BANG, BANG, WE’RE STUPID

I told you this would happen!

I cannot hold back when I see “intelligent” humans doing the same stupid things over and over leading to the same result, yet there are those who think I’m crazy.

Here’s the news that came across early this morning: “Travel doors slam shut as new Covid variant triggers alarm.” All of my research, yes, real research, made it clear to me that we would have an ongoing pandemic. Too many of us have been consumed with conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with solving problems. Now we have word of blocked flights following the discovery of an aggressive mutation of the Covid-19 virus, echoing previous emergency responses that triggered a global freeze on travel. This new variant is spreading quickly in South Africa and has the potential to break through the existing vaccines. Travel restrictions are already in place for the European Union and other major travel hubs. You were told, you were warned, but you disrupted school board meetings and fought against local mandates because that is what you thought would help your political future. You are nothing other than slimy, partisan bastards! You would rather look good to your party members, QAnon followers and big mouth idiots instead of protecting your constituents. Why?

The World Health Organization is meeting today to determine the degree of fear we will face this winter, but I want to know if the shots I received for Covid-19, all three of them, will protect me from this new variant. I no longer care about the mindless disbelievers; I now care only about my family and the specialists we need to beat this scourge. Stop selling anti-Fauci T-Shirts to raise money for your maniacal bid for more power. Step back and find out what this Covid variant means and whether you should, once again, close the cruise ships and curtail indoor gatherings.

The stock market is already speaking. I found it ironic when the announcers on the financial cable networks were greeting each other with “Good Black Friday.” Of course, they were acknowledging the day after Thanksgiving, but we all know that when markets collapse, the day of the week on which it happens gets that name — Black [Name of Day].

Europe is reacting now. CNN is saying Germany plans to declare South Africa a “virus variant area” as of Friday night, which will mean that German airlines may enter from the country only to repatriate German citizens. French Health Minister Olivier Véran said the “rapid” circulation of the variant in South Africa “means that it’s probably contagious or very contagious,” justifying France’s precautionary stance.

So, when do we act? President Joe Biden lives in an avalanche of problems, and now he has another dire situation on his plate. This could kill the Build Back Better bill because moderates will want to “keep our powder dry” in case we need to push out more money to our workers. If that South Africa variant, yet to be named, comes to our shore we could be right back to where we were one year ago. Cases are already rising in America due to vaccine avoidance and colder weather bringing people into closed spaces that help spread germs. THIS JUST IN, they named it, the new variant from South Africa: Omicron. Isn’t that a space man?

Black Friday Stocks

According to CNBC, “The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 900 points, or 2.5%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite slid 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively.” Friday is a shortened trading day because of the Thanksgiving holiday, with U.S. markets closing at 1 PM. That’s the only good news on a day that might bring major losses in the leisure and tourist sectors. Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals soared, especially for those companies producing vaccines and medicines for Covid-19.

It’s time to admit we have been collectively stupid. Experts told us this could happen, but there are still half-wits who believe the coronavirus is a hoax. While these unaware citizens wave their anti-Biden, anti-Fauci, anti-mandate banners, they will be threatened the most by the next wave. They’ve already exhausted their karma on foolishness, and there’s limited luck during a global pandemic.

The errant politicians and spokespeople might not care about their money, but they surely want to keep the jobs they finally got back to. It’s time for all of them to cease all the bullshit and think about their children. The next variant could wipe them out. Is that what you want? While you piss and moan about your Second Amendment rights, what about our Fourteen Amendment? You know it? “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

American citizens deserve “equal protection,” even against a virus. I say to all you off-base politicians, shut up, use better sources and start following the guidance of experts. You may be idiots but I don’t want you to die. Why do you take such illogical risks?

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

License to Kill (In America)

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.  Get it here.


AMERICAN GRAY MATTER

Brains for the betterment of mankind

The grey matter throughout the human central nervous system enables individuals to control movement, memory and emotions. Most people have enough of the stuff to make a difference, but I must protest the notion that all men and women are created equal. Those are wonderful, inspirational words and aspirational goals, but the statement is simply not true.

When I used to argue this point with philosophy majors, I asked a straightforward question. If all people are created equal, then why is it that some can sing while others cannot carry a tune? Well, DNA or luck bestows certain gifts. Some people can swiftly swim or run like crazy, while others sit on the shore or plod along. I won’t overdose today’s post with all the stupid things some folks are believing these days, but there are many and I’ll share some of them.

There are those who follow the path of Scientology, which is neither a science nor a theology. The core belief is a human is an immortal, spiritual being or “thetan.” They claim the thetan lives in human form and that all of us came from extraterrestrial cultures. Roy Wallis was a sociologist and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the Queen’s University in Belfast. He taught that Scientology is a movement straddling the boundaries between psychology and religion and uses a graded hierarchy of ‘auditing’ and ‘training’ with the intention of releasing the individual’s full potential. People believe so much in these principles that they give the church millions of dollars. One might say none of the church’s claims are provable, but then who cares as long as it floats your boat.

L. Ron Hubbard, Fake Prophet

There’s another group of people who suck large amounts of tar and nicotine into their lungs daily and buy perfectly legal things called cigarettes to accommodate their addiction. More than seven million people around the world die from tobacco related illnesses every year. According to the CDC, more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 others live with serious smoking-related illnesses. Some even know the dangers of smoking, but don’t stop either because they don’t care or they can’t because of their addiction to the pleasure of nicotine.

During the reign of the last president, many believed he could do no harm and they believed most of the 30,000 lies he told during his term in office. It didn’t matter if a new lie was totally in conflict with a previous lie. His sycophants believed their safety and well-being was linked to the man’s rhetoric and theories, despite the fact finding to extract truths was an easy endeavor. Our ex-president believed whatever he wanted and then disseminated his “knowledge” to the masses through his powerful social media presence and pulpit. Even though his “remedies” for Covid-19 were useless, people believed him. Were they stupid, lazy or just incapable of intelligent thinking? Perhaps we’ll never know. It’s hard to study someone who refuses to believe evidence of truth.

That brings us to “Jack and the Beanstalk,” first seen in 1734 as an olde English fairytale named “The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean.” Here’s how it goes. Jack, a poor country boy, trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans which grow into an enormous stalk reaching far up into the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly giant. The giant senses Jack’s presence and cries, Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

Jack outwits the giant and retrieves many goods once stolen from his family, including a bag of gold. He also scores an enchanted goose that lays golden eggs and a magic golden harp that plays and sings by itself. Jack then escapes by chopping down the beanstalk. The pursuing giant falls to his death, and Jack and his family prosper. Now, is this story believable? Some lacking critical thinking might surely say it is. But why would a giant live in the sky? And if the beanstalk was the only way for the giant to descend and rob, why would the victims ever grow beans? And what drives this particular giant to have such a quandary with English people?

I was given an email this week claiming the Covid vaccines don’t work, no one is properly treating the coronavirus and the medical profession is fooling everyone. They suggest that doctors treat the disease by plugging patients into ventilators and waiting for them to die. They profess wild theories that we are not doing enough to study “known cures.” Goofball Senator Rand Paul says that “hatred of Trump” is blocking research into ivermectin, a deworming medication for livestock that some vaccine skeptics are touting as the miracle cure for humans suffering with Covid.

Okay, please let me properly position this. That animal medication is made by a multi-national company named Merck, which makes $9.7 billion a year selling chemicals and pharmaceutical products around the world. If they surmised ivermectin could be a solid cure for Covid, they would have done the research themselves and, if the treatment worked, they would have made tons of money selling it around the world. But hey, don’t listen to me; here are some statements from Merck: “No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies; No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease; Because of a concern and lack of safety data in most studies, we do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information.”

Why would Rand Paul suggest, in such a high-profile way, that this horse and cow drug could be a possible Covid treatment without providing any scientific evidence to prove his claim? Instead of using his grey matter for the betterment of man and womankind, he’s just created a problem. People will try the remedy. Some may get sick or even die.

I received another stupid counterfeit-science email from a medical doctor who proclaimed two measures would prevent getting Covid-19: 1) Gargle with Listerine two to three times per day, 2) Use Xlear allergy nasal spray, available at Whole Foods, two to three times per day to kill Covid before or after acquiring it. This total bullshit from a licensed doctor is nothing less than potentially harmful information.

These doctors’ ramblings fail to mention the three credible and approved VACCINES that help prevent the spread of the virus. Gargling with mouthwash won’t keep you from getting herpes, let alone Covid-19. Us humans are a dumb lot, but we are becoming even more stupid when dealing with something we don’t understand? Why wouldn’t the thetan keep the Covid away? Why doesn’t all that tar in the lungs of cigarette smokers make them immune? Why wouldn’t everyone agree to chop down the beanstalk to kill the virus? Why aren’t we smart enough to just take the vaccine?

I’ll conclude with a quote from one of my philosopher friends, “Apparently the people’s right to know ENDS when the people don’t WANT to know.” God protect 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


THE FEAR OF FLYING

Mask-less (Zipless) Encounters and Liaisons

Erica Jong wrote a book in 1973 called Fear of Flying, which was a portrayal of female sexuality. Some say that work helped propel the second wave of feminism. Women read the book for its liberating sentiments and men read it for the titillating stories about Ms. Jong’s sexual exploits. Go ahead and look up the term “zipless,” but the current reality of having random encounters with strangers who aren’t wearing masks clicked me back to that book. Some say we are about to enter our fourth wave of the pandemic while others say the third wave of feminism is embodied in the #MeToo movement.

Ms. Eric Jong, circa 1973

Here in the US, we are facing a strange conundrum of having the world’s largest supply of vaccines while a significant percentage of our population refuses to get a shot. Hey, thanks for being so damn selfish. Almost 15% of Americans say they will not get vaccinated and the percentage among Republicans is alarming.

According to a CBS-YouGov poll, “50 percent — said they felt the vaccine hadn’t been properly tested or they were waiting to see what would happen with the vaccine. Forty percent said they didn’t trust the government, while 30 percent said they didn’t trust science or drug companies. Eleven percent of those polled said they believe that because they’ve had COVID-19, they’re now immune from the virus.” I’m not sure why they would think that but who am I to question?

This idea that the vaccines have not been “properly tested“ might be related to the daft feeling among many of these folks that they would be safer if Donald Trump was still president. They’re not good with details and science. Let’s not forget that Trump became infected with Covid-19, was hospitalized and then got better. He and his wife became fully vaccinated in January, so what’s the delay all about?

There was a great article in the New York Times today that highlights the fact that the vaccines have not been “officially” approved by the FDA, which keeps some people from getting the jab. If you subscribe, you can find it under the tag, ‘The No. 1’ public health issue.

What happens when the FDA or the USDA learn that tainted meat has entered the US food chain? They get the lot numbers of the bad meat and then send out bulletins far and wide warning to NOT EAT that meat. They then quickly mandate a recall of the tainted lot. In this case we want them to move quickly, so, why is fast action on a virus that kills less desirable than something that just gives Americans the runs?

While the CDC stresses that people need to get vaccinated, the FDA follows it’s guidelines of waiting at least 18 months to insure the treatment is safe. This leads to one of my favorite concepts, the implication of the opposite.  Here’s another excerpt from the New York Times article mentioned earlier, “…officials insisted that they were merely ‘following the data.’ In truth, though, they were basing their advice on a narrow reading of the data — and not understanding how most people would interpret their comments.” Sadly, people are not following the data now.

Moderna and Pfizer tested their vaccines among 30,000 people. By the way, the United States paid those pharma firms for the testing as part of the Warp Speed deal. So, with the testing and the subsequent total of 338,491,374 Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson shots, what is causing the wait? It’s time, and time cannot be changed.  It’s constant and it takes, well, time. The FDA requires 18 months of data to ascertain the possible side effects and by-products of the shots and they cannot change time.

One of the conspiracy theories is that getting a shot will affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or have kids. Well, with only eight months of vaccinations how could anyone be able to confirm or deny that notion? There is absolutely no evidence that an mRNA vaccine affects DNA or reproductive biology. There is no indication that if does anything to a man’s sperm or a woman’s ability to produce eggs. Judging by the pregnancies, births and growing kids all around us, I think we are safe.

So, for those people waiting for OFFICIAL APPROVAL, could it be their fear has been exacerbated by the merging of bad data, rumor and conspiracy theories instead of the large body of medical evidence? You know, those pure facts like 99.5% of the people getting COVID right now are unvaccinated.

A person trained in the legal profession is adept at the technique of sowing doubt with the facts to get a win for their client. Reasonable doubt works in the courtroom, but the vaccination jury has been out for so long I wonder if they even remember where we were a year ago. Back then we were having 125,000 new cases and more than a thousand deaths every day. Now with the vaccines we have about 30,000 cases and under 300 deaths per day. How can anyone doubt that this positive change is the result of vaccinations? And I hate to throw some salt in the open wound, but just weeks ago we were down below 10,000 cases a day and less than 200 deaths per day. Thanks, Delta Variant and vaccine hesitancy.

A quote by Rebecca Robbins, who covers the vaccines for New York Times, jumped off the page at me. She agrees that full approval, whenever it happens, is “probably going to be the catalyst for many new mandates.” Does she mean that people who work in the healthcare and nursing home industries will be legally bound to get a shot? If that, along with more people getting fully vaccinated, is the result, then I say let’s get this approval NOW!

The New York Times added, “Right now, it appears a full approval for the Pfizer vaccine could come in September, with Moderna not far behind.” WHAT? That is only ten months after first shots were administered, not 18 months. So, why wait until then?

Oh yeah, they are not being influenced by a raving maniac in the White House so they’re playing steady and safe. I get it, but isn’t the risk of full approval worth it? We are over 608,000 fatalities from Covid-19. How many more? Did we learn nothing from Fear of Flying? Liberation has some risk but a potentially huge reward.

CARTOON OF THE DAY

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


THE DIMINISHING AMERICAN I.Q.

Does Our Size Make Us Dumber?

People use intelligence as a weapon. I do it, perhaps you do it, many of us do it, but why? Let’s begin with the worst infection that kills human life: War. Edwin Starr’s 1970 hit song said it best, War, I despise, it means destruction to innocent lives, war means tears to thousands of mothers’ eyes. When their sons go out to fight and lose their lives, War, huh, yeah, (What is it good for?) Absolutely (nothing)!

Culture Club updated the theme in 1984 with “The War Song.” It says, War, war is stupid, and people are stupid, and love means nothing in some strange quarters, War, war is stupid, and people are stupid! Okay, we get it. We just saw a stupid war played out once again. Stupid terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched missiles into Israel, which retaliated by bombing the shit out of the strip. To be clear, the Gaza Strip is 150 square miles of territory with about two million people and no army. Israel has nine million people and an armed force of 120,000 troops with another 500,000 on reserve. This was just two unfriendly neighbors shouting at each other with weapons resulting in hundreds of deaths. I hope they can keep the ceasefire.

I read an amazing news story today that says 42% of Russians refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. They have this guy named PUTIN and his buddy, Russia’s former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He has expressed support for compulsory vaccinations as the country grapples with slower-than-hoped-for coronavirus vaccine uptake. Why don’t they trust the “miracle cure” vaccine that their own country produced faster than any other? Could it be concern that the guy running the place has no problem putting poison in his critics’ tea?

We are doing much better battling Covid-19 here in the United States and our three vaccines are bringing down the case numbers. Even so, there is a disparity between those who are getting the vaccine and those who won’t. A troubling article in the New York Times stated, “It is common to hear about two different demographic groups that are hesitant to receive a Covid-19 vaccination: Republican voters and racial minorities, especially Black and Latino Americans. For Republicans, the attitude is connected to a general skepticism of government and science. For Black and Hispanic Americans, it appears to stem from the country’s legacy of providing substandard medical treatment, and sometimes doing outright harm, to minorities.”

There are also religious attitudes from sects like the Christian Scientists and Anti-science Evangelicals, but Americans are generally not against medicines. We take a pill to wake up, a pill to go to sleep and a pill to read this blog. So, what gives?

The greatest influence on virus denial was the handling of the 2020 global pandemic by the White House. Its revolts against mask wearing and the pitch to “not let the virus rule your life” accelerated the penetration of the disease. Those who created doubt about the advice of medical experts are responsible for much of the vaccine hesitancy in this country. When the far-right media told their viewers, they don’t have to be vaccinated if they are young, that masks only make things worse and that vaccines will hurt you more than help, they became medical terrorists in my estimation.

Rand Paul claimed that if you had Covid you don’t need to get a vaccine. He has a right to state his belief, but it’s only an opinion. He is not an expert in viruses; he is an eye doctor with poor vision.

When we were a smaller country, we had a stronger belief in our government. It led our people to fight in three wars and send their young sons to Vietnam, but for what? Absolutely nothing! But this piece isn’t so much about war, as who decides to help fight a war and who stays behind. One comedian called those who won’t get a Covid vaccine “freeloaders.” Yes, that’s a bit harsh, but funny, nonetheless. We all know people who take advantage of others’ generosity without giving anything in return but isn’t it strange that in this world of givers and takers, it’s the takers who are NOT taking the shot. Besides the twist of the meaning there is some evidence that when a person cannot comprehend how something works, they won’t trust it.

Republicans aren’t stupid and I’m sure they don’t want to get coronavirus, but they think it’s cool to not get a shot. Not sure why that is. They approve large sums of money for the military but refuse to improve infrastructure, They read the Bible every Sunday but can’t find the funds to end poverty. They like good roads and would cry bloody murder if a bridge collapsed in their town, but they are following the old maxim that when it’s NOT MY IDEA then it’s bad.

I was having dinner with a smart man who said, “There is no way to give everyone a raise to $15 an hour.” When I asked him why, he replied that “It would destroy the economy.” Would it? Really? We spent trillions of dollars on blowing up things in the Middle East but we cannot take care of the people who live and work here? The “America First” dogma of the last five years was a damn lie. When we placed tariffs on China, our soybean farmers went out of business and we all paid more for everything. We must not solve trade problems with tactics that hurt our citizens.

If you told all those people who haven’t gotten the vaccine that Trump would return instantly to the presidency if they did, the lines to secure immunity would be wrapping around blocks. Sad, but that is true. You see, the people who are sticking with the big lie and pushing back against the progress we’ve made with Covid, don’t care about truth or logic, they just want their false prophet back. If they really cared about all Americans, they would step up and help. They may not be dumb, but they certainly are foolish.

We should take 50% of our military budget and invest it in education. It’s clear that the poor job we’ve done in schools means not only that Johnny can’t read, but Suzy will let them take her rights away. Those who want to block abortions also want to cut money for social services and education for those families with “too many kids.” Large families are harder to manage. America’s size is keeping us down and maybe even lowering the average I.Q. So, why are the fucking “geniuses” still running Congress? Oh yeah, we voted without thinking.

BRAND NEW & AVAILABLE

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

 

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


POPULISM & PANDEMICS

Political Beliefs Can Kill You

I and a group of friends took part in a “Ridin’ with Biden” campaign event last October in Florida. We came across a group of Trump supporters camped out in front of an early voting location and I put my large megaphone out the window of the car and yelled, “He’s going to kill you! He’s going to kill you!” The trumpers were oblivious to the way Trump’s Covid-19 policies were hurting and killing us. I get it, they love him and trust him with their grandmother’s lives. Why? It’s all part of a populism religion they decided to follow.

This sectarian concept has overtaken large portions of our country and our elected representatives. Sectarianism is a political or cultural conflict between two groups often related to their form of government. Prejudice, discrimination or hatred can arise in these conflicts, depending on the political status quo and which group holds more power within the government. One of the worst parts of America’s current populism is a constant war on science. By denigrating experts, big, strong-man populist leader Donald Trump first gets the attention of the downtrodden workers and eventually entices them to seek his advice rather than that of credentialed, knowledgeable experts.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post in March of 2020, “Trump, for his part, fuels fears by constantly talking about how the disease came from China and how he heroically saved American lives because he ‘closed the borders to China’ in late January, 2020. Thank goodness he doesn’t seem to know that the H1N1 virus was first detected in Mexico. If he did, he might close the border with Mexico, just to be safe.” Donald Trump has never trusted any opinion that is opposed to his own viewpoint.

Zakaria came back to that discussion on his CNN show yesterday morning. His experts were fair to point out that not all populist leaders in the world denied the danger of Covid, but they often tend to rebuke experts, disconnect from science and make decisions based on what they think their followers will swallow, rather than the truth. In the beginning of the pandemic, Indian’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was rather draconian with the lockdown and those polices kept the virus at bay. Then, he made the same mistake Trump did by pushing to reopen the country too soon. This caused a crisis of pain and death that will probably destroy his political career.

Brazil has a leader who was in total denial of the coronavirus and mingled with people at rallies, shook hands and called Covid-19, “just a little flu,” until he got it himself. He then softened his misdirection but continued to blame everyone else for what was happening in his country. The more people listened to him the more people died. He repeatedly fired his national health directors and appointed replacements, believing mismanagement was causing the spread of the virus.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro

At this point, Brazil has more than 14.7 million people infected and more than 400,000 have died. Right now, India has more than 350,000 new cases each day and a total of 19.5 million infections with more than 215,000 deaths. We don’t know how many people have died in China or Russia, where dictators make policies. Some say that China, where the virus originated, has only 4,636 deaths. In a country of 1.4 billion that’s a totally unbelievable number.

Some sources say that Russia has 109,000 deaths, which makes more sense than the China statistic. Remember, Russia has a population of 145 million people. We know the case counts of democracies are more accurate. We also know that overzealous populist leaders, irresponsible state governors and state-run media have cooked the books on Covid-19. But as the World Health Organization puts more pressure on nations to cough up current statistics, we learn more about the effect of this virus on the planet.

The democracies of the U.K. and Israel had some rough coronavirus moments, but also amazing accomplishments. The U.K. was on the edge of disaster and Prime Minister Boris Johnson came down with a wicked case of Covid-19. In the U.K. currently, more than 34 million people have had a first vaccine dose and over 14 million have had a second. An average of 415,000 second doses are now being given daily. The National Health Service in the U.K. is very organized and thorough. For example, 98% of the people over age 50 in Scotland have received at least one vaccination already. The lowest percentage in that same category is London, with 87%.

Israel has done a fantastic job with vaccinations. As of May 2, 2021, Israel had fully vaccinated 87.3% of its population. Even with 900,000 people who contracted coronavirus in the country, they had only 6,363 known deaths. That is a particularly good outcome in a country of 9 million. Perhaps their general population has more awareness of science and medicine.

Populism attracts people who often reject things based on status or labels. If an intellectual in medicine is presented as an elitist by a populous leader, their followers tend to adopt the simple lie rather than the complicated realities of math, science and medicine. It’s interesting to note that a person doesn’t have to be less educated to take on a belief counter to well-known and proven facts. Steve Jobs denied conventional medical wisdom and it killed him. The word we should focus on is “wisdom.”

We all want our leaders to apply a sense of experience, knowledge and good judgment to their actions or decisions, but in some cases, they may not have enough knowledge or experience to act effectively. Where they lack knowledge, they must trust and depend on others for facts and guidance. If they don’t have good judgement, they might take advice from people who are totally full of shit. The quality of judgement is evaluated after the fact. Leaders talk of using their “best” judgement, but they cannot say it’s good judgement until their action bears fruit.

India’s Narendra Modi

India’s populist leader Narendra Modi made good choices in the beginning, but since the country was organized around a strict caste system the first wave of Covid-19 hit the lower classes and then slowed. When Modi began believing his own press, he opened the country to political rallies and large religious events, which was not only bad judgement but fatal to thousands.

Bad choices and ignoring science have consequences. This from Reuters, “The incumbent chief minister’s party in India’s West Bengal state has defeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in a state election held as the coronavirus pandemic surged to crisis levels. Modi has been criticized for focusing on the elections instead of making the pandemic his top priority.” So, there’s another populist who cares more about power than people. Bye, Bye!

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


IT WAS ONE YEAR AGO

They are going to make him look very bad

Tonight, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will address the nation on this historic moment in time. On March 11, 2020, we first faced the bleak reality that the novel coronavirus would be unavoidable for months to come, perhaps longer, and that action was needed prevent a thing named COVID-19 from taking our country down.

For nearly two months before that day, health and government officials had been sounding an alarm about the virus as it infected and killed thousands of people around the world. We knew it had moved from China to Italy, and then it struck America with Seattle having the first death.

Ex-President Donald Trump repeatedly downplayed the severity of the threat, telling people, “It will go away, just stay calm.” I could pepper this post with dozens of absurd statements and farfetched opinions the 45th President would go on to disseminate through Twitter, TV and the White House press room, but that isn’t necessary. Tonight, we’ll hear the new President’s speech and I am sure he will outline some of the fallacies and failures of the past year.

I have been writing a daily report on the pandemic and sending it to my friends and family for about 300 days. I started that project because I wanted them to know the extent of the coronavirus, but also to keep me up to date with statistics around the country. It has been a sobering task of love. On March 11, 2020, we had 372 cases of COVID-19 and only 12 deaths, but the experts knew it would get worse, much worse.

The next day, Thursday, March 12, the National Basketball League announced that game play would be suspended “until further notice.” The NBA took that action faced with concerns and uncertainties about the impact of the coronavirus on its games, its business and its extended family of players, coaches and fans. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver grasped the severity of this new pandemic before most. He also instituted what became known as a “bubble” in Orlando to finish the season and playoffs with extraordinarily little infection. The National Hockey League did the same. Smart thinking!

After downplaying the threat of the virus for days, President Trump made an Oval Office announcement on March 13, 2020, saying he would sharply restrict travel from Europe, but he never stopped it. He declared that the US would cut travel from 26 European nations, except the United Kingdom. The month-long restriction didn’t apply to US citizens and their families nor to green card holders. Trump said the US would monitor the situation and hinted that the restrictions might be lifted earlier. Earlier than what? We don’t know. Regardless, hundreds of thousands of people flew into the US without any tests for the virus. It was an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Over the next six months, the United Kingdom had a fast and dense spread of COVID-19. Just because people spoke English, didn’t make them immune to the virus.

When you watch coronavirus anniversary documentaries and news specials this week, prepare yourself for some extremely critical remarks about how our country handled the pandemic. It’s no secret that most of those assessments will land squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders.

We can now better understand why Bob Woodward released the audio from his phone call with Trump where he admitted to knowing the seriousness of COVID. Woodward was doing what he could to save America from a reckless, unaware and incompetent leader. It worked. Step back from all the rhetoric, lies and stupid theories to see that Trump lost to Joe Biden by seven million votes because he thoroughly mishandled the pandemic. It wasn’t a fraudulent election, it was deceitful management of public safety that did him in. I’ll use the legal term “negligent” because that it was.

Etched into my brain is one of Donald Trump’s more idiotic statements, “If we keep the death toll under 100,000, we will have done an excellent job.” Excuse me, Mr. Trump, but there is no way that huge number of fatalities can be called “excellent.” I wonder how our loser-leader would characterize the more than 528,000 deaths today. The 2020 election can be seen as Trump asking for a mulligan regarding his handling of the pandemic. America soundly rejected him.

I can’t understand why the Republican Party wants anything to do with Donald Trump. He’s a loser. Reportedly, the former President sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican National Committee demanding they, his own party, stop using his image and name in their fundraising efforts. I thought he was going to lead the party. Politico reported that, “The Republican National Committee dismissed a cease-and-desist demand from former President Trump’s attorneys Monday…”  Their attorney went on to say, “The RNC has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.”

Oh boy, someone is using this as a teachable moment about the First Amendment for Donald Trump. It’s so rich and ironic! Trump can’t stop anyone from using his likeness. He relinquished that right when he became the president. There is no way he could prove that the RNC’s use of his picture could cause him any more harm than what he has already inflicted upon himself.

The news networks love sticking it to Trump. After five years of being called the “enemy of the people,” the free press has every right to extract their pound of flesh, wait, make that fifty pounds of fatso-flesh; there’s plenty to go around. Sadly, there’s no compensation for the more than 500,000 families who lost a loved one.

Trump could heal the nation right now by admitting that he lost the election and that it wasn’t rigged. He could sell that fact that there was no widespread fraud, and that Joe Biden is the rightful president. He could urge people to wear a mask until they get the shot and urge his followers to get vaccinated, just like he and his wife secretly did. He won’t do any of that because he doesn’t give a shit about America. Speaking of which, Donald John Trump’s value as a human being is basically that of a dried-up elephant turd. Should I think of something harsher, I’ll share.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

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

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


THEORIES ON CONSPIRACIES

Classic Approach to Truth When Facts Are Missing

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

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

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

Mohamed Atta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 


CANCEL CULTURE IN AMERICA

Jargon, Slogan, War Chant or Necessary Evil

As a student of history, I can take any example, examine it from multiple angles and discover it has happened before. If we can learn from our current moments in time, we might become wiser and better able to prevent bad things we see coming our way before they can cause harm.

Let’s consider the Teapot Dome bribery scandal involving one of President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet members, Albert Bacon Fall, who was Secretary of the Interior from 1921 to 1923. This goofball had leased Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and two locations in California to private oil companies at low rates without competitive bidding. Why did he do that? Well, he took bribes from the oil companies. Fall was charged, convicted and became the first presidential cabinet member to go to prison. Albert Bacon Fall literally took the fall because no oil executives were convicted.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “When the affair became known, Congress directed President Harding to withdraw the leases; the Supreme Court declared the leases fraudulent and ruled illegal Harding’s transfer of authority to Fall. Although the president himself was not implicated in the transactions, the revelations of his associates’ misconduct took a severe toll on his health. Disillusioned and exhausted, he died before the full extent of the wrongdoing had been determined.” So, Congress canceled the deals but someone in a higher office canceled President Harding’s life.

Not all Cancel Culture targets create their own demise. America has the glare of news coverage, rumblings on social media and various bullies pounding their pulpits to cancel people. But what exactly does cancel mean in this context? When people behave badly they can become ostracized by others they don’t even know. The powerful cold-shoulder of cancelation can get a person fired from their job, disbarred from law practice or even arrested for a crime they may or may not have committed.

Shunning, disowning or moving an individual to isolation is not a new concept. Many tribes used this method as a strong but less violent way of punishing those who broke community rules. When it was revealed that Minnesota Senator Al Franken had taken sexual liberties with coworkers during his former life as an entertainer, he was spurned and slammed by many. This happened in the thick of the Me-too movement and it wasn’t long before the Cancel Culture urged Mr. Franken to resign. He left Congress and was replace by a female. Knowing what we know now, would he still be canceled today?

There are many people I would like to cancel but can’t because my voice is not that powerful and my leverage is even less so. Besides that, I simply don’t have the time or motivation to frame a campaign or hype a hashtag. I have absolutely no use for Florida Representative Matt Gaetz and would surely support canceling him, but then what? We would probably end up with someone like Georgia’s Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. She denies that a plane hit the Pentagon on 9-11, supports the idea that the Parkland school shooting was a “false flag” operation meant to usher in tighter gun laws and believes that the California wildfires were ignited by a Jewish space laser program.

The dumbing down of America has brought us some real doozies. First there was Sarah Palin of Alaska, then along came Donald Trump and now we have the quirky QAnon people preaching their platform. Instead of wasting time talking about the Republican party divide, let’s find a way to stop these lunatics from advancing lies that have major, destructive consequences. It’s time to cancel your subscription to the far-stupid media.

Gabriel Sterling is an official in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and one Republican whom I really respect. He forcefully came out against election fraud claims and stated that big lie had incited intimidation, harassment and death threats. Mr. Sterling got specific and spoke directly to Donald Trump, “It has to stop. Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you’ve not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some!” During his speech in the Georgia capital, he added, “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed! It’s not right.”

The lie of the stolen election drove thousands of people to charge the Capitol, proving that Mr. Sterling was right. People were hurt and killed in that tragic melee. If ever there was a reason to cancel Donald Trump and all the sycophants kissing his fat ass, there it is. Folks were warned but they did nothing.

The term Cancel Culture is a slick slogan that easily rolls off the tongue, but let’s not forget that the word “culture” has a far greater meaning. Culture embodies the customs, arts, social institutions, intellectual achievements and other manifestations of human activity by a nation‘s people or other type of social group. The Trump tribe is a culture of lies and misinformation. It’s hardly an intellectual achievement and certainly more worthy of cancellation than a low rated TV show.

Most people perpetrate the lie after they’ve been caught up in a crime, but when the lie is itself the crime peace and redemption can never be reached unless the liar admits the untruth. There were lies aplenty in the Trump tribe. People were told COVID is not that bad and there’s no need to wear a mask. The 2020 stolen election fraud caused an insurrection at the Capitol Building. These were the “facts“ of the far-dumb fiction followers that caused lives to be lost .

I’m not proposing we cancel Trump by erasing all that has been written or said about the man. Some believe he was the best president we have ever had. That reminds me of the 1958 Edsel automobile. The Ford Motor Company invested $250 million developing the Edsel, believing it would be the best car ever. The Edsel was a total failure, just like Trump.

So, here’s where we stand after four years of Donald John Trump. The Republican are not happy, the Democrats are mad and impatient, the Progressives want more socialism, and the far dumb folks want to take back “their country” with flags, guns and more lies. There’s no telling what QAnon might do if they gain significant power, probably public executions. Then there’s that orange Trump guy worried about Cancel Culture when he should be focused on staying out of jail. If you don’t convict, you are complicit.

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.


HE BROKE THE LAW

Trump’s Self-Pardon Parlay

Because he was not removed from office during his impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump has developed an inflated view about his power. This Includes a belief that he can grant himself a pardon. I’m sure he’ll try.  It’s the kind of doubling down a drunk gambler does in desperation. The greed and excitement of going all in only looks smart when there’s a winning outcome. If Trump loses the battle of self-pardon in the Supreme Court, he will be the target of endless litigation and charges. This man’s mad acts have made America vindictive and about 60% of the folks in the country will want their pound of flesh.

Brad Raffensperger

By now, most Americans have heard the damaging excerpts from the conversation between President Donald Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. With all the hubbub surrounding the legitimacy of the 2020 election, more people than ever understand the responsibilities of our secretaries of state (SOS). It’s ironic that the SOS acronym also means Save Our Ship, the distress call of the high seas.

The work of our state secretaries is easily seen because it involves the public interest. Here is an example of the investigative results by Georgia’s SOS office. These people do good work, and they should be respected unless they are suppressing the vote, which sometimes happen when they navigate the rough waters between partisan desires and public duty. Some pilot that craft well, while others are just as bad as those who desire to control them.

My hats off to Raffensperger for his honor, honesty and valor during the horrendous misuse of power Donald Trump and his enablers wielded on that phone call. The obstruction of justice and attempted law breaking is embarrassing for America and a dark stain on Democracy itself. As we hear legal experts pontificate and explain whether this man in the White House broke the law, some answer by saying a president cannot be indicted while in office. Yes, I get that, but it doesn’t answer the question if Trump’s behavior was illegal. Had anyone else made a phone call like Trump’s they would have been charged. Ask Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of attempting to sell a Senate seat and sent to prison. By the way, he owes his freedom to Donald Trump, the friend who pardoned him.

That brings us to whether Trump will pardon himself. Will he take the risk of executing a flawed and thin authority of self-pardon? Maybe he will pull a fast one by excluding himself from a bunch of new pardons, then resigning with a diabolical plot in place. After the Chief Justice swears in Mike Pence as the new president, Pence would then pardon Trump. Is such a plan viable? It would most certainly bring political destruction and death to Pence. Is such ass kissing worth it Mikey?

Trump’s Last Stand

Trying to parlay power into his next life would be a giant risk for Donald Trump. He’s got little credibility with anyone except the tyrants and dictators who rule some other countries. Even Israel, who appears to kowtow to him, would reject any attempt on his part to move there. Their hardcore political partisans are worse than anything we have in the US. In the bitter end, when banks and lenders come knocking on Trump’s door to collect on their loans, he’s going to have to pay up. The regulatory agencies in many countries are wise to the con and will be opening major inquiries into their corporations. For example, we’ll probably see Germany launch a major investigation into Deutsche Bank. There is a reason for this kind of extreme caution and oversight, it’s called money laundering.

So, Trump faces a serious conundrum. If he resigns, he will seem weak and guilty to his loyal followers. If he stays in office until January 20th, he could lose his chance of pardon. If he finds out that his “self-pardon” ruse didn’t work, he will have to continue his pattern of lies and lawsuits to avoid the inevitable, being charged and prosecuted. Donald believes he never does anything wrong and, in his tiny mind, can’t possibly think that his actions are above the law.

Trump’s weekend phone call was illuminating because it showed, once again, what Michael Cohen and James Comey have said about the Donald. Like a mafia boss, he never directly says what he’s asking. It’s coyly done with intimidation and a slight nudge and wink. He never said, “You need to say I got more votes.” His words were, “What I need…” leaving the listener to intuit his actual meaning. When Trump said that he “won the election,” Raffensperger swatted back with a polite, “Your numbers are not correct.” Someone with less balance and political savvy would have retorted to Trump’s allegation that their action is criminal by asking, “Are you threatening me?” To the credit of the Georgia officials, they didn’t escalate the matter in that way. Smart.

“It’s like Donald Corleone,” Howard Stern

When I was a young man in Pittsburgh, I had a friend who ran the jewelry store where number slips for the local boss were collected. One night, he, I and a group of others went to a restaurant in the East Liberty section of town called, Win, Place and Show. When our group of partiers wanted to get another round of drinks, the waiter replied, “Okay, is this one check?” Being the jerk in the group, I barked, “How about one more drink for the road?” The waiter then peered at my jeweler buddy and quietly said, “It’s time.” After we made our way to the parking lot, I saw five black limos with their motors running in the back. I asked my friend what this was all about, and he apologized saying he forgot it was the night for the weekly meeting of the mob families. I froze.

This encounter taught me two things. One, actions can be easily provoked and, two, even though a place serves great food one must never assume the establishment believes that the customer is always right. I survived my naivete to write this blog and eat Italian food.

Should the time come when Donald John Trump announces that he will pardon himself for acts during his presidency, we must all ask these questions. What are the next steps and who will launch the lawsuit to erase this pardon? Should Trump attempt to pardon himself for all things during his presidency, then someone needs to open that can of worms and address each of the slimy lies. After all is said and done, the Donald will slink away to Florida, watch TV and throw continuous tweet-shoes at the screen, becoming a caricature of himself. As he ages and his bloated face slowly melts into long wrinkles and sagging jowls, people will walk away from him. He’s certainly the worst president in my lifetime, and that’s a seventy-plus years run.

There are times lawyers criticize me for making a statement they consider to be my “opinion.” Well, there are three reasons beyond my opinions about why I believe Trump broke the law during his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. First, there is a law that says such behavior is illegal. Next, the officials in Georgia knew that Donald was attempting to intimidate them, so they recorded the call and then released it to the press. It doesn’t matter what Trump says about his intent. The people on the other end of the call believed he was asking them to commit fraud.

Finally, there’s this. Trump attempted that call 18 times, obsessing over his need to have that conversation. He had a plan to overturn the election and was antsy to press the deceit. It’s like a three-strikes and your out legal matter. Donald Trump is guilty of violating the fundamental tenets of the law: “…prohibits any person, in an election for federal office, from defrauding or attempting to defraud the residents of a state of a fair election through casting or tabulating ballots that the offender knows are materially false or fraudulent under state law.” This isn’t obstruction of justice, it’s a clear case of soliciting and encouraging fraud. Case closed.

Brand New Book for the Recovery

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 GREAT CONUNDRUM

Clearing Trump’s Debris Field

I was living in Washington, D.C. when Jimmy Carter was elected president. Right after his win, I began seeing many Georgia license plates on the cars around town. It was an amazing, visual representation of the changing of the guard in the nation’s capital.

I am so curious about what will take place at the White House on January 20, 2021. Traditionally, the outgoing president and first lady host the president-elect and their spouse before going to the Capital together for the swearing in ceremony. The attendees usually include the vice president, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, high-ranking military officers, former presidents, living Medal of Honor recipients, and other dignitaries. Only five former outgoing presidents have chosen not to attend the ceremony, and that list will likely grow by one this year. I can’t imagine Donald John Trump allowing himself to be seen in such a defeatist setting.

JFK, 1960

Trump would much rather have the title “former president” rather than “loser” or “one term president.” Still clutching the myth that he won the election, I have a feeling he will hold a rally during the inauguration, just to pee in the punch bowl. He’s never shown respect for America, democracy or our Constitution, and I’ll go out on a limb by saying he has no respect for the Holy Bible on which he laid his hand four years ago. However, maybe I should temper myself and allow a person without sin to throw the first stone.

Trump’s debris field is extensive. Here are some big picture items. First, let’s consider executive orders and the implications of each. To date, Trump has signed 203 orders. The new administration will have to review each one to determine if it can be unplugged by a new executive order, and how that might affect process and policy. Big job.

Next, we need to unravel the disastrous environmental changes and terminate agreements that upheaved areas such as the US-Mexico border. We must halt the destruction of federal lands and reverse the ridiculous Trump policies that disregarded climate change initiatives and increased pollution. There is nothing more important than our environment.

The wealth inequalities in our country have been skewed by Trump’s non-middle class tax cuts that gave more money to the upper 20% and cheated the lower 80% out of a better life. The deficit the Donald created with his foolish gift to corporate America must be reworked to get more tax dollars into the Treasury to pay for the COVID disaster. Yes, I’ll say it again. The pandemic’s damaging impact would have been must less if only the Trump administration had effectively managed it.

Unlike many others, I am not jacked up on the theory that more conservative judges means less democracy. Our judges looked directly through the eyes of justice when deciding the more than sixty lawsuits brought by Donald Trump in his feeble attempt to overturn the election that Joe Biden fairly won. Now they might overreach in the future on healthcare or pro-choice issues, but basic law precepts require a plaintiff to prove their case using facts, not fantasies. Yes, a new president will appoint judges of their choice, but the net effect will be a stronger judicial.

The biggest job Joe Biden and his team will face is using words and acts to restore confidence in our basic institutions. We must believe in the FBI, ATF and Homeland Security so that we don’t have to fear those miscreants who want to bomb and shoot us. We need to believe in the CDC, WHO and the National Institute of Health and rely on their medical guidance.

It’s time to end this hyper transactional attitude that has dragged down America these past four years. Productive and progressive life cannot be based on an endless “quid-pro-quo stream” in which decisions are based on the personal gain of the president rather that appropriate action for the masses. We need to stop the Trump minions from outrageous and idiotic acts such as placing the entire country of Cuba on a terrorist list. Policies like that are more vindicative that logical. Trump lost a past bid for a hotel-casino in Havana, and that is the reason he pushes normalization away from Cuba.

We must educate the masses about many complex concepts and challenging conundrums. Take China, for example. Our outgoing President has blathered on about China’s trade imbalance and theft of American intellectual property, but there are much deeper and darker problems there. The Chinese government is rounding up people of certain religions and cultures and making them work in labor camps. Human rights issues such as these must be confronted, but it’s complicated. We rely on China for their production lines and products and we will suffer for years without a proper peace treaty that reconciles their governmental overreach with our needs.

The most important goal of our new government is facing the COVID crisis and overcoming institutional inertia so we can start to make progress in fighting the virus. We must get 75% of the population vaccinated and bring forth a viable healthcare system for America’s future. We were totally unprepared for a global pandemic and its fallout will linger for a decade or more. Trump spent so much time, so many words, spreading misinformation about Obamacare that people have no idea how a more robust national health plan would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s time to be smarter and sharper. An effective health system is needed to keep our workers healthy and, oh yeah, working.

I don’t care what Donald Trump will do when he leaves Washington. If he starts a cable network, I won’t be watching. If he tries to force his kids on the Republican party of Florida, good luck with that. Here’s my big closer. We need more long-term planning and less government-by-tweeting. I don’t need a daily diatribe of the top guy’s grievances; I would much rather know what challenges we face and which improvements we made today. Where are we going and how are we going to get there? Over time, the answers to these daily questions will make America great again. Donald Trump is the conundrum. Ironic and simple, isn’t it?

Brand New Book for the Recovery

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.