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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Why Are People So Hostile to President Trump?

I have long considered writing a lengthy blog about why I don't like Donald Trump.  I have never liked him.  I have felt he was a fraud as far back as the 1980's when his book came out, "The Art of the Deal."

This is an article written by Chris O'Leary, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years. It describes my opinion about Trump almost word for word.

I’ll take a stab at this. Before you pass my answer off as “Another Liberal Snowflake” consider that 1.) I'm an independent centrist who has voted Republican way more often in my life than Democrat, and 2.) if you want to call someone who spent the entire decade of his 20’s serving in the Marine Corps a snowflake, I’d be ready to answer the question what did you do with your 20’s?
Why Liberals (And not-so liberals) are against President Trump.
A.) He lies. A LOT.Politifact rates 70% of the words he speaks as “Mostly False or worse”Only 14% of the things he says get a “Mostly True” or better rating. That is an absolutely unbelievable number. How he doesn’t speak more truth by mistake is beyond me. To put it in context, Obama’s rating was 26% mostly false or worse, and I had a problem with that. Many of Trump’s former business associates report that he has always been a compulsive liar, but now he’s the President of the United States, and that’s a problem. And this is a man who expects you to believe him when he points at other people and says “They’re lying.”
B.) He’s an authoritarian populist, not a conservative. He advances regressive social policy while proposing to expand federal spending and federalist authority over states, both of which conservatives are supposed to hate.
C.) He pretends at Christianity to court the Religious Right but fails to live anything resembling a Christ-Like Life.
D.) His nationalist “America First” message effectively alienates us and removes us from our place as leaders in the international community.
E.) His ideas on “Keeping us safe” are all thinly veiled ideas to remove our freedoms, he is, after all, an authoritarian first. They also are simply bad ideas.
F.) He couldn’t pass a 3rd-grade civics exam. He doesn't’ know what he’s doing. He doesn't understand how international relations work, he doesn’t understand how federal state or local governments work, and every time someone tries to “Run it like a business” it’s a spectacular failure. See Colorado Springs’ recent history as an example. The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise And that was a businessman with a MUCH better business track record than Trump. We are talking about a man who lost money owning a freaking gambling casino.
G.) He behaves unethically and always has. As a businessman, he constantly left in his wake unpaid contractors and invoices, litigation, broken promises, whatever he could get away with.
H.) He is damaging our relationships with our best international friends while kissing up to nations that do not have our best interests in mind. To his question “Wouldn't it be great to have better relations with Russia?” The answer is Yes. But it is RUSSIA who needs to earn that, who must stop doing the things that are damaging to that relationship, or we are simply weaker for it.
I.) He has never seen a shortcut he didn't like, and you can’t take shortcuts in government. “Nuclear Option, Remove the Filibuster, I’ll change the Constitution by Executive Order…Don…what happens when you remove the filibuster and the other side retakes the majority in the Senate? Suddenly want that filibuster back? What happens if you manage to change the Constitution by Executive Order and an Anti-2A President wins the next election?
J.) He behaves and has always behaved as an unabashed racist. Yes, I’ve seen your favorite meme that claims he was never accused of racism before the Democrats…Absolutely false. Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019 See the Central Park 5, the lawsuits and fines resulting from his refusal to lease to black tenants, the 1992 lost appeal trying to overturn penalties for removing black dealers from tables, his remarks to the house native American affairs subcommittee in 1993. The man sees and treats racial groups of people as monoliths.
K.) He is systematically steamrolling regulations specifically designed to keep a disaster like the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis from happening again.
L.) He speaks and acts like a demagogue. He sees the Legislative and Judicial branches of government as inconveniences, blows up at criticism no matter how deserved and actively tries to countermand constitutional processes, not to mention attempts to blackmail and coerce people who are saying negative things about him
M.) His choices for top positions, with the exception of Gen. Mattis, who is a gem, have been horrendous. A secretary of Education without a resume that would get her hired as a small town grammar school principal, A secretary of Energy who didn't know the Department of Energy was responsible for nuclear reserves, an EPA head whose biggest accomplishments to date had been suing the EPA on multiple occasions, an FCC head who while working for Verizon actively lobbied to kill net neutrality, and an Attorney General who thinks pot is “nearly as bad as heroin” and asked Congress for permission to go after legal pot businesses in states where it is legal. (There goes that great Republican States rights rally cry again, right? *Crickets*) An Interim AG after Firing his First AG who’s appointment is probably unconstitutional.
N.) He denies scientific fact. Ever notice that the only people you hear denying climate change are politicians and lobbyists? 99% of actual scientists studying the issue agree in 97% of peer reviewed published papers that it’s real, man-made and caused by greenhouse gasses. Ever notice that every big disaster movie starts with a bunch of politicians in a room ignoring a scientist's warning?
0.) He does not have the temperament to lead this nation. He is Thin Skinned, childish, and a bully, never mind misogynistic, boorish, rude, and incapable of civil discourse.
P.) He still does not understand that the words he speaks, or tweets, are the official position of 1/3 of the US government, and so does not govern his words. He still thinks when he speaks it’s good ol’ Donald Trump. It’s not. It’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. You have probably spread a meme or two around talking about how no president’s every word has ever been dissected before…YES, THEY ALWAYS HAVE. It’s just that every other president in our lifetime has understood the importance of his words and took great care to govern his speech. Trump blurts out whatever comes to his mind then complains when people talk about what a dumb thing that was to say.
Q.) He’s unqualified. If you owned a small business and were looking for someone to manage it, and an unnamed resume came across your desk and you saw 6 bankruptcies, showing a man who had failed to make money running CASINOS, would you hire him? He is a very poor businessman. This is a man who it has been estimated would have been worth $10 BILLION more if he’d just taken what his father had given him, invested it in Index Funds and left it alone.
R.) He is President. But he refuses to take a leadership position and understand that he is everyone’s President. Conservatives complain about liberals chanting “Not my President”, while Trump himself behaves as if no one but his supporters matter.
S.) He’s a blatant hypocrite. He spent 8 years bitching Obama out for his family trips, or golfing, or any time he took for himself, and what does he do? He was already on his 20th golf outing in APRIL of his 1st year in office. He constantly rants about respect for the military, yet can’t be bothered to attend the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day because of a little rain. (And that excuse about Marine One not being able to fly in the rain is HILARIOUS.)
I could go on, but I’m risking Carpal Tunnel, and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have health insurance.
Edit:
Ok, Ok. Based on the most common feedback in the comments (Including the offer of a Marriage Proposal - - my wife was not amused) I’ll see what I can do about T-Z
T.) He’s a misogynist. It's not really ok in this day and age to be a misogynist, but it’s not a huge deal if you’re a private citizen. It’s a pretty big deal if you hate half the people you’re elected to lead. The disdain for women seeps out of his …whatever…. and he just can’t hide it.
U.) Face it. In any other election “Grab Em’ By the Pussy” would have been the end of that candidate’s chances. Back in the 90’s I used to marvel about how Teflon Bill Clinton was. I no longer do. The fact that he managed to slip by on that is as much a statement about how much people hate Hillary Clinton as it is about what is wrong with politics in this country right now.
V.) He has one response to a differing opinion. Attack. A good leader listens to criticism, to different points of view, is capable of self-reflection, tries to guide people to his point of view, and when necessary stands his ground and defends his convictions. Any of that sound like Trump? His default is not to Lead, it’s to attack. Scorched Earth. The Jim Acosta reaction is a good example. There was no defense of his convictions when Acosta was asking him repeated questions about his rhetoric on the caravan. His response was to attack Acosta.
W.) He takes credit for everything positive while deflecting blame for everything negative. Look at him with the Stock Market. He’s been bragging about it since day one, and to give credit where credit is due, speculation on coming deregulation early in his presidency did fuel some rapid growth, but to pretend that it’s all him, that we’re not in the 9th year of the longest bull market in history and THEN, when the standard market volatility that deregulation inevitably brings about starts to show up? Yeah. Look at yesterday. Hey! Stock Markets losing because the Democrats won! Do I need to bring out the Stock market chart for the last 10 Years again?
X.) He emboldens the worst among us. Counter-protesters are slammed into by a car while countering actual Nazi rally, and the response is there’s fault on “Both Sides.” The media is at fault for a nut job sending them and Donald’s favorite targets pipe bombs. The truth is not all Republicans, not all Trump Supporters are racist, fascist lunatics. Many are just taken in by the bombastic personality and are living in an information bubble made worse by the fact that they unfollow anyone and ignore any source of information that makes them feel uncomfortable. People on the left do that too. The Biggest problem the right has right now is that the worst of the Right is the loudest and the most in your face, and the actual right, especially the Freaking PRESIDENT needs to be standing up and saying No. Those are not our values.
Y.) He seems to think the Constitution of The United States, the document that IS who we are, the document he took an oath to support and defend is some sort of inconvenience. He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Constitution, from believing he can alter the 14th through executive order, to thinking The free exercise clause in the first amendment somehow supersedes the establishment clause (not that he really understands either) or that the free exercise clause only applies to Christians. Or his attacks on freedom of expression and the press. He repeatedly makes it clear that if he’s read them, he does not understand Articles 1–3, and that’s something he really should have before he took the job, because they’re not going away.
Z.) I’ll use Z for something I do blame him for, but the rest of us have to carry the blame too. Polarization. This country is more politically polarized than I can remember in my lifetime. Some of you who are a few years older than me may remember how it was in the late 60’s when construction workers in New York were being applauded for beating up hippies. I think it’s pretty close to that right now, but that was before my time. And he is the cause of much of the current level polarization, but also the result. It didn't start with Trump. We’ve been going down this road I think since the eruption of the Tea Party in the early years of the Obama Administration. I do hope the tide turns before it gets much worse because the thing that scares me more than anything is what if that keeps going the way it has been?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thinking For Myself

I wasn't sure whether to title this blog "Thinking for Myself" or "Why I'm Leaving the Democratic Party." Maybe I should have both titles since those are both points I want to make. I think anyone who knows me well knows that I am an extremely independent person and rarely follow the crowd. Recently I was accused of not thinking for myself because I had posted something written by somebody else to reflect an opinion that I had. Everyone gets fired up about politics but what really gets me fired up is when people misrepresent things that I say.

 I've spent more of my life not being a part of a political party. There was a brief time when I was a registered Republican, but there have been more years that I have been a registered Democrat. I am a die-hard political independent. I don't like extremism in either case. I don't like the far right and I don't like the far left. It's the issues that matter to me. At one point I decided to join the Democratic party simply because I wanted to have a voice in primary elections. I debated whether to go back to the Republican party or join the Democrats. I decided to be a moderate Democrat. More recently I have been thinking of leaving the Democratic Party, but only stayed in because I wanted to show some numbers against Donald Trump. Mind you, it is Trump himself that I have a problem with. It doesn't matter to me that he is Republican, I wouldn't want him if he was a Democrat either. I would not care if any other Republican stepped forward to take his place.  My desire is to see Donald Trump out of office because I believe he is unfit to be president. 

So why have I now decided to leave the Democratic Party? It's because I have decided I need to be true to myself. This accusation sealed my decision. How ever the numbers work out with various parties and political organizations, I am only true to myself if I am not a part of any of them. I want to make a statement by going back to be the true independent that I am and not be a part of any party. Let the parties put forth a candidate and I will vote for the candidate that best represents my opinion on the issues.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

When I Stopped Reading a Daily Newspaper


I was thinking about how newspapers have been losing subscribers through the years. In my life I'd had a newspaper delivered to my home ever since I was born; my parents always subscribed to them. When I finally moved out after getting married the first time, we continued having a newspaper subscription. I was always very faithful about reading it on a daily basis.

The end began when I was in my late forties and working at a television station. I had to be to work at 7 in the morning. This meant leaving home by 6:30 to get to work on time. The newspaper was supposed to be delivered by 5:30, but it was never getting delivered before I left home. As a result, I started reading the newspaper at work on my break on a regular basis. I tried to get the newspaper delivered on time, but the carrier did not follow through. Therefore I got into the habit of reading at work and not at home. So I didn't need a newspaper at home anymore and I cancelled the subscription.

In the last 5 years, since I don't work at a TV station anymore, my habit of reading a daily newspaper has gone away, especially with so much news available on the internet now. I use reuters.com for national and international news and I often listen to the radio on my way to work in the morning for local news. It's a sad state for newspapers today but I think in some ways they are doing it to themselves. If my newspaper was getting delivered on time before I had to leave for work, I might have stayed with a subscription all of these years.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Some Ways to Remember John Lennon

Guest Blog by Burt Stein

originally written in 2015

A bit of necessary background:  This story should have appeared in Freetime Magazine of Rochester, in late December 1980.  What kept it from reaching completion then was a combination of shock, anger, and a case of writer’s block that wouldn’t quit.  But I still regret that my days at Freetime ended (though amicably) on such a bitter historical note. 
John Lennon was murdered 35 years ago on the night of December 8, and I think I’m finally ready to get (re-)started, even if nothing of that original attempt still exists except in my memory.  (“Just like starting over?”  Spot on.)  So this, at last, is dedicated to the Freetime staff I once knew, and the world that changed as never before when a madman killed a Beatle.

*** 

 “Listen, the snow is falling o'er town,
Listen, the snow is falling ev'rywhere.
Between empire state building
And between trafalgar square.
Listen, the snow is falling o'er town.

“Listen, the snow is falling o'er town,
Listen, the snow is falling ev'rywhere.
Between your bed and mine,
Between your head and my mind.
Listen, the snow is falling o'er town.”

                                 —Yoko Ono (1971)

Sunday, December 14, 1980:  At 12:01:01 PM, a single snowflake softly fell over midtown Manhattan—but, though it heralded many more, hardly an ordinary snowflake.  With the sight of it through our office window, there came the feeling that a cosmic circle was closing upon itself.

*** 

It was a time when jobs were precious (though not nearly as much so as today); Jimmy Carter was entering the twilight of his single term as President of the United States (for many critical reasons, largest of all his continued failure to secure the freedom of 52 Americans then being held hostage in Iran); Bruce Springsteen and Debbie Harry were receiving maximum exposure on Top 40 radio; and in New York City, there still existed map points such as the Biltmore Hotel, Reuben’s Delicatessen, and the famously sleazy old 42nd Street from Sixth Avenue on up.

Meanwhile …

Tidbit by exciting tidbit, the news began to spread as summer 1980 yielded to autumn:  After a somewhat cloudy five-year hiatus, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had been signed to Geffen Records and were once more up to something musically, hunkered down at the Hit Factory studio in New York City.

Double Fantasy, then the first new studio album from Lennon and Ono in those five years, was released on November 17, 1980.   Though each passing year makes this harder to recall, we were thereby blessed with nearly 22 days in which to happily experience that album’s original 14 tracks as the newest creations of two living artists.

Apart from this-must-be-uptempo “(Just Like) Starting Over” (which, as the first 45 to represent the collection, had already been released on October 24 of that year), the first such LP track I remember hearing on the radio (via soft rock WTFM, 103.5, New York) was “Watching the Wheels”—piano at its core, and somewhat more mellow than the Lennon sound we had come to expect, but a nod and a wink in seeming celebration of Lennon’s more recent role as father and househusband (“No longer riding on the merry-go-round/I just had to let it go”).

One other standout track among Lennon’s half of the Double Fantasy songs was the nod to his young son Sean that was “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”, awash in steel drums with a whisper of mandolin, and clearly inspired by his nautically perilous yet musically rewarding ocean voyage from Rhode Island to Bermuda that June.  It also contained—in hindsight—the most poignant lines found anywhere on the album:  “Before you cross the street/Take my hand/Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…”

This excerpt from “A Rare Glimpse of John Lennon, Sailor” by John Clarke Jr. (©2010, 2012 Paste Media Group) tells us much more about that journey, including its most pivotal creative moments:

“…Lennon arrived on the island June 11 relaxed, re-energized and inspired.  He stayed for two months—writing, recording and staying up all night working on his new songs, and visiting clubs and shops in downtown Hamilton.  On a trip to the Botanical Gardens with his son, Sean, they spotted a freesia hybrid flower called Double Fantasy and thus the album title was born.  Another time, having drinks with two local journalists, Lennon came up with the lyrics for ‘Watching the Wheels’.  On the club’s walls flashed projections of turning wheels while one of the journalists lamented to Lennon that he should be writing great songs—not shut in a New York apartment, no longer part of the ‘big time’.  During his stay, he also wrote ‘I’m Losing You’, ‘Beautiful Boy’ and an early version of ‘Woman’.  During that last summer vacation of his life, Lennon was also inspired to write ‘Borrowed Time’ after listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album ‘Burnin’ ’.  In one of his less-poetic moments, he later described this productive time as ‘a diarrhea of creativity’.”

And Yoko Ono?  Back when she first hit the radar as an Apple Records artist at the dawn of the 1970s, we had no way of guessing that her own out-there vocal style would someday become a building block of New Wave music.  By 1980, that genre’s time had begun, and Ono’s equally apportioned contributions to Double Fantasy (most notably “Kiss Kiss Kiss” and “Give Me Something”)—plus a breakthrough 45 all her own, then still under wraps—proved to fit snugly under the New Wave umbrella.  But the full celebration of her own musical triumph would have to wait a while. 
***

Deeper within the history of Double Fantasy lie the contents of a bootleg CD titled John Lennon: Free as a Bird/The Dakota Beatle Demos.  These 22 acoustic tracks, recorded both figuratively and literally in-house, are without exception both eternally haunting—often giving us an open window into Lennon’s state of mind during those final years—and still more instructive as to the evolution of the Lennon songs that ultimately became one-half of Double Fantasy.  Most beautiful among these is “India” (a.k.a. “India India”, if you prefer):  “I’ve got to follow my heart/Wherever it takes me/I’ve got to follow my heart/Whenever it calls to me/I’ve got to follow my heart and my heart is going home”.

Most haunting, bar none, is “Dear John”:  “…Don’t be hard on yourself/Give yourself a break/Life wasn’t meant to be run/The race is over/You’ve won”.  At one point during this track, Lennon interpolated a portion of the “September ... November” refrain from “September Song” by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson (itself most famously recorded by Jimmy Durante)—and regrettably, if not altogether unexpectedly, when this Lennon home demo was later released legally as part of a Capitol compilation CD, his nod to Durante (or Weill) was conspicuously absent from the track, no doubt for legal/budget reasons.  (Accept no substitutes.)  

*** 
 “No friends and yet no enemies
Absolutely free
No rats aboard the magic ship
Of perfect harmony”
                      —John Lennon (1980)

And so to the inevitable question:  Where were you and how did you hear the news on the night of December 8, 1980, after a bastard named Chapman went into combat crouch, and our world came crashing down?

For me, the word arrived through disconnected fragments via Vin Scelsa on WNEW-FM (102.7), then the undisputed album rock powerhouse of NYC.

Here’s the way I recall the rest of that evening in my Brooklyn apartment, though some of the finer points may have grown hazy for me over the years:  First, there was a recorded police dispatcher’s call for cars to proceed to the Dakota apartment building—which, suddenly dropped in among the usual hourly “wheel” of records/commercials/Scelsa’s random observations, at first sounded to me like a sick joke packaged by somebody behind the scenes at ‘NEW.  Several more uninterrupted minutes of music followed before Scelsa returned to the microphone, at which point he was noticeably straining to compose himself while sifting through a stack of just-received wire reports from diverse sources.
 
Then, more music still, which quickly morphed into a string of Lennon and Beatles tunes—as, standing still near my home stereo system, I felt my stomach begin to churn.
Scelsa finally returned as “Watching the Wheels” faded into a rare bubble of silence; seconds later, while trying in vain to camouflage his emotions, he made the confirmed announcement that Lennon had been shot dead at the entrance to his home.  More silence.  Scelsa’s only comment:  “And I am at a loss for words.  I think for the first time in my career on the radio, I don’t have anything to say.”


Another pause, followed by the opening notes of “Let It Be” … that song itself then quickly interrupted by an NBC News Hotline Report.
At that point, not yet in deep shock but getting there, I switched off the stereo and moved to the TV set in the other room.  On WABC, Channel 7, was the ever-reliable “Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell”—and I was just in time to hear Cosell, having been handed another wire report, provide the most chillingly surreal media moment of the entire night.


And that was all for the radio and television at my place … all I could do was slump into my favorite chair and go numb. 

***
Sunday, December 14, 1980:  As on many Sunday mornings then, I was doing some very welcome overtime as a proofreader/typesetter at a long-gone shop called Type Systems, on East 38th Street in Manhattan.  On site too was a novice proofreader (Type Systems knew her as—yes—Nancy); we both stayed until about 12:15 PM.  While neither of us had been able to get over to Central Park that week, we knew well of the ongoing daylight and candlelight vigil there by an uncounted number of Lennon’s most devoted fans.
And we had the radio on, once more tuned to WNEW.  It was announced that morning that there would be a moment of silence at 12:00:00 PM, to be immediately followed by the live debut performance by David Sanborn of a new jazz composition dedicated to the memory of Lennon and of his singular career.
At 11:59:59 AM, we both put down our blue pencils and closed our folders.
At 12:00:00 Noon, ‘NEW went silent.
At 12:01:00, Sanborn began to play.
And at precisely 12:01:01, outside Type Systems’ picture window, that first snowflake appeared.
Transfixed for the moment, we stayed tuned until Sanborn’s closing notes faded, then got our coats, shut down the equipment and locked up the office.
And as we parted company down on 38th, with the snow now falling steadily, I said to Nancy with more than a small quiver in my voice, “Get home safely.”
“You too, thanks,” she replied, sounding much the same.  

*** 
 “Between tokyo and paris,
Between london and dallas,
Between your love and mine.
Listen, the snow is falling ev'rywhere.


Snowfling, snowfall, snowfall,
Listen, listen,
Listen, baby,
Listen.”

                       —Yoko Ono (1971) 

----------------------
Paul Pakusch, guest blog today by Burt Stein
www.SunnySideof50.com
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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Paul Pakusch Travel

I'd like to take this opportunity to re-introduce myself as a travel agent.  I was previously a home-based travel agent for about 6 years.  I specialized in cruises and Disney, along with doing some other land-based travel packages.  At the time I gave it up, it was because some situations had come up on some trips that I had no control over; people's flights were cancelled, and in one case, an item was left on a cruise ship and the client called me and asked for help.  Even though I wasn't responsible for any of that, it left me feeling somewhat responsible.

This past summer, I decided to give it another shot.  As many people know, travel is my passion and I love to share it as much as possible.  True, I get some perks as a travel agent, but I also truly enjoy seeing what other people share of their travel experiences.  I enjoy seeing what I can come up with that will make them happy.

I restarted this venture by attempting to organize a group cruise out of New Orleans in April, 2020.  That trip is happening; we have a small but excited group of people looking forward to starting the party the night before the cruise in New Orleans, then sailing the Norwegian Getaway along the Mississippi River to Cozumel, Honduras, Belize and Costa Maya.  (There's still plenty of opportunity to join us, if you want!)

For the past six months, I have been taking baby steps to restarting this business. I wanted to get everything set correctly.  I got my travel agent credentials through CLIA, the Cruise Line International Association and got a DBA for my business name, Paul Pakusch Travel.  In the months following, I established relationships with a number of cruise lines and earned my credentials as a Disney Specialist.  As for vacation packages, I was very picky.  I wanted to be able to offer my clients a way to get help if things don't go as planned while on a trip.  Obviously, I can't be available to someone 24 hours a day.  So, it was important to me that people have an emergency phone number they can call.

I found the answer in GoGo Worldwide Vacations.  It has been a leading travel wholesaler for over 65 years, offering competitive rates on travel packages.  Most important to me, it offers emergency services to help you on your way when travel plans go awry.

You have to go through a travel agent in order to book a vacation package through GoGo Worldwide Vacations.  You can see some of their offers at www.gogowwv.com.  If you were interested in booking with them, I would only ask that you allow me to book your trip. I have booked some of my own upcoming trips through GoGo. If nothing else, see how what I can find you through GoGo compares whatever else you might find elsewhere. I can find some additional travel packages through Apple Vacations as well.

I have established relationships with major cruise lines, allowing me to book with them.  As a Disney Specialist, I can help you plan a trip to Disney, too.  As always, there is no fee whatsoever for most of the travel I book for you.  I get paid a commission by the travel supplier to do their work for you.

While most people were out shopping on Black Friday, I was spending the afternoon finding some great travel deals.  Stacey and I have four major trips scheduled for the next year, and I look forward to working with friends and clients, booking travel packages for them.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.  You can see my website at travel.paulpakusch.com.