How ‘SUITS’ Harvey Specter and Trump are Similar SOBs in the Bigger Picture

“Seriously, Often Butt-heads” was what I was going for with the acronym, but if you want to take offense, this is still ‘Merica, and you can say things others might not like without diving to (or past) the lowest possible rung of civil discourse before “Yo’ mama!”

Yes, Harvey mocked Louis Litt’s teeth before, but that’s a far cry from Trump personally savaging every person of color that criticized him, his constituency, and home.

After dropping something large on Spiderman in Avengers ‘Civil War’ flick, Cap’n America didn’t rank out Spidey because he was from Queens, just said, “Brooklyn,” with a smile about his own growing up, and jogged away.

That’s class.

The analogy between a popular television character – Harvey, not Trump, who was considered an SOB as a reality show bozo (sorry, boss) – is fairly obvious if you take a few choice pieces from the bigger picture.

downloadStarting with the primary negative, Harvey took in Mike Ross, someone who was unqualified (not a Harvard educated lawyer, even if he could out-trivia Harvey), causing a serious problem for his firm. At NO point has Trump put ANYONE worth spit in a role that fit their lousy qualifications, except Mattis and Kelley.

DeVos (Education), Pruitt, the grifter from Oklahoma, desecrating our national environment, and Perry (from Texas) were all put in charge of departments where they *hated* what they were supposed to manage. Together they lack the brains of Ross, who was an actual genius (who could read).

Current count on idjits Trump has put up that even Repubs couldn’t vote for: 39.

Harvey has gotten a slew of others involved in keeping that single fact a secret, a willful malpractice that would have precipitated serious blow back (think Paris accords) every case unqualified Mike had been involved in with the firm. Only Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador escaped the Trump administration with her reputation intact.

It took what – seven seasons – for Ross to wind up in jail, even after there was relative blood in the water about him not being a real lawyer? (Think Mueller report, day in front of cameras) Multiple innocent people got jammed up by Harvey along the way, and outsiders who got close to the truth were routinely pounded into submission with legal threats by the high-powered Specter regarding unrelated subjects.

Are you with me?

In fact, Harvey has done nothing but pound people, often to cover up malfeasance by clients and himself, usually 2-3 times an episode. Okay, that’s part of the hook or ‘charm’ of the show, miles from a President who signs papers with a fat magic marker whenever he’s ready to screw another segment of the country.

Anybody remember the Dakota Pipeline? Wasn’t that a done deal, win for environmentalists and Native Americans? Denying scientists the right to publish their findings, or world (Iran and six other nuclear program signees, plus every long term US ally), he regularly tosses someone under the proverbial bus with a stroke.

Neither has started an actual shooting war, but Harvey is only a lawyer, not someone whose whack-a-doodle temperament could accomplish that.

And yeah, they’ve deservedly been in a jillion lawsuits through their actions.

Does Harvey HATE women, or exhibit misogynistic behavior and excuse it in others?

He finally made peace with his mother about how she asked eight-year old him to not tell his father about an affair he’d seen as a child, although he’s basically used his power over a string of women into this ninth and final season. Give him credit for finally recognizing his long-time super-star assistant, Donna, was the one he should give his love and loyalty to, but at no point did he grab them by the crotch or otherwise assault them. He just walked away, knowing he’d usually been the bad person.

Finally, while Harvey has a temper, he’s been willing (literally at times) to step into the ring and duke it out with someone, not snake them by text or send someone else to clean up his mess. (Okay, that “not sending someone else” is kind of a lie, but you know, everybody does it.)  He doesn’t – usually – chortle in glee about whacking someone.

He’s also willing to change his mind when told a damn good reason to, which isn’t in Trump’s skill set whatsoever. Several people have drawn the line with him, told him “this is the last time EVER, Harvey” that they would do what he needed. Unfortunately, Trump has what used to be the Republican Party in his pocket, and they can be relied on to save his bacon whenever he needs it.

Many say its not a good idea to post political thoughts like this, but at this point, with  right at 500 LinkedIn connections, I’m not concerned about losing a great quantity of  those by not mentioning causing a useless and expensive to Americans trade war, pauperizing a wide swath of American farmers, or saying neo-Nazis are fine people.

As for Harvey Specter, he can’t hurt you either, he’s just a TV SOB.

Picture 
Glenn Shorkey – Creative eDitorial Talents Enterprises 
(704)502-9947

 

Moon shot memories, and a successful small step for READ Charlotte

Image result for Google Photos, 1969 Moon Walk

Tying two disparate bits of history together, it’s easy to admit being immensely proud of the 50th anniversary of an AMERICAN (no hyphens or political qualifiers needed) setting foot on the moon. Nothing about our current run of nationwide negativity seems legitimate in comparison, although chanting USA! USA! – or “Equal pay!” – for the US Women’s National Team after taking its fourth World Cup is going to be heard loud and proud while they tour the country.

There’s been plenty of documentary material to watch about the overall space program, but every time  ‘Apollo 13’ comes on, the humanity of the space program clicks inside me, and I have to watch how they overcome serious, multiple problems, like gerry-rigging a CO2 scrubber or cold-starting the computers.

Chief Flight Director Gene Krantz said that the rescued mission (Apollo 13) was NASA’s finest hour, and except for the momentous nature of  EVER having put people on the surface of what was always considered unreachable, who could argue that?

We prayed for those Apollo 13 astronauts in Catholic grade school, as close to a moment of true world caring as imaginable, and through the miracle of television, I was kind of there, sharing it with a hunk of humanity.

When 13’s parachutes appeared – almost on top of the rescue carrier, deep into a radio silence that might have meant their capsule burned up on reentry – such a wow! of relief, and pretty much the only good luck they’d had all flight. Gene Krantz said that the Apollo 13 rescue mission was NASA’s finest hour, and except for the momentous nature of  EVER having put people on the surface of that orb in the night, who could argue that?

Fifty years ago, Walter Cronkite was wiping his eyes on live TV at the fact of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, the whole world kind of celebrated, and that’s a source of national pride that cannot be erased by presidential ignorance or disdain.

Yes, USWNT was a bad-ass TEAM, but for absolute intensity of mission, the crew of professionals at the banks of computers, analyzing every aspect of mechanical and human performance, up to and beyond “One small step…” was serious as hell.

America, whether we’re still worthy of “…shed His light on thee,” we KNOW there are higher things to reach for as a nation. “Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL?” Not sure about that all the time.

READ Charlotte – A Booster shot of Positives

The second piece of history involves something recent, a gratifyingly solid email update that READ Charlotte sent out to all literacy volunteers. Without posting the entire piece here, letting volunteers in on how things are working out is a great way to keep them engaged.

That 155 third-graders literally took one small, incredibly necessary step forward with reading in this past scholastic year is the story, and we need to build on that going forward.

Research finds strong parallels between reading fluency, comprehension, and overall reading achievement (testing). If you didn’t already know this, Charlotte has the lowest rating (4.4%) of the 50 largest US cities regarding economic mobility, essentially how many children rise from the bottom of one economic quadrille to top of it as an adult.

Its not *just* DeVos’ reign of ignorance and funding terror for public education that brought these programs to the front, but students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind…

HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies), is a reading fluency program, part of a larger initiative by READ Charlotte to bring the community focus around a set of programs to improve third grade reading proficiency rates. READ Charlotte estimates that 20-25% of CMS third graders can sound out individual words (phonics), but don’t read fast or accurately enough (fluency) to understand what they are reading.

The Task Force goal, to have 80% of Char-Meck students reading at that level is lofty – its currently only 39%, with Afro-American (22%) and Hispanic boys (18%) lagging significantly. One specific and very relevant fact from the often-quoted Chetty Study, a Harvard/UC Berkeley project, is that students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind as reading-writing material become more difficult.

Reading fluency is a student’s ability to read with speed, accuracy and proper expression.

The average CMS third grader who received HELPS one-on-one tutoring starting in the Fall of 2018 was a full year behind in oral reading fluency. During the 2018-2019 school year, nearly half the students who received HELPS tutoring exceeded national norms for expected growth in oral reading fluency.

Although extra work moving metric needles more positively wouldn’t be a drastic new revelation, on average, the more HELPS sessions students received the more they improved their reading fluency. Students who had 50-plus HELPS sessions gained the most, closing an average 75% of the gap to end of year benchmarks for 3rd grade reading fluency. According to the literature, that’s the equivalent of growing just over 1.5 grade levels in reading fluency in a single year.

The HELPS program, developed by Professor John Begeny of North Carolina State University, was used by community partners and individual volunteers in Charlotte to tutor those 155 CMS third graders in the 2018-2019 school year. “Only 155” isn’t the way to look at such results, only that more in Year 2,3,4,5 is better. Its attainable, no less genuine a “small step” as walking on the moon seemed from the bottom of a long-ago spaceship’s ladder.

Having considered myself a writer from the very early days, its impossible to consider becoming a content creator, blogger, or professional without the reading skills from early on, especially the vocabulary and comprehension. I’ll bring my talents to Rama Road Elementary this coming year, and if you want to be a part of this necessary program, perhaps taking one small-ish step here makes a giant leap possible soon.

Tommy Hudnall,  Volunteer & Donor Coordinator, www.freedomschoolpartners.org

Office: 704-371-4922     PO Box 37363 Charlotte, NC 28237

 

 

Home team won in 9th, GREAT fireworks! Women’s World Cup – Feelin’ better USA?

20190704_213405-1
BB&T Ballpark is a Triple A gem, and thousands more enjoyed 30 minutes of glorious crash-bang in Romere-Beardon park outside. 

Adding a strong, sweaty, twenty minutes of thumping a tennis ball against a blank wall Sunday evening to the above list, it would still be a sincere wish to America and its varied people about actively enjoying these last four days even more than that.

At times the relentless pounding of political negativity and Us/Them division on everything has to take a break, and a good time with friends always seems to provide such healing moments. Brother Mike saying Wednesday that he’d gotten tix for corporate luxury box treatment for a Charlotte Knights game, plus obvious post-game fireworks, raised the long weekend a couple notches.

Telling maybe ten kids that this would be the fireworks they’d compare tired, one shell-one more-pause-one, two more to string it out events for years, was 100% sincere enthusiasm.

You have to give attaboys! to WBT radio for sponsoring an outstanding, full-bore thirty minute display, one that hit every expectation morning host Ramona raised in saying it was going to be the best in the Southeast. Coming after a sell-out crowd of over 10,000 saw the home team win in their last at bats, with all the extras of being so close to refreshments and players, this celebration of the 4th was a sneaky fastball – more than you’d expect, coming at you strong.

20190704_205926
Would it make a difference if these girls knew whose autograph they got? They aren’t Lavelle, Alex, or Carli, but an autographed ball is always good.

Yep, hope you got a bunch of that over four days. If you want to (literally) water down that attitude by being glad Trump’s parade got rained on, this is ‘Merica, you can still say things like that out loud.

Was USWNT and World Cup win a shared experience?

Admitting to having a ton of pride in how this team carried itself, so strong and confidently, was reflected in the wonderful advertising that wrapped around these warriors and the younger generation of girls they inspired. Count on seeing more daughters with purple ‘dos in the near future, and that Big – Bigger deal, with Alex Morgan giving a youngster her jersey as *just* the Big, congrats to every talent person involved in ALL of them.

Working remotely, it was a guilty pleasure to have the games – all of the World Cup was worth watching – on in background of laptop these past few weeks. That several people at the baseball game said the company had screens for games going during the work day, that makes predictions of  women’s soccer REALLY blowing up a fact.

The smart $$$ is already in on it, not still waiting for success to happen. VW giving their ad time up to let things roll regarding the team? That’s what we’re talking about!

Working on content for a CBD oil company this year, there’s an analogy in how the legal hemp industry has gone wild over that particular molecule, with expectations of becoming a $20 billion market in three years. As terrific as the US women’s ‘Golden Generation’ has been, this fourth Cup was forged over time – but with a very similar trajectory going forward.

How the equality in pay lawsuit goes, that’s news for another day. Soon, but not before Wednesday.

First, America has a big ol’ parade to show off it’s pride in what pulling together, loyalty, well-honed skills and enough Attitude to strike a pose looks like – or have a sip of tea if the moment seems right – when all the brights lights are on.