Good Karma?

On the first day, actually in the first hour, of Anthony Scaramucci’s new gig as #Fake45’s White House Communications Director, he claimed Trump has “really good karma.” EnsoOMWhat?
The former hedge fund manager is not Seeing Clearly* how karma works. 🤑 CNN’s lovable Jake Tapper wasn’t much clearer claiming karma “takes place in the next life.”

It’s trendy thinking that yoga means physical postures and karma is only tied to an afterlife, but actually neither is true.  Yoga refers to practice, usually a spiritual practice, and karma is cause and effect (which can ripen immediately or much later.) Either way Trump is FAR from generating “good karma.”

Nothing limits karmic consequences to a future life…  in fact, “extreme thoughts of malice” often ripen quickly (in this lifetime.) We can “purify” (clear karma) or continue on mindlessly, uncontrollably repeating our patterns (sound like our fearless leader?)  While “negative” actions can result in a miserable future life, in Buddhist thinking it’s also possible to prevent future rebirths through beneficial actions in this life. Who knew karma was so complicated, Moochie!

As you can see, it’s basically impossible for me to write about Trump without generating angst, anger and karmic consequence for myself.  It’s why I stopped blogging about him. I’m convinced the candidate and and his campaign colluded in Russian espionage to get into the White House and don’t understand why the “MSM” is so willing to accept that he won legitimately. Let #Mueller or a totally independent, bipartisan commission decide that.

Why am I and others so suspicious of Trump’s Russian connections? 1) there are an INCREDIBLE number of ties and links (to use Trump lingo) so many that a Buddhist might call it “auspicious” (but that exalted term is reserved for “good karma” not dirty tricks. ) 2) follow the money. Financial trails are quite revealing. In this case, after the Donald had stiffed all the U.S. banks (call that “bad karma”), he found friendlier funding sources through Deutsche Bank, Chinese and Russian banks and maybe some in Cypress.

And, it’s impossible to search Trump topics without encountering nefarious web sites. Russian and Ukranian hackers and bots have created so many #FakeNews sites, that unless you are a savvy web user, you can easily get sucked into scam sites and stories. I’ve noticed that if I click on some of these dubious links I get virus warnings (from my non-Russian security software) and often my VOIP (internet-based) phone rings! This happens on my desktop PC. I don’t know what the karmic consequences are of following such links on a phone or tablet.  I try not to.

Bottom line: the difference between real news and #FakeNews is not what Donald Trump thinks; it’s actual, factual information on established news sites not made-up stories created by hackers. When reporters or journalists use the term “sourced” part of the sourcing is knowing who you are speaking to (okay, “to whom”– Trumpism is wearing down my standards.)

I could go on and on, but let me close where we began, with karma.  When asked about the Chinese military torturing and killing Tibetan monks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has commented:  “No I don’t hate Chinese people for the terrible human rights violations their government engages in. But, I do feel compassion for the future suffering they are creating for themselves.” That answer, my friends, is good karma.

*Shameless plug for my book  😇

Fire Bird: Awakening

FireBird2017February 27 marks the Tibetan New Year and another opportunity to start fresh, abandoning old patterns of hope and fear.  That is really the crux of Buddhist philosophy: staying present and mindful in THIS moment, rather than hoping or worrying about other outcomes.

On our Western New Year I wrote about Seeing Clearly (also the subject of my last nonfiction book, here on the main page.) Basically it means accepting what is. Seeing things as they are, without our filters and interpretations– just “as is.”

Whenever we struggle with our situation (whatever it is) we suffer. That is what Buddha is said to have realized back in the day, and what all the various Buddhist teachers express. Grappling with this concept IS our practice (as one of my favorite teachers Tsunma Pema Chodron) is fond of saying.  (It is my intention to title my next book Grappling, for that reason.)

The rub, for me at least, is even accepting that fact. I constantly want to say, “yes but…”  As in what about physical pain? What about the need to rise up and fight against fascism? (or hate, greed, torture, abuse.) Isn’t it lame to let go of the Valiant struggles? Isn’t that just caving in and giving up?  Words matter, especially in Dharma.  Acceptance vs. resignation is a favorite topic for grappling.  Here’s a podcast from the Secular Buddhist on that very issue (only 11 minutes and worth the time.)

So, the upshot (as Noah explains in the podcast) is about how we handle our moment to moment experiences; responding– rather than reacting emotionally– to whatever is occurring.  It’s about creating the space and freedom to respond, not resigning or surrendering.  The answer comes by grappling with this process and letting go of our reactive patterns. Translating that to our big concerns takes practice, unless you are so fortunate as experience instant Enlightenment.  🕉️  (More on that in a future post.)

As for the Fire Bird, it is part of the Tibetan astrological phases based on a lunar calendar. It represents passion and also awakening.  Beautiful image!


Our U.S. Senate just voted 52 to 46 (Friday, Feb 17) to put the final nail in the planet’s coffin.  Approving Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency is truly tragic.  This Republican dominated so-called Congress has really shown us who they are.  TRAITORS.  Yes, they’re ALL traitors and they should ALL be in jail! They have betrayed Americans and now our beautiful natural resources.MoneyBag

First, be proud of our Senate Democrats.  They pulled several all-nighters to extend the debate time and allow the public to contact their representatives so we could oppose extreme bigots like Jeff Sessions (for Attorney General), the totally unqualified Betsy DeVoss who bought her way to Education Secretary, and the Dems testified again last night trying to stop Okie AG Scott Pruitt.  Pruitt’s claim to fame has been challenging EPA rules that protect human health and the environment.  As my own wonderful New Mexico Senator (D) Tom Udall says, “Pruitt is all about special interest, not the public interest.” Amen.  With thousands of pages of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) material about to be released showing Pruitt’s links to fracking and oil money, we’re about to learn a LOT more about Scott Pruitt.

But, the self-serving Republicans couldn’t be bothered with facts. They’ve just been ramming through all of Trump’s appointees as fast as they can since they have the votes.  They wanted NO public comment time, and the creepiest creep Senate Leader McConnell actually had the Senate switchboard disabled (using fax signal rather than phone) so we couldn’t call Congress today.

Seriously, after we almost broke the phone system with opposition calls to Jeff Sessions and DeVoss, Mitch disabled it.

Yes, the same smashed-mouth Mitch who shut down Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor as she tried to read Coretta Scott King’s  (MLK’s widow) letter into the record during Jeff Sessions’ hearing earlier this month.  McConnell cited some antiquated, obscure rule to silence Warren.  She was told to “sit down.”  In my long career of watching and covering news, and now tweeting about it,  I cannot recall a male Senator being censured or told to sit down.  SC (R) Lindsey Graham said, “She had it coming.”  VERY sexist.

Today (after the Pruitt vote) weird Mitch had the audacity to stand on the Senate floor and attempt to make fun of progressives, calling us “knee-jerk liberals.”  I say attempt, because creepy goofball Mitch  doesn’t even know his name-calling facts.  Knee-jerk refers to “unthinking emotional reaction”, but sadly that’s the Republicans, not us. We’re the “elitist, fact-obsessed, media” remember? We actually know stuff.

There are no more real Republicans, as I used to credit them. Trumpism has taken over the entire GOP, and it’s far from a grand old party these days!

Now if you stuck around here’s your reward. Bonus material.  The REAL scoop. Trump actually is doing what he said he would.  FecklessRightThe real shock is that the ignorant Republicans (all of them combined) can’t outsmart him.  He told you he negotiates. So, the first name he tosses out is the most abhorrent– an actual joker. If you’re gullible enough to settle for the first offer (like Sessions, Mitch’s wife or Rick Perry) then score one for the deplorable Trumpers. They’re laughing their asses off. (NOTE: Not all Trump supporters are deplorable, but card-carrying deplorables are Trumper twits.) In Jeff Sessions, we have the most bigoted, throwback imaginable in charge of the Justice Department. Funny, huh?  You’ve got a hedge fund guy who scammed the system (and a lot of home owners) in charge of the U.S. Treasury. Hilarious, right?  A homophobic, pro-lifer running our medical system (BTW, he also pulled scams with medical stocks) and Big Oil (literally the CEO of the world’s largest oil company, Exxon, who has pending deals in Russia) running our foreign affairs.  WHY? 

Don’t blame Trump, blame Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. These Traitors, along with Lindsey Graham, and other former “Real Republicans” have a scheme that’s backfiring.  They thought they could use Trump to ram through their key legislation, like repealing “Obama Care” (the Affordable Care Act) and screw poor people in other ways by messing with entitlement programs, BUT #FAKE45 is having the last laugh.  (Click and read the image above.) What they’ve really done is stick America with a truly deplorable cast of characters. (Notice that when unions and the old organized labor networks pulled together, they were able to dump Puzder for Labor Secretary.)  Trump negotiated in return offering up the more reasonable (and Hispanic) Alexander Acosta.  Did Mitch or Lyin’ Ryan try to negotiate?  Nope, too stoooopid.  The original wheeling and dealing (before Repubs totally sold out)  had to do with the Supreme Court pick, but that’s a longer story.

BOTTOM LINE:  When Trump is inevitably impeached for all his lying, Constitutional violations, con jobs and bufoonery, we’ll be stuck with VP Pence and people totally incapable of running the departments they head.  Oh, and Trump will have still made a killing with the deals and contacts he’s cultivating.  The country will be bankrupt by then, real people will have suffered (and died) and our democracy left damaged by #RussianCollusion (aka Treason.) PLUS we’ve just spent somewhere between 10 and 25 MILLION in less than a month for extra security (travel and intel costs)  for Trump’s weekend jaunts to Mar-a-lago and to keep the First Lady holed up at Trump Tower.  Wait til we see the other bills racked up by Bannon, the Flynn fling, and all the fam hanging out at the White House.

So much for America First! (you might want to read that NPR link and also my last post on Who is Moral?

Who got duped? More than just the deplorable supporters, that’s for sure.  Sad, very #SAD!

Who is Moral?

It’s actually pretty obvious what’s at the crux of our HUGE political divide. How the Right (and Alt-Right) and Progressive liberals (even moderate Dems) can look at the same  240 yr. old Constitution and come to entirely different conclusions.  I just heard VP Pence conflate capitalism with liberty! How can the same founding documents be interpreted so differently?  It’s one reason why the Supreme Court Justice picks are of critical importance. Current U.S. law is based on the 1976 High Court ruling that money is speech (plus 1979 amendments and other citations led to the 2010 “Citizens United” ruling. Details in the Amendment Gazette )
MoralityCloudEveryone is shouting past the real issue– and each other– protesting, boasting or posting their own opinions, from the left, from the right. No one is listening!  So if you want me to say it plainly, take a deep breath… exhale.  Ready?

Under those rulings, money IS speech. Capitalism IS everything. We are living in Orwell’s 1984 and were even back then, under Reagan.

Progressives like myself, Independents and many Democrats believe MORALITY, not money, is our standard and right. Is it? or are we sadly mistaken?Integrity is Everything

If you think corporations and other polluters can buy the right to ruin our remaining protected, sacred lands, and ruin our health with toxic chemicals and unregulated poisons in our food, air and water, then you probably agree with the “Citizens United” view of America. Many of us view those actions as immoral and inhumane. We feel morality means true concern and compassion for ALL– regardless of stature or ability to pay. You know, “Liberty and Justice for All” as in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Politicians like Pence and Senator Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama) who is nominated to be our next U.S. Attorney General say plainly, they will uphold and enforce our laws.  Currently, that means money is speech and corporations can use unlimited amounts to buy and bribe their way into every aspect of our lives.  In other words, money talks  (literally!)

At the controversial Prayer Breakfast (Feb 2) Donald Trump assured the religious leaders that their churches and organizations would have UNLIMITED ability to “support” (give money through super pacs and donations) religious freedom. My jaw dropped when I realized they will use their deep pockets to buy the best attorneys, analysts and yes judges to make sure those laws remain on the books. I don’t believe that is what most hardworking Midwesterners and “Evangelicals” voted for.  They want jobs, but even when it requires dealing with the devil? (Writer David Brooks nailed it with his “Republican Fausts” opinion piece in the New York Times this past week.) Maybe Trump really is the #AntiChrist.

Trump and Co. say they won the election “fair and square” (despite their own claims of a “rigged system” and Russian involvement.)  The Resistance claims the election was stolen using dirty tricks like voter suppression, diversion tactics, outright lies AND Russian collusion.  Both sides are now claiming high ground and “moral authority.”

I vividly recall when the original alleged Moral Majority emerged.  I was a young reporter in the 1970s.  After Nixon’s impeachment, there was right-wing backlash to hippies, women’s “lib” and all the liberal politics of the time. Fundamentalist Churches began urging their members to support and vote for certain political candidates (often picked by their new leader Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell.) Midwest and Southern “evangelicals” (as they’ve come to be called) were pushing back against abortion, emerging gay groups and feminism in all forms. This is when they discovered the real power of the pulpit and the almighty dollar.  They gerrymandered districts, suppressed the minority vote and bought themselves a judicial system.  Somehow they’ve convinced themselves that is moral.  Me and 70 million other voters disagree. That is why protests continue.  We are the majority and we have a very different view of what is moral.

Regardless what our ridiculous Republican-concocted laws say, giant corporations and mega Churches are exactly what our Founders did not want running this country.  They crossed the ocean in rickety ships to get away from such oppression. But with a billionaire baby in the Oval, Faustian Bannon in his ear, and unlimited amounts of cash pouring in, it will take some savvy detangling to get us out of this mess.

Global Protests 1.21.2017

ABQ CivicPlaza11am
Albuquerque, NM Civic Plaza

MILLIONS marched in nearly a 1,000 worldwide rallies reacting to the Trump presidency. It FAR exceeded the original plans for the #Women’sMarch ♀️. The media keeps asking WHY. My thoughts…

Everything is wrong about the way this creep lied and cheated his way into our Oval Office. He did not win “fair and square” no matter how many supporters say so. And, he’s still lying! He can’t accept that only a small percentage of Americans actually “bought” his con job. His campaign suppressed the vote, invited Russian hacking and influence, mocked and insulted almost everyone, and consistently lied about everything. That is NOT an exaggeration and that’s why such pent up resistance poured into the streets EVERYWHERE today– literally worldwide.

Denver, CO

Aerial shots from London, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Manila (the Philippines), even a ship off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula prove crowds gathered literally everywhere! Of course HUGE, massive crowds continue (as of this writing) in Washington, New York City, and L.A. I felt so proud participating in this peaceful movement myself and seeing the breathtaking crowds around the world– nearly all peaceful. (1000% I’d say if I was… )

And what is the “official” White House response? Sean Spicer (Trump’s new PR flack) just came to the press room (approx 5:30 ET, Saturday, now as I’m writing) and literally YELLED at reporters reprimanding them for “false reporting”!  First about removal of a bust of MLK and then for “minimizing” crowd estimates from Friday. Really? The first press briefing is to tell us we can’t trust our own eyes? Now that truly is gaslighting!  He didn’t take any questions, he just yelled at reporters!

We simply cannot stand for a Minister of Propaganda in the “people’s house.” We’re not Russia YET, even if Trump wants to be our “strongman.” It’s sickening and it’s a primary reason why people took to the streets here in the USA.  We won’t tolerate a fascist liar in the White House. Other countries are protesting that, plus his isolationist policies. And, of course women are marching for health care, equal pay and human rights. My goal? We must drive this crazy clown out–  just as we did with Nixon who lied and abused the office. (One of my favorite reporters, Matt Taibbi, titled his new book “Insane Clown President“– so crazy clown is actually a compliment.)

I had no intention of getting so upset, or resorting to name-calling, HOWEVER hearing henchman Spicer yell about the media’s “shameful lies” while his boss– our so-called president– IS the ultimate LIAR was just too much.  So, yes we will POUR into the streets, and hopefully into state capitals and city halls.  Eternal vigilance is the only hope to preserve our democracy!


As political tensions continue to escalate in these final hours leading up to the scheduled Trump “inauguration”, I felt compelled to clarify why Representative John Lewis, and MANY others, say he’s not a legitimate president. As I worked through the following five issues, I’m now convinced it’s much more than a discussion about boycotting the inauguration– the event must be cancelled or at least delayed until we get resolution on the following issues, especially Treason:TreasonPunishment

1) TREASON (collusion with Russia) during the US election process (elaboration below)
2) Lying and “dirty tricks” by Trump during the election process
3) Constitutional Violation (s)
4) Failure of the Electoral College
5) Failure of the FBI (disparate treatment of the candidates)

Russian Influence is becoming more and more apparent and it extends far beyond the cyber “hacking” and leaks that have been discussed. I’m not talking about Trump’s alleged kinky sexual preferences which got a lot of play on social media when the secret MI6 dossier was revealed.  The real issue is collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. It’s fact that Trump’s appointees and former employees were in Russia during the campaign. What were they doing? They give all kinds of excuses, but investigations are pending and until that issue is resolved, TREASON is on the table.  At the very least, there’s the Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953) and espionage to consider.

How can someone involved in foreign collusion take our most sacred oath? Trump was not elected “fair and square” with such issues unresolved. At least postpone the inauguration until we have answers.  Once Trump has the Ultimate power, who can contain or control him? He could launch nukes and/or take unfathomable Executive Actions putting us all at risk. This is not a joke. It’s essential to pause and fully investigate these matters. So much so, that the other issues and accusations pale in comparison. However, if he’s exonerated from the Russian problems, the other four still matter. I’ll come back to Treason and its penalty at the end.

There are entire databases devoted to tracking the daily, hourly and sometimes moment-by-moment LIES tweeted and repeated by Trump. He cannot open his mouth without more lies pouring out. During the recent press conference, I lost count. While it may not be illegal to lie (which seems ridiculous), it certainly destroys the moral authority of a leader. Dirty tricks resulted in the eventual impeachment of Richard Nixon. Again, we don’t know where the investigations into Russian influence will lead, but DNC information was compromised. That was enough to take down Nixon.

Conflicts of interest that violate the US Constitution: Trump did nothing to resolve his issue with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution at his delayed press conference (01.11.2017) Even though his attorney claimed he’s not in violation, that is in dispute by several ethics attorneys including Republican attorney Richard Painter who advised President Bush (43) on ethics, Norman Eisen, a former US Ambassador and ethics attorney with long career as a government watchdog (investigated Enron), Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and many others. Those three are on record saying Trump will be in violation the moment he takes the Oath.

Our antiquated Electoral College had one important job to do this past election cycle. That was to serve as the final “fail-safe” to over-ride the election of someone “not endowed with the requisite qualifications.” They failed. The EC had the authority to prevent this exact situation– to stop an unqualified demagogue like Donald Trump. Their “faithless” rubber stamp vote proves the EC must be eliminated. Over 73 MILLION Americans actively voted against Trump– 10 MILLION more than voted for him. 65.8 million for Hillary Clinton, and another 7.8 million voted for the Libertarian ticket, other third party or write-in candidates. Trump received less than 63 million votes.

We now know that FBI Director James Comey was investigating both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the election cycle. In what appears to be partisan pressure, Comey “reopened” the Clinton investigation (into the never-ending email issue), discussed it publicly, and then closed the case again in the final days of the election process. He still refuses, however, to confirm the Trump investigation. This is why we need a special select Congressional Committee to investigate Russian collusion and possible treason…  IMMEDIATELY!

During the drafting of the Constitution treason was punishable not only by death, but by an exceptionally cruel method of execution designed to enhance the suffering of the traitor. As described in colonial documents:
“ the traitor is hanged by the neck, then cut down alive, that his entrails are then taken out, and burned, while he is yet alive,” and “that his head is cut off, and that his body is then divided into four parts.”

Our Framers intended to limit a traitor’s death for alleged subversion to instances of “levying war against the United States, or adhering to enemies of the United States.” It layman’s terms, the latter means assisting a foreign enemy (according to several attorneys.) It certainly appears Trump’s campaign did that.

So, instead of a big gaudy celebration in a few days, maybe we’ll have a different sort of spectacle. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow says, “Watch this space.”