The World

‘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.


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.


If You Were A Worm

Maybe if you were a worm you’d be safe

You could down burrow deep where no one would see you

Hiding away where you cannot be found

You could live your life the way that you want to

Not like the Rhino who’s too big to hide

Not like the Rhino who dies for your pride

To grin and show off an erection gigantic

To impress only you and your ego fantastic

Not like the fox or the seal, or the beaver

Who die for your coats that you show off in winter?

Not like the turtle who dies for its shell

So you can have bracelets or earrings to sell

Tuna and swordfish are gourmet delights.

We gobble them up with no thought of their rights (more…)


IQ –EQ – SQ – VQ – UQ

Let’s get clear about something: Some things can be learned, taught and studied. They are a matter of information, memory and ideas, a matter of intelligence. Other things, not so much. They are more a matter of ‘who you are’ as a person things like personality, empathy, intuition, flexibility, patience and self-control have less to do education and more to do with innate qualities. When you think about a presidential candidate, a world leader who has to lead this country and be respected across the globe, you have to think beyond the kind of ‘issues’ that candidates debate. Those things, while important at the moment, vary from generation to generation and from country to country.

As thoughtful voters we can not afford to get stuck on single, emotional, social, political or financial issues no matter how important they may be. Because those issues change with the social and political climate. What is more imporant and what is universally ignored, what goes beyond opinion and proposals is the nature of the person’s character, morality and personality. It’s not about how smart or well informed they are – yes it’s impressive when candidates can rattle off facts and figures and pronounce the name of every leader, country and capital with searing linguistic accuracy, what’s most important has not been addressed except in passing, slurs or inferences delivered in mini-soundbites.

Here’s the thing.

In addition to intelligent, our president needs to be:



Are They Cut From The Same Cloth?

As a world community, are experiencing increasing violations to our collective belief systems. The iconoclasts are running rampant. Violations of long respected social codes, values, mores are everyday occurances. Nothing is sacred, Nothing and no one is above derision. Hatred, extremes of verbal abuse, hideous senseless acts of violence abound. Indeed they are often applauded or subtly sanctioned. These acts are becoming so commonplace, we stopped defining these behavioral extremes as aberrant outliers. They happen every day. We’re getting immune to them. People who just a few years ago defined themselves as mainstream Americans have gone off the deep end. They put up with things they would never have put up with before. They tolerate even encourage abusive obnoxious language and laugh or clap, or stand up and cheer for it. Corrosive, toxic words and ideas are spewed, hateful, crazy actions occur and instead of people being appalled they applaud.

Through war after war, treaty after treaty, court ruling after court ruling, we as a global collective have worked incrementally to amass a broadly accepted set of social standards. Society has strived to achieve as ordinary, a reasonable standard of conduct, fair rules of social engagement, political correctness, respectful problem solving, restrained discourse, humanitarianism, cohesive cooperative government, environmental responsibility. In this country we’ve strived to achieve Equality under the Law, a Fair and Just Court System, Civil Rights for all Citizens…we’re not there yet but we have improved. We keep trying.  Through generations civilization  has assembled generally accepted social guidelines that strive to provide safety, maintain order and regulate themselves in accordance with some semblance of reasonableness.

We teach our toddlers to ‘use their words’ rather than hitting or spitting. We try to socialize, raise and train our children to be responsible and respectful, to be polite and considerate even if they disagree or play on opposite teams. Now, it seems without our knowledge, agreement or approval those social guidelines we struggled and died to achieve are being trampled.



“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor”

Syrian and Iraqi refugees abandoned their homes and everything familiar in a desperate search for safety. Carrying their babies and scant worldly possessions they trudge across the burning sand, pile into battered boats, face a hazardous Mediterranean only to land on strange lands seeking shelter. They want be safe. They are not going through all this because they’re bored or greedy. They aren’t seeking better paying jobs, nicer clothes or bigger cars. They simply want to avoid being slaughtered by the same maniacs who are threatening the rest of the world. We’re on the same side of this war, folks. It’s not like they’re friends with the terrorists. Even if a bad guy sneaks across with them, it doesn’t mean they invited him. However, several Republican presidential candidates have lost their program guides.  Instead of standing by the words inscribed on our Statue of Liberty:

“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!”

These pompous candidates are determined to slam that golden door in their faces. And why? Because immigration and terrorism are hot button topics and they want votes. So before you jump on the closest political band-wagon think about this:

  1. Terrorists can go wherever they want to go – Syrian immigrants or no Syrian immigrants.
  2. They are well funded. Their groups have money and means, passports and bombs. Islamist extremists have been getting into the USA for years. On student visas, work visas, in freighter cargo holds or as stowaways on Boeing 747’s.
  3. Not all terrorists are imports from the Middle East. Some of them already live here. Some were born here. Many are not and have never been Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Druze, Yazidis, or any other ethnic minority who call the middle east their home
  4. Groups like al Qaeda are transnational groups made up of many nationalities and based in many countries, so let’s not discriminate against one terrorized nationality.

It’s abhorrent that these political wanna-be’s spout simplistic, reductionist ideas and pretend that they are solutions. It’s even more abhorrent that so many potential voters swallow this crap as if it were the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.



If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

This blog title, extrapolated from quotes by Rabbi Hillel, (110 BCE – 10 CE) a famous Jewish religious leader, serves as the foundation of the Judeo-Christian belief in ethical reciprocity, or the “Golden Rule.” (You remember “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Or some such…) Those words challenge us today to think about the cascading atrocities erupting across the globe and remind us that individually and collectively, we have a moral, ethical, human responsibility to one another. From the comfort of our homes, with the distance of miles and oceans, it’s all too easy to leave ‘it’ to the next guy. It is all too easy to relax in our easy chairs, sip coffee or wine, shake our heads and point our fingers and not think about the millions of refugees stumbling across countries looking for somewhere safe to live.

We grumble aloud, jump on our soap boxes, shout out easy, one-dimentional solutions and over-simplify enormously complex problems, boiling them down to a simple matter of right or wrong, do or don’t. After all, it’s way easier to over-simplify huge, big problems, like crime, violence, drugs, poverty, immigration or the Middle East than it is to take the time and energy to learn about and try to grasp the complexities. It takes years of study to appreciate the centuries-long history of oppression and conflict; to understand what motivates these fights over water and land, oil and power, freedom and slavery, tyranny and justice.



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