THE WAR ON THE POOR

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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THEY THINK WE ARE STUPID

Government Lies Lead to Death

The real liars are taking over and must be stopped. The people who hold positions in government offices think they can lie and get away with it. They think the public is stupid and that most don’t remember or don’t even care. Following is a case in point.

During the beginning of Covid in 2020, a researcher and data complier for the State of Florida became a whistleblower when she claimed Ron DeSantis’ administration asked her to fudge the state’s Coronavirus numbers to provide cover while the government did all it could to keep Florida open as fully as possible. Her name is Rebekha Jones.

She was harassed, fired, arrested and her computers were confiscated by the State Police in a raid on her house. The authorities claimed she used her home as a private communication system to send messages to the state’s Medical Examiners warning them of these nefarious activities by elected officials. The judges, all Republican appointees, have refused to drop the case against her for one count of “offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices” for some ill purpose. Okay.

Rebekah D. Jones, the woman in this case, is now running against Matt Gaetz for Congress in Pensacola and it seems her political aspirations are being driven by what she experienced while working for the government. She is a bright person who had no reason to lie about what she was doing, and even after they dismissed her she continued to research and publish a Covid data dashboard as a free public service. Graphic below.

The State Inspector General’s report was released on May 18, 2022, and I didn’t take it seriously. The headline read, “A state investigation into allegations that the Florida Department of Health fudged Covid-19 case numbers to support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ effort to reopen the state after a shutdown in April 2020, has found no evidence of wrongdoing.” Since the Covid-19 crisis hit the state and the US, DeSantis has taken full control of Florida’s Department of Health and was able to move out the person running it so he could appoint a department head who is terribly unqualified for the position, given that he is an anti-mask supporter and vaccine doubter. Yes, DeSantis appointed Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD to the position of Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. Google him if you want to see the corruption in his appointment.

Here are some facts. To date, there have been 6.24 million cases of Covid in Florida, with 74,719 deaths. And while those numbers sink in, consider this headline which just arrived, “Florida botched Covid-19 stats in early months.” Yes, Rebekah, your state’s “official” 2020 counted cases and deaths were fudged.

Here’s a story from the Palm Beach Post, “Florida health officials missed thousands of Covid-19 deaths in 2020, had incomplete information for millions of tests and spent millions of taxpayer dollars on testing that lacked vital data, a state report released has found.”

According to the reporting, the investigation found 3,082 Covid deaths the state Health Department did not include in its official counts. Including those victims would have pushed the state’s reported death toll up 18% higher.

On top of it, Florida investigators “found no evidence” related to the email incident that officials said had triggered the raid at Ms. Jones residence. They had alleged that a chat message was sent to a planning group on an emergency alert platform, urging people to speak out publicly about Florida’s coronavirus strategies. Wow, thinned skinned DeSantis is now confirmed.

A majority of Florida’s 5.5 million-plus Covid test results — 51.5% — lacked information about the race of those tested. About 59% lacked ethnicity information. Hispanic people compose the largest slice of Florida’s population. Boy, that sounds a bit racist, doesn’t it?

By mid-May 2020, 25% of Hispanics and 20% of Blacks tested positive for the virus, compared with about 11% of whites. The Palm Beach Post discovered this after examining nearly 200,000 test results in which individuals reported their race or ethnicity. The Health Department never released those test statistics. Only 38% of a sample of 2,600 tests conducted by three unnamed state-contracted labs returned results.

The reporter who authored the article for the West Palm Post, Christopher Persaud, reached out to me with a succinct but fact-filled review of the whole Rebekha Jones matter: “The State Auditor examined Health Department data. The Health Department internally examined Rebekah Jones’s claims. The state Inspector General is examining Jones’s claim she was wrongfully fired. The State Department of Law Enforcement has charged Jones with hacking a state communications channel. They’re still investigating. I don’t think the case has gone to trial yet. So, the charges remain.” The fact is that the Sunshine State is not very transparent, and it’s challenging to just get statements from the people in power.

I draw a simple conclusion from all this. Florida’s Governor will lie about anything to make himself look good, and worse, will use his power against anyone who disagrees with him. He spent more energy on fighting Rebekah D. Jones than conquering Covid. If anything, his policies based on his uninformed opinions and advice from unqualified people actually killed people. It’s bad enough the pollution in Florida water is killing fish, but the wannabe king in Tallahassee is killing people.

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FLORIDA’S “DON’T SAY GAY” LAW

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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HE COULD HAVE BEEN A HERO

Instead, Ron DeSantis is a whiny little bitch

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

Too close to Trump

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

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

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

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


MURDERING GOVERNORS

Just Play Through the Pain!

Back in the day when I played little league baseball, I remember some over-zealous coaches who would rather have a winning team than teach us kids all about the game we loved. One day, a ball bounced off an infield rock and hit our young shortstop in the mouth. He fell to the ground, some blood dripping from his lower lip. The coach asked the youngster if he was okay. After an affirmative answer, he pulled the boy to his feet and slapped his butt with, “Joey, you’re fine. Just go play through the pain.” In that moment, I learned that some believed machismo was the very essence of “being a man.”

One of the greatest American motivators is money. Many have lost their lives because a determined boss would have rather made his numbers than make sure a worker didn’t get harmed by rushing safety processes and cutting corners. Sadly, there is no rule book or policy history we can turn to for help with a global pandemic. Rather, it’s a practice of trials and observation — when A happens, employ plan B and measure C, the result. It takes a smart government to employ such discipline in times like these, and political affiliations are now ruling the amount of common sense applied to the science.

I live in Florida, and this is my situation. On the 29th of July, the state reported 17,589 new Covid-19 cases and we had a positive infection rate of 18.44%. It was the eighth consecutive day the state reported more than 12,000 new infections. The last time Florida had such high numbers was on January 7, 2021, when the state recorded 19,816 new cases, its highest-ever, single-day number of Covid incidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida now accounts for about 20 percent of reported Covid cases across the United States. Despite this terrible spread of the Delta variant and rising death toll, Governor Ron DeSantis has pulled a page from the screenplay Jaws to make sure that ”Shark Delta” doesn’t disrupt the state’s tourist trade.

Florida ranks 48th and 49th of all the states in inoculations at assisted living facilities. According to the Associated Press, “As coronavirus cases continue to soar, two Florida mayors are announcing mask and vaccine mandates and defying the governor who is firmly opposed to any pandemic restrictions.” DeSantis has threatened to bring the state’s legislators back to Tallahassee to pass a law banning mask mandates. The governor here, and those in many other Republican states, would rather control the policies of local communities and put more people in harms way. Why are they doing this?

As the AP reported, “All 67 of Florida’s counties are considered areas of high transmission, meaning they have more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. DeSantis has remained staunchly opposed to restrictions, mask mandates and vaccine passports, a stance central to his reelection campaign. He was defiant Wednesday as he criticized the new CDC guidance during a Salt Lake City gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that pushes conservative policies in Republican-controlled state legislatures.”  So, what the hell is the governor of Florida doing during environmental, health and building inspection crises in the state? Well, he’s flying off to another state to deliver speeches. He’s so self-centered and partisan I truly believe he doesn’t give a single shit about what any Democrat in his state thinks. He’s such an asshole.

Here’s what Ron DeSantis said on 7-28-2021, “I think it’s very important we say, unequivocally, no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions, no to mandates!” He’s really going all in on a stupid attitude that this is just a “seasonal spike” and we’ll all be fine. Most attitudes are just opinions without facts.

Florida law is clear. According to Fla. Stat. Annotated §100.36(1), “Any member of the governing body of a municipality or charter county, hereinafter referred to in this section as ‘municipality,’ may be removed from office by the electors of the municipality.” Unfortunately, that would take too long while giving DeSantis and many other Trump sycophantic governors the time needed to kill more people. Plus, a recall election can remove only one politician, while others in the anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-government, law and order movements will murder us all if we let them.

They just want us to just play through the pain, take one for the team and then get onboard cruise ships to spread the virus. Deep down inside, though, they’re just coaches being pushed by political ambition and a Napoleonic need to control things to make them seem a bit taller. Taller than what?

I trust science this much

Some state Republicans are frothing at the mouth and wasting their taxpayers’ money by hiring idiots to field incompetent and unprofessional “recounts.” In Maricopa County Arizona, a grifter company named Cyber Ninja’s opened the voting machines which, according to federal law, must now be replaced. This will cost the county millions of tax dollars. But rather than worrying about whether the big lie is worth it, these inept politicians are ignoring the science of virology and casting aside reasonable, inexpensive and proven methods of mitigation, such as mask wearing. Rand Paul is at fault for pushing the NIH and CDC to end the mask advice early. We should have never taken our masks off.

The time has come to unmask the truth about Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis. They should be arrested for aiding and abetting murder. Yes, the more they push back against the CDC and science, the more people will become infected, all in order to look good to the tRump-lickers. Why?

This week in Jacksonville, Florida, one hospital reported 35 people in the ICU with Covid-19, and some of them are children. In Jackson, Mississippi, there are seven children in ICU with two of them on life supporting ventilators. Why on earth are these politicians allowing this to happen? Why are they forbidding school boards from enacting mask mandates? Kids under 12 cannot get the vaccine, and because so many parents are anti-mask and anti-vax, high schools will be breeding grounds for Delta and perhaps other variants this year. Teenagers will die, kids will die and if those youngsters bring the virus home, their siblings and parents could die.

Ron DeSantis can pound his chest raving about the great job he’s doing, but sooner or later the truth will come out. He stopped daily Covid stats being released by the state’s health department so he could avoid confronting and handling the problem. He’s a scumbag politician of the lowest order, nothing less than a mammoth mound of waste material.

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SYSTEMIC WHITEWASHING

State Censorship of Education

One of the terms I learned as a kid in Pittsburgh was “uppity.” It was typically applied to African Americans, who white people called “colored.” I attended a men’s breakfast last week and was shocked to hear a white man use the term “colored” to describe a Black man in a racist video he shared. But then, this happened in Florida.

I have been scolded for calling former president Donald Trump a racist, but unless we agree on the definition of certain words, we cannot have a productive discussion. Mr. Trump once defended his actions in a 1970s civil rights suit for scheming to keep Blacks out of properties he owned. He also bought a full-page newspaper ad claiming that the Central Park Five should be put to death for crimes they did not commit. The man has never denounced white supremacists, and his comments and tweets after changing the law that his company broke in the 1970s, show that he is a racist. The icing on the cake, however, was his active campaign to fight against the New York Times’ 1619 Project by attempting to withhold federal funds from the educator who used that document while  teaching America history. That was far from uppity; it was downright racist.

Let’s drill down on uppity. Taking liberties and assuming airs beyond one’s place in a social hierarchy might be seen as uppity, but the roots of that word are despicable. It’s a purely American term first used by Blacks to describe other Blacks who were too self-assertive. Some claim the first recorded use was by Uncle Remus, the narrator of a collection of African American folktales compiled and adapted by Joel Chandler Harris and published in book form in 1881. So, like the “N-word” and “Uncle Tom,” “uppity” was used by Black people to describe each other but took on a deeply racist tone when used by white people.

Those states having a Donald Trump sycophant in charge make laws that forbid their educational systems of teaching a disturbing, yet absolutely truthful, view of American history as it applies to race. Here are two disturbing quotes. Florida Governor DeSantis says that teachers should not be “indoctrinating kids with fad-ish ideologies” while Richard Corcoran, the Commissioner of the Florida Board of Education, brags, “I was able to censor teachers” who he claimed had displayed Black Lives Matter posters in their classrooms to help kids understand the meaning of the phrase.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, lots of white people chanted “We want to take our country back.” That’s a great slogan for Native Americans who numbered more than 60 million in 1492 but are down to about one million today. They never got a chance to take their country back. What did they get? They got reservations, the right to run gambling casinos and licenses to sell cancer sticks. We continue to teach a distorted history of Native Americans that the tribes have been protesting for years.

There is a systemic whitewashing (pun intended) that takes place in this country every day. By the way, it’s not just Black and Tribal history that get changed but there are also manipulations of other aspects of our past. Insanely, we lie about the origin of baseball. The Doubleday myth claims the game was invented in America, while it actually was inspired by a children’s game in the U.K. named “rounders.”

The 1905 Mills Commission was formed to get to the bottom of the sport. The nations’ ego needed baseball to be a game purely of American origin. In 1908, the commission declared that baseball had zero connection to the game from Britain and that it was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York, which is the location of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Problem is that was all a lie.

Even back then, “far-left” newspaper writers chased the truth. The “rounders theory” was supported by prominent sportswriter Henry Chadwick, a native of Britain. In a 1903 article he noted the common factors between rounders and baseball, which initiated the need to put a stop to this “British propaganda.” The truth is baseball is so similar to rounders it was an embarrassment that grown men in America were playing it for money. So, there’s but one example of an untrue myth totally sanctioned by the US government and perpetrated on the public.

America is often full of shit. We had the Attorney General William Barr telling us there is no systemic racism in American law enforcement, while his very own Department of Justice was investigating many police departments across the country for that very cancer. We have a disgraced, deranged and diabolical former president claiming that Democrats hate America and want to poison the minds of our kids with negative history about how the country was founded and grew. The New York Times is correct. American history began in 1619, the year the first slave was brought to this land to form a more perfect economy.

The Republican zealots in the Senate voted down the January 6th Commission because they want to change history about what happened that day. When the headline in the newspaper declares LESSONS ON RACIAL HISTORY UNDER FIRE, some white politicians want to blatantly say, “Nothing to see here. Move along.” They are afraid of Doanld Trump, they are afraid of the truth, and they are afraid of history. They worry that African Americans will start to become “uppity” if we teach the truth of our racist past. By fighting against these truths, they show their belief that Black people are beneath them and must occupy a lower place in our social hierarchy. They want to not only teach lies but also assign an entire race of people to a lower rung on the hierarchy ladder.

I don’t want an idiot like Ron DeSantis determining what my grandkids are taught in school and I don’t need ideologs determining the meanings of the first and second amendments. These people go after social media companies who have cancelled policy offenders like Donald Trump while also censoring teachers. There’s no logic. It’s simply a matter of do as I say and not do as I do.

These fools want to do is strike the word “lynching” from our history. They would like to believe the May 31, 1921 Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma never happened. If they had their way, the term “Jim Crow Laws” would not be in our textbooks. But in the end, kids of all colors will learn from the streets, from rap songs, from documentaries and from movies. The truth will eventually win and when it does, it’s merely being aggressive against hate, and not being “uppity,” at all.

 


FAKE POTUS & FACEBOOK

The Ayatollah of Mar-a-Lago

Third-world dictators are watching with great interest as Donald Trump continues to deny the results of the 2020 US election. Who is this fat man in the suit and tie? Will he regain power and ascend the throne once more, or is it all pure political theater that will only cement the lowest Congressional approval ratings of all time?

While we are trying to recover from a coronavirus and economic downturn, some people are more driven to protect, defend and serve their master, Donald John Trump, instead of helping the American people. You know who I’m talking about.

Liz and Joe

Liz Cheney’s role in the Republican caucus has no bearing on this country’s ability to pick itself up from the mat and become a respected world power again. That’s on Joe Biden and his policies. However, the way Republicans will turn on their own and publicly demote a woman is damn embarrassing. And why will she be fired? Because she has decided that truth is more important than Donald Trump. I assume she believes that Trump caused the insurrection on January 6, 2021, which he did.

It’s not only the “Big Lie” that gets in the way, but bad thinking also plays a role. Over the last 24 hours, I have heard dozens of Republicans say that Facebook is bad because they have no rules, and they arbitrarily censor conservatives. That’s a fucking lie. I’ve been thrown off Facebook for posts I’ve made, and I am hardly a conservative. By the way, that social media behemoth does have rules and they also created a phony “supreme court” so that little Marky Zuckerberg can disavow his power. Don’t fool yourself; he’s in control. And if you think I am pro-social media, said the guy banned from Twitter for life, you should buy this book and read the chapter titled Social Media Menace. It’s abundantly clear that social media companies don’t at all care about privacy or people. They’re in it for the money.

Facebook continues to ban our lunatic former president from the service because should they allow him to return, they know he will proceed to say he won election. He will get a warning, get tagged and then do it again. A second warning will follow, which he will ignore and get bounced again, causing more elephant underwear to tighten up across the country. You see Trump wants the power but without all that “work stuff” that comes along with being president. If you want one-way communication, check out his damn website/blog. Most of use who think he’s a danger to democracy would love to see him back on Facebook. We would drill the site with lots of anti-hate messaging, but he would unfriend us or delete our posts. Donald Trump would be just another Facebook poster with all the rights afforded that status.

If the wannabe dictator thinks that one day he will march back into the nation’s capital like the Ayatollah did in Iran, he’s dead wrong. America is better off without Trump involved in any element of government. Many of those who praise the fallen leader are banking on his power never diminishing. Well, it has, and it will erode further with each month he’s out of office. Donald thinks his policies can be kept alive by sycophants like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, who signed Senate Bill 2006 into law Monday. It bans the use of Covid-19 “passports” in the state and blocks businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. It is, as they call it, “red meat” for the base, but a terrible law. In his effort to please Trump, DeSantis cost the state money.

CRUISE SHIPS & COVID

Florida’s new law may take a toll on its cruise business. According to CNN, “The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it could cause the company to suspend Florida departures and move its ships elsewhere.” Oh yeah, DeSantis forgot that cruise ship companies are NOT Florida firms and they must abide by international law. The company can be sued should a cruise passenger contract COVID-19 and die. This new law doesn’t help business, it demonstratively hurts it.

The new laws restricting voting by making it harder to vote are being pitched to us as a way to improve confidence in voting results, but the only people who aren’t confident are those who lost the election. It comes off to me as sour grapes and sore loser shit. The important point is this. People who want to vote in these defensive red states will just have to work a little harder to get past the roadblocks built by insecure little minds being led by a failed former President whose ego is more important to him than morality and the Constitution.

Let me conclude with this. People need to stop calling him “President Trump.” He should always be referred to as the “former president.” The US has only one president, and right now it’s Joe Biden. Fewer people are dying from Covid and the stock market is up, so Republicans should shut up and stop playing stupid games. Liz Cheney is the least of your worries. You don’t have a platform. Trump is a loser and you have become a failed party. Take that and smoke it.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

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

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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.


GOVERNOR WITHOUT A BRAIN

Florida’s Wooden Puppet: Ron DeSantis

Call me crazy, but I have always put people in one of two boxes. A given person is either a reasonable, self-respecting, caring being or a non-thinking, unaware dolt with a lack of will or capacity to learn. The non-learners who are blind to the facts, data and advice from experts are hard to support, especially when their hands, legs and mouths are driven by a single man in D.C.

I live in Florida, and in 2018 we had an election for a new Governor. The battle came down to a 42-year-old Republican attorney, former naval officer and politician who ran against the Democratic nominee, Andrew Gillum, the Mayor of Tallahassee. Mr. Gillum, an African American, waged an excellent campaign and lost by a slim margin. The election propelled Gillum to “next Dem-star status” and a job as a TV political pundit, but his world was about to come crashing down.

Andrew Gillum was reportedly one of three men involved in a drug overdose at a Miami Beach hotel room. No arrests were made, even though the substance in that room was rumored to be crystal meth. In a September 2020 interview with ABC’s Tamron Hall, Gillum came out as bisexual. Thus, things ended for the would-be wunderkind. I share these details for context. Many Floridians think we dodged a bullet with Gillum, but the other guy is a hacksaw of ignorance.

Governor DeSantis Measuring

Ron DeSantis has never secreted his love-affair with Donald Trump. He probably believes Trump’s support got him the win, but his obsession with that man has damaged him politically and hurt Florida’s fragile health system during the pandemic.

On May 20, 2020, Ron DeSantis was taking questions from the press about his administration’s handling of the COVID crisis in Florida. Standing next to Vice President Mike Pence, Governor DeSantis didn’t hold back, loudly blasting the press for their fearmongering and overall criticism of his state. DeSantis’ voice rose to a stressed and defensive pitch as he ranted, “Any insinuation otherwise is just typical partisan narrative trying to be spun and a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York in two weeks… Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that and it hasn’t happened!”

Yes, at that time Florida was averaging “only” 724 new cases over a seven-day average, but by July 20th that figure had climbed to 11,000. The mercurial nature of the global pandemic would have been understood by anyone who took the time to learn about novel viruses, but DeSantis was too busy trying to defend doing nothing.

Above all else, DeSantis wanted to please President Trump and not anger him. Now, Florida has more than one million people infected and almost 19,000 dead. In the insanity of this situation our governor has remained frozen and clueless and, yes Mr. DeSantis, Florida has become just like New York.

Just yesterday, when asked about a mask mandate for Florida, DeSantis maintained his opposition. “How has that worked out in the states that have done it? Has that stopped an outbreak in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan. What about New Jersey? What about all these states where you have an explosion in cases? So, I mean, at some point, does the observed experience matter? I’m opposed to mandates. Period. I don’t think they work.” So, there you have it. Like ill-informed Donald Trump, DeSantis believes masks don’t work.

Support for DeSantis lies not in the major cities of Florida but in the panhandle, a much more conservative and pro-Trump region. Okay, but will there ever come a time when politicians stop the insanity of over-serving their base and direct their attention to the needs to of all the people?

We can make laws to prevent our leaders from doing bad things, but would it not make more sense to elect better people? During Ron DeSantis’ long rant about the press being the problem, he also said he was going to ask for criminal charges to be brought against Rebekah Jones, a scientist working on Florida’s coronavirus internet portal. Ms. Jones claims she was pressured to fudge the infection numbers to make the argument of reopening the state more convincing. Wouldn’t that mean that Ron DeSantis is corrupt?

As would be expected of Trump’s wooden puppet, Governor DeSantis sicced his dogs on Jones and called her a liar on social media. In the coming post-Trump era, we need better protections for whistleblowers. Of course, we must wait until 2023 to replace this hanging wall ornament named DeSantis, but he’s likely to do more damage between now and then. He has introduced a bill that would make it legal for a person to use their vehicle to run down protesters who are blocking a road. Really? That’s obviously against the First Amendment of the US Constitution, but I’m quite sure Ron “DeathSantis” has not read that document.

I wonder who will give DeSantis his orders after Trump is gone. Every discussion with Governor Ron sounds like an argument. I believe he avoids airtime on CNN and MSNBC not only because Trump wouldn’t like it, but because he fears the questions that might be asked. You know, queries like, “Do you regret yelling at the press when you were with Pence?”

A puppet becomes silent when their master’s arm is pulled out of their ass. Let’s hope that Puppet DeSantis learns to listen more, talk less and do the right things. Right now, he’s more concerned about reelection than what Floridians need to stay safe. Short of wearing makeup, it’s hard to tell Ron DeSantis from that other guy. What’s his name? Oh yeah, Donald John Trump, America’s biggest and worst loser ever.

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HERD IMMUNITY

Another Trump Distortion

My father grew up on a farm and my younger brothers helped out there during their high school years. I used to say that farmer kids learn things city kids never do. For example, most farm kids know how reproduction works. It wasn’t the birds and the bees; they learned from the pigs and cows.

We are hearing our President talk about “herd mentality” and “herd immunity” as if they are interchangeable terms. He’s an idiot and knows nothing of the denotation or connotation of his own words. The utterances that tumble out of his mouth aren’t backed by thoughts, they are merely words, and this brings us to a huge problem in our country right now.

Before starting, here are the denotative boundaries for this discussion. Herd immunity occurs when enough people or animals become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. Understanding when herd immunity has been achieved is science, requiring the same kind of disciplines as creating medicines and vaccines.

Connotatively, the term “herd immunity” reduces human beings to the level of farm animals. Decades ago, cattle ranchers believed herd immunity was a solution for bovine brucellosis, an infectious bacterial disease. Farmers and ranchers, often with the help of veterinarians from the US Department of Agriculture, blood-tested every animal they owned to discover, trace and isolate the disease’s source and control its spread.

Many European countries had to deal with mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a transmissible, slowly progressive, degenerative and fatal disease affecting the central nervous systems of adult cattle. The ranchers employed surveillance, culled sick animals and banned bovine meat products from their feed. Cows are vegetarian, not cannibals, so their diets do not normally include meat. What did farmers do when they found cows having the virus? They KILLED THEM.

It’s patently clear that Donald Trump, Dr. Scott Atlas, Senator Rand Paul and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have no idea what they are talking about in terms of herd immunity. First, we are not going to kill people and burn their bodies should they test positive for COVID-19. Okay, sick joke here, but who would pay for that? Seriously, these goofballs are using the term “herd immunity,” blissfully ignorant that enacting such a plan requires the execution of human beings. This survival of the fittest routine is rather Darwinian, even by Republican standards.

My head exploded when I read the following in The Lancet, the highly respected medical journal, “Studies in June and July cast doubt on prospects for herd immunity: despite months of exposure, antibody surveys found a low seroprevalence,” less than 10%, in cities in Spain and Switzerland.” Commentators in The Lancet concluded that, ”In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable.” *Seroprevalence is the level of a pathogen in a population, as measured in blood serum.

Unfortunately, Americans tend to collect and hold onto buzz words and catch phrases more than they do facts. The goofballs are trying to pull off their greatest lie yet, that somehow it might be better to let the virus “run its course” rather than fighting it head on with science, testing, tracing and a national plan. For months and months, we have heard about the forthcoming “great solution” but no one has presented a reasonable plan of action.

Some of our older readers may remember a hairbrained idea that was bounced around during the HIV/AIDS crisis. It suggested that those having the disease should be shipped to a deserted island. The trouble is, we tried that before with another misunderstood ailment. Until 1969, Hawaiian law allowed leprosy sufferers to be forcibly moved to the islands’ leprosy settlement where, over the years, more than 8,000 patients lived. The sad truth is, Leprosy continues to infect more than 215,000 people globally each year and there is no proof that isolation works. The dark side of HIV/AIDS included discussions about culling the population by execution of those with the virus.

Dangerous Enabler

People like X-Ray doctor Scott Atlas and eye doctor Senator Rand Paul challenge the VIRUS experts and think they know more, when the frontline scientists are openly willing to admit that they don’t know everything. These politician jerks are wasting our time. Every time I hear Rand Paul challenge Dr. Fauci, I can’t discern the point he is trying to make. Paul’s mission seems to be discrediting rather than seeking knowledge.

I’m tired of all this nonsense. Let me say it clearly, “herd mentality” will kill people. “Herd immunity,” by its very nature, will kill people. Let’s work on less death, fewer infections and keep pressing on with the known, scientific methods of mitigation. To be bold and direct, it’s time for Trump, Atlas, Paul and DeSantis to SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Okay, let me put my mask on.

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DEFUND THE WHITE HOUSE

We Must Stop the Deadly Trump Virus

It’s pretty bad when 64% of all Americans do not trust Donald Trump’s actions on the global pandemic. You don’t need a poll to know that Trump, and those who blindly follow him, are making things worse. The administration is decidedly out of focus and lacking competency to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, while the Democrats are licking their chops for the election of Joe Biden. The real problems are that 1. People are dying and 2. Millions of folks are not working. Let’s not sugarcoat this situation. The words people use have great power, but all too often that power is used to deceive or redirect rather than inform.

When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described the horrible surge of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and death as a, “…higher blip than where we were in May and the beginning of June,” he shows either a tremendous lack of verbal prowess or miscomprehension. A “blip” is an unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend. I am going to get a bit pedantic here, but this proliferation was not “unexpected” because every doctor or expert worth his or her salt told him it was coming. It was not “minor.” The June 28, 2020 headline in the New York Times read: Florida’s Covid Cases Up Fivefold in 2 Weeks: ‘The Numbers Are Scary.’ Since the end of June, the state has gone from 8,000 to 11,000 new cases per day. This is neither minor nor a “temporary deviation,” and DeSantis’ miserable baby-Trump imitation is even aggravating Republican leaders in the state.

We don’t have to beat up Florida’s DeSantis, Georgia’s Kemp, Texas’ Abbott or Arizona’s Ducey, they aren’t the only misguided governors in America, they just happen to be getting all the negative press. Trump continually says they are good people and doing a great job. That statement rings so hollow that even deaf people can hear the lies, except in Florida, where Governor DeSantis has been sued for not providing an ASL interpreter to hand-sign at coronavirus briefings. How could he be so rude and uncaring?

It’s no great surprise that all the governors making things worse are white. They are in states that bragged about making the right moves with the COVID crisis and they are now all suffering from their collective stupidity. They are the same kind of dumbos that would have given Bernie Madoff all their money.

Donald Trump is digging a deep hole as he stumbles and bumbles through the pandemic. His silence about the virus and his refusal to follow the advice of the experts from the government health agencies we pay to keep us safe and informed will do him in. He’s trying to bury all the bad news so that he can live his life as the hero, but he cannot bring people back from the dead. Then there are those in Congress who suffer from abused child syndrome in Congress. They have a sick need to please their “daddy” and they are complicit in enabling a destroyer, ruining the healthcare system and killing people. They all must go.

The reason that Donald John Trump will never sign an executive order to mandate mask wearing in public is because he’s already decided it’s a stupid idea. When he saw the radical right protest against wearing masks, he seized an excuse for his inaction and rebuke. Snapping turtles have a similar same instinct, and any of them would make a terrible president. A snapping turtle, like Trump, would pull its head inside its shell to dispose of the danger. Because of Donald Trump’s words, actions and attitudes, fewer people have worn masks and more people have become infected. It’s why people from other countries are calling America STUPID! Those same people are also laughing at Trump. To them, he’s a giant-baby cartoon character and they spend thousands of dollars to create ugly hot air balloons in his likeness.

John Lewis

Trump has so much hate in his soul and the lack of empathy there was no surprise that more than twelve hours after the passing of Georgia Representative John Lewis the President of the United States had no reaction, no comment, no tweet. And then, finally when every former President had commented on Mr. Lewis and every news network pointed out that Trump was silent, Trump finally put out this Tweet, “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.” Almost written by someone unfamiliar with English, or the customs of Christianity. You might pray for the family, but you don’t send prayers to the person who has just passed. One might pray for his soul, but John is with God now, and doesn’t need any prayers from Donald and Melania.

John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement and he was a victim at the hands of the Alabama state police on bloody Sunday. If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, click here. Fourteen people were killed by the government and John Lewis had his skull fractured. God let him live, to help start a moment for voting and equal rights. He deserved more than a tweet.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, endeavoring to pay tribute to Rep. Lewis, instead tweeted out a photo of him standing with Rep. Elijah Cummings, another African American leader who died last year. The error might be understandable, but unfortunately is another example of how some people see all Black people by the color of their skin rather than by quality of their character.

America’s problem of race relations stems from a terrible interface with police and the lack of policy and reform coming from the top. Trump cares more about the NRA and police unions and less about doing the right things. Who could have predicted that the #BlackLivesMatter movement would have had such a powerful second wave?

Trump painted himself into the corner with all the other racists and white supremacists when he over-positioned his disdain for NFL players taking a knee. He hammered a nail in his own coffin with the now famous line, “…there were good people on both sides.” He cannot and will not defend African Americans and he denies patriots like John McCain and John Lewis their rightful place in history. Trump is a petri dish of racism that he spreads to others. He’s a virus.

Let me quote Kanye West, “The President doesn’t care about Black people.” We should be ashamed of ourselves if the single outcome of George Floyd’s murder is news services deciding to capitalize the B in Black when it refers to race. I am absolutely and purposefully calling Donald Trump a racist because he is. Thank you, Mary Trump!

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 conservation 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.