IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

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

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

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

Casey Anthony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visual Indifference Points

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


GEORGIA ON MY MIND

The Party Puppet: Brian Kemp

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

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

GA Gov. Brian Kemp

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

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

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

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

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

Senators Warnock & Ossoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 


PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucker & Gaetz

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


THE REBIRTH OF TRUTH

Fake Bipartisanship or Real Possibilities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Protest

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 


WHY REPUBLICANS HATE VOTERS

GOP Thinks Voting Should Be Hard

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

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

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

What Would MLK Jr. Think

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 

 


THE CASE AGAINST CUOMO

Imagine if everyone told the truth

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

The Cuomo Family 1977

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

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

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

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

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

CNN’s Chris Cuomo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 

 

 

 


SELFISH INSENSITIVE OR BOTH

Predicted by Politics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


IT WAS ONE YEAR AGO

They are going to make him look very bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


CAN YOU SPOT A LIE?

The Deafening Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change, and it’s damaging America more than anything else right now.

First, we had a bunch of Catholic bishops say that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine wasn’t as holy as the Pfizer or Moderna, then they reversed course. We heard the Mayor of Detroit say he didn’t want the J&J vaccine, because he thought it wasn’t as good as the others, but then he backtracked after being ridiculed by social media and, of course, the free press. In this case, it was the Detroit Free Press, “Mixed messages from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan earlier this week suggesting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is inferior to Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, which he called ‘the best vaccines,’ led to clarifications from the White House COVID-19 response team Friday.”

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

I am going to scream if another mayor or governor says something outrageously stupid then tries to justify his or her mistake the next day. I actually did scream when I listened to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York “man-splain” that he wasn’t aware of what constitutes “sexual harassment” in the workplace. Sorry, folks, but that makes him STUPID. He’s a damn lawyer and has been working in public service and government for years. He knows the law.

Here’s a quote from my book How to Hire Great People, “The United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” The passage also states that some experts report that 51% of workers said they’ve been hassled by a supervisor while 49% complained about the behavior of non-management co-workers, so this is not solely a boss problem.

By the way, the viewpoint of the alleged harasser is irrelevant, it’s the opinion of the person who is being harassed that matters. Cuomo is a smart man and I believe he is lying when saying he didn’t know what he was doing. His embarrassment now is a good indication he knew then what he was doing. Many men just don’t understand the “unwelcome” part of the definition. People say and do reckless things all the time, but we expect more from a person running a city, a state or a country.

A person’s constant inconsistent thoughts and attitudes, especially when they affect behavioral decisions, can topple the trust we have in them. I saw a major flare up at the grocery store the other day, A woman was confronting people not wearing masks. She spoke to the manager who explained that, yes, wearing a mask was a policy but he doesn’t have any power to enforce it. I stayed out of the argument, but it was interesting that the mask-less shopper turned to bark, “Why, don’t you go back to New York!” The cognitive dissonance was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.

Okay, the sign above the door says MASKS ARE REQUIRED TO SHOP IN PUBLIX! Apparently, that’s not exactly true. Early on we were told we should wear masks, but the “leader of the free world” told us straight up he would not wear one. There have been several super spreader events at the White House and lots of governmental folks contracted COVID, yet the person who refused to endorse mask wearing did nothing.

We waste so much time talking, complaining, protesting and arguing when we should be putting our heads together and getting things done. People tend to do one of two things when confronted with truth, gracefully accept the new reality and, when appropriate, apologize and move on or push back with a defensive posture and lies. I don’t care that Andrew Cuomo was lonely, I care about him being honest about harassment and counting the deaths in his state. He’s meat. Today, it’s up to five women with stories, OMG, is he Harvey Weinstein?

I’m not saying that one can never change their opinion, especially when given more facts, but when someone uses past statements to cloud a current discussion then we are in trouble. For example, lots of whacko conservatives keep talking about the time the medical professionals told us that wearing a mask was not necessary. We now know they were covering up a broken supply chain line that was preventing medical masks from getting to hospitals. The government and the healthcare system were not ready for a global pandemic. Let’s just admit that, move on and wear a mask.

Texas Hot Spots

Mike Duggan of Detroit, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Greg Abbott of Texas are not stupid people, but they do idiotic things for the wrong reasons. The Texas governor knew he was wrong to open the state 100% and remove the mask mandate as soon as he announced those things. He first blamed Mexican asylum seekers for bringing in a virus but then yelled, “We are open!” while telling his citizens to rip off their masks. Ted Cruz admitted knowing he was making a bad choice even before getting on the plane to Cancun, but not before trying to make us believe he was forced by his daughters to head on down into the warmth of Mexico, jeez.

People are saying that Americans do not get enough information, but it’s not the quantity of things they read, it’s the quality. Social media is not based on factual investigation and reporting. It’s mostly gossip and opinions which actually tend to be anti-social. It’s moronic to think that Facebook is a good source of news, it’s a source of photos of people’s faces and it was a damn dating app at Harvard when invented.

We have become a nation of demonizing. I remember when we sanitized surfaces and Scotchgarded our carpets, now we want to bite off the head of a bat and spit in the face of our political enemy. You know, like that great British intellectual, Ozzy Osbourne. Is your enemy either Mitch McConnell or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Is it Josh Hawley or President Biden? You’ll easily find someone to hate, and you will walk around being angry at them. Why?

Sure, we must open our states and bring the economy back, but if we open too soon we’ll return to high levels of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Yesterday, I read a newspaper story saying the Texas power plants that went down in this latest storm also failed in 2011. May I ask one question? How many times do you allow something to fail before you fix it?

Being the governor of a state is an awesome responsibility. There is never enough money to do what you want, and if you raise taxes to give your citizens a better life you will get voted out of office. Perhaps a little more logic and a little less cognitive dissonance would help.

I suggest these so-called leaders apply the time-tested ways of getting things done. First, state the problem and make sure it’s a real problem. Then, tell the people what you are going to do to fix it. Point out the roles of each person responsible for solving the issue and then offer regular updates on the progress. We don’t need a “mission accomplished” moment, we need ongoing facts. Here’s what worked and didn’t work and here is what we are going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. No lies, no bullshit, just the plain truth.

I am embarrassed by all these Trump-wannabees. As I said in a letter to one of Florida’s representatives, Matt Gaetz, “More than half the people in Florida know you are lying. If you are unaware of this, then you are out of touch with your fellow citizens and should consider a new career.” Of course, I never got a response. He’s too busy trying to be Trump.

I am always amazed when people keep honoring and following losers. When I see a confederate flag, I think, LOSER. When I see someone attack the press for asking a sharp, demanding question, I think LOSER. When I notice that using ad hominem is more important than answering a question, I mouth LOSER, but when Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaks, I think IDIOT. Okay, that was rude, but clearly, he’s the least intelligent person ever elected to public office. Hey, the bat doesn’t taste that bad after you get used to it. At least I’m consistent.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


THE POPE IS RIGHT

Misguided Advice from the Church

We’ve seen politics and medicine in conflict during this pandemic and now we are seeing a troubling gap between church and medicine. Is the boss being ignored here? No, not Bruce Springsteen, I am referring to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who said in a January 10 interview, “I believe that morally everyone must take the vaccine. It is the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.” He added that he had already made an appointment with the Vatican’s health service for his own inoculation while lamenting that some people are saying they will not take the vaccine.

Okay, let’s start with the Pope’s good advice. God didn’t want people to die in the 15th and 16th centuries plagues and he certainly doesn’t want anyone to die unnecessarily in the 21st century. I was amazed when I read this on the website of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, “The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh says it agrees with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which raised moral concerns over the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because it’s produced using a cell line derived from an aborted fetus.” Should they have a choice, the Diocese is recommending Pittsburgh Catholics go with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and not the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Full disclosure, I am from Pittsburgh, but I am not a Catholic.

I suppose Johnson & Johnson could sue the Church and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but what good would that do? There are millions of people who will line up to get any vaccine. The controversy in this case hinges on the use of certain cells in the development of a vaccine to conquer the Covid-19 virus.

None of the three currently available vaccines involve stem cells from aborted fetuses. According to Health.com, “Stem cells are cells that can differentiate (develop) into many different types of other cells or tissues,” Brianne Barker, PhD, associate professor of biology at Drew University in New Jersey, tells Health.com, “The first type of stem cells that were found were embryonic stem cells coming from embryos. Scientists have now figured out how to make other cells into stem cells (called iPS or ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’), meaning that embryos do not have to be used.” Yes, the orgin of the method started with human cells, but then scientists learned how to create new non-human sourced cells in a chemical way. Think of it as a surgeon placing a plastic value in someone’s heart to give them more time on the planet.

Eating a tomato that was grown in soil fertilized by cow manure doesn’t mean you are eating bovine dung. Pfizer, Moderna and J&J used chemicals in the development of their vaccines. These proteins and fake proteins, or mRNA, are far removed from human sources and the statements from the bishops are not only misleading but raise a potential for harm.

This pandemic has seen an ever-growing disease of non-medical authorities making confounding, unscientific statements. These well-intentioned but misguided minds are not qualified to make therapeutic decisions and bad things can happen if their “guidance” is heeded.

Donald Trump created a large number of anti-mask, anti-science people in the US. These statements by religious leaders have the potential to reduce the number of vaccinations that will be administered. Should that happen, we increase the potential for a longer or more serious fight with Covid-19.

It’s unconscionable that church leaders are advising against a vaccine that could stop the virus from killing more people. I keep thinking of the Biblical verse, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Okay, that sounds good, but what part of “everlasting life” includes death by Covid-19?

I am a Jeffersonian thinker with respect to the importance of separating church and state. The Frist Amendment says it best, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That makes sense. The government cannot tell us what to believe in but they also can do nothing to stop a church or religious leader from attaching dogma or edicts to public matters. For example, churches have been known to promote political candidates. They also urge their parishioners at times to vote against certain state mandates or amendments they feel break the laws of God. This not only lowers their status but it has a long term effect on some parishioners that cause them to leave the church.

Multiple conceptions can occur in the womb and there are times when one fetus gains power and overtakes the other, thereby absorbing another future person. The winner takes all the proteins, and substances to grow bigger, stronger and live. Does that make the survivor a murderer and sinner? We are thought to be born without sin, but what happens chemically can be batted away with 2,000-year-old logic. We can simply say, “It is God’s will.” Is a forty-year human effort to develop a lifesaving vaccine not doing the work of God?

Here’s a suggestion. I know the Pope is in Iraq right now but we need a statement to clear things up. We need vaccines to get this virus behind us. Here is my personal plea to his holiness. We are your “lambs,” so please help us gain herd immunity with good advice and a reasoned approach to modern faith healing.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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