The Boiling Frog

According to lore if you place a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out and escape its impending doom. If, however, the frog is put into a pot of warm water and then brought to a slow boil it will not perceive of the danger until it’s too late. The poor frog is cooked to death.

The lesson of the story isn’t found in the frog’s death, but in its life. It’s that the frog never thought to escape. It was always just a hop away from freedom but chose to remain passive. Why? Because it couldn’t even perceive of the danger that lay ahead. Welcome to America’s democracy.

The warning signs are all there. From the inept Cabinet picks and partisan judicial nominations. To the war on the free press and creation of Sean Hannity’s Ministry of Propaganda. To the reckless wag the dog foreign policy. To the manufactured inquiry into Obama’s deep state. Deranged Donald has done more to destroy our democratic institutions, strip away individual freedoms and erode our standing as the beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed and underprivileged than any modern American leader.

Moreover, the majority of us understand that there is more to this Russia story. That Deranged Donald craves nothing more than power, adoration and fortune and will go to any lengths to protect his legacy, his bank account and family name. That he acts as if compromised by Putin in everything from his 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 secret meetings, to the tipping them off of impending military operations, all the way to the outright refusal to directly say anything negative about his Puppetmaster Putin.

Put aside that alone may mean he has de facto command of the two most powerful military forces the world has ever known. That he will never permit the liberal witch hunt to end in his removal from office. Consider only what we know instead. That Russia continues to actively promote his agenda through misinformation campaigns on social media and by actively seeking to interfere in our midterm elections. That American intelligence is aware of this activity. That our so called President has done absolutely nothing about it! Why may that be? Might it be that a free and fair election may not be in his best interest. That the thought of a Democrat controlled House alone keeps him up at night with worry that the naked Emperor will be exposed. It’s the one contingency he must not allow.

It’s time for the majority to wake up. Do not allow past experiences to lull you into a false  of security. The water is getting mighty warm. It’s time to jump out. Recognize what is at stake. Traditional checks and balances do not apply to unconventional threats.

We cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for a long off Election Day to voice our displeasure. The We need our citizens to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, daily ooemonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods are required. We need to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice. The freedoms we take for granted can literally be wiped away with a stroke of a pen; an impulsive tweet, or the push of a button.

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

Beep Beep

The verge of a constitutional crisis. Let me tell you what that looks like. You remember the old road runner cartoon. Remember when Wile E Coyote would run over the cliff and how he’d be suspended in mid air for a minute. The camera pans in on him as he looks around and slowly becomes aware of where he is.

Well that moment between wide screen and close up as Wile E sits suspended in a jogger’s or thinker’s pose. The split second before we see him grow despondent in the realization that gravity is about to catch up with him, will send him plunging in freefall to the ground. That moment of clarity is what’s known as the verge of going over a cliff.

That’s the problem with being on the verge of something. Often by the time you realize you’re on the verge, it’s too late to change course. The same way Wile E Coyote didn’t grasp his fate until gravity took hold, we as a nation seem to misunderstand our circumstance.

Our so called President is shielded by a caravan of corruption. He declared the free press the enemy of the American people. Extinguished the beacon of hope and freedom that once lit America’s shore. He openly profits off the office and fights all attempts at transparency.

He is the most corrupt President in our nation’s history. The very question of whether he was hired by and is working for the American people remains under independent investigation. As the noose grows tighter he brazenly fires our AG for no reason other than he does not like how that investigation has been allowed to proceed. He replaces him not with a deputy or other candidate who has already been vetted and confirmed by Senate, but with a hand picked sycophant.

This is not Trump’s personal lawyer we’re talking about. This is America’s top law enforcement officer; sworn to uphold the laws of the constitution. The very man being trusted to oversee our Justice Department, to supervise the Mueller investigation, has not even gone through routine vetting.

We’ve already gone over that cliff. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis, suspended in space. Well past the verge, the conditions for our fall are set. The only thing missing is an opposing force that ushers in that moment of clarity. The gravity that awakens our senses. The #resistance that forces the fall

Debbie Downer

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. It’s not really my style to be Debbie Downer….but here’s the thing. I bit my tongue for too long. I stayed quiet for months hoping against hope that I was wrong.

I started this blog with the following words,

“I’ve never used Facebook as a platform before but consider me an alarmist. I believe we all have a responsibility to speak out. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t.

Well I silenced my alarm for a bit. “Who knows, maybe Election Night results will surprise me,” I’d optimistically think. Maybe, to paraphrase Celebrity Apprentice winner Bret Michaels, America would “Give me something to believe in….”,

but alas, it’s past time I blare again. There were no surprises. Absolutely nothing gained that I could suddenly “believe in.” No sudden shift in power that indicates accountability is coming for our Comrade in Chief and the caravan of corruption hiding in his shadow. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

Instead we get the worst result possible. Exactly what an inspiring tyrant would desire. Straight out of the “Rising Dictator” playbook, Chapter 3; page nein

at the first public referendum, create the perception of fairness. Hand the opposition the appearance of power, without giving them any real authority. Allow the minority party to win the lowest chamber of the people’s Congress, but be sure to strengthen your hold on the upper Chamber.

In other words, create the perception of a BlueWave, yet somehow your closest allies survive, your loyalest sycophants squeak by.

As the Democratic leaders hit the airwaves to claim victory in gerrymandered districts; you somehow over perform in the Statewide and highest profile races. Your biggest rivals vanquished. The uniters capable of seizing their own headline, the opposition leaders worth following, capable of coalescing allies, the Betos, Gillums and Abrams, relegated to the sidelines.

Appease the masses for a bit. The so called resistance. Restore their hope in democracy for a minute while you simultaneously ostracize the conspiracy theorists and doomsayers from the previously likeminded. Push the most progressive towards the margin. Lessen their influence.

All the while you create the perfect foil onto whom you blame the forthcoming domestic issues. Of course you stonewall all legitimate efforts to investigate you. Let them litigate your claims of “executive privilege” and evidentiary privilege in the courts you already stacked. Pretend to play nice and have Professor Dershowitz plead your case on FoxNews. Regardless, the worst that can happen is they escalate the matter to the very Senate you just strengthened your hold on.

Ask yourself this?

How difficult will it be to convince the public that Nancy Pelosi is the one who is out of touch with the average American?

The answer takes you right up to Chapter 4; the Reichstag Fire

#WinterIsComing #WeNeedALeader

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

Yes we can

The oncoming conflict was so obvious. Heck the most notorious American conman alive was the opposition. Did anyone with even half a brain really believe he was there to save American.

It’s truly laughable! We knew he was a pawn…the overwhelming majority of us. A man so repugnant that his own reflection screams back “ImPeach.” Some of us chose to turn a blind eyes for selfish reasons, others out of fear they’d be labeled an alarmist, but we knew he had the stench of caviar and old fashioned American whiskey all over him…a pawn for the rich and putinful.

Even Obama…chose to put his faith in our institutions…The dreams of his ancestors and the audacity of hope…til the end. We would have listened to him. The majority, the military, all of us had he taken a stand. Had he taken that microphone on January 20th and said what the FBI had told him…how the Russians had interfered in our elections…attacked our most fundamental institution…an act of war.

We would have listened had he appointed an independent commission. Had he given them 90 days to confirm one question and one question only…had he conditioned the peaceful turnover of power on that one condition and that one condition only…

One question…ninety days.

Was Donald Trump fairly elected by and if he were to assume office would he be working for the American people?

In the interest of national security we would have listened. Ignored the rantings and protestations that would have followed. It wouldn’t have been easy but we would have listened.

I honestly believe Obama considered it. It was his duty to protect our security interests until his very last day in office. McConnell and the GOP efforts to strip him of his power a year early notwithstanding. A known and imminent threat slithered into the most powerful office in the world, it was not off caravaning many thousand miles away.

Perhaps it was our fault, the majority of like minded Americans who hold the ideals of this nation so sacred. Perhaps it was our responsibility to push this great experiment in individual freedoms forward. Perhaps Obama would have fought harder had it not all been so difficult. Had we fought more for Garland he may have believed he had a play. Instead he put his faith in hope.

There’s still a chance he is right. That we avoid the worst of this.

It’s not the institutions that will save us though. We are past that point where we can rely on the vote as a legitimate check and balance. Go vote Tuesday but more importantly we must act.

Time is not on our side. The caravan is still a month out but the constitutional crisis is here today. I fear that by the time the next Congress is sworn in it will be too late. Our Comrade in Chief has already ordered our military to shoot at the unarmed civilians who may reach our borders. He finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes.

It’s time we stop turning a blind eye. Take to the streets in peaceful protest and make clear who we are. We are the majority. We can still stop this thing, make our will heard and bring the fight to them.

To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. Take comfort in the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account. The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success.

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

Yes we can, yes we can, #YESWECAN