The Sit Down goes Live Monday

If  you’re a listener of my broadcast “The Sit Down with Chris Seaton,” we appreciate your support.

If you’re not listening, you can remedy that by going here, or subscribing on iTunes, TunedIn, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever fine podcasts are sold or stolen.

Unfortunately, this week things are going to be different.

I got a message from The Sit Down’s producer, Aaron Campbell, last night. He’s laid up in the hospital with what is most likely a severe case of the flu. He wanted to cancel the show. I said “no thanks.”

So this week we’re going to try an experiment. Monday, March 27, starting at 11 AM, “The Sit Down with Chris Seaton” goes live with its first ever video show. Livestreaming video, 100% uncensored, and completely open to the viewers and listeners.

Want to be a part of the show? There’s several things you can do.

1. If you’ve topics to suggest, leave them in the comments, twit them @clsesq, or email contact@thesitdown.org

2. If you’ve questions you can do likewise or join us on the live Periscope broadcast. We will try to get to as many as possible during the show.

3. If you can’t make it, tell a friend.

Should you happen to miss the broadcast, it’ll be on the Sit Down’s YouTube page for later consumption.

I look forward to joining you in a one vs. the mob style discussion about big ideas, fun topics, and controversial opinions.

See you Monday.

Tennessee: Operation Gideon

Tennessee won a battle with the Indigent Representation Task Force. In April the group will present their recommendations to the General Assembly. We can celebrate now, but there’s hard work to win this war.

All 99 House of Representative Seats are up in 2018.

Tennessee Representatives serve two year terms. It is on us, the people who care for the state’s poor and want to ensure their competent representation, to hold every legislator’s feet to the fire over these recommendations.

Their marching orders are very simple. You adopt the Task Force’s recommendations or you are out.

I will be watching which representatives adopt the recommendations and which reject. There will be a continually updated list on Mediation is Dead listing each accept and each reject. We will, as an organized force, eject every single candidate from office that rejects the recommendations.

Vote reject and you will be very uncomfortable. 

Technology is an amazing thing when it comes to influencing elections. Anybody with a smartphone can get on Periscope or Facebook Live and broadcast real news, in real time, to hundreds of thousands of people. Those Representatives who vote to reject the Task Force’s Recommendations will face quite a few bad days.

Imagine being a comfortably secure Tennessee representative, hosting a pancake breakfast for your constituency to spread your campaign platform. Suddenly as you’re speaking, a person with a smartphone pops up and asks you “Representative (x), you voted against the Task Force’s recommendations to provide better indigent defense in this state. Why do you hate poor people and the Constitution?”

Now imagine your answer and your response not just temporarily live streamed, but uploaded to YouTube for the world to enjoy.

People will go to town halls, Q&A sessions, ribbon cuttings, and more to put this question to any representative who rejects the Task Force’s recommendations.

Any gubernatorial candidate must endorse the Task Force’s recommendations to win. 

There’s a footnote on page 42 of the Task Force’s report regarding a peculiar member’s decision on raising compensation rates for court-appointed attorneys.

Task Force member Dwight Tarwater, who serves as counsel to Governor Bill Haslam, did not participate in the decision regarding the recommendation to change the hourly rate.

Why Dwight decided to abstain from this recommendation is unclear. It’s not as if his paycheck is in jeopardy should he decided to sit on the side of the Constitution. And his boss term limits in 2018, so it’s back to private practice or teaching somewhere.

The problem facing any candidate with an (R) on their names is the Republican governor’s private counsel decided to stay out of the decision to raise rates of pay for court appointed counsel. The lawyer to the businessman who promised up and down, honest to goodness, that he’d create more jobs in this state mysteriously “did not participate” in a measure that could create more jobs.

A rate raise to even $75 per hour means more attorneys can hire assistants and paralegals. That means more jobs right off the bat in the legal profession alone. It means the quicker payment of student loan debts. And it means bills get paid faster and children eat better at night. Finally, lawyers can do what they went to school to do and not have to drive for Uber or take side gigs to keep their practices alive.

If you’re running for a chance at the Governor’s mansion in Tennessee next year, and you run Republican, you’re going to need to address the Task Force’s recommendations now. You will need to endorse them. Show us you care or the mansion goes to the Democrats.

The fight begins today.

It’s time for those of us who give a damn about the mandate of Gideon to do something about it. I pissed off enough people on my own, and change came for the better. Now it’s time for the rest of us to put enormous pressure on the state’s House and Gubernatorial candidates to adopt the good in the Task Force’s hard work.

Join me. You won’t regret it.

Project Update Status, Spring Edition

The first day of Spring was yesterday, and with it comes some significant changes to a few projects I’ve had in the fire. If you’re interested, here’s a few updates.

Fault Lines, a site I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into for about two years, is nonexistent at this point. I will be migrating some of the older material that got better views to MiD, and potentially to Medium as the time comes.  Eventually I may take the lion’s share of what I did at Fault Lines and put it into an anthology.

To every contributor to Fault Lines, past or present, you have my endless respect, love, and admiration for all you did. One day we shall rise again and raise hell together. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods we’ll crack a jar.

The Sit Down with Chris Seaton is my latest project. Originally the fourth hour of “That Midday Show,” The Sit Down is a news and talk program where we discuss all manner of issues from legislators behaving badly to “The Bachelor.” You can find it wherever podcasts are sold or stolen.

The Sit Down also has a YouTube channel where we discuss short topics. Expect me to play more with video in the coming months. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve come up with for YT greatly.

Mediation is Dead will still continue. It will be the primary source for all my writing going forward, so keep an eye on the site because as I have more time to pour into my own personal piece of the Internet I’ll continue to make it worth your attention.

Film: I’ll be releasing the details of a project I’ll be shooting this summer that will capture your attention. Working on “Silenced” and “Un/Convention” was a life-changing experience and I don’t see that going away any time soon. This new project, code named “Miranda,” will see probably a turnaround in the fall depending on how the start of funding goes.

Stay tuned. Stay frosty.

I am Chris Seaton.
Mediation is Dead.

Stupid People Doing Stupid Things, Wrestling Edition

Preface: This is a post about stupid things in pro wrestling. You may find it enjoyable. You might not. Either way, you’ve been forewarned. Terms not familiar to the layperson explained at the end of this post.

There’s been some truly head-scratching moments in recent days for pro wrestling fans. If you’re anywhere near the business, you can smell the stupid coming off major companies and those with decision making authority. The smell, of course, isn’t pleasant.

Guilty Party number one is Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, or Impact Wrestling. Currently under new management with Anthem Sports, a division of Canada’s “Fight Network,” TNA is going through the difficult measure of figuring out who to hire and who to fire in an effort to save the struggling promotion.

One target no one saw on the chopping block were the Broken Brothers, Matt and Jeff Hardy. Veteran tag team wrestlers, Matt recently revived his career with the “Broken Matt Hardy” gimmick that turned him into a wealthy lunatic with a Mexican gardener, a menagerie of zoo animals containing the souls of great warriors, and a lake that revived wrestler gimmicks long retired.

Broken Matt would feud initially with Jeff, who he called “Brother Nero,” in a singles program for the rights to the Hardy family name. The two would then team to face a group called “Decay.” Finally, an entire episode of Impact Wrestling with incredible amounts of lunacy was taped at the Hardy compound in Cameron, North Carolina.

These three bits, “The Final Deletion,” “Delete or Decay,” and “Total Nonstop Deletion” are best termed pro wrestling’s “Sharknado” trilogy. You will love them or hate them, but the general consensus is each is so bad it’s good. Regardless, each of the segments produced impressive ratings for a struggling pro wrestling promotion on Pop TV.

Contract negotiations didn’t go well with the Hardys. They felt so insulted by Anthem’s offers they didn’t even counter. They just finished out their dates, offered to drop the TNA Tag belts at a taping*, and then moved on to Ring of Honor, where they quickly won the Tag Titles.

Anthem countered by serving the Hardys with a Cease and Desist, claiming intellectual property rights in all of the Broken gimmicks, and demanding the duo cease using the Broken gimmick immediately.

This is not a good look for Anthem or Impact Wrestling, as Matt’s wife Reby Sky recently pointed out on Twitter. Among the organization’s egregious sins, “Senor Benjamin,” the gardener in the Broken universe, is Reby’s real life dad and was never under contract with Impact or Anthem. Asking him to stop being himself or threatening him with legal action is just plain stupid.

Matt’s more than likely ready to fight this should Anthem decide to make good on the threats of a lawsuit. He’s probably coaching Jeff on what to do in case something goes south. Jeff knows a thing or two about the legal system, so safe bet is he’s not exactly scared of a lawyer.

Anthem, back off. Get some sense. And rid yourself of the owl logo. That suggests wisdom, and picking a legal fight with the Hardy Boys doesn’t display much sense.

Guilty Party Number Two is the big dog in professional wrestling, WWE. In preparation for the Showcase of the Immortals, the organization announced on Twitter today the Undertaker would face Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33.

This is a hard level of stupid to measure, because it deals with an iconic WWE star, someone the federation has tried to get “over”** with the fans with no success for some time, and a Wrestlemania tradition called “The Streak.”

The tradition at Wrestlemania is the Undertaker never loses. For some reason, The Deadman is able to up his game at the company’s biggest yearly show and come away with a W. That would change on April 6, 2014, when former UFC World Heavyweight Champ and former NCAA Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar would end the streak in the New Orleans Superdome.

Ever since that year, the Undertaker has beaten his Wrestlemania opponent. Lesnar remains the 1 in 23 and 1, but Vince McMahon, the WWE’s top dog, wants Roman Reigns to get over with fans badly. He wants “The Big Dog” to get some sort of traction with the WWE Universe***, and it smells like Vince is considering asking ‘Taker to “do the honors”**** for Reigns this year.

If that happens, there will be riots. If there’s a person liked less than John Cena in WWE, it arguably has to be Roman Reigns. If there’s one person the WWE fanbase resents having shoved down its throats repeatedly, someone who can’t cut a promo without a Hollywood script writer handing him his lines hours before airtime, it’s Roman Reigns. A win over the Undertaker at Wrestlemania does no favors for Reigns or WWE.

First, it tarnishes Brock Lesnar’s beast-like credibility. Part of the beauty behind Lesnar’s status as the 1 in the 23-1 is that Brock is such a huge animal of a human being, he could have legitimately “gone into business for himself”***** during that match, beaten the piss out of the Undertaker, and cemented a legacy he shouldn’t have.

After the conclusion of their match, The Undertaker stumbled through the curtains before passing out. He left with Vince McMahon in an ambulance to a nearby hospital for concussion testing and an injury evaluation. Vince didn’t return to the Superdome that evening and watch the finish of his show. That’s unprecedented.

If Reigns defeated the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33, doubling the Deadman’s losses, it doesn’t give Reigns any extra heat******. It just makes Taker look a little bit older and ready for retirement. It also takes the wind out of the excitement normally reserved for the Undertaker’s moment at Wrestlemania. He doesn’t make many appearances beyond that date, and fans pay good money to see him work.

WWE is on the verge of doing something very stupid with Roman Reigns and the Undertaker. I hope for the sake of the company, the boys in the locker room, and those who shell out their $9.99 a month they don’t double down on stupid.

*”drop the belts”=losing the titles to a team the promotion wants to have the belts

**”over”=successfully getting a desired reaction with fans. If you are a good guy, being “over” is getting cheered. Bad guys are “over” when they’re booed.

***WWE Universe=the name the promotion gives its fans

****”do the honors”=lose to the other wrestler

*****”going into business for himself”=deviate from the expected finish with the express intent of making yourself look good at your opponent’s expense.

******”heat”=forward momentum, alternately negative reactions to things you say or do.

Fault Lines version 2.0

When Fault Lines first blasted onto the Interwebs, it was devoted as a place for those in criminal law to provide the best legal insight possible. The intention was for Fault Lines to be the place that you got legal news and analysis from people working in all areas of the criminal justice system.

So far, we’ve got the goods when it comes to “all areas.” Right now our contributor base includes defense attorneys, a prosecutor, a badass Chicago SWAT cop, a former cop turned defense attorney, and Article III judges. We pull no punches and do nothing to massage your personal feelings on the law. It’s been such a great ride that we’ve made the ABA Blawg 100 two years in a row.

Like any great endeavor, there’s always room for improvement. While Fault Lines is eternally grateful to have birthed as a corner of Mimesis Law, it needed its own shiny new home. And because our managing editor and contributing staff always think bigger and better, we asked the question “Why can’t we be an educational non-profit? We’re the ones on the web actually educating people about the law.”

Today I am proud to announce two great new developments to Fault Lines.

First, we have a new home at www.faultlines.us. This is our new, standalone, online legal magazine tasked with our original stated mission, “Monitoring the Cracks in America’s Criminal Justice System.” From this point forward, all Fault Lines posts will appear here instead of at Mimesis Law. The site looks infinitely better, and for those of you who get your Fault Lines Fix on mobile devices you’ll find the site a far easier read.

Second, we have confirmed status as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization. That means if you like the content we provide you weekly, you can hit that sweet Donate button on the side of the website and make a tax-deductible contribution to Fault Lines’ continuing efforts to make the public smarter when it comes to issues in criminal justice.

Now that we’ve gotten the announcements out of the way, there’s a couple of things you can do to help us that don’t take much time or effort. Or even money.

First, if you were previously accessing Fault Lines through Mimesis Law, take a moment and update your bookmarks to make www.faultlines.us the place where you get your Fault Lines Fix. Without that, you’ll be missing out on the best legal analysis the web has to offer. You don’t want that, do you?

Second, if you were a previous subscriber to our newsletter (and why weren’t you, if not?), go to www.faultlines.us and re-subscribe. It takes a few seconds, and we won’t sell your information to anyone. All the goodness we put on the site will simply be delivered to your inbox daily, ad-free, spam-free, no bullshit.

Finally, tell a friend about the move! If Fault Lines is a site that enriched your life in some respect (or if my dumb jokes are amusing to you) then tell someone we’re now at www.faultlines.us. Encourage them to sign up for our newsletter. It’s available for the price of Free-99, we promise to never sell your information to anyone, and we won’t spam you. It’s just the best legal insight you’ll ever find on the internet every Monday through Friday.

Hope you enjoy Fault Lines version 2.0. Stick around, because if you thought what we did before was good, baby you ain’t seen nothing yet.

*One more thing: Are you a legal professional who’s got the chops to educate the public on a regular basis? If so, Fault Lines is interested in you. Email me at chris at clsesq dot net for further information.

The Dilution of Mediation

Mediation is becoming diluted as a form of alternative dispute resolution. Despite being touted as the be-all, end-all of resolving conflicts, an ugly truth has emerged. You don’t need qualifications, training, or expertise to be a “mediator.” You just have to call yourself one.

This would be absurd in any other profession where dispute resolution was key. Yet in mediation, the sole requirement for you to “mediate” a case is to call yourself a mediator and run with it. You need no training in persuasion, balancing power, or helping parties find alternative outcomes. When the bodies that govern the training and expertise of mediators don’t even bother to police themselves, the term means nothing.

Consider the Volunteer State. There is a specific rule that governs the conduct of mediators. It’s Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31. If you are to become a “Rule 31 listed” mediator you have to pay out thousands of dollars in training fees to get “certified.” Then you submit an application and take continuing mediation education (CME) classes to keep your Rule 31 status.

The dirty secret of a “Rule 31” listing is that it only puts you on a list for judges who need a mediator at a moment’s notice when parties can’t agree on a neutral. It also grants you qualified judicial immunity when performing a Rule 31 mediation. That’s it. You’re arguably better off marketing yourself as a dispute resolution professional than spending time attending the CMEs that tell you to advise litigants to pack a lunch and bring a book because they’ll be in session all day.

This means anyone can hold themselves out as a “mediator.” If you want your local pastor to “mediate” your divorce, they’re more than capable of doing it. Someone without a grasp of the law, persuasion, ability to “expand the pie” beyond nominal dispute resolution boundaries can “mediate” a case. When that person does so, their case is more than likely headed to trial.

In the legal profession, this would be untenable. Lawyers have to get a JD, pass the bar to show they’re minimally competent when practicing the law, and continually update themselves when it comes to their chosen profession. No one in their right mind would go to a criminal defense attorney and ask them to handle a bankruptcy case. The criminal defense attorney would be either desperate for money or foolish if they took said case, and an ethics complaint would most likely be in order if the crim law attorney held himself or herself out as a bankruptcy attorney.

Yet in mediation, anything goes. The party who wants to use Jim Bob from Farmer’s Insurance as the neutral of their choosing gets to do so as long as the other side agrees. Never mind Jim Bob has no training in mediation, doesn’t understand the process, or even has a solid grasp on the law that governs the case in dispute. As long as Jim Bob from Farmer’s calls himself a “mediator” he can mediate the case as he pleases, and to the parties’ detriment.

One way to fix this problem would be for mediation groups like the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission to self-police, ensuring those who held themselves out as “mediators” actually had the minimal training and competency to fulfill a neutral’s role. This has worked wonders for the practice of Collaborative Law. If you bill yourself as a Collaborative practitioner, someone’s going to eventually ask you where you trained, who trained you, and what practice group you associate with. Insufficient answers will find you pressured to removing the “collaborative” word from your business cards.

If we set standards for training, expertise, and qualifications and enforced them for mediators as stringently as we do for doctors or lawyers then mediation standards would increase. Client satisfaction with the process would go through the roof, because the layperson would have to put in effort to see the process work. Fewer cases would go to trial, because the experienced professionals worthy of the label “mediator” would actually be able to use it.

Unfortunately, because we love to keep the playing field open, and want to see anyone become a “mediator,’ we will dilute the meaning of a very precise term in dispute resolution. And when words have no meaning in an alternative dispute resolution process, as they often do in real life, it’s easy to see why Mediation is Dead.

Saying You’re “Neutral” Doesn’t Make You A Mediator

Neutrality is the cornerstone of mediation. A mediator is to remain “neutral” to all parties during the dispute resolution process. This is to give the illusion that all sides are heard and respected as the parties work to a solution.

Saying you’re neutral and actually being a neutral are two different animals. It’s easy to utter the word as a magic cure all whenever your impartiality is questioned. Actually being neutral requires you to take both parties as equals and listen to them without bias or prejudice.

Consider the following scenario and see if you think the mediator in this scenario is a “neutral.”

An attorney and client are involved in a fee dispute. The mediator, prior to the attorney’s arrival, has a copy of the Rules of Professional Responsibility dealing with fee disputes printed out and placed in front of both parties, with what the mediator deems relevant sections to the dispute highlighted.

During the mediation, the neutral continually utters her neutrality while giving the majority of eye contact to the client, rather than listen to both sides equally. The mediator encourages the attorney to lowball an offer to settle the dispute. When the client disagrees with the amount and actually requests the attorney be paid higher, the mediator says “sometimes attorneys do discounted work for their friends and family.”

On examination of the work performed, the mediator makes comments to the attorney about his lack of knowledge on the relevant areas of the law, going so far as to call him “ignorant.” This mediator tells the attorney his conduct is illegal and unethical if he proceeds in a certain fashion, because that’s “the law.” Moreover, the alleged “neutral” even questions the value the attorney’s services added during certain months!

This isn’t neutrality. It’s the farthest thing from it. It’s not just evaluative case analysis, it’s not even arbitration, it’s outright advocacy for one party masked as a form of mediation. That a party can simply smile and say “Remember, I’m the neutral in all this” is a slap in the face to alternative dispute resolution.

Real neutrality takes hard work. Maintaining a semblance of impartiality is crucial to the process, and yet it takes one mediator like that described above to cost everyone their trust in alternative dispute resolution. If I had been part of such a scenario, I would have exited the bargaining table double quick, asked for a different mediator, or gone to a judge and asked for an Order of Reference if the other party could not agree to a different mediator.

Adding to the problem with the above hypothetical is the “mediator” commenting on the law, and one party’s alleged grasp or lack of expertise in that field. That violates neutrality rules, denigrates the legal profession, and contributes nothing to the public’s trust in the process. Several states, including my own, would call that sanctionable conduct for mediators.

Make sure your mediator is one who works to listen to both sides, even the one you don’t like. Otherwise, you run the risk of finding yourself subject to the bias and prejudices of a mediator who will pressure you in an unfair fashion to settle a case that will lead to buyer’s remorse on signing the deal.

And to my fellow practitioners of Alternative Dispute Resolution: repeating the words “I’m a neutral” or “I’m neutral” are hack, played out, and carry as much meaning these days as “I was in fear for my life” when a cop shoots a person dead in the street. It’s eventually going to a judge, and that judge is going to determine the mantra of “I’m neutral” carries as much weight.

A lack of neutrality, and outright advocacy, is one more reason why Mediation is Dead.

Getting Better Sleep

Sleep is absolutely crucial to the body. If you don’t get enough of it, your body and mind won’t function properly.  However, there’s a difference between getting “enough” sleep and “quality” sleep.

The aim is for “quality” sleep. How you get there is your own journey. I’ve worked hard at this issue, as I’ve been a chronic snorer for most of my life. Snoring stops you from reaching that quality level of sleep the body needs to rejuvenate itself.

It also stops Mrs. S, one of the lightest sleepers in the world, from quality sleep. When she’s continually tired because of my snoring, something must be done.

The first step was a device called the “snore stopper.” Originally meant as a gag gift for Christmas, the damned thing was essentially a shock collar strapped to your wrist at night. When the device registered sound, it would send a “gentle electric pulse” to nerves in your wrist that prompted you to switch positions.

Two issues prevented the snore stopper from working well. The first was a sound machine present in our room at the time I first started using it. This meant I was getting shocked all night long, snoring or otherwise. The second issue was tolerance.

Apparently a person can get used to being continually shocked overnight to the point where they will become non-responsive to the device’s “gentle electric pulse.” That plus the device’s continued need for batteries and replacement “conduction pads” (gel strips allowing for a greater shock) meant the snore stopper stopped being effective pretty damned quickly.

Currently I’m getting the best sleep I’ve had in ages due to a suggestion from a store clerk at Walgreens. Mrs. S. begged I get some Breathe Right nasal strips one evening just to see if they would work. Someone who worked at the store pointed me in the direction of “Air” snore sleep inserts. They are silicone bands you place in your nostrils before retiring for the evening with a lavender coating.

The idea is to open your nasal passages so anything restricting your airflow is minimized. Plus there’s a sort of lavender coating on the band, so you’re smelling lavender as you fall asleep. Apparently lavender is a scent designed to promote relaxation and sleep. I’m not one to care much for the homeopathic bullshit that gets tossed around, but it’s a nice smell.

I’ve used the inserts for about two weeks now and the difference in the quality of my sleep is dramatic. For the first few days I woke up foggy, but not brain dead coffee zombie mode. Today I woke up at four thirty in the morning, wide awake, and without a stitch of coffee in me. I was ready to kill the day before my son woke. I got both kids breakfast, ready, and off to school in record time without waking Mrs. S. once.

If you’re a snorer, give these a try. It may help you reach your optimal self.

POSTSCRIPT: There are some of you reading this that see anything about “snoring,” freak out, and immediately insist the person who snores schedule a sleep study and fitting for a CPAP machine. Sleep apnea is a terrible condition, and I lost an uncle to it. Not every person who snores suffers from sleep apnea, though, and automatically getting a CPAP machine when something simple will suffice.

Presidential Dual Reality

The President met with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities yesterday. It should have been a powerful meeting, and I understand the HBCU heads had various items and an agenda for the President to consider. None of this got attention. What set the Internet abuzz was a photo of the President, with the HBCU leadership, in the Oval Office. This photo had Kellyanne Conway sitting on  her knees on a couch in the Oval Office, looking at her phone.

The photo was not well received. Leftists scorned Ms. Conway for not “respecting” the Oval Office. Women called into local talk radio denouncing Ms. Conway’s posture as “unladylike.” Later reports would surface that was a photo of Ms. Conway looking at photos on a cell phone after getting into position on the couch so she could get the best angle possible for the photo.

None of this mattered. People came unhinged at the “lack of respect” for the Oval Office and demanded she resign immediately. All over a photo of her taking photos on a couch.

Last night the President of the United States gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court. I wasn’t planning on watching it. Tuesday nights are usually consumed with gaming and trash television (Hearthstone and The Bachelor, not that it matters). Today I wake to find two viewpoints on the President’s first speech to the rest of our nation’s government:

  1. Last night Donald Trump became “President.”
  2. Donald Trump blasted minorities, religious groups, and did nasty things but people are giving him a pass because he sounded “Presidential.”

These are two different realities. One person sees an effect, another sees the same thing, and both come to the same conclusion. There’s a theory behind this in magic called the “Dual Reality” principle, and something tells the deceptive in me Dual Reality is in play at this moment.

Logic and rational thought dictates that whether you cared for the man or not, Donald J. Trump became President on Inauguration Day. Yes, he’s said and done a lot of things since taking the oath of office that weren’t what many would consider “Presidential.” When the American public elected one of the least qualified individuals to the nation’s highest office, someone who has little to no understanding of the law, I gather most of those people understood what they were getting.

That it took a speech before a joint session of Congress to get even those on board the Trump Train to view him as “President” suggests dual reality is at work. Those who were on the fence with Trump’s actions but were committed to his camp now see him as President. The speech gave the effect that despite the “CEO” approach The Donald’s been taking to his new job, he can be Presidential when needed. That’s effect one.

The secondary effect is those who don’t like Donald Trump saw him look Presidential. These are the same people who scream #NotMyPresident, holler about his lack of qualifications, and plot disruptions and protests at every move. Regardless of how they felt about the man last night many who called themselves his opposition reached a point where they were forced to admit this racist, sexist, misogynistic, transohomophobic President Pussygrabber could actually look like the leader of the free world when necessary.

Dual Reality is a powerful principle in life. Some people experience it every day. The fact that we’re seeing it play out in government is astounding. It speaks to the way we perceive our lives, the reactions of those around us, and how we react accordingly.

Did you see Dual Reality at work last night?