Be Prepared to Fight ISIS

Life is both beautiful and extremely fragile.  It can be threatened with bullets, ideology, and the ugliness of mankind.  Man’s hideous idea of eradicating his own species in the name of his God is not only dark and twisted but is likely the root of evil.  The Islamic state as proposed by leaders of ISIS is envisioned to be one without physical borders.  It is meant to exist in the hearts and minds of its fighters.  To be everywhere and nowhere.  Not occupying an area of land, though if they could take up space in the middle east or America they most certainly would – and wanting to spread their idea of an Islamic state worldwide with the intention of destroying any culture that’s unlike their own.  Unable to live in peace or co-exist with those who live and believe different, their cowardice lack of self reflection is perverted and manifest in aggression and attack of innocent men women and children by whom they feel threatened. 


The propaganda used by the ISIS fighters prey on the weaken disheveled minds of young men who already feel alienated, displaced and slighted by modern society.  ISIS recruits come from all over most of the developed world.  Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Belgium, and even American men have joined the ideology of their regime and become fighters – with the promise of a utopia where they can start a new, command respect and uphold God’s law through the allure of heroism being left unfulfilled.  The recruits are likely to come from families where fathers are abusive or absent.  Much like gang culture, the macho hierarchy appears to be a force for stability for members of the isolated immigrant communities.  The young are drawn to those that wield violence and power. 

America’s response to the global threat of ISIS has been airstrikes and support to our allies.  Americans however as opinionated as they may be have only watched the battle from the comfort of their couch.  Those enlisted may see the enemy on the front lines of battle but that executive decision is yet to be determined.  Americans show their support through social media and hashtag campaigns that do little to effect the actual battle field that’s going on thousands of miles away.  The aware-ness that ISIS is a ideological terroristic threat is already known.  What’s needed is action and perhaps preparation of the Americans who may not be prepared for a war on our home turf.  Should a plot to attack our nations capital or one of our major cities be employed – I think that men and women of our American society should not just fear for their lives and run and hide, but fight back.


It might be difficult to imagine an attempted hijacking of a mall in American city like Atlanta by muslim extremist.  Someone in that Chik-Fil-A is packing heat.  The reason America could never bee taken over by force is because so many of her citizens are armed to the teeth and typically on edge.  No matter how bad we think we have it hear, we’ve still got it better than most.  Though the threat of ISIS may loom over us, I would hope each member of this country recognizes that our freedom allows us to defend ourselves against threats foreign and domestic.  Attacking Paris in the manner it was dealt was cowardly.  Like kicking a puppy.  Paris is a place for lovers and for artist.   It is a pilgrimage many wish they could take, it’s for the most creative of us all.  It’s our Mecca.  Such an attack in America would be akin to sneaking up on a junkyard dog.  It will not go as planned and It shouldn’t either.

Front line warfare isn’t something to take lightly.  Should the threat of ISIS reach our borders, training and focus would be absolutely necessary to save the lives of countless Americans.  Consider yourself and the safety of your family members.  In the revolutionary war, we brought a fight to the British that they weren’t prepared to handle.  They expected us to stand in lines and fire volleys from muskets.  Had we fought that way, we might still be ruled by the crown of England.  Instead, we fought with a style they would consider savage-like.  Hiding in trees and ambushing through the camouflage of shrubbery.  ISIS may plan to attack our cities but what they will not expect is for us to fight back.  And so we must for our liberty and freedom and for the same ideals which are shared by our allies. 


Central Park

  It made me feel low after it brought me such a high. Because nothing so great can sustain you forever. It was beauty staring me in the face. Beauty that was laid out in front of me. Walls that had been painted in perfect colors. Brick that was tinted the perfect red.

Central Park was a visually stunning spectacle. At the right time of the day I was there. On the right day of the week the weather was so ideal. Or maybe that’s what it looked like everyday and I just didn’t know? What I was reminded of most was my lack of traveling and how everyday, the things I saw back home were recurring, bland, drab.
Suppose someone came to my city and found the buildings as beautiful as I found the hidden oasis in the big city? Wouldn’t I struggle to understand what they were meaning? From the thickness of the tree trunks, to the flight of the birds living in them, I was somehow amazed at nature herself nestled between the urban jungle. The species of birds of which I couldn’t identify, their colors being unique and the bushes they often hid inside – everything there grabbed my attention. Grass healthy and green like a patch of what might’ve stood there centuries before the industrial revolution.

People in the park were all generally happy. Walking for exercise or biking through, or reading on benches. Serenity was effortless and tranquility was easy to achieve in those borders. Even the vagabond looked like he could find a place where his mind and emotions could stop running rampant for a beat.

Smiling was my automatic response and I absolutely felt love in my heart in those moments. The love for being alive, for being there, for having that experience. And even if one day, I take its magic for granted, I will hold on tightly to the feeling I got when I first laid eyes on Central Park. It was a reminder of how beautiful and simple life could be and how great life is.

There must be more destinations of the world which take your breath away. Like a view of the ocean from a secluded beach, or a mountain top overlooking vast stretches of land, or a dense forest containing the great density of hundreds of species in a cubic yard. I don’t know if you’ll know for sure though unless you go there and it happens to you. Beauty as bold and stunning which makes you question your whereabouts and focus is hard to come by. But it is telling you something. Maybe to slow down, maybe cease chasing the superficial, maybe to just enjoy life more. Whatever it is calling out, do your best to listen so that you may adjust your aim to a more satisfying target.  
There was some magic experienced that day in all the tiny pieces that made up the whole. Everybody of water, every tiny fish, every child, family, photo, street artist, leaf, stone, and the sky above. An oasis tucked between money, construction, railways, consumer culture, burning fossil fuels, vendors, and the rest of the man made world itself. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I found the high elation of joy, bliss, and love. I can’t remember the last time I felt so good all over. My first trip into Central Park gave me the great gift of inspiration when I least expected.

Personal Letters

Mr. Metellus

The day will come where we all are thankful for Mr. Metellus. We’ll all look at each other and say that he was right. “About what?” you might ask. But then you should take the time to consider what you know of Mr. Metellus. I’ll bet you think that you’re on top of the world he said. I’ll bet you’re just thinking you’re a big man he said. You know what, we’ve all got our dirty laundry, he said. And he was right. You’ve got to go to your station and do your job and write and that’s what’s going to matter. Your sheer volume of work will speak for yourself. And you’ll kick back, smoking a cigar in your chair, with your girlfriend on the couch and a bunch of art on the wall, listening to your deep focus soundtrack on your ipad, counting the money you made from closing your first deal, and trying to find out how you will push yourself to the next level. You may not know how you are going to make it out, but that’s because you must make it through. And if you can’t make it out, then write me letters because I will miss you. And if you make it out, like you always said that you’d do – remember to look me up and I’ll be right beside you.


Defending Those Not In The Room

Ignorance and bigotry cannot run rampant through our country making a mockery of our citizens and embarrassing our country on center stage. The trickle down effect of ignorance and bigotry infects our moral fiber like a group of cancerous cells that should be cut out.    

If you’ve stood up for people who aren’t your race, creed, or sexual orientation then you should be commended for not allowing people’s fear, hate, and idiocy to be let loose when they think no-one is looking or listening. We can all live peaceful lives, unmolested by aggressors if they know their willful ignorance is not welcomed.

Gays, Jews, Blacks, Irish, Italians, Trans, wherever you are and whatever you are – keep doing the things that make you a unique human being. It’ll piss your haters off, but it will make your life easier. People may not talk about you to your face, that’s because they are afraid and may feel threatened in some way. Their fear of you is not to be your concern. Only if you stop to look back, or to entertain a trifling quarrel will you be losing ground and playing to their hands.
You cannot be afraid to be who you are. For, what else would you be? Give yourself the green light to be great in spite of what people may think of you or what you should be. Strive to be the best at what you do and focus on transcending any label society has hoisted for your kind. You can be a gay lawyer, or black president, an Italian doctor, or Jewish jazz player if you want. Just don’t think you’ll be climbing the ladder of success without a few on-lookers trying to razzle you with disdain disguised as “playing” or “just words”. And don’t think that if you are in the room and they are talking about some other unaccounted for race or creed, that they will not be talking about you when you leave.

This ugliness is not purported by one person or group. It pervades in every culture like a cancer. From black guys who are homophobic, to wealthy people who are xenophobic, to middle management who may be anti semitic. People making fun of others who are not like themselves or who are a deviation from what their oppressor considers to be perfect and harmonious values have been around since any of us can remember. And each time, it’s served no peaceful purpose and made no forward progress in society being cloaked with such dark veil that is ultimately binding from opportunity, connection and possibility.
There is a silent strength in standing up for those who aren’t apart of your clan. It’s the virtue of leadership that would allow you to do so. The awareness of globalization and belief that everyone can find a way to live on this planet without disturbing the peace of others intentionally. Grow up, grow a pair, and do what’s right. Be apart of the future. Be something that would make your mother proud; unless she’s a bigoted bitch too!

When To Retreat

Knowing when to walk away can be tricky. The straw that breaks the camel’s back is the result of not knowing when to back out of a failing situation or give up altogether in order to save your energy and resources for another campaign. As a leader, it may be hard to tell when you should stop pushing out relentless effort. If you are doing everything you can and you are not seeing a result then it is time to re-evaluate your situation and get ready to charter a different course of action.
A great leader would not run at the first sign of danger and can gage a de-escalating situation wisely. One leak in the sailor’s boat doesn’t mean you won’t reach your destination. But knowing when to make that crucial call can make a big difference in your life. I’ve never been one to run at the first sight of trouble. I typically let it soak in and make my next decision strategically.

No matter how painful the news or damaging the blow (thankfully I’ve never been mortally wounded in any relationship, business or in life), it’s important not to over-react or respond with an emotion reflex. Wait for it, analyze the data then make the best decision once you’ve considered every option. There’s no point in doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. Don’t bash your head against marble hoping it will yield to your will. If you’re getting nowhere, acknowledge it and work to create a new path where you can succeed.
Finally walking away from something can be painful but the pain of remaining stuck must be greater than the pain of separation for you to leverage yourself to a better position. Admitting to yourself when things aren’t working well or if things are getting progressively worse takes courage. No one wants to feel like they’ve made a mistake and as leaders, those of us who have come from nothing, we have the tendency to keep a mantra of “riding things until the wheels fall off.” You need to know that you don’t need to have the wheels fall off before you change vehicles, ideas, relationships, or strategies.

If you wait until the she ships masthead is submerged before you take refuge, then you may already be doomed. Spotting important issues that may be irreversible takes a lot of effort and know how about the situation you’re in and what you want for yourself. If you truly know what glory is supposed to look like, then by contrast you know when you’re heading in the wrong direction. I particularly like to focus on the vision I have for myself. If you keep your vision in mind, anything that happens in your life that isn’t in accord to that vision can be nixed.
Remember it takes courage to admit when things aren’t working if you’ve made a mistake, or just to admit that you won’t survive on the continued path. But with your ingenuity, and after assessing the real problems, you should find a way to continue on a successful journey which may be in a different vehicle altogether. Don’t be afraid of retreat if it gives you the option to fight more effectively at a later time. That’s not losing. That’s shifting your energy and resources to somewhere you can actually be victorious.

The Game Inside the Game

Every great athlete has been able to master himself first and his court, field, or arena second. Great athletes, lawyers, negotiators, closers have the ability to play and win the game that’s going on inside the game itself. If you want to be the top dog in your field then you should want to learn how to play this game because if you cannot master it, you cannot force your will on anyone else, or become victorious forcing your will on the game.
Anyone who knows the real Michael Jordan will tell you he is a heavy trash talker. He knows how to get into his competitors head and he dictates the pace of the game because it’s already going well and according to the plan in his head. Another great basketball player like Kobe Bryant is known for his tenacity on the court as well for his level of focus off the court and during the off season. That look in his eyes tells you that he will stop at nothing.

Yes, you must have the killer instinct and poise to keep your head about you while everyone else is losing theirs. It’s the definitive characteristics of all great men in history. Anything that would tell you “you can’t do it; you’re too small; don’t start now; you’ve never done that before” should be treated like the thief that steals the dream and poisons the mind. It ruins your mental game and can leave you posterized or gasping for air on the canvas.
Are you old enough to remember the great boxing era of the Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson? Can you recall the look on his opponent’s faces when they looked into his eye? They could not figure out a way to penetrate through his piercing stare. Mike made them feel little although he usually had the height disadvantage. Mike Tyson said he trained hard and was very fearful that he would be beaten, and would let down his corner or his mentor, Cus D’Amato. He trained with the fear and wrestled with it the entire time up until the fight. When he walked into the ring, his stone face would lock the secret away from his opponents that he’d been fearful the whole time. Michael wrestled his fears and won that battle while he was in the gym, before he stepped on the canvas. The game within the game was already won. Iron Mike transformed from mortal to God.

 Like circling the track, looking for the tightest corner – The game within the game is personified by men like Dale Earnhart, known as the intimidator and considered one of the best nascar drivers of all time. His competitors knew his aggressive style of racing was because he had total control of his car and the pace of the race. Challenging Earnhart was like challenging a Jedi master or creeping up on a junkyard dog. Within the chaos of high performance racing – he was in absolute control – like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the middle of a war zone. That’s the game inside the game.  

Casting A Net


Casting a Net, Some fisherman work with Dolphins. Some Fisherman work alone. Some fisherman are taught by their fathers. Some fisherman are taught on their own. These fish are large and small. These fish have seen them all. Your fish is caught by these men. Your plate that’s fish and bone.

Will you come to save me? When I’m out here all alone. Casting nets with these men when my wrongs, I must atone. I have not been oh so good. And my karma’s coming home. So I left my life on shores side. And sent my ship to roam