It is utterly disgusting and shameful as a human race, that we haven’t gotten it together by now…that we haven’t embraced one another on this planet as spiritual brothers and sisters, irrespective of ‘styles’ of religious practice and cultures. It is almost 2018, and it is beyond inexcusable that we still haven’t gotten that right, and that we are still held back by tens of millions of ignorant bigoted individuals, often in the name of “JESUS” of all things!
I was raised in a “Christian evangelical” family, and cut my teeth on the Bible. I memorized a lot of it in private Christian school. Early on as a child I couldn’t help but recognize the hate and bigotry throughout the Bible…the constant anti-loving, vengeful fear imagery of God, and I had to constantly force myself to go along with it from the family conditioning that used that man made fear in the Bible to tell me that I would go to Hell if I didn’t believe it…Constant bigoted conditioning that crammed down my throat ‘holy’ beliefs that all other religions/faiths were going to Hell as well, along with gay people, transgender people, etc.
Being transgender myself, despite the horrible societal suffering that accompanies such a condition, was ironically the miracle that brought my TRUE SALVATION from those bigoted religious lies from my family and the ‘church’, fraudulently taught in the name of Jesus.
The fact that we are this far along as a human race, and we STILL have so many who embrace such bigotry in the name of God is beyond inexcusable. It is crucial to understand that this is the PRIMARY thing preventing the achieving of world peace and unity on our shared planet…one could almost say now that it is the ONLY thing…
Because when you get that right…and I’m talking about the understanding that all of us are ASPECTS OF GOD, not separate from what “God” is…when you understand that, a light bulb comes on inside your mind…which is your soul or your spirit…and you suddenly realize your responsibility to love everyone, and not look at them as separate or beneath you in any way.
HOWEVER…and this is really important…When you are fraudulently taught a belief that God is an arbitrary being outside of what you are, who may or may not CONDEMN you for perceived mistakes…and when you are taught the fraudulent teaching of religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism that maintain that you are a condemned sinner by nature, BUT you can be forgiven if you will believe one specific faith, what is the psychology that results from such a belief?
The result is, you then have a gigantic COP-OUT. What do I mean by that?
It is nothing but a huge cop-out to say that you are just a sinner, and as such you can’t help but sin. And if you just align with one ‘faith’, that uncontrollable sinful nature you have is forgiven.
That is a man-made hypocritical excuse of a religious belief. It is the very thing that has ironically held mankind back from real spiritual growth and healing. It condemns the diversity of mankind with fraudulent man-made dogma that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the love of God that we ALL ARE BY NATURE.
When you get that right, as I said above, you understand there is no cop-out or excuse such as you being ‘sinful by nature’…On the contrary…There is an understanding that you have a huge responsibility due to your being HOLY BY NATURE.
It isn’t a lack of humility to recognize that not only YOU, but everyone who shares existence with you…all of us are a PART OF GOD…
And if we are a PART OF GOD, we are HOLY BY NATURE. When we realize we are holy by nature, the result that begins to happen is a healing transformation in our lives that was meant for us. But, that healing and those blessings and miracles are held back with the opposite mindset that you are separate from God, and can’t help the “sin” you commit. That is absolutely untrue.
The huge problem with that kind of fraudulent teaching in the name of God, is that you then don’t realize it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY…OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, TO CREATE HEAVEN FOR ONE ANOTHER HERE AND NOW!
You see, Christians, Jews and Muslims (and I use them as examples because they are the biggest and most popular examples of this man made fraudulent teaching) all have at the core of their belief that “Heaven” is something they have ZERO to do with CREATING…That they each respectively have the primary rights to heaven, being ‘preferred’ above others in the eyes of God, and their ‘heaven’ is controlled by a potentially condemning God, only to be experienced at some imagined time in the future, in some fairy tale place, etc.
That IS the primary, absolutely inexcusable bigotry and sick belief system that is in the way of achieving world peace. If you study history, you will see that this sick kind of divisive man made religion has almost always been at the root of all the major warmongering, genocide and enslavement of other cultures over the centuries.
Many of you reading this may be Catholics. You should be very aware of the history of such behavior by the Catholic church. You should be very aware of the Catholic church’s hugely patriarchal, second class and demeaning treatment of women in the name of Jesus, which is no different than any of the sexually demeaning harassment and constant climate of inequality demonstrated by men today, who are currently being singled out in various other institutions and corporations…
As a Catholic, you should be very aware of that hypocritical institution’s continued turning of a collective blind eye to the epidemic of pedophilia by its sick priests for hundreds of years now…over and over and over again. Yet you continue to practice those beliefs and align yourself with such mind blowing corruption, elitism and bigotry deeply represented by such a history?
As a Catholic, ironically you may have even looked down your nose at the Christian evangelicals who supported accused pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama, while you continue to align yourself with such a hypocritically corrupt institution as the Catholic church.
There is no excuse for such conformity in the face of such a history of hate and bigotry in the name of God.
If you want to know where healing and true happiness comes from, I have an answer for you…The key is simply this: UNLEARNING the religious lies fed to us, and being strong enough not to just conform to them because it is comfortable to do so, and because such beliefs may be popular with those around us.
I can’t believe how many people actively resist this basic truth when I try to share it with them. Healing is meant for you, in every way that you need it. But healing and happiness beyond your wildest dreams will NEVER come unless you remove the bigoted beliefs that you use to think of yourself as ‘preferred’ in the eyes of God…It will NEVER come until you see EVERYONE as forgiven…Until you see EVERYONE as an EQUAL PART OF GOD, despite your differences of faith, sexual preference, etc.
Simply put, as I’ve said in some of my previous articles on this topic, ‘religion’
IS NOT synonymous with spirituality.
Religion, if seen correctly so that healing and happiness WILL come through to you, should be understood to be like everyone’s ‘favorite color’… That is to say, I don’t look down on you and think you are condemned because your religion’s preferred color is RED, while my religion’s preferred color is GREEN.
True spirituality is the understanding that all of the colors are a PART of the rainbow, equally TOGETHER…That is the perfect metaphor to understand our spiritual nature. Put simply, DIVERSITY IS DIVINITY.
When you get that right, you open the pathway up not only to all the healing and happiness you need and were meant to have, that has been held back by fraudulent, elitist beliefs of religion, but it begins to bring healing, happiness and peace across national and cultural boundaries, as was also always MEANT TO BE.
As I began this article at the top, it is absolutely inexcusable that we have resisted these truths, and have not come together as a human race by 2018. What do you say we make a New Year’s Resolution to change that before 2020!
We have to raise our voices collectively not only about the disgrace that Trump supporters have created in the White House, but also about the disgraceful false teaching of the Big Three religions that has created such war, hate and division on our planet for too long.
It’s time for a “spiritual renaissance” that begins to create what we were meant to create as ‘aspects of what God is’…As holy, spiritual brothers and sisters…We were meant to see “God” in all of our diversity, and to act in love and healing in all things toward one another…That is how we CREATE HEAVEN ON EARTH HERE AND NOW.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her blog and website at http://www.conniebryan.com)
To the Trump gas-lit, evangelical hypocrites on the right talking out of their asses claiming the Trump-Russian collusion investigation is nothing but a fake news “WITCH HUNT”…What do you have to say now that FOUR ‘WITCHES’ have not only been found and charged with major crimes, but two of said ‘witches’, including senior Trump administration official Gen. Michael Flynn, are now cooperating with Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller to keep from doing major jail time?
Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass to defend the “Witch-in-Chief” in the name of Jesus? Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass to defend the accusations against Trump supported Roy Moore running for Senate in Alabama, accused by multiple women of preying on and sexually assaulting young teenage girls?
Are you gonna keep lying out of your ass as you flat out ignore Trump’s own words on the Access Hollywood tape, bragging about ‘grabbing women by the pussy’, saying he could do so because he is so big of a star that he ‘can get away with doing anything he wants’ to ‘attractive’ women that he meets?
If we are going to care about the smaller number of women who have come forward to accuse Senator Al Franken, Representative Conyers, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, then OF COURSE we’d have to care about the 12 or more women who bravely came forward to accuse the sitting PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
(Insert impersonation of hypocritical right-wing evangelicals dutifully parroting Trump’s lies here) “WELL THAT’S JUST A FAKE NEWS WITCH HUNT!”
Ummmm, you can’t say that without, at a minimum, sounding like you rode the little bus to school…Because after all, as I said above, we have MORE damning evidence in the “Witch-in-Chief’s” case, with his own proud ‘witch admission’ of such behavior on tape, than we do in all of these other cases combined.
Trump made that graphic, specific admission with impunity of his own volition…I mean, it wasn’t like Wolf Blitzer from CNN had bound him and was dipping him in and out of the fountain on the White House Mall, until he couldn’t take it anymore and told us he was a f#cking sexually assaulting, womanizing witch! (But isn’t that a beautiful thing to fantasize about coming true?…Can you imagine the viewer ratings for that CNN episode?)
Shame on those of you who claim to be ‘Christians’ and ‘Catholics’, while turning a blind eye to this national disgrace you have created in the name of Jesus! Dear God, save us from your followers, as the apt bumper sticker says.
Ignoring Trump’s admission on tape of sexually assaulting women with impunity, and parroting his claim that such bragging of specific behavior was just ‘harmless locker room talk”, is akin to if the POPE HIMSELF had been caught on such an Access Hollywood tape saying something similar…
Hypothetical Pope talking to hypothetical Billy Bush:
(Insert annoyingly slow, hard to understand Italian accent here)
“I used to have such a crush on Justin Beber before he grew up…He was so hot!” (This would be a much longer tape of course, as that statement alone would take 2 minutes for the actual Pope to say, and the following would take him 5 minutes to say) “You know, I’m so famous as the Pope, when I meet hot Catholic boys I can do whatever I want…I can grab ’em by their _____, anything I want! They’ll let me because I’m such a rock star!!”
Now follow my example here…That hypothetical tape goes VIRAL, as Trump’s tape did…Then the Pope excuses it away…”Oh that was just harmless ‘CHOIR ROOM TALK’…Everyone knows priests talk like that in the ‘choir room’, but it was harmless!”
Ignoring Trump’s own words…words that weren’t hypothetical, but that REALLY HAPPENED on tape, while holding all these others to the ‘witch flame’ like Louis CK, Franken, Conyers, Charlie Rose, etc…is exactly akin to if the Pope had been caught saying the above about his affinity for under age altar boys, and the Catholic Church responding by accepting his gas-lit BS that it was just ‘choir room banter’.
But, I guess the idea of the Catholic church looking the other way is ironically not so far fetched is it?…Not when you recall what we’ve all witnessed over the recent last couple of decades, as the Catholic church has actively tried to HIDE the mind blowing, ongoing priest pedophile epidemic still unfolding, and still being protected from the top.
So, you still wanna run around calling these things a ‘witch hunt’?
OK, but as such you go on record in your life, looking stupid if not utterly complicit yourself, because we clearly have ‘witches’ to hunt among us!…And as we continue to bring them down in the name of morality and justice, the question you should be asking yourself is, what is that going to say about YOU and all your defense of their behavior in the name of JESUS??
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)
In PART ONE of this topic, I discussed that with the upcoming election for the office of Sheriff, Sacramento has an opportunity to lead by example for the nation, by seeking a candidate for Sheriff that will finally implement long overdue and major changes to the longstanding ‘us against them’ culture of law enforcement…
Changes that the majority of citizens not just in Sacramento, but across this entire nation, have been demanding for some time now, in the face of a national epidemic of increased shootings by police of unarmed minorities and other abuse of force incidents. Such a sea change and overhaul of the police mindset is imperative now more than ever, in the interest of justice and equality for all, regardless of race, ethnicity or income status.
Part one of this series was primarily dedicated to describing in some detail exactly how to bring about such an about-face police culture change. The current model, so often accurately referred to by most Americans as an obvious ‘good ole boy system’ – or ‘fraternal’ system that even proudly has established ‘Fraternal Orders of Police’ for practically every police agency in the nation…
That upside down, often corrupt and grossly abusive model must be dismantled in the interest of equal justice for all in the communities that police and deputies serve. It must be replaced with a ‘CITIZENS OVERSIGHT BOARD’ model, in which the ‘us against them’ mentality is replaced by retraining officers and deputies that they are not in any way SEPARATE or ‘elite’ from the citizens they are sworn to serve…
On the contrary, the citizens ARE the police, and the officers and deputies serve at the citizens’ discretion, and their continued employment is at the constant discretion of the citizen oversight board. This was described in detail in part one, and I will include a link to it at the bottom of this sequel.
Now for PART TWO of the innovative leadership required from the right candidate for Sacramento Sheriff in 2018…
The second major priority that will be needed from the next elected Sheriff will be to take the lead in creating and facilitating at least 2 ‘homeless safety zones’ on opposite ends of the county.
The ‘NIMBY’ (not in my backyard) angry denigrating of the homeless in Sacramento by individuals in practically every area of our town has been allowed to go unchecked for too long by city and county politicians. Too many of our elected leaders have historically been more worried about alienating voters in their districts on this issue, than leading with the necessary solutions the majority of citizens know are critical and necessary to properly deal with the homeless epidemic we are facing.
The solution that we know is necessary is to create and properly facilitate permanent ‘safe zone’ areas where the homeless will be permitted to reside in our community.
The solution we know is necessary is to recognize that the majority of homeless do not have a place they know they can legally belong…and to recognize that they are our neighbors just as much as the neighbors who live next door to us. It is up to those of us with means to do what we can to help them recover from the down and out despair in which they are living day in and day out.
As such, at a MINIMUM, we have a humane obligation that the right candidate for Sheriff in 2018 will prioritize…That being to invest and implement the appropriate infrastructure – popular or not – that is necessary to give our community’s growing homeless population a SAFE ZONE where they can belong and get help.
Ideally, at least two locations on opposite sides of the county will be designated at the discretion of the Sheriff and the County Board of Supervisors. These homeless safe zones will allow for both temporary pitching of tents by the homeless who want to do so, and will also provide more solid structure temporary shelter, such as portable trailer units, small livable ‘tough shed’ type units, storage space, bathroom/shower facilities, daily meals, etc.
But most importantly, they will be able to receive critical and necessary social services on site by qualified providers, with daily shuttle transportation to related off site providers and job training as required.
This model will also seek to designate some of the funding to be used for the creation of job opportunities to be extended to properly screened homeless individuals, who would like to be employed in various needed areas at these very safe zone communities.
When you get out and interact with the homeless, one of the first things you encounter is their common passion for independence, as opposed to feeling ‘trapped’ or beholding to a particular shelter or service provider for various reasons.
With that understanding, as much of an emphasis as practical would be placed on allowing those homeless individuals who are screened and shown to be capable, to be part of the ‘citizen oversight’ of their safe zone community, as opposed to feeling nothing but a ‘heavy hand’ from law enforcement. This can be done in partnership with the Sheriff’s personnel, who would always be there assisting at all times with any ‘difficulties’ or security issues that might arise.
Social workers will tell you that many homeless individuals long for a chance to feel like they are a part of a community, but they need our help to create that opportunity. While a significant number of the homeless are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, ironically their feelings of despair and abandonment in our community only create more of a downward spiral ‘gravity’ in that respect.
The significant number who are dealing with mental health issues don’t often know how to care for themselves, let alone where to get the services they need. They would find that appropriate assistance in such a safe zone model.
The prioritizing of such quality, well serviced and facilitated safe zone areas will provide our homeless that very sense of community and belonging that many of them are missing. It will reduce crime by meeting many of the needs of much of our homeless, protecting them from being frequent victims of crime on the street. In addition, it will give our law enforcement officers a powerful and effective resource, where they can bring the homeless who they encounter in need and without shelter.
Designed correctly, our homeless neighbors will not feel ‘trapped’, but will feel that they can maintain dignity and independence, being free to come and go as they please, while having daily access to a place to sleep, meals, bathrooms/showers, and the social services and other opportunities they may have generally never had access to, or even known existed beforehand.
The right candidate for the next Sheriff of Sacramento County will take the lead on this issue. And they will do so despite the inevitable number of angry ‘not in my backyard’ individuals, who routinely try to prevent such critical innovation to help those among us who have the least, and who need a humane opportunity to get back on their feet again.
This is one of the most pressing challenges our community is currently facing, and as a public safety concern for various reasons, it is very well suited for the Sheriff to take the lead on prioritizing and implementing.
(LINK TO PART ONE- https://conniebryan.wordpress.com/…/with-upcoming-sacramen…/)
Here in the Capitol of California, just like many other cities across our country, we are dealing with a growing homeless population that is in dire need of help, shelter and services. With that in mind, I want to address some recent unacceptable and hypocritical behavior by some local residents in two communities in the Sacramento area, whose comments were proudly featured recently in our local Sacramento Bee.
Despite the deep despair homeless individuals have to bear day in and day out, not knowing where they will be allowed to sleep, or if they will just be able to stay warm enough…not knowing whether they will be robbed during the night, or where their next meal will come from…
Despite those challenges, they are up against a surprising number of selfish members in our community who you can bet are almost always die hard Trump supporters, and who to be honest, are ironically the REAL UNDESIRABLES…
People like the lady who has created a popular Sacramento Facebook Group in the community of Landpark called “Landpark Society”, and who I’ve been told loves riding around in her nice comfy SUV taking all the video she can find with her cell phone of the homeless under the overpass, who are trying to find some shade and shelter. Then she reports them to the police while posting the videos online and on Facebook.
This gallant member of our community was quoted in a recent newspaper story saying, “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it” and “It’s not up to us to come up with a solution”. Actually, the ‘worst’ our community is seeing is more reflected from you, lady…And actually, it IS ‘up to us’ to create solutions to help these people. They are our neighbors just as much as your golf or bridge playing ‘Landpark Society!’
But the ‘worst’ gets worse…
When our Sacramento City leaders recently announced they were moving forward with plans to create a desperately needed homeless temporary housing facility on the north side, residents came out of the woodwork to angrily lash out at the homeless, and call such plans an ‘unfair burden’ on them…
People like Mr. Shane Curry, the PRESIDENT of the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, who was actually quoted like a spoiled crybaby with his way over the top hyperbole in the paper saying, “They might as well start selling nuclear waste sites around here” and “It’s not like these people (referring to those seeking help and shelter) are going to become contributing, productive citizens”
Homeless people seeking help have it bad enough without those who have it SO GOOD making it so much harder for them to get help and services to get back on their feet again. The TRUTH is, those like Curry who behave and speak in such a selfish way in the face of so much dire need, end up revealing themselves to be the REAL ‘undesirables’ in a community that knows it is long overdue that we rise to the challenge and provide shelter and services for these suffering ‘down but not out’ neighbors of ours.
Hearing those absolutely untrue and unwarranted judgmental words from Mr. Curry, I could say the same thing about him…Because such ugly, selfish and uncaring comments speak volumes, and often call into question whether the one speaking them is a ‘contributing, productive citizen’!
People with the mindset Mr. Curry is angrily showcasing often ironically consider themselves to be a ‘Christian’…You know how Conservative, often Trump supporter types love to wave their Bibles around and wrap themselves in either the American flag or the Confederate flag, or BOTH…
Well, if you believe in the teachings of Jesus, what would Jesus say about Mr. Curry’s comments, or about the behavior of the lady with the Facebook group ratting out the homeless under the overpass?
Jesus said ‘that which you do to the LEAST of my children, you do to ME!’
Remember how Jesus was known for rebuking the local greedy Pharisees and temple hypocrites as being the opposite of God’s love?…I don’t think he’d handle this issue any different today…
Something for Mr. Curry and the “Landpark Society” Facebook Nazi lady to think about maybe?
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)
The majority of Americans, especially minority Americans, have seen more than enough to realize long before now, that it is high time for a sea change in the culture of law enforcement in America.
With a mind boggling and growing number of questionable police shootings of unarmed minorities and other similar incidents of abuse of force not just nationwide, but also reported here in our own Sacramento county…
And with Scott Jones, the current embattled Republican Sheriff of Sacramento County, so often publicly and unapologetically shown in the news acting in ‘Trump-like’ contention with his desire to enforce immigration law against Mexican immigrants…And most recently his similar unapologetic angry expression of disdain for the Sacramento advocacy chapter of ‘Black Lives Matter’…
And with Jones’ recently announcing that he is not running for another term in the upcoming election for Sheriff, now is the time to create and vote for that culture change that is long overdue, and that I am going to describe in more detail below.
But first, understand this important fact: Many who are a part of the current “good ole’ boy” law enforcement culture that so clearly has to change, are going to resist doing so kicking and screaming.
They are going to actively denigrate anyone who seeks to put an end to their “blue line” fraternal system that has served THEM so well, but has not served all of the public by any stretch of the imagination. It has been allowed to go unchecked for too many decades now…probably for close to a century to be honest.
Here in California’s charming capitol of Sacramento, we need to be the ones to finally lead by example and make that law enforcement cultural change happen now, especially with the corruption and ‘dog whistle’ race-baiting we are witnessing on almost a daily basis from the Trump administration.
Sir Robert Peel, a British peace officer in the late 19th Century, is widely credited as the ‘father of modern policing’. He is known for pioneering the ‘citizen oversight’ concept long swept under the rug by the current culture.
Peel effectively advocated that the CITIZENS are the police…not the long abused law enforcement culture currently being practiced of the police behaving as though they are ABOVE the citizenry, with their often ‘self-admitted’ philosophy of “us against them”.
On background, I have been a private investigator in Sacramento for the last several years. My law enforcement experience includes having been an NCO in the U.S. Air Force Security Police from 1982 to 1988 during the Cold War under Ronald Reagan.
After I left the Air Force with an honorable discharge, I worked for three different law enforcement agencies. The first being as a dispatcher for the Florida Highway Patrol. The other two agencies I worked as a deputy sheriff on routine road patrol.
Before going into the Air Force, I was in the “police explorers” program from the age of 15 years old, because very early on as a teenager I knew that I wanted to serve the public as a police officer. The police explorer program was very effective in helping me ‘explore’ and develop that passion and calling even further.
But when I completed the police academy in Orlando, Florida and began working as a deputy sheriff, I was shocked at the deeply entrenched anti-public servant, elitist and ‘abuse of authority culture’ that existed even back then. And it has only worsened exponentially ever since.
One story I recall not long after being hired involved witnessing an experienced K-9 handler who chose to violate department policy and release his dog on a ‘traffic charges only’ subject we had chased down on foot when he bailed from his vehicle.
As the K-9 handler was allowing the dog to so seriously violate department policy, attacking the subject who had surrendered on the ground, and as we were trying to handcuff the subject,(I was actually having to yell at the handler to call off his dog because until he did, we couldn’t handcuff the suspect for fear of being bitten as well) he intentionally delayed calling the dog off the subject in order to make the dog a more aggressive performer. This K-9 handler actually admitted this to all of us as we returned to our patrol cars.
After this abuse of authority occurrence, of course I felt I had no choice but to bring this to our lieutenant’s attention. He gave me 20 years of an education in one sentence when he looked at me sideways and said, “You aren’t really a ‘team player’ are you?” Looking back, I should have said, “Well I thought we were on the same team…I am on the team that is serving the community for the Sheriff…What team are you on sir?”
I have a lot of other anecdotes and stories I could share on this critical topic, but the majority of Americans have seen and heard enough for themselves, both in the news and in their own experiences with the current unhealthy, upside down culture in law enforcement. Suffice to say it is undeniable that police culture is to routinely see themselves NOT on the level as a citizen themselves, but generally speaking on a level set apart and above the citizenry.
This unchecked ‘cancer’ has been left unchecked for too long. It has metastasized over the years, and has produced much of the growing number of bad/excessive/over-reactive police shootings and general abuse of power that we as citizens have witnessed in the news overall, especially toward Blacks and Hispanics. It is an upside down police culture that is undeniably at the root cause of this growing, intolerable trend. The vast majority of us have grown despondent over reading about too much of this growing trend in our own Sacramento Bee in just the last few years alone.
It has never been more clear that NOW is the time to make some major organizational and philosophy changes from the top down in law enforcement here in our own community going forward.
Those changes must begin with retraining those that want to be police officers and deputy sheriffs, that if you want to remain in this career, then your dutiful and respectful actions and demeanor will DAILY demonstrate that you understand the following axiom loud and clear:
‘ALL Sacramento citizens are not just who you patrol…They ARE ‘the police’ and they have extended an honor to you to be their ‘citizen ambassadors’ in this career, on their behalf…The citizenry are who you WORK for. There is no more ‘blue line’. There is no more ‘us against them’ mentality.
This culture change begins with those who want to remain as police officers and deputies being retrained to understand that the CITIZENRY of Sacramento ARE the police, and they as law enforcement officers are given a badge and gun as ambassadors and employees who ANSWER to all of those citizens.
Make no mistake, this is a very unpopular change for those who are currently in the career field. There will be many who likely will not last in the wake of such retraining and oversight. And that is actually a necessary result, because they will be replaced by public servants who resonate with this ethical, transparent cultural change.
It is very important for me to stress here that this Progressive and critically needed overhaul of the current fraternal and out of balance law enforcement mindset does not in any way need to detract from being uncompromisingly tough on crime.
Teaching police that they will be held accountable by daily citizen oversight, and that they will behave ethically, and that they will see themselves as working at the discretion of all the citizens in the communities they patrol, has nothing to do with effectiveness in fighting crime.
On the contrary, it will result in more of a focus on real crime rather than abuse of authority that often is the only major crime that was committed.
I mentioned I have other stories…here’s a very recent and relevant example:
I was in a California police academy refresher course not long ago. On the very first break during the required ‘Ethics’ curriculum of the law enforcement training course, I overheard the very young 20-something male recruit sitting next to me, angrily expressing his disgust for the topic, and calling the ethics class a total waste of his time.
This individual had never been a police officer, was there with us because he was seeking to become a road deputy, but had only worked so far as a corrections officer for a major Sheriff’s Office which will remain unnamed.
As a result I immediately addressed this individual, asking him why he would say such a thing if he wanted to pursue a career as a law enforcement officer. I took the opportunity to remind him, or possibly educate him, that ethics are the most important foundation and prerequisite for entering such a career.
The look of utter disgust on his face toward me as I asked him that question caught me even more by surprise. He lashed out at me with an aura of impunity that I wasn’t expecting.
It was as though he knew he was in good company with not only some of the others in the class, but with the entire culture of his agency where he worked as a corrections officer, and for whom he was slated to begin working as a road patrol deputy contingent upon his successful completion of this academy course.
He proceeded to tell me that ‘community policing’,(which emphasizes ethics and rapport building with the community, especially in problem oriented and high crime areas) was “total bullshit”. He then added, and I am quoting him pretty closely here: “I don’t care about the people in my community. I know what they think about me, and they know what I think about them.” His context was clearly referring to minorities.
This was of course a gigantic red flag that this individual had no business being a corrections officer where he worked, let alone a deputy sheriff patrolling for the general public. But again, his angry comments were unapologetic because he knew his disdain for such ‘community ethics’ was reflecting the commonly held mindset in the culture of his agency.
There’s an even more relevant and disturbing reason why I am sharing this story with you. It goes beyond just this clearly unsuitable candidate for the career that I encountered. When you are in a police academy setting, and someone reveals such a red flag about something that important which can involve life or death consequences for the public, ironically ‘ethics’ requires that it be brought to someone’s attention. We can all agree on that, right?
Well, awkward as it was, and yet knowing that was necessary, I was even more blindsided by the shock of what I encountered when I privately tried to bring it to the academy director’s attention. Instead of being even remotely concerned, his reaction was to be irritated that I was taking his time to inform him about the matter.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he chose to tell me to “mind my own business” in the class from then on. I explained that this person’s comments were loudly being expressed immediately next to me in the academy classroom on the Ethics course break, and they were not comments that I was somehow seeking to eavesdrop on.
The academy director became more adversarial the more I showed how surprised I was at his reaction. I of course took it over his head, but long story short, no one cared.
There is absolutely no excuse that such apathy toward such a critical thing would take place at the early police academy level, and in our neck of the woods in Northern California no less…
This story is but one of many that are emblematic of how badly we need to lead by example with a thorough and complete overhaul of this unethical and upside down law enforcement culture that has gone unchecked for way too long, beginning with this upcoming election for Sacramento Sheriff.
As I mentioned earlier above, the model of change that the next Sheriff needs to implement is first and foremost a citizen’s control emphasis…
This is accomplished with a citizens’ board/advisory panel led by the Sheriff as the citizen’s top elected ambassador. All the deputies are then retrained and educated to understand that their continued employment on the agency is at the direct will of the citizenry and that board.
Working body cameras will be worn by all deputies at ALL times. Dash cameras will be operational at ALL times during ALL traffic stops, and during ALL responses to calls for service. All actions taken by deputies in the performance of their duties will be constantly subject to review by the citizen oversight board.
In addition, every week citizens in the community who are selected as volunteers by the department’s citizen board and the Sheriff, will conduct regular, ongoing ride-alongs with deputies in order to maintain not only transparency, but also to develop the important community rapport that is emphasized in the concept of ‘community policing’.
Deputies will be reminded by their sergeants at the beginning of these weekly ride-alongs that the citizen who is accompanying them on their shift represents their employer, that being the department’s citizen oversight board and the Sheriff.
These changes are long overdue to be implemented, not just locally but nationwide. They will be wildly unpopular and resisted by many of those currently on the job.
As such, all the more for that very reason, the right candidate for Sheriff of Sacramento in the upcoming election will lead by example DESPITE the lack of popularity with those on the agency resistant to it.
The right candidate will promise to implement and prioritize these transparent, ethics driven, CITIZEN OVERSIGHT changes…
The right candidate for Sacramento Sheriff will begin to create and pioneer a new ‘citizens culture’ of policing, as it was originally intended…a culture that uses such citizen management and oversight to equally ensure justice for ALL residents, irrespective of race, color, creed, sexual orientation or housing/income status.
Up until now here in Sacramento, I haven’t talked about being transgender. It’s amazing how differently people want to treat you, often even those you thought you could trust as a friend, when they find out you are transgender. Suddenly they don’t want to recognize your current gender, and instead only want to be obsessed with what your biological gender was from birth.
But I can’t hold back on talking about it anymore, with Trump having decreed a ban of all those who are transgender in the military (I am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force Security Police 1982 to 1988), and with all the disgusting, hateful racism and homophobic disgraceful behavior we are witnessing in our nation, primarily from emboldened Trump supporters, (sadly including even my own evangelical Christian mother in Florida). Talking about it becomes a spotlight of truth on such shameful, albeit often subtle hate, even routinely in the ‘name of Jesus’ by many who call themselves Christians.
So people can choose to think of me differently now all they want, that’s their own ignorant issue anyway…But I’ve reached the point where, in trying to lead by example the best way I know how, I feel an obligation to my diverse fellow man to show everything about myself in that effort. In doing so, I’m counting on at least a handful of you to have my back.
Let me just say that my readers would not believe how badly I have been treated in my life with consistently undermining and betrayal type behavior. It routinely comes from both people I thought were friends, and from some employers who used mind blowing dishonesty, passive aggression and underhanded methods, due to disdain of my being transgender when I was in law enforcement.
But it has also continued since then with the same behavior no matter how well my music is received by audiences at establishments where I play. What often happens involves some bigoted individual. convinced that they have picked up on it, and secretively lobbying the owner/manager about whether or not they really think a “he/she” is what they want entertaining for their customers. Forget the fact that no one knew, and it wasn’t an issue until they decided to make it one.
As I mentioned above, I never say a word about it. I have always kept it a secret until now. But there’s always that person at an establishment where I audition, who thinks they have it figured out, though they don’t know for certain. And they think it is their job to ‘educate’ the owner and other customers that this is ‘weird’ and then the bigotry I have encountered multiple times here in Sacramento is OFF TO THE RACES!
And on those occasions, when I try to follow up with the management/owner after the success I always have with their customers from my initial musical performance, most often the management goes dark on me, and won’t communicate, return my emails or phone calls, etc.
And when the above is combined with an effort to lead by example by taking a stand against this Trump bigotry and corruption, sometimes it’s not necessarily just the transgender issue that causes those I should be able to trust not to have my back.
For example, last week I opened up on social media and revealed the painful recent experience of a local brewery owner I thought I could confide in, who in similar fashion chose to turn on me and my music. In this case the rejection oddly occurred when I confided to them that I had become the target of very hateful and vulgar racist and homophobic slurs from self described Trump supporters online and by email.
I explained the specific vulgar and hateful nature of the attacks, calling me an “N-lover”, a “fag”, calling me a man instead of a woman, and also referring to me as a “c#nt”…I also explained that these attacks came as a hate-speech result toward my policy of choosing not to recruit Trump supporters for a very PRIVATE, ‘by invitation’ Progressive band group in Sacramento that I created and lead. This had absolutely nothing to do with what I was doing with my solo act for this brewery.
It was completely separate and private, and no ‘politics’ was involved whatsoever in my entertainment for their establishment. When you are recruiting for a private band group, you have every right, not to mention it is very important to selectively recruit the kind of character you believe will be a productive asset, and not to recruit the kind you believe will create low character negativity.
But the bottom line is that my private band group and our related membership standards had zero to do with the completely separate solo act entertainment I was providing for this brewery. However, the nature of the personal attacks I was receiving were such that I felt it was best that I let this individual know just in case one of these hateful individuals were to try to undermine what I was doing.
At least one or two of their hostile posts on Craigslist had indicated that they had an interest in ‘getting a group of like minded folks together for a “field trip” to where I was performing’. When I saw that, I felt that it was important to let those I was performing for know, and I was sure they would simply have my back in the face of such hate speech as described in detail above. The opposite ended up being the case.
It is very hard to write about things that happen to you like this, because when you do so, you are making yourself an even larger target…You make yourself very vulnerable to those who would twist the situation and seek to attack even more. But I wanted to write about it because I felt any such responses would stand on their own as perfect examples of the problem.
Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. Two individuals’ responses came rather quickly to what I shared, trying to say that those hateful attacks calling me a “N-lover”, “fag”, referring to me as a man who is “swinging my d#ck”, and calling me a “c#nt”…All of that was self created by me…that I was at fault for having created such “drama”, and that it was perfectly understandable for a Sacramento business owner to feel they should get rid of me for bringing such self created “unnecessary baggage” to their enterprise.
I have to say it was a bit sad for me to see that not ONE of my ‘friends’ on social media who had responded to my very personal post, and who would have been alerted of these individuals ugly comments…not one of them chose to come to my defense to those individuals’ comments. It was entirely left to me to deal with them.
When you are transgender and trying to live by example, you need others to have your back more than ever. Honestly, a hallmark of my life experience has been a chronic, unusual lack of being able to count on that.
Of course those comments I am referring to above were sad and cowardly, and did not hold water for multiple reasons, which I will briefly address here…
First, regarding the comment that business and profit TRUMP any concern involving someone like myself invited to work there who becomes the target of racist or homophobic hate-speech…
That ‘profit motive’ view is absolutely not reflected in the OPPOSITE moral, principled example recently set by every major corporate CEO on Trump’s “Manufacturing Council”. Every one of them QUIT as a result of Trump’s response to what we witnessed in Charlottesville, VA. They realized doing the right thing WAS more important than losing a few of those kind of customers, and appealing to those who would be bigoted and homophobic in the name of Donald Trump.
Secondly, this ‘business and profit excuse’ is made even more of a joke by the fact that this particular brewery that treated me in such a fashion is located in East Sacramento. It was recently reported all over the TV news and the Sacramento Bee that there had been a large outcry from the East Sacramento community, expressing a severe lack of support for the PREVIOUS owners of this brewery, precisely because of public comments they allegedly made that were very PRO Trump.
This news coverage reported that those pro Trump social media postings had been widely perceived by many in the community as very bigoted and hateful toward immigrants and minority groups. (Google 12 Rounds Brewery and Sacramento Bee and you will find these recent news stories both from the newspaper and local network news stations)
So IRONICALLY, that being the case, had this brewery’s new owners simply stood by me and had my back in light of the very racist and homophobic attacks I had confided to them that I was receiving from other self described Pro Trump individuals, it appears they would have been all the more EMBRACED by that concerned East Sacramento customer base they serve.
Back to those two who presumed to come at me with this off base line of criticism…At least one of them answered my question about whether they were a Trump supporter by swearing that they were not, and then doubling down on their criticism of my stand, and their belief that I deserved what I got for it. One of their quotes was ‘you should have kept your mouth shut and you’d still have a gig’. (In other words, I should not have confided to the owners of this brewery where I had been invited to entertain regularly, that I was being subjected to such racist and homophobic attacks from self identified Trump supporters)
As I said above, these kind of comments are a perfect example of the problem that we must change in our communities and in our nation right now. There is a moral problem that has nothing to do with religion – It is a growing lack of principles and courage that are not derived from profit motive, but from the higher priority of “The Golden Rule”.
Beyond just the sick, bigoted low character displayed nationwide by Trump supporters, we have another serious problem that requires just as much of a spotlight…And that is a growing LACK of being willing to let one’s voice be heard in even the smallest public way UNLESS there’s no personal risk involved, by a lot of people who otherwise self identify themselves as NOT being Trump supporters.
So listen closely here because this is important…If that describes you, then you are just as much a part of this national Trump disgrace as if you had been FIRST IN LINE with your “Make America WHITE Again” ball cap to vote for him last November.
“COURAGE” or “PRETENTIOUSNESS”
A quick question in closing: How can we think our beliefs are sincere and ‘courageous’ if number one, we don’t speak up for others directly to those who wrong them when we witness it?…And number two, how can we think our beliefs are sincere and ‘courageous,’ if speaking up in such real life situations DOES NOT involve even the slightest amount of going out on a limb of any kind, or having anything whatsoever to lose?
If you only speak up for others when you survey the situation and determine that you personally don’t have anything to lose, that is NOT sincere, and it certainly is not any kind of courage…It is actually the textbook definition of ‘fake’. From personal experience, I can tell you that there is an incredible abundance of that kind of fakeness going on presently, especially from many on the Left, in our ‘image obsessed’ social media culture.
Unless we are willing to put some degree of ‘risk’ behind what we claim to be on social media, and unless we are willing to directly address wrongness TO THOSE engaging in it, and let them know we see that it is wrong, then we are far from ‘courageous’ or sincere…We are actually even beyond fake…We’re nothing but hypocrites, making noise and spinning our fancy wheels, all while we are hiding behind a social media pretentious image.
But the ‘rubber meets the road’ OUTSIDE of social media in real life, when we see and witness wrong behavior toward others, and instead of avoiding a conflict or looking the other way, we are compelled to act on our values and principles, and say something to those creating that wrong…Especially when we don’t have anything to gain from doing so.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, and host of “The Connie Bryan Show” on Access Sacramento’s Comcast channel 17…Check out all of her material as well as recent episodes of the talk show on her blog and website at http://www.conniebryan.com)
I’m sure most of you have seen “Dumb and Dumber”…If not, don’t worry, because you are witnessing an EVEN DUMBER sequel in living color on the world stage presently with Trump and Kim Jong of North Korea starring in “NUKE AND NUKER!”…
While the concept may make for a funny buddy movie, obviously there’s nothing funny about it in real life, and it is not the approach that is needed in such a nuclear powderkeg situation threatening over a million lives in that region, including the South Koreans and our American troops/families there, as well as our American bases in Guam.
This ‘dumb and dumber’ NUKE RATTLING as it were is not projecting strength…What it is projecting is a dangerous level of incompetency. Trump’s ego tripping, dangerous and unnecessary overreacting threats to the Kim regime in North Korea is an obvious demonstration of why Trump has to be removed from office.
The danger our country faces from the ‘hallmark of constant dishonesty’ and the clear corruption of Donald Trump’s short tenure in the White House is only rivaled by the larger danger we face from his severe level of incompetency, exhibited by his impetuous and irresponsible response yesterday with threats back at North Korea. Trump’s uncalled for hyperbole went so far as to specifically threaten “fire and fury” if North Korea simply continues to make more ‘threats’.
I’m going to use my ‘outside voice’ for a moment, so please excuse me: WE ALL KNOW NORTH KOREA’S PROPAGANDA MACHINE IS ENTIRELY ABOUT “MAKING THREATS”. That’s what North Korea does, and has done for decades. They are doing so because for decades they have been and continue to be extremely afraid that we are their enemy, and that we want to invade them and bring regime change.
North Korea has no desire to attack us. Adults understand that. Donald Trump does not, and we are at risk more than we have been since the Cold War with Russia, simply because of Trump’s seeking to pour kerosene on a harmless lit match, figuratively speaking.
I never thought I would find an opportunity to praise Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but at least to HIS credit, he recently made a public statement that was released in the press in which he stated that North Korea needs to know that we ‘are not their enemy’.
That is the peaceful, honest diplomacy that is needed and direly called for in this circumstance with North Korea, as we are now finding out that in an accelerated time frame, they now have achieved the development of a miniaturized nuclear warhead. It is strongly believed they have not yet reached the point of having them to deploy for use, but that they have developed the technology.
Again, North Korea is recklessly pushing to develop such nuclear weapons technology primarily because they are convinced that their survival depends on that as a DETERRENT.
And again, adults and competent leaders in our government and in our military understand that. Trump’s incompetent threats indicate that he does not, and they reflect the ongoing pattern of incompetence we have seen in other areas. This is one of the biggest dangers our country faces from his incompetency in the White House.
What is needed desperately right now is more communication like that from Secretary Tillerson, reinforcing to North Korea that they have misunderstood the United State’s intentions where they are concerned, and that we are NOT THEIR ENEMY.
But Trump’s ego-maniacal psychology is ironically much similar to the same kind of ego-maniacal psychology seen for years from the Kim regime in North Korea. It is beyond bewildering and mind blowing, the number of Americans who buried their heads in the sand to that unstable, unfit, “anti-presidential” personality of Donald Trump, gladly choosing to pervert the highest office of our country with his incompetency, primarily because of how much they resonated with his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, hateful “make America WHITE again” rhetoric upon which his entire campaign was built.
The answer regarding North Korea is a PEACE SUMMIT brokered quickly by the likes of one of our responsible leaders such as Senator John McCain. China would likely help to broker such a peace summit now, in light of the ratcheted up dangerous level of threats on both sides today.
At that summit, the message to North Korea from the U.S. needs to be loud and clear: “Don’t listen to Donald Trump…Listen to America’s real leaders…WE ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY, and we seek peace and prosperity for both you AND your neighbors in South Korea. We only seek a de-escalation of the longstanding conflict between your two countries. Let’s all work together to achieve that peace and reconciliation.”
That and that alone is the message that will succeed in this dangerous situation, not Trump’s ego-maniacal “NUKE AND NUKER” REALITY SHOW of threats to North Korea of “fire and fury the likes of which this world has never seen before”.
What we are seeing is intolerable reckless incompetency from a President like the world has never seen before. I’m not even sure the ‘dumber’ one of the two is Kim Jong Un at this point.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, Ca…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)
It’s becoming obvious of late that there’s a serious, growing lack of understanding regarding something very important that I feel I need to write about. ‘Love, peace & happiness’ don’t magically come without “correction of thought.”
In an obvious politically corrupt environment beyond anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes…In such a corrupt environment demanding patriotic Progressive Americans to take an uncompromising stand against this national “Trump disgrace”, it is becoming more and more common to see people not only conforming and actively avoiding taking such a critical ethical stand, but even going out of their way to actually try to fault-find those of us who are.
More and more, a growing number of conformist-minded individuals are seeking to rationalize doing so by saying things like ‘I avoid politics in social settings’ (as though the ‘politics’ of those they choose to socialize with isn’t that important and doesn’t truly matter) Or saying things like, ‘Oh I am only about love, peace and happiness, and taking such a position critical of others is just unhealthy conflict’, etc. etc. What a huge hypocritical cop out such false statements reveal.
Anyone who knows me knows I am first and foremost all about creating love, peace and happiness. One of my favorite topics to write about is on the topic of true spiritual understanding as opposed to the ‘organized lie’ of ‘organized religion’. That understanding in a nutshell is that we are all a PART of what “God” is, and not separate from what God is, subject to being condemned for not ‘believing one way’, etc.
When you grasp that true spiritual understanding, you realize you have an obligation to BE the love of God that others need. But, understand this…To reach that understanding of REAL spiritual love in the first place requires something that for many is often initially very challenging and uncomfortable…it requires CORRECTION to the unhealthy and ignorant, selfish and fraudulent way they had been believing in their former religious, cultural and/or political mindsets.
Follow me here, because this is key…LOVE isn’t just warm and fuzzy ‘comfy coziness’…Remember the ‘love’ that we had to bring with major correction to those who were resisting the necessary love, acceptance and change in the Civil Rights Movement? That is the perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Certainly you have heard the expression: BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD, right?
What we are seeing with Donald Trump’s lack of character and lack of integrity, not to mention a level of corruption and collusion with a longstanding national enemy (Russia and Vladimir Putin) on a scale we have never before witnessed from a President…
And what we are seeing with the mind boggling degree to which he lies and bastardizes the truth with impunity…ALL of that bewildering dishonesty and corruption that we are seeing from Trump is only rivaled by how mind boggling it is that so many of his supporters on the ‘Right’ are WILLING TO JUST KEEP IGNORING IT in the interest of partisan gain as Republicans!
Talk about shameful behavior…When the corruption gets to this level, honorable Americans CAN’T DO THAT! In case you haven’t heard, even well known Conservative commentator and columnist George Will is beginning to sound this same alarm.
And it is even MORE shameful, those of you who would even think about criticizing those of us who have the courage to step up and lead at such a critical time, in an effort to be voices for the change that are so desperately needed in our country, now more than ever.
You wouldn’t believe the degree to which recently I have been attacked by some ignorant individuals because of my willingness to take a strong ethical stand with my private musical group in Sacramento called “The Capitol Blues Jam”.
Since this national Trump disgrace took place, largely due to such unconscionable low character and inexcusable bad judgment by many who supported Trump, after all of us daily witnessed the vulgar, bigoted and racist things he built his campaign upon, not to mention his hugely corrupt business background and strong well documented connections to organized crime…
Since all that occurred, one of our screening/membership requirements for my private music jam group that I felt compelled to add is that we do not allow Trump supporters to be members. Again, that is primarily due to this issue of the LACK of good character that it takes to see and hear those chronically vulgar and bigoted things from Trump that he is now well known for advocating, coupled with his level of daily lying with impunity, and to then think to oneself, “I LIKE THAT GUY”…The lack of character that it takes to have that kind of reaction to everything we’ve seen and heard from Trump is inexcusable.
Many, though not entirely all of Donald Trump’s supporters have praised him and actively support him in his ongoing efforts to BAN MUSLIMS from our country with a broad sweeping travel ban…
YET, those same Trump supporters who would wholeheartedly cheer for such a ban on many if not all Muslims, and who would enthusiastically deport millions of Mexican immigrants from our borders, are the same ones who want to hypocritically point a finger and denigrate me for feeling like I need to keep them from bringing such hate and negativity to my private Blues jam in Sacramento?? That is hypocrisy on steroids.
If you can seek to ban Muslims and Mexicans from our diversity embracing culture in America, I am certainly on the high road and well within my rights to BAN YOU from bringing your hate and infecting my healthy and private music environment.
This is about the lack of character and integrity fueling this national Trump disgrace. Integrity is what ‘politics’ is SUPPOSED to be about. Politics is not meant to be a negative term. It is supposed to be about attracting public servants to represent American citizens within the scope of equality as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution…not within the scope of ‘white privilege’.
What does it mean to be an honorable American? What is that definition? It means we don’t COMPROMISE that character and integrity in social settings with those who would actively SUPPORT that which is compromising that character and integrity on a daily basis! And that applies to all aspects of our social lives…Character and integrity isn’t something you turn on and off to avoid ‘making waves’, etc.
And if we are a musician, that would obviously of course have to include and apply to who we play music with…If it doesn’t, well we are just giant, flaming hypocrites with our musical talents. We might as well just go join Trump’s new FOX Network reality series coming out next Fall called “KU KLUX KLAN HAS TALENT” (OK, I had to lighten it up with a little humor there:)
Now, back to the topic I began with, regarding ‘love, peace and happiness’… If you understand REAL spiritual love…If you understand REAL spiritual peace, and if you understand where REAL happiness comes from as a result of those things…
And if you understand the INTEGRITY that those things require as a part of what “God” is, then you also understand that real love and peace bring healing that often comes initially in the form of UNCOMFORTABLE CORRECTION (conflict) when applied to such corruption and hate that we are witnessing from this sick movement today…
When you understand that, you would not compromise that integrity for SOCIAL or BUSINESS reasons, and you certainly would never think to criticize someone else who was living that example and being that change that is so needed right now, while you weren’t willing to do so yourself. On the contrary actually…you would seek to make sure you had their back, as you could clearly see they undoubtedly have yours.
That is to say, you wouldn’t take the neutral position: ‘Hey I know where my bread is buttered, so I am not going to take such a stand, in order that I don’t offend those who I can profit from and make a lot of money’…
That is to also say, you wouldn’t criticize those who are willing to take that ethical stand in every aspect of their lives, at a time when that is needed more than ever, holding others accountable for their embracing that above described degree of corruption, bigotry and lack of integrity.
Obviously we don’t go around with a bullhorn in ALL settings we find ourselves in, creating a political scene as it were. But yes, especially in the social settings that WE have control over, and wherever the opportunity presents itself to speak up in every aspect of our lives, we absolutely have an ethical and moral obligation to BE THE CHANGE that we know is needed in the face of this tidal wave of corruption…We absolutely have an ethical and moral obligation right now to BE THE INTEGRITY we can daily see that is being kicked to the curb by Trump and his many dishonest and empowering supporters.
And that is how LOVE brings CORRECTION…Love always forgives, but it also always CORRECTS. And in being a part of bringing that correction, just like in the Civil Rights Movement, conflict is unavoidable. There will be conflict with the lack of moral integrity we expose.
And if you take any part in criticizing or fault-finding those who are seeking to lead by that example on a daily basis, there is serious and major correction needed in your life and in your thinking, even and especially if you aren’t a Trump supporter.
Lastly, while there is no ‘normalizing’ of this degree of corrupt disgracing of the office of the Presidency, there is an unbelievable amount of bizarre conformity we are seeing from many right now, coming from places and individuals I never dreamed I’d see such lack of character from.
And at a time when standing together against such egregious corruption and dishonesty from the office of the President is so desperately needed in our nation, such conforming behavior to ignore it is almost worse than those who actively supported such an obviously corrupt, pathologically lying con artist for President in the first place.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…Check out all of her material on her website and blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)
I’m not officially a political campaign consultant, but if I were I’d give Donald Trump some priceless advice: If you want to go around tweeting to the world that you are the innocent target of a fake news ‘witch hunt’, maybe try not to constantly BEHAVE like a conniving witch, colluding with ‘the Devil’, who’s just begging to be hunted!
How many times did we hear Trump swear that the answer was absolutely NO, when asked by the media both during his campaign and after his election, whether ANY of his staff/administration had EVER HAD ANY contact with Russian officials?
Then there was the not so long ago interview that Vice President Pence gave to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. What did Chris Wallace demand an answer to? That same question.
Initially Pence avoided answering the question twice…Hmmm, why would that be? If you and your administration are ethical and honest, it would seem like such an easy question to just quickly answer and get out of the way.But Wallace had to press Pence again for an answer on whether anyone in the Trump administration had ANY contacts with the Russians before or after his election.
Finally Pence said unequivocally, ‘“Of course not… This is all a distraction and it’s all part of a narrative to delegitimize the election and to question the legitimacy of this presidency.” (I will provide a link to this interview at the conclusion below.)
He also asked him about General Flynn’s exposed meetings with the Russian Ambassador, and whether they discussed the Russian sanctions, and Pence said they had not. We of course have since learned that both of those answers were absolutely false.
Trump supporters love to try to say there is ‘no evidence of collusion’ in the face of Trump and his key top officials being caught in lie after lie in an effort to deny their contacts with Russian officials.
I’m not a lawyer, but if I played one on TV, I’d feel pretty comfortable in saying that the many repeated lies to cover up meetings of his top administration and campaign staff that they had before and after his election, along with the entire world hearing Trump with our own ears during one of the debates, calling out TO RUSSIAN OFFICIALS from that debate stage on live television, ASKING them to HACK HILLARY CLINTON’S EMAILS if they could possibly do so…
Well, I’d say that is some pretty solid evidence pointing to shared ‘intent’, or what is called in legal speak, ‘A GUILTY MIND’.
Now, add to the above that we find out yesterday about yet ANOTHER meeting that Trump’s son Donald Jr. had, along with Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, AND campaign adviser at the time Paul Manafort, with a Russian lawyer with close ties to Putin and the Kremlin. We find out the purpose of this meeting was about her allegedly being able to provide them with damaging information on??…Who else but HILLARY CLINTON.
On his security clearance document requiring the disclosure of any such meetings in order to obtain the necessary clearance for his access to being a White House top adviser, Kushner initially withheld not only this meeting with this key Russian National with close ties to the Kremlin, but he also withheld ANOTHER such meeting in which he was accompanied by since fired National Security Adviser General Flynn, that they had with none other than a top Russian banker with close ties to the Kremlin, who was accompanied by THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR of all people!
Where do you suppose those meetings took place that Trump has tried to say he ‘knew nothing about’? If you guessed TRUMP TOWER, you are correct!
No evidence? Who has an ounce of common sense and says that with a straight face?
Then you have Donald Trump not able to say a critical word about one of the biggest monsters on the planet, responsible for a large number of the HALF A MILLION innocent Syrian refugees bombed by Russian guided missiles, including schools and hospitals in Aleppo…Trump not only can’t say a negative word about Putin, but he opens their meeting at the G-20 by telling Putin that it is a great honor to meet him!
And then we find out from Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in his description of their conversation that ensued, that Trump asked Putin about whether Russia was in fact responsible for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election, and Putin denied responsibility in any way. Tillerson said the President accepted Putin’s answer, did not challenge him, did not provide any evidence to hold him accountable, and they simply both thought it prudent to ‘move on’ to other things.
I’ll BET they both thought that was ‘prudent’…Trump keeps telling his supporters this is a ‘witch hunt’…But like I said, if you are going to say that, try not ACTING like one. I mean, it starts to look like Tillerson may have left out the part where Trump and Putin got on their knees and prayed to the Devil together that it might soon be possible for them to finally be able ‘move on’ with their corrupt shared agenda.
Trump chose to take the word of a murderous human rights violating dictator, responsible for untold deaths of journalists in his country who have tried to expose his rampant corruption and war crimes. He chose to take Putin’s word OVER our own intelligence agencies, who have reported that there is no doubt regarding Russia’s attack on our election and their cyber efforts to undermine our democracy, which they say are only INCREASING today!
Then it blew me away when part of Tillerson’s account was to tell the media that as a result of their meeting, it was apparent that the U.S. and Russia share ‘common goals’.
Let me remind my readers something you may have forgotten, related directly to Rex Tillerson’s ‘common goals’ with his good buddy Vladmir Putin…It relates to before Tillerson was chosen by Trump to be his Secretary of State. Remember the old adage, ‘follow the money’, which I can assure you is a HUGE part of the current Russia investigation by Special Prosecutor Mueller?
Well don’t forget that Rex Tillerson, as former CEO of none other than EXXON PETROLEUM, had received a medal from Vladimir Putin, and the two had not only become close personal friends, but had become close business partners in a very lucrative joint enterprise to drill for oil together…Yes, they were pursuing an Exxon/Putin partnership, to drill for oil in Antarctica.
Now, what you have to remember is that this lucrative partnership the two of them were pursuing in their mutual admiration society of shared ‘common goals’ was prematurely cut short before they could ‘consummate’ their relationship…
The reason it was cut short was because of Russia’s invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, resulting in harsh sanctions against Russia by President OBama. Under those sanctions, no American corporation, not even one as ‘crony-connected’ as Exxon, can engage in doing business with Russia.
When you keep that in mind, you begin to connect many of the dots. You can see why there have been repeated efforts by Trump and his top officials to deny any talk about Russian sanctions with Russian Nationals, and then we discover that General Flynn lied and in fact DID discuss those sanctions secretively with the Russian Ambassador.
Oh, and then there was Trump tweeting yesterday after his meeting with Putin, in which he said they did not discuss the sanctions. But then today, there was White House Press Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked by a reporter if Trump had discussed the sanctions with Putin, and she stated that in fact they HAD discussed the U.S. sanctions against Russia.
Another day, another lie exposed…or maybe I should say another hour, another lie…Or maybe better put, another tweet, another lie…But it’s just all a fake news ‘witch hunt’?
When you keep the above in mind, you can more easily see what those shared supposed ‘common goals’ are that Tillerson ridiculously referred to. Our two nation’s values couldn’t be more diametrically opposed, until you factor in Trump and Tillerson’s agenda.
(Here’s the link I referred to above, regarding Chris Wallace’s interview with VP Pence, and Pence’s denial of any contacts with Russians)