THE EIGHT MYTHS OF COVID-19

Not all that the White House says is true

Donald Trump is a damn bully and the best way to deal with him is to stand up to him. Aside from the on-going self-adulation, dislocated policies and dangerous theories, Trump has managed to confuse his experts, the leaders in the House and Senate, and bamboozle his employers, the American public. I am not a doctor or virologist, but I know how to read and research and today I’d like to bring some logic into the public realm.

As we nearly reach 144,000 coronavirus deaths with four million infected Americans, let’s look at the lies, the myths, the misdirects and the reckless musings of an idiot:

  1. The COVID-19 virus is a novel virus, meaning it has not been seen before and thwarting this evil germ will take techniques that differ from the way doctors treat a flu. The first myth from Donald Trump and many other crazy dictators and leaders around the world was that COVID-19 was just like the flu and not as dangerous. The numbers show otherwise. The global pandemic is twice to four times as dangerous. It’s just math, not myth.
  2. The idea of one country containing a virus might be a semi-valid criticism, and just like Donald Trump downplayed the virus at its start here, President Xi in China did the same. Their motivation was stock market stability. Trump’s over-stated fantasy claimed that he saved two million lives. He also said that keeping the death count below 100,000 would be a total success. What? If we could have confined the virus to those first hotspot states, Washington, California and the tri-state area of New York, we would have saved many of the lives that are now lost. It’s a damn myth that China could have stopped the coronavirus and we can’t either. Calling COVID-19 the “China virus” is like calling a mental disability the Trump syndrome.
  3. If you ignore a virus, it will just go away. Trump’s glowing statements about what he has accomplished when facts prove otherwise, make him look senseless. Here’s a great quote from the highly intelligent Ron Brownstein, “In some ways, Trump has become a prisoner of his own base.” He doesn’t test what he’s about to say against any other measure, than what those red hat heretics want to hear. The fact that Trump said, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.” Even a dead person, if given the chance, would muster enough strength to suggest, “It’s the death, stupid!”
  4. Keeping people away from work, entertainment and school is going to kill them just the same. Trump and his other propagandists have stated that if the economic shutdown continues, deaths by suicide “definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about” for COVID-19 deaths. That is totally insane, but let’s not get confused by the sad statistics on suicides in America. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America. We had 48,344 people die by suicide in 2018 and they believe there were 1.4 million attempts. In a world where Donald John Trump is so loose with the facts, why would he give anyone the suggestion of suicide as a cure for being confined at home? It’s downright dangerous, but the man never filters his words.
  5. We have heard the distortion by our President that, “99% of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless.” Excuse my French, but “C’est l’idée la plus stupide que quiconque ait jamais dite.” Translation, Trump is fucking nonsensical beyond belief. The facts: 15% of COVID-19 cases become “very serious” and as many as 5% can lead to death. When someone uses the word, “harmless,” the logical conclusion is it’s benign to most people. The jury is still out regarding the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the true percentages. When the word, “harmless” is used, it connotatively suggests we can let our guard down. We cannot.
  6. The latest myth that has crept into the speech patterns of Trump and his clueless sycophants in Congress and around the country is that young kids are not as susceptible to getting COVID and do not spread it as much as adults do. Now I am going to make this personal. My daughter has always worked in daycare and she has been around two-year-old kids for years. In any given year, she and her five-year-old daughter will get as many as five colds and suffer through whatever the current yearly flu might be. To suggest that it’s okay to allow kids to be exposed to the virus and then go home is a form of government sanctioned murder of our teachers and other school workers. Here’s some true bad news for our schools. The Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, a rich donor with no experience or expertise in education or medicine; she is simply a useless public servant.
  7. There are no quick fixes like using disinfectants, untested drugs or sunshine to kill the virus. For months we were fed the drivel it will go away as soon as it gets warmer. That lie was based not on specific, scientific COVID data, but on the experiences we’ve had with normal influenza. The successful path would have been rigorous testing to determine who was infected then keeping healthy people away from them. We are doing a terrible job with contact tracing, which could help stop the spread of COVID. If you must go out in public, you should wear a mask. Dr. Debra Birx should be ashamed for not jumping out of her chair saying, “NO, NO, NO,” when Trump suggested ingesting or injecting bleach could cure the virus.
  8. You can trust what is coming out of the President’s mouth regarding the COVID crisis. It’s all defensive posturing, political hogwash and very little useful advice. Any intelligent person watching this governmental cluster-fuck can clearly see that Donald Trump’s approach has made our situation worse, not better. According to Forbes magazine, “64% of Americans distrust what Trump says about the Covid-19 pandemic—including 46% who say they don’t trust him ‘at all’—while only 34% trust what he says.”

I just read something brilliant from Marshall Shepherd, Director of the Atmospheric Science program at the University of Georgia. He has coined the term, “Wishcasting.” This is what we get daily from Donald Trump. Mr. Shepherd amplified his concept, “People ‘wishcast’ scenarios in our minds, but they don’t jibe with what the science or the data is actually bearing out.” When we hear about someone winning the lottery, our first thought is that it should have been us. We don’t feel good for the person who won a million dollars. We “wishcast” our thoughts and prayers every day, but that isn’t how we solve a problem. You could buy a lottery ticket every day of your life and never win a million dollars.

Hopefully, this list of myths will not grow, but I suspect it will. By the way, that is not a wish, just an educated guess. A friend of mine just wrote that in her school district in Georgia, three of her co-worker principals are on ventilators and one high school coach in his twenties has died, I wished it were better there. I know that opening schools is just more “wishcasting” by Trump, who would rather kill some people and win another election then do what is right for America. That isn’t a myth, it’s just who he is.  

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 conservation 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.


TRUMP’S GRAND CAPITULATION

“That’s not enforceable”

On national TV last night, President Donald John Trump used the words, “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” and with that one phrase he invalidated weeks of words attempting to downplay the crisis, even going so far as calling the whole matter a hoax. He added, “We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get.” I’ll ignore the poor construct of the English language. but Donny Boy is going to piss off the far-right, and Fox News will have to rewrite all their anointment scripts and routines. Gee, do they now point out that Trump was wrong all along, or do they just smile and praise him for his quick action to bolster his poor poll numbers?

Many of our state governors have now created a lame-ass justification for their inaction on signing a law to mandate masks. “That’s not enforceable,” they say. Why? I have never seen weaker, less compassionate governance in America. Governors have no problem calling up the National Guard when a disaster hits their states, so why can’t they act to keep people safer? Is it because of a vague notion that people will comply with a regulation only if it can be compelled by law enforcement? What about seat belts, smoking in public locations and having a driver’s license? Heck, in my county I cannot cut down a tree in my yard without replacing it with a tree of equal girth. That could cost me more than $1,000, but is it enforceable? The county can’t possibly know every tree.

Trump will still NOT sign an executive order because he’s a chicken-shit president. I can imagine what Teddy Roosevelt would say if were alive, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” He did speak those words, and he was right. Trump has failed America by not trying to help us. What advice might President John Kennedy have given to Donald Trump? Perhaps, “There are risks and costs to action, but they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” Abraham Lincoln would whisper in the Donald’s ear, “The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”

Of course, what those leaders would say to Trump in private would likely contain harsh language and possibly profanity; well, maybe not Lincoln. I am curious how long Trump’s thoughtful stance on the COVID-19 crisis will last. Later today will he revert to whiny diatribes about how great things were before China unleashed this terrible “plague” on America?

Trump has decided that China created a pandemic to hurt him and will start to paint them as the enemy that he, and he alone, can conquer. The Donald insists he has a great relationship with President Xi. I would replace “great” with “dysfunctional” because Xi doesn’t tell Trump the truth. I am disturbed that no one from the media asks our president this question, “Why do you keep scolding Xi for not containing the virus when you have been unable to contain it here?”

There is no proof that any country can totally stop this virus. We saw what happened in Sweden. They killed a lot of older, weaker citizens in their mythical desire for “herd immunity.” We saw karma win in Brazil when their leader made fun of the virus.  Not only did their President get the virus, but their COVID data is horrible.  Brazil has confirmed 2.17 million known cases, with 81,597 deaths.

Trump blaming China for not “stopping the curse in its tracks” is verbiage for a speech but it’s not based on any science or knowledge about how viruses work. You cannot build a wall to stop a virus. Trump claimed to prevent Chinese citizens from entering the USA, but in fact many traveled here. Here’s a New York Times headline from April 4, 2020, “430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced.” They detailed 1,300 direct flights to 17 cities before President Trump’s travel restrictions. Since that so-called “ban,” nearly 40,000 Americans and other travelers from China made the trip. Their greeting upon arrival was spotty screening, at best. Trump is either lying or totally unaware of these facts. I’ll go with lying.

Donald Trump is incapable of understanding complex matters and situations. Someone should have taken the orange dumbbell into his private dining room and explained it this way, “Imagine that you have five men and five women sharing a cottage for a week of swinging and debauchery. You, Donald Trump, are one of the men. During the vacation you learn that one of the men in the party has a deadly venereal disease, but his identity cannot be disclosed because of a health privacy law known as HIPAA.”

Trump now considers his options. Should he get a nurse to come to the cabin and test everyone? He thinks no, because the more we test the worse it will seem. I’m extremely strong and healthy and I’ll use protection, but I don’t have enough for everyone so I will protect only myself. The next day the disease has spread to eight of the ten people. Trump thinks it’s going to worse before it gets better, but he’s fine because he’s protected. Next, he gets a fever and realizes he was the source of the sickness. He leaves the campsite to get help at a hospital. He asks another to explain the problem to all the campers so he can avoid facing them. Trump doesn’t even remember how many people he screwed.

I’ll end this post with REALITY. Trump’s change in tone has nothing to do with caring, empathy or knowledge. Kellyanne Conway wrote that announcement to counter the polling crisis, not the pandemic problem.

Trump is a fool. He’ll defund education, healthcare insurance and money for testing. He will attempt to close the CDC and will avoid all good tactics because he’s cares about himself only. God save the nation from this sloth with fake, thin skin.

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 conservation 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 MARY TRUMP BOOK

Just Another Dysfunctional Family?

I know how hard it is to write a book because I currently have four on sale. I was skeptical when I first learned that Mary L. Trump, the niece of the President of the United States, wrote a book about the Donald’s family. Was this just another person trying to make money on a ghosted, tell-all work of semi-nonfiction or was it real? I subscribe to the latter.

Mary Trump is a psychologist, businessperson and author with several impressive degrees from Tufts, Columbia and a Ph. D from Adelphi University. I’m not in love with the title of her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, but seeing that she sold one million copies during the first release week, what in the hell do I know? I’ve read the book. It’s well-written and tells the unvarnished truth about what she saw growing up as the daughter of Fred and Mary Trump’s oldest son, Donald’s brother, Freddie. Her father died in In September 1981 at the age of 42 from an apparent heart attack because of his alcohol abuse. Mary was sixteen when her father passed.

The writing is compelling and the story, whether you like Donald Trump or not, has a magnetic pull. It’s almost a textbook about what she terms the “sociopathic” nature of Fred Trump, the patriarch of the family and Donald’s dad. President Trump had no protection from the many forms of his father’s criticism and pushback. After reading this book, I now totally understand so many things about Trump. Living the last four years of Trump-world forced me to build a giant arch out of bricks, but I couldn’t find the keystone. This book provides exactly that.

I pledge to not give away too much of the book here because I highly recommend you read it. Still, I need to offer a reasonable spoiler alert because I am about to dig a little more deeply into this book about Trump’s past. Mary’s book informs that Trump’s limited vocabulary is not the product of a concerted effort to streamline or dumb down his messages. It’s not a strategy. It’s how he talks, and it was the way Fred Sr. talked. The fact that “nasty” is Trump’s go to term to express disgust for women was his father’s trope.

Fred and Donald Trump

The President can go on TV and say that the family never liked Mary Trump and that he has had only slight interaction with her, but he also is quite aware that Mary, and her brother Fred Trump III (known as Fritz), sued the family to contest Fred Senior’s will. The two grandchildren were cut out of any benefits even though their grandfather and uncle Donald used secret payments to a shell company for years as a tax shelter. Reading the book, I saw that most of the known timelines and historical details she delivers are totally accurate. Why make up the rest?

The contents of this book deeply troubled me. After getting through its 225 pages, a cloud of depression washed over me. I knew families in the 1950s who had the same kind of grip on their children, and the familial manipulation of one of my high school friends led to his suicide. I came out of my funk when I realized how wonderful a childhood I had. This book will lead you to an understanding of why Donald wears the same suit every day, why he sits and stands the ways he does and why his signature is so bold and strange, It’s all there. Trump is a copy of his father in some ways, but also has his own personal layers of disfunction beyond the sociopath and narcistic personality disorders bestowed by his father. The byproduct of constant abuse, bullying and putdowns by his father led to Donald’s supreme defense mechanisms, an undeserved supremacy complex, frequent gloating and constant lying. Remember, this is not an armchair analysis by Mary Trump. She holds a Ph. D in clinical psychology.

After absorbing her story, I am profoundly fearful that Donald Trump’s mental instability makes him completely unfit for the office of president. Mary writes,He is as incapable of adjusting to changing circumstances as he is of becoming ‘presidential.’” Over the years, a common media myth has been Trump’s need to surround himself with people who are totally loyal. What I learned from reading this book is that it’s not loyalty Trump wants and needs. It’s obedience.

The book Too Much and Never Enough clearly explains why “Donald takes any rebuke as a challenge and doubles down on the behavior that drew fire in the first place, as if the criticism is permission to do worse.” This is what happened after the attempted drive-by impeachment earlier this year. It makes Senator Susan Collins’ comment that Trump has learned his lesson after trial to be one of the densest thoughts of all time.

Frederick Trump

The book highlighted a significant reality of the family structure. I have never been a big fan of a family’s lack of imagination when naming children. Why reuse names or fashion similar names of parents, grandparents and others in the family tree? Remember that Frederick is the writer’s German great grandfather, Fred is the grandfather and Freddie is the father of Mary L. Trump. Confused? Mary is the granddaughter of Mary Anne McLeod and the niece of Maryanne, Donald’s oldest sister. The fact that Donald Trump named his son Don, Jr. is just a continuation of this stupid scion obsession. By the way, Donald’s youngest son is named Barron because Trump used John Barron as a pseudonym when calling newspapers in New York to leak information. Because of the similar names, it’s often a struggle to keep all the stories straight when reading Mary’s book.

While she didn’t say so directly, I learned from Mary Trump’s book that Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States, suffers from an intellectual incapacity. Mary hints at learning disability and says that Trump paid another to take his SAT exam so he could get into the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The book doesn’t allude to any large contributions to Penn by the Trump family, but those records have been sealed. The school is instructed to say only, “Donald Trump is an alum of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an undergraduate degree in business.”

It doesn’t take a Ph. D to observe the President’s weak reading skills. When using a teleprompter during a speech, Trump mixes up words, mispronounces terms and has pitiful phrasing. His attempt to loosen things up by adding little comments often distorts the meaning of the message, or worse, makes it redundant and repetitive. Read this book and you will fully understand Mary’s claim that Donald Trump’s vindictive personality is driven by exposure to too much privilege and copious amounts of neglect. I won’t lay out her full premise here, but the fact there was no love in Trump’s family, unless it was connected to money, makes it easy to understand some of his negative behaviors.

No one is left unscathed in Mary Trump’s book, not even her own father. There are so many times I wanted to kick my Kindle when reading about how everyone did whatever Fred Trump wanted and now no one confronts the Donald, no one pushes back because Trump is just one, big, living lie. He’s carries with him the baggage of his inadequacies and requires and demands enormous amounts of adulation and praise. Mary Trump is right. He has not significantly advanced emotionally from a little, four-year-old child and he has the vocabulary of a 14-year-old boy.

Mary’s book is a total A+, and I believe you will agree with me after you read it. Donald Trump must be removed from the White House in January. He must be eradicated from the Presidency and sent back to New York to stand trial. After Mary L. Trump’s revelations, I would not be surprised to see many of his family members being investigated for tax fraud and other illegal activities. She offers no proof, but Mary Trump knows more than she wrote.

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 conservation 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.


DEFUND THE WHITE HOUSE

We Must Stop the Deadly Trump Virus

It’s pretty bad when 64% of all Americans do not trust Donald Trump’s actions on the global pandemic. You don’t need a poll to know that Trump, and those who blindly follow him, are making things worse. The administration is decidedly out of focus and lacking competency to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, while the Democrats are licking their chops for the election of Joe Biden. The real problems are that 1. People are dying and 2. Millions of folks are not working. Let’s not sugarcoat this situation. The words people use have great power, but all too often that power is used to deceive or redirect rather than inform.

When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described the horrible surge of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and death as a, “…higher blip than where we were in May and the beginning of June,” he shows either a tremendous lack of verbal prowess or miscomprehension. A “blip” is an unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend. I am going to get a bit pedantic here, but this proliferation was not “unexpected” because every doctor or expert worth his or her salt told him it was coming. It was not “minor.” The June 28, 2020 headline in the New York Times read: Florida’s Covid Cases Up Fivefold in 2 Weeks: ‘The Numbers Are Scary.’ Since the end of June, the state has gone from 8,000 to 11,000 new cases per day. This is neither minor nor a “temporary deviation,” and DeSantis’ miserable baby-Trump imitation is even aggravating Republican leaders in the state.

We don’t have to beat up Florida’s DeSantis, Georgia’s Kemp, Texas’ Abbott or Arizona’s Ducey, they aren’t the only misguided governors in America, they just happen to be getting all the negative press. Trump continually says they are good people and doing a great job. That statement rings so hollow that even deaf people can hear the lies, except in Florida, where Governor DeSantis has been sued for not providing an ASL interpreter to hand-sign at coronavirus briefings. How could he be so rude and uncaring?

It’s no great surprise that all the governors making things worse are white. They are in states that bragged about making the right moves with the COVID crisis and they are now all suffering from their collective stupidity. They are the same kind of dumbos that would have given Bernie Madoff all their money.

Donald Trump is digging a deep hole as he stumbles and bumbles through the pandemic. His silence about the virus and his refusal to follow the advice of the experts from the government health agencies we pay to keep us safe and informed will do him in. He’s trying to bury all the bad news so that he can live his life as the hero, but he cannot bring people back from the dead. Then there are those in Congress who suffer from abused child syndrome in Congress. They have a sick need to please their “daddy” and they are complicit in enabling a destroyer, ruining the healthcare system and killing people. They all must go.

The reason that Donald John Trump will never sign an executive order to mandate mask wearing in public is because he’s already decided it’s a stupid idea. When he saw the radical right protest against wearing masks, he seized an excuse for his inaction and rebuke. Snapping turtles have a similar same instinct, and any of them would make a terrible president. A snapping turtle, like Trump, would pull its head inside its shell to dispose of the danger. Because of Donald Trump’s words, actions and attitudes, fewer people have worn masks and more people have become infected. It’s why people from other countries are calling America STUPID! Those same people are also laughing at Trump. To them, he’s a giant-baby cartoon character and they spend thousands of dollars to create ugly hot air balloons in his likeness.

John Lewis

Trump has so much hate in his soul and the lack of empathy there was no surprise that more than twelve hours after the passing of Georgia Representative John Lewis the President of the United States had no reaction, no comment, no tweet. And then, finally when every former President had commented on Mr. Lewis and every news network pointed out that Trump was silent, Trump finally put out this Tweet, “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.” Almost written by someone unfamiliar with English, or the customs of Christianity. You might pray for the family, but you don’t send prayers to the person who has just passed. One might pray for his soul, but John is with God now, and doesn’t need any prayers from Donald and Melania.

John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement and he was a victim at the hands of the Alabama state police on bloody Sunday. If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, click here. Fourteen people were killed by the government and John Lewis had his skull fractured. God let him live, to help start a moment for voting and equal rights. He deserved more than a tweet.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, endeavoring to pay tribute to Rep. Lewis, instead tweeted out a photo of him standing with Rep. Elijah Cummings, another African American leader who died last year. The error might be understandable, but unfortunately is another example of how some people see all Black people by the color of their skin rather than by quality of their character.

America’s problem of race relations stems from a terrible interface with police and the lack of policy and reform coming from the top. Trump cares more about the NRA and police unions and less about doing the right things. Who could have predicted that the #BlackLivesMatter movement would have had such a powerful second wave?

Trump painted himself into the corner with all the other racists and white supremacists when he over-positioned his disdain for NFL players taking a knee. He hammered a nail in his own coffin with the now famous line, “…there were good people on both sides.” He cannot and will not defend African Americans and he denies patriots like John McCain and John Lewis their rightful place in history. Trump is a petri dish of racism that he spreads to others. He’s a virus.

Let me quote Kanye West, “The President doesn’t care about Black people.” We should be ashamed of ourselves if the single outcome of George Floyd’s murder is news services deciding to capitalize the B in Black when it refers to race. I am absolutely and purposefully calling Donald Trump a racist because he is. Thank you, Mary Trump!

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 conservation 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.


COMMUTE OR PARDON?

When Criminals Become Judges

I have never liked Roger Stone. He carries an immature, frat-boy mentality and he will do anything to win. He is a morally depraved asshole of the highest order who now claims he wants vindication. He says President Donald Trump saved his life. Hey, good for him. That’s one life saved by the Donald who doesn’t give a shit about the 134,000 Americans who have left this world because of COVID-19. I can’t help feeling that if Roger Stone were sent to a US prison, he would have contracted the coronavirus and died.

Now Stone wants to go back into court and get a new trial to clear his name. Sure, will Trump pick the judge, the jury and which media will cover the new trial? Donald Trump is a criminal and, just like his Attorney General William Barr, thinks he has the ultimate say about everything that happens in our country. Trump could have pardoned Roger Stone so he wouldn’t have to endure being thumped on the knuckles by some “corrupt judge.” Ha, that is rich, Trump has decided that he knows more about law, order and justice than anyone else. What is next? Maybe Trump should pardon Putin and all the comrades at Russia’s interference team GRU? At this point, nothing would surprise me.

The Russian election interference investigation was NOT a hoax and Trump continues to let Putin off the hook. Why? Roger Stone conspired with Wikileaks and the Russians to help Donald Trump get elected. He’s a fucking traitor and forty months in jail is way too light a sentence. Roger Stone intimidated witnesses by threatening bodily harm, but that is just “doing business” In Trump’s mob world. Maybe it’s time to bring back the firing squad?

I subscribe to Dan Goldman’s insight that the reason Trump acted now is he knows he will lose in November. Let me add that Orange Boy is pissed at the virus and must get revenge, so he’s picking the Justice Department to spank. Who would want to work there when the “leader of the free world” tears up your hard work even when it’s successful? Again, I will mention the brilliant observation of one of our readers that, like a spoiled kid, Trump will trash the gameboard, take the pieces and march on home. If he can’t play, no one else may be allowed to enjoy the game.

This may seem far-fetched, but Trump’s suggestion the other day that he’s going to produce an executive order to give DACA kids a pathway to citizenship might not be a diversion. Perhaps it’s a giant F.U. to the remaining old-line Republicans. He’s railed against DACA so much, how could he possibly think his base will like that move? Wait until Laura Ingraham and Anne Coulter get wind of that plan. He’ll immediately go on their shit lists.

But hey, Roger Stone won’t go to jail. Maybe in Trump’s disillusionment he thinks Roger will be able to pardon him when the prosecutors from New York come to arrest him within hours after he leaves office. Trump is a flight risk. He owns planes and the man should not receive bail. Trump is the largest loser of all time and the most embarrassing president we have ever had.

Does Roger Stone deserve to go to jail? Yes, he broke the law when he lied to Congress and this brings me to the unbalance of power. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate need to show bravery and use their power to regain their power of “equal branches” our founding fathers gave us. Congress needs to stop being so polite!

If someone didn’t show up for a hearing when they were subpoenaed, were I the Speaker of the House, or the Majority Leader of the Senate, I would send the Sergeant at Arms to arrest them for contempt of Congress. I would put them in a basement holding cell and leave them there until they decided to testify or provide the requested documents. Congress has the power to do so, but they haven’t used it recently. The Washington Post reports it was used back in 1935 and again in 1951 when several gamblers were detained. Such a bold move would make criminals more fearful and dismantle the attitude that Congress has no power.

Don’t think this is not a real thing. It is. It’s not an arcane tradition or myth; it’s the law. The House Sergeant at Arms serves on the Capitol Police Board and is responsible for security. Upon an order from the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms can arrest and detain any person who violates Senate rules or who is found in contempt of Congress. If the Democrats win a majority in the Senate this fall, are you ready for some football!

If Lindsey Graham were the pious, old gal he pretends to be, he would call Roger Stone to testify next week. If Stone then didn’t appear, he should be arrested. That would certainly put Trump in a bind, because one of the things that Roger would have to do is tell the truth under oath. He’s not pardoned, only his sentence was commuted. If he lied again he could be tried for the same crime of contempt in the very body he lied to in the first place. It’s not double jeopardy; it’s a continued prosecution of a criminal act. The penalty the second time would probably be much greater than the seven to nine years the prosecutors sought the first time.

William Barr is not a valid Attorney General. He’s broken his oath to protect the Constitution, and under any other circumstance he would have been impeached. Barr is a political operative and liar for the President. He’s soiled himself so much that even a giant Depends diaper can’t save him. Congress is also not our friend. Their partisan drunkenness and self-dealing must be dealt with in the next election.

I don’t give a rat’s ass about Roger Stone; the man has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back and would have become someone’s wife in prison in his first week there. Perhaps you can accept the notion that Roger would love being someone’s wife in prison. Look above to the first paragraph about depravity.

I care about America and our form of government. Donald John Trump also deserves a fair trial, but one in which he is judged by a jury of his peers. You know, rich, fat, racist, white Americans with overbearing narcistic personality disorders. Better yet, how about twelve US citizens who have been deeply hurt by the COVID-19 curse. That jury should be composed mostly of African American and Hispanic people who most deeply feel the pain of the pandemic and who have suffered most under the mismanagement of the Trump administration. It would be fair because black is the new orange.

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 conservation 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.


DO WE NEED MONUMENTS?

The Confederate President Trump

For those of us who love historical studies and focus on the American story, there is much to be learned from the Civil War and the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. However, one must read to gain that knowledge, or at least watch these fantastic documentaries: Unforgiveable Blackness, The Civil War and The Address by Ken Burns. And while you’re enjoying those fine works of Mr. Burns, check out The Central Park Five. It’s more relevant now, than ever.

Let’s examine the beginning of human beings’ affection for monuments and statues. The emperors of ancient Rome loved to honor their own heroic deeds by erecting statues of themselves around the city. Why did they do that? Well, to remind those they ruled about their power. Roman sculpture was modeled after statues in ancient Greece, so once again the Greeks get credit for the concept.

In 1866, Congress issued an act prohibiting any living person being portrayed on American currency. Our Founding Fathers believed it was unpatriotic to place a living person’s likenesses on circulated money. It could be this concept was biblically inspired under the heading of graven images. America holds the belief that there must be some distance between the living and the legends. For example, the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown cannot nominate a player until they have been out of the game for five years. It’s sewn into our common value system.

I am a northerner by birth, but I’ve lived almost half my life in the south. I get the big-deal importance of the Civil War, especially when witnessing Southerners and their elaborate war reenactments at Stone Mountain in Atlanta. That park has the largest piece of exposed granite in the world, and carved into that majestic mountainside are huge, high relief sculptures of the most famous Confederates, Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. I refuse to put the word “president” before Mr. Davis’ name because he was never the president of any country, I’ve ever lived in.

Here’s a good place to mention that when the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was brought back to life in 1915, members assembled annually at Stone Mountain to participate in things like cross-burnings and other recruitment festivities. It wasn’t until 1960 that Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver condemned the park and took full control of the property to stop the embarrassing KKK events. I’ll share this ironic side note. When I first visited the site in 1980, they still had two men’s rooms and two women’s rooms in the main building. Yes, those were once used to segregate the visitors by race.

A few miles away, the Atlanta Historical Society runs a Cyclorama where you can see a theatrical display of the battle of Atlanta. It’s very well done, and I recommend it to anyone who loves history. There is a deep need for old family southerners to believe that the Civil War was a political conflict about state’s rights. Well, that’s true, but not true. To say it correctly, the southern states wanted to keep free slave labor in their farms and plantations, while the northern states wanted to end slavery. Let’s not sugarcoat it; the south wanted their sugar cane harvested and were willing to fight for it.

As a kid, I looked up at the anatomically exaggerated statues and wondered if they really were that big or were the creators of the works just trying pay homage to them. Whatever those giant men did was not revealed unless the plaque fastened to the statue’s pedestal told a story. Even then, the words could be twisted and arranged in ways that none of the bad things would ever be known. If the person whose likeness is carved into a statue owned a slave, many today would condemn the monument to death.

I was highly disappointed and depressed to read the 1801 Last Will and Testament of my ancestor Thomas Douglas, in which he ceded his “negro wench” Hannah to his wife Susanne. Shocking, given that all my relatives on that side of the family were devout Scottish Presbyterians, but then, so was President Tommy “Woodrow” Wilson who left office in 1921. That was sixty years after the Civil War, and most historians claim Wilson did not consider the races fundamentally equal and had no intention of aligning them under the law. The more you read about him, the more you understand that he was a racist. Not only was the KKK becoming politically active and vocal during that era, but southern American towns decided to “honor” those Confederates by putting up statues. It was a distasteful burp of racism in the mouths of those who decided to rewrite history using statues to make the actions of those traitors look more acceptable. It was all a giant lie and bold endeavor of face-saving.

The Black Lives Matter movement is an attempt to unwrite the rewrite, and the statues beg the question, “Why do we need them?” What I am about to say may be greeted with anger, but those large masses of bronze and stone are nothing more than Americans trying to imitate Europe. Visit France and you will see statues in many parks, sidewalks and on all the bridges. The obsession with these “works of art” can be traced back to Napoleon, the self-titled Emperor of the liberated France. It’s funny to me that the people revolted and killed the King and Queen, then they put Napoleon in charge who decided he was an Emperor and up went the statues.

Statues are un-American and demonstrate a gaudy commercialism of our values. We use them to promote Bob’s Big Boy hamburgers and to commemorate Presidents, Generals and slave owners. I am sure there is no statue of my immigrant great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Douglas. He was a slave owner, but he’s still my relative. I could dismiss the issue by saying, he didn’t know better, or that he was just following the laws and culture of the time. I want to believe deep down inside that he treated Hannah fairly and never inflicted any demonic pain or punishment on her, but I don’t know what really happened.

This would be a great time to ask Donald Trump who he is protecting with his rage against the purge of Confederate statues. His executive order tough-talking against those who are tearing the statues down is extremely inappropriate. Trump said, “They’re tearing down statues, desecrating monuments, and purging dissenters. It’s not the behavior of a peaceful political movement; it’s the behavior of totalitarians and tyrants and people that don’t love our country.” He wants those who deface or destroy these statues to be put in jail for ten years. Really? If he were a real president and patriot, he would convene a council to determine which ones stay and which ones go. Donald Trump is a walking monument to lies and deceit, and his aggressive language is stoking the radicals into destruction. It’s interesting how he always does the wrong thing when it comes to global and local politics. He’s a complete and utter failure. We should forge a large statue of the fat, orange man and when the monument is finished erect it here.

PERFECT FOURTH OF JULY GIFT

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 conservation 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.


WRONG AGAIN, MR. BIG PANTS

Trump’s Dangerous Advice on COVID-19

Why aren’t there higher American authorities on medical issues? There actually are, but they have been pushed aside by the narcissistic dude squatting in the Oval Office. Why do we permit old white Congressional males with large bank accounts to determine how our healthcare works? The President of the United States is not qualified to give advice on viruses and pandemics. Why is he allowed to do that? It’s because the founders of this country never imagined we would have such a brain-dead dolt in the White House.

Defeated & Despondent

Imagine Abraham Lincoln giving one of his three to four-hour speeches and in the middle of the oration saying, “I told my people, cut back on that whole freeing the slaves thing when talking to southerners.” I am sure newspapers would have encouraged northerners to heat the tar and pluck the feathers. During his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, Donald Trump said, “Testing is a double-edged sword. When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So, I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’” Less than 24 hours later, Trump’s minions were on TV saying his words were “tongue in cheek,” or, the typical fallback, “He was joking.”

As Trump makes plans to go to Arizona to address thousands of students in a mega-church, one must ask if he is trying to thin his own herd? Could Donald Trump be so stupid that he believes he’s invincible? We know from videos of the rally in Oklahoma broadcast by every network that lots of out of shape and overweight types entered the arena. They are prime targets for the COVID-19 virus. Why does Donald endanger his fans? Is he lacking logic or simply not caring?

Writing a denouncement like this makes me feel better, but what does it do for America? The day Trump took a stand against face masks marked the day America lost the war with COVID. Let’s make it clear. Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has surrendered to a global pandemic. He’s out there walking away while waving the white flag. Some wartime president, eh?

As we start the week of June 22, 2020, there are crises being played out in those states that fell prey to the illusion of the pandemic being over. The governors of those states must believe their citizens are somehow biologically different than people who live in New York or New Jersey. Surprise! Surprise! Florida humans are just as vulnerable as all other Americans. How could any reasonable leader believe that the coronavirus wouldn’t become a greater problem after reopening the commerce of their state? Wishful thinking? I guess that is what it was, and now more people are dying.

I will never respect Donald Trump and I will always remember that his polices on the virus and his systemic racism showed such blatant disregard for seniors, people with pre-existing conditions, African Americans, LGBT people and Latinos. Trump, the most powerful person in America, has no clue that he dumped a giant, steaming shit pile on the Constitution. I have taken note of those Republicans in Congress who let this happen. They are not only derelict; they are complicit. They don’t deserve to represent their states.  Vote the bastards out!

No Mask Ivanka?

Trump has overtly mishandled the COVID-19 virus and he will pontificate, blame, dodge, lie or steal to convince people he cares. He doesn’t. He’s the poster child for this tragic time in our history. Let’s take his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, his daughter Ivanka and all the other hypnotized zombies in the White House and throw them in the river. They need to be baptized in the truth and baked in the sun of accountability.

People need to register to vote and get rid of this loaf of lard. A person who spent more than $20 million (according to Forbes magazine) of the taxpayer’s money on doses of hydroxychloroquine, when there was never any proof it would work, owes us all an apology. The Federal Procurement Data System shows well over $3.02 billion has been spent to date on potential vaccines and cures, and most of that money came from the budget of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department. There must be an investigation into how Trump spent that money and whether he, his family or his cronies got rich on those investments.

Trump is an unscrupulous operator who doesn’t understand that hurting people is immoral. I’m thinking about all the evangelicals arriving at the pearly gates and being asked about their political misdeeds. Will they have good answers? At the very least, they owe God a giant apology for promoting this sick narcissist and deviant despot. But who am I to judge? I didn’t vote for Trump and never ever will!

FROM THE WAR ON SCIENCE TO BLACK LIVES MATTER

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 conservation 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.


JOHN BOLTON – AMERICAN TRAITOR

Trump Hires, Fires and Then Disassociates

I have never liked John Bolton. This humble taxpayer feels his flavor of Neo-Con* philosophy and his ongoing geopolitical power ego trip is unproductive for America and our democracy. Now we have Bolton’s new book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, providing an inside look into the administration during the time Mr. Bolton was National Security Advisor.

Of course, Donald John Trump will do whatever he can to keep this book from reaching the American public because it is damaging to him on so many levels. Trump calls John Bolton’s new book “nasty & untrue,” and he used this threadbare tagline, “If I listened to him, we would be in World War Six!” Should you think this comment about someone Trump hired is rather outrageous, consider that on the day Trump announced his appointment he told Bolton “not to get us into a war.” Is that comforting?

A Washington Post article from March 22, 2018 pointed out that, “Bolton has touted ‘the legal case for striking North Korea first’ in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. In a subsequent interview with Breitbart News, Bolton warned that the North was on the cusp of being able to strike the continental United States and raised the specter of Pyongyang selling nuclear devices to other hostile actors such as Iran, the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.” Some say that Bolton inspired John McCain’s silly song lyric, “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb-Bomb Iran!”

A few months after Trump fired John Bolton, the President was hyping his first meeting with Supreme Leader and Marshal of the Republic of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un. Trump believed that if he simply established a personal relationship with that rotund dictator, he could manipulate him into giving up all his nuclear programs and weapons. How did that work out?

Last week, Kim Jong-Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong, broke her silence when she threatened military action against South Korea because they protested Pyongyang’s live-fire military drill. North Korea then announced it would cut all official channels of communication with the South and used controlled explosives to blow up the de facto inter-Korean embassy just north of the border. Later that same day, the hermit kingdom announced they would redeploy troops and resume military exercises near the border. Wow talk about passive-aggressive! While Bolton might have been right about North Korea and the Kim dynasty, Trump couldn’t deal with John’s intelligence and his reality-based advice. Trump also knew Bolton was not loyal to him.

Did John Bolton sign an agreement to never to talk about what happened in the White House? Does Bolton love his country, and did he take an oath to protect the Constitution swearing that he would always do what’s best for America? He didn’t.

Trump’s Attorney Jay Sekulow

John Bolton’s statements and history indicate that he doesn’t like Congress, he loathes bureaucracies and can’t stand anyone who disagrees with him. He’s just like Trump.

President George W. Bush appointed Bolton to serve as ambassador to the United Nations in August 2005 as a recess appointment — a process in which a President can pass around normal Congressional confirmation hearings. After being formally nominated to the position, Bolton’s confirmation was delayed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They were reluctant to confirm him because they disliked his brusque style. He resigned from the U.N. and moved into the public sector.

It is alleged that John Bolton received a whopping $2 million advance for his new book. Publishers Simon & Schuster surely know they will get a return on that investment once the book hits the market. I bought Bolton’s book, but that doesn’t mean I endorse his actions and deeds done while a public figure. He should have honored his patriotic duty by going before Congress to testify about all the issues raised in his book.

Bolton damns the Democratic effort during the impeachment trials in his book, but in suspended animation he does he not realize that his refusal to testify before Congress was an obstruction of justice that kept those important facts from the America public. Bolton kept silent, except promising his publisher that his book would have immense value. John Bolton is an informational traitor and a self-serving asshole. He should have come forward with his “evidence” to convince not only Mitt Romney, but others, that Trump is an unfit criminal living in the People’s House, the White House, Our House.

Trump is a hopeless, feckless failure of a person. His presidency is the worst in my life, and I was alive when that “crook,” Richard Nixon, approved a break-in, a coverup and deployed the Justice Department to go after his enemies. I thought all that was bad.  The man we now have is much more contemptible and corrupt.

Trump has approved breaking into a computer server owned by the Democratic party, has executed a massive coverup of his misdeeds and now, with the Bolton book, he’s clearly demonstrating he will use the Attorney General to go after his enemies. This president has offered deals to dictators suggesting he would end US legal investigations of them in return for their favors. Apply the terms COLLUDING and QUID PRO QUO here. The book claims that Trump not only asked Ukraine for election help, but that he begged China’s President Xi to buy tons of soybeans to enhance his reelection chances. Dear Susan Collins, he never learned any lessons from his impeachment.

In my eyes, John Bolton is no hero and certainly far from being a patriot. He’s just another political whore who would rather bomb a country and waste our tax dollars on nation-building instead of employing the use of productive diplomacy and strategic humanitarian aid to help our country.

Bolton might be telling it like it is, but it’s less about honesty and more about inflating his bank account and ego. Study history, and you will see that Bolton is like John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. After World War II they overthrew the governments of other countries for all the wrong reasons. Their overt, secret and unlawful actions helped start the “Cold War” with Communist Russia. I am sure John Bolton believes he’s right, just like the Dulles brothers felt about themselves.

The Supreme Court cannot block the Bolton book, but no matter what happens we don’t need to run out and carve statues of John Bolton in our town squares. He’s a traitor to democracy and someone who must redeem himself with positive actions, now!

If the Representatives in Congress have any scruples or fortitude, they will subpoena Mr. Bolton to testify before them. Should he claim to be too busy with his book tour to attend a hearing, they should arrest him and put him in jail.

Our government needs transparency and truth. If the thought of Bolton being held in a cell in the basement of the Capitol building bothers you, consider this. He failed to honor his oath to protect the Constitution and the presidency. Bolton should be made to read his entire book into the Congressional Record as a payback to the American people. Court is hereby adjourned.

*Neo-Con is short for Neoconservatism and is an American political movement from the 1960s was started by disenchanted liberal hawks who saw the pacification platform of liberals and left leaning voters as a problem. Neo-Cons are devout supporters of Israel and prefer bombing over talking.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

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 conservation 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.


SOLDIERS TO FIREMEN TO NURSES

American Memorializes Real Heroes

There are those who think that one’s political opinions can get in the way of true patriotism. This is not true. Any citizen of this great nation has the right to write, publish or comment on whatever they want. Check the First Amendment to our Constitution. The right of freedom of the press gives us freedom of religion and gatherings. The president does not have the right to close churches, or demand they open. Legally speaking, it’s not his call.

Today, we are looking back to the way we view our own countrymen and women. When I was a kid, soldiers marched in parades. Firetrucks were always part of the festivities, and around the area where I grew up, Brentwood, Pennsylvania, the firetrucks were colorful. Brentwood had red trucks, while the neighboring borough, Whitehall, had, yes you guessed it, white trucks. The town of Green Tree, had green trucks. And you wonder why I am the way I am.

My father fought in World War II and had communications responsibilities in Europe. The troops were in charge of raising telephone poles and getting the phone system back up and running in that war-torn land. I was taught to be a patriot and respect America and the flag for which it stands. As I said in my recent book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, I sincerely love my country and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I respect the military and don’t need a draft dodger or goodie-two-shoes flag waver to tell me who I am.

Sometime after World War II, we reluctantly sent more of our finest men to Korea to fight another conflict. That war didn’t result in a full victory, thus we now have a North and a South Korea. Later, we got sucked into another conflict between communists and dictators in Vietnam. We picked the side we believed would help us defeat communism. We were wrong and destroyed a country along with the good name of America. Vietnam veterans have not been treated very well in this country. I am sorry for that.

If you are a younger reader, I would suggest you watch these movies: Apocalypse Now, Born on the 4th of July, Platoon, Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket or spend some time with Ken Burns’ 2017 documentary The Vietnam War. There were more than 365,000 Vietnamese civilians killed in that war, while there are 58,276 names of US troops on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. The war ended when the United States government evacuated embassy personnel and the communists took over Vietnam. That was not our proudest moment. Unfortunately, distrust of the government by our baby boomer generation, plus the general disdain for the war, splashed hard against our vets who came home, many injured, tired and broken. Drug addiction and despair gripped many of my buddies for years. They should be honored. They were asked to do a job, and they did it.

When terrorists from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan entered our country and flew jets into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, these sites became crime scenes and war zones. The press even called the disaster in New York City “Ground Zero,” as if a bomb had been dropped at the site. That is the original meaning of the phrase. Brave police, firemen and first responders rushed to the burnt and fallen buildings, attempting to rescue people from the rubble. Since many perished, the teams turned to searching for human remains. As time has shown us, many of those heroes got terrible diseases and ailments from working on what they called “the pile” at Ground Zero. After years of fighting for benefits, Congress finally gave them some support and aid. It’s embarrassing that those responders had to fight to get credit and the help they needed. We should be honoring those people every day.

Now, we face another external force that has brought death and depression to many in this country, the global pandemic. As I’m writing this, there are close to 98,000 deaths from this evil virus, close to twice the number of casualties in the Vietnam war. Deaths from COVID-19 virus are now thirty-two times the number of US citizens who died on 9-11. Today we also salute those courageous people who are working endless hours in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Thank you for your service.

According to Vox.com, “Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected with the virus.” It will probably be a long time before we get verified figures about healthcare worker deaths on the frontline, but it’s interesting that the same Vox article takes the position that we shouldn’t see healthcare workers in the same light as soldiers. You can read it here. I get their point. Soldiers go into war knowing they might die while healthcare workers never agreed to giving their life when doing their jobs. Nurses and doctors should be protected and our government has let them down.

While our present administration effected large increases in military spending, they cut back on funding for healthcare insurance protections, hospital expansions and they allowed the national stockpile of PPE, ventilators and testing equipment to dwindle to dangerous levels. These errors in action and faulty logistical planning can be documented, but this is not the day to hold the government accountable.

This is a day to honor those who did their jobs, saved lives and moved us toward the solution of a horrible global pandemic. When we see our leaders sink to the level of useless bickering, it ruins the American spirit and creates division rather than a united front to win this medical and economic war. Today I can’t help thinking about my father and the five years of his life he gave up helping to save the world from Nazis.

Our damn politicians don’t fool all of us. We see them go into secret meetings and come out with those lugubrious faces, repeating paltry partisan talking points. They are not heroes; they are cardboard cutouts that will fall with the purity of rain. Real heroes don’t ask for praise or keep repeating how exceptional they are. They wake up, get out of bed and do their job. We must honor them with our words and our actions. We shall move forward, with or without those lame leaders who fail to take care of us. If you only listen to those who you agree with, you will never become stronger. The weak may follow, but the truly brave always lead.


WITH ALL DUE RESPECT

Trump Train: No Conductor, Wrong Track

I think growing up in Pittsburgh put a bit of a chip on my shoulder. It’s not like us ‘burghers hold grudges or grievances, or stand ready to provoke disputes and arguments, but we can surely talk your leg off. Also, Pittsburghers have a built-in underdog status, which often comes in handy.

In the 1946 Marx Brothers movie, A Night in Casablanca, the female character, Bea, played by Lisette Verea, and Groucho’s Kornblow are both smoking and playfully blowing smoke at each other. As the cloud of smoke surrounds their heads, Groucho says, “This is like living in Pittsburgh – if you can call that ‘living.’” When we were kids, we were told that our hometown was inferior to other places.

The ‘burgh is a sports town. Our insecurity complex came to a screeching halt when our Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. We were brought to our feet waving yellow pieces of “terrible towels” when our NFL Steelers won six Super Bowls. Then there were the five Stanley cup wins by our Pittsburgh Penguins, which brought much joy to the hearts of Steel City citizens. The goal has always been respect, not just winning.

I always twitch when I hear a retort start with the words, “With all due respect.” It’s because I know that whatever they are about to say will be contra to my position. That’s fine. I want to know your point, perception or proposition. Afterall, you could be right. I will change my mind if you take the care and time to intellectually lay out the logic.

During the confirmation hearing for William Barr as Attorney General of the US, I believed he was a straight-shooter, even though he orchestrated and wrote all the pardons freeing those involved in the Iran-Contra Affair under President George H.W. Bush. Go ahead and Google it. You see, I have a thing about white collar crime and political infractions. Why are those people treated differently when they break the law? The lame excuse, “I was just following orders,” didn’t cut it at Nuremberg and shouldn’t in the United States of America. Oliver North was not a patriot.

I never liked Michael Flynn and was more than skeptical when Donald Trump appointed him to the post of National Security Advisor. I like smart generals and I have nothing against the military, but when pure ideologs make policies we often end up on shaky ground. Dick Cheney was of that ilk, and after spending a trillion dollars on unnecessary wars we saw the damage an ideolog can wrest when they become too powerful in US decision-making. Dick Cheney was not a patriot.

Take all that Trump has said during his three years in office, boil it down, and you will see a pattern of over-committing to a plan, then throwing water on the plan and, later, blaming someone else for the plan. It’s amazing to me that the guy doesn’t run into himself on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Trump is a confused little boy with the thinnest skin of any human.

When William Barr took control of the Department of Justice, he was called to the Senate for a hearing, and that’s when we saw the real Bill Barr. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Barr didn’t change his title from A.G. to P.O. — Political Operative, because that is what he is. He’s not upholding the law when it comes to Trump. He’s out front, blocking for him, running interference and acting more like a bought judge than the Attorney General.

During his first post confirmation hearing, Barr claimed that the FBI “spied on the Trump campaign.” He seemed to say that there were some misdeeds by the agency when they checked out unusual and premature contacts between Russians and those in the Trump campaign. Isn’t that something the FBI should do? Why would Barr think that’s not okay? Is he a Russian agent?

Not too long later, William Barr was discrediting and misquoting the Robert Mueller Report. During his presentation, before the document was released, he basically said that he and Rod Rosenstein reviewed the facts and determined that there was no wrongdoing by Trump or his cohorts. REALLY? I read it and saw a bunch of indictments, admissions of guilt and sentences handed down. The report wasn’t nearly as vague or positive as Barr wanted you to believe. Without the terms being present in the report, it paints Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator and the main obstructer of justice in the probe.

With the thousands of other cases the Attorney General is responsible for managing and directing, we can only hope that his biases and distractions are not affecting the process of justice. Unfortunately, that’s not the circumstance. Keep reading; it gets worse.

I wasn’t surprised when Barr announced that the DOJ was dropping its charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI. Flynn admitted to the lying and was convicted of that crime. I am sure Barr can read the law: “Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the name for the federal process crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in ‘any matter within the jurisdiction’ of the federal government of the United States, even by merely denying guilt when asked by a federal agent.” William Barr cannot erase this law from the books and has broken the law by ignoring it.

I don’t trust Trump and I don’t trust William Barr. Had Barr been doing his job properly he would have dug into Trump’s tax returns and attempted to establish motives for some of this president’s bizarre actions. There should be a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate the Attorney General, but we don’t have time right now — you know, election coming, pandemic, virus in the White House, stuff like that.

With all due respect, William Barr is neither a patriot nor a glowing light for justice. He’s simply an ass-kissing Trump sycophant. For those who really care about law and order in America, please step up and help throw Trump out of the White House in November.

I don’t respect people who cannot be objective when administering the law. I know that if Trump losses the election in November, his fake writers will be churning out the pardons for everyone Trump believes treated him unfairly. They will take care of those who suffered terrible injustices that often happen to rich and famous people like Martha Stewart.

I cannot wait to see Donald, Ivanka, Jared and all the Trump knuckleheads walking to the helicopter to fly them back to New York in January. Better yet, why not make them ride a train back to their tower? I don’t mean the Acela Express; I’m talking about the slow train. Maybe we could drop a few trees over the tracks on the way back. That will allow them to appreciate a true, common man traveling experience.

Two Books For Your Stay-at-Home

Available now at Amazon