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.

Perception and Reality

I once had a boss who was very fond of the phrase “perception is reality.” Used it as an excuse to justify his inaction for almost any employee related conflict. No point in meeting to explain whatever employee issue was being raised that day “perception is reality” he’d say. It drove me crazy each and every time. While it’s true that perception is an individual’s sense of reality. Let’s also be clear, reality is reality. I may perceive the Earth to be flat, but science tells us otherwise.

A transcendent leader, one interested in building consensus and committed to the common good, understands the dangers of false perception. They work tirelessly, oftentimes over communicating with their “constituents” to shape perception to match reality.

Unfortunately, perception is no less important to a leader of ill intent. One who seeks to act only in his own self interest but is nonetheless dependent on the support of the masses to advance his/her agenda. They too work tirelessly to shape perception, only in their case success depends on perception matching a false reality. One that will justify their action and prevent ultimate accountability. One that manipulates others to act against their own self interests.

Our Comrade in Chief and his merry bannon of deplorables have made a career shaping perception to match a false reality. Led by the talentless tycoon turned “reality” show President who bankrupted both real estate conglomerates and casinos at the height of the economy and whose greatest accomplishment is being born into privilege this White House continuously tries to undermine transparency and prevent informed consent. They know the only way to mask incompetence and to hide ill intent, is to mask it. To use misdirection, doublespeak, sleight of hand, technology and sound bites to distract and manipulate the way the brain processes information. Their very hold on power dependent on this perception.

Informed consent is the constitutional responsibility of the American citizenry. Whether dealing with issues of sensible gun control, impacts of climate change, or treason it is our job to push past the sound bites, propaganda and words of those entrusted to represent our interests and find out the truth of the situation. To expose the illusionist and ruin the trick.

Though he didn’t really make the Statute of Liberty disappear David Copperfield once captured the country’s attention when he made the world perceive that he had. Millions clambered for answers wanting to know the truth. Donald Trump on the other hand has in reality rendered Lady Liberty’s words “moot” yet the country continues to chase kneeling squirrels. To quote Twitler, “Sad.”

The “Yes We Caine” Mutiny

The GOP no longer functions as a political party. Weak on national security, big deficit spenders, they stand for nothing but guns, God and money. The consolidation of racist status quo dependent deplorables and self avowed “God before country” Raptureheads hellbent on a new world order under a single tent. The entire Republican Party little more than a caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers. The American Taliban rises.

Our traditional checks and balances are no match for the unconventional threat we face. Our Democratic leadership ill prepared to hold to an account an Executive that 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 2020. The constitutional crisis is here. The battle begins now.

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. Take matters into our hands and start a “Yes We Caine” mutiny to rid our Republic of an unhinged captain.

A peaceful resistance requires sacrifice. To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. 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. Take comfort in our history, trust in the experiment in individual freedoms.

Progress knows but one direction and never includes a return to the past. It’s time we move forward.

The “Yes We Can” Mutiny

Can’t stop a Nazi with a law book” – Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny

Traditional checks and balances do not work when up against unprecedented threats. History and science teach this lesson repeatedly. Denial and time is no way to cure a cancer. To sit and wait on the outcome of an impeachment inquiry or a national election to remove this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers as foolish a plan. 

It’s not America’s immigrations laws that place our nation at risk. It’s this administrations callous and wanton ignorance of history that poses a clear and present danger to our national security. It’s the lack of empathy in our foreign policy the open betrayal of a loyal ally that breeds hostility, births sleeper cells and lone wolf fanatics desperate for revenge. It’s the fickleness and swiftness in which we ripped up the Iran deal, pull out of trade deals and abandon the military fields that erodes trust in our America exceptionalism and extinguishes Lady Liberty’s torch.

The damage this administration is doing to this country cannot be overstated. It’s more than Kurdish blood that will spill as the result of Demonic Donald’s latest betrayal. More than the reconstitution of ISIS that threatens national security. If American loyalties can be swayed so easily and years of diplomacy be overturned with each change of administration then why would any nation dare align with us in the future? Why would any tribe or ethnic group make a strategic partnership in our fight against the next terror group. Combine this with our eagerness to pull out of other hard negotiated treaties and truces and it will take decades for America to regain the trust of the international community.

There are 40,000 Kurds who live in America, 15,000 in Nashville alone. Many of whom were refugees of prior battles. Immigrants to our nation under kinder, wiser administrations who sought to flee the ravages of war and poverty for a better life. Imagine as they now stare at their screens and scroll their social media timelines in search of relatives and survivors. The anger they too must feel. The thirst for vengeance that leads to irrational behavior.

We as a nation may no longer afford to be passive. We cannot continue to ignore the damage being done to our reputation and pretend it does not define us all. We, the people, are responsible for the actions and behaviors we observe each day and fail to condone.

The impeachment inquiry and prospective 2020 Blue Wave are nice but ineffective in the larger constitutional battle upon us. They fail to neutralize the immediate damage and risk of catastrophe that awaits our republic. They may be palliative measures to soothe the masses, but they also bide time for the ruling Executive. Affords the opportunity to spread disease and harden defense. To produce a manufactured counter narrative and use his past television experience to craft a set of alternative facts that will marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, if necessary, squash any threat. 

America must learn from the ongoing Hong Kong and Indonesia protests and the recent successes in South Korea, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. Understand that to force change you must commit to it. One off protests and elections are not enough. If we believe our will is not being followed and the government is no longer acting for the people then we must drive that narrative in ways that are impossible to ignore. We must take to the streets daily.

If we are to insist that we are a nation in which all men, regardless of race, gender, religion or national origin are free and equal. If we believe in the Bill of Rights that put the great American experiment in motion, that guaranteed certain freedoms for all Americans and bestowed inalienable rights on all mankind. Then we must act to defend it when we see it being trampled upon by a despot. 

We must take to the harbor and throw the tea overboard. Refuse to take a backseat in our politics. Not just march on Washington, but sit and sleep there too.

Fish Filet

As the “Mooch” says, “the fish stinks from the head.” So let’s wrap this impeachment inquiry up and start there. The time for impeachment is long past.

Donald Trump is inherently unfit to lead a democratic republic. This isn’t a hot take. It’s no secret he serves only himself and the almighty dollar. That his morality bends to justify whatever decision, in that moment, will advance his own self interest. Yet those are just symptoms of what makes him uniquely unfit to hold public office.

The fact is Donald Trump has never worked for anyone other than himself. He has no concept of what it means to work for the common good. His whole life spent negotiating solely for himself. Motivated only by unbridled greed and the need to appease a small group of loyal investors with a healthy return on investments.

The very office of the Presidency. That it serves, “we, the people.” That its closest advisors, the Cabinet, swear an oath to the Constitution, not a person. These are foreign concepts to our Comrade in Chief. He is hardwired to think of his role as a leader in binary terms. His whole worldview rooted In a transactional us verse them paradigm. Every deal unique but each having a winner and loser.

The concept of transparency is anathema to the art of the deal where information is power. Intimidation and braggadocio assets. Lies, deceit and misrepresentation the keys to victory; transparency a weakness. Truth has no business in real estate or casinos, only the appearance of truth matters.

This is the ethos our dear leader lives by. There is no such thing as public service in his world. Rules, traditions, and precedent matters not as the man himself cannot be changed. It’s time to drain this cesspool of criminals and corrupt enablers and filet the entirety of the Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks and racist status dependent deplorables that comprise the entirety of today’s GOP.

“We, the people” know Trump plays Russian roulette with our republic and poses a clear and present danger to the American dream. Let’s once and for all decapitate this piranha and remove him from office so we can once and for all make America great again. Sanitize this country of the stench that emanates from this golden calf and all he touches. Render his legacy “moot” and reclaim the words of Lady Liberty

Kurdish Surprise

Who cares if he is the Commander in Chief. We should not be willing to play Russian roulette with the lives of the men and women of our armed forces, let alone our collective national security. The decision to cede Syria to Turkey and abandon our Kurdish allies is just the latest in a string of foreign policy decisions designed to create a new world order of international superpowers. Each policy decision places our nation at heightened risk for a terrorist attack or hostile foreign action. Since assuming the office of Presidency we have witnessed Trump deliberately and recklessly systematically destabilize old alliances through brazen threats, irrational retractions, troop withdrawals, nonsensical diplomacy and goading insults.

The man now in charge of our very precious national security, entrusted to safeguard the collective us, is actively stripping away our freedoms and alienating us from allies and foes alike. His foreign policy demeans the office he holds and is at odds with the freedoms he swore to protect. It consists of no central doctrine or policy and is conveyed by slogan, threats, propaganda and alternative fact. The effect has been to weaken America’s standing in the world and dim our light as a beacon of hope and freedom for the world’s oppressed.

To openly alienate proven allies and appease known hostile nations and dictators is not normal. Rather, when you view decisions collectively they seem to be the ante in the art of the deal. Trump holds no real values or morals and is motivated solely by money, power and adoration. So long as it advances his own self interests it appears Trump is willing to make any fake promise, cut any deal or betray any ally.

The chickens will come home to roost and history will not reflect kindly on anyone who takes part in advancing his agenda. The more serious question isn’t whether Trump and/or his surrogates colluded with Russia but why Putin actively sought his election in the first place. What was in it for him?

It doesn’t take extreme vetting to realize that the man who lost the popular mandate by nearly 3,000,000 votes but claims to be the one and true voice of the people is the greatest and most immediate threat to our national security and the American dream.

That the man who was supported in the race for President by Russia and Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who never previously had America’s best interests at heart…

Who in 2008, desperate and bankrupt, sold a dilapidated Palm Beach estate, one that had sat unoccupied for two years, for a $100 million windfall to a Russian oligarch and one of Putin’s most trusted advisors…

Whose closest advisors have openly advocated for the wholesale destruction of America as we know it…

Who believes facts and science have alternatives….

Who let the Head of the NSA serve unfettered for 19 days knowing he may have been compromised by Russia, had lied to the VP and was an imminent potential national security threat.

Who to this day treats the independent journalist and the leaker as the criminal and “enemy of the American people” and General Flynn, Manafort, Stone and his crooked family members as the victims.

To allow such a man to go on implementing his agenda unchecked is insanity. Tack on that the man’s ties to Russia are undeniable. That so many willfully close their eyes to the truth does not make it any less a reality. Until we know that our so called President was elected by and is working for the American people how in good conscience can we allow him sole authority to make decisions that may literally lead to mass genocide and place us closet to the brink of a nuclear war? To allow him to make major foreign policy decisions is beyond appeasement, it is assisted suicide.

Unconventional threats call for unconventional responses. We must be proactive in the battles ahead. We don’t have the luxury of being wrong about this. We must take temporary measures to proactively safeguard this nation from the real possibility that a sitting President is working at the behest of a foreign enemy.

Impeach Now

The constitutional crisis is here. The state of our union is in disarray. The majority of her citizens shell shocked and befuddled. Our democracy is under seige while politicians across both sides of the aisle engage in a dangerous game of political chicken. An ever escalating game of Russian roulette from which democracy will be the unwitting victim.

Traditional checks and balances as likely to neutralize the growing risk as thoughts and prayers the remedy to prevent school massacres. Time is not on democracy’s side. How is this not obvious by now? The longer you wait to confront the rising authoritarian the more power it consolidates. Procrastination and denial is not a cure for cancer. To survive requires an aggressive team that will go in and remove the growth and then burn everything it touched to ensure it never returns.

The time to impeach a clear and present danger was yesterday. In the real world, not only can citizens be arrested based on heresay and circumstantial evidence, but they may be held without bail. There is no reason for House to delay an impeachment vote any longer. There is beyond probable cause to believe this so called President unfit to hold office and guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Move this on to the Senate and the kangaroo court trial phase of this process. Force this corrupt caravan of criminal enablers to publicly declare their loyalty and paint a scarlet letter on their sleeves for history to judge. Let karma cast its judgment on this cesspool of Raptureheads, Russia enabled military hawks, and racist status quo dependent dinosaurs.

Turn to the next act in this saga where we, the people, take center stage. Serve as the final bastion in the fight for individual freedom and quest to preserve the American dream. Allow the disjointed resistance to consolidate in defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A common goal, a common enemy to unite us in resistance.

Crawl out of your ratholes and peek out of your turtle shells. We are the majority, and we’re ready for you