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Aileen! This Was a Slam Dunk!

Aileen! This Was a Slam Dunk!

Summary: Why a Loose Cannon Should Be Removed

It’s not like Judge Cannon is getting paid by the hour or anything. Trump’s attorneys are, however, which would justify making all these insane, frivolous motions. Judge Cannon, I am not an attorney, but I can read, have a higher-than-average IQ, and know if a duck looks, smells, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Let’s look at the right-wing talking points one at a time, or you can see an overview of the timeline of the efforts the United States government made to retrieve these documents here.

Hundreds Of Classified Documents Belonging to the US Government are “Stolen Property”

The Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978 establishes that Presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the Archivist as soon as the President leaves office. 

“The term ‘classified information of the United States’ means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.”

If you want to see what the FBI found, you can find the entire inventory here.

Think of It as Possession of Stolen Property and Let That Sink In

Now, because the United States government owns these documents, the former President essentially stole them. Even in Florida, that’s still a crime.

We’ve Established It Was Stolen, and It’s Classified. Now What?

Even if it wasn’t stolen (but it was), it wasn’t stored or safeguarded properly. The purpose of a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) is to establish policies for accessing, safeguarding, and storing classified information and material. From the many descriptions we have seen, read, or heard about where the classified information was retrieved at Mar-a-Lago, none of them was a SCIF. Unless you count a golden outhouse as a SCIF.

Obstruction of Justice

If Trump really believed the classified docs were his, as he has said, why did he order Walt Nauta to move them just before the Department of Justice came to look for them? And why did he throw his former attorney, Evan Corcoran, under the bus, falsely telling him it was all right to sign a document certifying that there were no more classified documents in Trump’s possession?

“Federal prosecutors have claimed that lawyers for Trump certified in June 2022 that a ‘diligent search’ of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate turned up just 38 classified documents stored in a secured storage room. But two months later, when FBI agents raided the premises, they found more than 100 additional documents marked classified — some of which were located outside of the storage room, including in Trump’s office desk, prosecutors said.”

It Wasn’t a Raid; The FBI Was Executing a Search Warrant.

They didn’t block all the exits and charge in with guns blazing, shouting, “Everybody down! Nobody moves, and you won’t get hurt!”

The FBI got a search warrant from a Florida Justice after showing probable cause. After confirming that Trump was in New Jersey, they coordinated with the Secret Service at Mar-a-Lago and wore no clothing that would identify them as the FBI to avoid embarrassing the former President. Really? Embarrass Donald Trump?

It Was NOT a Plot to Assassinate Trump

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force,” said the FBI. Again, confirming that Trump was in New Jersey at the time, they proceeded.

When asked at a press conference to comment about the FBI statement, Speaker Mike Johnson stared blankly for a few seconds, then turned and walked away muttering something that sounded like, “Damned stupid piece of sh*t.” according to those closest to him.

The Constitutionality of a Special Counsel

Really? Really! Are you holding hearings for arguments on this issue? While you are the Judge here, it took me less than 15 minutes on Google to find the answer to the question the Trump MAGAts are posing here.

Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel.

“The Attorney General, or in cases in which the Attorney General is recused, the Acting Attorney General, will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and—

(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and

(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.”

No Gag Order Against the Biggest Liar on the Planet?

Even Ty Cobb, Trump’s former lawyer, points out the fallacy of Cannon’s reasoning as shown in Court filings.

The judge said Smith’s team failed to meaningfully reach out to Trump’s attorneys on the gag order request.

Cobb pushed back against Cannon’s reasoning and accused the federal judge of bias.

‘Conferring doesn’t require, you know, doing it in a proper form or in a way that meets whatever her standard is,’ he said. ‘It requires talking to the other side, and they did and they mentioned it in the papers that they had conferred and Trump’s team didn’t agree.’”

Both Judge Merchan and Judge Engoron found it necessary to gag the “Mouth that Roared.”  Could the real reason Judge Cannon doesn’t feel that need is because Trump hasn’t attacked her? And why would he? She is clearly his favorite.

For all the reasons above, Aileen “The Loose” Cannon must be removed, not only from this case, but from the Bench.

Loose Cannon

Image via Flickr by edwin.bautista

Why Do I Wear My Mask?

Why Do I Wear My Mask?

To Protect You, the Unvaccinated.

Whatever your reasons for not wearing a COVID-19 mask outside your home, I wear my mask to protect those who are unvaccinated.

That’s right, I’m looking out for you, even though I am fully vaccinated. While not the ultimate sacrifice, I am sacrificing my personal freedom so you don’t have to sacrifice your life. At the risk of sounding pompous, everyone knows — to quote TFG (The Former Guy, for those of us who cannot bear to say his name or hear his voice) — vaccinated people can, on rare occasion, become infected again. How rare?

“Two studies suggest that the chance of getting breakthrough COVID-19 is about 0.05%. In both studies, researchers noted that infection happened while COVID-19 cases were surging in the regions where the research took place.”

If your math is a little rusty, that means about 500 in every 1,000,000 fully vaccinated people could become re-infected.

If I am one of those unfortunate few, with the Delta variant making up most of the patients in the US today, I probably won’t be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. My symptoms would be mild or non-existent (asymptomatic). But, my viral load would be 1,000 times heavier than the original virus. Hanging out with me without a mask if you are unvaccinated, would be like Superman throwing buckets of gasoline on a monstrous forest fire and asking you to pick up a bucket and help.

Myths and Lies About the Coronavirus

We have all seen or heard disinformation campaigns that have spread around the world. Some of us have fallen prey to the myths lies because they are designed to deceive and look like research. The link in the paragraph below is from Business Insider, a more than reputable source of information. It also describes how to spot disinformation.

“While misinformation is false information that is created and spread regardless of an intent to harm or deceive, disinformation is a type of misinformation that is created to be deliberately deceptive. Both forms may be shared widely, regardless of whether or not the sharer knows the information is wrong.”

Sadly, I am aware of too many friends and family members, intelligent people who feel they have “done their research” and adamantly decline the mask and the vaccine.

If you positively want accurate information, I strongly encourage people to read the three-page PDF at this link from Sarasota Memorial Hospital in an attempt to debunk all the disinformation in circulation. Coincidentally, it answers many of the same questions I’ve heard from friends and family.

If you want information about vaccination also, refer to the CDC website FAQ page.

My Personal Choice, My Butt

Have you ever been caught driving under the influence (a DUI)? There goes your license — state-regulated permission to drive because you are a menace to society.

Do you want to fly a 737? You’ll need a license to prove you’re capable and not a menace to society. Same thing for driving a train or ship.

Want to practice medicine or law? Study hard and get a license to show you’re not a menace to society.

Are you licensed to hunt or fish during a particular season? Why? The state regulates conservation efforts to ensure wildlife does not become depleted by over-hunting or over-fishing.

When you start school, guess what? You must be vaccinated for several issues. These vary by state, but here in Florida, the list looks like this to start:

  • Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP)
  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)

Let’s put it this way. The State has the right, and will, regulate anything it considers going against the Public Good. Not masking or vaccinating in a pandemic goes against the Public Good. The blatant disregard for proper medical guidelines to protect yourself and others has led to a resurgence in the COVID-19 population in the US. The more infections, the more likely the virus will mutate again. When it mutates, the current vaccines simply may not protect against it. 

Speaking of vaccines —

here are the latest facts on that subject.

“Hospitalizations Spike In States With Low Vaccination Rates As Unvaccinated Covid Patients Fill ICUs.”

“Breakthrough COVID infections show ‘the unvaccinated are now putting the vaccinated at risk’

Unfortunately, more and more people seem to be feeling like this guy (harsh language) with 20.6K Retweets and 49.9K Likes at this moment.

Not a point of view I share because it’s never too late for forgiveness. However, a lot of people on Twitter seem to like it, for what that’s worth.

But I digress. I believe you were saying something about your personal choice about wearing a mask or getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

The End of an Era?

The End of an Era?

I doubt it. The Trumpster fire smolders all across the country, just waiting for the right opportunity to burst into flame again. While El Presidente slinks off to Florida, let us remember that as we watched and listened to him for over five years, 74 million of our neighbors drank his Kool-Aid. He told us to our faces what he was doing. Labeling the free press the “Enemy of the People” and calling their reporting “Fake News,” he gathered an army so drunk with the power he lavished on them, they stormed the Capitol in a coup attempt intent on arresting Members of Congress who opposed him.

“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, a U.S. Army veteran, said while the breach was underway … “You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to communications recovered from her phone, the FBI alleged.

After all this, one hundred and ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives failed to see the need to impeach the Mad King Donald. One hundred and forty-seven members of the House and Senate voted to overturn the election results.

Oh yes, Trumpism is alive and well. The author of the feast is gone, but not forgotten. Not by a long shot.

A Republic, If We Can Keep It

A Republic, If We Can Keep It

What’s the difference between a patriot and an insurrectionist? Until a couple of weeks ago, the answer was clear and straightforward for most of us. A patriot loves his or her country and will do anything to defend it. An insurrectionist has grievances against the government and will do anything to destroy it.

I imagine the Minutemen of colonial Boston saw themselves as patriots, while George III saw them as insurrectionists.

Like so many things in life, perspective is the key to your viewpoint. As one ages, your mindset can change based on the ability to see a larger picture and your relationship to it. Seeing things through youthful eyes can lead to rebellious attitudes, a lack of patience, and the demand for immediate change. 

Mellowing eyes have seen the pendulum’s movement and the need to take others’ rights into account. Aren’t we, the people, basically a complex life-form with the power to either improve or destroy our planet, which is only a speck of dust in an infinitesimally large universe? Will our inability to compromise lead us to be trapped like the monkey who won’t let go of the fruit in the jar, when simply unclenching his fist allows him to remove his hand and once more enjoy freedom? 

The Southern Poverty Law Center finds that:

“Generally, antigovernment groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order,’ engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.”

On January 6th, 2021, the perspectives of many who considered themselves patriots, merged with and emerged as, insurrectionists who bought into the great lie that their country was being stolen from them.

The difference? To paraphrase Ben Franklin, in our republic, we have the means to change our government peacefully — if we can keep it.