Toiling Upward, Forever Upward in 2017!

As we head into 2017, we are presented with a new opportunity to influence our destiny, one that is determined by the choices we make and how we manage the circumstances with which we are given. Despite all that has taken place in 2016, my wish for all of you is to make your choices, live with them and learn from them. Consider the following, not as resolutions, but as reflections and a call to action for the New Year. Hopefully they will help us all in defining ourselves and the lives of the many others we will touch in the coming year:

1. Always be there for your fellow beings, your family and your friends

2. Do not spare politeness to others. Never let kindness be held hostage by pretenders

3. Make your own decisions based on facts

4. No matter how bad things get, do not despair

5. Hang on to hope, as brightness will eventually appear

6. If you are going to fail, fail going forward

7. Never think that there are no crocodiles because the water is calm

8. Don’t wait for the last judgment. It takes place everyday

9. Remember that no one in the world needs a mink coat except a mink

10. Party like its 1999! Remember to be safe and responsible and have a very HAPPY 2017!

An Unprincipled Mind: Trump Trying To Adapt The World To Himself

History has proven time and again that good people who stand for what is right and solidly resist what is wrong, have the power to advance the cause of justice. There is goodness in this world, but there is also a measure of evil that continues to branch and multiply with breathtaking speed. But the movement of progress keeps us fresh. As we head into 2017, we cannot afford nor must we allow our nation to be taken back to the days of damming stagnation that plagued us for much of the last fifty years. For those who believe otherwise, there is no place for rule by cabal in these United States of America.

As we forge into the New Year and for the next four years in particular, “We the People” and those in the media, can no longer allow one individual who has been granted such trusted responsibility to continue to get away with what he absolutely knows not to be true, inhumane or not in the best interests of the people of the United States. There can be no retreat from the progress made on behalf of women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, inequality and pay equity, health care or the promises we have made to our seniors and our veterans. We must not allow the burning inner flame of these accomplishments to be extinguished by an egotistical, self-aggrandizing, uncivil and insecure Commander in Chief, or his factually challenged and often unhinged supporters, most who will soon also realize that they too have been lied to and used simply for personal political gain.

Good judgment is the product of experience. This immediately raises serious questions about Donald Trump, the majority of his cabinet nominees and most of those projected to be a part of his senior management team. Despite his continued proclamations, Trump’s self-praise provides no credible recommendation for his qualifications, his ability to reasonably provide domestic tranquility, his ability and willingness to ensure common sense international relationships, or even his general overall conscience and stability. His zeal to compare, to compete and to have more has been a life-long intentional process with the goal of creating “have-nots” and “others”, a process that he continues to refuse to change even today. This has been an obvious and consistent pattern manifest by Mr. Trump’s business dealings, his refusal to release his tax returns, and his multiple risk taking schemes designed to line his pockets, no matter the effects or consequences laid at the feet of others. This style however will certainly crumble under its own weight once he takes the oath of office. Thereafter, he must quickly learn that it is a mistake to continue to confuse words with knowledge. And he must dissuade himself from making noise for noise’s sake. “Statesman like” decisions can no longer be provided to the gullible in 140 characters.

It is absolutely imperative that Mr. Trump come to grips with the fact that he must now deal with the practical considerations of reality, not just for his sake, but for the sake of all Americans and for the sake of stability throughout the world. His inflammatory rhetoric must cease, as we cannot reach our full potential as Americans living as separate nations within our own nation.

Donald Trump must reassess his principles if he expects to have any semblance of success as a person, and more importantly, as President of the United States. Principled people are comfortable with who they are. Their values are not ideas that flow from their mind, but rather a part of an inclusive mindset that benefits all Americans.

If and until that time occurs, the rest of us must keep our guard up and demand action and accountability from both Mr. Trump and a wayward republican Congress. Our voices must be loud, constant and unafraid of any threats or consequences. We owe nothing less to ourselves or to the future of an already Great America.

Trump Just Doesn’t Get It: Escalation of Mutual Destruction is Completely Irrational

After nearly 40 years of diplomacy to promote nuclear disarmament around the world, Donald Trump announces his national security policy regarding a new arms race via Twitter, espousing a reversal of policies for which so many have worked so hard and for so long to prevent. Trump’s proposed policy reversal is so serious and so perilous that it would almost certainly encourage participation of officially recognized nations, not to mention rogue pseudo nations and other unstable organizations. According to Trump, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes mutually assured destruction”. Unfortunately Mr. Trump has not been paying attention over these past many years.

Recognized mutually assured destruction was the reason for worldwide nuclear disarmament agreements. A restart of an arms race is not in any countries best interest and certainly not in the best interest of The United States or our world. Trump, the puppet and willing minion, knowingly or not, has given Vladimir Putin the opportunity for which he has been waiting. This is Trump’s “Reagan” Moment where Reagan joked that the “Bombing of Russia will begin in 5 minutes” during a mike check in 1984. Reagan’s off the cuff comment immediately created a potential nuclear crisis between Russia and The United States. Loose lips sink ships and loose ill advised, self-serving, ego- centric statements endanger not only the U. S., but the entire world. Whether he realizes it or not, Trump has just given the green light to India, Pakistan, North Korea and any other unstable regime just waiting in the wings to participate in an arms race.

Donald Trump may physically be a man, but his brain has yet to catch-up.

By His Deeds: Donald Trump Is Flying On A Wing And A Prayer

Based on the undeniable fact that our universe is only knowledgeable through the human minds ability to perceive reality, I’m afraid we may be in trouble. Our national government, in just a few short weeks, will be in the hands of unconscious agents who are creating reality in their own image. Our future is heading for a dead end. We are being inundated and surrounded by dark energy based on the irrational and random acts of the selective unconsciousness of a President-Elect who is “winging” it at every opportunity.

With the nomination of Jeff Sessions as U. S. Attorney General and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, I thought we had stabilized at DEFCON 3. Now we learn that Donald Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, a former orthopedic surgeon as the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. He also announced that Seema Verma, a founder of a health policy consulting company, will be in charge of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees government health programs for the poor and elderly and health insurance standards. To add insult to injury, Dr. Ben Carson, yes that Ben Carson, has been selected to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Ideologically, as a Congressman, Dr. Price has been one of the most fierce opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), supports plans to slash Medicare and Medicaid, is against a woman’s right to choose and backed legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. In 2015, he introduced legislation that would essentially destroy the ACA which is a pretty good indication of his philosophy. His bill would also roll back Medicaid Expansion that already exists in 31 states and the District of Columbia, would cut federal subsidies, convert Medicaid to block grants and turn Medicare into a voucher program with his “premium support” concept. On the issue of pre-existing conditions, his bill would offer protection only to those who maintained continuous health coverage with any insurer for the previous 18 months. So if someone did not have coverage for a month or were between jobs, insurers would not be required to sell an affordable plan to those who fall into this category. Tom Price is a danger to your health!

Donald Trump has surrounded himself with a known racist who would be responsible for ensuring civil rights and equal justice for all Americans, a billionaire activist who has zero experience in education to ensure that our children are properly educated, two physicians one of whom has made it perfectly clear that he intends to gut the Affordable Care Act leaving millions without health care and end Medicare and Medicaid, and the other who believes the pyramids were built to store grain and has no idea of how the government works.

Now Trump has named Rex Tillerson as his nominee for Secretary of State, another in a series of many nominees with no governmental experience, unless you are not willing to exclude his active campaign opposing U. S. sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. I suppose his Russian Order of Friendship Award in 2013 could be considered a governmental job well done…..for the Russian Government.

And the beat goes on. We have Mike Pompeo as the nominee for CIA Director, a tea party true believer; Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a climate change denier and an existential threat to the planet; Mike Flynn, nominee as the next National Security Adviser, a man who borders on being demented, is a picture of paranoia and an avowed conspiracy theorist, and Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist, a troubled man who has difficulty walking upright and being awake or even aware of his surroundings. Bannon lives in an “alt-right” parallel universe where blacks only commit crimes and immigrants rape native born daughters.

I for one am not encouraged about the future of our country or that of my fellow citizens. Despite these outrageous nominations and appointments, there still remains the potential for things to get worse. We have yet to learn exactly what business or other ties Trump himself has with foreign governments, what promises he has made or even who or what foreign government is on the receiving end of those promises.

On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump will assume the role of chief executive of the United States. At noon on that day, Trump will recite the following 35 words: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” At the end of that oath, the United States of America will officially revert back to injustice, more inequality, loss of health care for the poor, the under-served and the elderly, more overt racism, bigotry and nativism, enhanced protection for the 1%, and suspension of women’s rights, voting rights and civil rights.

That day will be a dark day in America’s history. Oh, and lest we forget, our nation will revert to the edge of DEFCON 1.