Monday, September 26, 2016

Donald Trump - The Most Dangerous Man Alive

I usually hate when people are unfairly compared to Adolph Hitler. I attempt to refrain from Hitler comparisons, because Hitler was an unimaginable monster-Svengali, bringing out the worst possible nature of millions of people. Hitler was filled with hatred. Hitler convinced millions of normal people to join his hatred and commit genocide. Hitler was the devil if there ever was a Satan in human form.

Hitler's reign of terror began with xenophobia and antisemitism and ended with horrors indescribable. Hitler started by preying on Germans' fear and anger. Within months of his election, he abolished civilized protections, ostracized Jews, gays, gypsies and others, and ended up annihilating millions.

Trump may not be a Hitler, at least I pray he is not. But like Hitler, he preys on an angry people's xenophobia and racism. Trump cares only about Trump. He has no empathy, no compassion. His rhetoric ignores Constitutional protections. He promises to engage in acts which the founding fathers wisely placed outside of a president's power.

I first voted for a presidential candidate in 1972. Retrospectively, I realize my first vote was not my wisest. I was a starry-eyed Idealist at age 19. I, at 63, am much more of a realist.  Three great-uncles, three great-aunts and a cousin all perished in Auschwitz. These were my grandparents' sisters and brothers.  My mother's family was lucky to escape three weeks before Kristallnacht.

This is the first time that a presidential candidate has really terrified me. He personifies hatred.  History can repeat itself. We must be vigilant. No one expected a paper hanger from Austria to murder millions. This election feels like the most important election of my life.

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Terrifies Me About Donald Trump!!!!!!!!

This blog is dedicated to courageous plaintiffs, but I notice I spend much of my time worrying about Donald Trump.  I decided to write down all of the things about a potential Trump presidency that scare the shit out of me:

1.  I am concerned about his personality, his lack of introspection, depth, and critical thinking.

2.  Would he use atomic bombs?  Maybe. He doesn't rule it out.

3.  Would he use executive orders to violate the Constitution?
       A.  Change "libel" laws - violating the First Amendment.
       B.  Refuse to allow attorneys to U.S. Citizens charged with crimes.  In violation of 6th Amendment.
       C.  Refuse citizens charged with crimes to be afforded jury trial - violation of 6th Amendment.
       D. Profile and frisk "suspicious" people - violation of 14th Amendment.
       E.  Torture - violation of 8th and 4th, 5th Amendments.

4.  He doesn't realize that there are three branches of government and he can't make and enforce laws.

5.  He brings out the worst in people -   Racism, sexism, xenophobia, hatred, violence.

6.   He is narcissistic and self-involved.

7.  He is inherently dishonest and opportunistic. I WANT TO SEE THOSE TAX RETURNS.  He swindles people and takes advantage of those he can.

8.  He is extremely insecure. I do not want my president to literally get into dick measuring contests. He is easily offended. A President must have thick skin and think of the country's before his.  He is vindictive.

9.   He is greedy  and ungenerous.

10.  He lacks diplomacy, intellectual curiosity and intelligence - NARCISSISM is his most obvious personality trait.

I am scared of him.  I have never felt this way before in the past ten elections in which I was able to and did vote. This election is important.  YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is serious. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Friends Are My Friends - So Leave Me Alone

Lately, I have been criticized in the Comments section on my blog because I have a good relationship  with Tony Botello. Several people indicate I shouldn't like because he is a sexist, or racist, or mean - blah, blah, blah. In fact, I got a couple of comments about Mr. Botello on a tribute I wrote about an amazing, courageous woman who just passed away. I considered deleting the comments, since they had nothing to do with the legacy of this amazing woman, but I did not. I only delete troll comments, and these comments were fair comments, but inserted in a place which I thought was inappropriate.

Apparently, as a feminist, I am supposed to have only friends or people with whom share my every view and share all of the views of all of the people who generally agree with me. I believe we are multi-faceted beings and I find it offensive that my choice of friends is subject to comment.

I am sure many people disagree with many of my beliefs or actions. So be it.  That does not mean I hate people with whom I disagree. I admire that Tony believes in the First Amendment and chooses not to delete troll comments, no matter how disgusting, racist, sexist or just pathetic the commenters may be. I disagree with Tony on the comment issue. I delete troll comments. I don't post photos of women in bikinis either, nor do I intend to do so. Tony may write things you find to be offensive. Some things I find to be offensive. However, he has done some amazing work exposing malfeasance and corruption. And sometimes he makes me laugh.

I saw Louis CK and he was hilarious, and said many, many offensive things. But, he was very funny. Actually, I will forgive a lot if someone makes me laugh. Laughter is one of my most favorite things in this world. I laugh at sick things at times.  Mt favorite joke is, "I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather.  I don't want to die screaming and afraid like his passengers."   Perhaps I am shallow or hypocritical that way, but get over it. We are all multi-faceted and hopefully we are complex human beings. Life is not black and white. I appreciate shades of grey.

Now, Tony, I will not be voting for you for president, or governor, or even mayor. You may say things with which I do not agree, but, I am not going to tell you to do or be anything but who you are. So, you commenters, or Facebook peeps who are upset with my friend choice,  get over it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Brief, Brave Life of Denise Henning

Denise Henning died yesterday.  I don't know if it is appropriate for me to write this blog about her, but I feel compelled to do so. I cannot stop thinking about who she was and the life she lived. I feel like everyone should know her name, she was such an amazing person.  I knew Denise for more than twenty years.  I always liked her, always admired her, but we were not really girlfriends,

Denise was a trial lawyer.  She had guts.  She went to trial when others were too afraid.  And, she won. I remember when she started her own firm across the street from ours.  Unlike me, Denise was not satisfied just practicing law.  She was truly a role model.  She was a leader.  She volunteered her time doing charitable things.  She had celebrations for women who achieved recognition in the field of law.  Denise excelled, and she gave back.

Denise founded a charitable branch of the Association of Women Lawyers.  She started a mentoring group for young women lawyers.  Her energy seemed inexhaustible.  I remember her pregnancies, giving birth to two healthy boys a dozen or more years ago.  I remember meeting her husband, Denise's high school sweetheart.

I remember years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her announcement that she had it beat.  She deservedly received award after award.  When she was on the cover of Kansas City Magazine as a Super Lawyer, I read with interest about her life.  The article is attached.  Denise Henning.  That was in 2011.

Then, in 2012, when her boys were playing baseball, Tim, Denise's husband, had a major heart attack and died.  He was only 47 years old.  I felt so bad for Denise.  I think, I hope, I let her know.

What I did not know then, but came soon to find out, was that just a few months before Tim's death, Denise discovered that her cancer had returned.  Her boys were young.  Denise called and asked if I knew who could hire her secretary, because she didn't want to leave her employee out in the cold while she ended her practice to tend to her boys and to her health.

Then, Denise started a foundation in memory of her husband, The Henning Family Foundation. She held golf tournaments to purchase AED devices so that if someone had a heart attack in a public, perhaps, unlike her husband, their lives could be saved. Every year we contributed to the foundation so another AED could be purchased.  In 2015, with an AED in her car, Denise saved a man's life whose heart had stopped.  Henning News Article She received an another award, this time from the Red Cross.

This past May I did not hear from Denise.  May is when she held the Tim Henning golf tournaments. I feared her health was deteriorating further.  In June, I learned that the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys was honoring Denise with its highest award, the Tom Strong award.  I made sure that I attended the banquet.  There is no one I know who was and is more deserving of that award.  I sent Denise a long email telling her how much I admired her.  Denise accepted the award at the annual banquet.  She needed help getting onto the stage.  Her boys were with her.  She did not look well.  I made my way to her and hugged her and told her again how deserving she was.

That was is the last time I ever talked to Denise.  I noticed that within the past few weeks, her friends on Facebook had been posting photos of Denise.  Denise's oldest son, a teenager, posted a loving tribute to his mother.  He wrote of how much his mother had sacrificed for he and his brother in the wake of their father's death.

On Sunday evening, September 11, 2016, Denise died.  I cannot stop thinking about her.  I cannot stop worrying about her sons.  I cannot stop mourning the loss of this wonderful women.  I can just imagine how hard Denise's passing is for her loved ones.  Denise Henning is irreplaceable.  The world is a better place for her having lived among us for oh too short a time. What an amazing person she was.