PANDEMIC BY-PRODUCT

Capitalism Goes Back to School

You have probably heard a theory about why employment figures haven’t roared back to pre- pandemic levels in America. The grand presumption from Republicans is people are not returning to their previous jobs because they are making so much money from the government’s pandemic relief checks.

As you might suspect, I have thoughts on this. First, let’s examine unemployment history. In October of 2009, right after the financial collapse, unemployment was at 10%. After a great recovery under two presidents, Obama and Trump, that number fell to 3.5%, one of the lowest unemployment numbers of this century. Then, Covid-19 came to the world and unemployment jumped to 14.8%. The federal government handed out assistance checks to people and some companies enrolled in the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) to obtain government loans to pay employees and keep their businesses afloat.

In March 2021, US unemployment dropped to 6%, but instead of cheering on this great improvement the GOP complained that recovery was taking too long. They insisted that all pandemic relief payments needed to end so that poverty and need would drive people back to work. Okay, that description is tilted and subjective but let’s stop and think about this. The Republicans may be wrong.

I found this interesting viewpoint in The Hill, “Is questioning whether unemployed Americans respond to the availability of unemployment compensation just another way of insulting their intelligence? If one can make more money being paid to stay at home, a rational person should do that, mindful of any effect on future employability, of course. Do we really need proof of the obvious? To be sure, it is a bit cynical to frame this as ‘being paid to stay home,’ but that’s what it is — or more neutrally, compensation for being unemployed, which one will lose by taking a job.”

The restaurant industry is facing a huge workforce challenge. I tried to go into a Starbucks and another breakfast establishment recently only to see signs that they were closed because not enough workers showed up to work that day.

Here’s a headline from the Restaurant Manifesto blogsite: The Restaurant Labor Shortage Was Inevitable – Stimulus payments aren’t the only thing keeping workers on the sidelines. They say, “Some hospitality professionals have abandoned the industry altogether. Months of waiting to return to their old jobs has left many workers worried about being left alone at the altar. Others chose to relocate to places where jobs are plentiful—cities like Miami where disruption to restaurant businesses has been ameliorated by more permissive public health policies.” I would add that some workers didn’t want to return to a job placing them in direct contact with mask-less customers.

The article continued, “Some individuals who’ve lost their jobs also lost their health insurance coverage during the worst public health crisis in a generation. When the industry shut down, many owners immediately laid off their entire staff, no questions asked, even their most loyal workers.”

One of my suppositions is that laborers who were isolated and quarantined had time to question what is important to them. They started to see the difference between a low-paying job with ill-tempered supervisors as compared to fulfilling work that paid them properly under managers who treated them respectfully and fairly. It’s not hard to find someone who has worked in the food business with many stories of rotten experiences, including tales of sexual harassment, tips being stolen by co-workers and long shifts with meager compensation. Maybe that’s why they aren’t going back to their former jobs.

The good news is capitalism never sleeps, it continuously finds ways to survive and grow. What has the pandemic mentality forced companies to do? Well, motivation is at the top of the list. Companies are offering bonuses just to get people in the door to fill out an application. From free food to fifty bucks, the corporate lords have found religion – MONEY.

While trying to get more workers, they are also reviewing their hourly wages and benefits such as healthcare. They are now forced to compete with not only direct competitors but also other industries. Our media outlets love to point out how “bad” it is to work for Amazon, but their warehouse jobs are plentiful and they pay well. You can work in a restaurant and hope your daily tips are substantial or you can punch-in every morning to feed the monster Jeff Bezos created and making good moola.

It’s appalling to me that the Republicans assume everyone getting financial assistance is scamming the federal government. Instead of investigating and understanding real people problems, they just cut off the money, stop the abortions and make it harder to vote. Thanks for nothing. Maybe it’s time you do some research and listen to objective logic.

Congress has become a hydra, with each of its two heads canceling the other. The Democrats want to help but fail to unite around one solid plan. The Republicans lay in wait until an idea floats to the front, then they attack it regardless of its substance. I cannot believe that grown men in Congress are still afraid of Donald Trump. It’s clear that Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are nothing but Trump puppets, lacking backbone and vision.

If we take 6% as a starting place for recovery, we could be much more optimistic and perhaps see that slower reduction of unemployment might be driven by businesses reluctant to overextend themselves until the coast is clear. I suggest Republicans open the book about the disaster of a global pandemic to learn the number of permanently closed businesses. If Lindsey Graham knew the real number of those places that closed forever, and counted all the workers they used to employ, he might be a bit less vindictive toward people who are getting checks. If you are curious, South Carolina currently has an unemployment rate of 5.1%, and in government employees they are at  negative-3.5%. Time to give out some government jobs, Lindsey.

BRAND NEW & AVAILABLE

We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some 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 WOKE JOKE

American Trends & Fads

Americans either stay on top of things, or they don’t, and when they don’t, they may feel a bit out of place with the conversations around them. For the longest time, I wondered how many folks understood the term “woke” to describe people.

One of my favorite resources for understanding the street interpretations of the words and phrases in Americana patois is the UrbanDictionary.com. They define “woke” as the act of a person being pretentious about their care of a social issue. The attempts of some to impress by dishing out their feelings of importance about issues does overwhelm at times, but I think the crowd-sourced Urban Dictionary misses the mark by weaving pretention into its definition. It was similar to the way Fox News spent so much time disparaging the concept. It’s like a mother beginning to use Facebook and then her kids deride the platform because it has gone mainstream and is no longer hip.

Hip is a baby boomer word. Back in the day we used it when we liked some thing or person. When a band was hip, it didn’t mean “hipster,” like today, it meant the group was trendy, cool and up on all the latest things. Some say it was a perversion of the word “hep,” as in “hep cat” from the Jazz era, but who knows? The only hip baby boomers care about today is the joint that connects their legs to their upper torsos.

American trendsetters often guided us toward the next big things, but they weren’t always right. If you bought a Betamax video recorder, you may have been hip but you were also wrong. During the fashion era, woke fashion leaders told us guys to wear skinny ties, then wide ties, then no ties at all. Women know this game much more profoundly than men because their styles are annually dictated by the wild ideas of Paris and New York. It takes a long time for JCPenney to catch the fever of a new style, but by the time they do it’s no longer woke.

It’s funny to me how politicians get their underwear in a wad, whether they are wearing briefs, tidy whities or if they have gone commando. Thanks to the Urban Dictionary, we know that means not wearing underwear. The origins for this are either “out in the open” or “ready for action,” but one must know the difference between a fad and a trend.

In 1982, I read the book Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. This was written in our pre-internet days, so the author used newspaper coverage as a gauge for analyzing data. He simply counted the number of column-inches each subject got in all the newspapers and used that to determine how those topics were trending. He also explained the difference between a short-term fad, like Davy Crockett hats, and the true megatrends that propelled our nation. By reading that book I learned that northern industrial cities would lose populations and southern cities would grow, and that’s exactly what happened.

In June 2020, the magazine Psychology Today published an article titled, The Promise and Problems of Being Woke. Here’s an excerpt, Many people, especially the youth, have a heightened awareness of our troubled past and, understandably, seek to correct our collective wrongs. This is where the term “woke” comes into play. It is defined as, ‘aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).’” Note the difference between the Urban Dictionary definition.  In this case, being woke is all about alertness with no posing implied.

The article continues, “Perhaps the long-overdue correction of ‘wokism’ is, sometimes, leading to an over-correction of sorts.” We saw that recently with the uproar about the Academy Awards that led to the Twitter campaign of #AcademySoWhite. The Academy acted and moved the needle rapidly because they had a huge backlog of African American scripts, projects and casting. Aside from the host-less, humor-less awards show this year, there were so many honors for projects by people of color that someone commented, “Why is everything about Black people?” That wasn’t racist; it was merely an observation. It reminded me of being the only white person at a 1970s Motown review concert. I loved the music but wondered why I was the only white guy there.

Our society often uses political correctness and shunning to block people with different opinions. There was a strange reaction when the term #BlackLivesMatter surfaced. First, it wasn’t very “woke” to say “all lives matter.” The goal of that phrase wasn’t promoting equality but rather diluting the indictment. When Trump stated that the “BLM movement is racist,” all chances of respect were lost. Most people don’t understand that slogans like “blue lives matter” create one colossal petri dish of cancel culture.

Here is a question. If the idea of being woke is “seeking to correct our collective wrongs,” then aggressors who push back at the woke patrol are attempting to stop that effort. The rebellion by some Republican lawmakers against the New York Times 1619 Project is an attempt to block truth from the next generation so they will never do the “woke” thing. I used to use the term “mulatto” when referring to people of mixed race, then stopped using the word when I discovered it’s appalling “nod and wink” origin as the offspring of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare). A person of mixed race is not an animal, they are a person. Once I had the correct information, I was able to eliminate a wrong. I’m not woke for knowing, I’m just trying to do the right thing.

I would suggest that the term and concept of “woke,” is not a trend but a fad. People may hang their hat on the word, but the expression and label don’t automatically fix the world. “Woke” is just another class one joins. The belief beyond the word has the potential of profoundly changing the world. And of course, conservatives hate the word because they know, deep down inside, they will never be allowed in the club. Poor babies.

The foundation of the woke movement is people with strong social convictions wanting to make a better world, but it’s a world they are defining, not really a democrat truth. I might get canceled for suggesting here, but all they want us all to do is wake up and smell the coffee, or for a woke person, smell the cappuccino.

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.

COMING SOON

We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES.

 


CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS

Three Kinds of Americans

I don’t expect everyone to get the nuisances and subtleties of American life. It’s difficult explaining to those across the pond why we do certain things here. They often laugh at us, then say with a slight smirk, “That’s not how we think.” No shit, Sherlock, as in Holmes, a Brit.

Let’s start with a brief look at US history. A bunch of white religious zealots came to a new land in search of religious freedom and food. They bought into a false biblical allowance of slavery, bought Africans from British traders, and started a new country with free labor. You may try to defend that atrocity by pointing out all the great things slavery did for our new, democratic form of government, but you cannot and should not ignore the original sin. Unlike the Irish, Italians, and others who came here, Black people were slaves.

Critical race theory, known as CRT, is an academic movement of United States civil rights scholars and activists who seek to diagnostically examine the law where it intersects with issues of race and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice. CRT examines social, cultural and legal issues as they relate to race and racism. Just so we get our timetables aligned, CRT started in the 1970s and became full-blown by the 1980s. Now, these scholars are encouraging us to teach their position to young students in America.

Attempts against CRT are simple. Some ask why we are making young people hate America, while many on the right feel some CRT findings are untrue. As John Oliver pointed out on his HBO show, store owners cannot justify why Black hair products are locked up while the same products at about the same price for white people are openly stocked on shelves. One might say that hair products for African American women are stolen more often, but even if that’s true the store owners’ actions are fundamentally “racist.” Oh my, I used the R word.

According to Stamped from the Beginning, a book by Ibram X. Kendi, there are three kinds of people in America. There are anti-racists, racists and assimilationists. That last group takes significant heat because their goal is to assimilate all “others” into their Caucasian-European social, cultural and legal viewpoints. They are more or less saying that if everyone is more like them then everything will be fine. If you don’t know the essential qualities of racists and anti-racists, you might want to take a course in critical race theory. Without historical knowledge a person cannot offer a reasoned viewpoint on racism.

Louisiana is one of many states where legislators have proposed bills to bar educators from teaching “divisive” concepts like white privilege and racial equity. Former President Trump, who says he’s anti-racist, went out of his way to denounce school teachings with critical views of the white men who founded our country. Boy, wait until the history books are written on him; now that will be embarrassing. His biggest punch to the movement came when he was convinced by Congressional racist Tom Cotton that the 1619 Project was an evil work. Too bad it wasn’t a book; they could have simply burned it.

Trump condemned the 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning 2019 New York Times report led by reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. It contends that America was not founded in 1776, but rather in 1619 when the first enslaved people were brought to the colonies. Educators embraced the message and began a search for resources to teach a more accurate and holistic history of the country.

According to NBC News, “Trump rebuked the project as a ‘warped, distorted’ portrayal of American history.” It is uncertain if Donald John Trump ever read any of the 1619 Project, but his and Cotton’s comments sparked a special commission that presented a white paper titled The 1776 Report, which combatted the contents of the 1619 Project. The 1776 Report is not a serious historical work. I characterize it as a “pro-America” document that warps, distorts and justifies some dark aspects of our history.

No matter how hard people like Trump and their cotton-pickin’ masked racists try to defend slavery, it’s still slavery. Many Republicans have pushed into the bright lights to claim that America is not a racist country, yet not one of them has said there is no racism in America. Former Attorney General William Barr claimed there is no systemic racism in America’s police departments, but quickly added that there are racists in America and certainly some of them are police officers. Is that progress?

Ask just about any white American if they are racist, and I suspect they would quickly unflinchingly answer “No.” So, there you go, that’s that. Are we done here? We have not only a failure of communication but many different interpretations of what “racism” actually is. As Larry David pointed out on his TV show, the mere action of checking the locks on your car doors when you see a black person could be racism. If you honestly believe that your high school football team got better because African American families moved into your district, you just might be a racist. If you are shown a photo of two white guys and one Black guy and are asked, “Which of these men do you think raped the girl at the beach,” you are probably a racist if you select the Black guy.

The debate about critical race theories gets under the skin of many white Americans because they are called “critical” and are merely “theories.” Maybe it’s a nomenclature problem. “Global warming” was the wrong name for a condition that would not only create heat waves but also 25-inch snowfalls. If a person’s response to the saying “Black Lives Matter” is “All Lives Matter,” then it’s clear they don’t understand racism. Then there’s this. Why do some white people want dreadlocks? Is it an attempt to assimilate the Black race or an appropriation of white privilege? Oh, I’ll take that.

Maybe we need to change the name of Black History month to HISTORY MONTH. African Americans don’t own American History or critical race history — we all do. It’s time to own up to the fact that some of what has happened and what is happening here in the good old U.S. of A. is damn embarrassing. I am mortified when Tom Cotton and Donald Trump speak about racism because I honestly believe both of those guys are racists, but we allow them to speak because we have a First Amendment, and we are the home of the free. By the way, Tom, and Don, Black people weren’t free in 1619, and couldn’t speak their minds for more than 240 years in this country and judging by your whitewash of history you still don’t want them speaking here in 2021. Shame on both of you!

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.

COMING SOON


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.


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.


WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?

Horrendous 2020 Hindsight: Painful Pandemic Truth

Like many Americans, I woke up to news coverage about last night’s CNN documentary with interviews of the pandemic doctors. The hundreds of thousands of citizens whose deaths from Covid-19 could have been avoided are owed national and political accountability, but the polarization of America that exacerbated the pandemic threatens to deprive them of their due.

Dr. Deborah Birx gave us a haunting admission that the death toll would have been substantially reduced if not for the negligent management of the pandemic by former President Donald Trump. His willingness to put economic and political goals above science and the public’s wellbeing added to the death toll.

I am sure Debra Birx is a nice person. She certainly has a wealth of knowledge on healthcare, medicine and viruses, but I’m not ready to name the wing of a hospital after her or erect a scarved statue in her honor. Pardon me, but I need to get some things off my chest here so I can move on from Monday morning quarterbacking.

First, let’s review this famous Donald Trump monologue, “I see disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.” The President continued, “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So, it’d be interesting to check that [out]. Then he pointed to his head and delivered the disclaimer, of sorts, “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

While this “riff,” which is how Trump translator Jason Miller described it, was underway, we saw Dr. Debra Birx sitting uncomfortably a few feet off to the side of Trump, looking as if she were holding in a large, gaseous explosion and saying nothing. Not one word. She could have jumped to her feet, walked to the microphone and warned people not to drink bleach or try to put a light down their throats, but she didn’t.

There are some who attempt to justify her inaction by saying, “Hey, if she would have done that, she would have been fired and things could have gotten worse.” Well, they did get worse. Trump hired a quack named Dr. Scott Atlas who convinced our feckless leader that things with the virus weren’t all that bad and herd immunity would just take the problem away. Atlas is more a murderer than a doctor and his license should be revoked. Atlas never explained to Trump that trying herd immunity before we had a vaccine would be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands of people with underlying health conditions, and that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t until Atlas received condemnation from the medical community that he “clarified” his position on herd immunity.

Why Was This Man Talking?

Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and anyone with half a brain knew that Atlas was a destructive force on the Coronavirus Task Force, but no one had the guts to rebuke the President. The CNN program dramatically solidified the truth. Our country was seriously harmed by Trump’s actions and inactions, particularly his silencing of Dr. Fauci and pushing him away from the public messaging. Trump’s disjointed “riff” revealed he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but no one countered or silenced him.

It was never a joke, it was never just a “little flu” and it certainly would not “go away one day, like a miracle.” How could anyone continue to support this madman’s claims about anything? The “miracle” for America is that Trump finally went away.

Dr. Birx, people are weak and easily intimidated. I get that. When Trump turned against you, it wasn’t by a termination memo on a Friday afternoon and a security escort to your car in the parking lot. Be thankful that delirious Donald didn’t take to Twitter, saying you were “persona non grata,” and all the Trumpers, who have no idea what the term even means, would start the berating and death threats. If your role in life is to help people medically and do no harm, your silence on Trump’s outrageous statements demonstrate that you are not worthy of praise and perhaps your position.

This from CNN, “And while critics may fault her for not speaking out when she was in government, her comments come across as an attempt to precipitate a reckoning that can provide lessons on how the US can perform more effectively in a future pandemic. ‘In the post-mortem, we have to come out of this and learn how to do it better, the next time,’ Birx said.” Great, yeah, so that’s the big lesson? REALLY?

I’ll try to be fair right now as I slam into my keyboard the two large lessons I’ve learned. 1. Either do your job and speak up to power or get the hell out of the way and, 2. Stop this self-reputation saving tour and just go away. Harsh, yes, but I don’t even want to hear her name. When I do, I see this.

The Moment of Truth

I know now she was deeply torn and frustrated at that moment, but she could have called a press conference a few hours later to announce she was resigning because she believed the President was making things worse. She could have stated clearly that Donald Trump has no credibility giving advice on a global pandemic or any other medical matter. She could have gone out with a bang and perhaps saved some lives. Sorry, but death is not a fixable problem.

I guess it’s time to push this into the folder that also contains, “We knew the Japanese would attack, we just didn’t know where.” And this gem, “Had we only coordinated between the CIA and FBI we could have prevented 9-11.” Or this frightening truth, “We knew Lee Harvey Oswald was in Dallas, we just lost track of him.” I am not making any of that up.

We knew it was bad, Trump knew it was bad and admitted same to Bob Woodward. We heard him say it on a recoding, but too many people went along with his “Hydroxychloroquine” miracle cure bullshit when every major person involved in the science knew it was not a cure and would do little to help anyone. When I see that ten-foot flag on the pickup truck in Florida screaming FUCK BIDEN, I know that’s something Birx would never have said about Trump, but she should have. There’s one big lesson in all of this. The next time you have a global pandemic, make sure the person in charge isn’t an idiot.

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.


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.