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 engineered by the brightest minds to be indestructible reassure the cew.

Meanwhile the ship keeps taking in water and the band plays on unawares. 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 music they instruct unironically. The cognitive dissonance is strong among the passengers, anxious to believe this is par for course..

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.

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.

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.

“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

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Greed is the Word

The greatest threat to capitalism has never been socialism. That’s just a boogeyman to distract you from the real enemy, greed.

The insatiable appetites and desires of those who lust for unimaginable masses of riches and will go to any lengths imaginable to gain it. The gluttony of those who rig the system to hang on to what’s theirs and to instill artificial barriers to entry to prevent others from obtaining market share. The insecurities that lead those in power to legislate a permanent caste system to protect their future generations and insulate them from competition.

Make no mistake. The greatest threat to the “American Dream” is Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Koch brothers and the old money white aristocracy that makes up the majority of today’s GOP and Senate. The very people who seek to sow fear and marginalize Democratic Socialists do so with the worst of intent.

There’s a reason greed is a deadly sin. Ultimately it will destroy whatever it touches. A free market economic system based on merit and public value is no exception. That those who most benefitted from that system now sit back and cheer its destruction is hardly a surprise. It’s one thing for a talented tycoon to inherit his way to the top, it’s a whole other thing to stay there.

Hamilton and the designers of our capitalist system were aware of the danger of avarice and market manipulation. It’s why they so many legislative safeguards and checks and balances were designed to mitigate the risk of greed (not socialism). Unfortunately those guardrails were meant to protect us against individual beings, not political parties, corporate conglomerates, lobbies and unidentifiable PACs. When the courts extended inalienable rights typically reserved for those with flesh, blood and a pulse to these nebulous and nefarious groups they essentially short circuited our republic. Our checks and balances were not designed for the modern world. Our constitutional rule book no longer applies

Kiss My Grits

If our leaders truly cared for our national security they’d figure out a bipartisan way to ensure each and every person in this picture of a domestic terrorist network never legally purchases another firearm in this country.

For let’s be unequivocal on this issue. There are not good people on both sides. The history of the Confederacy is not the history of the United States. The racist heroes of the GOP had the good graces and Southern decency to secede once they came to understand what “America” is truly about. They didn’t pretend to be something they weren’t, patriots of the United States of America, an immigrant nation whose diversity reflects off our shores to serves as the beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed.

If you don’t like that well as those Confederate heroes of yours would say, “Kiss my grits!”

America, What a Country

Trump is an empty vessel. A freelance reality show host available for hire. Stick a storyline in front of him, tell him the type of character he is to play and he can obfuscate with the greats. If you don’t believe he can do it just check out his work on The Apprentice when for the first and only time in his life the man uttered the words “you’re fired” while looking the terminated employee in the eye. As an aside I hope when Pelosi decides its time to do her actual job she simply sends @realdonaldtrump a tweet, “You’re being impeached!”

The point is Trump’s only agenda is power and money, everything else he does are terms in the art of deal. His entire administration a giant quid pro quo to multiple masters, Russian oligarchs included.

There’s a reason each faction of the GOP stands behind Trump. Military hawk, Christian conservative, trickle down white establishment prick, or true deplorable it matters not, there’s room for all in Trump’s world. It’s all gobblygook to him anyway. What does he care if he has to portray himself as a pro-life, pro-Christ, confederate loving, gun-toting, America First, proud to be a redneck summabitch. So long as it keeps him out of jail, earns him millions and results in his becoming the most powerful man in the world he’s happy to play along.

The rest of the GOP. They know this. They know it’s all an act but they don’t care so long as each agenda continues to get pushed. They also know that by pretending to represent everyone Trump is the only man who can unify the GOP. That the modern GOP is truly just a collection of “other” that was ready to go extinct from the national stage following back to back losses to a Black man of all things. All that remained was a loose fabric of fiscal conservatism that held a potpourri of single issue voters together. The truth is the GOP is still nothing more than a regional political platform, the NHL of political world.

As for the GOP electorate it’s no wonder they coalesced around Trump and idolize him. He’s the only national candidate who actually legitimized all regional issues into a single national platform. That he abandoned fiscal conservative principles to do so was collateral damage. The so called moderate Republicans were really secret liberal elites anyway like Comey, Will, McCabe, Mueller, and Gates. The rest of the conservative population continue to idolize the only national voice, outside of right wing media, that actually speaks for them.

Truth is Trump is a puppet and his political handlers continue to ride out the storm counting their return on investment. Big grins on their faces as the rich get richer, the military grows, arms race revive, the preconditions for Armageddon get closer and the bigots are given equal standing to the peaceful protestors.

I won’t pretend to know the thoughts of Vladimir Putin as he observes the international chaos he has no doubt directed, but imagine they echo those of another famous Russian, Yakov Smirnof, in his assessment of our affairs, “America, what a country!”

We Reap What We Sow

It’s easy to toss labels and dismiss our so called President as a hate filled racist. To blame him for the obvious divide that exists in our country. To point to the recent spate of mass murders as evidence of Trump’s poisonous effect on our society. The truth isn’t that simple though. To truly heal as a nation America is going to have to realize that Trump isn’t the cause of America’s ills, he’s the result.

‪The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talents, skills or virtues beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissist with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame‬.

More than the violence portrayed in video games and entertainment over the past generation what America has truly placed value on is fame and celebrity, at any cost. Time and again greed and avarice has been rewarded with magazine covers and reality tv shows.

Talentless hacks have launched fashion, music, reality tv, and pop culture empires with no qualifications beyond a well timed sex tape, teen pregnancy, failed audition, sound bite or in some cases drunken debauchery. Amoral executives celebrated for the ungodly sums of money they have amassed as their workers struggle pay check to check anxious in the knowledge they are one unforeseen expense away from ruin.

Billionaires who boast about paying a lower tax rate than the chauffeurs who drive them around town. Who unironically cite their ability to artificially manipulate the free market as proof of their economic genius and capitalist ability. Corrupt politicians who lack all empathy and who care more for the unborn than the living. Who sell their influence to the highest lobbyist and unabashedly serves the party over we, the people.

More than the problem Donald Trump is a symptom of what plagues America. Our so called President stands for nothing and cares only for power, fame and money. He is driven by ratings and vengeance, and looks only for the next score to settle, a deal to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Doing so allows him to continue presenting alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality

Where were they radicalized?

America has a domestic terrorism problem. We must confront that fact with the same urgency we rightfully demand of Muslim leaders. Whether we like it or not, the threat is similar. We need to take a hard look at what drives each new perpetrator to commit such heinous acts. What motivates these overwhelming number of young, white, males to have such blatant disregard for human life. We need to ask ourselves, “where were they radicalized?”

Behavior matter. This has nothing to do with politics. Look at Donald Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class President let alone leader of the free world.

When you dehumanize people, treat them as less than human and threaten to “send them back” as if they are defective merchandise. When you use your platform to characterize people who live within our shores as “animals,” as unworthy of the basic inalienable rights bestowed upon all men, you create a culture of indifference. You birth a generation that is losing the ability to empathize. That sees targets and avatars in their crosshairs rather than sons and daughters. You create an expectation of violence and bloodshed. You spit on the vision of our founding fathers and blasphemy the words of our Declaration of Independence. The essential truths set forth therein.

When you draw false equivalents between those who protest for equality and freedom with those who represent hatred and ignorance. Who use tiki torches and strap assault rifles to their bodies to intimidate and snuff out those who seek progress. When you see the good in klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists you give voice to the fringe of society. You enable their message of hate and violence. Allow those who hate for other reasons, who feel excluded, isolated and left out to rationalize their desires.

When you bow to the statues of confederate soldiers, display the hate filled flag on your pick up truck, and conflate the history of the Confederacy with that of the United States you deny the American dream. When you name call, cyberbully, race bait and shame people based on their looks you encourage our kids to do the same. To separate themselves from those they don’t like and humiliate them for it. When a pro- life agenda only includes the unborn, the living become expendable.

We reap what we sow. This is not a problem that can be prayed away. There are no alternative facts. The time for cognitive dissonance, for denial, is past. Save us the hypocrisy of lowering your flags to half mast. In fact, raise them Stars and Stripes high and proud instead. This is America! This is what we’ve come to accept as normal.

This is what we will remain until we elect leaders who understand, who as a nation we were founded to be. Who lead with the knowledge that the American identity exists. That the vast majority of us want the same things. That we share so many more values in common than we do ideas that tear us apart. That there is no “us” or”them”, “red” or “blue.”

From shore to shore America is comprised of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, young and old, Muslim, Christian, Jews, atheists and other, Irish, Italian, Asian, African, European and Native, scientists and clergy, gun enthusiasts and gun control advocates, men and women. We are the great melting pot. That diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger can change its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over.

To solve school violence, immigration, terrorism, or even the opioid epidemic requires we all respect multiple views and ideas. It requires a change in Washington, DC. An understanding that we are a nation built on compromise, trust and acceptance.

Sending Out An S.O.S.

I’m not sure if it’s willful blindness, cowardice or complicitness but Americans, and more importantly our Democratic and opposition leaders need to wake up to a simple fact.

The American system of checks and balances is dead. The constitutional crisis is here.

Newsflash The GOP control the White House, the Senate and the Supreme Court!

You have zero chance of getting answers from the caravan of corrupt criminals and enablers who are already in control and occupy the three most powerful arms of the US government. Perhaps we’ve been too busy paying attention to the distractor in Chief to realize that an entire caste system has been legislated into existence.

More troubling is the entire judiciary has been transformed to enforce the values of white Christian America long past the point demographics would have otherwise allowed. To interpret “we, the people” to include JP Morgan, Halliburton, Monsanto, Bain, Amway and the Koch Brothers; but not JP Hernandez, Halil el Burtun, Juan Santos, LeBain Johnson, Anyone Gay, or the Koch Sisters.

All this time we spend focused on Donald Trump. Countless hours spent reporting on his every outrageous move, sound bite, and tweet. Wake up and smell the coffee! The man himself is not the story. He’s a means to an end, a pawn, a hairy arm to distract you fools. To give you something to talk about. Why on earth do you think nobody in the GOP will hold him to account?!?!.

To date, the McConnell led Senate has confirmed 146 Article III judges nominated by a man who REMAINS an active target of a counterintelligence investigation. This includes 44 judges to the US Court of Appeals and 99 judges to the District Courts, and 2 to Associate Justices to the US Supreme Court.

The majority of these mostly white men will be the ones to determine the limits of Executive Privilege and the House Democrat investigative reach. Do you trust them to stop this bloodless coup?

Rather than face this truth Democrat leaders march on and inspire us to vote Blue in 2020. They choose to take us down the path of traditional checks and balances, blind to the fact an unconventional threat looms. They bellow that our participation in the political process is the last great hope to restore our democracy! To remove the openly corrupt leader from our nation’s highest office and restore common decency!

Meanwhile, Rome burns. This isn’t a political fight. There is no political opposition only a consolidated faction of self interested criminals who seek to control the future of the greatest nation on Earth. To think our participation in the suspect and possibly rigged electoral system which placed the inept and unpopular buffoon into office in the first place is the key to his removal, ridiculous.

Does anyone think the way to remove a corrupt authoritarian from office is to vote him out in a free and fair election that he controls? In the history of the world has a single free and fair election been lost by an incumbent authoritarian in control of that country’s executive branch, and with absolute and penultimate legislative and judicial support behind them as well?

Seeing that Deranged Donald also knows a criminal indictment awaits him upon his return to civilian life and me thinks the Democrats have a better chance of surviving a round of Russian roulette than they do of taking back the White House.

It’s time to get our heads out of our asses and steer this ship away from the iceberg. If our current captains can’t do it than perhaps we need to look beyond the control tower for some help