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.


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.


THE ARCANE TOOL OF IMPEACHMENT

Time to Wake up & Go Back to Sleep

I have found this impeachment process to be silly and unworkable. If the Founding Fathers ever thought they needed to get rid of a President, they would have just challenged the man to a duel and ended his problematic behavior. That is how Aaron Burr canceled Alexander Hamilton. Burr was a known traitor who was never convicted of either trying to steal land in Louisiana from our government or killing Hamilton. Death by dueling was not a crime in New Jersey at the time and no one could ever prove that Burr intended to hurt his country. Now we have the fate of Donald Trump laid upon the table. Sadly, it was predictable.

For all the nit picking done on both sides of Trump’s trial in Washington last week, the true goal, as stated by Mr. Trump’s wonky defense team, was preventing him from ever becoming President again. It’s a good goal, but perhaps a better one would be finding a way to prevent the return of his mob. It’s unreasonable to think that eliminating the Donald from political life will change the minds of his rabid fans. Trump may support their hate, hyper Nationalism, anti-Semitism, Neo-Nazi values, homophobia, xenophobia, misogynistic beliefs and white supremacist dogma, but their actions are all on them.

We can blame Trump for a lot of things, but they’ll all probably be wrapped up into a big, smelly bag of impeachment shit and ignored. He lied more than 30,000 times in five years, so what is the punishment for that? He stood by as his horrible immigration policies ripped families apart at the border, and he gets a pass for that? He gave rich people more money, ignored poor people and blocked growth for middle class Americans. Most importantly, he never took a stand against harmful domestic terrorists, and that led to the Capitol Hill riot. He’s guilty of inciting the insurrection, but that’s okay with Republicans because they would rather acquit the sinner than risk the loss of his base. Just like Trump wanted, they opened their states early and as the COVID killed people they chalked it up to the “cost of doing business.” Hey, the truth hurts.

So, what have we learned? Well, elections matter and saying that an election was fraudulent or rigged when it wasn’t is treasonous behavior. Trump said whatever he wanted, listened to no one else and cannot fall back on the Ronald Reagan excuse of not being aware of what others were doing around him. The Iran-Contra scandal taught us that a President can “forget” what he knows, lie about facts and insolate himself from any blame no matter how bad the crime. Trump can’t use that excuse, however, because we know the bad and harmful ideas were either his or had his strong endorsement. He’s proud of breaking the law, and to this day believes he’s smarter than everyone and untouchable — Teflon Don.

Donald’s niece, Mary L. Trump, said in her fantastic book that Trump will never run for office again. Let’s hope she’s right, because the man’s oversized prostate of an ego might lead him to take the risk. Think about what could happen if he lost another election. Why put our country through the potential of another uprising? Besides that, why would the Republican Party want a loser to lead their party? Trump’s former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley soundly threw her former boss under the bus, “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture [2024 Election] I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.” She’s absolutely right, but how long will it take the Trump sycophants to figure it out? Are they so removed from reality that they can never progress to a common wisdom?

The impeachment article was focused on the insurrection itself and some say the President’s lack of response after the Capitol building was breached cannot be included as part of the charge. The incitement of the riot, however, is surely a crime and should be examined by a civil court at some time. And we must not focus on the riot only. Much else happened over the last four years. Trump executed many actions that slowly but surely tore holes in the fabric of our democracy. To disregard the sum of all the damage done would be a severe disservice to this country. If we all allow Trump’s trail of treason to be forgotten, then we are all to blame as well.

Should you feel depressed that Donald Trump wasn’t held accountable by the Senate, take heart in what the New York Times published on the final day of the trial, “If this was a conspiracy, Trump was the leader,” said Jonathan Zucker, the lawyer for Dominic Pezzola who is a member of the far-right Proud Boys group and charged with obstructing police officers guarding the Capitol. “He [Trump] was the one calling the shots.” If Mr. Trump was, in anyway, part of the conspiracy, he too may have to face federal charges in this matter. In other words, this isn’t done yet.

Donald Trump has no place in the ongoing American story. Any thinking person should realize that he knows more than he and his attorneys admit and he had been planning not to leave office no matter the results of the election. He’s the spoiled kid who screams and rants until his parent’s cave in just to shut the little monster up. Did the Republicans refusal to convict Trump enable future bad behavior from him and his gang? I hope that isn’t true; we’ll have to wait and see.

Is Donald John Trump the victim he likes to portray himself or is he an exploitation trickster? His martyr syndrome seems out of synch with a guy who was gifted a multi-million-dollar fortune when he was ten years old. He’s never had to work a day in his life and, according to Tony Schwartz, his ghost writer on the Art of the Deal, Trump never worked much at all. He just sat at his desk, made phone calls, lunched, played golf and toured projects, but it was all his minions that did the dirty work. That’s pretty much what he did during his time in the White House too.

Ready To Testify

He hired lawyers like Michael Cohen to pressure people so he would never have to get close to the dirt. He used another large team of lawyers to pound his enemies with litigations. Trump and his organization have been involved in 3,500 lawsuits, being the plaintiffs in 1,900 and the defendants in 1,450 legal actions. They were also on the losing end of 150 bankruptcy cases. On top of all that, Trump was personally named in at least 169 suits in federal court. The Donald is one vindictive son-of-a-bitch and obviously a lawsuit magnet.

We now sit and wait to see what happens next. Will Trump announce his campaign for President for the 2024 Election? Will he buy full page newspaper ads to celebrate his victory and denounce the “deep state” that was always out to get him? Will he continue to claim he won the 2020 Election by a landslide and that it was stolen from him? Will Susan Collins come out and say that Donald Trump has learned his lesson? Sheesh, I hope not.

According to CNBC, “Minutes after voting ‘not guilty’ in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the former president is clearly to blame for the deadly Capitol riot. There’s no question that Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”  McConnell endorsed the view that “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office.” And the minority leader added, “He didn’t get away with anything, yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being [held] accountable by either one.”

New charges are probably on the way. The end of the impeachment trial is the beginning of deep investigations that uncover more and greater evidence of this man’s deceit and depravity. I’m almost certain he will be charged, but let’s not be certain that he will go to jail. It’s a sad reality that there are different laws for rich people.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 


THE COUP THAT COLLAPSED

Trump Stoked an Insurrection Based on Lies

Everything that Donald Trump has said and done shows he is one pure-ass fake. Some might call what I am about to state here treason, but I will speak my mind without fear of intimidation or party affiliation, unlike those spinless Republican Senators who will not convict the former President of crimes against America.

In a different time and age, Mr. Trump would have been brought into magistrate court, charged with treason and shot on the public green the next morning. I’m not saying we should do this today, but he should know that had he lived in France during the two decades after that country’s revolution, he would have been beheaded. Sedition, treason and insurrection were not crimes one could argue away in court.

Most of America has now seen the freshly released images of the Capitol Hill riot on January 6. If Donald Trump is not to blame, then who is responsible for those crazy people who stormed the Capitol? Is it Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, 4Chan, 8Chan or maybe Charlie Chan? Could it have started with Carlos Danger and Anthony Weiner’s dick pics, or has it simply “been brewing for some time now” as I hear endlessly from the puckered pieholes of pundits and prognosticators reading the grievance tea leaves in Russian restaurants? They are all full of shit, just like Trump and his ludicrous lawyers.

Attorney Castor

I say they are stupid. Why? Trump lawyer Bruce Castor actually offered these words in the halls of Congress during the impeachment trial, “We are so understanding of the concept that people’s minds can be overpowered with emotion, where logic does not immediately kick in, that we have recognized examples that otherwise would be hearsay and said that, no, when you’re driving down the street, and you look over at your wife, and you say, ‘Hey, you know what, that guy is about to drive through the red light and kill that person,’ your wife can testify to what you said, because, even though it’s technically hearsay, it’s an exception, because it’s the event living through the person.”

Okay, let me wipe some of this horse shit off my shoes before I launch into my own personal rant. What the fuck does any of that mean? I can only assume that he’s trying to plant a seed that the bad things you will hear about are being were told by people who don’t know what they are talking about, so just ignore them. YES, that must be it! Trump’s personal lawyers are saying that there is nothing to see here and we should ignore hearsay even when it comes out of the ex-president’s mouth.

If a person lies to their attorney, and their lawyer then presents that lie as a defense in a court of law, that doesn’t make it any less of a lie. His attorneys are going try to sell the Senators and the American public a premise that Trump was merely using his First Amendment rights while talking to a group of really good people and he bears no responsibility for what they later did on Capitol Hill. Okay, let’s examine that. There are only two conclusions one could draw from that scenario. One, Donald John Trump is such a bad communicator that no one understood what he was saying or, two, the group assembled that day was so stupid they misinterpreted him.

Trump’s more than 11,000-word speech, complete with audience reaction, is right here, Donald Trump JAN 6 2021 Speech should you wish to read it. Without a shadow of doubt, his words were an incitement to insurrection. His detailed, final pitch to sell the big lie about election fraud also featured a compendium of grievances of those who have so mistreated him. Poor baby. In his final act, the martyr stood before his adoring crowd saying it’s time to take back your country, be strong and fight like hell. And let’s not forget that there is nothing good about hell.

Trump used the words “fight” or “fighting” 27 times, but only used the word “peaceful” once. It came near the end of his 75-minute speech, “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” So, there is the “out” that his lawyers will argue for 16 hours at trial. Really? That’s it? The other 11,000 words don’t matter?

To delegitimize the rightfully elected 46th President of the United States, Donald pulled this one out of his index box of hate and lies, “I just spoke to Mike [Pence]. I said, Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage, and then we’re stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years.” Yes, Mr. Trump, that is how elections work. You should remember; you won one.

Mike and Karen Pence Rushed Away from Danger

Trump’s berating of his Vice President and confrontation with his inability or desire to break the law could have cost Mike Pence his life, along with those of his daughter and wife. Not only did Trump stir up the mob’s viciousness, he also directed their ire to Mr. Pence. But it didn’t end with his spoken word, Trump made it worse by tweeting to the insurrectionists at 2:24 PM, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” So, the Donald turned up the heat on Pence as the mob was in the Capitol building screaming, “Hang Mike Pence.” Loyalty?

What if the pack had captured and murdered Mike Pence? Would the Republican Senators then be more likely to convict this loser of a president and disqualify him from ever holding Federal office again? That’s a tough question, but it gives me no certainty they would convict. Their vote is always for sale and Donald Trump bought it with lies, fear and intimidation. No man or woman should have that much power.

Donald Trump’s attempted coup failed, just like most of what he tried to do as president. Hundreds of thousands of people died from COVID because of his lack of comprehension, terrible messaging and misguided policies. And five people died because of the insurrection. He should be tried in criminal court, with testimonies of those who were in the room with him as he watched the riot on TV. How did he act then? What did he say? Donald John Trump intended to upturn the results of a valid election, and we must do everything we can to make sure such a thing never happens again. Ten years in jail for the perpetrator just might be a good deterrent for future presidents.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


MOVING FORWARD IS TOUGH

The Era of American Grievance and Lies

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

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

Thanks to Mother Jones

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

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

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

Master & Slave

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


REMEMBER THE ALAMO

Trump’s Final Road Trip

I couldn’t help noticing Donald John Trump’s schedule. After 1,141 days in office, with a grand total of 321 days playing golf, he’s headed to the southern border to brag about his 400 miles of almost finished wall. Mexico paid zero pesos for this unnecessary project and has zero interest in what will be the subject of this pathetic, broken man’s last speech. Trump doesn’t want to talk about the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost to COVID, the insurrection he caused at Capitol Hill on January 6th or the stark reality that in just a few days he will no longer be president.

The Real Alamo

Trump defended himself with his speech in Alamo, Texas yesterday. He won’t be at the actual historical structure, and that’s great news, but the irony of this location cannot be ignored. My father’s family came to America in the late 1600s. They landed at the James River settlement and then traveled through Dover, Delaware before settling in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where they became farmers.

Some of my lineage ended up in Tennessee and there is amazing family research that reveals that we are related to Davy Crockett. He died at age 49 during the Texas revolution at the Alamo in 1836. It’s ironic that our President will be in Texas bragging about his wall and its central aim of curtailing immigration or, as Trump puts it, keeping the “Bad hombres” from coming here to rape, murder and exploit us. Perhaps his stupid rhetoric and policies lowered the numbers of people who migrated north, but who really wants to enter the United States in the midst of a raging pandemic? Our southern neighbors are neither stupid nor killers; they are just immigrants looking for a better life.

Internet chatter has led the FBI to issue a warning about armed protests in all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C. during Joe Biden’s inauguration. Coupling that with the bloodshed at last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol convinces me I have been correct. The blog writings here haven’t been springing from a left-wing lunatic spreading fear about an unhinged president. I’m just a patriot who has been trying to warn you that Donald Trump is an evil, destructive, anti-democracy power-hungry demagogue.

Sometimes there’s a need to share the backstory of honorable people who fight for noble causes and creeds. Davy Crocket and the freedom fighters from Tennessee weren’t on a mission to free people in the “country” of Texas, they were involved in a deeply flawed and politically motivated land grab. Most of the people who moved to the Texas territory were colonizers eager to snatch up the land Mexico was handing out by the acre. To get the land, they were required to convert to Catholicism and sign up for Mexican citizenship. Few did what they agreed to, and instead hatched a plan to get rich growing cotton in the excellent Texas climate. Mexico had banned slavery, so the settlers turned to the US government to help them acquire slaves whose free labor would pave the way to their dreams of wealth.

The Mexicans fought bravely to save the land they felt was theirs, and Davy Crockett was killed in battle. The war cry “Remember the Alamo” was born and used to raise money for troops. The United States government annexed Texas in 1845 and the skirmish for slaves led to the Mexican American War, which lasted from 1846 to 1848.

Back then the newspapers of countries around the world destroyed the credibility of the United States because of its promotion of colonization and cheap land. With the insurrection at the Capital last week, we are once again losing the high-moral ground of democracy for the people, by the people. The citizens of the world plainly see our modern day version of Napoleon, but he’s taller, fatter, slimier and stupider. His name is Donald Trump.

This self-destructive man was told by his White House lawyer and the former Attorney General that he cannot and should not pardon himself. Sources say he replied, “If I can’t pardon myself, then no one will get pardoned.” At that, he picked his ball, went home and locked himself in his room.

The Walls of America

Trump’s obsession with walls provides a revealing, remarkable insight about the man. He doesn’t allow just anyone into his walled reality. Only those who come groveling and shoveling praise get past his locked door. Some have suggested to Trump that he doesn’t need expensive, ugly walls at the border, that fences would suffice. Ironically, we now have walls and fences around the White House, the Capital and the Supreme Court. Donald Trump has brought us an unwelcomed lockdown, and we will have more than 15,000 troops guarding the presidential transition next week.

The good news is that military presence will be a force ready to evict the son-of-a-bitch if he refuses to leave the White House. Today may be Donald Trump’s last official road trip, but no later than January 20th he will take his last trip on our dime to Mar-A-Lago, where he can melt back into the realm of “private citizen.” But please make no mistake, his dream of becoming today’s equivalent of Robert E. Lee is dashed. The National Guard knows what they are doing and will not allow any domestic terrorists into the halls of freedom.

After learning that several of the Capital Police are being investigated for aiding and abetting the terrorists, the thin blue line has faded a bit. What country is this? It’s time we sanitize all three branches of government. A great start will be expelling all the Senators and Representatives who tried to steal the election from the people.

Donald Trump is not an Aaron Burr, the man who killed Thomas Jefferson. He’s just an old, orange pumpkin who has TOTALLY FAILED as a president, a father and a person. At a bare minimum, he owes a deep apology to all of us. Short of that, LOCK HIM UP.

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


MESSAGE FOR THE ORANGE PUMPKIN

Don, go away, you’re no good for me (or anyone)

Last night I powered down my cell phone because the constant barrage of breaking news alerts was driving me crazy. I needed to lock our asshole president out of my mind and life for a bit. Now this may seem like a non sequitur, but I get depressed when I go to the grocery store and see people not wearing masks. It saddens me to think my fellow citizens don’t care about life, but then I realize they don’t know any better because the large man in charge says masks are unnecessary. At times I wonder if I might be taking it all too seriously. For years I have been writing about how Donald Trump is bad for America, but every time another of his acts exposes himself for the authentic jerk he is, I get angry all over again. For example, take his latest onslaught of pardons. Trump would absolve Hitler if Adolf said nice things about him.

I wish I could form a mental blockade to impose a Trump blackout, but that’s not going to happen. He’s so needy for publicity and attention he will always find a way to make news and noise. It’s just not likely that he will ever melt away like snow in Florida. I wake up refreshed, fetch my local paper, read the letters to the editor and get set off all over again.

Let me share this one, Lest we forget, here is a reminder of some of the accomplishments of the Trump administration during Donald Trump’s four years in office.” Okay, I must take a deep breath here and prepare to handle each of these allegations.

The writer, whose name I will keep anonymous, says that Trump kept us out of wars. Well, the act of getting into a war is serious and should be done only if we need to defend our country or help our allies. The so-called success of war avoidance is a terribly low bar for any president. Yes, we didn’t have a war under the Donald but he facilitated global conflict by selling arms and equipment to warring nations. He pulled out of Syria, which was nothing short of abandoning our allies, the Kurds. Obama didn’t get the US into any wars, but he was chastised for leaving Iraq too early and creating ISIS. So, what will probably happen as the result of Trump’s withdrawal of troops from troubled, unsettled conflicts? More war! GRADE: D

Next, there’s the claim that Trump oversaw the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between Israel and two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The term “oversaw” is a long stretch. Yes, Israel is trying to play nice in the Middle East but, from the beginning, the goal of the Trump Administration was bringing peace to the region. How will establishing normal diplomatic relations with just a couple of Arab nations bring the Palestinians to the table? GRADE: C+

The writer boasts about Trump’s insistence that NATO countries pay their fair shares of the costs for their own protection. Okay, that’s fair, but realize this is not nations giving money to NATO but rather increasing spending on their military assets and agents. Should any nation demand that the US increase or decrease our military budget we would be repulsed and offended but, okay, time for more guns and bombs. GRADE: B

Our esteemed letter writer continues with a group of deeds and triumphs that can be placed under one heading, Immigration. The letter says Trump got Mexico to keep asylum seekers in their country until their US hearings come up, to strengthen its US border and to work with Central American countries to slow the exodus of their citizens. I guess this would be a reasonable achievement for those who subscribe to the anti-immigrant, xenophobic viewpoints of this administration, but let’s not forget that Trump also separated children from their parents at the border. His Attorney General said that abhorrent policy would deter others wanting to seek asylum. This is less a win and more a sinful, immoral myopia. We must never forget that we are a country of immigrants! GRADE: F

Now, here’s a claim that profoundly pisses me off. The writer alleges that the Clean Power Plan, which Trump repealed, would have increased our electricity bills and he adds that our energy needs were kept affordable by Trump’s abandonment of the Paris Climate Agreement. This is total bullshit. The extreme weather events and catastrophes caused by climate change will cost us more money. In fact, deploying solar energy in a sunshine climate like Florida would lower energy costs significantly. Someone drank all the Kool-Aid, kids. GRADE: F

Our unnamed letter writer concludes his missive with compliments about how Trump confronted China over the theft of American intellectual property and unfair trade practices, how he imposed sanctions on Russia and closed some of our consulates there and how he kept our oil prices low, which hurt the Russian economy.

Okay, I’ll take these things in order, or should I say odor, because they fail the smell test. The first point is rather funny. All the people at “state” and “justice” said Russia was behind the hacking of government servers, but Trump insisted it was China. So, the “confrontation” Trump and his sycophants lowered on China’s head did nothing to stop Russia and China stealing from us.

As for Russians and oil, Trump has bragged about the USA being energy independent due to our large supplies of oil and natural gas. So, how did sanctions against Russia help our gas prices, which are set by OPEC and Trump’s friends in Saudi Arabia? The truth is Trump has gone easy on Russia and used China and Xi as props during his overly long rally speeches. We have not become stronger in foreign policy under Trump. China’s economy grew despite COVID and North Korea has a nuclear bomb. GRADE: F

The final contention of our reader/writer is Trump helped speed the record-breaking development of COVID-19 vaccines. He says, “As bombastic and irritating as Trump is, a lot was accomplished during his tenure.” REALLY? This comment is totally disqualified and no GRADE is low enough. The claim of Trump speeding vaccine development would be like me taking credit for the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. After all, I watched the game on TV.

With more than 323,000 people dead from this wretched virus, a total failure in medical supply chain management, no national policy to defend the US from the pandemic and the administration’s ongoing disregard of expert recommendations for virus mitigation, these past four years have seen America at her worst. The things Trump has said on TV and in his tweets have made matters worse, not better. Because of his lack of action and unconvincing language, Donald John Trump has killed Americans. The man doesn’t deserve to be praised; he should be indicted for malfeasance and put in jail. Maybe someone will pardon him.

All of us want COVID to go away. While that would be great, some of us just can’t wait until the Donald goes away because he’s been bad for America. Perhaps he merits a participation trophy, but don’t try to sell me on any grand accomplishments. My 401K lost a ton of money, I can’t see my grandkids this Christmas, and he’s going to be playing golf. I hate him. Merry Freaking Christmas, Mr. Soon-to-be Ex-President!

[EDITORS NOTE: There will be no blog tomorrow, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?

Democracy Versus Donald Trump

Why all the gaming and waiting for a clear presidential winner? Well, it’s all about the Electoral College, an historical ritual once needed to make American democracy seem legitimate and legal in the eyes of our masters in Great Britain. Also, some of our elitist founders believed certain citizens lacked the intelligence to pick a president. Their intent of keeping demagogues and bullies from attaining the highest offices in the land was clear.

House of Commons

There has always been a “raised-nostril attitude” about some things in England. The fact that they had to say it was “Great” when talking about Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Colonies showed an arrogance that drove some people to the new land in America. They weren’t too subtle either, with the House of Lords and the House of Commons as balancing forces. Oh, yes, they allowed those commoners to discuss things, but the lords were always present to make sure things didn’t go totally wrong.

This distrust of the common man drove our founders to devise a system in which votes of “the “people” in each state became somewhat of a guide to how “special people” would cast the “real” votes for the President and Vice President. It looked good on paper, but they had already weeded out the “riffraff and undeserving.” Only white men who owned land could vote. African slaves could not vote, children and immigrants could not vote and women, no matter what color, could not vote.

The Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, granted all US citizens regardless of race the right to vote, but it took another 54 years before the Snyder Act of 1924 granted voting rights to US born Native Americans. White women didn’t get the right to vote until the 19th amendment to the Constitution came along on August 26, 1920. That amendment promised women that their right to vote would “not be denied” on account of sex, but it wasn’t until 1965 that the Voting Rights Act directed the Attorney General to enforce the right to vote for African Americans. So, yes, the right to vote in America was a long, hard struggle and disenfranchisement was in place all along that route.

The Republican party has made voting difficult for certain people in America. That’s not an unfair indictment. Voting suppression is an evil act, even when enshrined in the term “state’s rights” and used to write bad laws. One of my friends had moved several times. When he went to vote in 2018, the registrar said he was at the wrong polling location and needed to go to another. When he arrived there, he was told there was no record of his registration. They allowed him to fill out a provisional ballot but imagine how he felt. To this day he has no idea if his vote was counted, and that’s precisely how Black people in this country have felt for years.

So, we vote, our ballots are counted, and this becomes what is known as the popular vote. Over the years, we’ve had some real problems with differences between the results of the popular and Electoral College votes. Perhaps you, like many others, wonder why the Electoral College continues to exist.

I believe the word “college” was used to give the process intellectual credibility. It might have been a compromise between the election of the president by a vote in Congress as opposed to a popular vote of qualified citizens, but its actual intent was giving less populous states more of an equal voice in presidential elections. Back in 1776, Rhode Island wanted a pie slice as large as Virginia’s, which was the most populace state at the time. Our founder fathers were worried about Congress becoming deadlocked with election debates about states’ equality that would drag on for weeks.

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. In fact, the electors meet in each state after the popular vote to cast their votes according to the laws of the Constitution and their state mandates. It still is not clear if an elector can legally be “unfaithful” and vote for whomever they want or if they must vote according to the popular vote. Then there’s Maine and Nebraska who have “split electoral votes,” meaning they allocate two electoral votes to the state popular vote winner, and one electoral vote to the popular vote winner in each Congressional district, of which there are two in Maine and three in Nebraska. Are you confused yet?

One might ask that if more states split their electoral votes why even have the Electoral College. Then again, perhaps all states should adopt the “winner takes all” policy. It’s also reasonable to question the need for electoral voters. By the way, if you wondered what would’ve have happened if all states used the “split electoral vote” system, well, in 2016, Trump would have still won, but by a smaller margin, 292 to Clinton’s 246 electoral votes.

The electoral results go directly to Congress, and then, on January 6, 2021, they will be officially received. Some far right radicals are planning to interfere with the process, another aspect of this that should be forbidden. Questions such as these should be addressed before the next federal election, but what happened yesterday was remarkable on a couple of levels.

First, the current president is such a sore loser and cry baby there was suspicion he might cause last-minute political skullduggery with the Electoral College. Because of the possibility of corruption, the major news networks treated the college vote as a major event. The good news is people now have a much better understanding about how the process works.

The Electoral College took place and produced the known result. As I joked on social media, it was like recording a football game, knowing its outcome, then sitting down to watch the recording with full knowledge that the replay would reveal the forgone conclusion. The electoral voting process was mostly boring TV but spiced with a dash of drama because the votes were staggered and there was at least a small possibility of things going sideways. Just as it should have happened, however, Trump lost… again.

Call it regulation, ritual or reality, but the Electoral College is probably no longer necessary. What is the justification for keeping it? Look at it this way. Montana has 3 electoral votes, whereas California has 55. Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral votes, but Rhode Island possesses only 4. The US Census happens every ten years, mainly to recalibrate the voting value of each state according to population. So, any premise that the Electoral College gives smaller states more leverage is poppycock.

Is the Electoral College just a safety net to prevent a totally corrupt election? No, because were that true we wouldn’t have so many elections where a candidate won the popular vote but not the Electoral College vote. US voting is a game of not just winning but winning the right combination of states. If a candidate wins Texas, Florida and Ohio, which Donald Trump did, in most years that candidate would win the presidency. However, Trump failed to take Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. What person in their right mind would think they won the election with such losses? Oh, I almost forgot, Donald John Trump is not in his right mind. But one thing is certain, he’s a certified loser.

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