America Interrupted

The problems faced by American today will not be prayed away. There are no alternative facts to mask the daily damage being inflicted on our collective psyche. No election that will provide a magic elixir to undo the pain, anger and betrayal that comes when you are stripped of self identity and self worth. The time for cognitive dissonance and denial is past. America is broken. Our constitutional republic, and accompanying checks and balances has derailed.

From coast to coast America is comprised of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Our Main Streets lined with young, old, Muslim, Christian, Jews, atheists and other, Irish, Italian, Asian, African, European and Native Americans. Our workplaces filled with 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 and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over.

We are strongest when we respect and allow for all views but that doesn’t mean our leaders and media members need to promote them all. To solve school violence, immigration, terrorism, or even the opioid epidemic requires not just a change in Washington, DC., but a wider acceptance throughout this nation. An understanding that we are a nation built on compromise, trust and acceptance. The loudest voice isn’t always the right one. The dreams of our founders was a future in which all citizenry was united under common bonds that provided equal assurance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all. One nation, ruled by the people and in service of the people, to be the land of opportunity for all and a beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s underprivileged and oppressed.

Make no mistake, the American identity exists. To embrace the divisiveness that permeates our shores today is to reject that identity, as well as our nation’s past, present and future.

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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

The Ability To Lead

No question men are presumed to be qualified leaders. When they interview for a position of power rarely does one question their “ability” to lead. Of course nothing is further from the truth. Some people are not to fit lead, period. Even some who excel in other areas of a team or lower levels of leadership.

In both business and politics unqualified men are thrusted into leadership positions on the basis of their subject matter experience or connections alone.

More often than not the reverse is true for women. Before being afforded a position of authority a female must prove worthy. She must tangibly demonstrate and defend that she has both the personality, commitment and acumen to succeed as a leader. This is evidenced in everything from the questions asked in interviews to the coverage of the candidate.

Although the status quo is unquestionably biased against women the solution is not to start treating the female candidates like their male counterparts. It’s to start treating the male candidates, to start reporting on their attributes as if they were a female.

Don’t get me wrong. On their own the stories of Klobuchar’s treatment of her staff do not disqualify her from a position of power. In fact good leaders are demanding. They expect to be surrounded by competence. They expect their peers to act rationally and in accordance with the facts, science and logic presented of them. They make decisions that advance the collective mission, not individual self interests or monopolistic blocs.

The truth is for years we demanded too little of our leaders. The dangerous game of Russian roulette our democracy now plays is the end result of what plagues our Republic. A profound failure of leadership. A country run aground by leaders who continually put party over people. Elected officials who fail to grasp the most fundamental principle of representative leadership. That first and foremost you serve the interests of the majority of your constituency, regardless of self or party interest.

Klobuchar has a strong and accomplished record that suggests the ability to compromise and stand on principle when necessary. There is no doubt she is fearless and can get things done. The job of President, however, is more than that.

To recover our values and the loss of worldwide credibility caused by this caravan of the corrupt will require the cooperation of a diverse set of true leaders. It will demand true diversity of thought and compromise across political, gender, race and religious spectrums.

As the Mooch says, “the fish rots from the head.” We need a leader who is relentlessly positive and unnervingly empathetic. Now more than ever we need to examine each and every candidate to ensure such is the case

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/02/13/amy-klobuchar-sexism-jennifer-palmieri-225026

Banana Republic

I had a boss who was fond of the phrase “perception is reality.” He used it as an excuse to justify his inaction for almost any employee related conflict. No point in meeting to explain whatever employee issue was being raised that day “perception is reality” he’d say. It drove me crazy each and every time.

While true perception is an individual’s sense of reality. Let’s also be clear, reality is reality. I may perceive the Earth to be flat, but science tells us otherwise.

That’s the thing. Facts exist. There is such a thing as truth. A good leader understands this and knows that one of their most important jobs is to shape perception to match reality.

They rely on facts, science, logic and reason to persuade the majority to get in the boat and row towards a common goal. When JFK announced America would put a man on the moon within years hardly anyone perceived it possible. Good leadership not only got the majority to believe it but made it a reality. Pushed the naysayers to the margins.

Then there’s another kind of leader. Still skilled communicators but the arrogant narcissistic types. The ones who don’t take “no” for an answer. Who degrade, demean and harass their “subordinates.” Who talk a lot without saying anything of substance. Who take credit for the good work of others and shift blame when something goes wrong. Who surround themselves with ass kissers and “yes” men.

These type shape perception not to match reality, but to match what they wish their followers to perceive as reality. They use slogans, rumors, propaganda and lies to do so. Repeat them until they rise to the level of alternative fact. Feed on the discontent of the margins to spread their falsehoods. Power to the people. To those who could’ve been a contender, if only…

There are no two ways about this Russia business. Donald Trump, the so called President of the United States, and his corrupt caravan of criminals and enablers were working in cahoots with and for the benefit of Puppetmaster Putin and his henchmen of oligarchs.

Donald Trump is the subject of an active counterintelligence investigation and an unindicted coconspirator in a current criminal case. He’s about to deliver a “state of the union” that will ignore the consensus conclusions of our intelligence community and reject the proven findings of science and industry experts.

The entire production dependent on phony statistics, false equivalents and personal anecdotes unsupported by evidence. Absolutely none of it will be based on reality. Instead what we will hear is a mosaic of lies, propaganda and alternative facts all designed to craft the perception that America faces a national emergency that only our Dear Leader, Donald Trump is able to solve.

Welcome to the banana republic that is Trump’s America. Where reality no longer matters. When all the evidence points one way Donald Trump and his merry bannon of deplorables will insist you ignore your eyes and ears and believe otherwise.

This country was founded on the principle of informed consent. Informed meaning look it up yourself. Do some independent research. Trust but verify through multiple sources and corroboration. Tune out opinion. Focus on the facts. I double dog dare anyone to offer a plausible innocent explanation for all of the Russian ties;

The meetings, the selective memory, the soft talk, the financial ties, the server communication, the false equivalents, the sympathetic appointees, the obstruction, the lies, everything being done by the agency formerly known as State Dept., the intelligence gaffes, the lack of sanctions, the removal of sanctions, the ill advised withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, the revival of the nuclear race, the secret meetings, the refusal to criticize, the insults and slights of our traditional allies, the childlike denials and ensuing bouts of panic, the obstruction again, the dismantling of our democratic institutions…on and on it goes

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 designed by the brightest minds to be indestructible. 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 band they instruct unironically. The cognitive dissonance is strong.

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.

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.

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.

“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

The Good Leader

I’m as excited as anyone at the prospect of a Blue Wave this Fall. Hope with all my being that the American people are given a free and fair chance to hold Deranged Donald and this cesspool of corruption to account. Yet if there is one thing you should have learned in the past 17 months it’s that character matters. It is not, and should not be strictly about party. The substance of the candidate matters as well.

If our Republic was functioning as intended it would be more than a wave of Democrats our citizens would vote 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. Leaders who regardless of party will share certain attributes that the great leaders in history possess;

They emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. They do not fear diversity. They embrace it.

They welcome opposition. They do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions. They listen and learn from them.

They build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality. They rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

They 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.

They problem solve. They do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim. They innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove obstacles.

They prioritize knowing their people. They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

They extend kindness. They do not bully. They nurture.

They encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

They lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

They create opportunity for all. They do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry. They rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

They walk the walk. They don’t take positions for convenience or to pander to their base. They are passionate about their beliefs, research the issues and practice what they preach.

They safeguard open communications. 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. This doesn’t end well. Ever