Sunday, January 22, 2017

Solidarity For Human Rights And Gender Equality

Birthplace: Earth, Race: Human, Politics: Freedom, Religion: Love
One of the best sign I saw from the various marches yesterday: "There's so much wrong, it won't fit on this sign. MetaProblems = Trump." I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attaining power, has ever used that 
power benevolently. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

America Is An Idea. That Idea Is Being Trumped

Although I wasn’t born in the USA and have citizenship to Canada and India, I consider myself proud to be an American citizen, and as such I try to be respectful of all the various perspectives in this my chosen nation. With that said, I did not lower myself to watch or mark the inauguration today. I appreciate the argument that the ceremony is about the democratic nature of the republic and the peaceful transfer of power, but Mr. Trump has already demonstrated contempt for these things, and so today they are being obscured. He has been profoundly inhospitable to immigrants, despite the edict: "Thou shalt neither vex the foreigner, nor oppress him: for ye were foreigners in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:21), to say nothing of his mistreatment and slights of women, African-Americans, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, religious minorities and other marginalized groups. Trump has been legally declared president and so cannot be called "illegitimate," but he lacks the moral authority and persona of leadership that compels a public intellectual such as myself to afford him, upon his installation, the respect of witness. I have watched his ascent thus far with disapproval and need not observe the apex. I will be no less content to watch the inevitable fall that his tragically-hubristic character is already predetermining.

I am grateful for the last eight years of my life knowing that former President Obama was in charge of our country. He never bullied, embarrassed or teased our citizens. He gave me hope, courage and a sense of pride for being a true American. He made me feel relevant and representative in his eyes, mind and heart and I was inspired by his bravery in showing kindness and compassion to the many diverse groups that make up America as we know it. He simply CARED. The inauguration of Mr. Trump presents a new and possibly challenging chapter in our country's history. I hope we all can take a moment to reflect on what the former President Obama taught us during the last eight years and use it to propel our own kindness and courage to celebrate our differences and share our compassion. Together we can continue this legacy by focusing on the good and to be supremely kind to one another. President Obama, I thank you for eight years of raising the bar, inspiring from the top down with integrity, grace, and excellence under pressure. In your own words: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Imagine being Barack Obama waking up tomorrow morning: you're 55 years young, a groundbreaking, meteorically-popular, Nobel-prize-winning ex-president, blissfully on vacation with your perfect family. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Make America Hate Again

Welcome to Trumpistan. I am absolutely in shock and embarrassed as an American. Trump has turned politics into a reality show. This man does not want to tell the truth. His racism, anger and hatred are scary. When they are filming his shows, I notice there is never a black, brown or Chinese person in the audience. How on earth did we come to this? The man openly attacks the press, women and the handicapped. As Fran Lebowitz says, "Trump is a poor person's idea of a rich person." Although he lost the popular vote by two-and-half million ballots, he was able to secure an electoral college victory by a slim margin – approximately 120,000 votes in Florida, 68,000 in Pennsylvania, 23,000 in Wisconsin, and 11,000 in Michigan. Of course, 50% of the American voting population could not even bother to vote, they simply didn't care enough to show up which to me is the greatest source of insult to our democracy. As everyone is lining up to kiss the ring on the modern day Saddam Hussein should we pay attention or look away?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Born To Be Loved By Millions In Beverly Hills

What leads us to accept a particular belief, credo or fact? What's the difference between conviction, groupthink and madness? And when should we start asking questions? LA is a constantly changing mosaic of culture and urban nature. Inspiring architecture, roads, parks and open air shopping centers pave over open spaces but these changes bring new opportunities for many living species. On my recent trip to Beverly Hills, my family was happy in the knowledge that boring doesn't live here. Highlights include watching the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, visiting the Natural History Museum and the California Science Center in downtown LA near USC school of Medicine where my father is a guest lecturer teaching both neuro and cardiac anesthesia. Can't wait to return.