Author’s Thoughts

‘Nod, Nod, Wink, Wink’

If you are somehow, unbelievably under the impression that we live in a progressive society; that our Constitution still prevails, that the government we elected values human life, stands for gender equality, racial equality, and religious freedom; if you naively believe that this elected government remains dedicated to promoting the general public welfare… take another look.

Those rights, freedoms and guarantees of safety and justice have been trampled underfoot every day of this new administration.

Is our current leadership corrupt to its core?  YES! But I want to point out how we got here.

In order for the Congress and Executive Branch to be the way they are today, two preceding conditions had to exist.

One is the Religious Right’s accelerated growth. With its pervasive, vitriolic hatred of other religions, and its obstinate stand on social issues, like abortion and homosexuality, these zealots have not only gobbled up huge chunks of our electorate but their proselytizing stretched from church sermons to US Congressional chambers, where it influences legislation, operational decisions and undermines Constitutional guarantees.

The other gargantuan destroyer of humane policies is the NRA, whose pockets are deep enough to engulf and control the entire GOP. Much of that is because the ‘old boy’ network that sustains it is not dead.

A cursory glance at ‘Breaking News’ demonstrates these facts: gun violence has become a national epidemic and sexual scandals have reached crisis proportions.

The ‘old boys’ network can be traced to early developmentally fixations on ‘boyhood attachments’. Their devotion to guns is rivaled only by their devotion to their …well body parts.

The men in the ‘old boy’ network are bound together by their mutual understanding of those attachments. Publically, its home and hearth, kids and soccer games. Then there’s the ‘old boy’ world. In that world its ‘we can do what we want’, ‘pinch her ass,’ ‘grab her ….’

That world is dominated by self-interest, disdain for the rule of law, crude but authentic language and craven, heartless strategies of the ‘take what you want’ and ‘win at any cost’ variety.

That world is protected by the ‘old boy network.’

Here are the unspoken rules. 1) We guys know how the world really works. We get it. 2) We don’t admit the truth to outsiders. 3) We protect each other’s butts. 4) We take short cuts with the law and with whatever’s left of honesty and integrity.

‘Nod, nod, wink, wink…’ is compartmentalization and deception combined.

Never, ever tell wives or interviewers, what we really mean. Whether it’s about affairs, abuses, congressional votes, fund raising or back room deals … never tell the truth about any of it. That’s the ‘old boy’s network’s ultimate oath of loyalty.

This network is a few steps away from the Mob, a few steps away from supporting a full-fledged dictatorship and a few very tiny steps away from collaborative sociopathy.

Need some examples? One of the first bills Trump signed last year made it easier, yes easier for mentally ill people to purchase firearms.

And just this week the House voted to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Think about it.

If you think you know what America stands for, you need to update your database.

The USA, the leading democracy in the world, has been changing.

This is WAR folks. War against our way of life. War against the weakest of us; war against people with disabilities, the poor, the homeless, immigrants, dreamers, the GBLT community, school children, abortion rights, the environment… and those who aggress against us are the very Senators, Representatives and President, we elected.

Here’s the key… this is our fault!

We the people did this.

We the people are responsible for this war.

We the people elected ‘Godzilla’ president.

We the people have grown too lazy, angry and self-absorbed to do more than tweet about it.

We the people are misinformed or uninformed.

We the people have turned our backs and given up.

We the people don’t vote, we don’t know what’s going on in our country and what’s worse we don’t care.

That pervasive malaise will work until it hits home; until your mother has no health insurance or your child is shot dead in school somewhere.

That might wake you up. Maybe.

I hope by then, it’s not too late.


They’re Coming Out of the Woodwork

The unexpected. The ones we knew. The ones we thought we knew, thought we could trust. Marching across our TV screens, our newsfeeds; making headlines every day.

They’re coming out of the woodwork, the trusted ones, the good ones who, as it turns out, were not so good after all.  Come to find out, they were not so different from those ‘others’. Yes, as our ever hateful POTUS said, we expect it from ‘those Mexicans’, criminals on the street, bad, drunken, violent men from bad, poor, violent backgrounds. Surely, they are the ones who would rape, abuse, violate, terrify and torment. Not the ‘good ones’ who are raised in nice middle-class homes, who had enough food to eat, graduated from college, got good jobs, are well liked and well respected.

We don’t expect this ugly stuff from famous people we admire and think of as good guys. No, it’s unthinkable. They would not do those things, well maybe if they were drunk or pushed into it by their ‘not so good’ friends. You know, peer pressure, locker room talk, all that. The rationalizations fall trippingly off our tongues. That’s how this gets started, you know. We make excuses for them. It’s called enabling.

But wait, watch them all as they parade across our TV screens; big movie producers, important people, business man, behind the scenes and on the set. Network personalities, movie stars, legislators, judges, presidents. Everyone from Bill Cosby, Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey to Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and Mario Batali, on to Roy Moore, John Conyers to Al Franken and George HW Bush.

These were people we saw, listened to and thought we knew. They entertained us, led us and kept us company as we walked through our lives. Now the truth comes spilling out, the waters overflow their floodgates, drowning us with their raw, vitriolic, palpable disfigurement. There they are pronouncing their innocence, admitting some guilt, making excuses, issuing denials, hiding behind their lawyers, making counter accusations and of course blaming their victims.

They’re coming out of the woodwork, bragging on a Hollywood Access bus, tumbling like Rambo or cooking like Mario, up to his elbows in spaghetti sauce.  From Hollywood to Fox news to TODAY. From the Supreme Court, to Congress, to POTUS we are immersed in misogyny and misanthropy.

We’re shocked, no horrified at the sheer numbers. Liberals and ultra-right conservatives, movie stars, athletes and elected officials, they grope and grab, abuse, torment, harass, rape and manipulate.

Their victims are disparaged, demeaned, castigated, rendered powerless; beaten into silence and shamed, paid off, enslaved or forced to live with the lies. To lie down and take it. That’s the way it is. Shut up and put out. In our homes, with our friends, in our churches, in meetings, at work, in restaurants; we are surrounded by those we trusted, those we should be able to trust.

Somehow things got turned upside down. Since when was it funny to abuse someone, since when was it acceptable to trap, expose yourself, force unwanted touches and kisses on anyone? When did it become something you simply got away with? Why did it happen that victims of crimes, assorted variable different degrees of crimes, were ignored, cast aside, mocked and maligned?

Unequal gender roles were here from the start; the decks were stacked. Religion, traditions, norms and customs were codified into law. Then the Law that had the power to dominate. Racial and gender biases, embedded in the law, furthered the needs of those already in power, disenfranchising everyone else.

Those with the most rights, power and resources could legally lord it over those without. And there was no recourse. Woman, minorities and poor get to the back of the bus, cover your heads, lower your eyes, do as you’re told! Don’t even try to argue back.

But today they’re coming out of the woodwork. Today, those violators are being exposed for what and who they are. Today we have a voice. Today we have many voices. We can shout from the rooftops because we have joined one another. We have formed a sisterhood of truth. A marching, clear thinking, powerful band of fair-minded people. Now we can speak our truth aloud and we can say NO MORE!

No more bullies, offenders, abusers. No more being ignored or being disbelieved.  We can say ‘no’ to an unjust system of justice. We can say no to an inhumane Congress and President who think only of themselves and legislate against us. We can speak truth through our votes!

Our strength, our power comes from our collective willingness to speak our truths aloud; to act in concert with one another and consciously and intentionally create a safe, just and honest world.


Costs and Losses

Every time I turn around another wrong-minded decision has been made. Who cares about doing what makes sense anymore. Trump is a driven man and for him it’s all about reversing the hard work of the Obama administration. If they went right, he’s going left.

Writing an executive order that slams our country’s door in the face of desperate, starving immigrants negates our national charter and belies our history as a diverse welcoming country. Our court system, which believes in ‘the rule of law’, saved us from that hideous fiasco, at least for now.

But who’s going to save our fragile environment from present day Neanderthal’s who summarily reverse hard won environmental protections. How much longer will it take to reverse the destruction imposed on our world by this hate-directed presidency? As long as he gets what he wants, he could care less about global warming and the impact of pollution on our world. His attitude is dangerous and stupid. Dead things don’t come back to life. Kill off the Black Rhinos, the polar bears, the spotted owls and they’re gone. The next generation adjusts to a diminished world without realizing how it happened and that it could have been stopped.

Allowing our oceans, rivers and streams to be polluted for hypothetical commercial gain is abominable. Even the Lorax knew that and he was a character in a Dr. Seuss book!



“I’ll be his eyes and ears”

[Ivanka Trump, explaining her duties as White House advisor]

Does anyone in that White House think about what he or she is saying?  Do any of them consider the long-range implications of their words … at all… ever?

When someone needs help to ‘see and hear’ or more abstractly, to clearly perceive and interpret reality, it means there is something wrong with that individual. He or she is not able to clearly perceive and process information without assistance. He or she needs help to function. He or she needs an assistance dog or daughter.

Sure, Ivanka’s father can probably tell the difference between a blaring car horn and his I-phone’s ringtone. Sure, he can see a golf ball on the tee. But … can he sort through the conceptual tangles his narcissism and paranoia impose on his view of reality? Not likely.



Speak Truth

By Nancy Alexander

Truth to abuse of power

Truth to history… to reality

Truth to those who fabricate

…who distort, deny and recreate

Truth to those who call news ‘fake’

…the under-miners, the dumb-blind followers

Truth to the attention-seekers

…and headline screamers

Truth to those see through the haze

Who can wake up from that stupefied daze

Face up to the facts they aren’t hidden or lost

We suffer his madness at terrible cost

Your hero’s a shell made of ego and id

Gold-plated, no morals, no God to forbid

A hater, be-rater not a conscience in sight

Amoral and ruthless believe me I’m right

Diagnostic immersion … read on and you’ll see

He longs for his name across a Marquee

Self-centered, suspicious he goes for revenge

His wonders he’ll praise, bruised self he’ll avenge

It’s the way his mind works its truth as he sees it

So bow down and worship, kiss feet that’s the spirit

Tell him he’s great, he’s entitled, he’s perfect

Say he’s the best cheer and clap, he’s an addict

He must have those smiles, that applause or he’ll shrivel

A balloon without air, he’ll wrinkle and snivel

Your hero’s been flawed at least since age 8

Open your eyes it isn’t too late

The man he has power and money galore

Secrets abound with those we abhor

He’ll sell us down river to make a quick buck

Our country it’s laws and traditions he’ll F…

To him it’s TV; it’s a game or a toy

Just one thing at stake it’s his pride and his joy

He cares not a whit for our lakes or our streams

He cares not a whit for the immigrants’ dreams

It’s all about him with his Tweeting galore

He’ll say what he wants even end us in war

He’s short-sighted, impatient, self-serving and mean

He’s rude and insulting, uninformed and obscene

His lies and fake truths are just a smokescreen

Just get him more towers, accrue more gasoline

His children are privy, his footsteps they follow

For his secret trade deals in the gutter he’ll wallow

There’s no moral standard; there’s only the dollar

There’s no higher value he’s sure not a scholar

Before it’s too late, take a moment and think

We have a few choices pull back from the brink

There’s protest, impeachment and good old 25

No dissolution, destruction you’ll get out alive

Three options to choose and maybe a fourth

To save animals, people, plants and the earth

Stand up, take a look, see the truth that’s before you

He’s a fraud and a liar without a clear worldview

We can’t take the chance that he’ll come to his senses

He’s unstable, he’s worse than Mike Pence is

I know, he’s not good but the rules he can follow

Not like the fool with the shrieking vibrato

Its pressure we need to speak up and shout out

Get rid of that guy, he’s an immoral lout

A footnote in history just a comma a note

They made a mistake as they cast that bad vote

Correct it, say sorry I was wrong and you’re right

We’ll call it a day, fix the thing end the blight

He simply can’t stay, our country he’ll batter

Take stock face the facts this really does matter

Look beyond your back yard the whole world’s at stake

It’s up to us now to stop this Earthquake

Across this great land is a real Revolution

It’s time that we end presidential pollution


Truth to Tyranny

Across the country, people are speaking out, stepping up, standing tall, marching en masse and speaking Truth to Tyranny. In our nation’s courtrooms, Judges are clarifying the law, elected and appointed officials are leading the charge and people like you and me are phoning, tweeting, texting, emailing and demonstrating. We are leaving our homes, offices and classrooms to join the new revolution. This is a righteous fight and it is imperative if we are to continue as a haven of safety and reason.

When our tyrannical leader declared war on freedom and diversity, as we knew he would, I was thrilled to see so much pushback. Not just by the odd columnist or commentator but by a groundswell. I knew we lived in a country with checks and balances but I wasn’t seeing it in Congress. I cheered when from the ground up and from the top down, across the country and across the world; people began gathering, waving placards and standing up for their beliefs.

Most Republicans in the House and Senate continue to sit on the sidelines, fearful that their titular head will turn against them, sue them, incite voters against them or drive a bulldozer over them. Party loyalty continues to guide their actions, but here’s the thing… this is not politics as usual. Republican Party loyalty dissolved during last year’s primary. Folks you are dancing to a tune that’s no longer playing. Your familiar, insular network is gone. As of January 2017, we got a new brand of politics… The Politics of Pillage. This is governance by destruction; it is governing by crosscut shredder; it is government by egotism.

In this new world, we throw away the rulebooks; we toss out the law books, we ignore 219 years of Supreme Court decisions, we bury our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Forget history, tradition, protocol, pledges, conventions and treaties. Forget allies and alliances; forget Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; forget FDR and WWII;          forget:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

In the Politics of Pillage, there is no golden door. There are walls and barriers. In the Politics of Pillage, it’s my way or the highway!  It’s comply, submit, shut-up, agree, obey or guess what…. You’re Fired!

If we are to remain The Land of The Free And The Home Of The Brave, we have to be brave. We have to demonstrate the courage of our convictions, not just once, but every time Trump commits another horrendous, illegal, ego-maniacal act. We have to fight the good fight because the Politics of Pillage and the Rule of Tyranny are the same thing. Neither define the United States of America.


Surviving Megalomania

I, along with millions of other Americans, have been struggling to figure out how to move on in a political atmosphere rife with repressive, regressive, punitive and prejudicial attitudes. Along with millions of others, I am trying to sort through the thousands of social, economic and cultural variables that conspired plunk our governmental in this quagmire. Somehow, we went from a democracy to an autocracy, from a place where immigrants formed the foundation of our national fabric, to a chauvinistic climate that favors racism and elitism. We went from a land that applauds and strives to ensure civil rights, women’s rights, reproductive freedoms, gender equality, social justice, economic and academic opportunities, freedom of the press and equality under the law, to one that permits blatant abuse of power, racism and classism.

For months I’ve been saying we are at the brink of a revolution, way before the ballots were counted, my inner soothsayer warned of impending disaster. I felt the air of discontent surging from the tired remnants of Nixon’s Silent Majority, erupting from Jerry Farwell’s impassioned Religious Right and spewing forth from enraged rioters in Baltimore’s Freddie Gray case. Across our land, this land of the free, pockets of discontent have grown, expanded and blended ideas with our social outliers. Fringe groups moved toward center and center spread toward the fringes; the KKK, neo-Nazis and survivalists linked arms as they marched to the ballot box spurred on by their communal sense of disenfranchisement and the delusion that they had finally found their leader. Meanwhile the contented, self-absorbed non-voters stayed home popping their popcorn and watching their soaps, unaware that a coup d’état was fomenting just outside their doors.

You can call it what you wish, a coup, a revolution or another civil war, but nothing changes the fact that our government has been over-turned or turned-over to someone whose most fundamental desire is self-aggrandizement. Without respect for or in-depth knowledge of our Founding Fathers and the government they established, this quasi monarch seeks to create change via destruction not legislation. As to our cherished “balance of power” well, given the practicalities of rumor and Twitter, that’s questionable at this point. Although the powers of the Executive Branch are constitutionally limited to avoid the possibility that we are now facing, party affiliation and overt threats of unabashed revenge are likely to keep all but the most well defended Senators and Representatives muzzled.

These are some of my views on the realities of what happened, how it happened and what we are now facing. So how do we get out of this mess? Well no easy answer, but what little I know about systems theory might help. When there is a change, a drastic change that creates imbalance in a system, a family, the environment, a country there are of necessity reactions to that change. Necessary reactions and responses will create further changes because one change in a system has to lead to others. Okay have you had enough with the theories?

Here’s my advice, the advice I can give at this moment in time, of course, susceptible to change. Find and connect with other like-minded people, find an issue you care about and want to advocate for, start promoting the you believe in because, here’s the big message: to act as if you are powerless reinforces a bully’s power. Make that your slogan for the week. “Powerlessness reinforces a bully’s power. I am not powerless.” Think about it and do whatever you can to counteract the undertow of acquiesce, complacency and passivity. Talk, write, march, volunteer or contribute.

I’m with you.


Make America SANE Again

We’ve hit ‘rock bottom’, scrapped the ‘bottom of the barrel’ and plunged into a bottomless gutter. We’ve proven there are no limits to which a bare bones psychopath will go to get what he wants, whether it’s a ‘piece of a..’ or the presidency of the United States.

Trump said it and so far, he’s been right. He can get away with anything. He could murder someone in Central Park and go free. He can assault, embarrass, persecute and humiliate people privately or publicly, verbally or sexually; and get away with it. He will lie, deceive, attack, distract, distort, embarrass, imitate, mock and humiliate. What he will not do is look at his own behavior, honestly reflect on himself and take responsibility for his horrendous words and actions. He is as toxic, vile, repugnant, hateful, cruel and immoral as the most ruthless dictators the world has ever known and you know what he gets away with it.

In his recently revealed ‘hot-mic’ chat with Billy Bush, he said as much. If you’re rich and famous, if you’re a star, you can get away with anything. Just pop a Tic-Tac and go for it. The man has no moral compass; no external rules or laws apply. Trump is a land unto himself; he’s his own reality. No conscience, no concern for others, no humanity. He has no big picture, no world-view and no awareness his words and actions will have long-range or trickle-down consequences. Trump has no incorporated, socially sanctioned, sense of common decency. Rules of social etiquette do not apply, social standards do not apply, Federal Income Tax laws do not apply, and criminal laws prohibiting sexual abuse and assault do not apply.

The man is the epitome of the perfectly sculpted anti-social personality coated with a thick veneer of pathological narcissism. The most regrettable thing about this whole fiasco is that so many Americans are unable to discern these truths. They drank the Kool-Aid, they swallowed the con man’s spiel, they fell in love. As unfathomable as it may be, somehow, his garbled message of hate and privilege resonated with them and they glommed onto him as their personal savior.

Savior however is a real misnomer because with this man, no one is safe. Talk about Potty-mouth! Woman are pigs and sexual prey who love having stars grab their P…ies. It’s okay with him if Howard Stern calls Ivanka ‘a nice piece of a..’. The Mexicans are rapist; the Syrian immigrants are terrorists; the handicapped are a joke. Putin is a strong and admirable leader, Rubio has small hands and a small p…., Obama started ISIS, Megyn Kelly has blood coming out of her wherever, South Korea should have nuclear weapons, Carly Fiorina is so ugly no one would vote for her and John McCain’s out of luck because Trump doesn’t like POW’s. The man says whatever’s expedient, whatever will get him what he wants, votes, applause or sexual access.

Trump respects no laws but his own. He has no conscience, respects no higher authority. Hell, he even disrespected the Pope! He will ignore our governmental structure; disregard Constitutional requirements, overlook our International Treaties and dismantle national programs that are integral to our social infrastructure. If anyone dares confront his lunacy, he’ll shout his favorite phrase “You’re Fired”, creating turnstile chaos in the White House and across the globe. Let’s face it folks, the man is mentally unfit for office, especially the Oval office.

Should we design a mental health screening-test that will prevent unstable candidates from hijacking the Presidency? Damn right, we should. The Presidency is intrinsic to national and world stability. If this primordial time bomb isn’t proof enough, perhaps the end of our social and judicial system will be, because if Trump is elected, the US electorate will have signed its own death warrant.


The Shadow of Projection

The Shadow of Projection stretches far and wide

The truth it outlines has only one side

Vivid or pallid, reality’s blurred

Escaping its grasp has long been demurred

It will curve, bend or mutate

Its point to restate

Casting its viewpoint

A crown to anoint

Like a God, it proclaims it is fact, it is right

Wait, I am me a small voice will fight

I want to be seen, to be heard, to be known

But, Projection it carries a big megaphone

You are what I say, the big voice proclaims

You’re but a figment – it points and it shames

I’ll decide if you’re sweet or you’re messy or slow (more…)


The Gift of Wildlife

Several months ago, I found the most amazing website. It became a regular break from the from the pressures of everyday life. It was Via webcams the site featured a wild eagle family nesting in a tall eaglesTulip Poplar tree at the National Arboretum in Washington. This ‘first family’ of bald eagles, a mated pair named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” were mesmerizing to watch as they prepared their nest, laid their eggs, fed their hatchlings and raised  them until the eaglets grew strong and healthy. Before our eyes, in living color, bold and beautiful Bald Eagles flew to and from their nest, gently hovering over their eaglets, keeping them warm, safe and well fed. Their teamwork was flawless as they flew in with fresh fish (mostly the male), feed their young (both parents), keep the nest clean and free of debris (mostly the female) and carried in fresh branches (he brings she arranges!).

Amazingly their distinct gender roles, with the male as the main food provider and the female as the main caregiver, were surprisingly traditional. The First Lady sat on the nest more often, fed and cleaned the eaglets and slept on the nest during the night. Mr. President however was never very far, always alert and eager to feed the eaglets when on the nest, which is more than some women can say about their mates!

Along with thousands of chatters across the world, I logged on to the chatrolls as expert moderators discussed and explained eagle behavior. I realized that many others were as emotionally involved, fascinated and invested in this nest of Bald Eagles as I was. This year the pair raised two eaglets who were named Freedom and Liberty. The eggs were laid in February 2016 and the eaglets fledged in June.

I watched as they grew from tiny, wobbly hatchlings to large fledglings standing as tall as their parents. It was my great good fortune to witness a miracle such as this. I hope that the pair will return again to this nesting site in January so write it on your calendars, watch for my postings and get ready to plug in your laptops, turn on your smartphones and log on to watch this miracle of nature with me. I can assure you I’ll be watching!


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