Should the Legacy of the Trump Presidency Include a Human Rights Trial?

The Trump legacy will always include an impeachment conviction. But the scope of his miserable deeds and actions upon so many both here and outside the US. His racism has known few boundaries. His hatred of other cultures, religions follows lessons taught to him by his father, a firm believer of Aryan supremacy.

In his desire to win, gain more power and money, he set aside any feelings towards his fellow man. His inhuman desire for revenge for disloyalty also had no bounds. But I digress.

In order to be put on trial at The Hague the case needs victims who suffered directly at the hands of the President. In fact documentation is often required that substantiate the acts against large numbers of individuals, more importantly, targets of his aggression.

Incidentally, Trump, has self documented almost every day, sometimes hours, of his presidency. The documentation will be available for generations to come through his Tweets, Press conferences, video speeches, and recordings. He will not need a Library.

Having documented intentions, executive orders and other material let’s identify the victims. I will start off with Americans that died of COVID19, as of July 26, 2020, 150,000.

The intention was clear from the beginning-to be re-elected while suppressing any bad news or showing a willingness to address the epidemic as one of the worst in US history. In this the President broke the Constitutional directive to “to protect America from foreign and domestic enemies.” This is not only a prime obligation, but the lack of accountability or empathy, is, frankly, inhuman and should be set as an example to all leaders.

The families and children that came up from Central America to escape death in their own homelands, only to be treated with the most inhuman zeal to put them in cages, and ultimately separate them. In a country formed through immigration, Trump from the beginning, and working with his immigration architect, Steven Miller, stomped on the human rights of these individuals, Moslems from outside of the US the resulted in children’s deaths, not to mention the potential deaths of those deported.

But as the beacon of freedom, the US has now abandoned all sense of defending human rights for those most vulnerable. In most cases, abandonment would most assuredly result in deaths. Here the number of victims may not be as precise, but nevertheless deaths resulted. I am reflecting on the Syrian refugees and the Kurds. The one, the Syrians, we simply closed the doors on, even as our allies took them in. The Kurds, who were our Allies in the fight against ISIS, we abandoned to the genocidal instincts of the Turks.

I see this trial to be Trump vs the oft quoted American ideal of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. It will be sometime until the toll of death and misery is taken both domestically and globally. But like past dictators, others that wrought such misery on so many people, justice needs to be served.

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An Imaginary, but necessary conversation with President Trump

Mr. SMB : Hello, yes I will take the call from the President

President Trump: Hi, Mr. SMB I understand you have a small business in Nebraska. How did that beautiful small business loan work out for you?

Mr. SMB: Thank you, Mr. President. We just received our check yesterday. Monday I will cut checks for my seven employees. Came just in time,

President Trump: That’s great. So, when are you opening up your business?

Mr. SMB: Well that could be some time. You see, my employees are scared of coming into work fearing getting infected? They asked to be tested along with everyone we do business with.

President Trump: So what is the problem? I am told we have more tests than any other country? And, our tests are wonderful!

Mr. SMB:
We watch you every day, but we still do not see what you promised. We even went to our Walmart, but there was no testing there.  The other problem, Mr. President, is that we are a small business that services and rebuilds irrigation pumps. We cannot get parts because our three suppliers are in other states that are under lockdown. Our salespeople have gone out to the farmers, but they are not allowed into their homes. The farmer is not sure these salesmen have been tested. They have not.

President Trump yelling: Can someone please pick this call, I am done.

Mr. SMB: Mr. President, Mr President, are you still there? I just wanted to end by telling you that without parts or customers my business will not survive, especially when I cannot make payroll in two months.

President Trump : (epithet) hangs up.

Was This An Election or Have We, As A Nation Just Revolted ?

Beginning four years ago, we all began to watch the dissolution of our Constitution, our government and yes our Democracy into an autocracy complete with a pseudo-dictator and a majority legislative body for support. We all watched with trepediation and norms were eliminated, institutions vacated and law and order impotent in its execution and thought.

It seemed that every Fiday evening we watched another wound to our governance bodies, another legal reversal and finally the passage of laws that weakened Lincoln’s divided House.

We began to see the trappings of a 20’s revolution, that seemingly looked like the one of 1776. Americans, multigenerational, families. and children would be out in the streets of our major cities using digital tools to organize and synchronize small rebellions against the autocracy in Washington. Young generations finally found a cause, older generations were reminded of the “Movement” of the 60’s when similar words were used to demean the virtue of the protests.

The long lived stain of racism and slavery was integrated into the platform of the protest movements all with the intent of having an equal voice. This was the preparation needed to ultimately succeed in the revolution of Nov 3, 2021. And yes this was a contrast between the character of the protestors and the leader of our country and the Republican party. Literally, battle lines were being drawn from Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

And then another war began – a silent, invisible war, the pandemic. In fighting this war, we saw the true nature of our President and his party to . We saw a common trait of shared by autocracies of past history – the devaluation of human life to gain more power and wealth. It was the cold hard truth that 250,000 Americans died because of our leader and his party retreated rather than fight the worst mass death in American History. The solemn oath of the President and all government officials to protect all Americans from foreign and domestic enemies was broken.

So on November 3, we went to the battle armed with the only weapon we had left – our individual vote. But unlike any other election ever, this was seemingly not enough to defeat our President and his party. It took a series skirmishes to defeat his minions, county by county, state by state till the nation could agree that we once again destroyed an newer autocracy, as we did in 1776.

How the Digital Economy Has Become the Savior of the General Economy?

Like most of you I am perplexed by stock market behavior, having been hit by a double whammy – the Covid19 pandemic and an economic free fall. I have always separated the stock market from the economy suggesting that decisions made in the stock market are predominantly emotional, while those same decisions made in our economy are made based upon facts and analysis. But even the stock market is affected by outcomes and estimates. So, what is going on, why is our economy more resilient than it was in the last great recession when over 20 million workers are unemployed, and a pandemic is wracking businesses and classic economic indicators continue to bounce?

My hypothesis is that the digital economy has come into its own and is the predominant factor keeping our general economy from total failure. But let me be clear, all of what I will define now does not explain or correct the misery that so many people find themselves in. And as usual the huge wealth gap continues, as misery for the middle class and those who have suffered under economic injustice only increases. But if the digital economy continues to increase, I believe that access by small business will level the playing field and result in benefits for all. Call me naive, but I believe that American ingenuity and desire for fair play will win out.

About 15 years ago there were three technological imperatives that came to be that transformed the technology infrastructure and began the digital economy and its growth to what it is now.

Three factors that altered tech infrastructure forever were – broadband, cloud (platforms and operating environment) and basic cyber-protection. They not only changed the architectural direction but changed the economics of IT, that then led to new commercial business models forever. These same factors also set in place the next part of the evolution – virtual robotics and AI.

After the last recession and the onset of Cloud, I noticed a major change in the relationship of technology and business. Till then, IT budgets were composed of a large fixed cost budget for hardware, software, networks, and services. When cloud technology came along with the upgrade of network speeds using broadband, a business could finally get out of the IT business and could subscribe to software, hardware, network and services and be billed based upon usage. The shift from fixed to variable costing resulted in a classical alignment often sought after by all businesses – align business costs closely to the ever-shifting market changes. More demand higher costs, lower volume, lower costs, instead of the same fixed cost cemented and increasing, regardless of market ups and downs.

The difference in costs, variable costs aggregated were substantially less, with data centers increasing dramatically for cloud providers and eliminated by businesses. Even more important single points of weakness and stress were eliminated by spreading the risk across private, hybrid and public clouds.

With so much data now physically outside of the business and in the cloud the issue of cyber security increased from basic protection (and introduction) to more sophisticated technologies.

So, what. Well, today we are seeing the benefit of have a cost buffer (fixed vs variable) that can sustain (albeit, at much lower levels of profit) the many large companies across the industries. The digital economy established a symbiotic relationship between technology and business. That is ‘on demand’ services keep the technology companies going, while pay as you use, keeps the businesses going.

Another aspect has been prevalent has businesses that purposely digitally transformed (at its basic level of paper and process elimination) resulting in greater dependence on clouds but benefitting each time from the economic gift of variable costs.

You can see the companies that had transformed prior to the pandemic now holding their own and even when all around them brick and mortar businesses declining or shut down.

Then the top ten technology companies now dominate the market caps of the stock market increasing in value every month and shifting the Fortune 500 dramatically towards companies driving the digital economy.

But the digital economy is not naturally inclusive. Until recently there were always barriers to entry for small business. The barrier was predominantly due to small scale or lower business volume. Additionally, small business was often operating on slim margins, low technology investments when cost for manual processing was competitive with automation. Nor did the volume justify large investments in technology. Nobody says economies digital or otherwise are fair, especially to those with little scale.

In the next post I will examine how the next phase, virtual work, could begin to impact small businesses in non-revenue generating roles or jobs.

“What have you got to lose ?” President Trump, speech to minorities.

In New York City, this line is usually used as a last resort when trying to close a deal. The idea is that it is an informal ultimatum, do the deal and you can only gain, do not do the deal and you will lose. Trumps’ transactions were always between losers and winners.

Today, we all, but especially the black and brown Americans have lost more than they we could have ever imagined when the deal was presented. We have 110,000k souls dead from the COVID19 virus, of which a disproportoinate came from communities of color. More adult African American males are killed by policeman than any other citizens. Trump, as result of mishandling the virus has wreaked havoc on the economy where again black and brown people are affected with a larger number of unemployed and longer timeline for recovery than any other group.

I could go on with healthcare, education and any other benefit from being a citizen of this country, but the number will always be worse. From a global perspective Trump has hollowed out the Climate Change regulations that, as the second largest polluter in the world would continue the misery of people in Africa, Latin America and Asia with an increased frequency and intensity of earthquakes, droughts, flooding and disease. If this continues than the droughts can transform areas of Sub Saharn Africa to a continent of hunger, of terrorism, and ultimately a threat to other continents.

Further more, he has only widened the wealth gap, has increased starvation, homelessness and sicknesses with again a dispoportionate impact on minorities. The virus was, or as call it, a species killer, had its greates success around the world in 3rd world countries. It will never be eradicated unless we remove vulenrability due to lack of wealth, lack of technology and poor health systems.

The realization of loss, daily, intentional exhaustive misery cannot be quantified. The increased enforcement of MAGA, which was intended to be the winner of this transaction has only resulted in America dropping a few notches on the world stage. I believe we were already great, but have now regressed to sit next to other countries that are ‘ghost’ democracies.

The protests are an overwhelming response to Trumps deal. We do not want it, we do not want to be winners in a world of inequality. We are watching people die on mass because of bad decisions and basic ingnorance from a very bad salesman,never a leader. The protesters are asking for the misery to end. For us to deal with our original sin, our weakest link, racism, once and for all, and to inject new energy into the words of our founding fathers.

We have cleaned up the White House more than once in our history. Each time we returned to our basic principles and values. Each time it was hard. With technology and the internet today it will be even harder, but we have no choice, we need to reject “what do you have to lose” or that our country wants to win over the basic principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Trump – Taking the Measure of the Man

Before the internet, radio or television, we had to use all our senses including a  good deal of common sense to ‘take the measure of the man or women’./ It meant that we reverted to our survival instincts and used all of our senses to form a composite of the person we were trying to know. Thus we would not let one sense take over our analysis unless we had a bias from past meetings. In fact, our composite was an insight into the person so that we could not just listen to a speech but tried to understand the meaning of the words.

We would use our smell to understand if the person was nervous or anxious. We would use our sight to picture the face as it rolled from emotion to emotion. In fact, we could deduce an ‘evil’ or joyful’ face from the many expressions.

Today we rely of text or twitter, possibly a video, or picture to create a partial composite. We then validate that composite based upon our ideology, philosophy, class or background. We rarely look at the facts as that requires work and time. We are passive as images and sound our beamed at us. We fall into a non-questioning state, or non-interactive state as when we watch a movie, or listen to the radio.

As such Trump, know ing this from his days on reality TV, acts even when he tweets. The basis of our analysis is built on his moods and lies. In the old days, all of our senses combined could detect a lie. Today there are too many walls to climb.

Now when alike is repeated you limited senses slowly become inured to the lie and after the fourth time, it becomes true or factual.

We need to go back thousands of years to wake up instinctual senses in order to take a full measure of Trump. When we do, we need to capture that moment of understanding and use it for future comparison.

It follows that the cult of Trump is measured the same way. A seemingly large group of individuals who have long ago abandoned any thought of working hard to discern the measure of the man, from the digital profile of the same.

Next time you read a tweet, see a video, cut through the image and the words and see if you can ascertain the composite, lies, outlandish behavior and all in order to see the true Trump.

The only plus side of Trump’s behaviour is the fact that Twitter and speeches videos will be the basis of his history. Every day of his term has either been documented in a Tweet or a video. His behaviour is limited to those words and his speech to his form of entertainment. We will not need a long analysis to see his legacy, as this log of his term will give us sufficient evidence of his sick mind.

The Sabbath Massacre

Today, in a Pittsburg synagogue an indeterminate human killed 11 Jewish worshipers in the hallowed halls of this synagogue. Ironically, an eight-day  old baby was introduced to Judaism and to his new Jewish name. This while the shooter killed old and young Jews in the sanctuary.

Sanctuary, is meant to be a safe place for all, Jews and non-Jews. This incident has now burnt into the American Jewish history as the worst massacre of Jews in 200 years.

But behind the words and the actions there is a rise of nationalism and nativism. There is a concern of a portion of our population that does not want to give up their culture to a more diverse culture. Our President feels that this movement will make America Great Again. This country strength today and tomorrow will,in fact, be diversity.

Inclusiveness is a tradition in America. We have a President that wants to build a wall, not to increase legal immigration, but to keep out refugees and desperate families walking thousand of miles for only one reason-hope. Words matter, ignorance also matters. When you mix the two, others who are equally angry start believing hateful and dark leaders. Repeat the message and lies often enough and hate like a cancer grows. It thrives on increased hate of other humans, simply because the are ‘other’.

I have fought a war against hate for my people and my home, Israel. Like America, Israel is an idea, one that Jews have never had in their long history their own home. America and its democracy, it’s melting pot, is a much larger idea, this one for all humans under threat, or decimated from attempts of genocide.

If we are ever to achieve true humanism, we need to return to basic values such as ‘my brothers keeper’, golden rules and above all the fact that we are all equal, and the survival  of our species is in our hands.

 

 

 

Time to Reread The Declaration of Independence – Foundation is Shaking

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

 

The two statements above came from the same document, the Declaration of Independence. The first statement is the foundation of what our forefathers thought our government, our country, our American behavior should be based upon. In other words, Americas character.

The second statement is below the first and introduces everything that was wrong with the behavior of the King of England and England itself. In other words, England’s royal character.

 

I put this out because I believe the founders wanted to layout some behavioral norms that they wished America would adopt going forward. Overtime this foundation was tested by acceptance of other norms that came from outside and inside of our country. Somehow, we always came back to the foundation, and then adjusted for the times.

 

Every time I hear somebody say that when they elected Trump, they knew there was a lot of baggage and bad behavior that came with that. But since he was going to make America great, clean the swamp and ultimately put our country’s economy back in order, they were willing to overlook the bad. One can say, that the Republican Party acquiesced and even went further, so that they could stack the Supreme Court with conservatives and get wealthy and corporation Tax Cut.

What has happened is that Trumps bad, became the norm among his followers and his Party. The behavior of Trump goes against the foundational statement written by the Founders.

 

In fact, the norm that Trump drives can be taken out of any authoritarian script in history.

It all begins with identifying an immigrant scapegoat (there goes equality), it is then followed by either taking over the media (like Putin) or neutralizing the media(Fake News), so that the ‘truth’ comes from state media (except for some brave anchor men, Fox News). Can we all now say  and believe that ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident.”. I do not think so, at least not for the last year and half.  The third part of the script usually calls for the taking over of the military. There I am not sure, since like all of you I am not sure what Trump agreed to with Putin, but I am sure it did not undermine Putin’s plans for the Mid Terms.

 

So, to all of the Republicans that may be reading this, unlike your party and Trump, are you willing to finally say enough. Are you willing to look at what follows the second statement and see the character of the man sitting and tweeting in the White House? Are you willing to test his patriotism and his loyalty to the first statement? Are you ready to end the insanity of; child/mother separation, Charlottesville, private meetings with the man that wants to destroy our Democracy, to stop this reality show on steroids. There is nothing more purifying than going back to basics, and breathing that rarified air of our Democracy.

 

To all the other readers, take my advice, I have stopped reacting to the Tweets, nor listen the cable palaver around them. I am confident that leaving Trump to his Tweets and video mobs will only accelerate his karma.

 

 

Where have you gone Steve Jobs ? Senate Pushes Shameless Tax Bill 2017

Probably the closest hero I have had to Joe DiMaggio as the song goes, was Steve Jobs and his counter cultural approach to technology. After the Tax Bill was passed I started to look for America again. How could a majority in Congress, supported by a minority in America push through a bill that will not only hurt the economy, but widen the gap between those who have America’s wealth from those that simply want a fair share of it.

The Tax Bill will more than help the major technology companies, but it will ultimately hurt them too. Most of these companies are successful because their software and hardware is consumed by the 99%. But what if the salaries are not increased or possibly go away? What if the technology companies see a shrinking trained resource pool and immigration continues to go down? You begin to see the hole this Tax Bill will dig.

If Steve Jobs were here, he would know that when Congress was cooking the new tax plan they were overlooking an enormous trend that will change the workplace, beyond anything done before. Because the Tax Bill was done hurriedly and without any input from technologists, economists, corporations and the average worker, they were clueless to the logical end of digital transformation – enterprise robots or virtual workers (or whatever you want to call them).

The majority of our economy is now driven by services. Another way to look at this is the  human worker is in the middle of gathering, processing, decision-making and dissemination of information.  The technology companies are all ready there – they understand that physical workers will give way to virtual robots that provide the golden grail of any business – very cheap, unlimited capacity that can be modulated to volume. Essentially, the cost of labor is reduced and becomes a non-factor in the margin.

The estimates are starting to come in that range from 30-50% of the white-collar workforce will be impacted. The timeframe – ten years, just about when those middle class tax credits disappear, if they have not all ready from the increased health care premiums (same tax bill).

And thus, who will buy the devices, software and subscriptions when the middle class is hit so hard. Karma?

That Steve Jobs, and other technology leaders would have done is begun an ad campaign to shame Congress  to look beyond Washington and recognize the technology and work trends reshaping our society. They would echo what the majority is thinking – that instead of providing additional credits to the rich and to the corporations, pour the money into our national education systems (K-Post Doctoral) now, not in ten years. skill or retrain those workers effected and prepare new workers to apply the same disciplines (strategy, ideation, innovation, product development, analysis) utilizing the new technologies of AI, process automation and deep learning. And lest we forget, put a resilient and hardened communication infrastructure in place in parallel with new institutions for advanced technology training.

But the heroes are now gone, including Joe D. We must put away the philosophies of Ayan Rand (who could have written this Tax Bill) and bring back the true democratic and American belief – through hard work you can succeed in this free country. If you work hard, and save and pay your fair share, than the contract with the government is that they will provide you with the services to keep your family educated, safe, housed and healthy. That it will never limit your potential to achieve success. What a concept!