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Stephen Miller

I may be nuts, or I am a genius, you decide. Most people go with nuts because the genius conclusion scares them.

I watched as much of Kavanaugh’s “testimony” before the Senate Committee as I could stand. What I saw was a dead give away that this guy does not have the personal character to be a Supreme Court Justice. I imagine that the current Justices are rolling their eyes at the prospect, secretly hoping that he never gets there. I mean, his body and face language was a dead give away that he is shallow in his thinking, despite the conviction he seems to have shown in his past rulings, etc.

Remember, he does all his work with the pen (computer) and none of what he has done has been face to face with any adversary. He worked the back room – always. I would bet he never tried a case, simply because his presence is a nullity. The Supremes, though, must face those arguing before them, so presence face to face is important. Also, even though they have research and a scrip about what they want to discuss, there are always some surprises in the exchange and a good Justice must address that. A great Justice addresses it impressively. (This is why Clarence Thomas is somewhat like a stoic puppet on the bench.)

Kavanaugh had a script and he followed it. That technique gives a lot of warm feeling for all of those who helped prepare the script, but it does not usually win the day. To win the day, one must read the audience and know when to ad lib from the script. Now, law school teaches one not to ad lib, but every good trial lawyer knows that such is the key – because of the unexpected that always occurs. Oh, by the way, most lawyers are not trial lawyers, just like most docs don’t do surgery.

So why is Mr. Miller’s name at the title here?

That is the only source I can pinpoint who might have arranged the attack that Kavanaugh released. It made Trump happy because Miller has Trump dancing to the same rhythm in what he does. Know this, Miller devised all of the stuff at the border, including the purposeful and with intent to teach a lesson plan of separating children from parents. Let that sink in – Miller planned in advance that “if we take their kids away from them, word will get back to others who might try to enter and they will learn not to risk a trade their family togetherness for the mere possibility of entering the greatest country for a family to grow and prosper”.

Remember all those days when Kavanaugh was hanging out at the Whitehouse? Recall that Trump was disappointed that aggression on the part of the Senate was not heavy enough. Well, Miller showed Kavanaugh how to make Trump happy such that he didn’t pull the nomination after the hearing. Kavanagh made the simple calculation that he had no choice, probably whispered in his ear by Miller and others, and on down the path he went. Heck, Kavanaugh is not a genius even though he was at the “top of his class”, He is merely a good regurgitator of information conveyed to him by teachers/professors. If you give back to a teacher all the stuff they laid out for you they recognize it and, boom, you get an A. The “tool” who can write a note about everything that the teacher puts out, then memorize it in off time while other kids are doing something fun, will get the As available.

Here’s the thing, once that person gets the A all recorded, finishes the Final for the class, etc., then they have nothing immediate to do. That is when they drink beer and get wasted.

Kavanaugh is not unusual in such regard. At any highly respected university there are three main types of students who end up there:

  • The hard worker who gets the A and who also takes the practice tests for ACT or the SAT such that they can memorize the answers for those questions that appear year after year, albeit in slightly different form. They get a test score that is acceptable, but which does not reflect anything but memorization, not real discernment of the question.
  • The genius kid who gets so-so grades but whose test score is in the 99%
  • The genius kid who also works hard at getting grades.

Kavanaugh is the first bullet point which is why he would be glad to turn to a teacher, Miller, in preparing for the Hearing in which he would participate. Here’s the thing, Miller could not handle the hearing himself and has no real feel for any face to face give and take by which each person will evaluate the other on some level. Miller has always been in the background and doesn’t get it. Please, we don’t want another tool on the Supreme Court (or do “they”).

Answering to whom?

I have worked a number of diverse jobs in my life, including a number in which I learned the dignity of labor. In my second to last job I was the General Counsel for a company that engineered a very large piece of high temperature, high pressure equipment, the components of which were built by diverse subcontractors around the world and those components were shipped to a location remote from our offices and installed by other entities under contract to third parties. The average contract price for one unit was in the $23mm range and some contracts were for four units, many for two.

I had been there for a decade, hired by the Dutch board of directors for the in house position after I got them more than I promised in a law suit I filed in Federal Court against one of the biggest EPC contractors in the world, for a project delivered and installed in Chile. Yes, you cannot make that up, but that is just the start of this story. Here is the end of the story, the middle to follow. The Op Ed article by a Trump insider published by the NY Times raised a flood of memories of a room I walked through after I had been GC for about a decade.

Because of the insolvency of the corporate shareholder of the Dutch company, filed in Germany, all of the US entities in the group were sold in a fire sale to a group of venture capitalists in America. Our company had been making money and that income had been being offset (tax wise) by losses from the others. As the result of the insolvency action our ability to get bonding or other security (Letters of Credit) prevented us from getting new jobs. Eventually, the president of that time period resigned and moved on, but retaining his stock in the new conglomeration. The new president struggled to get new work, but eventually landed a four unit job that saved our division. That project, however, ran into a problem pretty early on.

A subcontractor who had a US base had agreed to produce certain critical parts. However, in a contract that was negotiated exclusive of my participation, our company contracted with an entity in Thailand, that was separate and distinct from the US entity with which the negotiation took place. The US entity had been relied upon for decades for the work, the one in Thailand was not prepared or experienced and fell behind quickly. We had significant liquidated damages if they failed and that caused us to fail to timely deliver the goods that their equipment was to be installed in by another entity in Thailand. Long story short, we shipped the raw materials to China, had the work performed and made delivery to Florida on time.

I filed an Arbitration against both the Thai and US entities and we were proceeding toward a hearing, but settled on a Saturday, a week and two days before the start of the hearing. My expert witness for the matter, retained by outside counsel, was a personal friend of the new president and that was how I got to know him. About a year later, the new president got bumped up to be CEO of the parent company and the expert witness became the newest president, hereafter “President”. I trusted him at the start, but over about a year and a half I began to feel a certain queasiness about some of what he did, without really articulating that to myself, just an intuitive reaction.

By then, we had a letter of intent or limited notice to proceed that he had rushed to get on the books by the end of our fiscal year of September 30. However, the actual contract was not put in to effect until July of the following summer, with a customer headquartered in Europe, project to be installed in a country in southeast Asia. When it finally was officially begun, the Engineering demand was too much for the manpower and overtime was necessary. In addition, the technical specs from that customer were new to both Sales and Engineering and the review was not intensive or fully carried out. It was clear later that the president did not care about any of the particulars of performing the contract, merely landing it on the books so he could get more recognition and/or money based upon those books.

Almost from the start, a series of problems attached to the contract. Twice I flew to Europe to sit down with the customer and try to stop our bleeding. Once the shit hit the fan, the president brought in a consultant he had used before, an expert witness if you will, who put claims together. Here’s the thing, I tried cases for 18 years before I came in house. I knew claims well, as I knew forensic accounting and forensic contract application. I told him that it was false for us to make a claim because we were not in a solid contract place for that. However, he was sure the bluster would result in a better resolution. (This is a classic move that Trump and many others employ, but when you are dealing with a European company and the work is on the ground in another country, that perceived leverage is of no use, and can be like tonsils that have gone bad – they actually start working against you.) Oh, by the way, the consultant had a “ranch” in Colorado or Wyoming upon which he entertained customers, etc. by taking them “hunting” (really, just shooting from a perch), and the President and others up the chain had been there.

When the on-the-ground worker for the consultant showed up we had about a 1.5 hour meeting in which Sales, Engineering and Project Management participated, as did I. He came to my office at the end of the meeting, before settling down to review documents and talk to others ad hoc, and asked me, “Why am I here?”. After I felt him out a bit, I told him my background, my analysis and my take on the falsity of what the President wanted their company to create. He agreed and suggested his report would accurately reflect the numbers, and would also emphasis the philosophy that was obvious.

Later, the President and I would have discussion regarding the steps we were taking, to the point where he raised his voice 3 separate times, the last in my office. I was getting up to close my door, as I was about to give him the response that was appropriate and my voice was going to carry more than did his. Problem was, he was standing at the door and he thought I was going to physically assault him. I did not recognize it at the time, but the look in his eyes, which I replayed later, was last seen by me as a 7 year old, in the face of a friend who thought he was about to die as the result of what was going on at the moment. (Probably involving gun powder, bb guns or spears with points carved to stick in trees.)

He told me to leave the building, which I did immediately. Within a day, I had picked up my computer in order to work from home and within 3 days, I was back at the office. However, it was decided that I had to leave that office and work for a sister company in LA, traveling there every other week. Three to four months later, just before that was to go into effect, but after they had interviewed for my replacement, I  was out of town for a negotiation of a big contract and got a call early in the morning. It was the CFO, the CEO of the parent company and the HR person. Wow, my first thought was, I am going to be fired over the phone. No, instead it was relayed to me that the President had told them he was leaving, that he tried to take two other executives with him and those on the phone were suspicious that the president had collected a lot of proprietary information about the company that we was not entitled to. They asked me about the negotiation and told me they really needed the contract and that they were going to keep the President on board until we signed that contract. It was for a new customer for us, but one for which I had negotiated a contract for a different sister company about 5 years earlier, because their multiple counsel were all busy.

Worked through the terms of the contract 4 days later, in their offices, but nothing signed yet. Went back to the office and a week and a half later we signed the deal. They walked the President out at 7 that same night, even arranging to take his trophy deer and other animal heads down for him.

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the internal meeting that took place between me being told to leave and the President leaving, as that is the telling point for me on the whole issue. The CEO of the parent had called most of our company executive suite and other management over to his wing of the office for discussion. It did not go anywhere, and he said that the President needed to have a meeting back in our wing with all the staff and get this worked out. By that time, others had walked into the room I was in (figuratively) and it was apparent that the relationship of the President with everyone had been stretched if not broken. So, he convened the meeting and I sat about 5 seats down from him a table that could hold 15 people easy. He stated that he called the meeting because he was told to, then it was quiet. After a moment or two, I blurted out that he had told the CEO that he would fire half of his staff if he had his choice, so maybe he should convey to that half what lead to that statement.

He got to me third and told me that his problem with me is that I did not do what he told me to do. Without thinking (which is my real skill set, especially in court and negotiation) I told him that I did not answer to him, but to the board of directors and until they told me otherwise, my judgement on legal issues was going to control my behavior. As that settled in, I then blurted out that my dad had run an Ingot Mold Foundry when I was growing up and that I picked up a lot at the foundry and over the dinner table, and that I learned that sometimes you just had to ignore certain people. Yes, I indirectly told him, somewhat directly, that I ignored him.

Eventually, I was brought back to the company from the LA assignment, abruptly, to take up my old job. It was too late, though, and I can now tell everyone why. The President whom I learned to ignore conveyed by his behavior and body language, if not direct talk, that he did not trust anyone. As it turned out, that was because he didn’t trust himself. (I learned this slowly as I saw him in action and as he relayed to me some of the things he had done in past management positions.) Ultimately, the entire office of almost 200 people, learned not to trust those above them because even the ones that were trustworthy were being circumvented by what was taking place. When I came back, even though there was a new president, the trust level had not been dramatically improved and I could not restore it before being fired for real this time. (One year later, that president was fired. Also, since I left, they are on their 4th counsel in that position.)

All of that was triggered by the Op-Ed piece published by the NY Times by a Resistor within the White House. If it had been me, I would not have published anything, but I am pretty sure that I could get the “death look” in Trump’s eyes just before he told me to leave – and that would be worth all the ramifications!

Here is the bottom line for what I believe should be the measure of the utility of decisions made in business, government and in life in general. I set out above that I answered to the Board of Directors, which was utterly appropriate. Senators and Representatives suggest that they answer to those that elect them. In fact, a great group of “Republicans” that are selling out their principles because of the votes that would be sacrificed are bowing to getting elected in contravention to what I think their real board of directors should be: The Constitution. There is a bigger story there, but that is the bottom line. Do members of the government serve the Constitution or the president or the electorate? If it is the Constitution, the answer is clear as to what decisions and actions must be taken.

For me, I did not choose to behave a certain way. If I were to have behaved in any other manner, I would have had to choose not to follow my instinct. I know very few care, but I had to let it out of me. Others at the table saw things as did I, but no one was as direct with the President himself, but discussed it with the CEO at his request. Those above me did not appreciate the service I had done of calling the President out. They retained what “trust” they had for the President, without much looking at the record of our relationship relative to my relationship with the corporation for more than a decade. So, in congress, expect the leaders to practice the “stay the course” adage, as that is the simple answer to the issues, but not the best. The regular elected officials will begin to talk, not because they choose to, but because of questions asked, they will have to.

If anyone out there gets a hint of what I set out, please drop me a line.

Will Ensign Pulver Show Up?

If you have not watched the movie Mr Roberts, then you won’t get this unless you do. In today’s world, though, it would be easy to call it up for viewing. Mr. Roberts was the Executive Officer on a Navy supply ship in the Pacific during WWII. He was played expertly by Henry Fonda as the effective foil to terrible management behavior by the Captain, James Cagney. Cagney’s character, by the way, was a former Merchant Marine sailor that had been brought into the Navy as a result of the outbreak of war.

Mr. Roberts hated being on the supply ship, but was good at getting the most out of the crew by skirting the desires of the Captain, even to the point of giving up his attempts to get off the ship in exchange for fair treatment of the crew. Ensign Pulver was played by Jack Lemon and was a farcical character, that actually hid from the Captain.

Eventually, Mr. Roberts got transferred to a fighting ship, thanks to the efforts of the crew. When the ship learns that Mr. Roberts was killed by a bomb dropped on his particular location on his ship they don’t know what to do, but Ensign Pulver steps up and confronts the Captain by throwing his prize of a palm tree overboard and announcing to the Captain that he was there to challenge him (much in the tone of Mr. Roberts).

So, the point of my title to this piece: Who will stand in for John McCain and take the steps of Ensign Pulver to become Mr. Roberts. Who will be the man of character in the Senate?

C’mon OHIO

C’mon OHIO

The players and fans all take great care to tell us all that OSU is “THE” Ohio State University. (By the way, they stole that concept from The University of Virginia, who has used it for decades. In the same vein, the script OHIO on the field was given to them by the University of Michigan band, as they performed it as a salute to OSU in the Big House in the 1930s.)

Given the fact that OSU is a significant representation of Ohio to the rest of the country, it is time for the citizens to honor the responsibility that the University has to visibly stand contrary to lying. Urban Myers LIED during the Big !0 press conference, but the Board used language to indicate that it wasn’t meant to be a lie. Then, Myers completely ignored the victim of the behavior of his assistant coach that gave rise to this situation, never acknowledging the victim at all. His body language in this presser, after finding out he was suspended for 3 games, was just like the body language of Trump in Helsinki – unmistakable in giving away that there was no truth in what was being said. That was an embarrassment and if you are a fan of OSU you must stand up, or accept that you will accept bad character in exchange for football success.

Take a look at the University of Louisville. How many times did they turn a blind eye to the bad behavior of Rick Pitino before they finally brought the hammer down. They took a chance then that they might have to pay Pitino some money, but they drew a line in the sand. Now, they didn’t do that with the issues of prostitution at the dorm named for his brother in law who was a victim in the World Trade Center plane crashing, just like they didn’t with the extramarital affair he had. Oops, though, once the FBI came out with the Adidas money, that was too much. Where will OSU end up.

Now, on to the whole state of Ohio. Trump keeps visiting you and riling up voters against perceived bad behavior of others, ignoring his own bad behavior, and promoting the fact that he is doing stuff for the state. If you look more objectively, though, all the things that he says he has done to benefit the financial picture you face are not real. It is only talk. Sure, rich people and company owners are much better off under his tax law, the common man gets peanuts. It is a classic ruse and I don’t understand how “regular” people fall for it. When I lay it next to the OSU Football situation, though, it all makes sense. Trump suggests that the US is now recognized as “Number 1”. First, that is not true outside the US. What we are becoming is the king that stays in his chamber, thinking highly of himself, but ignoring all that may be said about him out side that particular room. However, even if it were true, this question remains: Are you OK being No. 1 based upon behavior that would embarrass you if you did it yourself?

Well, OHIO, would you?

I recognize that many would, but every individual must make choices constantly about which path they will walk in life, and it is my hope that awareness of the path has some ability to cause people to think about returning to the last Y at which their choice might have been prejudiced by bad character.

NeighborDave does not choose to think this way, he would have to choose otherwise in order to avoid this discussion that runs through his head.

Star Spangled

As I watched TV today and heard that more than half who were asked a poll question agree with Trump’s take on the National Anthem/NFL situation. I was stunned, at first, but then thought: How can I convey to those folks who put the pageantry taking place in the playing of the national anthem ahead of the true foundation of our country – free speech, especially by passive behavior? Let’s amble down the path.

Here’s the deal. No music came into play in the creation of the Constitution. Also, the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, which failed to work and provided an 5 year reflection on what didn’t work and what might work. The Star Spangled Banner celebrates a flag flying during a battle of the war of 1812 against the British. The SSB was written by a lawyer and I am sure if he were alive he would celebrate that his poem provides a scene for a protest that gets vision by a big part of the country.

The flag was not the purpose of the battle. A KING was being rejected, again. In so doing, the people who crafted the government via the Constitution created a new way of behaving relative to the entire world. Key to that was central government, but right behind that was the enumeration and protection for certain personal liberties. Liberties that up until then could be eliminated at the waive of the hand of the king, or even a person who “owned” a fiefdom at the pleasure of the king.

The complaint of those kneeling, doing the “Smith Carlos” salute (my name for it), holding hands or staying in the locker room are making the statement that the treatment of black and brown people by the police is not applied any where close to “equal” to the treatment of Euro Americans. Here’s the thing, 150 years ago, or so, Italians and Irishmen (who happened to be Catholic) were put upon to the extent of physical harm as well. Unfortunately, Jews have been put upon in so many locales that the citing would go on and on. The protesting of the behavior of the government, especially passive protesting is, perhaps, the NUMBER ONE personal freedom that could be conceived under the circumstances of shifting away from a king like government to a representative central government. That is why it is in the 1st Amendment.

So, those of you who presently support the Trump view that protesting disrespects the military, please be advised that just the opposite is true. They are not attacking the country. They are not attacking the flag. They do not want the Pageant to end. They merely want people to understand that when a black or brown person leaves his/her house in the morning, it can generate the feeling that you are walking down the street naked. That is how different it is for black and brown people in comparison to Euro American people. If you are a Euro American person, try to understand that. Please appreciate that it can be just terrifying to hear a siren, or a voice commanding you to do something. For Euro Americans, you face that less, IF AT ALL, and you are aware that you will be able to discuss the matter with the person of authority. If you are Brown/Black you can’t help but doubt that even if you comply, you will not be hurt or killed.

Think about that the next time a guy merely takes a knee and bows his head. If you would, maybe see the move as a celebration of all who have sacrificed, and who currently sacrifice, for the right to so do. NOWHERE else in the world would such freedom of behavior exist to the extent it exists here!

Sorry, but this old Euro American just couldn’t hold it in.

Trump is the Video Game President

I am old, so bear with me.

When I grew up, the kids hung out in the neighborhood while dad was at work and mom was taking care of your siblings and/or the house. Yes, it was pretty cliché, but that is what I experienced. I grew up in a rhythm that was not out of sync with the rich white folks that controlled how America was run, but not in the rich white folks’ neighborhood. Oh, I visited there, but I did not live there, but that is an aside.

In the neighborhood there was no adult involvement in what was taking place. The age of the kids involved on a daily basis varied by as much as 5 years. Mostly, in those days, we segregated ourselves by gender, not because of any conscious thought, but we just gravitated to it. I played sports with some kids that were younger than me, but mostly I played with older kids. I did not think about it at the time, but upon reflection, I was more adept than others in the neighborhood who were older and, on the playground, it was a complete meritocracy. No coaches dictated, and we didn’t suffer for balls, bats, etc. such that we avoided giving one of the kids a position for which he was not best suited. The kids shorted everything out and only skills mattered, not money or position in society.

When I was a kid I learned to shoot. First I shot BB guns and bow and arrow. Why? Because there were no adults around to monitor us and those devices were readily available. I killed a chipmunk when I was about 8. It took many shots with a bb gun and it was terrible for the victim, but I knew what it meant to kill something. It was the last time I ever killed something that I didn’t eat, and I learned the lesson that accompanies killing. I hunted later in life and killed, gutted and skinned lots of animals that I ended up eating. Eventually, I shot 22 rifle competitively, then I shot clay pigeons competitively and I shot high caliber rifles at targets, and objects, 100 yards and further away. Eventually I ended up shooting hand guns at distances of up to 100 feet. I took shooting for granted, but I have come to realize that not everyone could do that. More importantly, I learned that not everyone could deal with killing something. I learned that when I took guys hunting in their 20s and witnessed their reaction to the killing of a rabbit.

Here’s the point of this writing: Kids are enamored with “First Player” games in which they shoot to kill other actors. Maybe the dead are disguised as Zombies or some other entity, but make no mistake, even laser “tag” and paint ball event are a shoot to kill endeavor. There is no emotional price to killing when it is done on a screen, with a laser or paint. Perhaps this translates to more people being shot with real guns for what appears to be lesser reasons now a day, but that is another aside. Bottom line: video games are FAKE when it comes to shooting and killing. Sure, kids and adults are immersed in them, but it any REAL impacts are at least partially disguised and unreal.

Trump is doing the presidency in the same vein. His body language is a dead giveaway. His behavior in conjunction with Putin was so obvious that even hard core Republicans were sickened by what they saw. They did not need to consciously process what they saw because everyone reads body language on some level of intuitive reaction. Trump can dismiss lots of things in his mind because he was the kid in the neighborhood who was put at second base in whiffle ball and baseball, and last in the bating order. He would be set out of the way so he didn’t get in the way. His go to defense is to dismiss the impression he leaves on others. His “kills” are all imaginary, but the kills of Putin and Jong-un are real and his body language shows that he cannot swim in the deep end of the pool in which they float.

His money is really a house of cards and the banks that he owes have transferred his debts, likely to the Russians if not Putin and the “Oligarchs” directly. (By the way, if you have heard that word and not researched who and what they are, and how they came into being, you should. Trump would love to be an Oligarch.) He plays a video game with money in the same way as he plays diplomatic games, but they tie together in reality because of who holds security on his debts.

He is playing a game, but reality will set in just like it does for everyone once there is a power outage. When the screen goes blank, he will be seen sitting there with his armed crossed, slouching in his chair.

The Bully Driving the Bus

With a nod to a guy who grew up in a neighborhood a little more than a mile from where I sit as I write, because I believe that he might get this. To you, Hunter.

Donald Trump was never the biggest guy in his neighborhood, so he is not suited to making the decisions that “run” the biggest national influence in the history of this globe. What, you say? Just stay with me as I walk you down this path of awareness.

The biggest guy in the neighborhood, as a kid, (if he has skills) can never exercise all of his skills or he will be deemed a bully. The big kid gets this message early and it is why many of them behave in a timid manner as they go through life. Perhaps they never behaved otherwise, or perhaps they had let it all out as a kid and been chastised either by the other kids, or adults, for taking advantage of their size. And yes, this can all be particularly true for girls as well as boys. In fact, for girls the repercussions used to be more severe. Maybe he is counseled by someone who has been there before. In any event, the big kid, especially if he is smart and fast, realizes that he cannot let it all loose. By so reserving himself, he/she sees the edge of leadership as a result, because the decision he/she makes impacts not just him/her, but the whole group. The big guy/girl learns to settle for what they need, and not worry about attaining mere “wants”. The big guy can take care of little guys, but he can’t put himself first.

Like I state above, DT never learned what it was like to be the big guy. He never got the big guy paradigm. For him, fighting for all his wants was all he knew, simply because he was always fighting even for his needs, at least as unfolded as kids, and kids all learn then from what takes place. When you are not highly skilled physically, at least when growing up, you could get by in some instances, but you were measured none the less and categorized accordingly. If you were really smart, then you could avoid the worst of the lesser status given you because you don’t have size and or speed, but you still have that status in your own mind, at the least. You knew you might play second base, but you were never going to play the outfield, short stop or pitch. You knew your place on the court was on the wing waiting for a pass, and you were a guard on the line in football, always fighting for more. The big guy could take more any time he wanted, but he didn’t.

That is what the US has done since World War II. We accepted our role as the big guy after we were forced into the war that many (See Henry Ford for example) wanted us to avoid. Many in America thought Germany was not that bad, just as many supporting Trump think that the US exercising nationalistic tendencies is not that bad.

I was in Israel about a decade ago, negotiating a contract of some significance, and once we reached a point at which the Israelis I was dealing with accepted that I was honest, they placed trust in me. After the trust developed, over several months, one of them asked me why doesn’t the US just kick North Korea’s ass. I told him that Israel, a small country surrounded by potential enemies, had to have an aggressive attitude to keep another country from making a bad step. However, the US was the biggest and “baddest” nation, we could not pick on little guys. We had to wait for them to do something overtly wrong, even if it meant injury to some, before we could exercise our power. He seemed to understand the paradigm I described and smiled in acknowledgement.

It is time for the people on the bus to tell the bus driver that he is headed for a cliff. Never in history has there been such a level of communication available by which the general public can be advised of the situation. Heck, when the Greeks and Romans were rising, then falling, hardly anyone could read and there was no printing press. During the Chinese Dynasties I have no idea what the literacy level might have been, or the level of unbiased publication that could have taken place, but I guess that illiteracy and lack of access kept the masses uninformed. Same thing is likely true through the Ottoman Empire. The Germans and Italians had radio as an influence, but they may well have controlled it all in the ‘30s. Certainly, Idi Amin, controlled communication in his land just as is controlled in North Korea right now.

In the US, we can stay informed while riding on the bus and we need to either get the bus turned, or make sure it cannot be fueled at some point, with us, perhaps, jumping and rolling out of the emergency door at the back of the bus. Trump is a bully and he is being at least encouraged by other bullies to keep it up. Heck, they would all (Russia, China, Turkey) like the US to step down and join them in the bully gutter. Europe has seen this all many times before and they have their fingers crossed. They hope that we learn from England’s past and accept that we cannot control the world by being a bully. (See, Freedom at Midnight regarding the “release” of India and Pakistan from their direct control.)

Here’s the thing, many of Trump’s biggest fans/supporter/groupies grew up as the little people in the neighborhood. Look at Steven Miller and Sessions, clearly both were put upon as kids and reflect that mind set now. The US government is set up to avoid the behavior they are promoting, and it will eventually take care of them. However, the damage that can occur in the meantime, especially if those that support Trump are the kind that don’t make decisions based upon reasonable consideration of facts. Those people will never jump off the bus. We have to hope that the thinking parts of society are greater than the feeling parts of society. Recognizing the enhanced obligation of the US to the rhythm of the world such that we have to ignore wants in order to preserve our needs is key. At some point, the bully cannot be allowed to prevail in the world: Something will stop him.

Here is a last point for consideration, based upon real life circumstances in sport, which has become the best teacher across socioeconomic lines of our society.

Lebron James was the biggest and baddest dude in his neighborhood. He was also raised by a single mom and had a different skin color than the people that held the reins to most of the obvious power in his neighborhood. He learned on an intuitive level, if not expressly taught so by others in his neighborhood, that he could not insist on having his way all the time or he would alienate others. He never made the mistakes that some others have made, and  he has a group of others from his neighborhood who “get” the rhythm of those in control of our society and he and they can work within that rhythm.

As illustrated by the progress of his game, he was reluctant to let all of his talents loose until he had played a couple of years in the league. He learned that it was OK to let it all out when both Bosh and Wade were hurt in the first series that Miami had with Indiana in the playoffs. Miami was down a game, either 3-2 or 2-1 and playing in Indiana. LeBron let it all out and it was noticeable that he had changed. From that point forward, he began to flex his muscles at will and he is as dominant as anyone has been on the court as a result. He had the chip of the big guy released, but he still has reserves holding him, except when he punched the wall after the game one situation this year. He will learn from that incident, having paid the tuition of a broken hand for the education.

That I bring up LeBron was not accidental. He calls out Trump, not because he feels he must, but because he reacts honestly to what he sees in the man. He could have to make a choice not to call out Trump, but he has too much character and conscientious support to avoid what he is called to do. I celebrate LeBron continuing his open pointing out of the character flaws of Trump. Sports has become the teacher of society and everyone that can learn about the character of the honest big man needs to see how our country needs to be run. Many on the bus will never change their position (Cognitive Dissonance in action), but some of them can learn from circumstance and the righteous people in the country need to reach those people. (The recent turn by the “religious right” supporters once the impact of splitting families at the border shows how some can leap off the bus at a stop.)

The Constitution allows for control by the elected members Senate and House and they need their voters to tell them not to lay down for a bully, because we are not a bully country. (Otherwise, get ready for the war of dictators.) Trump will deliver us to the gutter of bullies if not stopped, and those around him are not only drinking the cool aide, but they keep stirring the mix.