Do you need a break?

At a time when chaos seems to rule our society it is easy to feel anxious and the need to escape for a bit. Widespread corruption that seems to go to the top of our government, climate change leading to incredibly hot days and forest fires, and no one intelligent seeming to be in charge. I have a remedy for you. Read my new book “Centurion Crew: A Mack Johnson Novel”. You will be taken to a world where men and women actively defend the constitution. Where bad actors run into the limits of evil doing, and the good guys make a stand using intelligence and guile. I wrote the book considering what could happen if an amoral fascistic person became president and there were persons with a mission to defend the republic. I think you will enjoy the book which is available on Amazon as an Ebook for $9.99.

The Search for Truth and Meaning are the Bulwark for living well

Thanks for joining me!  Our world is currently drowning in information.  We are bombarded with it.  This website is dedicated to providing tools, insights, and questions to analyze what we are seeing in our world today.  To live well we need to be able to determine what is important, and make meaning of that information.  This website is meant to be a place for engagement, communication, education, and empowerment.  Knowledge and understanding are not useful if we do not take action so we will be sharing what actions we can take to improve our world in a principled way that is respectful of human dignity and value.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 

Accountability

The American legal system has to capture and punish the terrorists and criminals who assaulted and sacked the US Capitol. The mere fact that this must be stated is an indictment of systemic white supremacy in America. Many Americans think the Capitol assault was not a big deal, and a few people got out of control. The same people would be ready to declare war and invade another country if the same assault had been staged by Iranians or Chinese. If the attack had been staged by Black Americans the death toll would have been tremendous. America has an issue with racism, and it threatens to become a lot worse if white supremacist terrorism is not dealt with appropriately. The focus of the attack was to take the defeat of Donald Trump and create victory by deleting unwanted votes (both minority and white votes). The plan was a repeat of what took place in 1876 to end Reconstruction, beginning the Jim Crow era of racial marginalization and segregation. The lies about the election being stolen were not challenged by most Republicans or the conservative media echo chamber. Truth and justice were not even speed bumps in the pursuit of a reinforced system of white supremacy. Whether people claimed to be evangelicals, QAnon, proud boys, or Klu Klux Klan, the truth was not deemed to be worthy of consideration to keep a lying Trump in office for four more years. Four more years of corruption, abuse, and lies to create a revised America that no longer respected the Constitution. For America to move forward in strength we must believe and act as if ‘knowing the truth will set us free’ to paraphrase Jesus.

Article review: The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder

If you want to read a scholarly analysis of what has taken place at the Capitol and in our country The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder is at the top of the list. Timothy Snyder is a Yale professor of history and expert on fascism. Professor Snyder wrote Bloodlands an intense history of Stalin and Hitler’s mass murders in Eastern Europe which I previously reviewed. The American Abyss gets to the heart of long term issues that led us to the assault on the Capitol and the divisions in our society, but Snyder also identifies what we must look out for going forward. A key finding in the article is the complicity of the Republican Party in using racism to get votes while channeling power and resources to the wealthy. Snyder identifies two types of current Republican politicians; gamers who use Trump and racism for election and power, breakers who like having a white authoritarian in power and could care less about democracy. Armed with the insight and information of this article citizens can both understand the history that led us to near disaster, and correctly analyze what needs to happen in the coming years. Snyder identifies truth as a necessity for democracy and all parties having agreement on basic facts. I strongly recommend that every literate concerned citizen read or listen to The American Abyss by Timothy Snyder at the New York Times website.

American vigilance

The sacking of Capitol by seditious domestic terrorists should have the attention of every American. The terrorists have different belief systems according to reporting. A good deal of the terrorists are white supremacists who want a violent civil war to achieve their goals. Another portion of the terrorists are Qannon conspiracy believers who have lost touch with any known reality, and believe the country is run by evil pedophiles (No one can explain why these people support Trump who hung around with an accused pedophile). Another portion of the terrorists are reported to be religious fundamentalists who believe our society of individual freedom should not exist, and a dictatorship controlling all behavior is preferable to a democracy. The remainder of the terrorists are apparently lost souls who believe that Trump is somehow their savior. The reality for Americans who love our republic is that we face a real and committed threat to our way of life. The common focus of the terrorists is to bring about an authoritarian government that can exert more control over personal freedom. All authoritarians promise their followers special status that others do not enjoy as long as they follow orders (See Timothy Snyder). Right now the terrorists are focused on terrorizing Democrats and our government leaders, once they win that struggle they will come after us. The land of the free and the home of the brave must be just that right now. Be ready to support President Biden, his administration, and our elected lawmakers at the federal and local level because patriotism has never been more important.

Why Trump chose to be a Republican

After watching the Capitol building being sacked and looted by fools who were lied into a mindless frenzy; I had to pause to reflect on how we became so lost as a country. Trump’s criminal rampage was fed by the political party he joined to run for president based on the consistent use of racism to turn out white voters. The Southern Strategy (designed to appeal to white grievance) was successful for Nixon in 1968, and continued to be successful for Republicans going forward. Trump had to make a calculation that he could use the Republican’s sea of lies and subtext of racism against them, and he did. He sold himself as the angriest and most genuine white supremacist candidate for 2016, while labeling the other Republicans as the real con-artists. Republican voters bought it despite never examining Trump’s own lies because they wanted fighter who would bring white supremacy beyond the wink and a nod, to a focused mainstream. Trump is undisciplined, but he knew that he was a match for the desire of his voters and gave them what they wanted. We are now dealing with the fallout of our democracy allowing this racist demagogue to run our great nation into a ditch, because hatred and laziness do not make good leaders. People of goodwill should be vigilant and elect leaders who work towards liberty and justice for all.

Criminal in charge?

The truth is the strength of America. When Americans elect criminals for whatever reason they strike at the heart of the republic. Trump is a criminal on many levels, and he has struck more than once at the heart of America. He started by selling lies about the first Black president, then he appealed to Russia for help in getting elected, finally he called for his followers to overthrow the republic and help him evade the consequences of losing the election and his crimes. The United States is at a crossroads. We can no longer live by a white male gentleman’s agreement. Our leaders must hold themselves accountable to the laws of the country, and not have insider’s justice (not the same as meted out to average citizens). Trump must be held accountable for his insanity or we will see more like him soon. The people who attacked the Capitol must be hunted down and brought to justice for our republic to thrive. Those who would intimidate the republic must be brought to understand the nature of justice, and the wrath of the people. We celebrate the elections in Georgia while we focus on justice for the debasement of our Capitol.

Corrupter in Chief

It is 2021 and we are still dealing with the orange con’s criminality and madness. The nation’s first failure was to empower a racist liar in reaction to the election of the first Black president. Failure was compounded as desperate White supremacists in the Republican Party refused to confront continuous lies, corruption, and criminality for the sake of power. The result is the moral collapse of the Republicans combined with the diminished power and status of the United States. People worldwide no longer trust America along with many US citizens losing faith. The system of support for the corruption we see is able to contort on command to maintain the pretense that what we see is somehow reasonable, while rational adults recognize criminality when they see it. Every day of the current regime is a threat to decency and our Republic. If we survive these times remember what you have seen to motivate continued involvement in current events, and politics. There is not someone else out there who will look out for your interests, well-being, or freedom.

The Jim Crow Caucus

Several Republican Senators and representatives have shown their true colors and sought to undermine voters as the determining factor in our government. These Republicans believe that what they want matters more than what the people want, and they do not care about destroying the Republic. Citizens will have to display discipline as Trump and his minions threaten violence to overturn the election. The group of Republicans refusing to accept the certified results from the states will likely focus on diverse voting populations to nullify results they don’t like. Trump has not been a great president or even an average one. Trump has been a cruel racist president who wants to take the country to a previous time when minorities were subservient. Foolish people believe this is Trump’s gift to their whiteness, but intelligent people realize he wants everyone to be subservient to him and his empty soul. The Republicans in some cases are accepting their own results from the vote, but not those going to the other party. The vote is the greatest non-violent tool that we have to shape our future to paraphrase the late John Lewis. We are witnessing evil in our time and we must make sure every bad actors are held accountable in the media, at the ballot box, and in the courts. We are not going back deeper into Jim Crow, we will continue the fight to end it in all forms, and gain equal respect for all citizens.

America in chaos leading to?

We have a large question hanging over our country and the answer will depend on the wisdom of the masses. Millions of voters in Georgia will decide on whether two Senators who have used their offices to corruptly enrich themselves will return to do it again. The Georgia vote will signal what Americans really care about, and if there is any moral failing that is too low for a Republican in a red state. Republicans seem to care about selfishness, greed, and power while not building a better country for working people. The COVID pandemic has been badly mishandled leading to lives cut short and economic distress across the country, but the current president and Republican politicians say nothing. Mitch McConnell and his friends say that we must now be concerned with the national debt after giving a large tax cut to the wealthy; while millions stare at disease with no healthcare, possible homelessness, and the mental duress that comes with life on the edge. The eighty plus million people who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris wait to see if Donald Trump and his Republican political minions will destroy the constitution, while law enforcement is on the lookout for white supremacist terrorists who want to support the overthrow of our republic. I am hopeful that the republic will survive the current chaos, but democracy cannot last long if those who assault it are not held accountable. We are currently an unstable country dealing with multiple threats that have not all been mentioned in this post. Contact your representatives and let them know that you expect them to honor their oath of office and defend the constitution.

Book review: Deacon King Kong by James McBride

If you want to read what I would call a great and imaginative mystery; try Deacon King Kong by James McBride. The author succeeds with deep social commentary, rich imagery, all weaved into a provocative story. The book is set in a late 1960s Brooklyn project where Black people have migrated north to escape the racism of the south only to discover a new version of it. The main character known as Sports Coat struggles against overwhelming odds due to family neglect almost from birth, racist abuse, poverty, and finally alcoholism. Tragedy strikes early in the book, but Sports Coat despite his flaws is a deeply spiritual man who struggles to the end to make his life meaningful. Friendship and fellowship are major elements of this satisfying book where all of the characters struggle in their lives, but possess inner strength and character. The world can be a tough place and Deacon King Kong does not hide this reality, but author James McBride does a masterful job of portraying the human spirit shining through the darkness.

Burning down the house?

Headlines for the last few days show a trend of increasing chaos by the current president. As Trump vetoes the bill to help Americans damaged by the pandemic; we have to realize he had months to make his desires known if he had any. Trump has not seemed even slightly interested in the well-being of the American citizenry. We may be entering a time where those who supported Trump while pretending not to notice his criminality will have to defend the Constitution. History will not be kind to the Republicans in congress if it is written by honest people. Republicans repeatedly denied accountability for a person who appears determined to do as much damage as he can to America. Trump has; pardoned men who murdered 14 people including children in Iraq, pardoned persons who likely obstructed investigations of the president, and repeatedly demolishing the appearance of a just pardon process. We will likely see more outrages coming until January 20. The question for America is who will protect the house from being burned down, and make sure that this does not happen again? Criminality is widespread in our politics and society today, if we do not control it; it will control us.