TODAY'S TOP TRUMPTHOUGHTS

Donald Trump:
the Partial President

Unlike any predecessors, Mr. Trump does not even pretend to be president of all the people, but only his followers and loyal Republicans. Everyone else is deemed an enemy, subject to insults and verbal abuse.



Attn: Working-Class
Trump Voters

Wake Up! He doesn't care any more about you than about Democrats, progressives, liberals, or the media. He cares only about himself and re-election.





Mary Trump (Ph.D) chronicles her uncle's early years


Click Here for Book Review



White House Woes

The Trump Presidency In News Briefs
(2017-2018)

Now available in PDF form



During the first two years of the Trump presidency, we compiled news items outlining the outrages committed by the Trump administration against American laws, values, and principles. Our chronicle began with Inauguration Day in 2017, running to the end of 2018.

A PDF containing all those items, led by an Introduction, is available now.

Click here to download Trumpnews PDF

You may instead send an e-mail request to jf@tirekick.com.

A PDF version of "Countdown to Trumpland," chronicling the three-week period prior to Inauguration, also is available.

Click here to download Countdown PDF

Reports about protest events and essays on various aspects of the Trump presidency, produced in the early months of 2017, soon after Inauguration, may be seen at White House Woes.




GRETA'S CORNER

(Updating in Progress)

Greta laments lack of action on climate

January 21: Speaking at World Economic Forum in Davos, young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg berates world leaders for doing "basically nothing" to reduce carbon emissions. (CNN)

Greta delivers blistering words at UN Climate Action Summit

Teenage Swedish activist has become the fearless face and voice of demands for real action on climate crisis

(Sept. 23, 2019) As the UN Climate Action Summit opened at United Nations headquarters in New York, a string of activists and government leaders were expected to participate. Some would speak; others listen. President Trump, having pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord early in his administration, was not among them (though he made a surprise appearance at the event, staying for less than 15 minutes).

Critics and cynics had to wonder whether any genuine action might result. Based upon lack of progress following other summits, their concern is valid.

Rather than a respected academic or renowned environmental expert, the main attraction – as anticipated by many – was a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden. Earlier in the summer, Greta Thunberg had sailed from Europe to the U.S. on an environmentally-friendly racing boat, preparing to speak at the UN and other venues. Over a period of months, she had become arguably the best-known advocate in the world for serious and immediate action against the fast-growing destruction of the planet.

Three days before the Summit, some 4 million protesters worldwide, mostly youthful, marched to demand action by legislators and corporate leaders. Journalists and TV newspersons focused pointedly on Ms. Thunberg, acknowledging her rapid rise in the public mind as a tireless advocate whose words sting with common sense and respect for science, rather than more platitudes.

She may be tiny in stature, but her words can be fiery. Ms. Thunberg set a forcefully direct tone right at the beginning. "This is wrong," she declared, advising that she shouldn't have to be in this position at all. She should be in school "across the ocean." But because the climate crisis is so urgent, and not nearly enough is being done by "the adults," she feels compelled to insist upon genuine action.

'We are in the beginning of a mass extinction," she warned, "and all you can talk about is money.... How dare you."

Since the emergence of Ms. Thunberg as a powerful "voice" of the world's youth, many of whom are dismayed by lack of progress in dealing with climate change, other young activists have been spotlighted.

UPDATE (November 2): Ms. Thunberg appeared to be absent from news coverage during October, but emerged on November 2, speaking at a climate-change rally in Los Angeles. She was expected to appear later in the fall at a summit in Chile, but that event has been cancelled.

UPDATE (November 13): Following cancellation of the climate summit scheduled for Chile, moving the location to Madrid, Greta made arrangements to return to Europe on a 48-foot sailing catamaran. She will be accompanied by the couple who own the sailing craft, their toddler, and a British professional sailor. Ms. Thunberg hopes to reach Spain in time to attend and speak at the summit, on December 2. (CBS News)

UPDATE (December 3:) Greta has arrived inLisbon, enroute to Madrid for the Climate Summit, having crossed the Atlantic by sailbing catamaran. "People are underestimating the force of angry kids," she warned.

MADRID UPDATE (December 6): Speaking at the COP25 climate summit, Greta chided world leaders for doing so little to address climate change. "The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power," she advised, "and we cannot go on like this.... The CPO25 is not something we should just look past and ignore," she added. Every opportunity "to improve the situation we must take." (CNN)

December 11: TIME magazine to name Greta Thunberg its "Person of the Year." (CNN)

December 12: Trump asserts that Greta has serious "anger management" issues, while Brazil's leader calls here a "brat." (CNN)
Mr. Trump, who was once named TIME's "Man of the Year," has often appeared obsessed with the magazine's annual choices. The Trump campaign soon released a "doctored" version of the cover, with Trump's head superimposed on top of Greta's.

May 14: Greta participates in virtual CNN "Town Hall" on coronavirus pandemic, drawing attacks from critics.


Greta donates $1.15 million prize to climate-action groups

July 22: Greta appears on Stephen Colbert's Late Show, after winning (Portuguese) Gulbenkian rights award. She pledged to donate the entire award money (one million Euros) to groups "working to protect ahd environment and halt climate change," The Guardian reported.


Further updates on Greta's activities will be added as information becomes available.



VANTAGE POINTS
News/Opinion

Essays and reports on various subjects will be presented in this space.



Toil & Trouble

Countdown to Trumpland, our section on the Trump phenomenon and its potential impact on so much of American life, was our main story until Inauguration Day on January 20, 2017. For the next two years, we provided news and commentary on the Trump presidency, in a section called White House Woes. Mr. Trump's candidacy and election led to a crucial urgency among progressives and others who feared - and soon faced - a barrage of disastrous decisions from his Administration.

Meanwhile, Tirekicking Today has been developing this section on work, labor, and consumer concerns. Toil & Trouble builds upon the uncommon views in Work Hurts, one of our Books in Progress. In addition to notable news items related to work and labor, this section will feature critical essays and editorials.



"No man is good enough to be another man's master."
George Bernard Shaw,
in Major Barbara


"I don't like to work. It tires me out."
Actor James Garner, portraying the reluctant lawman in Support Your Local Sheriff.



"Only suckers work."
Actor John Derek, portraying criminally-inclined Nick Romano in film version of the Willard Motley novel Knock On Any Door (1949)


Work/Labor News Headlines


August 7: More than 30 million Americans are unemployed, as Congressional negotiators give up on bipartisan support for reinstating supplemental unemployment compensation. Millions of out-of-work families could face financial debacle, including the prospect of eviction and consequent growth in rate of homelessness.

July 30: Second-quarter report reveals that U.S. economy shrunk by an amount far greater than in any three-month period on record. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped by 9.5 percent (equivalent to a 32.9- percent annualized loss. No other quarter has dipped by more than 2.6 percent.

July 27: Enhanced unemployment benefit of $600 per week is about to end, and Congress has failed to renew the program, despite dire financial state of millions of jobless families. House and Senate are said to be far apart in proposing further assistance.

July 13: During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 5.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance, according to a study released by Families U.S.A. and reported in The New York Times. Five states (California, Texas, Florida New York, and North Carolina) were responsible for 46 percent of the coverage losses resulting from the pandemic.

June 8: National Bureau of Economic Research announces that the U.S. has been in recession since February, following the longest economic expansion in the nation's history. (CNN)

May 14: In past week, another 2.9 million workers apply for unemployment benefits, bringing total to 36 million.

April 8: Another $2.3 trillion package, dubbed either "stimulus" or "rescue," is proposed in Congress, but Democrats and Republicans are squabbling over the details. Each side has its own bill, with no sign of either party "giving in."

March 27: Following combative sessions in Congress over several days, Trump signs $2 trillion "stimulus" bill, which will make money available to both large and small businesses hit hard by the economic crisis - triggered by Covid-19. To assist laid-off workers, the bill includes a provision to send each American a check for $1,200 or more, as well as to temporarily increase unemployment compensation payments by $600 a week.

March 26: Claims for unemployment compensation, responding to the Covid-19 crisis and massive economic distress, reach a historic high, by far: more than 3.2 million in a single week. One week later, the weekly total reached 6.6 million. During the third week of shutdown, another 6.6 million appliled, raising the total to 16.8 million - higher than the amount of unemployment during the recession of 2007-08.

During 2020, Work/Labor news and articles will be updated regularly.



Labor-related Essays:

New Ways To Look at Work

Overview: Imaginative Approaches Required ...

Reject! For some applicants, job search is futile exercise

Solidarity Forever?

Prioritize! Living with Less and Liking It

Own Nothing, Owe Nothing

Let's break the chain of consumer debt

Essays below, initially written in the wake of the financial crisis that began in 2008, are in the process of updating.

Needed Now: Jobs, Not Careers
Surprise! Some of us like to pay taxes
Quit calling us consumers!


New essays on labor, work, money, and related topics will be added during 2020.



Work/Labor in Print and On Film

In January 2018, Amazon announced that 20 cities were on the "short list" of possible sites for the company's second headquarters. Each city had offered massive incentives in its quest to attract Amazon, which promised to make some 50,000 jobs available in the winning locale.

Before a final decision was made, residents of those cities might have benefited from reading a vivid description of the working life in an Amazon warehouse, in one chapter of a recent book. Nomadland, by Jessica Bruder, chronicles lives of "houseless" Americans, many of them elderly, who live in vans and RVs, working at seasonal and short-term jobs (including Amazon warehouses) to survive.

On the Clock, another recent book dealing with low-wage toil, paints an even more troubling picture of worklife within an Amazon warehouse. Laid-off reporter Emily Guendelsberger spent an exhausting, painful month on the job at a massive warehouse in Kentucky. Afterward, she traveled to North Carolina for a job at a call center. Not only does Ms. Guendelsberger report in fascinating detail about her experiences and her fellow employees, she provides an excellent chronicle of aspects of labor history that led to today's low-wage worklives. Her observations of the contributions of Henry Ford and of Frederick Taylor, a pioneer in methods of industrial efficiency. are especially illuminating.

On November 29, 2019, the PBS NewsHour aired an investigation of safety records at Amazon warehouses. At a facility near Indianapolis, one worker had died on the job, crushed by a forklift. The investigation cites allegations of inadequate safety training, coupled with a constant push for speed.

Additional Labor news items, especially related to low-wage, contract, and temporary work, will be posted periodically. Please check again.

Coming Soon:
10 Vintage Movies About Work and Labor that should not be missed, including The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), I'm All Right, Jack (1957), Wages of Fear (1953), Office Space (1999), The Misfits (1961), Death of a Salesman (1951), Bacholor Party (1953), They Drive By Night (1940), and No Down Payment (1957).

Turning to TV...
Revival of the Rosanne TV sitcom, renamed The Connors following the forced departure of the principal actress, Rosanne Barr, serves as a reminder that TV shows about working-class families can demonstrate excellence along with witty humor. Running from 1988 to 1997, the original series was adeptly written and expertly performed, realistically depicting the troubles and joys of an economically-challenged family. Surprisingly, the current iteration retains most of the flavor and laughter of the original and retains five original cast members, including John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf – declared the finest stage actress of her generation by John Malkovich.



"No Human Being Is Illegal"
Sign carried by protester marching in support of "Dreamers" on January 19, 2018



The Dunning-Kruger effect: "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Charles Darwin



“You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it.”
Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, in episode 4 of the HBO series Girls, created and written by Lena Dunham



"He that has to obey the will of another is a slave."
Samuel Fielden (1886)



“Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Typically attributed to Winston Churchill, but actual source is uncertain.



"I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)
Paleontologist, The Panda's Thumb


"Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn't know anyone who knows of a vacancy."

B. Traven - Author, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre


UPDATED: September 25, 2020

Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, Following Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,/i>

Following Ginsburg's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowed that "Trump's nominee will receive a vote" in the Senate, prompting furious backlash from Democrats.

In 2016, McConnell blocked a Senate vote on President Obama's Court choice, Merrick Garland, on the grounds that a national election was to take place late that year. Now, Trump and the GOP-led Senate are eagerly trying to force such a vote, despite the brief time frame before the November 3 election.


After 23 years of covering the auto industry, Tirekicking Today shifted gears to focus on social and political issues - led by the unprecedented ramifications of the Trump presidency.


American death toll from the Covid-19 virus reaches 200,000 on September 22, with more than 7 million cases now reported.


Top Pandemic and Trump/Political News

September 27: Tax return data obtained by The New York Times reveals that Trump paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years, and paid only $750 in each of the past two years. The president quickly brands the report "fake news."

September 24: Responding to a reporter's question, Trump expresses doubt that the November 3 election can be "honest." He also refused to commit to a peaceful transition if he should lose, stating once again that he will "see what happens." Continuing his claim that mail-in ballots lead to fraud, he added that “there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”

September 22: Two senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have indicated that they oppose a rushed vote to seat a repacement for Justice Ginsburg, but other Republicans - including Mitt Romney - are set to comply with the president's call for a quick confirmation. Trump has vowed to nominate a woman, naming his choice later this week. The Senate has 53 Republicans, and a simple majority is needed for confirmation.

September 22: As total Covid-19 deaths in U.S. reach 200,000, Trump praises his own response to the pandemic, claiming that there might otherwise have been 10 times that many and, in speech to U.N. delebates, blaming China for "unleashing" the virus. Earlier, he'd given himself an "A+" for his response, versus a "D" for public relations related to the subject. The president also repeated a false claim that Covid-19 seldom affects young people.

September 21: Trump asserts that Congressional Democrats may have dictated the note left by Justice Ginsburg to her granddaughter, stating her wish that her replacement not be voted on until after the election. Despite total absence of evidence, the president names three Democrats as possible culprits: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and "Shifty Schiff" Representative Adam Schiff tweeted a response, writing that "this is low. Even for you." (CNN)

September 21: Department of Justice labels three cities – New York, Portland, and Seattle – "anarchy" jurisdictions. (CNN)

September 17: Biden campaign ad appears to show Trump, at a February 28 rally, calling Covid-19 a "hoax." CNN reports that as edited, the ad combines two brief video clips from his speech, 56 seconds apart, blending the words in a misleading manner.

September 16: Attorney General William Barr proposes bringing legal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, for allowing establishment of a "police-free zone" within the city. At a college event, Barr compared a possible virus-triggered national lockdown to "house arrest," calling it the "greatest intrusion on civil liberties" in American history, apart from "slavery." (CNN)

September 14: At a California briefing on the wildfires that have devastated the West Coast, Trump disdained the position of climate scientists. "I don't think science knows, actually," he said.

September 13: Despite barring of gatherings with more than 50 people in Nevada, Trump holds huge indoor rally in Las Vegas.

September 13: Reacting to Biden's statement on Trump's alleged disparaging of fallen U.S. troops, the president warns that "now I can be vicious. I can be really vicious." Attacks on Biden include assertions that he is the "worst candidate in history," and "he doesn't know he's alive."

September 12: The New York Times reports that "political appointees" within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) have frequently asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "to revise, delay and even scuttle" Covid-19 reports that they considered "unflattering to President Trump."

September 10: Among other startling claims at campaign rally, Trump advises that Joe Biden "will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions," whereas he would preserve them. Critics assert that the truth is precisely opposite: that Trump has consistently attempted to destroy those protections, whereas Biden has supported them. (CNN)

September 9: Based upon 18 taped interviews with the president, new book by Bob Woodward reveals that Trump knew about the imminent danger of Covid-19 in February, but deliberately chose to downplay the peril, saying he didn't want to "create panic." Joe Biden and other critics respond angrily to what they consider Trump's gross misleading of the public.

September 8: Campaigning in North Carolina, Trump advises rally attendees to become poll watchers on November 3, continuing to accuse Democrats of rampant voter fraud. "Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do," he warned. Election experts have long insisted that historically, voter fraud in U.S. is rare. CNN alleged that in his attacks on Joe Biden, Trump made "at least 10 false or misleading claims" on such topics as gun control, Covid-19 response, and border issues.

September 8: U.S. Department of Justice seeks to defend the president against defamation lawsuit initiated by one woman who claim he'd assaulted her in the 1990s. If so, taxpayers would be paying his legal costs. Trump denies ever having met the woman.

September 7: During impromptu briefing at White House, on Labor Day, Trump tells a reporter to remove his face mask; he declines. Instead of delving into labor issues, the president devotes much of the briefing to attacks on Joe Biden (calling him "a stupid person") and Kamala Harris, for questioning safety and efficacy of a vaccine that might be produced too hurriedly. He also suggests that top military officers promote wars to boost profits on defense-contractor companies. One CNN reporter notes Trump's "foul mood" during the briefing.

September 4: Trump asserts that coronavirus is "rounding the corner." Dr. Fauci and other top medical experts disagree.

September 3-4: In The Atlantic magazine, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg reports that in 2018, Trump privately disparaged members of military who were killed or injured in action, calling them "losers" and "suckers." Joe Biden replies with fury, asserting that if the claim is true, his late son Beau was no "sucker." Although the story was based on four anonymous sources, its author has a sterling reputation as a journalist, and several major news outlets have corroborated the claim.

September 3: Trump urges North Carolina voters to cast mail-in ballots, but also go to polling places on Election Day. Facing immediate criticism and warnings from election officials that voting twice is a felony, the president advices that a second ballot could be submitted if an inquiry reveals that the mailed version has not yet been counted.

September 3: CDC officials announce that a Covid-19 vaccine might be available early in November, or even in late October. Critics are dubious about the timing, just before the November 3 election.

September 1: During visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin - site of shooting of Jacob Blake by police officer - Trump builds upon his "law and order" message and appears to defend 17-year-old who shot and killed two protesters.

September 1: Two Black pastors attending roundtable in Kenosha are asked by reporter if police violence is systemic racism. Trump interrupts to answer for them, with his own opinion. The pastors never get to answer. (CNN)

September 1: In Fox News interview, Trump equates police officer's use of excessive force to a golfer who "chokes" while trying to make a short putt. (CNN)

Please Click Here for News Briefs from mid-March through August 2020


Quick Look: Early Days of Covid-19 in the U.S.

Late in 2019, when the coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China, few could have imagined the impact it would soon have on the rest of the world, including the U.S. As the number of cases - and deaths - grew in China and the virus reached into Europe, many Americans - including Donald Trump - dismissed or ignored the potential danger to humanity, worldwide. Not until the virus (now called Covid-19) began to sicken Americans, sometimes resulting in death, did the tendency toward denial begin to evaporate.

Finally, in mid-March, the president began to react in accord with the magnitude of the crisis. By then, New York City was going into lockdown, elderly residents of a Seattle nursing home were dying, and some cities began to take drastic action to keep the virus from spreading. The governor of Illinois, for one, ordered that all bars and restaurants close for the duration, except for takeout orders. Americans were emphatically warned to maintain "social distance," staying at least six feet away from all other people. Elderly persons, and those with health issues (especially respiratory conditions) were strongly advised to stay home. Lacking clear directives from the federal government, state and local officials initiated their own orders or admonitions to the public. Meanwhile, hospitals were running out of protective face masks, ventilators, and available beds.

Writing in The New York Times on March 18, Jennifer Finney Boylan may have painted the most pointed picture of the coronavirus pandemic: "The world we lived in has vanished – slowly, and then suddenly. Even if we manage to defeat the coronavirus, that world will not return."



Two years of Trump News Briefs (January 2017 to December 2018) are available as a PDF file. Please see description of White House Woes at right.


2020 Book Publication Schedule

TK Press (a division of Tirekicking Today)

Tirekicking Today editor James M. Flammang, the author of more than thirty books (including six for children), has been working for some time on additional titles. Some are nearing the final stages of pre-production. Each views its subject from an oblique and often lighthearted – yet serious – perspective.

Note: This schedule is still under contruction. Preliminary outlines and/or unedited excerpts are available, accessed by clicking on each link. Additional excerpts will be available soon.

Inquiries from book publishers or agents are welcome. Please send e-mail to JF@tirekick.com.

Fraidy Cat

Surviving a lifetime of unwarranted fear and fright

A personal look backward, focusing on lessons learned about living with debilitating fear and anxiety, including ways to cope and survive. Unlike some self-help books on the subject, Fraidy Cat isn't just about fear in general, recounted and analyzed by an impartial observer. No, this is personal, debilitating, overpowering fear – the sort that constricted and devastated a decades-long chunk of the author's own life, and continues to do so, if to a less ferocious degree. This personal memoir covers more than half of a lifetime, starting in adolescence.
Fraidy Cat: Contents ... Outline ... Excerpts: Chapter 1 (Childhood) ... Chapter 3 (Sex) ... Chapter 5 (Addiction)

Untied Knots

Fiction by Flammang

Two groups of short stories, each with a tangy twist, make up Untied Knots. Those in "On the Go" are travel-based, taking place largely in Mexico. Much of the inspiration stems from real-life journeys and random residence within that country, undertaken as far back as the mid-1970s.

"Here At Home" tales focus on folks whose escapades are more localized. Though fictitional, most are based at least in part upon real people and places. The collection also includes several early stories, previously unpublished, from the author's archive.
Untied Knots: Contents ... Introduction ... Excerpts: Night Train ... Scandal ... Bad Sports ... Desk Duty ... Ready? Go!

Absurdities

Logical Lapses in everyday life and thought

Comprehensive collection of stinging essays gazes with disbelief at dozens of aspects of modern life. Chapters are arranged in sections, including Work, Money, Identity, Communication, Technology, Consumption, Politics and Law, Pastimes, Sex, and Transportation. Work on this book began well before the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump. Therefore, the final chapters will focus on his bizarre, unprecedented presidency.
Absurdities: Contents ... Overview .. Chapter Outline ... Excerpt from Section III - Work (Our Biggest Myth)

Work Hurts

Reflections on a wasted life

Questions the conventional wisdom on work and careers. For untold millions, including many with "good" jobs, each day's toil delivers no joy and little reward. In addition to scrutinizing workplace issues in the past, Work Hurts looks at the growing "gig" and "temp" economy, and its impact on less-than-happy toilers.
Work Hurts: Contents ... Chapter Outline ... Chapter 1 (Without a Paddle)

Hotel Life

Living small in an age of large

Assesses the satisfactions of simpler living and minimal consumption, while chronicling the joys (and drawbacks) of residing in low-end accommodations. Hotel Life considers such relevant topics as the guaranteed income, shrinkage and change in the labor movement, older suburbanites moving back into the city (or pondering the RV life), and the recent small-house movement.
Hotel Life: Chapter Outline ... Overview ... Contents

Steering Toward Oblivion

A caustic look at the history and future of the Car Culture

A caustically critical – but frequently humorous – observation of the car culture and auto business, including the automotive media. Examines automotive history as well as today's (and tomorrow's) cars, emphasizing their impact on daily life, the transportation network, the economy, popular culture, and the environment. Author James Flammang has covered the auto business as a journalist and historian since the 1980s.
...
Steering: Chapter Outline ... Overview ... Excerpts: Chapter 1 (Media) ... Chapter 13 (Motoring Manners)

For further information, please contact us at JF@tirekick.com.


Books by Flammang ... already on sale

TK Press, the book-publishing division of Tirekicking Today, has issued three titles since 2014. Each was written by James M. Flammang, author of more than two dozen previous books. Click Here for a list of his books and other publications.

Incompetent: Coming up short in a world of achievement

Whether it's sports, business, personal relationships, the arts, or any other area of life, some of us score a flat zero in the skills and talents department. Blending serious concerns with a humorous tone, each chapter covers a specific area of incompetence with which the author, amazingly, is all too personally familiar.

Incompetent is available at: Amazon ... and Barnes and Noble
ISBN (print): 978-0-9911263-2-3 ($10.50)


Mr. Maurice Knows It All ... and tells you so

In 78 concise chapters, the debonair yet down-to-earth stuffed pig known as Mr. Maurice–who just happens to know everything–unleashes a torrent of acerbic, humorous, delightfully wise words on subjects ranging work to movies, money to citizenship, from status to guilt. An emigrant from Britain, with obviously French heritage, Mr. M. manages to combine strictly contemporary attitudes and piercing opinions with a gallantry and sophistication reminiscent of the era of Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce.

Mr. Maurice ... is available at: Barnes & Noble ... and Amazon.
ISBN (print): 978-0-9911263-3-0 ($8.50)

Both titles may be purchased directly from TK Press. PDF review copies are available FREE. Just send e-mail to jf@tirekick.com. Please ask about printed copies, signed by the author.
Excerpts from Incompetent and Mr. Maurice ... may be seen at Bublish.com.



• Articles and essays on topics related to current affairs, and occasionally about relevant automotive subjects, will be posted here periodically.




• Editor James M. Flammang contributes to vehicle reviews at NewCarTestDrive.com.



Tirekicking Today editor James M. Flammang, a veteran independent auto journalist, has contributed countless product reviews and feature articles to such publications as autoMedia.com, New Car Test Drive, CarsDirect, and Kelley Blue Book. He has written extensively for a variety of major outlets, including J.D. Power, cars.com, and the Chicago Tribune. Flammang is a member of the Freelancers Union and the International Motor Press Association, and is a past president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association. The author of more than thirty books, mostly on auto history, also has contributed extensively to Consumer Guide publications and to such trade publications as Ward's Dealer Business.

TK Press, established in 2014 as a division of Tirekicking Today, has already published three books by Flammang. Several more titles (described above) are well underway, scheduled for publication diring 2020.




"[W]hile there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Eugene Debs (in 1918 court statement)
Five-time Socialist candidate for president


New section is being developed for this space


Countdown to Trumpland

Early January, 2017

Leading Up to Inauguration


Delight or Disaster?

Trump presidency signals either his promised return to a “Great” America, or the demise of Constitutional Democracy, with economic tragedy for lower and middle classes.

As the New Year begins, Americans face a political scene that can only be called unprecedented. To about half the voters in November’s election, the arrival of Donald Trump as president-elect demonstrated a fresh start for the country. To the other half, seeing this willfully ignorant, ill-behaved, flagrantly self-absorbed bully prepare to take the reins of government – despite fierce distaste for so many of the principles and values upon which this nation was founded – is an occasion for dread, distress, and abject hopelessness....

Click here for more.

As soon as Donald Trump entered the White House on January 20, 2017, Tirekicking Today halted its section “Countdown to Trumpland." Our follow-up series (at right, above) is titled “White House Woes: The Trump Presidency."

In addition to articles on specific issues that President Trump deals with, we include news items on the latest actions and words emanating from, and about, the Trump Administration.






News Headlines
in the Auto World

October 29: General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota say they will not cooperate with California's two-tier emissions stzndards system. Ford, Honda, and BMW previously announced that they back California's stance, defying the president.

November 17: New Mustang Mach-e electric SUV shows little kinship to sporty Mustang coupe.

November 21: Tesla unveils electric-powered, the futuristic Cybertruck that lacks a cargo bed and shows virtually no resemblance to conventional pickups.

January 1, 2020: Ousted Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, on trial in Japan and barred from leaving that country, manages to reach Lebanon – which has no extradition treaty. Early in January, Ghosn surreptiously leaves Japan, turning up in Lebanon. Ghosn holds passparts from Lebanon, Brazil, and the U.S.

March 18: Automakers plan temporary shutdown of U.S. factories, due to the Coronavirus crisis.

March 27: Trump uses Defense Production Act to order General Motors to produce ventilators, essential to help severely ill Covid-19 patients breathe. A previous contract had been signed with GM, but resulted in a dispute about the dollar amount involved. Governors and mayors have pleaded for more ventilators in their grossly oveburdened hospitals.

May 19: Two Ford plants reopen, as part of Trump's intent to bring workers back to their jobs. A day later, both plants ahut down again because a worker tested positive for Covid-19.

July 8: Chevrolet is dropping Sonic compact sedan.

July 14: With great fanfare, Ford reveals 21st-century version of its long-departed Bronco SUV.




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Editors are invited to contact us for rates and full details.

TIREKICKING TODAY began in 1993 as a monthly print publication. Created by widely-known automotive writer/editor James M. Flammang and associate editor Marianne E. Flammang, it went on the Internet in 1995. TIREKICKING TODAY has given consumers, enthusiasts, and industry leaders an abundant supply of valuable automotive information, incuding new-vehicle reviews, used-car buying advice, editorial commentary, and feature articles. By 2016, we were ready to ease away from coverage of automobiles, and take the publication on a completely different track - focusing primarily on topics that had become far more crucial than cars.
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