LET’S TALK ABOUT TWITTER

Separate Policies & Rules for Donald Trump

Back in the good old pre-internet days, we had this thing called a “chain letter.” The concept was simple. One person would write a letter and send it to a group of others. Every recipient was requested to send a copy of the letter to a specific number of other people. This was an early exercise in “going viral.” The “chain” theoretically could have created an exponentially growing pyramid, and the concept was exploited by get-rich-quick scams. Chain letters were used by low-tech social groups that the internet eventually killed.

In the early 1970s, we had a lot of social media starts and stops from Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), but the biggest leap came when AOL introduced millions to ICQ in 1997. They bought the patent from an Israeli company named Mirabilis, which had Yair Goldfinger as a founder. Yes, true. The name ICQ was a sound-play on the phrase, “I Seek You.” This revolutionary app allowed young users to instantly communicate via typing with their friends online. Those teenagers are now in their mid-thirties and ICQ was their introduction to social media, which they never stopped using.

I studied and deployed social media to promote my comedy web site, books and blog. I have also advertised on Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes very successfully, other times, “Meh!” The power of targeting people by their interests, posts or political viewpoints has made social media companies billions of dollars. For example, last year Facebook made $70.7 billion, YouTube clocked in with $15.1 billion, and records show that Twitter earned $3.46 billion in 2019. So, they are more than social; they are rich.

That brings us to Donald Trump. In 2009, Trump created @realDonaldTrump on Twitter to promote his brand and TV show, and he has been tweeting ever since. According to the blog, TweetBinder, since 2009 Donald Trump has shared over 42,000 original tweets. With an estimated 80 million followers now, Trump uses his personal twitter account as the official mouthpiece of his presidential administration, along with various personal thoughts, complaints, bitch fests and brain farts. Not all of his 80 million followers love him. News media, political operatives and members of Congress track his tweets just to keep up with the man’s outrageous and questionable words. I won’t miss him when he’s gone from all social media. I truly believe Trump is addicted to Twitter.

Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams created Twitter in 2006. The service grew rapidly, and by 2012 they had more than 100 million users. The original name was “twttr,” and when the service began each tweet was limited to 140 characters. Later, the limit was expanded to 280 characters. Their bird logo and the spelling out of the name Twitter can be seen everywhere, which was one of the main reasons I signed up. The service has 262 million international users with 42% of their users living in the US.

When I jumped on the bird, I was the VP of Marketing for an international software company, which had more than fifty web sites and services and a full complement of social media pages to promote our products and services. Sure, I asked our lawyers to read all the EULA’s (End User License Agreements), but, like most of us I clicked the [Accept] button without reading the rules. My company utilized multiple sites, accounts and pages for each social media platform. Not only were these sites in different languages, but we needed to research which approaches worked best in the various world markets where we operated. This is not uncommon, but I guess it’s more important to the providers than I thought.

In the early social media days, we got away with many things because the platforms didn’t catch us. They were too busy counting their money. Like many of us, I  have been on edge during the global pandemic. I’ve lashed out online at people who were making ridiculous statements, presenting lies and aiding Donald Trump in his supreme stupidity. I have been angrier than ever because people I knew were dying from this terrible coronavirus and some of the things I posted were demented, derogatory and dangerous.

Yes, I said some terrible things to and about the new White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, after she went on Fox News and said the virus was a hoax created by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump. While people were dying, she was creating a false narrative to protect fat boy. My tweets screamed at her as she was working in her new job for the President. Right after that, I was suspended from Twitter, and I appealed.

Twitter denied my appeal and banned me for life. They sent me a letter that outlined what they described as “severe violations of their polices and platform manipulation rules.” They claimed I was “artificially amplifying or disrupting conversations using multiple accounts.” Guilty! They claimed I was operating “multiple accounts that interacted with one another in order to inflate or manipulate the prominence of specific Tweets or accounts.” Guilty! Then, they closed the coffin with this sentence, “Please do not reply to this message as this email address is not monitored.” They closed all my accounts and deleted all my content. WTF?

You might be asking, why do I care? Well, I just want to be treated the same as the President of the United States. He employs many accounts, @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS being two examples, and he uses many press room accounts to promote his maniacal messaging on the platform. Of course, he’s also in violation of posting messages that promote violent actions — like threatening an entire country with nuclear annihilation — but they look the other way and, under the law, they cannot delete his posts and he cannot block any user from seeing his tweets. They have officially said they will not take down Trump’s tweets accusing MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murder, even though they know it’s a lie. Trump cannot be censored, but I can.

I openly admit I have also said some bad things about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and some of the ridiculous policies implemented at his company. Their selective censorship seemed to change right after Mr. Dorsey met with Trump in the Oval Office, but I cannot say that on Twitter, only Facebook. Dorsey is not a worthy gatekeeper and he cannot justify his actions.

If I had a big money pouch I would sue Twitter and make this an issue, but any solution would mean Twitter would have to stop their censorship regarding what can be posted and what is verboten. Pure freedom of speech would also protect neo-Nazis and anarchists. Not a good solution. Twitter claim they are not a publisher; they are only a service or platform, yet I was not in control of my account. They claim they aren’t the writer, just the printer, yet they decide what the ink can print. Doublespeak at its finest!

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have the same problem. When protesters in Michigan were waving Nazi flags and holding signs with terrible World War II death camp slogans, I went ballistic and wrote a blog post to condemn them. My post and link to the story were taken off Facebook because I attached a photo of the protestor’s appalling sign to my post. They claimed this was offensive and in violation of their polices on spreading hate. I wasn’t promoting hate; I was pointing out the hate so people could see it for themselves.

So, here is just another failure of algorithms that hold too much power over people. Software code cannot comprehend subtle nuances and meanings and that makes it exceedingly difficult to resolve disputers or ask for clarification.

This is not Donald Trump’s fault, but he is certainly part of the problem, a large, unmovable part. I do believe that when Trump is no longer President, all those official Twitter accounts will remain at the White House. And when Trump reverts to being a private citizen, we can complain about how he uses his account. Maybe then, he will be held to the standards. Until then, I am shooting the bird.

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

Our Beloved President’s Gamble with Human Lives

Back in April, Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick said, “There are more important things than living and that’s saving this country.” Recognize that this statement came from a leader whose government has executed 563 persons since 1976, more than any other state. My revulsion and anger at Mr. Patrick’s statement revolve around human life. Many Christian do-gooders value life so sacredly that they ban abortions, but never sacred enough to fund agencies that help single mothers, economically challenged families and homeless people. I think Patrick’s comments exactly echo Donald Trump’s thoughts.

A virus knows no boundaries and cannot be stopped with steel walls or banned flights. We prevented travel from some countries several months ago, but that didn’t halt the invasion of COVID-19. It wasn’t the number of people who did or did not come to America, it was our exasperating lack of preparation that caused the explosion of coronavirus clusters in our cities and states.

The sales pitch that attempts to blame increased numbers of infections on greater virus testing is an irresponsible sleight of hand. Why is there no mention about the power of this disease? During the first blast of HIV/AIDS in the US, we analyzed only deaths. Most scientists had no idea about the origin of the malaise and how many years it spread. As more data surfaced, we assumed the ailment affected only gay men. Research based on that strange supposition kept doctors from understanding what was really happening. As we now know, the disease is not confined to gay men. It can be contracted by any person during a sexual encounter.

Until it’s blue in the face, the Trump administration will try to blame China for COVID-19 but that will not solve the problem. It was almost a hundred years after AIDS leaped from animal to human that it got on human medical radar. We have learned how to control HIV, but we still don’t have a vaccine even though we started working on that project forty years ago. The scientific community has been researching cures and vaccines for SARS-Coronavirus-2 since 2002, which is good news because it provides a head start on COVID-19, but we still have to find a way to stop this latest novel coronavirus.

Intelligent leadership in various fields is helping us to better understand this virus. I give serious credit to Major League Baseball for their negotiations and deliberations on ways to bring professional baseball back into our lives. They understand the need to isolate and test all of their players and workers. They started out with a bad plan of playing all games in one place, which led to push back from players. Even though baseball players are usually on the road 50% of the season, they were not willing to uproot their lives and isolate themselves from their homes, wives and kids. That led to an idea of a shortened season in home ballparks with no audiences in the stands, but with TV and radio coverage to rally the fans.

On the HBO TV show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver mentioned research that claimed as many as 10,000 employees were involved in every nationwide MLB game, meaning 10,000 people per game would have to be tested and retested to keep everyone safe. What if we eventually learned that this virus infects the muscles or brains of those infected? Highly skilled and paid players are the foundation of professional sports. If an entire franchise were to be infected with COVID-19, would they have to quarantine for 14 days causing forfeits on the games they missed?

Major League Baseball’s revenue for the 2019 season was a record $10.7 billion, which was up from $10.3 in 2018. They have tons of money to spend on safety and testing, unlike medium to small businesses. One giant leap of faith here involves the quality and accuracy of the tests. I have personal experience with people who have been tested with sometimes positive, and other times negative, results. That’s frightening.

Donald Trump tells us that somehow this virus will just go away. His wishful thinking is the guiding force of reopening of our country and could lead to the biggest mistake any president in our history has ever made. Donnie Boy brags about how his early actions kept us from losing more than a million people, when just a few minutes later he says that none of the statistics are accurate. He quotes that which he agrees with, but stomps on any other data that paints a more sober picture.

A standard business philosophy states that reward requires risk. If one owns a university, or a company that sells steaks, it’s only money that evaporates when the enterprise goes bust. Then there are pandemics, where wrong moves kill people. Over the weekend, we learned that not many people came into the free, state-run COVID-19 testing centers. Could this be the by-product of Trump not wearing a mask, touting unproven drugs and downplaying the infectious nature of COVID-19? Perhaps it doesn’t matter to Donald Trump, as long as he doesn’t get it. Not sure what he gets?

I could be sarcastic stating my belief that people are acting stupidly, but millions of Americans voted for Trump. I’m not saying they are dumb, but those who believe too solidly in this President may, at this very moment, be huddling closely together in bars and hair salons without masks. Might they discover the depth of Donald Trump’s stupidity? I am still miffed at the Fox News personalities who claim the virus is no big deal, but who remain at home to broadcast for their own personal safety. WTF?

I hope this is NOT the calm before the storm but should that storm come, we know who to blame, those governors who ignored science and their Ringleader-in-Chief, Donald John Trump. Let’s dump the lot of them in November!

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


WHAT IS THE REAL ANSWER?

Trump Pushes Workers to the Edge

Maybe because I grew up in a household with a former member of the military, I learned to respect authority figures. That lasted until I got to college and was exposed to radical leftist anarchists, which was a joke. Those radicals were basically white kids from the suburbs of northeastern cities who got into college by the skin of their teeth to avoid going to Vietnam.

The college collective rejected Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon with their goosed-up thinking promoted by Pentagon Generals. They said we couldn’t leave Vietnam because so many have already died, and the domino theory meant the entire world would collapse into communism. We assumed they were lying about the Vietnam war, and after the Pentagon Papers were released, we witnessed the enormity of their lies. We saw the carnage right before our eyes as the body bags and blood were blasted nightly over network TV news.

When we were protesting that war, we were just trying to communicate “Our lives matter,” but many parents, teachers and authority figures said that we were being unpatriotic. When African Americans were involved in police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, a cry for help in the form of the “Black Lives Matter” slogan came about. It wasn’t long after when people felt a need to produce an American flag in black and white, with one blue strip to promote the safety and welfare of those in law enforcement. The Thin Blue Line campaign even sells merchandise. Some saw this as backlash to the criticism of various community’s police policies and activities. There were valid protests but didn’t solve the problem.

The power of the President of the United States is vast but can be questioned. We live in a democracy with a strong First Amendment and I use it every day to say what I really think about the distorted, disillusioned and demented man waddling within the White House. While he was busy selling his Make America Great Again hats, the country was attacked by a virus. It’s not a stretch to say our government was caught off guard. The administration was warned and chose to ignore.

People’s lives have been sacrificed throughout the history of our government. We have fought many wars in which some of our best lost their lives to support land grabbing, philosophical differences and aiding our allies. Recently disclosed documents showed that the US military used our soldiers as guinea pigs to examine the effects of drugs.

In 1971, President Nixon initiated a military drug urinalysis program to identify which service members returning from Vietnam should be rehabilitated. Project MK-Ultra was the code name of a clandestine US Central Intelligence Agency mind control program which conducted experiments on human subjects, some of which were illegal. LSD was just one of the mind-altering drugs that were tested in the program to see if and how they could be weaponized to control human behavior. Many of the unwitting subjects of these experiments were subjected to what amounts to psychological torture. Yes, it was our government without oversight or transparency that implemented this program. In 1994, the US General Accounting Office issued a report stating that between 1940 and 1974 the CIA, Department of Defense and other national security agencies used thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances.

During Donald Trump’s reality TV show, broadcast live from the (I Never Promised you a) Rose Garden, he said, “I just want to make something clear. It’s very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back. And we’re starting a process.” These amazing words were uttered during an utterly ridiculous press briefing on May 15 which did nothing other than revealing the absurd name “Operation Warp Speed” for his quest to quickly deliver a COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s a stupid name and we have no details about how this goal might be achieved.

“Operation Warp Speed” implies it’s going to happen fast, but most experts are doubting that a vaccine will come more quickly just because of a flashy name. Might I add a bit of marketing critique here? When the pilot of the Star Trek vehicle clicked the Warp Speed switch, it was generally to get away from an imminent attack. I am not sure if Trump wants us to run away from problems or get to the unspecified promised land sooner.

As the Washington Post published this weekend, Trump has been touting the drug hydroxychloroquine for more than two months. He even forced the FDA to approve the drug for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Many Fox News hosts have also heavily promoted use of this drug, while clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis showed its danger, especially for those with heart disease. Trump’s justification for taking the drug was “What do you have to lose?” Most experts say that the drug doesn’t seem to have any positive results against coronavirus. A study from the Veterans Administration showed that 27% of the patients treated with hydroxychloroquine died. WHO ELECTED THIS CLOWN?

What the world needs now is not just “love,” but truth. Many Republican governors put reopening their state’s economy way ahead of concern about the continuing challenges of the global pandemic. In states with Democratic governors, a ginned-up revolt has been used to confront their actions to keep their citizens safe. I am sure most of the charges against restaurants, taverns and hair salons will be thrown out of court when all is said and done, but the general ignorance and lack of respect by many of my fellow Americans is depressing. They may die because they believed in Trump’s bullshit.

Trump’s misinformation and distractions have once again divided us into two groups, but there is a more important aspect of his actions. If people take his word as true and then end up suffering or even dying because of it, will we ever believe another president during a pandemic? Maybe the thinning of the herd is based on awareness and knowledge, not muscles.

The good news is Trump does back down on stupid ideas and plans when masses of Americans show their teeth. The most embarrassing thing he suggested was drinking disinfectants. Second was hyping a drug that could kill people. Third was being elected President. We should march on Washington, D.C. The Vietnam war ended because we the people revolted. We need another rebellion now, before it’s too late.

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


JUMP, MOVE & ACT UP AMERICA

Trump Cannot Stop US from Being Great, Again

Is it time for some positive news? The cable and over-the-air network news outlets have been adding an additional story at the end of each hour to make us feel better. I get it. That’s great programming, but it doesn’t help us deal with the next hour. All too soon we learn about more damage caused by both the virus and the Trump administration. Let’s face it. America, and quite frankly the world, were not ready for a global pandemic. “Who knew this could happen?” I guess only the experts, scientists and doctors who focus on health issues, and they tried to tell those in charge.

Donald Trump has been using the phrase “pent up demand” to express the desire of people wanting to get out of their homes and do the things they could do before this pandemic came ashore. His mantra is more salesman than realist. No matter how many times he says “pent up” that alone won’t make it happen. We need lots of smart ideas to get back to business, education and entertainment. What we get instead is a ton of hype and misinformation from the White House and this President. The latest hook, “…We’re Back!” is just another lie from his puckered little lips.

The man first told us this virus wasn’t going to hurt America, then it arrived and hurt this country terribly. He told us about an “off-the-shelf” drug for malaria that would be a big “game-changer” that did absolutely nothing other than harming some patients. We were told many lies and opinions that will do more harm than good, like drinking disinfectants. And if you need some stats, as of today, May 16, 2020, there have been 1,484,579 Americans infected with the curse, and over 88,000 people in this country have died. More than 300,000 people have been taken worldwide.

Yes, We Can Do Better

We were told that the national stockpile of ventilators, PPE and medicines were left bare by Obama. Really? What Dr. Rick Bright laid out during a House of Representatives’ hearing into the Health subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is not exactly the wonderful report card that Trump always gives himself. Most workers in the Trump administration avoid any subject that angers the boss, so they never discussed the possibility of a pandemic. The Donald surrounds himself with only agreeable people, not the best people. Trump views agreement as loyalty.

Had the President been more proactive, honest and helpful with the states, we could have opened the country earlier. Instead he offloaded the responsibilities and duties to the states instead of using the bounty of help that exists on the federal level. We have FEMA, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the United States Public Health Service and even more. Sure, they are all involved in the fight against COVID-19, but Trump doesn’t want them to get too involved. Why? Could it be he wants to cloak the seriousness and deleterious effects of the coronavirus in a hope it will make him more re-electable?

There is little expertise in world governments about handling a pandemic, but that cannot be an excuse for not protecting the planet’s citizens. While Trump fumes and foments hate and fear through his minions at Fox News and by his tweets and pressers, the rest of the country must deal with a serious viral threat. I want to face Donald Trump right now and ask him this question, “When did you become the president of everyone?” I know he would talk and talk and talk and go down his list of performance slogans, clichés and conspiracy theories, repeating his tired, old, hackneyed taglines. Of course, he wouldn’t answer my question. More likely he would accuse me of being a “never Trumper” or “Trump Hater” or some other besmirching name. He’s a fool.

Until I get a better picture of the spread and toxicity of this virus, there are places I will not go and activities I will avoid. Being in the demographic and health categories considered to be most vulnerable, I will tread lightly. My age, however, doesn’t keep me from saying that the depth of ignorance in this administration is stunning. They blather about wanting us to be safe, yet they are urging America to get back to work, school and play with no certainty that it’s safe to do so. When a state judge rules that a stay-at-home-order is unlawful, they are complicit in a coverup of the truth. Remember that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” doesn’t work on a dead person.

Look to smart corporate leaders like McDonald’s that issued their own guidelines for safely opening their stores and franchisee’s properties. It’s a specific, detailed set of smart procedures designed to keep employees and customers safe. Companies that employ smart standards are good neighbors and should be patronized.  I’ll have a Big Mac please. Those who engage in fraud and deception during this critical time should NOT get your money. Most Americans know how to analyze data and can recognize plans and practices that will keep them safe. They will reopen America safely, not this lame-ass, broke-dick President.

This global pandemic has really changed me. My pissed off retorts to people on Twitter got me suspended. I’ve become less caring about Trump fans and know that if they follow this man into battle, he will sacrifice them if need be to look good. By the way, in this context “sacrifice” means death. Why should Americans put their lives on the line for a buffoon? Why do we have to suffer the pain and experience the disillusionment of bad governance when we are the richest and smartest country in the world? I’ll tell you why. It’s because Donald John Trump has no comprehension of science. He’s a pilot who cannot take off, fly or land the plane. How can we possibly avoid a crash?

The energy of protesters demanding their states to reopen is just one example of the poison that results from Trump’s grip on the militia types. Maybe he was test driving his civil war forces, but he should not be so cocky. We saw small groups of support that the National Guard or State Police could easily defeat. For the most part, people respect their local governments and law enforcement. The also tend to social distance from Neo-Nazi, Klan sympathizers and white supremacists, just like I do.

We will conquer the virus, and even though Donald Trump is President we will make America great again. He’s not helpful and we need to use our intelligence and common sense to do what is right, and STOP LISTENING TO THIS IDIOT PRESIDENT!

Stop Watching TV and Read a Book

Available now at Amazon


ASK CHINA THAT QUESTION!

Trump Scolds Reporters in the Rose Garden

My father was born in 1913 and if alive today he would be 107 years old. Growing up on a farm, my father dealt with a lot of hard work after his father died when Dad was 15 years of age. He was the youngest of 13 children and acquired most of his beliefs, prejudices and viewpoints during a depression and two wars. I didn’t blame him for his Archie Bunker-type comments, even though I knew why they were wrong.

My father used the term “polack” to describe Polish people, and although he never used the “N” word, he was most comfortable with calling African Americans “colored.” All the schools I attended were not integrated. My schooling took place before controversial busing laws, so I grew up in a white bubble. This was well before there was even the notion of “political correctness,” and many of the things we said then would not be received well today. If my father was around now, he would probably agree with the main guy in the White House.

Maybe because I was schooled as a journalist, my viewpoint on Donald J. Trump has been damaged by his constant disdain of media and disparagement of our free press. Along with my Presbyterian upbringing and the moral core of my being, I take umbrage with any verbal attack of a group of people, especially the downtrodden and persecuted minorities. I guess you can call me a bleeding heart, tree hugging liberal, although I would prefer to be known as a person with an altruistic grounding and who cares about people.

One of the burning questions that many have raised about Trump is whether he has some embedded racist viewpoints. We do know that his father Fred was probably a Nazi sympathizer. Records show that his father was arrested during a Nazi parade in New York in 1927, but let’s not judge a son’s values based on his father’s closed-mindedness.

The 45th President is a cloudy picture that can turn ugly in an instant. He uses the terms, “good people” to describe individuals who carry Nazi symbols of hate. He needs an enemy or combatant on every issue, which forces him to create a demon when none exists. He was quick to desire a ban of all Muslims from entering the US before he knew the details of one shooting.

When Trump runs out of Democrats, people of color, people from other countries or anyone who disagrees with him to bully, he aims his verbal attacks at the press. That is probably one of his easiest targets. When engaging with the press, his uncharted and disjointed verbosity gives us a great portal into his soul. His words are telling.

During a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday May 11, 2020, President Donald Trump abruptly ended the briefing after he was challenged by one CNN reporter for withdrawing her turn to ask a question, but the damage was already done on mic with a previous reporter. CBS News Asian American reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he emphasized that the US was doing better than any other country with respect to coronavirus testing. Ms. Jiang pressed Trump, “Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we are still seeing more cases every day?” As all the viewers could plainly see, Trump was miffed by the question and loudly retorted, “Well, they are losing their lives everywhere in the world. Maybe that is a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me! Ask China that question!”

Weijia has gotten under Trump’s skin in earlier press conferences, so even with her mask on Trump knew the Asian American reporter from CBS. He has rebuked and disparaged her in the past. The president then called on CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who was walking to the microphone as Jiang leaned over with half her mask off to ask, “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” The whole world witnessed Donald Trump facing an Asian woman who was confronting the President of the United States.

Donald Trump’s comeback was lame, “I am not saying it specifically to anybody. I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.” The only thing that we could hear clearly after that was Jiang objection, “That is not a nasty question.”

Trump has no idea that what he did was purely racist, but then he doesn’t use logic, science or facts to determine any of his positions. Trump’s outburst was racist because she’s Asian, and he was insinuating that she should ask China because she’s Chinese. His move hearkened back to the time he asked April Ryan, an African American reporter, to talk to the Black Caucus for him. I guess he did so because of the color of April’s skin. He would not have asked a white reporter to be a middle-man or negotiator with African American groups. He assumed she was in cahoots with the Black Caucus.

Donald Trump had a strange comment when asked about the senseless killing of a black man in Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery. Few in the media picked up on this issue because of the intensity Trump created with his Chinese blunder during this week’s truncated press conference.

In response to a black reporter asking how he felt about the delayed justice in Georgia, Trump said, “I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people – I’m speaking to many people about it.”  Then, the President pointed out that he talked with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, and relayed that Senator Scott said that he too was disturbed by the fatal shooting. Tim Scott is a good guy but he’s not from Georgia. Donald Trump seemed to want people to know that he “has a black friend.” He was attempting to exploit that friendship to demonstrate he understands African American challenges in this country and, in a sense, was researching how he should react. Was he getting permission?

Our current House of Representatives has 56 African Americans while the Senate has only ten. Trump leans on Tim Scott so much in his commentary because of Scott’s special status of being African American and Republican. It’s doubtful that Trump called any Democratic African American members of Congress for their viewpoints on this tragedy.

When the President of the United States yells at a reporter, who was born in China but grew up in West Virginia, “ASK CHINA THAT QUESTION!” he is saying he doesn’t have an answer. He doesn’t know why everything is a competition. He told us we would be tired of winning. He was right; we are fatigued with his games. He has proven many times that he doesn’t like direct questions from women and especially women of color. So, he’s not only racist, but a male chauvinist pig. Okay, paste another star on his forehead. What a guy.

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


BRAVE BRAZILIANS & BAD BATS

Trump Fails the COVID Test

Has anyone ever told you, “It’s all in your head?” That dismissive statement is so disheartening. There are many hypochondriacs in the world. These people are abnormally anxious about their health and they find ailments, diseases and disorders in every corner. However, a little paranoia and fear is good in us humans when it keeps us from doing the wrong things.

We have heard much about the origin of the novel coronavirus. So much that we have no certainty where it came from other than some animal, like a bat. Folklore has demonized the bat by making it the villain in fright movies. That might have started with the vampire bat, found primary in Central America and South America. Their food source is blood, a dietary trait called hematophagy. Experts believe they evolved from frugivorous bats, with sharp teeth specialized for piercing fruit. Evolution led to eating parasites on mammals and eventually to piercing the skin of their prey to get to the blood. The human vampire myth is based on this animal. Brazil is one of the countries where vampire bats sleep at day and bite at night.

According to the renowned British medical journal the Lancet, “the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic reached Latin America later than other continents. The first case recorded in Brazil was on Feb 25, 2020. But now, Brazil has the most cases and deaths in Latin America.” I am not at all suggesting that Brazil had something to do with the origin of the global pandemic, but they are an interesting study in stupidity.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, one of the world’s leading coronavirus deniers, was out this weekend jet skiing and sending a message to his fellow Brazilians that there is nothing to fear. According to Time magazine, “The far-right firebrand, who was elected in 2018 trading on conspiracy theories and half-truths, has dismissed COVID-19 as a ‘little flu’ and remarked that ’we all die someday.’” He has flouted his own health ministry’s guidance by going on walkabouts to greet supporters and has urged Brazilians to leave isolation and return to work, defying the advice of the World Health Organization.” It would be ironic if Bolsonaro got the “little flu,” but hey, he’s brave.

The medical, health and local governors in Brazil are urging President Bolsonaro to send a more cautious message to the citizens, but it’s too late. Brazil will become a global hotspot because its leader’s lack of understanding. As of May 11, 2020, Brazil had 163,510 cases with 11,207 deaths. As their testing increases, the case count will certainly go up but at what cost? Brazil has a population of 209 million. Some of the early deniers like, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, have finally come to respect the challenge, but there are other world leaders who are militant.

The autocrat in Belarus, President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, has yet to impose any restrictions to slow the virus. We have also heard much about Sweden’s approach to the pandemic, do nothing, let the herd take the hit and move on. Might I remind you that the expression “herd immunity” means people will die?

With a population of only 10 million, Sweden currently has 26,322 confirmed cases with 3,225 deaths. They consider this a success. While we are uncertain the stats are accurate, Belarus reported to the World Health Organization that they have 23,906 cases with 135 deaths. I guess the Belarussians can’t be infected with something they don’t know about. It’s important to point out that President Putin in Russian started out being dismissive, until it became necessary to be honest. Russia has 221,000 cases of COVID-19 with 2,009 deaths. Putin is smart and expresses caution, while probably scheming how he can grab more power in this crisis.

Getting back to America, President Donald Trump is now facing the reality that people in his inter sanctum have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This is not going to go well. A few minutes after a Sunday afternoon news leak that VP Mike Pence would be self-quarantined, a strongly worded retraction was issued saying that Pence would be going to the White House on Monday, as usual. I am sure a call from Trump motivated that reversal.

Just like the constant whiplash we have learned to expect from the Trump administration, we are seeing stories about the President being uptight about COVID being so close to him. Yes, I am suggesting that a certain strange personification of the COVID is taking place in Trump’s brain. He’s already working from home.

It’s like the hypocrites at Fox News who keep encouraging people to do what the president says about opening the country, yet being fearful and cowering in their homes while they broadcast their nightly diatribes. Trump is also apprehensive. We know he’s a germaphobe, but his love of money, need for approval and obsessive desire to get re-elected produce muddled messages. It’s clearly a “do as I say” rather than “do as I do” warning that he sends.

The lackadaisical attitude of our top guy produces actions by those who still respect his opinion. With each pronouncement of openings and the relaxation of social distancing, we see fewer people wearing masks in public. When Trump said, “…wearing a mask would send the wrong message” and make him look ridiculous, his MAGA sycophants heard, “If you wear a mask YOU will look ridiculous!” Someone please tell me, what is the difference between “Anti-Vaxxers” and Trump? Both say stupid things that cause harm, pain and sometimes death.

Most Americans don’t care about Sweden or Brazil or Belarus, but they do care about their children. Sadly, we are learning that our leaders, both political and medical, were wrong about this virus not being dangerous to children. That was a tragic mistake.

I gasped when this headline appeared, “3 New York Children Die From Syndrome Possibly Linked to COVID-19.” Just when we think we understand what is happening, we learn something new. We now know that COVID-19 (clinically named SARS – CoV-2 virus) will attack organs other than the lungs. We have a monster on our shores, and if we let up now we will be living in fear for a long time.

Donald John Trump has failed the global pandemic test. We were NOT ready, and his mind WAS NOT and IS NOT in the right place to cope. Our experts stepped up and tried to guide him to proper actions, but he was slow and conflicted at every turn. The President will continue to distract by casting an ever-widening net of blame. He will try to focus on some positives, but his feeble attempts will no longer work. The virus is in the White House.

Trump’s nightmares of bats, labs, germs and fear of being poisoned will continue, but deep down inside he knows the only way to beat this curse is to find a cure. His political reputation and career are currently in the hands of others and he can’t stand that. Which brings us to my best advice, “Never send a narcissist to a pandemic.”  

Two Books For Your Stay-at-Home

Available now at Amazon


UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB

The Putrid Fumes of a Presidential Pandemic

In William Shakespeare’s dramatic offering HAMLET, the ultra-famous playwright penned a line that is often quoted, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” It was uttered by palace guard Marcellus, after seeing the ghost of the dead king walking over the palace walls. He is speaking to his philosophical comrade, Horatio, saying that the situation of Denmark is like a fish that rots from head to tail. Marcellus is commenting that everything is not good at top of the political hierarchy.

In the 1979 Pink Floyd classic Comfortably Numb, the opening lyrics can be dropped directly into your brain without interpretation, “Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me, Is there anyone at home? Come on now, I hear you’re feeling down. Well I can ease your pain, Get you on your feet again, Relax, I’ll need some information first; Just the basic facts…” Eventually, this sonic masterpiece ends with the lines, “The dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb.”

Something stinks in DC and we are anything but comfortable. Even if we are a bit numb, we are not dumb. We see the numbers on our TV screens every day, there, up on the right, how many infected, how many died. By the end of Mother’s Day 2020, the United States reached the horrible milestones of 80,000 deaths with more than 1.3 million cases of infection. This is real.

A growing number of Americans are figuring out they cannot base their movements, plans or actions on what President Donald Trump says. His latest delusional adlib, at a meeting where no attendee wore a mask, introduces a theory about the COVID-19 virus. He said that it will “go away without a vaccine.” He provides no evidence other than a mention that other viruses went away. Had Limp Brain Donnie googled the subject, he would have seen that many past viruses had no cures. From the Baylor College of Medicine web site, we see that plagues such as HIV/AIDS, Dengue fever, Malaria, Respiratory Syncytial Virus and many more have no cures.

To make matters more clinical, we have a vaccine for smallpox, but that doesn’t mean it’s eliminated. We have won most of the battles with polio, but Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria have never eliminated it even though there’s a vaccine for this crippling disease. We are optimistic that the smart biology, chemistry, medicine and genomic researchers will invent a solution for the current coronavirus, but great ideas take time.

Even with many time-tested inoculations, some American parents refuse vaccines out of a fear spread by misinformed anti-vaxx groups. This bad parenting of not helping their kids with vaccinations has led to an increase in cases of measles. We thought we had it eliminated within the US twenty years ago. Thanks, crazy people. All of you should be on a list to be the last to get a COVID-19 shot; you know, wait until it’s proven safe.

It’s amazing that the lyrics of a Pink Floyd song provide a narrative that could be related to treatments and testing, “Okay, Just a little pinprick, There’ll be no more, ah, But you may feel a little sick, Can you stand up? I do believe it’s working, good, That’ll keep you going through the show, Come on it’s time to go.” Most rock experts will tell you the Floyd were singing about shooting up heroin before a big show, but temporary pills and poisons are a necessary evil when times are tough. We could interpret the last phrase as a call to get back to life, which is exactly what we all want to do right now. It’s time to go.

Now a spoiler alert as we get back to Shakespeare. The play doesn’t end well for Hamlet. He is killed with a poisoned sword, leaving the reader uncertain whether the events of the play resolve Hamlet’s struggles and self-doubt. We will probably never know if self-doubt is the main ingredient in Donald Trump’s self-made conflicts. His ping-ponging and flip-flopping have been seen every day during this pandemic. The man is obviously shaken and unbelieving that his words have not yet whisked the virus away.  Maybe tomorrow.

The Observer Research Foundation provides this, “Whether Hamlet was mad or not is indeed a question that has tormented curious high-school students for generations. He started out – Shakespeare tells us – by playing mad, but by the third act it is really not clear whether he had indeed lost the plot a while back.” As can be easily seen, Donald J. Trump navigates many different universes, but each share the flaws produced by alternative facts, outright lies and stunning scientific stupidity. Is the man insane or has he fallen into the trap of becoming the character he created?

The Observer Research Foundation asks, “Could Trump’s unpredictability be a sign of his inability to quickly calculate the costs and benefits of a dramatic change in US policy?” If only it was that simple. Are we facing the frightening reality that he cannot comprehend the dire impact of this virus? Perhaps that could explain how his staff convinces him to change so many of his pronouncements. Surely everyone who works at the White House knows you should NEVER drink Lysol or any disinfectant. It’s unbelievable they had to straighten him out a few hours after he suggested such a cure.

When dipping into Shakespeare and Pink Floyd looking for parallels and meaning, you will find deeply disturbing things. For example, Donald Trump has said openly that his greatest fear in life is being poisoned. Should someone sneeze on you right now, it could end your life. The virus is a poison of sorts, and its name is derived from the halos, or crowns, seen on each viron under electron microscopic examination, thus the “corona” part of the name. Poetically it could be called a crown of thorns, but I will leave that to the devout.

Painfully we have learned that three of the country’s highest-ranking health officials on the COVID-19 Task Force are now self-quarantining after two White House aides tested positive for the novel coronavirus. They came in contact with Katie Miller, the Press Secretary for Mike Pence, and a valet who serves Trump his meals and endless cans of Diet Coke. Katie Miller is married to Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s main intimates. Will the Millers self-quarantine for 14 days?

When new Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said the White House was probably the safest workplace in Washington, most people just shook their heads in disbelief. Trump and Pence may never get the virus leading to the terrible symptoms many people their age have and are suffering, but they are terrible role models. Trump didn’t wear a mask when he visited Honeywell and Pence didn’t wear a mask when he toured the Mayo Clinic. Such foolish, selfish clowns! Their painted smiles are covers for their deep-down panic of this pandemic. Fear vs. denial is a wicked drama. THIS JUST IN: Two of the Generals who attended the weekend Joints Chiefs of Staff meeting (without masks) have tested positive for COVID-19.

When I put on my cloth mask, I smell the odor of a presidential pandemic. I will remember that smell when this is finally over. I bounce between anger and numbness, but that numbness is definitely not comfortable. When I hear those Pink Floyd lyrics, “Just a little pinprick, There’ll be no more,” I imagine a time when we will be LIBERATED from this curse, but make no mistake. Trump will not lead you to the promised land. He has no map, no GPS, no plan, no clear understanding of the problem, and, as we have sadly learned, his promises are lies. His inane words and wishful thinking will not bring an end to COVID-19.

The song Comfortably Numb, has this perfectly appropriate observation about Trump, “Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Trump will go away one day, with or without a vaccine. We must conquer the virus with science and oust Trump with our votes.

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


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

 


THE FOUNDATION CRACKS IN FEDERALISM

Trump Dumps the DOJ Down the Drain

I wish schools did a better job teaching young people how our government works. American democracy has worked so well for so long because of the foundation the founders built into the design. We have three separate but equal branches of government, 1. Executive, 2. Legislative, 3. Judicial.

I’ll embellish a bit. Federalism is a system of government in which entities such as states or provinces share power with a national government. The United States government functions according to these principles and evolved from the “philosophy of federalism.” Using “federalism” as an excuse for not helping any state during a global pandemic is malfeasance of the highest order. Saying the states are “on their own” is negligent government.

Many countries around the world employ the parliamentary system, which is rather comical to most Americans. In a parliamentary system of government, the executive branch has the direct or indirect support of the parliament. This support is usually shown by a vote of confidence. The relationship between the executive and the legislature in a parliamentary system is called “responsible government.” In countries with Kings or Queens, the executive answers to the royal head to greater or lesser extents, but let’s get back to America, which is already in progress.

These days we often hear that when designing our democracy, the founding fathers never considered a person as outrageous, capricious, and disruptive as Donald Trump. The Constitution, Bill of Rights and the laws of this country were written with the idea that whatever abuses of power might come up would be batted down by the checks and balances built into the structure.

The Legislative Branch of our government proposes, deliberates and writes the laws which guide and constrain our way of life. If a law is not in the public interest, the chief executive can veto it. The Congress, with a majority vote, has the power to overrule the president and pass the law. If the law conflicts with the Constitution, the people can challenge the law and the judiciary will get involved. If the dispute goes to the top of the judicial structure, the Supreme Court can be asked to render a verdict. Their decision is final.

I would be naïve to suggest that a person, nominated by the President to sit on a court, is not selected for their previous decisions, written opinions and positions on a range of topics. Trump has plastered most federal courts with people holding extremely conservative dogmas, as evidenced by their past rulings.

When President Trump got elected, he placed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions in the position of Attorney General. Our founders placed the Department of Justice under the Executive Branch for a good reason. If the DOJ was under the Judicial Branch, unruly judges could shape the law enforcement agencies and perhaps use them to coerce the Legislative and Executive Branches. If Justice was under the purview of the Congress, they could force the arrest of someone they didn’t like. In the hands of a bad executive, the Department of Justice could be used to decide who gets charged and how the laws are executed. That is what we have now.

Donald Trump, after realizing that his political appointee Jeff Sessions was going to follow the law and listen to the ethics people in the government, went on a highly unproductive campaign to discredit the man he nominated. Trump thought that if he shamed and embarrassed him, Sessions would quit. Instead, Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, which severely angered Trump. The Attorney General simply followed his legal obligation to pull out of the investigation because he worked on the Trump campaign.

We know from the many books with Trump’s name on the cover that he never saw a law he didn’t consider going around. The Donald brags openly that he knows the tax code so well that he pays no taxes. If he released his tax returns, we would know if this is true, but it does seem rather unpatriotic that such a rich person doesn’t want to give his fair share. He keeps saying how much he loves his country, but he’s probably paid more to keep bunnies and porn stars quiet than he contributed to his beloved country.

Trump snarls and barks that he has full power of the Executive Branch and constantly misquotes Article II of the Constitution, which is very specific:  The Powers of the President are: Serve as commander in chief of the armed forces, commission officers of the armed forces, grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses (except for impeachment), convene Congress in special sessions, receive ambassadors, take care that the laws be faithfully executed, wield the “executive power”, appoint Cabinet officials and White House staff and Supreme Court justices. Nowhere in this list do we see powers to block witnesses, stonewall Congressional oversight or fire and replace government officials based on a desire to manipulate objective judgements and policies.

There are some shared powers with Congress, and they are: Make treaties, appoint ambassadors, Cabinet members and Supreme Court justices and approve legislation. Congress is generally involved in appointments by holding public hearings to determine the qualifications and abilities of those nominated. There is an assumed and codified need for Congress to have oversight of any government action that is counter to the public interest.

If Congress believes a presidential candidate should release their tax returns, they need to pass a law. When a government official is convicted of breaking the law and the President and his Attorney General give the guilty a get-out-of-jail card, by either dropping charges or pardoning the person, the Executive Branch might be involved in malfeasance of justice. The only backstop for this corruption is the Judicial Branch. If judges then do the bidding of the president because of political goals, we have lost our constitutional grounding.

Trump is a bad president who must be checked by Congress and the Courts as soon as possible. By dropping charges against Michael Flynn, Attorney General William Barr is kowtowing to the President rather than following justice and law. Flynn pled guilty and was found guilty on a charge brought by the DOJ. Why does Flynn get a do-over? Well, because he’s a friend of Donald Trump. Michael Cohen couldn’t even get out of jail in a pandemic, while Michael Flynn will walk free.

William Barr should be impeached. The earthquake is coming, and the dictator’s walls must fall.

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 shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

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


NO PATIENCE FOR PATIENTS

Trump’s Propensity of Pulling Out Early

It’s amazing to me that a person can own a casino, no matter where it is located, and not be successful. There is some math involved. The average casino takes in about 6 to 8 percent of the total amount bet as revenue, while 94 percent is paid out to winners. The profit percentage garnered from the average grocery store is somewhere between 2 and 3.5 percent. A casino must have a reasonable number of winners to generate return customers and players. Trump’s Taj Mahal probably had great food and the required number of wins, but maybe Trump just wasn’t good at that business.

Trump Entertainment Resorts and its predecessors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection four times following the $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal erection. One could speculate that the restructuring of debt may have forced Trump to pull out too early. Perhaps he would have made a killing had he stayed in the game a little longer. Donald Trump claims that it was Atlantic City’s fault, not his. Okay, but again, he was the one who pulled out.

In 1988, Trump Airlines started running shuttle service between Boston, New York and Washington, DC. By 1992, he sold off the routes. Yes, the first Gulf War made jet fuel costs soar, but Trump had invested tons of money into remodeling the planes with maple-wood veneer flooring, chrome seatbelt latches and gold-plated bathroom fixtures. Most customers didn’t care about the glitz, they just wanted a reasonably priced airline to fly them where they wanted or needed to be. Trump misread the customer base and walked away from a potential long-term money maker. He didn’t have the staying power.

Many of Trump’s big ideas are now on display in the museum of business failures. There’s Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump the boardgame, the Donald Trump clothing line (made in China), Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, the travel web site GoTrump.com, and, finally, Trump University. Some of these businesses defrauded people out of their money. Donald Trump’s ideas are not always successful, as he claims, but he doesn’t have the patience to hang in long enough to make some of his concepts work. He lacks commitment and scares easily. He pulls out.

Right now, America needs a strong leader to get us through a global pandemic. Instead, we have a guy who acts like a 15-year-old high school boy with ADD. He cannot concentrate on the complexity of the job and would rather trust his gut than listen to people who know more. It’s glaringly apparent that Trump is not paying attention to security briefings, or maybe he just doesn’t believe information he finds challenging or that is against his predispositions. He’s a giant orange ball of prejudgment and bias.

Trump had to finally admit things were going to be bad when he realized he could not convince America that he was protecting us from the pandemic. He couldn’t stick to his position that he was keeping us safe and that building walls and banning travel would keep COVID-19 from attacking our nation.

Let me sprinkle some facts here. The Trump administration announced travel restrictions to and from China, effective February 2. 2020. According to the New York Timesnearly 40,000 people arrived in the US on direct flights from China after Trump imposed those travel restrictions. One could say he was late, but the stronger argument is that what he did wasn’t effective in stopping the virus. His feeble attempt of coronavirus disruption totally dismissed the reality that Europeans coming to America at the same time could cause just as much virus spread as Chinese people.

After pulling together a COVID-19 Task Force to create policies and disseminate valuable information, Trump seemed a little willing to give the experts space in which to operate. However, the more they talked and the more they offered dire warnings, he felt the need to step in front of them. He was too impatient to simply let a crisis be a crisis. No, he had to make it a TRUMP CRISIS. I’m surprised he didn’t trademark that term. He also had to put his name on the stimulus checks, but utterly failed to oversee the Paycheck Protection Program so the money went to those who needed it. Once again, he took credit for an idea, pushed it verbally, then pulled out early. His involvement is always so temporary.

I was impressed when the guidelines for OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN were published by the task force. It was well-thought out and gave our states a concrete plan for reopening. Mere hours later, Trump was announcing the plan contained only suggestions and he even taunted the task force by saying he would not be wearing a protective face mask. He pulled out of his own plan.

Then, in what will be remembered as one of the most combustible actions by a president, he urged people in states where the governors were less than pleased with his response to LIBERATE! Of course, the goose-stepping chumps brought out their Trump, Nazi and militia flags, strapped on automatic weapons and marched to the capitols to demand their states be opened. Really? Trump’s commitment to the far-right, white supremacists and neo-Nazis is mild, but obvious, “They are good people protesting.” My question to Donald Trump is full-throated, “WHEN HAVE YOU EVER MET A GOOD NAZI?”

Trump has no patience for the game, he wants only a win and the trophy. He has no real sympathy for the COVID-19 patients in hospitals. The way he bargains with their lives by second guessing how many ventilators a state needs is sickening. Just when it looked like we were making progress against this virus with the guidelines, Trump manipulated, pressured and bullied governors into opening their states early. He tried to dismantle the task force, and then, within hours, pulled out of that plan after he got calls from “respected people.” Why doesn’t he just consult those people before he decides?

Now we have Trump’s White House minions admitting these early openings will kill people. Trump even went so far as to call the citizens who will lose their lives to the virus “warriors,” as if they were his soldiers. Mr. President, they aren’t soldiers, they are civilians. I would like every one of those elitist bastards in the Trump administration to remember this term, “unnecessary death.” As a retired 70-year old man and a member of this nation’s “vulnerable class,” I must say to those in charge, “GO FUCK YOURSELVES!”

Two Books For Your Stay-at-Home

Available now at Amazon