Transform, Part II – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.23.2020

Transform, Part II
It is much easier to point out a problem than it is to imagine a possible solution, and it is much easier to resolve a problem in your imagination than it is to formulate an actual plan to deal with it.

Even more difficult is implementation, and the difficulty increases by an order of magnitude as the number of people increases who have to be trained and oriented to the task at hand.

The most difficult thing of all is to evaluate your work and progress, this is made even more difficult when the goal is fluid, requiring a dynamic process of evaluation and change re-evaluation.

In order for us to come through the era of COVID-19 as a whole and functioning society, we are going to have to transform, we are going to have to have a plan, we are going to have to work together, and we are going to have to face the fact that the goal, more than being fluid is actually unknown.

We do not yet know where we are going, because we do not know the full scope of the problem, we are going to have to stay active, exercising our imagination in an ever changing present, forecasting our way to an ever changing end, evaluating and re-evaluating, imaging and re-imaging the path forward.

Nothing good will come from this experience so long as we are lying to ourselves about the scope of the problem, and deceiving one another to satisfy our petty egos and indominable IDs.

The first step we have to take is to admit to ourselves that we are all in this together, we need each other to make it through.

The next thing we have to do, and I mean WE the people of the United State of America, is to take control of our government, to make it work for us, not the political class, and the top 10% of money earners and wealth hoarders.

We have the power to demand the change we need to see happen, we can do it if we stick together, and over the next six months we have to focus on that task.

Many of us are out of work, we have more free time than we have had in a long time. Let’s get out there and win this election for the people.

Let’s pass Universal Health Care, let’s pass a Green New Deal, let’s pass Universal Education, let’s rebuild America, wipe out debt, repurpose empty office buildings to house the homeless, get our fellow American’s off the streets.

We can do it, we can return America to the people, we don’t have to put the top 10% of the money hoarders in the poor house, but we do need them to pay.

Our government is meant to represent the will of the people, by the people, for the people, of the people. We have to stand up as the majority and demand that the government exercise its mandate, to defend us from this virus and all the nasty things that will flow from this era of economic collapse and uncertainty, to promote the general welfare, and to ensure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

Transform, Part I – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.16.2020

Transform, Part I
There is no going back to the way things used to be. We have to move forward and transform. The good old days were not that great to begin with, and there are better days ahead of us if we can muster the political will to make it happen.

Our so called “way of life” left to many people on the fringes, outside the margins, it denying to many of us, the full franchise of citizenship.

We had the greatest economy in the world, with the largest consumer base, and we acted like we were in a perpetual state of scarcity.

We acted like we could not afford to educate our people, allow us all to vote, provide for everyone’s basic health care, and ensure that everyone is fed, housed and clothed.

It was ridiculous, and we have arrived at the most absurd outcome when COVID-19 broke down that fragile system.

We need a radical transformation of society, and the economic engine that drive it.

Listen to me now; if anyone says that we cannot afford the work that needs to happen, politely inform them that they are ignorant.

Let them know that we can pay for the emergency relief funds that were just passed simply by undoing the Trump tax cuts. We can pay for the next round by undoing the George W. Bush tax cuts, bringing us back to the rate of taxation that we had under Bill Clinton, when the economy was booming and we were paying down the National debt.

We can go deeper than that.

We need to put tens of millions of people back to work, rebuilding our roads and bridges and a network of High Speed rail.

We need to bring textiles and other manufacturing back to the United States that we will never be dependent on our strategic adversaries for the supplies we need in an emergency.

We need universal health care, public education through college, we need an army of engineers to reinvent America, and no one can be left behind.

We need to transform; and we can do it. We need to start now.

We need a standard of living that allows one parent to remain at home raising their kids, dad or mom, it does not matter but we need to reduce the number of bodies on the manufacturing floors, in the offices, in the bars and restaurants.

We need small classroom that allow teachers to teach and provide for their safety as well as their students, we need to put those teachers to work and raise a generation of Americans who are critical thinkers, problems solvers and forward looking.

We need that green new deal.

We need a new agronomy.

We need to transform; we can do it. If we stand up and exercise our rights as citizens, we can vote in the women and men that will make it happen.

Listen!

There is a division in America, there are people who do not want change. Those people are telling you straight to your face that you should be willing to die for their lifestyle, go to work, get sick and die. These people are so ignorant that they believe they should throw away their lives as well, and the lives of their parents, the lives of their children.

They have been conditioned to view their self worth as inextricably linked to their consumer habits. They think of themselves as disposable, garbage, trash, unworthy of an education, unworthy of being cared for, whose value is linked to how much gasoline they burn, and corn syrup they eat, how much meet they can throw on the grill.

This has to change, we have to make the change happen.

Denial – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.09.2020

Denial

This week we learn that Pete Ricketts, the Republican Governor of Nebraska will not report confirmed COVID-19 cases coming out of meat packing plants, hampering his state’s epidemiologists ability to track the spread of the virus and protect the citizens his state.

Why would he want to do this?

Nebraska was late to impose any kind of stay at home order and among the first to lift them, against the guidelines approved by the pandemic task force at the White House.

Even though Donald Trump approved those guidelines, he has been working to undermine them ever since. Donald Trump Pete Ricketts and others among the Republican leadership are beginning to make a forceful argument that America just has to accept the risk and the loss of life, and they seem determined to withhold information and lie to us in order to justify it.

They are beginning to do what they accuse China of doing, hiding and concealing the number of cases of people who have contracted COVID-19.

It is disgraceful.

Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida is doing the same thing, refusing to report out the spread of the virus, they do not want the people to know how dangerous it is to go to the beach.

Alex Azar, the Trump administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Pat Roberts, the Republican Senator of Kansas are blaming the workers at the meat packing plants and their social life for the spread of the COVID-19 in the work place, and not the working conditions themselves.

They want to pretend that the exponential increase in cases of COVID-19 in meat packing plants across the country has nothing to do with the way that work is managed and is uniformly the fault of lifestyle choices made by that population.

They are scapegoating; it is shameful and anyone who makes excuses for these criminals is just as shameful and disgraceful as they are.

Americans will suffer and die because of this malfeasance.

This week the Chief Justice of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, a Republican, was caught on audio suggesting that the lives of meatpackers are less important than those of so-called “regular” citizens, as if the meat packers were not entitled to equal protection under the law.

Let’s face folks, it is as I have always said, we are not people in their eyes, we are assets, things, not human beings, we are expendable, and the fools cheering these monsters on need to be stopped.

 

Under Threat – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.02.2020

Under Threat

When you show up on the steps of the capital with automatic weapons and tactical gear, you are not engaged in a protest, you are making threats.

When you show up at the home of a sitting governor with automatic weapons and tactical gear, you are not engaged in a protest, you are making threats.

When you force your way into the legislative chambers of your state government with automatic weapons and tactical gear, you are not engaged in a protest, you are making threats.

When show up in these places waving the flags of the enemies of the United States, the flag of the Confederacy, the swastika of Nazi Germany, it does not matter if some of the people in your throng also carrying the American flag, disrespecting it, wearing it on their clothes, dragging it around. When you do these things you are making it clear that you are un-American, and that you are a threat.

These people are dangerous.

It may be true that not all of them are white separatists, white nationalists, members of hate groups, and domestic terrorists, but it is certain that there are many in those mobs who are, and everyone else participating in these travesties are enabling them, providing them cover, carrying their water and furthering their sedition…that includes Donald Trump.

These are not good people, they are attempting to destroy the fabric of our society, the are dangerous, they are predatory and like all predators they should be stopped.

Unrestrained ID, Invincible Ignorance and the Unassailable Ego – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
04.25.2020

Unrestrained ID – Invincible Ignorance and the Unassailable Ego

I have been watching the news all week, watching as protesters march on State Capitals, watching as groups of men armed with their AR-15’s protest in the streets, at the private residences of governors, I have been watching people screaming for their right to ignore the pandemic Corona Virus that has now killed over fifty thousand Americans.

I have been watching them as they block access to hospitals. I have been listening to them as they demand the right to reopen their businesses, the right to exposing themselves and their customers, their families and their friends to a pathogen that kills people in horrible ways.

All across the country there are places where the infection rate is stable or declining, where the death rate is stable or declining, and there are places where the opposite is true.

I listened to a woman from Georgia on the news angrily justify her choice to reopen her business and expose herself to the threat even though her husband is at home battling cancer. She says she “hopes” it will be okay, she “hopes” she is making the right choice, but she just “can’t” stay at home any longer, and the governor has given her permission to reopen her store.

I have been watching and listening to countless other more responsible people state their intentions to do the right thing, stay home, isolate, remain distant, but the numbers are telling us that twenty percent of the country just can’t keep their needs in check, they feel them, viscerally, the need to feed their impulses unchecked.

There are tens of millions of people spread across the states who do not care about themselves, who do not care about you, who do not care about their families. They just can’t imagine that they could be wrong

Their ignorance is deadly. It will be the death of many. The governors of states like Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, will soon be experiencing what is happening in South Dakota, their rate of COVID infections will be rising, the body count will be mounting, and because they possess these unassailable egos they will cast the blame on something else, they will call their dead martyrs who died not for faith, but to reopen an economy that never helped them in the first place.

It is pathetic, and sad, and cruel.

The rest of will watch as those governors turn the populations of people they have been entrusted to care for into a social experiment producing lessons for to do, and what not to do.
And the band played on…

Earth Day is my Birthday

All of our eggs are in one basket, I have said it before.

We live here, all of us-all-together and we have no place else to go.

The world is a big place and it can take a lot of damage, but the ecosystems we depend on are specialized and fragile. The world itself will survive many things that we individually and our bio-systems collectively cannot.

We are in peril, and that has never been more obvious to our generation than right now, in the era of COVID-19.

We are responsible for the care of this world. It is a sacred obligation, we have been charged with its care by our holy books, and more importantly under the aegis of common sense.

We are responsible for and to each other, we live together in this common-wheel.

The care of the world is a categorical imperative; if we do not care for it, the world may just shrug us off, or shrug just enough that a calamity will ensue that will alter our future destiny forever, changing our cultures, our languages, even our DNA.

Listen!

There are natural disasters pending, they are built into the structure of the planet, into the thinness of the mantle, and in conjunction with the heat emanating from deep within our planet’s core.

There are massive volcanoes, and there is continental drift, the geological forces at work just below our feet could easily destroy us all.

If we allow it.

There are calamities heading our way from outer-space, celestial bodies sailing through the ether, already on a collision course with Earth. There are asteroids and comments that we will collide with us, if we are unable to work cooperatively to change their course, these certain eventualities will overwhelm us. They are baked in, such disasters are existential threats.

Foreseeable events also represent opportunities for the advancement of science, and the unification of humanity. Given enough time, it is possible that we could even harness the power of the greatest volcanoes, turn their destructive energies to the benefit of humankind, or move the near Earth objects that threaten us from our path, capture them for their mineral wealth.

We need time, but more than that we need a willingness to understand these challenges, and rise to them.

We face other threats right now, immediate threats, viral pandemics, and threats of our own making.

We are changing the climate, the planet is warming.

Our oceans are becoming acidic, we are changing their salinity.

We are filling our atmosphere with toxins.

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising

We are polluting our freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams.

We are losing topsoil, our forests and our coral reefs.

Our stewardship is failing.

We are divided, against each other…by greed which drives a short sighted political mindset, seeking and succeeding at turning people against their long-term interests.

Politicians and their wealthy patrons, silence and undermine our scientists, they cast doubt on any field of inquiry which might lead to a curtailment of their industrial enterprises, or their short-term profits.

They treat the Earth and all of its resources like it is a grab-bag full of goodies, opened for them to plunder, like children with a big stick whacking at a piñata.

Those in the most powerful positions treat the rest of us the same way, we are not people to them, we are assets, expendables. You can hear their spokespeople cajoling their followers right now, attempting to convince them that “saving” the “economy” is worth the cost of millions of lives, our children and our grandparents, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, husbands and wives.
They are actively trying to convince us that we should accept the risk, like buying into a lottery, blithely ignoring the statistics that suggest the virus, if left unchecked, will kill between one and three percent of us.

They would sacrifice millions and millions of lives for their “economy”.

Our stewardship is failing.

We are failing.

It is Earth Day 2020, and all of our eggs are in one basket, the basket is fragile, and there is no other.

Earth Day is my Birthday.

04.22.2020

Liberty! – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
04.18.2020

Liberty!

The dull-orange-menace, Donald Trump, spent his time this week calling for his followers to “liberate” the states that are not cooperating with his attempt to rule by fiat.

Thousands of people have showed up at state capitals, many of them armed, some wearing MAGA hats, some flashing white power signs, some carrying flags: Confederate flags, Nazi flags, T-Rump flags all demanding that the governors in their states bow before their petty little dictator.

We have been hearing people on Fox News, tell us that they would rather die than let the economy suffer, that it is worth the cost of 1% or 2% or 3% of the lives of American people, veterans, grandmothers and grandfathers, children.

They want to be able to go out and play, let the body count rise.

It is insanity, and it makes me very sad.

These are people who cannot see past the end of their nose, they have no empathy, they are not patriots.

These people cannot tell the truth from a lie.

They cannot admit that they have been wrong about Donald Trump from the start, my own aunt, a woman I have always respected, who is not dumb by any means, told me she thinks Donald Trump is doing a great job, and thinks that the questions he is asked by reporters at his daily screed are ridiculous. She is unwilling to admit that this criminal regime is now responsible for deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, people who would not have dies if we had acted sooner, and there are tens of thousands more who will die before this is over, but because their vanity will not allow them to admit that they are wrong, they will do nothing to hold the Fake President accountable.

I never imagined we could get here.

I have always known that Americans are by and large ignorant about our role in the world, the heavy hand we play in developing countries in order to consume all their goods and exploit their labor.

I never had much hope of trying to burst that bubble, but I never thought they would let a bankrupt, craven, draft-dodging fool destroy the entire country.

America needs to be liberated, but it is not the people of Michigan and Minnesota, Virginia and Maryland who need to be liberated, it is al of the American people who need to be freed from the tyranny of this vapid mad-man Donald Trump.

There are 198 days until the election, that is 198 days too long.

 

The Race is On – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
04.11.2020

The Race is On

I donated five dollars to the Biden campaign yesterday, I was happy to do it.

I think the Democratic Party could have chosen a better nominee, but I also think Joe Biden can take us across the finish line.

A lot of my friends are unhappy that Bernie Sanders didn’t go the distance, and while my personal opinion is that Joe Biden fit the bill of electability, I share the gloomy outlook that the more progressive policies which I favor won’t have a Champion in the White House.

But here is the deal…

The legislation that we all want to see passed has to begin in Congress anyway.

We all need to keep our energy focused on the campaign ahead, not just for the sake of electing Joe Biden, but in order to elect more progressive members to the House and the Senate.

We need genuine progressives to win Gubernatorial races, and to win State Assemblies. We need everyone to stay engaged, we need the full court press.

We need to put an end to the pogrom the republicans have been running on the federal judiciary, we need to control redistricting, and we need congress to reassert its status as a coequal branch of government.

We need to pass legislation that limits the authority of the executive with penalties to enforce a strict enforcement, criminal penalties if necessary, if members of the executive branch do not comply with Congress right of oversight.

We need to pass a new Voting Rights Act, we need government reform from the top to the bottom.

The kind of malfeasance we have been living through these past three years has left without the ability to help ourselves in this time of crises.

We need to remove Donald Trump from office, tomorrow is not soon enough, but we need to do it decisively, and when he is gone the criminal investigations have to begin.

In the past, when Obama took office he opted to let the crimes of the Bush administration go: illegal surveillance, torture, lying to congress etc…we let it go in the name of national unity, and for the purpose of moving on.

That cannot happen when Donald Trump is walking out the door, he and his family and their fiends who have defrauded the American people must face the consequences for the things that have done, and for their criminal neglect as well.

Leadership – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
04.04.2020

Leadership

Defending the leadership of Donald Trump has become a cottage industry, Mayors and governors, businessmen and ministers, ordinary men and women are willing to risk their lives, the lives of their family, friends and neighbors, all prop up the pretense that Donald Trump is faultless.

What a ridiculous sham.

Shame on anyone who even whispers that T-Rump should not be held accountable for his gross ineptitude, his complete inability to comprehend the scope of the problem we are facing, which begins with him and his ignorance.

One hundred thousand American’s or more will die from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

When we look back on this period of time we will see that the majority of those deaths could have been avoided through good crisis management, with proper preparedness, and temperant leadership.

I am reminded of what Senior Chief Fitzgivens said to me when I was a young HN (Hospitalman) in the Navy.

Remember the five P’s: proper planning prevents poor performance.

I regret that not even a little bit of that wisdom is being employed now.

Last night the CDC made a recommendation that all American’s wear a face mask of some kind when they leave the house, and Donald Trump got up right after this and said that this was a voluntary recommendation, not a requirement and that he would not be doing it.

We need to do this.

He didn’t need to say anything about his intentions, he could have just let the recommendation stand, but the president is too stupid to do even that little bit.

Donald Trump and his malfeasant administration represents an existential threat to the United states of America.

He needs to be removed from office, the longer he remains in that position the more American’s will die.

Somebody needs to lead.

Listen – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.29.2020

Listen
My sensei always use to tell that we have to be rich enough to pay attention.

Pay attention to what is going on around us, look beyond the tip of your nose. Listen to the warning we are being given, comply with the safety measures that are being recommended.

The sooner we all get on the same page, acting in concert with one another the sooner we get through this mess.

Be mindful, the risks you take go far beyond yourself and your family, the COVID-19 virus, if you come in contact with it, will spread out from you, well beyond your sphere of influence.

Limit your exposure, practice social and physical distancing. Do it for your sake, and for the sake of your family, yes do it for those reasons, but do it for everyone else’s families as well, do it for the doctors and nurses and emergency workers who are risking their lives for our sake.

They are heroes, honor their sacrifice.

Listen, and don’t listen.

Don’t listen to the selfish voices around you, correct those , do it gently, but correct those who complain about their need to be with people, to run around the lake, to have a drink with a friend, because they do not want to stay secluded.

You are not being asked to risk your life, to take up arms and go to war, you are only being asked to spend a couple of weeks, or so with yourself.

You can do this, and the sooner we all do it together the sooner we get through this and the sooner life will return to something we recognize as normal.

Do not listen to the conspiracy theorists trying to distract you with their colorful ideas about who dunnit and why, those people are not trying to help you adjust to the circumstances or see our way through it.

Listen to the doctors, listen to the scientists, listen to the men and women in the hospitals, do not listen to the politicians, the media pundits, or the televangelists, trying to make a dollar off your suffering.