Senseless Sensibilities

There is so much to be angry about. So many daily injustices that assault our senses.

Our eyes bear witness to the daily horrors broadcast on an endless 24 hour loop. The images of pain and sorrow seared into our brains. The embrace of the survivors, the anguish of the mothers. The blood of the victims reflects a translucent red off the tears that well in the pockets of our lids.

Our ears deafened by the incessant dog whistles and barrage of divisive propaganda, sound bites and alternative facts that fill our sound waves. The hate filled rhetoric of those meant to serve and inform the general masses. Leaders who choose to use their bully pulpit to promote tribal divisions. Who orchestrate their words to effectuate their own agenda’s of self interest, and to manipulate the ears of the ill informed listener.

Our nose raw from the acrid smells of scorched earth that burn your lungs with each inhale. Respiratory diseases and sinusitis at record highs as allergens, pollutants, and air borne irritants invade our protective cilia. Wears it down to create an unobstructed tunnel through our nasal passageways in which the stench of greed, corruption, caviar and old-fashioned American whiskey flows through.

Our tastebuds dulled by the chemicals, sweetners, artificial flavors and countless other toxins ingested through our food supply. Numbed by the poisons of insecticides, hormones and infected cattle and poultry fed with the cannibalistic remains of their ancestors. Our tongues forever weakened. Left to savor only the most bitter and sour of spices and flavors.

Our sense of touch forever altered by past experience. The aftermath of a pandemic necessitating an infant’s need to relearn hot from cold. Each handshake, hug, or sensual encounter triggering moments of sudden awkwardness. The unwanted grab, hug, pinch or assault that for far too long not only went ignored, but we’re encouraged and worn as a badge of honor at the 19th hole and gym locker rooms. The generational trauma of past institutionalized race based, gender based or religious based attacks forever ingrained on our present and future begins our. A need for skin to skin contact replaced by the distance of text messages, emojis, snaps and TikTok dances.

While the battle for our worldly senses may be lost there is one sense that remains uncorrupted. Hidden, but accessible to us all. A collective humanity and flow of consciousness free for all to tap into. A shared lifeforce that contains the knowledge and wisdom of history’s trials and tribulations.

The majority of us share a collective thirst to sip from that reservoir. To bathe in its energy and lap up its infinite knowledge and power. We just need a guide to show the way through the shield. A hero among us able to read the signs, interpret the prophecy and answer the call of history. For ultimately progress, by definition, knows but one direction and though often unseen the evolution of that more perfect union will ultimately continue its advance #Forward #ProtestTheGOP

Time For 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.

Pawn of the Rich and Putinful

All Americans must understand who Trump is and what we as a nation are up against. We must come to grips that Trump has never been more than the paper tiger king in this battle. The Joe Exotic of American politics propped up by a supporting cast of deplorable characters.

Trump of course is the perfect rube. A literal caricature of every villain of every film ever made. A billionaire product of affluent affirmative action who sells himself as a man of the people. A self proclaimed tycoon who was placed directly at the top of the business pyramid. Never understanding what it means to actually lead. To advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management, the art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A 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.

Donald Trump is 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 Donald 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 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. Each day they spread their poison and choke what little life remains of our system of checks and balances until soon all that will remain is the virus itself

Lifetime Recusal

The constitutional crisis is here. Calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any case involving the January 6th Commission are not sufficient. Democratic leadership must demand that Justice Thomas resign or be removed from the Supreme Court.

This is not some mere pretext of impropriety or potential conflict of interest. Ginni Thomas, his wife, took part in a COUP. A brazen attempt to overturn the results of what was known to be a legitimate election, with no evidence of widespread fraud. The very separation of powers her husband is charged with defending she sought to destroy. The checks and balances upon which our republic depends, she sought to neuter.

It is not as if Ginni was a periodic advisor or passive participant in these efforts. She was a central figure. She coordinated legal strategy with the Executive Branch and members of Thomas Clerk World, a private listserv that is *exclusively* used by former Thomas judicial clerks, in furtherance of the plot to keep Trump in power* (see Seth Abramson Twitter for more details).

In a text exchange with Mark Meadows, Ginni thanks him for his support in the “fight of good versus evil!” I’m paraphrasing now but she goes on to note that between his pledge of support and the recent news she got from her “best friend” she’s feeling like her efforts to preserve the status quo may just pan out.

The idea that a Supreme Court Justice may view a political divide as a fight between “good and evil!” That to remain a nation of “good” will require half of our citizens be eradicated and removed from positions of power. That perception of Democrats vs Republicans is exactly how one comes to believe that the “ends justify the means.” It’s the kind of belief that allows a judge to rationalize setting aside Constitutional safeguards for the “greater good.” This possibility alone is enough to justify a lifetime recusal for Thomas.

To turn a blind eye to the obvious. To proceed as if our Constitition is not on fire is a dereliction of duty by the very elected officials who swore an oath to defend it. To restore our credibility. To once again be a nation of law and order there can be no doubt of the independence of our Judicial Branch. Conservative or liberal each justice is beholden to the Constitution and how the facts of each case before it relate.

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

Pawn of the Rich and Putinful

Another day, another conspiracy laden, hate peddling Trump rally. As the de facto lead of the Guardians Of Putin (GOP), it is no surprise that Deranged Donald is is a man of flawed character and limited intelligence. Far from a stable genius the man is nothing more than the embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skill 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 our so called President stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, always looking for the next score to settle. All he knows is how 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.

All Americans need to carefully consider their next move. Reflect on your history. Get informed. Ask yourself; when has the leader who ruled through fear, intimidation, propaganda and slogan been on the right side of history?

I’ll spare you the research. The answer is never.

The Art of the Interview

It doesn’t taken long for incompetence to expose itself in a workplace. Particularly when the incompetent one sits at the very top of the organization. The inability to manage a budget, mitigate risk, think strategically, effectively communicate a shared vision, establish clear roles and responsibility with aligned standards of accountability, and engage your workforce is typically readily apparent within a few months of transition.

The first test for any new leader is team building. The need to recruit a team to implement a sustainable and cohesive organizational structure that will support the Executive’s central mission. This requires extreme vetting of a pool of qualified candidates; extensive interviewing until you are confident in your selection. A poor choice at the senior levels may cripple a project and place it in a permanent state of reactiveness, and at heightened risk for catastrophe.

One would assume that those who elected our CEO President did so thinking he’d excel in this area. Trump even told would be supporters not to worry about his lack of experience because he was going to surround himself with great minds. Experienced leaders he would rely on to guide him in international affairs, and matters of economic and domestic politics.

We all know how this has turned out but who are we to judge? Let’s instead review Twitler’s own timeline to get a true sense of how spectacularly awful Trump is at team building and routine vetting. Let’s for a change assume Trump is being truthful in the way he describes the character of those HE placed in control of the national security of this country and entrusted with our most sensitive secrets.

Let’s start with National Security Advisor John Bolton who according to Trump had a reputation for being a “wacko” and a man who “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them.” Trump goes on to now describe Bolton as a man “who was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance.” Next time perhaps hiring a “sick puppy” who was fired by President Bush for “incompetence” to lead our National Security team isn’t the greatest strategy.

Remember Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump now describes him as a man who is “dumb as a rock and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State.” Even worse he lacked “the mental capacity needed” for the job and was “lazy as hell.”

Makes you wonder what type of interview process took place.

“We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO…” Trump went on to rage that “Mattis was our Country’s most overrated General. He talked a lot, but never “brought home the bacon.” He was terrible!”

It’s true you and your leadership team won’t see eye to eye on every vision, but a shared sense of vision is one of those things that should be confirmed with your incoming Secretary of Defense.

The man he selected to defend and enforce our nation’s laws as Attorney General is “mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner…(who) couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.” Turns out Sessions had a nasty way about him and lacked transparent communications as evidenced by his subsequent refusal “to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.

You’d have thought he’d have learned the art of the interview in business school but alas.

Then there’s The Mooch and “Wacky Omarosa,” also known as the “highly unstable nut job” he hired as his Communications Director and the “not smart, lowlife” who served as Advisor.

Which is better than the man he nominated to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell who Trump questioned by tweet, “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”

Yikes, talk about a bad hire.

The list goes on and on. By his own admissions it is clear that Donald Trump is incapable of performing the most basic job requirements of a Chief Executive. That our country is now ravaged by an uncontrolled pandemic, racially divided and headed down a path of insolvency and low morale is the inevitable result of what happens when you leave an ineffective or immoral leader in place.

This isn’t going to get better with time. Incompetency breeds incompetence. In fact the Mooch himself said it best in describing another former Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, “the fish stinks from the head!”

Indeed it does. The quicker you lop it off the faster the grown ups get back into the room

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.

Antifa and Proud

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.”

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? Who exactly is “Antifa?”

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, Kaepernick, Bezos, Soros, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, Mueller, Comey, people from Puerto Rico, women, Romney, 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.