Monday, December 19, 2016

I'm Moving!

I've finally updated my website (using Squarespace which is awesome) and I've moved my blog over there, so please check me out at:


Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Coming Civil War

I've been flying a lot in the past month or so and I've watched Captain America: Civil War a couple of times.  First of all, it's an awesome movie.  And Ryan Reynolds is dreamy.  So bonus.

But there's a line in the movie that's been stuck in my head lately.  The villain says:  "An empire toppled by it's enemies can rise again.  But one which crumbles from within?  That's dead . . . forever."

And I think of the American empire.  There is no external threat that we can't defeat.  But are we tearing ourselves apart, are we crumbling from within?

All of the pillars of American society (Congress, President, Supreme Court, Media, even the Military) have the lowest approval ratings in history.  Structurally America is not at its strongest.

The 2016 election has not only shown the depths of our division at a purely partisan level but also exposed a level of sexism, misogny, homophobia, xenophobia, and racism that is a cancer to the body politic of America.

And not everyone even agrees with that.  People have their own news, pushing their opinions, and facts aren't even facts anymore.  They pick and choose which facts they want to use to advance their agenda.  And more and more, that agenda is not for the common good, but to protect those in power, to protect the wealthy, to protect their position in society.

In the movie, the villain maneuvers Iron Man into fighting Captain America in order to help destroy the Avengers.  And I think the villain (well one of the villains) in the 2016 election was Vladimir Putin.  He used information, misinformation, and cyber warfare to advance his agenda of weakening the United States by making us fight against each other.  And he succeeded.

At the end of the movie, Tony Stark sits alone after the Avengers have fallen into disgrace.  Captain America has stayed true to his ideals and at the end of the movie, it's clear that in the next movie Captain America will bring the Avengers back together.

If America is going to survive, we need to help remember our ideals.  Truth, liberty, and justice for all.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Our freedoms so clearly articulated in the bill of rights.  And we need to remember that we are one country, not two parties, not 50 states, but one country.  And whether you live in DC or Kansas, California or Florida, that we are all Americans.  And we need to figure out a way to come together based on these ideals.  I don't know how that happens in today's political climate, but that's what we need to do to avert the coming civil war.    

Monday, December 12, 2016

If Today Is Your Birthday

Let's see what the stars are saying for me this year:

You have a distinctly dual nature that, at your best, makes you versatile, and at your worst, downright confused (and confusing!). While a great lover of peace and harmony, you are also determined and fiery. While idealistic, you mostly have your feet on the ground. In relationships, the need for partnering and cooperating is strong, but freedom also matters to you. You are a natural counselor, offering excellent advice. There is usually quite a bit of drama and colorful emotion in your relationships, whether it’s because you bring this to the table or attract these kinds of people. Famous people born today: Frank Sinatra, Edward Koch, Connie Francis, Jennifer Connelly, Bridget Hall, Bob Barker, Dionne Warwick.

And for the year:

Jupiter harmonizes with your Sun this year, suggesting that you have a stronger than usual desire to improve and learn. This is a fortunate aspect that implies optimism and confidence are with you, and you are able to attract fortunate circumstances into your life as a result. Problems are easier to resolve this year. You can attract happy and helpful people into your experience. Travel opportunities are likely. Matters related to universities, higher education, organized religion, publishing, legal affairs, and foreign interests proceed smoothly. This is an excellent year in which to seek advanced training or to further your education. Sun/Jupiter aspects often correlate with ceremonies that formally acknowledge past achievements. You are likely to enjoy good humor, optimism, and a larger perspective on matters.
You have much enterprising spirit this year, and there can be special professional and personal opportunities. Your faith in your ability to produce and to win takes you places you perhaps never imagined. You are able to see the “big picture”, which helps you to plan effectively. Negotiations, deals, legal matters, reasonable speculation, and travel are generally favored, as are positive outcomes in competitive activities.
You are especially interested in setting goals and challenges for yourself this year, as well as taking the necessary action to meet them. You may meet or interact with others who encourage or inspire you in some way to have more confidence in yourself. Your energy levels are generally strong this year, and your sense of timing better than usual.
You can feel energized and inspired creatively at this time, ready to fight for something you believe in. You find it easier to assert yourself and your desires. Bursts of creativity and energy help you to further your goals. Healthy risk-taking is likely this year, as you are more able to spot an opportunity when you see one. It is easier than usual to break free from habits that have previously held you back from going after what you want in life.
You are enterprising and able to visualize larger goals, but you are also ready to work hard to achieve them. You are dynamic and energetic, but also very realistic.
This is an excellent year in which to advance projects revolving around communications – writing, speaking, selling, and so forth. Your reputation may be enhanced through word of mouth. Making new contacts through learning and mental pursuits figures strongly as well.
Intuition runs high this year. You are more sensitive artistically, your imagination is stirred, and you have an increased appreciation for subtleties. You are inspired and could even inspire others with your words. Some of your hunches could be prophetic. You are thinking more creatively, and express yourself with more sensitivity, compassion, and warmth.
Your creative side is powerful but not always reliable this year. Energy levels can be up and down, so take advantage of the “up” times for pursuing your goals. Your optimism is catchy and draws others to you. Speaking and writing projects go especially well. Your mind is inventive during this period, and you find the most success in areas that benefit from new ideas, methods, and applications.
This year is a period of constructive accomplishment. You are practical and realistic, and your judgment is especially sound. You also derive much satisfaction from practical achievement. It would behoove you to identify and focus on finding pleasure in the simple things that make you happy.
Independent work is favored and competitive activities thrive this year — your passions and enthusiasm run high, and the trick is to channel this extra energy constructively. The period ahead is one of new initiatives, greater self-understanding, and engaging projects. It’s strong for enterprise and connecting with supportive people. You easily find extra energy to pour into your pursuits, although you may be placing a lot of pressure on yourself to succeed at times this year. Pacing yourself will be important to stay healthy and happy. Business and ideas are both practical and innovative.