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.

A Confederacy of Hate

A confederacy of hate and white supremacy exists in America and occupies our most sacred institutions. It hides behind the cloak of religion, justice or patriotism to prey on minorities, the underprivileged and those who dare challenge their superiority. It kneels at the altar of misplaced relics of hate and ignorance that run counter to the American dream. It relies on conspiracy theory, fear and alternative facts to connect with constituents who previously sat on the fringe of society and lacked a mainstream voice.

This caravan of deplorables use tried and true methods of organized dogma, scape goating, propaganda and slogan to radicalize new members. They encourage recruits to arm themselves with military grade arsenals and practically dare them to try out their new toys on the deep state, disenfranchised minorities and radical liberals who seek to prevent their ascension.

The time has come for all Americans to protect their standing in the world. To make clear that this group of radical domestic terrorists do not define this great nation or her people. We are the land of the free and home of the brave. Let’s act it.

We cannot wait for a far off Election Day. The constitutional cris is here. The time has come to reconcile America’s identity crisis. To call out and differentiate the majority of us from those who now seek to define our values. Who wish to hit a pause on the progress button and redefine a once great nation’s dreams and ideals.

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.

Divider in Chief

Each day the man remains in office brings us closer and closer to the collapse of the American experiment. So, climb aboard. At this point there’s no preventing a bumpy ride but if we all agree to cast politics aside and join together as Americans then at least we may still come out the other side of this tunnel…

If you are registered Republican and concerned about Trump the time to act is now. Please consider officially changing your party affiliation to independent. Republican officials need to understand that their seats are not safe if they continue to go along with our so called President.

Though several members of the GOP have expressed concern about the Divider in Chief’s actions and words. To date no more than a handful have stood up to him in any meaningful way.

Unfortunately too many of our representatives, on both sides of the aisle, are motivated solely by power and survival. To truly drain the swamp this must stop. There is no doubt what the majority of people in this country value. There is no doubt what we want. It is time to put people over party. Only the citizens have the power to force this change. Make your voices heard and take action.

Declare your independence from party loyalty. Break the chains of political bondage and support those who stand up to bullies. Who have the courage of their convictions. Who accept accountability and do the right thing. This isn’t a fight that can wait for an uncertain tomorrow. The time is now and all in the political establishment must be put on notice #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou

The Chosen One

Wake up people! He thinks he’s the chosen one because he’s literally told that by his closest advisors everyday.

Pence, Barr, Pompeo, Mulvaney…

These are the names Americans need to start uttering aloud each night alongside that of our Dear Leader’s. It’s easy to get lost in the tweet storms and sound bites but Donald Trump is not the lone con man of America’s nightmares. In fact he’s hardly capable of running a con. Donald Trump is very clear and straightforward with his agenda. He cares about the advancement of one issue and one issue only; Donald Trump.

It’s what makes Trump the perfect mark and tool for those who desire far more than mass adoration and riches. Trump was chosen. Chosen to serve as the perfect golden calf for use by those who seek eternal salvation and a place within the kingdom of God, but lack the influence or means to otherwise get there.

Pence, Barr, Pompeo, Mulvaney…

This unholy trinity of self avowed evangelical so-called Christian dispensationalists. Americans need to educate themselves on what these men actually believe in. Informed consent is a necessity of a functioning democratic republic and in this case will lead one to conclude that the men who sit in current control of America’s foreign and domestic policy do not share the values or beliefs of the majority of Americans. That the Vice President, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Chief of Staff to the President of America all believe they serve god before country, constitution or man.

Do some research on the topic and you will find that each believe there primary purpose on Earth is to serve God by paving the way for the Rapture. This is not hyperbole. The current leaders of America stated goal is to create the preconditions for a holy war through Jerusalem that will ultimately lead to the Second Coming and Armageddon.

Of course the Rapture don’t come easy. To ensure America’s status as the apple in the lord’s eye requires a strict Biblical interpretation of acceptable behavior. Thus the need to legislate a moral code and standards of behaviors and enforce it with devout judicial appointees.

It’s absurd to think this a reality but it contextualizes so many of the arbitrary decisions made by this administration from their hardline stance against Iran to the stoking of religious and racial divisions internationally and here ashore.

Americans keep comparing this caravan of criminals to Hitler and the Nazi takeover of a free German. Perhaps the more apt comparison is the Taliban and their takeover of a exhausted, fragmented and divided once free Afghani population

The American Story

Donald Trump has a gift. His natural talent is playing a character conceived of by men smarter then he. His ability to play a part; to shape perception to match a false reality, is extraordinary.

Take a look at The Apprentice where he played a successful businessman with little tolerance for incompetence. Compare that with the reality of the time. By the end of 2008 Don the Con had filed his 6th bankruptcy and was best described as a failed businessman. Mocked in tabloid media as a man so poor at business that he literally bankrupted multiple casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy and subsequently ordered to turnover his majority share of multiple conglomerates. They say the house never loses, unless its name is Trump. Yet there he sat in his makeshift boardroom the epitome of success.

Nothing that comes out of our so called President’s mouth or twitter feed should be trusted. Each tweet, each sound bite is nothing more than a means to an end. Even his more awful positions; the overt dog whistles and Nazi sympathizing sound bites are manufactured. The quid pro quo of the art of the deal.

As a native New Yorker myself let me tell you that Donald Trump could give two fucks about the “beauty” of Confederate statues. Look at his statements from the campaign trail if you don’t believe me. Check out the decor of his country clubs. I have no doubt the man is biased and ignorant in his views but a devout Christian white supremacist he is not.

The fact of the matter is Donald Trump holds no concrete views or beliefs. That he now plays a populist conservative on tv (and has since 2008) is no coincidence and suggests something far more sinister afoot than a simple racist President. It indicates that Trump himself is all part of someone else’s long game. A necessity to advance the next storyline and build suspense to the finale. Keep the water cooler talk going as the producers carefully select and edit the storylines to follow.

It’s past time American lose our obsession with scripted reality and get back to actual reality. That we wake up and stop reacting to the newest scandal being scripted by this White House. Let’s tune back into the American story instead. The one piloted by our founding fathers nearly 250 years ago.

It’s a story inspired by the dreams of our founding fathers and is pitched on hope, equality, opportunity, freedom. A story that provides a blueprint on how to build a better and more just future. A story rooted in resistance to intolerance and hate. As a nation we must understand that story is now in danger of cancellation. Only a coordinated campaign by “we, the people” will guarantee its renewal

Leadership Matters

To truly make America great again, we will need to elect leaders who work for the people they represent. Leaders from across the spectrum that will not always share the lockstep conclusions of their political peers but will share in certain attributes.

Leaders who won’t take positions for convenience or to pander to their base, but because they are passionate about their beliefs and practice what they preach.

Leaders who emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. The ones who do not fear diversity, but embrace it.

Leaders who welcome opposition. The ones who hold town halls and do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions, but listen and learn from them.

Leaders who build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality, but rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

Leaders who own their actions. They do not finger point, blame predecessors or deny accountability for their decisions. They understand that once empowered the buck stops with them. Period.

Leaders who problem solve. The ones who do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim, but innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove walls and obstacles.

Leaders who prioritize knowing their people, who serve their constituents . They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

Leaders who extend kindness, who takes the high road when the other goes low. The ones who do not bully, but nurture.

Leaders who encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

Leaders who lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

Leaders who create opportunity for all. The ones who do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry, but rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

Leaders who safeguard open communications, and rights to privacy. They do not silence and threaten whistle blowers and leakers. They protect anonymity by offering hotlines and access to independent arbiters.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who gave voice to the extremes.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answer, I hope, is obvious.

United Against Hate

America is not red states & blue states when it comes to all things. We are the United States. United against Nazis, klansmen, white supremacists & their ideologies of hate. United in pride for our immigrant heritage and in our standing as the beacon for hope and liberty to all throughout the world

Don’t take the bait this time. Ignore the rhetoric, sound bites and tweetstorms. This is not a political fight. It’s a moral one #ProudToBeAnAmerican

Routine Vetting

The Attorney General serves as the “people’s lawyer.” Charged with enforcing and prosecuting federal law they advise on the constitutionality of proposed legislation and interpret the bounds of our drug enforcement policy, immigration policy, and criminal justice guidelines.

They AG oversees and heads our Department of Justice. They decide how to color in the grey areas that determine the limits of our 1st, 2nd and 4th amendments; decree just how absolute our individual rights to freedom and privacy are.

It is undoubtedly a role that is critical to the national security of the United States. Afforded access to our nations’s secrets and charged with enforcement of law and order. There is no question that if an unqualified or otherwise incompetent individual was placed into that role it may cause grave harm to our nation.

Our founding father’s certainly thought so. That’s why under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution, the Attorney General is nominated by the President of the United States and appointed with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.

In other words before ever assuming office the Attorney General gets a contingent job offer. Candidates interview, and are presumably vetted by the President. A background check of sorts is then conducted to confirm the candidate is who he represented himself to be throughout the interview process. An extreme vetting of sorts, appropriate for a soon to be national security risk.

This is not open for interpretation. Advice and consent of the Senate is a prerequisite for the job. Routine vetting of the candidate a necessary precaution before they are entrusted with our most sensitive secrets.

It’s true the President is free to fire the AG at his will. It does not mean he can handpick his successor. There is a Deputy AG, Associate AGs and plenty of other already Senate confirmed replacement candidates qualified to serve as the Acting AG. It’s why Pompeo was so easily able to replace Tillerson.

Surely the person who calls for the extreme vetting of already vetted refugees. The man who deploys 15,000 troops to our borders to protect us from the soon-to-be-but-not-yet-impending arrival of a caravan of unarmed terrorist immigrants. Surely the law and order president whose number one priority is our national security understands what is at risk and wouldn’t play loose with our Constitution.

So how is Matthew Whitaker now serving as AG? He is not Senate confirmed. In fact our so called President claims to barely know him. He refuses to turn over his financial disclosure forms. His only qualification seems to be his vocal opposition to the Mueller investigation, which he not so coincidentally now leads. Even worse he was placed in the role unchecked by the presumed target of said investigation.

Am I really the only one who has a problem with this arrangement? Has the blue wave left us dazed and confused?

We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis. The deconstruction of the administrative state is taking place before our very eyes. The system of checks and balances we’ve relied on is under attack. The Executive Branch slowly consuming all around it, with little resistance.

It is time we force the issue and meet the beast head on. We must proactively protect the Mueller investigation. Must insist any Acting Attorney General have already been vetted and confirmed by the Senate in some prior capacity. Raise a direct challenge to Whitaker’s unilateral appointment.

Americans of all stripes must coalesce around a single message. Must insist on the routine vetting of all Cabinet members. Pressure your representatives to take a stand. We cannot afford to play Russian roulette with our national security any longer.