Let's be clear. There is no "both sides" to Charlottesville. Yes, we have free speech in this country and while it's specifically to stop the government from stopping us from saying whatever we want, let's not get in the weeds on that one like we always do. Let's look at it like this: A group of people whose main tenet is that whites are superior and the earth should be "cleansed" of everyone who isn't white were marching around chanting "Jews will not replace us" as well as "blood and soil" (yes, a Nazi thing, just FYI) all while rallying around a statue of a confederate general. Many things the president said about Charlottesville were incorrect, from who had permits, to the implication that you need them to protest to begin with. He even lied about the winery, which his son owns and isn't anywhere near the largest in the country. But "both sides" were at fault? Just think it through from a moral perspective.
The post-mortems on why Hillary lost are finally in full swing and I'm in agreement with the gist: the media misrepresented her, didn't correct lies about her, and the Comey letter sealed the deal. She also, of course, made mistakes herself, especially by misreading the angst and mood of the country. Here's the thing, I am/was/will always be a fan of Hillary Clinton. Is she a perfect person or candidate? No. Do I agree with every part of her platform? No. But she is brilliant and spent her life fighting for children and healthcare. Did I want her to run this time? I was only against it because of exactly what happened. She got beat up - again. She has baggage, almost 100% of it lies or ridiculous twistings of the truth - but people just can't seem to get past their hate.
Today, people from all over the world gathered in their cities in a show of solidarity for equal rights. It was called the "Women's March," but in my opinion, it should have been the "People's March," because it put on display all the issues we have been wrestling with since Donald Trump was elected president (and before). Here in Denver, they were expecting 40,000 people and that number exploded to well over 100,000, with some estimates as high as 200,000. We found it to be a bit overwhelming, of course, with all those people - but the atmosphere was all about love. A huge variety of signs, as you will see in the gallery below, with creative flair and humor. Today was so uplifting for us! We sincerely thank the organizers, the police, the city of Denver and everyone who made the Women's March possible.
I can't believe I am even typing those words. What started out as a joke on a gold elevator will be, in about 15 minutes, our commander and chief. I am not going into the reasons he is unqualified; there are many. Nor I am going into all the bad things that can happen to our country; there are many. MANY. I am just shaking in fear right now, which is exactly what he wants. He wants us to feel intimidated and helpless. So he can bulldoze over this country for his personal gain, just like he always does. When George W. Bush was elected, I was worried. He turned into one of the worst presidents we have ever had, but right now - I would take GW back in a heartbeat compared to the hornet's nest in DC. And it's not just Trump. It's also the GOP who has obstructed Obama for eight years and now think they have a free pass. Guess what? NO.
The last two weeks have been a flurry of flights and European cities. I attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for the first time, a conference where the world's tech community comes together to exchange ideas. I was there by myself, which was a bit isolating and overwhelming, but also afforded me the chance to speak to people from all over the globe. In the middle of all this was, of course, the election. To say I am shocked and saddened by the outcome is an understatement. More to the point, I am still in the denial stage of grief and only since returning home have I started to even process what happened. I was at dinner with a friend and several of his friends the day after the vote. It's important to know that all the men present were pro-business and while not necessarily pro-Trump, were definitely anti-establishment. They saw the election as a way to shake things up - and I came to see that side of the argument. What I still can't wrap my head around is how Trump (or "He Who Shall Not Be Named" as many of us are now calling him) is the person to do the shaking. Unless you want the vibrations to be racist, misogynistic, bigoted and from a place of poorly-run businesses. One of the men asked me, "How then, do you think, did Trump win the election?" "White supremacists." His jaw dropped at my answer, and let me explain. If you look at the numbers of who voted for Trump, it was vastly white people. While I don't think all those voters are racists in the traditional sense of the word, in that they would deny someone a job or call a person names because of the color of the skin - that is exactly what they did with their vote. By overlooking Trump's many, many, many, many, many comments and actions in that direction. By not being concerned about how others would be treated in a Trump presidency.
I've been pretty open that my childhood wasn't the best. My mom tried her hardest, my dad did not. I was in a lot of crisis until my dad passed away when I was 11. And yet, I lived in suburban Maryland. I had food, water, clothes. While we lived fairly modestly, especially after my father passed, we lived in an area of definite affluence, during the 1980's - that decade of gratuitous greed. I was surrounded by all the things anyone could want, much less need. That was over 30 years ago. Even given all the progress in the world, there are still people everywhere that live in extreme poverty. Ten years ago, musical hero Bono (now aided by Bob Geldolf of, yes, Band Aid) started an organization called ONE to battle this issue. Many people think that ONE raises funds for Africa. And while in some ways - indirectly - that is true, it's primary function is advocacy across political borders to relieve poverty and disease, plus help awareness of a wide variety of critical issues that we all face.
Everyone is talking about Duck Dynasty's Phil Roberston and A&E's suspension of him. What is so surprising to me is the wide variety of comments I have seen, and how many people are quoting the bible to me. As far as a general overview of the situation, my friend Kristen Howerton from Rage Against The Minivan covers my feelings quite well. What I am pondering is our modern day fascination with holding on to the bible with both hands, gripping so hard that our knuckles turn white. Why quote it word for word as a road map for our lives when the words themselves are so contradictory? And truthfully many of the passages have no meaning in the here and now. Not to mention they were written down long after they actually happened. Doesn't that leave some margin for error?