Simple Talk

Regardless of your political affiliations or leanings, there are lessons to be learnt from the election of Donald Trump. This isn’t a high falutin’, educated analysis of complicated exit poll data, Nope, this is just simple talk. Because, in the end, it was simple talk that won the election.

Donald Trump is a billionaire with a degree from The Wharton School (of Business) of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a really, really good school. Wharton is generally ranked a Top Five Business school. We don’t know if Trump was a great student or not, but then, you don’t know if your doctor was top of the class either. What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in medical school? Doctor, of course. You can switch doctor and lawyer if you wish. The point is, Trump isn’t a dummy whether you like his stances on issues or not. He can talk very uppity if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. He talks to us.

By “us”, I don’t mean you. You are the top of the societal rankings of your community. All your friends think you are super smart. You can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 45 seconds or start a BMW with no key in the ignition. I’m talking about the rest of us who didn’t graduate from the top echelon schools. Trump talks to us. I don’t mean this ugly at all, but he makes it simple. Do you ever have a hard time understanding what he said? No. Sure, you might disagree with him as the words come out of his mouth, but it’s obvious what he said. His words are so direct, so succinct, that he doesn’t ever use a word like succinct. It’s been reported that he speaks on a 5th grade level, and usually those news reports are written with a mean tone. Like the 5th grade is a bad thing.

Have you seen the average reading comprehension of Americans? It’s not good. Sure, you hang around similarly smart people so you think people are smart, because they are about as smart as you. But there is a vast swath of this country that doesn’t have a great literacy rate. They don’t have trouble understanding Trump. But they couldn’t understand Hillary Clinton. She’s a Yale educated lawyer with a fantastic vocabulary. She had speech writers with similar qualifications. It didn’t matter. Unless you can talk to the people you want to see things your way, it simply doesn’t matter what you say.

Her husband, Bill “Bubba” Clinton, was masterful at “feeling your pain” and people believed him. When your nickname is Bubba, you can talk to the folks. He had the same Yale Law School diploma, but he related to people then and now. He would have won again were it not for that silly 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

Oh, you think that we should aspire to more? To a higher, more aspirational future? You think we shouldn’t “dumb things down” just to win votes? Guess what, you just lost. Whether it’s an election or convincing a jury to vote for your client, if you can’t relate to the folks, you won’t win. Unless the other combatant is worse than you, but guess what? You are probably misjudging the other guy and he (or she) is scoring knockout punches but you are too confident to understand that you are losing.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t aspire for more. We should. Vocabulary comprehension is the single biggest determinant of success in my opinion. Understanding biology helps you become a doctor. Understanding physics helps you be a mechanical engineer. Understanding human nature helps you be a psychologist. But understanding people helps you be President. It’s that simple.

Is Electronic Voting Rigged?

Time to fess up. I’ve never been a big fan of electronic voting machines.

As a country, we do billions, maybe trillions, of dollars of commerce every day, most of it over electronic systems. If we can do that, why can’t we vote that same way? Because unlike the money system, there is no receipt or paper trail on these machines. I get no piece of paper telling me that my vote counted and that it was accurately recorded. When I go to the bank to make a deposit, I get a receipt. I can even pull it up online and check to make sure that the bank gave me credit for my deposit. Not so when it comes to electronic voting.

Were I interested in cheating my way to an election win, I’d rig the voting machines. Oh, who’d do that you say? Anyone interested in grabbing power is my answer. Capt. James T. Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru test by changing the program. He didn’t cheat, instead he changed the program because he didn’t believe in a “no win” scenario. He always believed there was a way out. But while that might work at Star Fleet Academy, it’s not so good when applied to elections.

It has recently been revealed that George Soros, a uber-wealthy socialist and big supporter of Democrats, may own an interest in voting machines used in sixteen states. This allegation arose of the result of a Wikileaks email hack, which was quickly attacked by Dems as being the fault of the Ruskies. When sources reveal that Republicans have been up to the usual dirty tricks, or women come forward with 20 year old allegations, the Dems have no problem with believing the credibility of those accusations. But let emails, hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email come out, and somehow it’s not fair to even discuss those. The Dems say it’s like breaking into someone’s house and discovering their secrets, then revealing the same. But I digress.

So back to Soros. Maybe he owns or controls 50,000 voting machines, maybe he doesn’t. I just don’t like the system of no checks and balances. During the “hanging chad” farce that was Gore v. Bush in 2000, at least there was something to look at, to examine, to contest. Today, how could that be done? If, and that’s a big if, “if” the election came down to my vote and the machine says I voted for X but I insisted I voted for Y, how would an objective outsider ever know?

In Ireland, which you’ve probably heard I just visited, they still do paper ballots. They do a thing called a transferrable vote, that is, you vote for your first choice, then second choice, third choice and on down the line. One, it’s on a piece of paper. Two, it’s the end of runoffs. Three, while it may take a bit longer to tabulate, it’s accurate.

Yet we persist in electronic voting that is ripe for corruption, manipulation and fraud. Sometimes just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This, to me, is one of those times.

Disagree?

Chief Liar Lynch, U.S. Attorneys in 26 States Lied About Immigration Lawsuit

We expect the our government to tell the truth, and its agents to be truthful. The United States Department of Justice is anything but, and has been exposed as the lying, conniving and deceiving bunch of marauders that they are.

When I accuse the government of lying to us, some take umbrage with that declaration and chastise me, telling me that “the government is us” and “we are all in this together.” My heart aches at the loss of liberty at the hands of the beast we call our government. I recognize that do-gooders really don’t want to believe that the government intentionally lies, just like a forlorn lover who is left at the altar wants to believe that something bad must have happened to keep their putative spouse from the wedding.

Loretta Lynch is the Attorney General of the United States. Under her watch, the DOJ has just been handed a stinging rebuke by a federal court judge, the likes of which I can’t recall. Two weeks ago, Judge Hanen, a federal court judge in Texas, ordered annual ethics classes for ALL Department of Justice attorneys in 26 states because the DOJ lied. It wasn’t a little white lie either. The DOJ tricked 26 states, who having filed a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s deferred action initiative, were told by DOJ that no action would be taken on deferred action until the litigation was resolved. DOJ then consulted with the White House (proven by testimony and records of telephone calls) and proceeded to grant 100,000 deferrals anyway.

DOJ, when confronted with facts, “admitted making statements that did not match the facts”, according to Judge Hanen’s order. “It has admitted that the lawyers who made these statements had knowledge of the truth when they made these misstatements … This court would be remiss if it left such unseemly and unprofessional conduct unaddressed.”

As punishment, Judge Hanen ordered that all DOJ attorneys in all 26 states affected who wish to appear in any federal or state court will have to undergo three hours of ethics training per year. Now as someone with friends who are Assistant U.S. Attorneys, I feel sorry for those who had nothing to do with this blatant falsehood and misleading of a federal judge, as their good names are being sullied by an Administration that flagrantly lies to federal courts and the public. It’s a classic case of one team member causing everybody to have to run 10 laps. The judge obviously feels that if the thousands of good attorneys get irritated enough, they will put pressure on DOJ to learn to tell the truth. There is some merit to that, however, I prefer to have seen the ones who lied to the judge prosecuted. If we want to stop DOJ attorneys lying to courts, put a few in prison and it’ll stop.

The DOJ, not willing to take the trivial punishment lying down, has told the judge that his mandate is too expensive for DOJ to implement. Three whole hours of ethics training? Too much says Loretta Lynch. While states differ, Georgia requires its attorneys to have two hours of ethics/professionalism each year, so a DOJ attorney in Georgia would simply have to take ONE more hour. In that hour, which DOJ can’t stomach, maybe their attorneys would learn that lying, conniving and deceit are wrong. We can only hope, but somehow, I think an hour would make no difference to the Washington crowd.

Unelected Bureaucrat Feds Overturn Georgia Carry Laws

Your incredibly efficient and all-knowing, all-powerful, all-protecting government has come up with yet another policy to protect you. Effective June 1, TSA will now arrest folks who inadvertently bring a legal firearm to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, to the airport security area of the terminal. Nationwide, TSA confiscated 2,653 guns last year, some from accidental gun toters, some maybe from intentional nuts who need to be prosecuted. While state laws differ, accidental gun carry is just that, an accident.

In Georgia, our law allows for a gun license holder who inadvertently brings a weapon to the checkpoint to return to their car to stow the weapon. While not permitted in every state, many states allow it. Alas TSA has decided that it can’t handle the aggravation of those 2,563 folks, so it will now prosecute innocent gun carry.

TSA’s authority is to issue this edict is fuzzy because it is buried in federal regulations, not the law itself. The law that was passed, Public Law 107-761 passed on November 19, 2001, created TSA and authorized the creation of a myriad of regulations, enacted by unelected bureaucrats, which form the genesis for the fines that TSA levels for non-compliance with their policy. The age old problem of unelected bureaucrats being in the position of governance over the citizens rears its ugly head yet again.

On the criminal side, 49 U.S. Code Sec. 44903, “Air transportation security” appears to be the authority for the proposition that weapons aren’t allowed where the government doesn’t want them. Sec. 44903 is the starting point for voluminous federal regulations that give the authorities the ability to set policies about airports in general, and as a result, about weapons carry as well. It has the force of law because the regulation, whatever it may be, is authorized by the general law that says bureaucrats can decide what you must abide by. Unelected bureaucrats that is, because there isn’t a federal law that prohibits gun carry at the airport, so the bureaucrats get to do it.

So TSA fines the accidental gun toter, and the Feds can apparently charge the accidental gun toter, and even the local prosecutor, Solicitor General Tasha Mosley, takes great joy in prosecuting accidental gun toting, under the idea that in Clayton County (upon which the screening area resides) isn’t a big fan of gun toting, except for the gang bangers that every year kill 140 people, rape 119, rob 161 folks and break into homes 200 times. Every crime stat for Clayton County exceeds Georgia averages! Yet she takes great joy in prosecuting accidental gun carry at the airport. Priorities?

So back to TSA. TSA wastes our time too. Sure, 2,653 gun toters cost TSA some time. Maybe an hour each time to determine that the gun toter is accidentally carrying. So that is 2,653 hours of precious TSA time that they will never get back. Shame on us.

TSA, however, wastes our time a bit too. Averages at Atlanta, which is my baseline, have been 30 to 60 minutes of late, so we’ll call it 45 minutes. TSA’s website encourages people to show up three hours before departure! Three hours! Let’s say you cut it close and get in line 45 minutes ahead of time as advised. Using TSA’s 708,316,339 checked passengers in 2016 as the beginning point, multiply that times 30 minutes (45 minute less 15 minutes that is inherent in the security process), that equals 354,158,169 hours of wasted time due to TSA inefficiency. Or, as TSA would claim, underfunding. Because what government agency doesn’t claim to be underfunded.

So TSA is 133,500 times more wasteful of our time than we are of theirs, but we go to jail?