A Plea to the Conscience of All Present in these United States of America & The Inalienable Right to the Pursuit of Happiness

To all people within the borders of these United States of America and it’s territories:

We are all afraid. Everyone in the World right now is afraid. America is afraid. The leadership. The people. Our allies. Our enemies.

We are all afraid and confused. And that is ok. Fear is a natural response to stimulus and we are over stimulated. Technology and economic necessity have led us to consume more than we can sustain. We have reached critical mass and we don’t know how to adjust and, yet, we cannot carry on this way. If there is one thing we can all agree on it is if there is a will, there is a way.

We are scared because we realize now that we have a lot of problems. And like any over-achieving perfectionist, that is frightening.

The truth is: having problems in no way degrades our American exceptionalism.

To remain exceptional, we must grow. To grow, we must survive. To survive, we must adapt. To adapt, we must learn. To be exceptional, we must embrace the positive and negative experiences of learning. The time has come to accept our mistakes, embrace our current limitations, assess and combine our collective talents and resources and find a way to build a sustainable future of American exceptionalism that embraces our individuality and our collective identity as Americans.

This is not an economic or political treatise I put forth before you, but instead a declaration of collective American identity and purpose that exists for the purpose of cultivating peace and collaborative communities within our nation, respecting with utmost importance the promise of individual liberty, identity, creativity, ingenuity, and, most critically, privacy.

We must accept difficult realities. We must make difficult decisions. The fear is the worst part and we can overcome it. We can learn from it. Give yourself the time and the space to do this and you will achieve this grace. Boundaries means protecting this need for yourself and this is an inalienable right. This my lovely Americans, is what is meant by the pursuit of happiness.

First, please, take a moment to yourself right now and breathe. Put the phone down and take a moment for yourself. This will be an exercise in setting your first boundary with technology and it is a gift from me to you. These words will remain intact when you return.

I hope you’ve accepted my offering and it helped lighten a burden on you. I am about to offer you heavy insights and I do so with the acceptance in knowing you can walk away from this message and never return any time you want.

We are a world of emotional beings grappling with technological advances that stimulate our senses far beyond our emotional evolutionary capacities at present. It is time to set some boundaries so we can process this new world in positive ways and adapt to this new reality before we lose total control to the whims of the few.

Humans have an exceptional capacity for adaptation and we have the potential to heal beyond the pain if we are given the space to do so.

The most important truth each of us will not forget during this time of fear and struggle: 

I am an individual human being capable of love and deserving of love.

If anyone threatens this reality, you stand your ground.   No man or woman has a right to redefine your feelings, your perception or your self-worth for ANY reason.

Currently, our news media bombards our over-sugared, heavily-salted, opiated brains 24-7 with repeated images of violence and sensory assaults.  Ask yourself why.

As if the sensory bombardment is not enough, the content is demoralizing to say the least. Not only are we being force-fed the embarrassing and petty antics of the political leadership for the world to see, we are also reliving the wounds of our conflicted history over racial divisions which have been unequivocally weaponized against us.  Pain exists on all sides and the wounds are still healing.

This is a form of social warfare to create domestic disarray and distraction. It is a novice warfare tactic to weaken our strength as an isolated and unified nation. And for what? To sell products? To gain votes? To obtain donations? To gain tweets? For ratings? For applause? Just because?  Maybe it is just a fear response.

It is time for us to stop kneeling for our causes and start standing united as self-actualized Americans, capable of combining our positive intentions, traditions, good works, passions, and pursuits to give rise to the glory of the nation our mentors and heroes hoped they would inspire in us to believe our country could be. 

This was the American Dream and it is up to each generation to make it a reality.
In an act of clarity, I declare that I am an American. I wish to invite anyone who has sought to be a part of this dream to please embrace and help cultivate a positive spirit within our communities. Diversity and community is a major part of our identity.

I am sorry for the pain caused in the past. It is a regret that is a fundamental truth of who I am and who we Americans are as a people, emblazoned on us by our recent history and a fundamental truth of who I am emblazoned on me because of the color of my skin. 

I was born having to accept that I am a member of a race in a country that engaged in atrocities. I accept this truth with a heavy heart and a drive to understand how to overcome the potential resurrection of past indignities.

I accept that I am a member of a species that still engages in atrocities against other memebers of my own species and against other species.  I am first filled with hoplessness, then anger, then resignation and finally a rational pursuit to end it–and it starts with me, with each of us.

I am flawed.  I make mistakes.  All of us do.  This is a burden of the human condition.

I must also admit my feelings of confusion and feeling overwhelmed and scared for my own safety sometimes when my heart urges me to intervene. I must face myself and my creator with these truths on my conscience, as we are all inevitably destined. That in and of itself is a source of pain and fear we all share. Perhaps, it is our actions in accordance with our conscience, regardless of success or failure, where we ultimately will find a state of grace. As an adult, I still dont know.  

When I don’t know how to proceed, my heart does not harden, instead it opens by my choice to acknowledge. Sometimes, I choose to engage. Other times, I choose to take space to reflect on my feelings further and on how to move forward. The answer is a manifest destiny where the will exists.

As a child and as an adult, a sense of unimaginable helplessness fills my heart when I am ineffective. As a child when you see an injustice against the lives of others–you look at family, at friends, at people you know, at strangers, at animals and can never imagine hurting any of them for any reason and you see someone else do it–do you remember what you felt like seeing that as a child? It was confusing. It was scary. It hurt.

You try to figure out how to make it right. Time passes and wounds heal on the outside, yet we are left marching to the best of the status quo, but you arent at peace. An emptiness that I personally associate with helplessness creeps in and begins to consume me until its inevitable metamorphasis into anger and rage when I resent that I cannot undo the past. I cannot prevent the injustices in the world. I cannot control anyone or anything at all. The feeling makes me sick sitting here writing this. It makes me angry.

But now I know why and now I know it can be transformed, because I know I alone do have the power of I.  Nobody in this world will ever have this right over me–I have the power to change myself; to decide to rage against rage. They say two wrongs dont make a right? Well, then I will negate it all together until I am left in a state of tabula rasa.

Sometimes, dearest friends, all we can do is provide comfort after the process of another leaves damage behind. Unfortunately, as much as we want to help, we are not equipped to emotionally understand the situation at times.  This could lead to misunderstand and hurt feelings.

Sometimes, if we are strong enough, we can realize our own pain, accept it even when nobody else can or will; love ourselves because we all deserve love and stop ourselves from hurting someone else.  Sometimes, we become hurt and begin to feel broken too. Now you have two problems and no solution.

Take comfort in knowing we all share the same frustrating fate of mind.  It is the process of learning and growing.  Of adapting.  

The pursuit of happiness is taking the time and space you need to reflect, regroup and heal so you can love yourself and extend that love to others when you are ready.  When we deny ourselves love and healing, we hurt ourselves and it hurts everyone around us. And no money, power play or distraction in the world will replace the love we deny ourselves.

The recent social unrest and divisiveness reported in the news media and on social media triggered an array of emotional responses, which can be very destruction and provocative. This set up a red flag for me. Why was I so heated? So depressed? So provoked?

It took me some time, but it occurred to me that establishing boundaries with media to give myself time to grapple with this strange and sudden eruption of emotions I’d never even knew existed within me was critical. I felt, I identified, and I learned. The key is taking the space you need to do this in private and in your own time. Easier said than done, right? Well, we make time to make money. It’s time we make time for this above all else.

Whether negative or positive in a subjective setting, all thoughts and all emotions are valid when considered in the privacy of our own mind with some caveats.

Just because we think it or think it is right, does not mean we should act upon it. Nor does it mean what we think even has a basis in objective reality. Nor does everything we think need be published beyond our own minds to have existed or be relevant. The individual mind is entitled to its own deliberative process. Simply put, if you think it, it has manifested in some way. many meYou decide to give it importance and acting upon it is not required to give be it importance. And, finally, it is always best to think before we speak and sometimes it’s best not to speak, write or push post/send at all.

The validity of ideas shared in objective reality (meaning shared in a world outside our own minds) must follow rules. These rules are the rules of politics, social cues, morality, ethics, rhetoric, law, mathematics, linguistics, science, music, logic, fine arts, and so on. This is why communication becomes so convoluted and why taking time to process (feel and think about) what we see and hear is so important.

It is important to take the time to feel and think without negatively impacting others, creating and perpetuating more pain. You then must acknowledge your emotions and thoughts, give yourself the space to reflect and understand why you feel them. Only then will you be able to move forward in a rational way that does not perpetuate the pain and violence that is being used to tear us all apart. We must stand strong by holding fast to a dedication to establish boundaries and give ourselves the time and space to be rationale.

What does technology, emotional intelligence and being American have anything to do with each other?

As an American, I am witnessing the greatest nation on Earth hurting at a time when we are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of great innovations in technology and centuries of progress made in unifying the American society into an exceptional unified nation of diverse individuals with boundless potential, strength and solidarity.

As an American historian, to be confused by the current state of affairs means something has gone terribly wrong and not because of the track we were on, but for some unforeseen, unnatural reason that has not been unveiled yet.

Representations of American pride have recently been morphed into some Franskenstein of hate monster designed to poison and confuse the American identity.

If this is being done as a campaign to demoralise and crumble the American identity and waken our nation, this is not an act of war; it is an act against humanity. We are talking about a national and cultural genocide.

To cover all bases, I will make this warning to whomever is meddling with the balance of order in the United States of America and Western European Nations and I will speak in a language I’m sure you will understand, sir:

You are meddling with the primal forces of nature, sir, and you will atone.

Technology and media have, unfortunately, become the weapons of mass destruction, in general, and they have by their very natures capitalized on confusion over this and it’s time for us as individuals–united in solidarity–to put up much needed boundaries and begin to decide our fate in this reality.

It is time to say in one collective, unwavering and resounding voice : “No more.”

Nobody has a right to make windows into our hearts and souls, to define what our thoughts or feelings mean. That is exclusively and fundamentaly our individual rights as human beings. THAT is what our American Constitution aims to protect.

If you are in my country by an act of will or birth,

if you want to be here,

if you want to help me create a unified American identity,

free of the divisive nature of identity politics,

to simply be a self-actualized and willful collective, unified force of human potential,

ready to make a cultural contribution to America based on what you know from where or however you know it,

then let us combine knowledge and will and enjoy a community of diverse knowledge, skills, art.

And let us simply call ourselves: Americans

Let us all combine our cultures into one American identity and make it our own.

I thought–I hoped that was where we were headed before all this identity politics appeared. Growing up, I may not have known where some of the traditions, foods, dances, or other contributions came from that made being American so great, but they became American and I was proud to call myself American because of those contributions as part of our culture. I want that back. I want the cultural diversity to be American again.

This is not about cultural appropriation, it is about cultural contribution to cultivate a single community under the freedom and faith of our chosen creator.

Here is a plea to the conscience of the political establishment of the United States. We are ALL Americans. You are all educated. Identity politics is ripping apart our country. Just STOP. It’s not about campaign dollars. It’s about all of us surviving this assault on our united American identity. We are in serious crisis!

It is time to bury the hatchet and find a way to turn the dial down. Things are getting out of hand and we are letting foreign dangers storm the gates in the darkness of confusion and distraction. I assure you, if you do not stand for America united, we will all be kneeling.

Revolutions are inconvenient, they are brutal and they are unforgiving. There will be no justice. There will be no logic.

Setting the now over-complicated language of the founding documents aside for a moment, please let us change perspective and think for a moment that we are seeking refuge, that we were all once refugees from danger and we hope to find a new home, a place of safety. Our nation is that place and it is in danger.

What do we want that place to be? What do want in our hearts to believe when we step foot on that soil? What will be that American dream?

Now, read or reread the words from the Statue of Liberty again until you get it. You show me another nation on Earth that you feel safe with that promise?

The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

(The New Colossus, reposted here and available at https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm, written by Emma Lazarus, November 2, 1883)

**This is the poem that appears on the Statue of Liberty and in NO WAY WHATSOEVER was intended to be or in this context or on this site is to be affiliated with Nazi Germany or the Wolfenstein Video Game franchise.***

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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The Pledge for All Americans

As an American within the borders of these United States or within the borders of our protected borders of our territories or those of our allied nations, with an honest and wholehearted intent, you commit to honor and respect our laws as they stand until amended or revoked, to protect our citizens, to the best of your abilities, to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and yourself from all known and present dangers, imminent and perceivable, foreign and domestic, and to help maintain the peace and dignity of every man, woman, child and creature within our borders in a manner that allows you to face your creator with a full an honest heart and a head held high.  To this you solemnly swear.

It’s a tall order, but it is also the closest thing you’ll find to an honest goal that included Americans, existing citizens and those aspiring to be citizens.

Constitutions should be based on high, yet practical aspirations and goals we can achieve that provides for a broader understanding of what it means to be American, not to be limited to just “citizens,” but also residents awaiting citizenship status.  This is a pledge of allegiance for all people within our borders who wish to identify as Americans and who are citizens and wish to seek citizenship as Americans.  I’m beginning to understand the issue now, I hope.

My apologies, my fellow American, very frustrated, aspiring-to-be citizens.

#MAGA #PLEDGE #USA #Immigration

Published October 9, 2017 by M.E. Strayhorne 

© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Bureaucratic Mechanism:  Its Role in Party Politics and Federal Corruption 

Below is an educated perspective on using bureaucracy as a tool to enable actions and outcomes without supervision.  It provides a lesson in why checks and balances, antitrust laws, and oversight and accountability measures are critical.

Reflect on these itemized examples before you move on to the excerpts and editorial:

  • Big banks ‘too big to fail’ due to sheer size of its internal bureaucracy exhausting the resources of the Justice Department leading to weak settlements though nonprofits (that profit from the agreement on “consulting services”), thus circumventing Article III justice (Judicial branch; and 
  • Executive Branch plausible deniability and scapegoating of appointed officials (who also seem to avoid prosecution–i.e., Lois Lerner, the IRS, Eric Holder, the Justice Department, Hillary Clinton, State Department, Susan Rice, and pretty much every U.S. Presidential administration in part since Nixon).  

**Note:  not all administration members or federal employees are affirmatively acting in a way that suggests corruption. The excerpt eludes to this and common sense should reign in your analysis. It is the assembly line separation of tasks and limited technical or professional knowledge that allows the mechanism to work and absolve individuals. In a sense, you could argue that politicizing the bureaucratic function of the executive branch creates a faction of federal employees, involking precautions made in the Federalist Papers against factions.

The bottom line may be that it is time to reign in political party activities with its own system of checks and balances, perhaps a Political Activity oversight function that requires the participation of an electoral-college type or concerned citizen body that does not rely on tax exemptions from the federal government, nor is funded by private organizations.  I have to think about that some more.  Moving on.

    Max Weber on Bureaucracy

    Max Weber took an interdisciplinary approach to political philosophy, combining both sociological evaluations and political theories.  Here, Weber discusses, in part, the right to inquiry into bureaucratic actions and the power of bureaucracy.  The bureaucracy is what I like to refer to as the unofficial fourth branch of government (and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this idea).

    Max Weber (1864-1920) grew up the son of a prominent civil servant and a young contemporary of Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck during the political changes that gave rise to the Weimar Republic and eventually its fall and the beginning of the Nazi era, having an opportune position to witness the rise of the German regime prior to World War I and the Nazi Regime under Adolf Hitler.

    Read this excerpt and tell me if you see any use of these executive powers having been exploited over the course of American governance, beginning with FDR (to limit this analysis for convenience only…boundaries are good).

    From the section “Effective Supervision and the Power Basis of Bureaucracy”:

    Effective supervision over the officialdom depends upon certain preconditions.
    Apart from being rooted in the administrative division of labor, the power of all bureaucrats rests upon knowledge of two kinds: First, technical know-how in the widest sense of the word, acquired through specialized training. This kind of knowledge is also represented in parliament or whether deputies can privately consult specialists in a given case, is incidental and a private matter. There is no substitute for the systematic cross-examination (under oath) of experts before a parliamentary commission in the presence of the respective departmental officials. This alone guarantees public supervision and a thorough inquiry. Today, the Reichstag simply lacks the right to proceed in this fashion: the constitution condemns it to amateurish ignorance  (emphasis added). 

    The bureaucratic procedure and process assign the proper protocol to allow access which is on-the-record under oath in the presence of departmental officials.

    “However, expertise alone does not explain the power of the bureaucracy. In addition, the bureaucrat has official information, which is only available through administrative channels and which provides him with the facts on which he can base his actions. Only he who can get access to these facts independently of the officials’ good will can effectively supervise the administration” (emphasis added)

    Yes, it is only at the discretion of a bureaucratic official to share the information. Good luck producing a paper trail showing the chain of proof–official discretion gets a first bite at those apples.

    “According to the circumstances, the appropriate means are the inspection of documents, on-the-spot inquiry and, in extreme cases, the official’s cross-examination under oath before a parliamentary commission. This right, too, is withheld from the Reichstag [German parliamentary body], which has deliberately been made incapable of gaining the necessary information. Hence, in addition to dilettarttism, the Reichstag has been sentenced to ignorance-plainly not for technical reasons, but exclusively because the bureaucracy’s supreme power instrument is the transformation of official information into classified material by means of the notorious concept of the secret secret. In the last analysis, this is merely a means of protecting the administration against supervision (emphasis added).”

    National security, executive privilege and incompetence seem to be the three widely used excuses for failure or refusal to be transparent.  Government is legally abliged to be transparent to the governed and it is also the Government’s responsibility to protect us from all threats even with transparency in place.  FOIA does not seem to trump national security or executive privilege.  We’ve been had, my fellow American comrade.  

    “While lower ranks of the bureaucratic hierarchy are supervised and criticized by the higher echelons, all controls, whether technical or political, over these policy-making echelons have failed completely.  The manner in which administrative chiefs answer questions and critiques in the Reichstag is often disgraceful for a self-confident people; it has been possible only because parliament cannot avail itself, through the “right of investigation” (Enqueterecht), of the facts and technical viewpoints, knowledge of which alone would permit steady co-operation with and influence upon the administration. This must be changed first” (Emphasis added).

    [ ]

    “Of course, the Reichstag committees are not supposed to immerse themselves in comprehensive studies and to publish fat volumes-this will not happen anyway because the Reichstag is too busy with other things. The parliamentary right of inquiry should be an auxiliary means and, for the rest, a whip, the mere existence of which will force the administrative chiefs to account for their actions in such a way as to make its use unnecessary.”

    Committees too busy with other things?  Like healthcare?  The budget?  And yet, independent commissions seem to be created to have all the time in the world to investigate the new boss.

    Read Weber’s observations.  Then, analogize the events unfolding now.  Who are the culprits?  The new guys in power or the old administration?  Answer that for yourself.

    My Final Thoughts

    We the people need to figure out how to get back what is rightfully ours:  a governing body with a primary focus on equality for all Americans . Politically-fueled divisiveness is dividing and conquering the American and aspiring American people and it is time to drop the axe.

    I urge you to learn your history and do so with hard copy books as a primary source.  Be highly skeptical of any electronic media — including this blog, as it is at the mercy of a third parties. Also, be skeptical of the publication date of all print publications. Know your history!

    Source:

    Weber, Max. Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, eds. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, 1978, Berkeley: University of California Press, available at: https://ia800305.us.archive.org/25/items/MaxWeberEconomyAndSociety/MaxWeberEconomyAndSociety.pdf (last accessed Sep 28, 2017).

    The Obama Era:  Democracy Died in almost every Dark Shadow of the Obama White House.  The outrage?  Like Obama, hiding behind the protective skirts of female scapegoats and political correctness.

    By Mary Strayhorne, LL.M.

    Let’s face it, an attack on Obama is an attack on the African-American legacy and women–at least, that is how it appears.  And the American people have had enough, as the majority of the electorate and electoral college pronounced.

    To all those who voted for Hillary–well, as she still has not learned in her golden years:  Life entitles us to nothing.

    Lies, corruption, and sticking it the American people is a favorite pastime for Obama and the contemporary political institutions in general.  In this little post, I gather some news tidbits just in the Obama administration, for now.  Don’t fret, I’ll be calling out the others in time.

    Thanks to an overwhelming fear by pretty much everyone to criticisize or offend the legacy of the first African-American President, here lie the remnants of the Obama administration, so quickly dismissed and forgotten in the wake of NFL kneeling.  

    At first I thought the fear was to avoid appearing “racist”–now, I’m beginning to think it’s out of fear of being bullied and blacklisted by fascist thugs with masks and security clearances.  Time will tell.
    The coup d’etat is underway and our generation has a front row seat until the realization provokes us to prosecute the offenders…let’s begin.

    Obama Lies, Generally.  Outrage?  Meh…

    Obama’s biggest whoppers | The Washington Post.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/19/obamas-biggest-whoppers/?utm_term=.07de62fc467c

    Obama’s second term: A timeline | TheHill. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/246801-obamas-second-term-a-timeline

    Top 10 Obama Administration Scandals (VIDEOS) | The Federalist Papers. http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/top-10-obama-administration-scandals-videos

    Issa says Obama administration is ‘one of most corrupt’ | The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/02/AR2011010201493.html

    Obama Scapegoats Lois Lerner, laughs all the way through his second term; Lerner, though admittedly guilty for her involvement NOT prosecuted.  Outrage?  None.

    IRS Targeting Scandal: Citizens United, Lois Lerner And The $20M Tax Saga That Won’t Go Away | Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2016/06/24/irs-targeting-scandal-citizens-united-lois-lerner-and-the-20m-tax-saga-that-wont-go-away/?s=trending#579ced8bcd1f

    IRS Officials Misled Congress, Public | FactCheck.org. http://www.factcheck.org/2013/05/irs-officials-misled-congress-public/

    Obama Foreign Policy Kills Hundreds.  Outrage?  Nope, finger pointing, tries to fully-scapegoat Hillary.  She laughs it off, runs for President!  Outrage?  Anyone?  Nope!

    Obama’s Embrace of Drone Strikes Will Be a Lasting Legacy | NYTimes.com. https://mobile.nytimes.com/redirect?to-mobile=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2Froomfordebate%2F2016%2F01%2F12%2Freflecting-on-obamas-presidency%2Fobamas-embrace-of-drone-strikes-will-be-a-lasting-legacy%3Freferer%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

    Benghazi Blackout: How the Big Three Networks Have Censored or Spun Obama’s Deadly Foreign Policy Failure | Fox Nation. http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/09/10/benghazi-blackout-how-big-three-networks-have-censored-or-spun-obamas-deadly-foreign

    Obama hides behind yet another woman’s skirt, Susan Rice–and she still has a security clearance!  Under Trump?  But, how could that be???

    The Real Reason McMaster Let Susan Rice Keep Her Security Clearance | The Weekly Standard. http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-real-reason-mcmaster-let-susan-rice-keep-her-security-clearance/article/2009158

    Samantha Power And Susan Rice: The Apparent Gruesome Twosome In The Unmasking Of Americans | Town Hall – Matt Vespa. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/09/21/samantha-power-and-susan-rice-the-apparent-gruesome-twosome-in-the-unmasking-of-n2384409

    And, for good measure:

    Clinton Scandals through the years

    Clinton scandals through the years | CNN Politics. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/politics/gallery/clinton-scandals-through-the-years/index.html

    Don’t believe everything you read, question everything you hear, cite your sources…the rest, is history and only time will tell.

    Photo of Newsweek cover – courtesy of ethoslogopath.com

    © Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

    Journalist Austin Tice: Held Captive in Syria since 2012; believed to still be alive 

    Updated by Maya Salam, Parents of Austin Tice, Held Hostage in Syria, Say He Is Alive, NY Times, Jun 28, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/middleeast/austin-tice-hostage-syria.html (last accessed Sep 12, 2017).

    #Syria #hostages #MAGA #diplomacy 

    Longreads

    Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. In the last three years at least 60 of them have been killed while covering the conflict there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Missing from the statistics is anything about the kind of journalist who goes to Syria and why. After the death of Marie Colvin, in a blizzard of Syrian Army shells in Homs in February 2012, much of the Western media drew back from covering the country. Meanwhile, a lightly resourced, laughably paid, almost wholly uninsured cadre of freelancers, often armed with little more than a notebook and a mobile phone, infiltrated Syria anyway. A few were crazy narcissists or war-zone tourists, but most were serious reporters. Four-fifths of all journalists working in Syria, according to one estimate, are freelance and answering to no one but themselves.

    Austin Tice was one of these. So was…

    View original post 156 more words

    Managing Expectations: How to lead when everyone thinks they are the messiah–the chosen hero of their own stories.

    By Mary E. Strayhorne, LL.M.
    August 25, 2017 1:09 p.m. EST

    With a generation of people who have all been given a trophy, nobody is a leader anymore. There are only supporters and detractors. Trust no one; just weigh the cost versus the benefit of acknowledging talent. Trust is not about expecting good outcomes, there are no value judgments; trust is about confidence in your expectations.  

    Trust is knowing a person enough to predict their actions and reactions–including how they will stab you in the back when it comes time. A real leader plays in the ring with everyone and has the intellectual and emotional capacity to accept dedication and betrayals, take stock in all available resources versus resources needed, and prepare for as many outcomes as are likely to manifest.  

    A natural born and effective leader is a realist who recognizes potentiality all available resources, acknowledges it, remembers it, cultivates it and then capitalizes on it when opportunities arise.

    #leadership #trust

    © Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

    The Inconvenient Truth of Charlottesville & the Civil Disobedience Plaguing America’s Identity

    By Mary Strayhorne 

    August 17, 2017

    The Distinction Between President Trump’s response and citizen Barack Obama’s Response to Charlottesville

    Obama’s duty to represent ALL Americans was concluded with Trump’s Inauguration. He is a civilian and can condemn freely who he chooses, American or not. Trump as president has a duty to uphold the law. To condemn ANY American individual could be considered unconstitutional if it leads to a deprivation of rights protected under the Constitution. In some ways, it could have the same affect as a Bill of Attainder, prohibited under the Constitution under Article I.  

    Trump is being tested and baited by his detractors. They want to find him unfit to serve or have him impeached.  

    Trump upheld the Constitution, per his oath, with his initial response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12.  The detractors are wasting everyone’s time. And if you doubt the whole Charlottesville fracas was staged, read the court filings leading up to the event. The hate groups were intentionally diverted to confront counter-protestors. Until you read the facts, you spout propaganda.  

    See for yourself; read the supporting court filings linked on the bottom:

     http://www.nbc29.com/story/36115819/judge-grants-injunction-jason-kessler-can-have-unite-the-right-rally-at-emancipation-park

    Misunderstanding and ‘intellectual cowardice’ are to blame for this Trump-Charlottesville debacle. The problem with free speech now a days is that some key messages (the entire story, all facts) are being muffled by a crowd of too many voices, as astutely stated by a guest on NPR a few years back regarding the current state of the free speech movement.

    Apolitical people attended the protest for reasons in no way related to race-related politics. Historic preservation of the struggles of this nation, good and bad, is essential so we as Americans of all races can take stock of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go to achieve national unity. Censorship comes in many forms; silence can be achieved in many ways.

    Fight #FascistCoupTactics #Charlottesville #MAGA

    © Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

    Nasty Women and How to Deal with their Unfortunate Lack of Class

    Why Women Can Be So Mean to Each Other and How to Protect Yourself

    Excerpt:

    “Some women don’t play by the rules. Many times, though, we realize this only in hindsight.

    We assume her warm overtures are genuine, so we extend our friendship and trust.  However, instead, she betrays us, often at great personal and professional cost.  We may wonder what happened and why we didn’t see it coming.

    But we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. Some women haven’t left behind the childish games they learned on the playground in elementary school.

    Little has changed as they’ve gotten older, except they’ve become much better at bullying others, under the radar. They’ve become masters at creating chaos without tipping anyone off, except the unfortunate victim who’s still pinching herself to see if this really happened, and wondering if anyone else would believe what she’s just experienced.

    A few social scientists are now beginning to study and publish ground-breaking work on adult female bullies, because, for too long, most people assumed they didn’t exist.”
    © Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

    The Founders Intent with Respect to the Electoral College

    A response to Lawrence Lessig’s article, “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” (24 Nov 2016 Washington Post).  Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of “Republic, Lost: Version 2.0.” In 2015, he was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary.

    Lessig limited his argument on two major points:

    1. The founders intended the electoral college to be a circuit breaker, yes, but to prevent the mob mentality of a minority of states with greater population concentrations forcing ideology on the majority of states.
    1. Clinton has been subject of many investigations and scandals over the years, including being up for potential indictment during the campaign for her actions holding public office, which, if followed through during her presidency, she’d be impeached, like Nixon….effectively a disqualification.  Trump has not been indicted, nor was their any pending indictable offenses.

    “it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

    Perhaps, there should be an amendment to the constitution that disqualifies a candidate under investigation for alleged indictable crimes carried out while holding public office.  The reason being that even if they do get into office, they may be impeached anyway and, if not, they certainly hold a powerful position to actually curb investigative activities during their term or give the appearance of impropriety.  A long held principle in the law is that a judge must recuse himself to avoid the look of impropriety in the interest of justice.  Why should the executor of the law (or even legislators and administrators also) not be held to the same standard?

    From Federalist 68 on the electoral college:

    Read More

    Post-Trump Victory & Uncertainty: A Note to the Fearful Masses

    To anyone who fears a Trump-fueled racist fallout, read this and allow it to guide your wisdom and strength in these uncertain times.
    Being American is not about race, it is about nationality and how one identifies themselves.

    We are all Americans.

    We welcome you and your views. We also welcome the right of people to use the democratic process to choose a leader.

    Though Trumps words were poorly chosen, we still have an opportunity to communicate to this leader that we will not stand for the mistreatment of any citizen or visitor to our country. Period. Read More