Thursday, July 16, 2020

Got the Balls to #MaskUp?!

We are in mid-July and we've got 60K+ new cases of COVID-19 per day, over 138,000 Americans dead and a stalled economy where people are debating whether to send their children to school mere weeks from now.

What do we need now? And I mean immediately! We need everyone to wear a mask to stop the spread. All the other countries that have this under control did massive testing, tracing and were on top of their healthcare systems... we are clearly not following that path in our government at this time so the other option is to save ourselves. 

Mask wearing can stop the spread and help us get things on track. If we don't do it soon we will have given up another 6 months to a year of our lives and our economy- not to mention countless lives. It's a no-brainer. But we need to have the balls to do it!

And by balls I mean both kinds. 

⚽️        πŸ€        ⚾️         πŸˆ        🎾          

This week Salesforce's Marc Benioff teamed up with XPRIZE to create the $1M Next-Gen Mask Challenge. This is fantastic but we can also work with the masks we have and just get people to start wearing them. Because at this point the non-maskers aren't choosing between comfort and not but about believing they can make a difference and not.
NBA News
So my suggestion is to get all the major sports stars to do a social media post with masked photo:
Hey folks you want to see us play this year or next? #MaskUp 😷

Include Nascar: Winners #MaskUp πŸ... and every other sport as well! 
I'm looking at you PGA, NHL and newcomer E-sports πŸ˜‰

The cool-factor with teens, men, and the politically stubborn is the only thing stopping us from getting this handled. So it's going to take balls to be a little hot, little inconvenienced, little silly looking to save your fellow citizens but we need to all do this together.

Of course let's involve anyone with a platform but two other important groups to call upon:

1) Military: Have PSA with military members saying: 
If we can fight for you on the battlefield you can protect each other from this killer on home soil. #MaskUp πŸ˜·
People say they respect the troops this gives them a small way to repay our debt for all they have done to save us.

2) Avengers: Get all the Marvel superhero stars to activate their super loyal fans:
Avengers save lives πŸ¦ΈπŸ¦Ή‍♂️ YOUR turn! #MaskUp 😷

This can all be launched August 1 (or ASAP) and we can have things semi-normal by September if we all pitch together and simply wear a mask. For months we were told we should stay indoors to flatten the curve and most were willing to do that. Now we can be outside and with others if we simply mask up and follow the other basic precautions. 

For those who want to get our economy moving- #MaskUp

For those concerned about elderly parents or at risk loved ones- #MaskUp

For those concerned about getting kids back in school- #MaskUp

And for those wanting to make a deadly virus political- there is nothing more presidential that Trump can do than to be able to say he stopped the pandemic so MAGAs- #MaskUp 

Stay safe folks, and if you care about your family, sports, movies, our military and for goodness sake simply each other     #MaskUp 😷


Found these 2 excellent examples right after I posted this (no connection). Go Michigan!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

America 2.0: The How

Kara Swisher asked what America 2.0 should look like and people chimed in with, aside from a bit of snark, some smart quality ideas. Which mostly leads to the question: how can we make the good ideas happen?

Well I have some ideas on that!

No matter what suggestion came up the two main stopping points aren't going to be technology or lack of imagination, as always, it will be money and politics. These are the buzz killers of many great ideas but alas here are a couple of ways that Silicon Valley and others can try to move things forward:

EZ- Cash: Politics, news, art, music, philanthropy really almost anything could be improved if there was a way to utilize a micro-currency. Maybe you can't afford or aren't willing to take time to pledge funds to every piece of content you consume or cause you back but if you could micro-tip as easy as you could share a post, people would. We use E-ZPass to get around tollways, E-Z CA$H can be how we move money:  more here

Wiki-U: Education from elementary to higher learning is the key to a prosperous society and equality not just in US but around the world. What wikipedia has done for general information we can do to organize and democratize learning. What we need is a platform with each grade of school (or subject matter) organized in an accessible way with rich multimedia content. Think Khan-Academy but with a more robust mix of all the best teachers, historian and documentarians in the world. There is enough info already created to get started on this now, including the Khan tutorials, if a group of educators (and librarians) could begin to gather and organize the nuggets of knowledge in a digestible way.

New Crew: As a child I learned that in times of real peril the Justice League had to come together to save our world because even Superman couldn't do it alone. When I grew up I learned Lincoln did this to save the Republican Party and our country when we almost came apart. So in a time of pandemic and financial ruin we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to bring together the greatest minds and leaders to help save our economy, our divided country and our lives. If President Trump won't do it, candidate Biden should enroll the Obamas and Bushes, all his past rivals (including Trumps 2016 ones), captains of industry and great experts of our time and put out all the data, ideas, and resources he can muster.

MMXX League of HEROES!

So that's what I think, thanks for asking Kara.πŸ˜ŠπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Bern For Biden ✌️πŸ—³️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

AP Photo/ Elise Amendola, AP

The Covid-19 virus is here and the chaos is in full effect and so when I got a text from Jack, a Bernie supporter, who wanted to check in to see if I finalized my vote for our upcoming primary Tuesday, I had to pause. Not because I was unsure of my vote but in awe of the passion that keeps these volunteers going.  

During the 2012 election I made a few calls for Obama and I'll tell you campaign volunteer isn't all pep-rallies and bumperstickers-- even if your candidate wins, along the way you often have encounters with some rude unkind people. So I sincerely thanked Jack for his passion but said I believe it is time for Democrats, Independents and Republicans with integrity to unite behind Biden. Then I asked if he would consider changing his vote. To take the passionate fierce devotion he and follow Bernie followers have for healthcare and social and economic justice and use it to defeat Trump!  

I admire how Bernie's campaign, and career, is built on advocating for the lower income folks in our country. I don't agree with the how of his plan to get there- but clearly the majority of Americans agree that healthcare for all, addressing climate change and wealth inequality are goals we as a nation can stand behind. Bernie now is in a place of raw power- he can use his movement in a multitude of ways: drag the party so far left it loses independents, be a spoiler, or as is my hope... be a uniter. He's got the power! What will he do with it? 

Don't Bern out, or Bern it down... come Bern for Biden! 

Bernie has the made his mark, he has changed the conversation in the Democratic Party, he has created a movement--- now is the time to use Bernie's power and passion to defeat Trump! Sanders can unite us in fight to restore the dignity of the office and get to work on all the things we do agree upon and in doing so get more of the progressive agenda heard and enacted than ever before. Bernie can be the hero of this nightmare for our nation and lead us forward. 

Joe Biden needs Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders needs Joe Biden. The Democratic Party needs them both to come together. Everyone knows what needs to happen. 

The only sure way to help our nation weather this crisis and heal the aftermaths of all this division is to unite and for us all to come join JOE! πŸ€—

Next Step: Let's not cancel Sunday's debate, let's have both men sit down for a productive discussion on how what they agree upon differs from Trump. Talk about the virus response, talk climate change initiatives, discuss what they can take from each of the prior Dem candidates. Talk about how Democrats, Independents and Republican allies make up the science believing, truth-telling majority and how we can do more together then divided. We might not be ready for a hard left but like the arch of the morale universe let's at least bend towards justice!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

THE 10 Men

     Democrats can not stop Trump, only honorable Republicans can.
πŸ”₯ .......  🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘

The Democrats alone can not successfully contain Trump when so many Republicans are enabling his lies and deceit. The only way to unite our country is for the men who have witnessed his unfitness firsthand to stand up for our democracy. Otherwise it appears simply political: left vs right. When instead the real fight is with what's constitutional vs what's corrupt.

Why these 10? Because they are leaders/respected members of the Republican Party and they have had direct dealings behind the curtain in the White House. They have seen the chaos and they know what danger there is in four more years of this. They are not never-Trumpers. People will believe them.

They must do it as one in a united stance. It's easy to bully and ostracize one member at a time but if they stand together they not only make a bold statement, they begin to redeem the Republican Party from putting the US in this mess in the first place. They start to return the GOP to a place of leadership on security, rule of law, and morale clarity. If they don't stand up to Trump now, he will be the face and voice of the GOP for decades to come. Is that the legacy they want to leave their party, let alone their children?

Motivation: Doing the right thing and living with one's head held high should be enough of a reward but there are others. The folks that demonstrate leadership and clarity in this time will: be seen as future of the party and in great place for future opportunities; be sought after for dealmaking and peacemaking expertise; be hailed as heroes of their party (if not immediately, in history); and they will leave a legacy of bravery that they can be proud of.

Compromised: Some politicians might have had intimidation used against them for whatever reason. The Russians are known for covertly comprising folks and then using it against them as a form of kompromat. The only way to handle this effectively is to issue blanket immunity for anyone who might have been compromised by our political adversary. This needs to be done in a way to preserve as much discretion as possible but seen as a form of cyber (hacking, video, financial) warfare. If our enemies get away with silencing or worse flipping our politicians it puts our entire democracy at risk and will be the tool of choice in all future conflicts.
To handle this, immediate protection must be undertaken so that politicians can come forward to CIA/FBI and be immunized from any repercussions resulting from blackmail/extortion.

The Question: If not in the impeachment trial, if not in 2020 or even by 2024- eventually Trump's taxes, call records, business dealings, foreign ties, etc will be revealed. It might take time but betting that Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, and the Russians won't at some point release volumes of documentation they have kept hidden on Trump seems like a bad bet. History has shown eventually everything comes out. The SDNY has lots they are looking into, not to mention the other cases farmed out in the Mueller investigation. Betting on Trump and his associates is a mighty risky gamble that almost certainly will not end well. So these men and all who have supported Trump in the past must ask: Question 45 πŸ‘‰
01.10.20: A move as legendary as this needs a historic and memorable date so I suggest January 10th for THE 10 to come forward as 1 and speak up for the what needs to be said: Trump is not fit for office. Do it together. Ask others to join you. Unite those that know what is right for our country and make it not a circus but a stance for truth, justice and the American way.

Trump is by far one of the most captivating and entertaining performers to grace a stage but there are real-world, deadly, and irrevocable consequences for letting him stay in the highest office in our land and take our country through more of this. There is no political gain, tax cut or judge worth sacrificing our country or one's personal honor for.

Please help save the republic. Our country needs YOU!

[Note: It might be against policy for even ret/non-active military to speak publicly against Trump but they can still ask others in their circle to speak for them. And for the other Republicans that are either stepping down or have stayed quiet- now is your time to join THE 10: Senator Portman, Senator Murkowski, Senator Rubio, Senator Sass, Senator Ernst, Senator Collins, Senator McSally, retired Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Bob Corker, Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen...]

Monday, December 9, 2019

Russian Influence-za

The US-Russian saga is the most interesting (and terrifying) thing going on in the world today. And if it's seemed too piecemeal and confusing to follow, I totally get it. But even if you think it doesn't affect you, I promise it does. Therefore, we need to understand even just the basics.
So here we go...

Where to start? Let's begin with:

He believed the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the century. As a KGB officer he was humiliated by the fall of the USSR and blamed the west- specifically the United States. He's made it his mission to bring Russia back to its former glory and will do anything it takes to humiliate the U.S. and vindicate his homeland.

Watch Putin's Revenge the two part series from FRONTLINE to understand why Putin hates the U.S., despises Hillary Clinton, and desperately needs to have a way to protect himself and his wealth.

In order for Putin to get revenge he needs two thing: money and power. 

Putin needs money: one to maintain his power and two to ensure his safety. But it does him little good to hoard all his money in Russia so he needs to launder it out of the country. He was doing that successfully by building up oligarchs' (beholden to him) fortunes until lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, working for an American-born British financier, Bill Browder, was tortured and killed while in a Moscow prison. 

Browder vowed to avenge his lawyer/friend's death and lobbied and passed the Magnitsky Act which: 
authorizes the U.S. government to sanction those who it sees as human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S. 
Hear more about Browder and Magnitsky in this Stay Tuned with Preet podcast or this interview. It ties in why Putin was desperate to get sanctions removed and why the Trump Tower meeting which invoked "Russian adoptions" was really codeword for getting the U.S. to remove these financial restrictions through a back channel. 

Active Measures
If the oligarchs, and therefore Putin, are prevented from laundering money out of Russia they are backed into a corner and feel provoked to do ever more desperate things. 

What they did was accelerate ongoing active measures:
Active measures is a term for the actions of political warfare conducted by the Soviet and Russian security services (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB, FSB) to influence the course of world events.
These measures included calling in favors from the likes of Paul Manafort and Donald Trump to the Russian mob that had aided in money laundering and suspicious dealings over the years.  

So how will Putin ensure sanctions are removed and maintain his power and wealth?

Roger Stone
Well, before we get to the how we need to introduce Roger Stone into the picture. It's easy to think Roger is just a bad joke and write him off as a would-be-Batman-villain, but in actuality he is one of the most important back-seat political drivers of the last 40+ years.

Watch Get Me Roger Stone to see how one man messing around behind the scenes- not to mention blatantly in front of the cameras- can alter an election in front of our very eyes. See how his ties with Paul Manafort (they were business partners from back in the 80's); his 30+ year relationship with Donald Trump; his dirty-trickster ways; and his link to WikiLeaks affected the 2016 election.

For the logistics of the how, we check in with Steve Bannon and the Cambridge Analytica folks. Their manipulation of our data through Facebook and in conjunction with Russian active measures was a perfect storm which blew Trump into office. 

The Great Hack

This accomplished several things for Putin: took down Hillary Clinton, stirred chaos with Trump and U.S. allies and got our fellow citizens to turn against each other.  

Putin has been successful using active measures so much so we are now in a place where Republicans who were until recently staunch Russian opponents are now either doing his bidding or at least not preventing him from waging a cyber/disinformation war on the American public. 

Are our politicians infected with Russian influence-za? Do they not know what is going on beneath their very noses? Or are they choosing to surrender our elections and our very democracy to save their careers and their power? Is this Putin's dream come true or are we going to wake up and unite behind securing our elections, holding accountable those who betrayed our country and defending our nation from foes foreign and domestic? 



On July 10, 2020 President Trump commuted Roger Stones prison sentence. This is the same day that Stone told reporter Howard Fineman

One would ask: what information pray-tell would Roger have on Trump that would allow him this leverage? And if Trump is willing to play ball with Stone what would he be willing to do if Putin had kompromat on him? 

Our elections are coming and Trump will do anything to stay in power so he doesn't need to face charges and investigations he is now shielded from as POTUS. Roger Stone and Paul Manafort are now out of jail and we as a country are more divided and distracted from the real enemy. 

While Covid-19 is killing 130,000+ Americans, we need to also fight the Russian Influence-za that is about to kill our democracy. We must join together and vote like our lives and our very country depends on it- because it does!!! 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pronoun Power: The Quest for Singular "They"

When I was writing my book I had my dear step-Mom read a draft and when I asked her for her thoughts she said she loved all but two things: my grammar and my punctuation. My reply was that I was lucky enough to have a brilliant editor who'd fix all my errors so she could rest assured the world would not know how atrocious my actual writing is. 

Most of the time I agreed with the changes that were suggested to me but one particular back-and-forth I do remember having with my editor was how they is a plural and I could not use it in the singular for a sentence I was trying to include. I was annoyed but eventually acquiesced πŸ˜’

Fast forward to today when we are trying to be a more inclusive non-gender-biased world and well meaning folks who are guarding the rules of grammar are torn about how to use a plural pronoun in a way that can be adopted by individuals who would prefer not be identified as either he or she

Well, finally my quest for using singular they has risen to include a social component that makes it ripe to be embraced. Still I thought why not avoid the grammar wars and instead forge a new frontier. 

So today I take the bold step of suggesting we create a new pronoun that can stand in singular non-gender form but include all people: thay / thair

Pronounced the same but used to represent "a" singular person instead of a plural.

Pronouns are simply words but when someone is disempowered by having to identify themselves as one that does not fit these words can wound. They can be used by ignorant people as weapons of division. Let's keep the meaning they has held but add thay as a sign of the times and a pronoun that gives power to our communication that we can all back.

Power to the Pronoun! Power to ALL the People: he, she, thay!

Saturday, September 8, 2018


There is only one question ...

Ask Pence, the Cabinet, GOP Leadership, and any Trump supporter? Question 45 

Get them ON THE RECORD now-- for they must choose on which side of history they will stand. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Immigration Reform: Building on America's Greatness! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

via: CNN

People like a good theme- something catchy and simple- like: Build the Wall!

Not sure who came up with the phrase that is chanted at every Trump rally, although it does have a Roger Stone whiff to it. But I digress... the point is that even though immigration was THE topic of the 2016 campaign and the hot topic of 2018 it is not something that has surged to the point most experts are concerned. And the Central American "flood" is balanced by fewer Mexican immigrants coming here to stay. 

Today the costs are almost the least to be concerned over-- what's at stake now is whether we stay united as a country or as latest Twitter trending meme alludes to start a #SecondCivilWar?!

Since something clearly needs to be done and while I don't have a perfect solution a few things seem obvious, non-partisan and doable so let's at least start building on America's Greatness*:

  1. Family Separation: Stop separating families and reunite ones that already have been. Only deport folks if their children have been located and are able to travel back with them to a safe drop point.
  2. Registering: Register all immigrants with reason for entry and asylum request when applicable. Finger print and ID everyone as way to help prevent smuggling/sex trafficking of minors/women.  
  3. Freedom Anklet: Release family as unit with one person per family agreeing to wear an ankle monitor. (Yes, I understand this is degrading and it is not my preference as well but better than separating families and also quashes the reason not to allow entry while in process). Intensive Supervision Appearance Program already has protocols in place. 
    • This keeps families together and children with parents.
    • Savings: ~$5/person/day vs. $300. Should be easy for Rs to support.
    • If they break rules of monitoring then are permanently banned from US.
    • The anklets can be different color- lets say gold or rwb- vs criminal black ones to signify awaiting immigration status so as to be a bit less stigmatizing.
  4. Guest Worker: Finally establish a guest worker program where compromise is needed.
    • Criminalize all employers who willfully break laws.
    • Allow folks to travel back and forth as long as they are following rules.
  5. Home Sanctuary: Instead of the super controversial and unsustainable sanctuary cities in the US, establish sanctuary zones in the countries of origin so folks are not fleeing the violence of their preferred home.
    • Take the $750 million in development aid for Central America (Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and establish safe zones in the countries so their citizens do not feel need to flee for their safety. 
    • Not necessarily a military-led base but create a full package that would include economic opportunities, education, military security zones, and infrastructure support for struggling areas.
    • No cooperation, no aid.
Immigration is a tough problem to completely solve but we are dividing ourselves as a nation when we should be protecting our borders and laws while showing we are still a melting pot that welcomes those who are willing and able to keep Building on America's Greatness 

* πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Granted way less catchy, but way more humane, hopeful, and American!