An Open Letter To Chief Justice Roberts

Our Founding Fathers

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Supreme Court, United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543

Telephone: 202-479-3000

Chief Justice Roberts

Dear Chief Justice:

I have to believe you are aware of what has happened in Tennessee. The sad part of that tragedy is it’s the result of those in an ivory tower who demand respect by wearing black robes, making them appear as if they are pious preachers, but alas, they are only humans who make grave mistakes in logic and judgement. Just today, I read that Justice Thomas admitted to taking $400,000 in “gifts” that he didn’t declare. How can the America public possibly believe that one of the country’s most important institutions is not for sale?

Clarence Thomas

We’re told that laws are based on facts and traditions to attain and maintain justice for all, but now we have racism out of the closet and in the streets and legislatures. You cannot rewrite every state law involving gerrymandering and voting schemes to give one party more power and advantage. And your observation that we’ve come along far enough to not need voter protections for people of color in this country is naïve and incorrect. Between declaring a corporation is a person and your decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that ended women’s rights to decide their own medical care, your legacy is in tatters.

You and the other justices have little respect for what came before, and it’s clear that Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett lied during their confirmation hearings about Roe vs. Wade. That should disturb you greatly. Your court’s removal of a law that was on the books for more than fifty years was a dismal miscalculation that has sullied the institution FOREVER.

Our Supreme Court has divided us more than we were before these decisions. Taking away rights from minorities, women and the disadvantaged is not what your legislative body is supposed to do. You might want to spend some time with African Americans who cannot find a job.

I hope you read this, but if not, it’s simply proof of how your isolation has warped your judgement to the detriment of this great land. Chief Justice Roberts, corporations are not people, the Second Amendment doesn’t give anyone the right to kill school children, and it’s well past time the Supreme Court starts seeing the world through the eyes of common men and women.

How about the courtesy of a response to this taxpayer?

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BANNING BOOKS NEVER WORKS

Why would “educators” ever support censorship?

Do you remember the phrase “Banned in Boston?” Why wouldn’t the city first settled by the Puritans be nervous about art, literature and language which surely could corrupt America? When the Catholics arrived there from Ireland, things were just as bad. The idea that the Pope in the Vatican could control the viewpoint of people in America, even plagued John F. Kennedy’s run for President.

The phrase “banned in Boston” was used to describe a literary work, song, motion picture or play which had been prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts. City officials had wide authority to forbid works they claimed presented “objectionable” content or sexual language. They even outlawed the $5 bill of the 1896 “Educational” series of banknotes that featured partially nude allegorical figures. Now here’s a funny twist. Things banned in Boston were available as something special everywhere else. When it’s banned, people want to see it.

A news story hit last week saying the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee had banned books, some of them written by Pulitzer Prize winners, I immediately thought about Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1950s barring books telling a truth that differed from that of the people in power. Right after they banned the books in Germany, they started to round up the Jews and put them on trains.

I know some moderates will probably say I am overreacting, but my pointed concern is we are facing a conflict of reality right at our doorstep. The right-wing nutjobs keep telling us that the lefties and socialists are coming to take America away, but it’s clearly the opposite.

Radical Traitor Michael Flynn

I was concerned when I learned that Michael Flynn, disgraced former general, convicted felon and Trump pardon beneficiary, moved into the next town over from mine. Now it seems that Michael and his equally poisoned brother are opening a storefront to mobilize locals to keep Donald Trump’s Big-Lie alive. As CNN reported, “The Army is now acknowledging that Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the brother of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was in the room for one of the key January 6 phone calls in which D.C. government and US Capitol Police were asking for National Guard troops to quell the unfolding violence at the US Capitol.” I’m not at all sure why the guy should have even been there but, clearly, it reeks the same odor that flowed from the Nazi party in the 1930s.

There are some real emotional topics driving the far-right propaganda. First, they have this idea that Democrats are not capitalists, which is a lie. Socialism might be their devil to defeat, but they simply don’t understand how America works. Then they have this thing about Black people gaining too much power and “taking things over.” Okay, but I have yet to meet a single person from the right who can tell me what critical race theory is, let alone explain why the basic truths of America’s past would be bad for anyone to know.

CRT isn’t taught in 98% of the universities and colleges in America, and it’s certainly not comprehensible for any kid without a college degree. That’s why it’s not taught in public or private schools. I’ll sum up CRT in one sentence. The United States of America, either knowingly or unknowingly passed laws that held African Americans back. To this very day we have a bundle of barricades weighing against Black voters, starting with the Jim Crow laws, such as IQ tests for voting, fees for voting and reducing the number of polling locations. Then there’s gerrymandering, reducing the power of Black communities. Finally, we are passing laws that prevent the teaching of certain subjects in American history. We have a problem.

When a Tennessee school board voted unanimously to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Maus, which details the horrors of the Holocaust, the white school board majorities included those of the Jewish faith in this whitewashing of history. In their quest to remove intellectual pain and concern from teaching, they are going to guarantee we raise dumb kids who will believe there is no racism, cops are always right and the federal government is evil. Since we already have a fundamental problem, just imagine how this could expand in the next couple of decades. We teach the Civil War in our schools so please explain why we should not teach about what Germany did to the Jews in World War II?

Probably more than six million people of the Jewish faith were murdered by the Nazis and there were more than six hundred thousand Americans killed during the Civil War. Both of those death tolls are greater than those of the Covid crisis. If you want kids to understand the value of life you must show them, sometimes graphically, how fast life can be taken away. If you want our next generation to think we’ve cured all the ills, then the question of how we did so will be raised. Someday our kids will rip off the wallpaper to see what you’ve been hiding from them on the surface beneath.

Sure, take Maus off the shelves, but now there will be lots of people who get the book and share it with their kids. If something is banned in Tennessee, many smart kids will find the work, read it and get smarter. You just gave the subject matter of the Holocaust a special place with those goth-oriented intellectuals living right under your nose. Are you going to ban smart kids from your schools, or better, take those kids you want to protect and put them in private schools where they will learn that the rich run the world?

BTW, the big headline in Slate.com proves it: Sales of Maus Soar After a Tennessee School Board Banned the Book.

Our society is doomed if we are going to stop teaching certain subjects just because, well, they’re not important, anymore. Imagine a time when totally unqualified people who buy into the Pollyanna propaganda step up to teach children Big Lies. Boy, that would be terrible.

Not everyone in Tennessee is stupid. Al Gore hails from that state and he received a great education on climate change. So, should we strike that subject from our curricula and not give a damn about what we leave for our kids?

Banning books is bad but it’s even worse when people get away with that shit. Someone must stop them.

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THE CULTURE OF CONTEMPT

Repetition Makes Lies Sound True

I am sick and tired of people on TV, in print and in videos telling me how divided we are. The line is, “After all is said and done…” oh, who are you trying to kid? It’s never all said and the B.S. is never done. So, let’s talk about our culture of contempt and see if you agree of disagree that we can or cannot agree.

I’ll start with common values. What are those? Did we never have them or are we so lame and stupid we cannot comprehend what they could possibly be? Okay, that is a contemptible statement, but even if true it’s still a way to show contempt. Not in the contempt of court sense, but more the everyday variety of contempt for a person. The definition of contempt is clear: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. Why is scorn such a major part of life these days?

Consider this phrase from a famous document, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We know that human life can be detected by a pulse. Liberty is pretty much whatever floats our boat. Conflict happens when my neighbor is happy firing guns in his backyard at 11PM while this guy next door wants to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep isn’t the only thing on my happiness list.

I don’t like certain people who become powerful, run for political office, get elected and then tell me what should make me happy. Should I disagree, then I am accused of being a bad person. When I try to find shared values to keep open communication between us, I am told there are none. Okay, that’s a hell of a place to start.

I hear people say they would like things to go back to the way they were, but when exactly was that, the 1950s, 60s, 70s, or pre-Civil War? If you’re going to say “things used to be so much better when….” please fill in the blank. A democracy never stays the same, and it certainly cannot go back to the days where the government allowed factories to dump poisons in our rivers, endorsed cigarette smoking and persecuted Gays and African Americans, because, well, that’s the way we did things back then.

While the far-right lunatics are acting like spoiled children at board of education meetings across the country, not one of them can explain exactly what Critical Race Theory is. It’s like the child needing to have the light on because of the boogieman in the closet. When you cannot convince the child nothing’s there, you compromise and leave the light on. You might shut up the racist parent by promising not to teach C.R.T., but then you’re perpetrating the myth that our founder fathers looked the other way about slavery because they were “good guys.”

A major story in the Washington Post today lays out the truth. “More than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people.” It’s too late to ignore the truth and for those who shudder when they hear the term “white privilege” or “Black Lives Matter,” I have one question. Have we gone too far? As much as you might hate the term “defund the police,” it inspired many communities to investigate their expenditures. In the small town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a taxpayer might ask, “Do we really need a tank?” but that is only one question in a sea of disagreements in America. Black people get shot by cops more than white people, but research clearly shows that Black communities say they need cops.

Media spends much time drumming on about January 6th and Donald Trump. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it, but it’s keeping us from moving on. Had Congress convicted him during one of his two impeachment hearings, then voted he may never hold office again, the Republican party may have been motivated to clean up its act. However, that would not have changed anything regarding progress. Between two self-serving Democrats and the entire Republican party there is no desire to talk about common values. This is where we must start.

I would think clean water is a common value. I live in Florida and I won’t drink the water here. I recycle tons of plastic bottles every month because the water from the county is unsafe for drinking and cooking. Why aren’t those screaming lunatics at the school board meetings attending the public hearings on water? When fracking was being done in rural areas one could light tap water on fire. In cities like Flint, Michigan, children acquired mental health issues from drinking water the government said was safe. The governor of Michigan got away with harming kids in his state.

The culture of contempt is everywhere. A public servant who doesn’t testify before Congress, especially one who took a large paycheck bankrolled by us taxpayers, should be thrown in jail. It shouldn’t be done through a long court case where they get to spread lies to the public and not undergo an oath to force truthfulness. I have no respect when the presidential pardon is used for political purposes and I have no idea how to change it. My contempt for those who shun the law, get off scot-free and then make things worse is palpable.

When the lopsided media and social media constantly repeat that something is confusing, or that somehow January 6th wasn’t an insurrection, in many small minds that blather becomes the truth. And when misguided souls act on the that false news and repeated lies, what should we do? We can’t arrest everyone to set minds straight, but when our system arrests more than 700 people it’s working backwards. What we should be doing is finding the people who have promoted this contempt and make them admit publicly, over and over, that they were wrong. Make them become the focus point for the rath of their own mob. Boy, that would make great TV!

Ours is not a culture of contempt, it’s just a few assholes with too much power who lie and cheat and steal. Unlike Arab lands where one loses a hand when they steal, or a tongue when they lie, we are a civil land but slow to justice. I can see why so many people are lost in their own misconceptions. We need to bring forth change, and a good starting point would be teaching our kids a truthful history and not sugar coat those who have committed sins. God was always fast on the draw when it came to retribution, well, at least in the Old Testament. As for those of you who want to go back to the old days, be careful about what you ask. Those weren’t all good times.

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CONGRESS IS THE REAL PROBLEM

Reading is mandatory logic, not so much

If you thought that just because an individual is elected to Congress, they have a certain level of intelligence, you would be incredibly incorrect. It has become vividly clear that anyone who has enough money, an intriguing rap, the gift of gab or a reasonably lackluster competitor can get elected.

I’ve never looked at popularity polls to determine how well a given Congressperson was doing, but there does come a time when it becomes necessary to judge the work of an elected representative. Unfortunately, we have to wait way too long to do something about electing the wrong person. Thus, the name of this very blog. Yes, we can vote every two years on Representatives and every six years on Senators, but that’s not fast enough in today’s sped-up reality and news cycles. Six years is a wait much too long for undoing a bad Senator.

Recent polling is not good for Congress. Last month, a Gallup Organization survey found that only 28% of those researched approved of the job the House and Senate are doing, while 69% disapproved. And I might add that 3% had no opinion. Who are those people?

Gallup Research

2001 set the highest mark in the ongoing Gallup polls. That’s when Congress was voting to go to war in Afghanistan and invade Iraq due to trumped up lies about weapons of mass destruction. This underscores the reality that even when we like them, Congress is often doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

And that brings us to the politics of it all. No member of Congress wants the United States government to default. Any member who does should be arrested and charged with treason, but there’s a word that has lost its power and seriousness. When the former president was told that that some of his allies and administration officials had broken the law, he simply pardoned them. There are members of Congress who think investigating the insurrection of January 6th is bad for America. Truth is, Republicans fear becoming tarnished should the public come to fully understand their involvement in Donald Trump’s effort to “Stop the Steal.” Really?

Delusional Idiot

Congressional grifters use information gained from subcommittees and intelligence briefings to shape their investments and give themselves an advantage in preserving and increasing their wealth. Sure, they add rules and polices to help their tribe along the way, but they have never passed legislation that makes it hard or impossible for them to profit from their positions in Congress. If they were serious about making America better, they would pass potent regulations about financial disclosure, term-limits and the amount of political campaign contributions they can personally use. The true reason Donald Trump hasn’t declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election is to avoid disclosure of the cash in his campaign coffers. He’s a grifter.

When a member of a party, especially a leader or whip, tells his or her caucus how they are going to vote on a bill before it’s even debated, they are no better than the political bosses of the 1940s and 1950s who manipulated their members and thwarted any discussion on the merits of proposed legislation. Have we really grown from there?

Making law requires intense labor and demands tons of reading. When I was working with a local Little League group in Atlanta years ago, I volunteered to revise and publish the rules of the games. What a mistake! First of all, there were different rules for each level of play and all the rules had to be in-sync with the national rules from headquarters in Williamsport, PA. That project ended up as four packets of fifty pages each.

Well, imagine having to go through 1,500 pages over a weekend. That would be like reading three 500-page books. It’s most likely that the average Congressperson never reads an entire budget bill. They direct their staffs to find the things they ardently object too, or the things that are really good for them. The underlying words and meanings no longer have objective analysis until laws are passed. And this playing with the economic status of the country you claim to love just to shit on the other guy’s party, how many US citizens approve of that?

The demonizing of Joe Biden will happen no matter what he does or says. The media seems to like kickin’ old Joe to the ground right now. Sure, his numbers are down but anyone who says the economy is bad is ignoring three major realities.

Kissing the ring

First, under Donald Trump, Congress passed a major tax cut by restricting the ways corporations house their money. The corporate tax rate was changed from a tiered tax rate ranging from 15% to as high as 39%, depending on taxable income, to a flat 21%. At the same time, some related business deductions and credits were reduced or eliminated. Yes, stocks soared, and corporations bought back stock, but the disparity between the wealthy 1% and the rest of us grew. Yay, score another one for the rich people!

Second, Trump blew the federal response to Covid-19. It was his “Katrina,” only on a national level. His advisers can take some of the blame, but the more he told us it was nothing, more and more of us realized it was truly something, and that something was really, really bad. You can’t go to a restaurant that is closed, and a restaurant without enough employees provides an unpleasant experience. Just like Obama inherited the financial crisis, Biden was handed the challenge of righting a post-coronavirus tanked economy. Sadly, far-right saboteurs think fighting against the vaccine is good for their political gains even while their opinions are killing us.

Third, forced errors like the Afghanistan evacuation, the rising conflict at the southern border and our selling submarines to Australia are front and center. We need to remember that Trump pulled out of northern Syria and 130,000 Kurds, our allies in the fight against ISIS, were forced to flee their homes and hundreds of them were killed. Trump wanted to invite the Talban to negotiate a peace treaty, but he excluded the legit government of Afghanistan. Why were we so surprised when the Taliban took over?

While all the pontificators and pundits are overanalyzing the “Biden Doctrine,” it might make more sense to keep the government open and pay our bills. Why are we tolerating Republican actions to make America weak? It’s just a budget bill, and not any different than Trump shutting down the government because he thought it would hurt the Democrats. He even called it the “Schumer Shutdown.” Let’s see, how did that work out for him? Oh yeah, he’s not the president anymore.

Let’s focus on just one fact. Joe Biden’s approval rating is 43% while that of Congress is 28%. Who is the fairest in the land?

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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.

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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.

 


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.

 

 

 

 


THEORIES ON CONSPIRACIES

Classic Approach to Truth When Facts Are Missing

There is nothing wrong with being curious, but before getting to the truth of a matter several levels of information must be explored. The first is general knowledge, the well-known surface information. Next comes what I call the mushy part of the truth sandwich. These are the little details, typically captured in our long-term memories then glued together to form a more detailed understanding. Finally, we apply healthy doses of examination and research to drill down to a molecular level where the atomic details of an event can be clearly seen. This brings us to the truth of the matter.

Lacking specific details and knowledge we often employ a process called interpolation to fill in the blanks. One example is motion-compensation frame interpolation (MCFI) in video editing to make animation more fluid or to increase or decrease motion. When frames are missing, software inserts faux frames to “guesstimate” what happened between each of the available frames. A great example of this is footage from the security camera at the Pentagon that captured the airplane crash there on 9-11. The jet was moving at a fast rate of speed and the camera was capturing only intermittent images resulting in a herky-jerky video that had precious little detail.

When newly minted QAnon House Representative of Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene said that there was no proof that a plane hit the Pentagon, she should have said, “I didn’t see a plane hit the Pentagon.” To say a plane didn’t do the damage would require examination of the crash site at a molecular level to determine no pieces of a plane were there. Forensic crash experts know a plane was involved, but a blurry video has led to the birth of a conspiracy theory. We can’t see the coronavirus with our naked eyes, so some can and do believe it’s a hoax. To be clear, investigators did find a large section of the landing gear and the flight recorder in the building after the crash.

Mohamed Atta

It’s human nature to use an initial burst of information to formulate a concept of the matter. As explained above, this typically leads to a very incomplete picture, but millions of rabid and engaged Twitter followers can easily morph bullshit into truth. Here an example from my own life that might shed some more light on this dark concept of theories. My brother used to live in Vero Beach, Florida and he worked out at a gym there. When pictures were released of the men who flew the planes into the World Trade Buildings, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, he immediately recognized several of the hijackers as men he regularly saw at his gym. He remembered saying to himself, “Why are those skinny Italian guys trying to get into shape?” I always thought the hijackers studied aviation and lived on the east coast of Florida. Just yesterday, I learned that is incorrect.

Commercial pilot wannabees are often drawn to Florida, where we have at least 250 flight training schools. Mohamed Atta was the mastermind behind the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. It was Atta who flew the first plane into the World Trade building. Atta entered the United States on June 3, 2000, and he and a cohort enrolled at flight school in Venice, Florida. Wow, I didn’t know that, and I live there!

The Venice Municipal Airport is a small operation. Once used in World War II for the Air Force, it’s now a local facility for non-commercial planes — mostly the kind of single and twin-engine types that weekend pilots fly for fun. Now it’s true that some of the 9-11 hijackers did train in Palm County on the east side of state, but I didn’t realize my sleepy town had anything to do with that tragic day.

Most of us now accept there was an attempt to overturn the results of a fair and accurate United States presidential election. Many have dubbed what Trump tried to pull off as “the big lie.” Where did that phrase originate? Well, you can find the answer on the internet. The term was coined by Adolf Hitler and used in his 1925 book Mein Kampf. He used it to describe the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Do you see how that fits into the hardcore followers of Trump believing the election was stolen and thus the slogan “Stop the Steal?” It’s almost like Trump evaluated the potential of his lies by using the “Adolph Test.” If it was too outrageous to be believed, then Trump would launch the lie.

Drilling down to the molecular level, Trump lost the election by seven million votes. The election was not stolen. The plain truth is that many of the states where Trump lost the Electoral College votes usually vote Republican. It might be unfair to link Donald Trump’s big lie with the Hitler’s big lie that Germany lost World War I because of the Jews but think about it. Donald Trump’s big lie killed people.

The big lie that Covid-19 was not a crisis and would simply go away killed Americans. It was a lie, Trump knew it was a lie, but he said it anyway. He said the election was stolen from him and he won it by a “landslide.” Totally unbelievable, yet tens of thousands of his supporters came to Washington, attacked the Capitol and people died as a result. It wasn’t quite Hitler’s Operation Hummingbird, when the Nazi secret police killed as many as a thousand of Hitler’s political rivals, but it’s right out of that playbook.

Trump lost the election because everyone has been seriously affected by the global pandemic and most who voted against him believed that Joe Biden, the guy who was “hiding in his basement” and was always wearing a mask, would do a better job. Both Hitler and Trump failed to understand that some people will give you undying faith based on a lie, but they don’t want to die.

The lies, fantasies and conspiracy theories of QAnon and the Trump base, are too unbelievable to believe. Did the CIA and FBI fail us on 9-11? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the attack was planned by the US government. Are Democrats going to do more to help people of color and build a stronger middle class? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they eat babies. The more I think, the more details of Trump’s life I remember. Many nights while lying in bed with his first wife, Donald John Trump read Adolf Hitler’s speeches. We know this because his ex told us. Why would Ivana Marie Trump, an eastern European by birth, lie to us about that?

One might speculate that Ivana and Trump’s current wife, Melania, also from eastern Europe, are spies planted to corral him, control his mind and direct him in a long-term plan of serving the Russia oligarchs. On the other hand, maybe those speeches by the Führer penetrated his brain and he wanted to be like his hero. Come on now, it’s just a theory based on extraordinarily little evidence, but, hey, it’s a classic component of effective storytelling — the more fantastic and quotable, the better.

A theory too unbelievable to be true will be repeated more often than something that gets the response, “I knew that.” When I am presented with additional facts, I am open to understanding a different truth, but after all the election lawsuits and in-depth investigation I lean to the “big lie” being exactly that. I do wonder about Rudy Giuliani. He was there for 9-11, so is he part of that conspiracy as well? He was an early arrival at the crime scene. Irony here, readers, pure irony.

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.

 


MOVING FORWARD IS TOUGH

The Era of American Grievance and Lies

Imagine an 11th grade high school class comprised of devout Evangelists, Islamists and Hasidic Jewish kids. Now, think of their teacher arranging a debate in which the students have to defend the firm religious beliefs of their debate opponents. Boy, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that one! It would be quite a challenge for the kids.

We know that Congress is full of contrarians. One camp is filled with those who oppose or reject popular opinion while folks in the other have an unusually strong sense of self and are vocal about their differing opinions. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz fits into that category. Ohio’s Jim Jordan can be labeled as a defender by some, but to others he’s a vindictive source of torment. When the tactics of blocking, arguing and criticizing get in the way of discussion and compromise, nothing productive follows.

Thanks to Mother Jones

I have a theory about Donald Trump and those people who want to be like him. Every shove raises an opposite force of equal proportion. All too frequently, I find myself screaming at the TV “That’s not true!” when hearing something like “All democrats hate America!” The true meaning of one who says that is “I hate anyone who disagrees with me.” When COVID-19 hit, most Republicans simply blamed China and offered precious little in the way of solutions. It’s the typical tactic of a contrarian. Usually, a ton of ad hominem surfaces while arguing such a point and speakers attack the character of those opposing them instead of dealing with the facts.

I tend to merely wave my hand at the older bigots in Congress and dismiss their perverted views and attitudes as the result of just being there too long. Ted Cruz, who is a small-minded person parading as an intellectual, introduced TERM LIMITS, but made sure they would not affect those who, like himself, are “grandfathered” in Congress. It’s like the “reform” we sometimes hear from successful immigrants, “Hey, I’m in now so close the door and don’t admit any others like me.” By the way, Ted Cruz’ father came to America from Cuba.

The daily discord in Congress is disturbing in many ways. Their lofty talk about compromise and unity is meaningless; they don’t care about those ideals at all. They would rather win the argument, massage their base and ask for more money from their voters, concepts far removed from keeping America great, or at least safe. The best recent example is the way Republicans decried the terrible Capitol Hill riots but, once the smoke cleared, were incapable of punishing the members who supported Trump’s incitement. It’s like they weren’t there. These same folks feel that convicting Trump by an impeachment trial in the Senate would be outrageous.

Master & Slave

Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy cannot bring discipline to new House member Marjorie Taylor Greene for her anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, and hurtful rhetoric. Even though McCarthy personally condemns such words and thoughts, Trump is still the puppet master of his political actions. McCarthy believes he can dodge the pressure by letting the Democrats vote Greene off committees. Wait and see how that won’t work. McCarthy will ultimately become the target of the malcontents, malicious traitors and cancerous contrarians of Congress.

Politicians have learned how to lie and take dark money to get elected. They have a naïve notion they don’t have to give the devil his due after he’s delivered the dinero. Such fools! Taking the money destines one to eventual ball playing on a burning field in hell.

We have always elected a certain number of whacked lunatics to Congress. We’ve had KKK grand wizards and outwardly racists fools like Steve King of Iowa. He was voted out after his neighbors learned his ways. I must believe that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have embarrassed their constituents and will be replaced in 2022, but right now they need to be controlled. I just read a story about Ms. Boebert claiming 38,000 miles on her House expense report. Wow, stealing gas from the government; shouldn’t she be fired right now?

It’s easy to see that we are living in weird times. The fact that I was backing Liz Cheney 100% on her fight to keep power in the House of Representatives is proof. Now before you possibly start thinking things couldn’t be stranger, consider last night’s story from Reuters, “Newly unsealed court documents and other records show that Merck & Co and U.S. regulators knew about reports of suicidal behavior in men taking the company’s anti-baldness treatment Propecia when they decided not to warn consumers of those potential risks in a 2011 update of the popular drug’s label.” Donald Trump uses this treatment every day. Could the 45th President be suffering from a drug induced depression that has turned him into a monster? Hey, I am just reporting the news here. Yes, it comes with a large dose of opinions and fearful conjectures but at least you don’t have to pay for it.

As I have said before, getting rid of one goofball just causes another to pop up. You can play whack-a-mole all day but, like a rat’s tooth, break one off and another will grow in its place. These politicians raise money on being “persecuted” and maligned by the other side, but like any good martyr they desperately seek love. I guess the love that Matt Gaetz never got from his own father, was replaced by the “love” Donald Trump fed him. He’s so beholden to Trump that he wanted to resign from the House to become Trump’s lawyer during his Senate impeachment trial. Matt took an oath to protect the Constitutions of Florida and the US but has done much harm to both. This attorney is now risking his membership in the Bar Association. Disbarment would end his career as a lawyer, but not as a liar.

It’s going to take years for us confused voters to uncover the real criminals here. I do have some hope, given that hardly anyone in my generation has anything kind to say about Richard Nixon. The sycophants and losers hanging onto Donald John Trump’s shirttail should wake up and smell the covfefe. They are so stupid that they don’t even realize they are complicit in crimes against America. Like I said, it’s going to take a long time and moving forward in conflict is never an easy process.

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.


ULTIMATE ABUSE OF POWER

Trump’s Pardon of Bannon & Others

Every morning, I read a passage of dialog from the Broadway musical A Thousand Clowns. “I gotta know what day it is. I gotta know what’s the name of the game and what the rules are without anyone else telling me. You gotta own your own days and name ’em, each one of ’em, every one of ’em, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you.”

I know that if I break a rule, I will have my day in court, and if found guilty of a crime, I will certainly do the time. With that in mind, it’s numbing and discouraging to realize that a single person in America has the power to overrule a judge or jury. The power to pardon was awarded to the United State president by our founding fathers. It was intended as a means of intercession when corruption, partisan political rancor or other such nonsense put an innocent person in jail. Things changed when President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon a preemptive pardon, which set an absurd precedent that a person who hasn’t even been convicted can be pardoned.

Beach Bum Bannon

Let’s examine the case of Steve Bannon, whom Donald Trump just pardoned. Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years, and after his military service he landed a plum job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. In 1993, he became acting director of the research project Biosphere 2, which was a total failure because its hubristic, pseudo-scientific experiments never accomplished their mission.

Then, Bannon became an executive producer in Hollywood and between 1991 and 2016 he produced 18 films. Because of his early investment in Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced the phenomenally successful TV show Seinfeld, Bannon will never need to work again.

In 2007, Steve Bannon co-founded Breitbart News, the far-right website he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” In 2016, Steve joined Donald Trump’s campaign as the Chief Strategist, and then after the election he was named Senior Counselor to the President. That position latest only eight months when Trump realized that Bannon was a destructive force and dismissed him.

After Bannon left the White House, he and Trump continued to talk, and it seemed there was unity between the philosophies of the two men. In many post-White House interviews, Bannon was extremely supportive of his Frankenstein monster.

So, why does Steve Bannon need a pardon? It begins with this lead story in the in the August 20, 2020 edition of the New York Times, “Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former adviser and an architect of his 2016 general election campaign, was charged on Thursday with defrauding donors to a private fund-raising effort called ‘We Build the Wall,’ which was intended to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border.”

Seven men In the Trump administration were charged and or convicted of felonies, including Paul Manafort, Michael T. Flynn, Michael D. Cohen and Steve Bannon. All of them except Michael Cohen were awarded pardons and will go free. Interestingly, Cohen turned on Trump publicly and reverse logic indicates if one says nice things or nothing about Trump, they’re awarded a get-out-of-jail card.

I get miffed and aggressive when I see someone get conned out of their hard-earned savings. I know people who have given their money to swindlers who claimed their investment would double or triple in months, but eventually learning they were the victims of a Ponzi scheme. Bannon attained large investments by using the President’s words that a wall was on the southern US border to protect against the murderous caravan that was coming to get us. Allegedly, Bannon and his co-conspirators skimmed millions off the top of those investments for themselves.

Why do I care that Steve Bannon was pardoned? It’s just my silly, middle-class mentality that people who hurt others should be punished. Even if they don’t go to jail, they should be made to pay back the money they stole and apologize to their victims. In the case of Bannon, none of that will happen now. I am even more frustrated because the broke-dick wall was erected too close to the river and parts of it washed out during a flood. Investment dollars were in the coffers and the wall failed to deliver on its promise of security. Bannon and his crew are just like those shyster aluminum siding sales guys who bilk families out of their savings.

I find the number of white-collar criminals on the Trump list of pardons interesting. It’s part of the Trump foundational philosophy that Mary L. Trump outlined so perfectly in her book about her uncle. Donald’s father Fred preached an anti-IRS, antigovernmental mantra that eventually led to his brainwashed son barking orders at his rabid followers to storm the Capitol Building.

Trump’s presidency enforced the heartfelt belief of many Americans that there are two rule books, one for the rich, entitled and connected and the other for everyone else. Here is something all those Trump-loyal Republicans need to realize; Today they must separate themselves from this man who just left the White House. They must disassociate the party from the man. As for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, they are not Trump and would be wise to stop acting like him.

Unjust Judge Pirro

And just before I posted this, Trump remembered that he forgot one more person to pardon. This tweet was posted, “New: Trump has pardoned Al Pirro, who was convicted of tax fraud. Pirro has previously worked with Trump on real estate deals and is the ex-husband of Fox host Jeanine Pirro.” She must have called him and screamed “bloody Mary” murder when she saw that her husband’s name wasn’t on the list.

We must address the pardon power of the president for the future. The chief executive should have to stay the crime, the date range of when it was committed and why they gave the person a pardon. A simple, “I like his wife!” would do.

The seriousness of America’s situation would not be resolved with jail time for Steve Bannon, but for many of us that would be a positive indicator that justice works in America. The stench of Trump will take time to dissipate, but in the meantime, we should focus on the future. Let’s try to heal the hurt of a corrupt and useless president and let only good thoughts in. Let’s stop building the wall and joyously celebrate the reality that America survived a total fucking idiot of a president.

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