Gender Itentity

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We Live in communities, and one of the ways that communities work is that they apply collective pressure on individual behavior to conform to a set of common values or norms. “This is how we do things, so if you’re going to be part of this community you can’t do that and you need to do these other things instead. If you fail to conform, there may be consequences that may have a negative impact on you. If you conform, you will reap benefits, like special recognition and improved social standing.” That’s how it works.

Years ago I read somewhere about some tribe in Africa that achieves conformity in a way that I like. When a member of the tribe commits what we might call a crime against someone else, they are brought to whatever the town square is and the tribe would love them up, point out what that individual is contributing to their community, and generally trying to fortify their self worth, maybe even holding them in an embrace to demonstrate love and acceptence. The theory behind the practice is that if someone does such a thing to the community it is a red flag that indicates that the person is feeling low self esteem or feeling separated from the Community in some way that’s important to THEM. It makes sense and I think we’d be better off if WE did that.

To be a part of any community you have to join or accept the values or norms of that community. When the norms or values of the community evolve or change, some members might find the new direction uncomfortable or unacceptable. When they do, the individuals are then faced with deciding what to do in response. Sometimes they might acquiesce and sometimes they might separate from the community. Maybe spin off, like a TV series, and form their own community where the offending value doesn’t exist.

We each live in a series of communities, some are ahead of us and some are behind us. For example, I live in the Gay Community. Communities ahead of me would be Portland, The State of Oregon, The Unites States, the Global Community and then, maybe, Humanity. Behind me might be things like, the Drag Community, the Gay Recovery Community, The Leather community and the Gay Social Service Community; stuff like that. Some values or norms filter through those communities from ahead of us. For me, that would be something like stealing or murdering is not cool.

The Gay community splintered off from the Portland, and those other communities forward of us, because we found discrimination against us unacceptable. Those values and norms excluded us. I’m a member of that splintered off community and some of the communities behind that. The reason I bring this up right now is that the Gay Community I’m a part of is changing/evolving and this one feels like a big one.  Gender Identity.

I have a FaceBook friend that I believe is a lesbian woman. She is being absolutely pilloried in the comments, sometimes with a viciousness that I find appalling, for her belief that, because of gender identity, there is no longer a definition of what a woman is. She reports that she is receiving pressure from her community to conform to the idea that anyone of any gender can identify as any other gender and, to be accepted/respected in the community, SHE must accept and respect that, up to and including dating a man who identifies as a woman. She feels she is being ostracized from her community for not being open to dating men who identify as women. And,,, well,,, she IS!

I want to stand up for her today. Right now, and I sincerely hope this is a phase in our evolution, we are in a space of inclusion of gender diversity. I think that’s a GOOD thing. The inclusion part, I mean. How it is occurring? Maybe not so much.

To respect gender identity diversity, we are being taught a new language. Men can no longer be assumed to be men, and women can no longer be assumed to be women. Neither of them can be assumed to be any gender at all, or any combination of the above. The debate in our community is whether a man, who identifies as a woman, IS a woman, or not? My answer to that is, No, and I THINK My FaceBook Friend’s is too. Is a woman, who identifies as a man, actually a man? My answer again is, No.

There are only 3 biological genders: Male, Female and Hermaphrodite. I consider Transgendered people to BE the new gender they have medically transitioned to and maybe they always were. During the transformation, I don’t know. Maybe temporarily hermaphrodite? But, can a man, who identifies as a woman, be treated and respected as a woman? My answer to that is, yes. Can a woman, who identifies as a man, be treated and respected as a man? My answer is, Yes, to that too.

The problem is that we are speaking English and the English Language is gender specific to male and female, when it comes to people. Some other languages are even worse in that they even assign gender to inanimate objects. One of the reasons I love English so much is because throughout my educational career it could ALWAYS be relied upon to rescue my grade point average from the damages caused by my math scores. I also love it because it’s one of the key methods I use to communicate. My life’s work, and my only degree, has always revolved around communications. That’s what I do.

So we need to develop new language skills. Got it, but the new language, the way WE’RE doing it, contrasts with the rules of the language we speak. The very foundation of any language is that we have a point of reference for what the words we use, mean. If we don’t agree on that, we aren’t communicating. There’s little point to having language to begin with. For example, we use They and Them to refer to a plurality of individuals. Now we need to adapt to using They and Them to refer to an individual as well. It disrupts communication and diffuses the meanings of words. Are we talking about 1 person, or more than 1 person?

I like Star Trek. It’s very forward thinking in a way that I think we, as a community, are trying to be. In the first Star Trek MOVIE, I found it striking when I first heard the new Captain of The Enterprise Referred to Kirstie Alley’s character as Mr Savik. Throughout the movie everyone was referred to as Mister, or their respective rank, regardless of what gender they appeared to be. It had that definitive sound to it. Like, “We’re not going to get distracted by this semantic debate, we have work to do.” Everyone, regardless of gender is referred to with the same term. Frankly, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash over being called Mistress Franklyn if it were the universally accepted term of respect for all genders. But, please, let’s just pick one! I’ll adapt. That’s PART of the intent in changing the language in this new era of a gender identity rainbow; to treat everyone equally and with respect. We don’t have to learn a new language to do that. We already have everything we need. Besides, with the door open to this new rainbow of gender identities, I wonder if anyone noticed NABLA trying to get in under our umbrella.

The OTHER part of gender identity, the part that my FB friend is referring to, is not so easy. I love Drag Queens! I think my credentials in that regard are pretty secure at this point. I love them because I enjoy their company and because of their role in our fight for human rights as our “Canary in a Coalmine”. Throughout our History Drag Queens have been the tip of the spear for us and I haven’t forgotten. (And, let’s not forget, most of these girls are a boatload of fun to hang out with and I will NEVER attempt to drink one under the table again,,, full stop!)

I would not, however, have sex with a Drag Queen, in face, and I’m not having anyone, including my community, pressure me into doing so out of political correctness, or for any other reason, for that matter. That’s a bridge to far for me. That’s personal and you don’t get to decide that. I do.

I love the Gay Community, and for all intents and purposes, it appears to love me too, for which I’m forever grateful. But if the day ever comes when it tries to “apply collective pressure on individual behavior to conform to a set of values or norms” that requires, or even encourages, me to couple up with someone I don’t want to be with, it will be time to re-evaluate my choice to be a part of it.

Much Love,

Gregory

Pandemic Pandemonium

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4/26/2020 – by GL Franklyn

While struggling, like most of us, to find a new normal in the age of the New Corona Virus, I’ve had some time to think. Something I’ve been repeatedly cautioned NOT to do, as I so often over-do it. None-the-less, I fear that we will pass up a perfectly good opportunity that is staring us down, as I write.

FaceBook and Instagram are particularly entertaining as we all try to be conscientious about Staying at home to “Flatten the Curve” of people overwhelming our health care system and/or dying from the disease. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Samuel L Jackson’s parody of the famous children’s book for adults, “Go the EFF to Sleep”. In Jackson’s new reading, we are encouraged to “Stay the EFF at HOME”. We also learned that we don’t know the people we thought we did, as they reveal hidden talents, now that everyone can have their own show on FaceBook, Instagram and Zoom. This is also the week that President Pinocchio suggested that we break out a rig and mainline some Lysol to cure ourselves of the virus. While all of this is entertaining, to be sure, It’s also telling of my point today.

It appears that we are all stumbling around trying to settle into what a new normal might look like. This virus has shaken our whole way of life. All the little things we have been trained to take for granted aren’t available any more, or are changed radically enough that we’re thinking about them now. When what has been occupying the bulk of our attention on a day-to-day basis is radically shifted like it is now, many of us are kind of lost. We, as a nation, are being slapped around really hard right now, with the realization that the focus of most of our lives has been growing more focused over the last several decades.

That, in itself, isn’t the problem. What the problem IS is what that focus is directed to. It isn’t directed to that dream you have of breeding and raising horses or dogs or that pleasure you get from making or playing music, writing that novel, painting that painting, becoming that Pop Star, designing that perfect dress/suit, producing that travel magazine show, that cooking show, building that cottage, starting that farm or inventing that next little gizmo that will revolutionize how the world thinks about (fill in your passion here).

No, that focus is sharpening and it is being directed, like a lazer, at MONEY! It’s about rent/mortgage payments, car payments, food, medical care, higher education to get a better job to get more MONEY. It’s almost like the dues you have to pay to be able to do what lights up your life, once in a while. Being freed from that focus, even if only for a moment, is showing us just HOW MUCH of our existence is consumed with that one pursuit. Without it, we are momentarily lost, stumbling around trying to settle into what a new normal might look like.

This presents us with, what I see as, the greatest opportunity we have had in my lifetime of 68 years. All of these closed businesses along the streets where I DO travel. How many of them will Not re-open when this is all over? All the employees of those businesses. What will they do now? Big Multinational corporations will survive, but too many of the little guys, the bedrock of the US economy, will be gone. One of those memes firing around FaceBook says something to the effect of “think about what parts of ‘Normal” you want to rush back to when this is over”.

That’s our opportunity! It’s going to be different after this and we have the opportunity to decide what that is going to look like. Personally I favor a model kind of like the economy of the 40s and 50s, only in the sense that one adult could earn enough, individually, to maintain a home and family at a decent standard. I like the idea of one adult holding down the home fires while the other hunts and gathers. It would be even better if those roles could be interchangeable. We could decide that Health Care is a human right and stop exorbitant profits from being made from it. We could decide to limit the size and scope of what a “Corporation” can be. We created the legal concept we call a corporation, we can also legally define it to keep it from being a danger to the whole economy if it becomes “Too Big to Fail”, where it could damage the economy as a whole if it fails.

We can create a system that encourages families to start and run local farms, by limiting how much land one entity can use for that purpose. We can decide that housing is a human right. We could decide that education doesn’t have to Tailor itself to a specific outcome, but, rather, tailor it to the student’s interest and aptitude instead. That how expertise is developed.

Freeing ourselves from the restraints of income inequality could open up a whole new direction to create a new system that can be adjusted to work better for everyone. Let’s face it, at present, the bar is set pretty low. As they say in Missouri, “I Can’t dance and it’s too late to plow,, might as well!”

Much Love,

Gregory

A Matter of Words

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December 26, 2019 – By Gregory Franklyn

I’m Gay, but please don’t call me a QUEER! I just want to get that out to preface what I want to talk about today. I am not a QUEER! I find the term offensive, and according to the dictionary, the term IS offensive. Here are some definitions I’ve found in On-Line Dictionaries:

Free Dictionary – “queer has been used as an adjective and noun meaning respectively “homosexual” and “a homosexual” since the 1920s, and for much of the time has been used in a disparaging manner.”

Mirriam Webster – “differing in some way from what is usual or normal ODDSTRANGEWEIRD

Dictionary.com – “strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady. verb (used with object) to spoil; ruin. to put (a person) in a hopeless or disadvantageous situation as to success, favor, etc. noun Slang. Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a person who is gay or lesbian.”

Words like “Odd, strange, weird, suspicious, shady, spoil, ruin, hopeless, disadvantageous, disparaging and offensive, are offensive when applied to people. I consider them attack words meant to cause harm. Notice, linguistically, the hard, percussive, sound of the letter “Q” in Queer. Hard or percussive sounds are designed to alert, or draw attention. T, P, K and sometimes C are a few other examples of letters that have percussive sounds. They sound sharp, pointed!

Some uses of Queer when applied to one’s self is indicative of self-hatred, internalized homophobia. It’s as if the person using it this way is announcing their acquiescence to its pejorative meaning. Self-hatred is a condition Gay people, particularly older Gay people, have had to deal with throughout the last few hundred years because of the tremendous social pressure against our understanding and actualization of our own humanity.

I get that many in my community, particularly younger folks, want to “Reclaim” the term Queer; to discharge the negative intent of the word. What they tend to gloss over is the REASON the term might need to be “Reclaimed” in the first place. It needs to be reclaimed because it’s offensive. I have a similar reaction to the word “Faggot” when used by ANYONE, including another Gay person, to describe me.

The idea of reclaiming these two words is to change the meaning of the words to something positive or loving through its usage, and I get the logic. But, I disagree with the choice of hard-sounding, aggressive words rather than soft sounding ones to accomplish that.

Like, “Gay” for instance. The letter G has a softer and less percussive, or less attacking sound and it has the benefit of being in common use to describe us already. Let’s look at some definitions of the word Gay:

Merriam Webster – “GAY – 1ahappily excited MERRY bkeenly alive and exuberant having or inducing high spirits 2aBRIGHTLIVELY bbrilliant in color 3given to social pleasures 4aof, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex HOMOSEXUAL gay men bof, relating to, or intended for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. the gay rights movement.”

@

The words in this definition are NOT intended to cause harm, to attack or make one feel less than. They are positive, affirming and friendly. Notice the last definition is inclusive of people OTHER than men. And, “Gay” is still commonly used in reference to us already. It was a word, at the time, we could all get behind because it was hard to use pejoratively and it didn’t have a history of viciousness.

What happened next is where we, as a community, stepped on to a slippery slope. The public face of the people who founded the Gay Movement were mostly men and Gay women began to feel excluded by it. They were every bit as much a part of the movement as men were and wanted to be specifically included ON the label.

So then we were, Gay and Lesbian. Bisexual people were also part of the movement and wanted to be specified like lesbians were. For a quick minute, we were Gay, Lesbian and Bi. Next up was Transgender people and we became GLBT. Then that got changed to LGBT to move women up to the front. Mainly, I imagine, because women have traditionally been oppressed by men and the community wanted to make a statement about equity.

Then we started adding letters as subgroups of what was to be included in Gay began to come forward to assert their presence. “Questioning” people, who were also part of the movement, were next, so Q was added to our new alphabet moniker. Q, later evolved onto indicating Queer as well as Questioning, and the race to specify each of a rainbow of identities was on.

Last time I checked, the alphabet was LGBTQSII2A+, with the “+” referring to (To be added as groups come forward). The problem with this slope is that there is no way to get to the bottom of it without mentioning each member of the community by name. Because we are all different and deserve our presence to be included.

This is where we get into trouble. We are, then, no longer flying under the same banner. We have become diffused. That’s a GOOD thing for our opponents. The more we are squabbling over monikers and divisions, the less effective/unified we are as the movement.

This is exactly what happened to the Occupy Movement. In fact, I think they learned it from us. The Occupy Movement started out with a simple and direct message, “Wealth Disparity is a bad thing,” end of story! As time went by, and it wanted to include everyone and every issue, it became diffused and eventually evaporated altogether. That’s a GOOD thing for the oppressors. They didn’t end up with unified resistance and now we’re still here, in even worse condition, 10 years later.

To achieve unity, people must be willing to align behind an idea. To “JOIN” if you will. To fly under a banner, to become a part of something bigger than themselves. The demand to be recognized for it, individually, should be of little concern to someone seeking unity of purpose. So, I’m Gay, please don’t call me a queer unless your intent is to offend me. Because you WILL!

Much Love,

Gregory

Father Knows Best

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October 3, 2018 – by Gregory Franklyn

It’s clear, to just about anyone who is paying attention, that we are living through abnormal times in the US. The very concept of truth is being challenged and things we thought we could rely upon for our national discourse, like language and propriety, are being undermined by a political party’s desire to take a more complete control over the affairs of State.

I’m talking about what currently passes for the Republican Party, of course, and it has become clear to me, over the last few years, that something is terribly wrong here. And, it isn’t subtle either. I believe that Conservatives in general and the Republican Party in particular, do not like the concept of a Representative Democratic Republic. (That’s what the US is, in case anyone is unclear on what that means). It is too messy and out of control for the Republican Party. There’s disagreement among the citizens, on a fundamental level, about how our collective business should be conducted.

Democrats, for example, favor a more open and fluid management style that includes everyone, while Republicans favor a more rigid and disciplined approach orchestrated by fewer people who, supposedly, know what’s best for the whole. The combination of the two is what was intended by the folks who set this whole thing up, so that neither would dominate the other and a common response to arising issues would become how the whole conducts its affairs. Republicans don’t like that idea very much. The Government is supposed to derive its power from the consent of the governed. However, Republicans don’t appear to trust “The Governed” to make prudent decisions in their favor.

I say that because of the Republican Party’s relatively new concepts of a “Unitary Executive” and a “Permanent Republican Majority”. They’ve been working towards those goals since about the Nixon Administration, but they injected it with steroids around the Raegan/Senior Bush administrations. This view favors a “Top Down” model, against the Democratic view of a “Bottom Up” or “Grass Roots” model. “Consent of the Governed” if you will. They’ve been remarkably successful on a State Level, but haven’t been able to make it stick on a national level.

In the places where the Republican Party has been able to take over an insurmountable control of a State, Michigan for example, they have actually suspended democratic rule altogether if, in their view, the democratic rule wasn’t working to their satisfaction. I point to Benton Harbor Michigan, where a City Manager was appointed by the Republican Governor who was given the authority to ignore the City Council and just act on his own to run the city. Flint Michigan is another example, which lead to the poisoning of an entire city’s water source when the Manager decided to change the source of where their potable water comes from because it was cheaper. Didn’t even consult the city council, he just changed it. The problem, several years later, remains unsolved.

Right now in Georgia, The Republican Secretary of State, who is also a candidate for Governor, is purging the voter rolls, eliminating roughly 50,000 registered voters in the state, 70% of whom are minorities. Of course, it’s cheating, but is it illegal? Well, the Radical Activist Conservative Republican Supreme Court of the United States has already over overturned key parts of the Voting Rights Act, allowing States to do, pretty much, whatever they feel like doing regarding elections.

Florida, as I write, are purging similar registered voters to the tune of approximately 10% of the registered voters in the State. Effectively, carefully selecting the voters who will be allowed to vote. All of it, under the banner of protecting elections from VOTER fraud, which according to statistics ,affects roughly 0.00003% of all votes cast, but eliminates voters who are likely to vote for someone else, by the hundreds of thousands. When was the last time you heard about Republicans working to get more people registered to vote. You hear about such large scale efforts on the left in EVERY election, I’ve never heard of a concomitant effort on the right. The right doesn’t want more voters, because…

Less Voters = More Republican elected officials. The game is rigged. Republicans control all three branches of the Federal Government and more than half of the States legislative branches and Governors Mansions. They are using that power to dismantle our form of government. A friend of mine asked me a question when I was in my early 20s, that I have failed to adequately answer ever since, despite my best efforts. He asked, “Gregory, who protects the people when the Police break the law?” The people sworn to Protect and defend our form of government are the very people working so diligently to dismantle it!

Never was that so clear than in the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. To get the whole picture, you have to take a step back and remember that the Republican Party simply refused to even consider Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court that had been vacated by the death of Antonin Scallia, Proably the most conservative of the 5 conservatives on the court at the time. Merick Garland has a judicial posture that could have achieved a balance among the split court of 4 liberals and 4 Concervatives. Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell simply REFUSED to consider it. Republicans expected to do well in the election that was to come and selfishly circumvented procedure so they could confirm someone of their own choosing. They quite literally stole the seat and put Neil Gorsuch in his place.

Brett Kavanaugh is a very suspect choice for the SCOTUS, evidenced by the Republican withholding of documents relating to his legal work on behalf of two Republican White Houses in previous administrations. They didn’t want people, particularly Democrats, to know about his legal background. That would have been disastrous for his chances of being seated. He was chosen for his willingness to overturn Roe V Wade and his positions favoring big business. I won’t burden you with what happened next. You already know that. But Brett Kavanaugh is now an Associate Justice of The Supreme Court anyway because Conservative Republicans wanted him there despite the consent of the people. Conservatives now have a 6-3 majority, and thereby control of the judiciary.

It’s clear to me, at this point, that the Republican Party is so aggressively at a fever pitch during this election because they realize just HOW CLOSE they are to a complete take-over of the United States that they can taste it. It’s right there! This election COULD do it! Please Vote!

Much Love,

Gregory

I’m an Addict

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August 13, 2018 – Gregory Franklyn

I’m an addict. It’s not something I just discovered and it’s not something I’ve ever made an effort to hide, It’s just an admission that pertains to the point I want to make today. If you didn’t know that about me, it’s probably because you never asked. I’m not one of those folks who lead with something like, “Hi, I’m Gregory, I’m Gay and I’m an Addict.” I couldn’t tell you whether my case of addiction is hereditary or not either, because I’ll never know who my biological parents are or what their challenges may have been.

But I’m an addict and I learned that I’m an addict from my experience of quitting smoking in 1988. It’s probably important to note that I have since begun smoking again, but I was smoke free for roughly 8 years. Within 6 months of quitting I gained about 45 pounds. I decided that this was not cool because I looked SO delicious at 155. So, I started dieting.

What I learned from dieting is; one – there are not enough carrot sticks or celery stalks IN THE WORLD to make me stop wanting a good hamburger. And, two; diets are counterproductive. They will make you fat! After, roughly 8 different diets over as many years I weighed in at 251 pounds. That much weight was unsustainable for me because my knees and ankles, simply were NOT having it. I was facing a wheelchair and I wasn’t cool with that either. If you diet, you have to STAY on that diet for the rest of your life, or you will raise your set point (your natural, or resting weight) each time you go off that diet. I can lose about 15 pounds, right now pretty much on request, but unless I keep on whatever diet it was, forever, I’ll gain it back again, PLUS a few more pounds, giving myself a new, higher, set point.

So, I started smoking again and within a few months I had lost about 30 pounds and my knees and ankles were happy,,, well happy enough that I was mobile, and that was enough for me at the time. I maintained that weight for over a decade now. But what I learned from the experience is that I’m an addict and although I THOUGHT I had quit smoking, I didn’t! I just quit smoking TOBACO. I started smoking other things like food and alcohol instead.

So here I am, face to face with my core condition of addiction. I had a splint put in my heart in March resulting from a terrorized midnight trip to the ER with what I thought was a chronic, excruciating, stomach problem. While there, I learned that it wasn’t a stomach problem at all, it was a blockage in an artery in the side of my heart. While there I also learned that I am diabetic, so now I’m struggling with smoking again because it’s bad for BOTH conditions.

There are two things here that I’m trying to figure out. One; when I quit smoking tobacco again, what will I start “smoking” next, and will that be as much of a problem as smoking was? Smoking is not the problem, It’s a symptom of a condition that will not go away when I quit smoking tobacco.

Two; does anyone actually recover from addiction, or do they just arrest the symptoms? Many years ago in a comedy bit that Cheech & Chong used to do Cheech says, “Before, I was all messed up on Drugs, now I’m all messed up on the Lord”. It was one of those “Bomb Jokes” where you laugh because it’s funny, then on the way home, you realize that maybe it wasn’t so funny after all. When people are in “recovery” Isn’t doing the “Program” or clinging to Jesus, or exercise, or playing piano, or whatever, what people “smoke” instead of their drug of choice? Isn’t one symptom of the disease supplanted with another, without actually addressing the underlying cause?

Discuss,

Gregory

A Bridge Too Far

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A Bridge Too Far

July 16, 2018 – Gregory Franklyn

I encourage people to vote! I care WHO they vote for, of course, but I don’t push people around about that because I also believe in people having the free will to tell their own story whether I find the plot to be distasteful or not. But today I want to talk about voting and why I do it, despite losing faith in its meaning.

I continue to vote and encourage voting just in case I’m wrong about this, but I don’t really believe it matters much anymore. Donald Trump being legitimized as President of the United States is my case in point today. I do not accept this “Whatever He Is” as having been legitimately elected to the office. Try as I might, I simply cannot force myself into a place where I can accept that the majority of the people of the US think he’s a good choice, knowing who he is and what he stands for. It’s not like before this election he was hiding who he is. He’s been telling us for 50 years that I know of, and counting.

I didn’t like Hillary in 2016, but I didn’t dislike her enough to vote for DJT, and that brings me to my first point. 2 Choices for the United States, and the world for that matter, is simply insufficient and causes people, more often than not, to have to select between the lesser of two evils. Today, people do not tend to vote FOR a candidate as much as they tend to vote AGAINST another. At least among liberals.

But right now, we have a perfect storm of wrenches jammed into the works of electoral politics that are unprecedented in our history. Electronic voting is an example. Most States use Electronic Voting Machines, particularly red states. Computers that tally votes give me the willies. I can’t bring myself to believe in such an ethereal method to tally votes. You enter your vote and hope it gets recorded, but you have no verification of that. No way to check that it was recorded at all, let alone recorded in the category I selected.

I have a wristwatch that can tell me how many steps I’ve taken today while monitoring my pulse rate and blood pressure and can report that back to me. I can tap on my cell phone’s screen and print a document to just about ANY nearby printer, but an electronic voting machine can’t print a receipt of the information I just gave it, so it can be verified? That’s a bridge too far for me.

Next, you have to ask yourself who has access to these closed voting systems that have no way to check the results if there’s a discrepancy? Who are the owners/manufacturers of these computers and what might their political leanings be? Who are the elected officials that oversee the implementation of these electronic elections? Are they partial to one party or another? How susceptible are these computers to being hacked? Well, I guess we know the answer to that one, don’t we! I live in Oregon. We vote by mail, which is the least hackable form of voting I know of. Every ballot can be verified and re-verified, if needed. There won’t be any “Hanging Chads” here. There’s a crystal clear, finite paper trail that can be followed. Duplicate ballots can be easily identified and discarded by comparing them to the list of registered voters.

Next we have the lists of registered voters themselves. States, particularly red States, are now purging voters from those lists who are not eligible to vote for any number of reasons. Those lists are notoriously suspect, as they purge, for example, convicted felons by name, AND derivatives of that name. For example, in 2016 a felon named Michael Jackson would be purged from the list, along with Mike Jackson, Michael D Jackson, M Jackson and any other derivative of that name without comparing birthdates, or any other information, to see if they are purging the right Michael Jackson. They are ALL purged. For more on how that happened in 2016 I recommend a movie titled, “The Best Election Money Can Buy”. The purges done in the past 4 or 5 past elections heavily purged Non-White voters.

Next, we have ID requirements for voting. Many States, particularly red States, require forms of Identification that young voters and non-white voters would not likely have. They do that intentionally. For example for college students, their student ID is not sufficient. A State Issued ID in the State in which they reside at the time of the election is required instead. A college student would probably have a driver license or ID from the State where they live, but attend school in a different state. With these new regulations, they would be ineligible to vote unless they went home to do so. Where are they gonna get the money to do that, while they are buried in debt. These are all demographics that would have a tendency to vote Democrat, more than Republican. By the way, A gun license in Texas, which does not have a picture on it, is acceptable ID for voting. How many non-white people do you know who have a gun license?

Next we have voting district gerrymandering. There’s an interesting story about how the practice became known by that name and I encourage you to Google It. It’s actually pretty good story. Gerrymandering is drawing voting districts to favor one party over another. The drawing of those lines are done by the party in power in that State at the time the census is taken, which is in years ending in “0”.

The Repugnican Party has made no secret of its drive to achieve a “Permanent Repugnican Majority” in the US and have been able to draw those lines in the last several decades because of conservative majorities in more than half of the states because they were in power when the census was taken. It is working splendidly too! That is why more people voted Democrat in all elections, local and national, in 2016 yet Repugnicans occupy more of the offices in question anyway, all the way from local school board to President of the United States.

Hillary won the election in 2016. She won by a margin of voters equal to the population of Chigago, Illinois, the 3rd largest city in the US. But, regardless, we are falling all over ourselves to try, against everything we hold dear, to legitimize DJT as the winner. The Electoral College was SUPPOSED to be a check & balance against such trickery, but failed miserably to fulfill their charge to correct the political landscape to ensure the will of the people is heard. That’s probably why there is such a rustling in the bushes to eliminate the Electoral College altogether. Our Constitutional ideal is “1 Person 1 Vote” The Electoral College simply doesn’t do what it was designed to do.

But, Gregory, the gap in your argument’s armor is Barack Obama! If elections are rigged in favor of Repugnicans, how do you explain Barack Obama. I’m glad you asked, because I get to explain why I still have at least SOME hope for the veracity of voting and why I’m not absolutely convinced that I’m right about how badly the playing field is slanted in favor of Repugnicans.

Barack Obama won 2 Presidential Elections by such an overwhelming landslide that even with the field being heavily slanted against him, he won ANYWAY! The margin was so wide that even the tricks in place at the time of both elections weren’t enough to prevent the will of the people from breaking through. Now, I hear you, the official result was razor thin in both elections, by the numbers. But when you take into consideration the odds stacked against him by all of this, he actually won by an overwhelming landslide. A landslide so wide that it couldn’t be faked.

Anyway, I still vote and I encourage voting because there is still hope that it matters, and Barack Obama is the reason I feel that way. What might save us from certain demise is a blue wave in November in the States AND in Washington DC. Every time we are faced with a national election I tell you that this election is probably the most important election you will vote in, in your lifetime. It’s true this time too.

One of the Memes I’m seeing popping up on the internet these days is the #walkaway movement. I get it and I can’t say I disagree, but there’s something you should remember as you’re doing that. Lower voter turnout favors Repugnicans. Repugnicans vote religiously and because they CAN. The Democrats who CAN vote tend to #walkaway out of frustration about the ugliness of it all. Repugnicans know that if they can make the entire political arena SO distasteful that good people who would otherwise vote, #walkaway instead, they will win elections. And, they’re right.

So, I beg of you dear reader, don’t fall for it. Please Vote. The control of the Congress in both the States AND in Washington DC will determine who draws the lines in voting districts across the United States for the next 10 years. The Very Idea that that could keep DJT in an illegitimate position of power is a bridge too far, for me. DJT is not now, nor has he ever been, legitimately The President of the United States!

Much Love,

Gregory

 

 

 

How Can That Be?

Published by:

June 19, 2018 – Gregory Franklyn

I was born in Detroit Michigan in the spring of 1952. I was separated from everyone I knew as family no less than 4 times by the time I was 13, never to be reunited with any of the previous families I had known. While I have “Recovered” from the trauma to the degree that I have been able to function with enough normalcy to care for myself and have a pretty cool life most of the time, there is no question that I have been damaged by it. I’m better off than some and not as well as others.

As a result of my formative years being disrupted so dramatically, my view of what “Family” means, is different than most folks who have not suffered similar disruptions. Family is temporary and tenuous at its peak in my world, and love is conditional based on behavior. In my case it was being Gay and being a ward of the state of Michigan. Back then you were looked down upon generally because there was a prevalent view that orphans were lacking in some way that was deserving of pity. In the 50s and 60s being gay was considered a mental illness and was treated as such. As a result of the conventional wisdom of the time, I was put in psychological therapy a few times, until the State’s money ran out. There was no “Cure” for my condition. So, basically, at 66 years old, I still have it. (this is going to be important when I finally arrive at my point about all this)

Back when I was a ward of the court the Foster Care system in Michigan was generally a work program. Farm Families would get about $80 dollars a month for my care and would get free farm labor to boot. I resided for a few years in 3 such families; all three included various degrees abuse and exploitation. It was in these families that I suffered most of the physical, sexual and emotional abuse that formed my childhood. And I was powerless to stop it because I was a minor. My life was controlled by someone else. When not in Foster Care, I was housed in children’s homes and military academies in and around Detroit. There was abuse there too, but mostly from peers rather than adults.

I have often been accused of seeing the world through “Rose Colored Glasses” and being somewhat naive because I have a pretty deeply rooted positive outlook on life and even I don’t fully understand where it comes from. But I am grateful that it’s there because I got to be 66 because of it. I personally know a LOT of folks who didn’t make it this far. I’m lucky that way. But seeing the world through my Rose Colored Glasses doesn’t mean I don’t SEE the evil in the world, it’s rather because I have chosen not to spend much time there.

But, once I got control of my own life, things changed. I promised myself that I would not go back to incarceration situations like the children’s homes, Foster Homes and Military Academies of my youth. I made a promise to myself, that I have kept ever since, that I would not live with violence or abuse, period, full stop! I’ve had to make some accommodations and compromises along the way to keep that promise, for which I have no regrets. That, of course, isn’t much to set your life’s goal to. What could I have become had I not been separated from my families so early and so often. Had I not spent my formative years crying and trying to understand why I wasn’t “Enough”. It’s a pretty low bar to spend a lifetime struggling to achieve, which, finally, brings me to my point today.

What’s happening at the southern border of the US as I write today, is affecting me more deeply than any national issue this side of war and genocide. These children are ME, and all of this is causing me some PTSD that I’m having trouble cycling through. I am PHYSICALLY hurting along with the psychological disturbance we all must be feeling. I know exactly what these children are going through.

What is affecting me so much right now, is that I can’t seem to “Walk This Off” like I have been able to do with nearly every other tribulation I’ve ever faced. Over my lifetime I’ve developed a solid handful of coping and self care techniques, but they don’t seem to be doing much good at the moment. This is a BIG one, because it hits me right where I LIVE; This is ME! The tragic story you just read, MY story, is about to befall 2,000 innocent children. I feel powerless again, just like these kids do and just like I felt back when it was happening to me. These kids will never fully recover from this damage. I KNOW this personally. I’ve been through it 4 times. The laws of NATURE do not even seem to apply here! And, I cannot believe that the people who are in a position to make it stop, simply WON’T! My mind and my heart are simply NOT able to reconcile what is happening right now. It, quite Simply, does not compute!

Much Love,

Gregory

 

 

Just Do It!

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This piece was originally posted on February 19, 2014 – by Gregory Franklyn but bears repeating.

Why is it that we cannot seen to grasp that neither raising taxes, nor cutting spending is necessary to attack the deficit. More people paying taxes would have the same effect without raising taxes OR cutting spending. But we continue to follow big businesses who are arranging the law to allow the off-shoring of the very jobs that would provide the required tax revenue to reduce it.

Cut benefits to the people who need it most and give those benefits to the people who need it least, punishes people who are not exceptional in their ability to sell things. It creates an elite that honors only one thing. If you’re not a member of that club, you’re not welcome in this country. But do they consider that without those people who are not exceptional at selling things, there is no client base. There is no one to BUY the things they are selling.

Marianne Williamson did a talk on money about 25 years ago that has stayed with me ever since. She compared the economy to a being with a circulatory system. Her theory made me WANT to pay my bills. She said that NOT paying those bills, stops the circulation. Economies NEED circulation to thrive. My little section of the economy gets shut down when I fail to pay those bills.

There are benefits to circulation too. I have what, I guess, would be called “Loyalty Cards” for a number of stores that I shop in regularly. The coffee shop, for example. I get a free cup of coffee for every 8 that I buy. At the grocery store I get a discount when I reach a certain level of purchases. I can get those benefits because my money is circulating. These businesses know what Marianne Williamson was taking about. The health of our economy comes from it’s circulatory system.

On Wall Street money circulates, sure, but it is also being stockpiled. The money mantra is “He with the most money at the end, Wins!” Every one of those dollars that are not circulating, are cutting off the circulation to some part of our economy, weakening it in important ways. That circumvention of the optimum circulatory patterns, over 30 or so years, has brought us to the brink of collapse. Right now there is TOO much of our overall economy that is NOT in circulation causing parts of the whole to become diseased. The result is that more and more people in the economy are not participating because the circulatory system has been disrupted by stockpiling of money in fewer and fewer places.

Food Stamps/EBT cards are a good example of what CAN be done right now to increase circulation in the places in the economy where circulation has been all but cut off. EBT Cards stimulate the economy because those dollars are never stockpiled. They are spent immediately, right now, out of a sense of necessity. Every EBT Dollar spent in today’s economy stimulates over $1.50 in economic activity. If more people have more money to circulate, the entire economy benefits, including the wealthiest. They now have more customers with money to spend.

Extending Unemployment benefits is another thing we can do right now. People who collect unemployment benefits are not lazy. They have unemployment insurance BECAUSE they worked, until their jobs ware TAKEN away. We do not pay unemployment benefits to people who didn’t hold a job. Calling people on unemployment lazy, simply isn’t true. It’s mean spirited name calling.

If all of the jobs that have been off-shored to cheaper labor markets in the last 30 years had stayed in the US, we wouldn’t have a deficit problem. We probably wouldn’t be 37th in Health Care and 17th in education, either. Our thirst for extreme wealth for the 1% has led us down the path to solid mediocrity. We, in the US, are exceptional only in our ability to militarily dominate and our ability to see ourselves as exceptional when we clearly are not.

Now, Don’t get me wrong here. I do understand what’s at the core of Conservative Republicans’ argument against Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and even Obamacare. They see it as socialism and, as such, Anti-American. They fear that the more Socialism there is, the less freedom and independence their fellow Countrymen will have, and that strikes at the very soul of what America is supposed to be about,,, to them.

But, like anything of value, when taken to the extreme, becomes destructive. Take smoking for example. If you trace the history of tobacco you learn that Native Americans used tobacco as medicine. Tobacco? Medicine you say? Whatever for? Believe it or not, Tobacco, when used sparingly is excellent tonic for respiratory conditions. Yes, it helps you breathe better if you’re sick, and is NOT the least bit destructive when used as medicine. In fact it HELPS in maintain good health.

Freedom is another example. Follow freedom out to it ‘s logical end and what do you have? Anarchy! In order for freedom and independence to be a good thing, it must be balanced with the reality that there are things that individuals cannot do on their own, and that there are things that we have to share because there are more than one of us.  That, dear reader, is socialism. It’s joining together to do things that we cannot do on our own.

Medicine is an example. Back in the day, when a chicken had real value to a Doctor who could use it for eggs or a chicken dinner, it was reasonable for a sick person to offer it as payment for services rendered and Doctors considered it a fair deal. Medicine is a whole other beast now. That won’t work because it’s no longer a fair deal. The cost of medical care has so dramatically outpaced people’s ability to pay for it, that it’s no longer something that most people can afford to do on their own.

So, anyway, we’ve been in this economic situation before. We fixed it last time! Last summer I drove up to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon to get out of the house and maybe have a cup of coffee. It’s a beautiful drive, up to a beautiful place, that now sustains itself on it’s own, and if you get the chance to see it, you should take it. My point about Timberline Lodge, though, is that it is a perfect example of HOW we fixed this problem last time we had it.

We fixed it by building things,,, BIG things like Timberline Lodge, like the Hoover Dam, like the Interstate Highway System, all of which are PUBLIC Works projects. Things we did together to stimulate economic growth, and it worked! After a while, it wasn’t necessary for the government to fund public works projects of that size and magnitude because the economic “Pump”, our fiscal Circulatory System, had been primed by these projects and was now flowing properly on its own. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Once you prime the pump, a certain amount of inertia keeps it flowing on it’s own.

We put unemployed people to work and paid them a living wage, so they had money to buy things. As a direct result, other people began forming companies, that hired more workers, to make things for these new wage earners to buy. It ‘s not rocket science. EVERYONE benefits when more people have more money. Beings thrive when circulation is flowing properly. When it’s pooled up in one location, other parts of the whole become wither and too often die.

What that did for us benefited every segment of society in America. Our economy grew, rich people got richer, poor people got subsistence, and there was an explosion in the amount of people in between the two. The tax base grew to its biggest point and we were not in a constant state of complaining about not having enough money to fund programs that really needed it. Like support for medical care which we could no longer afford on our own.

Right now, our infrastructure is crumbling. Bridges and roads are in critical need of repair. Sewer and water systems are crumbling. Our power grid, after all this time, is still not able to withstand a significant wind or snow storm, which happens EVERY year! We have lots of work that needs to be done and lots of people out there looking for work. What is it that is so difficult about this equation?

We already know it works because we proved it ourselves by actually doing it! Our current situation is a perfect example of what good a government can do for its people. All we lack at this point, is the political will to JUST DO IT!

 

Much Love,

Gregory

 

Putting it Out There

Published by:

March 5, 2017 by Gregory Franklyn

“You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” – Attributed to President Abraham Lincoln.

BREAKING NEWS: The Republican President just accused Former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his home and office in Trump Tower before the election. As usual, he provided no specifics or evidence of the claim, he just “put it out there”. My suspicion is that he did so to divert our attention from the many scandals that plague his young regime. He is a skilled manipulator of the Lame-Stream media and he knows they’ll go rushing to cover the story and, hopefully, keep them busy with that so they’re not focusing on him. He even suggested that this BREAKING NEWS BOMBSHELL  is equivalent to the Watergate Scandal in scope, to accentuate how earth shaking his accusation is. Everyone agrees that the accusation, if true, would be earth shaking.

IF TRUE!

His own Political Party is reluctant to weigh in on the claim, and those who DID, found it questionable. The questions they raised could backfire on the President in a bigly yuge way. If the wiretapping were Illegal, and it actually happened, and Former President Barack Obama were actually involved, it would be a very big deal for the Former President. If the wiretapping were legal, however, it would be a very big deal for The Republican President. It would mean that a FISA Court found credible evidence to suggest that The Republican President NEEDED to be wiretapped. That would be devastating to the White House and the The Republican President’s Regime. Which, incidentally, isn’t even 2 months old yet. But, if the wiretapping was legal, it would alert that same media he was trying to use to distract the media FROM him, to a serious problem TO him, that he alerted them to. Wouldn’t that be a LOL moment?

But running just below the surface of this accusation, and the way The Republican President presents it to the public, is the real story. The real story is about The Republican President’s skill at manipulating the media. He knows how most people watch the news. He knows that more viewers, than not, are doing something else while the news is on and they won’t be paying full attention to what is being said. The headlines that they’ll hear on the radio will condense it to a mere sentence or two, and that the television news will give it 2 minutes or less that they are not paying full attention to anyway. Not nearly enough time to tell the whole story, but it’s been “Put Out There”. The Former President is involved in criminal activity the likes of which we haven’t seen since Nixon was driven out of office in shame. It’s roaming around the ether, now, for everyone to consume.

There’s talk about it everywhere this morning. The implication that Barack Obama is a criminal. It has not been conclusively determined that the accusation is true or false, It’s just “Put Out There”. So the viewers who are only catching little snippets of the discussion, have this idea implanted in their minds and it is, consciously or unconsciously, coloring their perceptions of what’s happening in the executive branch of their government.

It’s the same reason that many Republicans, particularly Presidential Candidates, will continue to say something over and over, even after it has been conclusively determined NOT to be true. It’s a media manipulation technique. They know what 45 knows. The accusation doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be “Put Out There”, and it will take on a life of its own. They know that because they know that most consumers of the news aren’t paying that close of attention. It just has to be “Put Out there”.  It doesn’t have to be true. They also know that apologizing for the false accusation will not get NEARLY the press that the accusation gets, assuming that there even IS an apology. Personally, I can’t imagine The Republican President ever apologizing for ANYTHING, let alone a successful damaging of a Democrat.

Here’s an example of the technique from the 2016 election. Some of Hillary Clinton’s emails were found on a computer in the home of Huma Abedin, who was a chief Clinton Aide at the time. The Email scandal about a private server Clinton used while Secretary of State, plagued her throughout the campaign, it questioned her trustworthiness, and was finally determined not to be a problem from a legal, or security standpoint. However, it was “Put Out There” in the days before the election, that there was more to the story and that maybe the allegation DID have merit. Maybe Clinton really was untrustworthy. And then, the election happened before it was determined that the newly discovered Emails were already known to investigators because all of them were also on the server that the investigators had already gone through. But it was too late to take it back because the election had already happened. It just needed to be “Put Out There” just before the election for it to do its work. It didn’t need to be true.

Republicans have been using this technique for decades because it works. They have, under the direction of one Frank Luntz, honed this technique down to a fine art, and The Republican President is consummately skilled at its implementation. But. he is a spas, who regularly over-reaches. He is blunt, boorish, unsophisticated, UN-nuanced. He just “Put It Out There” without following the thread through to its logical conclusion. That would take more than a tweet. This time, I can only hope that his home and offices WERE wiretapped and that a FISA Court HAD determined that there was credible evidence to suggest that The Republican President NEEDED to be wiretapped. You know, we may get the President we elected after all! Wouldn’t THAT be something.

Much Love,

Gregory

What we Don’t Know

Published by:

February 24, 2017 – by Gregory Franklyn

“Toby, the sheer VOLUME of what I know that you don’t, could stop a team of Oxen” – VP John Hoynes in The West Wing

I’m still in denial! If you’ve been haunting these pages you’ve heard me talk about how nervous the whole concept of computerized voting makes me. The fact that nearly all of the companies that produce them are owned by Republicans. The Fact that I can print something from my cell phone, over WiFi or Bluetooth, to my printer, yet a computer voting machine can’t print the information I just put into it, even through a wire. Not to mention the Kloppenburg case in Wisconsin where the Democrat had won a Judgeship until a Republican elections official “Found” 14,000 votes, most of which were Republican, that handed the election to the Republican (and that’s just the one we know about). It all gives me pause. The fact is that there actually IS some room for doubt.

I cannot bring myself to believe that this election was real. I simply do not accept that 45 is legitimately The President of The United States. I admit it. I’m in denial. But there’s something else to consider, here. There clearly WAS some outside interference in this election aside from my nervousness. Even 45 was shocked by the outcome. And, the outside interference WAS slanted in favor of 45’s Campaign. That much we know.

The Russians HAD hacked the DNC AND the RNC, but only released information that would be detrimental to the Democratic Candidate, who, incidentally, won the popular vote by a margin equal to the population of Chicago. Let’s keep in mind that most voting in the United States is done by computer and that the Russians are known to have hacked the computers of the RNC and the DNC to help 45 and we don’t know the extent or reach of the hacking that took place. We don’t know!

What we are learning now, is that there were open lines of communication between the Russian version of the CIA and the 45 Campaign during the Campaign and we don’t know what the nature of that communication might have been. But we DO know that 45 publicly encouraged the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email. We also know that 45 is inordinately friendly towards Vladimir Putin. We know that there are a Russian Spy Ship and a few Russian Fighter Jets just out of reach off the east coast of the United States and that 45 doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

We know that the White House is doing everything they can to stop investigations into the nature of the communications between the Russians and 45’s Campaign. Going so far as to encourage FBI, CIA Officials, as well as Senate and House representatives, this week, to go on record stating that there’s no story there. “Nothing to see here, folks.”

We DON’T know what financial ties 45 might have with Russia because he steadfastly refuses to release his tax returns. 45 claims to be under the impression that he can’t release them because they are currently under audit. However there is no evidence to suggest that they ARE under audit, number one. And, number two; there is no reason, from a legal perspective, that would prevent him from releasing them whether they were under audit or not.

We also know that 45 has chosen Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department and that Sessions is quite chummy with 45. Interestingly enough, Jeff Sessions will also be the person in charge of deciding whether or not to indict people when the nature of those communications become known, IF there should be a problem with the content of those communications.

We know that cabinet positions are being filled with unqualified people who have expressed disdain for the missions of the departments they will head. We know that Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon told us at CPAC this year that these people were chosen to “Deconstruct” the Departments they head. So, their qualifications to head those departments are irrelevant anyway because they were chosen for their eagerness to “Deconstruct” them.

It appears that the 45 Regime is attempting to shake the foundations of Government. To CHANGE the form and shape of the Government of the United States. But what, can we surmise, might be the goal of changing the shape and form of the Government? Forming, and shaping it into what?

Well, let’s have a look at that. Who is 45 and what is he about? He’s a businessman. Arguably a somewhat successful one, but we don’t actually know. We do know that he inherited a bunch of money and has taken part in a huge amount of land development, which, despite several failures, appears to still be there. Of course we don’t actually KNOW this because we don’t know his actual worth because he won’t tell us. So we CAN surmise that he is secretive in his dealings.

We know that he regularly contracted companies to perform work for his developments and then refused to pay them. So he has been known to cheat people to get ahead. We don’t have to wear out Google to find instances where 45 has told you something that is not true. In fact, people whose job it is to check such things report that 45 tells you 3 things that are NOT true for every one thing he says that actually IS true. 75% of the things that 45 says are simply not true, and they are VERIFIABLY not true. So we can say that 45 is a prevaricator of “Alternative Facts”. More commonly known as a liar!

Now, in a business setting, the boss is always right. That’s the environment that 45 comes from. You do what the boss says or you get fired. Sometimes you get fired even if you DO do as the Boss Says. The boss is in charge, full stop.

It’s not like that in a Representative Democratic Republic like the United States. Here you have balancing authorities. In this case, the Supreme Court and the Congress. In this form of Government, the Boss ISN’T always right, and you DON’T always have to do what the boss says.

UNLESS,,,,

You change the form and shape of the Government so that the Boss is always right and you have to do what the Boss says or get the !@#$ out. I believe that’s what we’re seeing happen here. The 45 Regime is attempting to change the form and shape of the Government.

Now, back to the election. I CAN accept that maybe a third of the voting population of the United States might want a “Boss” to run the Government. THIS specific Boss? Um, I’m an American and I know quite a few other Americans and I know that some of us are just plain Bat!@#$ CRAZY, some of us are acutely  uneducated, but so many more of us are loving souls, so many more of us are intelligent, educated, some of us are highly sophisticated, but MOST of us, across that spectrum, realize that we are privileged and we embody a strong desire, that is pretty deeply rooted in our collective psyche, to be good people and to be of some help.

I, obviously, am having a great deal of trouble reconciling that with a nation wanting to be represented by a secretive, lying, cheating, foul mouthed businessman. It just doesn’t make any sense! It didn’t even make any sense to 45 on election night. You saw him, he couldn’t believe it either. I think we didn’t believe it because it’s truly Unbelievable. I’m not talking about the kind of “Unbelievable” like the unbelievable prices during the annual “Toyotathon” or the “Sign & Drive” event. I’m talking about the kind of Unbelievable, like it didn’t really happen. I believe that as time progresses, we are going to find out that we’ve been played, hoodwinked, bamboozled. We’re going to learn the truth about what happened to us in 2016.

Maybe I’m NOT in denial after all, and those of you who know me personally will be able to recognize that I have very few joys in life that I find more delicious than being able to say, “I told you so”.

Much Love,

Gregory