Remember 9/12

“Never forget,”they say. As if anyone who experienced the sights, sounds, stories and unbearable sadness of that day ever could. The horrific events of that mornings are seared in my memory. The indescribable anguish that results from the realization of helplessness; with the knowledge that you are powerless to save and protect those you love and care for, is not easily erased.

While most remember the events of 9/11 what seems to have been forgotten are the lessons of 9/12 and the days that followed thereafter. The days in which regardless of party, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social class, citizens young and old gathered in community centers and town squares to lean on each other for support and comfort. They cast aside petty differences and coalesced around the values that unite us, the freedoms the terrorists attacked that fateful day. Grief and terror do not discriminate and the firsthand tales of tragedy and heroic self sacrifice made that clear to all Americans in those mid-September days.

Americans recognized what the terrorists attacked that day and from coast to coast swore to never let them win, never let extremists change who we are. We understood diversity to be the American identity and that a list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees make to this country dwarfs a list of their misdeeds a million times over. We rallied around the American Dream and the great experiment in self government and individual freedom that birthed this nation. Inspired by a desire to prove their efforts futile, within days America, and NYC, was back on her feet determined to continue undeterred in the pursuit of life, liberty, and justice for all.

The words of Lady Liberty having already been disavowed by this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers who now control this country it is difficult to imagine how much has since changed. Just tonight, on the anniversary of that fateful night, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants who travel through Mexico may no longer claim asylum in this country. The national security risk outweigh the inherent freedoms granted within our Constitution.

Consider why terrorists wish to do is harm in the first place. Understand that it is because of the very way in which we govern. That is the great threat to the terrorists way of life.

A successful America is what the terrorist fears most. An America where individual freedoms are guaranteed and people are able to speak freely, assemble in opposition and worship as they please. An America where a free and independent press allows no man to escape accountability and all citizens to make informed choices. An America where no man, party, religion or corporation is mightier than the Constitution. Where an intricate system of checks and balances protects the basic inalienable rights of all men, women and child.

America, our ideals, our values, our system of governance is what terrorists seek to destroy. It is also why the illegal alien risks everything to come live within our shores. That this administration seeks to be complicit in the destruction of that system and to do so in the name of national security is shortsighted and dim witted at best.

That they more likely wish to do so in the pursuit of absolute power and enrichment. Well that would be nothing short of treasonous.

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Never Forget

Prior to the ascension of Donald Trump I had never used Social media as a platform, but consider me an alarmist. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t. We all have a responsibility to speak out.

All of America is faced with a simple choice, #Resistance or #Appeasement.

America has a long history of standing up to bullies and Nazis. The vast majority of us teach our children that name calling and excluding other kids on basis of race, gender or religion is not okay. We take pride in the melting pot that is America. Recognize that diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Americans are waking. We know who we are. And we like it that way.

This is not about politics. Look at Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class president. He is a man of flawed character. He does not share OUR values and we must stand up together and punch him in the nose.

All in #GOP, including the so called “moderates” who serve this administration, need to declare yourself an independent, a freedom fighter or whatever heroic name you wish to give yourselves. Find the courage within you. Make clear to the Divider in Chief that you stand for the people and the constitution and he will have trouble if he continues to mess with either.

This shitshow has gone on long enough. It’s time to cut commercial and bring the adults back into the room.We can no longer afford to play Russian roulette with our values, our democracy or the lives of our future generations

Why?

More than the obvious personal enrichment, conflicts of interests, or obstruction there’s one unanswered question that keeps me up at night. That hints at something more than mere Russian influence or collusion to help elect Trump. That if taken to its darkest logical conclusion suggests actual Russian control. It’s a simple question that Annie Lennox asked best, “Why?”

It is an established fact that Vladimir Putin actively worked to influence the US election in Trump’s favor and that he continues to do so. That millions in Russian resources have been devoted specifically to maximize the probability of a Trump victory. That these efforts began not just against Hillary, but against the entire GOP field. There was only one candidate the Vlad endorsed. That’s important. It’s one thing for Russia to be anti-Hillary. That makes all the sense in the world.
It’s a whole other can of worms that Putin and his henchman were actually pro-Trump.

So the only question that remains unanswered is why? Why did Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, a dangerous mind with a ruthless reputation, why would he care who defeated his Democratic foe? Why was this man of high intelligence who has never before acted with America’s best interests in mind be suddenly motivated to make America great again? Why would a man who hijacked Russia’s emerging democracy to orchestrate his own rise to absolute power in ways that would make Frank Underwood blush care what happened here on our shores? Why the sudden change of heart towards our collective well being?

The answer appears to be obvious. Donald Trump is best case working in cahoots with and worst case compromised and controlled by Putin and Russia. The implications of either choice is so terrifying it’s almost beyond comprehension.

If true it suggests that Trump knows and will continue to act with the knowledge that he has the might of the world behind him. That he may willingly use whatever means necessary and proactively use all the powers of his office, regardless of optics, to squash any attempts to legally remove him from office. That so long as he formally remains Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world, he will be the one to resist any effort to bring him down regardless of tradition or precedent; just as Puppetmaster Putin did in his ascension.

When you continue to play the scenarios out they only get more and more horrifying. It’s not hard to see how a new world order emerges. A global oligarchy controlled by a fascist few. An international caste system of haves and have nots in which the world’s most valuable natural resources are controlled by the world’s most powerful nations. The many working for the few. A permanent military state in which any remaining illusion of individual freedoms would be just that.

When viewed through this prism almost all of Trump’s forreign policy decisions suddenly make sense. The wag the dog drama, escalated rhetoric, and ensuing peace agreements with traditional hostile nations a fait accompli. Russia (Iran) and China (N Korea) in control of their rogue pawns as they formalize their growing international influence through negotiations. Traditional allies pushed aside to make room at the table.

Like the skilled reality show stars they are, our Comrade in Chief and this caravan of criminals and corrupt enablers seem to create new storylines weekly; generate so many sensational new questions each day that it is impossible to focus on story continuity or consistency. So in the words of Julie Andrews, “let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to be.”

It is undisputed that Vladimir Putin sought to aid in the election of Donald Trump. We can no longer afford to be distracted from seeking the answer to the only question that truly matters,

“Why?”

The Birth of the Birther

Donald Trump has had a noose around his neck from the moment he rode down that escalator. The problem is there’s never been a hangman strong enough to pull the rope.

Trump knows what is at stake in the days ahead. Is well aware that if his finances are fully investigated he’s cooked. His family name, his fortune, his legacy, his freedom, perhaps even the same fate met by Jeffrey Epstein. The very things he promised his daddy he’d never let be taken away. That he’d do anything to protect.

You need look no further than his past to understand the depths Deranged Donald would sink to remain relevant. You know the stories of the flamboyant alter egos who served as his own PR men. The nonstop Page 6 antics and over the top personality. The willingness to pay millions to accountants simply to avoid paying even one penny more in taxes than legally required. The lack of philanthropy. The refusal to pay contractors. The slum lording. That was Donald Trump in the good times. Even then he refused to go away or act in the public’s interest.

Consider what he’d do when he actually feared he may lose everything. When after filing a 6th bankruptcy the self proclaimed tycoon found himself broke, over leveraged and with nowhere to turn. A hard luck loser who learned the hard way that the house doesn’t always win. At least not the one’s with the word “Trump” in their title.

To make matters worse Barack Obama had recently been elected and in one of his first acts delivered what must of seemed like a groin kick to any dreams Dear Donald had of making a comeback. You see the passage of Dodd Frank and other regulations made it impossible for Donald to take a loan from any domestic financial institutions. The over leveraged real estate speculator directly in the crosshairs of the legislation.

So with nowhere else to turn what was Donald to do? We know the rest. Enter Deutsche Bank. The direct link to the Russian oligarchs who would go on to direct the ascendancy of Trump’s political career. The art of the deal; the hangman’s rope for the marionette strings. Who cares who controls the strings. You live to see another day. The birth of the Birther complete.

The fight ahead isn’t political, it’s moral.

Cognitive Dissonance

The pathway to perdition is caked in the blood of those who thought it could never happen to them, never on their native soil. Those who refused to believe their eyes and ears as the boundaries of civility slowly erode. Those who willfully chose to accept alternative facts and alternative charts rather than deal with the hard realities of life and be forced to confront some unpleasant truths.

Ignore the blatant patterns and lessons of the past at your own risk. History rewards early adaptors. Movies are made about those who risk everything to flee over mountains rather than join up with the rising authoritarian. Statues erected of those who resist in plain sight. Those who smuggle refugees across borders, hide entire families in their crawl spaces. They are the heroes of yore and exemplars of man’s perpetual progress.

The same cannot be said for those who bury their head in the sand. No honors will be awarded to those who appease the madmen in his quest for absolute power and silently benefit from the new power structure being erected to serve the ruling elite. Those everyday citizens who temporarily fall victim to the allure of the golden calf; who normalize the inane, illogical, and inhumane policies of the rising authoritarian, until one day the spell is broken. They wake up to find lifelong friends or coworkers have been rounded up or deported simply because their name showed up in an immigrant database, designated a clear and present danger. By that point it’s too late to resist, too late to play the hero. By then they are relegated to the shadows, to play the roles of the nameless extras that looks glance sympathetically, biding their own time as the horrors around them unfold.

The Pathway to Perdition

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. They say there are only seven original stories in the world. If you read enough, and pay attention to life, you can actually begin to see them unfold in realtime. You grow able to predict what the author of that real life story is going to do next. Which adventure they choose to recreate in their own life.

Donald Trump is far from an original. In fact we’re all familiar with this story he’s writing. For many of us it’s our favorite movie, book or television show. We’ve seen it unfold countless times, albeit in differing variations.

The agents of fear and oppression rise up, usually in the form of a privileged older male pseudo populist whose good fortune depends on preserving the status quo. He relies on tired stereotypes and strong arm tactics to intimidate and garner support.

His speech comprised of thinly veiled dog whistles that call upon the deplorables of society to rise up in support of a new order. A return to glory days!

His policies implicitly condone the dirty work and agenda of those who once sat on the fringe of society. His nationalistic rhetoric encourages them to sow discord; to intimidate others to get on board. to bully, peer pressure, threaten and blackmail similar patriots and relatives who may agree with the message but be resistant to the harsh methods now employed.

Over time the party faithful and religious flocks will join the cause or face excommunication from the party or congregation. The daily propaganda and bombardment of alternative facts creates the cognitive dissonance necessary for most to ignore the obvious and complicitily obey. The few who continue to resist will be branded race or party traitors to be forever blacklisted and cast out.

As the nationalist movement grows the narcissist’s need for control swells, and he consolidates power. He begins to divide traditional alliances through rumor, false promises and chaos. He discredits opponents with lies, misinformation and alternative facts. He discredits intelligence assessments and attacks traditionally impartial institutions as partisan and biased.

The story progresses as the emerging authoritarian begins to act more erratic. The threat of a “deep state,”and traditional checks and balances begin to weigh heavy on he who chases the crown. He grows suspicious of his inner circle. Palace intrigue abounds. Et tu Bruté?

As the opposition party grows more nervous and coalesces the motive of the dictatorial villain grows more transparent in motive. The desire for ultimate power drives increasingly brutal and more brazen tactics of suppression;

“Dissent must be suppressed!”, “Fake news media!”, “Foreign enemies abound!”, “Send them back!”, “A caravan of rapists and criminals approach unchecked!”, “The opposition is filled of unhinged radical, socialist, communist, elitist obstructionists!” screams the propaganda machine.

Midway through the story a cataclysmic event occurs. The stuff of nightmares. A society’s worst fears realized. A genuine an indisputable national emergency. Freedoms must be restrained as a new threat rises. Martial law, emergency powers, troop deployment. At this point resistance is futile. The takeover complete.

That’s the story Trump and his caravan of the corrupt are trying to write. The #FakeNationalEmergency the latest chapter. Surprisingly unlike the traditional midway point this national emergency and subsequent expansion of Executive power was not precipitated by “wag the dog” foreign bloodshed or an act of horrific domestic violence. Putin himself used the 2004 Beslan school siege in which over 1,100 people were held as hostages, and 334 killed to hijack a burgeoning Russian democracy and grow his grip on power. Regardless of means or methods, using the phony crisis at our Southetn border as pretext, Trump seems well on his way to achieving the same result.

There’s another version of this story though. The one written by and about the protagonist. A story of hope, freedom and perseverance: how love saves the day, a last minute miracle, a heroic act that thwarts catastrophy and exposes the naked emperor, unmasks the fraud. A previous unknown who at the most critical of moment reveals herself to be schooled in the ways of the force, a secret slayer, an Amazonian Princess.

In that story truth, justice and the “American” way win out. “We, the people,” can still write that story. Look around, look around; the resistance is real. We are the majority. We simply need that hero to step forward to lead us. To coalesce and legitimize the movement. Make the masses feel safe to take to the streets and disrupt the status quo. Demand to be heard!

Either way; the good news is the story always ends the same way. Love, empathy, sacrifice and acceptance win the day. A new hope blooms in the wake of the fall of the dictator. A renewed unity and tolerance take hold of a once fractured people. The villain is unilaterally denounced and rejected; grows to be nothing more than a cautionary tale in history’s annals.

I’ve read this book a thousand times. Societies advance, grow more civil and tolerant. The question is not if freedom wins. It’s how long and at what cost it will take for her to do so?

Progress knows but one direction. It’s only a matter of time #Forward

Restore Our Democracy

The loyalty to the nation to which they serve should not be an open question of a sitting President. This is not a political issue. This is a matter of national security. The constitutional crisis is here.

“We, the people” need to demand transparency. We need to look at our brethren in Hong Kong, London, Puerto Rico and across the globe who courageously rise up against the greedy oligarchs, religious fundamentalists and deplorable dinosaurs who seek to interrupt the progress of civilization. We need to take to the streets and rally behind an opposition leader who will unite the majority and restore our democracy