There are some things that transcend party politics.
These are perilous times, and looking past superficialities to see deep repercussions is important. The current US administration is treading into territory far removed from anything we’ve seen within our lifetimes, from either Democratic or Republican administrations. When basic liberties are threatened and the possibility of nuclear conflict edges closer on a daily basis, it is incumbent on each of us to seek truth, to look at world events with real depth, and to use our voice to say, eyes wide open and with love for America: “No, this is not okay… I will not go quietly into the night.”
The images of dead and suffering children following Tuesday’s gas attack by Syria (with Russian complicity) on its own people were tragic and compelling. Syria was believed to have used chlorine mixed with a nerve agent, possibly sarin, killing more than 80 Syrian civilians.
Things are not going very well for Donald Trump. But they have the potential to get a lot worse… and not just for Donald Trump, but for America and the rest of the world too. Before we discuss how the dominoes might come crashing down, let’s set up them up with a brief recap of the first two months of Trump’s administration:
The health care legislation Trump proposed went down in flames in a Congress that is dying to replace Obamacare… because he tried replacing it with something far worse that utterly failed to meet the promises he had made for such legislation.
Trump has exploited the Presidency and proven himself to be a self-enriching snollygoster in a way well beyond anything any American politician has ever done before.
After telling us he would release his tax returns, he didn’t. After telling us he would donate his salary, he recently pocketed his second paycheck. After dissing Obama for his annual golf trip, he spent 5 of 7 weekends on vacation playing golf, and spent 1 out of every 3 days of his presidency enriching himself by visiting a Trump property at the taxpayer’s expense.
Trump promised to drain the swamp but instead has turned his administration into a kakistocracy filled with alternate-reality philistines lacking a rudimentary grasp of basic science, along with wealthy lobbyists, oil magnates, and wall street executives. Their emphasis seems to be on removing regulations that prevent businesses from poisoning our environment, and on decimating our educational programs (particularly for the neediest), while lining their own pockets and the pockets of their wealthy friends.
He has turned America into a global laughingstock, praising our enemies while offending and alienating our greatest allies.
He has broken promise upon promise upon promise… just to name two of the bigger ones: The Keystone XL Pipeline is going to be built with Russian steel. His wall, if it is ever built, will be paid for with tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars, rather than by Mexico.
He and his team have fabricated false terrorist incidents in Bowling Green, Atlanta, and Sweden to attempt to justify their actions.
He seems incapable of speaking for five minutes at a time without lying, including slanderously labeling a former American President a felon in order to try to distract the nation and Congress from investigating his ties to Russia.
In the very best case, he has acted as a naive and unwitting co-optee serving Russian interests, and he has been an active collaborator with a white nationalist, and self-proclaimed Leninist, who advocates for a revolution that will turn our country towards Christian fundamentalist fascism.
And in the worst case, people who are or were in his close circle have engaged in misprision and/or treason.
He has played on America’s fear of terrorism to draft illegal Executive Orders and advocate expensive public works programs that do nothing to address actual security risks while simultaneously flaming racial and religious hatred.
Amidst all of this, Trump is doing something he hates more than anything else… He is LOSING.
And he has shown a degree of utter incompetence in all of the above that not even his greatest detractors ever believed could have been possible.
And as horrible as this might seem, it is nothing compared to what might be coming our way courtesy of Kim Jong-un and North Korea. But before we talk about North Korea, we need to talk about white nationalist, alternate-reality-ist Steve Bannon, who is Trump’s White House Chief Strategist.
He wounds the autumnal nation. A corroded knife, plunged and twisted into the very belly of our Republic, leaving us hemorrhaging from our core, pushing to the front the very worst of what We the People represent.
Donald John Trump has given us a mirror, and what we see in it isn’t remotely pretty.
And amidst the writhing and the screams of the agony inflicted, the casualties are our dignity and our honor and our pride; along with truth, justice, and the American way, all of which he has made a mockery of in the very worst ways imaginable.
The people I know who have lived the most extraordinary lives didn’t do so by accident. They made it happen through tenacity and determination, and they celebrated each and every success along the way. Domino Principle #3, Dance Passionately, teaches us to never stop dreaming of a better world, working to bring our dreams to fruition, and celebrating the gifts we already have in our life today.
When my mother, Jackie Kurtzman, recently completed her life’s journey, it was a chance to reflect upon what an extraordinary life she had, and because of what she taught me and the opportunities she gave me, what an extraordinary life I have had. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel much the globe, with treks ranging from visiting the polar ice pack north of Norway…
It is heartbreaking when someone we know is on the receiving end of a psychologically abusive relationship. This article details the terror that those experiencing such abuse endure, and provides some strategies for gaining self-awareness and dealing with the situation.
I have augmented my own personal observations with content borrowed heavily from the references listed at the end of this article.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, both psychological and physical, is a pattern of intentional coercive behavior used to establish and maintain control over an intimate partner, ex-partner, or family member through fear or intimidation.
“The lover’s power is the poet’s power. He can make love from all the common strings with which this world is strung.” –-Amelia Barr
Seeing the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron last week was a Stark reminder of how terribly I’d failed my ex-girlfriend. I had loved her. Sadly, in a truly deep and spiritual way, I had failed her. And it has taken me much reflection to understand and face the true nature of that failure along with its repercussions.
We’ll come back to this discussion at the end of this essay, but for now, I’ll just mention what any good entrepreneur knows: that a failure only remains one if we are unable to turn it into a learning opportunity. The learning opportunity that came out of that experience has led me to be able to write this article for you today; one that I hope will bring you a degree of insight into your own life.
My daughter and I were enjoying an absolutely amazing dinner at Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans a few days ago. R’evolution is on my personal list of top 10 restaurants in the world, and we were not disappointed (more details on the meal in the addendum below). My daughter is a neuroscience major in college, and she also waitresses while going through school to help meet expenses. She’s interested in getting a different job at a much higher-end restaurant than the one that she works at now, where the tips will be much better and the food will have the sophistication to cater to a clientele of bon vivants. So she picks the cutest waiter she can find and asks him how he got his job at R’evolution.
“As in life, when playing dominoes the points of light are what matter, not the surrounding blank. Look for the dots of goodness in the world and an impressive pattern of possibilities emerges. It is here the game is won.”–M. Daniel Nickle
Did you know that there are 55 different techniques of faulty reasoning and distortion that people use when they try to convince you of something that isn’t necessarily true or factual?
Do you know how to identify these faulty reasoning techniques so you don’t get swindled?