Skip to content

Lawyers Stopping Trump

Alright, I thought I could just sit tight and let others do the leg work of stopping the bus that the Trump Card is driving, but find that, perhaps, I should be more demonstrative in my objection and resistance.

I was introduced to people who didn’t look like me and weren’t raised in the same world in which I was raised working in a steel mill in Detroit. I learned that there were assholes of every ilk and good people of every ilk. One thing about the steel mill is that dishonesty was not allowed to flourish, since people died there if BS reined. The Trump card would have been a joke there.

Since then, I have been a tax lawyer, a commercial and criminal litigator, and more recently, international corporate counsel. I have negotiated at each stage, including in the steel mill and I have an observation about the Trump Card and what we are seeing in the early stages of his tenure. He knows only the “big dick” method of negotiation. In his private world, monetary leverage was his big dick. Now our country’s status gives him a big dick, at least he and his see it that way.

The truest thing about the big dick negotiation tactic is that it doesn’t really work except to the extent you have absolute leverage. Without the leverage, it has no play for very long. In his private world, the Trump Card used courts to leverage those with lesser assets, squeezing them in court until they couldn’t last anymore and they took less to go away. Sometimes he used the Bankruptcy laws to achieve the same end, killing off his entity to leave crediors holding a 10-30% bag.

Currently, he is using the power of the Presidency to leverage situations. The Lawyers will now have to get involved, stopping his unlawful efforts. Expect the US to spend a lot of money trying to defend his behavior. Watch for  injunctions and stays. The ACLU will need more lawyers and more money, but the fight will be taken on. The Trump Card will lose, but it is an issue of how much damage may be done before he is halted. Certainly, many individuals are immediately damaged.

About half the country thinks the Trump Card deserves to do what he is doing. However, they don’t all realize the breadth of disturbance he has started. Just wait, in 4-5 years this will be just like the decision to start a war in Iraq. Lots of people thought it was good to flop the US dick on the table for that decision, and they think screwing with refugees is no big deal as well. We will all see that it is really stupid to stop people in the process of coming here as is being done, and the Trump Card will see that his simple view of the world is just that – simple (and not well thought out). What does it say on the base of the Statue of Liberty?

The Constitution is perhaps the best man made thing ever. It is what makes the US different from every country in history. The Judicial branch is and will be the key to stopping Trump. The issue is that it will not move very swiftly. We need people within the government to do what they can, including the House and Senate. How long before people like McCain can stop the bad behavior. The Iraq situation provides a good analogy regarding a “good” idea that really wasn’t so in the big picture. Trump must be neutered ASAP. Good lawyers are needed now.

MLK et al, Musing

When you told about your dream, could you have conceived of the juxtaposition of the inauguration that is going to take place this week and the day upon which your country celebrates your contribution to the path it has walked?

Well, you labeled yourself as a possible dreamer as well, so I have to wonder if you had an inkling of this dimension in which we find ourselves, because you sure alluded to it. Now, here we are in the one world you imagined.

Fellows, as long as we are sharing, I will give you something that might touch on John’s first musing:  A person who doesn’t care if what he asserts is true or false, is guilty of falsehood. I am sure that Martin always cared about the veracity of what he asserted, not so sure that attribute applies to the President Elect.

Gentlemen, as with the three of you, I was brought to this place by a bullet. I shared certain aspects of Martin’s walk in that world in that I was in a struggle for a put upon people, and one of the religions of that world led me to the path. As with Abe, I struggled with a split amongst the people of my country, but unlike him I was never elected, merely acknowledged, a status that Martin attained. I will share this from that dimension: Action expresses priorities.

That’s exactly right!

Oh, Adolph, you get it once you got here.

I got it there, I just didn’t get all of it.

Can the new guy get a word in? I knew the answer then, and everyone here knows now, so here it is: There are no jokes, the truth is funniest joke of all.

Muhammad, that is why you were so great in the last dimension. What about that guy looking over your shoulder, another new arrival, you were always a man of the people, despite your rise.

Well, I am not as practiced as you guys, and the music to which I danced in the past dimension was strictly a game, but it seemed to be a game that laid bare the character of those that played it. My dad always advised that one should hit the ball hard, go find it, and hit it hard again. I am pretty sure that the President Elect who is the subject of this musing would hit any ball he stumbled upon, even if it wasn’t his (and it might well be a ball that his caddie dropped in a convenient place).

Hey, Arnie, nice to share a neighborhood with you again. I was different than most around me, as were all of you who have floated into this sharing. I focused on the youngest around me, as their innocence appealed to me. I have discovered that I was lucky so to do. Here was one of my realizations there: We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. – All of you saw needs and responded in the other dimension, well one not so much in the right way, but you get it.

Excuse, me, I was always considered a little rough in the old dimension, so let me cut to the chase with this thought I had there: The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

Ho, ho, ho, we have nothing but fun here, who knew. In working to create the country that is impacted here I once mused: He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.

Excuse me, excuse me, I have enjoyed this dimension for a long while. You don’t learn much here, because you get it all as soon as you arrive. I am not sure how or why, but even Albert has accepted that IT merely IS without having to dissect those aspects. Perhaps that acceptance is introduced upon the transition. Anyway, we are looking at the prior dimension, and some thoughts that were bestowed upon me, and my friend Confucius, come to mind: When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost, right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder. From my buddy: Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

Chipping in is what we do now, and I have been getting the vibe. As the first, and thinking about the newest President Elect, my aura wondered to this: However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. Also: Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

Guys, the two of us have combined in thought, in this dimension, and couldn’t agree more. We shared a lineage and an agreed concept of a higher authority in the past dimension, but still members of that dimension fight each other (and amongst themselves) in our names. Here, all paradigms are shared and understood such that we give you this joint thought: Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Well, since this started with John’s question to me, let me close with a realization I had way back when and which applies: While perhaps not himself a racist, the President Elect articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand.

Thanks, Martin, I have passed into this world, floating and not stinging anymore, but those in the other may not merely float, so would admonish them: All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.

Oh, you know I can’t not say something: Only the extremely ignorant or the extremely intelligent can resist change. People too often accept the ignorant leader of change until he is exposed.

No Good Unless You Share It

I was walking down a sunny street, lunch break of a trial in Federal Court in Indianapolis, glanced across the street at a young woman who stood out, then heard from behind me, “I see you!”.  “What? “ “It’s no good unless you share it.”

The remark came from my main witness in the case, a man I was meeting as the case unfolded, with a first name of Forest. There is way more to him and what I learned from him, both in the trial and otherwise, but the lesson of his admonishment and the follow up has stayed with me to my benefit.

NeighborDave grew up not sharing a lot. He learned from an incident at an early age that there was a risk of sharing. A risk that the other person would not understand, or perhaps accept, that the facts or significance of the feeling associated with the facts, would not even be acknowledged by the recipient of the story. ND paid attention to a lot that went on around him, seemed to see more than most, because he had “time” on his hand because his attention span was so fast moving. He didn’t see it as a “deficit”, but others may well have. Sharing this right now is risky, but the anonymity of the internet allows for it, as ND can ignore the rejection of the sharing easier than in the face to face situation.

ND has found that sharing at least exposes the void that may exist. It also highlights the difference that ND has experienced his whole life, but which he never recognized because he was always moving forward faster than he was looking back such that the disbelief and skepticism that came of up, or may have come up in reaction to his actions, never caught up with him. As he has aged, and slowed down some, he has heard the rumblings from further back in the herd. It has not stopped him from running his own path, but he now understands that some can run with him and the sharing allows for the occasional appreciation and acceptance. Wow, what a cool thing.

So, share, but be aware that if you are smart and fast, not everyone will get it. When there is a “get” though, wow.

Ugly Holiday Sweaters

I see examples, all the time, how advertising has caused the general population to waste time and money chasing a rabbit down the wrong trail. (If you grew up hunting you know that the hunter stands still and waits for the rabbit to run in a circle as the dog chases it, but that is another story.)

Presently, and perhaps more so this year than ever before, people are embracing the ugly sweater. Why? Well, everyone is doing it so it must have some purpose. The purpose is to sell stuff that makes no sense in the long run. The “ugly” really has no purpose but to call attention to it and the person wearing it (and put money in the pocket of a corporation that produces it somewhere in Asia cheaply). Does such a person ever ask themselves, “Why do I crave attention so much?” Better yet, “What is the purpose of attention gained not from doing something, but from appearing some way?”

Why does America accept that appearances are so important? That actions alone are not enough to carry you through life? Could it be that the average person, whatever that may be, cannot rely upon their actions for positive reinforcement?

Here is my challenge to those that can think and act positively in the face of a general theme of doing otherwise. Don’t concede your right to be smart and aware, even when the heard is galloping away. When you see the hunters waiting at the end of the plain veer off the path and just watch, you may have a few that follow you and they and you can avoid the drivers that are pushing the heard, as they are not interested in a few, they want the masses. Oh, and it is no use to try and stop the heard, only a cliff or a slaughter can do that.

Oh well, banging my head again, but it has a tough spot that can take it.

Better Left Unsaid?!

Being old, this truism has finally found some perch on one of the branches that have sprouted in my mind. As with a wild growth in the middle of a field, or forest, the origin of the seed is not identified to me, only the plant that has risen up. For the longest time, this particular limb has grown without much other than a leaf on occasion, but as with some branches, it has finally bloomed after many seasons of little evidence of anything meaningful.

It now occurs to me that there have been other branches of similar ilk. There were also branches that bloomed radiantly and often, but the glow of which belied their significance other than for show. Apparently, some branches flower every season and others just hang out waiting for a certain occurrence of conditions.

Those regularly blooming branches were well recognized, nurtured by reinforcement from others who walked the location in which my plant found itself (teachers, parents, employers, perhaps), and they showed the product of their bloom to those walking in the garden (or greenhouse) that I was getting water and nutrients sufficient to thrive. However, some plants, if not all plants, need to be pruned of the regular growth in order to allow a special growth that only they have, and sometimes that pruning occurs as the result of drought or absence of proper fertilization.

Certainly, most plants have only one growth pattern, one fruit or flower produced. They are relied upon, and rely upon, that production and it traces all the way back to when they first sprouted. It is their raison d’etre and they can never forget it or get away from it. They have comfort in it. They are sure of it and always revert to it in time of stress. Farmers love those plants. If there is not enough water for a period, they let a few branches drop off, they tighten up the skin of the branches to guard against impurities sneaking in the pores that are open and looking for moisture, hoping that the drought will end.

The peculiar branch never stops growing, even though the growth can be retarded at times. It keeps seeking nutrients no matter from where they might originate. As a result, the branch sometimes takes in something that does not seem to work with the existing chemistry of the branch, but once absorbed, the branch carries on. The plant may be surprised, but the plant realizes that it is the type of plant that is a surprise, both to others and to itself.

The plant that grows the same branch continuously, trusts that branch, it promotes that branch in lieu of all other growth. Such plant does not understand why every plant is not the same as it. The peculiar branch wonders why there can be no adjustment from the steady branch, but only for a couple of seasons. Maybe decades of seasons, as time is different for plants and they only know seasons that come and go. They have no awareness that at some point, they may not have a next season.

The plant that grows the peculiar branch is like the sheriff hired to clean up the town. The townspeople are the regular plants. They know how to grow, how to bend around obstacles put up, how to survive without water and nutrients for a while, and they are willing to do so because that is what they know, what they have been taught and what they have been conditioned to accept. Eventually, though, too many of them are suffering and they call on the sheriff, the peculiar guy, to deal with the evil that has fallen on them. Once the sheriff has taken care of business, though, he is called out for being peculiar, as he is now seen as the odd ball that he is and the other plants, and the gardener, cannot abide them when there is no drought or other emergency. Move on he must, with thoughts better left unsaid.

Politics is a form of farming. When we were in the caves, and for all aboriginal peoples, words to not carry the day, actions do. There are no elections, just affirmations.

High Noon – Nov. 9, 2016

November 9, 2016.

Heard today that there was a KKK rally in North Carolina celebrating the Trump win. My mind wandered to this place: Did Germans have any hint of what was happening when Hitler won election as Chancellor? If not, did they at least recognize what was occurring when they dissolved the government and made him the Fuhrer?

That is where my brain took me today.

Here I am, like the sheriff of a small town, aware that a big cattle baron and his rowdy outliers have invaded and are interested in doing whatever they want. They will make the town theirs because they believe they know the answers to all the questions. Doesn’t matter that a few Native Americans, Coloreds or Mexicans might be inconvenienced. Also doesn’t matter what the women in town think or any of the other folks that are not like them. Heck, they tamed this country, didn’t they? They will make it just like it used to be – before all these folks showed up.

Well, I will fight them when the time comes, and call them out when they are in my presence. That is all I can do, not because I choose to, but because I would have to choose not to. High Noon?

Don’t expect any backup, though, cause it rarely comes. Oh, once a couple of marines came to back me up, just for sport, when I challenged a gang of about 40. That was fun, and maybe why the marines joined in. Anybody else want to come out and play?

Ali, Arnie & Trump

I grew up in Latrobe, PA. Since I am 63 years old, I met both Mr. Rogers and Arnie Palmer as a kid. Mr. Rogers was a dear friend of my mother, and they shared music together anytime they could. I think I was at Mr. Rogers’ Ordination Ceremony to become a Presbyterian Minister when I was 5. I was in the presence of Arnie many times, seeing him relaxed and goofing with his high school contemporaries as an adult, including physical give and take with my dad and my uncle, who were both bigger than him, and others. My sister was given a trophy by him three years in a row for winning junior golf events. My other sister was in a picture in Sports Illustrated, sitting on the back of his snowmobile. We all had signed pictures from Mr. Rogers with our names on them.

I did not know a single black person or a single Latino person in Latrobe. In fact, I never had a substantive discussion with a black or Latino person until I worked in a steel mill in Detroit. Roberto Clemente was a hero of mine growing up. When I heard his accented English on TV it was OK with me, since I had no reason to think otherwise. Some people made fun of his language, using phonetics in writing it out. Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell and Jim Brown were the three guys that were my reference point for being black, plus Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 68 Olympics. What a great set of people to provide a foundation for my understanding of people who were not in my world.

Latrobe was a “mill town”, a town that had a steel mill in town and related places like a foundry, a forge shop, tool machining shops, etc. There was a whistle that went off at 7:30, 3:30 and 11:30 everyday – shift change. It was a town in which honesty was practiced, as when a lie is told in a mill, people can get hurt badly, or die. As I have aged I have learned that not all towns/cities are honest. I have also learned that in sports, honesty usually surfaces, even though there have been some notable exceptions. Ali was honest. Can you imagine someone asking even the young Ali to throw a fight? Palmer was honest. Can you imagine him rolling a ball over when no one was looking? Clemente, Brown and Russell – same is true.

Why should anyone care about what I am writing here? Stay with me, please.

I live in Louisville, KY now. When Ali died I learned what an impact a great figure can have on people. I rode my bicycle to the Cemetery in which Ali was to be interred, only to find out the motorcade was about 2 hours behind schedule. What the heck, I had a bike, I was at the East end of Broadway and Ali’s childhood home was about 3 miles west of where I was and traffic on Broadway had already been blocked. I rode down Broadway, heading west on a mission to see the Great One’s last trip. Little did I know the beauty I would witness. About a mile in, I stopped near a McDonalds and ended up talking to a coat and tie wearing black man of near my age. Turns out he was a Vietnam Vet from Washington, DC. I asked him why he was here in Louisville and he told me that once he learned of Ali’s death it occurred to him that there was no place else he could be on that particular day. He told me those in his hotel all had car plates from other states. As we parted, he suggested I go by the two ladies from Baton Rouge and say hi to them. They were perplexed when I rode over and said hello, but then they smiled and we talked for a while.

At the Federal Courthouse I talked to some officers out front and found out I might be able to intercept the motorcade as it came off the freeway by cutting a little towards the river. I missed it, but I went by Central High School, the traditional black school in town and rode by the original Porter Funeral Home. The location was a physical reminder that the Porter Funeral Home from which the procession started that day, a little east and south of Louisville, would not have existed as a black owned business in Ali’s youth, as it was under other ownership and another name when I first came to Louisville in the early ‘80s. Without people like Ali, “blackness” would not be accepted as far and wide as it was now – in Louisville and elsewhere.

Remember, I am riding on a bike, so there was lots of time to think. I followed my instinct and finally met up with the procession about a block after it passed Ali’s childhood home. I missed the landmark, which was OK with me, but I was in the neighborhood. Literally and emotionally I was in the neighborhood. Here it came. Children threw flowers, people cheered. I didn’t notice that they were a little perplexed when talking to me, but after it all passed and I prepared to ride away, I realized that I was the only white person in the neighborhood. I felt OK though, maybe because I used to play basketball in Detroit when I was the only white guy on the court and in the neighborhood (south side off Jefferson, Memorial Park in River Rouge was one of my favorite haunts).

I went back streets to intercept the procession 4 more times, even riding down Broadway about a half a mile ahead of the procession at one point. The cops and people were cool. No one had to be held back and people were allowed to run up and touch the car, run next to it, etc. No one misbehaved. Ali’s will was still prevalent. Will Smith and Mike Tyson leaned out windows and slapped hands with fans. We headed east and away they went into Cave Hill Cemetery. I have yet to visit the grave, but I will when the time is right.

Last week I happened upon the televised funeral celebration for Arnie held at the St. Vincent Basilica in Latrobe. Unlike Ali, who lived in Berrien Springs, MI in his later years, Arnie never could get clear of Latrobe. Everyone knew him there and accepted him as a normal guy. Ali was always different to the societal types in Louisville, and while they helped him start his climb up the ladder, they were also a reminder that he was not one of them. Arnie grew up on the outer edge of town, and Mr. Rogers’ family was the Patriarch family of the town. The library is the Rogers Library and the public pool is the Rogers McFeely pool.

Arnie was not part of the societal set when growing up. He lived on a nine hole course for which his dad was grounds keeper and pro! But, the fact that he was white, and Presbyterian, and involved with golf, brought him into contact with the societal crowd such that when he rose high his acceptance was total. Arnie made golf a game for the common man, breaking a barrier just as Ali did, but one that was not as obvious. In my youth, all most all golf was at country clubs, with dress codes, high membership cost and a sense of aloofness that was hard to deny. Now you can golf in a sleeveless shirt on a public course. Good or bad, it is changed.

Arnie, Mr. Rogers, Ali, Clemente, Brown and Russell were all honest. In sports, you cannot be one of the best unless you are honest, especially a team sport. Golf is a sport that has always relied upon self-enforcement of the rules, as a point of pride even among those who play. I was lucky to be greatly influenced by the example they set through their actions.

Here is why I wrote this (finally): Any one of those guys would not give Donald Trump the time of day after seeing the video depicting how he felt stardom gave him the right to do anything he wanted with women. I don’t care if Trump maintains it was just locker room talk. Arnie has straightened out bigger men than Trump for lesser breaches of etiquette and behavior, and even in a “locker room”, especially the Latrobe Country Club locker room, he would not have put up with Trump’s behavior or language. Can you imagine how Ali would address Trump? Clemente, I like to think, would have ignored the man once aware of his stances on various issues and especially with awareness of the locker room banter.  Brown and Russell, well they are still here so let’s see. Any reasonably adjusted man should reject Trump’s presence. The vignette shows how low his character really is and in the end, as depicted by the good byes to Ali and Arnie, character, honesty and integrity outweigh fame and money. Character is what endeared Ali and Arnie to EVERYONE. Arnie probably never knew any black people well, but he would never slight one either. (He knew Trevino so I can’t make the same statement on the Latino front, and both of them would likely get a laugh out of that observation, which is why I articulated it.) What say you Mr. Trevino?

I realize this may be for naught, but I had to get it off my mind. Trump just has no character and no honesty or integrity in what he has espoused. The guys listed above taught me better and it is my hope that America can see the worth of doing better than what Trump espouses – on so many levels. If Trump had grown up in Latrobe, he was the kind of guy who would be ignored, reduced to hanging out on the fringe and looking for a ride home. Mr. Rogers would have had time for him, but I am pretty sure that even his patience would have worn thin.

Trump will get even uglier as the election gets close. He embraces ugly as he knows that it wears down those who don’t like to swim in that pool, just like filing bankruptcy wears down people who want to compete honestly. It is time for all people of character to turn their back to Trump and relegate him to the fringe at which he belongs.