Donald Trump And The Hairy Arm Theory

Don’t get lost in the tweetstorms. Donald Trump is nothing more than a hairy arm.

There’s a theory that goes something as follows. Everyone loves to be a critic. It’s a human instinct to want to offer feedback, feel a part of the process, have your voice heard. It theorizes that humans are social creatures that need something to talk about. So, in the words of Bonnie Raitt, “let’s give them to something to talk about.” Place a hairy arm in the middle of a picture in an effort to divert attention away from the underlying body of work. Offer a mistake so obvious, so glaring that the masses will say “I love that photo but you need to crop that hairy arm out of it,” all without paying attention to the fact that the focal point of the picture is a giant middle finger.

Donald Trump, our curmudgeonly Comrade in Chief is that hairy arm. Nothing more than 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 mask what is really going on. Who rely on it to distract focus away from the big picture; the new world order being ushered in right under our noses. The steps being taken to ensure preservation of the status quo beyond the point demographics should allow. The giant middle finger Ryan, Pence, Putin, McConnell, the Koch Brothers, Bannon and others are holding out to America.

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. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

Trump instead embodies 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 over compensates 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, those less able to defend themselves.

Yes our so called President 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 so devoid of self awareness that, so long as you feed his ego and advance his own agenda of increased power and adoration, can be manipulated to adopt any position. 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. A man of such notorious poor character that he makes an easy mark for men of ill repute. To collect a dossier and use it as blackmail if he dared to disobey. A man who when faced with a sixth bankruptcy, and with nowhere to turn after newly enacted financial regulations prevented an over leveraged real estate tycoon from obtaining a loan through traditional channels, did what any powerful man desperate to live up to his daddy’s name would do. Reach out to his Russian counterparts for a little quid pro quo. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

It’s easy to doubt the above. To ignore the obvious and turn a blind eye to what it may all mean. The repercussions in store for the future of this country. The time for cognitive dissonance, however, is over. Get out of your bubble. The evidence is overwhelming. The lies, cover-ups, secret channels and admissions of obstruction all point to the same conclusion. Watch as all of Trump’s earliest segregates get exposed for hiding their Russian connections. Follow the money. This is not fantasy or conspiracy. The connections are real. The timing of the one time NY social liberal turned Tea Party Christian crusader is not coincidence. We no longer have the luxury to deny the undeniable.

So what you may ask is our Comrade in Chief distracting us from. Look around, look around. Remove the hairy arm from the picture and the answers are right in front of you. See the new world order of Bannon and Putin’s dreams take shape. The collapse of old alliances and treaties. The rise of new partnerships and priorities. Listen to the dog whistles and historical rallying cries ring out and watch as the deplorables rise up. A once powerful nation being divided by committed Democratic Arsonists eager to burn down the very system that made us exceptional.

Watch the smiles spread across the pursed lips of Ryan and Pence as they watch the status quo be secured. The spread of so-called Christian values reinforced by statutes. The preconditions for the Rapture set in motion. Observe as the ranks of disenfranchised and “imprisoned for being poor and/or black” swell. As those doors of equality that recently opened to women, minorities and other underrepresented classes of our society get callously slammed shut just as they reach the precipice of entry. Witness the reinforcement of institutionalized racism and the literal erection of artificial barriers to entry and opportunity that disproportionately impact certain ethnic or racial populations. Marvel as profits take priority over people. Short term corporate interests given favor over long term global concerns. The populist who gives not two shits for people overseeing a proactive approach to a permanent oligarchy. An all out assault on or freedoms masked through conditioned subservience.

The man himself is doing very little except dominating the headlines. His words often at odds with the very laws being enacted under his watch. That of course is no coincidence. Donald Trump is a nothing more than a hairy arm. We all know our founders guaranteed us a right to “bare” arms. It is our patriotic duty to #resist

A Call To Action

“Danger, Will Robinson,” “Beware the Ides of March,” “Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts” “The British Are Coming,” “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US,” “Winter is Coming!”

So many famous stories, whether rooted in science fiction or history, past or present, are built on the premise of future danger. Stress a need for the protagonist to act proactively to avoid an impending catastrophe. To anticipate what the enemy will do next and take actions to prepare for, mitigate or prevent the intended outcome. Sometimes they listen; rally the troops, fortify supplies, prepare countermeasures. Other times they fall on deaf ears; tragedy ensues, civilizations fall, buildings crumble.

The situation America faces today is no less dire than those above. Donald Trump poses a clear and present danger to the American dream and democracy as we know it. Unfortunately instead of memorable rallying cries, for the most part our leaders offer deafening silence. An occasional stern warning about lines Deranged Donald dare not cross. A nice sound bite or tweet from an individual representative, but as a whole, crickets. Many continue to bury their heads to the obvious truth. They give “deference” to his nominees and confirm each willing sycophant and “yes man.” They rely on decorum and outdated and obviously ineffective means of checks and balances. Rather than anticipate what may come next and act to prevent it, they issue stern rebukes after the fact. Refuse to take an unprecedented leading role in the face of an unconventional risk.

The resistance itself mostly built on a single strategy, the Blue Wave is coming they warn those in power. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a wonderful thing and I wish it to be true. The engagement of the American people is remarkable. The grassroots energy being generated through protests, campaigns, town halls and meet ups a welcomed development. The diversity of the candidates, coupled with their qualifications makes them among some of most qualified we’ve seen in generations. They deserve to be rewarded. To be given a chance to hold our so called President to account.

The thing is the election is 5 months away. In Trump time that is 3.5 years worth of news and events, roughly 1,500 new lies and 150 new scandals.

Meanwhile no countermeasures are being enacted to mitigate the growing risks. Mueller and his team remain unprotected. Unqualified fundamentalist judges hell bent on preserving the status quo long past the time demographics would ordinarily allow are now fill our Circuit Courts, with more vacancies filled each month. Permanent tax cuts and other legislation are passed under the dark of night ensuring a legal caste system for generations of Americans to come. The ranks of the American Taliban continue to swell to the point they now brazenly take to our streets draped in their confederate flags and armed with their assault rifles and bibles, ready to take on any situation. Our former allies grow more nervous as they are already beginning to wonder aloud just who the threat to world stability really is. Mother Earth continues her slow burn, choking on the smog of rolled back regulations and oozing through the fissures caused by expanded drilling, fracking and military explosions. Attacks on the free and independent press continue unabated. The so-called “enemy of the people,” a necessity for informed consent, usurped as a vehicle for propaganda and alternative facts.

Meanwhile Russia looms. Suddenly visible not just from the windows of Wasilla, but from the hallowed halls of the White House itself. The smoke and EVIDENCE of knowing collusion seen everywhere from Trump’s repeated refusal to implement sanctions, to his hiring of Flynn and Manafort, to his flagrant obstruction, to his shady real estate dealings, to his passing along of classified information, to the countless secret meetings and trips, to the tipping them off of impending military operations in Syria whose success to destroy chemical weapons was dependent on the element of surprise, to the Michael Cohen slush fund, all the way to the outright refusal to directly say anything negative about Puppetmaster Putin.

Meanwhile the signs of compromise grow more evident. Why wait 19 days to fire the Head of NSA and allow him unfettered access to our most sensitive secrets after learning he had lied about being an ACTIVE foreign agent? How do you explain the payments from Russian oligarchs? Why fire AG Yates and blame the leakers rather than the actual known liar and security risk? Why lie about whether you stayed in Russia the night the infamous pee tape was filmed? Why fire Comey and slander an honorable man in Bob Mueller with charges of bias and “witch hunt” when you know his investigation is predicated on probable cause. The indictments, raids, and warrants all supported by mountains of evidence. Why the lies, omissions and selective memory? Why the false equivalents and misdirections? Why refuse to offer transparency and meet with Mueller? Most of all why would Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who has never before acted with America’s best interest in mind, go to such great lengths and invested precious Russian resources specifically to elect the man who promised to “make America great again!” What was in it for him?

Meanwhile a propaganda campaign rages. Peace through strength scream our headlines as the Korean summit nears and Iran regroups in the face of US backed Israeli muscle. Our intelligence agency are discredited at every turn. Sworn enemies of our leader are suddenly being exposed for their own closeted sins. The economy booms as money flows like candy into the arms of defense contractors and Wall Street. Terrorists are on the run. Illegal immigrants being pushed further into the shadows.

Meanwhile our most precious democratic institutions are being attacked and dismantled. Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Ryan Zinke, appointed by sworn democratic arsonists to burn down the very system they got rich off of. Our standing as the beacon of hope and freedom extinguished. Lady Liberty weeps as children are separated from their families at our borders. Dreamers wake in horror as their parents are rounded up in hospitals, schools and their places of employment and the fear of being returned to foreign lands they have never known grows real.

Meanwhile, we have confirmation that Russia continues to actively promote our Comrade in Chief’s agenda through misinformation campaigns on social media. That they actively seek to interfere in our midterm elections. That American intelligence is aware of this activity. That in the past they have accessed voter rolls and our most state databases. That our so called President has done absolutely nothing about it! Instead our Justice Department steps up investigation of the deep state conspiracy. Seeks to expose the Democrats as frauds. Nothing more than a bunch of whiners and haters. Obama and Hillary at the center of it all! Instead they form commissions of voter fraud and question the past results in traditional blue states. They reinstate draconian drug laws that they then use to justify the arrest and disqualification of a disproportionate number of liberal and progressive voters. Remove them from voter rolls.

My fellow Americans, “winter is coming!” We are rapidly accelerating towards the point of no return. We cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for a long off Election Day to voice our displeasure. The stakes are too high and the future too nebulous. It is naive to put all of our belief in free and fair elections. We believed the polls in 2016 too. Only Donald Trump, a man obsessed with polls, believed his election was guaranteed. A fair accompli so inevitable that he promised to protest the election results only in the event he lost. It makes one wonder what he knew that nobody else did?

The point is we can’t put all of our eggs in one basket. What if Democrats don’t win a majority? We need to be more aggressive. The best way to defeat a bully is to bring the fight to him. We need our citizens to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, DAILY demonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods are required.

We need our leaders to take to the steps of the Capital EVERY DAY. Bullhorns in hand they should be leading the crowd. Listing all of the misdeeds being committed by this den of corruption. Publicly read pages from “The List” by Amy Siskind that captures Trump’s first year in office and the actions taken by the regime that pose a threat to our democratic norms. Refuse to advance the people’s business until legislation is brought to the House and Senate floor protecting Mueller and his investigation.

“A storms a-coming!” “Stop playing Russian roulette with our democracy!” “BASTA!” None have the ring of “the British are coming,” but the resistance needs a rallying cry, a call to action. Something that will stir people to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice. To understand that the time to act is now.

The 3-D Painting

When I was a kid 3-D computer generated pictures were quite the fad. The ones you would stare cross eyed at for hours on end. Bits and pieces of the big picture coming in and out of focus. Your frustration builds with the knowledge that something epic awaits if you could only get your eyes to focus the right away. Then when you’re about to give up and your eyes start tearing up from exhaustion; voila! It all comes into focus. It was almost always some type of exhilarating scene. A dinosaur chase that featured a T-Rex reaching out to grab you in the foreground. A school of dolphins seemingly leaping out of the pixelated water and into your living room. The payoff always worth the effort.

As I to process the actions of Donald Trump and this den of corruption I feel like I’m back in high school staring at one of those pictures. I concentrate on all that’s been done these past 18 months and bits of the real picture, the hidden agenda, slowly comes into focus.

Look to the right. A bunch of middle aged smirking white men seem to be looking away from the rest of the picture. They shake hands and pat each other’s backs in a sense of accomplishment. A few appear to have their heads buried in the sand and others have their arms raised upright in a rapturous pose.

Behind them you make out the dreams of the GOP establishment coming into focus. Billboards line a pot holed highway. One marks the end of entitlements and social programs. “Say goodbye to your healthcare, food stamps, social security, and public benefits but hello to your temporary $200 tax cut,” it reads. Through a thick smog you make out the words of the next, “Regulations! We don’t need no stinkin regulations!” it says. “Toll Brother’s Toll booth ahead – $40” reads the last.

Is that Jesus moving into the forefront? A tear falling from his eye as he stands triumphantly in his Jerusalem throne. His foot resting on the throats of Muslims, Hindus, and a host of other non-believers as he takes in his kingdom.

Now close your right eye. Off to the left! Is that a shirtless Russian man riding on a horse? Standing in his shadow a seemingly endless line of workers doing hard labor. Rolling oil barrels directly into the Kremlin. Working with heavy machinery a pile of weapons of mass destruction amassed in the forefront. Ordinary looking people laying steel pipeline and rail. A massive red army on the march westward.

Open both eyes again and all you see is buckets of money falling from the sky like rain. Gold, silver and jewels piling up on the ground. International currencies from around the globe floating into focus. Shekls, rubles, dollars, euros, pounds, yens, even whatever they use in China all accounted for.

The middle part of the picture is the hardest to make out. Your eyes consistently distracted by the cheetoh orange swirls at the center of it all. The details that do emerge so horrible one must look away in horror from time to time. Military choppers fly through the sky. Major US cities lined with national guard as skyscrapers burn. Armed sentries sit in surveillance towers standing watch over the whole of America. Our borders encased in a wall of barb wire and chain linked fence give off the appearance of a giant prison yard.

Other random visions appear so quickly you are barely able to make sense of them. Is that a throng of young protestors with their hands cuffed behind their backs? Many appear bloodied, their placards and signs of dissent scattered and trampled in the streets. Others look defeated. A single marijuana joint hangs from their lips as they are loaded into a paddy wagon. A line of police cars queues up outside the overflowing prison. Large ships packed stern to stern with disheveled and scared looking minorities and immigrants. Men in hoodies. Women in hijabs. The Statue of Liberty a small dot in the distant horizon as the boats move further away from America’s shores.

You look away blinking back tears. Your concentration broken. What the hell does it all mean? All these disjointed images that flood your brain. You realize you have a choice. Start anew and try to make sense of it all. Recross those eyes and keep staring until the entirety of the big picture reveals itself, or walk away. Grow apathetic with the hope that someone else comes along who is able to see it for themselves. An independent arbiter so to speak who may or may not tell you what it is that’s really there.

For me the choice is clear. There is no option but to refocus and keep looking until it all makes sense. The entire picture emerges. I’ve invested too much to choose otherwise and walk away now. No, much like I did in high school I’ll keep searching for that final payoff.

There’s another funny thing about those pictures that motivates me to keep me looking. Sure you initially spend hours staring and talking about them, but once you figure them out and you “see it,” you quickly lose interest in them. Pretty soon after that they get taken off the walls. Relegated to the far reaches of the garage or attic, frame cracked, forgotten.

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

Why drain the swamp if you’re going to replace it with it a cesspool?

Flynn’s loyalty towards Russia wasn’t a surprise to anyone; not Donald Trump, not his jolly sidekick Preacher Pence, not our Congress, not even the American public. If you honestly believe Flynn was forced to hand in his resignation because he misled VP Pence then I need you to know that I’m a Private Investigator handling the estate of your Great Uncle. He was a widowed Nigerian Prince with no heirs and a large inheritance. If you will just overnight me a money order I’ll wire transfer it right over to you.Seriously, if Pence was misled it’s ‘s only because he wished to be. It’s called willful ignorance or plausible deniability.

Here’s what was widely known about Flynn before he was offered the opportunity to lead our National Security Agency. In 2012 he was fired from his job as head of Defense Intelligence Agency by then POTUS Obama. Scuttlebutt is he was a terrible manager who left chaos in his wake. He went on to become a Trump surrogate and twitter conspiracy theorist. Leading chants of “lock her up” in what is described by former colleagues as unusual behavior. As recently as 2015 Flynn was a paid contributor by Russia’s state broadcaster, Russia Today, for appearing on its air. In December of that year he attended a Moscow dinner and sat as a guest of honor next to Puppetmaster Putin himself. I could go into his relations with Erdogan or quote his Islamaphobic opinions but you get the picture.

Does that sounds like an ideal candidate to you? Like someone a CEO President, whose number one priority is keeping this nation safe, would select to fill one of the most critical roles in our collective security? Flynn raised so many red flags he may as well have had a sickle and hammer tattooed into his forehead. It is one thing to be qualified for a job and a whole other thing to be fit for it.

If a refugee applied for entry into this country and their application was dependent on alternative facts, slogan and propaganda we’d send him straight to Guantanamo! We certainly would not hand him the keys to the Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall White House and access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets. That is not normal.

So I’m going to suggest something a little radical. Why don’t all of us, Democrat, Republican and Independent start holding our leaders accountable. Let’s start by demanding they conduct “routine vetting” of each and every Cabinet nominee, judicial appointee, and White House advisor from this day forward.

Heck our so called President should sign an EO tomorrow insisting upon it. After all our national security is his number one priority!

History Has Its Eyes On You

You can sense the impending explosion. Hear the kindling crackle and feel the intensity of the heat rise as the embers glow ever brighter. You know this is no ordinary fire. That the smart thing to do is take cover. Yet you remain anchored in place by past experience. “You’ve never been burned before so why panic now,” you say to yourself. Besides, you are prepared for an emergency. The fire extinguisher is nearby and other traditional safeguards are in place to prevent catastrophe. So you ignore your spidey senses and do nothing. You stay in place and wait, prepared to react to whatever may come next. Oblivious to the fact you may never get that chance.

We’ve had 44 other presidents in this country. Some who previously served in the role were not good men. Many were corrupt and power hungry. Some had authoritarian tendencies and used the bully pulpit to foster divisions amongst the American citizenry. Others personally profited from the office. A few could probably be best described as immoral or maybe even criminal.

No matter who served in office, however, Americans were able to take comfort in the fact that our checks and balances were architected to prevent catastrophe. We took comfort in the fact that though our democratic institutions and individual freedoms may get temporarily burned, the house and those residing inside it would remain. That we would live to see another day. Another vote.

Unfortunately past experience does not apply to Donald Trump. The safeguards currently in place are ill equipped to adequately protect against such an unconventional threat. They were built on the premise of trust. On the belief that those in office serve the public and will act logically and represent the interest of the majority of the electorate. If not they will be voted out in a free and fair election or otherwise neutralized under the law.

Moreover, to function as designed our system of government relies on the informed consent of the electorate. It assumes facts exist and that a free and independent press will enjoy the freedom to report them, without being required to give equal time to the talking heads espousing alternative facts.

Our founders were well aware the threat a single authoritarian posed to individual liberty. They took great care to design a system of government with three separate, but equal branches of governance. That way if one branch sought to abuse its power the members of the other branches had the tools to bring action to protect the greater whole. Much like a fire extinguisher, however, these tools were not meant to be passive. There success is dependent on somebody being there to operate them.

We know Donald Trump is petrified of the Mueller investigation and where it could lead. Guilty people generally still know what they’ve done. We know Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who has never before acted with America’s best interest in mind, went to great lengths and invested precious Russian resources specifically to elect the man who promised to “make America great again!” We know that Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey, Berman and Wray, all life long Republicans, are going to unprecedented lengths to raise the red flags to the American public that there is some serious cause for concern. We know of the public refusal to denounce Putin by name or hold Russia to account for its attempts at interference in our election. We know of the public threats and private attempts to fire Mueller and end the investigation. We know the man who mocked his predecessor for doing so, telegraphed forthcoming military operations to our enemy apparently with ample time for them to prepare! Yet, despite all evidence that an unprecedented threat looms, the vast majority of our elected officials continue to play traditional politics. Act content to rely on reactionary safeguards.

Let me be clear. I don’t give two shits about party politics. This has never been about red verse blue. This is about patriotism. This is about the evolution of the American dream. We can no longer stand by passively. Our representatives need to get off their asses and do their intended job. Grab the extinguisher before the flames erupt uncontrollably and the conflagration consumes us all.