Banana Republic

I had a boss who was fond of the phrase “perception is reality.” He 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 true 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.

That’s the thing. Facts exist. There is such a thing as truth. A good leader understands this and knows that one of their most important jobs is to shape perception to match reality.

They rely on facts, science, logic and reason to persuade the majority to get in the boat and row towards a common goal. When JFK announced America would put a man on the moon within years hardly anyone perceived it possible. Good leadership not only got the majority to believe it but made it a reality. Pushed the naysayers to the margins.

Then there’s another kind of leader. Still skilled communicators but the arrogant narcissistic types. The ones who don’t take “no” for an answer. Who degrade, demean and harass their “subordinates.” Who talk a lot without saying anything of substance. Who take credit for the good work of others and shift blame when something goes wrong. Who surround themselves with ass kissers and “yes” men.

These type shape perception not to match reality, but to match what they wish their followers to perceive as reality. They use slogans, rumors, propaganda and lies to do so. Repeat them until they rise to the level of alternative fact. Feed on the discontent of the margins to spread their falsehoods. Power to the people. To those who could’ve been a contender, if only…

There are no two ways about this Russia business. Donald Trump, the so called President of the United States, and his corrupt caravan of criminals and enablers were working in cahoots with and for the benefit of Puppetmaster Putin and his henchmen of oligarchs.

Donald Trump is the subject of an active counterintelligence investigation and an unindicted coconspirator in a current criminal case. He’s about to deliver a “state of the union” that will ignore the consensus conclusions of our intelligence community and reject the proven findings of science and industry experts.

The entire production dependent on phony statistics, false equivalents and personal anecdotes unsupported by evidence. Absolutely none of it will be based on reality. Instead what we will hear is a mosaic of lies, propaganda and alternative facts all designed to craft the perception that America faces a national emergency that only our Dear Leader, Donald Trump is able to solve.

Welcome to the banana republic that is Trump’s America. Where reality no longer matters. When all the evidence points one way Donald Trump and his merry bannon of deplorables will insist you ignore your eyes and ears and believe otherwise.

This country was founded on the principle of informed consent. Informed meaning look it up yourself. Do some independent research. Trust but verify through multiple sources and corroboration. Tune out opinion. Focus on the facts. I double dog dare anyone to offer a plausible innocent explanation for all of the Russian ties;

The meetings, the selective memory, the soft talk, the financial ties, the server communication, the false equivalents, the sympathetic appointees, the obstruction, the lies, everything being done by the agency formerly known as State Dept., the intelligence gaffes, the lack of sanctions, the removal of sanctions, the ill advised withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, the revival of the nuclear race, the secret meetings, the refusal to criticize, the insults and slights of our traditional allies, the childlike denials and ensuing bouts of panic, the obstruction again, the dismantling of our democratic institutions…on and on it goes

The Gaslighting of America

The gaslighting of America continues. Peer past the latest tweetstorms and staged drama orchestrated to distract you from reality. At heart Donald Trump is a reality show star. It’s the only thing he’s ever been really good at. Scripting fake storylines and passing it off as reality. 

Manufacturing drama and faux conflict by introducing alternative facts and other stressors designed to produce outlandish sound bites and bombastic over exaggerated reactions to everyday situations. 

Carefully editing select moments of a person’s most vulnerable moments to create archetypical characters. Misrepresenting them in order to make a show entertaining to the masses. Keep them coming back for more. There’s no denying he knows how to spin a good yarn, keep people talking.

Not only that he has the perfect temperament for it. He holds no real convictions or loyalties and is convincingly able to take any position necessary to advance a storyline. Cross whatever line so long as it furthers his own agenda. 

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. Unable to grasp what it takes to advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management the man has no appreciation for the virtues of empathy, humility, accountability and communication.

My fellow Americans, we need to wake up and stop reacting to the newest scandal being scripted by this White House. Tune out the latest episode and ignore the narratives being pushed by this corrupt caravan of criminals and enablers. 

Change the channel and end this shit show. Tune back into the American story instead. The one piloted by our founding fathers nearly 250 years ago. Pitched on hope, equality, opportunity, freedom and in building a better tomorrow. Rooted in resistance to intolerance and hate. Understand that story is now in danger of cancellation. Only a coordinated campaign by “we, the people” will guarantee its renewal

Perception is Not Reality

Our Comrade in Chief has made a career shaping perception to match a false reality. First as a talentless self-proclaimed tycoon who bankrupted both real estate conglomerates and casinos at the height of the economy, yet played a master negotiator on “reality” television. Then as a crusading populist whose greatest adversity faced in life was being born with a silver spoon in his mouth to a conspiracy obsessed bigot who made millions as a slumlord.

Each day the primary focus of this caravan of corruption is to undermine transparency and prevent informed consent. Every tweetstorm, each prevarication, Propaganda Hannity, every Rudy Giuliani or Kelly Conway television appearance meant to further distract.

They know the only way to mask the incompetence, to hide the ill intent, is to conceal it from the masses. 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 perception.

Informed consent is the constitutional responsibility of the American citizenry. 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. Deranged Donald on the other hand has in reality rendered Lady Liberty’s words meaningless yet the country continues to chase squirrels. To quote our Comrade in Chief, “Sad.”

The Hairy Arm Handlers

Donald Trump is nothing more than a hairy arm. A big heaping turd placed into the picture by forces more nefarious than he. Forces that control, manipulate, and parade the hairy arm as they see fit. Who use it to their advantage to distract from what is really going on. A mistake so glaringly obvious that all the masses speak of is the hairy arm and how out of place it is.

All the while they ignore the focal point of the picture. The new world order being ushered in right under their noses. The giant middle finger McConnell, Ryan, Pence, Bannon, Putin, Saudi Arabia and others are holding out to America.

Yes Donald Trump is so obviously flawed and psychologically damaged that he is the perfect hairy arm. A lightning rod bound by no sense of social norms and devoid of self awareness. A master in self promotion and expert in scripted reality. A distraction so glaring that entire news cycles are devoted strictly to him. What he said, what he tweeted, who he insulted. His latest break with protocol and tradition.

As important as his ability to distract is how easy it is to corrupt and control him. Long before his entry into politics The Donald was known to be a con man of such notorious poor character that he made an easy mark for men of ill repute.

It was always known that Trump was a man who operates with no moral or ethical code, recognizes no boundaries and holds no concrete positions. That he is willing to offer or do anything to advance his own agenda; the accumulation of wealth and power, and perseverance of the Trump family name and legacy..at all costs.

So long as those self interests are served Il Douche is restrained by no alliance, tradition or precedent of behavior. It’s all a part of the art of the deal as he likes to brag.

That our so called President stands for nothing should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career. It explains the reason so many competing right of center factions are complicit in this deplorable dog and pony show and refuse to hold our so called President accountable for his treasonous and deplorable behavior.

Exposes the quid pro quo this lot of enablers received in return for their continued silence and protection. I mean did you see the smirks on the faces of Ryan and McConnell’s faces as each passed the unconscionable tax bill through their respective chamber? The glee in knowing their patience may pay off and they are about to secure the current status quo well past the point demographics would otherwise allow as they confirmed not one, but two new Supreme Court Justices and hundreds more judicial appointees.

Don’t kid yourself. This is the true pay off for the GOP establishments’ (as owned by the Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers) hold your nose acquiescence and endorsement of the naked emperor. The statutory erection of a permanent oligarchy where profits take priority over people and corporate interests are given favor over long term global concerns. All this backed by a stacked judiciary certain to enforce the new laws of the land. The Chief Executive and his willingness to sign any Executive Order to thank for it all.

Next take a look at the alliance of the military hawks. You know the names; Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, the old guard who suddenly find themselves in unprecedented positions of influence within the Oval Office and the champions of historic spending increases for our military industrial complex. Who seem to remain in office despite their distaste for the Commander in Chief. Is it any coincidence that cold wars and faux calls for patriotism also happen to be great recruitment tools?

We must not leave out our Tea Party friends. The proud agitators seeking to drain the swamp who seek nothing more than an all out revolution against the liberal elites. How does one explain their sudden infatuation with the one time New York socialite? Well me thinks its quite obvious what this caravan of corruption gain from their unnatural alliance.

To date, it’s been their agenda we’ve seen advance the most under this administration. The “deconstruction of the administrative state.” The collapse of old alliances and treaties. The dog whistles, false moral equivalents and intentional mainstreaming of what once was a deplorable fringe without a mouthpiece. Now empowered we see the results. A once powerful nation being divided by committed Democratic Arsonists who stand armed and ready to defend their Enabler in Chief.

Well the decision to immediately move the Embassy to Jerusalem was nothing more than part of the payoff in the art of the deal. Terms in the quid pro quo to Preacher Pence and the evangelical base that led them to the altar of the peach calf. Designed to usher in an age of chaos and upheaval on scales hereto unimagined.

Hypocrisy aside, there is a reason the so called evangelical Christians are complicit in this deplorable dog and pony show. A logic behind their refusal to hold our Comrade in Chief accountable for his treasonous and immoral actions. This unholy alliance between God’s crusaders and the twice divorced, porn star cheating, wannabe casino tycoon known to serve money above all else is built on the Second Coming itself!

A little known fact but Preacher Pence, Ashy Eyed Huckabee Sanders, and the rest of this jolly group of devout evangelical fundamentalists actually believe the Second Coming is imminent. More precisely they believe the Rapture is. A fanciful belief not even referenced in the Bible in which all Christians, dead or alive, will spontaneously transform to meet Christ in the air—in secret, for it will be unknown to the world of unbelievers at the time of its happening.

This will be followed by 7 years of hell on Earth led by the Antichrist. In this period known as the tribulations, God’s chosen people, the Jews, will occupy and defend Jerusalem. They will rebuild the ancient temple in anticipation of Christ’s return. That the temple needs to be constructed atop the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque, the most sacred of Muslim sites is but a minor inconvenience on the road to salvation. Particularly since those true believers will have already been raptured and won’t be here to witness the bloody consequences.

Regardless a condition of the Messiah’s return is a raging ongoing war between the non-believers. A war in which all citizens of the world must choose a side. A modern day Crusades. Hence the continued provocation of the Islamic community that stretches beyond Jerusalem.

All Americans need to understand that these dispensationalists members of the American Taliban serve God above all else, even country. They believe certain prerequisites need be in place to pave the way for Christ’s return and it is their principle responsibility to pour the cement. That isn’t opinion. Dispensationalists believe they are doing God’s will. Their daily focus is on the glory of God and they put God at its center – as opposed to a central focus on man and humanity’s need for salvation. The Prophet in Chief now their vehicle to eternal salvation.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem coupled with the carefully orchestrated withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal are not meant to advance OUR national security interests. They are meant to advance the interests of the kakistocracy and the falsely righteous. It is the lit match being tossed into a gasoline tank. Meant to cause an explosion on a global scale, to incite violence.

It’s not all bad though. If Pence, Robertson, Graham, Huckabee and friends are right salvation is just around the corner. The Rapture will come and Christ himself will soon return to sit in Jerusalem, atop the newly constructed altar within his restored temple.

The Pathway to Perdition

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. They say there are only seven original stories in the world. If you read enough, and pay attention to life, you can actually begin to see them unfold in realtime. You grow able to predict what the author of that real life story is going to do next. Which story they seek to recreate in their own life.

Donald Trump is far from an original. In fact we’re all familiar with this story he’s writing. For many of us it’s our favorite movie, book or television show. We’ve seen it unfold countless times, albeit in differing variations.

The agents of fear and oppression rise up, usually in the form of a privileged older male pseudo populist whose good fortune depends on preserving the status quo. He uses fear and oppression as his primary tools. His speech comprised of thinly veiled dog whistles that call upon the deplorables of society to rise up. His policies implicitly condone the dirty work and agenda of those who once sat on the fringe of society.

His nationalistic rhetoric encourages them to sow discord; to intimidate others to get on board. to bully, peer pressure, threaten and blackmail similar patriots and relatives who may agree with the message but be resistant to the harsh methods. Over time they too will join the cause or face excommunication from the party. Those branded race or party traitors to be forever blacklisted and cast out.

As he consolidates power the narcissist grows. He begins to divide traditional alliances through rumor, false promises and chaos. He discredits opponents with lies, misinformation and alternative facts.

As the story progresses the emerging authoritarian begins to act more erratic. The threat of a “deep state”, and traditional checks and balances begin to weigh heavy on he who chases the crown.

As the opposition grows and coalesces, the motive of the dictatorial villain grows more transparent. The desire for ultimate power drive increasingly brutal and more brazen tactics. Dissent must be suppressed! Foreign enemies abound! A caravan of rapists and criminals approach unchecked! Now is not the time for #resistance!

Midway through the story a cataclysmic event occurs. The stuff of nightmares. A society’s worst fears realized. Freedoms must be restrained as a new threat rises. At this point resistance is futile. The takeover complete.

That’s the story Trump and his caravan of the corrupt are trying to write. The appointment of Whitaker. The war on the press and needless taunts of our closest allies. It’s clear that we’re already very close to that midway point.

There’s another version of this story though. The one written about the protagonist. A story of hope, freedom and perseverance. How love saves the day. A last minute miracle. A heroic act that thwarts catastrophy and exposes the naked emperor, unmasks the fraud.

In that story truth, justice and the “American” way win out. “We, the people,” can still write that story. Look around, look around. The resistance is real. We are the majority. We simply need that hero to step forward to lead us

Either way; the good news is the story always ends the same way. Love, empathy, sacrifice and acceptance win the day. A new hope emerges in the blooms of renewed unity and tolerance. The villain is denounced and rejected. Grows to be nothing more than a cautionary tale in history’s annals.

I’ve read this book a thousand times. Societies advance, grow more civil and tolerant.

The question is not if freedom wins. It’s how long and at what cost it will take for her to do so. Progress knows but one direction #Forward

The Rainbow Wave

I’m as excited as anyone at the prospect of a Blue Wave. I hope with all my being that the American people are given a free and fair chance to right this ship; an opportunity to bring some adults back into the room. Yet if there is one lesson learned over these past 2 years it’s that character matters. It is not, and should not be strictly about party or, even winning. The substance of the candidate matters as well.

If our Republic was functioning as intended it would be more than a wave of Democrats voted into office this election year. It would be our best leaders from across the spectrum. True representatives that would not divide this nation into false “us” verse “them” narratives. A representative body not just diverse in sex, race and color, but in thought as well.

America was a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world. Exceptional in hee diversity, she was the land of hope and opportunity. A fierce defender of individual freedom, she pledged liberty and justice for all. To get that back will require real leadership.

To truly make America great again, we will need to elect leaders who work for the people they represent. The ones that walk the walk. The greatest leaders do share certain attributes that contribute to their success, but not lockstep political beliefs.

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

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

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

Those 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.

Those 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.

Those 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.

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

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

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

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

Those 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.

Those 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 answers, I hope, are obvious. At least this year they are. It is your civic responsibility to vote, informed consent of the public a constitutional requirement. Well until such time the GOP prove even qualified to perform the job, to act as an independent check and balance on the Executive, they are unelectable. Basic job understanding being a prerequisite for consideration. That leaves most Americans with only one choice. That is unfortunate but the reality we are in.

So this year let’s hope and pray for a #BlueWave. Please go out and vote like your freedom depends on it. In numbers that cannot be denied.

But starting next year let’s hope for the start of a #RainbowWave. The election of the greatest leaders from across the country. The ones whose uniqueness and diversity is instantly recognized across the globe as the example of man’s progress

Iceberg Ahead!

As a nation we stand on the decks of the Titanic. Aware the ship has hit a giant iceberg. That it is taking in water at a pace that will lead to inevitable disaster. That time is not on our side and survival will require immediate action. Yet as I scan the throngs of people who share in my circumstance, in search of direction, a voice of hope, a leader. To my surprise I find none.

Instead our so called leaders, the very crew who steered us into this mess, reassure the masses that this is all a part of the normal growing pains you may expect with any maiden voyage. That the Titanic is not your typical ship so the lessons of the past do not apply to the present. It was designed by the brightest minds to be indestructible. There is nothing to see here. Look at the economy! It’s a standing room only crowd and the decor is to die for. Drown out the doomsayers and enjoy the band they instruct unironically. The cognitive dissonance is strong.

Our leaders need to learn from the lessons of America’s past. Need to understand the importance of taking proactive action. That this nation was founded and preserved due to the proactive nature of the American spirit. So many of our heroes, Washington, Hamilton, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Truman all grew to be revered for their foresight and courage. Heck even our Comrade in Chief’s hero, Andrew Jackson, understood how essential it is to take steps to mitigate an impending catastrophe, rather than wait to respond until it came to you.

Whether paralyzed by fear or blissfully ignorant of the danger I know not. What I know is that it’s not enough to sit silently as the smoke thickens and billows overhead. To keep dancing obliviously as new flames seemingly erupt in every direction. To simply stare in disbelief as the deck chairs begin to sway, confident that help will arrive shortly.

Until we confirm that the so called President of the United States and leader of the free world, was hired by and is working for the American people we cannot continue to advance his agenda. We cannot give deference to his nominees or judicial appointees. We cannot allow every Executive Order and unilateral decision to withdraw from international treaties to go unchallenged. Each baiting tweet to be left uncensured and as if official position of the United States citizenry.

“We, the people,” cannot sit back and watch as the 1% are ushered into the life boats right under our noses. We must demand action. To put our faith in the belief that the crew in charge won’t really allow the ship to sink ignores recent history. We must insist they act today to protect us all. Regardless of party, race, class or creed we are all passengers on this ship. At this point to do nothing is beyond appeasement; it’s assisted suicide. #Resist