Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mr. President: I've Written Your Next Speech

I've been listening to the Sunday shows this morning,  and I only learned about Saturday's events in Charlottesville from that venue today.  I was amazed and angered by the skewed manner in which the media are portraying this event and more particularly the president's response to it.

I won't bother to recount the details of the event.  You can get those here, along with video of Trump's somewhat clumsy statement.  Oddly enough, I thought other parts of the statement were clumsier than the part objected to by journalists.  The press conference where Trump delivered this statement had originally been scheduled for something to do with veterans.  Trump felt compelled to retain what must have been elements of the original speech.  That was the most awkward part of the speech for me.  Trump talking about the horrible events in Charlottesville in one sentence, and the great jobs numbers in the next.  Classic ham handed Trump.  But I'll post the more relevant partial quote from the president's speech below, because that is what I really want to address.

"We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.  On many sides.  It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time.  It has no place in America."

Everybody has their knickers in a twist because Trump seemed to ad lib the part "on many sides".  Trump detractors accuse Trump of excusing the violence by creating a moral equivalence between racial violence from white supremacists, and presumably political violence on college campuses by left wing groups such as Antifa.  Maybe that is what he was doing, and if it was, I believe that drawing the comparison is entirely justified.

Left leaning media may not want to call out the violent anti free speech intimidation tactics of the left, but Trump was right to do so.

Some of those speaking most passionately against Trump this morning were black members of the press and the punditocracy.  They  drew heavily from justified grievances about slavery, Jim Crow laws in the south, and on-going racism whether of the harder or softer variety.  I have little doubt that their expressions of grievance were heartfelt and sincere.  That doesn't mean they were right to blame Trump for the actions of white nationalists.   The obvious passion with which they hold and express their opinion has no relation to the legitimacy of their position. As Ben Shapiro says, "Facts don't care about your feelings."

The media and the political class are choosing to ignore the fact that the speech did, in fact, condemn the white supremacist violence.  It just didn't  call out the groups by name.  I suppose Trump could have specified the KKK and other white supremacist groups by name, but he didn't.  As one commenter on CNN's State of the Union said to the other more outraged members on the panel, "Trump is never going to check all the boxes to satisfy you."  I couldn't agree more.  If he spent five minutes condemning the KKK, the media and virtue signalling Republican politicians would complain that the events warranted a ten minute speech and was therefore a "dog whistle" to his racist constituents.

The Sunday shows also spent a lot of time citing comments from David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, claiming to be in support of Trump in his quest to "take back America".  It is troubling to me that Duke should try to claim that his cause and the president's cause are one in the same.  It should trouble Trump as well.  For that reason alone, I'd like to see Trump come out with a more forceful speech condemning the Klan and other associated white supremacist groups.  Trump seems to instinctively resist bowing to pressure from the press to behave in certain conventional ways more to their liking.  In principle, I agree with Trump on this behavior.  Fuck the press and what they think he should do.  As Trump famously said, "I'm president, and they're not."

But I think the circumstances of Duke's presumption of sharing common ground with the president warrant the president breaking from his previous habits.  Trump should make another speech.  I've taken the liberty of writing it for him.

It's come to my attention that certain members of the press have been critical of me for not specifically naming the perpetrators of Saturday's violence in Charlottesville.  Let me put that matter to rest right now.  I condemn in the strongest possible terms the egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence committed in Charlottesville by neo-nazis, the KKK, and other white supremacist groups.  There is no place in America for the tactics of intimidation and the ideology of hatred that those groups espouse.  Furthermore, I would like to disavow the leadership of those groups of any notions they may have that my agenda to Make America Great Again and their twisted agenda of violence and division are in any way similar to one another.  There is no room in America for your ideology, and there is no room in my coalition for it either.

As someone recently pointed out, there will be some for whom no amount commitment on my part will ever be enough.  I will never check enough of their boxes for them to be satisfied.  If this short statement takes me five minutes to deliver, there will those who will complain that the matter deserved at least ten minutes, and that anything less constitutes a "dog whistle" of support for the racists and the bigots in our country.  That accusation is false, but that's politics.

The events in Charlottesville were horrible.  Any perceived shortcomings in my statement in response to those events represents nothing more than petty sniping from a hostile press, counting of coup from an opposition party desperate to manufacture an issue to run on, and virtue signalling from members of my own party to whom my presidency feels like a threat to the status quo they so cherish.  These forces would have you believe that the horror and revulsion you rightly feel about the events in Charlottesville should be transferred to me because I gave a speech they think could have been better.  I think most Americans see through that.  For those who don't, I only ask that you give my remarks some consideration.

There you go Mr. President.  That wasn't so hard was it?  You're welcome.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Biggest Losers from Comey Testimony Could Be Loretta Lynch and Hillary Clinton

I am beginning to see a whole new narrative developing out of the Comey testimony. When I first heard James Comey explain about Loretta Lynch having asked him to refer to the Hillary email probe as a "matter" rather than an investigation, I thought it was embarrassing for Lynch, but not rising to the level of obstructing that investigation. Besides, she is out of office now, so what does it matter.

But Comey also references another DOJ/Lynch related issue (45sec into this video) upon which he says the Senate Intel Committee had been briefed which he thought significant, but wholly mischaracterized in its coverage by the press.

I believe that issue was probably email(s) from the DNC to the Justice Department which were evidence of collusion to obstruct the Hillary email investigation. Those emails were generally debunked as fake, but Comey apparently doesn't think so.

Lindsay Graham briefly alluded to them as well at 2min 20sec into this interview this morning on Face the Nation with John Dickerson. He apparently thinks they are real also. 

And now we have a special counsel, largely thanks to the efforts of James Comey. That special counsel will request Comey's memos for the record. All of his memos for the record. If he wrote several about encounters with Trump that made him uncomfortable, what are the chances he wrote one about this/these encounters with Loretta Lynch?

Once the special counsel gets wind of this, he can take the investigation wherever it leads him.

So all you hard core Trump fans/Comey haters: James Comey might just be the avenue through whom the corrupt DOJ of Loretta Lynch, and maybe even Eric Holder before her is exposed. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Comey had this in mind all along.

Picture this: James Comey is responsible for the Clinton email investigation, and finds all the evidence of Clinton wrongdoing that he described on July 5, 2016. But Loretta Lynch heads the DOJ and won't prosecute and Comey works for her. So what does Comey do? He holds the presser without informing Lynch prior to doing so, exposes Hillary's transgressions, and then, only because he knows a prosecution will never happen under Loretta Lynch, he says he'll not recommend charges.

Now Comey has the opportunity to expose the entire stinking mess by getting a special counsel appointed. Brilliant!

It could potentially lead to corrupt officials at the DNC, and maybe even to Hillary herself.

We'll see who'll be badmouthing James Comey then.

This is an article from the 24 May Washington Post describing a rather convoluted and as yet unsubstantiated linkage between the DNC and the DOJ.  If you have trouble accessing the article, try opening the link in a private window.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Facebook Thead Responding to My Dental Board Posts

 This is the fourth post on this blog referencing my dispute with the State over my refusal to submit to fingerprinting and a Criminal Background Check.  Feel free to review the previous three posts if you want more detail.

I posted an update on my dispute with the Division of Professional Regulation on my Facebook Page.  That led to a fairly active discussion.  Many expressed support. Some felt the law is reasonable and that I should comply.

If you're interested in seeing what other people think, you can click this link.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bad Law is Not a Victimless Crime: My Recent Podcast

This is the third blog post in the past few days where I am providing some background and some context for my dispute with the Division of Professional Regulation and the Delaware Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene over my refusal to comply with the mandate for fingerprinting and a criminal background check.  My son Will and I spent an hour or so last Saturday 17 December discussing the dispute and describing the proceedings of my recent hearing before the Board on 15 December.  You can click this link to hear a podcast of that discussion.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Statement Read at Board Meeting 15 December 2016

Thank you for this opportunity to address the Board.

 I have refused to comply with the recently instituted criminal background check requirement for continued dental licensure. I've given a comprehensive explanation of my position in a letter that I submitted to the Board at my Rule To Show Cause Hearing in October. I'll spare the Board a reading of that letter at this time. Considering the consequences of your findings on my future career, I can only hope you have taken the time to read it.   [Note:  The Board apparently never received this letter from the Chief Hearing Officer Mr. Akin, and never read the letter.  You can read the letter in the previous blog post.]

The short version of my position is this: The law is unjust because it flies in the face of a fundamental principle of justice: Innocent until proven guilty. This law essentially presumes every Delaware healthcare provider is guilty until they prove otherwise. And not satisfied with simply conducting the background check as is often done for such mundane a purpose as renting an apartment, this law demands I actively participate in the State's supplanting of my rights by submitting to fingerprinting by law enforcement. This has traditionally been a practice reserved for criminals.

The Chief Hearing Officer, Mr Akin, sent this Board a letter dated 21 October 2016.  [Note:  The letter that I refer to here is not my letter to the Board, but a letter written by Mr Akin, the Chief Hearing Officer, that was a review of my Rule to Show Cause Hearing on 4 October, and included his recommendations to the Board for disciplinary actions against me]  In that letter Mr. Akin advises you that my arguments are not relevant to this Board. My objections should be addressed to the legislature, not to you. Mr Akin suggests that the Deputy Attorney General present at this meeting will agree with him. Your job isn't to weigh what is just. Your job is to simply follow the law. They assert that you have no choice in the matter. I don't agree. If you have no choice in the matter, why is this Board being consulted in the first place? Why aren't the findings of the Chief Hearing Officer the final determinant of action here? Unless your purpose is nothing more than to rubber stamp the findings of the Hearing Officer, I will presume that this Board does, in fact, have the capacity to exercise its own discretion and judgment.

 If you read my letter, or Mr. Akin's summary of my letter, you know that I view my refusal to comply as an act of civil disobedience. If you have no sympathy for my position, then I presume you will follow Mr Akin's recommendation in some fashion. But if you believe that my position has merit; if you would prefer to serve the interests of justice instead of practicing blind obedience to flawed legislation, then I request that you reject the recommendations of the Chief Hearing Officer and the Deputy Attorney General and simply take no action against me.

This Board is, in essence, a jury. You've been presented with a series of arguments, and you are asked to make a decision that will determine whether I may continue to practice dentistry, or have that privilege suspended. Like it or not, you're my jury, and I want to make you aware that juries have a distinguished past history of rejecting bad law to ensure that justice is served. For instance, prior to the Civil War, juries often refused to convict those assisting runaway slaves for violations of the Fugitive Slave Act. Principle was more important than bad law. Or consider the case of a whistle blower who discloses information revealing the fraudulent business practices of his employer. Said employer could sue that whistle blower for violating non disclosure agreements. A principled jury could find the whistle blower not liable despite his guilt in order to see justice done rather than practice blind obedience to the law. This courageous behavior has a name. It is called Jury Nullification.

Jury Nullification is a jury's knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself, or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury's sense of justice, morality, or fairness.  Jury verdicts of acquittal are unassailable even where the verdict is inconsistent with the weight of the evidence and instruction of the law.

You have an opportunity to perform a similar exercise in good judgment. You can find in favor of fairness and morality rather than in support of a misguided and over reaching bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is telling you that you must punish me because it is the law. I am appealing to you to choose justice over law and allow me to continue to earn my living and serve the public in a profession to which I have devoted the past almost forty years of my life.

Thank you. That concludes my statement.