This Year’s Fourth Of July Book, “The Men Who United The States”

Each year at this time I like to read something which connects to the Fourth of July, a holiday I very much enjoy. Most years the topic is centered around the Founders of the nation, their lives, and their work at creating the start of what we now enjoy as Americans.

About a week ago, I came across the description for a book that instantly ramped up my interest in reading it, so it was ordered from Amazon. This, then, is my Fourth of July book.

Once I started it the reason became even more clear. On July 4, 2011, the British-born historian Simon Winchester took an oath to become an American citizen. Yeah, that is super grand.

I first came across Simon Winchester during the pandemic with his book The Professor and the Madman which is a grand look at the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. (After reading the book I foolishly watched the movie which was so limp and lacking in the fullness of the written words that it was a serious letdown.) The style of writing from Winchester, which flows effortlessly along with an ability to tackle an enormous topic and then present it with clarity is not an easy undertaking. He succeeded to such a degree that when I saw his name on The Men Who United The States I knew I would be hooked.

I fully recognize the toxic environment in which we find ourselves since 2015 and the start of that cycle’s presidential election season. But it is for that very reason which the book connects with me. By looking backward with the Lewis and Clark expedition, digging into the geology of the land, and following as Winchester writes of the five so-called classical elements we are presented with an enduring truth. Something we must not forget. And something especially vital to recognize on this, or any other July 4th.

The United States endures regardless of our bombast, and the, at times, willful disregard some of our fellow citizens have for our institutions and common-sense norms. We may have sectional differences, a plethora of wildly diverse and loud opinions, but our flag of a united nation still flies coast to coast.

That then, is the large generic take of the book, as I enter chapter four.

However, it is the arguments of deeper questions and ponderings which propel the book and make it worthy of my time. Perhaps yours, too.

Happy Fourth of July!

Donald Trump Begins Journey Of Meeting Justice, She Is Dressed As Tax Agent

At the end of each year, we see the almost routine cartoon of Father Time being ushered out as a baby New Year takes over. I thought of that type of drawing this morning as I searched for an old editorial cartoon showing Donald Trump meeting Lady Justice. The cartoon I found is most relevant today as Donald Trump and his business, have finally started to be brought into the light of law and justice.

It is but the first leg of a long and legally intense drama. But it is a very much-needed event for our nation. It is a vital function of a working democracy that those who are at the highest rungs of elected office not be seen or thinking they are above the laws. You know, the ones that the rest of us follow.

The charges are being brought by the Manhattan District Attorney against the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, whom Trump once praised for doing, as is often quoted, “whatever was necessary to protect the bottom line” are most riveting. The Trump Organization is officially facing criminal charges. The organization, a company helmed by the Trump family that contains a host of business entities, including numerous luxury real estate properties, is charged with scheme conspiracy, grand larceny, falsifying business records, and criminal tax fraud.

Grifting with all their might for decades.

As such we now have the first, and certainly not the last, of a sweeping legal inquiry into the business practices that for decades have been openly talked about for their corrupt underpinnings.

Last night James and I were talking as we took a late evening drive about a local company offering $500 if one signed up to be a co-worker. He had read about this matter online earlier in the day. But, of course, taxes and other amounts are removed as if the money was an actual paycheck. The amount of money left as an incentive was one that, I assume, many would not consider a deal.

So when it comes to viewing the Trump tax shams now meeting Lady Justice, where vast amounts of goods and services were provided with no tax paid, it then underscores the vast difference between the ‘little guy’ trying to make ends meet in Dane County, and the corruption now making banner headlines.

I can see the Trump base, not understanding the intricacies of tax law, and simply dismissing the entire matter as political. Of course, they feel this way, as Dear Leader is never wrong in their undereducated eyes.

But the rest of us know history.

It was tax evasion that finally, once and for all, caught up Al Capone. Lady Justice comes in many guises, and this time for Trump and Company she dresses as the taxman.

This blog, throughout the 2016 presidential election, made clear that it was essential nominees for the White House release their taxes. The reason was obvious, as was made clear for decades of such practice by those politicians who had nothing to hide. Now, due to Trump, we are seeing why such disclosures are most prudent and warranted.

The fraud that we knew was at the heart of Trump’s refusal to be forthcoming will now be headlines that the entire nation will come to understand.

And so it goes.