THE REAL GUILTY PARTIES

George Floyd and the Blame Game

You could hear the collective sigh of relief yesterday as millions of Americans, white, Black, Native and all those “others” exhaled after the Derek Chauvin verdicts were read in court. George Floyd’s murder in front of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, the firing of cops, the arrests, the trial and the conviction of the kingpin have all marked a significant moment in history.

Let’s step back in time. The 1820 US Census showed there were 233,524 free Blacks in America along with 1,538,038 slaves. The total population of the United States that year was 9,638,453 people. If you use the wretched “one Black person is three fifths of a white person” equation, those 1.5 million slaves counted as 922,823 humans. What an immoral reckoning! Leaving out that ridiculous statistical fraud, our country was 18.3% Black in 1820.

The next US Census (2020) will show how much we’ve changed if they ever get in finished properly. But according to the 2010 Census, the African American population was about 13.5%, but that number is deceiving as to the impact of the black vote in certain states.  Even in 2010, the Black population in Louisiana was 33 percent, Georgia – 32 percent, Maryland – 31 percent, South Carolina – 29 percent and Alabama – 27 percent. The largest percentage was found in Washington, D.C., affectionally called “Chocolate City” back in the 1970s, with African Americans making up 52 percent of the population.

The belief that freed southern slaves took off to live in northern states of the US is a myth. On top of that, if the Republican party doesn’t figure out how to serve the Black community in the south, the right-wing stronghold will dissolve. That being said, what are we doing about another vital statistic?

According to Statista.com, 212 people have been shot and killed by police so far in 2021. Included in that grim count are 50 white people, 30 Black, 20 Hispanic and, weirdly, 112 with no reference to their race. Yes, this is not evidence of police targeting African Americans, but that is not the point, it’s the 212 deadly force incidents that matter most. Why are cops killing our citizens so often? We have no counts of how many cops tased people or hit them over the head with a stick, but the glaring fact that came out of the Derek Chauvin trial is an abysmal lack of policing standards in America. The lawyers for the accused cop said that he was following his training, while members of his own police force said he wasn’t using the proper techniques. Maybe it’s time we codify these practices and present a standard for EVERY police department in America. Is that too much to ask? We should start by making the suffocation of a suspect by a cop a felony crime.

People shot by police by year and race

Too many people argue for the cops, the guys with the guns and the power to end another human being’s life in a split second. Yes, they surely deserve our support and we do pay them with our tax dollars, but they shouldn’t have licenses to kill. We need them and they shouldn’t be defunded, but that money ought to go to better training along with a set of guidelines for the entire country. A white man with a Confederate flag appears to many cops to be much less confrontational than a Black man holding a cell phone. Bias is everywhere, and we must also address how a Black cop faces a white guy wearing a Nazi T-shirt. Prejudice must be trained out of every law enforcement officer.

Sure, accidents will happen, like using a gun that you thought was a taser, but what led to that kind of force being used in the first place? The answer is FEAR. I may be on the wrong side of history with this question, but here goes — why are white cops so afraid of Black men? They will shoot them faster than they would an insane white guy. Walk through some facts with me here.

Kyle Rittenhouse

On August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a man named Kyle Rittenhouse, then a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, traveled across state lines to shot and kill. He allegedly killed two people and wounded another during multiple confrontations at two locations. He was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and, according to witnesses, one of those he shot had a handgun. Police saw him walking up a street, armed and marching straight toward them. They offered him water and they talked. This man had just killed two people and the cops allowed him to keep his gun and simply walk away. If he was someone they saw as a threat, or was Black, they would have detained him, or worse, killed him. Although he was armed and in tactical gear he was white, and they didn’t see him as a threat even though he could have shot them.

That is a great example of either systemic racism or cops being so biased that they saw a vigilantly as a friend and not a foe. Their job is to protect all citizens from harm. People, we are at a turning point. We do not have a grand victory over evil with one conviction of one bad cop. We have a lousy system of enforcement training and we need to fix that.

Rosa Brooks, author of the book Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City, said on TV the other day that typical police training for firearms is about two weeks in a classroom followed by a couple of days on the shooting range. I believe the machismo of most male law enforcement leaders can be summed up this way, “Of course they know how to shoot, they want to be cops.” That is nonsensical and wrong. The use of a gun by a cop should always be the last resort to resolve conflict, but as we saw in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, guns are pulled out and raised at a suspect’s head immediately, especially when that suspect is Black.

According to the Army Times website, “Body camera footage shows 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, dressed in uniform with his hands held in the air outside the driver’s side window as he told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.” The officer said, “Yeah, you should be!” We’ve all seen the video of Nazario being drenched with pepper spray as he sat in his car. By the way, he’s suing the police for $1 million claiming his rights were violated. Too bad there isn’t a video. Oh wait, there is.

The blame game will continue. It’s how police, their unions, their management and governments avoid large payouts to victims of police malfeasance. If putting your knee on a man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds is standard procedure, then we have given police judgement by fiat of the badge and the power of extrajudicial executions. That’s not a place where I want to live.

Here, perhaps, is some good news. After the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death, the Associated Press reported that Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis. Hopefully, this will be is a first step in making stronger laws for the police to follow and for us to rely on. If we don’t act on this, we are the guilty party. Shame on us if we think one trial fixed everything.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 

 

ANGLO-SAXON VALUES & UNITY

From Mild Racism to Tea Party to Insanity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arizona’s Paul Gosar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 

AMERICA’S DISPOSABLE PEOPLE

Why So Much Killing and Disregard for Life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indianapolis, Indiana

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

EASIER OR JUST BLOWING SMOKE?

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

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

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

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

Long Voting Lines in Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

THE POPULARITY OF AMERICA

Immigration Challenges and the Far Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

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

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

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

Casey Anthony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visual Indifference Points

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

DEFENSIVE LEADERSHIP SUCKS

“Baby Trump” Ron DeSantis Implodes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

The Party Puppet: Brian Kemp

I have read all 98 pages of the new Georgia Law with the hefty title of “Election Integrity Act of 2021.” When words like “Integrity” or “Affordable” appear in the title of a law, one might be tempted to ask if that’s true. Today we’ll look at some of the fuss around this new Georgia voting law that one side calls a good move and the other side decries as the return of “Jim Crow” laws.

Let’s start with the bill’s preamble. The writers claim that this bill addresses problems with voting in Georgia. They start with this, “Following the 2018 and 2020 elections, there was a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems, with many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter suppression and many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter fraud.” That statement is true.

GA Gov. Brian Kemp

What makes this opening so remarkable is that from 2010 to 2018, Brian Kemp, the current Governor of Georgia, was the Secretary of State, the person in charge of elections. Stacey Abrams, the woman who ran against Kemp for Governor in the fall of 2018, claimed that voter suppression ran wild under Kemp. Is this new law correcting the things Kemp got away with or is it a wink and a nod to former president Donald Trump? Would an entire state legislature do this much work just to make Trump’s claim of voter fraud seem more real?

There are three things in play,1. There was a need to reform, clarify and codify various rules and regulations on elections that have been murky for years, 2. The realization that there were too many independent voting methods being used in Georgia’s 159 counties and 3. The state is getting bad publicity with long lines at polling places in the African American communities and appearing to cater to rich, white neighborhoods. By the way, Pennsylvania has a population of 12.8 million people in 67 counties. Maybe Georgia with its 10 million population should consider consolidating their 159 counties into a more manageable structure.

One aspect of the reform makes sense. Georgia has difficulty counting the ballots because each county has different procedures and abilities. Governor Kemp seems to be a spacey kind of guy without a profound understanding of many issues. In April of 2020 he admitted to just learning that asymptomatic people can spread coronavirus, a well-known fact that was discussed on the Coronavirus Task Force conference calls much earlier. He exclaimed surprise by saying, “This is a game changer for us!” and then he announced a shelter-in-place order in the state. He was also one of the first governors to reopen his state right before the big Covid spike.

Voting laws in Georgia after the Civil War were shaped around the dark dogma of segregation. When I moved to Georgia in 1977 and visited Stone Mountain Park, the main building still had segregated restrooms, a remnant of policies before the “Recent Unpleasantness,” as the Civil War was called. The building has since been remodeled but the carved stone faces of Confederate leaders sitting on their stone horses constantly stare down at people of all races.

Most people who follow politics were shocked when Georgia elected a Democratic president in 2020. A voting procedure was put in place to thwart the possibility that one African American candidate running against many white candidates could not “sneak in” with less than 50% of the votes. Once it boiled down to two candidates, the white one usually won. That rule backfired in 2020 when both US Senate races for Georgia were settled in runoff elections and each was won by a Democrat with one of them becoming the first Black Senator of Georgia. Interestingly, that 50% rule was not cast out in the new Election Integrity Act. One would think it would be tossed because without it the Republicans would have maintained at least one Senate seat.

Senators Warnock & Ossoff

It’s not just bloggers and frothing at the mouth liberals who are against Georgia’s new law. Civil rights groups, including the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, Common Cause, and the Georgia NAACP have filed federal lawsuits charging that the law’s provisions violate the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Reading between the long lines of the new law, like the long lines at the polls, shows why Brian Kemp’s rollout of this bill was a terrible attempt at leadership and a stellar example of poor communication. Here are some key points.

The bill requires early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday but gives counties the option to open as early as 7 AM and close as late as 7 PM. Counties must hold two Saturdays of early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM and they have the option to hold early voting on one or both Sundays during the period. So, the harsh statement that the law ends Sunday voting is incorrect, BUT a county can prohibit Sunday voting and the state can do nothing about it. Not good.

Here’s one that might get some questions thrown at Kemp. Georgia previously conducted identity verification by comparing a voter’s signature on their ballot envelope or absentee voter application with a signature on file. Voters will now need to provide their driver’s license or state ID card when applying for an absentee ballot and provide one of those identifiers or the last four digits of their Social Security number to verify their ballot. The state already requires voters to show a photo ID to vote in-person. Could DNA and fingerprint matching be next? Brian Kemp said he would provide photo IDs for any resident of the state for FREE! Whoopee!

Legislators shortened the window to request an absentee ballot. Voters can now request an absentee ballot starting eleven weeks before the election and ending eleven days before the election. This seems reasonable, but I found this little gem in the lines of text, “A blank application for an absentee ballot shall be made available online by the Secretary of State and each election superintendent and registrar, but neither the Secretary of State, election superintendent, board of registrars, other governmental entity, nor employee or agent thereof shall send absentee ballot applications directly to any elector except upon request of such elector or a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector.” In other words, the action of mailing an application for an absentee ballot, a great way to promote voting, is now against the law. This was one of Donald Trump’s big complaints. Why don’t they set up a voter registration kiosk at every US Postal Service office, you know, before they close them? And while they’re at it offer Covid vaccines too!

Another provision of the new Georgia law that angers many Americans is this, “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast: (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”

For many years, a federal election law has been in place dealing with “electioneering” at voting locations and most states have at least a 100-foot restriction on campaigning within that area. This food and water prohibition when voter turnout is so great seems onerous, inhuman and cruel. It assumes the person giving the water or food is doing so for nefarious reasons. If a county cannot shorten the lines, then they should provide food and water.

The period between general elections and runoffs has been condensed from nine to four weeks, and that is probably good. Why was such a lengthy time needed previously? The act also sets more clear requirements for challenging a voter’s registration. “Ballot selfies” are banned. The law explicitly prohibits voters from taking a photo of voting machines or their absentee ballot. The state will also set up a voter intimidation hotline, which is good because groups of TRUMPERS were present at many polling locations. Some provisional ballots will have new restrictions. Georgia constantly purges their voter rolls and there have been cases of voters incorrectly thinking they were registered but being asked to use a provisional ballot. I have no idea if those are even counted.

Here’s the worst part of this new law. Trump couldn’t get Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to cheat for him, and Brian Kemp said he had no power over the Secretary’s role, so they have changed the structure of their government. The bill demotes the secretary of state from chairing the State Election Board, with the legislature now appointing a “nonpartisan chair” of the five-person board. The Georgia Secretary of State will be a non-voting, ex-officio member. Yes, my friends, the Republicans, you know, they guys who preach “let’s not make the government bigger” just added another layer to government.

It’s clearly a head-up-their-collective-asses move that could come back to more than haunt them. The legislature has the power to fire any chairperson of the State Election Board they disagree with, even if it involves their own election bid. When you use the word “non-partisan” and then codify “conflict of interest,” you end ethics oversight. Why would Brian Kemp participate in weakening the power of the executive branch of government? Is he a true constitutionalist or a saboteur? Seriously, what would keep the legislature from dismissing the chair of the Georgia Election Board, getting rid of all its members, decreeing the election for whoever they want and stealing a victory from the jaws of defeat? Nothing!

Georgia will now have separate Democratic and Republican primaries for special elections and that’s the right thing to do. Independent candidates who wish to send out absentee ballot applications to voters must clearly state that the application is not coming from a government office and is not a ballot. They are also prohibited from sending applications to voters who have already requested a ballot on their own or who have already voted absentee. So, how would a candidate know such things about a voter? Also, isn’t mailing an application against the law?

Not everything in this law is bad, but you must read through a lot of bullshit to uncover its positive aspects. That makes cheering for it difficult. Brian Kemp always seems defensive and he’s a lousy salesperson. He and other Trump boys and girls like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbot in Texas are so busy defending themselves they never smile or explain why the things they do are good for the people they represent. They carry forward the grievance philosophy of telling us how bad things are and then make them worse by idiotic laws such as prohibiting food and water for voters. They care more about telling voters what they can’t do while not giving a hoot about saving voters lives by mandating mask wearing. They’re more like nuns than leaders. Away with that wooden ruler, Mr. Kemp, just make it easier to vote!

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

 

PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucker & Gaetz

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

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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

WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?

Horrendous 2020 Hindsight: Painful Pandemic Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Was This Man Talking?

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

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

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

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

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

The Moment of Truth

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

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

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

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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