The Emperor Has No Clothes

My voice feels trapped in a time loop. It’s the same old storylines. Each day a callback to a prior episode with nothing original. A shoutout to the die hard fans who have been following along since day one. A carefully baited Easter egg of sorts for the MSM to grab ahold of and to remind the loyalists that despite what else they may hear, he’s with them. Each piece of “breaking news” scripted to serve up the propaganda driven counter narrative. To cue up a personal wink and nod to those wannabe believers and fuel the cognitive dissonance that allows one to follow a golden calf;

Did you hear the latest dog whistle and overt racist and/or misogynistic policy adopted by this administration? Proof he understands the white man can no longer get a fair shake in this country. It’s not racism, it’s reality. Affirmative action and political correctness have no place in democracy and is a tool of facists. That’s why the deep state is trying to bring him down. It’s just like MLK and Gandhi!?! We mustn’t believe the left’s conspiracy theories and or the witchhunt led by 13 angry Democrats. He’s one of us and will never let us down!

Look at his courage as he speaks truth to power and pulls us out of horrible deals and treaties that Obama the Muslim negotiated. Ignore the hippie’s tears that needlessly mourn the demise of regulations meant to end capitalism. Who cares if he alienates essential allies and disrupts the world order in the process. America first you socialist bastards!

Marvel at his strength and resolve to defend America against foreign enemies even in the face of domestic pressure. We are either a nation of law and order or a nation of anarchy. There is no in-between or alternatives. What must be done must be done; empathy has no place in survival. Throw the alien children down a well! Secure our borders! Build the wall!

His methods may be unsettling at times but you have to admit he is dogged in his defense of traditional values and the Christian agenda. The Lord works in mysterious ways but it is now clear our Dear President is his vessel. Next year in Jerusalem! Look what he’s done for our courts already. Stacked them with religious zealots who will restore biblical order. He may be a Russian agent but I can’t wait to see who he selects for the next Supreme Court Justice. One thing for sure is he will overturn generations of judicial activism and restore our nation’s Christian values. Peace on earth for all the white Christian Anglo-Saxons, just the way God intended!

Fake news has you believe that Trump is unprepared or lacks tact but look how magnanimous he truly is. What can be more diplomatic than the trust and handshake he exchanged with Rocketman? The media may try to distract you with details but how can any objective individual deny that he achieved what his predecessors could not. What most elites thought unachievable; peace with North Korea. An opportunity for peace with Russsia. Award the man the Noble Prize now, scream the masses!

Meanwhile the behind the scenes drama, the outtakes, candids, and ad libs conclusively prove the messenger is a fraud. Leaves any sane minded individual no doubt that without a script, a fixer and skilled producer the deal maker is nothing more than an empty suit with a spray tan. A puppet to the corporate suits and foreign investors who prop him up. It explains why so much of the unaired footage that unmasks the villains true remains on the cutting room floor, unreported.

It’s a tried and true reality show formula. Chaos drives ratings; the fog of war exists. Storylines dependent on manufactured drama and carefully selected narrative keeps the audience talking and tuning in while simultaneously distracting them from the producer’s ulterior motives. Prevents the audience from focusing on the otherwise obvious results that lay ahead as the “season” reaches a dramatic conclusion complete with a shocking reveal.

Spoiler alert: Emerging tyrants are not defeated in the ballot boxes or cause du jour movements.

This isn’t some reality show we’re living. History tells us what comes next, what future episodes may hold in store. We understand the relationship between cause and effect. What happens when leaders say certain things to erode traditional norms. What ensues when they openly attack and celebrate the defeat of political enemies and question the independence of the judiciary. We’ve seen what happens when you deputize a civilian force to maintain the peace and enforce the borders, encourage them to shoot first and beg forgiveness later.

There are no surprises here. No logical reason why the majority of the media, the public and opposition party reacts to each new storyline like a stand alone episode. There is an obvious and consistent thread that runs through every act Donald Trump has taken since the pilot episode that began with his trip down that escalator arrival. An obvious framework and narrative that explains the inaction of the party loyalists and traditionalists who would otherwise gag on the idea they would find themselves aligned with the likes of an irascible immoral scoundrel like Donald Trump.

The only way to expose the naked emperor is public transparency. The masses must seize control of the narrative. Ignore the noise around them; the slogans, rumors and innuendos generated by the powers that be. The ones that tell you to ignore your eyes and experience and focus instead on the latest controversy served up for your viewing pleasure.

It is time we all insist that everyone acknowledge the basic truth before the next episode may be aired or script approved. The leader of the free world is under an active and credible investigation as to whether he was elected by and/or is working for the American people.

Let that sink in. How dare we be so reckless with our essential freedoms and democratic institutions. The public, the media and our leaders must analyze every tweet, press conference, Executive Order, proposed legislation, judicial nominee, Cabinet appointee and public appearance through that context before they allow his complicit enablers to frame the narrative and advance his agenda.

Is That A Singaporean Squirrel?

It seems such a simple concept. To defeat the narcissist you must starve it of the attention it so desperately seeks. To render it powerless you must seize the narrative; dictate the storyline du jour and control the water cooler talk. You must deprive its id of the glory that powers it, dictate the headlines, tweets and news scrolls so that the storylines no longer focus on the individual but on the crime itself. In other words to slay the cult of personality you must render the personality irrelevant, a mute.

Since the birth of the Birther, for the most part, our media has taken the opposite approach. They have breathed life into Donald Trump’s narrative and given even the most far fetched of his conspiracy theories credibility. Regardless of network, publication or political bias, our mainstream media has allowed the former reality show producer, the man and his minions who made a fortune scripting a fake reality and selling it to the masses as a “reality show,” to dictate the narrative. They have ceded their independence for ratings. Rather than focus on the big story they chase, dissect and report on the squirrels, red herrings and obvious decoys in nauseating detail; always ready to openly debate the legitimacy of each as if there is no obvious line between reality and perception.

Such is the case once again with the upcoming summit with North Korea. Rather than sound the alarm and inform the public of the iceberg that sits directly in front of our current course, our captains shift gears and speed towards the Nobel Peace Prize that floats like a buoy in the distant waters.

Rather than question and debate the wisdom of allowing a man whose very loyalty to this nation is under active FBI investigation to represent us in sensitive international negotiations, we focus on whether the summit is on or off, the drama of will he or won’t he give Kim Un the final rose. Spoiler Alert, he always was going to. The finale was written months in advance. The drama created only to keep you tuned in and talking.

Rather than ask “What is he hiding?” and investigate why the leader of the free world promotes baseless conspiracy theory meant to discredit and delay the independent investigation of his campaign, we focus on the theory themselves. Give credence to the bogus claims with endless reports on the allegations and near silence on the only question that matters “why?” Why would the leader of the free world purposefully fight independent efforts at transparency?

Rather than wonder and begin each scroll with “Whose side is he on?” our editors take it as a foregone conclusion that Trump has America’s best interests in mind. As we enter sudden and unprecedented negotiations with a ruthless dictator who to date has never acted with the free world’s best interest in mind we ignore that this very question is the subject of an open FBI investigation. We ignore the possibility that our primary diplomat may be compromised by a foreign hostile. Treat it as coincidence that Trump continually ignores decades of precedence to routinely humiliate and alienate our allies often to the benefit of former hostiles.

Rather than the big picture we blur efforts at informed consent by taking each new story as an independent development. Fail to tie together threads that would note a pattern of behavior to suggest that the man who’s primary responsibility is to uphold the laws of the constitution and protect the safety and national security of a nation does anything but. That from his first days in office he allowed a foreign agent to lead the National Security Agency and left him there unencumbered an additional 19 days after learning he had lied about his connections to Russia and may in fact be compromised. That throughout his term he has obstructed every effort to investigate Putin’s efforts to influence our election, resisted bipartisan efforts to place sanctions on Russia and embraced foreign policy that have direct economic benefits on the very oligarchs who were so interested in seeing Trump elected. That he hints at pardons for those whose very actions suggest treason, while baselessly vilifying those who ably and faithfully protected our nation for 17 years from enemy attack.

Rather than question what it is we seek we blindly accept that a peace deal with North Korea is good for the world. Fail to note the lessons of history; anything is negotiable, the question is at what price. Is the goal truly a denuclearized peninsula? In return for such a promise we will legitimize Kim Un’s standing on the world stage. The so called beacon of hope and freedom prepared to condone the actions of a man who purposefully starves his people, executes political rivals, and oversees a strict caste system where only the few will reap the benefits of the economic boon promised to flow in from the relaxing of our crippling sanctions.

It makes me wonder if we as a nation have suffered collective amnesia? Do we really not recall that North Korea was denuclearized prior to Trump’s election? That the consensus among the world’s intelligence community was that they were still years away from development of nuclear capabilities. That pressure was needed to get them to halt their nuclear program AND cease proliferation of ballistic missiles that pose a clear and direct threat to our allies in the region; to force him to cease his brutal human rights violations. Suddenly one of the founding residents of the “axis of evil” is okay by us so long as they give up their nukes?

Call me a contrarian but until we stop allowing Trump to dictate the narrative and framework we should not celebrate or applaud Trump’s sudden decision to meet with him. We should not wonder whether it will be a success. We should question why it wouldn’t be. What are we demanding that would advance our interests and not those of nations who heretofore never had our best interests in mind? Why shouldn’t we fear the new world order it portends. One where the actions and values of Putin, Kim Un, and Duerte are celebrated while those of Macron, Trudeau and Merkel mocked.

Nostradamus I’m not but this summit should scare the bejeesus out of us all precisely because its outcome has never been in doubt. Rather than question just how nuclear capable they even are given the prior intelligence reports and more recent acknowledgement that their test site collapsed and is unusable Trump will be celebrated as a man of peace. A master negotiator whose bold attitude hastened some sort of historic deal that will remain undefined and nameless. The results of the art of the deal where nobody even bothers to ask if the artist even knows how to draw

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

Donald Trump And The Hairy Arm Theory

Don’t get lost in the tweetstorms. Donald Trump is nothing more than a hairy arm.

There’s a theory that goes something as follows. Everyone loves to be a critic. It’s a human instinct to want to offer feedback, feel a part of the process, have your voice heard. It theorizes that humans are social creatures that need something to talk about. So, in the words of Bonnie Raitt, “let’s give them to something to talk about.” Place a hairy arm in the middle of a picture in an effort to divert attention away from the underlying body of work. Offer a mistake so obvious, so glaring that the masses will say “I love that photo but you need to crop that hairy arm out of it,” all without paying attention to the fact that the focal point of the picture is a giant middle finger.

Donald Trump, our curmudgeonly Comrade in Chief is that hairy arm. Nothing more than a big heaping turd placed into the picture by forces more nefarious than he. Forces that control, manipulate, and parade the hairy arm as they see fit. Who use it to their advantage to mask what is really going on. Who rely on it to distract focus away from the big picture; the new world order being ushered in right under our noses. The steps being taken to ensure preservation of the status quo beyond the point demographics should allow. The giant middle finger Ryan, Pence, Putin, McConnell, the Koch Brothers, Bannon and others are holding out to America.

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. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

Trump instead embodies 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 over compensates 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, those less able to defend themselves.

Yes our so called President is so obviously flawed and psychologically damaged that he is the perfect hairy arm. A lightning rod bound by no sense of social norms and so devoid of self awareness that, so long as you feed his ego and advance his own agenda of increased power and adoration, can be manipulated to adopt any position. A distraction so glaring that entire news cycles are devoted strictly to him. What he said, what he tweeted, who he insulted. His latest break with protocol and tradition. A man of such notorious poor character that he makes an easy mark for men of ill repute. To collect a dossier and use it as blackmail if he dared to disobey. A man who when faced with a sixth bankruptcy, and with nowhere to turn after newly enacted financial regulations prevented an over leveraged real estate tycoon from obtaining a loan through traditional channels, did what any powerful man desperate to live up to his daddy’s name would do. Reach out to his Russian counterparts for a little quid pro quo. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

It’s easy to doubt the above. To ignore the obvious and turn a blind eye to what it may all mean. The repercussions in store for the future of this country. The time for cognitive dissonance, however, is over. Get out of your bubble. The evidence is overwhelming. The lies, cover-ups, secret channels and admissions of obstruction all point to the same conclusion. Watch as all of Trump’s earliest segregates get exposed for hiding their Russian connections. Follow the money. This is not fantasy or conspiracy. The connections are real. The timing of the one time NY social liberal turned Tea Party Christian crusader is not coincidence. We no longer have the luxury to deny the undeniable.

So what you may ask is our Comrade in Chief distracting us from. Look around, look around. Remove the hairy arm from the picture and the answers are right in front of you. See the new world order of Bannon and Putin’s dreams take shape. The collapse of old alliances and treaties. The rise of new partnerships and priorities. Listen to the dog whistles and historical rallying cries ring out and watch as the deplorables rise up. A once powerful nation being divided by committed Democratic Arsonists eager to burn down the very system that made us exceptional.

Watch the smiles spread across the pursed lips of Ryan and Pence as they watch the status quo be secured. The spread of so-called Christian values reinforced by statutes. The preconditions for the Rapture set in motion. Observe as the ranks of disenfranchised and “imprisoned for being poor and/or black” swell. As those doors of equality that recently opened to women, minorities and other underrepresented classes of our society get callously slammed shut just as they reach the precipice of entry. Witness the reinforcement of institutionalized racism and the literal erection of artificial barriers to entry and opportunity that disproportionately impact certain ethnic or racial populations. Marvel as profits take priority over people. Short term corporate interests given favor over long term global concerns. The populist who gives not two shits for people overseeing a proactive approach to a permanent oligarchy. An all out assault on or freedoms masked through conditioned subservience.

The man himself is doing very little except dominating the headlines. His words often at odds with the very laws being enacted under his watch. That of course is no coincidence. Donald Trump is a nothing more than a hairy arm. We all know our founders guaranteed us a right to “bare” arms. It is our patriotic duty to #resist

Sadness or Euphoria

Donald Trump makes no secret of his intent to oversee the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” He operates and functions in full visibility for the world to see. He flaunts his belief that he is above the law and beyond accountability. That he alone is judge, jury and executioner. He boasts of his efforts to run various federal agencies into extinction. Appoints unqualified sycophants to lead them and boasts of the economic gains that trickle down from the removal of necessary corporate oversight and safety regulations. He takes glee in offending traditional allies who have done us no wrong or grievance. He warmly embraces and honors those leaders who have never once acted in the interests of freedom. Lifts sanctions and prepares to enter new agreements with men of ill intent who rule with iron fists and stifle individual choice.

All of this is done in furtherance of his central agenda to destroy and redefine our Democratic Republic. His insistence that the very Constitution he is sworn to uphold and defend no longer applies to the modern American political system or experience. Each Executive Order and the few pieces of legislation signed into law by Deranged Donald is meant to undermine the very values espoused by our founding fathers. To declare the land of hopes and dreams and liberty for all, the beacon of freedom throughout the world, a failed experiment that requires replacement.

We as a nation need to wake up. This cannot be a left verse right narrative. This involves us all. Every American needs to make a choice. Billy Joel once wrote, “For we are are always what our situations hand us. It’s either sadness or euphoria.” Well we know the situation life has handed us. We’ve seen all we need to see from this oligarchy. Heard all we need to hear. I’d like to think the choice today is as equally obvious as the one Billy Joel offers. This time, it’s either appeasement or resistance.

We must cast aside politics and unite to protest an administration that openly brags about being unconventional. That flaunts how they don’t abide by tradition and protocol. We need to stop relying on conventional means and rubber stamped checks and balances to hold them to account. We need to be proactive in defense of this country we love; the values that have defined us for generations. We must join together as the majority and insist on extreme vetting for those who pose the most immediate threat to our freedoms this nation has ever seen. We cannot afford to take “no” for an answer from those whose sole desire is to maintain the status quo. Who fight the inevitable.

America is an ideal, a dream. A continual quest for the more perfect union. We are not a country that moves backwards. That clings to a past of ignorance and artificial divisions. We have never been naive enough to think divisions among us do not exist and probably always will. Our founders understood people were fallible and ignorant. Took for granted that all men, themselves included, were capable of horrible things. They also understood that we as a nation would be stronger when we overcame ignorance and joined together. They imagined a time where race, religion and creed would not inhibit opportunity. A day when all Americans would be free to enjoy their inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They challenged future generations to work towards the fulfillment of that dream.

We know the history. There’s been good times and bad but there’s no doubting we’ve continually progressed. We’re still living the dream. Reflecting on our past there is also no doubt that when we put aside those differences, focus on our similarities and work towards a common goal, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. No evil too great. Tragedy too heavy. Heck we’ve been able to move mountains, free the enslaved, save an entire continent from a fascist madman, land on the mother effin moon and beyond. There’s a reason people want to come here.

Think about this. People considered Bernie unelectable because he was a Democratic Socialist. We elected a team that openly advocates and acts to burn the whole system down. Committed “Democratic Arsonists.”

So, riddle me this. Do you really want to give that up? Set it on fire? Wouldn’t you prefer to remain the country that foreigners dare venture into then the one they risk everything to leave? I know I would.

If this is pro-life…

Only in Trump’s America can you;

Favor the death penalty,

Oppose universal health care and a living wage,

Preach preemptive war,

Oppose sensible gun control,

Defend the rights of white supremacists,

Oppose those who fight systemic racism & promote social justice,

Yet still call yourself “pro-life” #HypocrisyAbound

This Is Us

We never learn, we been here before. Why are we always stuck and running from the bullets, the bullets? Just stop your crying it’s a sign of the times. We gotta get away from here. We gotta get away from here. Just stop your crying it’ll be alright.They told me that the end is near. We gotta get away from here” – Harry Styles

The man who my five year old daughter described as having “the most beautiful lips,” perfectly captures Trump’s America.

Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “shithole countries,” “animals,” “enemies,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow, to erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled as an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accept the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo. So long as we separate child from parent at our borders,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Monsanto and Boeing and not every Trayvon, Fatima, Ellen, Matthew, and Mohammed,

This is us.

So long as we rely on the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the ones that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. So long as we lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.