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officer of the court. n. any person who has an obligation to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system, including judges, the attorneys who appear in court, bailiffs, clerks and other personnel.

The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump is the appointing officer for all federal judicial vacancies and he is at the top of the chain of command for all military courts.  Should the president, as an officer of the court, be obliged ethically and legally to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system?

Article II, Section 2 says the president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

Fellow birther Sheriff Joe Arpaio neither accepted or responsibility for his actions nor did he express remorse for his gross disregard for the law that led to his conviction for contempt in the case of his treatment of undocumented individuals in Maricopa County, Arizona.  Nonetheless, Donald Trump issued a presidential pardon for his friend and political supporter.  Did the president subvert justice and ethically violate his duties as an officer of the court?

On Wednesday, November 1, President Trump was attributed the following quote referring to the judicial proceedings for the New York Terrorist,

“We have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They’ll go through court for years. At the end, they’ll be — who knows what happens. We need quick justice, and we need strong justice. Much quicker and much stronger than we have right now, because what we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughing stock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place.

Did the President promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system?

On Friday, the president issued the above tweet.  As commander and chief of the armed forces and therefore an officer of the court, did the President promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system?  More importantly, did the President prejudice the case and provide Sergeant Bergdahl an avenue for appeal?

The United States Constitution guarantees that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty no matter how despicable the act and no matter how evil the individual.  After the above tweet, can Sayfullo Saipov receive a fair trial in our country?  Is it possible for this terrorist to appeal any conviction on the basis of the fact that the President of the United prejudiced the jury pool in one single tweet?

Has President Donald J. Trump violated his oath of office to support and defend the constitution by undermining our justice system?  Is the president bound by his oath of office to the ethics of an officer of the court in our federal and military court system?

The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, briberyintimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, and refusal to obey a lawful order.

I believe that Mr. Trump has committed a string of offenses that fall under the category of high crimes and misdemeanors.  I believe that the House of Representatives should refer this string of offenses to the Senate in the form of an Article of Impeachment.

 

 

Produced and Photographed by Rick Lakin.
Photographed by William Bretthauer

 

Comparing Obama’s Presidency to Great Athlete Performances

 

The list of iconic events that have occurred over the last eight years is too long to mention here, but no one can choose one as a signature moment in Barack Obama’s presidency. Many will be forever linked to his legacy.

 

It’s rare that two individuals can simultaneously have such a profound impact on the course of history by their actions. Think of their greatness being destined to intertwine with one another. After January 20th, the comparisons will begin on the major events of the Obama’s presidency to a great performance by an athlete.

 

The Stimulus Act

 

President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into effect in 2009. The law was designed to kick-start economic growth during the midst of the nation’s greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after the stimulus was implemented, unemployment claims were down, thus beginning a trend that continued for an amazing 23 straight months and pumped 3.7 newly created private sector jobs into the economy.

 

LeBron James and Barack Obama have shown an abundance of promise and exhibited a surplus of confidence at the beginning of their careers. However at first, both shied away from their greatness and failed to grasp a leadership role. Too often, frustrated Democrats were disappointed with Obama’s failure to challenge the Republicans on certain issues. When a crisis came up in his first year in office, Obama relied on the help of his Cabinet members and Congress to solve the problem.

 

Wall Street Reform

 

After heated negotiations, President Obama gained enough votes to make the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act a law that puts strict regulations against the financial sector after their reckless behavior that caused the Great Recession. Dodd-Frank tightened requirements on the large banking and lending institutions by requiring them to sell derivatives on exchanges or clearinghouses. The law negated the bank’s ability to trade with customer’s money for personal profit.

 

The actions of a transcendent figure moves very rapidly. We all enjoy watching their career unfold before our eyes, and hopefully to witness some of their crowning achievements in-person. Roger Federer and Barack Obama struggled at first with the expectations placed on them, but once they hit their stride, no one could contain their dominance. Obama didn’t need the assistance from Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to gain the necessary votes for this legislation to become law.

 

Auto Industry Bailout

 

Despite opposition from all sides, President Obama injected $62 billion of federal money into an ailing auto industry to bail them out. In return, the government received an equity stake in each company and the agreement to restructure their management practices.

 

It will be hard for an individual to duplicate the greatness of Barack Obama and Usain Bolt. Each accomplished their goal without much fanfare, while still maintaining a sense of humor despite being disrespected by their peers. It might take a decade before Obama is applauded for his decision to bailout the auto industry. His critics cannot deny the fact the country’s Big Three Automakers have shown a profit for the first time in two decades.

 

The Affordable Care Act

 

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and this changed the healthcare industry forever. The law gave medical insurance to 32 million citizens that were previously uninsured. Obama accomplished something that past administrations failed to achieve: universal healthcare for all.

 

The president dodge the opposition much like MVP candidate Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers eluding defenders in the pocket. Obama never became distracted by what was going around him, especially when there was serious doubt if the law would ever get passed. Even after victory, Republicans argued that he didn’t gain a mandate from Americans because Obama took full advantage of a Democratic-controlled Congress.

 

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

 

Osama Bin Laden was the world’s leading terrorist, who was behind the 9/11 attacks. Intelligence information confirmed Bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan. The president ordered a U.S. Navy Seal team to raid his secret compound and kill him.

 

Barack Obama and Derek Jeter are the true definition of a leader. Neither ever bragged and often gave credit to others for any achievements accomplished. Each played or governed like a true gentleman by never cheating or trying to gain an unfair advantage on their opponent. Obama praised the Special Forces unit for completing their mission, but also retrieving al-Qaeda documents.

Notice that after I type this, the individual letters stand very still and form words and thoughts. Letters have been doing this for thousands of years. That’s what letters do best. It is not a challenge for letters. They don’t need a videographer to take their picture as they stand still. They don’t need an entire internet to celebrate the fact that they just stand still. That’s what differentiates letters from people.

DreagonStar-Cover-V3

DreaganStar

by Nan Klee

Available now on

amazonllogoshadow

CHAPTER 1 – PREFLIGHT

They had ordered, rather than requested her presence, then left her waiting in a small anti-chamber for well over an hour. Now slightly miffed, Doctor Samantha Alexander considered leaving for a bite of lunch, when a massive blond jack of a man in a black security uniform opened the tall polysteel door and silently gestured her into the Board of Directors’ chamber. She followed him into the spacious room, feeling an unusual suspicion. The inner chamber felt even more sterile than the majority of the artificial, underground environment in the city of Proteus. Thin sheets of polished gray moon rock decorated the always-present, dull polysteel walls that sealed in the atmosphere. Lighting, as always indirect and psychologically effective, directed Samantha to the long slate-blue table at the other end of the cold room. Seated behind the blue lacquered, crescent-shaped table waited Dreagan Corporation’s Board of Directors, who, along with the colony’s Founder, Doctor Jonathan Dreagan, made up this ruling body of this pseudo-socialistic lunar colony.

Continue reading

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The following article appeared on the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild Website and was the Feature Article in the July Newsletter of the Publishers and Writers of San Diego

Ideas for Independent Publishers:

Amazon Author Central

Author_Central

by Rick Lakin, SDW/EG member and Publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com

Caroline McCullagh

Author Page for Caroline McCullagh, Award-Winning Author of The Ivory Caribou, http://amazon.com/author/carolinemccullagh

 

Establishing an author page at Amazon Author Central is critical to the success of authors who have self-published multiple titles on Amazon and Createspace. Author Central provides one-stop shopping for your books along with your picture, your bio, blog entries from your website, social media opportunities, and a calendar of events for upcoming book signings.

In addition, Author Central provides a tailored link atamazon.com/author/yourname. The most important hyperlink on the Amazon Sales page of your book is your author name under the title. If you have written a book that your readers like, that will be the first link that they click on when they return to that page. Without Author Central, Amazon chooses which books they think the reader might find interesting, and it is only by chance that some of those are your books. With Author Central, you control the Point-of-Sale for your books, critical to your success as an author.

Creating your Author Central Page

For my iCrew Authors, I begin by creating a gmail address for use in setting up the webpage, Twitter account, and Amazon Account for the author page. If you already have an Amazon Account, go to http:authorcentral.amazon.com, sign in, and click Join Now, and you will be directed to your setup page.

Type in your bio, your blog information, add photos, event dates, and information and even videos like book trailers and interviews. Generally, the first photo is your profile photo but you can manage which photo appears there. The blog entry is your RSS address from your website. For WordPress blogs this ishttp://yourblog.com/feed/. It will verify your feed, and your most recent blog posts will now show on your Author Central page. You will be able to select the unique author name for your URL (Universal Resource Locator – your link).

The next very important step is to add your books. If they are listed on Amazon or CreateSpace, they should show up automatically. Just click the add button, if necessary. There is a search link for any books that don’t show up. You may search by title, author, or ISBN.   At this point, I remind authors that it is critical that they use the same byline for all of their books. A nickname or a different initial creates confusion in the market place.

Other Information Available

After your Author Central page is set up, go back and visit frequently using theauthorcentral.amazon.com sign in. Here, you will be able to update information and add new books. It is also a central database for your book sales and reviews. The Sales Info offers Nielsen BookScan, Sales Rank by books, and your Author Rank.   It also lists Customer Reviews for all of your books.

Author Central, an Essential Tool

An author who is an independent publisher (avoid the term self-published to avoid grouping yourself with all of those other self-published authors) faces many challenges including good editing, wide distribution, social media, but most important marketing. Amazon provides a point-of-sale to millions of authors for tens of millions of books. Readers judge a book by its cover but also by the marketing presence of the author. Amazon’s Author Central allows you to control your point-of-sale and hence, your marketing presence on the biggest marketplace in the publishing world.

Rick Lakin is the publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com, Bringing New Authors to a Digital World. iCrew has published over 20 books by 8 authors. Rick is the host of The Rick Lakin Podcast at http://ricklakin.podbean.com. He is the founder of iCrew Digital Productions, A Community of Young Media Professionals. He is a member of the 1000 Club of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers. Rick is an Advanced Communicator Silver in Toastmasters International and is a member of American Mensa, the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, and Publishers and Writers of San Diego.   Rick is a Sports Statistician for broadcast television and a retired math teacher.

 

From a Facebook Friend: I don’t hate Obama, I simply believe he is destroying what made the US great. In that regard, he has, unfortunately, been somewhat successful…now we need to rebuild what will make us great again…Again, unfortunately, neither presidential candidate seems up to the task.

So, what was it that made America Great?

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I believe it was the immigrants who took advantage of the educational system and the entrepreneurial opportunities and created new avenues to growth. You know, the educational system that your Republican Party is trying to defund and destroy.
I believe it was the unions that my father and I were members of that allowed workers to earn a living wage and move into the middle class. You know, the ones that the Republican Party is trying to destroy.
I believe that it is the Constitution that guarantees the right to vote, the right to fair representation, the right to be treated equally and fairly and the right to control your own body. You know, the one that your Republican Party is trying to pervert with voter suppression, gerrymandering, institutional discrimination, and oppression of women.
When I served my country as a sailor and a teacher, I did it for every man, woman and child of every religion and color to have a future. Not so that the same old groups from the past could have their power, their money, their prejudices, and, of course, their guns.
I believe that my America is still great and my President is one of the reasons why.
Happy Independence Day, the day that we remember that America is Still Great.

 

 

Muhammad Ali

He was the prototypical angry black man.  He wanted something that people of his color thought they deserved.  He wanted more than what the white culture of the time was willing to give him.  Respect.  Respect for his religion. Respect for his view that war was unjust.  Respect for his humanity.  Respect for his race.  Respect for his chosen name.  At no small sacrifice, he earned that respect for himself and for more than just himself.

More than 20 years ago, I was working an evening basketball game following an afternoon fight shown on ABC Sports.  We were just coming into the arena.  The fights had been over for almost an hour.  At that moment, The Greatest, then hobbled by Parkinson’s disease was slowly shuffling out of the arena.   The remaining crowd stood waiting for just this moment in quiet reverence as my fellow crew members and I did.  It was a mark of respect earned at great cost by an athlete who had no equal and a man whose greatness outside the ring earned respect and equality for so many.