The Death of Separation of Church & State

Let’s focus on facts. After retirement I moved to Florida for the weather, not for the politics and viewpoints of many of my neighbors. I like living eight miles from the Gulf of Mexico, but normal conversations in this state can be frustratingly divided and unproductive. Here’s where I’ll bring in Thomas Jefferson.

I have always believed that Jefferson was a closet atheist, careful never to reveal his hand. If you follow his discussions, writings and letters, you will see that he was at best a skeptic, but also a highly intelligent farmer, inventor and writer. He was not good with money, so it’s safe to assume he was never a slave to math. Sir Thomas also had a strong memory of what happened in Europe when religious zealots got ahold of power and governments.

Germans, who were forced to decide between baptizing their babies or living free within their creeds and beliefs, left for America. What remains are the Amish and Mennonites of our communities. In Great Britain, all-powerful kings and queens were given command over the Church of England, and Catholics were harassed and persecuted. Millions of Brits moved to North America, drawn by the promise of our First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The down and dirty interpretation is the government cannot prohibit the “establishment” of any religion. This was severely tested when the Internal Revenue Service fought the Church of Scientology’s tax-free status. After decades of legal battles, the US government gave up and granted them a charter. So, if a bunch of people get together and say they are a church, there is nothing Congress can do to stop them. The state cannot prohibit people practicing their beliefs, but nowhere is it decreed that the government has to fund or tolerate illegal activities within the confines of a religion.

In its early days, the Church of the Latter Day Saints codified the practice of polygamy, which  is now outlawed in the Church. None of its faithful can practice plural marriage and remain a member. It was indeed a miracle when Gabriel appeared and ordered the head of the church to end the policy of men having multiple wives.

The reason Jefferson promoted the separation of church and state was simple and brilliant. To manage a population of vastly divergent views, beliefs and cultures, it was important for the government to operate above the mandates and myths of many groups. A nudist colony was certainly allowed to exist, so long as it didn’t hurt anyone who had no desire to be part of the cult.

If I don’t like something in America, I can protest with other likeminded souls. We are protected by the First Amendment as well: “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Although peaceful protest can escalate into property damage, disruptive melees and sometimes bodily harm, we still have the right to protest and petition for what we believe is right. For example, I don’t want my tax dollars to be handed over to dogmatic and religious institutions that suspend the Bible over my head.

Here in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis cares only about the power he derives from his “base,” whatever that is. He takes no advice from liberals, libertarians or librarians. If banning a book will get him a vote, he’ll do it. If he can bend a law or voting district to get reelected, he’ll do it. He never thinks about the millions of people who don’t agree with him, so there was no surprise when he took over the board of the New College of Florida, the state’s public liberal arts college. He’s now moving it toward becoming an academically rigorous but religious institution. This was part of his quest to prove to the far-RIGHT he is one of them. You can see the story here.

I believe that a constitutional scholar could argue that the actions of DeSantis are in violation of the US Constitution. By turning over the management of this state-funded higher education institution to religious zealots from Hillsdale College in Michigan, state taxpayer dollars will be used to convert the liberal arts school to a religious institution. In the end, the New College of Florida will be destroyed and get absorbed into the state’s educational myopic vision of one man. If they disagree with you, eliminate them.

The deity of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism

Everyone and anyone should be free to believe what they want and worship any God or bowl of pasta they want, but please don’t justify taking my money to build what you envision as a Judeo-Christian notion and nation. We are best when we allow people to be free, productive and focused on important things.

What makes me most angry is those people who say their mission is a more moral and focused educational system, but they are taking it by force and misinformation. Below you’ll see a letter I wrote to Hillsdale College after receiving a letter asking for contributions. In my estimation, they are nothing less than outside agitators and 21st Century carpetbaggers wanting to get rich on large lies and heresy. They want you to believe what they believe and they will do anything they can to rope you in you. Be careful.


First, thank you for the copy of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America. I give them out to friends and neighbors who don’t quite understand what was declared and enshrined there.

Next, I would be remiss if I didn’t speak up and express my feelings and thoughts about your school and solicitation at this time.

Your opening pitch is false. You have no idea what the majority of democratically inspired citizens believe about America and the educational system.

Fact #1: Critical Race Theory, as developed and described by Derrick Bell and then studied by many experts over the years, has never been taught in public schools in America. Institutions, organizations and politicians, like yourself, are responsible for perpetuating this myth. If only you would take the time to read, study and understand what Mr. Bell was saying, you might see that passing laws and policies against “critical race studies” proves Bell was right. White lawmakers have consciously, or subconsciously, moved forward to construct laws that thwart the rights of minorities. What would Jesus say?

Fact #2: The US Constitution, as originally written, codified slavery and kept women out of the political process by prohibiting them from voting. We should teach this in our schools and, as your pitch indicates, you want to bring the document and its power into the classroom. Remember, only white men who were landowners could vote in this country and slavery was lawful for more than a century. As someone whose kin came to the Americas in the late 1600s, I am not proud of them owning slaves and fully recognize that FREE LABOR made this country great.

Fact #3: Religion and religious institutions like yours have been hijacked by FAR-RIGHT zealots and political operatives who want you to help them raise money and corral voters. You are corrupting the mission of Jesus and John the Baptist by pitting humans against other humans. You are the dividing force making it harder to discuss fundamental issues in America. You have cast a net over education, religion, poverty, gay rights, marriage rights, and even science itself. The separation between church and state was one of the reasons millions of people came to this land in the first place. It’s time for you to release the non-religious parts of your quest for power back into the pond of diversity that is the United States.

Your request for money is based on the fact that Hillsdale receives no federal educational funds. This is true because your institution has been accused of discrimination. Your marketing blatantly claims a desire to end diversity. Really? Again, what would Jesus say?

Please remove my name from your database and please stop bothering Floridians. A majority of the people here in Sarasota who really care about education are frustrated and infuriated by the hostile takeover of the New College of Florida. Your goal to convert the school to a dogmatic front for your political aspirations is a sin.












The Games People Play

With all that is happening in the world and at home, why do we need a fraternity brother politician wasting our money on stunts and pranks that help no one? While tons of pollution got dumped into Florida waterways, the state’s governor was on TV talking about how the US President wasn’t doing his job! Ron DeSantis wasted $615,000 on airmailing migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. WHY? Just think about how many school meals $615,000 could have purchased for our kids. I am sick and tired of this self-righteous leader prancing around for a sound bite, when the demanding work of compromising, getting things done and improving the state is pushed aside for fifteen-seconds of fame. DeSantis is EXACTLY what is wrong with America. He’s a smart man misusing his intellect trying to convince some people that he alone can fix things.


Only a whole family can fix a problem, not a demigod. It was amazing how the community of Martha’s Vineyard reacted and acted when presented with that challenge. They brought clothing, food and love to the matter, and people who came here for a better life believe they made the right choice. They are the champions, not our short-sighted governor who told us on TV he was sending the migrants to greener pastures. They aren’t livestock, Mr. DeSantis; they are people.

Governor Ron is pledging to spend all of the two million dollars he personally put in the budget to sky bus immigrants thinking he can score points with the people who hate them. Doesn’t he realize this was done during the Jim Crow era when southern racist governors wanted to muster up some white sheet support? Probably not, he went to Yale, not Grambling.

It’s totally ridiculous that the person running a state with a population of twenty-one million citizens thinks he’s solving a problem by airlifting fifty people to one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Wait until the South American TV news channels show how well they were received — free food, free clothing and so kindly taken care of. It’s a travel ad.

DeSantis obviously believes it’s more important for him to go viral than help the citizens of the state he governs. Go home, Ronald, and ask your mother to wash your large basket of dirty laundry!


A classless society is beyond reach

One lesson in the teachings of a holy man two-thousand years ago truly stuck. Here it is, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). You can call it the “golden rule” or you can call it the overarching philosophy of Christianity, but I call it freedom to pursue happiness, peace and self-esteem.

Let me place this in a modern perspective. I would never tell the Governor of Florida what he can or cannot do in his bedroom, and I certainly don’t want him to restrict my actions or freedom of speech based on his personal dogma, but that’s exactly what he does. As an older, retired person who is financially comfortable, this is more philosophical than a face-to-face fight, but for many poor or disadvantaged people this is the large boot on the neck that Justice Ginsberg talked about, a metaphor for control through laws and proclamation.

Let’s consider this first bit of reality, Roe vs. Wade. You can talk about what is or isn’t moral or what was decided rightly or wrongly, but by eliminating convenient and legal family planning you are pushing poor people of all color back into a box of arrested development. When a woman cares for one or more children, she necessarily must give up other things. If the child is unwanted because of rape, incest or a dominate male who was more interested in sex than support, she will likely enter the unending circle of multiple jobs, lack of money, and in some cases, lack of supervision of those she brought into the world. How can any sane democracy allow their government to dictate such a personal decision? When the laws of the land impose a ceiling on economic and upward mobility, it’s simply war on the poor.

We would rather shovel up the sleeping homeless and dump them in a camp outside of town than confront the problem of how they got there in the first place. It’s totally amazing to me that in the richest country in the world we have many families without food, and what some experts believe is close to half a million homeless people. How can we let this happen and still claim to be a moral nation? The reality that we throw out 80% of the food grown or processed, is unforgiveable.

Now, there is another virus going through the land based on the stupid concept that college is too expensive and not necessary to be successful, but I find it annoying that people put down education. Oh, I get it, some neo-conservative and libertarians claim college educators with tenure are there to groom our precious offspring and lure them into a liberal, bullshit-laden, cancel-culture American cult, but I thought going to college made one smarter.

People with college educations live better and vote differently than those who wander around the capitalistic bullfight ring trying to spear a high-paying job. Sometimes they get “replaced” by more educated and smarter people, then they walk around with a chip on their shoulder labeled “disenfranchised.” College is hard, and the discipline to get to the promised land comes with a judgement of who you are compared with others your age. When you get booted out for goofing off, that’s on you. If you leave early because you have a huge business dream, like Mark Zuckerberg, you might find yourself not driving a plush car when the marketplace rejects your idea. Hey, college is a fantastic way to find out what you might have in the brain of yours.

The real driver here is the cost of education. There is a general resentment that after you did the work you must constantly excel to pay off the debt. Bill Maher, who tells jokes and has stood out in his craft, berates college because of what they have become not what they offer. A person highly gifted in a certain discipline, software coding for example, can go places without an education, but working in an advanced science like nuclear engineering requires a college education.

But let’s get back to the war on the poor. We know that minorities and less advantaged people in America have a harder time qualifying, staying in and graduating from school. Of course, highly valued student athletes don’t need a piece of paper because of their gift, but the number of those lucky ones is so small we shouldn’t even consider their stories. The focus should be placed on the people who spent their whole life training, working and exercising but didn’t make a professional league. They may have enjoyed sixteen exciting Saturdays in their college life, but then… nothing. And the question arises, what are they qualified to do? There aren’t that many professional sports organizations in other countries to take all these former college “stars.”

Conservatives rail against socialism but liberals don’t have an answer, a plan or the will to pass Bernie Sanders’ proposal of free college for everyone. Okay, but Bernie, college is not for everyone. Its very nature limits access to those who qualify, but then, many desks, dormitory rooms and books are held by those so-called “legacies,” the offspring of the parents and grandparents who attended the same school. It’s a hierarchy that defies logic, but those older family members produce large endowments and cash flow and we look the other way when a C-student takes the place of an A-minority with no athletic prowess. And so, the beat goes on.

Attending college will neither lower crime nor produce an idyllic, equal and happy society, but it will make people smarter. Sadly, the lower percentage of college students these days will likely bring us more Marjorie Taylor Greenes. By the way, she attended a university and look what happened. She has a business degree from the University of Georgia, a great school, that produced a total idiot. How did she even graduate?

The poor are being pressed to the sidewalks of America by a new class of bigots, fools and racists. Those who fight against affordable housing are waging war with the poor. Those who want a total ban on abortion are declaring war on women, particularly poor women. And those who put down college education, are myopic misfits. Why the war on science, education and the poor? We quoted Jesus to start this post, and it’s clear that many Republicans in Congress don’t give a shit about poor people; or even obeying the “golden rule.” And I’ll go so far to say they are the money changers. They are changing your money into big houses they give to their children.









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A sub-class created by fiat and dogma

When a new law is proposed, I put it through a three-pronged test to see if it makes sense. First, is this act or bill good for the majority of those who live within the jurisdiction? Second, is the intent of the proposal something different that what’s on the surface? Finally, if signed into law will the proposal hurt any one person or class of individuals?

That brings us to Florida House Bill 1557, which State Governor Ron DeSantis has now signed into law. When reporters asked about this so-called, “Don’t Say Gay” law, DeSantis snapped at them asking if they’ve read the bill. Notice that he takes this afront personally by constantly reminding that the new law does not disallow use of the word “gay,” but let’s get back to those three tests.

This bill is cloaked in an invalid paranoia that parents have lost their rights over their children. There is a stack of specific federal and state laws that clearly detail what parents can and cannot do with their minor children. I’m a retiree living in the state of Florida. I don’t have kids in the school system, but I do pay taxes for its operation, and I see no possible good that can come from this law. And let’s be clear, these are mandates in a state where over the past two years Ron DeSantis’ whiny mouth kept telling us how mandates are bad. The man even sold “Don’t Fauci Florida” T-shirts to fatten his campaign treasure chest.

Florida’s Governor seems to be against everything the federal government stipulates, but sees no problem imposing his personal viewpoints, beliefs and values on the state’s citizens. This is tantamount to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” laws instituted by the military years ago, which have now been erased by the common acceptance of various sexual orientations among human beings. What is the true purpose of this law? How does it help the majority of Floridians?

When I put it under the microscope of reason and logic, I see this new law isn’t about kids at all, and it’s even less empowering for their parents. It’s a power grab by the panhandlers in the northern part of the state and Tallahassee to give MORE POWER to the State’s Commissioner of Education, who seems to be totally controlled by the Governor instead of the people. By giving the Commissioner the right “to appoint a special magistrate for unresolved concerns,” DeSantis has crafted a way to dilute a parent’s legal authority to protect their kids.

Should you have any doubt about the meaning of this new law, the following is an excerpt. Read on… The Special Magistrate is an attorney and member of the Florida Bar who is appointed by the state to preside over code enforcement matters. The special magistrate shall have all the authority and powers set forth in this part or in F.S. § 162.08, which states, this special magistrate will,

(1) Adopt rules for the conduct of its hearings.

(2) Subpoena alleged violators and witnesses to its hearings. Subpoenas may be served by the sheriff of the county or police department of the municipality.

(3) Subpoena evidence to its hearings.

(4) Take testimony under oath.

(5) Issue orders having the force of law to command whatever steps are necessary to bring a violation into compliance.

So, the state has just taken away the rights of parents and any and all LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS to guide their children and handed the parents and the kids over to a state appointed attorney, who might have no children. How is this reasonable or good? BTW, many states already had this procedure in place, but were those states studied?

When questioned about why something is positive for the community and challenged by what he claims is the far left “woke movement,” Ron DeSantis typically ends the discussion with, “I don’t care what they think!” This guy truly doesn’t care and bluntly says so. He sees any opinion or concern that doesn’t align with his as WRONG.

Does this new law hurt anyone? Florida’s HB 1557 has codified a broad class of people, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered, with a biased brush stroke that now makes it against the law for any educator, teacher, parent or student to discuss their sexual orientations. Think about that. This hurts human beings in general. Remember that a gay child or a child’s gay parents are human beings, not a sub-class. Sadly, I am not sure the government of Florida, with its gerrymandered Republican and white majority of powerbrokers, really cares about hurting people. Their focus is having power, keeping that power, and imposing their values and dogma on everyone else. There is no compromise or comprehension with people they consider beneath them.

DeSantis’ exposes his shame by pushing back so hard when someone suggests it’s a “Don’t say Gay” law. This educated politician knows deep down inside this law is wrong, and he hates when anyone calls it out for what it is. The true test of lanugae is to ask, if you discuss the state of mind of being “gay” is that okay? Ron DeSantis insists the law isn’t “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, but the language “prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specific manner…” So, it’s now a crime in the state of Florida to say GAY, because that word, as well as lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism, are off the table. It’s true the law is limited to parents and educators of kids in K through third grade, but the door is open just wide enough to allow the commissioner and his or her magistrate to bust anyone discussing “sexual orientation.”

I hate to be a pedantic and “woke” truthteller, but this is a poorly written law and DeSantis, who claims to be a brilliant lawyer, should have seen that from the start. I am a straight, male, heterosexual, but, now in the state of Florida, you cannot talk about my orientation. Yes, one cannot have a discussion in Florida classrooms about men and woman who get married and have babies. You dumb bastards have used general language to keep this law on the right side of Jesus, while eliminating YOUR SIDE. I hope the potential court challenges against this new law go forward. Should the law’s proponents attempt to “improve” it by using discriminatory and specific language, they will truly find themselves on the wrong side of the law and history.


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The Cost of Caring

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

George Pataki

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

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

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

DeSantis & Ladapo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Instead, Ron DeSantis is a whiny little bitch

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

Too close to Trump

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

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

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

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


A sad cult with limited purpose or power

I remember fun times at many company holiday parties once the karaoke started. You know, free entertainment in some bar with fellow workers singing along to recorded music tracks. It always reminded me of Andy Warhol’s comment about a person’s 15 minutes of fame, except with karaoke it’s more like three of four minutes. By the way, the name is a mash up of two Japanese words that mean “empty orchestra.” The mixture of alcohol and one who cannot sing often provides karaoke humor, along with a good dose of embarrassment.

One night during the celebration of another successful year at my company, a well-respected co-worker stood up to sing his favorite song. The microphone was loud and the music track was perfect, but the man’s singing was shit. It was a totally embarrassing performance for both the guy and the audience. It was like an old guy hitting a line drive at the company picnic and having a heart attack on his way to first base. That might be a good time for someone to say, “Okay, this is over.”

So, let’s say that one weekend Jesus Christ is booked at the Florida state fairgrounds and the next weekend the devil himself, you know, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, that Satan guy appears there. Who would draw the biggest crowd? Most people would probably say Jesus, but why wouldn’t the devil also get a large crowd? Donald John Trump just proved that he could draw a great horde to a free event on a hot rainy night in Sarasota, Florida.

In the Sarasota Herald Tribune, this letter to the editor really summed it up nicely, “Let’s put Donald Trump’s Sarasota rally in perspective. Maybe one-tenth of 1% of the area showed up, including out-of-towners. These rallies are fool’s gold for Trump. Perhaps most telling is the fact that no protesters bothered to show up (perhaps out of fear). Trump has turned into Mr. Irrelevant!”

That same Herald Tribune summed up the rally with these five takeaways. 1. Trump base remains committed, 2. (Florida Governor & Trump sycophant) DeSantis not mentioned, 3. ‘Stolen election’ narrative continues, 4. Criminal investigation is a ‘witch hunt,’ 5. Trump tap-dance of political kingmaker is a focus. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Trump is being manipulated by people around him. They are filling his head with dreams of returning to office in 2024, or worse, being “reinstated” next month after some amazing revelation comes out of the fake Arizona ballot audit. Insiders say the firm Cyber Ninjas haven’t found any fraud, but they don’t know how to end their farce. They are simply stealing money from the Maricopa County Republicans. Once August comes and goes, Donald Trump’s followers will feel like the loyal fans of those doomsday predictors who end up being totally wrong about the world ending and leaving their disappointed fans in the dirt.

The airplane that flew over the event on Saturday night towing an electronic LOSER PALOOZA sign had it right. This is the tour of the loser needing the instant gratification of a crowd of people who are just as desperate and disillusioned as he is. This broke-dick politician will continue to wring money from these lambs, but he’s not Jesus and he certainly isn’t the devil. If he were the Prince of Darkness, he would still be president. In today’s world the devil usually wins.

When someone talks for 90 minutes repeating their old, tired material, it’s not a meaningful speech. It’s just a show, a circus clown holding court in the city that Ringling Brothers once called home. The man with the painted face tells his lies and cheap jokes then walks away feeling better about himself but in reality he is an empty, sad loser.

A news story said Governor Ron DeSantis asked the Trump camp to postpone the Sarasota rally out of respect for the families of the Surfside building collapse. The Donald refused to move the date and that created enough tension between the two men that Trump never mentioned DeSantis in his rambling speech. There is one other factor that needs to be mentioned here. The result of a straw-poll taken with young Christian voters a few weeks ago showed DeSantis getting more votes than Trump as a possible presidential candidate for 2024 — Oops!

Trump has painted himself into a corner with his “stolen election” crap and he can’t seem to end it. There’s no elegant way to escape the disdain of Republican moderates and there is also a new problem on the rise. Trump keeps talking about his new criminal jeopardy as part of the same out to get me harangue about the greatest witch hunt in the history of America and it’s those leftist, radical, Democrat socialists who want to make me look bad. It’s revealing that Trump and his too-talkative sons never deny what was done. Instead, they attempt to normalize criminal behavior of the family and close associates. Biden won’t be giving the Trump boys a pardon, so it might be best for them to shut up and put together a strong defense strategy, or the phrase “lock ‘em up” just might hit home.

Trump’s playing the “king maker” role just might backfire on the party and on him. First, when the Republicans primary a politician with a new pro-Trump face, they have no idea who will be running on the Democratic ticket. It could be there will be two new faces in play, and the Democrat might seem like a more reasonable choice for the people of that district or state. Next, when you add sycophants to the party you end up with folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene with lower appeal to party moderates. Over time, those big mouth Trumpers show exactly how ill-equipped they are to hold an office. Once a district has a strong Democrat in office, it’s awfully hard to get them out. As each district becomes more Hispanic or African American, the chance of a Republican comeback go down each year. It will take more than extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression for Republicans to keep power.

The media keeps Trump front and center. They know he’s a polarized actor who’s great for the ratings. People who love him tune in and scores of people who hate him also tune in. But the saddest part is that no one in Trumplandia has the nerve to tell him he lost, and he needs to go home and build a library for that one book he owns. You know, the one with Hitler’s speeches.

The only purpose of the cult is to incite Republicans who think a crowd equals lots of voters, and to make Trump feel good. The real number of those who would pick Trump over any competent Republican is about 25%. People like Florida’s Matt Gaetz, Arizona’s Paul Gosar and Colorado’s Lauren Boebert are positioned to the right of Donald Trump. As we learn more about their criminal investigations, conspiracy theories and radical white supremacy beliefs and right-wing endorsement of violence against members of Congress they will be repositioned as too racist or radical to be in Congress. They were there during the insurrection and now try to say it didn’t happen. Maybe they are simply too stupid to be in Congress? Hey, did they stand in the rain waiting for Trump? Well, no, so maybe they aren’t totally stupid.


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. 


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