Sunday, October 18, 2020

Go Ahead Apple, Make my ... iDay!


I know there are way more important things going on in the world so forgive me for this frivolous request, but thinking of ways to make things even a little bit better has eased my nerves in all this chaos.

As an Apple enthusiast I love my iPhone and enjoy having all my info accessible but I would love it even more if it was all in sync with my calendar. What would make me happy is if I pulled up a day in my iCal on my iPhone/MacBook and I could see all my activity of the day: 
photos, who I call & texted, what I spent and my health stats...

Every day in this pandemic-pause has seemed to blend together so I would really like a little organization to help me keep track of what happened today, yesterday and last month. The data is all there so my request is that Apple make my day an iDay snapshot.

Thanks, Apple!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Pro-Life Christians' Best Bet Is Biden

As if the 2020 Election wasn't already divisive enough we now have a Supreme Court vacancy in the mix. Yikes!!

Though I am clearly not a theological scholar, nor even a person of faith, I have none the less thought a lot about religion and specifically Jesus over the years and think that now is the time to put every argument on the table and discuss it because we all have a stake in this election. 

Let's put aside the fact that while President Trump claims to be a man a faith he spends his weekends golfing (Com 4), rarely goes to church nor seems able to coherently discuss his beliefs when asked about them. 

Instead we might as well get right to the heart of the argument that pro-life politicians and judges are better for Christian values.  

Normally the fact Trump has had three wives, all of whom he's broken his vows to and cheated on (Com 7), would be enough to turn away devout folks. But the argument is it's worth the sacrifice of holding their noses to get judges that are anti-Roe-v-Wade. I say the devil is in the details.

If we as a society want fewer abortions, and I believe we all do, there are things that we can do to aid that. First let's clarify what we really believe is pro-life:
  • Birth Control: Jesus said nothing about birth control. Even the be fruitful instructions God had given to Adam and Eve were from the Old Testament and with a population of nearly 8 BILLION people from TWO... I think we can check that box ✅ ! 
    • More birth control, especially if it was free to all, would dramatically reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, abortions and deaths from poverty in the world.  
  • Sex: Mary was 12 when God impregnated her and she had Jesus. This has historically been an age that would have been acceptable to marry off daughters. This also corresponds with when females begin to menstruate. So if God (and Mother Nature) think 12 is when females are ready to procreate is that what we want for our daughters? 
    • Of course not! When times change we do as well. And as a society we don't want young girls having sex and babies so we modify what we now know is a more healthy range for the times we are living in.   
    • Pre-martial sex is also considered a sin and yet most of us have partaken so which is worse: not multiplying or having sex? 
  • Freedom: Attorney General Bill Barr as well as several governors and the whole anti-mask movement are decrying how horrible, only second to slavery, stay-at-home and masks orders are in our country. Covid protections enacted to save lives are tyranny and yet they want to restrict what a woman can do with her own body when it comes to reproduction. 
  • Healthcare: Pro-life includes the born as well and Biden/Harris and Democrats want more healthcare, especially for children and seniors. Feeding kids that are here, caring for the sick among us and supporting the poor will save more lives and bring about a better world and are far more Christian than tax cuts for billionaires.   
The thought of an abortion is sad to me, I hate the idea of the physical act itself and fortunately it is not something I have had to personally contemplate... but then I've never been raped, or a victim on incest or been forced to choose between bringing an un-planned child into the world. Not everyone has been so privileged or lucky.

The other big politically charged issue is the second amendment but here the Democrats/Biden are also a better bet: 

Gun Control helps with Commandment 6: thou shalt not kill

Caring for the poor, social justice, making peace, service, generosity, forgiveness, turning one's cheek, philanthropy, kindness... pick a topic and there is not one Christian value I can fathom that Trump embodies more than Biden. 

So take some time to really think (or pray) on WWJD? πŸ˜ŒπŸ™ 
I can't say for sure I would know but I think we can take an educated guess. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

White Fright

My sister once said something that has defined my thinking on compassion; she could imagine there might be a heaven but knows for sure there is no hell because no one, even a murder, deserves to go there. Her reasoning: if someone did something awful there is clearly something wrong with them and their defect is not something anyone would willingly choose. Hard to swallow but it is actually more reassuring to believe this than that someone sane would choose evil willingly. 

So I try and remember that when I see hateful bad things. Even when someone is mean to me or others I think that must be a really hard way to go through life. 
What a huge weight that hate and anger is to carry. So much so some can't help but to fling it at others. 

No happy, confident, secure person wants to make another person suffer- there is no joy in that. To willingly inflict hurt/hate you are either in pain or broken inside. 

I can't stand Donald Trump but hating him, or anyone, is a waste of time. More productive is to try and understand why some are drawn to him even after all his demonstrated racism. Not necessarily so we can change their minds but you need to understand someone's argument before you can debate/advocate for the other side. 

White men (historically) are not use to having to explain themselves to their wives or children and have enjoyed a long stretch of rule. But nowadays they are expected to see women as equals, their children want them to be woke, and everywhere from the boardroom to the bedroom they are suppose to self-correct the way they were raised and what was the norm for... well, all time. 
It's hard. Jarring!

Of course it's way past time this happened but it's truly difficult to change for anyone and when you're not shown good role-models you can relate to you're afraid -even if you're willing- to do it wrong and be emasculated or look stupid. Men's top fear after all is humiliation. 

Brene Brown had an amazing conversation with Russell Brand about how things are changing in the world and how some of the unrest in politics and in general comes down to a white male -power over- last stand (and I include the white women who stand for this as well). We've come from a male-dominated culture that valued conformity, whiteness, straightness, heterosexuality, structure, order, falling in line. 

(begins at 13:00)

When Tom Brokaw said some folks he speaks to don't want brown grandbabies he was sharing what he had heard. I have no doubt many folks still feel that way. And why wouldn't they when whiteness has been what has been prized in our society. If they don't have friends and family members who are people of color they see no reason to open their minds to an evolved way of thinking.

When corporate America started shipping jobs out of the US there was backlash but instead of blaming the folks that were doing it they blamed the easiest target those who were thought to be stealing their jobs: brown people. 

Farmers, steal workers, factory workers, coal miners all took a hit in the Information Age with our changing new economy and instead of working together we divided ourselves more. We blamed immigrants, foreign workers or anyone that was different when it was actually industrial farming, automation and technologies that shifted. 

The white middle-class blue-collar worker was hurting and mad so politicians and corporations began to shift blame to the easy target. But in fact it is all our doings. Walmart started by Sam Walton with the motto Buy American but because his heirs (and investors) wanted to make more money they started forcing suppliers to lower their costs. This lead to the producers of products cutting cost which often lead to cheaper labor either in a neighboring country or overseas. Which then lead to good middle-class jobs being cut which lead to more people shopping at discount stores which made the Waltons even richer. Instead of blaming brown folks or foreigners those that are suffering need to look deeper and follow the money. Walmart is the largest private employer in the US and the Waltons have now hoarded billions instead of fairly sharing it with the ones who got them there. This is not socialism this is conscious capitalism. You help us make the fortune you get a little slice yourself. 

Anyway, the point is that the otherism is a scapegoat for changing times and fear of what will be our place in the new millennium. Globalism is scary. Evolving is uncomfortable. 

Trump is a fantastic showman and like him or not there is no doubt he is clearly one of the most successful salesmen of all time. I did not say businessman because his businesses have filed bankruptcy 6 times and to date we have no idea if he has any of his own money left at all. But regarding sales and marketing he is a genius!

The trouble with that is that if he was only selling snake oil or steaks who cares? But he is now the most powerful man in the world and instead of making our nation and the world a better place he is using his charm to sell something else: FEAR! 

And who is buying it? White folks that have seen their way of life change. 

The fear of changing times are not make-believe there is a real growing pain that happens. And if we keep up this dividedness many folks will not end up with a happy comfortable life. The missing piece though is this isn't due to others, it's due to how things have always worked. Ask Blockbuster owners how brutal it was to lose their livelihoods. But do we hate Netflix? Nope. 

White folks can now choose to hold on to the 1950's past and reject the American Melting Pot or they can grapple with how to make change work for them. It doesn't mean accepting open borders or everything that the far left is proposing- I don't- 
but it does mean not letting some showman make us hate each other for the color of our skin. Especially when the majority of the ones he's trying to scare worship Jesus: a brown man

And as for Trump's current boogeyman, he is trying to use Black Lives Matter protesters as a scare tactic to lure white suburban women into voting for him. Granted no one wants rioting in the streets but it looks as though many of these troublemakers are just trying to stir up unrest and are not even from the area/cause. Trying to make a stance for racial justice and equality radical is what political operatives often tried in the past and with gay-marriage in 2004. You'd think every single American that has seen the George Floyd murder by cops (including all the good cops) would be able to take a stand for honoring all humans with their constitutional rights. And I get it protests are annoying but imagine having to be Black in America in 2020 and still having to stick up for your basic rights to not be shot let alone be discriminated against. Talk about fucking ridiculous?!!

So folks, let's not let Trump or anyone else scare us into being afraid of others because the color of their skin. We are all members of the human race, some just more pasty than the rest πŸ˜‰. We are all scared of not being healthy, happy and able to provide for our families. There will always be challenges in our country and the world but no problem is ever solved when we fight each other, only when we come together and put country over party and look out for all of our citizens. 

United We Stand, Divided We Fall πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

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!!!