Vanderbilt’s Brandon Vandenburg Gang Rape Trial: Year Four: Brandon Banks

The moment the verdict sunk in.

Update:  June 23:  GUILTY.  Brandon Banks squeeze bottle put the squeeze on him. Jurors did not hold him responsible for, Batey-like charges.  One count each for aggravated rape, and aggravated sexual battery.

But lets begin with Mack Prioleau:  The one guy who could have stopped this horrible crime.

Mack Prioleau  – The most chilling part in the fourth Vanderbilt University football gang-rape trial, this one featuring defendant, Brandon Banks; was testimony from Mack Prioleau.  Teammate and Christian, All Saints High School graduate, Mack Prioleau, didn’t comment on the laughter.  So much laughter.

Mack Prioleau – the fourth time wasn’t the charm.

So much muffled guffaws and squeals of delight of Prioleau’s teammates.  This was something Mack Prioleau pretended to sleep through.  So it was the continued loud squeals of sheer glee throughout the ongoing attack, and Mark Prioleau doing nothing, for thirty odd minutes, that got me. Mainly because the laughter began within three minutes of the rapists entering the room.

Mack Prioleau had four years to clean up his testimony.  But, exactly how does one “clean up” one’s lack of character?  If there is a way, Mack Prioleau certainly didn’t find in time to testify as to why he never acted after initially lifting his head, while listening to the gleeful sounds of a gang rape.  A gang-rape that included the sound of urinating on the victim, the sound of bottle squeezes on the victim’s body, the sound of the victim being physically slapped during the gang’s prolonged gang rape.  All happening inches from Mack Prioleau. Who did nothing.

Per the UK Daily Mail, four years ago Mack Prioleau told the court that he awoke to sounds of porn, laughing and the men discussing sex and saw the woman face down in the dorm.

Four years ago Mack Prioleau said the victim didn’t make a sound.

Four years ago Mack Prioleau said he didn’t leave to get help or check on her well-being.

‘I was trying to sleep, trying to do whatever I could to block it out of my mind,’ Prioleau said. ‘After it quieted down, I looked down and saw the female on the bed below me.

Eventually, Prioleau said he left the room to stay with a friend and when he returned the next morning, he cleaned up vomit found in the dorm. He only told one friend about what he had witnessed.

‘At the time I was scared and uncomfortable,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know what to do.’

But that was then.  This is now.

Fast forward to the fourth trial: Mack’s grown.

But life goes on!  Four years later, Mack Prioleau’s become a world traveler.  Now, Mack Prioleau has all kinds of advice and tips for a plethora of situations!  Check him out.  From 10 Vital Tips for international traveling, to shopping to tips for beginner surfers. It seems Mack Prioleau can’t shut up! See all Mack’s tips at Mack Prioleau’s Presentations!

Mack’s living the high life.  See his personal, fun life at MackPrioleau.org

My guess was with four years worth of hindsight from world travels, Mack’s testimony might include something a bit more…apologetically reflective.  Boy was I wrong.

Prioleau said he didn’t feel pressure.  Then offered the same nothing burger as four years earlier. Based on his testimony, Mack Prioleau confirmed he’s as empty on the inside as ever.

Back to the post rape action

Shortly after the gang-rape, Coach Franklin called a meeting.  Told the players to “Anchor down.”  Shortly afterward, Franklin bolted from Vanderbilt University for a job back at the collegiate national hallmark for child sexual abuse. Penn State.  Irony?

Now, three trials and two convictions later, we’re baaaaaaack with the defense in the fourth trial.  Brandon Banks said he felt pressure.  Because he was little.  I am not making this up.

The Fourth trial and the fourth time the victim’s character puts them all to shame

The defense tried to make the case for I don’t know, a bullied, rapist?  Much was made of the size of everyone else.

Brandon Banks “He made me do it” defense.

Ladarius Banks, Brian Kimbrow, all testified Brandon Banks, (who was his high school football team’s captain) felt threatened by Brandon Vandenburg.  Banks was called “gay” for not wanting to participate in a gang-rape. Gay people were appalled by that.

Brandon Banks – might have a sense it’s not working.

Also, Banks was not drunk at the time, and had a girlfriend.

Prosecutor Jan Norman. Kicking ass through out.

Banks laughed.  Banks took pictures.  Banks, the preacher’s son and high school football captain, squeezed the bottle. Repeatedly.

Referring to the victim, unconscious and vomiting, Banks says he’d never seen anyone that sick before. Or that out-of-it. The inference was alcohol…(although most believed she was drugged.)

The “he made me do it” defense

While Banks mentioned his daddy was a preacher, he appeared not to have made the connection a lifetime of football discipline, including as team Captain, along with his father’s preaching – didn’t matter one little bit, Two minutes after Brandon Vandenburg told Banks to take the bottle and squeeze.  Nor did Banks refuse to take pictures of the unconscious woman he physically, sexually assaulted with an empty bottle.  Nor did he leave the room.  As Prosecutor Jan Norman noted, neither did Brandon Banks text anyone he felt “pressure.”

After testifying, Banks looked a little worse for the wear. He went to his chair.  He cried.

Boo hoo.

Detective Gish testified he found no texts citing a of fear of bullying.  Detective Gish did find more videos….and other incriminating evidence that in no way indicated Brandon Banks was worried about being bullied. 

Can you say something nice about Banks’ Defense attorney

Sure.  Given I once titled a column about the first trial, “Guilty – is it too soon to say “Malpractice” and

The Malpractice Continues!”

Mark Scruggs, unlike prior counsel for the defendants; Brandon Banks’ attorney and former football player, was not criminally charged for financially exploiting a client during trial.  Also, unlike prior defense counsel, Scruggs did not lose his bar license.

Mark Scruggs – in fairness – he didn’t have much to work with

But Mark Scruggs was also corrected during his close for telling the jurors factually incorrect information.  Also, he recovered nicely.  But it was when Scruggs began with a background of the law, then mentioned the Magna Carta minutes in, that my thoughts went to Scruggs might have first bored the jurors, but a reference to the Magna Carta might have annoyed the heck out of them.

Update:  Scruggs called the verdict “inconsistent.”  Expected some guilty counts.  But Scruggs said Banks is still ready to fight on a motion for new trial, or appeal.  My initial thought was incorrect.  But likewise guess a Motion for a new trial will be shot down.  An appeal won’t fly.  Maybe Preacher Maurice Banks can visit Brandon more often.  The victim was in court.  Four down, one to go.

Brandon Banks with the single, remaining Defendant. It’s telling they remained good friends.

The judge commented the jurors looked tired.  Maybe they are tired of carrying the burden of four years of delay.  Imagine how the victim feels.

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Posted in college rapes, Government, Media, misogyny, Nashville Judges, Vanderbilt University Sex crimes | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mike Levin or Doug Applegate: The choice is seriously, easy

Levin or Applegate – San Diego Democrats, smart Independents, and more than a few fed-up Republicans, are rapidly choosing Mike Levin.  In record numbers.

Levin is the smart, effective, environmental attorney, whose 10 year history of volunteering for the Democratic Party from local, to national levels, caught fire.  Levin’s winning endorsements are from sitting members of Congress who would like to see Mike working alongside them.

Also, as past behaviors portend future conduct, the choice between Mike Levin and Doug Applegate is hands-down easy.

We all know voting is a deeply, personal act.  In that I have experience with all three candidates, below is that experience as a former Independent, now registered Democrat, who has yet to join any local affiliate.

First, Levin actually returned my phone calls. By putting himself in a position to learn,  I was able to explain how a cheaper, effective, (the strap can’t be cut-off) GPS monitoring system could save California lives, and millions in tax dollars.  I’d tipped NBC media to California’s huge (and largely unreported) GPS problems, here.

As a congressman, Levin would be in a position to help state legislators get it right, while saving California lives, and of course, millions in our State budget.

However, was 0 for 6 with my efforts to educate Applegate.  Including last year. Turns out, when it comes to being available, Applegate mirrors Issa.

This is not counting the prior election cycle where the count was 0-5 after Applegate’s post-divorce, stalking, scandal, broke.  Applegate, apparently, is an Issa-like,  “duck and take cover” kind of guy.

But new year.  New campaign.  So tried again, this year.  This time Applegate called a friend of mine asking, “What’s she want” rather than simply return the call.  Apparently Applegate acts as his own gatekeeper, too!  But that wasn’t what got my serious, attention.

Legal skills

Also, Levin seems to be a smarter attorney than Applegate; but unlike Applegate, Levin hasn’t run afoul of of the California State Bar.  (Note to readers of Court of Appeal decisions.  Important nuggets often lie in the footnotes. Applegate is in this footnote.)

Rick Miller vs. Applegate: Case Number: D0386816

So yes, ethics has been problematic for Applegate.

Still, while trying to verify information on Applegate’s now, number of marriages, as reported in the LA Times, from the last election.


“He also served as a military lawyer for about three decades. After he retired from the Marines in 2006, he worked as a general practice trial attorney  throughout Southern California. Applegate, who is twice divorced and has two children, lives in San Clemente with his girlfriend and his 17-year-old daughter.”


I tried calling Applegate again this past Friday.  I can report my phone still not ringing!  That must be Applegate, still not calling!

Turns out, when it comes to returning calls, Applegate favors the Darrell Issa model.

(Issa hasn’t returned any of my calls this year but, hey;  in 2008, I was apparently on Issa’s speed dial!  Yes, Team Issa wanted loads of information on Angelo Mozilo…and I had tons to share.)

Issa’s staff called me repeatedly, eagerly soaking up all the negative information I had to offer on Countrywide; and more particularly, on Angelo Mozilo, from the information I’d received from the website I’d set up about Countrywide.

I  was happy to share.  Hey, if my Congressman needs my help, it’s my duty as a good citizen to help. However, when I watched the hearings, live, instead of answering any sharp questions from Issa from the information I provided,  I watched in horror as Darrell Issa slobbered all over Mozilio —in thanks. 

That’s right.  Issa thanked Angelo Mozilo for helping facilitate the American dream to own a home, right as the market was crashing, and costing people their hopes and dreams right along with their homes, financed by Mozilo’s, Countrywide Mortgage.  Issa ended his cheer fest by declaring Mozilo a great American.  Folks.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Back to Applegate

Second, and unlike Applegate, Levin has a long history of volunteer work, by being effective in politics for others.  So no one wonders why members of Congress and other officeholders are endorsing Levin.

Perhaps it was combination of Levin’s 10 years of volunteer work, coupled with — well, Trump, but the immediate effect of a toxic Trump wound up producing a more determined to get involved, Mike Levin.  On the plane home, and as a direct result of the 2016 election, Mike Levin began mapping out a strategy for the 49th District.  (Only later did we learn Trump was right.  The national election was  rigged.  Shout-out to  Mike Farb1; who helped us discover the many ways to rig an election.)

Meanwhile, past portends future.

Applegate remains true to himself.  The man who repeatedly demonstrated an exceptional amount of disdain towards women, first towards his wife, expanded that disdain to include women in the military.  Specifically, the women marines cyber-attacked by the Marines United scandal, which puts America, at risk as a matter of foreign policy.  Check this out this article in Foreign Policy.

After news of the initial Marines United scandal broke, Marines United took down their private Facebook page.  I waited to Applegate to comment. 

I tweeted a question to Applegate about commenting on the scandal.  No response.  (Hey if I want a member of Congress to remain silent, I’d just call Issa!)

Turns out, Applegate hasn’t exactly mastered Twitter.  He s’plains on Facebook.  😂

Then CSPAN inteviewed General Neller.

More silence from Applegate.  So I tweeted another request for Applegate to comment. Continued silence from Applegate on Twitter.

Then, and amazingly, Marines United, regrouped!  Complete with a new Facebook page!

An in your face, “How Dare you try to shut us down”

I again tweeted to Applegate for a comment on the newly reorganized, Marines United.  Again, although cyber-attacking female marines impacts national security…Applegate remained Twitter mute. Why wouldn’t a guy running for Congress take a stand for cyber-attacked women Marines?

So the bottom line is:  If I can’t depend on my Congressman for national security, along basic fairness, why on earth would I vote for someone like that?  Also, folks:  This is a pattern.

Applegate’s stony silence on “Marines United” is not merely shameful, it’s unsurprising.

Because as Applegate has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt, past behavior is future behavior.

Thomas James Brennan, the reporter who exposed Marines United, is a former Marine.  A bounty was put out on Brennan, and his daughter for exposing them.  But Applegate, who claims to have served proudly, continually refuses to address the issue, or the bounty put on the Brennan’s daughter.  Since March.

Applegate’s refusal to step up on behalf of cyber-attacked female Marines, and the young daughters of a former Marine, demonstrates Doug Applegate, is simply not, leadership material. Voter wise, sirens are not sounding; they’re wailing.

I’m sure no real Democrat could possibly be in favor of sending another sexist to Congress.  Thanks all the same.

Last:  Why is Applegate still in the race?

To address the obvious by highlighting the oblivious — some Democrats had no idea of Applegate’s in-depth history.  Some are just poor sports.  This includes a few who talk progressive, but act otherwise.

Others, who can’t win a local Democratic office position themselves, imply future donations may be made to the those the Democrats are committed to defeating.  They also identify as “Progressive.”  Why, I’m not sure.  But the below, happened.

A veiled threat to donate to Republicans.

On the sexism side, it took five sex scandals before San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne decided to suddenly “retire.”  Chief Zimmerman is addressing the newer ones, but they are slowing down.  Sadly, replacing them, is:  military scandals.

Nine more indicted in Fat Leonard scandal, the Feds are on the case.

Good News

The good news is San Diego does appear to be growing out of its weird, parochial wrinkle.

Being reared in the military I’ve lived all over. My Dad’s a happily retired, WWII pilot, and POW escapee, who also flew 108 Command missions in Vietnam.  But having lived in the South, my biggest surprise was discovering the number of San Diego women who didn’t seem to mind San Diego’s openly casual, sexist bent.  There’s definitely a Stepford Wife vibe here when it comes to women supporting men who don’t care about them. But more good news, it’s ebbing!

I am happy Levin is getting more support both inside the community and nationally. We need Mike Levin to knock out the embarrassment of Darrell Issa, Duncan and Hunter and Doug Applegate’s, failure to respond. 

So am particularly glad the, “Doug ran first so no one else should run,” mentality (which sounds as hollow as it was), is also going away.

Last, although San Diego Democrats have in the past, allowed candidates at least three tries before giving up; that’s gone too.

And that folks, is real progress!

Posted in Civil Rights, Democratic Party, Election 2018, Mike Levin, misogyny, Politics, San Diego | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Magnolia Realty: Chip Gaines is great at public relations, but shouldn’t facts prevail

Chip Gaines – Negotiates with a hammer?

So is Mr. “Aw shucks,” Chipper Gaines really, Mr. “I want all the chips to fall in my direction,” Chip Gaines?

Turns out, goofy behavior aside, it’s beginning to feel Chipper Gaines is a much better thespian than anyone could have ever imagined.  And one thing is for sure:  Chip Gaines is no slouch at self-promotion.

Am referring to the lawsuit filed against Square MB, LLC d/b/a Magnolia Realty, Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc, Scripps Networks LLC, and High Noon Productions, LLC by the founding partners of Magnolia Realty. That’s right.  Chip, who had a third interest in the business, began talking to his friend, since 1997, about the business of Magnolia Reality in 2006.

But before we determine what is; notice what is not.

As is commonly known — when attorneys file a lawsuit, everyone and the kitchen sink is named in the Complaint.  Everyone.  Don’t take it personally, that’s called: Lawyering 101.

Is Joanna Gaines not a founding partner of Magnolia Realty?

But what’s interesting is neither Magnolia Realty founding partners, attorneys, John L. Lewis and Rick L. Clark, cared to name Joanna Gaines in their suit….and didn’t.

This is almost unheard of, not to mention very classy.  It also makes me wonder if attorneys Lewis and Clark suspected Chip Gaines kept some information from  Joanna.  Or worse.

Was Joanna not named as a founding partner because she wasn’t?  If so, how does that square with Chip Gaines “we share it all” image?

Darn.  Why didn’t reporters ask about that?  Also, why wasn’t it mentioned that the saga began in 2012?  Chip likely mentioned there had been contact…but if you look at the earlier shows, there was not an abundance of filming all over town and out in the public, as there are now.

Also, everyone has a camera.  There is production company in my town that pitches as a birthday feature for parents, a “Paparazzi package” – where five guys with a camera follow 21 year olds around town on their birthday, shouting their names in pretend stardom and clicking away as the newly minted 21 year olds, step into imaginary stardom…if only for a night.

John L. Lewis – founding member of Magnolia Realty.

It was clear to me as negotiations with Chip and Joanna Gaines continued, that Gaines realized the Fixer Upper show was going to be a go.

However, this information was not relayed by Chip to his partners and long-time, good friends, John Lewis and Rick Clark. Although friends since 1997…

who, busy with their law practice, likely trusted Gaines to keep them abreast of everything.

(Again, discussions for what Magnolia Realty would become, began in 2006.)

Fast foward – Fixer Upper became the big hit HGTV thought it would become; and all is not as folksy as it appears.

The first negative publicity came when the public learned the houses were selected before-hand.  That was dealt with.  (Will cover the gay issue later.)

Waco does cater to the show that put Waco on the map in a good light.  That’s a given.

So not much coverage on the woman who fell and suffered a head injury in the store, a bit ago.  Or the guy suing them about the gate access.  A little, but not much. No Magnoliagate.  Even though it was about, a gate!

Good coverage didn’t end with this lawsuit…but as coverage begged questions, I called.

David Tekell – finally – an attorney talks to me!

On Friday, April 28, 2017, I spoke with attorney David Tekell.  Mr. Clark suggested (through his secretary) I call David Tekell.  ( I didn’t get beyond capable staff of both founding member attorneys of Magnolia Realty when I telephoned.)  I’m against attorneys not speaking to reporters.  This is based on simple logic.  If the story is going to be written, best to speak and make your points. 

But hey, that’s just my opinion. John Lewis and Rick Clark perhaps thought all issues would be addressed by media from the Complaint they filed. 

That didn’t happen.  However, when I called David Tekell my very first question concerned the timing of the lawsuit…and whether there were meetings before good friends John Lewis and Rick Clark, filed.

Tekell indicated there were discussions prior to the lawsuit, and I later learned a copy of the draft of the lawsuit was sent to the email ole Chip has had for years.  I surmised the discussions were not especially productive. But also sensed Tekell didn’t want to talk about it much either, so didn’t press my luck, for particulars.

Enter: Logic

However, Logic demands when meetings are not productive, litigation is filed before the time limit by law, to address concerns, runs out.  The last thing attorneys want to do is sue their friends of many years; so meetings prior to filing suit, makes sense.  However, there comes a time when waiting makes no sense so lawsuits are filed; and the courts sort out the evidence.

Chip Gaines is winning the public relations side

Chip Gaines is wining the pr side, but readers looking at the evidence in the Compliant but not covered, initially, by media, might want to rethink their oh-so-quick, condemnations.

Oh yeah.  Evidence

Here’s a little something Chip hasn’t mentioned so fair.  I mean, far.

Evidence – Does this look like fraud to anyone?

The threats made by Chip have been well reported, and are listed in the Complaint on Page 12.  #38:

“You better tell Rick to be careful.  I don’t come from the nerdy prep school he’s from.  And when people talk to me that way they get their asses kicked.  And if hes not ready to do that he better shut his mouth.  I’m not the toughest guy there is, but I can assure you that would not end well for [R]ick.”

Also not mentioned in past coverage?  According to the Complaint, Gaines told his partners if they didn’t agree, he would start a competing agency against them.

As a writer, I found Doug Eastland interesting.  Who is Doug Eastland?  Seems to me Doug Eastland could be a key witness.  He knows all individuals involved, and worked with Magnolia Realty.  Someone should have called him for background.

Doug Eastland – once worked with Magnolia – friends with all involved.

But as no reporter called Doug, I did.  Doug’s a smart man, and very personable.  However, before I could ask a thing, Doug began with, “No comment.”  Not exactly a conversation starter for sure.

Eventually, after we chatted a bit…and because I am all about background, Doug did answer one question.

BR:  “Well, the story is all over the news, but as you were mentioned in the Complaint, didn’t anyone, from any publication, call you?”

DE:   “No.”

More interesting?  Doug mentioned he’s friends with all three.  That’s right.  Present tense.

Given the initial reporting was quick and dirty, seems a shame the reporting was also missing key facts. Because facts matter…and a bonanza for Waco, aside:  Facts are key to fairness.

Full DisclosureI once lived in Waco.  Since moving to California, have participated in one documentary (Divorce Corp*) and one reality show* (in which I was ecstatic when the series was cancelled in its fifth season.) This is important only when I mention to readers that reality show participants do get a sense of a network’s commitment to a project the longer it continues.  You can feel the groundswell.

I once called Magnolia Realty and High Noon Productions in an attempt to end negative coverage they were receiving for refusing to work with gay people.  My friend, Mark Ebenhouch had purchased a home in New Orleans and was attempting to remodel it in the summer.  (Mark was the real marine, director Oliver Stone hired to train a bunch of actors, how to look like real marines for the movie, Platoon.) Mark is an excellent human being and very active in the community and director of the Sacred Cloth Project.

So I thought working with Mark Ebenhoch would be a win-win as it was hard for me to believe there were so many people who seem to have forgotten, God did not appoint them his personal messenger.  (Also, I worried the New Orleans summer heat would kill Mark.)

The folks at High Noon said the Gaines had made a commitment to their children not to leave the Waco area.  I suggested a working vacation…and included family friendly activities.  No dice.  I did however, notice Chip never once committed on the negative publicity, shrewdly noting it would die out.  But these days Chip’s tweeting selected Bible verses to his own benefit.

I suspect if after discovery and depositions, if this goes to trial, Chip’s reputation will suffer. Because, facts. Facts are really so bothersome sometimes.  They really can screw up a good PR campaign.  But if it does, please know there is no better trial reporter than Tommy Witherspoon.  Especially on Twitter, which is harder.  Tommy tweets as TspoonFeed.

  •  1.  I agreed to participate in the film Divorce Corp with the stipulation the high-tech real-time, GPS device that alert would-be victims in real-time, beforehand, (in time for her to vacate the area, thus ending restraining order violations), would be featured in the film.  It was filmed but subsequently, edited out. 1,631 women were murdered in the U.S. in 2015.  This device would have prevented some of these murders.
  • 2.  The show was “Family Plots” and in one episode I was the blind-date for the main character. Originally was unaware it was a reality show.  Had noticed a blind item on a film board that read, “Three daughters are looking for a date for their father” and answered, “Does your father know what you’re up to?”  They called me and things progressed from there. My interest in participating was to see how production companies actually worked on the job.  Neither of us were interested in each other.
Posted in Business, Entertainment litigation, Law, Media, Media misinformation when reporters killed | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Trump lies told daily (and how the media is blowing it)

Chronicling Trump lies – and the fallout from those lies, daily.  For the purpose of encouraging  media to change how media covers Trump, given the current model, isn’t working.  Details on that, here.  But the Readers Digest version is:  Media is late, missing big clues about Trump’s mental state, and not concentrating on key issue  impacting us all, (Trump’s mental state) while busily chatting about press conferences and electoral numbers..

Day 1 –  Friday, January 20, 2016
1. Trump begins day in famous church. We later learned the Trump camp lobbied hard, against a sermon. Otherwise what’s known as controlling church and state. Trump’s team won.  Media aims a camera at Trump for an hour, then takes a long coffee break.

Meanwhile, media has forgotten about Trump divesting his businesses…so no personal profit.  Except two months after the election:  Hat Tip Robert Frank:   Membership fees to Mar-a-logo doubled since the election.

mar-a-lago-club.jpg

However, some in media, specifically, NRP, decided to refuse to identity Trump as a liar….when he lies.  It’s a little like the rationalization George Bush used when he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.  And it was good.

npr-refuses-to-call-trump-a-liar 
2. After Trump learns the Park Service tweet compares Trump’s staggeringly low attendance numbers,  to Obama’s staggeringly high numbers of attendees, the Park Service is ordered to immediately cease tweeting. (MSM doesn’t initially, notice.)

trump-silencing-presslater Trump will close down more departments and the public comment line at the White House.

trump-silencing-press2

Later we learn reporters were arrested for attempting to cover the scene.

Just not when it happened.  Anyone see a problem here?

3. Meanwhile, David Duke busily tweets, “We did it!
4. Trump remains furious over low numbers 

dc-metro-numbers

Meanwhile, a reminder. Five.

5. ⬅️ Number of federal agencies currently investigating Trump’s ties to Russia, specifically tied to flipping the election  Ok, six technically — if you don’t count the self-compromised FBI. But do we really trust the FBI?

6. In one of his official first acts, Trump makes obtaining a mortgage more expensive.
trump-adds-pain-to-mortgage-fees

Day 2 January 21, 2016

7. Largest march in history of the world against Trump. Trump understands numbers as his Twitter follows show.

trumps-little-follow-numbers

obama-and-clintons-high-numbers

Twitter morphs Obama’s followers to Trump. Millions horrified. The call announcing this goes out on twitter, and millions Unfollow.  Twitter apologizes.
8. Compare. Again, the one thing Trump understands, is numbers.

more-dc-transit-numbers
womensmarchmapFor coverage of some of the record breaking numbers in the Womens March, go here.

Trump may have, because the numbers….delivered by women,  left him seething.

8. Trump goes to CIA building, stands in front of memorial wall to fallen agents, and talks about himself. Continues to Lie about inauguration attendance. He can’t let it go.  But media doesn’t say why.  It’s Trump’s Mental State.
9. Trump’s first press conference – held during the Women’s March, is aimed at disrupting media coverage of what turns out to be the world’s largest demonstration, world-wide, against him. Media falls for it. Example: MSNBC abandons live coverage of the event, to focus a camera on an empty podium. Brian Williams repeatedly states, “We’re waiting for the press conference to begin.” (CNN wisely chose to not cover it live, but covered instead, what was said, and what was true.) Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, appeared and immediately launched two Topics. One, journalist’s mistake (journalist quickly apologized hours later and well before the presser) about a bust in the Oval Office that was blocked from reporter’s view. Spicer then addressed Trump’s ire. Attendance at his inaugural. By “address” I mean to say Spicer outright lied.

the-trump-lie-that-whipped-the-press-out

Day 3 – Sunday January 22, 2017

10. Sunday morning talk shows hosted on MSNBC chat endlessly about addressing outright lies. Apparently there is no budget for actual investigations. Real Press discovers former golf caddy and conspiracy theorist, Dan Scavino, is in charge of Trump’s official Twitter account.

12. VP Mike Pence announces new staff with 30 new officials. Pence initially Forgets to ask them to “Raise your right hand” for the swearing-in. Not a single member of the Press asks if Trump required them to additionally sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
13. Kellyanne stuns Chuck Todd when she talks about “alternative facts.” Todd reminds Kellyanne that no, it’s not any kind of fact. “Alternative facts,” are falsehoods. Todd doesn’t say “lies.”
14. Former CIA director, John Brennan, blasts Trump.
15. The Twitterverse, having discovered some were automatically linked to Trump’s official account, now discover a web kind of censorship. People cannot tag Sean Spicer in photos. (MSM hasn’t discovered this yet.)

trump-says-taxes-will-remain-secret

16. Trump breaks another campaign promise.

17. Missing the crux of the Trump presidency, fitness for office, MSM gets it right on Trump’s false claim he’s been on the cover of a Time Magazine more than anyone. (Nixon – 55 times.) Trump has 22 and Hillary prior to election, 19. (For balance, Hillary on Most Admired list for decades. Trump, not once.)
18. Secret Service is now investigating a KY woman for this tweet.
this-is-not-a-trump-threat
Which is a non-story as the Secret Service confirmed it had field officers “interviewing her.” The secret Service response to NH legislator suggested Hillary Clinton should be shot, was “we’re aware of it.”

Day 4 – Monday January 23, 2017

Media continues to obsess on Trump’s low poll numbers…because he does.

trumps-low-poll-numbers-continue

Meanwhile, pay particular attention to the Drazkowsi Amendment as it relates to replacing “Obamacare.”  Congress has been busily carving up coverage.

Although America’s huge drug problem is well-known, all kinds of mental health services were jettisoned.  However, my favorite is Number 11.

drazkowski-amendment

11.  62a. 155 – Services for those that are ventilator dependent.

No mention in media.

Day 5 – Tuesday – January 24, 2017

Joy Reid, whom I like – Tweets this.joy-reid-discovering-trump-lies-two-days-later

and that’s when I knew media really needs to change how it covers Trump.  Tweeted the below during Sean Spicer’s press conference.

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Last, Trump kills the EPA – Rachel Maddow covers it.  But not everyone gets cable.

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New journalism program to expose Trump and end our failing media

journalismThe press continues to fail in the most basic element of keeping  “an informed public” informed; and must adjust reporting standards for covering the presidency. Currently Trump treats Americans and the press, exactly as he did the small business contractors who unfortunately, signed contracts with him.

The first failure is ignoring Trump’s unfit, mental state.

The second area is press can ill-afford to mince words.  NRP deciding to not call Trump out for lying when he lies, identifies another, key issue in our current, media, fail.

Once media decides to speak the truth without mincing words, the next goal is figuring out how to combat Trump’s history of serving up a blitz of forcefully spoken statements, including lies, but never, apologizing when caught in a  lie. Including bald-faced lies. (In fact, when caught in a bald-faced lie, Trump doubles-down.)

Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, in an effort to deflect from the giant chunks of the White House website, disappearing, now claims individual heads of various departments, ordered the non-tweeting policy.  (Still waiting to see if media lets that go.)

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Naturally, the first step is recognizing the massive, media failure we’ve found ourselves in.  Suggest beginning with the realization even the most Basic questions are not being asked. Consider one that’s been bothering me.

“Although Kellyanne Conway is now a federal employee, did Trump require Kellyanne sign an additional Non-Disclosure Agreement for her federal position; or, was this eventuality covered in Conway’s original Non-Disclosure Agreement, under a catch-phrase, “in the event I am successful, this Agreement supercedes any other employment?”

hacking-computers-russian-spies-and-trumpWhy this hasn’t been asked underscores why media must flip the script when dealing with an illegitimate president.  Foremost being:  Media cannot afford to cultivate a deliberate, blind-eye, to ignore the claim of 17 federal agencies stating, Trump was working with Russian agents before running for office, while running for office, and after winning a rigged election…which Trump specifically invited to be rigged.

Likewise, media cannot afford to not change how they report.  Such as missing the obvious when it’s happening.  My tweet during Sean Spicer’s first news conference…having earlier watched Trump’s presser.

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Compared to  this highly respected MSNBC anchor, Joy Reid, whom I like, two days after the fact.

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Now for the solution:

Good news for the public!  It includes potential media profits!  Yes, higher ad revenues while keeping the public informed as to reality of a Trump Presidency. Here’s the basics!

  1. “Trump Lies Told Daily!”  A new program with a new style and focus.  Profits would soar once NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS scheduled their own variation.  But essentially,

“Trump Lies Told Daily” – A Daily Rundown of Lies told by Trump, or the Trump Administration.”

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Journalism – it’s back to the basics.

Subtitled – An ongoing investigation by Russian/Saudia/Chinese leaders (or lobbyists or/including, Senators So-and-So). Trump Time could air nightly for a half-hour, with expanded coverage on the weekends.congress-lobbyists

The first half will be split among staff, with a specific focus on lies in certain areas.  One staffer for Trump’s bankruptcies, one for his refusal to divest, and most importantly, a key staffer to expose Trump’s continued ties to Russian/Saudi/Chinese mobsters.  Each panelist should have 5 minutes to state what they’e learned.  Suggest contacting, Adam Khan, here.    (Wish he would get a website.)

Domestic areas addressed include Domestic Violence, (because – Trump’s background.  Also, duh.  The Womens March for half the population), Environment, Medicare, Veterans Benefits, Military needs, Social Security, Federal Regulations, National Security, etc.

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The Twist:  In the first part, the staff present their findings, But the second half of the program, host and staffers  (and perhaps, invited guests) debate which area has the biggest, negative effect on the American public.

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Graphics needed:  A counting logo in the top right corner during each segment:  For instance, “400 Days since Trump said he would release his taxes.”  Or regarding Trump’s ties to Russia, the logo “Trump signed 24 new contracts to his existing 118 contracts.  A graph would also be nice.

Why this is necessary.

Currently, media fails with nearly every question.   There is no banding together as a tactic, to force any issue.  Especially in the area of Trump taxes as this example demonstrates.

Kellyanne Conway’s defense of Trump’s refusal continues to be, “The people elected him, so they don’t care.”

Reporters and anchors haven’t yet appropriately responded with:


“Trump lost in the popular vote by three million, because those people didn’t believe him.  The people who voted for Trump in the Electoral College – voted, believing he would.  They are the public who still wants to see his taxes.  They said so.  Visit  The GOP APOCALYPSE.



which astounds me.

Also, Trump’s still complaining about his high numbers? Really.  Consider the parade route. Katy Tur showed us.

As for high TV views Trump’s administration claims.  Why haven’t reporters volleyed back with the obvious?  


“The movie “Carrie” had high numbers. The Shining had high numbers.  People do tune in to be scared.”


Personally, my answer would be, “I liken Trump’s Parade, (or, drive…since hardly anyone was there), to watching Alfred Hitchcock’s, “Psycho.”  

That might stop the subject from ever being brought up again.

Why the “Carrie” or “The Shining” answer hasn’t been directed to Trump, or Pence, or Kellyanne puzzles me.  But it saddens me, underscoring as it does, the failure of media to get to tactics to seriously inform the public about America’s first, Russian-installed president. 

I love the press – I just want to them to regroup so they can be effective.

Does media really want to mess around with women like this?  Women who marched in the snow, during the Womens March?  Does media think they’ll retain viewers who watch, pablum?

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And an uninformed public makes me question why the FCC allows continued licensing for non-performance.  (Except Trump’s pick to head the FCC was Ajit Pai, whose main goal is killing net neutrality, so expect higher prices for much less.)

Back to Trump Lies Told Daily!

  1. Invited Guests for “Trump Lies Told Daily.”

The mantra is simple.  Producers must impress upon bookers, “We’re here to inform:  Guests must be worth watching.”  The public knows it’s being shabbily treated when guests who lie constantly, are just as contstantly, booked. (Hint:  They’re all friends…most of this is just for show.)

Media fixation on Alternative facts

Former attorney, Kellyanne Conway, flattened Chuck Todd on his own program, twice. Todd, exasperated, managed to get off the one great line. “Alternative facts are not facts.  They’re falsehoods.”

Did anyone else notice media closed ranks, protecting Todd by focusing on that rather than admitting Kellyanne steamrolled Chuck twice, rattling off lie-after-lie, in rapid-fire, Gatlin gun style…in two separate areas, without once answering a single question.

Folks, we’re all given a certain number of heartbeats in this life. People sometimes watch fluff.  But trust this:  American’s don’t want fluff in politics. They want substantive discourse.  Yet in that same appearance, Conway, (a former lawyer) began with,

“A falsehood is told about removing the bust of Martin Luther King Junior from the Oval Office. No, that’s just flat out false. And the pool writer…”

and was not challenged.

Tim Russert would have laughed, as he interrupted Conway, to accurately point out the reporter did not commit a “falsehood.”  Tim Russet would say it was  a simple “mistake” and one that was quickly addressed by the reporter himself.  Tim’s unfailing realism in the face of spin – stopping people  in their tracks, is why people across the country, upon learning Tim died suddenly, got in their cars and drove through many states to pay tribute to Tim and his family at the funeral.)

Chuck Todd was struck hapless by Kellyanne.  Confounded, he laughed…and Kellyanne jumped at the chance to tell Chuck she was offended he laughed.  But that’s part just of the shtick.  That girl can recognize and seize an opportunity.  But still, it’s a better way to present the tsunami of lies Trump is trying to get the media to forget about himself.

jonathan-swiftSo given by now the comatose knows Trump et al, demonstrate a keen proficiency at getting away with lies…largely because it’s how Trump operates in business.

The public’s heads up was yesterday… and Trump is beside himself by the number of women who shut down his lousy numbers.

So it’s not “Business as usual.”  The press cannot continue operating the same old way.  No more, “we can’t keep up.”

A daily, “Trump Time” is the best way to make sense of rapid-fire lies.. Otherwise, lies left unaddressed are later given credibility, (such as Pami Bondi as an Electoral College member) because that’s Trump’s calculation as a business tactician.

Reporters must change now they cover Trump.  “Trump Time” beats Trump at his own game.  But it also raises journalism standards. That Trump Time would while generating ad revenues is just the icing on the cake

  1. Conditions for appearing on the show.  The producers must caution guests the basic rules are no repeatedly talking-over each other.  In cases of a split-screen, producers will remind guests Trump Time is to inform the public, and anyone who violates the rules will have their mic cut and screen shot dropped. The camera will return to the host, until such time the guest can get themselves together.

Good journalism.  Good ad growth.  Good to be informed.  But most importantly, we can impact change.  Please consider supporting independent journalism.  Past successes, detailed here.

Let’s roll!  

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Great signs from the Womens March – and a little Trump madness

pussy-eagles

My first inkling the Womens March was going to be BIG came from a short tweet I noticed the night before.

Paraphrasing a DC guy’s tweet,

“I don’t know what it’s like in your neighborhood but it’s around 9:30p.m. where I live and all I can hear is the sound of the wheels on luggage carriers — and it’s deafening.”

Rolling thunder seems the best way to describe that sound.

The Womens March infuriated the predator president for a couple reasons.  The first being:  Women brought it.  The second being…still women!  Women birthing the most massive, global, anti-Trump response. All women – humiliating Trump.  Collectively.

But plummeting popularity aside, tweets captioned like the below have a way of burrowing under Trump’s paper-thin skin.

“Is it fair to call it a parade if no one is watching”

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Agent Orange aside, women finally got woke, thanks to Hillary.  We knew Putin was fearful of our strong Hillary, whereas Trump is weak and malleable.  We know the election was stolen, and so we rolled. Collectively.

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All those people – and not a single arrest.  Kinda makes one wonder why men are in charge, eh?

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What was done to Hillary was what got those little luggage wheels rolling towards DC…as well as all around the world.  While much focus has been children and young women, grandmothers are pissed off too.  So don’t rest Congress.  We’re coming for you, too.

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Some of us are coming on behalf of the 1,631 women who were killed by their boyfriends or husbands in 2015.  They would want us to roll some of you out of office.  Guys like Arkansas Tom Cotton, who stalled Cassandra Butts Ambassadorship so long, she died.

The backstory media missed

Media, being itself misogynistic, never quite got it.  On July 28, 2016, I’d written, “This presidential race will boil down to the most qualified candidate in the world; versus: Misogyny.” Misogyny won.  Temporarily. But we’re woke now.

So enjoy the signs, a little commentary, and knowing nothing will ever be the same, again.

THE MARCH – BOSTON

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THE MARCH – NEW YORK CITY

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THE MARCH – WASHINGTON DC

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Tweet nice – caught by Col Morris Davis

 

 

 

 

 

Remember Charlie?  Charlie Brotman, the 89 year old presidential inaugural parade announcer since 1957, that Trump dumped?  Well,  the Womens March organizers invited Charlie to speak and not only did Charlie show up, he was funny, upbeat and awesome!

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(Imagine Trump worrying about the march on top of being in a terrible mood from watching one’s own plummeting popularity. Imagine hosting the world’s most important electoral parties and still not being able to give tickets away.  Imagine all that,and  knowing a march was coming the very next day.)

THE MARCH – PORTLAND

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 THE MARCH – DENVER

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THE MARCH – CHICAGO

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Trolling Trump  –  World-wide

Who would have guessed it would be knitters who knew how to best, represent!

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and

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THE MARCH – ANTARTICAthe-march-antarticaTHE MARCH – HOTLANTA!

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John Lewis said, “I know something about marching.”

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THE MARCH – BIRMINGHAM

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THE MARCH – OAKLAND SAN FRANCISCO

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THE MARCH – LOS ANGELES

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THE MARCH – TOPEKA

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THE MARCH – OKLAHOMA

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THE MARCH – AUSTIN – Broke the record

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THE MARCH – SEATTLE

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THE March – LONDON

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That was one day.  Don’t rest Congress. We’re coming for you, too.

Posted in Civil Rights, CNN, Democratic Party, domestic violence, Media, misogyny, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, Politics, Racism, Rape, Republican Party, Social Media, Trump Media, Uncategorized, womens march | 3 Comments

How America and the LA Times can fully recover from Japanese Internment camp, mistakes

Good news! Now that Muslim Registry looms again on the horizon; a teachable moment is at hand.

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Nisei heroes – many from the 442 Regiment – 100 Battalion

The teachable moment arrives courtesy of:  Lane Nishikawathe anti-dote for America’s post-factual era; and documentary film maker most able to help the LA Times wiggle free from its latest debacle.  Nishikawa’s film, “Never Forget” is also uniquely positioned to keep America from repeating earlier mistakes.

From incarcerations, military service, and post-service, bigotry, “Never Forget” serves as a guide to coming out of the darkness.

But first and specifically, the film addresses mistakes made by the LA Times, the Times has yet to address.  Our fear of immigrants.

In that regard, Lane Nishikawa provides the necessary fresh air to assist Americans deal our fear-fueled immigrant underbelly, the LA Times seems content to let lie.

As many are aware, the LA Times continues to smart from the entirely regrettable decision made by, Catharine Hamms, Editor of the LA Times, Travel Section, after Hamms published online and print, two letters, around December 7, 2016, referencing Japanese-American internment/prison camps.

Unfortunately, the letters Hamms published were written by revisionist history proponents,  Steve Hawes and Dick Venn.  Both deemed the facilities more than adequate.  Hawes wrote,  “The Japanese assigned the job of staying out of the way and not causing complications.  Millions of Americas were assigned far worse jobs.  Hundreds of thousands were wounded or died.”  (More on that, later.)

For the fact-free Hawes and Venn, Japanese-American Internment housing, (prisons) were essentially portrayed as, comfortable sleep-away camps.

The internet immediately noticed the first problem

Yahoo News published:
LA Times: We regret publishing pro-Japanese Internment camps.”

The Wonkette: “Idiots demand LA Times offer Bigots’ perspective on Japanese Internment Camps.”

and ahortly thereafter, Hamms realized her decision to publish Hawes and Venn was an error in judgment, of Trumpian proportions.

However, neither the Internet or the LA Times dealt with the underlying issue.

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America cannot afford “Post-Truth”news. Facts have never been more important.

In an era where the Oxford Dictionaries awards “Post-truth” (a version of reporting where the reporter writes to appeal to emotions over facts,  fake news, and, poorly covered news…including the sins of omission); the LA Times opted for the sins of omission, and ignored the fear factor behind President Roosevelt’s Executive Order, 9066.


That being the stellar, American military service provided by brave Nisei men and women for America, during a time these brave men and women were stripped of their rights as citizens and condemned by bigoted Americans, from the Commander-in-Chief, on down.

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Although The LA Times was mum on America’s core fear of immigrants; other news outlets should not follow their lead.

Granted ignoring fear of immigrants is pretty weird, considering what newly arrived immigrants and soon to be “Americans’ did to Native Americans.  Or, perhaps, because.

However, reality is this:   Blander looking Americans have long feared immigrant citizens who don’t look like blander looking Americans.

Not often mentioned is:  Blander looking Americans (and the cosmetics industry) knows “looks count.” Religion does too, of course.  But if new immigrants  look different…well, that’s kinda, it.

So, we really haven’t come a long way, baby.

Thus, by not addressing the fears of some Americans,  the LA Times missed an opportunity to bring comfort to the fearful.  This is regrettable as anyone watching “Never Forget”  might find it useful in taking baby-steps towards developing some  coping skills to deal with less-blander looking Americans.

Doing so would have made everyone feel better as the 442 was featured in “Never Forget.”  What’s the 442?  So glad you asked!  The 442 is the most decorated Regiment in the entire, U.S. Army.

I learned this from watching “Never Forget.”  Immediately  afterward I called my 93 year old Dad, Lee Russell, who happened to be part of  the “Bridge busters” B-25 pilots flying out of Corsica during WWII;  and asked if he’d heard of the 442 Regiment.

Dad immediately laughed and yelled,

“Go for broke!”

I took that as a “yes” as  “Go for broke!” was the motto of the 442nd; and, with 18,000 medals, more than any in the history of the U.S., they certainly, did.  

By the way, surprise!  The 442 consisted of all Japanese-Americans.  Lane Nishikawa featured the lives, loves and, service of the MIS and the 442 battles in, “Never Forget” which included the 442’s  most epic contribution —  the rescue the 1st Battalion 141st Infantry, (which consisted of a bunch of Texans), pinned by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains.   The 442 rescued the lost battalion on October 24, 1944, and folks, it was, epic.  It was epic because so many died trying to save so few.

The 100/442, Regiment saved 200 Texans while losing 800 members of their own.  

It also turns out, there was a bit of Hollywood Post-Truth news going on, to diminish the efforts of the 442,  immediately afterward. 

Coverage of the event  included zero mention of the major losses suffered by the men of the 442.  Indeed, news clips like the one below, made it seem as if the primary thing the lost Texans had to do, was to keep up their fighting spirit.

Enter Post-Truth news

So I recommend Nishikawa’s film of the famous Nisei soldiers known as the 442 Regiment...which the LA Times, in creating their debacle, chose not to mention.

I do so as “Never Forget” America needs the antidote to Post-Truth, toxic news.  It’s learning tool for everyone, everywhere….not just newspapers or television programs. 

Also, and not a minor point: During the course of World War II;  some Americans were convicted of spying for Japan.  But none were from Japan.  (Just a mention.)

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Lane Nishikawa – film maker, writer-director

Given the Muslim Registry is rearing its head right as 2017 marks the 75th year of American’s shameful act against our brave citizens: I recommend contacting Lane for critical information, partly because these brave Nisei soldiers emerged as the most decorated unit in the history of the U.S. Army…and then returned home to families still locked up in internment camps…and restaurants who refused to serve them.

It bears repeating that this cannot be repeated.

Then, President Truman awarded the 442 medals, he said, “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice…and you’ve won.” Perhaps he was unaware it wasn’t true.

By a stroke of good luck, I got to meet Nishikawa.  He gave me a copy of both his films, and we agreed the film is as current today as it was in forties. I just finished the first and sat right down to compose this.

(WARNING:  If you can get through “Never Forget” without feeling a lump in your throat…don’t bother taking your pulse. You’re dead.)

In Nishikawa’s interviews with released Americans of Japanese descent, who volunteered to serve while incarcerated; most offered extremely polite, poignant comments.  But the one comment that nailed me occurred just ten minutes in.  It came from a gentleman who simply said,

“This is a perfect example of a Constitution is only as good as the Government that wants to enforce it.”

 

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