Psi Phi Society–2020 Winter Session

A new year and a new session of the Psi Phi (ΨΦ) Society…for those that do not know this has nothing to do the genre of SciFi…instead it is a group of academics that meet 4 times a year for a meal and some discussion on topics to be announced at the dinner.

Hard to believe it is Winter….we have had very little cold weather hardly any cool weather…..most temps have been in the 70s…low temps in the high 50s to high 60s…humidity about 94%…all in all just damn miserable for Winter.

Enough bitching ….onward…..

11 members of which 6 were in attendance…..the topic for discussion was America’s Obsession with guns….the draw was from the stainless  bed pan and we were given 30 minutes to prepare our positions…..but not before we had a great meal and a bit of schmoozing…..

My belief is that there needs to be an actual discussion not just finger pointing that we have had in the past 30 years…probably longer….

Gun violence is a uniquely American problem that has left the rest of the world scratching their heads over how a country could choose guns over the lives of its citizens. We have looked at various aspects of this issue and here are some of our top articles from this year. 

Hooked on Lead — Covering America’s Gun Obsession

“For the first time in more than 20 years, Congress could approve federal funding to study gun violence, which kills nearly 40,000 Americans each year. A House bill approved Tuesday includes $25 million for research, split evenly between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Think about this……40,000 Americans die by gun violence every year…..

I am not optimistic with Congress in the lead……meetings, studies, and hearings and NOTHING will change…so we are back to finger pointing…..and more Americans will die.

After several hours of argument…..we decided to let it go (for now)….after a snifter of Cognac the meeting broke up and the Spring session will be announced at a later date.

Always a joy to see old friends and have a good debate something should be tried in our country these days instead of resorting to name calling and insults…..if only.

Our Spring session will be planned by the Chi Xi (χξ) Circle and will be announced at a later date.

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 5

Is it snowing in Hell?

I ask because the Senate will be in session for the impeachment trial of Trump on Saturday.

Today will be the start of the Trump’s team presentation….

  • Trump unhappy: The president tweeted Friday that he’s not thrilled with how the impeachment schedule has fallen. “After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” Trump wrote.
  • Short Saturday: This should help Trump’s concern about Saturday: That day’s session will be short, reports the Hill. It’s scheduled to begin at 10am and wrap up two hours later. The trial would then resume on Monday.

So what happened on Saturday—Day 5—of the impeachment drama?

Enter the defense. President Trump’s legal team, led by personal lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, gave a two-hour presentation Saturday morning against impeaching the president, the Washington Post reports. This after House managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, argued that Trump had abused his power and obstructed Congress over his dealings with Ukraine. Trump is accused of withholding military aid in return for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordering an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Among highlights in the Senate presentation:

  • ‘Dangerous’: Out of the gate, Cipollone argued that removing Trump would be a “very, very dangerous” precedent for overturning an election. “They come here to the Senate, and they ask you to remove a president, tear up the ballots in all of your states, and they don’t bother to read the key evidence of the discussion of burden-sharing that’s in the call itself,” he said.
  • ‘Not a Real Call’: The team showed a video of Schiff embellishing on a rough transcript of Trump’s call to Zelensky. “That’s fake, that’s not the real call,” said White House deputy counsel Michael Purpura. (Schiff has said at separate times that he was either communicating the gist of Trump’s call or parodying it.)
  • Corruption’: Purpura said the July 25 call to Zelensky was “in line with the Trump administration’s legitimate concerns about corruption” in Ukraine. (Yet the word “corruption” never came up in the call, the Post notes.)
  • Quid pro quo: Purpura also argued that there was no quid pro quo in the call, per the New York Times. “There couldn’t possibly have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians didn’t know the security assistance was on hold” before Politico reported it, he said. “There can’t be a threat without the person knowing he’s being threatened.” (The quid pro quo argument hinges on a phrase Trump used in the call.)
  • Witnesses: Trump’s lawyers are also attacking witness testimony over the alleged quid pro quo, the Wall Street Journal reports. They showed video of Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland saying “presume” and “presumption” in regard to the claim.
  • Subpoenas: Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin defended the White House blockade against subpoenas for witnesses and documents, saying—among other things—that the House didn’t hold a full vote to launch the inquiry. “The subpoenas weren’t authorized because there was no vote or the subpoenas were to senior advisers to the president who are immune from congressional compulsion,” he said in part.
  • Whistleblower: Philbin also attacked the notion of building an impeachment case on an anonymous whistleblower, saying “you would want to find out something about the complainant that had started it all…” (But there’s an argument for keeping whistleblowers anonymous.)
  • Cough drops: Some senators looked weary Saturday, yawning, stretching, and blowing or wiping their noses. Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colorado) was offered cough drops by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
  • ‘Shredded’: Republicans praised the lawyers’ two-hour presentation, with several saying they had “shredded” the House case. “It took less than two hours to completely shred and eviscerate Adam Schiff’s failed case for impeachment,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
  • Schiff disagrees: “They don’t contest the facts of Trump’s scheme,” he tweeted. “They’re trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth. And they are continuing to cover it up by blocking documents and witnesses.”
  • Sunday off: Trump’s defense will resume on Monday at 1pm EST.

Holy Crap!

I thought the Dems look silly at times….well they have nothing on the defense team for the president…..

This was a day of silly rhetoric….

Day 6 will continue on Monday…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”