Meep, Meep

America is on the “verge of a constitutional crisis.” Let me tell you what that looks like. You recall the old road runner cartoon? Remember when Wile E Coyote would race over a cliff and pause 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 or thinker’s pose. That split second before we see him grow despondent in the realization that gravity is about to catch up with him to 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. We’ve already gone over that cliff. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Still suspended in space, but well past the verge. The conditions for our fall are set. The only thing missing is an opposing force to ushers in that moment of clarity. The gravity that awakens our senses. The “resistance” that forces the fall.

Try as we may to deny it, it’s time that “we, the people” brace for the plunge and spark the resistance. Force the issue and go on the offensive while we still have the majority and freedoms to do so. Start by demanding DOJ arrest the Chief Insurrectionist and charge him with crimes against this nation. We cannot continue to play Russian roulette with our nation’s national security. Permit a clear and present danger unfettered access to the outside world. Allow a man who knowingly attempted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and incited an insurrection intended to do just that. A man who built his reputation on the art of the deal and who happens to possesses access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets, a pretty valuable asset on the black market.

Each day Trump remains free serves as an affront to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law. Each #TrumpRally or issues “truth” feeds the cynicism that fertilizes the majority’s apathy. So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite.

To win a “battle for the soul of our nation” will require bold actions that evade current controls. Democrats must take inspiration from the GOP playbook. It’s no longer prudent to go high each time the opposition goes low. So long as we control the House and Executive the GOP is powerless to hold Biden to account. Even if the House flips the worst that could happen is Biden gets impeached for overstepping his authority, but they still fail to remove him from office. We’ve seen that dance before.

This battle is but a part of bigger war of which the winner will determine whether our nation remains a representative democracy or transforms into an autocratic theocracy. It’s time we recognize our circumstance. Accept our reality. Let gravity take effect, drop us down to the opposition’s level, and bring the fight to them #ProtestTheGOP

Senseless Sensibilities

There is so much to be angry about. So many daily injustices that assault our senses.

Our eyes bear witness to the daily horrors broadcast on an endless 24 hour loop. The images of pain and sorrow seared into our brains. The embrace of the survivors, the anguish of the mothers. The blood of the victims reflects a translucent red off the tears that well in the pockets of our lids.

Our ears deafened by the incessant dog whistles and barrage of divisive propaganda, sound bites and alternative facts that fill our sound waves. The hate filled rhetoric of those meant to serve and inform the general masses. Leaders who choose to use their bully pulpit to promote tribal divisions. Who orchestrate their words to effectuate their own agenda’s of self interest, and to manipulate the ears of the ill informed listener.

Our nose raw from the acrid smells of scorched earth that burn your lungs with each inhale. Respiratory diseases and sinusitis at record highs as allergens, pollutants, and air borne irritants invade our protective cilia. Wears it down to create an unobstructed tunnel through our nasal passageways in which the stench of greed, corruption, caviar and old-fashioned American whiskey flows through.

Our tastebuds dulled by the chemicals, sweetners, artificial flavors and countless other toxins ingested through our food supply. Numbed by the poisons of insecticides, hormones and infected cattle and poultry fed with the cannibalistic remains of their ancestors. Our tongues forever weakened. Left to savor only the most bitter and sour of spices and flavors.

Our sense of touch forever altered by past experience. The aftermath of a pandemic necessitating an infant’s need to relearn hot from cold. Each handshake, hug, or sensual encounter triggering moments of sudden awkwardness. The unwanted grab, hug, pinch or assault that for far too long not only went ignored, but we’re encouraged and worn as a badge of honor at the 19th hole and gym locker rooms. The generational trauma of past institutionalized race based, gender based or religious based attacks forever ingrained on our present and future begins our. A need for skin to skin contact replaced by the distance of text messages, emojis, snaps and TikTok dances.

While the battle for our worldly senses may be lost there is one sense that remains uncorrupted. Hidden, but accessible to us all. A collective humanity and flow of consciousness free for all to tap into. A shared lifeforce that contains the knowledge and wisdom of history’s trials and tribulations.

The majority of us share a collective thirst to sip from that reservoir. To bathe in its energy and lap up its infinite knowledge and power. We just need a guide to show the way through the shield. A hero among us able to read the signs, interpret the prophecy and answer the call of history. For ultimately progress, by definition, knows but one direction and though often unseen the evolution of that more perfect union will ultimately continue its advance #Forward #ProtestTheGOP

Let It Be

Let it be the dawn of new age. One where Republican or Democrat is not labeled an “us” or “them” by the representatives who are bound to serve us all with equal vigor. Where the living are prioritized over profits, political party or the pre-born. Let it be that the voice of the people smother the firestorm of corruption sparked by the influence of the corporate dollar.

Let it be uniters who step forward in our tone of our darkness. The disrupters among us who lead beyond labels. Who will be the first to relight the beacon of hope and freedom that once illuminated our shores. Voices of compassion and courage to deliver welcomed reminders of our shared heritage and strength of our immigrant nature. Who will proactively monitor and mitigate risks to that which is most vital to our sustainability. Let it be that those who react, who wait for the foreseeable bullet to fire before reaching for the gun, give way to those who lead.

Let it be that our rich immigrant history be learned, understood and preserved by all future generations. Serve as a rich reminder of the power of diversity. Let it be remembered that the contributions of refugees, immigrants and the those who longed to reach our land far outweighs any misdeeds. Let it be that our educators and scientists be more valued in our society than entertainers and prosyletizers.

Let it be that fear yield to the audacity of hope. That those who seek to preserve the status quo and obstruct the wheels of progress are enlightened by experience, education and science. Let it be that ignorance and fundamentalist faith give way to the engine of necessity, the need for collaboration and compromise.

Let it be where nature is revered as a heavenly garden. Respected in a manner where birds once again know skies free from smog and thick from man made pollution. Purified so dolphins, whales and marine life rediscover the magnificence of clear waters. Let it be where all living things may run without fear of slaughter, and swim without fear of plastics in their bellies or oils on their scales.

Let it be that my young daughters never doubt that it is their body and their choice. Live in a land where nobody dare debate the equal value of he/him, she/her or they/them. Experience a workplace of merit. Let it be that all are provided equal access to opportunity and let strength of character be more valued than the ability to create profit margin.

Let it be that my grandchildren never fear the horror of a mass shooting. Never so much as practice an active shooting drill or sacrifice their innocence to the cowardice greed of those bound to corporate lobbyists or religious dogma. Let it be that they never doubt their importance in our social structure, in humanity’s march forward.

Let it be that so long as humanity has breath they have hope. A path forward. A way to keep the dream of our ancestors alive and a conductor to keep that more prefect Union going. For progress, by definition knows but one direction. Let it be fast #Forward

Let it be that these whispered words of wisdom seep into the fabric of the universe. Flourish and get absorbed by the collective energy that binds us all. Let it be spread to future generations through our collective knowledge and desires

Sitting Ducks

I feel like a sitting duck lost at sea. Adrift. Bobbing along the water. Frantically paddling towards an endless horizon of gentle waves. Hopeful to find a safety net on which to regroup. A beacon of hope and freedom to escape the schools of predators lurking just below the surface. Targeting my every move. Plotting my demise. Awaiting the apex predator’s order to strike.

Perhaps it’s the circle of life. In the words of Lin Manuel “Empires fall. Oceans rise!” Perhaps it’s just our time. Yet it all feels so avoidable. Like the experiment in individual freedom and self-governance is being cut short prematurely. For the evidence suggests it wasn’t the system itself that was flawed or failed. It was the people who ran it. The political scientists themselves that betrayed the experiment’s controls. That engaged in sabotage and deceit to pollute the fair result.

History will cast the final verdict. Assign blame and cause as they rewind America’s entire 250 year history. How our nation achieved such unprecedented aspirational highs, international influence, steady social progress and advancement of democratic values in such short order. And conversely how we just as quickly rolled them back. Reverted to base human tribal instinct. Diluted the experiment with elements of God Over Politics dogma, Guns Over People faux patriotism and Greed Or Power influencers. Strange coincidence how all may be best summarized as “the GOP.”

It’s time to acknowledge what we have become. We are a nation long past constitutional crisis. An empire well beyond “national emergency.” We are a country adrift at sea without a lifeboat. Our enemies have us surrounded. Biding their time. Waiting to strike. And with no sign of a last minute rescue mission at hand, it appears as if the dream is coming to an end. The audacity of hope replaced with our children’s worst nightmare. The words of our founding fathers distorted by the echoes of rapid fire semiautomatic blasts. The experiment in individual freedom and self-governance snuffed out by a cabal of tribal interests and corporate lobbyists #ProtestTheGOP

American Horror Story

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The very thought of it haunts me. There is no justification. No amount of mental gymnastics that make this okay. 40 minutes! 40 minutes before police entered that schoolroom! Even if the risk of further spread was contained babies lay dying in that room. Desperate for help and critical medical aid. Each precious second the potential difference between life or death.

Other children living in the face of terror. Covered in the blood of their peers. Hiding in corners, under blankets, scared to make the slightest of sounds or movements. Too young to even comprehend what death means but certain that they will soon find out.

Who delays in such moments? Where is the morality in this country? Would it be more impactful if we start referring to these massacres as retroactive abortions? Will that get the attention of the pro-lifers? America is a nation whose exceptionalism applies only to self-delusion and hypocrisy. Our morals and values are no longer even average, let alone aspirational #NoRationalArgument

Trigger Warning

Read it and weep. This is our American heritage. What “we, the people” have chosen to accept. The dreams of our ancestors transformed into our children’s worst nightmare. The words of our founding fathers distorted by the echos of rapid fire semiautomatic blasts. The experiment in individual freedom and self-governance snuffed out by tribal interests and corporate lobbyists.

Virginia Tech University, Virgina: April 16, 2007 – 32 dead, 17 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Fort Hood, Texas: November 5, 2009 – 13 dead, 30 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Newtown, Connecticut: December 14, 2012 – 26 dead, 2 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

San Bernardino, California: December 2, 2015 – 14 dead, 22 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Orlando, Florida: June 12, 2016 – 49 dead, 58 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Las Vegas, Nevada: October 1, 2017 – 59 dead, 527 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Sutherland Springs, Texas: Nov. 5, 2017 – 26 dead, 20 wounded – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Parkland, Florida: February 14, 2018 – 17 dead, 19 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Santa Fe High School, Texas: May 18, 2018 – 10 dead, 14 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Thousand Oaks, California: November 7, 2018 – 13 dead, 16 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: October 27, 2018 – 11 dead, 6 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Virginia Beach, Virginia: May 31, 2019 – 13 dead, 4 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

El Paso, Texas: August 3, 2019 – 23 dead, 23 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Dayton, Ohio: August 4, 2019 – 10 dead, 27 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Boulder, Colorado: March 22, 2021 – 10 dead, 2 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

San Jose, California: May 26, 2021 – 10 dead, 0 njured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Buffalo, NY: May 14, 2022 – 10 dead, 3 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Uvalde, Texas: May 24, 2022 – 21 dead, 3 injured – #GunControlNow we cried; Too soon they replied

Too soon? Too soon for whom exactly? The tens of thousands of victims of gun violence who died waiting for the opportune time to speak? Cognitive dissonance aside, more like “too late.”

When exactly is the right time to have this conversation anyway? We’ve been waiting more than 12 years. Turns out there’s been a victim of gun violence each and every one of those days so apparently the time is never right. The GOP will always portray Democrats as the opportunist liberals politicizing a situation.

Well let’s make this clear. This isn’t about politics. There are fanatics on all sides. No political party, religion, race or creed has a monopoly on crazy. What we must do is come together and devise common sense ways to keep instruments of terror out of these domestic terrorist’s evil hands.

This is about common sense, free will, rationality, and basic human decency. There is never a need for a civilian to own an “assault” rifle. Never a point in legalizing the means to create fully automatic weapons of mass destruction. No justification for one individual to own dozens of firearms. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We owe it to each other to act #EnoughIsEnough #ProtestTheGOP

God bless the tweetistocracy!

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The enduring lesson of the 21st century; oligarchs be oligarchs. Regardless of race, religion, nationality or geography there exists a small subset of human beings that value power, wealth and adoration above all else. That will ignore tradition, precedent or moral boundaries to advance their own self-serving agenda. Superegos that will go to any and all lengths to amass, consolidate, grow and preserve their privilege.

Beyond their core materialistic values these amorphous chameleons share other key traits. To maintain their disproportionate share of power and wealth requires a willingness to negotiate, to change positions and engage in the art of the deal, at whatever cost. An egocentric transactional view of the world in which there is always a winner or loser. Moral, collaborative, value driven servant leaders need not apply. The objective of an oligarch is never the “collective good.” A win/win solution is a loss in the eyes of the side that needs to be the recognized winner.

A meritocracy a similar flawed result. Equal opportunity for all only invites competition and levels the future playing field. Power is to be maintained, not shared. Love of country, party, or people be damned. Flags, beliefs and alliances are transferable. Pawns to be traded in pursuit of the player’s true objective. Commodities that gain and lose value in accordance with current market conditions.

The one true threat this cabal of corruption faces is that posed by the “power of the people.” A coordinated collaboration of the masses designed to upend the rigged game and remove the systemic rot within it. For the world will be turned upside down once the majority of humanity recognizes their shared objectives in life and coalesces around their common democratic values. Unity and an end to tribal divisions is what the autocracy fears most and will do anything to prevent.

The greatest weapon these obstacles to progress possess is the power of information. Once you control the dissemination of information, you alone possess the power of the Gods. The ability to create new worlds and rules of the universe. To define truth. To present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

“Those who willingly accept being conned are as corrupt as those who con them.” – Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito

Friends, deplorables, countrymen, lend me your ears;

Listen, I get it. It sucks to be duped. To get your hopes up believing that someone is the real deal. That they are going to fight the rigged system they got rich off of to level the playing field for the common man.

It’s easy to believe in hope when it’s packaged correctly. Don’t feel bad. Young and old, rich and poor, black or white all of us are susceptible to a good con. It’s truly one of life’s great equalizers that knows no prejudice.

As for Trump, well he is the ultimate con man. He identified a weakness and took advantage of it. Spun a yarn and sold America a big heaping turd of a promise to make us great again.

Now is the time to face reality though. To open your eyes and judge a person on the truth of their action. To tune out the sound bites and instead trust in the leaked recordings. It may sting a bit, but suck it up buttercup.

We’re at that point of the show where the buffoonish villain has overstayed his welcome. Pull on your big boy pants and get out of the grift now. Before we lose everything.

Understand Donald Trump is not on your side. He’s never been on your side. He’s not even a real Republican. Without regards to morality or values he simply follows whatever path he believes leads to the most power and money. #LockHimUpNow

Pawn of the Rich and Putinful

All Americans must understand who Trump is and what we as a nation are up against. We must come to grips that Trump has never been more than the paper tiger king in this battle. The Joe Exotic of American politics propped up by a supporting cast of deplorable characters.

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.

Donald Trump is a man of flawed character. The embodiment of 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 overcompensates 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, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies Donald stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each Trump rally allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. The dry cough of the national pandemic that is the Republican Party. Each day they spread their poison and choke what little life remains of our system of checks and balances until soon all that will remain is the virus itself

Tales of a Boiling Frog

There’s a story about boiling frogs. According to lore if you place a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out, but if the frog is put in 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 it’s life. It’s that the frog never thought to escape as the water approached its boiling point. Freedom was a simple hop away but the frog chose to remain passive because it couldn’t even perceive of the danger that lay ahead. Welcome to America’s democracy.

The warning signs are all there. The erosion of checks and balances between legislative and executive branch. The partisan judiciary that serves God or dollar before constitution. The integration and influence of church upon state. The war on the free press and mainstreaming of Tucker Carlson and the Fox News Ministry of Propaganda. The reckless wag the dog foreign policy.

The takeover of state legislatures and passage of laws that restrict voting rights. The gerrrymandering of constituents to predetermined results. The enactment of artificial barriers to entry that exclude and limit full representation. Safeguards of the status quo that will enable enable sycophants to overturn the will of the people, even election results in the absence of evidence of fraud or malfeasance.

These, and other successful efforts already erode the power of the individual. When you further implement legislation that grants and bestows individual rights upon amorphous corporate conglomerates. Then you truly tip the scales of influence so that the barons of Wall Street and the lobbyists who enable them enjoy far greater political representation than the individual store clerk, call agent or working class Main Street laborer.

America’s democratic institutions, her standing as the beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed and underprivileged, is dimming. The vision of our founding fathers compromised by the rise of a global oligarchy. The interests of the few prioritized over the dreams of the many. The majority of us understand this and are able to see through the false equivalents and whataboutism. We recognize that today’s GOP is nothing more than the Guardians Of Putin. A party of extremists who seek only the consolidation of power, wealth, and religious virtuosity within their own privileged tribe. No longer advocates of a representative democracy their entire agenda is to secure the status quo. To do whatever necessary, trade whatever freedom, and betray whatever alliance necessary to secure their privileged place in society long past the point demographics of a representative democracy will otherwise allow.

It’s time for the majority to wake up. We must not allow past experience to lull us into a false sense of security. Trump may be out of office but the same cabal of corruption that lit the stove are still in positions of power and influence. Are continuing to raise the heat on the proverbial pot in anticipation of their next course. Prepping the next January 6th in the hopes of a more satisfactory conclusion. 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.

If the majority of Americans wish to preserve the American political system, we cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for future Election Days to voice the will of the people. The stakes are too high and the future too nebulous. We need to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, daily demonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods. We need to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice.

We must not wait to remove from positions of influence those who knowingly do not serve America’s interests before all others. The demands for swift accountability to eliminate the threat that corrupt elected officials pose to the very safeguards meant to protect our political system must be heeded. Those dregs of our society who conspired in the orchestration of the January 6th insurrection, or otherwise participated in, aided in, or served as an accessory after the fact to those who sought to interfere with the peaceful transition of Executive power, must be pushed to the shadows and extremes of political debate.

We must insist our leaders collaborate across party lines to restore American democracy. Reestablish accountability and the equal application of the rule of law. Lean into our democratic values, the individual freedoms we often take for granted, and act with the urgency the situation demands. Before the water boils and it becomes too late to otherwise react.