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.


UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDE WE DECAY

An Open Letter to my Republican Family and Friends

 My Fellow Americans,

When this country first announced it would separate from Great Britain and declare its independence, the Douglas side of my family had already been in the land for more than seventy years. We were Scottish farmers who landed at the James River Settlement, and then traveled to Dover, Delaware and then on to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where we grew deep roots on our farm. Over the next hundred years, we moved west and ended up in the Western part of the state. I guess that makes us immigrants.

As much as I love to throw that timeline at the immigrants and their families who landed later, I really shouldn’t. Regardless of when they arrived, most Americans are pretty much alike. We all have our small minded faults and fabulous imaginative minds. The majority of us speak the same language, give or take the localisms, idioms and accents. All that aside, today let’s look at the great divide. It’s a story we’ve been fed for years. We even paint our maps with each state’s voting preference, calling them red states or blue states. We have a few purple states, but not a single one lacks color.

Here’s a relevant fact. In every state that is declared to be one color, on one side, there are millions of voters on the other side. There are Republicans in New York and, wait for it, Democrats in Alabama, meaning there is a difference between a party and a people. We are all Americans, but if you spend any time on social media or watch cable news you might believe every person is born with an R or D sticker on their forehead. It’s not hard to imagine every newborn American baby getting a blood transfusion which determines their political values and affiliations for life. Not true.

My parents were Republicans, and I honestly believe their political choice was tied to my father fighting in World War II under General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was a Republican. My mother and father adored Eisenhower and it’s no coincidence that my first name is Dwight. Maybe I was switched at the hospital with a Democrat infant, but I never bought into the fact that my father was a union member and a truck driver but not a Democrat. I had assumed that the Democrats were labor, and the Republicans were owners. That was the first of my personal myths I was able to disprove.

Anti-War Protesters

The anti-Vietnam War movement in my young adult days was much like the Black Lives Matter movement of today. It drove a wedge between parents and their kids. The concept of “taking a side” helped rivet the armor of every person and deflected any attempt at a logical argument that might lead to consensus. Some people say it’s okay to disagree as long as you’re not being disagreeable, but that’s bullshit to me. When I dive into an argument I want to win, and that means not that you see my side but that you convert to my idea. So, there you have it, I am the problem but at least I admit it. So, how do we make things better?

I understand the hurt when your friends, family and social media makes fun of you or the person who got your vote. It’s impossible to move forward when contrasting actions of one with the reactions of others. When someone posts a terrible picture of Donald Trump on social media and makes fun of him, his supporters are bothered by it. I get that because I was annoyed beyond description seeing photoshopped pictures of Obama as a Nazi or Muslim. Graphic graffiti is everywhere, even down to racist rants scrawled on the bathroom wall of a classy restaurant.

One letter cannot heal the wounds and change the face of bigotry and hateful comments about innocent people, but let’s look at our situation. Why did so many people fall into depression when Trump didn’t win? Do they really believe that deep-state radicals stole the election from the man who said that if he didn’t win it proved the election process was rigged? 74,222,593 people voted for Trump, despite his constant cautions that the election would be fraudulent, because the voters knew it wasn’t. They had faith that the system would work. Then there were the 81,281,502 people who voted for Joe Biden because they felt that Trump seriously mishandled the COVID crisis. Sometimes when we disagree with another we preface a critical comment with the words “nothing personal,” but this election was personal. It was a matter of life or death.

You may have poured a lot of emotional currency into one man, but just like the devoted wife who finds out that her husband of many years has been unfaithful, there comes a point when an unworthy individual no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt. Millions of people doubted Donald Trump’s words and deeds about the pandemic. I genuinely believe that if the coronavirus hadn’t attacked the US, Trump would still be president.

Goodbye, 45.

As we learn more about wanting power, talking about power and whipping up members of a “base” into some deep fervor against things, we might see that Donald Trump didn’t understand who we are and neglected to emphasize the good things. When a soldier is constantly under fire in battle mode, he cannot display warmth, empathy or grace. If I tell you what I really think about Donald Trump, why must you attack me? Why do you think I am your enemy? If you really knew me, you would understand that I care about America just as much as you do, and I also have a strong altruistic side.

I’m ready to move on to what John McCain called “regular order.” That arrangement of things was violently confronted and some people lost their lives during the riot on Capitol Hill. Why? Had the radical Trump people overthrown Congress, what would they have done next? Would they have hung Mike Pence and declared Donald Trump the winner? Then what? Following the French revolution, enemies of the state had their heads sliced off at guillotines in the Paris parks. That’s a major reason why intelligent and caring people distanced themselves from the Capitol Hill melee.

This brings me to my fundamental plea. Blaming and demeaning all Republicans is wrong, but Donald Trump’s brand is so tainted that members should denounce him and focus on rebuilding their party. That would be a huge step in bringing this country back to civil intercourse. We had a president who constantly squawked about how bad it is to be a loser, but when he actually lost, no one saw the irony. Donald Trump himself caused Joe Biden’s win and he is the reason Republicans lost the majority in the Senate. It’s proven that he suppressed the vote in the Georgia runoff election by telling Georgians their election was rigged, and the voting turnout was less than that of the general election. You’re smart, you know this, yet you want to let him lead the party in the future. Why would you let the wolf back into the hen house? Who wants to be led by a loser?

I laugh at my neighbors with their Trump 2020 and Blue Lives Matter flags flapping in the wind. I am too polite to ask them, “Still with the cop killer?” but until they see the dichotomy of supporting both ideologies, they will be at war with themselves and America. In this rare moment I admit that Mitch McConnell is right. Trump incited the riot and people lost their lives because of his lies. We need to move on from Donald and allow two strong parties to act as a check and balance. If Republicans allow people like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to fertilize the lie, the party will fracture into two factions and Democrats will win every election thereafter.

I want you to have one savior, not two. I want you to separate yourself from someone who did a bad job and caused many people to suffer. You don’t have to hate him but send that cheating husband away and let him try to earn back your trust, if he can. As for me, I just want people to stop dying unnecessarily. Unless we become united our democracy will decay. For the sake of our kids and grandkids, please open your mind to at least admitting there is more than one way to make America great again.

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


ULTIMATE ABUSE OF POWER

Trump’s Pardon of Bannon & Others

Every morning, I read a passage of dialog from the Broadway musical A Thousand Clowns. “I gotta know what day it is. I gotta know what’s the name of the game and what the rules are without anyone else telling me. You gotta own your own days and name ’em, each one of ’em, every one of ’em, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you.”

I know that if I break a rule, I will have my day in court, and if found guilty of a crime, I will certainly do the time. With that in mind, it’s numbing and discouraging to realize that a single person in America has the power to overrule a judge or jury. The power to pardon was awarded to the United State president by our founding fathers. It was intended as a means of intercession when corruption, partisan political rancor or other such nonsense put an innocent person in jail. Things changed when President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon a preemptive pardon, which set an absurd precedent that a person who hasn’t even been convicted can be pardoned.

Beach Bum Bannon

Let’s examine the case of Steve Bannon, whom Donald Trump just pardoned. Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years, and after his military service he landed a plum job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. In 1993, he became acting director of the research project Biosphere 2, which was a total failure because its hubristic, pseudo-scientific experiments never accomplished their mission.

Then, Bannon became an executive producer in Hollywood and between 1991 and 2016 he produced 18 films. Because of his early investment in Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced the phenomenally successful TV show Seinfeld, Bannon will never need to work again.

In 2007, Steve Bannon co-founded Breitbart News, the far-right website he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” In 2016, Steve joined Donald Trump’s campaign as the Chief Strategist, and then after the election he was named Senior Counselor to the President. That position latest only eight months when Trump realized that Bannon was a destructive force and dismissed him.

After Bannon left the White House, he and Trump continued to talk, and it seemed there was unity between the philosophies of the two men. In many post-White House interviews, Bannon was extremely supportive of his Frankenstein monster.

So, why does Steve Bannon need a pardon? It begins with this lead story in the in the August 20, 2020 edition of the New York Times, “Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former adviser and an architect of his 2016 general election campaign, was charged on Thursday with defrauding donors to a private fund-raising effort called ‘We Build the Wall,’ which was intended to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border.”

Seven men In the Trump administration were charged and or convicted of felonies, including Paul Manafort, Michael T. Flynn, Michael D. Cohen and Steve Bannon. All of them except Michael Cohen were awarded pardons and will go free. Interestingly, Cohen turned on Trump publicly and reverse logic indicates if one says nice things or nothing about Trump, they’re awarded a get-out-of-jail card.

I get miffed and aggressive when I see someone get conned out of their hard-earned savings. I know people who have given their money to swindlers who claimed their investment would double or triple in months, but eventually learning they were the victims of a Ponzi scheme. Bannon attained large investments by using the President’s words that a wall was on the southern US border to protect against the murderous caravan that was coming to get us. Allegedly, Bannon and his co-conspirators skimmed millions off the top of those investments for themselves.

Why do I care that Steve Bannon was pardoned? It’s just my silly, middle-class mentality that people who hurt others should be punished. Even if they don’t go to jail, they should be made to pay back the money they stole and apologize to their victims. In the case of Bannon, none of that will happen now. I am even more frustrated because the broke-dick wall was erected too close to the river and parts of it washed out during a flood. Investment dollars were in the coffers and the wall failed to deliver on its promise of security. Bannon and his crew are just like those shyster aluminum siding sales guys who bilk families out of their savings.

I find the number of white-collar criminals on the Trump list of pardons interesting. It’s part of the Trump foundational philosophy that Mary L. Trump outlined so perfectly in her book about her uncle. Donald’s father Fred preached an anti-IRS, antigovernmental mantra that eventually led to his brainwashed son barking orders at his rabid followers to storm the Capitol Building.

Trump’s presidency enforced the heartfelt belief of many Americans that there are two rule books, one for the rich, entitled and connected and the other for everyone else. Here is something all those Trump-loyal Republicans need to realize; Today they must separate themselves from this man who just left the White House. They must disassociate the party from the man. As for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, they are not Trump and would be wise to stop acting like him.

Unjust Judge Pirro

And just before I posted this, Trump remembered that he forgot one more person to pardon. This tweet was posted, “New: Trump has pardoned Al Pirro, who was convicted of tax fraud. Pirro has previously worked with Trump on real estate deals and is the ex-husband of Fox host Jeanine Pirro.” She must have called him and screamed “bloody Mary” murder when she saw that her husband’s name wasn’t on the list.

We must address the pardon power of the president for the future. The chief executive should have to stay the crime, the date range of when it was committed and why they gave the person a pardon. A simple, “I like his wife!” would do.

The seriousness of America’s situation would not be resolved with jail time for Steve Bannon, but for many of us that would be a positive indicator that justice works in America. The stench of Trump will take time to dissipate, but in the meantime, we should focus on the future. Let’s try to heal the hurt of a corrupt and useless president and let only good thoughts in. Let’s stop building the wall and joyously celebrate the reality that America survived a total fucking idiot of a president.

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


DUMPSTER FIRE IN AMERICA

Trump Must Go, But Who Can Make Him?

Social media is abuzz with harsh viewpoints and condemnation of Donald John Trump’s words and actions before, during and after the attack on the Capital Building. I found myself defending my damning social media rhetoric on this issue, but I will endure. After learning that one of the Capital Police guards has died from injuries he sustained during the melee, I am even more saddened at the carnage this failed presidency has brought to America. Over these pages during the last four years, I have shared my views about the abundance of fundamental flaws that Donald Trump brought to his presidency and why it was all going to end so tragically in this way.

The remedies available to immediately remove Trump from the White House are limited. Congress could go through a lengthy and painful impeachment trial, conviction and removal process, but it’s unclear if there is enough time for that. Vice President Mike Pence could invoke the 25th Amendment, but it’s not certain he could get a majority of the cabinet to go along with him. Besides, most insiders say that Pence would never do the right thing because he’s far more concerned about his political career than the good of the country.

There’s a possibility that a powerful Senator like Lindsey Graham could be the “Barry Goldwater” in this story. Remember that it was Goldwater who talked Richard Nixon into resigning in the aftermath of Watergate controversy. Should Graham march to the White House with an intent to talk Trump into resigning, I am quite sure the Donald would not listen. His mantra is loud and clear, “I am right and anyone who disagrees with me is the enemy.”

If we should learn that Trump kept security from going to the Capital while the riots were happening, he should stand trial for sedition. If convicted, the full force of the law should come down on him. He bears responsibility for the deaths that took place on January 6, 2021 and I can see the possibility of a murder rap being added to the case against him.

As of this writing, it appears that the House of Representatives is going to impeach Trump, again. It would be far better for America, however, if he just resigned and strolled toward Marine One so he could fly away. We can sort out his voluminous legal problems later, but for right now the madness of this hideous human being should end.

There is nothing more urgent right now than getting rid of Donald Trump so we can begin the healing. Yes, he has only two weeks to go, but look at the damage the man did on a single day. I’ll keep it short today and conclude with a few Trump punishments I would like to see:

  1. Trump should be charged for inciting a riot and being an accessory to murder. He procured space to address the protestors, counselled them, encouraged them and urged them to insurrection. He’s as guilty as they are.
  2. The lease for the old Washington D.C. Post Office building, which is now the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, should be terminated and the government should auction off the rights to a reputable hotelier.
  3. Trump should be banned from any public office for life. We’ll deal with his kids later.
  4. Trump needs to release his tax returns to the public and the incoming Attorney General should open a federal investigation into his business activities while the states proceed with their investigations.
  5. Trump should be made to personally pay the cost of repairing and fortifying the Capital.
The War is Over

America, it’s time for you to decide. Are you with this man or against him? Ask yourself this simple question, is America more important than Donald Trump? If yes, burn those Trump flags that hang in your garage. Pull up those Trump signs from your lawn and toss them in the dumpster. Donald Trump lost the election and ruined America. Face it, you must either stand with our great country in its time of need or be part of the problem. If you supported him, admit you were wrong. It’s time for all of us to move on.

God Bless America, and when you hear me say that please understand it certainly must be a bad time.

I posted this on my House Representative’s local office door:

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COUNTRY, CULTURE and GOVERNMENT from 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.