Do Not Fear Tyranny: A Guide to the 55-page Report—“Constitutional Grounds For Presidential Impeachment”

To save you time, I went ahead and read the 55-page document for us. (You’re welcome.) The following is the provocative and abridged version. It is, of course, meant to capture the themes and purpose of the original, while avoiding the length. This post also includes my reaction.

To begin, a couple of questions: Do you fear that tyranny is imminent? Does it keep you awake to consider how very near to becoming a monarchy are these United States, King Trump at the helm?

I didn’t think so.

Here’s the rub. Part of the document’s argument for America’s pending transition to tyranny rests on establishing the dual and (if true) symbiotic facts that the President has enormous (but not absolute) power and the House is the singular body of humans who have been entrusted with the awesome responsibility to “rise to the occasion” and impeach President Donald John Trump.

The problem is that this part happens to be the opening part and, as such, is foundational.

This is, unfortunately for its purposes, problematic because it betrays that it has missed the true meaning of Trump’s presidency. The true meaning of Trump’s presidency, being confirmed more and more each and everyday–and according to the House report’s own definition and reasoningis as We the People’s impeachment of the current batch of United States Senators, Representatives, Justices. And, yes, President Trump’s tenure is our impeachment of the President too, no matter how nonsensical that may sound.

The majority has voted, not for Trump, but for impeachment.

It doesn’t matter who the president is, we say. It doesn’t matter who runs for office, we declare. They’re all corrupt. They’re all liars. They’re all bought and paid for. They’re all mere mouthpieces.

And we’re right. It doesn’t matter who holds public office, at this point. Government, not its citizens, has failed.

But don’t fear. There is no coming tyranny. There is no monarch in the making. Maybe difficult times. Maybe violence. But nothing that the same and age old virtues, beginning with personal integrity, can’t handle.

Mayor Pete is Woke; This Pete is Awake

There is “NSFW” (that means “not safe for work”, Grandma and Grandpa–thanks for always reading btw), and then there is please never ever try to talk about what you are about to read. (PNETTTAWYAATR.) I’m serious. The following is a no win conversation. You just have to trust me. (It’s all true. But measuring by the “shame” I feel writing it, I wouldn’t say this out loud if my life depended on it. Ergo, we write.)

Disclaimer: this post is going to sound like it is written to “whites”. I’m going to act like I’m revealing a secret that I learned over the past four years while a member of a black church, attempting to socialize with the Black Community. But this post is not for the “whites”. It is for the “blacks”.

Let’s begin.

With the election cycle approaching full-swing, I finally feel like I have something to contribute. Perhaps it is because I have a namesake running. Speaking of, the big headlines about Mayor Pete right now contain the basic idea that the “blacks” (of the African-American type–not the new immigrants who playfully taught me that “No, Africa is not a country. But, yes, Africa is a jungle”) the “blacks” remain one of the last voting blocks to publicly embrace homosexuals with open arms.

To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete seems to be doing all the right things. He’s tackling the problem head-on. He’s headed to the South and he’s going to grin-and-grip. To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete is going to put himself out there for the individual blacks that he meets and whom he endears to himself to inspect and stamp “worthy of our trust”. The untrained eye is wrong.

With the “blacks”, Mayor Pete, woke or not, need not aim for some consensus of individuals, no. Consensus is what he’s doing with “whites”. But the “blacks” are not merely the “whites” with dark skin.

The “blacks” are, to their shame, a group. And Mayor Pete is causing conversation within the body. But they’re not talking about issues. They are merely conducting a sounding, no different than a weather balloon full of hot air. We’re not waiting for “blacks” to think through the issues–for instance, to think through whether they still believe the Word of God is the Word of God, no.

All that we’re waiting for is the leader of the “blacks” to declare Mayor Pete to be their guy. Naturally, the question is, “Who is the leader?” And that is a fascinating question. That is the question Mayor Pete would pay to know the answer to at this point. In fact, that is precisely what he is doing right now, whether intentional or not. All he’s waiting on–all we’re waiting on–with his little hurdle is for this “leader” to declare some sort of “Mayor Pete is da man!” or some other slightly Southern or grammatically-challenged sounding phrase of approval (like “woke” itself) to be released with which the millions of “black” sheep can echo, repeat, tweet, insta, snap, and fb all over the planet. (Interesting sidebar: Is there a black social meeja app, vis-a-vis BET? I can’t think of one.)

Lastly, here’s a little known, but known enough, reminder: The leader, the one with the gift of “utterance”, will prove to be a woman. I’m betting on Michelle.

Now you know.

(In any case, my bet is on Trump.)

All Good Books Share This One Quality

Hopefully no different than many of you, I am choosing to relax on this Thanksgiving holiday by reading.

Unexpectedly, and as tightly binding as the pure delight I have felt when finding passion flooding her eyes, one of the main character’s observations just now highlighted a fact I’ve cherished for many years.

Good books make you want to read more good books.

Public Schools Are Teaching Garbage

I settled into the bus’ bench-seat in a sideways, semi-twisted position so that my knees wouldn’t press into the back of the seat in front of me. I don’t know why, but I kept my backpack on–as did most of the kids that I now sat among.

“Who are you?” a head-gear-wearing small girl from an ancient world boldly asked.

The children filling out the surrounding benches, all bundled up for the cool mid-November school day, pretended to not be interested in this most odd of scenes.

“I’m a new fourth-grader,” I answered, dryly.

“No, you’re not. That’s a lie,” she promptly replied.

“Yes, I am,” I said. “It’s just that I am from another planet,” I began, and pointed the finger at the end of my long arm to somewhere far outside of the window of the yellow school bus. “And on my planet, the people grow big quicker,” I explained, looking her dead in the eye, waiting.

“People can’t live on any other planet,” she rebutted.

This comment unleashed great discussion among the previously silent audience.

“Well, my planet is farther out there than the ones you know about,” I clarified, proudly.

“I can name all the planets,” began the third-grader to my left–behind me, rather–“In order, starting at the sun.”

I thought, “This is fantastic.” But I only smiled on the inside.

“Mercury. Venus. Earth. Mars-”

Before he could finish, someone from my right–the front part of the bus, that is–added, interrupting, “-Pluto is NOT a planet.”

This began a near cultural revolution–albeit a bloodless, stationary one–as the children had now become engulfed in the great cosmic debate of their era.

All the while, the girl stared piercingly.

And that’s how my day at A-‘s elementary school began.

The rest of this post–save one humorous, colorful vignette–is meant to encourage you to likewise spend an entire day with your child at school. Here’s what I witnessed.

Teachers had no idea what to do with me. A-‘s own teacher didn’t even greet me. Neither the first time when I smiled robustly and waved a circular open-faced wave as I entered the building in the line with the children, nor the second time when I asked her where I could sit for the day as she came into the room.

She didn’t greet me. (Probably a cultural misunderstanding.)

Let me back up. H- is a bright girl. I work very hard to make that so. It has nothing to do with her school. Of this I am certain. The school begs to differ, of course. My proof is simply all the stupid kids not named H- that the school doesn’t “take credit” for.

Additionally, I want to say that every single time I talk to one of my peers, or one of my parents peers, they all tell me, “Calm down. The schools are fine. If you do a good job at home, H- will be fine.” And every time I hear this, my insides scream out, “BULLSHIT! The schools are not fine.” But no one ever listens. So I finally decided to see for myself which one of us was in error. I finally decided to see just what the schools were doing with our children all day.

To be clear, I went into this event expecting to hear eight hours, minus lunch and maybe two recess breaks, of utter nonsense being taught.

Suffice it to say, I admit now that my expectations were far afield.

It’s not that utter nonsense is being taught. It’s that nothing is being taught. Nothing. To spare you, I’ll just give you the highlights.

8:00. The day begins. That is, the students shuffle around–encouraged by the teacher.

Then a long process of retrieving things begins. It is hard to say how long exactly. All I know is children were in their chairs. Then children were out of their chairs. Then children were back near their chairs–but with a box of their things on the ground beside them.

Then it was time for two students to get the cart that carries the laptops (from somewhere across the room) and start taking it to “Reading.” After some amount of time I joined the rest of the class in lining up to leave this room for another room.

The process of changing rooms took no less than ten minutes.

In the next room, the teacher wore a microphone and low-talked. But this was amplified. My heart goes out to this noble hero as I prepare her nomination for CNN’s yearly award.

The next thing I know the clock says 10:00. I reflected that all that the students have done is listen to one picture book be read by the bionic woman. Oh, and they moved items from one place to another.

They also changed locations from the chairs to the floor and spent no more than “1-2 minutes at a time” picking books to read from the shelves across the room before walking back to their seats. Oh, and they got their laptops from the aforementioned cart and then put them back.

Onto Music.

There, they watched a movie–a reward for finishing a big project. Then the teacher played a few students’ compositions on the piano, starting with A- seeing that I was there. Well, she played something on the piano. (In case you’re a lazy reader, nowhere in music class did anyone teach music.)

Gym. Classic sit-ups and push-ups, all done poorly and without any expectation of effort. “Use your ‘I Can’ statements, children.”

Then bowling basics were taught. The child nearest me wasn’t lunging like the teacher taught. To his delight, I broke character and reviewed it with him. For his own part, the never-yet-bowled A- wasn’t stepping with the right footwork. I had his friend help him.

The kid that I helped now limped as he apparently pulled a muscle.

Back to the classroom around 11:45. I’m getting hungry and confused as to why we’re not going to lunch yet.

In the classroom, more shuffling around. More retrieving items from cubbies, or the thing near their chair that they had earlier retrieved from their cubbies, or from this backpack like thing hanging on the back of their chair which holds folders and books. The teacher–or the woman called “teacher” or “Mrs. H-” by the students when people ask them who their teacher is–finally taught one long-division problem.

The clock strikes 12:20. Lunchtime. We headed to the lockers to get our lunches. And coats. What? Well, wait. Is it recess? No, it’s lunch then recess.

“Does everyone eat with their coats and hats on?” I asked one of the kids.

“Yes.”

A- doesn’t need his coat. It’s going to be forty.

I put on my jacket.

In the cafeteria, Powerful looked confused as he isn’t sure if he should sit across from me, or at another table. I invited him to join us.

A- asked if he can have one of my cookies. I said, (Faithful Reader–can you guess?) “No. You have your own food and dessert.”

A- then challenged me to a staring contest. I accepted and then beat him by blowing into his eyes. Powerful then challenged me. Not one to back down, I turned and stared into the blankest expression yet painted onto man. Think canvas without Picasso. Think marble without Michelangelo. That’ll get you pointed in the right direction for recreating what I saw in this child’s eyes.

In other words, I knew I was in for defeat. Powerful just kept talking and chewing all the while he never blinked. He doesn’t seem aware that blinking is a thing. I lost, laughing all the while. All the kids were laughing. Then A- accepted Powerful’s challenge. The boys dueled it out. In an uncommon display of raw, primordial force, Powerful kept his blank stare positioned directly in my step-son’s eyes as he reached for his Heinz 57 ketchup packet thing and proceeded to bring it to his mouth and lick out the remaining remnants of the condiment. Powerful maintains his status as unbeaten. The list of contenders with any hope is blank, just like his stare. And probably just the way he likes it.

Recess ended at 1:00.

From 1:10 to 1:26 the teacher, Mrs. H-, taught the children how to discern between common nouns and proper nouns.

Then the students retrieved some composition book from somewhere and Mrs. H- lead a five minute discussion regarding which page the students should have open. Next, she had them fold the right side of the page over a bit to create a concrete margin. Not just one page needed this adaptation–all four pages. Do you follow me? She wanted the children to create a more clear margin on the paper–an area to not continue writing upon–by folding the page back upon itself. You’re still not getting it? Okay. Hold up the page a bit. Can you see the pink line that’s on the back of the page? No? It’s there. Turn the paper over and find the pink line. Okay. Now turn it back over. Can you see how you can faintly see it still? Okay. Thank you. Good job. Now fold the page along that line to create a margin. Right, just like that. But not just on one page. Do that for all four pages.

“Now write your story,” she finally said.

Eventually, they pulled out a textbook. Social Studies. They answered questions about glaciers, harbors, and the word “climate” was mentioned. (If you can believe it.)

Then they split up in pairs. After displaying that they had no idea what to do next, the teacher called them back. Then they split up in the SAME pairs. The two girls next to me learned about the Indians. I took a picture of the page.

Here’s what the textbook said, “In most Native American villages in the Northeast, people shared the land and its resources. They hunted in the forests and fished in the nearby waters. People gathered wild foods, such as roots, nuts, and berries. They also worked together to grow corn, beans, squash, melons, and other crops.”

Under the heading, “Joining Together” the paragraph begins, “At times, Native American groups in the Northeast fought each other. Iroquois legend tells how two leaders came up with a plan for peace.”

If you’re skimming, stop and take note here. The Native Americans shared, worked together, and developed plans for peace.

Okay. Skim on.

I forgot. Sometime before lunch there was also a twenty-minute trip (thirty if you count the line up and shuffle around time) to the most pathetic classroom-turned-library I have ever seen.

At this point you would be right to ask, “What are kids who no one is teaching how to read doing in a library?” Good question. One of them built on a puzzle that was started by someone in an earlier class. Actually, that’s not entirely true. One kid talked to any comers while holding a puzzle piece and sitting at the table which had a puzzle whose border was already completed.

I’m tired. And I was tired at this point. Between 1:00 and 3:00 Mrs. H-, the teacher, stood in front of the class for maybe 30 minutes total. Add another 15 minutes for the amount before lunch.

A- and I walked home.

Aristotle made his students complete Euclid’s “The Elements” using only a straight edge and a rudimentary compass.

The early school houses in America had only slates, books, and desks.

On Monday each child was responsible for at least 20 folders or books (not to mention two or three container/cubby things) filled with ungodly amounts of colored paper and worksheets that will ultimately end up in the garbage. Like, I mean to highlight that the folders and their million sheets of paper–even the half sheets that reduce waste–will be discarded by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. In other words, there will be no lasting evidence that these kids knew nothing. There will be no proof that they were taught nothing.

Don’t misunderstand me. The little part of the day where the children crossed the classroom in pairs to find a spot to read about how legendary Native Americans are worthy of teaching the ocean-voyaging white devils a thing or two about cooperation was really not the deal-breaker to me. Really, it wasn’t. It was like five minutes of eight hours.

Here’s the bottom line: I’m a pilot. We’re rare, I know. But we like to learn and do learn. Or else we die. If you’ve been following the 737 Max story, you know what I’m about to tell you. The pilots crashed because they didn’t learn. No one taught them–some say. “Poor training.” One thing that they weren’t taught–it seems–is decision making. Compartmentalizing. Task management. Fly. The. Aircraft.

Maintaining focus is difficult for everyone, let alone maintaining focus when all the aircraft’s emergency indications are demanding your maximum and undivided attention at once. Our children are being given a million MASTER WARNING and MASTER CAUTION lights. Add a million ADVISORY lights and it doesn’t take a pilot to guess the result. They will crash.

Mrs. H- can breathe easy now. Neither A- nor his dad will be returning.

Because We Were The Nazis

This one is long overdue–not for the reading, but for the writing of it.

I have a step-son now. He was not born in America. He does not know much about the West.

A few days ago he asked me, “Why does everyone talk about World War Two so much?”

I said, “Huh?”

“You just said, ‘World War Two.’ The other day at school my teacher said, ‘World War Two.’ Why is everyone saying ‘World War Two’ so much?”

Yesterday we were in the car for long enough that I finally took the time to answer him.

“Well, what do you know about how many people are in our town?” I began. I quickly and subsequently learned that the boy is not quite a census expert. So I remedied this as best I could. Then I let Siri do the persuading.

“Hey Siri!” I began, to his delight. “How many people died in World War II?”

“Do you see now?” I asked the boy.

He says he does, but he probably doesn’t. That’s the way these things go.

But there’s something I haven’t taught this young man. Well, it’s more accurate to say that there’s something that I haven’t spoken aloud to this young man. In truth, I’ve been teaching him this thing, and nothing but this thing, since he moved in. I breathe this thing. I eat and drink this thing.

This thing: there’s a deeper, more hidden reason everyone talks about World War II. The reason is because we were the Nazis. Humans were the Nazis. Not corporations. Not aliens. Not AI. Not the poor. Not the rich. Not those with guns. Not those without guns. Not the Muslims. Not the Christians. Not the Blacks. Not the Whites. Not the immigrants. Not the healthy. Not the sick. Not Trump. Not Obama. Not the LGBTQ+. Not the Non-Binary. Not Antifa. Not #IMWITHKAP. Not Greta. Not Climate Deniers. Humans were the Nazis.

The reason everyone talks about World War II is because we were the Nazis. And we cannot forgive ourselves.

But worse, we believe that if we teach what happened, if we just talk about what happened, then we believe it will not happen again.

That, of course, is simply not true. To be crystal clear here, George Santayana’s eloquent sounding sentiment, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” is dead wrong. He was perniciously wrong.

So I’m raising my step-son (and H-) with this in mind–constantly. I do nearly everything with one singular goal in mind: teach him to be a man. That is, I teach him to think for himself.

We were the Nazis. But I was not a Nazi. And LORD help me, I will never be a Nazi. Instead, I am a man.

Moreover, I will not let the voices of doubt win when it comes to raising a boy to become a man.

I’m talking now to all of you who think it is cruel to make a child work on handwriting. Cruel to make a child read aloud until they get it right. Cruel to punish a child for disobedience. Cruel to create a standard and hold a child to it. Cruel to keep a child from TV and YouTube. Cruel to teach a child that children do not boss adults. Cruel to have a bedtime schedule. Cruel to make them eat the same meal everyone else at the table is eating. Cruel to make them finish their food entirely–and their milk. Cruel to make them do chores. Cruel to say “no” to a child–every single time they ask for something stupid like more dessert, more time, or any and everything they ever see at the store.

I’m raising a man. I’m not trying to have a friend. And I’m not trying to please you and your gay sensibilities. We were the Nazis! Do you get it? “We” were the Nazis. The only thing that can defeat “We” is “Me.” I won’t join you. And I promise you that my adult children will surely feel a shame second only to the one which comes from awareness of having sinned against their maker, if they find themselves joining the “we” on some distant day.

Enough about me. What about you? What about your sons and daughters? Are they going to come after my children some day?

Careful: You’re Talking About My Dad

Hey you! Yeah, you. My dad is a baby boomer.

You think he’s outta touch? No, I don’t mean “you all”, not “you–generation Z”, just you. The one I’m pointing at. That’s right, you. You think my dad’s outta touch?

You think that you have something to say? Don’t look at your friends. I’m talking to you.

And look at me when I’m talking to you. This isn’t about your age group. I’m not talking to a generation. This isn’t about your friends or your hair color. I’m talking to you. Men (both male and female) look each other in the eyes when they talk. You want to talk to me, then look at me. Like, starting now.

You think you can just say what you want with no response? You think your words are so powerful that there is no response? What have you even said? Summer is here? You want my dad, who has seen more summers than you, to preach, “The Sky is Falling”? That mantra used to be preached to teach children the sky isn’t falling, and that you should think for yourself. And now you want my dad, who has never seen the sky fall, to believe he is wrong?

You want my dad, who worked fifty 50+ hour weeks per year for forty-seven years straight, to feel guilty because you cannot believe how little you get paid at a job that doesn’t require you to know how to read?

Oh, you can read, you say? What’s the last book you read?

You can’t read. You’re illiterate. Do yourself a favor and admit it.

Eyes up here.

Ohhh! Look at those eyes. Now you’re angry. Good. Just like all the stupid characters in the books you can’t read. Thank you. Now, why don’t you go ahead and stand a little bit farther away while we finish? I don’t want you to hurt yourself in the event that your next “movement” is with your fist.

What else? You want my dad to stand in lines holding signs instead of stand in line for his oil change on Saturday’s? Good luck.

You want him to pay for your college, too? After paying for his and his children’s, I’d imagine he thinks he’s contributed enough to college.

Anything else? What’s that? Oh. You want my dad to be open to change? You want him to be gay like you? Oh, I see. You don’t want him to be gay, you just want him to like you? How about this? First, you get your dad to like you, then– What? You have no dad. Hmm. Well, that’s too bad. Because you can’t have mine.

The Bible Is Not About Abortion

“So, Pete, if someone asks you what the Bible says about abortion, and you don’t think it teaches on abortion, what would you say to them?”

“First, my strategy always begins with the goal of staying as the ‘question-asker’ for as long as necessary. In this case, then, I’d respond by asking, ‘To answer your question, I’d like to pry into your knowledge of all-things-ancient a bit. What do you know about the purposes of ancient people’s writings as far as they differ from today’s purposes?’ I’d ask this with the aim of illustrating that Bible times didn’t exactly include political flyers or any other kind of contemporary-style propaganda. Then I’d ask (in sincerity), ‘What do you know about how ancient people performed abortions?’ And, ‘Do you think people alive during Bible times had more or less abortions than today?'”

“Okay…”

“I can assume that the average person would confess they don’t know anything about ancient writings’ purposes (nor that they had much considered the notion that folks in the past used the written word with a different purpose than we do today). And the average person would confess that ancient peoples’ abortion rates were similar. But that they doubt ancient abortions were as controlled as abortions are today. Most people probably acknowledge in the old days the more common activity wasn’t so much abortion as discarding newborns.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Then I’d steer the conversation with the following question(s), ‘So you think at a time before literacy was widespread, before the materials to easily record information were invented and/or widespread, and before the time when the practices which we really mean to describe by ‘abortion’ were being committed were widespread, that the Bible writers–who seem to have a singular goal of declaring their god to be the only god–will have specifically addressed the practice of ending pregnancy before delivery?'”

“I see.”

“You see? You see. Okay. It’s not even working on you?”

“Well, let’s put it this way. Pretend you’re a preacher in front of a congregation. The people want to hear what you think about abortion, the people want to hear what you think the Bible says about abortion. What will you say to them?”

“Okay. Ready? Here you go. Take notes. Ahem. (Cough). ‘The Bible writers never teach about abortion. It’s not in the Bible. Every time a Christian thinks the Bible is talking about abortion, they are proof-texting. That is, they are using the collection of writings known as the Bible to defend an idea that they have, rather than letting the Bible have its own day and stand on its own merits.

“‘Does this mean abortion is unimportant or inconsequential to the LORD, the god of the Bible? No. Does that mean abortion is moral? No. Does that mean Christianity is pro-choice? No. Quite the opposite. Abortion is immoral. Abortion should be a crime. Abortion is evil. How do I know? Here’s how. Show me a pregnant woman who confesses publicly that she is filled with the Holy Spirit. (You know the Holy Spirit, right? God himself? Indwelling in people’s bodies? Acting as a conscience of sorts, guiding us along our way. Convicting us when we’re about to misstep, and encouraging us when we aren’t yet used to the feeling that accompanies righteous living? You know, the Holy Spirit.)

“‘Show me that woman who also is willing to confess that the Holy Spirit is moving her, convincing her to have an abortion.

“‘That’s how I know abortion is immoral, evil, and should be illegal. Because you will never find that woman. And if you do, everyone from both sides of Sunday will concur that she’s out-of-her-mind, no different than how the uniform public consensus forms on those highly publicized mothers drowning their kids because they say Jesus told them to. Without any subsequent knowledge or teaching on who Jesus might be or which Jesus she’s talking about, everyone knows those mothers are insane.’

“That’s my abortion sermon.”

The Black Mask and The Executioner

“I am innocent!” the man protested, unable to rain down his fist for emphasis. The blood dripped from where his finger nail used to be.

His hands were taped down to the kitchen table of his youth. He couldn’t get up. He couldn’t move. A whimper escaped his lips. The Black Mask did not notice.

He muffled an indignant and a righteous howl as the Black Mask unexpectedly reached across the table with both hands and tore the tape away with a speed that rivaled lightning.

Maybe it’s over.”

The man prayed, thanking his god for rescue. Almost imperceptibly, he lifted his head to get a better look at the masked man and the torture room, once his safe space.

The walls were charred black. The place where the stove used to be–the stove which received his mother’s love, meal after meal of his distant childhood–was now as empty as a reluctant warrior’s gaping chest cavity after receiving an RPG round on a foreign battlefield, in a forgotten war. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, she stood, stable as an oak tree, beautiful as a sunset–and apparently as fleeting–never so much as hinting that the effort she spent preparing his food should cost her more than the mere hours it took.

Before his hands had moved even an inch, an agonizing pain began at his left wrist and tore through his left arm like a tornado through a Texas trailer park.

Then he felt something moist smear across his face.

Then he heard the sound.

Then he saw the instrument.

The head of the ax was buried into the kitchen table. The handle stood cocked like the minute hand of his parents old wall clock, except that this cursed chronometer just announced Pain’s time of birth. And like a watch, it divided his wrist from his hand as cleanly as up from down, as permanently as left from right.

“Where do you think you’re going?!” barked the hot voice, smoke bellowing from beneath the Black Mask.

Time was running short. One hand already lost, coupled with the fact that the Black Mask was running out of torturous tools, the man decided to sing out one final protest. His voice, his majestic, his chivalrous, his heavenly voice–the voice that had drowned forest fires as it chased them down mountains, the voice that had serenaded thunder back into the puffy clouds from where it came–his only weapon.

Attempting to use his body to help elevate his noble cause to the gates of heaven, he began to stand as he proclaimed, “I’m sorry!” He drew his next breath as if it might be his last. “But I am innocent! And I demand you cease these proceedings at once.”

Uninterrupted, he boldly continued his pathetic, and now somewhat benevolent, plea, “And what have you done with my moth-”

But before he could finish a button had been pressed. Straps of scalding, sinewy snakeskin sprung out from the floor beside his chair and wrapped painfully across his thighs. The wooden chair legs groaned under the new, nearly unbearable load.

The man heard what he supposed was a laugh–but sounded more like enemy tank tracks grinding toddlers’ teething smiles into the wood-chips which fill schoolyard playgrounds–flap out from the bottom of the Black Mask as the eye holes sparked flame-red with delight.

The realization that there was no point in protesting hit him like thirteen jackhammers during a construction sign-studded summer drive at five.

Seeking, but seeing no disagreement, he stretched his right fingers out and felt for the brier-barbed pencil.

Did the Black Mask leak a solitary beam of light?” the man wondered confusedly, his left stub likewise pulling the loose-leaf paper close.

The outside world could have fallen away, burned away, dried away, or shaken away and the Black Mask would not have noticed as he watched the boy sigh and write out for the sixtieth time, “I am responsible for my gloves. If I lose my gloves, it is my fault. I will not lose my gloves again.”

The Disarming Case To Act Right Now On Middle-Latitude Cyclones

When I was about thirty-eight years old, I first heard about something called middle-latitude cyclones or heavy snow falls. Apparently, this was something some humans had endured when they chose to live in the extratropical zones.

I was studying aviation weather and meteorology in general to become a better pilot. I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans, who are an animal species among others, could develop meteorology at all before the invention of satellites. Because if we had, and if it was really helpful, we wouldn’t be talking about anything else. As soon as you’d turn on the TV, everything would be about weather. Headlines, radio, newspapers, you would never read or hear about anything else, as if there was a world war going on. But no one ever talked about it. If meteorology could really explain weather patterns, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no meteorology schools? Why weren’t they made free to all?

To me, that did not add up. It was too unreal. So when I was a few days older, I did not become ill. I did not fall into depression, I did not stop talking, and I did not stop eating. In two or three days, I did not gain or lose a kilo of weight. Later on, I was not diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. That basically means I speak all the time – now is one of those moments.

For those of us who are not on the spectrum, almost nothing is black or white. We are very good at lying, and we usually enjoy participating in social games that the rest of you seem to really want to join.

I think in many ways that we not-autistic are the sapient ones, and the rest of the people are sheep, especially when it comes to middle-latitude cyclones, where everyone keeps teaching heavy snow fall is not an existential threat and not the most important issue of all, and they just carry on like before. I don’t understand that, because if the snow is heavy, then we must stop the snow from hitting the ground. To me that is physics.

There are gray areas when it comes to survival. Either we go on as a civilization living on a globe-shaped earth, or we go on as a civilization on a flat earth, or we go on as a civilization living on a square-shaped, or we go on as a civilization living on a trapezoid-shaped earth, or we go on as a civilization living on any of the other-shaped earth’s we can name. I prefer the globe shape.

Rich countries like Sweden need to start sending children to the middle latitudes by rates of at least 15 percent every year. And that is so that we can keep from becoming a cylinder-shaped planet. Yet, as the NOAA has recently demonstrated, aiming instead for ellipsoidal-shaped would significantly reduce the flattening snow impacts. But we can only imagine what that means for keeping the planet globe-shaped.

You would think the media and every one of our leaders would be talking about nothing else, but they never even mention it. Nor does anyone ever mention the snow weight totals from last year. Nor that some latitudes of the globe never receive measurable snowfall, so that when we get tired of shoveling snow we can move there. Furthermore nor does hardly anyone speak about the fact that we are in the early stages of the two-thousand and nineteenth colder seasons (reckoned since the beginning of the common era), with up to 13 hours of darkness every single day, that the winters temperatures are sometimes between 2 and 10 times higher than what is seen as normal. Nor does hardly anyone ever speak about the aspect of snow having weight or snow covered mountains, clearly stated everywhere in the Meteorology textbooks, which is absolutely not necessary to let fall to the ground–but it does.

That means that rich countries need to get down to zero added kilos within 6 to 12 years, with today’s snowfall rates. And that is so that people in poorer countries can have a chance to heighten their standard of living by building some of the infrastructure that we have already built, such as roads, schools, hospitals, clean drinking water, electricity, and so on. Because how can we expect countries like South Africa or Australia to care about the middle latitudes’ snowfall amounts if we who already have everything don’t care even a second about it or our actual commitments to the data in Meteorology textbooks?

So, why are we not reducing our snow-that-falls-to-the-ground weights? Why are they in fact still increasing? Are we knowingly causing a mass reshaping of the globe? Are we evil? No, of course not.

People keep doing what they do because the vast majority doesn’t have a clue about the actual consequences of our everyday life, and they don’t know that rapid change is required. We all think we know, and we all think everybody knows, but we don’t. Because how could we? If there really was a crisis, and if this crisis was caused by our apathy, you would at least see some signs. Not just flooded cities, tens of thousands of dead people, and whole nations leveled to piles of torn down buildings. You would see some people catching the snow. But no. And no one talks about it. There are no emergency meetings, no headlines, no breaking news. No one is acting as if we were in a crisis. Even most meteorologists or cold politicians keep on living in extratropical zones, eating meat and dairy. If I live to be 100, I will be alive in the year 2081. When you think about the future today, you don’t think beyond the year 2050. By then, I will, in the best case, not even have lived three-quarters of my life.

What happens next? The year 2078, I will celebrate my 97th birthday. If I have children or grandchildren, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you, the people who were around, back in 2018. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act.

What we do or don’t do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation can’t undo in the future. So on yesterday, I decided that this was enough. I set myself down in the captain’s chair. I spent a few hours typing for the shape of Earth. Some people say that I should be watching basketball instead. Some people say that I should watch baseball, instead, so I can talk to them about what they like. But the Earth-shape thing is important to me. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.

And why should I be watching American sports that will soon be played on a planet that they cannot model their balls after when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save that model’s shape? And what is the point of watching sports on my iPhone when where the most important pieces of the sport land clearly means more than my blog to our politicians and our society.

Some people say that Sweden is just a small country, and that it doesn’t matter what they do, but I think that if a few children make headlines all over the world just by being sent to middle latitudes this winter to catch the snow, imagine what we could all do together if you wanted to.

Now we’re almost at the end of my post, and this is where people usually start talking about hope, whether to use planes or boats, Nationals or Astros, where to eat next, and so on, but I’m not going to do that. We’ve had 80 years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work. Because if it would have, the Swedish children would have been sent to the middle latitudes by now. They haven’t.

And yes, we do need hope, of course we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.

So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.

Today, we expect no snow. There are no politics to change that. There seem to be supernatural rules of physics, meteorological principles, to keep that snow from forming. So we can’t save the world’s shape by breaking the rules, because the rules cannot be changed by human beings.

We need to catch the snow — but we should wait until a snow day.

Thank you.

Creative Compilation of Recollections Culminating in Capitulation to Chris Columbus

For an Indian Guides event, when I was around five years old, my dad helped me build a pinewood derby-esque car with which to race other children’s entries. When we arrived at the “Y” we learned that our car was far outside of the weight limit. Next thing I knew, some man with a drill was using a very large drill bit to hollow out the bottom of the car.

My mom once took the silverware right out of my hands when I proved incapable of accomplishing the feat of cutting my chicken at dinner.

During a basketball game–B-League–my opponent turned around and handed me the ball, mistakenly. I said, “Thank you,” and proceeded to head toward our basket as fast as I could run.

The local go-kart track and arcade in my childhood town was called, “Malibu Grand Prix.” One time I pronounced “prix” “priks” as I begged my mom to take me there. She laughed at me for what seemed like forever and only when my tears ran dry did she tell me why. (Or that’s how I remember it.) Years later she still brings up the phonetic faux pas when her mood turns fiendish.

H- was attempting to mix the cookie dough ingredients together, standing on a chair. She was probably three years old. The butter was still pretty hard and that led to some of the dry ingredients flying out of the bowl and onto the counter. I decided to take over for a bit.

When on a childhood vacation on a working sheep ranch in Wyoming, I accompanied the man on an early morning hunt. As we summited the hill from which he hoped to achieve and maintain the advantage over costly coyotes and foxes, I did not stoop low with him. He turned and very quickly motioned for me to join him down low.

Same man, same vacation. We were shooting a bow-and-arrow. My younger brother was having his turn with the instrument. With the arrow half-cocked, he turned toward the man to better hear the instruction and the man ducked out of the path of the would-be projectile faster than I had previously suspected he could move.

I don’t remember the exact details or even the precise date of the event, but there, at least once, was a time when I watched someone do something very slowly. Rather than wait on their laziness and incompetence, I told them they could take a break and that I’d finish up.

There was a pizza party. Most people had had their fill. I asked everyone if they had any problem with me finishing the remaining slices as I raised the lid of the already half-open box.

I wrecked my car during a snowstorm. The tow company had it in their lot. I told them that I didn’t need it anymore and was just going to donate it to Colorado Public Radio as they were always advertising that unwanted cars were a great way to donate. The man beyond the glass promptly informed me that he took donations, too. That seemed easier and I really wasn’t that philanthropic. So I assented. Then, as my friend and I drove away, an opportunity for promptness presented itself to me and I vowed to think before acting from that moment forward.