STORMY DANIELS PRIVACY

A confidentiality agreement is a promise to keep something private, or a pledge to keep something private.

Stormy Daniels signed a 2016 confidentiality agreement supposedly prepared by an attorney representing candidate Don Trump. Trump did not sign; the attorney, a non-party to the agreement, did not sign. The attorney advanced $130,000 of his own money to pay Daniels. Don Trump and his minions now claim the candidate did not know of the agreement with Stormy Daniels; Trump has not repaid the attorney for advancing the money. The reasons to disclaim knowledge of the agreement and of the money appears campaign finance law violations.

Under these facts a third party, the attorney, is trying to interpose a confidentiality agreement on Daniels (1) which has been disclaimed by the principal on other side, (2) which was never executed by the principal on the other side and (3) an executed fully enforceable agreement presents a prima facie case of a crime.

Stormy Daniels’ situation is like circumstances of victims, suspects, and law enforcement, on one hand, and internet companies and computer/telecommunication companies, on the other hand. The so-called electronic privacy agreements between the Internet/computer companies and suspects who commit crimes is the same as Stormy and the attorney. The Agreements drafted by Internet/Computer companies can be modified at will by the drafting parties e.g. Apple Computer routinely grants the Chinese government any access it wants. Consideration can be gone. Yet some Internet/Computer companies assert the right to keep secret the actions which may constitute an obstruction of justice; or they be aid the commission of the crime and be an ancillary after the fact; or they may interfere with an investigation, or they may lie to law enforcement. [When a person omits to disclose pertinent facts which are known or easily available to a person, individual or corporation, that is lying and may be a crime.] These omissions may arise in a number of circumstances: After a police shooting when the cops circle the wagons against investigators; when someone with foreign help (government or organization) commits a crime within this country; when an American kills another American and interposes an electronic privacy agreement.

Most Americans know what privacy is: home, family, talking. Benjamin Franklin warned (paraphrased) The only way a secret can be kept among three persons is for two of them to die. If something needs to be private don’t tell anyone. However, relying on agreements prepared by third parties which may not be executed, or is changed or violated at the whim of the drafting party, means there is no privacy at all.

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IDIOTS, Jr.

Now that Pres Don has gotten rid of competent, intelligent white guys, individuals who have done something with life and prospered, unlike himself, he’s going for the retreads of the second string.

Larry Kudlow, new Director of the National Economic Council, is of CNBC fame where Don had his TV show. Larry wasn’t as big a person as Don; he’ll never be exposed to the elements on the Hollywood Walk of Fame i.e. the homeless. Both Larry and Don believe the homeless are using the tax cuts to bilk millions from the government from favorable programs handing out dough. How else, could the homeless live in such an exclusive neighborhood?

These attributes fit Larry’s behavior when giving advice on TV: Angry rich man complaining the United States government taxes him to give money to the poor. He sounds like and is as current as George Bush proposing economic prosperity, the lift of a driving dream. WRONG POLICIES! Larry’s a very retro guy: Let’s Make America Great Again Like It Was During The 1920s. That decade finished well, didn’t it?

John Bolton, new National Security Advisor, looks like a walrus, with a white lip. Give him a uniform, narrow his mustache and he looks like someone else. He also sounds like that person: Adamant, right and righteous, hard, and opinionated based upon faith and fibs.

Both men have had stints in government, and no one in government hired either of them later for any position of responsibility. But each stuck around getting whatever exposure was available – CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and mail solicitations. Bolton had a petty foundation he was the face card for, and once a month, bi-weekly and sometimes weekly envelopes arrived with cant writings inside expounding political and social positions edging toward totalitarianism. The only benefit a right minded, red blooded American got from Bolton was observing in the photographs that Bolton was getting gray. (Kudlow is mostly bald.)

The big advantage that Don Trump has over Bolton and Kudlow – they are lower on the food chain. Neither has Don Trump’s girth, 400 pounds of flab. Each is relatively trim ready to wear second-hand, empty suits. They are names, sometimes recognizable, unrespected, timeless and each has fallen into Don’s event horizon. The best that can be said about each man: When Don fires them, no one will know they are gone.

CHARACTER: Crime Four

Last year I presented three lists describing crimes and criminal activities, derived from TV crime shows. Issues in this article arise from a crime show: Woman has wonderlust. She moves from place to place but no stop is perfect and satisfies her. She needs satisfaction not contentment or acceptability. She continues to look for the perfect location with perfect people. She meets different and more people. There are chemistry and magic someplace.

A person seeking something from the environment or from society has a tough row to hoe. Everything is life predicated on experience: Wise men learn by others’ harms; fools by their own. Or, Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other. Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack. Our person relies on impulse, instinct and intuition, freely for the way forward but frequently is hurt or offended if someone is rude, questioning or dismissive. Yet ask whether our person is capable of love, or recognizes love apart from fondness, affection and attention.

Our person from the show was murdered in the same manner her mother was 25 years before. Picked up in a bar, taken into a forest, assaulted and killed. The murderers were easily caught. However, our person did not learn from experience, and there appeared no memory to let our person ponder, reflect or consider. This was a sorry, pathetic, weak and uneducated human being. What may be worse, our person may be lying to herself about herself.

How to breach the cycle relying in impulse, instinct and intuition? One ay, put something of substance into the person’s head. If she loves nature, educate her about forest lore, not the tripe James Fenimore Cooper recited but real things from education to survival skills. That education will change activities, the life, behavior, goals and aspirations.

EMPIRE OF LIBERTY

By Gordon Wood

The chapters and passages in Empire of Liberty about unpolitical, business affairs, social events and participating individuals are the strongest: Education, the arts, society, sociologies and cultural anthropologies of business, and the general thinking of Americans and their temper and mood. On that score the book is invaluable.

Exposition about the government, politics and the men is flawed. I observe in one Amazon criticism, the commentator states the book is episodic. To describe business and social activities, arrangements and the men by episode can make an accurate presentation. The actions and the individuals are usually isolated from one another.

Telling of national politics and the men in episodes tells nothing, no story and little about the men and the issues that were changing. This approach weakens Empire. These men – Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Washington and others – knew one another well. They acted and reacted, playing games against strengths and weaknesses of the others. Madison excelled at the game playing. He set things up, stepped back and watched.

He may have been the Father of the Constitution, and the Father of American Politics and the Father of the Bill of Rights, but for eight years 1815-1823, there was little or no political opposition in the United States. That was Madison.

All historians, political scientists and others rely on Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention, 1787. Yet in 1789 and after when Madison was in Congress guiding Revenue Bills though, establishing Cabinet offices, advancing the Bill of Rights, setting the Capital site, working on the debt, Empire inaccurately describes the proceedings and a culminating result in the Grand Compromise of 1790. No one believes or relies on Madison. Empire is remiss in this omission.

Consider corporations [Charters of Incorporation], an issue of 1791. The American colonial experience was the king’s granting charters, thereby setting up monopolies. The East India Company of Tea Party fame was one such entity. Americans disfavored corporations. When Madison proposed during the Constitutional Convention to give Congress the power to grant charters(1787), it was rejected.

Empire presents the impression that charters of incorporation were well know and working in America. Its view is anachronistic, using law and facts of the 1880s. Two excellent attorneys/justices of the early Republic, James Wilson and John Marshall, dismissed the business form in the 1790s. A real go at incorporation was made by John Jacob Astor in 1807; it does not resemble anything presented in Empire. (See David Lavender, Fist In The Wilderness) [Note Abraham Lincoln studying law in Illinois during the 1830s found the corporate form new and interesting,
(David Herbert Donald, Lincoln)]

Note in Empire the text relies on the Dartmouth case (1819), 30 years after the first Congress. Chief Justice Marshall wrote the opinion but did not discuss the power to incorporate, or who had it. He interpreted the law, documents and contracts, and the Constitution.

Other errors in Empire suggest the author did not research and write the text, or he was exceedingly careless.
Page 446. George Mason, according to Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention, 1787, said almost nothing during debates. He did not favor the Council of Revision; James Wilson and James Madison vociferously supported this issue and suffered repeated defeats. George Mason wanted a Council of the Executive like the one existing in Virginia, to control the Governor. Mason had written the Virginia Constitution. At the national level such a Council would control the President.
After William Haller’s books about Puritanism, no historian should ever call anyone in New England a Calvinist, a European term. In Empire the text does. However, the text reveals Presbyterians and Independents (Cromwell’s sect) in the Dartmouth case. (Pilgrims were separatists.) Almost everyone else in the settling of New England was an Independent, to become known in the eighteenth century as Congregationalists.
Misquotes misrepresent Jefferson and Madison’s opinions of the Constitution. Empire uses early quotes. Both men evolved in their thinking, leaving earlier opinions, like Hamilton’s statements, historical additives and eccentricities. Indeed both Jefferson and Madison were willing to use precedent to sidestep Constitutional rigors. During the legislation and ratification of the Louisiana Purchase (1803), Rufus King wondered how they could change governmental power defined by the Constitution by using the Treaty Power. Jefferson and Madison merely used the same processes employed by the Federalists when they passed the Jay Treaty(1796). The same procedures were used at the end of the Mexican-American war (1848).
John Taylor of Caroline County (Virginia) is misrepresented. He is hardly the philosopher of the Republican Party. He had a father figure who lived close by, Edmund Pendleton, perhaps the best judge of the eighteenth century English world. Pendleton was known, respected and loved by everyone – Henry, Washington, Jefferson, Marshall. He was a confident of Madison’s. How prominent was Pendleton, other than being on Virginia’s highest court? In 1765 after it was discovered that John Robinson, Speaker of the House of Burgesses, had embezzled public funds, mostly giving the money to prominent Virginians, Pendleton undertook the task of getting the money back. By 1803 the job was not complete; he died. He left the work to John Marshall. In 1798 Pendleton published in newspapers a letter critical of President Adams, his administration and the Federalists. No one came down the lane to arrest Pendleton for violation of the Sedition Act. This is all to say that at best, John Taylor was a puppet for the men (Pendleton and Madison) pulling the strings in the backroom.
It is anachronistic as Empire does to view “null and void” as Southerners did in 1830-1865. Jefferson’s draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, originally intended for North Carolina, was greatly changed by Wilson Cary Nicholas and the Kentucky Legislature. Jefferson proposed Committees of Correspondence in each state to communicate and to react to the Alien and Sedition Acts. (1798) What did Jefferson mean by “null and void?” He likely relied on the same definition used by that infamous radical/revolutionary, James Otis of Massachusetts (1764): “As the Acts of Parliament, An Act against the Constitution is void: An Act against natural Equity, it should be void; and if the Act of Parliament be made, in the very words of the Petition, it should be void.” The word, null, has no legal impact without its mate void.
P. 184. Empire praises Hamilton’s Pacificus essays, but they are difficult to defend. Facts deleted from Empire manifest Madison’s response (Helvidius Essays) destroyed Hamilton’s essays by citing The Federalist Papers, written by Hamilton, against assertions Pacificus.

Other issues of error and misrepresentation appear in Empire. One chapter is a mundane discussion of points of Judicial Review, a power given the Courts by the sovereign. In the 1780s Massachusetts abolished slavery within the state by Judicial Review (opinion and judgment). In Virginia the Court of Blair, Wythe, and Pendleton accepted the power; it was taught in law courses. John Marshall grew up knowing it, read the Constitution and participated in the Virginia Convention (1788). He further discussed all legal issues with Madison and Pendleton and others and was influenced long before the opinions of Marbury vs. Madison and other cases.

Err in Empire of Liberty distorts the politics and the economics, and a complete view of the 1789-1815 period; each wrong has not been set forth. In Empire men of the Early Republic are unknown to one another. Legislation and proposals are isolated and presented as surprises, oddities and ineffective efforts to accomplish their purposes. No man was correct all the time, but the sense that Hamilton is correct, is wrong. e.g. He was instrumental in his party’s loss in the election of 1800, once again those facts being omitted from Empire.

POOR LANGUAGE

When I read and hear language today to describe one politician or another and actions, in or out of office, I realize America has not learned from its heritage. Everyone writing and speaking is inept, ineffective and inexact. They are uneducated; they are relaxed; they are polite.

At the height of the Sixties Hunter Thompson and Rolling Stone magazine ran severe articles about anything. Some of Thompson’s words appear in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, and The Great Shark Hunt. Upon reading the 1972 campaign book Pat Buchanan relieved his friend Thompson by telling the author, “I thought it was funny.” If one did not like the contents (comments about everything and everybody), it was difficult to disagree with the quality of the writing.

What has happened in the 50 years since Thompson and Rolling Stone opened up? The quality of writing has fallen. Everyone thinks they are either Woodward or Bernstein; they got degrees from a school of journalism without much newspaper experience; they know how to use word processing and the Internet. They haven’t read many books so don’t know much about writing (anyone read Ernie Pyle?); they know little of the times of their early lives. I doubt if many know what the CFR is. (Code of Federal Regulations). How many have seen, picked up and read (very small print) the Federal Register. (Daily publication of new and proposed Federal Regulations)

Many reporters today likely know people elected to and serving in government but do they know them as well as Bob Woodward knew Mark Felt, Deep Throat. All today’s reporters can talk as though always sitting before camera on live TV. Their comments, Left and Right, are poor, unknowledgeable and ill-expressed. They talk like robots, hooked up to a word processing program with proper political views using language as colorful as the programer’s.

Comedians might meet the standard of language variety, if they wrote their own stuff. But a comedian likes to speak one or two lines and get relief: funny, funny, funny, HardyHarHar. To have impacts comments must be longer and better expressed. Who is prepared to talk about approaching Don Trump’s event horizon and leaving existence forever?

PEN

PEN is not an acronym; it is a society of writers.

I found among papers an article about the 1986 PEN convention by Salmon Rushdie, published by the New York Times Book Review in 2005. It is a poor account of the meeting. There is an account to compare it to: The Prevention of Literature, Polemic, January 2, 1946, George Orwell.

Faults within Rushdie’s account: He was a new, mostly unknown writer. He dropped every name in one long column. He was overly impressed by all writers he saw, mostly foreigners, but he was more likely impressed by the size of their bank accounts and the scope of their marketing operations. There is not much to suggest that Rushdie was inspired by anyone’s facility of writing, the ponderous and combination of thoughts and visions and use of words and impressions formed by expression.

Indeed, Rushdie truncates speakers’ comments to uninformative sentences:

After Bellow made a speech containing a familiar Bellovian
riff about how the success of American materialism had
damaged the spiritual life of Americans, Grass…pointed out
that many people routinely fell through the holes in the
American dream, and offered to show Bellow some real
American poverty in… the South Bronx. Bellow, irritated,
spoke sharply in return…Grass returned to his seat, next to
me,… trembling with anger: “Say something,” he ordered.
…[Rusndie did as asked.] …why many American writers had
avoided …the task of taking on the subject of America’s
immense power in the world….
Enjoyable as such recollections are, the real significance of
the congress…

The tidbits recounted what Rushdie memorialized were noteworthy, unintentionally. Bellow raised the point that materialism diminishes the spirit and art, especially in the United States. He did not expand his comments to the world, among a meeting of international writers. Apparently there were no takers. Did anyone understand what Bellow was taking about? Gunter Grass was a blithering, ignorant idiot. He conceded the point that materialism (riches) are essential for advancement, which cannot happen from impoverished bases where people do not experience the American dream. The American experience demonstrates Grass is full of beans. The blues, jazz, rock and roll and nearly the whole twentieth century musical experience has come from foundations provided by African-American music of more than 120 years ago. Politically, the Civil Rights movement of mostly African-Americans of the South was successful under strong, low-income leaders.

Rushdie’s own participation in this petty PEN fiasco suggested insularity. America has too much power and influence; the world should be left to itself. Rushdie hardly speaks of a new world order, where people ought to communicate freely with one another, an American wish. I wonder if he approves of the Internet crossing borders (except where governments interfere with it). PEN and its members know what he thought in 1986. I wonder if he maintained his provincial thoughts in 2005? What about today, 2018?

Rushdie article supports on a foundation of quicksand his quoting Shelley: Writers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. In 2018 is any nation, other than America, spending as much time and money on entertainment, albeit most of it is short of literature but some of it passes for short stories? Great Britain and some British commonwealth countries are competitors because they have both the language and the heritage. But other countries? What writing goes on therein, and what media comes from those places? Perhaps those countries are too materialistic.