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Trump Cries “Wolf”

(Take what follows for what it is. I have always seen things developing ahead of others who were immersed in the same play in which I found myself. The following is the current take that is obvious to me and which I think will play out. We will see.)

Trump wants to be an Oligarch. He may not even realize that on a conscious level, but that is the path upon which he finds himself. The following influences all line him up that way. First, the Russians as they did seek to, and eventually did, buy influence with him and manipulate voting segments by fraudulent social media behavior. Then, the Saudi Prince and his cronies have always bought influence in US politics and with him they use his properties, in a silly attempt to “hide” the behavior, plus properties he has elsewhere in the world. All of it is discoverable, though. Then there is the guy from Breitbart and Stephen Miller, who are preaching the Nationalism tune to him and having him behave in such ways as gets a certain segment on his bus and convinced that outsiders need to be beat off their attack of the way of life we know. That is an easy sell to his base. It is also the same as has happened in history.

The Russians, if the US took even a minor step toward Nationalizing by Emergency Order would be just overjoyed. It would give them a green light to take over Ukraine entirely, as the US would be looking the other way. Meanwhile, we were going to leave Syria, leaving that entirely to Russia, and leaving our helpers, the Kurds to the mercy of Turkey, who also has a leader that would love Nationalism and has been embraced by Trump. Oh, then look at the loose leash on Saudi Arabia, allowing them to continue the Nationalist behavior they had always done as a Kingdom.

Note to all, the term Oligarch has arisen to use in language in the last 30 years or so, as a direct result of the concentration property ownership, both real and personal properties such a corporate and bank stock, by a bunch of different folks who carved up the USSR upon its demise. Putin is one of the key players, but the others are well known to historians and people who have been paying attention. That is who is into Trump, but he believes that he will be there equal, then their superior. Yes, he actually sees himself teaching them a thing or two. Here is the deal though, Putin and the Prince are killers, Putin directly himself back in the day, and Trump could not do a real act. They know that.

The Congress will have to step up and stop him, unless they wait for Mueller and others. Eventually, mark it down, the Senate will override a veto of a bill that will neuter Trump, then the real trial starts, unless Trump pleads out. The current dance is all to misdirect from the Mueller facts, which Trump people can see as the writing on the wall, and which will be out soon enough. The “emergency” he is threatening is, however, enough to trigger a must move by Congress and the Senate will be dragged to the right place, one by one. The first to leave have started signaling their move.

The claim of emergency, emergency, etc. over the last several days is Trump building up belief that there is an actual national emergency because of the lack of wall. The “facts” proposed by the President and those that would buy in and sell his story, are all a misrepresentation to the extent that the evil concern is actually tied to a lack of “wall”. Sure, there is human trafficking  , drugs coming across, etc. but they are happening at ports of entry for the most part. Sure, there are trickles over the open border, but the big masses are by other means. Cross examination of anyone claiming otherwise would show the fail, and everyone in Congress knows. They will have to step up and call out the person who is calling wolf when there is no wolf. Let’s hope we don’t miss the real wolves: Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Going National(ist)

I can’t believe that what follows has not been articulated on TV or the internet. IF it has, just sign me on then.

The Trump machine played further cards in the need for what I call, Let’s Go Nationalist. Sure, that seems ridiculous that they could actually hope to get to the end of that path, but heck, even they didn’t think they would get elected.

Then Putin came in and he described a world in which the US was no longer responsible for everyone. It could look inward and allow the rest of the world to straighten itself out. Putin may has gone so far as to tell Trump that he would be one of the Oligarchs to germinate in the nationalistic state that the US could become under him. Putin would point out that the world could be split up and that conflicts would awalsy exist such that they just need to be managed and he could take care of that in Asia.

They let Stephen Miller out today, arguing with a guy on CNN, but really just spouting Nationalistic talking points, Text Book and it will resonate with the base, the base will be snapping at the bit once the real possibility of going nationalist comes forward.  Can’t it be seen?

All of the moves continue without façade. Look at the removal/lessoning of sanctions to company owned by Russian Oligarch friends of Putin. Really, it is blatant and why is it slowed.

Perhaps the Mattis resignation will finally get the attention of those that have had blinders on, or expressly looked away from the bad behavior.

Here’s the thing: If we can last long enough, Mueller has “the nuts” in the Trump legal matters. I have said for a long time that there would be a record because of Trumps business model. He has to borrow and borrowers will secure the lending public filings, as the only way to secure the depts and lead the line. That paper trail, as it used to be known, will be easy to find and easy to show the financial stakes Trump has a stake (probably both Russian and China, with, perhaps, China being much more passive as is there want). I know that once Mueller shows his cards, if he doesn’t get someone to whisper to Trump the nature of what he faces such that a deal is struck, the cards will show a direct and express Conflict of Interest.

Putin laughs either way, already being effective at forever changing the character of the US. We will be able to overcome this, but the path back will be harder, more expensive and take longer the longer we wait to call his bluff. He is not “gone” in a mental sense, he is merely selling us all out, with purpose and without qualms, it appears.

There are people that get it, but no one is articulating it. Look, the middle 80% of society, those that are not the smartest and not the most stupid, need it articulated many times before their cognitive dissonance is even close to “un-done”. I have no voice that can be heard. I am old and don’t know how to “sell” via the internet. Anyone that agrees with what I put forth, can you get it out to he public?

I have addressed commercial disputes with largely successful results around the world, after litigating them in the US. I am a lateral thinker who has picked up behavior knowledge in rooms all around the world. I have seen Trump people, not to mention Putin people and all other kinds in those travels. The general citizen of the US lives in a paradigm that cannot begin to understand that the rest of the world does not dance to our rhythm. There is a unique constantly changing rhythm as you move around the world, including long term strategy on many levels that would be poo poo’d in the US. Trump’s behavior, though, is childlike in that world and they all laugh at the technique he employs, which is text book simple.

If they replace Mattis with a Nationalist, we will look a lot like Germany in the early 1930s, expressly including the attacks on the news purveyors

The fact tat Ann Coultor shamed Trump and that resulted in him reaffirming his flop negotiating technique by re-flopping. She pointed out his original flop, and in so doing everyone of her listeners looked and saw that what Trump had flopped with the cameras running had shrunk away. He flops again, but it will once again shrink. His fans won’t get it, they will see him as gallant in the attempt and coulter will leave him off the hook. The misdirection is the thing, for now, but the Russian thing and the resultant move to nationalism fits into this scenario. After all, the wall is for protection of the country. That is the song and 35% of the voters will sing that until their voice fades. Just look at the tobacco farmers that sang for the tobacco companies, who now don’t need them and don’t care about them.

(I know, I don’t connect all the dots. That is because they are obvious to me. If you don’t see the connection, I can explain it if you articulate the gap you can’t resolve.)

Bullet Points:

  • Actions in multiple courts, multiple defendants, multiple aspects of what Mueller is uncovering.
  • Clear ties to Russia’s behavior exist, though not fleshed out in detail – yet.
  • Removal of Sanctions against Rusal, a Russian company owned to the tune of 70% by an Oligarch named Deripaska through his ownership of EN+.
  • Deripaska is a long time “buddy” of Putin, and has a relationship with VTB Bank, controlled by Kremlin
  • Pull out of Syria
  • Made deal with Senate to avoid shutdown.
  • Called out by Ann Coulter,
  • Called in House Republicans and came up with the charade of a new “bill” to go back to the Senate.
  • Put Stephen Miller out to articulate the talking points that make the Nationalist overture to the base, based upon the “wall”, which was given up by Trump until Coulter challenged his manhood. (She knows how to negotiate the way he understands, challenging his flop style.)
  • CNN releases signed Letter of Intent with respect to Hotel in Moscow, shows terms, etc. (Read this letter as a lawyer and see the path laid out. Trump’s multiple entities in the letter take no financial risk at all and it is couched in terms of a Trademark lease, but there are conditions that require the Leasee to hire Trump affiliates to operate, market, etc. the property. Nice lawyering, but would not hold up in that form in a face to face negotiation, especially with the Trump Flop Technique. (Heck, maybe it would with a $5mm bribe suite.))

Here is the move: Leave Asia to Russia, and maybe China. Leave our allies alone and shaking their heads. Reinforce with the base that everyone is out to get Trump. Appeal to the base that drastic threats appear and drastic response is necessary. Use the Wall and the nasties from outside to cause Nationalism appeal. Putin is Hitler and Trump will be his Mussolini.

Here’s the chance the rest of us have: Mueller has documented evidence of Trumps debts to Russian banks because banks always secure their loans, especially with Trump. There are also, probably, Chinese banks, but the Chinese are less overt, playing both Trump and Putin at the same time.

Clear as a bell to me and I don’t understand why sophisticated Republicans would not jump from the Bus Trump is driving toward the Nationalism cliff. (He has been told that he will be one of the Oligarchs for the new America.

And this week, we are talking about the shut down and the military impact of the withdrawal. NO ONE is talking about the impact of the quitting of Syria, and that is what it is, quitting, or the removal of sanction process that is now in a 30 waiting (and comment) period.


Oops, Stephen King gets it based upon something I saw, I think on Facebook. Nice!

For What It’s Worth

By definition half of us have to be less intelligent than the other half. Now, here are steps that the lower 50 will likely find confusing. If you look at the absolute median intelligence (which I like to phrase as the ability to connect the dots logically), you would discover that there are a whole bunch near that marker and as you move up or down on the scale, the number of folks lessons as you get to “really smart” and “really stupid” opposite ends of the scale. Almost anyone who knows much about the science of measurement would see the “bell curve” jumping out at them. The bell curve would show that 10% or so are either in the really smart or really stupid groups and the rest are the middle. The middle represent society as a whole, and it may be that 5% or less at each end is a better estimate of those in such a category.

The middle can learn, but there is no way to assure that the teachers they are exposed to know anything. I ended up playing almost any sport to which I was exposed. As a kid, the sports were played on a playground and in the woods next to my house, in Appalachia Pennsylvania. In those two situations all of the play was governed by the kids alone and it was a pure meritocracy. Sometimes, younger guys played with older guys simply because the skill set of the younger guys merited them playing such that the older guys on their team would win the game. Some older guys got set to the side and they didn’t like that. In the woods, it was all much more basic. If you could run faster, jump further, use your vision, both direct and peripheral, and paid attention, you avoided being put upon by those from the other side of the woods. If you have ever read IT by Stephen King, you get a hint of the woods in which I rose up.

Here is the point. I and my friends learned by interacting with each other. Sometimes the lessons were hard, but maybe you learned to pay tuition only once.

When I was introduced to adults who controlled a particular sport, I discovered that the decisions made and the lessons learned were not based upon the “utility” of the athlete. Sure, I ended up learning, but largely by aversion to the lessons that were being taught, often by adults who were not “picked” on the playground until the last choices came up.

I say this all to point out that most of the voters in America have no idea of the level of BS that takes place, and is perceived by them as “right” and “wrong” in the government – at all levels, local, state and national.

What I can’t believe is that people don’t get the level of incompetence and façade that attaches to the dance that Trump would like to dictate to the country. His knee jerk reaction to pull out of Syria, at a point in time when all of his other steps are being halted and jeopardized (including “the WALL”), is pure MISDIRECTION. All people that know are calling bullshit. Why does the public not get it? Well, the 80% is the herd and when the heard is moving all a member can see is the rear end of the other member of the herd who happens to be in front of them.

I know, I am banging my head against the wall, but better that than the rear end in front of me. I and mine are watching from a knoll to the side, hoping that others will see us and start questioning where “they” are going. I don’t have much hope, but I am old so maybe my kids will get it. Wait, my kids do get it. They also know that when the shit hits the fan it will be back to the rules of the playground and the woods. Those that are fast and smart and pay attention will run the trails and jump the creek in order to avoid those that don’t have the awareness to do likewise.

Here is a closing. My first vote was for Richard Nixon. As I went to the polls I passed graffiti that read, “Don’t change dicks in the middle of a screw, vote for Nixon in ‘72”

Pretty soon, I did the math and the truth of Nixon jumped out at me, and many others. The truth of Trump is even worse than Nixon. Nixon did all of his stuff for power. Trump has done what he has for money, and the power abuse is just a sidelight. I am left with the words of a song from my youth, aptly titled “For What It’s Worth:”

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me
I’ve got to beware

Think it’s time we
Stop! Hey
What’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong
People speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance
From behind

Think it’s time we
Stop! Hey
What’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Singing songs and carrying signs
Getting so much resistance
From behind

Think it’s time we
Stop! Hey
What’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line
The Men come and shoot you down

Hey! What’s that sound
Look what’s going down.

Songwriter: Stephen Stills

Shift your paradigm, overcome cognitive dissonance, and PAY ATTENTION.

He sold out two things to the Russians yesterday, Syria and the removal of sanctions on two Oligarch companies operated by cronies of Putin, who is grinning ear to ear.

Kentucky, Sorry, it just popped out.

Every politician has to be a bit of a whore (selling themselves in exchange for votes), at least in today’s world.

Rand Paul is one of the most blatant whores ever. Oops, I forgot about his Kentucky buddy, Mitch McConnell. Is it a Kentucky thing? Kentucky became the first state west of the Appalachian Mountains. It could be that it holds that unique “first” position because it was largely populated by smart people, as it took a smart person to survive there, at that time. It was also a smart place to try to live, as illustrated by the aboriginal peoples who preceded those wandering in from the east. There are salt licks and waterways all over the state, which attract animals and allow populations to survive. At one time, Kentuckians lived hard and honest off the land.

I have lived in Kentucky for 35 of my 30 years and I wonder why the sate largely abides these two guys. Both are real good at citing talking points that have been agreed to by the proverbial back room people who choose what will get votes, as opposed to the points that matter to those who actually need the subject matter considered substantively. Now a days, the talking point creators really don’t give a shit about anyone in Kentucky. They merely want the voters in the state to keep the two numb nut senators “in power”. The two in question are also great at diverting to a subject is not relevant. (Man would I love to have one of them in a witness chair for cross examination.)

Yep, that is the way I see it. What I can’t believe is that my fellow Kentuckians can’t see it. We, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as I have learned by being here, have a Judicial system that stands tall, whereas the same cannot be said for other states. (Our judiciary created “comparative negligence” when it was a new concept, not waiting for our part time elected officials to take that step, as an example of our Judiciary stepping up. There are many more examples as to how they have avoided partisanism. Unlike the state from which I moved, Michigan. Yep, just go take a look at their judiciary hoo haw.)

At one time, a Statesman from Kentucky was not only respected, but listened to. Oops on me. I was going to suggest a reference to Henry Clay, but reading Wikipedia on him, I find that he was not unlike McConnell. One of his mentors set free all of his slaves way ahead of the Civil War, and Clay purportedly agreed that slavery was bad, but kept slaves through his death, which occurred prior to the Civil War. Here is one of the biggest tells of Clay, though, and should stand out as some history that should not be repeated – not word for word, but analogous too what is going on now.

Clay promoted opposition to what the British were doing economically to the US such that he was instrumental in, and the key promotor of, the vote leading to the declaration of the War of 1812. He also, according to Wiki, was the chief “raiser” of an army in support of the effort. What Wiki does not expressly note is that more than half of the dead soldiers from that war were from Kentucky.

Imagine that at that time. KY was a small part of the country, and it was the principle sacrificer in a war that resulted in great economic freedom for the US.

Well, the “support the tobacco farmer” story won votes decades ago even thought the growers in KY were and are not key to the tobacco companies/industry. That whole connection, between the tobacco industry and the tobacco farmer in KY, has disappeared as the tobacco companies admit on TV, by court order, that they have lied and deceived for years. Yep, the law suits have finally run their course and the tobacco industry is not concerned with the improvement to public perception that might arise from some farmers in KY supporting their story, when they can get tobacco grown in countries in which the generic manipulation of the tobacco is largely not paid attention to.

(Coal is headed the same way. The use of coal in electrical production is greatly diminished, not because anyone cares about pollution, but because gas is cheaper. The biggest market for coal is China, which is interesting in the whole Trump Tariff thing. None the less, coal is and will diminish, just as tobacco did.)

Kentucky: McConnel, and to a lesser extent Paul, are participating in the sacrifice of your long term needs, by focusing on a short term illusion that fires you up. As set forth in The Outlaw Josie Wales, not by Josie, but by the guy that engineered what he thought was the reasonable set down of arms by a southern platoon only to see them shot down by the Red Legs, “Don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining.”

Bus Driver Trump

Trump envisioned that he would be in the Hitler role, leading a Nationalistic based heavy hand in the US. However, Putin is just laughing at him, as he has had Trump playing the Mussolini role from the get go, as evidenced by Putin’s new aggression with Ukraine. Trump is way out of the rhythm of the dance with which Putin is not only familiar, but for which Putin has developed the tune to be danced.

Trump, being a “near” elite in the US can understand that a dance is occurring, but it is on a floor, in a location, to which he has never been admitted before. Even fewer people dance on that floor than dance on the country club floor. Trump can do the country club floor dance, but he is being completely played with on the “Oligarch” floor, a term that was created as the result of economic behavior after the “fall” of the USSR, but which really reflects what the Russians had seen occur in Europe over centuries and which had been largely “erased” upon the fall of the Czars. (I am just making this all up, so don’t ask me to defend any facts give or go that might control my thinking. This is merely me throwing up on the page. This stuff jumps out at me and I realize that others would never see it without me first mentioning it. I don’t expect acceptance of what I say. The best I can hope for is currently apathy with later verification or rebuke.)

So, that is where Trump is: the bus driver of the bus upon which the USA finds itself. This is my whisper in the ear of the driver, and I hope someone beside Mueller sees it and begins to understand the level of danger associated with the fact that Trump never earned a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). (That’s an analogy.)

Trump would tell you, if you asked, that he can drive any vehicle, relying upon his instinctive behavior. Ha, his instinctive behavior is not instinctive. What his behavior represents is the iron fisted wielding of leverage. This is learned behavior that he now puts in an instinctive box, but if you do the same move over and over, you are not relying upon instinct – as the rhythm is constantly changing and instinct would have to alert you to a different move.

Now, he thinks that because he is driving the biggest bus on the highway, he has the leverage to run people off the road if they don’t see him coming and get out of his way. That technique worked, and works, in “business”. The smart drivers either see him coming in the rear view mirror because they are aware to look for drivers such as he, or they get caught up in the game with him for a while as they learn his behavior. If they are good, they only pay tuition once for the lesson. The bad learner and those that get attached to him, must pay the price upon any encounter with him, and they learn to account for that “cost” such that they still perceive a profit accruing to them. (Cohen was one of those and once he was moved to the side of the freeway he saw the traffic problem because the state trooper explained it to him.)

OK, so the bus driver hears my whisper and tells me to get back in my seat and be quiet. That is what he preaches, and when you look back the aisle of the bus, you see those in the first couple of rows, who heard at least parts of your exchange with him. Those people reflect smiles and nods even though there may be only body language without the manifestation. The ten rows behind him, who heard nothing, don’t seem to care one way or the other about what was going on, they are looking out the windows and enjoying the fact that they don’t have to make any decisions. I go to the last row of the bus, with my hand posed as if I was going to draw a six gun in the old west. My target, though, is the emergency door handle because I am going to throw it, jump and roll, when I see the cliff, as I don’t trust that he will stop the bus in time. (All you CDL holders out there, get that?)

My only other alternative is to throw the driver off the wheel and take over. I would do that, but I need some others on the bus to “see” the need. Perhaps the old west metaphor is apt.: the townsfolk need to witness public manifestation of the wrong acting before they would hand things over to a sheriff. I am there if the townspeople ask (or if Tom Steyer (sic) has room for an “Intern”.) [Mr. Steyer, I think I can provide you with alternative paradigms by which to get the end you seek. I think laterally and see paths others don’t.]

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.