Constitutional Russian Roulette

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Though accepted alternative fact that the Mueller report disproved all Russian conspiracy allegations and concluded it all to be a “Russian hoax,”nothing could be further from the truth. As the report actually reads it is evident that Donald Trump finds safety and opportunity in the chaos he stokes. The divisions he sews. He is a clear and present danger to our very way of life. A direct threat on the very freedoms and ideals that define the American experience.

The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Each day he remains free serves as an affront to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of rule. Each #TrumpRally and “truth” he sends out, feeds the cynicism that fertilizes our apathy. So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite.

Traditional checks and balances are not effective against unprecedented risks. The reality is that the Republican Party conspired across the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches to overturn the results of what was known to be a lawful election. In a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo and their privileged place within it long past the point demographics would otherwise allow, GOP representatives (and their spouses – looking at you Ginni T). sworn to protect the laws of our Constitution engaged in a coup attempt.

Problems do not get better over time. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well or ignore that our political system has been infiltrated by a party of extremists. It’s past time we recognize and accept that the experiment in individual freedoms and self governance has been hijacked by those who fear progress. Acknowledge that enemy forces have already successfully parked Trojan Horses within our sacred institutions. That their soldiers, who seek to preserve the status quo long past the point a functioning representative democracy will otherwise allow, have already seized the wheels of power within our Halls of Justice and disabled our Legislative powers. All they do now is abuse that power to ensure the conditions are set that enable the return of their Golden Calf who will sit upon the Executive throne.

The longer we play this dangerous game of Russian roulette. Ignore the obvious and enable the fantasies of the Raptureheads, Russian enabled military hawks and status quo dependent deplorables of this nation. The more likely a fatal bullet will fire at the very heart of our Constitutional Republic.

It is past time #LockHimUp

Plan B

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We need a Plan B. It’s time to get our heads out of our asses to realize this isn’t a traditional political fight. What Americans want, what we need is a bonafide opposition. One whose success is not predicated on the results of elections, but in the restoration of our individual freedoms. One who fights not because of what may be won, but because of what will be lost; our values, our soul, our democracy.

The sane and rational people of this country must unite in protest not just in solidarity for women’s rights, or black lives, or LBGTQ+ equality, or in response to the next school shooting. “We, the people,” the majority of us, have evolved beyond the prejudices of our ancestors. Believe in the vision of America espoused in our Declaration. One which requires the equal application of the rights and laws of this country regardless of race, religion, gender, or national origin. One rooted in the principle of separation of church and state and a representative government formed of the people. A common enemy exerts disproportionate control to attack these very principles.Isn’t it time Americans unite not in defense of a cause, but in defense of our democratic values and in opposition to the authoritarian rule that Republicans seek?

It’s time to be proactive in this fight. To use the tools and weapons we have at our disposable right now. To sit back and wait for a far off election places thousands of lives at a risk. It is an abdication of present day Democratic leadership and duty. To continue to play the music and ignore the problem as the deck chairs sway will not get us out of this predicament. It will only exacerbate it.

Every single elected Democrat and Independent representative needs to lead this country in mass protest. Organize a week of coordinated national protests and demonstrations against the assault on the rule of law and individual liberties orchestrated by the GOP. To create a safety net for ordinary citizens to call out sick and engage in sustained civic activism will require a top down effort by Democratic leadership. The majority can no longer afford to remain silent and sit back. The “good people” of this country must make our numbers known and to do so will require bold action by those leaders who profess to love the ideals upon which this nation was founded.

Let Biden empty his re-election coffers and have his PACs buy screen time to simulcast targeted messaging to encourage participation. Use the most incendiary language possible to make the stakes plain to all. Paint, not just Trump, but the entire Republican Party as traitors and unAmerican. Weaponize fear and use the prospect of a GOP mid-term takeover as akin to the end of the American dream. Paint a picture of what life for young children will look like in a country without hope or opportunity. Pull no punches. Be specific and make clear that GOP surrogates serve God before country. That they seek to erect a caste system within our shores. Repeat, rinse and do it over and over again. Talk of nothing else but the abdication of the GOP’s constitutional oath to protect the health and safety of all constituents.

Biden himself must also engage in more direct communication with the American people. Our country is in crisis. What better time to bring back a Friday night fireside chat. Take over networks and streaming services to appeal direct to the American people. Use the time not only to present his own agenda, but to make clear that all Americans are encouraged to take part in efforts to stand up to the authoritarian threat. Make no attempt to court the Trump wing of the GOP. Instead place the protests into appropriate context. Make clear that it is an opportunity for all, regardless of traditional political label, to distance themselves from the modern day Republican brand, the GOP of Trump, the Guardians Of Putin.

Let Nancy use the power of the purse to withhold critical funds precious to GOP causes. In the same way McConnell led GOP regularly held government hostage and treated people as pawns, so too must the Democrats. Cut off those programs and causes that most benefit and are important to red states. Strip the funding, grab the nearest microphone and make clear that without concessions we all suffer. Put pressure on this caravan of criminal enablers to compromise with the majority for a change.

Time is running out on the American dream. To prevent a minority takeover of our Representative Republic requires bold and immediate action. We must demonstrate our collective numbers and strength. We must identify the GOP for the threat to our collective freedom they truly are. Set aside tribal causes and unify in protest against the common enemy.

American Horror Story

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The very thought of it haunts me. There is no justification. No amount of mental gymnastics that make this okay. 40 minutes! 40 minutes before police entered that schoolroom! Even if the risk of further spread was contained babies lay dying in that room. Desperate for help and critical medical aid. Each precious second the potential difference between life or death.

Other children living in the face of terror. Covered in the blood of their peers. Hiding in corners, under blankets, scared to make the slightest of sounds or movements. Too young to even comprehend what death means but certain that they will soon find out.

Who delays in such moments? Where is the morality in this country? Would it be more impactful if we start referring to these massacres as retroactive abortions? Will that get the attention of the pro-lifers? America is a nation whose exceptionalism applies only to self-delusion and hypocrisy. Our morals and values are no longer even average, let alone aspirational #NoRationalArgument

American UnExceptionalism

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Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast. This is our American heritage. What “we, the people” have chosen to accept. The dreams of our ancestors transformed into our children’s worst nightmare. The words of our founding fathers distorted by the echoes of rapid fire semiautomatic blasts. The experiment in individual freedom and self-governance snuffed out by tribal interests and corporate lobbyists.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” and worse. So long as we see targets and avatars in our crosshairs, rather than sons and daughters,

This is us.

So long as a pro-life agenda only includes the unborn the living will be expendable. So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We maintain that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocal, but act to curtail and reverse the guaranteed freedoms of the 1st, 4th and 5th. So long as it is harder to purchase allergy medicine then it is a bullet,

This is us.

So long as we sling false equivalents that fail to differentiate between those who protest for equality and freedom, with those who represent hatred and ignorance. So long as we see the good in klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Promote and legitimize their message of hate and violence. So long as we conflate the history of the Confederacy with that of the United States,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics will otherwise allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as we allow the bully to play the role of victim. So long as we censor and shame the whistle blower and shield the accused. Enable and fail to hold the criminal to evade account. So long as we value celebrity and fame over character and virtue,

This is us.

So long as we falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but delay student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics. So long as ratings driven entertainment is consumed as a “fair and balanced” news source,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage. So long as oligarchs prioritize profits over people and individual tax savings over the public good,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our waterways with plastics, rollback environmental protections and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we are more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

God bless the tweetistocracy!

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The enduring lesson of the 21st century; oligarchs be oligarchs. Regardless of race, religion, nationality or geography there exists a small subset of human beings that value power, wealth and adoration above all else. That will ignore tradition, precedent or moral boundaries to advance their own self-serving agenda. Superegos that will go to any and all lengths to amass, consolidate, grow and preserve their privilege.

Beyond their core materialistic values these amorphous chameleons share other key traits. To maintain their disproportionate share of power and wealth requires a willingness to negotiate, to change positions and engage in the art of the deal, at whatever cost. An egocentric transactional view of the world in which there is always a winner or loser. Moral, collaborative, value driven servant leaders need not apply. The objective of an oligarch is never the “collective good.” A win/win solution is a loss in the eyes of the side that needs to be the recognized winner.

A meritocracy a similar flawed result. Equal opportunity for all only invites competition and levels the future playing field. Power is to be maintained, not shared. Love of country, party, or people be damned. Flags, beliefs and alliances are transferable. Pawns to be traded in pursuit of the player’s true objective. Commodities that gain and lose value in accordance with current market conditions.

The one true threat this cabal of corruption faces is that posed by the “power of the people.” A coordinated collaboration of the masses designed to upend the rigged game and remove the systemic rot within it. For the world will be turned upside down once the majority of humanity recognizes their shared objectives in life and coalesces around their common democratic values. Unity and an end to tribal divisions is what the autocracy fears most and will do anything to prevent.

The greatest weapon these obstacles to progress possess is the power of information. Once you control the dissemination of information, you alone possess the power of the Gods. The ability to create new worlds and rules of the universe. To define truth. To present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Transactional Democracy

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This is not about political ideology. This caravan of corruption does not represent a political methodology or follow a philosophical party platform. They do not stand for principled values or practice fiscal restraint. Today’s GOP is a cult. They advocate for nothing more than the Rapture, guns, and personal enrichment. Everything else, whether individual rights, racial or gender equality, or systems of government is negotiable, viewed as a commodity in the “art of the deal”.

That’s what is truly scary. They view their success in strictly transactional terms. They function in an us verse them paradigm where their side only wins when the other loses. The more “they” have, the greater America is #MAGA.

Consider the implications! Those who adhere to Trumpism, the modern day GOP, is openly rooting against more than half of our citizenry. They believe they are only doing their job effectively when the majority of their constituents are upset. To say this is an unsustainable form of representative democracy is an understatement. Let’s hope that justice (or karma) intervenes before the whole system collapses.

Lock Him Up!

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Donald Trump finds safety and opportunity in the chaos he stokes. The divisions he sews. He is a clear and present danger to our very way of life. A direct threat on the very freedoms and ideals that define the American experience.

The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Each day he remains free serves as an affront to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law. Each #TrumpRally feeds the cynicism that fertilizes our apathy. So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite.

Traditional checks and balances are not effective against unprecedented risks. The reality is that the Republican Party conspired across the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches to overturn the results of what was known to be a lawful election. In a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo and their privileged place within it long past the point demographics would otherwise allow, GOP representatives (and their spouses – looking at you Ginni T). sworn to protect the laws of our Constitution engaged in a coup attempt.

Problems do not get better over time. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well. That our political system has not been infiltrated by a party of extremists. The longer we play this dangerous game of Russian roulette. Ignore the obvious. The more likely a fatal bullet will fire at the very heart of our Democratic Republic.

It is time #LockHimUp

The Big Lie

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That the Guardians of Putin (GOP) still exist as a major national party is an indictment of Democratic leadership. Their failure to understand branding and fear at offending any potential constituent, even ones with loaded guns pointed back in their face.

The “big lie” is an example of this. Why not call it what it was intended to be? It was not a “big lie.” It was a failed coup. Had Trump succeeded in overturning the legitimate election results it would have redefined our entire political system. America would no longer function as a Democratic Republic. The constitution rendered as worthless as a degree from Trump U.

When one’s intent is the overthrow of a democratically elected leader it cannot be called a “big lie.” It is a failed coup by an enemy of the state. Whether an individual truly believes voters got it wrong or will suffer with a change in command is irrelevant to the analysis. As Barr himself now attests, all evidence shows that Trump and his merry bannon of criminal accomplices knew there was no legitimate claim of fraud. That information in and of itself should be enough to charge and arrest him pending trial.

So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite. Problems do not get better over time. The threat to our democracy still exists and must be removed. So long as the face of the coup is free he remains an enemy of the state and a danger to our Republic #LockHimUp

We should talk about Zelenskyy

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Every epic tale of good’s triumph over evil involves the unexpected rise of the underdog protagonist forced to stare down evil. A hero who, when all hope seems lost, stands unwavering in defense of freedom and morality. A legend who uses truth and justice to thwart catastrophe.expose the naked emperor and unmask the conspiracy.

Might Zelenskyy be that protagonist? The hero democracy didn’t know it needed? The one destined to thwart the dawning of the New World Order? The underdog outsider who risks it all for the greater good. Who refuses to bend to the bully’s demand. His response to the threats lobbed at him from two nuclear powers and authoritarian leaders suggest a rare moral leadership.

Where others would have prioritized personal gain and taken part in the art of the deal, he refused the quid pro quo. Rejected Trump’s demand he manufacture evidence on Biden. Instead, as a result of a leaked recording of the incident, he witnessed the impeachment of an American President.

Where other leaders would appease to the madman’s quest for power and yield to his demands, Zelenskyy stood firm. Instead he rallied his country and has become the international face of the Ukrainian resistance and embodiment of democratic values. In the process he has exposed the atrocities of war and garnered the world’s sympathy. In revealing the lies and greed that motivate this evil conspiracy of the rich and putinful, he has succeeded in making Russia an international piranha.

Zelenskyy’s ability to offer a clear message rooted in facts, science and logic builds trust and confidence in the listener. Even in midst of unimaginable crisis. It let’s them know that the sacrifice they feel today is temporary; that there is hope for a better tomorrow. A clear plan in which good trumps evil and emerges from the chaos.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Those Putin and Trump like archetypes who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who sent out thinly veiled code and dog whistles to call upon the deplorables of society to do their dirty work.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests?

The answer, I hope is obvious.

#WeShouldTalkAboutZelenskyy

The Story of Pompeii

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Many of us are familiar with the story of Pompeii. The Italian city built in the shadow of and ultimately buried in the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius. Prior to the volcanic eruption Pompeii was a bustling resort town and home to many of Rome’s most enlightened citizens. Though residents of Pompeii were long aware of their volcanic neighbor and the volatile threat it posed they took for granted that they would survive any eruption.

The city flourished and grew even as the risk of explosion grew. More than 15 years prior to its fateful eruption Vesuvius rumbled triggering a powerful earthquake in the nearby town. Yet through acrobatic displays of cognitive dissonance and incredible displays of hubris the residents remained steadfast in their belief that they were safe from the dangers bubbling beneath the surface and the city continued to grow.

Even in the midst of the powerful eruption that took place in 79AD residents of Pompeii had time to flee yet faced with an unconventional threat they failed to understand the immediate dangers that lay ahead. The folly of their ignorance cost them their lives. Within days of its eruption, the city buried in ash and molten lava.

Centuries later the city was remarkably excavated. It’s people preserved in ash for history to note the expression of surprise on the faces of the deceased as they were suddenly faced with the reality of their situation.

Americans take note of this cautionary tale. Like Pompeii our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we face. Though the risk in front of us may be made of flesh and blood the risk is no less real. The destruction left behind will be no less predictable or deadly.

The caravan of corruption and criminal enablers now in control of America have no care for tradition, precedent or the rule of law. As a nation we need to accept a basic premise. The fight to save our Republic must not wait until November 2020. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle begins now.

Donald Trump finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes. The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. It’s more than the blood of the oppressed and protestors that will spill. More than the bodies consumed by a preventable pandemic that will our morgues. The carnage levied against our citizenry will leave gaping scars on America’s soul that will not be erased with a mere change of administration. That will be visible for generations to come.

It is time to call all hands to deck and seize back control of America’s future. To preserve the American dream requires we, the people return to our patriotic roots. Take to the harbors and throw the tea overboard. Throw on your life vests and refuse to take a backseat in our political future. Prepare not just to march on Washington, but to sit and sleep there too.

Our Republic’s survival requires proactive action and sacrifice. Those brave enough to do so must continue to take to the streets in peaceful protest. For those worried about the pandemic or in a vulnerable demographic take to social media and broadcast your very own virtual protest.

The important thing is we begin to act as a coordinated majority! To stem this toxic sludge our efforts must transcend race or class. To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must end this nightmare of an administration before its poison consumes us all. We must recapture the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account.

The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success. We must be proactive in our response. Emboldened by our founder’s vision and the lessons of history.

Who is ANTIFA

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As protests over systemic racial injustice erupt throughout the nation our so called President tweeted that “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” Since this declaration has nothing to do with preventing the death of George Floyd or the countless victims of police brutality and racial injustice that preceded him it begs the question who exactly are “Antifa?”

The term itself translates to anti-fascists and to my knowledge there is no formal membership or way to enroll in the “organization.” They can’t be tracked by political allegiance or party rolls. Often self professed believers would be seen at protests to express anger over systemic oppression and in particular global economic inequality. Short of the masks they wore and their unique message there was little way to differentiate them from other protestors.

So in the midst of an ongoing pandemic in which the majority of participants are masked it seems to warrant asking who Deranged Donald seeks to identify as a terrorist? Whose free speech and constitutional rights does he wish to suppress by executive order?

A quick scan of his Twitter timeline and it’s clear Trump believes socialists, radical democrats, chuck and Nancy, Mitt Romney, Hispanics, blacks, immigrants, LBGTQ+, people from California, Mexicans, Never Trumpers, reporters from CNN, MSNBC, and certain members of FoxNews, members of the intelligence community, members of the deep state, Bezos, Soros, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, Mueller, Comey, people from Puerto Rico, women, Obama, Hillary, and Joe Biden are all “enemies of the people” and anti-Trump.

More than that, almost everyone within those groups believes Trump a fascist, or at least that he possesses fascist tendencies which they oppose. Is it crazy to think Trump believes them all to be Antifa? Do you see the slippery slope here?

It’s one thing for a talented manipulator to get into power. It’s a whole other thing to stay there. The tighter the noose around Trump’s neck the more desperate he grows and dangerous he becomes. Trump’s broad effort to designate an amorphous antifa a terrorist organization poses a clear and present danger to the foundation of our democracy.

Without a credible counter narrative to contend with this caravan of corrupt criminals will be free to project their own shortcomings onto the most vulnerable members of our society. They will use sound bites, click bait and propaganda to deflect from whatever scandal plagues them and otherwise fear monger, scapegoat and blame shift at whatever the cost. They will continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

This is us

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Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” “thugs,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accepts the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bain, Monsanto and Bayer and not Trayvon, Fatima, Colin, Mary and Tom,

This is us.

So long as we listen to the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the one that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we value profits over people, peddle snake oil over science and bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we ridicule and deride the opposition, chill the whistleblower and eliminate independent watchdogs; so long as we reject diversity of thought and opinion.

This is us.

So long as we value haircuts, manicures and beers over the health and safety of our grandparents, the immunocompromised and the must vulnerable members of our society,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

Competent Incompetence

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Trump’s response to the corona pandemic is not incompetent. Incompetence implies failed effort. It suggests an attempt by this administration to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to faithfully defend and protect the health and security of all our citizens against threats both foreign and domestic. The word does not apply to our current situation.

Trump and his caravan of corrupt criminal enablers made no effort, incompetent or otherwise, to faithfully protect all American people from this pandemic. Rather they quite competently treat the threat as an opportunity to tighten their grip on power and further their own agendas. Whether furtherance of the permanent oligarchy being erected under our noses, the elimination of voices of dissent or the assurance of the paper tiger king’s reelection all their efforts and sound bites speak to these goals.

Trump’s actions are premeditated. They are meant to suppress voter turnout through fear, disease or otherwise. Far from incompetent what you see is designed to eradicate political enemies and voter turnout through suppression and fear. Make no mistake. These acts may be described as unpresidential or as a dereliction of constitutional responsibility but they are not the result of inability.

To dismiss poor behavior or sloppy work product as mere incompetence is the easy way out. It prevents a deeper analysis of motive and ill intent and suggests that by simply replacing the person we will improve the result. No larger lessons learned or systemic change need result when the cause of failure is mere incompetence. The quicker we as a nation realize what ails our nation goes beyond mere incompetence the sooner we may be able to heal from this cancerous mass.

Violence Is Not The Answer

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“Violence is not the answer.” The safe and typical common ground that both supporters of the protests and supporters of the status quo spout off in their media interviews.

They’re right off course, violence does beget violence.

When our uniformed officers use excessive force and act with apparent disregard for black lives, it begets violence.

When racist vigilantes shoot first and ask questions later, it begets violence.

When laws are enacted that excuse those who “stand their ground” for reasons borne of ignorance and hate, it begets violence.

When unarmed children are systematically caged and forcibly removed from their guardians, it begets violence.

When minority fathers are disproportionately cuffed and sentenced to multiple years in prison for victimless crimes, it begets violence.

The problem with the statement “violence is not the answer” is not that it’s incorrect, but that it is only used reactively to condemn the victims of violence instead of the perpetrators. It’s utterance the very essence of systemic racism. We need every police academy, every uniformed officer, every teacher, judge and elected official to be trained in this simple concept from the day they enter their desired vocation.

The fires in our streets today are not being fueled by protestors but by systemic ignorance and lack of training. The vast majority of European officers do not carry lethal force weapons on them for a reason. They are trained in non-violent deescalation and apprehension techniques first.

Violence is not the answer but save those empty words and condemnations for the perpetrators of that violence. Until then this country can expect to continue to see nights of violent unrest.

Blowin in the Wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

– Bob Dylan

Mankind’s inability to see the forest through the trees. Its repeated refusal to learn from the patterns of history. To think past current events and unwind the causal connections that expose the autocratic forces seeking to grind the wheels of progress to a halt. It’s uncanny how naive and unprepared the political establishment is in each iteration of the story. Traditional safeguards barely survive an initial attack from the rising forces of tyranny. The enemy rebuffed, but left unfinished, in time regroups. Reinforced by the most fringe voices society has to offer. The 20% of the extreme 20%. The type normally left out of legitimate party politics suddenly gets invited with front row seats. With no regards for archaic rules, judicial precedent, or outdated checks and balances the outlaws soon take over the asylum.

In past instances the Jedis always seem to make an eventual triumphant return. Truth and justice carry the day. The forces of darkness who sought to remake the world in their own image vanquished and alone. The unbridled greed and brazen lies upon which they rose to power now lay exposed at the naked emperor’s feet. Though often at great cost, each iteration of the story concluding in the same manner. In time ignorance yields to experience, xenophobia gives way to cooperation, greed temporarily bends to compassion.

Yet from the moment Donald Trump rode down that escalator something about this time seemed different; more sinister, more coordinated, more permanent. In part it has to do with the transparency in which the entire cult of the GOP operate. The brashness of the lawlessness. The openness in which they seek to rollback voting rights, hasten the destruction of the environment, proliferate weapons of mass violence, divide our citizenry into tribal identities, deconstruct the administrative state. The mission to create a Christofacist land of opportunity that preserves the privileged status of the white Christian male and demands all other inhabitants of the great melting pot observe it.

The tribal superiority mission of the modern day GOP is hardly what makes it unique from past enemies of progress. What is unique is that they have come so far to hijack the system of what was thought to be the very model of Democratic stability, and did so largely through non violent means. Trojan Horses currently parked in the Halls of Justice and outside the walls of the Capital rotunda. Enemy troops pouring out in plain sight and being ushered into positions of power by the very forces sworn to protect this nation from all enemies, foreign or domestic.

That is the part that baffles this time. While in the past the forces of freedom often failed to finish off the tyrant the first time, they always identified them as the tyrant. Once the mask was unveiled the enemy was always treated as such. There would be no pathway by which Annakin could legitimately regain a seat on the Jedi Council. No continued negotiation or offers of compromise with his accomplice Sith Lords.

Americans, if not the world, may soon discover the answer to Mr. Dylan’s query. Unless an unexpected hero steps in to save the day it may be that the only winds left blowin are the the winds of fire, famine, flood and radioactive fallout

The Pathway to Reconciliation?

The pathway to reconciliation is cast in a sense of purpose. Molded and shaped in immovable values and guiding principles. Maintained by pioneers who possess a bias for action and disciplined approach that maintains focus on the desired outcome.

The Democrats can no longer have it both ways. They cannot be both the party of progressives and the party of the political status quo in which progress is an impossibility. The Democratic Party must define their core values and proactively lead from them. The constituents of Manchin and Biden are not one in the same. Following midterms they must pick a side and support and fundraise for only those candidates that align to those values.

To be clear, this is not handing the election to the Republicans. Whichever identity Democrats choose the first act should be to recognize the legitimacy of the other party. In doing so you will force the current day GOP to the extreme right of the political spectrum. Moderates across the political spectrum will align to the party of Manchin and Cheney. Independents and progressives will align to the party of Sanders and AOC. Let each side nominate a presidential candidate.

Hold a joint conference in which both sides agree to recognize and stand by the results of the election. Continually celebrate the worth and value of the opposition while defending your own approach and solutions. Unite to ostracize the party of Trump and all who continue to align with it. Amplify the anti-American agenda and ungodly mission they wish to promote.

The current party establishment of Biden, Pelosi and Schumer must declare their neutrality. Pledge to stand down from future leadership positions and instead present the the win/win proposition being presented to Americans. Utilize their bully pulpits to unabashedly present a path to victory in the battle to restore the soul of our nation’s democracy. Two qualified successors for Americans to chose from. Two alternatives both committed to the mission and principles upon which our nation was founded.

Former Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter need lend their voices as well. Further highlight the bipartisan choice once again being presented to the American voter. A realistic solution to the quandary that 70% of our citizenry currently seeks an answer. How do we once again provide both conservative and progressive voters a candidate they can proudly vote for, instead of one they simply vote against.

The Party of Pompeii

Many of us are familiar with the story of Pompeii. The Italian city built in the shadow of and ultimately buried in the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius. Prior to the volcanic eruption Pompeii was a bustling resort town and home to many of Rome’s most enlightened citizens. Though residents of Pompeii were long aware of their volcanic neighbor and the volatile threat it posed, they took for granted that they would survive any eruption.

The city flourished and expanded even as the risk of explosion grew greater. More than 15 years prior to its fateful eruption Vesuvius rumbled triggering a powerful earthquake in the nearby town. Yet through acrobatic displays of cognitive dissonance and incredible displays of hubris the residents remained steadfast in their belief that they were safe from the dangers bubbling beneath the surface. The city continued to prosper, its sustained success taken for granted by entrusted leadership.

Even in the midst of the powerful eruption that took place in 79AD residents of Pompeii had time to flee yet faced with an unconventional threat they failed to understand the immediate dangers that lay ahead. The folly of their ignorance cost them their lives. Within days of its eruption, the city and thousands of its residents lay buried in ash and molten lava. Centuries later the city was remarkably excavated. It’s people preserved in ash for history to note the expression of surprise on the faces of the deceased as they were suddenly faced with the reality of their situation.

Americans, independents, Democrats, progressives and conservatives alike best take note of this cautionary tale. Like Pompeii our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we as a nation face. Though the danger in front of us may be made of flesh and blood the risk is no less real. The destruction left behind will be no less predictable or deadly.

The party of Trump is not interested in the preservation of the American dream. Their end goal is not to advance the experiment in self governance and individual freedoms that has sustained America for near 250 years. What this caravan of corruption and criminal enablers hope to establish is a hodgepodge Christofacist theocratic oligarchy which protects the privileged status of those in control of today’s status quo, while simultaneously promoting the moral code and virtuosity of those who serve God before country. Fulfilling the dispensationalist agenda of that hypocritical band of fundamentalist glory seekers striving to create a holy army to unconditionally serve in the rapturous war to end all wars.

These merry bannon of misfit Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks, and true deplorables all consolidated their forces under the tent of Trump. The only man with an ego so large that it can consume and tame such a wild divergent group of anti-Democratic self interests. A conman so skilled in the art of the deal that he was able to reward the desire of all those whom he served so long as they remain willing to hold their nose and bury their heads as to how their gains were obtained.

Welcome to modern day Vesuvian threat that is the entirety of the modern day GOP. A party that for years smoked and billowed warnings to our Constitutional Republic now finds itself on the outskirts of our most sacred walls. The very infrastructure which has held our citizenry together lay melting beneath the literal heat emanating from our darkened skies and apathetic hearts. The evidence lay bare for all to see that this imminent threat has no care for tradition, precedent or the rule of law.

As a nation we need to accept a basic premise. The fight to save our Republic must not wait until November 2022. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle for the soul of our nation is ongoing. We cannot simply continue to react to the latest trauma. The danger grows nearer each day. There is no guarantee remaining safeguards will contain the threat through December 2022, let alone November 2024.

Our Republic’s survival requires proactive action and sacrifice. It requires the immediate arrest of Donald Trump before he may claim such act Is in retaliation for his announcing an intention to once again seek the office of presidency. The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Further delays to safeguard our nation only ensures more than the blood of the oppressed and protestors will spill. More than the bodies consumed by a preventable pandemic that will fill our morgues. The carnage levied against our citizenry will leave gaping scars on America’s soul visible for generations to come #LOCKHIMUPNOW

The Man, the Myth, the Monster

The plate tossing, steering wheel grabbing, secret service choking character we witness today is the embodiment of a leader who was able to skip the lessons of middle management. The art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A “stable genius” only in his own mind who was so poor at business he literally bankrupted both casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

As if it wasn’t obvious before, the January 6th Commission and the courageous testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson and other witnesses has stripped the emperor of all remaining undergarments. Exposed Donald Trump as a man of flawed character. The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skills or virtue beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissistic sycophant with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame. A self hating man child who overcompensates for his shortcomings by bullying, intimidating and surrounding himself with “yes men.”

A man in constant need of validation because deep down he fears he will never live up to daddy’s expectations, never be truly loved. A man with an ego so fragile he can’t deal with dissent or opposition. Who spent a lifetime avoiding accountability and consequences by silencing critics with bribes, quid pro quos and empty promises. Who justifies his deplorable behavior through incredible displays of cognitive dissonance; scapegoating, and otherwise shifting blame to the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies this so called President stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each Trump Rally and “truth” allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. The dry cough of the national pandemic that is the Republican Party. It’s time we vaccinate the public from the poison they spread before it chokes what little life remains of our system of checks and balances #LockHimUpNow

The Golden Calf

I know it’s accepted alternative fact that the Mueller report disproved all Russian conspiracy allegations and concluded it all to be a “Russian hoax,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Read the report yourself not the summary of it offered up by Trump’s trusted Attorney General at the time. Remember that the next time you consider giving credit to Barr for speaking out against Trump and refusing to go along with the “Big Lie.”

Neither Brother Barr, Preacher Pompeo nor Father Pence deserve one ounce of your respect. These God before Country Raptureheads rode their golden calf as far as they could. Cheered their “King David” from the Jerusalem Embassy as he led their army of over 300 likeminded dispensationalist “judges” into lifetime federal appointments. Clutched their pearls in orgasmic frackin glee as Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Comey Barrett delivered them their Supreme Council of Religious Virtuosity and solidified the Pro-Birth but Anti-Life cause we’re all here to serve as soldiers in the war to end all wars anyway movement. Trump served them well and they gladly turned the other cheek to all seven of his deadly sins right up until the moment they knew the jig was up.

Make no mistake, the reason to this day these evangelical hypocrites refuse to fully disown the Frankenstein of their creation is that they will gladly sign up for the ride again. Accept the art of the deal regardless of cost to country. To them the more world chaos the closer we are to Armageddon. The ends truly justify the means. In Jesus’ name…amen.

Guardians Of Putin, assemble!

Enough Is Enough

At what point do you decide enough is enough? It’s a recurring thought that haunts many a waking moment of mine. I think back to my greatparents and other Jewish ancestors of Eastern European descent. Did they foresee what was to come? What was the final straw that led them to conclude their young children would be better off raised by distant relatives in a far away land, then they would if they were to remain at home?

I would never imagine a day would come where I’d feel shame and contempt for my country. Where I would question not my place in it, but my daughters. Do I really believe this to be the country where they are most likely to reach their full potential? Is this the environment in which their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is most likely to be recognized? Do I trust America to provide them with the skills and external nourishment, societal recognition and community support necessary to thrive in capitalistic land of opportunity and global marketplace?

It wasn’t that I ever believed in “American exceptionalism,” but I did the American spirit. Did trust in our collective generational need for progress. Our nation was birthed as an aspiration, an idealistic dream by men aware of their own fallibility. The arc of our nation’s history has always reflected an upward trajectory. Each generation inching closer to the hopes espoused and mission established not in our Constitution, but in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence.

It was that spirit of progress that propelled my patriotism. That steadfast belief and optimism is reflected in much of my early writing. While the risk to our democratic institutions was evident it still seemed almost an impossibility that progress itself could be unwound. I knew Trump would be an obstacle to progress and posed a national security risk. Understood no future gains in social equality would be made under his watch, but it didn’t fully occur to me that the dividends already paid in the quest to create a more perfect Union could be repossessed so easily.

So when is enough, enough? When does your homeland appear so unrecognizable that you begin to fear it? At what point do you refuse to surrender your values and seek out better alternatives for your children? For that’s how much we as a nation have lost. Where once our shores served as the beacon for the world’s oppressed, now it is our inhabitants who pulling out the binoculars to search foreign shores for that very same offer of security.

It’s difficult to find a happy ending. Perhaps I’m the only one who’s noticed but “Vote blue no matter who” is not an effective strategy when the enemy already has a Trojan Horse parked and emptying soldiers into the halls of our legislature and justice. It makes me wonder, “when is enough, enough?”

What if…

What if…

Two simple words that comprise one of the most powerful phrases in the English language. Once the mind enters a “what if” wormhole it may be lost for hours. Occupied in an endless maze of regrets and gratitudes. What if I had been there…What if i hadn’t quit…What if those chads didn’t hang…What if she had said yes…What if I spoke up…

Donald Trump is far from an original. The recent past alone provides a litany of would be authoritarians who proved capable of hijacking democratic institutions to slowly consolidate power. That Trump is the first to so blatantly do so from the Oval Office hardly makes him unique in his technique. He seeks to divide the citizens of this country along racial, socioeconomic and political lines in order to deflect from his own scandals and advance the agenda and interests of a select few. He uses his bully pulpit to marginalize, belittle, conflate, delegitimize and, if necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Doing so allows him to continue presenting alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Though his tactics are tried and true the danger posed is no less real. Donald Trump and his merry bannon of deplorables pose a clear and present danger to the experiment in individual freedoms our founding fathers set in motion generations ago. He makes no secret of his intent; his desire to deconstruct and eliminate outdated democratic institutions. To rip the very fabric of America’s soul from its identity. To dim the light that serves as a beacon of hope and freedom to the poor, disenfranchised and oppressed who suffer across the globe.

The right to a free and independent press. The right of assembly. The right to be free from religious persecution. The necessity of checks and balances with three equal, though often inept, branches of government. These essential ideals are all under attack. The realization that we are the great melting pot. That diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger can change its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Yet that is what appears to be at stake.

To those who continue to support this cabal of God before country Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks and status quo dependent deplorables, understand this. All you are doing is identifying yourself as a dinosaur. Painting a scarlet letter on your sleeve that your way of thinking and very belief system will soon be relegated to the history books. Think carefully about your next move.

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. Do not suffer that fate. Do not remain passive. Do not be left to wonder what would have happened had you spoken up earlier. Future generations need never question where you stood when our Republic was hijacked

Simply turning off the faucet doesn’t make the water safe if the tub is already filled with septic infested water. To do that requires additional action. You can either drain the tank and start all over again or dilute it with so many chemicals and purifiers that it enables you to easily identify and remove all pollutants from the larger body of water.

President Biden and Democratic leadership have to understand that simply removing Trump from office did not eradicate the threat to our Republic. They need to proactively identify and communicate with the American people just who the enemy is in “the battle for the soul of our nation.” For surely they were not so naive as to if think the enemy was limited to but one man. Surely they are not caught unawares by the breadth and depth of the enemies forces. It would be impossible to believe that by now they have not witnessed the Trojan Horses parked in the center of the Capital Rotunda and adorning our Halls of Justice.

So how to explain the reactive environment in which America now finds itself? More importantly, how to turn the tides? For starters President Biden needs to bring back a weekly fireside chat to speak directly i Americans. Take over the major networks, all streaming platforms and social media sites to deliver a direct and clear message to Americans. Speak only to the 60% of the audience that wishes to preserve the dreams of our ancestors. Read direct from our Declaration of Independence. The unassailable vision of a land in which all inhabitants are provided equal opportunity to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Next identify the clear and obvious risk that now faces that uniquely American vision. Name those who wish to snuff out the hopes and aspirations upon which our nation’s identity was borne. Question how policies which seek to control and restrict an individual’s personal choice, advance the status quo and serve the interests of the controlling few are consistent with our founding values.

To shape perception requires a clear plan forward that will again align our country politic with mission. A clear mitigation strategy of how Democrats will work to remove all vestiges of Donald Trump and the GOP stink that poisoned our wells. Whether they choose to drain the poison spread by a treasonous slug through impeachment of all those he was not qualified to nominate or dilute its influence through expansion of the court and other legislative maneuvers matters not. So long as there is a clear and actionable plan presented that will purify our most sacred institutions and necessary checks and balances #ProtestTheGOP

Lights? Camera? We Need Action!

Donald Trump’s guilt or innocence is not a political question. Whether to charge him with a crime or not should not be dependent upon public polling. So will someone please explain to me why our DOJ and elected Democratic officials continue to play Russian Roulette with our nation’s national security? Why allow a clear and present danger unfettered access to the outside world?

It is obvious to the majority of patriotic Americans that Donald Trump does not have America’s best interests at heart. That he bears ill intent towards the current administration and the powers that be. That he knowingly attempted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and incited an insurrection intended to do just that. That he built his reputation on the art of the deal and happens to possesses access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets. A pretty valuable asset on the black market! So riddle me this, why do we allow such a character to remain free? How is a nation to heal when it’s abuser continues to menacingly stalk us and threatens to reappear to finish what he started?

While I applaud the Committee’s showmanship and preparation and begrudgingly offer newfound respect for the Cheney name, it is difficult for me to understand the end objective. Eighteen months after committing the crime I’d prefer the alleged criminal be tried in an actual televised criminal prosecution. We are long past the point of probable cause, the standard upon which arrest is usually predicated upon. Rather the legal strategy, evidence and motive has already been gathered and presented in such a public setting that it will become exceedingly difficult to impanel a non-biased jury in the event the DOJ ever did see fit to bring charges.

Given the witness testimony and unimpeachable evidence it is clear that not just Trump, but the vast majority of the GOP if not directly engaged, served as accessories after the fact in a seditious conspiracy to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President Elect Joe Biden. Yet even with this knowledge cemented by the efforts of the Commission what is being done to prevent its reoccurrence? The time to act was yesterday but to date no legislation appears to be advancing that will restrain Donald Trump, or any other candidate who may be under active investigation for treason, from pursuing the Office of Commandeer in Chief. Do Democratic leaders understand that if the GOP reclaim control of the House this Fall then ALL efforts at accountability are kaput. There will be no “we’ll get ‘em next time” in which to settle the score.

If the sole purpose of this committee is to establish guilt without accountability then I fear that a misguided strategy. If the hope is that it will spur DOJ to file charges that too is a dangerous assumption. A skilled attorney could make an argument that the entire affair prejudices the likelihood of a fair trial to such an extent that it may actually make it less likely that criminal charges against Trump actually ever get filed. For not only may the entire jury pool be prejudiced by this orchestrated affair, but sensational anecdotes that have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the accused may be used by Trump’s PR team to discredit and impeach otherwise reliable witnesses.

We saw an example of this in the aftermath of the Cassidy Hutchinson testimony. Disputed accounts of the sensational 2nd hand and otherwise irrelevant detail of Trump’s attack on a Secret Service agent now being used to discredit her entire testimony. Extemporaneous details that have nothing to do with Trump’s actual guilt or innocence being offered to support claims the entire affair is a bipartisan “witch hunt” and “deep state conspiracy!”

Even a domesticated dog grows dangerous when cornered. When they fear the end is near. To tighten the noose around Trump’s neck now as he remains free and unemcumbered seems yet another reactive move. A response to the narrative already written by this merry bannon of deplorables. It’s time to be proactive in this fight. In this battle for the “soul of our nation.” It is time to force the inevitable confrontation between those who seek to preserve the status quo and those who seek to preserve the American dream. To start this nation on a path of reconciliation requires the immediate arrest and subsequent public trial of Donald J Trump #LOCKHIMUPNOW