasts have risen from the ashes of obscurity to become a key implement of mass media in the workshop of digital media and content marketing.

2015 was a great year for podcasts. An interview with a sitting U.S. President was done via a podcast and the medium had a reported 24% increase in regular listeners.

Investment in the medium is improving not only with increased funding but with traditional media outlets beginning podcast divisions. Simultaneously, content is evolving for the better both in terms of information and production value due to the talent base podcasting is attracting. Moreover, internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of podcast listeners where almost half of radio listening takes place.

Outside of what we normally consider to be media, podcasts are becoming a source of content in the form of audio information and are not necessarily just an internet radio medium. We do not expect online videos to emulate television shows and podcasts do not need to be stylized as internet radio programs. Investing, business planning, and life motivation are popular forms of burgeoning podcast format categories.

In fact, podcasts have an excellent potential of being forms of standing media content on business landing pages or promotional social media platforms. However, I would not suggest that a podcast is the final answer to anyone’s advertising needs. A podcast is simply another tool of digital content to grab the attention of potential clients.

Podcasts fulfill a unique role in both of the areas of media communication and business marketing because they do not require someone’s complete focus and attention. For example, audience members can listen to a podcast while they are exercising, traveling, or eating lunch. This is important because as the digital marketing world is inundated with content, audiences and consumers have less time to read all of the blog posts and watch all of the videos in their news stream.

We may also wish to consider that the way we interact with streaming devices for audio content and entertainment may change and grow in the near future. We have been asking our phones questions for a long time and the possible applications for this are endless. The Amazon Echo is an example of this new and interactive audio streaming technology.

Want to hear your favorite podcast? Just ask! 


Tuesday
Aug232016

Interview with a 40 Year U.S. Navy Veteran (Podcast)

This podcast is an interview with Joe Prusacik, a veteran of the United States Navy who served for 40 years. During this interview we cover JFK, Joe's service during the Vietnam era, and how changes in military culture often relect those in society at large.

This podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher under "Billy Dees."

This photograph was taken August 23, 2016 at PerfectMediaProds Recording Studio 

Wednesday
Aug032016

"How to Write and Share Humor" by Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh has just published a new book, “How to Write and Share Humor.”  

Featured in this post is the book trailer for the release.  

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a book trailer is a video about a book that is often stylized as a movie coming attraction. We chose a fairly straightforward approach highlighting the content of the book. Donna has had associates and friends send her pictures of the book from various landmarks around the country as part of her #SummerOfHumor tour. We assembled some of the images into a book trailer that I voiced-over. 

You can follow Donna Cavanagh on Twitter @dtcav and purchase her new book on Amazon

The week of August 1, 2016 I was featured in an interview by Donna on her site HumorOutcasts.com.

You can check out the interview post here. The feedback and support that I have received from staff members and readers has been fantastic and much appreciated. 

Tuesday
Jun282016

Introduction to Podcasting 101

Friday
Mar182016

Podcast 3 18 2016 Competitive Cheerleading as a Sport

#Interview #Commentary #Sports

This podcast is an interview with Marissa, a former avid competitive chearleader and now a coach. In the show she discusses the sport and how competing in the world of cheerleading has affected her life. You can follow or tweet Marissa on Twitter @muhrisah_

Photograph taken March 18, 2016 at PerfectMediaProds Recording Studio