Vote XV – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

10.31.2020

Vote XV

There are three days to go before the votes begin to be counted.

Have you voted yet?

Do you have a plan?

Do you need someone to help you with your absentee ballot, or get to the polls?

If you need help, ask.

There is a good possibility that November 3rd will only mark the beginning of the struggle to free the country from the grip of this malign actor, this fake president, and the criminal regime occupying in the White House.

Stay vigilant America!

Widespread voter suppression, and GOP legal tricks and tactics aimed at not counting the votes of the American people that have been legally cast, these cannot be allowed to define our democracy and shape the structure of a government that is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people.

Vote!

Exorcise the orange menace, and be ready to hold your local government accountable, do not let them frustrate the will of the people.

What can be said about the dire predicament we are in, except that if we allow Donald Trump and his minions to remain in power, the COVID-19 pandemic will end up claiming the lives of millions of Americans, the worst case scenario will obtain. Donald Trump has no idea how to manage the situation, and he has decided to do nothing at all, worse than that, he is actively working against the scientists and health care providers who are risking their lives to keep us safe.

Donald Trump has betrayed the public trust. He is a traitor at the head of traitorous administration.

Vote him out now!

Vote XIV – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

10.24.2020

Vote XIV

There are ten day to go before the votes begin to be counted.

Have you voted yet?

Do you have a plan?

Do you need someone to help you with your absentee ballot, or to get to the polls?

If you need help, ask.

This year has shown us in ways most of us never imagined we would experience, it has demonstrated a truth about the nature of society itself that is basic few of us ever questioned it or thought to test it, in clear and distinct terms it 2020 has shown us that we are all in this together.

For good or ill, we are all in this together, and now we have to vote like we are all in this together. The future of our republic and the fate of democracy depend on it.

We must act together to pull through this pandemic or we will all experience the worst of it…together.

Yesterday we posted a record number of new COVID-19 cases, over 80,000. WE also posted a record number the day before, and there is no end in sight.

We need leadership that will take this matter seriously and not lie to us, to rally our economy in response to it, while expanding the social safety net to manage the worst of the fallout.

We need to send Trump and his enablers packing, and put rational, civic minded policy makers in charge.

There are only ten days to go before the votes begin to be counted, fifty million people have already voted. The pandemic is only the most pressing concern we face, we have many other issues to deal with in the weeks and months and years ahead.

We need an American Awakening, we need to reengage the principles of the enlightenment that inspired the founders of our nation, and blow the trumpet for the new dawn of the age of reason.

Vote!

Your country is depending on you.

Vote XIII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

10.17.2020

Vote XIII

If you have been paying attention you would already know that Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is a Russian asset, a willing asset in Vladimir Putin’s campaign to undermine our republic, and our democratic way of life.

This week the Washington Post revealed the Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal attorney was the target of a Russian Intelligence operation and has been for a least a year. Our intelligence services warned the White House that this was happening, and instead of intervening on behalf of the republic, the Trump administration let it continue, they even encouraged it.

Giuliani has been the target of a disinformation campaign, and has repeatedly passed the Russian disinformation on to Donald Trump, who takes the disinformation and amplifies it.

Be mindful, I am not suggesting that Donald Trump’s criminal acquiescence to the Kremlin has to do with anything other than the fact that he is in debt to Russian oligarch’s (read Vladimir Putin) something to the tune of 450 million dollars, but that is enough. It is happening and it is real.

Donald Trump is a traitor.

Listen!

I am not a prosecutor, and this is not a court of law. I have looked at the evidence that is publicly available and drawn my own conclusion. If we are ever able to bring him up on charges he should be entitled to all of the protections our legal system offers any defendant, but this is the court of public opinion and I am telling it like it is.

I want you to consider this:

Donald Trump’s refusal to manage the COVID-19 pandemic defies reason.

He is the most well informed person on this subject and it was revealed in Bob Woodward’s that Trump knows how deadly the virus is, and that he has been lying to the public about what he knows from the outset.

Some people suggest that his refusal to deal with the pandemic, to put forward a rational plan for managing it has something to do with his narcissism, his inability to admit that he was wrong, or simply a completely backward political calculus.

I am suggesting something that I have not heard anyone else propose, but which I think merits serious consideration. I am suggesting that his failure to manage the pandemic is deliberate, that he is taking orders from Vladimir Putin, and the result has been the death of 220,00 Americans, projected to be 400,000 by February, with no end in site.

This negligence has to be more than a manifestation of ignorance, it is malfeasance and he must be held accountable for it.

Editorial, The Week in Review – Vote X

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.26.2020

Vote X

There are thirty-eight days to go until the votes begin to be counted.

There are thirty-eight left on the calendar for us to take decisive action in determining the fate of our republic.

Stay vigilant in these remaining weeks and days.

Vote early, vote in person if you can. Check your ballot and ensure that all of the procedures outlined by your state have been followed, if you are mailing it in.

Vote the orange menace out!

The tyrant is losing and he knows it, he is getting increasingly desperate. He will employ more absurd and violent rhetoric, he engage increasingly dangerous activities, he will encourage his supporters, both in government and on the street to break the law and put our fellow American’s at risk to stir up chaos and generate the fog of war.

Look at what the governor of Florida has just done, with cases of COVID-19 rising across his state he has ordered that all businesses, restaurants and bars fully open. With thirty-eight days before the election the impact of this order will be felt on or about election day, it is a travesty.

Listen!

Forget about his Supreme Court pick, they are going to appoint her and she will be sworn in. Their hypocrisy notwithstanding, they have the political power to do it and they will. We can deal with that and deal with the abuse that the republicans have done to the federal courts after the election, first we must win, and win big.

Your voice is important, more now than ever, keep the conversation focused on Trump’s horrific failures, his inability to protect the American people from this virus, or even to understand the scope of the threat.

The economy in tatters, ten million unemployed, the rich getting richer, the poor being thrown of their homes, off of the insurance roles, American service men and women attacked and killed by the Russians.

Remind your friends and family of that, focus on the concrete examples of his criminality and negligence.

Vote!

 

Vote VIII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.12.2020

Vote VIII

There are fifty-two days until election day, keep it cool and we will get through this together.

What do you say to people who try to tell you that Donald Trump is doing a good job, that they think he has good policies, and they believe we are better off now than we were four years ago?

Ask them to get specific; don’t let them off the hook.

Ask them about the response to the pandemic, ask them about his continuous and persistent misinformation campaign. Ask them how they feel about the fact that the United States of America has 4.25% of the global population but 25% of deaths due to coronavirus.

If Donald Trump would have taken real and decisive action, if he would have trusted the experts in his own administration instead of “playing it down” because he “likes to play it down,” and is still playing it down 1,000 people a day would not be dying from this virus.

Yesterday in Canada no one dies from the coronavirus.

Think about it. Ask that erstwhile Trump supporter to think about it.

Donald Trump, who is the fear-monger-in-chief said he “played it down,” because he didn’t want to create a panic. He withheld information from the American people that could have saved lives because he didn’t want to create a panic.

Who did he think would panic?

Not me, not almost everyone I know. We knew he was full of sh*t all along. We did what the scientists and our doctors were telling us to do: wear a mask, stay home keep distant.

No one panicked, but millions of Americans, tens of millions of Trump supporters ignored that advice, and now the economy is in tatters and the do nothing republicans in the senate and the White House are disinclined to do anything about it.

Ask whoever it is that thinks Donald Trump has good policies and is doing a good job, what is good about that.

Don’t let them off the hook, make them explain themselves, and don’t let them tell you that they are happy with him for appointing conservative judges to the federal bench.

Labor Day – A Reflection

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a great national holiday, a day set aside for the American worker and to celebrate the ordinary citizen.

This day is meant to honor laborers, it is a day to honor work. It is meant to be a day of rest, repose and respite, but this year it is a day that we must acknowledge our collective anxiety as there are twenty million Americans unemployed, out of work and uncertain of our future.

I spent most of my life working in the hospitality sector. Now I am self-employed but my clients are mostly restaurants, this year many of my friends and colleagues have had to shutter their businesses, close their doors, cut their hours, reduce their staff change their business model to account for the global pandemic COVID-19.  

There are millions of workers that have the day off this year who would rather be working. We have had too much time off, but the nation is not ready to reopen.

Our chief executive has abdicated the responsibility for managing this crises, preferring to pretend that it will go away on its own.

It will not.

Each of our fifty states has a different plan to handle the pandemic, some governors have followed the president’s example, abdicating their responsibility, putting it off on local governments at the county and municipality level. Some of these governors have taken even more draconian steps and signed orders that limit what local governments can do to protect their people and find a safe way to live, go to school, engage in commerce and move forward.

Today we count the number of dead at 190,000 and climbing.

On Memorial Day we were poised to cross the 100,000 threshold. Ninety thousand more Americans dies over the summer, and it did not have to be this way.

It does not have to be this way, but it will continue to be this way until we have leadership that acknowledges the scope of the emergency, and puts together a plan to manage the crises.

The economy will continue to struggle, the stock market notwithstanding, a million Americans will file new claims for unemployment every week, the unemployment rate will continue to hover around ten percent, Americans will not return to work for as long as the status quo remains the same.

The unemployed American worker needs relief. The House of representatives has passed a bill to provide. The Senate has opted not to address and the president is actively working against it.

We need the Hero’s act to pass to provide this relief, we need to keep those who are still working, working, we need it to help those who are not working return to work. We need it so that American families can keep a roof over their heads, keep the lights on, keep gas in the car, and keep food on the table

We need leadership, or we need a general strike!

Happy Labor Day my brothers and sisters, lets due the right thing!

Strike and Unite!

2020.09.07

Vote VI – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.22.2020

 

Vote     VI

 

 

The stage is set on the race is on, there are seventy-three days to go until the general election.

 

It has been two days since the Democratic National Convention concluded, having played out remotely due to the material necessities imposed by the global pandemic, COVID-19.

 

Many media analysts have said that the web based teleconference style of the presentations played well with the viewer, the fact that there was no-big-stage, the absence of crowds, the lack of cheering and the endless prattle of the pundits allowed for a more conversational presentation of the case the Democratic Party is making for their candidates and their platform, for our candidates and our platform, then would have been possible in the standard format.

 

The speeches that were given were somber yet hopeful, personal and hard hitting, they successfully portrayed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the thoughtful intelligent human beings that they are…if you believe it.

 

Unfortunately, the self-styled “progressive” left, which I refer to as the fundamentalist-wing of the democratic party, they have taken no time at all to disparage the Biden/Harris ticket as not representing their interests, not in touch with the base (whatever that means).

 

They are unhappy that the spotlight has moved away from them, unhappy that the PARTY writ large is putting up the big tent in the hope of turning out a landslide victory against Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the treasonous traitors that make up the Republican Party.

 

All I can say is, STOP IT!

 

Stop talking about turning against Joe Biden the day after he becomes the President Elect, stop complaining about the former republicans, and Never-Trumpers who spoke at the DNC. Stop making the swing voters, whether they are traditional swing voters, or people who are going to shift party for the first, stop making them feel uncomfortable, they have come to the dance, let them in.

 

For the first time in their lives they are talking with us, with you, this is an opportunity for dialogue…take it.

 

Say your piece and listen, find common ground and hold it.

 

It is impossible to know what will happen seventy-three days from now, we may wake to find ourselves rejoicing, we may wake in a state of anxiety, we my wake to a state of despair, whatever it is that we are going to face lets face it together, with purpose and resolve.

 

Let me be clear…Your vote is so important, we need everyone to vote, to vote early, to ensure that your vote is counted, to stir your friends and family, to get them to the poles as well.

 

It is equally as important that everyday between now and then you spread the same message of hope and strength through unity of purpose.

 

Check yourself, and check those around you. Check the self-styled “progressives” if they won’t come along, tell them to keep quiet, the real change-agents are working now.

 

It is time to lead or follow, or get the hell out of the way.

 

 

Vote V – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.15.2020

 

Vote     V

 

Danger, danger our democracy and all of its promise is in danger.

 

One of our fellow citizens is dying from the COVID-19 every minute and a half.

 

Over five million people have been infected, by the end of the month 175,000 will have died.

 

The tyrant Donald Trump is utterly incapable of grasping the severity of it, or imagining a solution, instead of leading he spends his weekends on the gold course.

 

The orange menace is actively promoting policies that will make it worse.

 

It didn’t have to be this way, it doesn’t have to stay this way, but it will only get worse if we don’t exercise our vote.

 

Vote!

 

Vote early, request your absentee ballot now. Go to the website of your secretary of state learn what the procedure is, check your registration and vote.

 

Vote that criminal out of office. Do not wait.

 

If your state allows you to get a ballot early and deliver it by hand to a drop box, do it.

 

Donald Trump and his minion, his newly appointed Post Master General are doing everything they can to interfere with the orderly delivery of the mail. The tyrant has stated his intention behind these actions, he wants to depress the vote against him.

 

Do not let him win!

 

If the republicans in the House and Senate are not going to stand up to put an end to this madness, we must vote them out of office too.

 

Vote them all out, let them know that their time is up, vote them out and send them home.

 

The time to act is now.

The Big City – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.27.2020

The Big City
I spent the last week in New York City.

I arrived there on Saturday morning, driving through the Lincoln Tunnel. I took the streets East through Midtown to Union Square.

On Saturday the city was still shut down, they were in Phase One, there was no sitting down in a restaurant to eat. But there was some street life, and there was curbside service for pick up, there was delivery.

The corner bars, of which there are many, those who had not shuttered their doors completely were serving drinks directly to their patrons on the street, through make-shift to go windows.

People gathered at those places where they would have gathered normally because in New York the average person lives their life outside of their apartment. Dining out, being out gathering together for their social life.

I have been travelling to New York once or twice a year for the past decade, and it is the friendliest city I can think of.

When I drove in last Saturday at about 2:30 pm. The streets were practically empty. Instead of vibrant, teaming, bustling Manhattan I might have been in downtown Minneapolis. That is how sparsely populated the sidewalks were…and the quiet, it was eerie.

Ninety five percent of the people I encountered were wearing masks. No body complained. To complain would have been unthinkable. There was a point at which New York was experience its greatest loss of life when 1,000 people were dying every day, and everybody knows someone who has passed away from having contracted the COVID-19, novel corona virus.

On Monday the city entered Phase Two, restaurants and bars opened for patio dining and limited capacity. We had breakfast outside at a Ukrainian diner, called Vaselka on 9th Street and 2nd Avenue in the East village, pierogis with eggs and kielbasa and a blintz.

It was delicious.

We were interviewed by a reporter for Univision who wanted to know how we felt about being able to dine out again; my friends were happy, and nervous and guarded. The instinctive mood was to be cautious and not let the rediscovered freedoms go to your head.

On Tuesday we went to the beach. We drove through Brooklyn to Far Rockaway. People were returning to work, the streets were busier, noisier, but still everyone was masked, social distancing, following the rules, getting along.

I saw it as an extraordinary exercise in civic mindedness, and I hope that the rest of the country can learn from it before they to have to experience the incredible loss of life in their own communities as New York has. Even on the beach where the wind was blowing hard, those people who were not wearing masks, had them ready to put on if they should get close to other people, or have the need to go into a store.

That kind of conscientiousness was not evident on the drive to New York, or back. I only saw people masked in the stores and gas stations that belonged to national chains with national policies to guide them.

During my time on the road, the virus has taken over the South and West on the United States, our fat is in the fire and things are only getting worse.

Driving – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.20.2020

Driving
I set out for a drive two days ago.

I woke up in Clarion, Pennsylvania today, its a small college town near the border of Ohio.

Yesterday I woke up in Meyerville, Indiana. I started my trip in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I will be New York City this afternoon.

I am being very cautious, practicing my social distancing, wearing my mask when I get out of the car, talk to hotel staff, go into the gas station, or even if I don’t go in, if I just fill up at the pump, I wash my hands, use wet wipes and try to keep things clean.

I have not seen a lot of people wearing masks.

There have been signs asking for people to practice social distancing, I have seen greater and lesser degrees of compliance with that but in the Holiday Inn’s wear I have stayed the night. The front desk staff were not masked, and I saw guests violating the social distancing rules with them, when they did there was no attempt at correction.

The greatest degree of compliance I have seen has come from people working in national chains, I have been to the drive through at three Star Bucks and one DQ, Masks were in use there, but not at the Holiday Inn’s, the Kwik Trips, or the Marathon gas stations I have been to.

I have seen only a few other people, like me, wearing masks conscientiously.

I took the Interstate from Minneapolis to the Port of Milwaukee, I was thinking of taking the ferry across Lake Michigan, but the timing wasn’t right.

I planned my route from their to avoid highways and toll ways and that took me on a slow drive from Milwaukee through Chicago, to Meryerville, Indiana.

I drove through Waukegan, Illinois past the Naval Station where I went to Boot Camp and attended Hospital Corps School. Then I through the wealthy suburbs North of Chicago, which gave me the feeling like I was in a John Hughes movie.

Pretty quickly after that I was driving through the ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago itself: Puerto Rican, Polish, Italian, and finally the South Side. It was stop and go traffic through the city, and nobody I saw, whether on the street in alongside me in a car was wearing a mask.

I get it, they are uncomfortable, and I wasn’t wearing mine in my car when I was driving, but what is happening here. Wearing a mask is a simple thing. It will work to protect you and protect others from you if you are infected.

It is uncomfortable, but it is easy.

I took back roads all the way through Indiana and Ohio, up until I passed through Akron, and got to Pennsylvania, in those places, which is trump country, I actually did experience hostility from folks because I was wearing a mask.

Dirty looks and sneers is what I was treated to. Nobody said anything to me, I’m too big for that but this is out of hand. Two hundred thousand Americans will have died from the COVID-19 by Labor Day, with no end in sight.

The ridiculous buffoon we have in occupying the oval office, the Fake President, is doing everything he can to undermine public health to fit his own misguided political narrative, and his vanity.

Instead of treating the virus as the enemy and rallying the people to fight it, he has treated public health administrators and science as the enemy and has rallied his base to work against their best advice.

It will have deadly consequences.