Opinions

Remember Who We Are While We Condemn The KKK Marchers

Remember, the First Amendment allows the KKK to march.  They should never be met with violence–that’s them not us.  Our People have fought and died for freedom of speech.   We have to cherish that and remember that.  This is the time to read and remember Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  We are strong because we are right.  They are weak because they are wrong.  They do better when we show up, and they videotape whenever one of us attacks one of them.  We must be peaceful.  We did it in the 50’s and beat back racism when the power was against us.  Now we have the power.  Let’s not let them play the victim card.  Let them talk.  The more they talk the more apparent that they are sad, uninformed persons who walk the wrong path in America.

Those who feel the need to witness those misguided Americans march, don’t engage them on the content of their speech.  Their speech needs no retort.  Maybe engage them silently holding a sign that gives them permission to march, and directs them to the answer. Maybe your sign might say something like this:

  • Be Glad you are American
  • The First Amendment Protects You
  • You have a right to peacefully assemble
  • The more you talk the more we know you
  • America = Freedom for all
  • We the People
  • The more you talk the more you unite us
  • Your marching helps unite Dems and Repubs.
  • We are all created equal
  • Read your Constitution
  • Read your Bill of Rights
  • Read your Declaration of Independence
  • There is hope for you if you read your Bill of Rights

We give them permission to march.  Don’t mock them.  We don’t need to rebut their words.  Their words are self-defeating. They are lost.  We don’t fight their right to march or to spew hate.  We embrace it.  March all you want. Speak all you want. Be glad you live in America.  Hearing your message shows how little you know. Try reading your Bill of Rights.  It’s never too late to join the People of America.  We believe in freedom.  Try it.  You’ll like it.

Jack Sheridan

8/18/17

Make America Great Again—Vote In The 2018 and 2020 Democratic Primaries—But Don’t Vote for Wall Street Democrats

Before the last presidential election, America was great.  Now, we are abandoning our leadership position in the world, and destroying or repudiating everything that makes us great.  Our president and his cabinet have contempt for the Constitution and the courts, no respect for workers and their needs, no respect for the planet, no respect for our agencies, no respect for our allies, and no respect for people in general.

For the purpose of the upcoming primaries, we need to abandon the arguments that Trump stole the election in the electoral college owing to the email scandal and help from Russia, and accept that we, the opposition, put him there.  It was an election that should have been a landslide, but we, by supporting Wall Street democrats instead of the democrats who speak for all of us, gave voters who were dissatisfied with the status quo nowhere to go but to Trump.

Wall Street Democrats are democrats who take money from the rich—the one percent—and who, as a result, support anything that Wall Street supports to the detriment of the People.  Wall Street democrats hedge on everything: they want to tweak rather than fix healthcare, they want to increase taxes, but they won’t commit to taxing the one percent as the rich were taxed in the 1970s, they don’t want to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage because they say that might destabilize things, they don’t want free college tuition because that’s going too far (even though crippling college debt is often as much as the cost of a house), they support the environment but see good uses for fracking, they won’t commit to withdrawing from Middle East entanglements and using some portion of the military budget for other things because we have to continue to “lead” over there, and most importantly, they won’t support regulations to curb Wall street abuses, because Wall Street is a major funder of their campaigns.

Hillary Clinton lined her pockets with millions in speaking fees from Wall Street firms while she was talking about running for president and claiming that she would rein in Wall Street.  Many democrats in the House and Senate are heavily supported by Wall street, and make the same claim.

This is what happened.  Voters who were not committed democrats, but who wanted to vote democrat, did not vote democrat, because we only gave them Wall Street democrats instead of a choice for change. Those uncommitted voters ruled out republicans and Wall Street democrats because they are both funded by the rich to help the rich get richer and neither group wants to make changes to the status quo. The view among many is that neither party represents the People. Trump and Sanders were the two forces for change—change from the left and from the right.  Once Bernie was out of the running and Hillary was in, we left them nowhere to go. They fell into the arms of Trump.

As a candidate, Trump oozed corruption, but promised something different.  Honest hardworking educated intelligent voters voted for Trump knowing his flaws, but thinking he was who he said he was, that he would bring about some kind of change in a country desperately in need of change, and that he was the lesser of two evils. It’s hard for democrats to hear this, but to many Americans, especially the independents and dissatisfied republicans, both candidates, Hillary and Donald, were seriously flawed and corrupt, but Trump was the only choice left for change once Bernie was out.  Bernie or Elizabeth would have cleaned up in that election, because they offered change without hypocrisy.

How can we stop this from happening again?  The answer is we can’t let Wall Street democrats reach the general election, because the base won’t show up to vote, and the independents and disillusioned republicans will vote again for right-wing change.  We want the general elections to pit liberal democrats with vision, who represent change, against main stream republicans, or against republicans who want change, because their message is change for the one percent, and our message is change for the 99 percent. Those are battles we can win, and take back America.

Stop the Wall Street democrats by showing up at the beginning of the primary process, and by working hard to select and support candidates who are not Wall Street democrats. Show up, step up and save America.  Make America great again.

In the sea of blue candidates running for office, how do you identify the Wall Street democrats, especially when they all claim that they will rein in Wall Street?

First, see who is donating money to the particular candidate.  If it’s a PAC, see if they will disclose the source.  If they claim not to know, it’s probably Wall Street.

Second, does the candidate support the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act?  The original Glass-Steagall Act was a Great Depression Banking Act from the Roosevelt era, that kept our savings banks and our deposits safe from being used for speculation by commercial banks.  It prevented major economic crashes from 1933 until Bill Clinton killed it during his presidency. Since then savings and commercial banks play with our savings, and we have major economic crashes every few years.

Elizabeth Warren and John McCain have been trying for years to pass a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to reinstate those protections, but without success because republicans and Wall Street democrats are beholding to Wall Street and to the one percent, and neither Wall Street nor the one percent want this bill to pass.

Candidate Hillary Clinton was on record as being against passage of the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.  In contrast, candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders supported its passage, but President Trump has quietly reneged on his promise.

If a democratic primary candidate does not enthusiastically support passage of the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, you don’t need to know anything else.  That’s either a Wall Street democrat or a confused candidate.  If you can’t educate the candidate to support Glass-Steagall, vote for the other candidate in the primary.  Better yet, get involved early, and ensure that a candidate is running who supports the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, and who will not take money from Wall Street.  If no candidate meets those criteria, run for office yourself.  Take back America in 2018 and 2020.  Make America great again.

And remember, don’t demonize or criticize Trump supporters.  Unless they are making over $250,000 per year, their interests are our interests, and they should be voting democrat.  Let’s bring them into the fold by giving them credible candidates, and let’s show them that our issues are their issues.

Click here to see Atlantic article on survey results concluding that Democrats are out of touch

Click here to see Senator Warren press release on bill

Click here to see 2014 article, “My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats”

See 2003 Frontline article on “The Long Demise of Glass-Steagall”

 

6/5/17

Today is A Good Day For Some Gandhi Quotes

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

“The future depends on what you do today.”

My favorite: “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”

 

1/20/17

Trump Supporters Are Not Racist or Anti-Women, For The Most Part

Let me begin by saying I am a Bernie Sanders supporter who voted for Hillary Clinton for president.

Many of my friends have interpreted the election of Donald Trump as a message that almost 50% of America is racist and anti-women, but that’s just wrong.  It’s true that President Elect Trump has said and done many things that are racist and anti-women, and even with that knowledge, something like 50% of America voted for him.  My friends argue that those who voted for Trump at least condone, if not agree, with Trump’s racist and anti-women statements.  This “guilt by association” argument does not make sense in the light of day.  The argument masks and shifts responsibility for the Trump victory away from those who contributed to his victory.  Trump has a core of anti-immigration supporters (and supporters of other right-wing causes), but that core group was not enough to elect Trump president.  He won because the Democrats chose Hillary Clinton as their candidate in a political climate in which much of America wanted someone who was not beholden to Wall Street and to the status quo.

2008 brought America a recession that put many Americans out of work because Wall Street lost billions in the “sub-prime loan” fiasco in an investment world without checks and balances.  The abandonment of checks and balances happened years earlier, when Wall Street successfully lobbied Congress to kill laws and regulations that prevented banks from engaging in reckless investments—laws like the Glass–Steagall Act—which had prevented affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms, which many believe prevented serious economic crashes from the 1930s until it was repealed in 1999. Glass–Steagall was repealed under Bill Clinton, not under a republican president.  During the primaries, Bernie Sanders (and Donald Trump, yes Trump) argued for bringing back Glass–Steagall.  Hillary Clinton argued against reinstating Glass–Steagall, and continued to do so as the democratic nominee.

Hillary Clinton made hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaker fees from the same big Wall Street firms that had lobbied hard for the repeal of Glass–Steagall—the same Wall Street firms that caused the 2008 world-wide recession doing just what Glass–Steagall had prohibited.  This caused a financial crisis that affected all but the wealthiest in America, and many Americans still link Hillary Clinton to the cause and continued suffering from the 2008 recession, because of her ongoing links to Wall Street. It goes without saying that when someone who is considering a presidential run is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars as a “speaking fee” to chat behind closed doors with powerful company leaders who spend millions of dollars lobbying to obtain or eliminate particular laws or regulations, there is reasonable cause for the rest of the People to be worried that the person being paid, if elected, will favor those companies down the road over the interests of the People who have not paid that money.

During the campaign, Hillary Clinton refused to release information about what she said in closed door meetings with Wall Street firms, but those negatives did not deter me from voting for her on a “lesser of two evils” argument.  Voting for Hillary Clinton does not mean that I condone or support her view of the world, which allows her to think these speaking engagements, and the lack of transparency about these speaking engagements, are not problematic.   I am against graft and the appearance of graft in politics, and I think her conduct at least has the appearance of graft.  Yet, I voted for Hillary Clinton nonetheless.

Many of my friends love Bill Clinton even though he is responsible for the repeal of Glass–Steagall, even though he was suspended from practicing law in Arkansas for five years for giving false testimony (he agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license in order to head off any criminal charges for lying under oath about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky), even though he resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court when faced with disbarment there, and even though he was held in contempt of court for lying under oath in the Paula Corbin Jones sexual harassment lawsuit.  Clinton also cheated on his wife, and he is making millions each year from hobnobbing with billionaires.  My friends overlook his weaknesses, and focus on the good things they perceive about him.

It’s safe to say that most Bill Clinton supporters do not share his negative side, and would be incensed to be accused of having the moral and ethical lapses of Bill Clinton. Yet many of my friends make the link to pro-Trump voters as being racist or anti-women for choosing Trump.  Trump supporters would be just as incensed if such charges were made against them. It’s equally safe to say that most Trump supporters do not share Trump’s moral and ethical lapses. They did what I did.  They voted for their choice of the lesser of two evils.

We want those Trump supporters who are not a part of Trump’s core to become Bernie Sanders supporters, supporting Bernie, or a Bernie true believer, in four years, because they want reform just like we do, and if they are making less than $250,000.00 per year, they have much more in common with Bernie Sanders than with the rich and the powerful who support the traditional republican ticket or the democratic rich and powerful who represent Wall Street’s interests over those of the People.

Don’t alienate Trump voters. Build a platform of reform that attracts them to us, and don’t throw stones in a Glass–Steagall house.

Jack Sheridan

November 2016

PS—Elizabeth Warren has written and spoken widely on the benefits of Glass–Steagall.  Google “Elizabeth Warren” and “Glass-Steagall”.

Click here to see 2013 Elizabeth Warren effort to reinstate Glass-Steagall

Click here for Frontline article on Glass-Steagall demise

Click here to see NY Times article on Clintons’ speaker fee income

Click here to see Forbes article on Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speaker fees

Click here to see 2016 opinion piece by the Guardian on shifting priorities of democratic party

Click here to see Washington Post article on Bill Clinton in contempt of court

Click here to see Jones v. Clinton contempt order

Stand Up For Kaepernick’s Right To Sit Down

This is the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition—these fundamental rights are the essence of America.

Who would be so unpatriotic as to criticize Mr. Kaepenick for exercising a fundament right under our Constitution?

Carry your flag proudly, say your pledge proudly, proudly stand for the Star Spangled Banner, but tolerate those who do not, or you are disrespecting the very ideals and symbols you think you are protecting.  In Countries less great that ours, such speech could bring imprisonment or death.  Applaud this young man for having the courage to exercise his free speech rights knowing that to do so would bring criticism, but also knowing that in America it is his right, and he may feel it’s also his moral duty.

Mr. Kaepernick does not offer a solution to police shootings of unarmed black men and children.  But he does offer his opinion. And he does help promote the dialog that will offer solutions, because he states his opinion by sitting down with millions watching.  America is great because of these fundamental rights, and because the People feel free to exercise these rights, which promotes the dialog that keeps us strong and free.  The day we cannot do so is the day America loses its greatness.

Stand up against those who would diminish our rights, and support Mr. Kaepenick’s right to speak his mind through action, even if you disagree with the message and the means.

Good for you Mr. Kaepernick!

September  2016

See Dallas Morning News Opinion

Nobody’s Perfect: Bernie at the 2016 Democratic Convention

Bernie’s efforts at reconciliation on the first night of the Democratic Convention didn’t so much let down his supporters as miss an opportunity to inspire and energize them to keep on fighting for change. I think this is what Bernie should’ve said:

I want to thank you all for a great campaign. You are changing the world. You are at this convention to vote for the next president, and I want you to proudly exercise that right. I humbly hope you will vote for me. But you know and I know that in the end, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. And that’s alright. She differs from you and me on many important issues–first and foremost is that voters who support me don’t believe politicians should be funded by billionaires, because we believe it has a corrupting affect on our leaders. But we love this republic, we love this country, and we believe we need to continue this fight, so we can and do accept that this time around we didn’t convince enough of our brothers and sisters that we are right. We came close, but not close enough.

We freely accept that the majority has spoken, and we commit to turning out in droves in November to vote for Hillary Clinton for president. Too much is at stake to stay home. But that does not not mean we are selling out or mean that we are done. We have just begun.

In four years we’ll do it again, and if need be we’ll do it again and again until we persuade the majority that the status quo is not good enough. In fact, it’s bad and anti-democratic. But for now, let’s congratulate and embrace those Hillary delegates here tonight, because they are our friends and allies, and they represent the majority that we have to convince. The alternative is too ugly to contemplate.

Having said that, I also want to congratulate Donald Trump’s supporters for rejecting the Republican status quo, but I respectfully suggest that they are going the wrong way if they want increased opportunity and a higher standard of living. I want to say to each of them that if you make less than $250,00 a year you belong with us not with Trump.

I say to those Trump supporters, we will protect you and elevate you. Trump and his wealthy friends will crush you. Join us. Take a look at the Republican platform and you will see it’s about protecting the wealthy on the backs of the rest of us. Then run. Run to us.

It’s not over, and it’s not time to rest. Let’s spend the next four years focused on our local politicians who take money from billionaires–the senators, the governors, and the legislators. Within reason, let’s vocally support and turn out to vote for those candidates who reject billionaires’ money. Let’s identify those candidates, and then aggressively fund their campaigns with small donations, and get them elected so they can fight for us on campaign finance reform and on the other issues we have advocated. We are more powerful than the billionaires, but only when we unite in the fight. They are afraid of the People, and they should be. When the People turn out to vote, we are unbeatable.

We will take back America from the billionaires, and put governance back in the hands of representatives who put the People first. Just watch us!

Jack Sheridan

July 2016

 

 

My Comments About the Success of Sanders and Trump

Today, eating lunch in a Japanese restaurant here in Seattle, my table was next to two older Caucasian men who were exercising their First Amendment rights loud enough for me to hear. They seemed well-informed and likely democrats. One said that Bernie Sanders could be president if he can overcome the “S” word, meaning socialist. He said that Sanders needs to come up with a clever approach and go head-on after his critics like Carl Rove did against John Kerry’s war record.

As I thought about those comments, I realized that those two fellows are well behind the curve, but no less so than the media and both political parties. They don’t realize that calling Sanders a socialist or Trump a fascist means nothing to the segment of the People (perhaps the majority) that thinks either Sanders or Trump is the answer.

Those two fellows, the media, and the political parties don’t realize that the People have left them behind and moved on, and that they are only relevant to themselves. I would say it happened about two years into President Obama’s first term. Obama was trying to do the things he campaigned on, and the republicans were having none of it. About that time, the Supreme Court decided Citizens United and gave unlimited power to the powerful. The People realized that government wasn’t working, and that the problem was the candidates, chosen by the parties (not the People), and those they appointed after getting elected. Then in Obama’s second term, he appointed Wall Street to his cabinet. It looked like the one-percent was in charge and would remain in charge forever.

Do you remember that scene in “Jurasic Park” in which the Jeff Goldblum character, commenting on the scientists’ efforts to keep the dinosaurs from multiplying by genetically engineering them to be all girls says, “life will find a way”? In the movie, life did find a way and ate most of the cast in the sequel.

I think we are seeing democracy finding a way. The People know that Hillary Clinton and the republican field take money from Wall Street, corporate America, and the rich—Bernie and Donald do not. That’s all the People need to know. The People also know that the mainstream media is owned by the very same powerful forces that give money to the candidates.

The People know that the powerful give money to candidates to buy influence, and that it doesn’t matter how loudly a candidate protests his or her independence, the money givers keep on giving, so they must think their “donations” are having an affect.

The 2016 presidential campaign shows that there has been a paradigm shift. The People are taking back our country. The People will pick our leaders from candidates who are not beholden to the money givers. Calling Bernie or Donald socialist or fascist is fruitless. We know that by any name they are not beholden to the money givers. That doesn’t mean they are perfect, but perfect or not, it is from that candidate pool the People will choose a president. Then the People will come looking for the congress, and then state and local governments.  In the near future, taking money from the money givers will be a career ending decision.

The People will take back our country. Just watch. That’s democracy finding a way, and the People, united, will never be defeated.

Jack Sheridan

2/10/16

Elizabeth Warren Says Enough is Enough to Obama Wall Street Cabinet Appointments

 

A Note About Overcoming Anxiety And Following Your Moral Compass

Stop Anxiety
Many of those I care about have anxiety. I have not felt anxiety for years, so I thought telling my story might help others cope with anxiety. I’ll try to explain what changed my life and suggest what may help you.
I think anxiety comes from giving too much importance to the future. We wring our hands over whether some future event will happen or not happen. Or we wring our hands over whether we are safe, whether we are healthy, whether we are financially secure, whether we are loved or liked, and whether we will die.
Do you see that except for death, everything above is written in the present? But in fact, these are concerns about the future. We confuse these future unknowns, mistakenly thinking of them as though they are unknowns in the present, but in the present they are known. We are not dead. We are either healthy or not, loved or liked or not, safe or not, and on and on. In fact, if we take an inventory of how we are at this moment, for most of us, all is well, for the moment.
How we are at this moment may fill us with joy or sadness, and these are real feelings (assuming they are accurately perceived). We are living life in this moment. Life is filled with real events. If my arm hurts at this moment from an injury, I may feel pain. Unless it’s all in my head, I really feel pain now. But if I worry that my arm will still hurt tomorrow, I may feel anxiety about the pain I may experience tomorrow. The pain I feel now is real; concern about future pain, which is the source of anxiety, is not.
Anxiety is about future fears we give life as though they are real and in the present. So how did I overcome anxiety?

Embrace The Fact That You Are Going To Die
I don’t think I’ve ever feared death, but I know many of those I care about do fear death—and think about dying. If you fear death, you may have anxiety over whether you may have an illness, or whether you may have a heart attack, or you may worry that you may die in an accident or in your sleep. If these things happen, they are real. In the future, they are not. You may be overweight and be at risk of many bad things, so you can get to work today to lose weight to reduce your risks, but worrying about dying tomorrow owing to your weight is worrying about an illusion. You’ve heard of “death and taxes.” They are the two things you can’t avoid. If you make money, you pay taxes. If you breathe you will die. No one fears taxes. You may dislike taxes, but you don’t fear them, so why fear death? It’s guaranteed. For example, no one walking on the planet today, will be walking on the planet in 150 years. No one. It’s a fact. So why worry that you are going to die? You are going to die. Relax. Embrace that thought. Your life will be better, and your anxiety will be less. You are going to die. I’m motivated by that knowledge. Whether you believe in God or not, it’s a good argument for making today worthwhile because it may be your last day on Earth. Don’t waste today. Simple as that. But don’t worry that today may be your last day. Don’t stress about it. Who cares? When you go, you will have no regrets because you will be dead. There is nothing to fear. Play the game until the buzzer rings, and don’t try to predict when that buzzer will ring. If there is a clock counting down, you can’t see it. Enjoy the game. Worrying that the buzzer will ring is a waste of energy.

Follow Your Moral Compass
I think anxiety also comes from ignoring your moral compass. If you know you did something that deviates from the course you walk when you are following your moral compass, you may feel anxiety at the possibility of getting caught, or anxiety because you know what you did was wrong, and perhaps you are having trouble living with that fact. Getting caught may not lead to prison, but it may lead to the disappointment of those you care about, compromise your standing in your community, or lead to some unpleasant administrative outcome. Your conscience may speak to you for the rest of your life, and that may cause anxiety.
Of course, the easy answer is, “follow your moral compass.” Nothing is important enough to justify leaving the path that follows your moral compass. Your life is precious and brief. Why would you care about an outcome so much that you would violate your own ethics? My advice is to be brave. Be ready to lose everything, because there is no anxiety in living life according to the rules you know are right, but there is anxiety in doing what you know is wrong.
I speak from experience. I entered law school in 1981. In my first year of law school, I cheated on a constitutional law exam. It was a take-home and open-book exam, but we were not allowed to use commercial outlines.* I did use a commercial outline in answering questions on the test, and did pretty well on the final exam. I assume I had anxiety over having done what I knew was wrong, but fear of failure propelled me forward. Over the years, I buried that memory deep in the recesses of my brain. I’m certain that five years later, I could have passed a polygraph on that fact, because I buried it so deep, I did not remember what I had done.
Thirteen years later, at work, my law practice had taken off; at home, I had the American dream; and I was deposing a human resources manager in a discrimination case against a big company. I caught her lying, and I remember thinking how weak she was—willing to lie under oath to preserve her job at the expense of my client who was a victim of sexual harassment. She knew what was right and chose to do what was wrong to keep her expensive car and her expensive house. I was filled with contempt and righteous indignation. Soon after that, the memory of my having cheated on the law school exam came flooding back into my brain—perhaps my subconscious rejected my outrage as hypocritical. I was horrified by my actions all those years ago, and with the realization that I was no better than the lying witness.
I had to decide what to do. I love being a trial lawyer. I represent good people in good fights against big money and power. I can’t think of any job I’d rather have. I could keep this new “old” information to myself, and silently live with my hypocrisy, or I could turn myself in, and face the possibility that I would be disbarred and prohibited from doing what I love, not to mention the financial impact of losing my profession. I had to decide what to weigh in the mix. I found that I felt anxiety about living with the hypocrisy, but after a time, and some deep breaths, I embraced the idea that I cheated and needed to atone. I cheated myself, my family, the faculty, the students, and the Washington State Bar Association (“WSBA”). I decided to turn myself in.
I wrote a letter to my law school explaining what I had done, and I sent a copy to the WSBA. I received a letter back from the faculty disciplinary committee directing me to come and defend my actions. In the weeks that followed, I felt tremendous anxiety when I tried to predict the future actions of the committee. Would I be disbarred? Would the committee revoke my diploma? Would I suffer a lesser penalty? Then I realized that in the present, my life was perfect. I was loved by my wife and my children. My job was going great, the smells of the Earth were invigorating, and the sky and the trees were beautiful. I had placed my future in the hands of others. I could not predict my future, so why wring my hands over something I could not control? I found peace in the present, and then in each day, and in each week leading up to my meeting with the committee. I abandoned any effort to predict my future, and lived in the moment. I had no anxiety.
I attended the meeting and felt no anxiety. I openly stated what I had done, and my regrets. My professor was still there, and he stated that he did not think that my use of a commercial outline could have helped much with his exam, and may have hurt the quality of my answers. The committee was compassionate. They did not revoke my diploma. Instead, the committee directed me to attend some law school ethics classes, and explain to the students what I had done, and what I had learned. The WSBA did not order my disbarment. They also acted with compassion, and found that no further action was required beyond what my law school had directed. As required, I appeared at ethics classes at the University of Washington and freely spoke about my actions and what I had learned.
From that experience I learned that nothing about the future should be feared. It will be what it will be. I also learned that a moral compass is a gift that makes decision-making easy. I have not felt anxiety since then. I do not worry about my health, or whether I’ll be loved tomorrow, or whether my law firm will prosper. When I take a case to trial, I do not worry about outcome. I try to win each moment, knowing that if I win enough moments, I’ll win the trial. I feel no anxiety—only whatever emotion I feel in response to real things happening at each moment. The future does not control me. It does not even impact me.

Accept That Life Is The Ticket That Lets You Ride The Train That Is This Earth, And Accept That You Have No Control Over Where That Train Is Going
Did you know that the earth revolves on its axis at about 1000 miles per hour at the equator, that the Earth revolves around the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour; that the sun revolves around the galaxy at about 483,000 miles per hour; that our galaxy is moving through space at about 1.3 million miles per hour; that there are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy; and there are at least 176 billion galaxies in the universe? We cannot feel or see any of this. If we could, we would be clinging to the ground for dear life. I say this to emphasize the importance of perspective. We live less than 100 years in a universe that is bigger than we can perceive, on a planet that is spinning like a top while zooming through space.  Yet we tend to think that we are the center of it all.
My understanding of all this implicates God, but one need not believe in God to gain a perspective that will relieve anxiety. In my view, God gives us a little sliver of time to be corporeal and to live in a world that allows us to feel, and to love, and to touch, and to see, and to smell. We should not waste that great gift by worrying about the future. The future is not in our hands. Even without God in the equation, the actions of the universe should give everyone the perspective needed to see that, given our limited time here, opportunities in the present may be lost to a preoccupation with the future. Enjoy this wonderful ride, and live every moment in the present. If you do, you will be free and live without anxiety.
Jack Sheridan

January 2016

 

*Private companies publish outlines of law school courses, which track individual law school class curriculums like Constitutional Law, Contracts, Family Law, Wills, Torts, etc.

My Comments During Communion Reflection at My Daughter’s Wedding On December 19, 2015, Church of the Assumption, Coole, County Meath, Ireland.

A famous American songwriter wrote that, “Love’s the finest thing around.”* And he was right.
We walk the Earth only briefly. In these short lives we are given, we can get confused by society’s hum that whispers in our ears that the pursuit of wealth, or power, or recognition are important goals. But how many times have we seen famous people with some or all of these things utterly unhappy? More than we can say.
They don’t seem to know that “Love’s the finest thing around.” Perhaps they have not put love first. And even when we put love first, it can be hard to come by. Even so, love should be our most important pursuit. Love is offered freely and bravely, and when accepted and returned it is the greatest gift on Earth.
Two people in love radiate happiness for all to see, and it doesn’t matter who they are: young or old, rich or poor, powerful or powerless. Two people in love make us all feel better, even though they don’t seek our recognition; they only seek recognition from each other, and that’s all that matters.
As we get older, we come to know that life passes in a twinkle, and in that twinkle if we can love and be loved, our lives have meaning beyond measure, and the rest is only window dressing.

Thank you.

 
*James Taylor, “Carolina on my Mind”

The Only Way To Stop The Abuses Incurred by Unchecked Power and Money Is Through A Constitutional Amendment

We can’t count on the Supreme Court to Protect the People, so it’s time for a Constitutional amendment that says corporations are not “persons.” The reason we need it is because the Supreme Court, not the Constitution, has said that corporations are persons and have First Amendment rights. Following that line of reasoning, the Supreme Court now says that corporations can make unlimited donations to political campaigns. This was never intended by the framers of the Constitution. It is judge-made law that has haunted our democracy since the 1800s. Let’s end it.

Here is my proposed amendment. Paragraph 2 is taken from Justice Stevens’ book.

  1. Only persons eligible to vote in the United States by birth or citizenship may contribute money, goods, or services to candidates for public office or their supporters. For the purpose of this amendment, a person is eligible to vote without being registered to vote.
  2. “Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”*
  3. Corporations, groups, organizations, associations, and other entities are not persons under this amendment or this Constitution, and they shall not have First Amendment rights.

Jack

*Excerpt From: Stevens, John. “Six Amendments.” Little, Brown and Company, 2014-04-22. iBooks

My Comments on Love at My Son’s Wedding as the Officiant

WELCOME
Vivian and John are getting married!
June 27, 2015
in
Malibu, CA

What is said about Love?*

  • Death cannot stop true love. It can only delay it a little while. – Westley in “The Princess Bride”
  • “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”-Robert Frost
  • “You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr. Seuss
  • “The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it’s half of what we felt — that’s everything.” – Spencer Tracy in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

WHAT IS LOVE?

  • Some say love is a chemical reaction
  • Some say it’s a joining of two people with common interests
  • Some say it’s a meeting of two souls
  • I like the last one best

We can see love

  • The way two people look at each other
  • Couples having a picnic at the park
  • The way couples hold hands
  • The way they laugh when they’re together

We don’t know what love is…

  • We can’t really define love
  • But we know it when we see it
  • And we see it in this couple

This Day

  • Is a celebration of their love
  • We thank them for inviting us to share in this celebration
  • Mixed in with this celebration is a marriage ceremony

Marriage is Serious Business

  • It’s not a promise to love each other forever
  • It’s a statement of hope
  • Hope that your love will last forever

Saying “Forever” is a mistake

  • I know a little bit about love, and love is not forever
  • Love is a gift given for a second and a minute and an hour and a day
  • Love is not forever. Love may last forever, but it has to compete with life’s distractions, and love may not last unless Love comes first in your lives

It’s easy to lose your way

  • Careers and work pressures
  • Money pressures
  • Acquiring stuff—the things you’re told to want
  • Family pressures

What’s the Key to Success?

  • Say out loud that love is your priority
  • Assume that every day is the last day of your love
  • Make that last day a day to remember
  • It doesn’t have to be spectacular, just special

What Is A Special Day?

  • It’s nothing special
  • Look into your lover’s eyes and look into your lover’s soul
  • Tell your lover that you love him or her—go slow—respect the moment
  • Touch your lover’s hand—human contact is everything
  • Enjoy those moments and know that those moments are special. They can happen when you’re:
    • Making dinner together
    • Taking a walk together
    • Watching TV together
  • The key is “together”

The End of Every Day

  • Take a moment to recognize that you just spent a day in love—that is a spectacular earth moving event
  • Take a moment to think about the day in terms of love
  • If there is baggage, get it out and get it over with
  • Tell your lover that you love him or her
  • Forgive each other for missing moments

Challenges

  • Realize that winning or losing or failing or succeeding—they are a part of the ride
  • Remember that when you lose or fail, love makes it more bearable
  • When you win or succeed, love adds to the joy—you get to share it with someone who loves you
  • Sharing life in love is as good as it gets

It All Adds Up

  • I’ve said before that life happens in the moments between all those so called important events in life—new jobs, raises, your first house, births, deaths.
  • Those little moments between the big ones make up the days that matter
  • If you are in love every day, soon you will find that you’ve been in love for years and then a lifetime
  • And as long as you don’t take love for granted and you keep love first, you will have a beautiful life together—and the ups and downs of the ride won’t matter

Let’s get you married
(respond with “I promise”)

  • Vivian
    • Do you promise to keep love as the priority in your life?
    • Do you promise to gaze into John’s eyes at least once a day, and at that moment tell him you love him?
    • Do you promise to touch his hand every day, and at that moment tell him you love him?
    • When you are feeling the greatest strains of life’s other pressures, do you promise to share those pressures with John so he can help you see that love is more important and more powerful than any of life’s other pressures?
    • When you are feeling the exhilaration of success, do you promise to share that joy with John so the joy is magnified by the power and pleasure of your love?
  • John
    • Do you promise to keep love as the priority in your life?
    • Do you promise to gaze into Vivian’s eyes at least once a day, and at that moment tell her you love her?
    • Do you promise to touch her hand every day, and at that moment tell her you love her?
    • When you are feeling the greatest strains of life’s other pressures, do you promise to share those pressures with Vivian so she can help you see that love is more important and more powerful than any of life’s other pressures?
    • When you are feeling the exhilaration of success, do you promise to share that joy with Vivian so the joy is magnified by the power and pleasure of your love?

The Rings

  • They are a symbol of this celebration
  • When you look at them you should be reminded of this day and of your promises
  • John, place the ring on Vivian’s finger and say, “with this ring, I thee wed.”
  • Vivian, place the ring on John’s finger and say, “with this ring, I thee wed.”

The Final Statement

  • By the power vested in me by the State of California, I pronounce you
  • HAPPILY MARRIED!
  • Please feel free to kiss!

 

By Jack Sheridan (aka “Dad”)

*following four quotes borrowed from www.offbeatbride.com

 

I’m Done With Football

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. See www.bu.edu.

I’m done with football.

CTE, traumatic brain injuries, suicides, spouse and child abuse, the list goes on. I won’t watch any more football because if we watch, the NFL makes money, and the athletes will continue to play and continue to die long sad deaths because the game is deadly. Many of those athletes will lead violent lives that spill over into their family lives, sometimes with suicidal or criminal consequences. The NFL has no plan to prevent head injuries, so concussions continue.  We know that the helmets protect against skull fractures, but not against concussions. To stop these deadly injuries, football would have to change dramatically, but the fear is no one would watch.  The players are making so much money that they will never stop playing even in the face of strong evidence that football is inherently dangerous and often deadly.  So we as a nation have to stop watching, and find another sport to watch.

Parents: don’t let your children play football.  We can’t protect them.

What is it that we love about football? We have to come to grips with the fact that we love the violence–the big hits are repeated over and over in the news. The bigger the hit the better. We want to see them, but don’t want to hear that they are deadly. The Romans also had to come to grips with the violence of gladiatorial contests, which finally came to an end, and maybe we could learn from that.

Here is a list of football deaths and injuries.  It only scratches the surface, but the list will keep growing until we stop watching football.

7/1/15

Bo Jackson

Ken Stabler

Fred McNeill

Michael Keck

Jim McMahon

List of NFL Players with CTE

Football players carry 3 times risk of CTE symptoms

Evergreen High School Football head injury death

Deadly month in high school football

76 of 79 Deceased NFL Players Found to Have Brain Disease