First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This site is dedicated to keeping an eye on the developing Trump regime and on ways we can use this as an opportunity to reinvent our democracy and reaffirm our reputation as a wise people.

I once had a calling in my earlier age to serve actively in the U.S. armed forces around the globe; but that faded over 20 years into a haze of misguided ventures created by an increasingly ideological national governing structure.  Today, at age 53, a calling has again risen but this time I must answer it from the outside rather than from the inside.  I must embark on this journey because I am convinced that this regime is dedicated to reconstructing America into an oligarchic kleptocracy.  I am further convinced that the problems we face are not just political or cultural, they are even more fundamentally biological. I will explain and explore all these perspectives and more in this blog while attempting to learn and expand my understanding through interactions with you.  I hope we will eventually attract all sides into a coherent and useful dialogue.

Finally, this is the most serious venture of my life – a venture worth giving one’s last full measure of devotion if required.  I for one, don’t want to wake up one day realizing that I had been the frog that failed to see the deceivingly slowly rising temperatures before it was too late.  We will certainly all know that time has come if this post is taken down by the regime and if it is; my first and lasting message will always be to organize non conventionally and fight on as did our forefathers and mothers.  For now, we must simply and persistently put one foot in front of the other to forge a pathway of resistance and renewal through these conversations and subsequently inspired actions.  May we all be guided by our collective wisdom. Thanks to you, whoever you are, for your participation.

Ok then, let’s go ALL the way back to States Rights!

States Rights

When I see “states rights” as an argument today or criticisms of “faceless bureaucrats in DC” getting in the way of “our freedoms”, I tend to want to know why this comes up on some issues but not others? Let’s play a game. What if a state who supports the GOP plan for health care which is currently all about the individual states doing their own thing (a total of 50 different plans then) also has to give up federal support to: a common currency, subsidies to their farmers, subsidies to infrastructure and schools, national social security, Medicare, or Medicaid for poor and elderly when they turn 65, and definitely no help from FEMA when disasters strikes because that would be “faceless bureaucrats” acting like they know what we need? What if states actually were exactly the way they were as colonies – separate little fiefdoms? I say we try this. On principle, if a state didn’t take the Obama Care subsidies to keep their insurance markets strong for the first 10 years (as explicitly intended and needed to make the whole thing work – and oh by the way, this is what most “red” states did) – then you states should forfeit all other “meddling by the feds” listed above (and there are many more than what I listed including huge subsidies to your oil industries & housing). You get to be a colony again. Won’t that be finally what you all want? Real freedom!

Yes – the Election was Swayed.

Russian Hacking

See below report by this administration’s DHS so maybe the GOP voter will believe. BTW, even if this didn’t physically change votes in the machines enough to sway this election physically, don’t we always actually vote according to how we feel based on what we learn from our media? Soooo…if your favorite media was hacked wouldn’t that be influential on your thinking? And if that changes how we all think, wouldn’t it be prudent to say that this hack must have channeled the election some bit? If not, tell me how you learned who to vote for – honestly. Did you do a research paper? Did you interview all the candidates one by one yourself? How did you come to choose? Ahhh…the media. Hmmmm?

Hacking worse than thought

Distraction, Distraction, Distraction

Wag the Dog

Can someone tell me why we are provoking NK? What were they doing to anyone outside their own country? If we did nothing to them for the next 100 years tell me, what would happen? It’s not like they have a religion that calls for world dominion like Christianity and Islam. We are no longer worried about “the spread of communism”. I haven’t heard a credible concern that they have any offensive plans in the region. Seems to me they want be left alone. So what is it exactly that would make us willing (even eager with this president) to kill millions of Koreans (north & south) with our weapons? I’ll tell you – narcissism. This is another red meat distraction for another dictator (US this time) looking to stay in power by distracting from his own corruption to something that stirs his base.

Trump Speech to UN – “Totally Destroy NK!”

Social Darwinism in 2020

Social Darwinism.jpgSocial Darwinism

Are we seeing a kind of social darwinism as a country at work in the GOP health care bill? Let the weak stay weak (or actually die off because that’s the way it is in the animal kingdom) and let the strong stay strong (because that’s nature’s morality at work)? It seems that there is a GOP feeling that the sick got there because of their own decisions – so, they deserve what they get. I say this because A) these kinds of statements have been made by GOP leaders, B) the current bill is taking money from the two programs that benefit the weak the most (poor and elderly) to give to states to cover other things, and C) preexisting conditions WILL NOT be covered because they will be determined freely in 50 ways by 50 states that don’t have enough money on their own and so will be allowed to price the weak out of the market just as before Obama Care. This also fits with the current overarching GOP philosophy of letting the rich get richer, letting capitalism be our prime directive (ie., the ONLY American dream for Republicans – getting rich) for all things (which got us to where we are today in health care – how’d that work out?), also hiring billionaires to control our government policies on all this – people who never were regular folks, and finally alienating all “others” in our society regardless of the content of their characters. I see a pattern. Anyone else? What exactly is the American Dream and who gets access to it these days and in the years going forward?

Behind the Headlines

High CastleWe have a saying in the military that generally goes like this: “amateurs talk tactics and strategy; pros talk logistics”. In this short video, we get a glimpse beyond the headlines of the tactics of white hate to the logistics that serves as its lifeblood. I learned a few things in this. Forget kneeling at football games…that’s so yesterday…time to start a counter insurgency against what I would call these non-citizens. Give me a Syrian refugee in a one for one swap any day of the week. Call me a social justice warrior if you want but this is more than free speech. This is a counter culture movement bordering on terrorism inspired from the top – and I mean THE TOP.

AJ Digs Behind the Headlines

Henny Penny?

How can all I’ve been posting be real? Isn’t most of it fake news? Isn’t my bias and crying Henny Penny all a bit over the top? Well, I’ve reported many times that I’ve voted equally red and blue over my life time and am still willing to swing either way within reason and the right sensibilities in the leaders and candidates given a particular times and context. But in my 53rd year, I’ve lived long enough and have studied many ideas, traveled to many places speaking to many folks, have made many mistakes and realized my own deep imperfections all to help me just begin to understand human nature. The human nature here at play is more biological than political or cultural. It has deep roots that I cannot express in a tweet or a FB post. Most of our problems in dealing with complexity today are biological in nature as odd as that sounds. Essentially we are simply higher forms of apes working with other apes and we have not yet fully evolved to handle the cognitive load being placed upon us and we are reaching our biological threshold of abilities to cope. And our biology tells us in such situations to simplify, trust in our gut, and survive no matter what it takes. But this sometimes isn’t good enough. When our inability to process everything coming at us, we reach what is called a cognitive threshold where we resort to our beliefs rather than evidence because we simply can’t gather enough information to build such evidence. In these time we must listen but also challenge our gut with both confirming and disconfirming data until a clearer and more consistent patterns emerges that tells a more accurate picture of reality. So what does this have to do with Trump? Trump and his folks along with the rest of us are simply dumbing everything down to deal with this complexity overload and its going to make us make bad decisions. However, this coping strategy is as natural as the oceans and forests and no matter how brilliant we tell ourselves we are, the natural world will have the last say in the end. There is a way out and it’s called history. Not to repeat it or even to use it necessarily to design the future but to reflect upon its warnings about our rather limited nature to understand the world fully. Nearly every society before us has reached its own cognitive threshold for various reasons – some accumulating over decades, some over centuries while their belief systems and their inherent distortions of reality marched in different directions until their demise was sealed. We are on the cusp of outstripping our biological abilities again. Our prefrontal cortexes responsible for all executive functions such as logic processing can only process about 120 bits per second – a minuscule amount of information – about the amount of bits in two people talking at once. THAT’s it folks! And this is what we are using, all of us, even the smartest among us, to make sense consciously of our daily complexity. Is it any wonder that we are facing such confusion and fear – me too. In great part, our bodies and minds are defaulting to our basest levels of survival and for good reason. But we can overcome this. I have many thoughts about this and have studied it to some considerable degree. We need acknowledgement and humbleness in the face of complexity. We need to acknowledge or propensity for defaulting to beliefs in lieu of facts. Please at least be curious about what I’m saying. Ask me questions. I’m happy to entertain conversations and point anyone towards additional literature…This is happening folks. We mustn’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap that other past civilizations have. We can do better.

Are We Screwed?

Finally! Something that affects us reds, blues and purples the same way. What do we ALL think about this? (And if you think you know what this article is going to say, give it a try anyway please) “Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself” Psychometrics and the (counter) revolution in marketing that is helping bring fascism to power around the world. “Cambridge Analytica also uses surveys on social media in order to gain access to the powerful predictive personal information wrapped up in the Facebook likes of users. And Cambridge Analytica is doing precisely what Kosinski had warned about. “We have profiled the personality of every adult in the United States of America—220 million people…”

This is Black Mirror stuff..almost.  We can’t put this genie back in the bottle.  We are not private citizens anymore.  And soon we will completely lose our innocence as all our “clicks” will be bought, sold and used to nudge/manipulate/blackmail us if necessary depending on what we have to offer to the perpetrator.  Steve Bannon sits at the right hand of the trump regime and on the board of Analytica.  He is now poised as the true Minister of Information and has each one of us in his data base tagged as one of 33 personality types base on Analyticas O.C.E.A.N. model.  The question is what do we do about this?

I don’t have a great answer.  But I can imagine a world where kindergarteners and kids in grades K1-12 are explained the nature of human beings and the biological limitations of the human sense making.  In doing so, we might ruin the long run of magicians as entertainers in our lives but we would gain a needed perspective about how our minds and bodies are manipulated every hour of our lives.  This awareness could lead to resistance to the Bannons and Goebbels of the world now and into the future – and it’s about time we disrupt the repeating pattern of despotism through thought and emotional manipulation.  It might also help us as citizens become more humble, empathetic and responsible critical thinkers because we would understand better how what we think and feel are often out of step with the natural world about us.

That is a possible long-term strategy for overcoming the human nature of the power hungry to dominate the rest of us but in the mean time, we simply need to get the word out on this article with a few basic statements about how we are all subject to this kind of duping no matter how smart you are.  I just don’t think pulling back from social media or covering our tracks digitally is going to be possible at this point.  We are just too far downstream already…