Enlightened Conflict

how beautiful it is to let things go

September 22nd, 2016



“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”




(via ginger-and-preppy)





“You can’t be who you’re going to be and who you used to be at the same time …”



TD Jakes





Today is the first day of Fall.


first day of fall 2016 google

……………………………. first day of fall 2016 google ……………….



It is kind of a reminder to everyone that everything is temporary.


On another note.

I do also sometimes find it slightly strange that death and dying can contain so much beauty.





I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to let go of things. And while we even go kicking and screaming with regard to seasons Life ignores us … moves on … lets go of the last season … offers us a new season … and once we get over it … we are once again shown how beautiful it can be to let shit go.


I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to distinguish what often looks the same from one day to the next. as we keep our heads down to the Life grindstone and each day dawns without any major incident, other than  the same aggravating everyday incidents which inevitably occur, Life ignores our obliviousness … moves on … let’s go of another season … offers a new season … and we get over the fact we actually have to lift our heads up and pay attention for a little but … we are once again shown how beautiful it is to let some shit go.



“Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next.”

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle



I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to think a little bit about who we want to be … who we are … and provides some real life aspects to show us how difficult it is to be who you used to be and who you are going to be at the exact same time.




letters to myself note to future selfI am not a huge Fall person. I am more of a spring person. Heck. I have even suggested we move New Year’s Day to the 1st day of spring  because I think it would make new year’s less depressing and more hopeful.


But I admit that Fall, even more so than Spring, forces us to face our feelings, thoughts, doubts, dreams and fears with a fairly discerning eye. An eye that views ‘what could be’ with a little more sense of urgency.




Falling leaves can do that to you.


Better seems a little bit harder.


Better seems to have more of a deadline.


I think we all seek a great perhaps of “what I know can be”.

I think we all know what a better world really looks like.

I think we all want to see the beauty that can be found in what is better in everyone.


And maybe it is within Fall and the falling leaves we better grasp that failed plans and failed dreams can beget new plans and new dreams.


Maybe it is within Fall that we are able to see that new realities can lead to needed life changes.


Maybe it is Fall that reminds us even in times of ‘things slipping away’ you can still find abundance.


Maybe it is Fall that reminds us that Life is a healthy mix of duality … life & death and the ebb & flow of growth and regress.


Maybe Fall reminds those who have a view that a happy and fulfilling life should consist only of highs <or maybe better said … a significantly higher % of highs than lows> and that a positive life should consist only of certainty <shelving fear and doubt to be successful> that happiness & fulfillment also embraces the ebbs in seasons as well as the flows of seasons. autumn-second-spring


Maybe Fall reminds us that no matter how you plan your day, year, or life, it will have times of … the best, the worst, wisdom, foolishness, belief, incredulity, light, darkness, hope, despair, everything and nothing.


Maybe Fall simply reminds us that time goes on, things come & go and we always have an opportunity to begin again … arise anew after the Fall as it were.


Maybe Fall exists just to remind us to think a little.

skittles and safety

September 21st, 2016


Donald Trump Jr. sent out this tweet last night:




<note: the actual metaphor, to be accurate, would actually be 10,000,000+ skittles and one poisoned>


I have seen it before.


And I have heard the same point made on talk radio with regard to USA accepting refugees.


I will not comment on the fact that 80% of domestic terrorism is conducted by non Muslims.


I will not comment on the fact that 1 immigrant has been convicted of a terrorism crime since 9/11.


I will not comment on the fact that recent terror acts were conducted by legal citizens.


I get fear.

I get national security.


I get terrorism is named terrorism because it creates terror.


I get the link between ‘permitting immigrants/refugees in to a country’ increases some risk of security <albeit a small risk as compared to the risks of everyday life like driving, crossing a street or drinking>.


I have one thing to say to everyone, which will be controversial, but reflects the liberty freedomnotfortimidthumbthought of one of the framers of our country and constitution:




“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


Benjamin Franklin





I have one other thing to say to everyone, slightly less controversial, but takes a little more thoughtfulness on the part of everyone to think about the true repercussions … this time from one of our greatest presidents:



“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”



Abraham Lincoln





Here is most likely the most unpopular thought I will ever share on this site.


The current American terrorism problem is not an immigration issue, nor a Muslim issue, it is a domestic issue.




Trump, if he actually had half a brain, would recognize that something he is promoting is actually the best possible long term solution to domestic terrorism – jobs, economy and opportunity.

It isn’t about building a wall across from Mexico <which I could point out that almost 80% of illegal immigrants do not come from south of USA>. It isn’t about ceasing immigrants from any country <and, yes, you continue vetting and stringent processing>. It isn’t about not accepting refugees.


It is about making any possible disaffected citizens not become disaffected.


It is about insuring everyone has the potential for some level of prosperity if they work hard.


It is about insuring there are good, fair jobs for everyone who wants to work hard.


Happier citizens who believe the country they live in provides fair opportunity do not conduct terrorist acts.


I could argue, and I would, that people come to America to be an American, accept the freedoms America has to offer and is more than willing to live by constitutional law <which is about the only ‘test’ that matters>.


If America lives up to its side of the bargain then the people who come have no desire to be receptive to someone suggesting where they are living is not a ‘good’ place.



wrong stupid

The skittles metaphor is stupid and shows a lack of understanding.


I don’t need a candy metaphor … if you want to debate what it may mean to allow 10,000 refugees in to a country and the possible risk … just tell me.


But suggesting real people are skittles is just stupid and shows an incredible lack of awareness.


It doesn’t reflect a ‘smart mind’ <coming up with some visual metaphor> but rather shows a lazy mind who cannot grasp how to properly articulate an issue and have the intellectual strength to debate it on its own merits.


In the end it seemed appropriate to offer words I wrote back in My 2013:


Liberty is a choice. And with that choice comes some responsibility … and some broad boundaries … an expansive circle as it were.

And certainly some uneasiness within that wide open space … that tumultuous sea.

And unequivocally some fear because of its broadness.

In the end … the enemy of liberty is fear & ignorance.

Therefore to enable liberty there must remain the courage in all of us to accept it even with its imperfections.

Sadly the cost of having true liberty may be lives.

But the true tragedy would be if the cost of liberty was our freedom.

It seems to me that the biggest tragedy would be to have lost lives, people who most likely embraced the full liberty America had to offer, as a means, or an excuse, to kill or restrain liberty.




if you have a choice between the right or wrong

September 20th, 2016

now or_never_web_design_grande




“Be strong.

Don’t be a follower.

Always do the right thing.

If you have a choice between the right or wrong, do the right. “


Jennifer Lawrence






reality welcome sign


I am a huge proponent of doing the right thing.




We act like choices walk up and down the street wearing huge signs saying “I am the right thing.”


It just is not that easy.


And today I am not talking about when the right thing to do is impossible but rather when you truly do not want to follow along blindly and truly want to make the right choice and do ‘right’ and … shit … uh oh … a lot of choices look ‘right.’


In this situation I can equivocally state that some ‘wrong’ is cleverly disguised as ‘right’ as they intermingle with right, somewhat right, very right, kind of right and ‘incredibly right feeling but not practically the thing that benefits the most.’


This is not about any bias with regard to what is right or wrong or even necessarily about opinions.


This is simply about the fact even when you actually stop long enough to ponder <which is not often> the ‘choice du jour’ can appear to have multiple shades of ‘right.’



At least to you.


Because you are gonna get screwed in this situation no matter what.


I say that because while you stand there with a range of ‘rights’ in front of you I can guarantee that some loud mouthed asshat is gonna be pointing at one going “that one, that one , that one!!”hands-waving-in-air-panic-jo



<sometimes accompanied by a lot of hand waving>







There will most likely be a number of asshats pointing at one of them.




There will also most likely be a number of asshats not even there who will eventually wave their hands and point out that you should have chosen some other ‘right’ then the one you did.




While I could simply suggest that there are just a lot of asshats out there in the world and that is part of Life … I will not.


Because the asshats will always be there and your choices will always be your choices.


Yet, while the choices are yours, the outcomes are not necessarily yours <which is why ‘right’ is a very very tricky topic>.


I can honestly say that the best choice is the one you can see the farthest on.


friends unfluencers ripples2The best choice makers have the ‘far sight’ ability.


Let me explain far sight because it isn’t easy as ‘seeing ripples’ or even ‘see the end result.’


A choice is rarely simple cause and effect.


It is more the starting gate from which effect springs forth. And, uhm, it is not a 100 yard dash type race where you stay in your lane and everything else stays in its lane.

Your choice actually enters its own little survival race needing to zig and zag in order to avoid the inevitable things which will attempt to steer it off its intended course.

It needs to be strong enough to absorb some hits.

And smart enough to adapt when appropriate.


Not everyone can see far when making a choice and not everyone can actually choose the choice with the highest likelihood of survival. And even the best choice makers don’t get it right 100% of the time.


All that said.


If you think about choices this way one of two things could happen … you can simply feel a sense of helplessness and say “well, my choice probably won’t matter in the end anyway” … or you can just become overly cynical with regard to “right in today’s world.”




Society, life and people are relentlessly tough on ‘doing right.’


But here is what I know about choosing between right and wrong.


The attempt matters.courage to keep trying succeed try


While it is incredibly tempting to think nothing will change … if you refuse to believe that … well … the next 10 choices you make could shape 10 different futures and maybe shape things that can happen over the next 10 years.


And that, my friends, may be the only reason to ‘do right’ when having a choice between right and wrong.

I got angry

September 17th, 2016



Trump has probably done over 100 things, okay, thousands of things over the past year or so which make me sure he is unqualified to be the country leader <and make me doubt he could lead a turd out of a flushed toilet>, makes me sure I dislike his business acumen and makes me sure his moral compass is non existent.


But yesterday he made me angry.

That was a first.


Yesterday was the day he “announced” the president was an American.




While in his 33 second statement he only stated one truth <the current president is American> and offered the public two massive lies … that didn’t make me angry … mostly because it exhibited the normal lie to truth ratio he offers day in and day out <pretty sad how he has lowered our standards so low>.


What made me angry was … is … he is playing a game. And he is playing a game with democracy and the presidential election. And he isn’t even hiding the fact he sees this as one big game.


He sees it all as one big game and he is going to do whatever it takes to win his game.




He is not running a campaign.

He is playing a game.


i-am-angry-man-and-dog-stare-lookHe demeans us, he demeans democracy, he demeans the country … and, maybe most importantly, he demeans the office he is suggesting he is qualified for.


To be clear.


I’m not angry at Trump supporters … I am angry at Trump.


And I am fucking angry.


I’m angry at someone who treats the political process like a game show.


I’m angry at the people in leadership who permit this to happen.


I’m angry that we, the ordinary people, are so angry at some shadowy ‘establishment’ that we cannot seem to assume some thread of responsibility for what is happening.


And let me tell you how angry I am about the ‘gaming.’


Because Trump has given me the opportunity to be angry hundreds of times before.  The truth is that in a fairly remarkable mixture of bombastic rhetoric, double-talk, vagaries and an outright onslaught of relentless lies … he says repulsive things every day.


While he is 99% bullshit <okay … 99.9%> … realistically to keep your sanity you have to choose one thing to focus on <which is part of his game because if I focus on one and everyone else focuses on another one and so on … how the hell can anyone put a thumb on this slippery slimy carnival barker?>. we-need-brain-trump



The bigger problem is that he says stupid things.




The biggest problem is he lies. He is, at his core essence, dishonest.




The biggest of big problems is what he claims he’d actually do if elected.


Whew. What he would do if elected.

I admit, his ignorance <with regard to the constitution, global realities, everything else> was amusing at first but it truly is Trump’s disregard for constitutional principles which is most likely the most disturbing <all the while holding up the Constitution verbally as his guiding principle>.


He doesn’t believe in freedom of the press <unless they say something nice to him>.


He doesn’t believe in freedom of speech <unless it agrees with him>.


He doesn’t believe in … well … let’s just say he is free of morality and principles which underpin the country <torture is good if the other guys do it, killing families of enemies is okay because it deters future enemy action, and ‘I’ will trump ‘we’ in decisions>.



Article II directs the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Article VI provides that treaties are part of “the supreme law of the land.” These treaties include the Geneva Conventions, which govern the conduct of war. Yet in direct contradiction to these treaties, Trump has said that the United States should have stolen Iraqi oil and that we should kill the families of terrorists. As he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “Everybody believes in the Geneva Convention until they start losing and then they say oh, let’s take out the bomb. OK. When they start losing. We have to play with a tougher set of rules.”

Let me be politically incorrect <kind of along the lines of Trump himself>.


trump-sorry-i-am-psychoWhile I am not holding my breath I would be delighted if at some point he stood up and said “I am sorry. I have been a psycho. I don’t really like myself that much and I have been an unapologetic asshole for my entire life.”


He will not.




He cannot even apologize for … uhm … anything.


Donald Trump is a liar. Period.


He is a crooked con artist.


He is a spoiled rich bully with an unhealthy relationship with his own mirror <and a desire for fame>.


Let’s be clear.


While he vociferously expounds upon ‘I am not politically correct’ as he demeans everyone who disagrees with him I seriously doubt that Trump would find my candor refreshing.


In fact … if he even acknowledged my presence it would most likely be in some dismissive tweet suggesting I wasn’t even worthy of a response <and, yet, he would be responding>.


This game playing with what should be a serious campaign for a serious position needs to stop.


The liar needs to be called out for the biggest lie — that he is truly running a presidential campaign.

Trump has seemingly called everyone a liar at some point over his entire lifetime, let alone the election period, all the while offering us an onslaught of his own lies … a liar telling lies but calling everyone else a liar is … not just an asshole … it is a reflection of the fact he believes he is simply playing a game.


He is a repugnant and ridiculous poser with no integrity.


He is simply a game show host stirring up interest to a television audience who is only going to find that what is behind the curtain is not the dream vacation we have always wanted but a plastic blender which runs at one speed.


I am angry.


I know we make incredibly stupid & often shallow decisions every day. We do so mostly not out of ignorance but rather out of expedience. But most of us turn on the TV and when we see a game show we know it is a game show. If we want news or some serious programming we turn the channel. Most of us know that ‘what we have been looking for’ is rarely found on some game show.


Think about that. And think about this.


On May 26 in North Dakota he said:


“Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything. I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years. I’m the only one.”




I will give you everything.


If that were not so stupidly arrogant I would get angry with someone running angry-look-flufffor president saying something like that.


I am far beyond annoyed.


I am completely disgusted.


I am incredibly angry.



He is a flagrant scam artist playing games with America.




People claim they like him because he is no nonsense and unapologetic.




I don’t like it because I believe it is cowardly to not face your own lies and poor words and poor choices and remain stubbornly unapologetic when you are 100%, no, 100% to the nth degree wrong.


But I continue to say the worst is that he is unapologetically playing the election like a game.


confuxedGaming the press.

Gaming the people.

Gaming the system.


Gaming the overall construct of what is right, what is wrong and his basic strategy is confuxing everyone.


I am angry because I do not want a game show host.


I am angry because ‘gaming the system’ seems like it is the only principle Trump has as a compass.


What he did yesterday in gaming the world to advertise his hotel, demean honored veterans by using them to play a game with the press <and the world>and ultimately suggest only he was worthy of clearing up the fact the current president was something we already knew that he was <an American> makes me angry.


Some people may give him credit for his ‘savvy business moves’ in gaming the system to get free coverage and make others look like fools. I will not. He is running for president and this is not a game and he is not gaining any points for suggesting others are not as smart or savvy as he is.


He is fucking running for the president of the united states … not the smartest game show host on tv.


Let’s be clear.


Like him or not … Obama is an American and he has treated his role as president seriously and with dignity.


Like her or not … Clinton is an American and a serious candidate running a serious campaign understanding it is a serious role.


Trump is an American … and one I am ashamed of because he is a relentless liar trump-i-am-what-i-amwho cloaks himself in false patriotism to hide his lack of knowledge and overall ignorance for how serious being a president is.


And, worse, he is a game show host running to be the president.


And he is treating this whole election like one big game and one big marketing & branding exercise.


And that makes me angry.


Like it or not … only one candidate is running a serious campaign for president and is seriously trying to address what needs to be done.


And I am angry that I have only one choice.


Many of the things Ted Cruz says, frankly, scares me … but he was serious and understood the challenges facing a president and never treated the campaign without respect … and I would have had a serious choice to consider.


Marco Rubio often seemed like the all-star minor league player who you hoped would be the all-star major league player once he got to the big leagues … but he was serious, he constantly showed signs of learning & adapting and leadership … and I would have had a serious choice to consider.


Kasich … oh my … with Trump the con artist onstage many of us dream of the opportunity to have seen the serious, thoughtful, kind and practical John Kasich debating Hillary Clinton … now that would have forced me to make a serious choice.


Someone must stop this bizarre farce that some people call the Republican Presidential nominee. I fully understand many of you folk hate Hillary but she seems sane and interested in workable solutions. Trump just appears like he is treating the entire election as one big game and appears unwilling to put in the serious work to match the seriousness of the position.


We should demand our president to lead by example and lead by assuming the mantle of responsibility, all responsibilities, of the position.


If Trump came into my office as an interviewer as unprepared and hollow and with such an unapologetic stance with regard to a resume strewn with lie after lie after lie … I wouldn’t even finish the entire interview.


Yesterday was bizarre, and a slap in the face to democracy and the democratic process, even in the realm of the Trump carnival barker show it was a new low.


And I am angry.


Enlightened Conflict