Cycle of Cynicism

There is no quick and easy fix here. This is why effective leaders do not allow catastrophic risk to ever materialize. They don’t wait to expand the court, or remove procedural obstacles. They have a bias for action and an unwavering zeal to defend their core objectives and values.

It pains me to be a cynic. To wonder aloud if Democrats are not complicit in the degradation of our values. Accomplices to the turning back of progress. It is undeniable that the party’s failure to stand in unison in defense of Obama’s nomination of Garland to the Court has a direct correlation to current events. It was obvious then that Democrats chose the path of least resistance. That rather than force a constitutional showdown they gambled on an 2016 election victory. A path they continue to follow time and time again despite the fact it is now overgrown with thorns and poison ivy, and infested with ticks and venomous snakes.

Perhaps that was the plan all along. The objective to allow the red path to grow so thick and hazardous as to leave sensible travelers with one remaining choice. Force future hikers to “Choose blue no matter who!” Is it possible our representatives would so callously play Russian roulette with our democratic values?

I’d hate to think that the case but we all know what happens next. This doesn’t end with the reversal of Roe and removal of abortion rights. This is about the establishment of an American theocracy. If Biden and the Democrats are serious about leading America in a “battle for the soul of our nation,” well, as the wise Rafiki says “It is time.” For I have seen thine enemy and its name is the GOP.

That’s right. Trump isn’t the sole enemy in the battle for the soul of this nation, the entire GOP is. To continually capitulate and surrender ones value to the enemy is nauseating. “We, the people” need proactive leadership. This isn’t a battle. It’s a war. Tim’s to take advantage of our majority while we still can.

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

Risky Business

An effective leader mitigates risk before it occurs. Puts controls and monitors in place to ensure the worst case scenario never occurs. Unforeseen risk is always a possibility but that which can be foreseen must always be prevented. The faulty O-rings which led to the Challenger space shuttle explosion. The Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. The Pan Am Lockerbie flight. The downing of the Twin Towers. These are the exceptions. Preventable catastrophes that nonetheless occurred. In each, however, lessons were learned. Elements of failure dissected; people, process, technology. New controls standardized as a result of prior failure that markedly reduce the potential of a repeat failure.

The failure to protect our children. The absence of common sense reforms intended not to eliminate gun violence, that is an impossibility. The objective of sensible gun control is to reduce mass killings. To regulate access and keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of those most likely to abuse them. To preserve and balance the guarantees of individual freedoms with those inalienable rights of life and liberty bestowed upon the collective citizenry. That no such measures have yet to be implemented is not a mere dereliction of leadership, it is a crime against our children.

It’s been nearly 10 years since Newtown. That the AR-15, very instruments of terror used then remains available and accessible to those who pose an obvious risk to the health and safety of our children, it is beyond comprehension. Where is the justice in this country? The means by which “we, the people” get to hold politicians to account for the blood of the innocents that stains their money lined silk pockets. What must be done to charge those NRA controlled representatives who refuse their civic duty as accessories to murder? How do we demand that those who intentionally obstruct efforts to protect the future of this nation are charged for their negligent indifference?

Trump sensationalized a “national emergency” to redirect military funds to build an ineffective border wall. Surely there is an EO Biden can sign to force the issue. A prosecutorial interpretation that AG Garland may utilize to preserve the rule of law. Democratic leadership must do more than simply react to senseless massacre after massacre. To protect our children. To preserve the dream will demand they lead with both a proactive intent and an uncompromising position

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

Sweet and Lower Than Low

We need to stop sugar coating the situation. America has a terrorism problem. A threat to freedom and our very way of life exists within our shores. A clear and present danger that jeopardizes the safety of our children even as they innocently sit in a theater, at a church, a concert or even a school yard. Unawares that a terrorist has him/her in his crosshairs and is about to fire the fatal bullets in rapid fire high capacity succession.

Of course it won’t be delivered by already vetted refugees. Rather it will be brought by the same domestic terrorists who have repeatedly attacked this country over the past 10 years. In spite of the rhetoric and Muslim bans. Regardless of what you may hear about caravans of refugees, or those SOB kneeling football players. There is no question. The greatest and most immediate threat to our national security lies within our shores. Most of us just choose to turn a blind eye

We know their names and the preferred methods they use to spread their carnage. Mass shootings at schools, shopping malls, grocery stores, places of worship and night clubs. They reap havoc and preach the words of fear in response. They carry tiki torches and storm our Capital to intimidate and bully all who try to call out the brazen lies and propaganda they preach.

Their influence extends far beyond the battlefields of their creation. Their disproportional political might enables them to block any attempts at sensible gun control. Filibuster any efforts to protect over 31,000 annual domestic victims of gun violence. They shriek faux outrage at the thought the 2nd Amendment may be in any way regulated, all while curbing the 1st and 4th.

Trump trounced on HRC for not saying the words radical Islamic terrorism. Let’s hear GOP leadership speak out. Condemn the rise of white Christian domestic terrorism #GunControlNow #EnoughIsEnough

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.