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.


THE NFL DRAFT: WHO CARES?

Money, Fans, Fun & Fortunate Sons

My family members have been involved in sports, specifically baseball, for several generations and this has given me an objective view of professional athletes. Most fans have an illusion that the game is easy. They may know the rules and watch hours of play, but until they become close to a player or actually attempt to play the game they are never fair in their judgements.

Most of the players who make it to the pros have spent more than a decade playing the sport. Less than one percent of all Little Leaguers make “The Show,” the nickname pros have given Major League Baseball (MLB).  Less than eleven in a hundred, or about 10.5 percent, of National Collegiate Athletic Association senior male baseball players will get drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Approximately one in 200, roughly half a percent, of high school senior boys playing interscholastic baseball will eventually be drafted by an MLB team. Since 1871, out of a total of 19,966 players only 333 have been voted into the Hall of Fame. In other words, only 1.6 percent of all MLB players are considered the “greats.” To further appreciate the difficulty of playing professional baseball, realize that those same great players were unsuccessful at the plate 65% of the time.

This weekend we are experiencing one of the grand traditions of American sports, the drafting of eligible players into the National Football League from the college ranks. Unlike baseball, professional football doesn’t have minor leagues from which to draw new players, so they deploy an organized, rule-based system to obtain the greatest college players into the league. To put it in layman terms, the worst teams get the first choice of available players. This process is designed to bring parody to the league, make competition fair and eliminate the advantage of rich teams in large cities. For the most part it works well but doesn’t stop a well-financed team trading for a higher draft pick by giving another team more than one player or a really great player they would have no chance of getting in the draft.

Even with such cunning skullduggery, there is no guarantee that having the best new players will get a team to the promised land of football, the Superbowl. For example, Tampa Bay had a decent team but when they added Tom Brady, a guaranteed hall of famer, to their lineup – BAM! — they won the big game. However, that achievement also depended on good plays, excellent coaching, and oh yeah, did I mention, a really good quarterback.

Some people put down players by calling them “cry-babies” or “spoiled millionaires,” without considering they worked their asses off for more than ten years to get where they are and they must continue to stay in shape and remain sharp or they will get deleted from the roster. Tons of money supports professional football and the sport demands as much perfection as humanly possible. The resulting pressure has pushed some players to take performance enhancing drugs or seek advantages in the strangest ways. Even the great Tom Brady was accused of asking for the football to be slightly underinflated to give him a better grip. Hey, it’s short of steroids but still not right.

When the 2020 Covid-19 crisis threatened the college football and basketball seasons, many were concerned about the potential damage that would affect players trying to make the pros. Basketball teams are smaller in numbers and the shutdown of March Madness last year was bad for the players. College football finally got up to full speed and championship games were played, giving potential pros a chance to strut their stuff. This weekend’s draft will bring us the results of that play.

The number one pick in this year’s draft was Clemson’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and he was taken by the team with last year’s worst NFL record, Jacksonville, Florida.  The Jaguars will probably give Mr. Lawrence a contract worth nearly $37 million, and if he produces and the team has a winning year the investment will be well worth it. Not all number one picks go on to be Hall of Famers. Injuries, underperforming teams and mishandling fame and fortune have dethroned many in the history of football, but such things give the fans lots to talk about.

Trevor Lawrence #1

My hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, always look for great players. I was happy to see them get some good ones this year, but it’s a big business and all the other teams are trying to do the same thing. Beyond the money and fortunate sons, there is a desire for city pride, intense excitement and the glory of a championship. The word “fan” came about when someone called them “fanatics,” and such obsession is not purely American. All over the world people are more than fanatical about their “football” teams. It’s just FUN! Stop complaining about how much money they make. Well, maybe complain a little bit. Have you seen the prices of the tickets today? WTF? Why do they make so much? Oh yeah, because someone pays them that much. Chill, it’s out of your hands.

Every new season brings rebirth and a fresh start. May the best teams win, especially my team, and should that not happen I’m sure the fans will be yelling, “Hey, open up your checkbook and buy some good players.” So, you see, we are the problem.

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.


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.


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.


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.


THE INSANE ASYLUM CONUNDRUM

American Dreams, Dreamers & Democrats 

American exceptionalism is a worldwide reputation that anyone can make it here. The movies and TV shows we export around the world transmit an air of freedom and wealth attracts others, yet we are disturbed by young kids and mothers attempting to cross the US-Mexico border seeking asylum from violence, drug cartels and shoddy police protection. Must we deny them their dream?

We cannot continue to brag about how great America is and then disregard the desire of others to come to our great place. Thousands of people fly into this country every month and simply stay. US Customs should know the figure. The FAA claims that 16.4 million flights land in the US each year. According to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the twenty airlines that carry more than 90% of passengers had 68% fewer international travelers to the US in January 2021 compared to January 2020, but we never suspended 100% of travel from any country, even in the thick of the pandemic.

Donald Trump made a huge deal about Mexicans, calling them rapists and murderers and going on and on about building a wall, which threw focus onto the families from Mexico and Central America who desire to migrate here. How can we stop people from walking to our southern border and asking for asylum? There may never be an answer that pleases everyone.

We cannot figure out what to do with the 3.6 million “Dreamers” residing in the United States, many of whom never applied for DACA or aged out the program. Approximately 653,000 Dreamers are currently protected under DACA, which is a minority of the total Dreamer population. Consider the name Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, we’re only “deferring action” not presenting a solution to the problem. We probably should introduce a fair citizenship program for the one million or so kids and adults who know no other country. They are already here, working, going to school and paying taxes. Why leave them in limbo? Imagine how you would feel if you weren’t an “official” American.

Why can’t our judges understand the depth of fear and despair of asylum seekers? What happens if we send them back to the violence, extortion and gangs ruling their homelands? If we think these folks are telling lies to get into the US, how are we supposed to feel when we learn that we sent them back to be executed by drug cartels. Do we just say shit happens? These are human beings.

It wasn’t surprising when the Biden administration closed our southern border. The idea of the President saying don’t come right now we aren’t ready, reminds me of what happened to me at McDonalds the other night. I was told they were having a problem serving food and they asked me to come back in twenty minutes, I didn’t. I just went away hungry. Some might say Biden’s “good guy” image is bringing more people to the border, but we certainly shouldn’t nail Uncle Joe to a cross because of it. No president, leader, king or even deity has been able to control the patterns of migrants.

We used to see massive bands of Africans walking thousands of miles each year to find water, food and safety for their families. We saw millions of people leave the Middle East because of ISIS and civil war in Syria. The thousands of people who sailed from Northern Africa to Italy and Greece in small boats led to deaths and draconian reactions in those countries. What should happen when a nation cannot take in more people without disadvantaging its own citizens? No one seems to have a solution other than suggesting the homelands of migrants need to be improved.

The Syrian refugee problem cannot be solved without change at the top to put in place an open, free government. Bashar al-Assad is a murdering dictator and will never step down. Mexico produces, ships and distributes illegal drugs into the US and that problem hasn’t been solved. Even taking El Chapo off the streets hasn’t brought change to Mexico and Central and South America. Without a purge of the brutal underworld surrounding illegal substances, people will continue to flee their countries.

The wall that Trump said would be the ultimate solution for the illegal immigration “problem” was merely a meritless pipe dream. This past weekend we saw young men going over that wall using wooden ladders and nylon rope. Stable genius Trump is an idiot. A wall is not impenetrable. How could anyone possibly think a wall would work? If people can’t go through it, they will go over it or under it. Why would any reasonable person believe that a man-made structure is going to keep people from their dream?

I just have to laugh when all those fake do-gooders in the Republican party say that Democrats caused the problem at the southern border. The policies of the last administration were designed to buy time. Telling people they had to wait in some other country before coming here to apply for asylum was a lie. Trump and his minions had no desire to help them, so they swept the problem under the carpeting.

Imagine that we were having an immigration problem at the northern border and white Canadian citizens were seeking asylum. Would we tell them to go to Greenland or Russia and wait for us to allow them in? No, I’m sure we would set up a program to handle the influx. People in Texas don’t want more Mexicans, which is why their governor spends tons on television advertising saying how bad things are at the border. Texas Governor Greg Abbot has never offered or even suggested a solution for his state’s problem. Some leader, huh?

There are many things we must solve in America right now. First and foremost, we must beat the Covid-19 virus and get our economy back up and running at full speed. Of course, that will make our country more attractive to those seeking a better life. We need to find a way to take in more immigrants. Let’s focus on that prize and leave the political hype and diversionary tactics in the dust. SOLVE THE PROBLEM instead of complaining about it.

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.


ROYAL RACISM REVEALED

The Crown Jewels Are Worth $4 Billion

I never pretend to be a great writer, but I try hard. There are times when I think of a crazy story and how to weave as much emotion as possible into my words, but I’m never fully satisfied. Some of life’s situations are so ridiculous and outrageous that all I can do is smile and tip my hat in respect. One great example is the reality TV event CBS TV put together with Oprah Winfrey. It captured 17.1 million people, 34 million eyeballs (give or take), and that spectacle exceeded any collection of words I could possibly string together, but I’ll give it a shot.

During the interview, Meghan revealed that Harry had been party to several conversations about how dark their unborn baby was going to be, “…and what that would mean or look like.” She paused and then declined to name anyone on the other side of the conversation saying, “I think that would be very damaging to them.” Oprah had this look that was simply amazing. It was the repulsed look of not understanding how beyond rich and entitled people could hold such harsh racism.

The Look

Meghan is smart and quickly added that 65% of the commonwealth is populated with people of color. But wait, when did the word “colony” get replaced with the passive word, commonwealth? After all, none of the colonized people shared wealth with those in the House of Lords. Should you have forgotten, there was a time when “Great” Britain owned Egyptian Sudan, Bechuanaland (Botswana), East Africa (Kenya), British Somaliland (Somaliland), Gold Coast (Ghana), Colonial Nigeria, Niger Coast Protectorate, Union of South Africa, Sultanate of Zanzibar (insular Tanzania) and exploited these lands and their peoples for valuable resources. Oh, we must also not forget about Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Bangladesh. India, Pakistan, Burma (Myanmar) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). How did that turn out?

If it surprises you that we mostly hear about Australia, New Zealand and Canada, it’s because the people of the other lands eventually figured out they had been colonized and treated like less than free people. They then threw off the yoke of their oppressor. One doesn’t have to go too far back to realize that a twenty-something Queen and her late father were involved in many of those oppressive moves. Because of her home office’s decisions on borders and slow-moving independence lots of people got hurt.

The 1947 partitioning of India was a colossal failure. Although the agreement with the United Kingdom required no relocation, more than fifteen million people moved or were forced to move, and some experts believe some two million died in the ensuing violence. They were good at taking over a country but terrible at getting out.

The Crown TV Show

It’s no surprise that “The Firm” failed to protect the grandson of the Queen and his American wife from the torture of the U.K. tabloid press. They certainly get away with a lot of bullshit and lies. The idea that the royal family was worried about Meghan and Harry’s baby being too black is just more proof that everything we saw in the TV series The Crown is most likely true. Racism thriving in the U.K. is no surprise to this writer.

We have a similar problem here in the States. Donald Trump, you know, that loser who used to be president, is a racist. Oh, he never admitted it directly, but consider this quote, “You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs. It’s been hell for suburbia.” He then went on to brag that his action would increase the value of their homes. Okay, “their” homes? Right, white peoples’ homes. Who lives in low-income housing? Right again, the people who walk to work and do the manual labor around suburbia that “they” don’t want to do. By the way, that is the most racist statement from any president in more than fifty years.

I have mixed emotions about Harry and Meghan. On one hand, I am happy they got out of a totally dysfunctional family and situation. There is nothing that will ever cure the myopic concepts of royalty and that “institutional” form of government. I was amazed they have a Human Resources department in the castle. Posh, but someone telling the wife of a prince she couldn’t get medical treatment for depression was, quite frankly, depressing. Even Tony Soprano, the head of a mafia family, had a shrink. On the other hand, this cry baby stuff about losing their security detail while living at Tyler Perry’s house felt a bit hollow.

Some of the Crown Jewels

Prior to Harry and Meghan becoming financially independent, the wealth-tracking site celebritynetworth.com estimated that Prince Harry was worth $40 million, a sum he accumulated from funds left in trust to him by his mother, Princess Diana, as well as an inheritance from the Queen Mother that reportedly included her jewels. So, they have enough money to live like a… well, like a baby King and Queen. I say sell the jewels and start living your life. While we might feel sorry for The Firm not wanting the new baby to be too brown, the good news for America is there will be many dinner table discussions about why a white Prince and a mixed-race actress were treated so poorly.

After centuries of commanding black people around the world to do their dirty work, this recently revealed racism should surprise no one. In the early 1990s, the House of Lords wrote a law prohibiting certain radio stations from playing rhythmic African music under the belief that doing so would stir up emotions and lead to more crime and disruption of public life.

The goal of my sarcasm is pushing a bigger question into the light of day. Why is the United Kingdom still a kingdom? What I would suggest is that they all get together, sell the crown jewels and feed people. Those jewels are worth billions, that’s a lot of pizza. They also need to write a damn constitution so that they will no longer have to spend so much money on all their royal microbes. Yes, they do not have a formal written constitution.

Did you know the royal family’s real last name is Mountbatten with many Russian and German ancestors? They decided to change their last name because they were ashamed of being German during WWII. Yeah, the royal family wasn’t even British or Anglo-Saxon, they were immigrants. It’s funny how things work out. Meghan and Harry are doing more than being spoiled kids, they are doing what Princess Diana should have completed years ago. They are finishing her work of destroying the royal family. When I look at Prince Charles and Prince William, my only thought is God save the country!

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


THEORIES ON CONSPIRACIES

Classic Approach to Truth When Facts Are Missing

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

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

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

Mohamed Atta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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