Seeing Clearly?

happy-new-yearEvery year millions of Americans make resolutions for the New Year, and sadly within a few weeks (or days) many will lose that resolve and revert to old habits and behaviors. This year let’s not see that as failure and throw in the towel.  Instead, see it as an opportunity to actually notice our patterns and work on those.  It’s the best way– maybe the only way–  to make real progress.

It’s been awhile since I discussed my books, thoughts on mindfulness and what it means to See Clearly.  I’m sure many of you who watched me rant on Twitter this past year wonder what  beneficial advice I could offer.  Most of us know what we “should do”, but often we forget or just don’t want to face it — myself included.  So, I wanted to start off this New Year with a post that hopefully can help us all, regardless of politics.

To elaborate on this concept of seeing our patterns, the first and hardest part is to recognize these patterns without a lot of judgement.  NO judgement would be best, but realizing that most of us are our own worst critics helps.  See, you’re not alone.  We all do it.  I was very critical of my snarky tweeting last year, but just couldn’t seem to stop.  I would read another person’s attempt at sarcasm and think, “hell, I can top that”  and then I’d spit out my best zinger.  Sure, some of them racked up a lot of views, but really, who cares.  Is it worth sacrificing my true principles for the momentary pleasure of tweeting? Isn’t that the question for all addictions? Is this drink worth it? Is this “fix” of whatever worth it? We know the consequences… we’ve experienced them many times before. But somehow we find endless ways to magically avoid seeing clearly.  So, that’s the trick. Noticing that we are ruled by our thoughts, desires and aversions.  And, of all things, that’s where meditation comes in 💡  (that’s a light bulb, not praying hands… but either works.)

It took me years to realize the real purpose of meditation.  It’s not to silence our thoughts (which is virtually impossible), but to notice them.  “Oh, now I’m reliving that episode again.”  And, don’t even think “I should stop.”  Simply notice that you’ve thought of that several times now or maybe it’s a new thought. Just notice the thoughts.  It’s quite a revelation in the beginning, like stepping back and seeing yourself in action. Maybe you’ve become aware of your habitual tendencies some other way, or you may be a long-time meditator and know there are many stages to the process, but this is a good one for starters. Just notice. It’s also called Mindfulness.

I would love to get more feedback and exchange thoughts here.  Sorry if I neglected to approve your comment(s) over the holidays.  I really do want more interaction here.  I’m going to post a poll with this on Twitter to see if people would prefer to read more nonfiction material like this, or want another fiction story (aka a novel.)  Maybe I should also ask if you like to listen to audiobooks, read eBooks or still like hard copy.  And, then there’s social media and virtual reality! Whatever way we communicate, here’s to a happier new year for all of us.

Calling for 37 FAITHful Electors!

That’s all we need, 37 Electors who realize Trump is a madman and simply cannot be our next President. Madman is NOT an exaggeration.  He lied and cheated his way to “victory”, even inviting Russian leader Putin to hack Hillary. He knew! But, YOU #EsteemedElectors can put a stop to it!

The Electoral College is not just a formality this year! The Electors are coming into power, asking for intel briefings and planning to deliberate. GREAT! Thankfully the media (actual TV networks and prominent newspapers) are covering this.  I posted my “Open Letter to Electors” (my official plea about the #EmolumentsClause) and this twitter moment with the NY Times story about the cyber hacks:


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Given the Russian Hacking we are truly in a Constitutional Crisis!  There are bipartisan calls for a Congressional Investigation.  I posted Senator McCain coming down the escalator to SAVE US from the last guy who took us on a similar ride.  McCain and even Leader McConnell (along with many other Republicans) are ready to come back to DC and begin the investigation into Russian influence on our election and political process.  It’s a tremendous threat to our nation.  AND, so is Trump! He’s violating the Emoluments Clause of our Constitution and now the Federal GSA  (Government Services Administration) confirms he’s in violation of his contract to run the Washington Trump Hotel (the “Old Post Office” on Federal land) and be President.  Electors, PLEASE.  Don’t let him play you…   stop him.  It’s all up to YOU!

OUR fate is in the hands of the Electoral College.  306 – 37 = 269 and Trump is no longer the “winner” of the E.C. which requires 270 votes.

I have shared my Open Letter to Electors on the DailyKos, Twitter, #HamiltonElectors, AsktheElectors site, and even Fbook (where puppies and peeps rule.) Seriously, this is our only hope.  If you care about our country, PLEASE focus on this issue every day until the Electors vote!!!

If you know any of the Republican Electors (especially in states like Florida, NY, CA) that can be persuaded to save the planet and life as we know it, PLEASE contact them.  You can use my logic (about financial violations and UN-constitutional foreign influences) or any other way to reason with them.  We only have a few days left, but the possibility is more promising than ever. It’s a HOT trending topic!

And for those who call say switching would make them “faithless Electors”, well think again. Lawyers and even some judges have come to their defense with The Elector’s Trust and Hamilton Defenders. Read more about why we call them FAITHful Electors!

NOW IS THE TIME!  Save US!

Last Chance to #StopTrump

#StopTrump
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My last post was too rambling. Let me get right to the point. We have ONE last chance to #StopTrump. That is NOW before the Electoral College takes its final vote December 19. Why? Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution.

“No Person holding any Office… shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind… from a foreign State.”

It is crystal clear that Trump would be in violation of this Constitutional clause the moment he takes the Oath given his debt to foreign nations and undisclosed business dealings in over 25 foreign countries.  Trump boasts that he “can’t have a conflict of interest” BUT Harvard professors and the former Bush administration ethics attorney claim he will be in violation of the Emoluments Clause IF he takes the Oath of Office.

Therefore, no Elector– not even “Republican loyalists”– can vote for someone whose election is a violation of the Constitution!

Seems to me that the Electors should go with the popular vote and the candidate who has been CLEARED of all wrong-doing! But, that’s for them to wrestle…what they cannot do is elect Trump!

Trump is NOT the “President-Elect.” The election has not been “certified” as some Trump surrogates claim. News organizations should NOT call him “President-Elect.” The Electoral College vote is set for December 19.

Trump claims he will reveal on Dec 15 how he “plans” to “divest” himself of his business holdings. But, we have no idea what he will actually do, and after Dec 19 it will be TOO late.
The Time is NOW to #StopTrump and protect our Constitutional rights.
Tump has also PLEDGED to destroy our First Amendment rights. He’s threatened Free Speech, the media, and especially print newspapers claiming he will “open up” libel laws in the United States so he can sue news organizations. Just as importantly, he has openly threatened our religious freedom with claims of banning Muslims and has openly expressed his desire to make this a “Christian Country again.” America was NEVER a “Christian” country! The original revolt from England had everything to do with FREEDOM to speak, worship in our own way, and to avoid oppression.

The Founding Fathers and framers of the Constitution were careful to protect our “inalienable rights” which include equality for ALL Americans, no restrictions on religious freedom or upon speech. Trump continues to threaten our rights and freedom. His choices for various cabinet and “at will” positions makes it clear he intends to repeal or restrict Civil Rights and social programs. He only seems concerned with protecting Amendment “two”, as he might call it, and doesn’t truly understand even that one.

So if you CARE about your rights and future, you MUST lobby the Electors of your state– particularly Republicans who think they are bound to Trump. They are bound to the Constitution!

Below are more resources and detailed information, but the easiest way to locate members of the Electoral College for your state is to simply contact your Secretary of State’s Office.

“A demagogue is a tyrant who owes his initial rise to the democratic support of the masses. Huey Long, Hugo Chavez, and Moqtada al-Sadr are all clear examples of this dangerous byproduct of democracy. This compelling narrative (by Michael Signer) weaves stories about some of history’s most notorious figures, including Adolf Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and General Douglas Macarthur, and explains how humanity’s urge for liberty can give rise to dark forces that threaten that very freedom.”

#StopTrump NOW before it’s too late!

Tweaking the Vote: the Electoral College & Recounts

Before I get to tweaking, let me say a word about the Twits (that I recently called out online.) Who are they and why do I call them Twits? They SHOUT with capital letters, usually inane, frustrated, meaningless comments or like a recent Texas Twit told me, “close your account.”  They rarely offer any useful comments or info.  I should use Buddhist logic and see these folks as an opportunity to practice patience. In fact, no excuses going forward,  I must do that or actually get off social media if I can’t.  (This is called Grappling, the topic of my next book.)

As for the Electoral College, it’s obsolete and should have been discontinued after the 2000 election fiasco. While I like this Atlantic article by Peter Beinart (whom I’ve seen several times on cable news), the E.C. was actually designed to give white male property owners the final choice for President.

Back then women and slaves were chattel and men who did not own land or chattel were considered “lesser” votehackand not worthy of a say on such lofty matters as who should be President.  As for the “states” argument, in this day and age of instantaneous info and mobility, geography should not determine the Presidency either.  The Electoral system is outdated, offensive and should be eliminated.

That said, research shows Electors are free to vote for whoever they want. Any restrictions placed on them by a state is unconstitutional. Since we still have this antiquated system, this is the time, as Peter argues, to use it to the fullest and in his words:

“prevent an irresponsible demagogue from taking office.”

That’s why I have repeatedly posted #DisqualifyTrump and urged Electors to support the popular vote when your state participates in the “college.” Votes will be tallied on December 19. That is when we will know the “official” 2016 Presidential election outcome (unless recount challenges turn up fraud. More on that below.)

I must say how fascinating that Trump supporters so quickly embraced the complicated Electoral College. You know if Trump had received TWO MILLION votes more than Hillary, but had lost the EC, they would be screaming in ALL CAPS about the RIGGED system.  That brings us to the need for a recount…  a full AUDIT would be even better!

Good for Jill Stein to take the lead and raise millions (overnight) for a recount. It’s not for her campaign. She is doing this so we can resolve the many complaints and questions about irregularities with electronic machines, voter suppression techniques, like provisional ballots and purges (that primarily affected minority groups), and alleged hacking by various groups.

Purging registered voters ahead of the election, by the THOUSANDS, is a particularly “dirty trick” employed by Republican-led states and election officials who then give the voter a provisional ballot that often is never included in the vote totals– especially in the unofficial “election night” totals. This is possible because Republicans have spent the last several years gerrymandering districts to their benefit so they can exert more control at the local level.  They use their power to reduce voting sites in minority areas which resulted in HUGE lines that disenfranchised many who simply had to get back to work and could not wait all day. Terrible and unconstitutional in my opinion.

Finally, electronic voting machines that do not have a paper trail should be carefully audited. These type of machines have been investigated since the 1980s when in my state (New Mexico) election officials were accused of programming the machines prior to elections so that regardless of what choices were made, the votes would go to a certain party. I immediately recognized the machines a couple of days ago, when I saw one (on TV) with its large green “vote” button. An official was pointing to it and saying that machine could not be hacked because it’s not linked to the internet. That’s right.  But they sure could be, and WERE, programmed for desired outcomes in the past and have since been banned in many states. New Mexico is back to paper ballots that are fed into scanners to tabulate the votes. Sadly, I still worry because any electronic data can be hacked or manipulated, and probably has been somewhere in the US. That’s why if there is any suspicion in Wisconsin, Michigan or any state,  especially any state that used those type of machines, we should have a recount and analysis of data and paper ballots with plenty of bipartisan monitoring.

So, yes, let’s have a recount (for states “too close to call” or where irregularities have been found) and Electors, DO THE RIGHT THING! Let’s elect whoever has won the official popular vote.

My First Protest

ejmprotest
selfie with my neon NO DAPL Permits sign

Sounds like something a 15 year old would write. I actually DID protest, kind of, during the 1972 election when McGovern tried to defeat Nixon.  I was in high school and my boyfriend (later first husband) and I drove around with NO MORE WAR  and McGOVERN  painted on his muscle car windows.  But, I wasn’t out walking in the street.  I was Tuesday!   I had to support the #NoDAPL —  NO Dakota Access Pipeline (project) that I’ve been railing against on Twitter.  It was not only my duty to join millions in supporting our original Native Americans and protecting THEIR sacred land, but also a minor miracle that I could raise my right arm (after my recent bout with partial paralysis) so I did!  (Let’s not forget it was a Native American Sobadora who healed me!) Also, as a former journalist, news reporter, and government flack (spokesperson),  I could not participate in protests for over 35 years. I’m a private citizen now.

It was scary (in this current political climate) but I’m so glad that participated.

This pipeline project is horrifying on many levels. 1) That a profit-making “energy” company is exploiting tribal land, 2) that the Obama Administration did not already totally deny the permits,  and 3) the ungodly attacks on Native Americans with pepper spray and GUNS!  I feel we MUST stand with the Standing Rock Sioux to protect their land and also protest further drilling in the Dakota Badlands.  Not everyone agrees. Watch this CNN video and read the article about the project.

What IS certain is that our so-called President-Elect* Trump can’t wait to allow the project to proceed. He will grant the wishes of Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren who donated $100 hundred thousand to his campaign. (Warren admits to this and claims it’s “100% certain” they can proceed come January.)  Trump is also said to have invested between 500K and a MILLION dollars to Warren’s company.  (I wonder about this since Trump isn’t a “stock picking” investor. His money is mostly in real estate and a few mutual funds.)  Trump also has big plans to deregulate the EPA along with many other Federal checks and balances against such devastating projects.

Here in Albuquerque I was proud to see nearly 500 peopleprotestgroup show up for a peaceful demonstration and hear Native speakers.  The Army Corps District Office here is the only one within over 400 miles so many people drove long distances to participate.  It would have been perfect except for two things:  1) local cops had blocked all roads and access to the Army Corps office, so we had to park far away.  (It didn’t slow down anyone.  We just marched our way carrying our signs and chanting.  2) I overhead a cop telling a security guard, “It’s the highest concentration of Prius driver’s in New Mexico.”  They both laughed.  I wanted to reply, “and fuzz explosion.”  (Of course, I didn’t.)  Instead,  I survived to write this!

*Footnote:  Trump is NOT yet President-Elect. The vote is still being canvassed and the Electoral College is not final until the meeting Dec. 19.  I remain hopeful we can disqualify him then!  PLEASE contribute Elector info and ideas on Twitter using hash tag #DisqualifyTrump.

#SafetyPinSolidarity

#BerniesBack  #OurRevolution #SafetyPins #AMJoy #inners #PeacePledge @MMFlint @LisaBloom @JaneOSanders

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the public declaration of Trump as President-Elect may be the best thing that’s happened since the @BernieSanders revolution.  Here’s why:
IF Hillary had been declared the Victor November 8 the Repubs were ready to drag us through four more years of Congressional investigations, impeachment hearings, law suits claiming our election was rigged, on and on. Now read carefully because words matter!

safetypinsIt’s not over YET!  The Electoral College meets December 19, 2016. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so this isn’t just any old “rubber stamp” meeting. This one will be a doozy, especially if we can disqualify Trump! (details on that below.)
As Dylan says, “Things have changed.”
Diverse groups, a few listed above, plus the Obama Coalition, Michael Moore’s movement and #OurRevolution (aka “the Bernie Band” back together), have renewed vigor given what’s happened since November 9.  It’s not too late.  Here’s my assessment:

First came #HateCrimes and violence against minorities and women. I actually experienced this myself! On Wednesday (Nov 9) I was driving in a semi-congested area. A huge truck with Trump signs and stickers (behind me) was honking at me. I couldn’t speed up and there was nowhere to go. At some point he pulled out and around, nearly crashing into another car, and yelled, “Move over you F-ing liberal C**t.”
No one has called me anything that offensive since the old FemiNazi label during the heat of the Women’s Lib reactionary days. I forget such hatred of successful women persists! A certain segment of society began “showing their rears” the past few months. Now they feel so empowered they are out and self-identifying with their ugly temperament and actions. Nazi graffiti, KKK signs, bullying and even beatings are on full display against blacks, Muslims, Latinos, Hispanics and other minorities.

At the same time, progressives like Michael Moore (@mmFlint) and Bernie Sanders began speaking out again. Bernie has the long-view of how to reform the Democratic Party with the #OurRevolution movement. That’s great, but with hate crimes and vengeance on the rise EVERYWHERE right now we can’t wait for political action and we can’t let Trump take office.

Immediate action steps unfolded for many of us Saturday morning on #AMJoy (the 2-hour MSNBC show hosted by Joy Reid.) I took 5 pages of notes listening to various speakers like attorney @LisaBloom. The upshot for me is that with so much evidence of hate crimes, violence, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, predatory behavior and foreign collusion we can lobby the upcoming Electoral College to disqualify Trump! I propose the new hash tag of #DisqualifyTrump for listing members of the E.C., how to contact them, and other ideas on how to proceed. I’m sure one of the E.C. experts can help guide us on the most effective way to present our case. There’s plenty to challenge when it comes to the E.C.

Attorney Lisa Bloom said it best Saturday morning:

“Trump is about to bump into the big, beautiful wall of the Justice System!”

She was referring to the 75 pending lawsuits he faces and that will go forward even if he is President-Elect. There is also the Trump University civil case which begins November 28. And, the fake charity called the Trump Foundation is embroiled in legal battles. The so-called Blind Trust that he wants to use is being challenged because if Trump puts his family in charge of his business matters, that’s not a “blind” trust– it’s a conflict of interest!
Ms. Bloom and others discussed the rampant nepotism he is suggesting for his so-called Administration and the many Constitutional violations on the horizon (including attacks on our First Amendment.) So there is a LOT to compile and present to the Electoral College. Constitutional attorneys and elites get busy!! We got work to do!

Also, a great unifying rally-call comes with the #SafetyPins Movement. This apparently began in the U.K. after the Brexit vote. Brits wore safety pins as a silent way to convey their support for refugees and immigrants. Now we have our own #SafetyPinSolidarity Movement in the USA to show we stand with the oppressed groups being bullied and harassed by Trump supporters.
Evangelical Trump supporters say they are worried about losing their “Christian Values” but they don’t show us what that means. Spewing hate, vitriol, and name-calling is far from Christian. Seems that it will take REAL Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, LBGTQ, the disabled and disenfranchised to show that Christian values are about LOVE. ♡

Finally, Michael Moore and many, many more are marching and protesting. GREAT!! Let’s all get out there, but we MUST remain peaceful to carry out this important mission. So, wear a safety pin (or a lot) and let’s all take the #PeacePledge to stay HIGH as they go low. I see a path forward to #DisqualifyTrump before he takes office. It won’t work unless we maintain a peaceful protest and carry signs with messages of #Justice and #Equality for ALL. Let’s use our “elitist” minds, not our brawn, to get this one done!

Don’t panic! The Jedis will prevail. Hillary was right about this…

#LoveTrumpsHate