DEFENSIVE LEADERSHIP SUCKS

“Baby Trump” Ron DeSantis Implodes

Well, it was quite a weekend for our trusty Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. It began with a scathing report on 60 Minutes for all the nation to see. That’s what happens when you refuse to sit down for an interview with 60 Minutes. They just ask you a question at your press conference and demonstrate your all-encompassing defensiveness. According to CBS, DeSantis was handing out Covid shots and arranging shot locations as a payback to his campaign donors. He insists these things aren’t true, but the facts speak for themselves. Developers and a grocery store chain who gave more than $100,000 to his reelection super PAC were rewarded with Covid shots before the poor and people of color. Sadly, while he was denying and lying about one crisis another one was unfolding.

Florida produces tons of agriculture products. According to the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2017 Florida agricultural products generated $7.64 billion in revenue. The crops accounted for 77.0 percent of total cash receipts and the state’s agricultural output is second only to California. Major crops include citrus, sugarcane, tomatoes, peppers, cotton, watermelons, peanuts, snap beans, and potatoes. Timber is also an important agricultural commodity for Florida and because the land has been farmed for more than 200 years it needs to be treated with lots of fertilizer to realize significant returns on investments. Tons of nitrogen, phosphate and potash have been dumped on Florida’s land and lawns. The chemical runoffs eventually find their way to lakes, rivers, the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean.

Fertilizer companies came to Florida, built their plants and, because of EPA regulations, constructed large pools to hold their industrial waste. These were constructed far from neighborhoods, but now that Florida’s population has exploded into these areas people are living much too close to these toxic timebombs of waste. In 1966, Borden Chemical, a spin-off of Elsie the Cow’s milk company, built an industrial plant to process phosphate, a key ingredient in fertilizer. Even though the phosphate processing plant became inactive in 2001, the large INDUSTRIAL WASTE holding ponds remained and collected millions of gallons of rainfall, adding to the problem.

I’m not going to get too far into the weeds, but the weeds around the pool are going to get very wet because there is a hole in the radioactive gypsum molded pond and wastewater is leaking into the surrounding soil. The pool cannot be drained into a river because the lakes and bay get extremely sick from the chemical residue, which make algae grow amazingly fast. Too much of that low level plant life sucks all the oxygen out of the water and kills the fish. Oh, did I mention humans eat fish? This chemical imbalance causes a condition known as Red Tide, which produces algal blooms or large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms, such as protozoans and unicellular algae. It hit the west coast of Florida two years ago and killed hundreds of thousands of fish and hurt many businesses in the tourist and boating trades. If the sludge from the pool makes its way to the rivers and bay, no one will want to visit Florida to lay on a beach with dead fish.

I should say here that “hole” and “leaking” are simplified terms. It’s much worse than those words may lead you to believe. The gypsum wall of the pond is breached. Engineers have attempted to plug the hole with rocks, but that hasn’t been working. The concern now is the containment wall will collapse, unleashing a 20-foot wall of wastewater.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and MADE THE PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR HOMES! He could never bring himself to declaring a mask mandate, which would have saved thousands of lives, but with frightened people imagining polluted water pouring out of this man-made pond he acted swiftly. Many people have followed orders and left their homes, but others have refused to evacuate.

Florida now has an environmental crisis and a medical crisis at the same time. The people in charge were warned about the potential of a leak, and they did nothing. Should you want to say that Ronnie wasn’t the Governor back then, well, he was a state representative taking money from BIG FERTILIZER and he always voted in favor of them. The last major Florida Red Tide attack was in Lake Okeechobee, the state’s largest lake. DeSantis’ and former Governor Rick Scott’s solution was draining the polluted water into the Everglades. Beware, teenage mutant Ninja alligators are coming!

So, the solution to the current crisis is draining that large retaining pond, but where to put that sludgy water? When the leak was first detected, workers moved more than 22,000 gallons a minute out of the main retention pond and into a “drainage ditch” at nearby Port Manatee. But the sad truth about this kind of wastewater in Florida, sooner or later, it usually either ends up in the ocean or the gulf.

The engineers say it will take ten to twelve days to drain 380 million gallons into Tampa Bay, which prompted worries about the impact on marine life and another bout of Red Tide. Here we go again. What a mess. Just before we posted this article, the Florida Emergency team announced that they think there is more than one place where the wall of gypsum is leaking. This might get worse.

I cringe when a politician tries to convince us they know what they are doing by citing a “science person” who offers incorrect advice. With science, the more you know the more stupid your old ideas appear. We didn’t figure out that the Earth traveled around the sun until 1956. Okay, that was a joke. It was 1543 and the discovery was made by Nicky Copernicus. Why didn’t we know that fact sooner? Our egos led us to believe we were the center of the universe. We are not. Science and nature easily prove just how dense we are. Evidence of that? How about a global pandemic that has already killed 2.8 million human beings?

My greatest hope is this insane pandemic will teach us a major lesson. Our national healthcare system sucks and we need more doctors, more nurses and more hospitals. We also must make greater investments in research and science. I am NOT for the government taking over corporations, capitalism is the best motivation for most, but we must be ready next time. Not for me and those in my demographic but for our kids and grandkids. When people with no cars are forced to travel 25, 50 or 100 miles to get a Covid shot we are failing our own people. As for the state of Florida, maybe its citizens will learn that a defensive, argumentative and politically motivated governor is bad juju during health and environmental crises. DeSantis wastes most of his time defending himself. Maybe he should stop making bad decisions.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

I have always disliked two kinds of people. One is a person who relishes kicking a guy when he’s down and the other is a person who has inherited his affluence and power and misuses them to abuse people. I am not describing Donald John Trump, although he is guilty as charged, I am talking about the Representative of the Congressional 1st District of Florida, Matt Gaetz.

A while ago I suggested here that we should use the popular “cancel culture” to cast off young Matthew, but ultimately decided that was a foolish idea because it would probably give us another like Marjorie Taylor Greene. But let’s focus on Rep. Gaetz and who he is.

Gaetz was born in Hollywood, Florida in 1982, making him 38 years of age. He grew up in a house that was used in the film The Truman Show. As of 2018, his parents still lived in that Seaside, Florida house. A sign on their white picket fence reads, “the Truman house” but it has nothing to do with Harry Truman.

How did Matt get so powerful so fast? Well, that’s where his father Don Gaetz comes in. See, old Don was immensely powerful in Florida politics. He served in the Florida Legislature from 2006 to 2014 and during some of those years he was the President of the Florida Senate. Don sent his son to Florida State for a B.S. degree, then Matthew attended the College of William and Mary where he got a law degree.

Young Gaetz worked at a law firm in Fort Walton Beach, Florida which is near his home in Pensacola. His old man groomed him for the family business and Matt started his political career at age 25. He represented the 4th district in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016, when he was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he’s been reelected two times since.

Gaetz became a supreme Donald Trump fanboy. Documentaries have shown him calling Trump at all times of the night and day to give him pep talks, advice and major ego stroking. I’ve always viewed the Trump/Matt relationship as a father/son situation. Remember, Matt’s father’s name is Donald and, while I am not a shrink, I think Matthew’s desire and efforts to please the Donald would be a great topic for a psyche class term paper.

When US Representative Liz Cheney voted to impeach Donald Trump, Matt felt he needed to protect his father, ah, I mean, his “president.” Gaetz traveled to Wyoming to be part of an Anti-Liz Cheney event and a small part of my brain whispered, “He better be careful.” You see, Liz Cheney’s father is the Dick, as in Dick Cheney, who has a soft spot for his daughter and will protect her in all ways at every turn. Now here’s a quick backstory. Not only was Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s VP, but for years he ran the CIA and then worked for Haliburton. He’s the best example of a “deep state” you could find in America.

In a statement sent to Insider, Matt Gaetz’ office said that, “Over the past several weeks, my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.” Okay, so Mr. Gaetz confirmed the investigation but deflected to a claim of extortion. First, if he’s involved in some kind of sting operation why the hell is he talking about it?

Next, he’s going on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to explain things? I’ll get to Tucker, but let’s back up a bit. Matt Gaetz is no stranger to controversy. Remember that he wore a gasmask in Congress to poke fun at Covid-19. There have also been some ethics inquiries into him.

In June 2020, following an argument with then-Representative Cedric Richmond, Gaetz said he had been living with a 19-year-old immigrant from Cuba, Nestor Galbán, since Galbán was 12 and he considers Nestor to be his son. Later he clarified that Galbán is the brother of an ex-girlfriend and that Galbán spends time with his sister, with Gaetz’ family and with Gaetz. In 2017, Gaetz called Galbán “my helper.”

In December 2020, Gaetz announced his engagement to his girlfriend Ginger Luckey. She’s the sister of major Republican donor Palmer Luckey, who was the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company. So, punk, are you feeling lucky? December 2020 is also when the probe by the William Barr Department of Justice was opened into Gaetz, who allegedly had sex with a minor and engaged in sex-trafficking. He admitted on Tucker Carlson’s show that he flew a young lady to Washington.

Here’s another tidbit from USA Today. In late 2017 Gaetz was the only member of the House to vote against a bill allowing the Department of Transportation to assist in combating human trafficking. Gaetz argued that he was against expansion of the federal government, which seems like a lame reason to me.

Tucker & Gaetz

Now here’s where today’s news gets weird. According to the Washington Post, Gaetz said to Tucker Carlson, “You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her.” Matthew connected that friend to an ongoing Justice Department investigation saying that the woman had been “threatened by the FBI” and told “she could face trouble” if she didn’t confess to authorities that Gaetz was involved in a “pay-for-play scheme.” I don’t know how many FBI questioning sessions Mr. Gaetz is aware of, but generally the agents give you a standard warning that if you lie to an FBI agent it can be used against you in court.

Then, live on-air, Carlson took on an appearance of stunned astonishment and said, “I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly.” At the end of Matt’s appearance Carlson seemed to distance himself from the Gaetz tale by saying, “That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” Okay, Carlson didn’t want to be used, how rare for him.

Something is going on with Gaetz. He’s been alienated by many of the old guard Republicans in Congress, even though they won’t publicly admit it, and several news outlets are reporting that Gaetz has expressed doubts about seeking reelection in 2022. The word on the street is he’s considering a job at the conservative media outlet Newsmax, which would be a good landing if this investigation doesn’t lead to charges.

I live in Florida and have little to no respect for Matt Gaetz. He seems to be a pathological liar, just like his hero Trump, and I cannot understand why anyone would take him seriously. The problem with “made men” and what we used to call “lucky sperm” in business is that Daddy can protect for only so long and their assumed power can be taken away at any time, especially after making a big mistake. We need to know more about Gaetz’ relationship with Nestor Galbán and we certainly should hear from the 17 year-old young woman. I’m not out to cancel Matt Gaetz. I just want him to be honest and transparent, you know, like the glass house he lives in.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE REBIRTH OF TRUTH

Fake Bipartisanship or Real Possibilities?

Politics has always been a game within a game. Congresspeople constantly lie with no consequences other than being censured, thrown off committees, or shunned, all about equal to being sent to the timeout chair. Regardless of whatever turmoil and havoc they may reap, they cannot be sued. They may attempt to hide their lies by saying they are only “asking questions” or that their comments are protected by the First Amendment. Okay.

Then there’s real life with potential consequences for lying. When a person publicly lies about a company or a person and the accused is then harmed by the false information, especially if it affects their livelihood, they can seek damages in court. It was not surprising we learned of another lawsuit being filed against people who for weeks stated that the 2020 election was rigged and that two companies conspired to cause the election loss of Donald John Trump. Those lies hurt both of the businesses and they are not about to take the damaging lies lying down.

According to CNBC, Legal experts say that Dominion’s and Smartmatic’s defamation cases against Trump backers are credible. While the voting system makers have asked for billions of dollars in damages, those figures could change dramatically as the cases unfold. Both companies’ cases against Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell may prove more straightforward than Smartmatic’s suit against Fox News, which has claimed that it was just “covering the news,” but this morning another lawsuit was delivered to Fox News. See the Sydney Powell lawsuit here: gov.uscourts.dcd.225699.22.2-3

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing that, in an effort to boost faltering ratings, the cable news giant falsely claimed that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election. This was reported in a USA Today story.

The News Corporation is the company that owns Fox News, and I assume they will defend against the lawsuit by saying that Trump and his minions made a public claim that they were merely “covering the news” related to that. Sure, they may have reported on the more than fifty lawsuits that Trump and his campaign had lost challenging the results of the election, but the greater number of stories they ran on the voter fraud claim certainly exceeded the boundaries of fair and balanced coverage.

I suppose Fox could argue in court the difference between the “news” part of their channel and the “entertainment” or “opinion” hosts who anchor at night, but their overarching purpose is right there in their name, Fox News. They promote themselves as a news source and that implies professional journalistic traditions, reasonable sourcing and comprehensive investigating before airing allegations of fraud. I’m sure the Fox News lawyers had a bad day when they heard this next item reported by NBC News.

Ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s weekslong campaign to invalidate the results of the 2020 election was not based in fact, her lawyers said, “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” Here’s where I must make the obligatory statement that I am not an attorney, but I have played one on YouTube videos, and this sounds like total bullshit.

Should Ms. Powell echo this defense under oath, she is either saying that she was lying all along and knew she was lying, therefore, her words pulled a major news network into the fraud of saying there was a fraud, or she’s saying that the people owning, managing and running Fox News are so stupid they were easily manipulated into believing the lies. If Fox owned a licensed, over-the-air TV or radio station in the US, they could easily be challenged and made to relinquish their license to a more responsible broadcaster. Cable channels are not licensed so they face no such jeopardy.

It’s juries, judges and legal scholars, not politicians, who are piloting the rebirth of truth in America. We are watchful when a case goes to court, especially the highest court, but once the Supremes speak there is no further recourse. If all their lawsuits are won in court, the combined payout to Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic could amount to more than $5 billion. Fox News will surely settle out of court, but for Ms. Powell and Rudy Giuliani, judgements against them could mean bankruptcy and disbarment. Sydney Powell’s admission of continuously repeating a false claim means certain disbarment.

Some people see defending the Constitution and protecting the integrity of the election process in this country as a bipartisan cause, but that is not at all correct. By their actions of introducing and passing measures in state legislatures that can best be called voter suppression, it’s clear that Republicans are running scared. Because they lost so many contests, like the House, the Senate and the White House, they are trying to “fix” their election problems by making it harder for Democrats and older Black Americans to vote. In clear daylight, they are trying to turn off the lights by disenfranchising voters right and left.

Maybe Sydney and Rudy can just say they were hired guns and they believed what their client, Donald Trump, was telling them and we’ve covered that matter on these pages in the past. An attorney cannot knowingly lie in court, even if their client assures them it’s the truth. Whenever a lawyer admits to knowing they were lying, they’re in trouble. After the fiasco news conference when Ms. Powell lied about fraud within the voting machine companies without offering evidence of her claims, the Trump people put out a statement saying she was no longer “officially” on the Trump legal team but would be working independently. Okay, I’m not sure what that status means, but she never stopped with the lies.

Sydney Powel is finished as a lawyer. Exercising my First Amendment rights, I’ll add that she’s a damn shitty attorney and anti-American zealot with no moral grounding. Rudy Giuliani is a washed-up, blathering old fool with a misguided view of justice, the law and truth. The legal profession should expel them both and clean up the craft.

American Protest

Some people in this country believe that everything is rigged, but such misinformation can be slowly dissolved with sharp reporting presented with clarity and facts. Things change quickly, Andrew Cuomo was a kind of hero at the beginning of the pandemic, now he has been brought down to size by the truth. I don’t care what party he represents, he’s a pig and a liar, “Out, damn spot.”

Slowly but surely people are starting to realize that Donald Trump lied all the time and was instrumental in the loss of lives during the Capitol Hill insurrection. Today, Trump went on TV and said the people from his rally were met with open arms by the Capital Police force. No one pushed back to challenge him about the loss of life caused by the riots. If Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax fail to provide truthful journalism, they must pay a price.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


THEATER OF WAR & POLITICS

The Modus Operandi of the Mindless Robot

The games being played by Congress are getting more tired and worn. The gamesmanship is so obvious, and their approval rating continues to plunge. The use of the word “theater” or if you are in a blue state “theatre,” has been used dozens of times within the last week, a week that brought the violent deaths of eighteen people by an automatic weapon in the hands of a crazy person. Republicans use the term “theater” to describe the Democrats’ position on mask wearing and gun control. Why do the Republicans push back on ideas to keep us safer?

We’ve all heard the term theater of war, but where does it come from? In his book On War, Carl von Clausewitz defines the term Kriegstheater, which is old Latin for theatrum belli. Mr. von Clausewitz writes, “If the enemy’s forces are collected in one army upon one theatre of war, they constitute in reality a unity, and we need not inquire further; if they are upon one theatre of war, but in separate armies, which belong to different Powers, there is no longer absolute unity; there is, however, a sufficient interdependence.” And just like a theatrical stage play, there is always a protagonist and antagonist.

Theater of Guns & Politics

When Judiciary Committee Member Senator Ted Cruz complained about the Democrats bringing forth a discussion on gun control as the same “theater” they engage in after each mass shooting, he was the pot calling the kettle black. If the other side in the play is the protagonist, then Cruz must be the antagonist, meaning that he is solidly against gun control and believes there is nothing that can be done to solve the problem of mass shootings. In fact, he directly said gun control cannot stop mass shootings. So, there is the hill where he wishes to die.

Should more weaponry be a part of the next insurrection, perhaps that hill will be the fate of some representatives and senators. It’s been well established that people in Congress get millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA), and they are proud of the ratings they get from that lobbyist. Their votes against gun control have been purchased by Wayne LaPierre, an allegedly corrupt, self-serving administrator of the NRA slush fund.

In short, members give money to the NRA and Wayne spends the money however he likes. According to BradyUnited.org, Ted Cruz took only $176,274, but the list of recipients is a who’s who in the Republican force against gun control. Just take a look. Mitt Romney grabbed $13,647,676, Richard Burr (NC) snagged $6,987,380, Roy Blunt (MO) received $4,555,722, Thom Tillis (NC) netted $4,421,333, Cory Gardner (CO) snagged $3,939,199, Marco Rubio (FL) pocketed $3,303,355 and the list goes on.

If this is theater, then it’s a lavish production funded by the NRA, and gun control will never become a reality unless the money gets cut off. Gun acquisition loopholes are continually exploited and any local initiatives to curb America’s vast appetite for fire power is always shot down by state governments and federal courts. In 2018, the city of Boulder, Colorado passed a ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, but earlier this month, a state district court judge blocked the city from enforcing its ban. Just six days before an angry man entered a supermarket in Boulder and killed ten people, he bought an automatic weapon, but wait, that doesn’t matter.

The reason it doesn’t matter is because the alleged shooter is not from Boulder, he lives in a suburb of Denver some twenty miles away. Without a federal mandated ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, we will never succeed in this theater of war. Without a weapons turn-in program, we will never get the millions of assault weapons off the street. And here is another tidbit of truth for you, militant African Americans also do not want the government to take away their high-powered weapons. Wow, the radical members of Black Lives Matter and the white supremacist militias agree with Ted Cruz.

After a mass shooting and inaction by leaders, Black rapper Killer Mike tweeted this, “I told my kids on the school walkout, I love you, if you walkout that school, walkout my house…we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don’t agree with.” In other words, as long as the enemies of the African American community have guns, he wants people of color to be able to defend themselves.

Gun and ammunition sales skyrocketed when Obama was elected President. Paranoid conspiracy theorists believed that the first Black president would take away all their guns. Their opinion was illogical, but they fear any action to control the sale and use of firearms. The NRA has always been against a national registry of guns, and the organization has instituted so few safety policies and programs they have abandoned their original cause of rifle and gun safety.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Republicans like Josh Hawley, who took $1,391,548 from the NRA, suggest that Democrats are performing a theatrical routine to make people believe they care about gun safety, when many of them own guns and would never turn their backs on the Second Amendment. While that might be true, I have a suggestion.

Would it make sense to rewrite the Second Amendment and update it for today’s modern America? The words in the present text are, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but is that applicable to life in 2021?

First, what is this “militia” in the Second Amendment? Back then, the US was up against the well-trained and equipped army of the British government. The early American leaders didn’t want and couldn’t afford a full-time army, so the president would sometimes call on state leaders to form a local fighting team, a militia, to take on the latest uprising from either native populations or British funded Canadian troops who wanted to grab some land. Because only Congress had the power to declare and fund a war it was easier and faster for the “Commander in Chief” to make the locals do the work, and thanks to the Second Amendment, weapons were always available. The Second Amendment also says, “well regulated,” and I contend that President Donald John Trump had the power to call off the Capitol Hill insurrection just by saying STOP. If he had done so, and the rioters didn’t stop, they would be traitors and seditionists who could have been shot by the United States Army.

I believe this is the part of the Second Amendment that needs to be changed, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It should say, “the licensed right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There are many precedents. I need a license to drive, hunt, fish, sell real estate, use software, use a trademark, use a song, practice law, sell alcohol, fly a plane, practice medicine, import goods, export goods, build a house, run a pub, breed dogs, get married, operate a forklift and practice medicine, just to name a few. So, why not require a gun owner’s license that must be renewed at reasonable intervals? The states could write the End Users License Agreement, but the registration would be national.

So, pipe dream or good idea?

EVERYTHING WAS PREDICTED IN THE BOOK… PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON AND READ: 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

QAnon followers can pay twice the price.


HERE WE GO AGAIN

America’s Unsolvable Problem

 Why are so many of us killed by guns? First this fact, Americans own more than 393 million guns, ranking the US number one in firearms per capita. We have enough firearms for everyone, including children to own one of their own.

Our politicians haven’t done a thing to stop mass shootings. Is it too complex for them to figure out? There’s a United States of America law that protects the right of people to own guns, and some of those people guard their right with the lives of your friends, your kids and yourself.

Let’s start with a timeline since 2000:

Dec. 26, 2000 —Wakefield, Massachusetts

Michael McDermott, 42, shot and killed seven co-workers at Edgewater Technology using several weapons, including an AK-47.

March 12, 2005 —Brookefield, Wisconsin

Terry Ratzmann, 44, shot and killed seven members of the Living Church of God at a Sheraton hotel with a 9mm handgun before committing suicide.

March 21, 2005 —Red Lake, Minnesota

Jeffrey Weise, 16, shot and killed 10 people before turning the gun on himself, including his grandfather and a police officer, using several weapons, including a 12-gauge shotgun.

Jan. 30, 2006 —Goleta, California

Former postal worker Jennifer San Marco, 44, shot and killed seven people, including several former coworkers, and herself.

Oct. 2, 2006 —Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed five female students inside an Amish schoolhouse using several weapons before committing suicide.

Feb. 12, 2007 —Salt Lake City, Utah

Sulejman Talovic, 18, killed five people at Trolley Square Mall with two weapons before he was shot and killed by police.

April 16, 2007 —Blacksburg, Virginia

College student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech with two weapons before taking his own life.

Oct. 7, 2007 —Crandon, Wisconsin

Sheriff’s deputy Tyler Peterson, 20, shot and killed six people at a post-Homecoming party in an apartment before committing suicide. He used a semiautomatic rifle.

Dec. 5, 2007 —Omaha, Nebraska

Robert A. Hawkins killed eight people and himself using a semiautomatic rifle after entering the Westroads Mall.

Feb. 2, 2008 —Kirkwood, Missouri

Charles Lee Thornton, 52, entered a public city council meeting and shot and killed five people with two handguns before he was shot and killed by police.

Feb. 14, 2008 —Dekalb, Ilinois

Steven Kazmierczak, 27, shot and killed five people on the campus of Northern Illinois University with several semiautomatic weapons before killing himself.

June 25, 2008 —Henderson, Kentucky

Wesley Neal Higdon, 25, killed five people at Atlantis Plastics Factory with a semiautomatic weapon before taking his own life.

April 3, 2009 —Binghamton, New York

Jiverly Antares Wong, a 41-year-old naturalized American citizen from Vietnam, shot and killed 14 people at the American Civic Association with two weapons before killing himself.

August 3, 2010 — Manchester, Connecticut

Omar Thorton, 34, entered a warehouse owned by his former employer, Hartford Distributors, and shot and killed eight people with two semiautomatic weapons before committing suicide.

Sept. 6, 2011 —Carson City, Nevada

Eduardo Sencion, 32, opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in an IHOP restaurant, killing four people and himself.

July 20, 2012 —Aurora, Colorado

James Holmes, 25, shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” using several weapons, including a semiautomatic rifle.

Aug. 5, 2012 —Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Wade Michael Page, 40, killed four people with a semiautomatic weapon inside a Sikh temple before turning the gun on himself.

Dec. 14, 2012 —Newtown, Connecticut

Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother and 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.

March 13, 2013 —Herkimer, New York

Kurt Meyers, 64, killed four people at a car wash and barbershop with a shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.

Sept. 16, 2013 —Washington, D.C.

Aaron Alexis, 34, shot and killed 12 people inside the Washington Navy Yard with a 12-gauge shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.

June 7, 2013 —Santa Monica, California

John Zawahri, 23, opened fire in a home and later at the campus of Santa Monica College, killing five people with a semiautomatic rifle. He was killed during a shootout with police.

July 26, 2013 —Hialeah, Florida

Pedro Alberto Vargas, 42, shot and killed six people with a semiautomatic weapon in his apartment complex before setting fire to his own apartment. He was shot and killed by a SWAT team.

September 14, 2014— Bell, Florida

Don C. Spirit, 51, shot and killed his granddaughter and six grandchildren before turning the gun on himself.

May 17, 2015— Waco, Texas

Rival motorcycle gangs kill nine at a restaurant in Waco, Texas. There were over 170 arrests made after the incident.

June 17, 2015 — Charleston, S.C.

Dylann Roof, 21, walks into a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina and kills nine people.

Oct. 1, 2015—Roseburg, OR.

Christopher Harper-Mercer enters Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon opens fire and kills nine, wounding seven others before police shot him to death.

November 27, 2015— Colorado Springs, Colorado

Robert Lewis Dear storms in a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado and kills three people and wounding nine.

December 2, 2015— San Bernardino, California

A man and a woman walk into a holiday party both armed with assault weapons and kill 14 people and wounding 17 others.

June 12, 2016 — Orlando, Florida

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured 53 at Pulse – a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. President Barack Obama described the horrific event as an “act of terror and hate.”

October 1, 2017 — Las Vegas, Nevada

Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel during a country music concert located at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing more than 50 people and injuring about 200 others.

November 5, 2017 — Sutherland Springs, Texas

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26 entered First Baptist Church during in Sutherland Springs, Texas during service, killing at least 26 people and wounding at least 20.

February 14, 2018 — Parkland, Florida

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida walked into the school, and killed 17 students, according to federal officials before taken into police custody.

April 22, 2018 — Nashville, Tennessee

Travis Reinking, a 29-year-old man opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Nashville, killing four people and wounding two. An AR-15 rifle was found at the scene.

May 18, 1018 — Santa Fe, Texas

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into Santa Fe High School and opened fire, killing at least eight people including fellow students. According to Reuters, the male student entered the school around 8 a.m.

June 28, 2018. — Annapolis, Maryland

At least five people were killed at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Police and witnesses say the suspected gunman was taken into police custody around 5 p.m. EST.

August 26, 2018 — Jacksonville, Florida

David Katz, 24, was attending a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament and opened fire with two handguns, killing two, injuring 10, before turning the gun on himself.

October 27, 2018 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Robert D. Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue shouting anti-Semitic slurs, opened fire and killed 11 people using an AR-15-style assault rifle.

November 7, 2018 — Thousand Oaks, California

A man dressed in all black and carrying a handgun opened fire inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, a country and western dance hall located in Thousand Oaks, California, killing at least 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy who arrived at the scene to provide assistance.

February 15, 2019 — Aurora, Illinois

Gary Martin, a 45-year-old factory worker killed five people at the Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing plant in the suburbs of Chicago with a .40 caliber handgun. He was later killed by police in a shootout.

May 31, 2019 — Virginia Beach, Virginia

DeWayne Craddock, a 40-year-old civil engineer working for the Virginia Beach  Public Utilities Department, fatally killed 12 people. All but one of the people fatally killed were city workers. Craddock was shot and killed by police.

August 3, 2019 — El Paso, Texas

Patrick Crusius, 21, from Allen Texas used a rifle to shoot and kill 22 people at a Walmart located in El Paso, Texas before surrendering to police. Prior to the shooting rampage, Crusius wrote a manifesto that was found on the website 8Chan, warning Latino immigrants of danger. In documents found on 8Chan, Crusius said he was defending his country from “cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion” of Latino immigrants.

August 4, 2019 — Dayton, Ohio

A gunman, who was identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, killed nine people and injured 27 near Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio. Officials say the gunman was wearing body armor and used a .223-caliber rifle. The suspect was killed by police.

August 31, 2019 — Odessa, Midlad, Texas

A gunman, who was identified by police as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, was a stopped by police for a driving violation. He then fired at police officers, drove off and went on a shooting rampage, killing at least seven people and injuring 22. Officials say the recently fired gunman was shot and killed by police in front of a movie theater. Police say the gunman was using an AR-style weapon during the mass shooting.

Here is a list of all the mass shootings in 2020, which we didn’t really focus on because of Covid-19, but they are all real. READ HERE.

And that brings us to 2021, which you can see here, but let’s focus on these two for this post.

March 16, 2021 — Atlanta spa shootings

A series of mass shootings occurred at massage parlors in Atlanta and its suburb Acworth, about 30 miles away. Eight people were killed in the incidents and one person was wounded. A suspect was arrested in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta. Authorities said he told them he was planning to continue the spree in Florida.

March 22, 2021 — Boulder Colorado Grocery Store Shootings

10 people killed, including a Boulder police officer and one was injured.

When a shooter is killed by police, we can never know why they did what they did, you know, their motive, but the damage is done. That’s a long list up there. Why did I catalogue those events? Because I want you to think about something. According to the Washington Post, “Public mass shootings are a small slice of gun deaths with ’only‘ 23 deaths in 2021 so far, but in the same time period, we’ve had 4,101gun related deaths, which excludes the roughly 22,000 annual gun suicides, which are not publicly reported in real time.”

How do we define a “mass shooting?” Once again, this excellent Washington Post article explains, “There is no universally accepted definition of a public mass shooting, and this piece defines it narrowly. It looks at the 183 shootings in which four or more people were killed, usually by a lone shooter. It does not include shootings tied to robberies that went awry, and it does not include domestic shootings that took place exclusively in private homes. A broader definition would yield much higher numbers.”

Here we go again, the dance has already begun. We will send along the requisite “thoughts and prayers” and then we will quickly move on. We see these words in our own Constitution, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but we ignore the “well regulated” part. Why? Probably because it’s not clear how one would regulate a militia.

So, you ask, what’s a militia? You saw one in action at Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. That militia tried to overthrow the government. Do you think it was well regulated? How is it that 393 million guns are not controlled in any way by the US Government? Those guns do not secure a “free State,” they do nothing but create a less secure feeling among Americans. We have 72 million gunowners dictating the way 330 million people live.

Our government is incapable of changing the Second Amendment and we are impotent to cure a problem that affects and hurts millions of our citizens. Sorry, but Congress is useless, the President is powerless, and the Supreme Court is complicit. FACTS, just the facts, ma’am. Yeah, good luck thinking that any change will take place. It won’t. There is no plan to solve the problem.

EVERYTHING WAS PREDICTED IN THE BOOK… PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON AND READ: 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


SELFISH INSENSITIVE OR BOTH

Predicted by Politics?

The comedian-actor Timothy Alan Dick, known professionally as Tim Allen and sometimes known to me as a dick, is often not the smartest Allen wrench in the toolkit. When he got successful and didn’t agree with the government taxing half his salary, he became a conservative, or more accurately, a Republican.

As I studied both Republicans and Democrats over the years, the word ‘selfish” has come up many times. Here’s a story that pops into my head when I think of selfishness and try to understand how some people can be so downright insensitive. On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos were playing an Opening Day game where John McSherry was the home plate umpire. McSherry called a timeout seven pitches into the game, then he stumbled forward and collapsed. Resuscitative efforts were begun immediately on McSherry and he was taken to Cincinnati’s University Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. He was 51 years old. The story doesn’t end there.

Marge Schott, who was the rather colorful and outspoken owner of the Reds, supposedly said, “Snow this morning and now this. I don’t believe it. I feel cheated. This isn’t supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me.” Schott said she was concerned for the 50,000 fans who might be unable to attend a makeup game if that day’s game was postponed. Selfish? Yes. A veteran of the baseball game died of a massive heart attack on the field, but it was her party and she wanted it to continue.

Cincinnati’s name was derived from the German name “Zinzinnati,” and the city has a large Oktoberfest every year. Ms. Schott was banned from managing the Cincinnati Reds from 1996 through 1998 due to her statements supporting German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. Her disqualification came as no surprise to the many German descendants living in the city and Schott sold most of her shares in the team shortly after her suspension. Marge Schott’s maiden name was Unnewehr, and it’s ironic that she inherited the Cincinnati Reds when her husband died of a heart attack in 1968, just like umpire McSherry was taken down in 1996.

This research startled me. A recent CBS News poll found 34% of Republicans say they will not be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Independents aren’t too far behind, with 30% saying they will refuse the shots. Only 10% of Democrats say they’ll abstain. Republicans are the least likely to say “yes I will get the vaccine” or “I already got the vaccine” — 42% — compared to 46% of independents and 70% of Democrats. Why these vast differences?

I have a strong hunch that Donald Trump is lurking behind the numbers. He milked the position that “it’s only a bad flu” and “there’s nothing to worry about” so much that many of his party loyalists not only believe his crazy theories about light and bleach but they have never taken the pandemic seriously. Why should we have to postpone a baseball game just because someone died? Why should I have to get a shot? Someone else can do it. There are whackos who believe the government is using the shots to “track” people or think inoculation will change their DNA. It’s all crazy stuff. Most of them don’t realize that Trump and Melania got their shots back in January.

When we get a terrible headache, we don’t sit around and complain about it, we take an aspirin or pain killer. When someone breaks a leg, they get to the hospital as fast as they can unless they’re a Christian Scientist, which is a totally oxymoronic name for a religion. It’s selfish and insensitive for anyone not to do their part in defeating this virus. Why should political party affiliation have anything to do with it?

I’m not going to say that 66% of Republicans are good people and the remaining 34% are stupid, ignorant, self-serving bastards, but I could. I’m thinking about the jacket Melania Trump wore to see kids in cages at the border, “I really don’t care, do you?” I’ve come to the realization that if you don’t want to get the shot, fine. If you get Covid-19 and die, well, read the jacket, Jack.

Had Marge Schott been more thankful about all she had, perhaps she might have been more sensitive, but that wasn’t the case. On November 13, 1992, Cal Levy, a former marketing director for the Reds, stated in a deposition for Tim Sabo, a former employee who was suing the team, that he’d heard Schott refer to then-Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker as “million-dollar niggers.” Oops, we all know that lady karma eventually gets her say.

Schott was a long-time chain smoker and toward the end she suffered from health problems. In 2004 she had to be put on life support, a ventilator, and she died in the hospital on March 2, 2004 at the age of 75. I had to laugh when a satirical comedy website posted, “Trump campaign announces they have received endorsement from Marge Schott’s reanimated corpse!” Of course, had she been alive she certainly would have endorsed Trump.

There’s another deep irony here. Many thinking people with conservative leanings tell us that each person should have a right to accept or decline the COVID vaccine. They think it should come down to a person’s choice. While being so pro-choice on this health measure, they are the very ones who would like to deny women’s reproductive rights. They would rather decline a Covid shot and put older adults at risk than terminate a fetus. Great logic.

It’s all a matter of whether THEY want to take the risk for themselves and their families. If they don’t get the vaccine and then get sick, or if they infect their loved ones with the virus, they are not only prolonging this crisis but potentially killing those they should be protecting. It’s way more than selfish, it’s stupid and foolish.

But hey, if 34% of Republicans don’t want the vaccine, and still want Trump to be president, what possible argument could I make to convince them of their bad thinking? 81 million Americans voted for Joe Biden and he is now the president. I’m going with the majority on this one. I got both shots, and I will soon see my grandkids. If you refuse inoculation, why don’t you reserve a ventilator now? Think ahead. And please stop telling me coronavirus is a hoax. I guess you will get the shot only if someone dies right before the start of the game. It’s the game of life. Do your part or fuck off.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


IT WAS ONE YEAR AGO

They are going to make him look very bad

Tonight, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will address the nation on this historic moment in time. On March 11, 2020, we first faced the bleak reality that the novel coronavirus would be unavoidable for months to come, perhaps longer, and that action was needed prevent a thing named COVID-19 from taking our country down.

For nearly two months before that day, health and government officials had been sounding an alarm about the virus as it infected and killed thousands of people around the world. We knew it had moved from China to Italy, and then it struck America with Seattle having the first death.

Ex-President Donald Trump repeatedly downplayed the severity of the threat, telling people, “It will go away, just stay calm.” I could pepper this post with dozens of absurd statements and farfetched opinions the 45th President would go on to disseminate through Twitter, TV and the White House press room, but that isn’t necessary. Tonight, we’ll hear the new President’s speech and I am sure he will outline some of the fallacies and failures of the past year.

I have been writing a daily report on the pandemic and sending it to my friends and family for about 300 days. I started that project because I wanted them to know the extent of the coronavirus, but also to keep me up to date with statistics around the country. It has been a sobering task of love. On March 11, 2020, we had 372 cases of COVID-19 and only 12 deaths, but the experts knew it would get worse, much worse.

The next day, Thursday, March 12, the National Basketball League announced that game play would be suspended “until further notice.” The NBA took that action faced with concerns and uncertainties about the impact of the coronavirus on its games, its business and its extended family of players, coaches and fans. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver grasped the severity of this new pandemic before most. He also instituted what became known as a “bubble” in Orlando to finish the season and playoffs with extraordinarily little infection. The National Hockey League did the same. Smart thinking!

After downplaying the threat of the virus for days, President Trump made an Oval Office announcement on March 13, 2020, saying he would sharply restrict travel from Europe, but he never stopped it. He declared that the US would cut travel from 26 European nations, except the United Kingdom. The month-long restriction didn’t apply to US citizens and their families nor to green card holders. Trump said the US would monitor the situation and hinted that the restrictions might be lifted earlier. Earlier than what? We don’t know. Regardless, hundreds of thousands of people flew into the US without any tests for the virus. It was an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Over the next six months, the United Kingdom had a fast and dense spread of COVID-19. Just because people spoke English, didn’t make them immune to the virus.

When you watch coronavirus anniversary documentaries and news specials this week, prepare yourself for some extremely critical remarks about how our country handled the pandemic. It’s no secret that most of those assessments will land squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.

We can now better understand why Bob Woodward released the audio from his phone call with Trump where he admitted to knowing the seriousness of COVID. Woodward was doing what he could to save America from a reckless, unaware and incompetent leader. It worked. Step back from all the rhetoric, lies and stupid theories to see that Trump lost to Joe Biden by seven million votes because he thoroughly mishandled the pandemic. It wasn’t a fraudulent election, it was deceitful management of public safety that did him in. I’ll use the legal term “negligent” because that it was.

Etched into my brain is one of Donald Trump’s more idiotic statements, “If we keep the death toll under 100,000, we will have done an excellent job.” Excuse me, Mr. Trump, but there is no way that huge number of fatalities can be called “excellent.” I wonder how our loser-leader would characterize the more than 528,000 deaths today. The 2020 election can be seen as Trump asking for a mulligan regarding his handling of the pandemic. America soundly rejected him.

I can’t understand why the Republican Party wants anything to do with Donald Trump. He’s a loser. Reportedly, the former President sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican National Committee demanding they, his own party, stop using his image and name in their fundraising efforts. I thought he was going to lead the party. Politico reported that, “The Republican National Committee dismissed a cease-and-desist demand from former President Trump’s attorneys Monday…”  Their attorney went on to say, “The RNC has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.”

Oh boy, someone is using this as a teachable moment about the First Amendment for Donald Trump. It’s so rich and ironic! Trump can’t stop anyone from using his likeness. He relinquished that right when he became the president. There is no way he could prove that the RNC’s use of his picture could cause him any more harm than what he has already inflicted upon himself.

The news networks love sticking it to Trump. After five years of being called the “enemy of the people,” the free press has every right to extract their pound of flesh, wait, make that fifty pounds of fatso-flesh; there’s plenty to go around. Sadly, there’s no compensation for the more than 500,000 families who lost a loved one.

Trump could heal the nation right now by admitting that he lost the election and that it wasn’t rigged. He could sell that fact that there was no widespread fraud, and that Joe Biden is the rightful president. He could urge people to wear a mask until they get the shot and urge his followers to get vaccinated, just like he and his wife secretly did. He won’t do any of that because he doesn’t give a shit about America. Speaking of which, Donald John Trump’s value as a human being is basically that of a dried-up elephant turd. Should I think of something harsher, I’ll share.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THEORIES ON CONSPIRACIES

Classic Approach to Truth When Facts Are Missing

There is nothing wrong with being curious, but before getting to the truth of a matter several levels of information must be explored. The first is general knowledge, the well-known surface information. Next comes what I call the mushy part of the truth sandwich. These are the little details, typically captured in our long-term memories then glued together to form a more detailed understanding. Finally, we apply healthy doses of examination and research to drill down to a molecular level where the atomic details of an event can be clearly seen. This brings us to the truth of the matter.

Lacking specific details and knowledge we often employ a process called interpolation to fill in the blanks. One example is motion-compensation frame interpolation (MCFI) in video editing to make animation more fluid or to increase or decrease motion. When frames are missing, software inserts faux frames to “guesstimate” what happened between each of the available frames. A great example of this is footage from the security camera at the Pentagon that captured the airplane crash there on 9-11. The jet was moving at a fast rate of speed and the camera was capturing only intermittent images resulting in a herky-jerky video that had precious little detail.

When newly minted QAnon House Representative of Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene said that there was no proof that a plane hit the Pentagon, she should have said, “I didn’t see a plane hit the Pentagon.” To say a plane didn’t do the damage would require examination of the crash site at a molecular level to determine no pieces of a plane were there. Forensic crash experts know a plane was involved, but a blurry video has led to the birth of a conspiracy theory. We can’t see the coronavirus with our naked eyes, so some can and do believe it’s a hoax. To be clear, investigators did find a large section of the landing gear and the flight recorder in the building after the crash.

Mohamed Atta

It’s human nature to use an initial burst of information to formulate a concept of the matter. As explained above, this typically leads to a very incomplete picture, but millions of rabid and engaged Twitter followers can easily morph bullshit into truth. Here an example from my own life that might shed some more light on this dark concept of theories. My brother used to live in Vero Beach, Florida and he worked out at a gym there. When pictures were released of the men who flew the planes into the World Trade Buildings, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, he immediately recognized several of the hijackers as men he regularly saw at his gym. He remembered saying to himself, “Why are those skinny Italian guys trying to get into shape?” I always thought the hijackers studied aviation and lived on the east coast of Florida. Just yesterday, I learned that is incorrect.

Commercial pilot wannabees are often drawn to Florida, where we have at least 250 flight training schools. Mohamed Atta was the mastermind behind the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. It was Atta who flew the first plane into the World Trade building. Atta entered the United States on June 3, 2000, and he and a cohort enrolled at flight school in Venice, Florida. Wow, I didn’t know that, and I live there!

The Venice Municipal Airport is a small operation. Once used in World War II for the Air Force, it’s now a local facility for non-commercial planes — mostly the kind of single and twin-engine types that weekend pilots fly for fun. Now it’s true that some of the 9-11 hijackers did train in Palm County on the east side of state, but I didn’t realize my sleepy town had anything to do with that tragic day.

Most of us now accept there was an attempt to overturn the results of a fair and accurate United States presidential election. Many have dubbed what Trump tried to pull off as “the big lie.” Where did that phrase originate? Well, you can find the answer on the internet. The term was coined by Adolf Hitler and used in his 1925 book Mein Kampf. He used it to describe the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Do you see how that fits into the hardcore followers of Trump believing the election was stolen and thus the slogan “Stop the Steal?” It’s almost like Trump evaluated the potential of his lies by using the “Adolph Test.” If it was too outrageous to be believed, then Trump would launch the lie.

Drilling down to the molecular level, Trump lost the election by seven million votes. The election was not stolen. The plain truth is that many of the states where Trump lost the Electoral College votes usually vote Republican. It might be unfair to link Donald Trump’s big lie with the Hitler’s big lie that Germany lost World War I because of the Jews but think about it. Donald Trump’s big lie killed people.

The big lie that Covid-19 was not a crisis and would simply go away killed Americans. It was a lie, Trump knew it was a lie, but he said it anyway. He said the election was stolen from him and he won it by a “landslide.” Totally unbelievable, yet tens of thousands of his supporters came to Washington, attacked the Capitol and people died as a result. It wasn’t quite Hitler’s Operation Hummingbird, when the Nazi secret police killed as many as a thousand of Hitler’s political rivals, but it’s right out of that playbook.

Trump lost the election because everyone has been seriously affected by the global pandemic and most who voted against him believed that Joe Biden, the guy who was “hiding in his basement” and was always wearing a mask, would do a better job. Both Hitler and Trump failed to understand that some people will give you undying faith based on a lie, but they don’t want to die.

The lies, fantasies and conspiracy theories of QAnon and the Trump base, are too unbelievable to believe. Did the CIA and FBI fail us on 9-11? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the attack was planned by the US government. Are Democrats going to do more to help people of color and build a stronger middle class? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they eat babies. The more I think, the more details of Trump’s life I remember. Many nights while lying in bed with his first wife, Donald John Trump read Adolf Hitler’s speeches. We know this because his ex told us. Why would Ivana Marie Trump, an eastern European by birth, lie to us about that?

One might speculate that Ivana and Trump’s current wife, Melania, also from eastern Europe, are spies planted to corral him, control his mind and direct him in a long-term plan of serving the Russia oligarchs. On the other hand, maybe those speeches by the Führer penetrated his brain and he wanted to be like his hero. Come on now, it’s just a theory based on extraordinarily little evidence, but, hey, it’s a classic component of effective storytelling — the more fantastic and quotable, the better.

A theory too unbelievable to be true will be repeated more often than something that gets the response, “I knew that.” When I am presented with additional facts, I am open to understanding a different truth, but after all the election lawsuits and in-depth investigation I lean to the “big lie” being exactly that. I do wonder about Rudy Giuliani. He was there for 9-11, so is he part of that conspiracy as well? He was an early arrival at the crime scene. Irony here, readers, pure irony.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


THE ARCANE TOOL OF IMPEACHMENT

Time to Wake up & Go Back to Sleep

I have found this impeachment process to be silly and unworkable. If the Founding Fathers ever thought they needed to get rid of a President, they would have just challenged the man to a duel and ended his problematic behavior. That is how Aaron Burr canceled Alexander Hamilton. Burr was a known traitor who was never convicted of either trying to steal land in Louisiana from our government or killing Hamilton. Death by dueling was not a crime in New Jersey at the time and no one could ever prove that Burr intended to hurt his country. Now we have the fate of Donald Trump laid upon the table. Sadly, it was predictable.

For all the nit picking done on both sides of Trump’s trial in Washington last week, the true goal, as stated by Mr. Trump’s wonky defense team, was preventing him from ever becoming President again. It’s a good goal, but perhaps a better one would be finding a way to prevent the return of his mob. It’s unreasonable to think that eliminating the Donald from political life will change the minds of his rabid fans. Trump may support their hate, hyper Nationalism, anti-Semitism, Neo-Nazi values, homophobia, xenophobia, misogynistic beliefs and white supremacist dogma, but their actions are all on them.

We can blame Trump for a lot of things, but they’ll all probably be wrapped up into a big, smelly bag of impeachment shit and ignored. He lied more than 30,000 times in five years, so what is the punishment for that? He stood by as his horrible immigration policies ripped families apart at the border, and he gets a pass for that? He gave rich people more money, ignored poor people and blocked growth for middle class Americans. Most importantly, he never took a stand against harmful domestic terrorists, and that led to the Capitol Hill riot. He’s guilty of inciting the insurrection, but that’s okay with Republicans because they would rather acquit the sinner than risk the loss of his base. Just like Trump wanted, they opened their states early and as the COVID killed people they chalked it up to the “cost of doing business.” Hey, the truth hurts.

So, what have we learned? Well, elections matter and saying that an election was fraudulent or rigged when it wasn’t is treasonous behavior. Trump said whatever he wanted, listened to no one else and cannot fall back on the Ronald Reagan excuse of not being aware of what others were doing around him. The Iran-Contra scandal taught us that a President can “forget” what he knows, lie about facts and insolate himself from any blame no matter how bad the crime. Trump can’t use that excuse, however, because we know the bad and harmful ideas were either his or had his strong endorsement. He’s proud of breaking the law, and to this day believes he’s smarter than everyone and untouchable — Teflon Don.

Donald’s niece, Mary L. Trump, said in her fantastic book that Trump will never run for office again. Let’s hope she’s right, because the man’s oversized prostate of an ego might lead him to take the risk. Think about what could happen if he lost another election. Why put our country through the potential of another uprising? Besides that, why would the Republican Party want a loser to lead their party? Trump’s former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley soundly threw her former boss under the bus, “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture [2024 Election] I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.” She’s absolutely right, but how long will it take the Trump sycophants to figure it out? Are they so removed from reality that they can never progress to a common wisdom?

The impeachment article was focused on the insurrection itself and some say the President’s lack of response after the Capitol building was breached cannot be included as part of the charge. The incitement of the riot, however, is surely a crime and should be examined by a civil court at some time. And we must not focus on the riot only. Much else happened over the last four years. Trump executed many actions that slowly but surely tore holes in the fabric of our democracy. To disregard the sum of all the damage done would be a severe disservice to this country. If we all allow Trump’s trail of treason to be forgotten, then we are all to blame as well.

Should you feel depressed that Donald Trump wasn’t held accountable by the Senate, take heart in what the New York Times published on the final day of the trial, “If this was a conspiracy, Trump was the leader,” said Jonathan Zucker, the lawyer for Dominic Pezzola who is a member of the far-right Proud Boys group and charged with obstructing police officers guarding the Capitol. “He [Trump] was the one calling the shots.” If Mr. Trump was, in anyway, part of the conspiracy, he too may have to face federal charges in this matter. In other words, this isn’t done yet.

Donald Trump has no place in the ongoing American story. Any thinking person should realize that he knows more than he and his attorneys admit and he had been planning not to leave office no matter the results of the election. He’s the spoiled kid who screams and rants until his parent’s cave in just to shut the little monster up. Did the Republicans refusal to convict Trump enable future bad behavior from him and his gang? I hope that isn’t true; we’ll have to wait and see.

Is Donald John Trump the victim he likes to portray himself or is he an exploitation trickster? His martyr syndrome seems out of synch with a guy who was gifted a multi-million-dollar fortune when he was ten years old. He’s never had to work a day in his life and, according to Tony Schwartz, his ghost writer on the Art of the Deal, Trump never worked much at all. He just sat at his desk, made phone calls, lunched, played golf and toured projects, but it was all his minions that did the dirty work. That’s pretty much what he did during his time in the White House too.

Ready To Testify

He hired lawyers like Michael Cohen to pressure people so he would never have to get close to the dirt. He used another large team of lawyers to pound his enemies with litigations. Trump and his organization have been involved in 3,500 lawsuits, being the plaintiffs in 1,900 and the defendants in 1,450 legal actions. They were also on the losing end of 150 bankruptcy cases. On top of all that, Trump was personally named in at least 169 suits in federal court. The Donald is one vindictive son-of-a-bitch and obviously a lawsuit magnet.

We now sit and wait to see what happens next. Will Trump announce his campaign for President for the 2024 Election? Will he buy full page newspaper ads to celebrate his victory and denounce the “deep state” that was always out to get him? Will he continue to claim he won the 2020 Election by a landslide and that it was stolen from him? Will Susan Collins come out and say that Donald Trump has learned his lesson? Sheesh, I hope not.

According to CNBC, “Minutes after voting ‘not guilty’ in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the former president is clearly to blame for the deadly Capitol riot. There’s no question that Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”  McConnell endorsed the view that “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office.” And the minority leader added, “He didn’t get away with anything, yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being [held] accountable by either one.”

New charges are probably on the way. The end of the impeachment trial is the beginning of deep investigations that uncover more and greater evidence of this man’s deceit and depravity. I’m almost certain he will be charged, but let’s not be certain that he will go to jail. It’s a sad reality that there are different laws for rich people.

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How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


THE PROSECUTION RESTS

Worst Case of Disregard by a Party

If you have been watching the second Impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, you must realize by now the flaw in this whole matter before us. The Democratic House Impeachment Managers have done a terrific job demonstrating that a mob of far-right neo-Nazi, white supremacists and braindead militia attacked the Capitol Building and killed people, but they have failed to convince the sycophants in the Senate that Donald Trump had anything to do with it. Why?

You see, this is not a matter of truth and facts, but that may be appropriate because Donald Trump has never been honest with the American public. I would go so far as to claim Trump isn’t even trustworthy with himself. That advances a premise that the Donald suffers from not only dual personality but schizophrenia. I am suggesting the former president has a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown between thought, emotion and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions, improper feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships and mental fragmentation resulting in extreme fantasy and delusion.

The big mystery to me is how could seemingly intelligent people in Congress not see this glaring disorder or disease? It could be they have been sucked into a “power guy syndrome.” An alcoholic doesn’t see that his drinking buddy is a drunk, he sees him as a friend. But I get it, they don’t want to piss off Trump who holds all that power they give him. They are literally letting Trump control them, and somehow, they see that as a positive.

The moderates in the Senate who would like to see Trump go away forever so they can get to the job of repairing their party, can’t muster the courage of voting for conviction and disqualification. If they were smart, they would encourage the Spartacus procedure. Remember when his troops were confronted with a demand to turn Spartacus over to the enemy, all the soldiers exclaimed, “I am Spartacus!” thus protecting their leader. If the Republicans wanted to camouflage those who would be hurt by a vote against Trump, they could all vote to convict and take pressure off specific members, but they won’t. They don’t have the courage to do what is right. They are puppets of party loyalty who are incapable of delivering justice to this horrible man.

Trump’s lawyers were given a direction and a big pep talk last night by far-right radicals in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Where in American justice do the jurors ever have a meeting with the defense to help them convince their jury to get an acquittal? Of course, we’ve been told many times that this is not a real trial, as the process veers further and further away from true American courtroom justice, I’m starting to see the wisdom in an off the cuff remark by one of Trump’s lawyers. Maybe it’s time to move the adjudication of this crime to a criminal court. Let’s make Trump defend himself along with the insurrectionists he gathered and directed. I’m sure things would go much differently.

We have seen many court cases on TV and in real life where two of more people have been charged with a crime and each says one of the others made them do it. Yes, it’s common for a defendant to argue that they were under the mystical spell of another who made them cheat, steal or even, murder. The good news is we can handle that situation. We usually give one of the defendants immunity in exchange for their testimony against the person the prosecutor believes was the ringleader. Unfortunately, that falls short of imposing proper punishment over all who share responsibility.

Had the same evidence that was presented in this Trump impeachment trial number two been presented in a criminal proceeding, Trump would have already been convicted and waiting for the pronouncement of sentence. Most experts believe that one who incited an insurrection could get a one-year jail sentence which would, at best, be embarrassing for Trump.

Far too many times in the last 14 months we have been told that impeachment is a political process, not a legal action. Why it is that? Why should impeachment be relegated to political theater? It would seem to me that a sentence of disqualification from holding any future office makes the process profoundly serious, but the partisan insanity downgrades it. I have lived through three impeachment trials now, and I have a suggestion. Why not first convict — in a court of law — the president of his crime and then hold a vote on disqualification in the Senate? Who would want a convicted felon in the White House?

My idea would require changing the Constitution to detail all the possible actions a president or vice president could engage in that would be considered criminal. This would eliminate the scenario of a president telling us that making a shakedown call to a principal of another country is “perfect.” Why not simply spell out that it’s not? Yes, I am suggesting that we need the details of every possible criminal act to be defined as illegal and applied when the need to remove a bad person from office becomes necessary. If the act of a president inciting a riot and attack on the US Capitol is a crime, spell it out then arrest the guilty son-of-a-bitch!

Man Behind Bullet Proof Glass

We already have a solid legal structure in place to do deal with criminal infractions, and if the President of the United States is not above the law, now is the time to prove it. One might argue my idea doesn’t account for a deeply corrupt and partisan magistrate who wants to remove a president, but that is precisely what we have now. There are presently 17 Republicans lacking the guts and moral fortitude to convict “their” president. It’s a miscarriage of justice. When those sycophants acquit Trump, again, the “real courts” will have to deal with his fraud and criminal behavior. Justice delayed, for sure.

This is an extreme case of disregard by a political party that we all must remember. There is already discussion about starting a new Republican party without Trump, but any astute political mind will remind us that a third-party is always the kiss of death. That tactic usually splinters the vote and delivers a victory to the other guy. Just look back to what Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose did to the run by the incumbent, President Taft. Remember what happened in 1992 when Ross Perot ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate but siphoned off enough votes to help Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush.

Much will be written about impeachment part two against Trump, but there are not enough words to solve the problem of division and political polarization in our country. He has been nothing but bad for America. A true crisis is the fact that months after he was soundly defeated in the 2020 Election, we must still deal with him daily. The sooner we can stop talking about Donald John Trump the faster we can begin healing our nation. Until he goes away, he remains a cancer on democracy.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.