Staying NEUTRAL is Supporting the Oppressor

In Coach Education we have a concept called ETHICAL ACTION.

If you see something you think is wrong, take action.

Record what you saw in a diary. Keep records.

Videotape what you saw.

Notify authorities in a respectful, diplomatic way.

Ideally you ask the (possible) offender: Why are you doing that? I don’t understand.”

People wonder why I’m so vocal about the high crimes of Donald Trump.

Ethical action. That’s why.

Trump inspired smarter people in Florida to enact a law called Don’t Say Gay. That’s like passing a law called Don’t Say Black. Don’t Say Latino.

We should take ethical action against people who discriminate when their Constitution clearly states that ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Support the lesser of two evils if both sides are bad.

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor. Initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler and a self-identified antisemite. Later best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s and for his widely quoted 1946 poem:

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Why Travel?

I took a gap year between High School and University.

SUPER happy I did.

It opened my eyes to the bigger world. Other cultures. Other ways of thinking.

Niklas Christl didn’t know what to do when he graduated High School. Here he documents what happened on his gap year — and how it changed his life.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Martin Luther King Jr in 2022

Would King be happy with what’s happening in the USA?

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has led to some improvements. Here’s what’s WORKING.

The phrase “defund the police” was always stupid. It should have been “reform the police“. Reallocate funding.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

CANCEL me in 2022

If you are irked that I call Donald Trump the fat golfer, please stop following my posts.

After a lifetime study of comparative religion, Joseph Campbell concluded that the best course was to Follow your Bliss. Make a list of those things in your life that you most enjoy; those things that enervate you, compel you; interest you in a sustained way. Do them!

Make a second list of those things that vex your existence. How can you avoid or minimize those? CANCEL them.

When in office I mostly called Trump the toddler President — rash, undisciplined, selfish, spoiled. Out of office fat golfer better sums up my opinion of him in a short, colourful way. Trump is the master of name calling. Since he does it, I feel it’s ethical to reciprocate.

The Ugly American

I believe in freedom of speech. The fat golfer can say whatever he wants on his golf course. BUT not in my home. Not on my blogs. Nor my social media feeds.

I also believe in the freedom to NOT listen to speech.

Since Rush Limbaugh — the Big Fat Idiot — popularized the notion of cancelling people in the 1980s, the word cancelled has become increasingly loaded. And increasingly meaningless.

Though I’m left leaning, I haven’t yet cancelled JK Rowling, Woody Allen, Jordan Peterson and many more. You should if they irritate you enough.

I AM quick to unsubscribe to organizations and people I believe are distributing dangerous and/or unethical content online.

Certainly the American GOP / FOX money making machine picks a new Mr. Potato Head to cancel every day. Gots to keep their mostly old, white supporters angry. (That story was fake news, by the way.)

The best coverage of this issue I’ve heard is on my favourite podcast – Reputation.

Struck From the Record On the Media

This week, the Supreme Court officially struck down Roe v. Wade, overturning fifty years of legal precedent and abortion rights across the country. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the case that almost defined the abortion debate instead. Plus, the Jan 6 committee’s latest bombshell evidence of Trump’s manipulation of the justice department.  1. Alana Casanova-Burgess [@Alanallama], former OTM producer, and Jessica Glenza [@JessicaGlenza], health reporter at the Guardian, look at the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wished the Court heard instead of Roe v. Wade. Neil Siegel, a professor of law and political science at Duke University School of Law, puts the Susan Struck v. Secretary of Defense case in context. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], who writes about the courts at Slate, untangles what the justices actually decided in Roe. Listen. 2. Michael Waldman [@mawaldman], president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, discusses how the January 6 committee's findings could aid a Justice Department indictment. Listen. Music: The Water Rises (Laurie Anderson) – The Kronos QuartetJohn’s Book of Alleged Dances – The Kronos QuartetTateh's Picture Book – Randy NewmanAtlantic City – Randy Newman
  1. Struck From the Record
  2. The 'Country Queers' Who Don't Want to Flee Rural America
  3. The Conspiracy Machine
  4. Alex Jones Doesn't Care About You
  5. Worth a Thousand Words

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

Good book. I’m not sure I’d call it Young Adult, however. though it’s often listed amongst the top YA novels of all time.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming-of-age young adult novel by American author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is the main protagonist.

He’s a typically angry, bored and confused teen. A loner.

Set in El Paso, Texas in 1987, the story starts when Ari meets another Mexican-American teen, Dante Quintana.

Dante is an admirable person in every way. It’s his influence and their friendship which finally helps Ari grow up.

A happy ending.

Several themes feature prominently. These include Mexican-American identity, gender and sexuality, particular masculine gender roles and homosexualityintellectualism and artistic expression, as well as family relationships and friendship.

World Travel by Anthony Bourdain (2021)

Said to be written by Bourdain — his longtime assistant Laurie Woolever actually only had one meeting about this book with her boss before he killed himself at the age of 61 in June 2018. 

A shocking end to one of our favourite travel and food gurus.

But Bourdain had long talked about writing a summing-up travel book, highlighting his favourite foods, cultures, meals and destinations. Woolever made it happen.

The book includes short summaries of 43 destinations from his many years filming Parts Unknown and No Reservations.

Profane, opinionated and often hilarious.

Bourdain was a tough guy. But travel opened his eyes. He wanted to tell the truth, to challenge the powerful, to expose wrongdoing. He’d call out racism at every opportunity.

He championed industrious Spanish-speaking immigrants—from Mexico, Ecuador, and other Central and South American countries—who are cooks and chefs in many United States restaurants,

Amazon – World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, April 20, 2021

A Fantastic Political Ad

Republican politicians in the States have found that making extreme statements somehow motivates deplorable voters to show up on Election Day.

Democrats are typically more restrained in their ads. Those are often boring.

Here’s Charles Graham who’s running for Congress. I feel like moving to North Carolina so I could vote for him. #inspiring

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I like Portland

En route to specific events, I stayed in Portland in 2019 and 2021.

A good vibe.

It’s a smaller, pedestrian friendly city with good public transit and bicycle thoroughfares.

A mild climate. Great city parks.

Though very White, the majority of citizens are liberal and progressive, supporting human rights.

Most days I browsed Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

In 2021 I stayed at the excellent Lolo Pass hostel. Private rooms $162. Dorm beds $43.

In rural Oregon there is no shortage of right wing extremists including Proud (Incel) Boys. The world saw violence and looting on Portland streets during the George Floyd protests. Too bad.

Ongoing — the biggest problem is homelessness. It is awful.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

“Be a warrior not a wokester.”

Professor Galloway — like many of us — is turned off by out-of-control political correctness.

People are increasingly afraid to say what they think for fear of online backlash.

Similarly, I’m embarrassed by people outraged that William Shakespeare (for example) was racist. You shouldn’t judge people in the 1500s by today’s standards.

Instead of complaining, take ACTION.

Do something REAL.

Be a warrior for social justice.

Listen to Professor Galloway‘s podcast here.

… Structural racism is real, and our economic system is tilted, if not rigged.

The most accurate predictor of your opportunities isn’t your intelligence or work ethic but where you’re born.

But playing the victim decreases your capacity to be a warrior against these injustices. …

Reacting to every slight and demanding satisfaction from every insult is what the system wants you to do. Joining a Twitter mob seizing on a hapless middle manager or an out-of-touch English professor may feel like justice, but it’s just a cheap drip of dopamine ….

Be a warrior. 

Advice to Grads: Be Warriors, Not Wokesters