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Updated: Apr 20, 2023

From the Oxford dictionary: Empath - plural noun: empaths. 1. (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

What irks me about the definition is the parenthetical comment that the empaths’ abilities are fiction. The fact of the matter is, we all have the capacity for empathy but not all have honed this innate skill to forgo the ego and try to walk in someone else’s shoes. Of course, the ‘occult sciences’ can help us gain insight into what another person is thinking. But, these methodologies are discouraged or seen pejoratively in today’s culture.

To gain understanding and societal recognition, empaths are the next civil rights movements. To further this endeavor, we must all pay attention to our sensitivities. Then dig deep into them. Develop them. For example, while at Canyon Ranch, the spa retreat in Tucson, Arizona, I had my tarot cards read by the resident reader. She astonished me when she insisted my focus should be on writing my memoir. She said it was an important book. Hmmm. The tarot reading occurred in February 2014. At the time I was working on the draft manuscript for My Random Death and taking classes in creative non-fiction writing. Her message from the cards was one of the motors that helped drive my will to finish, publish, and market my memoir.

My desire to write the book was to detail the coincidental, the intuitive aspects of what occurred and to bring this to the public square. Also, when the Me Too Movement began, my manuscript was in the editing phase and I knew my story was timely. At the time of the incident, I didn’t expect to be believed by police, and figured they would think I was the aggressor, or a lunatic psychic. I feared they would not investigate my story, and the evil man would kill again. So I kept quiet about the premonitions and my intuitions and those in law enforcement took my story seriously. I don’t want to hide, nor want others to have to hide their sensibilities about non-ordinary things, and so I want to make the mystical aspects of my experience very public.

The tarot reader said something else that was memorable. She foretold I would no longer be able to watch the news and see the horrors we inflict upon one another. Even though I am a federal criminal appeals attorney and had encountered tough, rough people, she said my evolved empathic abilities would make the suffering of others too much to witness albeit even from the TV screen. She suggested I only read articles written about current events and even then I might not shield myself from feeling psychic pain.

I’m not the only one who is going through this nowadays. The Times of Trump are trying for empaths. Friends of mine express similar feelings and experience the cognitive dissonance caused by his derogatory words and corrupt actions. These days, it's hard to be happy, while at the same time remembering the kids held in cages at the southern border or the ones the Trump regime kidnapped from their families. Some of the stolen children were ruthlessly turned over to Betsy DeVos’ for-profit adoption agency. Trump’s concentration camps and authorized governmental trafficking in children is done, but not in my name and not in the name of many Americans.

For empaths, the suffering of others becomes personal. We can feel what their words describe. Empaths can experience the grief of others even from just a description of a tragic event. And as we get older we might want to shut off from the world. What looks like retreating, is really an attempt to preserve one’s psyche.

There are ways for the empath to get help. Dr. Judith Orloff’s website describes her as “the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal".

Street Tarot
Street Tarot

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Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The so-called Impeachment Trial is going on and as a federal criminal appeals attorney who has made countless Constitutional arguments, I find this historical event riveting. During the proceedings, House Managers and Counselors for Donald J. Trump made frequent references to the men who designed our Republic. In some form or fashion the names John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington were reiterated with great deference by one side or the other. In order to evaluate their greatness, let’s take a brief but deep dive into the origins of our nation and the collective character of these seven fellows. Actually, they were a bunch of white supremacist, misogynists, and bigots who initially help shaped our country.

The American myths began with the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. In 1620, those purportedly good people fled religious persecution in England and sailed to America, the new world, to make their home. Shortly after their arrival these supposedly anti-discrimination folks began their campaign of spiritual bullying. They considered the indigenous populations heathens and destroyed or stole their religious objects. Eventually these cultural artifacts were put in museums and many of the native traditional ways and ritual practices were forbidden. Over time, the progressive movement in America meant moving west, which lead to the least discussed genocide on the planet. The purportedly religious minded pioneers killed buffalos and members of the First Nation with equal impunity. The buffalo was almost wiped out and there was the wholesale slaughter of 90% of the American Indian population. Those who survived were inhumanly moved off their sacred lands and onto reservations. Treaties were created between the sovereign nations, which to this day, Washington DC breaks with impunity.

After the War of Independence many states only allowed white male landowners to vote in US elections. Of course, the founding fathers were amongst the largest landowners, holding in their names millions of millions of square miles. A 2016 article by The Atlantic states, “For one thing, there was a lot of land available once the colonists started taking it from Native Americans, and—as the game Monopoly shows us—owning property has historically been a good way to get ahead. Colonists were able to profit from the land.”

Back then women could not vote. A wife was considered her husband’s personal property, similar to his cattle. A synopsis from a history course at George Mason University states “Most Americans treated married women according to the concept of ‘coverture’, a concept inherited from English common law. Under the doctrine of coverture, a woman was legally considered the chattel of her husband, his possession…. Women had no legal identity.” To this day, women are fighting for an equal identity to men in the public square.

Speaking of slaves, many of the Founding Fathers kept slaves. A 2016 PBS blog on this subject begins, “When the founders of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 considered whether America should let the people elect their president through a popular vote, James Madison said that “Negroes” in the South presented a “difficulty … of a serious nature. During that same speech on Thursday, July 19, Madison instead proposed a prototype for the same Electoral College system the country uses today. Each state has a number of electoral votes roughly proportioned to population and the candidate who wins the majority of votes wins the election.” The great compromise to ensure a ‘fair’ Electoral College guaranteed Southern landowners of black slaves could count them as 3/5ths of a person.

This is astonishing. Our founding fathers were seriously flawed men, which bring us full circle to the charismatic and corrupt, Donald J. Trump. He appeals to the grievance-driven, abortion-controlling, white males who long to return to the grand old past. The GOP.

Street Tarot
Street Tarot

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Updated: Apr 20, 2023

In an online ‘chat’ with a dear friend who lamented about a cousin under the spell of Trump, pictures of Vladimir Putin came to mind. You know the ones where he is bare-chested. When my digital talk was over, I did a Google search of the images. Upon closer inspection it was as I suspected. Almost all the photos show Putin proudly wearing a Cross pendant dangling from a chain. The hypocrisy is glaring. His odious deeds on the domestic and international stage demonstrate he is not remotely interested in the teachings of Jesus. One can rightly conclude that for Putin the symbol of Christianity is merely a useful tool. It is effective on Russians and American evangelicals alike.

“Ay, therein lies the rub” of Trump. The cult of his personality is embedded in America’s prosperity gospel crowd. It is entrenched in the belief he will make them rich. These folks comprise much of his base and they view him as the second coming of the Christ. Remarkably, many of his believers share Trump’s favorable view of Putin. More important, they align with his white, strongman tactics and his anti-Muslim crusade. It is why FOX actor and anchor Tucker Carlson can get away with favoring Russia over Ukraine. Only later did he claim to be joking about his choice. Hmmm.

The cult of Trump’s personality is insidious. A November 26th report in the ‘Washington Monthly’ notes, “it appears that agreeing with them equates to agreeing with God—and disagreeing with them, at least when it comes to Donald Trump, means doing the work of the evil one. For these Christian nationalists, it’s not enough to say, “God is on our side.” If you don’t agree with them, you are engaged with a demonic power. There is no authoritarian tool more controlling than the one that wields the power”.

My memoir is about a true encounter with evil. Unlike many Trump supporters, his religious propaganda does not work on me. I am not a fool. He uses the love of God to connive votes at the ballot box. It is a strategy to ensure money flows into Trump and his pal’s wallets too. His ‘spiritual’ advisor Paula White has almost moved into the White House. Never mind the possible criminal exposure she brings with his endorsement. A November 13th ‘Newsweek’ article notes, “Richard W. Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush's White House, blasted President Donald Trump's personal spiritual adviser Paula White, suggesting the religious leader was committing "fraud" and running a "Ponzi scheme”. . . .This 'prosperity gospel' scam by Paula White tests the boundaries between 'religious freedom' and criminal mail fraud and wire fraud. ‘Send me money and God will make you rich.' Now she uses her White House position to make her sales pitch."

We've witnessed Trump's spiritual inauthenticity most blatantly in his immigration policy. Astonishingly the same Christian nationalists who support him are perfectly fine with locking Christians in cages at our southern border, separating families and kidnapping their Christian kids, and people making money from the deplorable scheme.

God help us. The soul of America and our democracy is at stake!

Street Tarot
Street Tarot

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