All posts by Jim Daniel

What Trumps Next Term Might Look Like

I know it is not very smart to take Donald J Trump at his word but I am just this once, at lest in part. He has said he will be a dictator for the first day he is in office. May people think he is saying he will be a dictator for just one day. But he didn’t say that. So just what can we expect to see. Here are some of my thoughts.

First, if the MAGA gets complete control of the House of Representatives. By this I mean they have between 300 and 350 of the seats. A control of the Senate, 60 seats. They will, by the current rules, refuse to seat any non-party, not a MAGA Republican, in either or both Houses of Congress. This can and should be done before Trump is sworn in. These actions, while undemocratic are legal by both the House and Senate Rules.

Once MAGA has in questionable control of the Congress things will start to get interesting. It will all depend on how much MAGA will want to seem doing things thru the law or not. If they want to take on the veneer of legality they will need to pass laws. For example, to ”Clean House” in the DOJ they could just order the termination of all “Liberal” employees. With out changing the Civil Service Law(s) this would open up the administration a mountain of law suits. This could be handled if they first cleaned out the federal judiciary of all questionable judges. Again, if the law is not changed there could be a lot of law suits. So I for see quite a few laws being changed rather rapidly. But even moving as fast as they possible can the Congress will take some time, many weeks if not months, to get done.

What I would first expect to see is a change in the law(s) governing how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works so it can exert tighter control over cable news and social media. After all they will not want the average citizen getting “false” news from the “Libertard” media. The problem with this is that a lot of the social media is done by companies owned by people who will not want the government sticking its nose into their business. Don’t believe it? Just think about how Eon Musk would react to the FCC telling “X” how to select what is shown?

Once both the cable media and social media are brought into line it will be the turn for the MilItary to bought to heal. I’m not sure how this could be done. One thing for sure is the oath taken by all members of the services will need to be changed, especially for the officers. They will have to get rid of the phrase “Lawful Orders” for sure. But I’m not sure how well removing the constitution will sit with people. Maybe changing “constitution” “government”? This might work and could be done to all oaths that government workers have to take.

Another easy fix is just to change the civil service act to enable a return to the spoils system of the 19th century. I’m not enough of a lawyer to work out how this could be done but I am sure it can be done. At the same time we can also change the laws on what an employer can fire a person for so that no termination can be challenged, ever. Just think of it, a boss can fire female employee for refusing him sex. Or for not committing a criminal act. More power to the Boss’.

Most of this can be handled in the first year of the Congress and then things will really start to get interesting. Having each State create it’s own Establish Church sounds good. I wonder if we could get it so only members of the State’s Established Church has the franchise or better yet be a citizen of the state? Wait, that might need an amendment to the constitution.

Well that’s enough of a nightmare for now. Sweet Dreams.

What can be Learned from the NYC Trump Trial (Pt 1)

Lady Justice
Lady Justice

There are quite a few things that can be learned from the “Hush Money” trial of Donald J. Trump. Just two, to start with. The dual or multi leveled Justice system and Jury selection and how hard we work to keep it fair.

First the simplest, the jury selection process in our courts. It has taken one an a half days to get the first 12 prospective jurors seated and starting the culling process. Look at how many people were dismissed just because they were not confident they could be fair and unbiased. This says something about the common citizen that so many people were honest enough with themselves to say “I’m not sure I can be fair in this case.” And while not all, not even the majority, said this, some did. Just think what this says about your fellow Americans. We take this duty of siting as a juror very seriously.

So next let’s look at just what this one trial says about the accusation that we have a two, or multi, tiered Justice system. I know this has been one of the major talking points of Trump and his supporters, but this trial is showing just how it works. Just not in the way Trump wants you to think it is working.

Trump is not the victim of the multi-tiered justice system, he is the beneficiary. In just this one case he has been treated much kinder than the average Joe Blow or Jane Row. Just go and find your average criminal lawyer and ask them how the court treats the average defendant who ignores and/or violates court orders? Then look at how Trump is being treated. Are they even close to being the same?

Then look at the number of motions that Trump has moved before the trial even got to jurry selection? Ask how many of the motions even met the basic standard of being non-frivolous?

I think you will be both shocked and offended by what you find. It is like Trump said in the “Access Hollywood tape”, “When you’re famous you get to do that….”. It would seem to go double when your both Rich and Famous. So keep your eyes open with all the Trump cases, we are about to learn about all the little secrets the “Privileged Set” don’t want you to know.

P.S. It is also going to show the MAGA leadership that getting people all riled up over the way the average Joe/Jane is treated can have unintended consequences.

Some Thoughts on Disinformation

Print shops
Renaissance Print Shop

Mankind has had to deal with the use and uncontrolled spread of “misinformation” for a very long time. Before the invention of the printing press rumor (misinformation) was not easy to spread anonymously as it was mostly by word of mouth. But with the invention of the printing press it became quite easy to create pamphlets that were next to impossible to trace back to their originator.

The United States has had to deal with the issues of rapid change in speed and distance information travels almost since it founding. With the coming of the Electric Telegraph in the 1840’s the speed at which news (information) and rumors (disinformation) shank amazingly. It is hard for us who live in the 21st century to comprehend but once it could take days for news to travel from Boston to New York City and to reach New Orleans could take weeks or months. But once the Telegraph lines were in place it would only take hours, and most of that time was taken getting the message to and from the Telegraph office. Once we got the transatlantic cable (1865 for the first successful cable) time went from 2 weeks to 2 minutes (or so the cable company bragged).

Once the Telegraph was in use in towns of almost any size we see the local newspapers printing news from faraway places like the county seat, the state capital, or can you believe it, Washington DC. An it was only a couple of days old. What a marvel this modern age of 1870 is!

Things stayed fairly stable for a few decades but in the 1890’s with the successful development of the etheric Radio and it’s acceptance for ship to shore communications in the early 20th (1910’s) things were set for a big change. By the 1920’s we now had common radio telegraphy and commercial radio stations and even nightly news casts. But let us not forget the Telephone was also coming into everyday life, not only the very wealthy had them in there homes, people of moderate income had them. An even boarding houses had them in the hallways. At the same time as radio and Telephone were becoming common and changing things we got the new ‘entertainment’ the Motion Picture! At the movie theater you not only got a show but more often than not you got a “News Reel”. Now you could read about the news, hear the news and see the news.

Then, in the 1950’s we got Television and things both speeded up and got easier to get. This is where I come into the picture as I grew up with TV, and Transistor Radios. But still we had the same basic problem, all the communications was in one direction. To the consumer. The people who gathered the information and sent it out had very little, and most was of low quality, knowledge of what the audience was interested in. So then came the 1990’s and the arrival of the desktop computer and the internet. Who could have seen just what a big effect it was going to have back in the early 90’s. Not me, that is for certain.

And let us not over look the “Cell”/“Smart” phone. Nor should we over look the coming of the tablet computer (now simply called a tablet). At the same time as the coming of the tablet we also have the arrival of WiFi everywhere, even on city buses. Was it only 2012 when I was amazed at being able to get the internet out in the boonies of the Mohave in Antelope Valley (CA)? Well it was. So now we live in a world where most kids over the age of 8 (?) have both a phone and a tablet. A both devices have ten(s) if not hundred(s) of apps that connect to the internet almost anywhere we go. So just what does this mean to the growth of disinformation?

It means we need to develop tools and methods of identifying and filtering all of the information for its “validity”. By Validity I just mean the quality of the facts, if it reports to be facts, or the real person putting forth an opinion. We need a very reliable methods and tools to separate things, before we even look at them ourselves. We need a way to know if the originator of the information is someone we know and if we don’t know them, a way to find out just who they are. We need tools and methods to separate “real persons” from “bots”.

All of this is possible, trust me here, I’ve seen equally impossible things happen in the past 73 years. The kids can do it and all we have to do is point out the problem to them and say “Help”. We did it for our parents and grandparents and our kids and grand kids can do it for us. Not that it will be easy, it won’t. There are too many people with too much money, with too much at stake to let this happen. But once again we have been thru this before and succeeded. We have already started to make some changes, in the Law, in how we work, how we educate and we can find an do more. We just have to look for the answers, they are out there.

A Big Mistake By Conservatives

Pres. Trump on White House Portico

As the Sheldon Crisis continues I thought it was about time to point out one of the biggest mistakes made by Conservative Leaders of any country….They think they can control the person the put into a position of absolute, or unconstrained, power. The problem is caused by them believing that the tools and methods used to control, manipulate, restrain, or otherwise limit the actions of the autocrat will not work on him/her.

This known this from history and I’m not just talking about the 20th century. But since that is the time we have the most complete data lets just look at what happened when Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany. The leaders of the Conservative Party thought they could control him by using the President Hindenburg and packing the cabinet with “there” people. Turns out that Hindenburg was a very weak old man who only had just over a year to live after the “ Reichstag fire”. A while the cabinet did have more conservatives than NSDP party members the NSDP held all the critical offices. An finally they saw Hitler and his people as “fools” and “buffoons” an there for underestimated them.

We got a small sample of this thinking in the Trump Presidency where we were told there would be “adults” in the room to keep Trump from doing anything crazy. We saw just how well that worked, too. From the ‘little’ things like signing checks for false legal fees, to phone call to get election officials to break the law. To, finally wonderful “Stop the Steal” rally of Jan 6. An the only reason why Trumps efforts did not succeed was that Trump did not understand just how our complex Federal System of government is and where the choke points are. We are lucky that Trump’s experience is in the small (but wealthy) business world and that world does not work like politics at all. So he tried to act like he did in his business and it fell flat on it’s face.

But we need to remember that we are going into the next phase of this crisis and things are going to get much more complicated in the years to come. An I, for one, would like to wise up those conservatives who wrongly believe they, or any body, can “control” a would be autocrat (read dictator).

Some Thoughts on Technology

Workers in Metropolis
Workers in Metropolis

For sometime now I’ve been thinking about all the people who complain about “Modern” Technology or just Technology in general. Mostly it is people around my age who are complaining and upon a closer look what they are really complaining about is that they don’t understand all this “new” technology and seem to resent having to ask for help. Especially from their grand kids. This I can understand, no one likes feeling or looking dependent, but that is not what I’m going to talk about today.

Today I’m going to be addressing those out there who don’t like technology. Those who think things were better 50, 100, 500 years ago. Back when things were “simpler”. You find theses people scattered about the political spectrum, left, right, center. What does happen is, from time to time, they anti-technology ideology gets drafted by one side or the other. Way back when I was a 20’s something the anti-technology thoughts where mostly on the left. Then, years later it was on the right. Now it seems to be about evenly spread over the spectrum. But it looks like the right is finding anti-technology to be the thing to sell.

This seems to be because the right, as it often is, supported by the people with, or think they have, or should have, lots of money and power. A right now fair number of the biggest corporations are being threatened with change. And the things changing are not something they control, or even really understand. But, again, this is not what I’m going to talk about.

I’m talking about is that the creation and use of technology is one of the key things that make us Human. As we gain more and more knowledge about how the earliest hominids lived we are finding more and more evidence that they used technology. When I assert this I often get “are you saying “cavemen” had technology? A Yes that is exactly what I’m saying. The moment one of are ancestors picked up a rock and threw it to kill some pray we were using technology. Even more so when he/she started selecting rocks to throw for how easy they were to throw but how effective they were in taking down the prey. The first time we napped a rock to make a sharp edge we were ‘inventing’ new technology. This is what humans do. We create technology and we change the world we live in with it.

What is deferent now is we are becoming much more aware of what effects the new, and old, technology has. We are becoming more aware of unforeseen and/or unintended side effects of using technology. An we are now asking the question(s) is this what we want? Can we do it deferentially so that the side effects are mitigated someway? Or can we do something else for the same effect that doesn’t have the side effect we don’t want. An even more so now, we ask the question of “If we do ‘X’ what effects, other than the one we want, will happen and do we really want that?

These are not easy question to ask, much less, answer. The major reason is it forces us to look beyond the immediate results, why we created the new technology, to what it can do latter. It is not something we find easy to do. Worse, it is not something we train people to do as a matter of habit. Not like we train them to look and see if what they want to do can be ‘Monetized’. An if you don’t think this is done, just go to any ‘pitch’ meeting for a tech company. After we get passed the ‘What is it?’ And the ‘What good is it?’ We get the ‘How much profit will it make?’ Followed by ‘How Soon?’

So to everyone out there, get over not liking all the Newfangled Technologies. It is what we do. I recommend you start encouraging the young ones around you to help you figure out how you can use it to make your life both happier and just a bit nicer.

An End to the Grand Old Party

Dead GOP

With the changing of the guard at the RNC and the placing of both MAGA and Trump loyalist in the top leadership we need to change both the symbol of the Republican Party and its nickname . I propose these two:

For the symbol:

MAGA

And for the Nickname TOP (Trump’s Own Party). I particularly like TOP as it will appeal to not only Trumps ego but will also tell everyone just who is in charge. Even when Trump dies, they will still need to have a “Trump” leading the Party. At lest until the Trump line dies out, you know, like the “Claudio-Julians” at the end of the Roman Republic.

The symbol is a bit more shaky, but I still think it captures the spirit of the Party. A party run by women but with a male figurehead who takes all the credit. Just like an African Lions pride. The man just sits around all day, ready to chase away any other male. Screwing the all the women who do the actual work. And bragging to everyone how hard he works and how great everything he does, is. And all the females let him get away with it.

The only issue I see with these changes is that they might just be too truthful and on the mark. MAGA and the TOP don’t really feel comfortable with the truth being out where everyone can see it. They like the truth to be kept in a deep dark dungeon chained to the wall and starved.

An Now for Something Positive

Supreme Count of the United States
Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing…Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. .Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson…Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

With all the liberal commentators running around with their hair on fire over with SCOTUS granting certiorari on the immunity case I thought I’d give into my contrariness and try to look on the bright side. First though let’s as acknowledge the win Donald Trump has gotten, it now looks very very doubtful that the trial of Donald Trump on his actions of Jan 6 2020 will take place before the Presidential election. Time is just getting two short. That said, here are a couple of positive things to look for when the court finally renders their decision.

The first thing I’m going to be looking for if they rule that Trump does have some kind of immunity for his actions on Jan 6th 2020 is just how much immunity does he, and all current and future presidents have. If they rule he has total immunity I want to see how they do not grant the same immunity to Joe Biden and all other future Presidents. If Donald Trump has total Immunity then it follows that Joe Biden does too. If not, why not. It is not good enough for the court to say that the ruling only applies to this one specific case with out an explanation of why it only apples to Donald Trump. To do otherwise would be an anathema to all MAGAs out there.

I can just see it now, SCOTUS rules that Donald John Trump, and only Donald John Trump has total and complete immunity for his actions as President. SCOTUS’ reputation with the American public took a bad hit with the Dobbs decision last year and to rule that Trump, and only Trump is immune would be so totally raw that it would totally throw the election against MAGA. So I would look for some very fine hair splitting on just why this case is totally unique. For the life of me I can not come up with any reasoning that would work. So let us wait and see just what happens.

I, personally expect SCOTUS to rule that Trump is not immune but the ruling will come down the last week in June. This will be done in the hope that the delay is enough to keep the trial from starting before the election and that the trial court or the DOJ will decide that it is too close to the election to be held so a trial date will be set sometime in November after the election. This leads us right to the fun part of having the President elect going on trial for Insurrection. Which leads us right to if he is convicted, who if anyone, keeps Trump from being sworn in? Again I’m sure SCOTUS is very aware of this and they are aware just how much blame the public will assign to them for all the trouble that will happen. I can see the security at the Capitol if it happens. Boggles the mind.

An just how is this last thing positive? Just this; No mater how the Court rules, they have just stepped in it. They have managed to get both moderates and liberals aware of the fact that SCOTUS maters to them. Personally! That means they are going to be paying attention to who is on the court and how they are ruling. This is something conservatives in general and MAGA in particular will despise. I look forward to the next SCOTUS vacancy and the hearings for the replacement. An since we can expect any nominee to decline to answer questions on how they might rule in the future we can look forward to an even closer scrutiny of their writings and if they were/are judges how they ruled in cases that could apply. Again something conservatives in general and MAGA in particular will not like. Personally I’d like to see the rejection of any candidate who does not have a track record on the expected issues to come before the court. I’d even like to see that anyone who is on the Heritage Foundation list of acceptable candidates to be subject to very close scrutiny.

Finally I look for the US Senate to change it’s rules so that there is a time limit only how long a nomination for the Court can be held up when the Senate is in session so we no long have what happed back in 2016. But those thoughts are for another posting.

My Thoughts on the Colorado case before SCOTUS

14th Amendment

May you live in interesting times and People in High Places know your name.”

Ancient Chinese Curse

After listening to the Oral arguments before SCOTUS last week and listening to more legal scholars and talking heads than I care to remember I’d like to share my take away from “Trump vs. Anderson”. First off I want to make clear that I feel that this is going to be both a critically and historically important case. A case that will be thought in both history classes and in law classes in times to come. Also I am sure ever Justice on the Court believes this too. This is a ground breaking case and the only questions we have to face is who’s ground gets broken and what happens next.

My first take is I agree with the vast majority of the Scholars and talking heads, SCOTUS is going to over turn the case. I don’t have a clue on just how the will reason this nor what the vote is going to be. An I’m not brave enough to make a guess either. I also feel that no mater how they rule the Justices are in for a long hard few of years ahead. What I’m going to do here is talk about just one question facing them. If they rule such that no state can prevent a person from being on the ballot(s) of that state that does not meet the qualifications for being President or Vice President then just who and when are the requirements going to be inforced?

First question: Can the Congress pass a law on who can be on their ballot(s) (Either Primary or General). How can this law be constitutional when the Constitution give the several States sole rights on how their Presidential Electors are selected? If it is constitutional who actually enforces the Law, which agency of the Federal Government has the job (or who would want it)?

Second question: If the States do have the right to control the selection of their Presidential Electors can the State(s) at the time the electors gather at the appropriate designated place can the State(s) legislature disqualify all votes for the candidate who fails to met the qualifications? If they can, then who do they select as electors? Or do they just not send any electors at all?

Third question: If the several States do select and send electors for a person who does not met the qualifications for President/Vice President and accept their votes does the Congress have the right and/or duty to reject those votes when the votes are counted? Sub question, is the vote only not counted for the person who does not qualify? Would this not lead to the situation where we get the President disqualified and the Vice President who is qualified? Does he/she automation move up to the Presidency ?

Fourth question: If we get to the point where a person who fails to met the qualifications to be President is about to be sworn in what does the Chef Justice do? Does he/she actually administer the oath of Office?

Fifth question: If a person who does not met the qualifications for President is swarm in would he/she not be libel for immediate Impeachment?

See the problem? No matter what SCOTUS has some very interesting times a head and many many people in high places know all their names.

The Coming Time of Troubles

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing…Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. .Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson…Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Will wonders never cease? I woke up in time to listen to the live broadcast of the SCOTUS hearing on the Colorado case removing Donald J. Trump from the primary ballot. I got a lot of questions but I’m not going to go into them now as I’m sure most if not all will be both brought up by the “Talking Heads” in the days to come and also addressed by the courts ruling. No, what I’m going to deal with a question that has not even been addressed out loud yet. That question is:

“If the court rules that the several states can not enforce the qualifications to hold office before a person is elected when and who does enforce them?” Let me set up the hypothetical for you here:

A person who will not be 35 at the time of being sworn in, when I who says he/she can not be sworn in? Is it done when the electors of the several states are approved by the state legislatures? Is it done when the elector collage votes are counted by Congress? Or is it when he/she steps up to take their oath of office (and who does this)? See the problem?

Now it is possible for the Court to say that this is the responsibility of the Congress. But what do we do if the Congress does not act. The current House of Representatives does not fill me with confidence. What does congress do if it gets conflicting Elector ballots? If he/she is not allowed to take office, who does? The Vice President? The Speaker of the House? Who?

See the problem, no mater what the Court does we are in for some very hard times, some much much harder than others. Only time and the Court will tell.

A child of the 1960’s

I was 17 back in 1968, one of the most important Presidential elections I ever voted in. No I didn’t cheat. My parents told my older brother , Al, and me that they would cast the vote for president we wanted. Papa for Al and Momma for me. This was because both of us were facing the draft and going off to the Vietnam War. I had been aware of presidential elections since 1964 (LBJ vs. Goldwater) but what the parties and candidates stood for really didn’t sink in. 1968 was totally different. For many reasons.

I shan’t go into the politics as you can find way too many books, blogs, podcasts, etc on that era. I’m going to talk about myself, personally. First of I was NOT a flower child nor hippie. I was quite emphatic in my being a radical “Middle of the Bird” (see Rowan & Martin Laugh-In). Also, like now, I have total intolerance of hypocrisy. I came by this both naturally and from the 60’s culture. The easiest and quickest way to get me to reject your idea is to appear to be hypocritical.

For example: If you want to have a “Double Standard” where you get to have or do something you do not want others to have or do I will accept the idea if you will just admit you want a double standard and not say that double standards are bad. The problem I have finally learn is that getting a double standard and saying you don’t like double standards is an application of the double standard. I couldn’t win. I challenge you to find a single ‘hypocrite’ who will admit to hypocrisy.

For all you out there who the 1960’s is just a decade in your history books, the 1960’s was a time where the teenagers of the decade took great joy in calling there elders “Hypocrites” in loud pear-shaped tones. While I think I rarely said this to my parents, I hope I didn’t, I did do it in school, clubs, and shouting at the TV. Please note that changing your mind was all too often taken as hypocrisy back then and I had a long hard road learning to tell the difference.

With time, age and a heart attack I think I’ve changed some. I still hold hypocrisy in great disdain but I hope I do not call it out so self righteously as my 18 year old self did. An if you find some of my ideas odd or dated please just remember where I came from.