The Lessons of Fantasy and Inner Conflict

For today’s post, I kindly ask that you suspend reality and think not only outside the box but beyond this world and the next. Place yourself far away in another galaxy, where reality is less discernible and evident. I was recently draw back to the movie The Matrix when it was mentioned in the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I dusted off the DVD and watched it again.

So far, The Matrix is a trilogy, but The Matrix 4 is slated for release on December 22nd of this year. The richest and most well-designed scene is in the first movie of the series, which nicely lays out the premise. Laurence Fishburne plays the role of Morpheus, who wears strange sunglasses without temples that are affixed to his nose by only the bridge. An incredibly young Keanu Reeves plays the part of Neo, a brilliant hacker and computer programmer.

In the scene, Morpheus tries to explain the Matrix to Neo, using terms and poetry that might lead you to believe he’s talking about a divinity or God spirit. He warns Neo that, “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” Neo wants to understand the Matrix and believes Morpheus has the answer he desires. It’s the classic tale of a young man seeking universal truth.

The ever-curious Neo asks, “What truth?” and Morpheus explains, “…you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.” The older Morpheus explains that the truth, and thus the Matrix itself, is something he cannot talk about, others must see it for themselves. With that, he opens his hands and shows Neo two pills — in his right hand a red pill and in the left a blue one.

Now one could start there with an analogy of red representing right-leaning or conservative viewpoints and blue signifying left leaning or liberal thinking, but that would be too easy. As we learn, nothing about the Matrix is easy.

Morpheus lays out the conundrum by saying, “This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed, and you believe whatever you want to believe.” I have always thought that this choice thing was a setup, a trick, because it didn’t matter which pill Neo took. He would always be in search of the truth because that is the way he is wired.

Morpheus then explains the other choice, “You take the red pill, and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.” This is where is gets good. Neo takes the red pill, of course, because he believes the “Wonderland” of truth theory where there is no reality and he’s trusting someone else’s binary choice, not his own.

I will go no further into the plot here. If I’ve piqued your interest, then go watch the film. However, be aware of the complex set of plotlines that can spring forth from a mind wanting to be manipulated. “When you take the blue pill and the story ends,” could mean the pill makes you feel secure knowing that there was an election, the bad guy lost and you are ready to go on with your life. You believe this because you’ve attached a thick layer of fact molecules to the various scenarios of life. You know the basement of that pizza place in Washington, D.C. wasn’t where babies were sacrificed for their blood to feed Democrat operatives. In fact, there is no basement in the Comet pizza establishment.

What about those who have taken the red pill? Well, they are seduced into various “rabbit holes” where they are forced to adopt, believe and fixate on whatever their handlers dish out. As they digest the large red conspiracy pill, brainwashers like Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity narrate their reality. These guys are not modern-day Morpheus-like leaders, they are agents of hate, lizard-like liars and armed conspiracy anarchists.

In the film, agents are the guardians within the computer-generated world of the Matrix, protecting it from anyone or anything that could reveal it as a false reality or threaten it in any other way. But be careful. Those taking the red pill are depicted as the heroes. Are you lost yet? Well, don’t get confused. People who say they are seeking the truth after taking the red pill can be traitors, like the character Cypher, played by Joe Pantoliano. They are picking the truth they want to believe, not the real truth.

Once someone goes down a rabbit hole, like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Paul Gosar have done, they have totally given up cerebral control. They are compelled by a sinister need to shock, disrupt and interpret truth for those they believe will follow them down into the next rabbit hole. Whether it’s Jewish space lasers or Joe Biden sending “brown shirts” into Missouri to encourage “human experiment” vaccines, they are off their rockers. Paul Gosar has said, “If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change, then he can do so in his personal time. But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous.” First, I am sure the Holy Father doesn’t punch a timeclock at the Vatican. Next, Mr. Gosar lives in a district that had the highest temperatures in the history of recordkeeping. He’s not going to burn in hell, his trousers are already aflame in his very own backyard.

Which pill will you take? Will you trust a certain news source because they hold the pill? Do you really believe they would do anything to lower their ratings, such as telling the truth? Fox News deals not in truth. They are part of a Wonderland created by exploiters and con artist wanting to get your viewership and money. Donald Trump is like Agent Smith, The Matrix head agent out to capture and destroy those who disagree with his premise or opinion. Here’s a question, how would Donald Trump even know if the election was rigged? Seriously, he doesn’t know anything other than the shit he makes up or things members of the armed conspiracy anarchists tell him. He didn’t look at the ballots. He didn’t see bamboo in the ballots. He didn’t go to Comet Pizza and ask to see the basement. He wouldn’t know a fact if it blew into his bellybutton.

I took the blue pill a long time ago. I go to sleep at night, then wake up every morning believing in the facts as presented by truth-tellers. I never bought into Stephen Colbert’s “Truthiness,” instead thinking that black and white outlined facts and gray areas were designed for mood management and psychological stability. When Morpheus says the truth is something he cannot talk about, one must see it for themselves, he is right. The people who have been sucked into the deep dark rabbit holes are not helping America. We need to be deeply concerned they are in positions of power, and we must work to change that now. Even Paul Gosar’s siblings have said he should be removed from Congress and called him a traitor to this country. I am sure a more strongly worded reaction is forthcoming.

Take the blue pill, my friends, and stop wasting your time on trying to see things that aren’t real.


We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some here. 

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Prosecute the Perpetrators

I recently read that the Justice Department and FBI are investigating whether high-profile, right-wing figures — including Roger Stone and Alex Jones — may have played a role in the Capitol breach on January 6. According to people familiar with the investigation, it’s part of a broader look into the mindset of those who committed violence and their paths to radicalization.

I have been a harsh critic of both Jones and Stone over the years and I genuinely believe they are terrible human beings on many levels. The First Amendment is a wonderful concept, but the misuse of its rights in ways that hurts people cannot be condoned or supported.

Donald Trump endorsed and encouraged both men, but that is not the reason I dislike them. Roger Stone helped elect Richard Nixon decades ago, and over the years many people have suffered his violent threats and intimidation. Stone repeatedly acknowledged that he had established a back-channel with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to obtain information about Hillary Clinton as well as advance knowledge about the release of emails stolen from Democratic National Committee computers.

In 2019, Stone was indicted and convicted on seven criminal charges in the Mueller investigation: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering. He was convicted but later pardoned by President Trump, which didn’t deter him from his alleged involvement in the January 6th Insurrection at the Capital. He’s an evil human being.

There is an ongoing investigation into potential ties between key figures in the riot and those who promoted Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him. Sadly, that does not mean those who may have recruited or influenced rioters will face criminal charges, particularly given US case law surrounding incitement and free speech. The truth is, we have no real federal domestic terrorist law on the books.

According to news reports, officials said they are principally seeking to understand what the rioters were intending and who may have influenced their beliefs. Investigators also want to determine whether anyone who influenced the rioters bears enough responsibility to justify criminal charges, such as conspiracy or aiding the effort.

Alex Jones used his radio and internet platforms to spread many lies, hate and conspiracy theories which angered and motivated far-right lunatics. Jones, you may remember, is the guy who said that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were false flag operations of gun control advocates. He has stated many times that “no one died” in Sandy Hook and that Stoneman Douglas survivor David Hogg was a crisis actor.

Jones was sued by the parents of slain Sandy Hook children. He eventually admitted under oath in a deposition that the deaths were real, but claimed he has a “form of psychosis” that made him believe “everything was staged.” The lawsuits are continuing and so is his website that feeds the flames of the far-right, alt-right, white supremacists and militia groups. Just being taken off Twitter, doesn’t keep one off the internet. From the WACO incident with the Branch Davidians through Obama-Hillary hating and onto supporting Trump’s extreme rhetoric, Alex Jones has poisoned many minds in America.

One could argue that there is a difference between a deep partisan, who spreads lies about his political opponents, and an anarchist, who holds a belief that society should have no government, laws, police or other such representations of authority. Anarchism is perfectly legal, and while most US anarchists advocate change through non-violent, non-criminal means, they do have a history of doing bad things. The man who assassinated President McKinley was an anarchist. The men and woman who stormed the Capitol last month causing the death of five people are anarchists.

How we handle this attack on our democracy is important. A conviction of Donald John Trump in his second impeachment trial would have been a good start, but politics and law are not always on the same beam. Let me tell you a short story that might shed some light on how we handle dissent in America.

This is all true. The year was 1970, and I was the midnight to 4:00 AM disc jockey on a progressive rock radio station in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 2:00 AM, I heard a noise, looked up and saw the studio was filled with about ten student protesters. They told me that earlier in the evening they had been demonstrating in front of the woman who ran a local military draft board. They were arrested and brought into magistrate court. A group of the protesters was brought before a judge, when suddenly police officers with night sticks entered the courtroom. The lights were turned off and the kids were beaten by the cops. I convinced them to come back during the day when there would be more listeners. They were given time on a talk show the next day during the “afternoon drive” time period.

As I watched the attack on the Capitol, I kept wondering where the cops were, where the guards were or even the army! And I kept saying out loud, “What is taking them so long?” The Proud Boys, Oath keepers and Three Percenters were not protesting a war, a policy or even an injustice. They were attacking our government and democracy itself. Most in that group were ANTI-GOVERNMENT and Pro-Trump loyalists, not peaceful protestors gathered to seek redress for their grievances. Their only complaint seemed to be an illogical belief that Donald Trump lost because the election was rigged.

President Joe Biden had 81,283,098 votes cast for him, which was 51.3 percent of the total vote. He became the first US presidential candidate to have won more than 80 million votes. Trump won 74,222,958 votes, which was 46.8 percent of the total vote. We keep hearing about disenfranchising the 74 million people who voted for Trump, but wait a minute, what about the 81.2 million people who voted for the other guy? Are you saying it’s okay to disregard their choice?


The Capitol Hill thugs and malcontents need to be brought to justice so that the American public can know more about their movement and its beliefs. Parents need to learn the telltale signs of their offspring developing violent, anti-American viewpoints. Of course, we all need to know if we have this “element” in our neighborhoods. I take this seriously because many of those arrested live in the state where I reside, Florida.

When we protested in the 1960s, we clearly stated that we were against an undeclared, illegal, immoral war. We thought America would be a better place if we forgot about wars and worked toward a more peaceful world instead. When today’s far-right radicals see the world through only one man’s lies and support his ludicrously lame behavior, they are not being loyal to America, they have sworn their allegiance to Trump.

It’s obvious to me that had the rioters at the Capitol not been waving Trump flags or, God forbid, were people of color, there would have been an order to fire, you know, just like Kent and Jackson State Universities back in the day. I’m sad that five people lost their lives but it could have been worse, and it will be worse should it ever happen again. All of the influencers, inciters and rioters must be brought to justice.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.