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.

 


3 HOURS & 19 MINUTES

The Failure to Protect the Capitol

You may have watched the testimony of the security officials who were responsible for protecting our government from radical right wing domestic terrorists on January 6. Their failure and excuses are embarrassing and inexcusable.

We’ll get to the testimony in a bit, but let’s first look at what was released the night before the hearing. You might want to look at this security bulletin. And here’s what ABC News has been reporting over the last 48 hours, “U.S. Capitol Police officials said Wednesday they have ‘obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4’ — the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump will return to power.” So, this intelligence claims that the “Three Percenters,” a group that advocates for gun ownership rights and resistance to U.S. federal government is being taken “seriously.” Oh, now they take it seriously.

Guarding Capitol Hill

We should have known that something was up, because early March room rates at the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue were increased from $500 to more than $800. Something is going on here that could be very dark and sinister. I hesitate to restate this bullshit but we all need to understand what could be in play.

The March 4 theory gained traction after Biden’s inauguration on January 20. QAnon had been predicting that when Trump left office that day, military tribunals would conduct mass arrests of baby-eating Democrats and lock them up. Of course, that didn’t happen and some adherents gave up on this crazy theory. However, other lunatics began pushing a new narrative that Trump would rise again on the nation’s former inauguration date of March 4, which was changed to January 20th by the 20th Amendment.

It’s unlikely that anything will happen today, March 4, but the D.C. National Guard is prepared for any type of protest, demonstration or violent insurrection. The bigger issue is why this is happening. Well, it’s based strictly on Donald Trump’s big lie that the election was stolen from him and that he won by a landslide. Neither point is true.

During the Senate hearings both last week and this week Major General William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified that it took the Department of Defense three hours and nineteen minutes to okay the deployment of his troops against the Capitol Hill insurrectionists on January 6. Walker disclosed that military leaders believed troop deployment would not be “good optics” and could further incite the crowd. So, there you have the ridiculous reasoning for the delay.

Christopher Miller

Christopher Miller, the acting Secretary of Defense, was not called to testify. I don’t know why but thank God he no longer holds that post. Here’s a tasty tidbit that should tell you all you need to know about Mr. Miller. In December 2020, it was reported that Miller had ordered the Pentagon to postpone forty meetings with the incoming Joe Biden administration. Miller said this was a “mutually agreed-upon holiday pause” with the Biden transition, but Biden’s people said no such agreement had been made. Miller’s decision to halt cooperation with the incoming administration followed Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election, refusals by various Trump administration political appointees to cooperate with Biden’s team and claims of fraud by the Trump administration. Miller is most likely responsible for the slow response by the Department of Defense on January 6 and he should be deposed in any cases brought against the insurrectionists.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we eventually learn that lame duck Trump told Miller to slow walk the deployment of the National Guard that day. Of course, that is just speculation on my part. No one in the former Trump administration will ever be truthful about what really happened. That is who they are, and who they were from the very beginning.

Maybe some future day Mr. Miller will call his local police for help with an incident threatening his life and will then wait three hours and nineteen minutes before local officers come to his aid. Wrong? Yes, but he and others like him need to understand that we depend on them and they should be held accountable when they screw up. What happened on January 6 was a colossal public failure and none of those involved should keep their jobs. We need to get rid of bad players and develop better policies and procedures that are impervious to bureaucratic incompetence.

I get so frustrated when we keep doing the same stupid things over and over. Why don’t we learn from our past failures? I love my country, but I hate government officials who lie and cover their collective asses when something goes wrong. The truth is the only way to make America safe again. Let’s get the SAFE part down before we get hung up on GREAT.

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.


OBSESSIONS & FADS

Sooner or Later, We Move On

After a cop was killed on Capital Hill on January 6, 2021, many people who flew both the Trump flag and the Blue Lives Matter flag put the Donald’s banner away, at least for now. Waving the colors of the election loser was bad for business. They are probably still disappointed and buying into the Big Lie about the election being stolen, but they don’t want to be associated with thugs storming Congress with a plan to kill the Vice President.

Our mainstream media outlets keep talking about Trump not so much because they want to give him oxygen but because it helps their ratings. Meanwhile, the “leaning towers of lies,” like Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax continue to shovel the former president’s shit like the PTL Club used to sell Jesus. Do they really think that perpetrating the lie that Trump won the election is good for their brands? I guess so.

I’ve seen a lot of fads come and go, like hula-hoops, yoyo’s, Davey Crockett hats and fidget spinners. Social media is also a fad of sorts, one that’s really worn out its welcome, but with the start of each obsession a back-timer begins ticking down, and when it reaches zero, we slowly move away from whatever latest craze had hooked us.

In a sense, we have lived through several whims at once. I can best describe it as the era of “fake grievance.” The gap between the rich and the rest of us has grown, and we must wonder how rich people can ever expect they will become a credible voice of the downtrodden masses. But hey, you can’t possibly judge a flawed messenger when you perceive whatever he’s done as being good for you.

Donald Trump began by stoking hate and prejudge and then rode that to the top of the Republican heap. His regressive policies were never successful. If someone were to take the stage at a political event to proclaim, “We must do everything we can to make it harder to vote in this country,” most Americans would say that jerk is a jackass! However, those folks who believe in Don above Democracy don’t have the capacity to see that voter suppression is a form of racism. Even if they could understand that it wouldn’t make a difference. They don’t care about racism.

From the year 1619 to, like yesterday, racism was a craze; but the ticking timer has stopped, and the fad is fading. People do things that are far more subtle than locking their car door when they see a person of color approaching. Keeping Black people from voting wouldn’t be such a big problem for conservatives if people of color would just vote the way the Republicans want. Has the GOP never considered it’s their product that people don’t like? Even before I knew Ted Cruz was a Republican, I didn’t trust him. He came across as a fake grievance person.

There are folks spreading the lie that living in this evil country brings torment to their lives. Reality is not that exciting, so they follow some turd named QAnon and support  “his” fanatical stories to protest against the dark forces trying to topple their cult leader-handler. Trump doesn’t believe any of that shit. Hell, he can’t think much beyond a double-cheeseburger and dessert.

The 45th President spoke at the big CPAC coming out party, but his words and the rest of the gala were less than newsworthy. After a while, the same material is, well, the same. It’s all so boring and anyone with half a brain would ask the fallen leader, “If you are so damn smart and powerful, why aren’t you the president anymore? How did you let your election get stolen?” Oh, he can blame the Supreme Court, you know, the one that he claimed would “do the right thing” for his all-powerful self. He can also rag on Liz Cheney and other Republicans who had the balls to vote against him, but that all comes back to this question, “Then, you aren’t really a stable genius, are you?” The loser president publishes his enemies list, but who cares about who he hates?

Even this blog must find new ways to promote good government and change out the bad policies and politics that got us here. We cannot wait four years to change things; we’ve got to be active every year, every month, every day. Today we know that that the heir to the crown in Saudi Arabia ordered the murder of a journalist, yet we all sit numb. Why?

Mitch McConnell will look back on his part in history and probably ponder what would have happened had he convinced his caucus to convict Trump and disqualify him from ever again holding office. The poison will go away only by cutting into the snake bite and sucking out the venom. Mitch’s testicles couldn’t follow his heart. He’s just another political crack-house whore who won’t stop doing the heroin until he dies of an overdose. There you go, another fad of a person erased.

Trump told us that Obama is the founder of ISIS, a mean and unfair quip, but that’s just who he is. I say that Donald John Trump is the founder of CANCEL CULTURE. Yes, I know it was around before him, but he’s been the grand promoter of denigrating and dismissing others. He’s the person who verbally attacks others and they then pay the price instead of him. This must change. It’s time we hold Trump accountable for ruining people’s lives. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the wacko from Georgia, will pay the price. She needs to be canceled from the US Congress. Who is better for America, Representative Greene or Liz Cheney? Even this liberal can tell you, it’s Cheney.

Like all fads, Trump will slowly fade. Oh, he’ll continue to be in the news, for this lawsuit or that accusation of rape, for tax evasion or breaking laws to make more money, but in the end, his stickers, flags and signs will be in garages gathering dust and this stupid era of America will end. The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently tracking 838 hate groups in America, and they have published a map to help you find them. Thank you, Donald Trump, for leaving us this legacy. Your lack of attention gave them permission; your inciting rhetoric made them murderers. What a guy.

It’s a huge problem when grown white men need to buy guns and spread fear because they’re intimidated by people of color. America can never be united while some of its citizens misinterpret this amendment, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I sure would like to see that “well-regulated” part kick in right about now. Let’s start by getting to know the member names of each militia. That’s totally legal.

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.


GOD VS GAY

Why Are We Stilling Debating?

I remember Jamie Farr’s character in M*A*S*H* and why he seemed out of place on a battlefield. Farr played Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, an Arab American orderly from Toledo, Ohio, who was desperate to get out of the army. Klinger hit upon the idea of dressing in women’s clothes to demonstrate that he was mentally unfit, a sure ticket back to the US, or so he thought. It’s a great example of the old “catch-22.” If you are able to pull off pretending to be a woman then you aren’t truly insane.

In some of my books I complained about how that bug-eyed lunatic from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, has made things worse. Her husband, Marcus, owned a clinic that pushed a “pray away the gay” therapy. Of course, if you believe God created everything and everyone, then the logical conclusion is God created gay and transgender oriented people.

Just because something might be “normal” in terms of pure numbers doesn’t mean that everyone in the US will adjust and let live accordingly. A recent Gallup poll showed as many as 16% of recently surveyed younger people considered themselves LGBTQ. You can’t pray away gay.

Over time, I have thought about a diabolical confrontation I would love to instigate. Let’s say that medical science finds a way to determine whether a given fetus was going to be born gay, I’d like to ask Mike Pence if he would let the mother terminate that birth. If he said no, then one could surmise he believes being gay is a normal and natural process of life. If he said yes, then he would be trampling his argument that every life matters. But let’s not confuse the discussion.

Being gay is something that’s been happening for more than 300,000 years. Scientists reckon that the first Homo sapiens, anatomically modern humans, arose alongside our other hominid relatives more than 300 millennium ago. We now know that during a human’s development in the womb, the timing of the release of chemicals and proteins plays a significant factor. After early life, some people will not only identify as the opposite gender but will have an emotional connection with that sex and all that entails. Many evangelicals put too much faith in the “intelligent creator” and hold onto the believe that nurturing can conquer nature.

The House of Representatives moved the Equality Act last week, a bill that if passed into law will ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity and will substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply. Hardcore conservatives and goofballs want to keep talking about boys using girls’ restrooms. I am highly offended by any notion of a separate bathroom for transgender people. I remember the “White” and “Colored” signs on the restrooms when I first moved to the south. Such things enforce an unnecessary class distinction. I raised three daughters and lesbians were in the girls’ restrooms, they just didn’t wear a little sign on their sleeves.

The real fun will surely begin when the Equality Act gets to the Senate. The partisans will roll out the “In God We Trust” sign and claim that being gay is a sin. Okay, then what? How does that deal with people’s feelings? How does that help our children understand that being gay is a natural occurrence and that the LGBTQ community is not a “THEM?”

The Village People

If God believes being gay is bad for the business of populating the world, why did she make people homosexual? First, she made our hominid relatives and waited for more than 100,000 years for some freaky gene mistake to create a different kind of hominid. We got to be homo erectus, then we flipped to being homo sapiens and the other guys died out. Why wouldn’t some in the progression evolve into homo sexual? We aren’t the only species on earth exhibiting same-gender attractions. Worms are both genders in one. I guess they need only one bathroom.

Before we revert to Old Testament laws which prescribed stoning people to death for adultery, homosexuality or a mystical belief that the Earth is flat, shouldn’t we first agree that we aren’t good Christians, Jews or Muslims if we torture and kill other human beings? Instead of murder we have the option of divorce, although watching Dateline, 20/20 or 48 Hours on TV might make you think we still do play that revenge thing.

A president of the United States calls a global pandemic the “China Flu,” then Asian people get attacked on our streets. Is that making America Great? When people try to sell homosexuality, gender dysphoria and transgender as dangerous perversions, they stoke primal fears within some people which then bubbles up as hate and violence against the class they have determined is inferior.

I never felt a compulsion to wear my mother’s dresses when I watched Jamie Farr – Corporal Klinger – on M*A*S*H*, but I was always immersed in the quick wit and fun of that show. My sexual orientation was determined long before I took my first breath, as is true for any gay boy or girl. I am always amazed about how embarrassed some parents become when they realize or learn one of their kids is gay. Yes, we want our offspring to be happy, but making them carbon copies of ourselves isn’t the way. They are their own individuals, and we should always respect their truth. And I am impressed when a parent finally comes to grip with the reality their child’s orientation doesn’t stop them from loving and helping their kids. Some people do change.

Then, there is that selfish comment, “Oh well, I always wanted a grandchild, but with Loretta’s thing I guess that’s off the table.” No, it’s not. Gay people have babies and create homes and families. Just let them show you.

We need a law on the books because the legal system needs to understand that when a crime is more than a crime, when it’s a “hate crime,” special attention is needed. We must avoid the kind of thinking that allowed the German and Russian governments to intimidate “certain kinds” of people. Why is it against the law to be gay in Russia? They are so smart with regard to science but so dumb and regressive with social justice. You can say the same about China, North Korea and some of the Middle East countries. The United States must lead the way out of all this.

Any elected official who stands and speaks in a way that paints a boogieman picture of the LGBTQ community or any of its members should be removed from office. None of us are forced to engage in that “lifestyle” or “orientation,” but we all must certainly respect the rights of everyone. It’s “We the People…” and that means ALL THE PEOPLE.

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.

 

 


WHOPPERS & WAGES

Plethora of Myths Hurt Middle-Class

Do you ever wonder why America has a federally mandate minimum wage? Well, it was designed to fix a problem. At the end of the nineteenth century, the US Congress was pressured to get rid of what was referred to as “sweat labor,” which included large numbers of women and even children who were paid “nonliving wages.” This was also a time when progressive reformers, women’s organizations, religious figures, academics and politicians pushed for a minimum wage law. The very first was enacted in 1938, but it exempted large parts of the workforce primarily because of gross manipulation by powerful owners and corporations.

You might be surprised to learn the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act set the minimum wage at $0.25 per hour, which is equivalent to $4.54 in 2019 wages. The law was challenged and the case went to the Supreme Court. In the 1941 decision of United States v. Darby Lumber Co., the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate employment conditions. Of course, a fair wage is a working condition.

We now have another battle on our hands and today we’ll look at both sides. The primary argument for raising the minimum wage is the improvement to the overall standard of living it would bring to minimum wage workers. Their income levels would become more appropriate with respect to the present cost of living. It’s been ten years since the minimum wage was last increased.

Jack Kelly wrote in Forbes magazine, “A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitled ‘The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage,’ was conducted to determine how increasing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 to $10, $12 or $15 per hour by 2025 would affect employment and family income.” Kelly argued that we shouldn’t do this by stating, “Earnings would increase for many, which would lift some families out of poverty. However, other low-wage workers would become jobless, their family income would drop, and it could place them below the poverty threshold.”

National Public Radio pointed out that the CBO report claimed, “Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would increase wages for at least 17 million people, but also put 1.4 million Americans out of work.” Okay, that is serious, particularly because COVID has already caused job losses for millions of folks.

I’m quite sure the ridiculous position that it’s better to keep people in poverty does not sit very well with those people who live under minimum standards. People in Congress who make between $179-200,000 a year have no idea how hard it is to live on $7 an hour. When whiny Lindsey Graham says the minimum wage has nothing to do with a global pandemic, he’s ignoring the bigger picture. How can Republicans say they want people to get off safety net programs yet do everything they can to keep them there? It’s just another lie that makes those living below the poverty line believe the government cannot be trusted.

The Burger King Whopper contains 660 calories – 40 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbs and 28 grams of protein. The whopper that Republicans are dishing out to keep the poor in poverty is 40 (Lindsey) Grahams of bullshit, 49 grams of donor dope and 0 grams of common sense and logic. If you pay people more money, they pay more taxes. If you pay people more money, they spend more which creates more jobs. A higher water level raises all the boats.

Most in Congress don’t care about American citizens. Sorry, but that is the only explanation I can fathom. I wrote a letter to West Virginia’s Joe Manchin (D) asking him why he’s against the increase in the minimum wage. I stated, “For someone who’s always saying he’s for the working families, how could you possibly be against a better wage?” I didn’t get a response.

We all know how hard it is to walk into a boss’ office and ask for a raise; they usually refuse. Good executives are expected to keep costs down and profits high. Workers will always want more money, but without a substantial wage increase the rising cost of living equates to less earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar had an average inflation rate of 1.52% per year between 2011 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 16.29%. This means that today’s average prices are 1.16 times higher than they were in 2011, and all hourly workers have suffered pay cuts since then.

I worked in business for more than sixty years and can tell you that layoffs and worker reductions always follow an economic turndown. Many businesses have shuttered, and our economic recovery will be a colossal challenge. If a business is forced to pay workers more money it may have to hire fewer people, but the employees remaining will work harder to set a course toward healing. I receive a Social Security check each month and yearly increases mirror, sort of, the cost-of-living increases. Those 1.3% annual hikes don’t put very much more in my pocket, but I appreciate them.

The disregard of working families by the Congress is why most of us don’t respect them. Someone should publish a list of all the people in Washington who vote against wage increases so we can VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT.

But ironically, one person in the great vast and powerful government of America can keep you from getting a raise for a while, and that is the parliamentarian. Yes, the person sitting to the right of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the traffic cop of congressional action.  The Parliamentarian is a nonpartisan official appointed by the Speaker and has the job of rendering objective assistance on legislative and parliamentary procedure in the House. She ruled, you cannot add a vote on minimum wage to the Recovery Act. The Parliamentarian’s current salary is $171,315 per year. I believe that’s above the minimum wage.

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.


CONSPIRACY AGAINST AMERICA

Prosecute the Perpetrators

I recently read that the Justice Department and FBI are investigating whether high-profile, right-wing figures — including Roger Stone and Alex Jones — may have played a role in the Capitol breach on January 6. According to people familiar with the investigation, it’s part of a broader look into the mindset of those who committed violence and their paths to radicalization.

I have been a harsh critic of both Jones and Stone over the years and I genuinely believe they are terrible human beings on many levels. The First Amendment is a wonderful concept, but the misuse of its rights in ways that hurts people cannot be condoned or supported.

Donald Trump endorsed and encouraged both men, but that is not the reason I dislike them. Roger Stone helped elect Richard Nixon decades ago, and over the years many people have suffered his violent threats and intimidation. Stone repeatedly acknowledged that he had established a back-channel with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to obtain information about Hillary Clinton as well as advance knowledge about the release of emails stolen from Democratic National Committee computers.

In 2019, Stone was indicted and convicted on seven criminal charges in the Mueller investigation: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. He was convicted but later pardoned by President Trump, which didn’t deter him from his alleged involvement in the January 6th Insurrection at the Capital. He’s an evil human being.

There is an ongoing investigation into potential ties between key figures in the riot and those who promoted Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him. Sadly, that does not mean those who may have recruited or influenced rioters will face criminal charges, particularly given US case law surrounding incitement and free speech. The truth is, we have no real federal domestic terrorist law on the books.

According to news reports, officials said they are principally seeking to understand what the rioters were intending and who may have influenced their beliefs. Investigators also want to determine whether anyone who influenced the rioters bears enough responsibility to justify criminal charges, such as conspiracy or aiding the effort.

Alex Jones used his radio and internet platforms to spread many lies, hate and conspiracy theories which angered and motivated far-right lunatics. Jones, you may remember, is the guy who said that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were false flag operations of gun control advocates. He has stated many times that “no one died” in Sandy Hook and that Stoneman Douglas survivor David Hogg was a crisis actor.

Jones was sued by the parents of slain Sandy Hook children. He eventually admitted under oath in a deposition that the deaths were real, but claimed he has a “form of psychosis” that made him believe “everything was staged.” The lawsuits are continuing and so is his website that feeds the flames of the far-right, alt-right, white supremacists and militia groups. Just being taken off Twitter, doesn’t keep one off the internet. From the WACO incident with the Branch Davidians through Obama-Hillary hating and onto supporting Trump’s extreme rhetoric, Alex Jones has poisoned many minds in America.

One could argue that there is a difference between a deep partisan, who spreads lies about his political opponents, and an anarchist, who holds a belief that society should have no government, laws, police or other such representations of authority. Anarchism is perfectly legal, and while most US anarchists advocate change through non-violent, non-criminal means, they do have a history of doing bad things. The man who assassinated President McKinley was an anarchist. The men and woman who stormed the Capitol last month causing the death of five people are anarchists.

How we handle this attack on our democracy is important. A conviction of Donald John Trump in his second impeachment trial would have been a good start, but politics and law are not always on the same beam. Let me tell you a short story that might shed some light on how we handle dissent in America.

This is all true. The year was 1970, and I was the midnight to 4:00 AM disc jockey on a progressive rock radio station in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 2:00 AM, I heard a noise, looked up and saw the studio was filled with about ten student protesters. They told me that earlier in the evening they had been demonstrating in front of the woman who ran a local military draft board. They were arrested and brought into magistrate court. A group of the protesters was brought before a judge, when suddenly police officers with night sticks entered the courtroom. The lights were turned off and the kids were beaten by the cops. I convinced them to come back during the day when there would be more listeners. They were given time on a talk show the next day during the “afternoon drive” time period.

As I watched the attack on the Capitol, I kept wondering where the cops were, where the guards were or even the army! And I kept saying out loud, “What is taking them so long?” The Proud Boys, Oath keepers and Three Percenters were not protesting a war, a policy or even an injustice. They were attacking our government and democracy itself. Most in that group were ANTI-GOVERNMENT and Pro-Trump loyalists, not peaceful protestors gathered to seek redress for their grievances. Their only complaint seemed to be an illogical belief that Donald Trump lost because the election was rigged.

President Joe Biden had 81,283,098 votes cast for him, which was 51.3 percent of the total vote. He became the first US presidential candidate to have won more than 80 million votes. Trump won 74,222,958 votes, which was 46.8 percent of the total vote. We keep hearing about disenfranchising the 74 million people who voted for Trump, but wait a minute, what about the 81.2 million people who voted for the other guy? Are you saying it’s okay to disregard their choice?

THUGS FIGHT POLICE

The Capitol Hill thugs and malcontents need to be brought to justice so that the American public can know more about their movement and its beliefs. Parents need to learn the telltale signs of their offspring developing violent, anti-American viewpoints. Of course, we all need to know if we have this “element” in our neighborhoods. I take this seriously because many of those arrested live in the state where I reside, Florida.

When we protested in the 1960s, we clearly stated that we were against an undeclared, illegal, immoral war. We thought America would be a better place if we forgot about wars and worked toward a more peaceful world instead. When today’s far-right radicals see the world through only one man’s lies and support his ludicrously lame behavior, they are not being loyal to America, they have sworn their allegiance to Trump.

It’s obvious to me that had the rioters at the Capitol not been waving Trump flags or, God forbid, were people of color, there would have been an order to fire, you know, just like Kent and Jackson State Universities back in the day. I’m sad that five people lost their lives but it could have been worse, and it will be worse should it ever happen again. All of the influencers, inciters and rioters must be brought to justice.

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.

 


WHAT WE THINK OF LAWYERS

Why do Attorneys Lie on TV but not in Court?

I like lawyers. I was once was sued for $78 million and crafty attorneys got me off the hook from a frivolous lawsuit with no merit. I have experience as an expert witness in many broadcast-oriented court cases, I once testified in a lawsuit presented in court by an obnoxious lawyer. One year later, I helped that same lawyer win another case. I guess he thought I was a credible witness.

Broke-dick attorneys and ambulance chasers who have become spokespersons of ill-advised causes based on lies and deception have been spreading their bullshit all over our media. Rudy Giuliani comes to mind, as do Bruce Castor and Michael van der Veen, a personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia. Hey, a guy must make a living. I am not impressed with any of them, but who am I to judge? Any member of the opposing side would be quick to point out, they often won cases for their clients.

Submitting false statements or lying to the court is illegal, and an attorney can get in legal trouble if they’re caught. Should opposing counsel in a civil case detect dishonesty, they can move for sanctions which could result in a fine or perhaps having to pay the other side’s legal fees. This rarely happens but the downside is enough of a deterrent to keep dirty, dime-store attorneys from lying to win.

I know of a lawyer who didn’t show up in court for a divorce case. The judge found for the other party, which would have cost the “missing lawyer’s” client more than $100,000. When that client learned of her attorney’s malfeasance, she sued him for malpractice, which took years to resolve. The lawyer said he missed the court date because he was absorbed in his own divorce case and forgot. That is some rich irony.

Each US state has a bar association to oversee the legal profession and ensure that attorneys carry out their trade in an honest, fair and legal manner. If an attorney lies or practices in a shady manner, they could get dinged by their state bar and have their reputation damaged beyond repair. Attorney misbehavior is published in monthly association magazines read by every state bar member. This kind of trade shaming can lead to shunning and financial harm.

If a lawyer completely flies off the rails, the state bar can suspend their license or impose probation as punishment. As a self-governing profession, state bars typically give lawyers the benefit of the doubt the first few times. So, America’s Mayor Rudy will probably get a light spanking and be sent on his way.

An attorney with a pattern of ethics violations, such as egregious conduct or misusing client funds, could get disbarred. United States attorneys are never punished for zealously representing their clients. An attorney is expected to present the facts and law in the most favorable light for their client. Bending the law or the facts slightly, especially when addressing a jury, is not disallowed but there are lines and limits.

A defense lawyer relies on information provided by their client and there is no requirement that they investigate a client’s statements. On the other hand, a prosecutor would most likely verify each bit of information. A good attorney will judge the credibility of their client before going out on a limb. Some defense attorneys may even say to a client, “Don’t tell me you committed a crime, just tell me what happened.” I’m not sure that being kept in the dark is a permission slip for lying, but, hey, they have a job to do.

Even simple cases can have multiple legal theories of defense, each supported by different facts or circumstances. Lawyers have broad discretion to determine which combination of law and facts should be presented on behalf of their client. They also have free rein on how to present their case. Short of the other side raising objections that the judge sustains, an attorney runs his or her own show.

Lawyers must be reasonable when they present rules of evidence, rules of civil procedure, local rules of the court and precedent. The role of the judge is preventing counsel from going over a line that could steer the case in a direction preventing justice for all.

In the more than sixty cases brought to court by Donald John Trump and his allies, one judge had a great line when stating they can’t come into court and just say there was fraud, they must prove their case. When the lawyers of the former president presented questionable affidavits, one judge questioned the authenticity of signed documents. Trump’s attorney responded, “So technically – yes – if a person signs an affidavit with false information, they could be charged with perjury. But proving the person willfully lied can prove to be quite difficult in many cases.” Once the word got out that any person lying to help Trump during their testimony could go to jail, fewer affidavits were presented.

Sam Waterston

TV shows like Law & Order have given all of us some insight about how the process works, but their presentations are not always complete or accurate. There are also compelling shows such as 20/20, Dateline and 48 Hours, where we see other aspects of how the criminal justice system works. One of my personal takeaways with cold cases is the initial investigative work by the detectives can be remarkably shoddy. I don’t mean to rub the blue line people on this issue, but over time we have put a lot of innocent people in jail. In other cases, investigators spend years going after one guy who had nothing to do with the crime. Many times, the police report and file might be the only evidence a defense attorney has to develop a case. A faulty report in such an instance could be a gift for to the prosecutor who wants to quickly lock up the “monster.”

I have utter faith in the system, but we must keep a careful eye on bad judges, bad attorneys and an underfunded prosecutor’s office. We can never let our guard down. America was founded on a fair justice system and a well-written Constitution, things that many countries, such as the UK and Israel, do not have. When a lawyer lies, they endanger the system and themself. When a judge permits fabrications and distortions to be presented in court, he or she weakens the justice system. It might not be a popular decision, but those who can’t stand the heat need to get out of the kitchen. Always remember the most important line, “Equal justice for all.”

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.


POWER GRIDS & GOOFBALLS

Texas Governor Abbott Wrong Again

When some governors talk during a crisis, a short listen can reveal their stupidity. One governor in Florida and another in New York have gone out of their way to threaten people who disagree with them. Such elected officials are not well adept at dealing with the press. Instead of working with them, like Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, they develop a combative stance with reporters, peers and constituents. When they want to get a message out, they tend to overstate, dodge and outright lie about intentions and details.

Gov. Abbott in Oval Office

On February 17, 2021, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates rebuked a claim made by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that it was the failure of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar that caused the massive, cold-weather power outage in his state that “drinks oil noon and night.” His case against renewable energy was dead wrong. He stated that solar and wind energy account for only 10% of the state’s power, ignoring the 90% of electricity sourced from fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas. Those lines were frozen.

According to an interview on Yahoo News, Bill Gates said extreme weather like the winter storm that swept across the country in recent days will become more likely as climate change worsens. Mr. Gates is advocating for an expansion of renewable energy as part of his call for the US to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Abbott blamed the outages on wind turbines and the Green New Deal, a Congressional plan for combating climate change that the Texas governor called “a deadly deal for the United States of America.” Okay, he scored points declaring his distaste of Democrats, but he wasn’t telling the truth or offering solutions to the power crisis deeply affecting the citizens of his state.

The plain truth of this Texas problem is twofold. 1. They don’t store enough gas and oil for rainy days. 2. Years ago, they decided to stay off the American electrical grid and go it alone. Maybe that bad plan originated in some conspiracy theory fed to politicians by the crooks at Enron or maybe they just didn’t understand the strength of working together. That aside, there are some facts that might help investigators understand what is happening in Texas right now.

During the 2000 election cycle, Enron gave $1.1 million to local candidates, ranging from little donations of $250 to $500 in hundreds of districts to as much as $10,000 to influential state legislators in California and other big states. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, then Lieutenant Governor, received $212,000 from Enron. They say to follow the money, and this trail goes way back to 1935. The Texas power grid is mostly isolated from the rest of the country, a setup designed to avoid federal regulation. It has some connectivity to Mexico and to the Eastern US, but those ties have limits on the amount of electricity which can be transmitted. Because Texas didn’t want to expose their operating methods, they never had to comply with federal standards.

I guess Mother Nature didn’t get the “Don’t mess with Texas” message. While a great bumper sticker slogan, it’s not a good way to prepare for dangerous challenges. Bravado has never been better than pure planning when it comes to public policy and safety.

Texas could now be borrowing power from one of two US grid systems had they joined the “electricity party” and protected themselves from a single point of failure. It’s ironic that former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who when running for president said he would eliminate the US Department of Energy, became the Secretary of Energy for the Trump administration. He obviously didn’t have a clue about what he was doing, because the very state he lives in is deeply suffering an energy emergency. What a slacker.

Rick Perry

People are angry about their power being out and having no food or water in the “great” state of Texas. The governor is making ignorant statements to distract attention away from himself. He is creating a boogieman in renewable energy and using this disaster to put forth a regressive agenda. Does any thinking person believe that “The Mob” caused the power grid to go down? What a stupid thing to say.

Speaking of absurdity, did you hear that former governor Rick Perry suggested on Fox News that “Texans voluntarily go without heat to fend off the scourge of socialism.” Yes, I am sure that those trying to stay warm by burning their furniture are anxious to have a geo-political discussion about the evils of socialism. While the people of Texas are watching their pipes burst, this dick is playing to an audience of sycophants. I always thought he was a dullard, but now there’s proof that he is not only stupid but cruel.

I’m amazed that Greg Abbott, who was paralyzed from the waist down when he was hit by a falling tree, can’t muster enough empathy to see that his words are not helpful to suffering people. It’s the new deal in politics today, don’t connect with your people, just deny and blame. I hate to break it to Abbott, but his excuse doesn’t eliminate the need to solve this huge problem. If his wheelchair were out of power, he wouldn’t be able to move. I’m not being mean; I am just returning his lack of empathy. I wonder if he knows that battery operated scooters aren’t part of the Green New Deal.

I suggest that George W. Bush’s experience with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Donald Trump’s mishandling of the COVID pandemic and, now, Abbott’s malfeasance with the power blackout in Texas are sure signs that many of our so-called leaders are so busy with politics they don’t spend any time planning for the “what if” issues. Many states have zero disaster planning while bulging budgets of money are wasted on projects that don’t help people or keep them safe. It seems to me that if we really want to tackle the flawed grid system in Texas, we first must address the terrible lack of leadership on renewable energy in Republican states.

The overarching issue is climate change and whether our cities are prepared for the negative aspects of what that can bring. Texas has been ignoring science and common sense. They are so married to oil that they fight the future. Always have. They will lie and blame when they should be elevating smarter people into power to devise contemporary, workable infrastructure. Few governors know what they are doing because there is no governor’s school, and they cannot learn from their mistakes because their overly large egos won’t permit it. Remember how Houston was destroyed by hurricanes just a few years ago? Well, nothing of any import was done then and now they have a new devil to combat. Abbott is not good enough for Texas. He might as well join Senator Ted Cruz in Cancun. I hear it’s warmer there.

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.


FINAL GRADES ON TRUMP

Historians will have fun with this guy

When we finally left school, we took with us a final grade average. If we were lucky, we got out of college with an average in the high three-point-whatever range. Even though most of us can’t brag about a 4.0, those numbers mean something. And with that on the table, I believe Donald John Trump earned maybe a 2.1 average for his four years of on-the-job training and golfing.

Let’s do a quick review of his missteps and failures, starting with public relations. Trump’s positive approval rating never exceeded 47%, which meaning 53% of Americans never thought he was particularly good as president. On the last day in office, that approval rating had fallen to 39%.

According to the internet, Trump incited an insurrection, mismanaged a pandemic that killed nearly half a million Americans, separated children from their families at the border and then lost those kids in the bowels of bureaucracy, tear-gassed peaceful protesters on Lafayette Square for a stupid photo op while holding a Bible in front of a church, tried to block all Muslims from entering the country, got impeached, got impeached again, had the worst jobs record of any president in modern history, pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, fired the FBI director for investigating his ties to Russia, bragged about firing the FBI director, took Vladimir Putin’s word over the US intelligence community, diverted military funding to build his wall and caused the longest government shutdown in US history. Whew!

But what about his style? Shouldn’t he get some points for being different? After all, he called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate,” lied nearly 30,000 times, banned transgender people from serving in the military, ejected reporters who asked tough questions from the White House briefing room, vetoed the defense funding bill because it would rename military bases with Confederate monikers, refused to release his tax returns, increased the national debt by nearly eight trillion dollars, had three of the highest annual trade deficits in US history, called veterans and soldiers who died in combat losers and suckers and coddled the leader of Saudi Arabia after he ordered the execution and dismembering of a US-based journalist. Those aren’t really bad things, are they?

Maybe we need to focus on the way he stepped up to take dramatic action. Consider that he refused to concede the 2020 election, hired his unqualified daughter and son-in-law to work in the White House, walked out of an interview with Lesley Stahl, called neo-Nazis “very fine people,” suggested people should inject bleach into their bodies to fight COVID, abandoned our allies the Kurds while siding with Turkey, pushed through massive tax cuts for the wealthiest without helping working Americans, incited anti-lockdown protestors in several states at the height of the pandemic, withdrew the US from the Paris climate accords, withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear deal and withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership which was designed to block China’s advances. Okay, maybe he didn’t always make the best decisions, but let’s not forget that he showed up for work every day, well, at least on Twitter.

Donald Trump worked effectively at making sure the United States was always in the front row. He pushed the leader of Montenegro out of the way during a photo op, failed to reiterate US commitment to defending NATO allies, called Haiti and African nations “shithole” countries, called the city of Baltimore the “worst in the nation,” claimed that he single handedly brought back the phrase “Merry Christmas,” even though it hadn’t gone anywhere, forced his Cabinet members to praise him publicly like some cult leader, believed he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, berated and belittled his hand-picked Attorney General when he recused himself from the Russia probe and suggested the US buy Greenland. Pushing to the front and colonizing another country sure sounds like leadership to me.

His grade should’ve been higher because he picked the “best people,” but he didn’t get the credit because the press refused to point out all the great things he did. In retaliation, he repeatedly called the media “enemies of the people.” He also claimed that if we tested fewer people for COVID we’d have fewer cases, violated the emoluments clause, thought that “Nambia” was a country, told Bob Woodward in private that the coronavirus was a big deal but then downplayed it in public, called his exceedingly faithful Vice President a “pussy” for following the Constitution, nearly got us into a war with Iran after tweet-threatening them, nominated a corrupt head of the EPA, nominated a corrupt head of HHS, nominated a corrupt head of the Interior Department, nominated a corrupt head of the USDA, praised dictators and authoritarians around the world while criticizing allies. See, even though more than 180 people were fired, forced to resign, or left in disgust, he always did have the “best people.”

He was constantly out there fighting for the little guy and was falsely accused of being a “racist,” when he was just maybe a little into racism. Sure, he called a U.S. Senator “Pocahontas,” used a racist dog whistle by calling COVID the “China virus,” hired and associated with numerous shady figures, including his campaign manager and national security adviser who were eventually convicted of federal offenses, pardoned several of his dubious associates, gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to two Congressmen who amplified his batshit crazy conspiracy theories and awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom because he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Shouldn’t he get extra points because he honored a hateful misogynistic and racist talk show host?

Back From Tulsa

We should consider that Trump was honest a few times, well, not that often, but let’s not forget how he got played by Kim Jung Un and his “love letters,” threatened to go after social media companies in clear violation of the Constitution, botched the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans when he finally did visit them, pressured the governor and secretary of state of Georgia to “find” him votes, thought that the Virgin islands had a President, drew on a map with a Sharpie to justify his inaccurate tweet that Alabama was threatened by a hurricane and allowed White House staff to use personal email accounts for official businesses after blasting Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing. He sure put the hippo in hypocritical!

If this all seems bad, there’s much more. I could go on and on but that would lower his grade to FAILED. There was that time he forced Secret Service agents to drive him around Walter Reed Hospital while contagious with COVID and that fantastic presidential debate line telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” which they did. How did he manage to fuck up both the Census and the US Postal Service in one term? He also withdrew the US from the World Health Organization in the middle of a pandemic and did so few of his duties in his last three months that his daily schedule stated, “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

Then he finally left. Should he ever be allowed back in considering those terrible grades? After all, he’s not a minority. Equal opportunity policies don’t apply to fat, white liars.

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