AMERICAN POWER STRUGGLE

The ‘isms have torn us apart

There are so many. Racism, sexism, socialism and, yes, capitalism. Combined, they have separated our little brains and made us more beholden to a dogma instead of bonding us in a united front against the real evils in the world.

The insanely divisive campaign to tighten voting procedures in many states is solely based on the “big lie” that Donald Trump has perpetrated on the sycophants who want him to return to power. This Trumpism can do nothing other than harm democracy and America herself.

The wildly toxic campaign against schoolboards and teachers is the little brother of the fight against science and facts, which the undereducated and unaware have decided is better than truth. Critical Race Theory is not taught in any grade, middle or high school in this country — so any fight against such a paper tiger is not only unproductive, it’s downright embarrassing.

Derrick Bell

If one took the time to read works by legal scholars like Derrick Bell, who grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, they would have a better idea of what the COLLEGE COURSE named Critical Race Theory is all about. They would see the foolishness of their actions as they became aware that it’s an examination of how racial injustice has been codified in the laws of the United States. CRT is a collection of critical stances against the existing legal order based on the points of view of minorities across all races and creeds. Every time the governor of any state signs into a law a ban on teaching Critical Race Theory, they are proving it’s more than a theory. By banning the teachings of these legal scholars, they are underscoring the way US law is controlled by white men and women who, unknowingly or knowingly, bend the laws to favor white citizens. The concept that they are “protecting” their white offspring from discomfort is ironic.

Denialism. Uncle Bob didn’t trust the government and was adamant that he was not going to get the virus. Well, Covid-19 killed him. The responses were sad. His wife said, “People who got the shot also caught the thing. Bob was right.” Wow, did she miss the truth that those who have been vaccinated hardly ever die, even if they are a breakthrough case? I guess she was too busy with the funeral. The far-right politicians keep up their denial about the effectiveness of the vaccine and do little promote injections because they want to be seen as “freedom fighters.”

Last week I watched the HBO TV show, Real Time with Bill Maher. His guest was Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan, who presented her thoughts on what I might suggest is her very own Critical Masculinity Theory. Ms. Flanagan believes “it’s critical to teach boys the virtues of men who do heroic things, and she says it’s important to distinguish men from women.” Keep reading, I need time to reload.

Caitlin Flanagan

Caitlin railed on what she says is misdirected and dangerous wokeness, somehow turning “heroic masculinity” into a dirty phrase. She believes men are simply stronger and better suited to save the day when physical strength is the operative factor. Okay, so we need strong men to save the lady in distress, rather than the lady in a dress who uses her brain to figure out how to save the world, which includes men. Why are dangers often painted as physical contests?

You may remember that now infamous photo of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley walking from the capitol building on January 6th with his fist raised in support of the insurrectionists and protestors.

Mr. Hawley, spoke at the National Conservatism Conference and addressed the issue of “manhood,” which he said was under attack. He called upon men to return to traditional masculine roles. He claimed that the effort to combat toxic masculinity in the US has led men to consume more pornography and play more video games. REALLY?

Hitler & Hawley

Normally, this is where I would insert a joke about Josh’s fear that his male organ wasn’t as big as his bank account, which some say is one million dollars. Compensation jokes aside, Hawley, like many right-winged messengers of the past, paints a “men as heroes and women as whores” landscape. Is that the “traditional masculinity” he speaks of, or could it be something darker? The Weimar Republic of Germany preached to its soldiers the ideals of manliness and maternity, concepts central to the German patriotic view of World War I. One of those broken soldiers was a guy named Adolf Hitler. Despite all his education, Josh Hawley doesn’t see a connection. Perhaps we should ask his wife and three kids if girls and boys are equal under the eyes of God?

One of my neighbors has an “anti-Socialism” sign hanging in his garage. Now here’s a guy who accepts his monthly social security check without realizing if he was alive in the 1930s he would have been protesting the very program that FDR introduced to save the country.

Joe Machin, that opinionated Senator from West Virginia, sees government as a “partner” not a “provider.” Well, sorry to say, Joe, you are wrong! We pay taxes and then the government PROVIDES us with services and protections that we earned. Lawmaker rhetoric like this gets in the way of progress. They think they are making a point when some like Kyrsten Sinema don’t even take the time to state a point.

Americans are restless because they work hard and want to get to the next level, but people in power are so into their own personal ‘isms they don’t move as fast as the garbage man or the Door-Dasher. How can we get anywhere if people won’t put aside their stupid dogmas, false beliefs and party loyalties and focus on the mythical, united Americanism? Can’t they at least try?

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

Another book you have to read:

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

WHY AM I SO IRRITATED?

The Cost of Caring

I like to think that I am a reasonable person. Of course, my enthusiasm sparks up at times and I can be a snapping turtle in an argument, but I’ll admit something to you. I have lived in five different states, but since moving to Florida I have a profound problem — everything Governor Ron DeSantis says makes me angry. When I lived in New York, George E. Pataki was the governor for a time, and I found him to be a sensible person. Both George and Ron went to Yale, but they are totally different people.

George Pataki

The only time DeSantis seemed to be evenhanded, and non-partisan happened when he dealt with the condo collapse in Dade County. As soon as that tragedy left the front page, however, Ronnie got back to his unreasonably vindictive and harshly negative approach to governing.

As I see it, the man killed people with his dishonesty about the pandemic and his virus directives to communities across the state. DeSantis was against masks, vaccination requirements at businesses and resorts, pushing his head in the sand regarding medical and scientific realities.

I was flabbergasted when I saw this front-page headline, “Fla surgeon general backs DeSantis with megaphone.” In a state where almost 60,000 people have died from Covid-19, and even given our affection for all the Disney characters, should we be turning to Goofy for medical advice? DeSantis brought Dr. Joseph Ladapo onboard to bash mask mandates, throw doubt on the vaccines and construct an uncaring health policy for the state. If you want to see how this was rolled out, here’s the video.

DeSantis & Ladapo

I’m sure that Ladapo has a paper diploma, so why does he spread more “scientific dishonesty” than truth? Here are the facts. Ladapo is against masks, he doubts the efficacy of the virus vaccines and he pushed hydroxychloroquine as a remedy. If that “miracle cure” was so good, why did so many people die? Dr. Ladapo signed the Great Barrington Declaration that said “herd immunity” was the only way to cure the global pandemic, while most experts say that would entail unnecessary deaths. Now, Ladapo and DeSantis are promoting a Covid-19 antibody treatment in which a top donor’s company has invested millions of dollars. Why? We already have vaccines. Dr. Ladapo insists the rights of parents are more important than the health of their children. Well, that’s a deal breaker for this parent. With all the challenges we face in America, why would Ladapo be attacking the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture? Florida’s Surgeon General should not be involved in politics.

When Dr. Ladapo went to visit a Democratic lawmaker, he refused to wear a mask saying it hinders his ability to communicate. I would hate to encounter a doctor in the emergency room about to operate on me when he’s not wearing a mask. Ladapo claims he didn’t know the lawmaker was suffering from breast cancer at the time of their meeting, but I can’t help wondering if he was mask-less just because he doesn’t like the look.

It could be his stance is based on the knowledge that a person doesn’t get hired or stay long on the job when they publicly disagree with their boss. It’s laughable when a doctor says he’s not anti-vaccine, but then blurts out that vaccines just aren’t that good and anyone who disagrees with him is not qualified. All of this leads me to question whether Dr. Joseph Ladapo has gotten a Covid-19 vaccine and, if he did, which one? Full disclosure, Doc.

When people talk about the great divide that exists in America, here’s my reaction, “If you keep repeating it we will never be able to cure it.” I wonder if we truly do have an unchangeable divide. Why would the governor of a major state not implement simple plans to help defeat Covid? Why does he take such an anti-science position when that’s not what he actually believes? He sends his kids to a private school believing that will keep them safer, but safer from what?

I was saddened by the news that Casey DeSantis, Ron’s wife, has breast cancer. Would Ron feel comfortable if his wife was seeing a doctor who hasn’t been vaccinated and who refused to wear a mask in the exam room? When it gets personal, you see, all the narrow-minded rhetoric goes out the window. Could it be that everything DeSantis says or does is guided by his desire to never piss off Donald Trump? You might ask why DeSantis would care. Well, he wants to be President of the USA, not some whiny governor in the Sunshine State. The character he plays is a shrill, far-right lunatic and his totally outward ambition repulses Democrats. He cares only about the Trump base of the Republican party and that’s fine for Florida, but beyond the sugarcane farmers and thin-blue-line cop coalition he’s just another grifter politician.

DeSantis isn’t at all sophisticated and fighting the federal government’s Covid-19 policies and regulations cannot make 60,000 deaths go away. If Ronnie was smarter, he would realize that his copycat Covid routine is what led to Trump losing the 2020 election. There are good people running against DeSantis in the upcoming midterm governor election, and should he lose he will probably start right in on a 2024 presidential campaign, if Donald Trump lets him. This brings me to the greatest reason why I dislike the guy. He’s not working for all Floridians because his focus is on just one part-time state resident, Donald Trump.

When Ron DeSantis goes on TV to brag about the magnificent way he managed the global pandemic, he’s just a fool trying to suck his constituents into his historical rewrite. He’s just another large blotch of mold, an unsightly stain of mildew on the good ship USS Face Makeup. The worst part of this story is that it’s not even original. DeSantis is merely a small version of the hideous orange algae we exterminated last year and hopefully will never see again.

It’s not me, it’s him. Ron DeSantis has become my most unliked governor of all time. Instead of putting up with him I could move, but many of the Republican governors in the country are idiots. I would not recommend Ron DeSantis for higher office, ever. Perhaps he’ll sue me for telling the truth. Napoleon syndrome.

THE ZEITGEIST OF ZUCKERBERG

It’s not one guy, social media is the problem

The era that Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow Harvard knuckleheads grew up in was not unlike the various cliques and clubs many of us joined in college. We were having our first taste of freedom, but we were all so immature and drawn to the fantastical.

In college we learn a trade, develop a skill or find a dream of doing something that we not only like but that will provide a moneymaking job or career. Zuck went to an Ivy League school, and while that does not confer an official title or status it impresses many. Ivy League schools are not permitted to award athletic scholarships, but other than that they are just old schools with billions of endowments.

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard because he had a money-making scheme based on a college website named The Facebook, which students used to vote on coed’s faces — a narcissistic dating game. It then spread to other campuses but, in the beginning, only kids with an .edu email address could participate. There were always rules, but they were rarely updated, refined or improved. Zuckerberg and his nerd patrol spent every waking hour working on engagement and popularity, and they quickly saw that Facebook was more than a college campus app for immature and emotionally needy kids of their own zeitgeist. The word “The” was dropped at the advice of an investor.

Most Facebook users will tell you it’s exciting seeing their words, pictures or videos, but true gratification comes when someone else acknowledges their post. The FB crew eventually reasoned that they needed more than a “Like” button. Zuckerberg, who appears to be empathetically deficient, came up with other buttons like “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” because people kept dying, and also “Angry,” because people kept posting terrible things. Had I been at that meeting, I would have suggested a ”Fuck You” button. Then, out of nowhere came a “Care” button. Really? What the hell is that for?

Other wannabe-Facebook social media companies scooped up and massaged this unpatentable idea and some of them, like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and, most recently, Tik-Tok, worked well and became successful. All of these companies market themselves as social networks, but they struggle to build infrastructures that are safe from skullduggery and hackers.

This might be a fun time to admit some happenings from my college days, I and a cohort committed an offense by drawing money from two different budgets to build a campus radio station. We had already purchased all the state-of-the-art broadcast hardware when we got caught and our funds were cut off. Problem was, we had great gear but no desks or chairs. So, we ran around campus taking furniture from the offices of deans we didn’t like to make our radio station a true showcase. We got our hands slapped in those carefree days, but there was no trial or jailtime. Incidentally, I left college before I graduated. Just like Zuckerberg, I wanted to get on with my career, but that is where the comparison between us ends.

Mark built an amazing communication application that has touched a wide audience. 2.8 million monthly users check in to use the system. Its only protections come from Congress, under an old set of rules that were intended to promote ideas and innovation on the internet. The First Amendment protects those social media services, perhaps more than its users. You might want to say online exactly what you feel but remember these are free platforms with “terms of service,” meaning you might have to kowtow to them. Both the former US President and yours truly have been thrown off Twitter “for life,” although the former is suing Twitter in California to get his account back. I have no intention of spending money to rejoin Twitter world.

This brings us back to Mark Zuckerberg, who has become a rich man to the tune of more than $100 billion. He’s not about to let the government break up his software development factory and network of social media companies, yet he is aware of the lack of goodwill some of the leaks have caused him personally. It seems to me that either he is not in the loop of his companies’ research or he’s a bold-faced liar. As many “pure” souls before you have already learned, after climbing far up the corporate ladder there are times when a lie is the easiest way to solve a nagging problem. It’s so unlike college where you can get away with a lot of shenanigans. When you do incredibly well in business or government and amass vast power, you may start to believe your own lies and turn your darker aspirations into real things. We saw this in our last president and now we see it in Mark.

Twitter is just as bad as Facebook. Instagram hurts people’s feelings and makes young girls think they are inferior. By the way, Facebook owns Instagram, and their own research is the source of the facts about users’ self-esteem. It’s not the work of some investigative journalist. Top-level Facebook employees have obviously turned against Zuckerberg and are now making sure Congress and the public know about the smokescreen they are hoping will protect them.

The complaint against all social media platforms is they collect your data then sell your information, political viewpoints and content of your posts. Companies pay money to the social platforms so they can learn your desires to sell you something or, most recently, convince you to vote for a person or proposition.

In the beginning, the data buyers were content with generic information about a person or group, but they eventually demanded specifics. This allowed them to see, for example, that you like or searched on golf clubs so they could then place ads for the sport on your timeline. It was a small step for the social media companies to begin selling databases of users political affiliations. This data then gets leaked to foreign entities who try to convince you that Hillary Clinton is a baby-eating Satanist. Make no mistake, data selling is not solely a Zuckerberg thing. Google does it, Microsoft does it and so do many others. Hey, you don’t have to pay for posting privileges so let the non-buyer beware.

Mark Zuckerberg is a horrible communicator. Bill Gates is extremely good at that game. Jack Dorsey, the guy who runs Twitter, gets a grade B for messaging but he looks more believable. Rich people aren’t trained to be public speakers but that doesn’t matter. When Zuckerberg goes before Congress, he knows damn well the people asking the questions have no idea what they are talking about. He can simply say we’ll make it better then thank them for inviting him. The stock value goes up, everyone feels good, but nothing of substance happens. “We would welcome regulation” is their biggest lie. Remember, when you are under oath in a hearing a lie is a lie. They would hate regulation because it would cost them tons of money to alter their algorithms and procedures at the whims of Capitol Hill.

There is probably some logic in separating social media companies so no single entity controls all those posts, pictures and political opinions, but how do you do that without screams of government intervention in capitalism? The government could claim “monopoly” to force firewalls or dissolve assets, but that could fume donors who have large stakes in the companies.

I hate to break the news to those fat mouthed losers in Congress, but social media platforms provide many remarkable things. They help solve murders, find lost kids, and create power groups of influencers who force local governments to do better. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lunatics out there who exploit the reach and power of Facebook and the other platforms to do terrible things. When someone posts that the 2020 election was rigged we know it’s a lie, but it might be an honest opinion of the author. Yet because it’s such a harmful untruth you might think someone controls how often it’s repeated, but you would be wrong.

Remember, conservatives often complain about their ilk being put in “social media jail” for something they posted, but equal numbers of far-left people have been thrown off platforms for things they said. If the conservatives get their way of a completely open platform with no oversight of content and context, they might not like what they see. How many January 6th photoshop pictures of US Senator Josh Hawley as a Nazi with a black leather glove on his raised fist will be posted before they attempt more censorship?

Freedom of speech and the press were cornerstones of America’s creation, but our founding fathers didn’t know about radio, TV or the internet. Those things hadn’t been invented yet. It’s clear to me it’s the application of the law and not the letter of the law that’s in play here. I am sure that if Congress tries to regulate social media, lawsuits will fall from the sky and no meaningful reform will take place. I understand why I was banned from Twitter for life, but Donald Trump cannot comprehend where he went wrong because he does not understand rules of any kind. He feels his opinion is infallible.

I hope that things get better and our social media pages contain only cute kids, fluffy cats, funny dogs, colorful butterflies and wonderful pictures of places to visit after we get rid of this awful coronavirus. Sadly, the likelihood of that happening is next to zero. You could replace Mark Zuckerberg with some investment banker, but nothing would be improved and things might get worse. Facebook is not a monopoly; no one needs them. When the service went down for six hours a few weeks ago, nothing collapsed and no one died. Oh, some people had trouble getting information they needed, but why are they using Facebook to gather facts? Use Google or other search engines to mine vital information.

As I was just finishing up this post, the word came out that the parent company of Facebook has changed its name to Meta. Zuckerberg is now positioning his collection of companies and apps as a “metaverse.” I guess the reputation of Facebook has become so damaged that even the mothership is distancing itself from the main product.

Mark Zuckerberg is no longer a nerdy kid in college but he’s not grown into a thinking person. He’s like a young kid who confuses sex with love. Mark’s power is extensive, almost unbelievable, but engagement is not empathy. Stats, numbers and math cannot comfort a family whose daughter committed suicide because she gave too much power to those Instagram “friends” who bullied her. I’m not sure if Mark comprehends this.

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

HE COULD HAVE BEEN A HERO

Instead, Ron DeSantis is a whiny little bitch

When Florida’s history with Covid-19 is written, we will remember those who had strong, firm and reasoned approaches and policies that helped. We will also remember the present leadership group in Tallahassee who didn’t fight the virus but attacked those who asked questions and offered up ideas.

Too close to Trump

Here are five things Governor Ron DeSantis should have corrected from the start:

  1. Attitude and Presentation: Beginning with the press conference DeSantis gave with former Vice President Mike Pence on May 20, 2020 and continuing through all of our rough patches last year, DeSantis attacked the press and continuously touted Florida as being better than other states. Many of us moved here from those states and we didn’t appreciate him telling us how bad it was up there. Eventually, it became very much worse here. Son, don’t start bragging until you’ve actually won the game. Heroes never crow.
  2. Policies as Ultimatums Instead of Strategies: There were times DeSantis acted as if the entire world was against him instead of convincing us that the full power of the state was fighting the virus. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. That “seasonal spike” line was embarrassingly tone deaf. DeSantis rarely told us about the state’s plan and how it was going to keep us safe. No, it was all about freedom, money and how everyone else was wrong. If Ron was so right, why are there so many dead Floridians? And why did I have to drive 300 miles to get each of my Covid shots? Heroes help people.
  3. Misunderstanding the Pandemic: I don’t know who advises Mr. DeSantis, but how can they be so wrong and contrary to the thousands of virus experts? Selling those anti-Fauci t-shirts might have seemed funny in Ron’s former dormitory at Yale, but many Floridians were rightfully indignant that the governor wasn’t listening to the CDC. I wonder if DeSantis would have reacted differently had he been told his anti-mask mandate stunt was going to kill so many teachers. I have heard extraordinarily little from the governor that shows true comprehension of the pandemic. Why would he hawk a bogus treatment when we have a free vaccine to keep us safe from the virus? Heroes act before things get bad.
  4. Vaccine Passports: By deemphasizing the need for everyone to get vaccinated and creating policies that flew in the face of mask wearing, Mr. DeSantis missed a chance to make Florida great again. Our governor should have used his political capital to get more people inoculated, which would have been good healthcare policy. By pushing back against companies and institutions demanding proof of vaccination, DeSantis missed a gigantic opportunity. The state could have printed glossy vaccination passports, emblazoned with the Ron’s picture. Think of the possible impact during his re-election campaign. Every time a Floridian proudly showed their vaccination passport, everyone nearby would be looking at the hero.
  5. Combative Relationships with Other Leaders: The concept of one-man rule has never played well in America, especially when that one person is wrong. It’s unbelievable that our governor doesn’t want the federal government telling him what to do, yet in the same speech he denies schoolboard members, mayors and county commissioners a voice about how health measures are instituted in their own communities. Sure, judges are there to sort out disputes, but after 13 educators and staff died in one community how would you expect a judge to rule? Heroes are never vindictive.

We need Ron DeSantis to respect self-governing bodies, human life, and our frail healthcare system. Does our leader honestly believe it’s wise to garnish the wages of the educational professionals who are doing their best to protect our children? Why is he investigating business that demand their customers be vaccination? When those kids weren’t able to get a shot, he put them in harm’s way.  DeSantis has alienated 62% of the state’s population by putting politics above health and safety. He placed corporate profits above pollution and the environment, and he created a hate-state of vindictive actions against anyone who thinks differently than he does. He’s just a short demigod who wants to control the citizens. Why are people not protesting his overreach? I guess they can’t spot a con artist with purely political intentions. Why not save your own voters, first?

Maybe Governor Ron DeSantis should learn to think before speaking. Thoughtful heroes have a knack for saying the right things.

CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

Don’t we all have it?

I’m not sure exactly why, but I have never liked Steve Bannon. He’s a purveyor of false statements and conspiracy theories, plus he holds disdain for any institution with which he disagrees, including the American judicial system. Stephen K. Bannon was not only the architect of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, but for some time became a trusted advisor to the 45th President in the White House. Bannon, along with two other guys, also ran a private fund-raising effort named “We Build the Wall,” to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border. Those three guys were dipping their grimy hands into the money pot and taking funds. Ironically, the small section of the wall that they built was washed away during a storm.

Trump pardoned Bannon in the waning hours of his presidency. This was highly unusual because the prosecution’s work was in the preliminary stages, and it was clear that a trial was months away. The pardon was a favor — a quid pro quo intended to keep Bannon from ever testifying against Trump. That bubble is perhaps about to burst because Bannon’s possible role in the January 6th insurrection occurred before his pardon, which contained no mention of the Capitol Hill riot. Not only can Bannon be called to testify, but if he played any wrongdoing in that matter the pardon would not protect him. By the way, if you want to see all the people Donald Trump pardoned you can go here.

Bannon was subpoenaed to come before the January 6th Special Committee and testify. Both he and the records that also were part of the subpoena did not show up at Congress last week. Now, the committee will present the matter to the entire House of Representatives for a vote on Contempt of Congress. What is that you ask? Contempt occurs when an individual intentionally interferes with congressional action. Congress has the power to restrain such individuals by declaring them in contempt of Congress, which is similar to contempt of court.

Congress’ ability to impose a contempt charge against an individual interfering with its duties is considered an implied power of the legislature. Experts believe that one who withholds information or testimony can be judged in contempt and held for a period between one day and a year. Although our Constitution does not explicitly provide for Congressional power to hold individuals in contempt, such power is considered implied because Congress could not effectively perform its duties without it. So, where will this Bannon situation go?

Remember that even if Steve Bannon appeared before Congress, he could invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any question on the grounds it might incriminate him. Under law, no American can be forced to testify. Past Congressional committees have used the court system to incarcerate people. In 2005, a federal judge sent New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail for 85 days for refusing to divulge her confidential source to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of a CIA agent’s identity. She finally testified. Why wouldn’t Steve Bannon be put in jail for not talking about what caused the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2020?

Here’s some insightful background on Steve Bannon. He was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some believe that Bannon harbored a distaste for military command and disagreed with not only the way the Navy was run but also how we fought wars.

After his military service, Bannon worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs for two years. Some say he made tons of money there. In 1993, he became acting director of the research project Biosphere 2, and he was also an executive producer in Hollywood. He produced eighteen films between 1991 and 2016, and he was an investor in the production company that funded the TV show Seinfeld. In 2007, he co-founded Breitbart News, a far-right website he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” He saw the Trump bandwagon as a way to effect change of the highest order upon the United States, but his outspokenness got him in trouble with Trump. The Donald so disliked Bannon’s candor that he diminished his status, but never his influence, within Trumpworld.

Many of Trump’s most radical policies and speech patterns came from two people in the Trump White House, Steven Miller and Steve Bannon. When Trump said, “There were good people on both sides,” he was probably repeating something Bannon had said to him. Bannon believes that all problems in the United States government are fundamentally the result of bureaucrats and elected officials running amuck. He openly declared war on what he called the “administrative state.” This was not a novel or new idea.

Most self-appointed experts believe the administrative state’s weaknesses are 1) Nondelegation, interference from above on those executing policies, 2) Judicial deference, believing the courts should be allowed to judge and rule without review or oversight, 3) Executive control of agencies to the point where a president, governor or other official believes they have the right to hire and fire those at any level of government, 4) Procedural rights, due process given to people who do things wrong, even if those things are really bad, and 5) Agency dynamics, where a head of a commission, committee or local agency is given the ability to  enforce regulatory compliance and adjudicate disputes.

I agree that all of that seems confusing and in conflict with itself. It’s like the guy at a homeowner’s association meeting complaining about the board making all the decisions. The president could stop the proceedings to lecture how representative government works, but that would waste time. Logic dictates that one cannot complain about an institutional structure and demand majority rule on every issue, because the majority’s position may not agree with that of the complainer. On the other hand, giving greater authority to one person and demanding micromanagement on every issue could deter productivity.

In general terms I don’t think Steve Bannon knows what he’s talking about, but I do believe he knows a lot of about what happened on January 6th. He should be locked up if he refuses to testify and comply with the Congressional subpoena. He beat the fraud charge because Trump pardoned him, but if he thinks he’s got a shot at destroying democracy over some illusion of self-worth and misinterpretation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, I say, “Fuck him and the big orange horse he rode in on.” If that disheveled man had anything to do with the insurrection he should be put in jail. Period. Yes, you might say I have contempt for Stephen K. Bannon.

THE WRITTEN WORD

Pro-football takes a stand

A distasteful expression occasionally comes up, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.” It’s a wonderful string of letters, into words, into one strong sentence that proves the written word is often more powerful than the spoken word. However, the actual phrase is “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but they think each other’s stink.” Now before you decide to cancel me, please let me weave this into a tale about professional sports and their people.

Today you will be reading about a firing, “resignation” — or whatever — of Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Many of his texts and emails that brought on his demise were written years before working for the Raiders, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Perhaps you don’t know that the Oakland Raiders was one of the original teams in the American Football League, which opened in 1960 as a competitor to the National Football League. Because they played in cities where the NFL was absent, the games became very popular, and eventually the AFL and the NFL merged into what most would consider an ordained monopoly in the US.

Al Davis, the man own worked his way from coach to owner, created the the Raiders image of being a tough bunch from every player, every coach and all the fans. While their black and silver uniforms and logo depicting a football player in a silver helmet and eye patch is scary enough, they added two crossed swords that promise death to their enemies. Al Davis used to say, “Just win, Baby!” They players knew that if they didn’t, it would be time to find a new team. Much has been written about the Raiders because they tend to make news.

They’ve also been nomads. When Davis didn’t get what he wanted from the city of Oakland, he packed up the team, shuffled them to Los Angeles (1982–1994) and grew the fan base in southern California. Then, when L.A. proved too much for the man, he moved his team back to Oakland (1995–2019). Then, in 2020, he shifted the Raiders to Las Vegas. Along with all the moving, they won many division and conference championships and they topped the Super Bowl two times.

Mark Davis

Al Davis died in 2011. His son Mark now runs the show. He has a bowl haircut that many believed was a wig, until someone asked why a $500 million man would buy such a god-awful hairpiece. That haircut has been likened to the style of a Roman centurion. See how I have set the stage for a sort of roman gladiator purge?

Last night (10-11-2021), Jon Gruden resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders because of the embarrassment his emails caused the team. His alleged language was said to be racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. What a beautiful bouquet of hate. Gruden released a statement Monday night which included the words, “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.” That common lie is the same one we always hear when a sin is in writing.

Gruden is an atypical football guy. He grew up in Ohio and played football for the University of Dayton, but there are no statistics about his playing. Maybe he went into coaching because he wasn’t a good player. He was an assistant coach at eight different schools until he landed a coaching job with Al Davis and the Raiders in 1998, where he lasted for three years. Then Davis did something strange. He traded his head coach for players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Amazingly, Gruden won the Super Bowl with the Bucs in 2003, beating the Oakland Raiders! This brought him instant fame, notoriety and, shall I say, respect in this machismo world.

Gruden became less successful, and after he was dismissed from Tampa he began a career as a commentator for ESPN. He was extremely well-suited for this role because of his knowledge, loquacious personality and, at times, colorful language. It was surprising when Mark Davis asked Gruden to return as the Raiders’ head coach in 2018, but a ten-year, $100 million contract sealed the deal. The team had been lackluster and Davis felt Gruden had the ability and skills to turn the Raiders around. The team finished 4–12 in Gruden’s first season back, but after finally moving into a brand-new Las Vegas stadium they opened this year 3 and 0. Since then, they have lost two games.

Jon Gruden

Now let’s look into the what and when of Gruden’s emails? The funny thing about electronic correspondence is the text is stored on servers, even after an author believes they deleted them. Old e-mails are often discovered when a lawsuit enters the discovery phase. In this case, it was a discrimination and harassment suit brought by employees of the Washington Football Team, you know, the one that used to be called the “Redskins.” Gruden had corresponded with an employee of that organization, President Bruce Allen (a former Raiders colleague of Gruden’s), and his emails are now part of the public record. I have no desire to disclose Gruden’s exact language, you can find that published by other sources, but all of this reveals some interesting things.

Gruden seems to have many entrenched opinions and he has been exposed as a right-wing nutjob with deep seated and disturbing prejudices and phobias. It has been disclosed he was dreadfully against having gay players in the NFL, and he continuously referred to NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, using a gay slur. Mr. Goodell is not gay, but his views on the LGBT community have been shaped by his gay brother, Michael. For whatever reason, Jon was bothered by this and attacked Roger.

Some of the email discussions were about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL. Gruden used an anti-gay slur to claim that Goodell pressured the Rams to draft the player, which is probably not true. Ironically, this year Las Vegas Raiders‘ defensive end Carl Nassib came out as being gay, the first on the team to do so. Wow, how did Gruden miss that one? I guess his “gaydar” was down.

The New York Times claims that in 2017 Gruden responded to a sexist meme of a newly minted female NFL official on the field by writing, “Nice job Roger.” In the legal discovery of the Washington Football Team case, Bruce Allen and Gruden shared pictures of the team’s cheerleaders clad only in bikini bottoms. So, who has the redskin now? You know, red-faced embarrassed?

Gruden has been very vocal against players taking a stand, by taking a knee. Like a certain former president, he does not like Obama, Biden, or anyone else having a desire to express their views, especially those he thought had a bad smell. He’s a closet racist, which is not a good orientation when 68.7% of players in the pro-football industry are African Americans.

It appears that we can now check three boxes: racism, homophobia and misogynism. Now I know this is football, but those embody the “three strikes and you’re out” concept used in our nation every day. But let’s not miss this point. Mark Davis is not only a good businessperson, he’s also an honest football executive. I am sure his old man is proud of him, despite Mark’s horrible haircut.

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

 

 

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS

Church and State Move Closer

I became aware of differences between religions way back in elementary school. Some students didn’t come to class on certain days of the year, and that was the first time I heard the expression “religious holiday.” As a kid, it was only natural for me to ask how I could get one of those. I eventually learned that several groups of people avoided certain foods. The Jewish kids didn’t eat the ham sloppy joes and the Catholics ate fish on Fridays. Cheese sandwiches on any day were okay for both. It’s a tribute to our teachers that these background differences never boiled over into an “us and them” mentality.

Now we see some people waving religious exemption flags to refuse the normal order of things, but beyond what a girl might wear in gym class (Muslims) to what a boy can learn in sex education class (mostly in public schools) religions stay out of matters of state. A person might say it’s against their religion to drive on the right side of the road, but that would be indefensible.

No major religious denomination in the US opposes vaccination outright, but an individual’s “sincerely held” religious belief does not have to be part of an organized religion’s mandate to be considered a valid reason for vaccine exemption. Here is a simple test. If my God says I am not allowed to do this or that, then I can ask for a religious exemption. Conversation between a parent, a child and their God is not to be filtered or interrupted by the school board.

Medical exemptions are pretty cut and dry. Your doctor can write a note to the school saying Tommy’s condition, whatever it is, should not be challenged by a Covid-19 vaccine and the kid would not have to get a shot. However, some states have taken a stand on this issue. For example, families lined up outside a chiropractor’s office in Venice, Florida to obtain medical exemptions for the school mask mandate. Once that scam was uncovered, the school district refused those bogus exemptions.

Many states are moving quickly to thwart overzealous parents and pandemic-denying employees. Connecticut refuses any religious exemption from vaccine requirements for children in grade 12 or below.

In Colorado, a person seeking a nonmedical vaccine exemption due to either a religious or personal belief must first complete an online educational module about vaccinations.  That’s right on the line.

Virginia demands that its board of health regulations for the immunization of school children be consistent with the immunization schedules developed and published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. If they all agree, kids must get their shots.

Arkansas requires their public and private schools to report the numbers and percentage of students who have vaccine exemptions.

Maine removed personal and religious belief exemptions for public school immunization requirements, and in New York State the religious exemption for public school immunization is gone. Washington State was extremely specific when they removed the personal belief exemption for measles, mumps and rubella vaccine requirements for public schools, private schools, and daycare centers. You see, not everyone buys into this religious exemption thing.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution can be interpreted in several ways. The first part says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …” That’s pretty clear. The federal government cannot establish a religion nor can they stipulate if or how you worship or practice a religion. Many claim that the next part of the amendment about freedom of speech enhances the religious proposition, but the semicolon after the religious decree indicates separation of the two main clauses. It  denotes a more pronounced division than a comma would indicate. Sure, religious freedom is a form of freedom of speech, but let’s not forget that cliché about screaming “FIRE” in a crowded church, which is not such a freedom.

The government cannot demand you to justify your belief that God doesn’t want you to get a Covid-19 vaccination that could save your life and the lives of those around you, but then many of the people claiming a religious exemption couldn’t articulate exactly which part of their dogma dictates they reject a deed needed for the common good. Some folks point to the Church of Christian Science as an example of a religion intolerant of vaccines, but if those birdbrains did a little research they would see that even this religion, which is typically wary of medicine, has a positive view on vaccinations. Oh, you don’t believe me? Well, read it here.

If you don’t want to get a shot because you think it’s in conflict with the Old Testament, you might want to send your wife into the forest during menstruation or ship a married woman who has been unfaithful, along with her “other man,” to the community pool and stone them to death — I mean with real rocks.

If you have an overzealous “fire and brimstone” preacher who claims the government is out to destroy God, Jesus and every living Republican, consider these headlines: “COVID-19 death toll 7 among Fla. church members; pastor blames vaccine misinformation“ or “Unvaccinated Pastor Who Almost Died of COVID Now Preaches The Importance Of Vaccines“ and, of course, “Vaccines are a ‘personal decision,’ Hillsong Church founder says after congregant refuses shot and dies of COVID-19.” None of these are made up. Each headline is real.

It’s all on you if you claim religious exemption for a Covid shot that becomes a one-way ticket to meet your maker, but if your false religious exemption to avoid a little prick in the arm ends up killing your grandparents or kids, I hope after you confess to your preacher you can return to living a full and productive life.

Jesus was a great man and Mohammed was a noble unifier and prophet. Both knew the miracle of healing. Do you?

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

There is a subliminal part of art that makes one wonder what the artist is trying to say. Some of my drawings and doodles mean absolutely nothing. They were just images of daydreams that I splattered onto paper. Others have a specific memory, joy pain or frustration. Some hold love, sexual passions or merely thoughts …

THE DAY FACEBOOK DIED

The world didn’t end, now what?

It’s hilarious the way Congress is trying to leverage consumers’ revolt against social media when very few of its members even understand how it works. Consider this excerpt from a chapter named “Social Media Menace” in my 2019 book Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, “You know they sell your data for money, right? That is their business. They let you use their powerful and fast servers for exploitation, not as a measure of good will to the community. They are “for profit” companies and we’re their slave workers, generating free content that maintains and builds their user bases. They keep sucking our souls into folders for sale, again and again.”

You are NOT a customer of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform you use for free. You are simply a stringer, adding content and working for the man without pay. In this case, that man is Mark Zuckerberg. During the fiscal crisis in 2008, we heard the term “too big to fail.” Well, let me introduce a new one, “too big to control.”

Two things during the week amplified this subject for me. An old college buddy sent me a link to a video talk given by Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, visual artist, computer philosophy writer, technologist, futurist, and composer of contemporary classical music. Mr. Lanier is the founder of virtual reality. His company, VPL Research, led the industry by becoming the first to sell VR goggles and wired gloves in 1985. Jaron’s 2018 video explains why we find ourselves where we are in our technological world. If you have more than an hour to watch and listen, here you go. Heads up though, Lanier is not the greatest public speaker.

Jarod Lanier

Here are my three major takeaways from Jaron’s video. 1. Social media is a drug, 2. Assholes like us who use it aren’t the customers so we don’t have a say about anything. After all, who takes advice from drug addicts? 3. The two forces in conflict are free, open-source technology vs. media superstar billionaires who want to own the internet for fame and huge personal profit. The power of money wins in the end, and open source intellectual property just hurts the creators who give it away.

The other thing that occurred, was the appearance of a former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, on Sixty Minutes, which exposed what the social media giant has been and not been doing in terms of protecting children and teenagers from harmful products, posts and putdowns from peer groups. She alleges that Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other services managed by the Zuckerberg “monopoly” did research which showed damaging data, such as 6% of American kids tracing their desire to commit suicide to posts on their social media platforms. Up until now, Facebook has managed to keep this data secret.

Ms. Haugen also alleges that her group, the Facebook Civic Integrity Team, was put in place before the 2020 election to guard against disinformation but disbanded afterward when the company reverted to the engagement algorithms used previously. Haugen is a specialist in “algorithmic product management,” and previously worked on several ranking algorithms similar to the one Facebook uses, so she understands the inferiority of an algorithm as compared to human oversight.

Frances Haugen

Frances Haugen is not some disgruntled employee; she is a true political activist. According to CNN, “About a month ago, Haugen filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the company [Facebook] is hiding research about its shortcomings from investors and the public.” She also leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal, which published a multi-part investigation showing that the company was aware of problems with its apps, including the negative effects of misinformation and the harm caused, especially to young girls, by Instagram.”

The bottom line of all these disclosures is that Facebook and Zuckerberg care more about profits than harm to their subscribers. Again, let’s not forget this major point. Facebook’s customers are the advertising agencies, large corporations and research firms who pay Facebook billions of dollars every year, not us posters of cat and baby pictures.

I was just about to post a link to this new post when I discovered Facebook was down, and since I have been banned from Twitter for life, I had no way to promote this latest diatribe. Nonetheless I still had readers at this site and didn’t at all miss Facebook while it was inert. It was like not drinking for a few days, and there you have it. Jaron Lanier compared constant use of Facebook or Instagram to gambling. When we lose, we play again. When we win, we play again. When we feel like an outsider, we push our way to the front of our page. For just one second, we all want to be famous, we all want to be Trump, or Musk, or even Kanye. When people say stupid things, we get angry and post twice as much. It’s anger that pulls us back in, again and again.

People who believe lies and conspiracy theories continually post stupid messages and memes. In turn, we post put-downs containing quotes of their mistruths, which helps the lies grow more powerful than truth. Most of the social media landscape is just one big food fight with members of this sick club putting each other down. It’s easy to fall into the abyss. A relative asked me this stupid question, “What gives you the right to say that to me?” I simply replied, “Because it’s free — and I am now free to unfriend you.” See what I did there? I used my Facebook voice.

You know that social media will only get more screwed up should the government get involved. Despite all the historic uproar and legislation, we still sell cigarettes and, according to the CDC, “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.” What have we learned?

How did the government’s break up of Bell Telephone help us? We have slowly returned to that same road with only two or three major cellphone players. Breaking up the telephone monopoly has not made anything better for us. I pay hundreds of dollars each month for phones and phone services.

The algorithms at Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and all the other social media sites weren’t designed to be evil. They were created with the same loving care our mothers used when making our favorite dishes. Once mom figured out what got our plates empty, she made the same dishes over and over again, not realizing the unhealthy ingredients and preparation methods were harming us. Facebook isn’t about to slow down “likes” or censor everything they believe is wrong. The fact is, they can’t. Doing so would require a dedicated “person editor” for just about every user. Why do mass shooters keep steaming their dirty deeds? Because they can. Facebook is not fast enough to stop a speeding bullet. The real question is will they be able to stop an out-of-control Congress?

BRAND NEW BOOK

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

There is a subliminal part of art that makes one wonder what the artist is trying to say. Some of my drawings and doodles mean absolutely nothing. They were just images of daydreams that I splattered onto paper. Others have a specific memory, joy pain or frustration. Some hold love, sexual passions or merely thoughts …

PRO-VASECTOMY MOVEMENT

Let’s Snip the Bad Guys – Instant Birth Control

We’ve all heard the expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Well, let’s take on this problem. We know that our codes are held in DNA, and we know that some men are totally unfit for childbearing responsibilities, so let’s chemically track those guys and order them to be snipped. Outrageous? Yes, but I have never heard a man squawk, “My body, my choice!”

A new law in the not-so-great state of Texas says that if a woman is raped, even by a family member, she doesn’t have the right to terminate a birth conceived by that illegal act. If the state believes it has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body, then why not also have a law that medically punishes any man involved in an unwanted pregnancy by force or violence?

I can already hear screams from mostly white males in state legislatures that this would be going too far. A state commanding a medical procedure on a man, especially on his reproductive organs, would be governmental castration. There would be passionate speeches declaring the government has no right to tell a man he must get snipped “down there.”

What is a vasectomy? According to the Cleveland Clinic, “A vasectomy is a simple, safe and effective means of permanent contraception or birth control. Because of the position of the male sexual organ, the operation is very straightforward. The procedure involves dividing and closing off the ends of the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm) – preventing sperm from getting through during intercourse.” A total of about fifty million men have had a vasectomy or 5% of all married men of reproductive age. “More than 500,000 men elect to have vasectomies every year in the US.” In most cases, this process is irreversible.

When a crime is committed and tried in the United States of America, the courts hand down a sentence to the guilty party intended to prevent them from committing the crime again or pushing them into rehabilitation and redemption. When one person shoots another with a gun our laws can keep them from purchasing a gun, although that process is fraught with loopholes.

If a person continually abuses and beats their spouse or significant other, the victim can get a restraining order that sets limits on exactly how close the aggressor can get to their victim. The attacker can be locked up if they ignore the court’s directive.

Each state has their own rules and laws concerning the impregnation of a daughter by her father. Consensual incest is against the law in all states except for Rhode Island and New Jersey. While incest between consenting and closely related adults is legal in these states, marriage between close relatives is not. So, there you have it. Young girls in New Jersey and Rhode Island would have to prove their father raped them.

Rape is a crime in most of the world. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas claims that rape will be eliminated in his state. Now there’s a true goofball. Rape is not going to be eliminated in Texas or anywhere else. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, “There are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.” And as well all know, many rapes are never reported. Note that statistic does not include girls and boys under the age of 12. This was a major factor in the abuse scandals of priests in the Catholic church.

I wonder if Texas would support a law that included a penalty of vasectomy for those men convicted of rape or incest. Texas claims they want to get tough on rape, well here’s their chance. The ACLU and many others would argue that such a law would set a horrible precedent. Then there’s this. What’s to stop state lawmakers from sentencing women who have had “too many” babies to tubal ligations? You see, a woman has already lost her rights when a state law imposes a personal medical procedure on her.

No matter what your moral upbringing, you might believe that killing any living human being is a sin. The argument necessarily centers on when a fetus becomes a “living human.” Sperm can make a baby, but only when in the direct presence of a human egg. A woman has sole province over her eggs, and rightly so. Now, what if the state ordered women to hand over their eggs so that the state could decide whether they will be fertilized by a male sperm of their choice? Unlikely, yes, but is there an essential difference between that and the new Texas law?

By saying that any abortion past six weeks is illegal, isn’t the state of Texas really siding with rapists and perverted fathers? Yes, they are. The law is cloaked by the notion that Texas isn’t prosecuting, meaning anyone can sue to get their pound of flesh. It may be a bad metaphor, but if an accuser can earn $10,000 and all their legal fees, what is the state’s game? One way of looking at it is redirecting $10,000-plus of wealth from the parents of a child to a random Uber driver or an uninvolved gold-digging litigant.

Let’s return to vasectomy to cut this short, pun intended. What is so wrong with taking away a man’s right to reproduce? He can always adopt a child if he wants. That is what they say to women who cannot have children. Men’s sperm and the organs to produce it are conceptually the same as women’s reproductive systems. Why separate them? Most experts claim that a healthy adult male can release between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm cells in a single ejaculation. The responsibility is great, but us guys get a major pass on the legal aspects of impregnating a woman.

Rape and statutory rape are legally the same in Texas. Both are second-degree felonies with jail terms of 2 to 20 years in prison and an optional fine up to $10,000. Does anyone else find it curious that $10,000 number keeps popping up in Texas? They are charging the same for rape and for abortions. The Supreme Court should declare the new law unconstitutional.

It’s time for America to get totally out of the regulation of personal medical procedures and stop this debate about when a fetus becomes a person. In fact, if the laws of America were to declare that a fetus is a full human with rights, then every miscarriage could become a murder investigation. An edict could follow that every individual sperm is a living entity, and no one wants to conduct 1.2 billion depositions. We already have a law on the books. Let’s just keep that one for now.

BRAND NEW BOOK

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

There is a subliminal part of art that makes one wonder what the artist is trying to say. Some of my drawings and doodles mean absolutely nothing. They were just images of daydreams that I splattered onto paper. Others have a specific memory, joy pain or frustration. Some hold love, sexual passions or merely thoughts …

 

HOW TO FIX CONGRESS

Lessons from the tooth fairy

The myth of the tooth fairy has always bothered me. Maybe it’s because of something I read concerning Middle Age superstitions about children’s teeth. Parents in 13th century Britain were instructed to burn their youngsters’ teeth to ensure their kids would avoid hardship in the afterlife. Really? Some claim the Vikings paid for children’s teeth to use as luck charms on the necklaces they wore into battle.

I always believed the tooth fairy is a con. You know, making a child feel good about losing a tooth because it would benefit him or her. Kids have a natural fear of tooth loss because blood and pain are involved. The tooth fairy justified the pain and children dreamed of becoming rich.

So, how does Congress fit into this? Well, that body puts us all through a lot of pain but the payoff is always less than what they promise or what we need, every time. Now we’re facing this strange concept of one political party wanting to superglue the kid’s tooth back into his mouth and just keep going the same way they always have. They don’t want the people to have something good and better because that would make the other party look productive. It’s a child’s game.

The tooth fairy is not real, and neither is honest, genuine bargaining in the House and Senate. We keep seeing the same pretenses, posturing and pontificating during each major Congressional event, like keeping the government running, extending the debt limit and making sure we don’t default on our loans. So, could America be repossessed by the tooth fairy? Who holds America’s debt?

Well, as is true with most stupid questions, there is a very clear answer. The Federal Reserve holds over $5 trillion in US Treasuries. The rest is public debt — that’s you and me. As of May 2021, foreign countries, companies and individuals owned $7.5 trillion of US government debt. Japan and China are the largest holders, with over $1 trillion each. Did Donald Trump know how beholden we are to China when he blamed them for everything?

Should America be asinine and default, we will take other countries down with us and crater the world economy. Mitch McConnell knows this but continues to force our economy to the brink because he’s just another game player in public office. The best thing for the United States would be for McConnell to get thrown out of Congress.

Rather than getting into a short-term discussion of the shortsighted filibuster rules in the Senate and the minimal power of the elected majority, I would like to propose five simple ways to make Congress better.

  1. Change the Constitution’s Congressional rules. Make Senate terms four years instead of six. Make Representative terms four years instead of two. The House members waste too much time raising money and campaigning. Only half the House and Senate would be up for reelection every two years.
  2. No one will be allowed to run for more than three terms. Twelve years is long enough to do some good, get things done and then get out of town. We need to eliminate lifelong political positions. The work of politicians was never meant to become full-time, forever jobs. Ask Adams, Jefferson and Washington.
  3. After their first two years in office, a Senator or Representative can be asked by their state or territory to participate in a recall election. If they get less than 45% support from their constituents, the state will hold a special election within six months of the recall to put someone else in their seat. Motivation!
  4. The current filibuster rules must end and be replaced by the older, more arduous filibuster procedure. All matters must be taken on a straight up vote with majority rule including nominations. No Senate member will be allowed to block a Supreme Court nomination, no matter what year it is.
  5. All candidates for Congress, the US President and cabinet members must submit to Congress a public disclosure of their last four years of federal and state income taxes.

And while we are at these changes to Congress, we should also enforce a 75-year-old retirement age for all Supreme Court justices. It’s the same responsibility as driving a vehicle, only more important.

I believe my ideas sound good, but the half-empty people in the crowd will say they won’t stop the bickering, childish behavior and pernicious party loyalties. While that’s probably true, these moves will help us change out the seats more often. Sure, there will still be those who will take the job for their own personal advancement, but the disclosures will help us uncover them sooner.

The greatest challenge to these changes is the fact that the people who have the power to make them are the very same people who would be affected. There is no greater power. Even if Congress passed a law saying Supreme Court justices must retire at age 75, someone could sue the government, or the Supreme Court could rule against the policy claiming it was age discrimination. Of course, they are the same experts who can’t decide how long it takes a fetus to become a human with rights.

The tooth fairy doesn’t visit homes of parents who are jobless, those struggling against inflation and those who work for minimum wage. Both Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema had no problem voting against a minimum wage increase. How can two Democrats want to keep the middle-class from getting a leg up? Be wary of the tooth fairies in Congress. Some members of that body ask us to put our teeth under the pillow with the promise of money. Then, when we wake up to find our teeth gone but no money, we wonder why Congress played us. They got rich and we have holes in our mouths. It’s time to confront and end the myth that Congress works for us.

BRAND NEW BOOK

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

 

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com