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.



Scariest Thought of All:
No matter what happens on Election Day, half of Americans will have ignored Donald Trump's endless lies, total self-absorption, threats, insults, vebal assaults, bigotry, dangerous moves, and so much more, voting to keep him in the White House. How is this possible? How can even one person cast a vote for a monster who is gleerfully destroying America's values and principles?



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


September 30: More than 800,000 workers apply for unemployment compensation in past week, bringing total number near 26 million.

September 30: Reacting to great decline in flying, airlines expect to eliminate tens of thousands of employees.

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: October 27, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett Is Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice (October 26)

Voting is along strict party lines, with 52 Republicans voting to confirm and 48 Democrats in opposition. Critics are enraged by the rush to confirmation, days before the election. Four years earlier, President Obama had been blocked from nominating Merrick Garland, some eight months prior to the 2016 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 225,000 in late October, with about 7.4 million cases now reported.


Top Pandemic and Trump/Political News

October 27: At a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump claimed that his campaign had to find an alternative rally site, because of Covid-19 rules enacted by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. According to CNN's Chris Cillizza, he then issued a veiled threat: "I'll remember it, Tom," if your state needs federal aid.

October 25: Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, tells reporters they "can't control the virus." Leading Democrats charge that this amounts to surrender, abandoninig the crisis. Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that the Covid-19 has "rounded the corner" and will soon be gone – at a time when new cases per day have reached record levels in many states.

October 25: At least five Pence aides have tested positive for coronavirus, including his "body man" (who is with him regularly). Yet, Pence declines to self-quarantine for two weeks, but instead continues on the campaign trail. After hosting three rallies in one day, he suggests that he might be doing as many as five per day in the final week.

October 24: Proposed limitation on for J1 (exchange visitor) visas could threaten some 12,000 doctors with expulsion from the U.S. This prospect comes at a time of pandemic, when medical practitioners are urgently needed - and will be in ever greater demand if/when the second wave of coronavirus hits its peak. Such visas allow doctors, scholars and other high-skill persons to live in America while studying or training. (CNN)

October 22: Trump and Biden debate onstage in Nashville, under new rule. For two minutes after the moderator poses a question, only the microphone of the person answering is active, ensuring an uninterrupted response. After both parties have responded, both microphone are active for follow-up period. Trump is far more civil than in first debate. Interruptions, fierce personal attacks, and falsehoods hardly are absent , but the president is considerably more restrained.

October 20-21: Trump abruptly halts interview with CBS's Lesley Stahl for the 60 Minutes program, telling her "you have enough." Asked at the outset if he was ready for "tough questions," the president replied: "No, I'm not." Repeatedly doubting her fairness, Trump especially disdained questioning about the coronavirus. Later, after threatening to post the interview online prior to its airing on the CBS TV show, he did exactly that - along with a separate interview Stahl conductred with vice-president Pence.

October 20: "Suburban women, will you please like me," Trump pleads, expanding upon his courting of specific voting groups. "I saved your neighborhood.... I don't want to build low-income husingnext to your house."

October 19: With two weeks to go before the election, early voting is taking place in every state, but several states do not yet offer in-person voting. More than 27 million voters have already cast ballots.

October 17: Striving to capture their vote at one of his rallies, Trump tells suburban women: "You're supposed to love me." He promises to keep them safe, falsely charging that Democrats will encourage undesirable persons to overwhelm suburban enclaves. Recent polls show that his popularity among suburban women and senior citizens has wand.

October 12: "I feel so powerful," Trump tells his Florida rallygoers as they crowd together - despite worrisome rise in Covic-19 cases and deaths, "I'll walk into that audience... I'll kiss everyone ... I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the - everybody. I'll just give everybody a big, fat kiss." During the final three weeks of his campaign, the president plans at least one rally each day. (CNN)

October 10: Cleared by his primary physician to end isolation and resume activities, Trump prepares to host three rallies during the coming week. The president's doctors have declined to say whether he has tested negative for the coronavirus.

October 10: Despite uncertainty about the contagion level of Trump's case of Covid-19, the president speaks from the balcony of the White House, with hundreds of guests gathered on the lawn. The second presidential debate has been cancelled, because Trump refused to participate in a "virtual" version.

October 9: Responding to arrests of 13 men for plotting to kidnap and possibly execute the governor of Michigan, Trump attacks Governor Gretchen Whitmer for failing to thank him for federal efforts to thwart the plot. Trump also renewed his attacks on Whitmer for her lockdown orders, intended to reduce Covid-19 infections.

October 8: Thriteen men are arrested for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in an effort to overthrow the state government. The governor has been harshly criticized for imposing allegedly harsh lockdown regulations during the pandemic.

October 8: Reacting to Donald Trump's behavior since being treated for Covid-19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to introduce a bill that would give Congress a role in determining whether the 25th Amendment can be enacted to remove the president from office, based upon inability to do the job properly. (CNN)

October 7: Vice-president Pence and Senator Kamala Harris debate in Salt Lake City. Though debate is far more civil than presidential debate a week earlier, talking well past time limites and interruptions were frequent - especially by Mr. Pence.

October 7: Though his Covid-19 infection remains potentially active, Trump goes back to work in the Oval Office. Critics assert that his doctors are not supplying full and accurate information on the president's condition.

October 7: In an editorial, New England Journal of Medicine condemns Trump administrastion for its handling of coronavirus pandemic, recommending that it be "voted out," but not endorsing any candidate. (CNN)

October 7: According to a draft of an investigative report by the inspector general of the Justice Department, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions promoted migrant-family separation, regardless of childrens' ages. Top officials said "we need to take away children," The New York Times reported.

October 6: Back at work in the White House, Trump ends negotiations with congressional Democrats on the stimulus bill, announcing that they will resume after he wins re-election. Millions of out-of-work Americans have been without econoic relief since July, when the previous stimulus ground to a halt.

October 5: "Don't be afraid of Covid," Donald Trump tweets as he prepares to leave the hospital and return to the White House - though his true physical condition remains uncertain. On two occasions, he was given supplement oxygen. He also received a powerful steroid in combination with another medication, previously given only to people with serious cases of Covid-19. Critics condemn his statement as irresponsible.

October 5: Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's press secretary, is latest member of White House team to test positive for coronavirus. Analysts believe the outbreak resulted from recent gathering in the Rose Garden to celebrate nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Few masks and little social distancing were evident at the event. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had helped prep the president for debate, also tested positive and has been hospitalized.

October 5: White House insists that appropriate precautions were taken for Trump's short Sunday ride past cheering supporters, accompanied by two Secret Service agents wearing protective gear. Other agents have decried the outing. It "should never have happened," one member of the first family's detail told CNN, adding that riders in the parading SUV would now have to be quarantined.

October 4: In the midst of his treatment for Covid-19, Trump leaves Walter Reed hospital to participate in a brief motorcade, waving to amassed supporters from an SUV. "This is insanity," said one attending physician. "The irresponsibility is astounding," putting each passenger in that vehicle at risk "for political theater." According to a White House spokesman, Trump's medical team had deemed the outing "safe to do." (CNN)

October 3: Several White House aides have tested positive for coronavirus, including former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien. So have three Republican Senators, which could affect the Supreme Court nominating process. Decisions have not yet been made about the two additional presidential debates scheduled in October.

October 1: Presidential adviser Hope Hicks tests positive for Covid-19, leading Trump to initiate "quarantine process." Ms. Hicks traveled with the president a day earlier. (The New York Times)

October 1: House of Representatives approves $2.2 trillion stimulus, developed by Democrats. Eighteen Democrats voted with the Republicans, against the bill. (CNN)

October 1: Trump condemns "all white supremacists," including the Proud Boys – a far-right extremist group known for violence – two days after declining to do so during the presidential debate. (CNN)

Please Click Here for News Briefs from mid-March through September 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.




All editorials, essays, and articles are available for reprinting.
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.
Tirekicking Today accepts no advertising and receives no funds from any organization.

©All contents copyright 1997-2020 by Tirekicking Today.
Material may not be reused in any way without express permission from Tirekicking Today.
For information on reprinting and syndication rights,
please contact us at JF@tirekick.com.
If you would like a response to a question or comment, please provide your e-mail address.