IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

We all remember that poignant phrase from the O.J. Simpson murder trial when his lawyer Johnny Cochran said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” It could very well be that single line produced enough reasonable doubt to get O.J. off the hook.

The opening of the Britannica Encyclopedia article on the O.J. Simpson trial says, “…criminal trial of former college and professional gridiron football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. It was one of the most notorious criminal trials in American history.” It was the TV coverage that made it so intense.

The televised Simpson trial propelled one cable channel to the top of the ratings pile. It drew a massive audience to Court TV, which Time Warner renamed truTV in 2008. For years, the channel has been struggling with rebranding, trying to dissolve their courtroom image by adding more comedy and sports programming. That aside, the appeal of live courtroom coverage has never faded, especially when a compelling case is before the cameras.

Casey Anthony

According to History.com, “In 2008, the world was captivated by the bizarre behavior displayed by Casey Anthony. The then-22-year-old single mother from Orlando, Florida, was revealed to have spun a web of lies to cover up for the disappearance of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, that summer; the Facebook photos of her partying around town and a dearth of emotion in interviews fueling the charges of first-degree murder before Caylee’s body was discovered later that year.” Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez masterfully planted enough doubt in the jurors’ minds during the trial to get an acquittal. It was said there were too many unknowns, and the Facebook pictures of Ms. Anthony’s partying after her daughter was missing proved only that she was a bad mother and not a murderer. Really?

We are now in the middle of another court case being broadcast on cable TV and some Americans are mesmerized while others are repulsed. I try to avoid this TV coverage for two reasons. First, the regurgitation of the facts in the case makes me sad, angry and depressed. To repeatedly see the video of a police officer murdering a man by kneeling on his neck makes me sick. George Floyd was held down by three men face first on a Minneapolis street, and there is no US law stating that attempting to pass a counterfeit 20-dollar bill should net the perpetrator immediate execution with no trial or due process.

My second reason for avoiding the trial coverage is anger at the defense attorneys accusatory tactics and disparagements of the dead man. I know they have a job to do but that doesn’t mean I have to watch them at work. The defense has presented a theory that George Floyd died of an overdose or a heart attack induced by drugs and that contact by Officer Derek Chauvin was incidental and had little to do with the man’s demise. C’mon, we have ample proof of what happened.

Videos from bystanders, security cameras and cops alike show what happened leading up to the event, what happened outside the Cup Foods store and George Floyd’s death which took place in the street. In many ways all of us who have seen the videos are witnesses to the crime.

The release of video footage shot by a young man on the scene triggered nothing less than a worldwide response to oppression, police and government abuses and general condemnation of such incredibly brutal law enforcement. This trial has moved beyond Mr. Floyd’s murder. It’s now asking if cops have the right to kill another for any offense.

There are strong feelings in support of policework, particularly among those who have one or more family members working in law enforcement. In 2019, there were 697,195 full-time law enforcement officers employed in the United States. Various security forces and hired protection agencies are part of the more than one million people employed in United States police business, and that number does not include jail and prison corrections officers.

We should always respect the police and hope that when we need them, they arrive in time to serve and protect us. Their jobs carry a huge risk to limb and life. As we have been hearing, a cop is sometimes judged not by his body of work but rather by a single mistake they may have made along the way. That’s a tough burden to carry in any career. Many police officers and detectives retire each year without any blemish or controversial case, some even get medals for their outstanding body of work but, as the common statement goes, there are a few bad apples.

Visual Indifference Points

If convicted, Derek Chauvin will look back on the videos of him kneeing on George Floyd’s neck, cutting off the blood and oxygen supplies to the man’s brain until he died.  I wonder how many jurors will remember the look of indifference on Chauvin’s face as the testimony unfolded. What a blasé appearance, hand in the pocket and the sunglasses perched on his head as if he was hanging out with the guys at a game. It appeared to be just another day at the office for Mr. Chauvin.

I am most disturbed by the testimony of the woman who approached Officer Chauvin and identified herself as an EMT worker from Minneapolis. She asked the police to check Mr. Floyd’s pulse. A simple request really, but she was told to get back on the sidewalk. In a sense, Derek Chauvin said, “Mind your own fucking business.” She did what she was told and returned to the sidewalk, but she didn’t leave the scene. Her public duty to witness what happened was important to her. Speaking up in a court of law was paramount to her. She had no indifference, only concern.

I don’t know if a buzz word or memorable phrase will come out of this trial, but we already have those three piercing words, “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd wasn’t the first to gasp those words, but hopefully he will be the last. We give the police guns and they use them. We give the police tasers and they use them. When did we give police the right to smother, choke and strangle another human being?

Even if you don’t kill the person, if you strangle or attempt to suffocate another human, you can be charged and if convicted, punished with up 5 years imprisonment. So, any cop who uses a stranglehold on another, cuts off air to their windpipe or blood to their brain is guilty of a crime. If they kill the person, they are guilty of murder. If only we had video proof — oh wait, we do.

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.


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.


GEORGIA ON MY MIND

The Party Puppet: Brian Kemp

I have read all 98 pages of the new Georgia Law with the hefty title of “Election Integrity Act of 2021.” When words like “Integrity” or “Affordable” appear in the title of a law, one might be tempted to ask if that’s true. Today we’ll look at some of the fuss around this new Georgia voting law that one side calls a good move and the other side decries as the return of “Jim Crow” laws.

Let’s start with the bill’s preamble. The writers claim that this bill addresses problems with voting in Georgia. They start with this, “Following the 2018 and 2020 elections, there was a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems, with many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter suppression and many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter fraud.” That statement is true.

GA Gov. Brian Kemp

What makes this opening so remarkable is that from 2010 to 2018, Brian Kemp, the current Governor of Georgia, was the Secretary of State, the person in charge of elections. Stacey Abrams, the woman who ran against Kemp for Governor in the fall of 2018, claimed that voter suppression ran wild under Kemp. Is this new law correcting the things Kemp got away with or is it a wink and a nod to former president Donald Trump? Would an entire state legislature do this much work just to make Trump’s claim of voter fraud seem more real?

There are three things in play,1. There was a need to reform, clarify and codify various rules and regulations on elections that have been murky for years, 2. The realization that there were too many independent voting methods being used in Georgia’s 159 counties and 3. The state is getting bad publicity with long lines at polling places in the African American communities and appearing to cater to rich, white neighborhoods. By the way, Pennsylvania has a population of 12.8 million people in 67 counties. Maybe Georgia with its 10 million population should consider consolidating their 159 counties into a more manageable structure.

One aspect of the reform makes sense. Georgia has difficulty counting the ballots because each county has different procedures and abilities. Governor Kemp seems to be a spacey kind of guy without a profound understanding of many issues. In April of 2020 he admitted to just learning that asymptomatic people can spread coronavirus, a well-known fact that was discussed on the Coronavirus Task Force conference calls much earlier. He exclaimed surprise by saying, “This is a game changer for us!” and then he announced a shelter-in-place order in the state. He was also one of the first governors to reopen his state right before the big Covid spike.

Voting laws in Georgia after the Civil War were shaped around the dark dogma of segregation. When I moved to Georgia in 1977 and visited Stone Mountain Park, the main building still had segregated restrooms, a remnant of policies before the “Recent Unpleasantness,” as the Civil War was called. The building has since been remodeled but the carved stone faces of Confederate leaders sitting on their stone horses constantly stare down at people of all races.

Most people who follow politics were shocked when Georgia elected a Democratic president in 2020. A voting procedure was put in place to thwart the possibility that one African American candidate running against many white candidates could not “sneak in” with less than 50% of the votes. Once it boiled down to two candidates, the white one usually won. That rule backfired in 2020 when both US Senate races for Georgia were settled in runoff elections and each was won by a Democrat with one of them becoming the first Black Senator of Georgia. Interestingly, that 50% rule was not cast out in the new Election Integrity Act. One would think it would be tossed because without it the Republicans would have maintained at least one Senate seat.

Senators Warnock & Ossoff

It’s not just bloggers and frothing at the mouth liberals who are against Georgia’s new law. Civil rights groups, including the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, Common Cause, and the Georgia NAACP have filed federal lawsuits charging that the law’s provisions violate the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Reading between the long lines of the new law, like the long lines at the polls, shows why Brian Kemp’s rollout of this bill was a terrible attempt at leadership and a stellar example of poor communication. Here are some key points.

The bill requires early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday but gives counties the option to open as early as 7 AM and close as late as 7 PM. Counties must hold two Saturdays of early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM and they have the option to hold early voting on one or both Sundays during the period. So, the harsh statement that the law ends Sunday voting is incorrect, BUT a county can prohibit Sunday voting and the state can do nothing about it. Not good.

Here’s one that might get some questions thrown at Kemp. Georgia previously conducted identity verification by comparing a voter’s signature on their ballot envelope or absentee voter application with a signature on file. Voters will now need to provide their driver’s license or state ID card when applying for an absentee ballot and provide one of those identifiers or the last four digits of their Social Security number to verify their ballot. The state already requires voters to show a photo ID to vote in-person. Could DNA and fingerprint matching be next? Brian Kemp said he would provide photo IDs for any resident of the state for FREE! Whoopee!

Legislators shortened the window to request an absentee ballot. Voters can now request an absentee ballot starting eleven weeks before the election and ending eleven days before the election. This seems reasonable, but I found this little gem in the lines of text, “A blank application for an absentee ballot shall be made available online by the Secretary of State and each election superintendent and registrar, but neither the Secretary of State, election superintendent, board of registrars, other governmental entity, nor employee or agent thereof shall send absentee ballot applications directly to any elector except upon request of such elector or a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector.” In other words, the action of mailing an application for an absentee ballot, a great way to promote voting, is now against the law. This was one of Donald Trump’s big complaints. Why don’t they set up a voter registration kiosk at every US Postal Service office, you know, before they close them? And while they’re at it offer Covid vaccines too!

Another provision of the new Georgia law that angers many Americans is this, “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast: (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”

For many years, a federal election law has been in place dealing with “electioneering” at voting locations and most states have at least a 100-foot restriction on campaigning within that area. This food and water prohibition when voter turnout is so great seems onerous, inhuman and cruel. It assumes the person giving the water or food is doing so for nefarious reasons. If a county cannot shorten the lines, then they should provide food and water.

The period between general elections and runoffs has been condensed from nine to four weeks, and that is probably good. Why was such a lengthy time needed previously? The act also sets more clear requirements for challenging a voter’s registration. “Ballot selfies” are banned. The law explicitly prohibits voters from taking a photo of voting machines or their absentee ballot. The state will also set up a voter intimidation hotline, which is good because groups of TRUMPERS were present at many polling locations. Some provisional ballots will have new restrictions. Georgia constantly purges their voter rolls and there have been cases of voters incorrectly thinking they were registered but being asked to use a provisional ballot. I have no idea if those are even counted.

Here’s the worst part of this new law. Trump couldn’t get Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to cheat for him, and Brian Kemp said he had no power over the Secretary’s role, so they have changed the structure of their government. The bill demotes the secretary of state from chairing the State Election Board, with the legislature now appointing a “nonpartisan chair” of the five-person board. The Georgia Secretary of State will be a non-voting, ex-officio member. Yes, my friends, the Republicans, you know, they guys who preach “let’s not make the government bigger” just added another layer to government.

It’s clearly a head-up-their-collective-asses move that could come back to more than haunt them. The legislature has the power to fire any chairperson of the State Election Board they disagree with, even if it involves their own election bid. When you use the word “non-partisan” and then codify “conflict of interest,” you end ethics oversight. Why would Brian Kemp participate in weakening the power of the executive branch of government? Is he a true constitutionalist or a saboteur? Seriously, what would keep the legislature from dismissing the chair of the Georgia Election Board, getting rid of all its members, decreeing the election for whoever they want and stealing a victory from the jaws of defeat? Nothing!

Georgia will now have separate Democratic and Republican primaries for special elections and that’s the right thing to do. Independent candidates who wish to send out absentee ballot applications to voters must clearly state that the application is not coming from a government office and is not a ballot. They are also prohibited from sending applications to voters who have already requested a ballot on their own or who have already voted absentee. So, how would a candidate know such things about a voter? Also, isn’t mailing an application against the law?

Not everything in this law is bad, but you must read through a lot of bullshit to uncover its positive aspects. That makes cheering for it difficult. Brian Kemp always seems defensive and he’s a lousy salesperson. He and other Trump boys and girls like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbot in Texas are so busy defending themselves they never smile or explain why the things they do are good for the people they represent. They carry forward the grievance philosophy of telling us how bad things are and then make them worse by idiotic laws such as prohibiting food and water for voters. They care more about telling voters what they can’t do while not giving a hoot about saving voters lives by mandating mask wearing. They’re more like nuns than leaders. Away with that wooden ruler, Mr. Kemp, just make it easier to vote!

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.


WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?

Horrendous 2020 Hindsight: Painful Pandemic Truth

Like many Americans, I woke up to news coverage about last night’s CNN documentary with interviews of the pandemic doctors. The hundreds of thousands of citizens whose deaths from Covid-19 could have been avoided are owed national and political accountability, but the polarization of America that exacerbated the pandemic threatens to deprive them of their due.

Dr. Deborah Birx gave us a haunting admission that the death toll would have been substantially reduced if not for the negligent management of the pandemic by former President Donald Trump. His willingness to put economic and political goals above science and the public’s wellbeing added to the death toll.

I am sure Debra Birx is a nice person. She certainly has a wealth of knowledge on healthcare, medicine and viruses, but I’m not ready to name the wing of a hospital after her or erect a scarved statue in her honor. Pardon me, but I need to get some things off my chest here so I can move on from Monday morning quarterbacking.

First, let’s review this famous Donald Trump monologue, “I see disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.” The President continued, “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So, it’d be interesting to check that [out]. Then he pointed to his head and delivered the disclaimer, of sorts, “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

While this “riff,” which is how Trump translator Jason Miller described it, was underway, we saw Dr. Debra Birx sitting uncomfortably a few feet off to the side of Trump, looking as if she were holding in a large, gaseous explosion and saying nothing. Not one word. She could have jumped to her feet, walked to the microphone and warned people not to drink bleach or try to put a light down their throats, but she didn’t.

There are some who attempt to justify her inaction by saying, “Hey, if she would have done that, she would have been fired and things could have gotten worse.” Well, they did get worse. Trump hired a quack named Dr. Scott Atlas who convinced our feckless leader that things with the virus weren’t all that bad and herd immunity would just take the problem away. Atlas is more a murderer than a doctor and his license should be revoked. Atlas never explained to Trump that trying herd immunity before we had a vaccine would be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands of people with underlying health conditions, and that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t until Atlas received condemnation from the medical community that he “clarified” his position on herd immunity.

Why Was This Man Talking?

Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and anyone with half a brain knew that Atlas was a destructive force on the Coronavirus Task Force, but no one had the guts to rebuke the President. The CNN program dramatically solidified the truth. Our country was seriously harmed by Trump’s actions and inactions, particularly his silencing of Dr. Fauci and pushing him away from the public messaging. Trump’s disjointed “riff” revealed he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but no one countered or silenced him.

It was never a joke, it was never just a “little flu” and it certainly would not “go away one day, like a miracle.” How could anyone continue to support this madman’s claims about anything? The “miracle” for America is that Trump finally went away.

Dr. Birx, people are weak and easily intimidated. I get that. When Trump turned against you, it wasn’t by a termination memo on a Friday afternoon and a security escort to your car in the parking lot. Be thankful that delirious Donald didn’t take to Twitter, saying you were “persona non grata,” and all the Trumpers, who have no idea what the term even means, would start the berating and death threats. If your role in life is to help people medically and do no harm, your silence on Trump’s outrageous statements demonstrate that you are not worthy of praise and perhaps your position.

This from CNN, “And while critics may fault her for not speaking out when she was in government, her comments come across as an attempt to precipitate a reckoning that can provide lessons on how the US can perform more effectively in a future pandemic. ‘In the post-mortem, we have to come out of this and learn how to do it better, the next time,’ Birx said.” Great, yeah, so that’s the big lesson? REALLY?

I’ll try to be fair right now as I slam into my keyboard the two large lessons I’ve learned. 1. Either do your job and speak up to power or get the hell out of the way and, 2. Stop this self-reputation saving tour and just go away. Harsh, yes, but I don’t even want to hear her name. When I do, I see this.

The Moment of Truth

I know now she was deeply torn and frustrated at that moment, but she could have called a press conference a few hours later to announce she was resigning because she believed the President was making things worse. She could have stated clearly that Donald Trump has no credibility giving advice on a global pandemic or any other medical matter. She could have gone out with a bang and perhaps saved some lives. Sorry, but death is not a fixable problem.

I guess it’s time to push this into the folder that also contains, “We knew the Japanese would attack, we just didn’t know where.” And this gem, “Had we only coordinated between the CIA and FBI we could have prevented 9-11.” Or this frightening truth, “We knew Lee Harvey Oswald was in Dallas, we just lost track of him.” I am not making any of that up.

We knew it was bad, Trump knew it was bad and admitted same to Bob Woodward. We heard him say it on a recoding, but too many people went along with his “Hydroxychloroquine” miracle cure bullshit when every major person involved in the science knew it was not a cure and would do little to help anyone. When I see that ten-foot flag on the pickup truck in Florida screaming FUCK BIDEN, I know that’s something Birx would never have said about Trump, but she should have. There’s one big lesson in all of this. The next time you have a global pandemic, make sure the person in charge isn’t an idiot.

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.


THE INSANE ASYLUM CONUNDRUM

American Dreams, Dreamers & Democrats 

American exceptionalism is a worldwide reputation that anyone can make it here. The movies and TV shows we export around the world transmit an air of freedom and wealth attracts others, yet we are disturbed by young kids and mothers attempting to cross the US-Mexico border seeking asylum from violence, drug cartels and shoddy police protection. Must we deny them their dream?

We cannot continue to brag about how great America is and then disregard the desire of others to come to our great place. Thousands of people fly into this country every month and simply stay. US Customs should know the figure. The FAA claims that 16.4 million flights land in the US each year. According to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the twenty airlines that carry more than 90% of passengers had 68% fewer international travelers to the US in January 2021 compared to January 2020, but we never suspended 100% of travel from any country, even in the thick of the pandemic.

Donald Trump made a huge deal about Mexicans, calling them rapists and murderers and going on and on about building a wall, which threw focus onto the families from Mexico and Central America who desire to migrate here. How can we stop people from walking to our southern border and asking for asylum? There may never be an answer that pleases everyone.

We cannot figure out what to do with the 3.6 million “Dreamers” residing in the United States, many of whom never applied for DACA or aged out the program. Approximately 653,000 Dreamers are currently protected under DACA, which is a minority of the total Dreamer population. Consider the name Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, we’re only “deferring action” not presenting a solution to the problem. We probably should introduce a fair citizenship program for the one million or so kids and adults who know no other country. They are already here, working, going to school and paying taxes. Why leave them in limbo? Imagine how you would feel if you weren’t an “official” American.

Why can’t our judges understand the depth of fear and despair of asylum seekers? What happens if we send them back to the violence, extortion and gangs ruling their homelands? If we think these folks are telling lies to get into the US, how are we supposed to feel when we learn that we sent them back to be executed by drug cartels. Do we just say shit happens? These are human beings.

It wasn’t surprising when the Biden administration closed our southern border. The idea of the President saying don’t come right now we aren’t ready, reminds me of what happened to me at McDonalds the other night. I was told they were having a problem serving food and they asked me to come back in twenty minutes, I didn’t. I just went away hungry. Some might say Biden’s “good guy” image is bringing more people to the border, but we certainly shouldn’t nail Uncle Joe to a cross because of it. No president, leader, king or even deity has been able to control the patterns of migrants.

We used to see massive bands of Africans walking thousands of miles each year to find water, food and safety for their families. We saw millions of people leave the Middle East because of ISIS and civil war in Syria. The thousands of people who sailed from Northern Africa to Italy and Greece in small boats led to deaths and draconian reactions in those countries. What should happen when a nation cannot take in more people without disadvantaging its own citizens? No one seems to have a solution other than suggesting the homelands of migrants need to be improved.

The Syrian refugee problem cannot be solved without change at the top to put in place an open, free government. Bashar al-Assad is a murdering dictator and will never step down. Mexico produces, ships and distributes illegal drugs into the US and that problem hasn’t been solved. Even taking El Chapo off the streets hasn’t brought change to Mexico and Central and South America. Without a purge of the brutal underworld surrounding illegal substances, people will continue to flee their countries.

The wall that Trump said would be the ultimate solution for the illegal immigration “problem” was merely a meritless pipe dream. This past weekend we saw young men going over that wall using wooden ladders and nylon rope. Stable genius Trump is an idiot. A wall is not impenetrable. How could anyone possibly think a wall would work? If people can’t go through it, they will go over it or under it. Why would any reasonable person believe that a man-made structure is going to keep people from their dream?

I just have to laugh when all those fake do-gooders in the Republican party say that Democrats caused the problem at the southern border. The policies of the last administration were designed to buy time. Telling people they had to wait in some other country before coming here to apply for asylum was a lie. Trump and his minions had no desire to help them, so they swept the problem under the carpeting.

Imagine that we were having an immigration problem at the northern border and white Canadian citizens were seeking asylum. Would we tell them to go to Greenland or Russia and wait for us to allow them in? No, I’m sure we would set up a program to handle the influx. People in Texas don’t want more Mexicans, which is why their governor spends tons on television advertising saying how bad things are at the border. Texas Governor Greg Abbot has never offered or even suggested a solution for his state’s problem. Some leader, huh?

There are many things we must solve in America right now. First and foremost, we must beat the Covid-19 virus and get our economy back up and running at full speed. Of course, that will make our country more attractive to those seeking a better life. We need to find a way to take in more immigrants. Let’s focus on that prize and leave the political hype and diversionary tactics in the dust. SOLVE THE PROBLEM instead of complaining about it.

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.


WHY REPUBLICANS HATE VOTERS

GOP Thinks Voting Should Be Hard

My head is about to explode from the sheer number of people who lie to get what they want, but before I have a grand mal seizure, I’ll take a deep breath and follow the facts. It seems that one of our political parties has a plank in their platform against voting. Some call proposed voting law changes suppression, some call them racism, I call them what they are, BULLSHIT!

In our representative government, we elect people to carry out the general wishes of the citizens. Once we get past, “all men are created equal” and “the pursuit of happiness,” we all must go with the will of the majority. Sure, a minority can voice their grievances and wants, that’s America buddy, but when the vote is taken in Congress, the new bill, or act or regulation has been passed by the majority. It’s important that our elections be open and fair so the winners ascend to power with the mandate of a majority of voters.

That brings us to sore losers, who tend to get aggressive right after they get shellacked in an election. Republicans took a beating in 2020, and their first reaction was trying to use the ancient form of voter suppression called Gerrymandering. I won’t get into the details of that evil act here, so if you’re interested you can learn a lot by following the link. The next thing the bastards try to pull off is enacting laws to keep certain “kinds” or classes from registering and voting.

What Would MLK Jr. Think

From History.com we see, “Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote.” Using tactics from voter taxes to intelligence tests, the white men in power wanted to keep the African Americans from having a say in the American political system. They feared the leaders that Black people would elect.

And that brings us to what is happening today. The election of 2020 took place during a global pandemic, and most reasonable people welcomed changes to voting procedures. Both Republicans and Democrats endorsed and allowed mail-in voting. the expansion of absentee voting and early vote counting to speed up the process, but no one foresaw that this would dramatically increase the number of people voting. 66.7% of those eligible to vote engaged in the process and only two previous elections had greater turnouts, 82.6% in 1876 and 73.7% in 1900.

Out of 239 million eligible voters, more than 159 million registered voters cast ballots in the 2020 general election. Some people are arguing that there are only 133 million registered voters in the US, but that’s not true. So, what is true? I spent some time on the US Bureau of Census website today, and I could not find the exact number of registered voters for 2020, short of making my own spreadsheet of all the state data posted there. According to Reuters they first reported that, “Around 239,247,182 people were eligible to vote in 2020. While there is no available “official” figure yet for nationwide registered voters for 2020, most centers for voter information believe that 66.7% turned out to vote.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “As of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, pre-filed, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states, and 704 bills with provisions that expand voting access in a different set of 43 states. Note that, in some cases, a single bill can have provisions with both restrictive and expansive effects.”

These legal maneuvers are based on two factors. First, the Republicans lost the White House, and they believe Donald Trump’s argument about people rigging the system with mail-in voting. Second, they believe that some of the Covid-19 provisions should be rolled back. They have an ongoing belief that registration should be more difficult, and that people should show a picture ID and vote in person to guarantee the accuracy of the vote. As our modern, technological world advances, these Luddites are saying we should go back to paper ballots, in person voting and NO MAIL-IN VOTING. That last bit is based on another tall tale of Donald Trump that Republicans will never win another election if mail-in voting is allowed. Why are they listening to him? He’s a loser.

I must ask if writing a law about something you don’t like will hurt Americans. Having any Democrat in office will not hurt citizens. After all, they voted for him or her and we’ve had many of them in office throughout the course of our history. Of course, you don’t like losing, but that is no reason to mess up the system. It’s not just voting rights that you are attempting to take away.

More than 82 anti-transgender bills were introduced in the 2021 state legislative sessions, surpassing the 2020 total of 79, and marking the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history. It’s clear that many people are bothered by certain types of sexual orientation, but those citizens aren’t hurting anyone. These state laws are focused on sports and restrooms. They don’t want a young man who identifies as a woman playing women’s sports because, they say, that’s unfair. And even more important than Betsy not getting that college sports scholarship is her having to pee in the same room as “those people.” Are we really going to write laws that hurt minorities?

Our representative form of government is being challenged left and right. You may think that Marjorie Taylor Greene is unfit to be in Congress, but hey, the voters put her there. I am sure if a reasonable Democrat ran against her today, she would not be reelected, but it’s too late now. The only way to stop her from pushing her whacky beliefs and conspiracies on America is a majority of voters having their say at the polls. If rolling back voter’s rights keeps people like Ms. Greene in Congress, I am against them. If blocking Blacks from voting on Sunday is suppressing the vote, courts should just rule against it. If Georgia makes a law that prohibits bringing water and food to people in a voting line, then something is seriously wrong. If Sunday voting and mail-in voting are allowed, maybe there wouldn’t be those long lines.

The headline on this post might make people defensive but let me share a recent encounter with one of my doctors. He actually said, “We have too many people voting in elections. We should only let certain people vote.” That is the same argument John Adams and Thomas Jefferson put forth to keep women from voting. They believed women would disrupt the results because they were so ill-informed. Of course, African Americans couldn’t vote because they weren’t even “whole people.”

Republicans would be better off finding more appealing candidates than suppressing the vote, and Democrats would be more productive if they didn’t have to run around suing those states trying to pass unfair voting laws. Let the people vote. When they do, sometimes you get a Biden and other times you get a Greene. Let’s just make sure the good guys do the right things and let the votes fall as they will.

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 CASE AGAINST CUOMO

Imagine if everyone told the truth

I’ve always reacted strangely to the term “family values.” Maybe it’s because of the Soprano family. If you said the wrong thing there, you might end up sleeping with the fish. Could it be because of the Mansion family? If you didn’t kill as directed, you would be shunned by the group and banned from having sex with the cult leader. As for Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, the case against him is raw and unseemly.

The Cuomo Family 1977

Let’s start with some basics. Andrew is the middle child of three who Mario and Matilda Cuomo brought into this world. Mario was the Governor of New York for eleven years. His father, Andrea Cuomo, was from Nocera Inferiore, Campania, Italy and his mother, Immacolata (née Giordano) was from Tramonti, Campania, Italy. Andrew’s grandparents ran a grocery store in South Jamaica, Queens.

This story is legend. Mario, the current governor’s father, played baseball in college and was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates for $2,000. Cuomo played center field in the minor leagues and he had a .244 batting average. He was struck in the back of the head by a pitch, there were no helmets back then, and was hospitalized for six days. Mario left baseball, went back to school and became a lawyer. The rest, as they say, is history.

Andrew Cuomo followed in his father’s footsteps. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University in 1979 and a Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 1982. He was paid one dollar a day while working for his father in Albany. Andrew was known as the “enforcer.” It was said that his father played the “good cop” and he played the “bad cop.”

Margaret, Andrew’s older sister is a board-certified radiologist who specializes in body imaging, involving CT, ultrasound, MRI, and interventional procedures. Much of her work has been dedicated to the diagnosis of cancer and AIDS and she is the author of the book, A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New World and the Real Promise of Prevention, which certainly speaks to her mission in life.

Andrew’s little brother is Christopher and he also has a legal background, having earned his undergraduate degree at Yale and his J.D. at Fordham. You know him as Chris Cuomo, the better-looking brother and nightly news anchor on CNN.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo

Cuomo family members are overachievers and, until the death of Mario on January 1, 2015, the family was a typical tightknit Italian group overseen by the patriarch. Mario died just a few hours after seeing his son sworn in as Governor, which in New York takes place on the first day of the year.

Now, there’s a major story about Andrew being accused of some terrible conduct. His years in politics and being the Governor of New York certainly have painted a giant target on his back, but his own behavior may also be in play. There was the appointee donations controversy, during which Cuomo collected $890,000 from 24 of his appointees, as well as $1.3 million from their spouses, children and businesses. Some donations were made to Cuomo just days after the donor was appointed. Cuomo disbanded the very ethics commission that was to investigate him. Then there was the Hurricane Sandy controversary, where it’s alleged that the Cuomo administration used $140 million, including $40 million of federal disaster relief funds, to buy national TV ads pitching new business investment to New York State. There’s also political corruption. In 2016, Joseph Percoco, a close friend and righthand man to Cuomo, was indicted as part of a bribery investigation, The Governor was not charged in that matter, but it’s easy to see that Andrew Cuomo is not a stranger to controversy.

After being the calming voice of reason and handing out strong advice daily on COVID-19, Cuomo made a colossal mistake. On March 25, 2020, he and the New York State Department of Health issued a directive requiring nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients. This order was revoked on May 10, 2020, after widespread criticism from medical experts who claimed as many as 4,500 COVID-19 infected patients had been sent to nursing homes in New York State and over 6,000 nursing home residents had died of COVID. What is now known is Cuomo ordered the mislabeling of COVID deaths so he wouldn’t have to endure any sharp criticism from former President Donald Trump. Bully avoids bully.

That, however, was a single shoe. The other one dropped on December 13, 2020, when Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Cuomo alleged, “[the Governor] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it and watched.” Boylan further alleged that Cuomo “exists without ethics,” and “takes advantage of people, including me,” and she added that he ran a “toxic team environment.” Well, that was one person’s opinion, but it didn’t take long before other women, both in and out of government, came forward with their own sordid stories.

As of this writing, there are seven accusers. The firestorm ignited a rage against Cuomo that motivated the two US Senators of New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to issue a joint statement demanding that Andrew resign as governor.

Through a weird concoction of words, Cuomo is refusing to resign and has taken the right-wing slogan “cancel culture” as a shield to protect him from his accusers. WTF? Yes, seven women are not on par with Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, but it’s disturbing when there’s even a suspicion of a public figure exhibiting such overt, aggressive behavior to women. It’s not like he paid a porn star and Playboy bunny to shut up about affairs. He wasn’t accused of pinning someone up against a wall in the dressing room of a well-known store and having his way with her. I mean, who would do that? In the Cuomo matter, however, the people of New York deserve the truth.

Just once, I would appreciate a direct and honest statement, something like, “Okay, you got me. I was raised to be a good Catholic, and I go to confession, but let me confess to you, the American public. I am a regressive, old-fashioned male chauvinist pig. Yes, I assumed the women would just let me do whatever I wanted, after all, I am a powerful man who thinks he’s a good-looking guy. Okay, not that good looking, but better looking than my dad. I figured if I just went for it, they would melt like chocolate in my hands and put out for me. I wasn’t hitting on dogs, those chicks were hot! What would Frank have done? Sinatra, Sei scemo!”

I can imagine the reporters writing as fast as they can while raising their hands, but he cuts them off, “Yeah, I lied. That’s what you do when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or anywhere else. Hey, it’s obvious that these women are just out to get me. They don’t know what they’ve been missing. Let me be perfectly clear, I did not have sex with that … oh, wait, that line’s already been used. I never ever touched anyone inappropriately or harassed anyone. Yes, there’s a fucking picture of me doing that but, seriously, I am all powerful and I get to decide what sexual harassment is, and what corruption is, and I was born to be the governor. Do you know who I am? I am not going to leave, and you can all go ‘Vai a cacare!’”

Here’s one more point from me, your writer. I get the point about “due process,” but what exactly will an investigation show us? Will it codify and legalize the statements of each woman? Of course, it will be on the record, under oath and all that, but is it necessary? Why would any woman go public and make a statement that she was touched or harassed and then change it under oath? Why would she put herself through so much grief and embarrassment; just to stick it to the man?

What would the final report of the investigators say? “Yes, Mr. Cuomo engaged in inappropriate behavior, but didn’t break any laws.” Of course, it’s not against any law in the USA to be an asshole, but a commission cannot fire a governor. They just tell us what we already know. What if the opposite happens? Say that the investigative body reports they didn’t find the accusations credible. Well, it would be the same as has been seen in thousands of American courtrooms throughout our history. An official body of the government would say, “The women were lying.”

Why do we need an investigation? It’s not “cancel culture,” it’s bringing down a vulture. He’s probably always been in search of meat (love), but this time CUOMO is the MEAT. The lust he was after is not the lust of the mob, who want to pull him out of office and onto the thruway. He’s going to get impeached and convicted of being himself, just another privileged politician who failed to realize one simple rule: Don’t eat where you work. Unless he gets hit in the back of the head with a baseball, he will never change. I feel sorry for his mother, Matilda. And to think some people wanted to change out Biden for Cuomo. Sleepy Joe is exactly who we need now.

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.