Remember 9/12

“Never forget,”they say. As if anyone who experienced the sights, sounds, stories and unbearable sadness of that day ever could. The horrific events of that mornings are seared in my memory. The indescribable anguish that results from the realization of helplessness; with the knowledge that you are powerless to save and protect those you love and care for, is not easily erased.

While most remember the events of 9/11 what seems to have been forgotten are the lessons of 9/12 and the days that followed thereafter. The days in which regardless of party, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social class, citizens young and old gathered in community centers and town squares to lean on each other for support and comfort. They cast aside petty differences and coalesced around the values that unite us, the freedoms the terrorists attacked that fateful day. Grief and terror do not discriminate and the firsthand tales of tragedy and heroic self sacrifice made that clear to all Americans in those mid-September days.

Americans recognized what the terrorists attacked that day and from coast to coast swore to never let them win, never let extremists change who we are. We understood diversity to be the American identity and that a list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees make to this country dwarfs a list of their misdeeds a million times over. We rallied around the American Dream and the great experiment in self government and individual freedom that birthed this nation. Inspired by a desire to prove their efforts futile, within days America, and NYC, was back on her feet determined to continue undeterred in the pursuit of life, liberty, and justice for all.

The words of Lady Liberty having already been disavowed by this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers who now control this country it is difficult to imagine how much has since changed. Just tonight, on the anniversary of that fateful night, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants who travel through Mexico may no longer claim asylum in this country. The national security risk outweigh the inherent freedoms granted within our Constitution.

Consider why terrorists wish to do is harm in the first place. Understand that it is because of the very way in which we govern. That is the great threat to the terrorists way of life.

A successful America is what the terrorist fears most. An America where individual freedoms are guaranteed and people are able to speak freely, assemble in opposition and worship as they please. An America where a free and independent press allows no man to escape accountability and all citizens to make informed choices. An America where no man, party, religion or corporation is mightier than the Constitution. Where an intricate system of checks and balances protects the basic inalienable rights of all men, women and child.

America, our ideals, our values, our system of governance is what terrorists seek to destroy. It is also why the illegal alien risks everything to come live within our shores. That this administration seeks to be complicit in the destruction of that system and to do so in the name of national security is shortsighted and dim witted at best.

That they more likely wish to do so in the pursuit of absolute power and enrichment. Well that would be nothing short of treasonous.

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Never Forget

Prior to the ascension of Donald Trump I had never used Social media as a platform, but consider me an alarmist. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t. We all have a responsibility to speak out.

All of America is faced with a simple choice, #Resistance or #Appeasement.

America has a long history of standing up to bullies and Nazis. The vast majority of us teach our children that name calling and excluding other kids on basis of race, gender or religion is not okay. We take pride in the melting pot that is America. Recognize that diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Americans are waking. We know who we are. And we like it that way.

This is not about politics. Look at Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class president. He is a man of flawed character. He does not share OUR values and we must stand up together and punch him in the nose.

All in #GOP, including the so called “moderates” who serve this administration, need to declare yourself an independent, a freedom fighter or whatever heroic name you wish to give yourselves. Find the courage within you. Make clear to the Divider in Chief that you stand for the people and the constitution and he will have trouble if he continues to mess with either.

This shitshow has gone on long enough. It’s time to cut commercial and bring the adults back into the room.We can no longer afford to play Russian roulette with our values, our democracy or the lives of our future generations

Why?

More than the obvious personal enrichment, conflicts of interests, or obstruction there’s one unanswered question that keeps me up at night. That hints at something more than mere Russian influence or collusion to help elect Trump. That if taken to its darkest logical conclusion suggests actual Russian control. It’s a simple question that Annie Lennox asked best, “Why?”

It is an established fact that Vladimir Putin actively worked to influence the US election in Trump’s favor and that he continues to do so. That millions in Russian resources have been devoted specifically to maximize the probability of a Trump victory. That these efforts began not just against Hillary, but against the entire GOP field. There was only one candidate the Vlad endorsed. That’s important. It’s one thing for Russia to be anti-Hillary. That makes all the sense in the world.
It’s a whole other can of worms that Putin and his henchman were actually pro-Trump.

So the only question that remains unanswered is why? Why did Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, a dangerous mind with a ruthless reputation, why would he care who defeated his Democratic foe? Why was this man of high intelligence who has never before acted with America’s best interests in mind be suddenly motivated to make America great again? Why would a man who hijacked Russia’s emerging democracy to orchestrate his own rise to absolute power in ways that would make Frank Underwood blush care what happened here on our shores? Why the sudden change of heart towards our collective well being?

The answer appears to be obvious. Donald Trump is best case working in cahoots with and worst case compromised and controlled by Putin and Russia. The implications of either choice is so terrifying it’s almost beyond comprehension.

If true it suggests that Trump knows and will continue to act with the knowledge that he has the might of the world behind him. That he may willingly use whatever means necessary and proactively use all the powers of his office, regardless of optics, to squash any attempts to legally remove him from office. That so long as he formally remains Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world, he will be the one to resist any effort to bring him down regardless of tradition or precedent; just as Puppetmaster Putin did in his ascension.

When you continue to play the scenarios out they only get more and more horrifying. It’s not hard to see how a new world order emerges. A global oligarchy controlled by a fascist few. An international caste system of haves and have nots in which the world’s most valuable natural resources are controlled by the world’s most powerful nations. The many working for the few. A permanent military state in which any remaining illusion of individual freedoms would be just that.

When viewed through this prism almost all of Trump’s forreign policy decisions suddenly make sense. The wag the dog drama, escalated rhetoric, and ensuing peace agreements with traditional hostile nations a fait accompli. Russia (Iran) and China (N Korea) in control of their rogue pawns as they formalize their growing international influence through negotiations. Traditional allies pushed aside to make room at the table.

Like the skilled reality show stars they are, our Comrade in Chief and this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers seem to create new storylines weekly; generate so many sensational new questions each day that it is impossible to focus on story continuity or consistency. So in the words of Julie Andrews, “let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to be.”

It is undisputed that Vladimir Putin sought to aid in the election of Donald Trump. We can no longer afford to be distracted from seeking the answer to the only question that truly matters,

“Why?”

The Birth of the Birther

Donald Trump has had a noose around his neck from the moment he rode down that escalator. The problem is there’s never been a hangman strong enough to pull the rope.

Trump knows what is at stake in the days ahead. Is well aware that if his finances are fully investigated he’s cooked. His family name, his fortune, his legacy, his freedom, perhaps even the same fate met by Jeffrey Epstein. The very things he promised his daddy he’d never let be taken away. That he’d do anything to protect.

You need look no further than his past to understand the depths Deranged Donald would sink to remain relevant. You know the stories of the flamboyant alter egos who served as his own PR men. The nonstop Page 6 antics and over the top personality. The willingness to pay millions to accountants simply to avoid paying even one penny more in taxes than legally required. The lack of philanthropy. The refusal to pay contractors. The slum lording. That was Donald Trump in the good times. Even then he refused to go away or act in the public’s interest.

Consider what he’d do when he actually feared he may lose everything. When after filing a 6th bankruptcy the self proclaimed tycoon found himself broke, over leveraged and with nowhere to turn. A hard luck loser who learned the hard way that the house doesn’t always win. At least not the one’s with the word “Trump” in their title.

To make matters worse Barack Obama had recently been elected and in one of his first acts delivered what must of seemed like a groin kick to any dreams Dear Donald had of making a comeback. You see the passage of Dodd Frank and other regulations made it impossible for Donald to take a loan from any domestic financial institutions. The over leveraged real estate speculator directly in the crosshairs of the legislation.

So with nowhere else to turn what was Donald to do? We know the rest. Enter Deutsche Bank. The direct link to the Russian oligarchs who would go on to direct the ascendancy of Trump’s political career. The art of the deal; the hangman’s rope for the marionette strings. Who cares who controls the strings. You live to see another day. The birth of the Birther complete.

The fight ahead isn’t political, it’s moral.

Cognitive Dissonance

The pathway to perdition is caked in the blood of those who thought it could never happen to them, never on their native soil. Those who refused to believe their eyes and ears as the boundaries of civility slowly erode. Those who willfully chose to accept alternative facts and alternative charts rather than deal with the hard realities of life and be forced to confront some unpleasant truths.

Ignore the blatant patterns and lessons of the past at your own risk. History rewards early adaptors. Movies are made about those who risk everything to flee over mountains rather than join up with the rising authoritarian. Statues erected of those who resist in plain sight. Those who smuggle refugees across borders, hide entire families in their crawl spaces. They are the heroes of yore and exemplars of man’s perpetual progress.

The same cannot be said for those who bury their head in the sand. No honors will be awarded to those who appease the madmen in his quest for absolute power and silently benefit from the new power structure being erected to serve the ruling elite. Those everyday citizens who temporarily fall victim to the allure of the golden calf; who normalize the inane, illogical, and inhumane policies of the rising authoritarian, until one day the spell is broken. They wake up to find lifelong friends or coworkers have been rounded up or deported simply because their name showed up in an immigrant database, designated a clear and present danger. By that point it’s too late to resist, too late to play the hero. By then they are relegated to the shadows, to play the roles of the nameless extras that looks glance sympathetically, biding their own time as the horrors around them unfold.

Category 5 Inferno

You can sense the impending explosion. Hear the kindling crackle and feel the intensity of the heat as the embers glow ever brighter. You know this is no ordinary fire. Cognizant that the smart thing to do is take cover. Yet past experience anchors you in place. “You’ve never been burned before so why panic now,” you think to yourself. Besides, you are prepared for an emergency. The fire extinguisher is nearby and other traditional safeguards are in place to prevent catastrophe.

So you ignore your spidey senses and do nothing. You shelter in place and wait, prepared to react to whatever may come next. Oblivious to the fact you may never get that chance.

We’ve had 44 other presidents in this country. Some of whom were not good men. Many were corrupt and power hungry, driven more by greed and blind ambition than a public service ethos. Others had authoritarian tendencies and used the bully pulpit to foster divisions amongst the American citizenry. A few could probably be best described as immoral or maybe even criminal in behavior.

No matter who served in office, however, Americans were able to take comfort in the design of our system of governance. A belief that regardless of character of the man in office the checks and balances were architected to prevent catastrophe. The majority of Americans took for granted our democratic institutions and individual freedoms. Acted immune to permanent harm, like teenagers in our aloofness to known danger. Societal norms may get temporarily burned, but surely the house and those residing inside it will remain unscathed. Of course, we will live to see another day; cast another vote.

Unfortunately past experience does not apply to Donald Trump. The safeguards designed by our founders are ill equipped to protect against such an unconventional threat. Our founders were wise but the American Dream was founded on certain assumptions. Chief among them was that facts exist and “we, the people” would no longer live in a world where equal time had to be given to authoritarians who espouse “alternative facts” that serve their own agenda.

Moreover that delicate system of checks and balances was built on the premise of trust and the belief that collectively those in office will serve the interests of their constituents or be held to account. Anchored on the premise that our government will consist of three separate, but EQUAL, branches of government to mitigate corruption in the other. Dependent upon a free press and an informed electorate that will insist leaders act logically and represent the majority interests.

Those assumptions no longer hold true. The constitutional safeguards no longer exist. It turns out our system of checks were not meant to be passive tools. Like a fire extinguisher there success is dependent on somebody being there to operate them.

We know Donald Trump is petrified of his finances being examined. We know he bankrupted casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy yet somehow struck gold once the economy tanked. Guilty people who launder billions in Russian money generally know what they’ve done before being charged.

We know Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who has never before acted with America’s best interest in mind, went to great lengths and invested precious Russian resources specifically to elect the man who promised to “make America great again!” We know of the public refusal to denounce Putin by name or hold Russia to account for its attempts at interference in our election.

We know the man who mocked his predecessor for doing so, telegraphed forthcoming military operations to our enemy in Syria apparently with ample time for them to prepare! Tweeted out classified surveillance photos and leaked other intelligence to traditional foes. That he is engaged in an unwinnable trade war with China, that he has legitimized the brutal North Korea regime on the world stage and done nothing to stem their nuclear program. That he has alienated and insulted traditional allies at every turn.

Yet, despite all evidence that an unprecedented threat looms, the vast majority of our elected officials continue to play traditional politics. Act content to rely on reactionary safeguards.

This is not about party politics. This has never been about red verse blue. This is about patriotism. This is about the evolution of the American dream. We can no longer stand by passively. Our representatives need to get off their asses and do their intended job. Grab the extinguisher before the flames erupt uncontrollably and the conflagration consumes us all.

“We, the People”

We must not take for granted the individual rights guaranteed to us all within the Declaration of Independence. Our leaders and citizenry must proactively act to ensure that America remains a place where “we, the people” includes women, homosexuals, Liberals, minorities, the poor, immigrants and even Muslims!

The caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers who now steer America’s course seek to extinguish the American dream; to legislate a permanent caste system into existence. They desire to mute Lady Liberty’s words and the hopes of every JP Hernandez, Halil el Burtun, Juan Santos, LeBain James, Anyone Gay, and Lehman Sister who dares wish for a better life within our shores.

America is an idea rooted in concepts of empathy and the righteousness that each individual is born with inalienable rights and religious freedoms. Greed and Christian fundamentalism now threaten to destroy that framework. Seek to deny entry into the land of opportunity from “we, the people” and permit admittance to only “we, the people of merit.”

Do we really want to change the paradigm? Deny that diversity is the American identity? Redefine the scope of the Constitution so that it protects corporations like JP Morgan, Halliburton, Monsanto, Bain, Amway and the Koch Brother at the expense of the individual?