Trump Continues Contemptuous Behavior

The Contemptuous Donald Is Finally In Contempt…

Trump faces numerous law suits around the country

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

Holding The Contemptuous One in Contempt

After years of apparent criminal and questionable civil business activities, Donald Trump is finally being forced to face the music.  He is being held in contempt of court by New York State Justice Arthur Engoron.  I heartily applaud this decision and am planning a “Contempt for Trump” party, complete with champagne, a DJ for dancing, and swag bags, including a mini-Donald Trump collector’s edition dartboard, macaroons, and a bottle of Evian water, for my guests.  It’s about time the orange haired scowling monster is called on the carpet legally.  Per the citation, this civil contempt charge will cost Trump ten thousand dollars per day until such time as he turns over the subpoenaed documents.

So, What Does That Mean, Really?

So, what exactly is “contempt of court”?  We sometimes hear this phrase referenced as just “contempt”.  According to Wikipedia, being in contempt of court means, “the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers.”  This can include willful disobedience of a court order, ignoring the court’s decorum or authorization, or failure to preserve a reverent frame of mind.  Investopedia defines, “Contempt of court is a legal violation committed by an individual who disobeys a judge or otherwise disrupts the legal process in the courtroom.”  This describes Donald Trump accurately.

Ignore The Court at Your Peril

Wikipedia also states, “Contempt of court is essentially seen as a form of disturbance that may impede the functioning of the court.  The judge may impose fines and/or jail time upon any person committing contempt of court.  The person is usually let out upon his or her agreement to fulfill the wishes of the court.”  In other words, Mr. Trump, you have never been, nor will you ever be above the law.

Trying To Stave Off the Inevitable Again…

“The Donald” was ordered back in February of this year to turn over documents for scrutiny no later than March 31, 2022.  It is unclear whether the daily fine is retroactive to the end of March deadline or not, but we can hope that it is.  Sources report that Trump’s legal team had agreed to provide the documents but then filed exceptions saying the summons, despite having been approved by the judge, “is grossly overbroad, unintelligible, unduly burdensome, and does not adequately describe which documents and communications are requested or sought with reasonable particularity.”  Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General, sought the fines to force the former president to comply with the NY State subpoena.

More Of the Same Game

Trump and his company, The Trump Organization  is accused, quite bluntly, by the state of NY of tax fraud.  The attorney general’s accusations in the filing are regarding misreporting property values to receive loans with better terms and improved tax positions.  New York’s top lawyer had also said of late her investigators had, “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations in Mr. Trump’s financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service.”

What, Me Cooperate?

Needless to say, “The Donald”, who apparently feels he is above the law, is still not cooperating.  Ms. James considers Justice Engoron’s actions to be “a major victory” and that the rule of law has prevailed.  These documents are needed for an attorney general investigation into Trump’s business holdings.  Her office has been assisting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a synchronous criminal investigation into Donald’s companies, as well.  The court, declaring him in contempt is monumental.  Mr. Trump apparently committed crimes, and this decision should hopefully knock his attitude down a few pegs, but I doubt it will.

More Ways to Try to Hold Off the Inescapable

Criminal charges against his “Organization” are being pursued, and it’s CFO Allen Weisselberg who denies wrongdoing and has entered a not guilty plea despite charges of falsification of business records and tax fraud.  The subpoena in the civil probe by New York’s lead litigator is similar, perhaps say, to the turning over of one’s tax returns when running for president.  Forty-five sued Attorney General James, filing in federal court, at the end of 2021, claiming her exploration to have political motivation.  The suit is still unresolved.  Gee, could this be a stall tactic on the part of “The Donald”?  He would never do such a thing, not.  Trump attorney Alina Habba claims he is unable to turn over the documentation, claiming that he does not actually have said documents.  She goes on to say the office of the attorney general was told this.

I Don’t Know Where It Is

Ms. James made it clear that Trump and the company were to provide statements regarding what they did to attempt finding these documents.  She went on to say Donald should have knowledge of the whereabouts of such documentation, since he, “personally executed documents central to the issues under investigation.”  If this is complied with, the civil contempt charge can potentially be averted. Well, how difficult is it to look in the paper shredder or the fireplace, Mr. Trump?  It could save you ten grand a day.  If you go too many days being fined this significant sum of money, how will Melania get her plastic surgery, or will you be able to afford golf balls, because those are the only kind you possess.  Ten big ones is a lot of McDonald’s, Donald.

Which Witch is Which?

Of course, forty-five’s lawyer is calling this, “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”; let her tell that line to Joan of Arc.  The Trump Organization alleges turning over more than 750,000 documents in this investigation, however the New York attorney general claims that the release of papers has been rather lethargic.  She wants a look at “post it notes” and the files that “The Donald” utilized as communication to his employee base.  This information is necessary to examine and evaluate whether civil suit will be brought against the former ‘Oval Office’ occupant and his firm.

Still Subject to The Rule of Law

Trump’s attorneys have filed an appeal and we don’t know whether the court of appeals will suspend the fine during the appellate process.  But reportedly the judge has just recently rejected “The Donald’s” affidavit, which claims Trump does not have the documents that are being demanded by the Attorney General of New York.  In closing, I for one am overjoyed to see any legal action against forty-five because absolutely no one is above the law, whether it be criminal or civil.  Statutes govern all citizens, even former White House residents.

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy, We Don’t Want to See Your Face

Rudy Giuliani mask up and stay masked up, we don't want to see your stinkin' face.

OPINION:

Put the Mask Back On Rudy;  We Don’t Want to See Your Face

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

“I’m Done”

When Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, was unmasked on “The Masked Singer”, judge Ken Jeong walked off the stage, saying, “I’m done”, and who can blame him?  Personally, I was surprised that even a FOX show would have a man with Rudy’s lack of morality on any episode.  Shock value for sure but not a wise decision; viewership is sure to tank, one can hope. Host Nick Cannon stated, “It surprises us all that you’re here”.  Exactly Nick, it’s mind boggling that he appears on any television show, other than perhaps, “America’s Most Wanted”.

Trial By Jury, Not By “Combat”

Of course, what we want to see is Mr. Giuliani and his former client “The Donald” on trial for crimes against our nation and humanity.  His “trial by combat”, “Game of Thrones” comment regarding the January 6th, 2021, insurrection, and his client’s part in it makes my blood run cold.  This man belongs behind bars, not behind a mask on any television show.  His barbaric comment, “I was referring to the kind of trial that took place for Tyrion in that very famous documentary about fictitious medieval England.  When Tyrion, who is a very small man, is accused of murder.  He didn’t commit murder, he can’t defend himself, and he hires a champion to defend him”, borders on the insane.  The only time we care to hear him sing would be in a court of law against the Trumpster and his fellow cronies.

Work Cut Out for Him

The Federal Prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of New York (i.e., Manhattan) has been pursuing cases regarding Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump for some time.  As of October, of last year, it is headed by President Biden nominee Damian Williams, the first African American to hold the position.  We wish him Godspeed.

“…In Deep Trouble”

During an interview a year ago this month with Vanity Fair, Preet Bharara, the Southern District prosecutor from 2009 to 2017, was quoted as saying, “Rudy Giuliani is in deep trouble”, as he should be.   Later in the same interview, Bharara also quipped in response to the allegations of the Justice Department under Trump and ally Bill Barr blocking search warrants related at the time, “It’s possible the delay by Justice cost Rudy Giuliani a Trump pardon.”  A pardon by Trump was given to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, sentenced to seven years for his wrongdoings, as one of Trump’s last actions in office during December of 2020.

Bad Company Continues to Corrupt Morals

Giuliani’s apartment was searched to ascertain if he broke political lobbying laws when he served as Donald Trump’s lawyer.  Once the top Federal Prosecutor on the island of Manhattan himself, his law license was suspended for “false and misleading statements” in regard to Trump’s loss of the 2020 election in two boroughs of the city (both Manhattan and the Bronx) he once was mayor of.  He is also suspended from practicing law in Washington, DC. Rudy could face disbarment.  What a fall from grace his involvement with Forty-Five has caused him.  As the Bible says and is often echoed, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

September 11th To January 6th?

Makes one ponder whether Rudy’s heart was ever in the right place. Clearly, the Giuliani of 9/11 is not the man that is partner in crime to the orange haired monster.  During those attacks on our nation, Giuliani was counted upon to make a phoenix rise from the ashes. He was the loving father our nation needed,  intelligent and strong.  He made a horrific situation almost bearable, doing his best against the worst nightmare our nation had faced.  He showed courage and fortitude. What has happened to the man we came to admire twenty-one years ago?   Many books have been written about the Manhattan College and NYU School of Law alumnus.

The Taller They Are…

I, for one, am saddened by his fall. It resembles a bad dream but, unfortunately, the nightmare is so very real.  It is disconcerting enough when one of Trump’s cronies is a criminal, but it is certainly all the more distressing when the person was once considered an American hero.  This reminds one of the O.J. Simpson trial.  Will Rudy’s trial be similar, “If it does not fit, you must acquit”?  How is the man we now distrust and detest, the same one we admired during one of the saddest and darkest times in recent history? It seems incomprehensible.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Rudy Giuliani handled the brutal attack on the World Trade Center with aplomb and strength, but now during our most recent hour of distress and vexation Mr. Giuliani has not only failed our nation, he supported the unthinkable acts of violence.  This brings up the same question regarding people we know personally who took a ride on “The Donald” train and lost their way (if they ever really knew it).  Is there any turning back for those afflicted with the Trump cancer?  In the case of Rudy Giuliani, it appears to be terminal.  He claims that he should not be held accountable for the Capitol riot, saying his “trial by combat“ comment was hyperbolic. Well, someone believed his words, Rudy, an insurrection certainly occurred.

Casualties Beyond That of Respect for Constitutional Practice

Four lives were lost immediately during the violence – two to “natural causes” of cardiovascular disease, one to meth overdose, and the defensive shooting of Ashli Babbitt.  Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes, the second fatal, shortly thereafter as a result of the significant injuries he sustained that day. A fifteen year police veteran Howard Liebengood committed suicide three days after the travesty, followed by fellow Officer Jeffrey Smith a few days later.  One hundred and forty police officers were injured during the attack on our nation’s capital.

Since The Glove Does Fit, We Must Convict

Rudy Giuliani needs to stand trial for his role in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.  No one is above the law; not a former president, an associate Attorney General, or even Time Magazines “Person of the Year” for 2001. Twenty years after being named man of the year Rudy has turned to supporting violent overthrow of the government.  Rudy is no longer “America’s Mayor”, he is now part of America’s ongoing nightmare.  It is with a heavy heart that I have watched Donald Trump lead so people astray. I trust in God, not Mr. Trump or any of his cohorts.  In closing, I demand they investigate and if proven guilty, “Throw the book at this masked singer.”

OPINION: Anti-“Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

Editor: This is a reminder to get vaxxed.  It’s importance for us as a nation to increase our vaccination level. We’re doing good, but we can and need to do just a bit better. So, here again, for those who missed the message, Anna and Wes Hessel’s take on COVID anti-vaxxers.

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

To Vaxx or Not to Vaxx, That Shouldn’t Be A Question

I admit I had qualms about the COVID-19 vaccine when it first came out.  I am an anaphylactic, and side effects concerned me, but shortly after the vaccines became available, I talked to trusted friends and medical professionals, did some research, and then did the right thing by getting vaccinated.  My spouse and myself are fully Pfizer vaccinated. We’ve had our first booster, and are planning on having the second booster because we are both over 50.  We are both happily vaxxed and proud to show our vaccine cards as proof that we took a stand against this deadly virus.  Some of the worst excuses for refusing to get vaccinated follow:

Unsafe “Shortcuts”

  1. “I would rather take a horse de-wormer,” a product not intended for humans – this speaks for itself.
  2. “I would rather drink bleach” – this is toxic and has never been proven to prevent COVID. When President Biden was campaigning, he made a comment that he couldn’t believe he had to say it but, “Don’t drink bleach”.

But It Will…No, It Won’t

  1. “The vaccine will make me infertile.” Then why are fully vaccinated women getting pregnant?
  2. “There are side effects.” I will admit, I was very afraid of side effects when the vaccine first came out. I, however, did the right thing and got my two shot Pfizer vaccine along with my spouse, and got my booster, too.  My side effects were minimal, even having more than one autoimmune disease, and I not only protected myself with the shots but am helping to protect others from getting COVID-19.  Some minor symptoms are much better than in a hospital on a ventilator, having a tracheotomy, or worse.  Getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.
  3. “There will be sudden serious side effects years down the road.” There is no proof of this, and it is paranoid to think this.  If there were horrific side effects, they would have shown up by now.  The COVID vaccines have been repeatedly tested for safety.  Those of us who are vaccinated have not grown a tail or get radio frequency in our arms.

Misleading “Faith”

  1. “God is protecting me; I choose faith over fear.” As a devout Christian with Jewish heritage, this attitude appalls me.  God protects those that protect themselves and do what is right to help themselves and others.  This misuse of the “faith over fear”-type statement smacks of the misleading rhetoric of cult-like groups such as “Christian Scientists”, or the also not-Biblical tenets of the so-called “health and wealth gospel” adherents.  I listen to actual science; God gives aptitude and wisdom to medical professionals.  If you need surgery, or have other illnesses, do you go to a doctor?  Most Christians will say yes, so there is no difference between this and a vaccine.  If you don’t have polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), TB (tuberculosis), pneumonia, chicken pox, or shingles, it is because of vaccines.  Vaccines are effective.
  2. “It is a sin to get vaccinated.” Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication of this.  A popular gospel singer had COVID, and she spoke out in favor of vaccines, posting a photo of her getting the shot on social media.  Many of her fans were outraged, spewing hateful comments on her page.  Again hypocrisy, because the Word of God teaches us that we should not judge, lest we be judged and to love one another unconditionally, as we love ourselves.  And it is certainly not sinful behavior to listen to science.  Listening to science is listening to the God who created it and gave the knowledge of it to people He chose.
  3. “It’s ‘the mark of the beast’.” Well, I do agree Donald Trump is an anti-Christ, but check the Book of Revelation in the Bible, the war of Armageddon had not yet even begun, this prophecy has not yet come to pass, so the mark of the beast has not begun.  The Bible indicates this mark to be on the forehead, not in the arm.  The idea of any chip being inserted with a very thin fine needle and a clear liquid vaccine is ludicrous.  Technology may exist to do this, but it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to do so, and there is no way that the government would spend this money on so very many people, when they have your cell phone number.

Big Brother or Big Business

  1. “The vaccines contain magnetic government implantation and/or “mark of the beast” inserts.” I feel the way President Biden felt about warning against drinking bleach.  I don’t believe I need to say this, but the syringe is full of a clear, see-through liquid and the needle is far too thin to contain anything but the clear thin liquid.  The so-called metal that magnets supposedly cling to is either adhesion caused by sweat and body oils on the skin or, even less likely, the iron and other metals found naturally in the bloodstream.  No magnets or implants; it’s a vaccine to prevent COVID, nothing more.
  2. “The government has no right to tell me what to do with my body” – this comment is mostly made by the same individuals that claim denying a woman’s right to choose is not telling her what to do with her own body. I am not making a pro-choice or a pro-life statement here, but simply pointing out hypocrisy.  No, the government is not “trying to control me”, the government is trying to control COVID-19.
  3. “This vaccine is just a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money.” Just like any for profit company, drug companies do need to make money to stay in business and bring us medicines.  I agree that they often gouge prices, but the vaccines are free of cost, including the boosters, so consumers are not paying out of pocket for the vaccinations.  Democrats and our current administration are trying to get large corporations to pay their fair share in taxes also – this is in direct contradiction to the idea that liberals who agree with vaccines are simply trying to put money into the deep pockets of the drug manufacturers.  Yes, this vaccine took a shorter period to create than other vaccines but with the number of COVID-19 deaths, time was of the essence, an emergency situation and worldwide pandemic.  When Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine, he refused to patent it to make it as widely and swiftly available as possible.  Medical technology is far better today than it was when other vaccines were being created, allowing those working tirelessly to create a safe and effective vaccine much more quickly.  The competing cooperating research units of the pharmaceutical companies means the groups who develop safe, effective vaccines first make the most profit from the paid for vaccinations.  Conversely, a group creating a vaccine which has serious side effects or high risks would open that corporation to the vulnerability of liability and the associated lawsuits. In the end costing them hundreds of millions or more, so it behooves them to make a product that will help, and not harm.

Selective Science

  1. “Vaccines should not need a booster shot.” Flu shots are annual, and for the same reason as the need for coronavirus booster shots: COVID-19 is a virus, which means it mutates quickly, making it harder for the body to adapt to fighting variants.  I will gladly get additional jabs to avoid a ventilator and death.
  2. “The vaccines were created too quickly.” With millions of people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imperative to act fast.  We have medical technology that is far more sophisticated today, than yesteryear when the other vaccines were created. We have the ability to create safe vaccines much faster than scientists did back in the day.  When Jonas Salk and his team had created the polio vaccine, the testing was done over one year – 1954 to 1955.  Computer modeling and so many other medical research improvements have occurred in the 65 years since then.
  3. “Having COVID-19 will cause you to have better immunity against it.” Again, like many of the anti-vaxxers arguments, this is not proven and there is the little factor of if you don’t actually die from COVID involved here or suffer from long-term effects from the virus which are becoming apparent.
  4. “Getting the vaccine will change or destroy my DNA”- this again makes no sense. It’s a vaccine, to save lives just like the ones for polio, diphtheria, shingles, or chicken pox.  It is not DNA altering, it is just a weakened or “killed” virus which protects us from getting COVID or getting a worst case scenario bout of the virus.
  5. “COVID-19 is not really a pandemic of the unvaccinated’” – yes, it is. Even with some vaccinated individuals getting Omicron or other variants.  While “breakthrough” infections will occur, studies continue to show that vaccinations, especially boosted, significantly reduce death and hospitalizations.
  6. “COVID is just like the flu”, as many anti-vaxxer, anti-maskers want to believe – scientific fact proves otherwise. WHO estimates about 1 billion people get influenza every year, with around 290,000 to 650,000 flu-related deaths per year (presumably the fluctuation due to the flu variants prevalent at the time).  Per Johns Hopkins online COVID-19 statistics (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6), as of the morning of April 5th, 2022, there have been over 494 million identified cases of the coronavirus, and over 6.17 million related deaths worldwide.  In the United States alone, there have been almost 81.5 million cases of COVID, and approaching one million connected deaths.  Reasonable people with intelligence recognize this truth and get vaccinated.  Those refusing to believe this do often end up dying or hospitalized from the virus but anti-vaxxers choose not to see reason.  This frightening belief among those refusing to do their part to eradicate COVID is alarming.  People who insist that we should just enjoy one another and live life without regard to COVID-19, in my opinion, are lying to themselves.  I find their attitudes to be irresponsible and appalling, especially when it is done in the name of the Lord.  It is certainly not possible to simply enjoy life or one another if you are dead or on a ventilator.

But…

  1. “I don’t have time to get vaccinated” – the reality is, it takes a little waiting time, a few minutes for the actual shot, and 15 minutes for safety observation after. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will lose all time after your death, or the time eaten up in a hospital.
  2. “I hate needles” – so do I, very much. But presumably, you had other vaccinations when you were young, and you got through it.  Focus on the good it does for you, rather than the little pinch.  Also, my husband cued in the nurse who did our first injections, and she chatted me up while in the process.  The distraction of conversation or the like can also help.
  3. “I don’t want to.” Ultimately, this is what almost all the so-called “reasons” to not get the vaccination boil down to justifying – selfishness.  The idea in psychology of “the personal fable” strongly applies – that is the concept of denial which says, “it won’t happen to me”, and these days it seems, the “me” is all that matters.  This isn’t borne out in the number of COVID-19 infections, and the significantly stronger likelihood of serious complications if you are unvaccinated.  Not to mention in general, if everyone is only looking out for “me”, then all the other “me’s” are at risk, which sooner or later will lead back around to your “me”.  And as a Christian, I see the Bible via Jesus’ words to be clear: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Religious or true medical reasons aside, most human beings have no legitimate reason to not vaccinate.  So, let’s not continue to focus on the self in this or any other way, because to do so will eventually seriously threaten oneself.

Dems Face Tough Battle in 2022 Mid-terms

OPINION:

Democrats Face Tough Battle In 2022 Mid-terms

High inflation may dim Democrats to hold onto congress

OPINION:

Democrats Face Tough Battle In 2022 Mid-terms

The U.S. mid-term  elections are less than nine months away. According to experts, painful political fallout is coming for the Democrats. Currently, the Democrats have a very small majority in the House, control the presidency, while a “fluid” position exists in the Senate. The 2022 midterm elections are crucial, because they’ll determine if  Mitch McConnell “gridlock politics’ returns or not.

By D. S. Mitchell

 

Poll Ratings Drop

Presidential approval ratings have dipped to dismal levels. The causes are many. The slow, painful, public  assassination of the social portion of the Build Back Better by enemy insiders, Sinema and Manchin was painful to watch on cable news. Biden’s persistent claim that he is a uniter, a consensus builder, blew up in his face when he and his team could not deliver their own caucus; a terrible embarrassment.

COVID Hysteria

The on-going COVID pandemic is driving normal people insane. You see it everywhere, in interactions between customers and clerks, between cops and citizens, between voters and officials. The anger is palpable. Besides anger; there is depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, rage-on-a-plane-madness, and of course, homicide, and suicide.

Desperate Means

I think there is growing proof that the fabric of civil society, worldwide, is coming apart. The isolation, the restrictions, mask mandates, no mask mandate,  vaccinate, don’t vax, the misinformation, the fear, the death, social media experts in white coats criminalizing their profession, have overwhelmed us all. People are ready to blame anyone for their troubles, all they need is someone with a megaphone to incite the crowd. A dangerous situation.

Continue reading

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

Continue reading

Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

OPINION: Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

A metaverse is a network of 3 D virtual worlds focused on social connection.

OPINION: Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

Editor: The world of the future may be at hand. Like other new technologies the potential is great, the threat terrifying. The development of the metaverse should put us all on high alert for the nearly inevitable privacy abuses, misinformation campaigns,  and unprecedented targeting.

By Joseph Wales

A New Name

In late 2021, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta as the parent company to Instagram and Facebook. This move left many of us in the dark; not understanding what Meta is and the future direction of the company. Since the announcement it has emerged that the main idea behind Meta is developing a 100% virtual world with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (Virtual Reality) enhancements. A world where our interactions will be more digital than physical. The technology growth rate is at an all-time high. Most believe that the tech gurus have more power than they deserve and legal restrictions are necessary. Before we go into the nitty-gritty details, let’s look at what metaverse is.

What Is The Metaverse?

As mentioned above, think of the metaverse as a virtual universe. The metaverse combines numerous technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and eye-tracking. These technologies combine to create the ultimate virtual experience. Now might be a good time to read or watch “Ready Player One.” It is a story set in 2045, where all people turn to VR to escape the real world. The feature could help you get a rough idea of how a metaverse might look.

What Is Inside The Metaverse?

The metaverse is usually digital assets, 3D avatars, games, and businesses. Each metaverse can have their virtual economy. There are endless activities to engage in while in the metaverse. You could meet friends, join virtual events, host business meetings, monetize your creations, and so on. The metaverse closely resembles the real world. Most have their own economies and accept virtual currency. For instance, Cryptoxles, a metaverse, accepts ETH, while Decentraland uses their original currency, MANA. The only significant difference is that you can travel the world, go to the store, climb Mt. Everest, all from your home’s comfort. Access to the metaverse is via an VR headset.

Continue reading

After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

The 1/6 insurrection aftermath is heating up

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

Editor: One year ago thousands of Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol. January 6, 2021 was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history. There is increasing evidence of behind the scenes maneuvering by Trump and his inner circle to thwart the law and overturn the 2020 election. The work of the 1/6 Select Committee is plowing forward, closing in on the instigators of the insurrection. Donald Trump’s role in the plot to end democracy in the United States is becoming more clear as emails and texts are made public. In the light of the current division in the country Anna Hessel believes it is time to be honest with ourselves, face the truth of what happened on 1/6/2021, bring the culprits to justice, and then move toward healing.

By Anna Hessel

The Crush Of Charlottesville

Back in 2017, I took one of the DNA tests that are so very popular.  Since I was adopted as an infant, my curiosity about my heritage peaked with regularity – I was giddy with surprise to learn that I am multi-racial.  Thrilled that the Lord has chosen to bless me with an interesting rainbow of cultures in a world where racial tensions dolorously abound.  On August 12, I looked on in horror at a group who call themselves ‘nationalists,’ terrorize Charlottesville, VA. One of them drove through a crowd in his Dodge Challenger, injuring 19 individuals and killing Heather Heyer.  Heather was a beautiful young woman, who was a local paralegal.  Little did I know, at the time, this was a foreshadowing of worse things to come.  This hideous act prompted then-former Vice-President  Joe Biden to run for president in 2020. In my opinion, his election is the only good that has come out of this.

Worse Is Yet To Come

On January 6, 2021, a similar, yet even more heinous act of violence occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building.  I find only small comfort in the fact that James Alex Fields, the man responsible for the horrific Charlottesville attack, was sentenced in 2019 to life plus 419 years. The sentence though appropriate does not bring back Heather Heyer.  Nor does it heal the scars, both physical and emotional,  of those who were injured, or who witnessed her murder. This callous disregard for life, an act of cowardice and pure evil, a precursor to the insurrectionists actions one year ago.

Continue reading

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

Family gatherings often result in anger and hurt feelings.

Minding the Gap

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

The pain of family dysfunction is frequently on display over the holidays

By Megan Wallin

Farewell Patience

Despite the cries of “holiday cheer,” the truth is holidays can drain you of every ounce of patience and good humor you possess. The dark underbelly of family gatherings is that they often culminate in contentious  counter viewpoints. These instances can be quite grating for all parties, especially where generational gaps are involved. While it’s easy to dismiss such disagreements as being a result of an ageist culture, one that neither admires nor protects its most experienced members, I sense there’s more to it than that.

Times Change

Often, the mindset that genuinely worked for one time in history does not work when applied to another. During times of war, hardship and economic depression, children grew up fast. They often skipped the phase that allowed them to develop as individuals and instead adopted a more collectivist perspective, with an absolute respect for authority. Case in point: The idea that children are to obey all adults—absolutely and without question—is a concept that has actually led to insanely corrupt and egregious cover ups of child predators.

A Shift in Parenting Priorities

Now, armed with this knowledge, parents no longer tell their children to trust all adults or do as they’re told without a prior relationship established. Perhaps as a result, we have more self-aware young people and more challenging behaviors at times as today’s kids test boundaries with their parents, teachers, and older family members. Gone are the days of “Because I told you so,” as we usher in the new era of, “I understand that you’re upset, but you cannot do that because . . . .” We are demanding accountability from parents as well as children, and while it may be an exhausting way to parent, it’s by far the preferred method for newer generations.

Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

The dark days of the Nazi control of Europe led to the death of millions.

EDITORIAL:

Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman is a tall slender man. His thinning white hair is brushed back, his jacket zipped against the winter wind, as he leans against his cane for support. There is a deep sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to share it. Martin Hartman is my neighbor.

Martin was born in Holland in 1924. Prior to the Depression of the 1930’s, his family had owned a prosperous construction business. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, the 97-year-old said, the economy “had begun to turn around,” things were looking up he confirmed. The future looked promising.

There had been rumblings of war, but few took them seriously, after all WWI was a mere twenty two years in the past. No one could imagine the world once again plunging into conflict. The next few days would change his life and those of his friends and family forever. “I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

After the German invasion, they began barricading city blocks and then sweeping the apartments for young men to fill the military ranks due to troop loss. Hartman describes it, “Gradually Nazism crawled into Holland. Good people were killed, or sent to prison . . . Jews and ministers.”

Continue reading

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.