Thursday, August 17, 2017

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

Basic instincts
It's human nature to desire to
be a part of a larger collective.
Belonging reinforces a sense
of validation and the thrill of
"hanging" with kindred spirits.
Somehow knowing that others
feel exactly the same way we
do helps makes things better.

What a cluster
Group dynamics can also encourage
isolated cultures of mediocrity. Such
limited perspectives nurture a banal
sense of validation. Cliques are often
established to celebrate camaraderie.
Yet isolation invariably reinforces
isolation. There is no greater threat
than "us" versus "them". The stronger
that schism grows... the harder it is
to think or survive outside said box.

Misery loves company
Underdogs are always motivated
to form a unified front. Nothing
is as comforting as connecting
with others who share the same
orientation. Better to be unhappy
together than miserable apart. So
if united, the weak gain strength.
Pro and con
There's good and bad to group
efforts. As we've seen down in
Charlottesville - a gang can turn
in a moment. Zealots have but
one goal. Which is to force you
to think their way. They leverage
fear to gain consensus. Right or
wrong we each must choose the
group that suits us. And balance
it's priorities for the good of all!
Exit strategy
Over the past two days several
business CEO's stepped to the
fore to protest Donald Trump's
actions and statements related
to events in Charlottesville. It's
rare for such types to move on
in a way that could negatively
impact profits. Yet each opted
to exit rather than continue to
support a questionable agenda.
Group effort
When will our elected leaders hold
our President accountable? They
belong to an exclusive club at the
largesse of we the people. It's time
they denounced their bigoted boss
by name. Rather than hedge their
bets they must defend the freedom
and equality of ALL. Otherwise
they may soon join another group -
THE UNEMPLOYED!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW





"It's easier to write
 about those you hate."
                                                DOROTHY PARKER
It's hard not to embrace bitterness.
Someone once said, "If you can't
say something nice - say nothing
at all." Little is as thrilling than
attacking one's enemies behind
their backs. Clandestine vitriolic
venom is the coward's mode of
attack. For generations the most
vile amongst us hid behind sheets
rather than show their true colors.
Then along came Donald Trump.
"Hatred is the coward's
 revenge for being intimidated."
                                                                    GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Once backed into a corner a victim
naturally lashes out at their enemy.
Survival instinct pushes us all over
over the edge. Yet we must put any
altercation in perspective. Each of
us are end results of our individual
experience, background, and bias.
Thus in such times the real person
is revealed. My Dad cautioned me
to beware of such situations - "Fear
can make people do horrible things."
"In time we hate that
 which we often fear."
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE - Anthony & Cleopatra
Ignorance isn't bliss. In all actuality
stupidity and myopia fuel the most
lethal of incendiary weapons - anger.
While some may attribute poisonous
piety to a lack of knowledge, I argue
that most hatred is bred by an excess
of arrogance. If open minded, one's
growth springs from exploration and
exposure to the new and unknown.
All of which requires the bravery to
admit you've got something to learn.
"The opposite of love is
 not hate, it's indifference."
                                                                         ELIE WIESEL
Hatred is a subtly terminal cancer.
Once one becomes stricken by said
plague ALL boundaries of civilized
behavior mutate according to their
warped perspectives. Nothing is as
pathetic as standing idly by as your
friends and neighbors are abused.
We are ALL culpable for any sins
against humanity. Thus those who
voted for Donald Trump share the
responsibility for his BIGOTRY.
"Hate the sin, love the sinner."
                                                                       MAHATMA GANDHI
Evil often hides behind a mask of piety.
Whereas good humbly stands up for all.
Yet our President opts to support those
whose only agenda is derision, hatred,
and bigotry. It seems that men like him
believe hatred is not a sin but rather an
inalienable alt-right, Only the most self
righteous would possibly dare to use
God as justification for an evil agenda.
Claiming that the very foundation of
their faith is challenged by diversity,
equality, integration, freedom for ALL.

"Hate cannot drive out hate.
 Only love can do that."
                                              MARTIN LUTHER KING
We live in an unfair world. While
most were outraged by events in
Charlottesville - OUR President
defended White Supremacists and
Neo Nazis. His bizarrely skewed
perspective baffles. Is it fueled by
hatred or ignorance? Or simply
proof of a megalomaniac's desire
for power at any cost. Unlike men
like Martin Luther King and Ghandi
who changed our world peacefully.
"Always forgive your enemies.
 Nothing annoys them so much."
                                                                                          OSCAR WILDE
On Tuesday Donald Trump showed his
true colors. Not red or blue but rather
the cowardly white of a bigot dressed
in Brioni. Our collective challenge is
how we react to such a display of rabid
arrogance. We can't allow our residual
anger to blind us from the task at hand.
Each of us must blaze our own path to
redemption. The question is where will
we go from here? How will we usurp
the devil we know in our White House?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GARBAGE IN... GARBAGE OUT



Free range
Often things are beyond our control. Or beyond
our scope of reason. The last two apartments we
have rented here in Manhattan have been within
one or two blocks of Trump Tower. The first was
on 55th above the Core Club. Back in those days
Mr. Trump was nothing more than a trumped up
fraud on reality TV. Therefore during hot or cold
weather I often escaped the elements by cutting
through said marble and brass monstrosity. The
joint was always empty save for a few Iowans
snapping photos. My only risk was running into
someone I knew on Fifth Avenue. Little was as
awful as being associated with anything Trump!
Local traffic only
Today we reside one and a half blocks from
what is THE number one tourist attraction in
this city. At the time we chose where to roost
Donald Trump was yet to be inaugurated. But
already there were signs of heightened security
in the neighborhood. 56h Street was closed
between Fifth and Madison. Gigantic concrete
blocks were placed around the city block that
Trump Tower's partially inhabits. Soon after
Mr. Trump went to Washington we had NO
fuss beyond Melania or Baron's occasional
comings and goings. And slowly we locals
were lulled into a false sense of security.
New sheriff in town
Sadly our world changed dramatically in the last
seven months. We've almost come to expect that
a speeding vehicle may ram into a crowd at any
moment. Meanwhile our President's incendiary
statements have only put not only him but all of
us at risk of some "crazy" going postal. All why
we must live in a police state. Recently I decided
to circumvent the high humidity to chill via the
"open to the public" Trump Tower atrium. This
time I was greeted by several gentleman in full
combat gear holding submachine guns. Next I
had to put my groceries through an x-ray scan.
Thus by the time I exited I'd truly lost my cool.
Moving violations
Said episode was an omen of things to come.
Yesterday Mr. Trump and entourage arrived
"home" for a three day stay. That requires
thousands of federal, state, city, and Secret
Service law enforcement officers move into
my neighborhood. Our street is closed off to
vehicle and pedestrian traffic through late
Wednesday. At times I'm required to pass
through a security check to get home. Such
precautions make sense given last night
thousands marched to Trump Tower to
protest Charlottesville and our President's
tepid and late condemnation of the guilty.
Above all else
Part of me wanted to join in. Yet it seemed too
foolhardy to risk being run over by a redneck.
Instead I listened to their roars from the safety
of my balcony. Even from my distant perch it
was a moving experience. Which causes me
to wonder what if anything President Trump
could hear from his gilded cage. The very fact
that thousands are chastising your inability to
stand against bigotry, hatred, and terrorism has
to be a humbling experience. Yet while within
earshot, I'm certain all pleas for equality fell
on deaf ears. The high and mighty never lower
themselves to our level unless they're forced to.
Cash & carry
The arrogance of it all is what I find unnerving.
How can anyone claim to a man of the people
while you decadently disrupt America's largest
city for three days? Given "fiscal conservatives"
put Donald Trump in office - one would hope he
might exhibit some level of prudence. Instead he
freely moves about wherever he pleases incurring
over sixty million in Big Apple security costs to
date. Why doesn't he stay put where he belongs?
Back in Washington D.C., at Camp David, or at
one his golf resorts which are far away from us
all. If this is the land of the free then please Don,
PICK UP YOUR TRASH AND LEAVE NOW!

Monday, August 14, 2017

THE TRUTH BE TOLD...


State of emergency
Saturday I popped over to Barney's with my
friend "A." On the way home I grabbed a pair
of shoes as I chatted with my daughter "M."
Then I decided to check my e-mail. Waiting
was the news that Charlottesville Virginia
had declared a state of emergency. Due to
the ramifications of an out of control White
Supremacist rally. Leading to a car barreling
into anti-racist protesters injuring nineteen
and killing one. And suddenly I was sitting
in Fratelli Rosetti with tears in my eyes. All
in theory caused by the impending removal
of a statue in honor of General Robert E. Lee.

Made in America
Robert E. Lee was born and raised in Virginia.
The son of the Revolutionary War hero - "Light
Horse Harry" Lee, he was a graduate of West
Point. Subsequently he served as an officer in
the U.S. Army for thirty two years until 1861
when his home state of Virginia seceded from
the Union. Despite being offered a leadership
role in the Union Army and having a strong
desire for the United States to remain united.
Subsequently he led Virginian forces into the
Civil War. Fighting to protect the right of some
to legally enslave other human beings. Finally
ending the war by surrendering in April 1865.

Historical precedence
Few argue that Robert E. Lee was an officer and
a gentleman. Post the Civil War, he supported
efforts to reunite the defeated south with the
victorious north. After his death monuments and
statues were erected in his honor throughout the
south. Nine southern states designated counties
"Lee" to laud their fallen Confederate hero. Yet
the "south" wasn't alone in such acts. Arlington
Cemetery sits on the grounds of his home, now
the Robert E. Lee Memorial. In 1958 the U.S.
Navy christened a submarine in his name. And
in 1962 concurrent with anti-segregation strife,
West Point named a dormitory after him.

Past imperfect
Obviously the historic schism that ripped our
country apart over one hundred and fifty six
years ago continues to grow even today. One
thing is certain. Almost every historian would
agree that Robert E. Lee would never have
supported egregious acts of overt hatred as
we witnessed on Saturday. Yet our President
avoided publicly condemning white racists
and Neo-Nazis. Which causes me to wonder
why he didn't draw a line between right and
wrong. Possibly because the driving force
behind said rally was articulated by David
Duke, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard?
"We're going to fulfill the
  promises of Donald Trump"
  to "take our country back."
            DAVID DUKE 
            1974 Founder Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK)
            1980 Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK)
            1980 Founder National Association for the Advancement of White People
            1988 candidate Democratic presidential primary
            1989 named Republican Louisiana State Representative
            1990 candidate Louisiana State Representative
            1990, 1996, 2016 candidate United States Senate
            1991 candidate Governor of Louisiana 
            1992 candidate Republican presidential primary
            1999 candidate United States House of Representatives
"We condemn in the strongest 
  possible terms this egregious
  display of hatred, bigotry
  and violence
  on many sides,
  on many sides."
         DONALD J. TRUMP
                 President of the United States
White lies
David Duke's statement is appalling. Right
or wrong, any white supremacist claim that
their acts of hatred embody the vision of
our President is shocking. Sadly Donald
Trump's response was equally offensive by
omission. Let's assume our President was
disgusted by what happened. Why did he
waver in his responsibility to clearly state
who did what to whom? Such an obvious
omission indicates an inability to publicly
denounce those who claim that they put
Donald J. Trump in the White House. Is
this proof that the alt right runs America?


Speak the truth
Words matter. So what does one do when
confronted by such evil? They denounce it.
President Trump's avoidance of placing the
blame for this act of domestic terrorism on
White Supremacists and Neo-Nazi's is hard
to fathom. When it truly mattered he opted
to attribute the blame on "MANY SIDES."
History repeats itself. Thus in the hope that
Mr. Trump can learn from his betters I now
close with several quotes from the man in
question. Great leaders do and say GREAT
THINGS. And learn from their mistakes...
" I have fought against the people
  of the North because I believed
  they were seeking to wrest from
  the South it's dearest rights.
  But I have never cherished
  toward them bitter or vindictive
  feelings, and have never seen a
  day when I did not pray for them."
         ROBERT E. LEE
         Confederate General and Hero
"Madam,
  don't bring up your sons
  to detest the United States
  government. Recollect that
  we form one country now.
  Abandon all these
  local animosities, and
  make your sons Americans."
            ROBERT E. LEE
           Confederate General and Hero
"The education
  of a man
  is never completed
  until he dies."
          Robert E. Lee
                 Confederate General and Hero
"I cannot consent
  to place in the
  control of others
  one who
  cannot control
  himself."
             Robert E. Lee
             Confederate General and Hero



Sunday, August 13, 2017

7th Day Surprise: UP & ADAM






Get up and go...

Every morning we all start anew.
No matter how one opts to arise
to the occasion,
it's if nothing else a fresh start.

RISE AND SHINE!