POPULISM & PANDEMICS

Political Beliefs Can Kill You

I and a group of friends took part in a “Ridin’ with Biden” campaign event last October in Florida. We came across a group of Trump supporters camped out in front of an early voting location and I put my large megaphone out the window of the car and yelled, “He’s going to kill you! He’s going to kill you!” The trumpers were oblivious to the way Trump’s Covid-19 policies were hurting and killing us. I get it, they love him and trust him with their grandmother’s lives. Why? It’s all part of a populism religion they decided to follow.

This sectarian concept has overtaken large portions of our country and our elected representatives. Sectarianism is a political or cultural conflict between two groups often related to their form of government. Prejudice, discrimination or hatred can arise in these conflicts, depending on the political status quo and which group holds more power within the government. One of the worst parts of America’s current populism is a constant war on science. By denigrating experts, big, strong-man populist leader Donald Trump first gets the attention of the downtrodden workers and eventually entices them to seek his advice rather than that of credentialed, knowledgeable experts.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post in March of 2020, “Trump, for his part, fuels fears by constantly talking about how the disease came from China and how he heroically saved American lives because he ‘closed the borders to China’ in late January, 2020. Thank goodness he doesn’t seem to know that the H1N1 virus was first detected in Mexico. If he did, he might close the border with Mexico, just to be safe.” Donald Trump has never trusted any opinion that is opposed to his own viewpoint.

Zakaria came back to that discussion on his CNN show yesterday morning. His experts were fair to point out that not all populist leaders in the world denied the danger of Covid, but they often tend to rebuke experts, disconnect from science and make decisions based on what they think their followers will swallow, rather than the truth. In the beginning of the pandemic, Indian’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was rather draconian with the lockdown and those polices kept the virus at bay. Then, he made the same mistake Trump did by pushing to reopen the country too soon. This caused a crisis of pain and death that will probably destroy his political career.

Brazil has a leader who was in total denial of the coronavirus and mingled with people at rallies, shook hands and called Covid-19, “just a little flu,” until he got it himself. He then softened his misdirection but continued to blame everyone else for what was happening in his country. The more people listened to him the more people died. He repeatedly fired his national health directors and appointed replacements, believing mismanagement was causing the spread of the virus.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro

At this point, Brazil has more than 14.7 million people infected and more than 400,000 have died. Right now, India has more than 350,000 new cases each day and a total of 19.5 million infections with more than 215,000 deaths. We don’t know how many people have died in China or Russia, where dictators make policies. Some say that China, where the virus originated, has only 4,636 deaths. In a country of 1.4 billion that’s a totally unbelievable number.

Some sources say that Russia has 109,000 deaths, which makes more sense than the China statistic. Remember, Russia has a population of 145 million people. We know the case counts of democracies are more accurate. We also know that overzealous populist leaders, irresponsible state governors and state-run media have cooked the books on Covid-19. But as the World Health Organization puts more pressure on nations to cough up current statistics, we learn more about the effect of this virus on the planet.

The democracies of the U.K. and Israel had some rough coronavirus moments, but also amazing accomplishments. The U.K. was on the edge of disaster and Prime Minister Boris Johnson came down with a wicked case of Covid-19. In the U.K. currently, more than 34 million people have had a first vaccine dose and over 14 million have had a second. An average of 415,000 second doses are now being given daily. The National Health Service in the U.K. is very organized and thorough. For example, 98% of the people over age 50 in Scotland have received at least one vaccination already. The lowest percentage in that same category is London, with 87%.

Israel has done a fantastic job with vaccinations. As of May 2, 2021, Israel had fully vaccinated 87.3% of its population. Even with 900,000 people who contracted coronavirus in the country, they had only 6,363 known deaths. That is a particularly good outcome in a country of 9 million. Perhaps their general population has more awareness of science and medicine.

Populism attracts people who often reject things based on status or labels. If an intellectual in medicine is presented as an elitist by a populous leader, their followers tend to adopt the simple lie rather than the complicated realities of math, science and medicine. It’s interesting to note that a person doesn’t have to be less educated to take on a belief counter to well-known and proven facts. Steve Jobs denied conventional medical wisdom and it killed him. The word we should focus on is “wisdom.”

We all want our leaders to apply a sense of experience, knowledge and good judgment to their actions or decisions, but in some cases, they may not have enough knowledge or experience to act effectively. Where they lack knowledge, they must trust and depend on others for facts and guidance. If they don’t have good judgement, they might take advice from people who are totally full of shit. The quality of judgement is evaluated after the fact. Leaders talk of using their “best” judgement, but they cannot say it’s good judgement until their action bears fruit.

India’s Narendra Modi

India’s populist leader Narendra Modi made good choices in the beginning, but since the country was organized around a strict caste system the first wave of Covid-19 hit the lower classes and then slowed. When Modi began believing his own press, he opened the country to political rallies and large religious events, which was not only bad judgement but fatal to thousands.

Bad choices and ignoring science have consequences. This from Reuters, “The incumbent chief minister’s party in India’s West Bengal state has defeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in a state election held as the coronavirus pandemic surged to crisis levels. Modi has been criticized for focusing on the elections instead of making the pandemic his top priority.” So, there’s another populist who cares more about power than people. Bye, Bye!

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.


ANGLO-SAXON VALUES & UNITY

From Mild Racism to Tea Party to Insanity

If you had told me this story a few years ago I would have thought you were quoting the Onion comedy site. Sadly, this is not a dated comedy routine or a satirical gem from Andy Borowitz. It’s the latest black hole some radical Republicans are trying to push their comrades into for certain political death.

Here’s the story. Far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona’s Paul Gosar, were seeking to set up an “America First Caucus” that would push a nativist agenda to respect “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” This was first reported by Punchbowl News, and the Republican group warned that “mass immigration” threatened “the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity.” Okay, but was this ever a real thing? They did admit they were going to charge dues!

Was the caucus a real plan? Does anyone whose family came from Europe, Asia or even Russia believe this? Those questions were soon asked, and the media did a great job taking down a conspiracy before it even hatched. This is what we learned before the weekend was over.

According to a Washington Post article, “On Saturday, Greene (R-Ga.) described the document as ‘a staff level draft proposal from an outside group’ and claimed she had not read it. She blasted the media for ‘taking something out of context,’ but did not specify to which policies in the document she objected. However, Greene did not deny plans to start an ‘America First Caucus’ and ended a lengthy Twitter thread by saying she supported former president Donald Trump’s America First agenda.” Wait, if they are so sure of their own beliefs and prejudges why did they need an outside firm to tell them what they believe? Better yet, why would Marjorie Taylor Greene not take the time to read a proposal she supported?

I’ve never believed that Ms. Greene has the gravitas or depth to process complex information. She seems unable to grasp facts or debunk a conspiracy theory, but she does have a platform. 229,827 people voted for her and put her in office, but that number might be quite different today. The voters of District 14 in Georgia will have to ask themselves at the next election what has she done for them? I don’t think being on TV helps her constituents. I contend that the more she’s on TV the worse it is for her.

So, what are Anglo-Saxon values? Anglo-Saxons, a “cultural group,” inhabited England in the fifth century. They were immigrants from northern Germany and southern Scandinavia long before those places were countries. According to Bede, a monk from Northumbria back then, they were from some of the most powerful and warlike tribes in Germany. Bede names three of these tribes: the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. If you believe in all that DNA stuff you might wonder if these were the same people who gave us World Wars I and II. Not really. It’s not the Arian race crap that Adolf was slinging, but pretty much the same hook American white supremacists have hung their dogma on for years.

Arizona’s Paul Gosar

Someone got the document and leaked it, fearful there was a chance that other members would support Greene and Gosar and adopt the platform. SLATE reported, “There won’t be an America First Caucus after all. At least for now. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused the media of making a big deal about something that wasn’t even a reality yet and aides said she wasn’t starting any new group…. She also accused the media of focusing on race and using it to divide the American people with hate through identity politics.” Nick Dyer, Greene’s spokesperson said earlier in the weekend that the caucus would be launched soon. Okay, real, or not?

There are no lasting values we can attribute to the Anglo-Saxon peoples, after all they assimilated into a vast group of humans who came to the British Isles early on. The Anglo-Saxon people, culture and language developed over time, but the authors of this crazy revisionist view ignore what happened in Britain after the Norman invasion.

The conquest by the Norman elite captured much of the Anglo-Saxons’ land and revised their values. The Normans restructured the Church (made it Catholic), brought new architecture (castles and Romanesque cathedrals) and feudalism became much more widespread. The most long-lasting change was the English language absorbing thousands of words from French, Latin and even German. The melting pot of Britain was a precursor to what happened in America, and the assimilation made the people stronger, not weaker.

I doubt that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and those high verbal folks in the America First Movement have any idea what the term “Anglo-Saxon values” truly means. They throw out the idea that being a European is far superior to being a person of color, but have they been to Europe lately? It’s not so white and not so Anglo these days. Dorothy! Kansas City might be whiter than Miami, but that doesn’t make it more American. The far right equates Anglo with Caucasian but were they to travel back in time they wouldn’t even be able to communicate with an Anglo or a Saxon. They would be the alien.

The phrase “Anglo-Saxon values” is a trumped-up tag line that fell out of the bag of tricks that the losers and conspiracy nuts carry around. It’s also a quick sucker punch to the Dems. If Greene and other assholes of her ilk took the time to do the research (google it, jerkoffs), they would find the Anglo-Saxon earthly virtues were bravery, loyalty, generosity, and friendship. Being made to look stupid isn’t brave, it’s just fucking futile. Yes, they are loyal to their cause, but then so were the young members of the brown shirt brigade in 1939 Germany. Generosity is not an attribute of the far right. I don’t see them out raising money to help get the homeless vaccinated. As for “friendship,” the other day I got yelled at for having a Biden sticker on my car. Funny, she never mentioned “friendship” as she flipped me the bird.

Using the term “Christian values” would have been riskier, but more people might have swallowed it. Ask an Italian about Anglo-Saxon values, or perhaps any of the millions of Hispanics or Latinas who are legacy Americans what they think of that expression. Better yet, ask a Native American about Anglo-Saxon values. All they wanted to do was live in peace, but the Anglo-Saxons brought them bullets and diseases. Those religious Anglo zealots poured salt into the wounds by taking away the native peoples’ gods and spirits. You see, these aren’t values at all but rather legalized genocide and self-serving brainwashing. Have a nice day, Marjorie. Anglo-Saxon my ass! I demand your 23&Me DNA spit test.

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.

 


AMERICA’S DISPOSABLE PEOPLE

Why So Much Killing and Disregard for Life?

How many times do we need to read this, “It is unclear what motivated the shooting, but investigations are ongoing and will continue into most of the day…” One of the by-products of being in a Covid lockdown is not only did we avoid colds and the flu but the mass shootings were put on hold. Now that we are beginning to reopen, guns and shootings seem to be in the news every other day. WHY?

Jim Jordan, Representative of Ohio, once again embarrassed himself and his state by verbally abusing Dr. Anthony Fauci in a hearing on the Hill yesterday. It seems that Jordan’s agenda is to use his taxpayer-funded job to harass, vent and inflame citizens with no productive result.

The fact that Jordan disrespected Congress by not wearing a coat in a formal setting speaks to the character of the man, but isn’t it a moral affront to pit the number of people who have died from Covid-19 against the debate about when we will get all our rights back? Jordan was only trying to get on the news, which he did, but how do you think the families of those who have succumbed to the virus feel about his diatribe? Fauci is trying to save lives and Jim Jordan was yelling at him for no good reason. WHY?

All the numbers start to run together when seeing the daily stats, but we must always remember those numbers represent people. According to a Washington Post analysis of data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, during the past week thirty-eight states have reported an increase in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19. But the national statistics don’t capture the intensity of the coronavirus emergency in the hotspots. Michigan reported more than 10,000 new infections on Tuesday alone. On Wednesday, the state reported an average of 46 deaths a day, up from 16 a month earlier. If 46 people were killed in a mass shooting, we would be alarmed and saddened.

Remember how you felt the morning after October 1, 2017 when Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip? He killed 61 people and injured 867 of the attendees. Put the coronavirus statistics in those terms and it begets a raw emotion and perhaps depression. Every day in MICHIGAN, more than 10,000 are hospitalized with Covid and 46 to 60 of them die.

According in CNN, 45 shootings have taken place in the last thirty days in the USA. Here are a few of the more infamous ones. On March 16th, eight people were killed by a gunman at three massage businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of the victims were of Asian descent. On March 22nd in Boulder, Colorado, a shooter at a supermarket killed ten people, including a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene. In Orange, California on March 31st, a gunman killed four people and critically wounded a fifth at a Southern California office building. On April 7th, former NFL player Phillip Adams shot six people, including Robert Lesslie, a prominent doctor, his wife and two of their grandchildren along with two air conditioning technicians. His brain is now being examined for possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military. At least in this case, we might get an answer, albeit, too late.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Just last night, a gunman opened fire outside and inside a FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis main airport, killing eight people, wounding several others and sending witnesses running before taking his own life. We’ll probably never learn the true motivation of this former FedEx employee, but it’s pretty damn clear we have a huge problem in the United States of America.

While we are watching bad guys with guns shooting good people without guns, we are also seeing police officers around the country shooting people for minor issues and traffic stops. We watch the court cases with witnesses and experts giving their testimony but the victims have no voice there.

I am angered by Jim Jordan’s obvious disregard for life, his disrespect of a medical expert and his disdain for a united effort to beat the virus. He’s so worried about the Frist Amendment he’s forgotten about all of our rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” My idea of happiness is not laying in a hospital room on a ventilator. Should Jordan’s shredding of policies and extra care taken to lower the spread of a virus make things worse then he’s complicit, just like Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is complicit in every mass shooting in America. Yes, I get all the Second Amendment stuff but what suggestion or steps has LaPierre made to solve the problem of American mass shootings? Bupkis.

The idea that a good guy with a gun will keep us safe is more than fallacious, it just doesn’t work at all. If we had a competent president when the global pandemic broke out, we would not have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of American lives to keep the economy rolling. It’s not helpful to debate our freedoms when we have kids being shot by cops, a virus taking a thousand lives each day and mass shootings wasting people all over the country. Where does Representative Jim Jordan get off screaming at Dr. Fauci when he has not put forth a single idea to cure Covid-19? He’s much beyond a squeaky wheel, he’s a horrendously loud human fart.

We should not have disposable people. Human life is not sacred when we talk one way about Roe vs. Wade and then other ways about gun control, national health policies and police reform. If you care only about your dogma, then you are most likely disregarding the people you supposedly serve. Elected officials have a supreme responsibility to make sure all Americans are safe — safe to live, safe to work and safe to travel without fear of becoming infected with a virus or being executed by a cop. We must get back to our values with the understanding that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean something. If not, then we are just another third-world county but with lots of money.

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.


EASIER OR JUST BLOWING SMOKE?

New Voter Law Is A Trojan Horse, What’s Inside?

Back in my high school days, education officials made a rule that disallowed wearing jeans to class. There was no reason given for this draconian rule. Had we not been in the suburbs but in a rural area this law wouldn’t have worked. The administrators believed that wearing tight jeans would somehow make us act up and disturb the educational process. Really?

Sometimes we make a law in search of a crime and it takes the outcries of people to reverse it. I remember when the Atlanta Braves opened a new stadium and a woman was stopped because she was carrying a small cooler containing formula for her newborn baby. Less than 48 hours after this story broke the team ownership pulled the rule. Later, they loosened the restriction even more by allowing patrons to bring in food.

Voting has always been a challenge in America. The first mistake was not making the federal election day a holiday so that no one would have to miss work to vote or miss voting to work. Not one of the newly minted voting laws fixes that problem, which is #1 on my list.

Long Voting Lines in Georgia

Then there’s this. Early voting, whether it’s motivated by a pandemic or not, is a good idea. Any rule stating that tabulation of early votes cannot take place before election day, or worse, can’t begin until after the polls have closed, is foolish. How does that help the voting process?

Because we have many states that allow mail-in voting, which is a good thing, we must make sure the United States Postal System works properly in all fifty states and territories. The idea of no-excuse absentee voting is not a rare bird, nor should it be. You can see a list of all the states that support the concept here. And in case you didn’t know, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Hawaii and Colorado use mail-in voting exclusively, so what’s the fuss all about?

Lurking inside these new laws are grievance politics, partisan wounds and leftover racism that isn’t comprehended by many, including those people forging the new laws. The concept of disallowing a person to bring food or water to a voter waiting in line is a masked attempt at voter intimidation. Here’s the language, “No person shall … give any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established,” but there’s a trick in that stick. First, “the outer edge of any building” is inappropriate, given a polling location may have voters form a line around the perimeter or the building and “150 feet” might include everyone in the voting line. Also, are states actually prepared to arrest anyone who brings food or water to those of color waiting in line? That would be very intimidating, especially since cops have guns.

What’s really upsetting is the lawmakers know there will be long lines and they are attacking their citizens in the voting lines rather than working to make the lines shorter, the wait times less and the voting process faster. Anyone who views food and water you are giving your granny as temptation for voting a certain way is irrational, cynical and stupid. If anything, one waiting in a ridiculously long line to vote might be tempted to cast their ballot against the foolish people in power.

Here’s something from today’s New York Times, “Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing ’any discriminatory legislation‘ that would make it harder for people to vote. It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Senior Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, have called for companies to stay out of politics.” The sad reality is these politicians take money from large companies for campaign expenses, but when those same companies point out a problem the grifters bark at them to back off. If they feel so strongly, why not pass a law that prohibits corporate funding of any candidate, party or Super Pac? Fat chance.

We live in a fast, souped-up world where we demand speed, efficiency and accuracy, not partisan bickering and built-in voter suppression. I am sure Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, believes the new voting law he signed makes things better for his state. Why then are so many people telling him the law is bad?

Here is a major flaw that has nothing to do with food and water, it’s about power and control. One of Georgia’s new provisions is the state’s right to take over county elections offices the legislature believes have “persistent problems.” It wouldn’t be a surprise should they snatch control in Fulton County, which has 800,000 mostly African American voters. The Democrats won big there, and the Republicans believe there was corruption in that county, yet after three vote recounts no fraud was found. These idiots prefer Donald Trump’s lies over their own Secretary of State, Election Board members and, oh yeah, their voters. The law effectively changes the sixty plus year tradition of the Secretary of State being the sole keeper of Election integrity and places that responsibility in the hands of a party loyalist, perhaps appointed to overturn the will of voters. WHY IS THIS NOT A BAD IDEA?

We can debate the requirement of having a picture ID to vote, We do it in Florida and it’s not a problem. Florida lets you register to vote when you get your driver’s license. A voting ID card is not a bad idea. These are frightening times.

Were you to ask representatives in the Georgia State assembly if they were racist, they would honestly say no. But should you ask any of them what would give their party a better chance of winning in the next election, he or she would tell you that fewer votes from Black people would do the trick. So, you see, it’s not racism at all, it’s merely normal southern politics. By the way, they aren’t wrong. The more African American voters the more votes will be cast for Democrats. I guess people of color don’t like the policies of those Republicans who are pushing the trojan horse into the town center. Wouldn’t it smarter to figure out what the voters really want and just give it to them? Why try to take a bottle of water out of their hands? Remember, Coca-Cola makes DASANI and they certainly would be happy to provide the state with enough water for every voter, at a reasonable price or course. After all, they are capitalists.

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 POPULARITY OF AMERICA

Immigration Challenges and the Far Right

I would love to think that all the concern about immigration by the right-wing media and hardcore Trump fans isn’t based on deep-seated prejudges, but for some reason I have trouble believing that. Oh yeah, the last four years of intense hate and nationalist rhetoric is probably responsible for the lack of credibility in their messaging.

Most conservative politicians go on and on about how broken the US immigration system is and how we need to stop letting people in. One might say that America is not responsible for the terrible conditions in the countries immigrants and refugees are fleeing from, but that’s not exactly right. Many of our failed foreign policies and drug enforcement initiatives have contributed to instable governments in some Central and South American countries. That subject is much too deep and complex for exploration on this page today, but should you read the Stephen Kinzer book titled The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, you will probably be shocked and embarrassed at the things our country did abroad in the name of democracy.

People all over the world love the United States of America and millions want to live here. Those folks lucky enough to have a landmass they can walk to get here, do so to escape the highly dangerous and unproductive places where they live. Yes, that’s not our fault but we need to understand oppressed people will always desire to come here and stay, and that has nothing to do with Biden’s policy of sheltering unaccompanied minors or the walls Donald Trump failed to build.

America has more than 800,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more widely known as DACA. These kids and adults have a kind of landed status, but they are not citizens. They can work and they carry cards declaring their right to be here, but since June 15, 2012 they exist in an uncertain limbo.

According to the Brookings Institute, “As of January 1, 2015, there were 11.96 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The most recent Pew Research estimate puts the total number of unauthorized immigrants at 10.5 million in 2017. Overall, this represents a minority of the foreign-born population, which in 2017 numbered 44.5 million and of them, 45% are naturalized citizens and 27% of whom are lawful permanent residents.” Once again, I cannot adequately detail how the immigration system works, which includes working visa, green cards and long-term applications for citizenship. Instead, I’ll focus on the strict rules facing those applying for entry and seeking asylum here.

There are two basic requirements for entry into the United States. First, asylum applicants must establish that they fear persecution in their home country. Second, applicants must prove that they would be persecuted in their home country on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

When those known as “coyotes” working for fees bring young kids to our southern border and dump them over the wall, the kids are in a deep state of panic and many can’t say why they had to leave their home countries. They may have been separated from or told by their parents they must go live in America. Not only is there a language barrier for many of them, but a lack of knowledge about possible legal entanglements.

Our right-wing media features endless discussions about officials in the Biden administration not traveling to the border to see the problem up close. Why is that necessary? They are quite aware of the almost 20,000 minors who are in the custody of the US Government. The reality is the administration has bills to pass, Covid to conquer and other pressing responsibilities. One could say it’s bad optics that they aren’t down there on their knees and hugging the kids, but that will not solve the problem, and it is a problem.

There are times when following legal guidelines that a charge of not being moral or caring enough is raised. On the other hand, changing a policy to make it more, well, moral, can lead to a slamming for not following the letter of the law no matter what happens to the kids. When the bodies of babies and kids who were trying to get to a safer place started to wash up on the shores of the Mediterranean, the whole world criticized those countries that failed to help hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. We got all sad for a while, but then we just forgot about them. It’s the normal flow of a human flaw.

We can bring those 20,000 kids to safety and unite them with family members who are already here, but wait, are those part of the ten to thirteen million undocumented people who arrived earlier? Are we going to balloon that group even more? 20,000 is not such a big number when compared to the 333 million people who live here now, but we need to realize that this is never going to stop. People will always make their way here to be part of the American Dream. Contrary to all the bullshit blasted out by Trump in the last four years, people in other lands consume our culture in the form of movies, books and TV shows and become convinced this is the happening place. We have an image of being the freest and coolest place on Earth.

There are three groups of immigrants. The first are highly trained or educated people who come to our county to learn or work. The H-1B visa is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(a)(15)(H), that allows US businesses to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years, after which the visa holder may need to reapply. When these highly skilled workers stay, it makes America better.

Then there are rich kids who come from other countries via airplanes, land here for vacations and never leave. According to Jorge Ramos, 40% of undocumented immigrants come by air and overstay their travel visas. We will need more people to help curb this misuse of the travel privilege.

Members of the third group walk right in, sit right down and ask to stay. This is visual and therefore it gets the most attention, but should you view this as a problem then you must also deal with the reality that it will never go away. We are not going to stop saying our country is the beacon of freedom and the World’s greatest example of capitalistic achievement, so perhaps we need to stop complaining about people wanting to come here.

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.


IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

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

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

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

Casey Anthony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visual Indifference Points

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


DEFENSIVE LEADERSHIP SUCKS

“Baby Trump” Ron DeSantis Implodes

Well, it was quite a weekend for our trusty Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. It began with a scathing report on 60 Minutes for all the nation to see. That’s what happens when you refuse to sit down for an interview with 60 Minutes. They just ask you a question at your press conference and demonstrate your all-encompassing defensiveness. According to CBS, DeSantis was handing out Covid shots and arranging shot locations as a payback to his campaign donors. He insists these things aren’t true, but the facts speak for themselves. Developers and a grocery store chain who gave more than $100,000 to his reelection super PAC were rewarded with Covid shots before the poor and people of color. Sadly, while he was denying and lying about one crisis another one was unfolding.

Florida produces tons of agriculture products. According to the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2017 Florida agricultural products generated $7.64 billion in revenue. The crops accounted for 77.0 percent of total cash receipts and the state’s agricultural output is second only to California. Major crops include citrus, sugarcane, tomatoes, peppers, cotton, watermelons, peanuts, snap beans, and potatoes. Timber is also an important agricultural commodity for Florida and because the land has been farmed for more than 200 years it needs to be treated with lots of fertilizer to realize significant returns on investments. Tons of nitrogen, phosphate and potash have been dumped on Florida’s land and lawns. The chemical runoffs eventually find their way to lakes, rivers, the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean.

Fertilizer companies came to Florida, built their plants and, because of EPA regulations, constructed large pools to hold their industrial waste. These were constructed far from neighborhoods, but now that Florida’s population has exploded into these areas people are living much too close to these toxic timebombs of waste. In 1966, Borden Chemical, a spin-off of Elsie the Cow’s milk company, built an industrial plant to process phosphate, a key ingredient in fertilizer. Even though the phosphate processing plant became inactive in 2001, the large INDUSTRIAL WASTE holding ponds remained and collected millions of gallons of rainfall, adding to the problem.

I’m not going to get too far into the weeds, but the weeds around the pool are going to get very wet because there is a hole in the radioactive gypsum molded pond and wastewater is leaking into the surrounding soil. The pool cannot be drained into a river because the lakes and bay get extremely sick from the chemical residue, which make algae grow amazingly fast. Too much of that low level plant life sucks all the oxygen out of the water and kills the fish. Oh, did I mention humans eat fish? This chemical imbalance causes a condition known as Red Tide, which produces algal blooms or large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms, such as protozoans and unicellular algae. It hit the west coast of Florida two years ago and killed hundreds of thousands of fish and hurt many businesses in the tourist and boating trades. If the sludge from the pool makes its way to the rivers and bay, no one will want to visit Florida to lay on a beach with dead fish.

I should say here that “hole” and “leaking” are simplified terms. It’s much worse than those words may lead you to believe. The gypsum wall of the pond is breached. Engineers have attempted to plug the hole with rocks, but that hasn’t been working. The concern now is the containment wall will collapse, unleashing a 20-foot wall of wastewater.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and MADE THE PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR HOMES! He could never bring himself to declaring a mask mandate, which would have saved thousands of lives, but with frightened people imagining polluted water pouring out of this man-made pond he acted swiftly. Many people have followed orders and left their homes, but others have refused to evacuate.

Florida now has an environmental crisis and a medical crisis at the same time. The people in charge were warned about the potential of a leak, and they did nothing. Should you want to say that Ronnie wasn’t the Governor back then, well, he was a state representative taking money from BIG FERTILIZER and he always voted in favor of them. The last major Florida Red Tide attack was in Lake Okeechobee, the state’s largest lake. DeSantis’ and former Governor Rick Scott’s solution was draining the polluted water into the Everglades. Beware, teenage mutant Ninja alligators are coming!

So, the solution to the current crisis is draining that large retaining pond, but where to put that sludgy water? When the leak was first detected, workers moved more than 22,000 gallons a minute out of the main retention pond and into a “drainage ditch” at nearby Port Manatee. But the sad truth about this kind of wastewater in Florida, sooner or later, it usually either ends up in the ocean or the gulf.

The engineers say it will take ten to twelve days to drain 380 million gallons into Tampa Bay, which prompted worries about the impact on marine life and another bout of Red Tide. Here we go again. What a mess. Just before we posted this article, the Florida Emergency team announced that they think there is more than one place where the wall of gypsum is leaking. This might get worse.

I cringe when a politician tries to convince us they know what they are doing by citing a “science person” who offers incorrect advice. With science, the more you know the more stupid your old ideas appear. We didn’t figure out that the Earth traveled around the sun until 1956. Okay, that was a joke. It was 1543 and the discovery was made by Nicky Copernicus. Why didn’t we know that fact sooner? Our egos led us to believe we were the center of the universe. We are not. Science and nature easily prove just how dense we are. Evidence of that? How about a global pandemic that has already killed 2.8 million human beings?

My greatest hope is this insane pandemic will teach us a major lesson. Our national healthcare system sucks and we need more doctors, more nurses and more hospitals. We also must make greater investments in research and science. I am NOT for the government taking over corporations, capitalism is the best motivation for most, but we must be ready next time. Not for me and those in my demographic but for our kids and grandkids. When people with no cars are forced to travel 25, 50 or 100 miles to get a Covid shot we are failing our own people. As for the state of Florida, maybe its citizens will learn that a defensive, argumentative and politically motivated governor is bad juju during health and environmental crises. DeSantis wastes most of his time defending himself. Maybe he should stop making bad decisions.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucker & Gaetz

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


THE REBIRTH OF TRUTH

Fake Bipartisanship or Real Possibilities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Protest

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

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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.

 


THEATER OF WAR & POLITICS

The Modus Operandi of the Mindless Robot

The games being played by Congress are getting more tired and worn. The gamesmanship is so obvious, and their approval rating continues to plunge. The use of the word “theater” or if you are in a blue state “theatre,” has been used dozens of times within the last week, a week that brought the violent deaths of eighteen people by an automatic weapon in the hands of a crazy person. Republicans use the term “theater” to describe the Democrats’ position on mask wearing and gun control. Why do the Republicans push back on ideas to keep us safer?

We’ve all heard the term theater of war, but where does it come from? In his book On War, Carl von Clausewitz defines the term Kriegstheater, which is old Latin for theatrum belli. Mr. von Clausewitz writes, “If the enemy’s forces are collected in one army upon one theatre of war, they constitute in reality a unity, and we need not inquire further; if they are upon one theatre of war, but in separate armies, which belong to different Powers, there is no longer absolute unity; there is, however, a sufficient interdependence.” And just like a theatrical stage play, there is always a protagonist and antagonist.

Theater of Guns & Politics

When Judiciary Committee Member Senator Ted Cruz complained about the Democrats bringing forth a discussion on gun control as the same “theater” they engage in after each mass shooting, he was the pot calling the kettle black. If the other side in the play is the protagonist, then Cruz must be the antagonist, meaning that he is solidly against gun control and believes there is nothing that can be done to solve the problem of mass shootings. In fact, he directly said gun control cannot stop mass shootings. So, there is the hill where he wishes to die.

Should more weaponry be a part of the next insurrection, perhaps that hill will be the fate of some representatives and senators. It’s been well established that people in Congress get millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA), and they are proud of the ratings they get from that lobbyist. Their votes against gun control have been purchased by Wayne LaPierre, an allegedly corrupt, self-serving administrator of the NRA slush fund.

In short, members give money to the NRA and Wayne spends the money however he likes. According to BradyUnited.org, Ted Cruz took only $176,274, but the list of recipients is a who’s who in the Republican force against gun control. Just take a look. Mitt Romney grabbed $13,647,676, Richard Burr (NC) snagged $6,987,380, Roy Blunt (MO) received $4,555,722, Thom Tillis (NC) netted $4,421,333, Cory Gardner (CO) snagged $3,939,199, Marco Rubio (FL) pocketed $3,303,355 and the list goes on.

If this is theater, then it’s a lavish production funded by the NRA, and gun control will never become a reality unless the money gets cut off. Gun acquisition loopholes are continually exploited and any local initiatives to curb America’s vast appetite for fire power is always shot down by state governments and federal courts. In 2018, the city of Boulder, Colorado passed a ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, but earlier this month, a state district court judge blocked the city from enforcing its ban. Just six days before an angry man entered a supermarket in Boulder and killed ten people, he bought an automatic weapon, but wait, that doesn’t matter.

The reason it doesn’t matter is because the alleged shooter is not from Boulder, he lives in a suburb of Denver some twenty miles away. Without a federal mandated ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, we will never succeed in this theater of war. Without a weapons turn-in program, we will never get the millions of assault weapons off the street. And here is another tidbit of truth for you, militant African Americans also do not want the government to take away their high-powered weapons. Wow, the radical members of Black Lives Matter and the white supremacist militias agree with Ted Cruz.

After a mass shooting and inaction by leaders, Black rapper Killer Mike tweeted this, “I told my kids on the school walkout, I love you, if you walkout that school, walkout my house…we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don’t agree with.” In other words, as long as the enemies of the African American community have guns, he wants people of color to be able to defend themselves.

Gun and ammunition sales skyrocketed when Obama was elected President. Paranoid conspiracy theorists believed that the first Black president would take away all their guns. Their opinion was illogical, but they fear any action to control the sale and use of firearms. The NRA has always been against a national registry of guns, and the organization has instituted so few safety policies and programs they have abandoned their original cause of rifle and gun safety.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Republicans like Josh Hawley, who took $1,391,548 from the NRA, suggest that Democrats are performing a theatrical routine to make people believe they care about gun safety, when many of them own guns and would never turn their backs on the Second Amendment. While that might be true, I have a suggestion.

Would it make sense to rewrite the Second Amendment and update it for today’s modern America? The words in the present text are, “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,” but is that applicable to life in 2021?

First, what is this “militia” in the Second Amendment? Back then, the US was up against the well-trained and equipped army of the British government. The early American leaders didn’t want and couldn’t afford a full-time army, so the president would sometimes call on state leaders to form a local fighting team, a militia, to take on the latest uprising from either native populations or British funded Canadian troops who wanted to grab some land. Because only Congress had the power to declare and fund a war it was easier and faster for the “Commander in Chief” to make the locals do the work, and thanks to the Second Amendment, weapons were always available. The Second Amendment also says, “well regulated,” and I contend that President Donald John Trump had the power to call off the Capitol Hill insurrection just by saying STOP. If he had done so, and the rioters didn’t stop, they would be traitors and seditionists who could have been shot by the United States Army.

I believe this is the part of the Second Amendment that needs to be changed, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It should say, “the licensed right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There are many precedents. I need a license to drive, hunt, fish, sell real estate, use software, use a trademark, use a song, practice law, sell alcohol, fly a plane, practice medicine, import goods, export goods, build a house, run a pub, breed dogs, get married, operate a forklift and practice medicine, just to name a few. So, why not require a gun owner’s license that must be renewed at reasonable intervals? The states could write the End Users License Agreement, but the registration would be national.

So, pipe dream or good idea?

EVERYTHING WAS PREDICTED IN THE BOOK… PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON AND READ: 

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.

QAnon followers can pay twice the price.