Michael R. Shannon

Michael R. Shannon is a Virginia-based public relations and media consultant with MANDATE: Message, Media & Public Relations who has worked in over 75 elections on three continents and a handful of islands. Michael’s columns have appeared on his own News & Messenger site and AmericaSpeakOn. The Tampa Trib has published some of his columns, as has Black Velvet Bruce Li. He was an editorial writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and has been in politics and journalism since 1972. As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations. During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. You can reach Michael at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also read more on his blog, "The Whole Shebang (mostly)" at http://michaelshannon.wordpress.com/. Look for Michael's Book, "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times: (Now With Added Humor!)"

Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
One of the methods Egypt’s former strongman, Hosni Mubarak, employed to stay in power — aside from torture, summary executions and de-friending on Facebook — was denying the opposition access to the ballot. If you were a threat to either win the election or allow voters to express dissatisfaction with the regime, your name was not listed.

Often Egyptian elections presented voters with a choice of Mubarak or leaving the ballot blank.

Right now I’m trying to decide if there is a difference between Mubarak’s ballot strategy and our domestic redistricting where legislative and Congressional districts are drawn to protect incumbents and make it almost impossible for a challenger to win.

It’s hardly a “free and fair election” when the outcome is predetermined by the lines drawn in smoke–free backrooms. Instead, most voters are presented with a choice between a candidate running in a district custom designed for him or voting for an alternative who’s unknown, unloved and unable to win.

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
I really don’t understand how DC commuters continue to resist the allure of mass transit. There’s the serene quiet found as you stand at the base of one of Metro’s frozen escalators and gaze in wonder at the glimpse of daylight far in the distance.

The tactile sense of community that exists on the Red and Orange lines during rush hours. And now, the system has announced the highest Metro crime rate in history, which takes some doing.

Crime rates are down in Washington, DC and Fairfax County, VA yet Metro, which operates in both, has seen its crime rate skyrocket 12 percent in 2010. Serious crime incidents last year totaled 2,279, a 58 percent increase over the previous high of 1,440 in 2006.

The largest jump came in aggravated assault and robberies where smartphones, and other personal electronics, are snatched by a thief who then runs out the train’s door.

Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
Last week a man who personally performed or supervised 75,000 abortions - including two on his own girlfriends - died. He helped found NARAL, the most largest abortion lobby in the US. And before a 'progressive' Supreme Court legalized infanticide, he used loopholes and subterfuge to perform abortions that were marginally legal.

Yet he departed this world redeemed because - like John Newton in the 19th Century - Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson repudiated his participation in the greatest moral evil of his age.

Newton was a former slave ship captain who ferried human cargo. On a typical voyage 15 percent of the slaves died and the rest were essentially dead to the moral sensibilities of their fellow man. Newton found Christ in the depths of his depravity and later wrote, 'Amazing Grace.'

Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
Fresh off his success destabilizing the government in Egypt, President Obama is now taking aim at domestic tyrants - beginning with Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

This time, rather than help the Muslim Brotherhood assume power for the first time, Obama is desperately trying to keep public employee unions - call it the Collective Brotherhood - in power.

Why? Unions spent $400 million dollars electing Obama in 2008, and although Barack does not appear to comprehend the damage crippling deficits do to the nation, he’s well aware of what a $400 million dollar hole will do to his re–election budget.

For his part, Gov. Walker is not exactly holed up in an undisclosed location with a junta of military cronies attempting to cut the power to Al–Jazeera. Last November Wisconsin voters elected Walker in a near landslide and threw Democrats out of power in both the state Senate and House.

Monday, 21 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon

Recent events prove if your travel plans include countries where government is both unstable and hostile to the USA, your chances of escaping a long prison term are much better if you work for Google, than if you work for Obama.

Cases in point: in Egypt, Wael Ghonim - Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa — was seized by Egyptian secret police on January 28th and accused of being instrumental in the protests seeking to overthrow the government.

On the very same day in Pakistan; US Embassy employee Raymond Davis was attacked by two bandits. Davis shot in self–defense and killed both robbers, but was arrested and charged with murder by Pakistani police.

Davis is not your average gun–toting tourist. He travels with a diplomatic passport that should give him immunity from prosecution, regardless of the charge. Ghonim has no such advantage.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon

Out–of–touch politicians with short memories are not confined to the Washington, D.C. Zip codes.

For example, Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly managed to destroy whatever credibility they had in the national healthcare debate when the House of Delegates forced a health insurance mandate on Virginia businesses that wasn’t even included in the egregious, bloated Obamacare.

As an added bonus, they may have started chipping away at the relationship forged with the Tea Party during the last election.

The Republican–controlled (!) House approved a bill forcing health insurance companies to cover educational expenses associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder for children between 2 and 6 years old.


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