A new verse to a Dylan Song

The tune will come to you from the chorus. Think Peter, Paul and Mary singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

How many lies can one man tell,
Before people be-gin to hear?
How many folks can his ego exploit,
Before they can see whom to fear?
Yes, and how many groups must this candidate demean,
Before they can see him very clear.
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.

This man is an apocalyptically bad candidate who would would further harm America, our allies and our planet. His history tells us all we need to know how he will operate.

Sing with me and vote for a “sane, competent” candidate as Michael Bloomberg called her. She is not perfect, but she is well respected worldwide and will serve us well, all of us.

Attorney who worked for Trump – Please don’t support him

An article, written by Thomas M. Wells, who worked as an attorney for Donald Trump, appeared in the Huffington Post at the end of last month. The article which is entitled “Donald Trump Hired Me As An Attorney. Please Don’t Support Him For President” can be found by the link at the end of this post.

Rather than repeat the article, which I encourage you to read, let me summarize his twenty reasons and offer two quotes that are quite informational. I will leave how the words appeared when I cut and pasted.

1. The man lies all the time.

2. It is actually not all about the candidate.

3. U.S. presidents are by design not kings.

4. The devil IS in the details.

5. Words matter.

6. Reading is good. So is studying. (See the first quote below).

7. The new vocabulary we are adjusting to is not a good one.

8. We need to be careful with “tough.”

9. Success does matter. (He notes Trump’s history has many failures).

10. We could not be the great country we are without the First Amendment, but our media may kill us. (He is noting the importance of the media).

11. Temperament, demeanor and character are important. (See second quote below)

12. The emperor and his clothes.

13. Sophomoric speech tricks don’t work ― at least not with most of us

14. A thin skin does not work for a president.

15. Bullies will always exist somewhere, but the White House should not be that somewhere.

16. Law and order. (He is noting the President has little impact on policing).

17. Incoherent rants, often contradictory, does not a foreign policy make.

18. How will anyone effectively be president if we don’t at least respect the office?

19. Rich and powerful guys have to play by the rules, too.

20. We must stand for something.

I found this first quote from Wells very compelling as Trump’s main opponent is clearly a policy wonk with significant experience and studies what is necessary to do the job. Wells says about Trump’s lack of concern and interest in knowing the details, “It is a special and unique form of arrogance to think you could even consider being literally the leader of the free world without doing the work to deeply understand the job.”

This second quote is also of importance as it indicates the make up of the man’s character. Wells says about Trump, “He is the spoiled young man of privilege with the “right” race … and family fortune to succeed easily and who looks down on others lacking in any of the above who do not.”

I have said many times, every thing one needs to know about Donald Trump’s lack of veracity as a candidate is in his history and it is not hard to find. Rather than me reiterate my reasons, I think it is good for someone who worked for him as an attorney to do so. If you are considering Trump or have concerns about him, please read this article. To be frank, I am surprised he has gotten as far as he has with his history of exploitation of others.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-hired-me-as-an-attorneyplease-dont_us_579e52dee4b00e7e269fb30f?section=&

A few vignettes to make work fun

I have shared a few of these work vignettes before, but I think we could all use a laugh these days.

– A friend and colleague left for a meeting 90 minutes up the road. After about an hour, the client showed up in our office for said meeting. Can you say “uh-oh?”

– A couple of colleagues were meeting with a woman who had pictures of Don Knotts all over her office. After trying to make small talk about the pictures, she finally said she just loved Barney Fife. Better not tell Thelma Lou.

– Two of us were meeting with a prospective client at their office at the plant. Since we drove awhile, we asked for the restroom, which was just inside the plant. My friend went first and as the door shut, the sign said “Women.” Just as I noticed, a line started forming. My male friend walked out and said he thought it was pretty progressive to have a tampon machine in a unisex restroom.

– An old boss told the story of a very sad and funny insurance claim he handled early in his career. Apparently, this company had someone clean the toilets with gasoline. When one of the employees snuck a smoke break in the restroom, he unfortunately tossed his lit cigarette into a toilet and the explosion propelled him off the throne. Not, the way to go, so to speak.

– Speaking of cigarettes, my boss and his boss, who were smokers, were interviewing a medical doctor, who they did not know smoked. So, our two guys chose not to smoke, as did the doctor, and this lasted for a couple of hours. When they got back together for a follow-up interview, the doctor said, “I must tell you, I need to have a smoke especially if we meet for two hours again.” Relieved, our two guys pulled out their cigarettes as well and conducted the smoky interview.

– An old boss was meeting early one morning with prospective client. Since the man’s AA was not in yet, he waved my boss back and proceeded with small talk about an easement infringement on a piece of property. When the guy asked my boss what he should do, my boss said “I think you should hire a lawyer.” The guy looked at him and said “Who are you?” Apparently, he thought a lawyer was his first meeting. My boss did not make the sale that day.

– This same old boss was near San Francisco with a colleague and they were driving this windy, mountainous road trying to locate a manufacturing plant pre-GPS. When they came upon a bicyclist pedaling away, they slowed and asked him for directions. While telling them, the bicyclist ran off a ledge. They stopped the car and looked over the ledge scared to find out the bad news. The man was on another ledge ten feet below, lying on top of his bicycle, still telling them directions. They said “Forget that, are you alright?’ He was, but he wanted to be informative.

– I once had a client, where the benefits attorney in their Legal Department would often argue with the Benefits Director in HR. For some reason, I was on good terms with both, so each would call me separately for ammunition on the same argument. When I realized what was happening, I was able to coax them toward resolution, helping them to see the other person’s argument, which I had help frame. Talk about arguing with yourself.

– I had colleague who was late for a meeting with a client’s Board of Directors about two hours away for an unusual reason. A cattle carrying truck had overturned on I-95 and, unfortunately, several steers did not survive the wreck and were littered all over the road. When he returned to his office and flipped on his desktop computer, his screen saver opened up to a Chick-Fil-A screen complete with cows saying “eat mor Chikin.”

– Speaking of Board meetings, I was taking this colleague’s boss to one for a prospective client and I had a flat tire. So, rolling up my sleeves, I changed the tire while he called our main contact. We made it on time, but I had to run to the rest room to get cleaned up. We got hired, as I guess they were impressed we could change a tire, as well.

– We were attending a major finalist meeting for a client for a new project. Two of our key folks had personal family reasons they could not attend, but could join by phone, pre-Skype or videoconferencing. So, we made life-size torso shots of each and sat them in chairs by the phone, so the client could see who they were talking with. We got hired and my contact said the committee was impressed with our improvisation and fun.

– Let me close with a story about one of my favorite consultants, who stood less than 5 feet tall, but whose subject matter and industry knowledge was far larger. Proposing to do business with one of our larger clients, we went last for the finalist presentation. My short friend was asked what she thought about what they were doing and, as per usual, she was very frank, with necessary diplomacy thrown in. My main contact told me later after we were hired, when the committee discussed whom to hire, one guy pointed at my friend’s vacated chair and said “That little fireball who sat there will tell us what we need to hear.”

I would love to hear some of your funny work stories. Please feel free to share.

 

 

 

One written speech and 16 lies

What has been drowned out of the news by his own inability to avoid saying something hateful, inflammatory or inane, is Donald Trump’s economic speech in Detroit on Monday. This was supposed to be the reset of his campaign to make him look like a more serious-minded candidate. Our blogging friend Jill Dennison, a CPA by trade, as summarized her thoughts on the economic changes, a link which I provide below called “The Wizard of Trump…Smoke & Mirrors.”

What I want to focus on is the fact a written and read speech by Trump included sixteen untruthful statements. Let’s just call them what they are – lies. Per the two main nonpartisan fact checkers, Trump has been the most prodigious liar ever in a Presidential campaign. As a voter, I pay attention to fact checking, even though Trump has done a yeoman’s job to tell his followers fact checkers are all biased. However, I can recite off the top of my head at least a dozen lies by Trump that are verified as such by multiple sources.

Yet, what makes the speech so troubling, is it was likely written by his speechwriters with influence by his economic advisors. Given its importance, it was likely reviewed multiple times. With all of that review, it still contained sixteen lies. Why? The sad truth is “truth” no longer matters in politics, especially with Trump. Stephen Colbert termed it “truthiness” but that gives too much credit to Trump and his team. Many of these lies have been repeated multiple times and proven to be incorrect, but he and his team still use them. For example, we are not the most taxed country in the world, not even close, although Trump would have you believe otherwise

Rather than reiterate them here, a link to a brief article can be found below that summarizes each of the lies, their frequency and their relative lack of veracity. So, when a Trump supporter says he or she is voting for Trump because he tells the truth, please feel free to share this one example. In truth, Donald Trump, like most narcissists, would not know the truth if he tripped over it.

**************************************************************

The Wizard of Trump … Smoke & Mirrors

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheckingtrump/fact-checking-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-speech-to-the-detroit-economic-club/ar-BBvpLda?li=AA5a8k&ocid=spartanntp

Tuesday’s Gone with the Wind

The above song lyric is from a great song by Lynryd Skynryd, a southern rock band hailing from my home town. It is a fitting song, since the initial band left us much too soon after a tragic plane crash that took its lead singer and others and altered its course.

With this song lyric in mind, I want to note a few other things that seemingly have “gone with the wind” or at least are eroding away:

– Civil discourse seems to be on the demise at a time when we need it most. If you disagree with someone, you need not take his or head off. Respond the way you would want to be responded to. And, listen to hear and not to respond.

– Handwritten letters are a lost art it seems. To me, it is a treat to get a note or card in the mail. When my first son went to college, I sent him a letter a week. When we moved him out, I stumbled onto the saved letters.

– Political correctness can be over done, but abandoning it for frank dialogue does not give the speaker the right to lie or be a jerk. One can be frank and still have a sense of decorum. See Civil discourse above.

– Privacy continues its decline, with Social Media, marketing segmentation and mining, hacking, and the absence of filters between people’s brains and fingers or mouth. Just because you think it or did it, does not mean we need to know about it.

– Our world remains a beautiful place. The biggest threat to it is us. All religious documents encourage us to be better stewards of our earth. There is no Planet B, so we better take care of this one.

If there is a theme above, it is we must treat each other and our planet better. We could start by treating ourselves with more respect. We are an imperfect lot, so we should cut each other a break. We can have civil discourse to discuss our problems. We stand a better chance of solving them that way.

Voter suppression is an ugly art form

Before the North Carolina General Assembly signed off on the Voter ID Law a couple of years ago, I wrote an email to members of the General Assembly. The thrust of my email is the law is unconstitutional and Jim Crow-like and should not be passed. I received a very ridiculing retort from a legislator who took offense that I dare use the term “Jim Crow-like” to describe the law. My response to him was much more straightforward – as a white man who used to be a Republican, you and I both know what this law is all about.

After its passing, Aasif Mandvi, as a member of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show interviewed the Republican Party  precinct leader of Buncombe County which includes Asheville, NC. The GOP leader responded to questions in a comically racist manner then added the line defining what the law is all about. He said the law is designed to “kick the Democrats’ butts.” To some of his racist comments, Mandvi responded, “you do realize we can hear you?” The leader resigned the next day, with the State Republican leadership saying the Buncombe County leader’s remarks did not represent the party’s position. Based on my opinion, he resigned because he told the truth and it embarrassed the party (a link is below).

Last summer, to thwart off a negative court decision, the General Assembly softened the law trying to appease the judge. The leaders of the General Assembly recognized fully they had overplayed their hand. Yet, the unconstitutional elements remained. The appellate court ruling last week that the law is unconstitutional added some severe language to their ruling. The judges said the drafters “surgically” devised the features of the law to suppress votes of African-Americans by specifically focusing on racial voting data. The court even cited this interview as part of the evidence.

The General Assembly’s attorneys could not cite one example of voter fraud when asked in court, even though voter fraud is their stated reason for the law. Yet, while a miniscule amount of fraud might exist, per The Washington Post in an October 13, 2014 article called “The disconnect between voter ID laws and voter fraud,” most voting fraud occurs in the absentee ballots. However, most Voter ID laws, like the NC one, do not address this exposure. So, in my view, the only voter fraud occurred with the drafters of the Voter ID Law itself. And, when people focus only on the ID part of the law, that is only one part of the law that discriminates. The elimination of same day registration, fewer early voting days, fewer precincts for early voting and restrictions on students voting on campus all add up to voter suppression.

It took 100 years for African-American voters to be able to vote as promised following the Civil War. Jim Crow and voter suppression got in the way. After the Supreme Court foolishly decided certain aspects of the 1965 Voters Rights Act were no longer needed, these Voter ID laws were passed in multiple states using cookie cutter language. Four states just had their laws ruled unconstitutional, including North Carolina’s. It is time for we citizens to say enough to this General Assembly and stop using our tax dollars to pay for attorneys to allow discrimination.

http://www.businessinsider.com/daily-show-interview-don-yelton-racist-resign-2013-10

 

Here are 20 countries take on the US presidential election

President Barack Obama mentioned during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, that the rest of the world sees our presidential election much differently. In their view, the differential between the two candidates is striking, with Hillary Clinton being far more qualified and prepared to be on the global stage as US President.

Don’t take my word for it. Or, President Obama’s. Let’s consider the twenty countries that make up the G20.

In a YouGov/ Handelsblatt Poll of people in the G20 countries a few months ago, nineteen countries favored Clinton, with only Russia favoring Trump. This lone country dissent is even more interesting of late given Trump’s fascination with Russia and its media controlling leader who Trump admires. A link to the article and graphic is below.

In many of these nineteen countries, the difference is not even close. Maybe we in the US are finally catching on to what they see. They see an active First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State who has been on the global stage for some time. They see a woman who has advocated for women and girls issues around the globe dating back to the 1990s, and even before in the US. They see a woman who has relationships with many leaders and understands better than her opponents, the subtleties in each country.

They see a person who actually thinks through plans and knows policies. And, the see a woman who respects our commitments to our allies and has the temperament for the job. Her main opponent does not seem to possess these attributes. His thin-skin, large ego, bombastic manner and shallow understanding is offensive and dangerous. I have counted seven retired generals, three former CIA directors and three former Directors of Defense that have formally come out against Trump for his dangerous remarks.

Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate. She has been around long enough to warrant fair, but has also received more unfair, criticism. She is protective of her name and message, sometimes to a fault. Yet, she has shown she is a tough cookie, and we need someone who is competent, rational, diplomatic and tough. Plus, party matters  – we cannot back track on climate change action and must address environmental issues; we must improve on the ACA; we must not fall back on civil rights for all; and, we must invest in our country to improve infrastructure and create jobs.

 

https://today.yougov.com/news/2016/04/18/donald-trump-top-pick-us-president-russia/