Six Quick Observations about Trump Indictment

In the United States judicial system, it is customary to presume innocence when someone is charged with a crime. However Donald Trump is an exception to this presumption of innocence. He does a bad job of hiding his transgressions, personal, business, political and legal. He has a big ego and a bigger mouth. The weight and breadth of the evidence against him in the documents matter are overwhelming. My God, 37 counts!!!

Are there any stupider people than those who defend Donald Trump? They ignore his traitorous behavior, financial malfeasance, greed, allegations of him committing sexual assault and rape, and general ineptitude. As a leader, he is Barney Fife. I have no respect for the opinions and judgement of those who support Trump just based on this criteria.

If I had could question Donald Trump I’d ask: Do you think that you are a good role model for your son Barron? Would you want Barron to grow up and act like you? Would your wife Melania want Barron to grow up like you?

Laurence Tribe, the Constitutional scholar, said he was profoundly disappointed that the American people elected a man who was so bad at protecting national security and the American public. Tribe uses the word “sad.” I am furious that voters elected and support Donald Trump, a con artist and a “small man.”

My previous thinking was to offer Trump a pardon if he pleaded guilty to several counts and promised to withdraw from politics and public life. I’ve changed my mind. There would be no greater example of justice in our system that Trump going to jail for a long time. No pardon! Trump’s conviction and incarceration would serve as a great deterrent that no man is above the law.

I intend to avoid any Trump news. I don’t want to heard from him. I certainly don’t want to hear from anyone defending him.

The One Name I Wish I Was Called

A polymath.

I cannot think of a more flattering description or title as I have always admired men and women of varied skills, talents, interests and achievements. Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are three of the most notable polymaths in history. I think that the term “polymath” is ascribed too easily. A polymath is to the world what a Hall of Famer is to baseball. The criteria is very strict and not everyone gets to enter the portal of notoriety.

On my eighth grade graduation, I received this medal for “General Excellence.” Even at the age of 14, I was very interested in current events, literature, politics, history, philosophy, psychology and religion. One of my grade school classmates reminded recently that he remembered me reading a mammoth volume of the Warren commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy when we were in eighth grade.

I have read different criteria to qualify as a polymath. Here is mine…

  1. Education, reading, research and learning on various intellectual topics including politics, history, science, business, literature, religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, technology,and sports.

2. Communication of ideas, thoughts, imagination and discoveries through writing, public speaking, painting, acting and music.

3. Extensive travels across the world with a wide variety of experiences and adventures.

4. Varied or significant roles and responsibilities in business, science, education, finance or public service.

5. The ability to speak in more than one language.

6. The ability to understand technology for productive and worthwhile goals.

7. The ability to appreciate the arts including music, the theater, cultural events, plays, movies etc

8. A mind with novel ideas, insights, and opinions driven by consilience – – the capacity to merge and synthesize one’s experiences, talents, interests and intelligence.

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

I read with great sympathy the adventures of the passengers on the Carnival Sunshine as their ship was buffeted by heavy seas and gale force winds off the coast of South Carolina. The ship rocked so violently that many passengers got sick and there was damage to the boat. It appears that the ship sailed directly into the storm on their return to Charleston.

My first cruise was on the Disney Magic in 1999. Before we left port, I questioned why we were leaving when there was a tropical storm around Orlando. I was told that we would sail around it. Guess what? The ship sailed directly into the storm. I did not sleep that night as the ship swayed from side to side making it very difficult to walk. I did not get sick as I was too afraid. I spent time in a lobby with a young mother and her children who were afraid they were going to die. The storm lasted all night until we reached The Bahmas the next morning. I saw the Captain and asked why we sailed through the violent storm. He said that they did not anticipate the ferocity of the storm. I was skeptical about his answer.

Surprisingly I sailed on another dozen cruises or over 100 days on the seas and ocean. I have been lucky as I don’t recall more than 2 or 3 days where the seas were rough. However I will never forget my first bad experience cruising. Like the Carnival Sunshine, there were no communications with the passengers during the emergency. Life boats and jackets are irrelevant under those storm conditions.

I think the cruise lines have been lucky. If one boat sinks during a storm or for whatever reason, it may very well kill their business. Customer safety and comfort are paramount and it certainly was not for the pasengers on Carnival Sunshine.

Quick Analysis of the News

  1. Despite the announced agreement between President Biden and Speaker of the House McCarthy tonight, I would not be surprised that the agreement does not pass in the House and/or Senate. Neither Biden or McCarthy provide a lot of leadership or guidance.
  2. Can a candidate who has been found liable for at least one sexual assault, fomenting an insurrection and violence at the Capitol, mishandling or hiding sensitive government and intelligence documents and pressuring Georgia politicans to change vote tallies actually get his party’s Presidential nomination?
  3. Does Ron DeSantis actually make Donald Trump appear as a moderate and less dangerous?
  4. 2024 will be a national referendum on whether we still want to be a democracy, respect the rule of Law and respect the rights of all citizens. I am very pessimistic as to the answers.

Vox Persona

Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning and no place in this country needs it more than in Congress. 

Time for California senator Dianne Feinstein and Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman to retire for health reasons. Neither are capable (physically and mentally) of carrying out the duties of their offices. Ms. Feinstein’s circumstances are deplorable as she is obviously suffering from dementia.

Time for New York congressman George Santos to either resign or be removed from his office. It’s a disgrace that the Republican House leadership have not booted this fraud and felon out. His continued presence in the House is a huge disservice to the constituency that he cannot adequately represent.

Time for Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan to go too. They lack the intellectual bandwidth and judgment to perform their jobs.


Jim Brown died yesterday at 87. I remember watching him play for the Cleveland Browns. Often it too three or four guys to take him down. And no matter how often or how hard he was hit, he’d slowly get up and be ready for the next play.

Brown played 118 games straight and never missed a game. In my 70 years of watching football, he was the GOAT.

Mouse vs. The Louse 

Bob Iger vs Ron DeSantis. On man is qualified to be President, Bob Iger. DeSantis looks the like the next Ed Muskie, George Romney, and Gary Hart. Ballyhooed early Presidential contenders who fall short of their party’s nomination.

Stolen Focus by Johann Hari (Review)

Strangely enough, I had a hard time focusing on Stolen Focus. I skimmed through the first five chapters of this 14 chapter book. I confess that I focused on chapter topics that interested me and on information that basically reinforced my current views on attention and concentration. Regrettably over the years, my ability to sit still for 60 or 90 minutes and read a book has greatly diminished. To a very large extent, I blame it on the distraction of social media and the Internet.

Hari’s book basically confirmed what I already know – – it is very hard to be focused and to apply attention for any great period of time. Everyone has certain addictions – – for me, its carbohydrates, salt etc. I am easily distracted. As I write this, I hear a TV in my living room, I am mentally composing a checklist of things that I need to do tomorrow and I am thinking about getting ready for a trip next week.

From this book, I learned why I and everyone else become distracted. What I did not necessarily find out was how to eliminate distractions and improve my concentration.

Shown below are my notes from the book:

Teams took ordinary people and got them to read much faster than they ordinarily would; with training, and with practice, it sort of works. They can run their eyes over the words quickly and retain something of what they are saying. But if you do then test them on what they read, you’ll discover that the faster you make them go, the less they will understand. More speed means less comprehension.

Scientists then studied professional speed readers – – and they discovered that even though they are obviously better at it than the rest of us, the same thing happens. This show there’s just a maximum limit for how quickly humans can absorb information, and trying to bust through that barrier simply busts your brain’s abilities to understand it instead.

The scientists investigating this also discovered that if you make people read quickly, they are much less likely to grapple with complex or challenging material. They start to prefer simplistic statements.

Scientists discovered… When people think they are doing several things at once, they are actually – – “juggling.” They are switching back-and-forth. They don’t notice the switching because their brain sort papers it over, to give a seamless experience of consciousness, but what they’re actually doing is switching and reconfiguring their brain moment to moment, task to task and that comes with a cost.

The more he studied flow states, the more Mihaly noticed something else crucial about them. They are extraordinarily fragile and easily disrupted.

When you are approaching death, I thought, you won’t think about your reinforcements – – the likes and retweets – – you’ll think about your moments of flow.

We all have a choice now between two profound forces – – fragmentation, or flow. Fragmentation makes you smaller, shallower, angrier. Flow makes you bigger, deeper, calmer. Fragmentation shrinks us. Flow expands us.

The proportion of Americans to read books for pleasure is now at its lowest level ever recorded. The American Time Use Survey – – which studies a representative sample of 26,000 Americans found that between 2004 and 2017 the proportion of men reading for pleasure had fallen by 40%, while for women, it was down by 29%.

Gallup found that the proportion of Americans who never read a book in any given year tripled between 1978 and 2014. Some 57% of Americans do not even read a single book in a typical year.

… the collapse in reading books is in someways a symptom of our atrophying attention, and in someways a cause of it. It’s a spiral – – as we begin to move from books to screens, we start to lose some of the capacity for the deeper readings that come from books, and that, and turn makes us less likely to read books.

The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin (a review)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be very inspirational. I write a blog. I write commentary on Pickleball and post it to a community of Pickleball players on Facebook. I maintain a journal. I assist a nonprofit with communications and marketing. I would like to live a more creative life.

There is a lot of good advice and observations to think about. This is almost like a step-by-step handbook on how to find, develop, craft and deliver a work of art whether it is a painting, a book, a song or a building design.

Highly recommended for any writer, musician, painter, architect or anyone desiring to improve their creative abilities. Five star book for this reader.

My notes from this book:

Look for what you notice but no one else sees.

Broadening our practice of awareness is a choice we can make at any moment. It is not a search, though it is stoked by curiosity or hunger. A hunger to see beautiful things, hear beautiful sounds, feel deeper sensations. To learn, and to be fascinated and surprised on a continual basis.

Read the finest literature, watch the masterpieces of cinema, get up close to the most influential paintings, visit architectural landmarks. There is no standard list: no one has the same measures of greatness.

There’s a reason we are drawn 

to gazing at the ocean

It is said that the ocean provide

a closer reflection of who 

we are than any mirror.

If we focus on what’s going on inside our cells – – sensations, emotions, the patterns of our thoughts – – a wealth of material can be found. Our inner world is every bit as interesting, beautiful, and surprising as nature itself. It is, after all, born of nature.

Sometimes disengaging is the best way to engage.

Re-reading even a well understood paragraph or page can be revelatory. New meanings, deeper understandings, inspirations, and nuances arise and come into focus.

Reading, in addition to listening, eating, and most physical activities, can be experienced like driving: we can participate either on auto pilot or with focused attention. So often we sleep walk through our lives. Consider how different your experience of the world might be if you engage in every activity with the attention you might give to landing a plane.

To create space for inspiration, we might consider practices of quieting the mind: meditation, awareness, silence, contemplation, prayer, and any other ritual that helps us fend off distraction

Collecting seeds typically doesn’t involve a tremendous amount of effort. It’s more a receiving of a transmission. A noticing. As if catching fish, we walk to the water, bait the hook, cast the line, and patiently wait. We cannot control the fish, only the presence of our line.

Number one seed, number two experimentation, number three craft and number four completion.

It’s generally preferable to accumulate several weeks or months worth of ideas and then choose which of them to focus on, instead of following an urge or obligation to rush to the finish line with what is in front of us today.

We are performing for an audience of one…

Living in discovery is at all times preferable to living through assumptions.

There is no telling where the next great story, painting, recipe, or business idea is going to come from. Just as a surfer cannot control the waves, artists are at the mercy of the creative rhythms of nature. This is why it’s of such great importance to remain aware and present at all times. Watching and waiting.