“There’s still more work ahead. But I’ve said many times: As tough as this pandemic has been, we will get through it. We will rebuild our economy, reclaim our lives, and get back to normal. We’ll laugh again. We’ll know joy again. And we’ll smile again — you know, and now see one another’s smile, look at the smiles on other people’s faces. Better days are ahead, I promise you.”
–Joseph R. Biden Jr., May 13, 2021.
It was a lovely Thanksgiving from my small corner of the world on the Central California coast. As I had a chance to reflect upon the past year, I felt a curious mixture of gratitude, optimism and trepidation.Continue Reading >>
Last week I began my first trip away from my home in California, post-COVID-19 pandemic. It has really been exhilarating to enjoy the feelings of freedom and independence that have accompanied my travels, knowing that for the first time in more than 15 months I can trek around the world without the risk of either getting ill from COVID or of jeopardizing the lives of others by inadvertently acquiring and spreading the virus.
I recognize how lucky I am. None of the 600,000+ people who died from COVID in America were free to get on an airplane, as I did. Like George Floyd, those who number among America’s COVID casualties no longer have the freedom to even breathe.Continue Reading >>
The political pundits continue to broadly proclaim that there is little chance that Donald John Trump will be convicted in the currently ongoing impeachment trial, despite overwhelming and damning evidence that illustrates his guilt in fomenting insurrection against the government of the United States of America — as clear an impeachable and convictable offense as one could imagine. Today I’ll take a look at why the pundits could be wrong and why there is at least a reasonable chance that Trump will in fact be convicted.Continue Reading >>
And one of the areas it has been found most wanting is in the dramatic leadership failures of many of our business and community leaders.
Four interrelated themes converged during 2020 to provide a perfect storm of dysfunction for America:
1) Post-factualism, sometimes called “truth decay.”
Post-factualism supports the notion that truth is irrelevant… that we don’t have to tell the truth, and/or that the truth is inconsequential or it can be defined by our notions of the way we want the world to be, rather than by observed reality.Continue Reading >>
Three months from tomorrow the current terms of office for Donald John Trump and Mike Pence will come to an end.
Three months ago I published my first “We’re in the Endgame Now” column, looking at the final six months of this presidential term, using the ten Domino Principles as a foundation to shape my forecast. That column has so far proven to be accurate and prescient in pretty much every material detail, and I must admit it has led to my developing a bit of a Cassandra complex. While we can’t predict the specifics of future events with certainty, The Domino Principles provide a framework that allows us to assess, in broad strokes, many of the likelihoods and probabilities for what may occur.Continue Reading >>
The lady in the house across the street from me put back up the Trump/Pence sign in her yard. From this, I’m inclined to make the following inferences… do you agree?
She is spitting in my face… and in the face of my father, who served in the US Army during WW II in the fight against fascism, and who has now been characterized as a “loser and sucker” by her candidate of choice.
She is telling me, clearly and unequivocally, that she supports both fascism and racism.
She is revealing that she supports the outright treasonous conduct that we have all witnessed, against the interests of the people of the United States in deference to the interests of Russia and other foreign adversaries.
She is showing acceptance and support for the malfeasance and incompetence that has resulted in the needless death of a majority of the 215,000+ who have died from the pandemic… along with the associated recession, unemployment surge, and destruction of businesses facilitated by the ongoing indifference and lack of competent action from this administration.
She is disclosing that she has either been unable to recognize that someone with access to and control of our nuclear codes has blatantly, repeatedly and publicly engaged in abusive and malignantly psychopathic behaviors and mental health disorders, over a period of years… or that she does recognize it, but she is just fine with it.
She is indicating that she embraces running our government with a degree of corruption, lawlessness and grossly unethical tactics analogous to that typical of a mafia operation; or that she is grossly unaware of what is going on in America today; or that she is living in an “alternative reality” divorced from the empirical world.
She is signaling that she doesn’t give a damn about the severe ramifications to our climate that our children will inherit, or about the obscenely rising national debt that places a devastating burden upon future generations.
I don’t know how to ever have respect for this person, ever again. I respect her right to have opinions that are different than mine, and to express them. But good people don’t support this madness, and good people won’t vote to continue it. There is no way I can have personal respect for someone who has a belief system virtually identical to that of those who supported what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and that led to my relatives of generations past being sent to the gas chambers.Continue Reading >>
200,000+ Americans dead, a majority of them an unnecessary consequence of incompetence and deliberate malfeasance. A federal government defined by corruption on a scale well beyond anything witnessed in our lifetimes. The treasonous betrayal of American interests to Russia. A man with the nuclear codes suffering from severe psychiatric disorders. Massive job losses coupled with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Those who have served America in uniform characterized as “losers and suckers.” A Senate and President that sprints in a mad rush to fill a Supreme Court seat with someone who will likely act to take health insurance from millions and stand against justice and equality for decades, but that can’t muster the effort to deal with COVID-19 and a recession relief package for month upon month.Continue Reading >>
Many times in the past, America has asked its soldiers to risk their own death and to kill others. It has always purported to have a purpose: to defend America and its values. Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed to protect their loved ones and to serve the greater good.
Jeffrey Goldberg recently reported in The Atlantic that Donald Trump has characterized those who have sacrificed and served in uniform for America as losers and suckers. It is tempting to infer from this that Trump fundamentally doesn’t understand the idea of sacrifice. But there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Trump understands very well the idea of having individuals sacrifice on his behalf. Again and again, he has encouraged many to sacrifice their credibility, their reputation, and even their lives, all on his behalf.Continue Reading >>
One of the objectives of authoritarian regimes is to extinguish hope so everyone will give up. So let’s talk about… HOPE.
I now know with certainty which of my acquaintances support systemic racism, but I also see so many more who do not, and each of them gives me hope.
I now know which of my acquaintances would prefer to see America as a corrupt oligarchy rather than a secular democracy, but I also see so many more who do not, and each of them gives me hope.
I now know which of my acquaintances would have been silent or would have applauded, while conveying thoughts and prayers, when my relatives of generations past were dragged from their homes into concentration camps 80 years ago, but I also see so many more who I now know would not have, and each of them gives me hope.Continue Reading >>
What makes a country great? For most of us, many factors might come into play, such as the country being exceptional in terms of:
• geographic expanse and resources;
• military power and victories;
• wealth, productivity, and an ever increasing standard of living;
• leadership in technology and innovation;
• global political and cultural leadership and influence;
• health, happiness and quality of life;
• and a commitment to justice, equality and human rights.Continue Reading >>