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

Impede, Impeach, Indict

It’s so simple even the Democrats shouldn’t be able to eff this up.

Impede, impeach, indict.

Yesterday was a good day. The witches are coming home to roost. Our CEO President who should know a thing or two about the art of the interview and importance of due diligence hired a criminal to run his campaign. His one time fixer pleaded guilty to multiple felonies and implicated our Dear Leader as a knowing conspirator in some. To top it all off the stench of the cesspool grew ever stronger as Duncan Hunter, yet another of our Comrade in Chief’s earliest Congressional supporters, was indicted for financial crimes. Safe to say the noose got a lot tighter around that orange neck.

Today should be a turning point. The day in which the resistance seizes the narrative. It no longer depends on the Mueller investigation. The latest tweet, Sarah Sanders soundbite, Giuliani Chewbacca defense, or Propaganda Hannity piece may finally be ignored. The sitting President has been implicated in a crime. His earliest surrogates are dropping like flies. Look out your windows and you can practically see the Russian witches burning at the stake.

Impede, impeach, indict.

Our elected leaders swore an oath to defend our Constitution and the people of this great nation. They can no longer advance the agenda of a man who was already under active investigation for colluding with a foreign adversary and who now stands accused of campaign finance and election law violations. Until we, the people, receive independent assurance that our so called President was elected by and is working for the American people our leaders need to work to actively impede and prevent him from pushing through anymore of his questionable agenda or policies.

Every patriot in Congress, regardless of party, must insist on extreme vetting of all nominees put forth by this administration, regardless of position. After all how can the American people trust the vetting procedure of a man who hired an active foreign agent to head his National Security Agency, an embezzling financial felon to run his campaign, and a bumbling crook as his personal fixer?

The time is now. It starts with Kavanaugh. You cannot allow an accused criminal the ability to handpick 2 members of his jury. Our independent legislative branch must seize the narrative, connect the dots and grind this nation’s government to a halt, if necessary, to ensure her continued independence.

Impede, Impeach, Indict

Past the Point of No Return

Our leaders should be taking to the streets reminding Americans of what is at stake. Leading the people in protests and painting a clear picture to all Americans of who we are up against. That Vladimir Putin, a former Soviet era KGB agent is a man of great intelligence who has never once prior acted with America’s best interest in mind. That he is a man who always thinks two steps ahead. For some reason that very man is known to have used the resources of the Russian government and power of Russian intelligence to help elect our so called President into office. And to be clear Putin endorsed Trump to defeat not just Hillary, but to defeat all challengers regardless of party.

The leader of the free world is under active investigation for colluding with Russia and rather than cooperate to prove his innocence he has obstructed every attempt at an independent investigation. Let that sink in. His loyalties are in serious question and hear we stand cheering him on as he embarks in historic negotiations with a depraved dictator. Heretofore known as a ruthless international pariah who seemingly overnight has been legitimized by the so called leader of the free world. And for what? In exchange for a nuclear free peninsula!!

Have you all gone mad? There is no way these two are agreeing on anything that will advance the world’s collective interests. This summit has nothing to with a nuclear free peninsula or the advancement of world peace. This is all about the establishment of a new world order. The merging of the five families so to speak. A coalition of nuclear powered strongmen (Putin, Kim, Trump, Netanyahu, Xi…) coming together to oppose traditional Western values and create an international caste system.

Consider this. Prior to Trump taking office North Korea was known to be nuclear free, and as recently as 2016 was still believed to be several years away from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the mainland United States with a nuclear payload, and nowhere near capable of acquiring a destructive hydrogen warhead, capable of leveling cities. They were also still considered the most imminent threat to world stability due to their Deranged leader and the stockpile of chemical weapons and highly advanced ballistic missile program he had at his control. A stockpile that still exists today but for whatever reason, along with the gross human right abuses, no longer seem to be a concern to US interests.

It’s hard to explain why that may be since 1) In 2017 the UN Human Rights Council found the Kim regime to be the most repressive authoritarian states in the world, and 2) according to a June 2018 report from the NTI, Pyongyang has concentrated on acquiring mustard, sarin and V-type chemical agents. The North Korea may have tested chemical weapons on prisoners and the disabled in February 2014, and in February 2017, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated in the Kuala Lumpur international airport by suspected North Korean agents wielding the nerve agent VX.

The final snooze alarm is blaring. The time has come for all sane minded Americans regardless of party, to engage and demand transparency and accountability. Let’s agree to let bygones be bygones. Our fates are tied together. It’s either appeasement or resistance. Choose wisely #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou #Resist

http://www.nti.org/learn/countries/north-korea/

Is That A Singaporean Squirrel?

It seems such a simple concept. To defeat the narcissist you must starve it of the attention it so desperately seeks. To render it powerless you must seize the narrative; dictate the storyline du jour and control the water cooler talk. You must deprive its id of the glory that powers it, dictate the headlines, tweets and news scrolls so that the storylines no longer focus on the individual but on the crime itself. In other words to slay the cult of personality you must render the personality irrelevant, a mute.

Since the birth of the Birther, for the most part, our media has taken the opposite approach. They have breathed life into Donald Trump’s narrative and given even the most far fetched of his conspiracy theories credibility. Regardless of network, publication or political bias, our mainstream media has allowed the former reality show producer, the man and his minions who made a fortune scripting a fake reality and selling it to the masses as a “reality show,” to dictate the narrative. They have ceded their independence for ratings. Rather than focus on the big story they chase, dissect and report on the squirrels, red herrings and obvious decoys in nauseating detail; always ready to openly debate the legitimacy of each as if there is no obvious line between reality and perception.

Such is the case once again with the upcoming summit with North Korea. Rather than sound the alarm and inform the public of the iceberg that sits directly in front of our current course, our captains shift gears and speed towards the Nobel Peace Prize that floats like a buoy in the distant waters.

Rather than question and debate the wisdom of allowing a man whose very loyalty to this nation is under active FBI investigation to represent us in sensitive international negotiations, we focus on whether the summit is on or off, the drama of will he or won’t he give Kim Un the final rose. Spoiler Alert, he always was going to. The finale was written months in advance. The drama created only to keep you tuned in and talking.

Rather than ask “What is he hiding?” and investigate why the leader of the free world promotes baseless conspiracy theory meant to discredit and delay the independent investigation of his campaign, we focus on the theory themselves. Give credence to the bogus claims with endless reports on the allegations and near silence on the only question that matters “why?” Why would the leader of the free world purposefully fight independent efforts at transparency?

Rather than wonder and begin each scroll with “Whose side is he on?” our editors take it as a foregone conclusion that Trump has America’s best interests in mind. As we enter sudden and unprecedented negotiations with a ruthless dictator who to date has never acted with the free world’s best interest in mind we ignore that this very question is the subject of an open FBI investigation. We ignore the possibility that our primary diplomat may be compromised by a foreign hostile. Treat it as coincidence that Trump continually ignores decades of precedence to routinely humiliate and alienate our allies often to the benefit of former hostiles.

Rather than the big picture we blur efforts at informed consent by taking each new story as an independent development. Fail to tie together threads that would note a pattern of behavior to suggest that the man who’s primary responsibility is to uphold the laws of the constitution and protect the safety and national security of a nation does anything but. That from his first days in office he allowed a foreign agent to lead the National Security Agency and left him there unencumbered an additional 19 days after learning he had lied about his connections to Russia and may in fact be compromised. That throughout his term he has obstructed every effort to investigate Putin’s efforts to influence our election, resisted bipartisan efforts to place sanctions on Russia and embraced foreign policy that have direct economic benefits on the very oligarchs who were so interested in seeing Trump elected. That he hints at pardons for those whose very actions suggest treason, while baselessly vilifying those who ably and faithfully protected our nation for 17 years from enemy attack.

Rather than question what it is we seek we blindly accept that a peace deal with North Korea is good for the world. Fail to note the lessons of history; anything is negotiable, the question is at what price. Is the goal truly a denuclearized peninsula? In return for such a promise we will legitimize Kim Un’s standing on the world stage. The so called beacon of hope and freedom prepared to condone the actions of a man who purposefully starves his people, executes political rivals, and oversees a strict caste system where only the few will reap the benefits of the economic boon promised to flow in from the relaxing of our crippling sanctions.

It makes me wonder if we as a nation have suffered collective amnesia? Do we really not recall that North Korea was denuclearized prior to Trump’s election? That the consensus among the world’s intelligence community was that they were still years away from development of nuclear capabilities. That pressure was needed to get them to halt their nuclear program AND cease proliferation of ballistic missiles that pose a clear and direct threat to our allies in the region; to force him to cease his brutal human rights violations. Suddenly one of the founding residents of the “axis of evil” is okay by us so long as they give up their nukes?

Call me a contrarian but until we stop allowing Trump to dictate the narrative and framework we should not celebrate or applaud Trump’s sudden decision to meet with him. We should not wonder whether it will be a success. We should question why it wouldn’t be. What are we demanding that would advance our interests and not those of nations who heretofore never had our best interests in mind? Why shouldn’t we fear the new world order it portends. One where the actions and values of Putin, Kim Un, and Duerte are celebrated while those of Macron, Trudeau and Merkel mocked.

Nostradamus I’m not but this summit should scare the bejeesus out of us all precisely because its outcome has never been in doubt. Rather than question just how nuclear capable they even are given the prior intelligence reports and more recent acknowledgement that their test site collapsed and is unusable Trump will be celebrated as a man of peace. A master negotiator whose bold attitude hastened some sort of historic deal that will remain undefined and nameless. The results of the art of the deal where nobody even bothers to ask if the artist even knows how to draw

Our Freedom Is What Makes Us Great

Conceit has destroyed many an advanced civilization before and I reckon it now poses a clear and present danger to democracy as we know it. Our Comrade in Chief and his cesspool of corruption make no secret of their intent to usher in a new world order. To bring down what they consider the outdated system of governance our founding fathers devised. A system of governance that was designed first and foremost to prevent tyranny. The first of its kind to create three separate but equal branches of government to represent and serve the people of this great nation. A system which has sustained us for nearly 250 years and served as a beacon of hope, freedom and liberty to the whole world. That very system now finds itself under attack by those it was designed to prevent and destroy.

The same people who claim our founders had the foresight to guarantee individuals the right to bear a high capacity assault rifle, now tell us that these very men were unable to foresee the threat of foreign terrorists invading our soil. Unable to foresee aliens living within our shores. They will now have us believe that the ideas of informed consent and an independent legislative and judiciary branch place our national security at risk. Of course nothing could be further from the truth.

Put aside the fact that our founders were illegal aliens themselves and plenty wise to the concept and effectiveness of terror. Focus instead on the inherent fallacy of this logic. Our so called President believes America must change the way we govern and engage the international community because terrorists wish to do us harm. That it is necessary to rip a child from its mother’s arms, close our borders, profile and invade privacy to guarantee our freedom and liberty. Why do terrorists wish harm in the first place? It is because of the very way in which we govern. That is the great threat to the terrorists way of life.

A successful America is what the terrorist fears most. An America where individual freedoms are guaranteed and people are able to speak freely, assemble in opposition and worship as they please. An America where a free and independent press allows no man to escape accountability and all citizens to make informed choices. An America where no man, party, religion or corporation is mightier than the Constitution, or above the law. Where an intricate system of checks and balances protects the basic inalienable rights of all men, women and child.

America, our ideals, our values, our system of governance is what terrorists seek to destroy. It is also why the illegal alien risks everything to come live within our shores. That this administration seeks to be complicit in the destruction of that system and to do so in the name of national security is shortsighted and dim witted at best. That they more likely wish to do so in the pursuit of absolute power and enrichment. Well that would be nothing short of treasonous. Either way we must not normalize the insane or inane. We must #Resist

Scream

“Do you like scary movies? – Uh-Huh –

What’s your favorite scary movie?” – Scream (1996)

I admit it. I’m an alarmist. Full born “the sky is falling” when it comes to Trump and his merry bannon of deplorables. Feel like I’m in one of those horrible horror movies where the protagonists keep making one asinine decision after another. The casualties mount as common sense is cast aside for plot convenience. Friends and family suddenly move into the line of fire as each terrible choice ups the tension and gore.

I’m not one who typically looks back but like most legendary horror villains (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and Ghostface) this one didn’t form in a vacuum. He was created over time. A product of an environment created by a prior generation. The sins of the past catching up to the present. To beat it we need to learn those lessons. Understand the beast. Trap it in its own game.

So ask yourself, where did Donald Trump come from? Who created him? How did a social liberal from NY transform into an authoritarian fascist. Amazingly all paths lead back to one man. A lone Dr. Frankenstein so to speak.

Democrats in particular have been reticent to go down this path in recent years. Back in our parent’s day it was our favorite trail. A respite we knew to be lined with beautiful flowers. A safe place we’d return to for comfort. As the years passed we began to go less and less.

In 2008 we cleared the brush from the obscured entrance and once again began that familiar hike. This time the trail seemed more mysterious. Many of the flowers wilted. The path overgrown. The beauty somewhat masked. Behind any given rose a giant thorn seemed to be waiting to deliver an unavoidable prick to anyone who dared to touch it. A sense of danger permeated the air. We still dared pluck a few flowers for old time’s sake but did so believing we may never be back. That rather than tempt fate too long it was time to find a new trail. Choose the road less travelled when we came to the inevitable fork in the road.

Democrats opted for a change of scenery back in 2008 and for eight years we forged a new path. We took some missteps. As all pioneers do. But for the most part it was clear that we had chosen wisely. Moved the party forward. Yet somehow we ended right back to that once again obscured entrance. This time we entered cautiously. Aware we may no longer find it as comforting as we once had. Still we entered hopeful we’d come back to that fork. Make the same choice. Only this time when we arrived there was no choice. The fork was replaced with a giant “one way” sign. We were being forced to confront our demons. To discover what lie at the end of that trail.

Maybe it was a test like the way Yoda made Luke travel to Dagobah. Prove he was capable and ready to fight the dark side. Able to control his base impulses. Defeat it once and for all. It was as if in order to truly embrace the values of a progressive nation, we would first need to reject the Democratic Party of the past.

By now I hope it obvious. The man waiting at the end of that trail. That Dr Frankenstein. His name is William Jefferson Clinton. And the Democratic voters. We failed the test. Proved incapable of true progress.

America never really rejected Hillary. We rejected the Clinton machine. A political apparatus built on quid pro quos and political favors. That all too often prioritized party loyalty over people. That waged phony preemptive wars and did anything but support our troops. That favored corporations and catered to the 1%. That used their fame and access to personally enrich themselves and those around them. For better or worse that’s what Hillary is to many of us. A vestige of a rigged system. This is particularly true for the young progressives who drive enthusiasm and build energy into the base.

Ironically the Republicans were faced with a similar test. Donald Trump was a rejection of the Bush/Romney/McCain GOP. A statement by those on the right that they were tired of politics as usual. Done with the neocons. That the system was broken and needed a disrupter to fix it. Tired of losing they ate it up. They passed the test. Make no mistake Jeb, Cruz, Rubio all would have been slaughtered in a general election, by any Democratic candidate. America had already made that choice. This time the GOP fringe was galvanized and ready to inject energy into a stagnating base.

Those who saw this unfolding rallied for Bernie early on. We’re not talking the Bernie Bros further to the left. We’re talking Obama Dems. Bernie wasn’t the perfect candidate but he was the only one to back. The only one who knew what this election was about. It wasn’t about character, Bill Clinton had already removed that as a job requirement, it was about change.

Pure and simple this election. It was about rejecting a system that allowed for the creation of Donald Trump. The majority of Americans we don’t want that system. Amazingly Trump understood this. He held himself out as Exhibit A. Look at me! I am a monster created by a rigged system. I know it so well that only I can break it.

Of course he’s a con man. Had no intent to do any such thing. That was never the point. This was all about shaping perception. Those early 2008 Obama Dems, we understood that. Jumped off the Bernie train once hope was lost and threw our support behind Hillary this time. Resigned to the status quo but favoring it over narcissistic authoritarian rule. Hoped that the majority would see the emperor wore no clothes. That not all change is good change. We sat dumbfounded as Trump dominated the headlines. Pushed the narratives that reinforced the perceptions of the Clinton machine. Made it a reality in many independent’s minds. Anchored Hillary with the legacy of her husband rather than allow her to ride the coattails of a hugely popular incumbent. Made this an election about change rather than values. The rest as they say is history.

In the words of The Fly, “Be afraid… Be very afraid.”

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