Here’s another one of Glenn Kirschner’s wonderful YouTube videos on the state of our Justice system and, especially, the legal machinations of Donald Trump and his lawless administration.
This is a particularly good explanation of why Glenn believes the Supreme Court will finally bring an end to Trump’s attempts to hide his tax returns from the American people. If you aren’t familiar with how the courts work and, especially, what the real role is of the highest court in the land, Glenn does a pretty good job of explaining it.
PS – As of today, there are 13 days left until Election Day. If you haven’t yet voted, please have a plan and . . . git ‘er done!!
Amy Coney Barrett considers herself a “Constitutional Originalist.” What, exactly, does that mean? According to Merriam-Webster, it is “a legal philosophy that the words in documents and especially the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted as they were understood at the time they were written.” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/originalism)
Think about what that means. If we are to interpret the Constitution based on the realities of the day in the late 18th century, then shouldn’t the only people allowed to vote in national elections be white, property-owning men? What do we make of the 3/5 clause of Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and how do we reconcile the 14th Amendment (passed in 1868) with the “original” intent of said Article?
In my less than humble opinion, this concept of originalism is as flawed as belief in the Bible being the infallible word of God. Both require one NOT believe in evolution; I don’t here mean biological evolution (which many Bible believers don’t recognize as real) but the natural evolution of society and its economic, political, and general attitudes toward what’s good and just for a people. Our laws, our habits, our customs, our culture, even our morals change over time; sometimes imperceptibly and others rapidly and definitively.
When the Constitution was written, the framers included (Article V) the ability to amend it and, in fact, the first ten amendments—the Bill of Rights—were needed to ensure adoption of the nascent Constitution by some of the States who wanted more guarantees of freedom from unnecessary restrictions on the States and individuals.
Inasmuch as there is a method by which the Constitution can and, in fact, has been amended how can a logical argument be sustained that it must be interpreted in light of the reality of nearly two hundred fifty years ago? This makes absolutely no sense. Two hundred fifty years ago virtually none of the structures, organizations, and technologies we currently enjoy existed. How do we interpret their use and ownership if they weren’t around when the document was written?
Originalism is a sham argument and should be completely ignored. Any jurist taking such a position is, IMLTHO, an intellectually dishonest poseur and should be ignored . . . if not ridiculed. This includes Amy Coney Barrett who, if she had any integrity at all, would not allow this raw power grab and farce of a nomination process to continue.
Here’s today’s “Justice Matters,” from Glenn Kirschner. Glenn lays out the latest Appellate Court ruling involving the Manhattan D.A.’s subpoena for Trump’s tax returns. He points out the judges essentially told Trump’s lawyer, William Consovoy, that his arguments were “full of shit.” (my words)
Check out the video. It’s a little more than eight minutes. One point worth remembering; it’s virtually impossible at this point we will see these tax returns prior to the election. This is because the subpoena Vance is seeking to enforce is for a Grand Jury proceeding and, unless it results in a criminal indictment against Trump, in which the documents would finally appear as evidence, they will remain secret. So … essentially, this means Trump’s dilatory moves have succeeded … at least to the point that his taxes will not be revealed to the public prior to November 3.
I think it’s important for us to recognize how disrespectful this is to the American people. Time and again Trump makes it clear he has nothing but contempt for democracy or the people of the United States. He professes to love this country; he perversely hugs the Stars and Stripes as if it has something he wants to grab, but he has shown no respect at all for the human beings that make up the vast bulk of the nation’s people. As of this moment, we’re approaching 210,000 deaths from, and nearly 7.3 million people infected with, the Coronavirus, yet there’s still no national testing or contact tracing plan, and precious little else in the way of Federal leadership.
Regardless of what these tax returns end up showing us, and past experience makes it likely—IMO—they will show us how dishonest Trump actually is, we know who the man is. He’s shown us repeatedly how little he cares for anyone save himself and those who praise and support him. We need to throw him out of office, along with as many of the weak-kneed, treacherous sycophants and bootlickers we can muster the votes to remove from their positions.
These are desperate times, and our nation is on the verge of becoming an autocracy, with a deeply flawed person at its helm. We can’t let this happen. We need to show up this election season in numbers like never before.
Older people like me need to recognize that Trump and those who support him would prefer we were dead. Many, like me, are now collecting social security and are on Medicare. We worked and paid for these things. They aren’t entitlements—at least not in the sense the right uses the word—they are earnings that our representatives have not managed well over the years. We’re perceived as a financial drag on the economy.
Younger people, more than ever before, need to show up this election season as well. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Trump and the entire Republican party are science deniers and, as such, they cannot (and will not) accept the science of climate change, nor will they accept the science of epidemiology. The future of our planet and our species is being threatened by these idiots.
Thirty-nine days until election day, though we all should know by now that this (and many preceding) election(s) is not being conducted or resolved on November 3, 2020. Nowadays we don’t even refer to election day so much as we talk about “election season.”
I am making the argument that, despite how desperately we want to get rid of Donald Trump, it might be even more important to flip the Senate. Without a compliant Senate, if Trump manages to steal this election, he’ll have a far more difficult time getting anything done without the sycophancy of Moscow Mitch and his merry band of bootlickers and toadies.
In that vein, here’s a great video showing the duplicity and hypocrisy of Senator Lindsey Graham. For the record, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Lindsey’s sexual preferences are; I just have a hard time believing he’s not deeply ensconced in the closet. Regardless, I’m quite sure his hypocrisy and cowardice are genuine.
Of course, the best result would be voting in Joe Biden, flipping the Senate, and retaining control over the House. I think we can be reasonably confident the House will remain in Democratic control but, despite the polls, electing Biden and gaining control over the Senate are not foregone conclusions. We need to keep working making these things happen.
So . . . we’re less than two months away from election day, November 3, 2020, and Donald Trump is clearly intent on either stealing the election or causing so much chaos and doubt about our system of voting that he can delay the inevitable.
Given the importance of this particular election, I thought I would spend the remainder of time between now and 11/3 sharing some of the videos and podcasts that are being produced to educate and influence voters; at least the ones I think will contribute to Donald John Trump’s defeat and removal from office. If I have something specific to say, I’ll do that as well, but I’m going to depend on the work of others a bit more than usual.
They won’t necessarily be in any particular order, though I will try and make them timely. Exceptions may be particularly effective ads that are not strictly contemporaneous with the events/remarks that precipitated them.
This is one Glenn put up yesterday. I’m inserting the FBI’s PSA he refers to as well, just in case you want to read it for yourself. Glenn distills the PSA down to five (5) words . . .
Foreign Actors and Cybercriminals Likely to Spread Disinformation Regarding 2020 Election Results
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the potential threat posed by attempts to spread disinformation regarding the results of the 2020 elections. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could create new websites, change existing websites, and create or share corresponding social media content to spread false information in an attempt to discredit the electoral process and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions.
State and local officials typically require several days to weeks to certify elections’ final results in order to ensure every legally cast vote is accurately counted. The increased use of mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 protocols could leave officials with incomplete results on election night. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could exploit the time required to certify and announce elections’ results by disseminating disinformation that includes reports of voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud, and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy.
The FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials. The public should also be aware that if foreign actors or cyber criminals were able to successfully change an election-related website, the underlying data and internal systems would remain uncompromised.
Seek out information from trustworthy sources, such as state and local election officials; verify who produced the content; and consider their intent.
Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about problems in voting or election results, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
For information about final election results, rely on state and local government election officials.
Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.
If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about election-related problems or results.
The FBI is responsible for investigating malign foreign influence operations and malicious cyber activity targeting election infrastructure and other U.S. democratic institutions. CISA is responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. The FBI and CISA provide services and information to uphold the security, integrity, and resiliency of the U.S. electoral processes.
Victim Reporting and Additional Information
The FBI encourages victims to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local field office (www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices).
For additional assistance and best practices, and common terms, please visit the following websites:
Nearly 50 years ago I was preparing for a revolution. It was premature, but I was young and brash. Now I’m an old man and, although I’m in reasonably good shape, old bodies don’t lend themselves readily to battle.
Nevertheless, it’s looking more likely to me a revolution will be necessary to defeat Trump and his bootlickers, toadies, and sycophants. They are all inexorably locked into white supremacy and patriarchy and I don’t see logic doing anything to disabuse them of their hatreds and prejudices.
I think there’s a better than even chance Trump and his minions will find a way to steal the presidency. Should we flip the Senate (hardly guaranteed) and retain the House (all but guaranteed) it’s quite possible Trump can be impeached again—a first for the country—and found guilty this time.
I remain hopeful we can keep from descending into a Balkanized mess of a country but, should the populace rise up, I will do everything in my power to support them for as long as I’m able.
At the same time, should Trump manage to pull off an electoral coup, I’m more than ready to support an effort for California and other states to secede. The country I was born and raised in is already becoming completely unrecognizable to me.
I quite accidentally came across an old Facebook post, which I’m pasting in below, that I wrote and shared a little over six years ago. I’m a little ashamed (embarrassed might be a better word) that I announced my intention, only to not complete what I said I had started. I truly had started but, shortly after doing so I was approached by a former colleague at Rocketdyne and was offered a job.
Since my primary goal at the time was to bring in enough supplemental income to allow us to maintain our modest, yet comfortable, lifestyle, I dove into the job head first. I had also gotten an editing gig shortly after the post, which took a great deal of my time and overlapped with my return to Rocketdyne. For a couple of weeks I was working up to 13 or 14 hours per day.
So, here I am six years later and I have begun serious work on what I used to think were my memoirs. This past Wednesday I woke up thinking I needed to better understand the difference between a memoir and an autobiography. After a moment’s worth of research I realized I was not working on my memoirs; rather, I was working on my autobiography.
I have, therefore, decided I am now working on three projects. The most ambitious is my autobiography. Ancillary to that effort are two subsets of my life, which I will write and publish as memoirs: one surrounding my experiences of more than 50 years of drug use and what I learned about myself and others; the other about my experiences with the Peace & Justice movement during the late sixties and early seventies and how it’s affected my politics and my philosophy of life.
I had done a fair amount of work on an outline, which currently consists of 158 entries (many of which are partially written, some recently and others copied from blog posts that are relevant to the subjects I cover. Many of the blog posts need to be somewhat re-tooled to fit the format of either a memoir or an autobiography, and much needs to be added, but I’m currently at almost 16,000 words. My Peace & Justice movement project is currently at nearly 3,800 words, and my drug use project currently consists primarily of a reasonably thorough outline.
Previously, I was deeply concerned about our household income. I am not as concerned now and a couple of things are driving me to complete these projects reasonably soon. The first is my age and the age of others who were substantial parts of my life. As far as my political activities back in the day go, at least three of the people I am writing about are no longer with us, with two of them passing in the last few years. I was hoping to interview them. That’s no longer possible. Fortunately, they’ve all left a legacy and there’s plenty of material for me to glean from and help me remember the activities I shared with them, as well as others who we worked with who are still available.
The second reason isn’t directly related to my age, but is nevertheless a result of it. As I’ve written about previously, I have what are called “essential” or “familial” tremors. There are three areas in which these tremors affect those who suffer from them: the neck muscles (my mother was a “bobblehead”); the vocal cords (think Bette Davis); and the hands. My experience is mostly with my hands, though on occasion I can swear I feel it coming on in my neck muscles as well.
I want to finish these projects before I can’t type at all. There were times, during my two-year return to Rocketdyne, when my left hand was shaking so badly I couldn’t log on to my computer. I had to enter my user name and password with one finger on one hand. There are times when my left hand shakes so much I can’t possibly type like I’m used to.
I’ve already contacted a half dozen people, including former roommates, a former girlfriend, and my first wife. They have all not only expressed a willingness to be part of this, they have already provided me with recollections I had forgotten, all of which will surely improve the quality of the stories I plan on writing.
So I’ve set a goal for myself. Currently, it’s 500 words per day but I’m going to probably up that to 1,000 words per day. It’s not really all that difficult once I get going, especially since my outline now is quite thorough and all I need do is tell my stories. Another goal is to, as I mentioned in my post of six years ago, stand up a Kickstarter campaign to see if I can raise any money. I don’t need a lot and I think I have a fairly interesting story (actually stories) to tell.
For the first time in my life, this IS my job. If nothing else, I will leave a legacy for my two daughters, to whom these works will be dedicated.
I am on the verge of taking on what I believe to be an important project. I’ve been thinking about it for well over a year and I have discussed it with several old friends who were part of the experiences the project will speak to.
I plan on writing a book. It will be a combination of my memoirs, as well as a history, of a part of the peace & justice movement, specifically in Southern California, from about 1968 until 1973. At the time I was part of a group of amateur, yet reasonably well-trained, people who provided much of the security for rallies, demonstrations, and numerous cultural events. We provided building and personal security, including occasional armed bodyguard work, for people like Jane Fonda, Daniel Ellsworth, Tony Russo, a group of Vietnamese students studying in the U.S., Roger McAfee and family (they put their ranch up for Angela Davis’s bail after Jonathan Jackson’s disastrous attempt to break his brother, George, out of the Marin County Courthouse), Mrs. Salvador Allende, and cultural groups such as Quilapayun, Arco Iris, and Holly Near – to name a few.
The book I propose to write would be a combination of my memoirs and those of many others (some of whom I have recently contacted and who expressed great interest in seeing this happen) who I worked with. I was a member of groups such as The Peace Action Council with Irv Sarnoff, The Indochina Peace Campaign with Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and Bruce Gilbert, Vietnam Veterans Against the War with Ron Kovic, as well as individuals such as Dorothy Healey, Frank Wilkinson, and others – many of whom I will need to do some research on to refresh my memory.
Part of this piece will be aimed at setting the record straight. Part of it will be pointing out the many sacrifices lots of people made in speaking and acting out during that time. We thank members of the military for their “service”, regardless of what they did and what their motives truly were, yet the people who risked so much during those difficult times were – and frequently still are – vilified as traitors and un-American. I’d like to help set the record straight.
Those of my friends who have any experience or thoughts about those times and the activities I will be addressing are welcome – actually, encouraged – to share them with me. While I am willing to read, even address, contrary opinion, anyone who attempts to engage me in frivolous argumentation will be asked to stop and, if that doesn’t work, will be unfriended. I am interested in useful, thoughtful opinion even if it doesn’t agree with how I see or remember those days, but only if it helps me understand my perspective more completely. I have a well-established POV after all these years and I’m not interested in useless argumentation over its validity.
This also means I will be incrementally backing off of Facebook; posting far less and paying less attention to others, even with the all-important mid-term elections looming. I want to get this done while I’m still able to and I will have a lot of reading, interviewing, and writing to do. I’m also thinking of using Kickstarter to raise some money so I don’t have to worry about further depleting what savings we’ve managed to accumulate prior to my somewhat forced retirement. I’m thinking, if a guy who’s merely making potato salad can raise $70,000, I might be able to find enough interest to get $15 – $20,000. I’m anticipating the need to travel for some interviews. Many of the people involved at that time likely won’t be available via online technology.
I will probably share this more than a few times in the next couple of days or so. Knowing there’s only a small percentage of my friends who will see this at any given time, I think it will be useful to share it at different times. Please forgive me if I annoy you. Feedback is, of course, more than welcome. I’ll also be sharing my progress as I go along.
As I’m searching for material for the three books I’m now working on, I have to reconcile the reality that I’ve spread my work out between two computers: the iMac I purchased when I retired from Rocketdyne in 2010 (and which was essentially replaced by a newer model – by warranty – in 2013); and the HP Laptop I’ve been using for the past two years plus. I’ve even purchased a separate copy of Scrivener, which I’m using as my writing software, for both operating systems.
At any rate, I’m copying and moving things around and, as I was copying some photos and other stuff, I happened upon this limerick, which I thought to share. I write them on occasion, and I know I’ve shared a few of them here in my blog over the years. I wrote this one in December of 2013 so, maybe I’ve posted it before . . . but I don’t think so.
Fox newscasts, so chock full of hate Render truth an impervious gate They so often dissemble We can’t help but tremble With hope they will soon meet their fate
ADDENDUM – I just discovered I not only posted this before, it actually wasn’t even a year ago that I did so. I don’t know whether to be dismayed, or heartened, by the fact I used the exact same title as I did this time. <Sheesh!> Therefore, I’m leaving this here as a testament to my declining cognitive functions . . . maybe. Here’s the link to the last time I posted it: https://rickladd.com/2019/10/31/a-forgotten-limerick/
Until yesterday, I had no reason to worry that my county’s elected Clerk and Recorder, Mark Lunn, might not be as non-partisan as I’d want that office holder to be. That he has chosen to exploit the tragedy of this little boy’s murder in this manner is either deceitful or incredibly disingenuous. I no longer have any faith in this man’s impartiality or his ability to be fair.
As has been pointed out by hundreds of people, the man who shot and killed young Cannon was immediately apprehended and is sitting in jail without bail. OTOH – The three police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor in her sleep five months ago are still walking free. This is just another instance of people minimizing the effects of racism in this country. It’s despicable and I expect we’ll be taking Mr. Lunn to task for it.
Since my retirement from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 2010, I have spend quite a bit of energy on developing work as a social media marketer for small business, a business manager for an AI software development firm, and as an editor/proofreader for a number of business books and a couple of novels, as well as a two-year return engagement at Rocketdyne from 2015 to 2017.
I have decided to stop actively pursuing business in these fields and am now positioning myself to be a writer. I have done quite a bit of writing over the years, but I’ve never really attempted to make any money at it; at least not specifically. I’m starting out with a couple of memoirs and, currently, I’m studying the craft, creating a detailed outline and timeline, and honing my skills as a storyteller. Pretty sure I’ll be writing some fiction as well.
The views expressed herein are those of the author. Any opinions regarding the value or worth of particular business processes, tools, or procedures, whether at his former place of employment, at a current client's enterprise, or in general, are his responsibility alone.