What Americans Really Want...Really:
The Truth about Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears
Author: Frank I. Luntz
Publisher: Hyperion


No one in America has done more observing of more people than Dr. Frank I.
Luntz. From Bill O'Reilly to Bill Maher, America's leading pundits,
prognosticators, and CEOs turn to Luntz to explain the present and to
predict the future. With all the upheavals of recent events, the plans and
priorities of the American people have undergone a seismic shift. Businesses
everywhere are trying to market products and services during this turbulent
time, but only one man really understands the needs and desires of the New

From restaurant booths to voting booths, Luntz has watched and assessed our
private habits, our public interests, and our hopes and fears. What are the
five things Americans want the most? What do they really want in their daily
lives? In their jobs? From their government? For their families? And how
does understanding what Americans want allow businesses to thrive? Luntz
disassembles the preconceived notions we have about one another and lays all
the pieces of the American condition out in front of us, openly and
honestly, then puts the pieces back together in a way that reflects the
society in which we live. What Americans Really Want...Really is a real, if
sometimes scary, discussion of Americans' secret hopes, fears, wants, and

The research in this book represents a decade of face-to-face interviews
with twenty-five thousand people and telephone polls with one million more,
as well as the exclusive, first-ever "What Americans Really Want" survey.
What Luntz offers is a glimpse into the American psyche, along with analysis
that will rock assumptions and right business judgment. He proves that
success in virtually any profession demands thatwe either understand what
Americans really want, or suffer the consequences.

Publishers Weekly
Luntz (Words That Work) draws on personal experiences and current focus
group research to aggregate our understanding of attitudes about everyday
life, work, consumption, corporations, religious institutions, government,
family relationships and community membership. Ostensibly for a general
readership, the real audience for Luntz's work are groups who benefit from
knowing what drives choices in contemporary American culture. Market
researchers, pollsters, lobbyists and public relations officials are offered
insights into such topics as what college students care about, what people
expect from their employers and government, and what religious beliefs count
in "selling" God to congregants. Using anecdotal stories about interviewing
Playboy bunnies and "secret shopping" as well as boxed summaries about
"Words that Work," Luntz is shaping opinion and marketing campaigns rather
than offering a synthetic vision of the American population. The questions
asked offer respondents a limited perspective from which to construct their
answers, resulting in hopes, dreams and fears that reflect the worldview of
Luntz's corporate and political clients more than the so-called "average
American" whose words he purports to present.


Dr. Frank I. Luntz is one of the most respected communications professions
in America today. The winner of the coveted Washington Post "Crystal Ball"
award for being the most accurate pundit, Dr. Luntz has written, supervised,
and conducted more than 1,500 surveys and focus groups for corporate and
public affairs clients all over the world. The go-to guy for fortune 500
CEOs, he is the first resource media outlets turn to when they want to
understand the American public.

San Francisco Chronicle
July 8, 2009
(Lead letter to the editor)

Michael mania -- a social sickness

The media-driven mania over Michael Jackson's death is an indictment of extreme celebrity obsession and all the damage done by spreading what has become a destructive social sickness. Beginning with Elvis Presley's tragic death from drug abuse -- then John Belushi, and more recently, Keith Ledger -- Michael Jackson's tragic demise of a tortured soul was the product of hyper-stardom exploitation and commercial greed.

Most human beings simply can't handle the endless pressure, yet none of it matters to the unconscionable chase-the-buck corporate media and entertainment industry's bottom lines, followed by the attendant vulture culture. Indeed, even when it becomes terminal, the callousness doesn't miss a beat.

"American Idol", the endless proliferation of shallow reality programs, and the Facebook/Utube Internet explosions of reckless behavior are playing out the seduction of instant celebrity and fame for a day, a week or a month at any cost. Shame on us for Twittering away our values, common sense and democracy, when it's time make the most of it.

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
Authors: Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
April 2009


Narcissism - a very positive and inflated view of the self - is everywhere. It's what you have if you're a politician and you've strayed from your wife, and it's why five times as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures today than did just ten years ago. It's the value that parents teach their children with song lyrics like "I am special. Look at me," the skill teenagers and young adults obsessively hone on Facebook and MySpace, and the reason high school students physically beat classmates and then broadcast their violence on YouTube for all to see.

Start Where You Are:
Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Author: Chris Gardner, Mim E. Rivas
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
May 2009

Mary E. Jones - Library Journal

Gardner follows his best-selling memoir, The Pursuit of Happyness, with a collection of 44 lessons that he feels helped make his life successful and that he hopes will help others. Gardner explains that this is the book he originally intended to write, but he first had to deal with his past; he recommends that all his readers do the same. His memoir is the perfect setup for this new self-help book, in which he shares his philosophy and the lessons he learned, which took him from an abusive childhood to homelessness and finally to being the chief executive of his own multimillion-dollar brokerage firm. This smart and well-written guide includes excellent suggestions for both everyday life and work, with the last sentence summing up Gardner's message: "Accepting responsibility is accepting that your dreams really can come true." The result is hopeful and uplifting-not a bad thing to see in these days of economic turmoil.


Chris Gardner is the chief executive officer of Gardner Rich & Company, a multimillion-dollar brokerage with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. An avid philanthropist and motivational speaker, Gardner is committed to many organizations -- particularly those related to education -- and was recently the recipient of the Father of the Year Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative. A Milwaukee native, Gardner has two children and resides in Chicago and New York.

Trump supports Miss California

Trump supports Miss California
May 12, 2009

There she is, still Miss California. Donald Trump, owner of Miss USA has spoken. Though I don't agree with much of what Trump does, his backing of Carrie Prejean and settling the disagreement between her and Miss California co-executive directors, Shanna Moakler and Keith Lewis is commendable.

What is still disturbing, however, are the mean-spirited attacks by Miss USA judge Perez Hilton (Mario Armando Lavandeira), and anti-freedom of expression terrorists of the anti-Proposition 8 gay/lesbian movement against traditional marriage. Indeed, the burning question is, why was a viciously biased gutter-gossip like Perez even selected as a judge?

Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel -
Why Everything You Know Is Wrong
Author: John Stossel

Publisher: Hyperion
May 2006


Now in paperback: The major national bestseller that the New York Times says
"tosses sand on liberal sacred cows"

Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media
Author: John Stossel
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
January 2005


Ballooning government? Millionaire welfare queens? Tort lawyers run amok? A $330,000 outhouse, paid for with your tax dollars? John Stossel says, "Give me a break."

SEAN PENN Academy Awards letter debate::

Press Enterprise
February 24, 2009

Oscars still push politics

It was a pleasant change to see some Broadway musical style entertainment courtesy of Oscar host, Hugh Jackman, along with the overall upbeat improvements in the event, including the nominations of supporting and best actors/actresses by 5 previous winners. "Slumdog millionaire" was certainly deserving of Best Picture for 2008, with a great story.

However, it was abundantly clear that Hollywood's social and political agenda is as alive and judgmental as ever. Best Actor winner, Sean Penn certainly didn't disappoint his critics with his condescending attitude and scolding of Proposition 8 supporters. Nor did "Milk's" original screenplay winner, Dustin Black's comments, though it's questionable how a true story can be original.

San Francisco Chronicle
February 24, 2009

Oscars: Politics trumps entertainment

Press Enterprise
February 24, 2009

Oscars still push politics

It was a pleasant change to see some Broadway musical style entertainment courtesy of Oscar host, Hugh Jackman, along with the overall upbeat improvements in the event, including the nominations of supporting and best actors/actresses by 5 previous winners. "Slumdog millionaire" was certainly deserving of Best Picture for 2008, with a great story.

However, it was abundantly clear that Hollywood's social and political agenda is as alive and judgmental as ever. Best Actor winner, Sean Penn certainly didn't disappoint his critics with his condescending attitude and scolding of Proposition 8 supporters. Nor did the comments of the original screenplay winner, Dustin Lance Black

Nevertheless, the liberal agenda was pushed forward with anti-Catholic, "Doubt," environmentalist, "WALL-E," beating dead conservatives, "Frost/Nixon," and the Boomer wish film, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Regardless of what the overall audience may want, the Academy Awards honors itself for political activism at the expense of great movies and entertainment. Awarding Best Actor to Sean Penn instead of Mickey Rourke for "Wrestler" was not only wrongheaded and selfish, it was shameful and cruel. Alas, the art of filmmaking, imagination, meaningful original stories, and sincere acting are simply fading away, replaced by superficial preach-movies, re-makes and junk films. It's sad...

Dan Jeffs
Apple Valley (San Bernardino County)

Academy Awards?
By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
January 25, 2009

Hollywood seems compelled to shower itself with awards for superficial social issues and its shallow political agenda, with broad strokes, for contenders such as "Milk" for gay power, anti-Catholic "Doubt," scare environmentalism for kids in "Wall-E," posthumous political hate in "Frost/Nixon," the exploitation of India's poor in "Slumdog Millionaire," and the Boomer wish film, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Liberal progressives are said to be against preaching, so what is Hollywood about? Apparently narcissism, remakes, true stories, hyper-violence, special effects and anti-tradition preach movies is all they have left. Surely, great story-telling, real imagination and original thought are long lost -- maybe to global warming. Going to the movies simply isn't worth it anymore. Netflix is.

Author: Andrea Peyser
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
February 2009

Celebutards. A compound of celebrity, debutante, and retard, this blunt term describes lazy and egotistical stars with too much money, fame, leisure time, and media attention, but too little common sense or knowledge, who love to spout off on topics about which they have zero expertise.

An Obituary printed in the London Times...

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.


By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
December 17, 2008

Considering the miserable offerings put out there by Hollywood filmmakers over the last decade or so, and as the self-aggrandizing awards time rolls around again, the industry's name should be changed to "Hollyweird."

America the overindulgent
By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
October 8, 2008

America is experiencing nothing more than what happens to a society that trades self-control, common sense and personal responsibility for selfish interests, overindulgence and extremes. Add instant gratification, social aggression, political corruption, power and greed to the mix, and it becomes a volatile, toxic recipe for social, political and economic failure. There is no one and nothing to blame but ourselves for participating in the madness and allowing it to happen. Indeed, the party is now a hangover. It's time look in the mirror and get back to reality.


Washington is full of "think tanks," places that produce books and papers about particular policy questions. So what's different about the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation?

Free Congress Foundation is politically conservative, but it is more than that: it is also culturally conservative. Most think tanks talk about tax rates or the environment or welfare policy and occasionally we do also. But our main focus is on the Culture War. Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture? Or will we continue the long slide into the cultural and moral decay of political correctness? If we do, America, once the greatest nation on earth, will become no less than a third world country.

Give it a rest, Mr. Presidentp> By Lou Dobbs
June 13, 2007
Editor's note: Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on

Give it a rest, Mr. President

NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Bush is building his legacy, adding another unfortunate line of hollow bravado to his rhetorical repertoire. To "Mission accomplished," "Bring it on," "Wanted: Dead or alive," and of course, "I earned ... political capital, and now I intend to spend it," he has added "I'll see you at the bill signing," referring to his own ill-considered push for so-called comprehensive immigration reform legislation.


May 23, 2002

American Idol exacerbates social dilemma

America was already celebrity-obsessed before American Idol came along and shifted the hysteria into hyper-drive. And as if that wasn't enough enticement for people's hopes and aspirations to be famous, even for a limited time, television networks leaped into the lazy and shallow, high profit business of reality shows for people who seek fame for anything.


Los Angeles Times
May 26, 2007

Smoking on the big screen

Re: 'Smoking's sinful sensuality in movies' Meghan Daum 5-19-07

Meghan Daum's half-hearted attempt to defend smoking in movies for the sake of history in the art of movie-making doesn't address what is going on in real life. Indeed, in the end, she gives-in to the inevitability of surrender to the tyranny of anti-smoking zealots. ****

Major transformations are shaping political, economic and world events.


Herb Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers.


Following are letters published in the Victor Valley Daily Press: a letter debate between local residents and Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC:

March 2, 2007

Rants about Gore's Oscar denial of reality

When the Oscar went to "An Inconvenient Truth," I knew that the right-wingers would throw a fit even though none of them had actually seen the movie. However, even I was amazed at how quickly the Daily Press dedicated its Opinion page to the rants of those insisting that the whole thing was some kind of massive conspiracy by left-leaning Hollywood elitists to push the "myth" of global warming on an unsuspecting public and to blame President Bush for hurricanes and earthquakes.

These people don't want a reasoned debate on the issues. They refuse to even look at the sound and solid scientific evidence behind the warnings of the threat of global warming (over 1,000 American scientists signed a letter stating that climate changes we are currently seeing are not part of a natural cycle but largely the result of burning fossil fuels). All they offer is the same thing they usually offer - denial of reality and attacks on anyone providing facts that undermine what they believe.

And for the record, the last time Al Gore ran for president the American people elected him by over 500,000 votes. It was the Supreme Court, in a decision split down party lines, that made George W. Bush president and we have been suffering the consequences ever since.

Rick Benefield
Apple Valley


March 2, 2007

A Convenient Deception

Former Vice President Al Gore's self-aggrandizing academy reward documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is not only rife with lies regarding his so-called "moral issue" of global warming, it is simply further evidence of the entertainment industry's blatant moral relativism and their convenient deceptions and distortions of the truth.

The truth is, Al Gore is holding himself up as the savior of the world, while he and other "Lords of Liberalism," from the news media, the education establishment, and government are in fact waging a social, political and economic war of indoctrination to control our behavior and our lives. It is painfully clear that it's time to say, "No more!" to left-wing tyrants before it's too late save our American culture.

Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley


March 4, 2007

Gore just the narrator, not the perpetrator

The rant of Apple Valley resident Daniel B. Jeffs about the Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," was typical right-wing tactics; attack the messenger but do not acknowledge the message he brings. In this case, Jeffs decides Al Gore is the messenger, but Gore was just the narrator. The film crew, Gore and 400 scientists world-wide bring the message.

I suppose Jeffs thinks there is a debate about global warming. Ninety-nine per cent of scientists say it is here and one per cent say it is merely a weather cycle. This is a debate? Would it help Jeffs to know that the one per cent reside in this country and receive checks from oil companies? With air pollution staying at the same rate it is now New York City, Washington D.C. New Orleans, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle will be under water in a few decades.

The documentary won another Oscar for Original Song, "I Need to Wake Up" to global warming. They want Jeffs and others to wake up and smell the bacon; rise and shine, and get with the program. It is going to take a Manhattan Project in each of the world's industrialized countries to put the brakes on global warming.

Tom Freeman
Pinon Hills


Re: "Rants about Gore's Oscar denial of reality (Letters, March 2) and "Gore just the narrator, not the perpetrator" (March 4)

Rick Benefield's and Tom Freeman's letters defending Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" comes as no surprise, since they are obviously among millions of people who have simply accepted decades of left-wing propaganda as truth. Indeed, when the indoctrination comes from most of the education establishment, entertainment industry, news media and government, the infection is understandable. It is, however, surprising that they incessantly beat the drums of truth when they redundantly believe and teach that there is no truth.

Contrary to Mr. Benefield's assumption, prior to writing my letter of criticism, I did watch Al Gore's so-called documentary to see why the film industry crowd was so enamored by it. Considering the industry's closed society and disturbing roots of socialist political bias -- along with an ongoing decline in quality of product -- the Gore award came as no surprise to me.

Mr. Freeman's assertion that Gore was merely the narrator, not the messenger, is simple being naive about just how narcissistic and hypocritical Gore and other "limousine liberals" really are. To dismiss challenge, disagreement, criticism and common sense as conservative or right-wing rants is typical arrogance from the Left, wherein anyone who disagrees with them is evil, is nothing less than another tyranny of a radical mindset. And as for suggesting that we "wake up and smell the bacon," and to nuke "each of the world's industrialized countries to put the brakes on global warming" with "Manhattan Projects," Mr. Freeman's rant is a little frightening and crosses dangerous left-wing lines in their current war against fat people and their long term war against anything nuclear.

Mr. Benefield and Mr. Freeman, and other mindless Democrat and Republican fear merchants, seem to overlook the fact that growing numbers of mindful nonpartisan voters and other independent thinkers are deeply concerned about how much liberal progressives and the two-party system have steadily increased uncertainty about our national security, the cost of living and control of our lives. They should also understand that independent voters are increasing, that we decide most elections, that we are fed-up with politics as usual, and that when the majority -- regardless of their political persuasion -- is pushed so far that it really hurts, changes will certainly come. Hopefully, in this era of terrorism, it won't be too late...

Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley

Published in the Daily Press
February 13, 2007

The Freak Show of Anna Nicole Smith

It's a relief to see that our local newspaper, the Daily Press, has chosen not to cover the Anna Nicole Smith freak show that is consuming television news and other programming.

Re: Malaria: The Sting of Death
A historic opportunity
L.A. Times editorial
November 13, 2005

Spending $billions to combat malaria is almost meaningless unless mosquito-borne killer is controlled by DDT.

Re: Blame it on the boomers
by Gregory Rodriguez
and: Political switch hitters
by Jonathan Chait
Los Angeles Times Current
November 13, 2005

The boomer generation may be America's undoing

October 3, 2005 issue

Re: How Bush Blew it
By Evan Thomas
Newsweek September 19, 2005 issue
Katrina and the Blame Game

Founder's letter published in the Washington Times
July 7, 2005

How to help Africa

Rock concerts and President Bush's proposed $1.2 billion plan to fight malaria in Africa over the next five years are almost meaningless, not because the money is sure to be misspent, but because there has been, is and will be only one way to really combat and control the mosquito-borne killer: with DDT ("Live 8 concerts rock the globe for Africa," Page 1, Sunday).

Reject Environmentalism, Not DDT
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
By: Keith Lockitch
Keith Lockitch has a Ph.D. in physics, and he is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA.

February 4, 2005

While disgruntled left-wing Democrats (regressives calling themselves progressives), their unwitting choir -- and liberal elite journalists from what could now be called the "drystream media"