WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography: Blog https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog en-us (c) Sanford Widran 2014 - 2021 (WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) Tue, 17 May 2022 03:57:00 GMT Tue, 17 May 2022 03:57:00 GMT https://www.widranfinearts.com/img/s/v-12/u172995107-o509660093-50.jpg WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography: Blog https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog 120 90 The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, MBNBC - Supreme Court Judge Alone in His Findings https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/the-last-word-with-lawrence-odonnell-mbnbc---supreme-court-judge-alone-in-his-findings LAWRENCE O`DONNELL - "The Last Word", MSNBC 

Show Broadcast 3/29/22
MSNBC.com, Transcript  
 

Supreme Court Judge Alone in his Findings


O'DONNELL:
We turn now to the most important story about a Supreme Court justice in the history of the court. No member of the United States Supreme Court has never been suspected of, or accused of anything as bad as what we already know Clarence Thomas has actually done.

Federal law says that no Supreme Court justice or any other federal judge can participate, quote, in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Clarence Thomas participated in the Supreme Court case involving his wife`s communications with White House chief of staff, and others. 

Not only did Clarence Thomas participate in that case, but he was the only justice who tried to prevent those communications, that could include communications to and from his wife, from being handed over to the House Select Committee, investigating the January 6th on the Capitol.

The attack on the Capitol was an insurrection against the government of the United States of America. And Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas tried to prevent America from discovering the full truth about that insurrection. And that is what we already know Clarence Thomas has actually done.

Another provision of the same federal law says that a Supreme Court justice and any other federal judges not allowed to participate in any case if, quote, he knows that he, either individually or as a fiduciary, or his spouse has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding. 

The interest that Clarence Thomas`s wife had in the proceeding that Clarence Thomas ruled in was her own communications with White House chief of staff, and others.

Clarence Thomas`s wife did not want her communications with the White House chief of staff to ever become public. And Clarence Thomas in his role as a Supreme Court justice did everything he could to help his wife`s communications remain hidden from the public.

Some of Mrs. Thomas`s communications with White House chief of staff were already handed over to the January 6 ix committee when Mark Meadows was cooperating with the committee. The subpoena that eight members of the Supreme Court agreed should be in force was for the rest of Mark Meadows communications, and the rest of the White House communications, generally sought by the January 6 committee.

Eight Supreme Court justices said the January 6 committee, and eventually the American people, should have all of that information, and Clarence Thomas said no. Clarence Thomas tried to block the January 6 committee from getting communications that could include his own wife`s communications. And those communications were about criminally overturning an presidential election. That is what we already know Clarence Thomas has done.

There have been precious few scandals, in fact, about any sort involving any of the 115 people who have served as Supreme Court justices. 99 percent of them never come close to anything in their judicial conduct that could be called scandalous. And 100 percent of them have never come close to anything as bad as what we already know Clarence Thomas has done.

Joining us now is Laurence Tribe, university professor of constitutional law emeritus at Harvard Law School, he has won 35 cases in the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Tribe, I`ve been eager to get your reaction about what we know of Clarence Thomas`s involvement in this case.


LAURENCE TRIBE, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: 
Well, as you said, Lawrence, what we know is that his wife had a direct interest, not simply as a cheerleader, but as a participant in the strategy to overturn the results of an election, to prevent the transition of power. 

Something that Judge Carter, just a couple of days ago, said it was a serious crime on the part of the president, or at least probably was.

The only possible answer that I suppose Justice Thomas might give is, I had no idea what my wife was up to. Of course, we do not always assume that people know if their spouses are doing, but the law that you quoted contains a provision saying that it justice is obliged to inquire of his spouse if there is doubt whether his spouse has an interest in the proceeding.

And here, the interest was not exactly secret. It has been widely known that Virginia Thomas is actively engaged in the groups that were trying to overturn the election. She was involved in the text messages that Clarence Thomas would have hidden from the public if his solo dissent had been the view.

Those text messages show that she was involved in the strategy itself, telling them that they should get Sidney Powell to overturn the election. That they should put pressure on vice president Pence. 

She and Mark Meadows, who worked closely together all the way back to the days of the tea party, we`re basically in cahoots. He was the chief of staff, not just a by standard, and she was working with the chief of staff.

And the communications that Clarence Thomas would have kept secret were ones that he should have had no voice in keeping it from the American public because this law, contrary to what a lot of people say, is not optional. I have heard supposed experts say it applies only to lower court judges. But Supreme Court justices are exempt.

No, they are not. It specifically says that no justice shall participate in a matter where he have reason to know that his spouse, or her spouse has an interest. And the interest here was very direct.

Now it is true that there is no clear enforcement mechanism. But that does not change the fact that would Clarence Thomas did was illegal, and if he continues to participate in matters that arise from the attempts to get information to the January 6th Committee, or anything related to the 2020 election, he is going to be violating the law again.

I would assume, because this hurts the whole Supreme Court, not just him, it is not just a -- on his reputation, that the other justices are going to whispering the chief justice`s ear, Mr. Chief Justice, you better do something about this, and there are things he can do.

He can make it clear to Clarence Thomas that if he does not from now on workers in all of the matters that arise out of the attempted coup of the insurrection, that he will be assigned the most boring of all of the -- chief justices have sometimes done that for petty reasons. This would not be a petty reason. It is not likely when the chiefs and the majority and have the idea to decide for the court, it is not likely to give Clarence Thomas any assignments until Justice Thomas begins complying with the law.

Now, there are going to be calls for his impeachment as a practical matter that is not going to go anywhere. But the Constitution is clear that justices hold their seats only during good behavior, and violating an act of Congress 28 U.S. Code Section 455 is not exactly good behavior.

The threat of impeachment is a hollow one now, but it underscores the seriousness of what Justice Thomas has done. As you say, it is not something that our history indicates other justices have done. There have been scandals, but nothing like this.


O`DONNELL: 
Yes. Not that long ago in Washington, there would have been bipartisan, instantaneous bipartisan calls in the House and the Senate for some action here, whether it be action by the chief of some sort, and absolute demands that Clarence Thomas recuse himself, and an impeachment would not have been out of the question in the past for this.

But now, we have a Senate where we know we could never get to the two thirds vote necessary. So in the meantime, it is just a question of asking the country to just trust Clarence Thomas`s judgment? Is that all we have?


TRIBE: 
Well, that is not all we have. Congress can hold hearings on making an enforcement mechanism available, and the very possibility of those hearings. There are statues that have been proposed, the presidents commission on Supreme Court reform on which I served, suggested that Congress might make various disqualification practices mandatory, and put some teeth behind the mandate.

The very fact that those things are going to be discussed by people even from one side of the aisle should put the fear of God, if you pardon the expression, into the justices who are ready to fight off the law.


O`DONNELL: 
Professor Laurence Tribe, thank you very much for joining us once again tonight. 

Always appreciate it.


TRIBE: 
Thank you, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: 
Thank you.

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/the-last-word-with-lawrence-odonnell-mbnbc---supreme-court-judge-alone-in-his-findings Tue, 17 May 2022 03:56:06 GMT
The Eleventh Hour - Status on the War in Ukraine, MSNBC https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/the-eleventh-hour---status-on-the-war-in-ukraine Stephanie RUHLE - The Eleventh Hour, MSNBC 

Broadcast 4/14/22, MSNBC.com, Transcript 

Guests - General Barry McCaffrey, Ambassador William Taylor and Chess Champion Garry Kasparov

 

Status on the War in Ukraine


STEPHANIE RUHLE (Host): 

And with that, let`s bring in our experts this evening, Retired Four Star U.S. Army General, Barry McCaffrey, a decorated combat Veteran of Vietnam and a former Battlefield Commander in the Persian Gulf, William Taylor joins us, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, he`s also the United States Institute of Peace Vice President for Russian and Europe, and Garry Kasparov, he grew up in the Soviet Union, he saw and opposed Vladimir PU-man rise to power. Now, he is a Political Activist, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and the Renewed Democracy Initiative, and, of course, you know him as a World Chess Champion.

General McCaffrey, I will start with you. Yesterday, we reported another $800 million in military aid headed to Ukraine. Tonight, Russia is warning, the United States and our NATO allies, to stop sending weapons and threatening what he is calling unpredictable consequences. What does that even mean?

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): 
Not much. Poor Mr. PU-man is desperate, he`s scared, he doesn`t have all options. Strategically, he has already nearly lost the war. NATO has come together, rearming Germany, doubling their defense budget, Sweden and Finland are about to come on board. He`s in a disastrous situation.

U.S.-European command headed by Air Force Four Star Wolters is pumping military equipment across that border. 50 nations are taking part, it`s a U.S. and individual 15-nation operation and Ukrainians are putting it into the fighters hands in short order.

The jury is out in how this thing is going to come out, but this is an incredible display of NATO standing behind a struggling democracy fighting for its life.

RUHLE: 
Ambassador, should we look at PU-man`s warning and interpret it as an escalation of this conflict on Moscow`s part?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: 
Stephanie, I don`t think so. They have made these kinds of threats and others on many occasions. They -- exactly what General McCaffrey said, they are in a hole. They`ve lost in every time they have been after Kyiv. They`ve just been pushed out of that area back into Belarus, back into Russia.

This embarrassment of the sinking of the Moskva and the elation of the Ukrainians, the boost of morale for the Ukrainians, this is all just going badly for the Russians. And then making these threats, of course, they don`t like the fact that there is a lot of weapons coming in from the west into Ukraine, and that needs to continue.

RUHLE: 
Garry, The Washington Post also reports on this alarming change in Russia`s propaganda messaging, which you know very well. As its troops are struggling in Ukraine, the Post writes this. On state television, a military analyst doubled down on Russia`s need to win and called for concentration camps for Ukrainians that opposed to the invasion. That report also says other commentators have doubled down on describing Ukrainians as Nazis.

All of that is ridiculous but it`s what the Russian people are seeing. Why is this -- why is the rhetoric even headed in this direction? Why now?

GARRY KASPAROV, RUSSIAN PRO-DEMOCRACY LEADER: 
What else? As has been said here a few minutes ago, the war has strategically lost. Strategically is one story, NATO is getting stronger and Ukraine`s army is getting stronger also. But as of now, PU-man's troops can still inflict huge damage on Ukraine.

And the fact is he appointed General Dvornikov, known as the Butcher of Syria, as his head man in Ukraine, shows that they will stop at nothing to show at least something by May 9th which, by the way, was not the real date of German capitulation but Stalin didn`t want to celebrated at the same day as the free world on May 8. So, he came up with his own date on May 9th.

And as in Syria, the Russians used every tool at their disposal, carpet bombing, heavy missiles, and I think that the use of chemical weapons cannot be excluded. Again, General Dvornikov had this experience in Syria.

RUHLE: Garry, you have been very critical of the U.S. and our allies in the past saying were simply not enough.

Has your view change at all? We`re doing a lot more since you and I last spoke.

KASPAROV: 
Absolutely, things have been changing. I think now, was -- we are no longer discussing the principles of giving Ukraine real weapons. And we stopped this useless conversation about defensive, offensive weapons. It`s about timing now.

So, I have to give credit to the U.S. and President Biden for eventually getting on board and taking the lead. Though we will all know that many of the decisions might be wrong decisions made by this administration, where based on poor advice coming from CIA and Pentagon that heavily underestimated the strength of Ukrainian army. And believe that the war would be over in four, or five days.

RUHLE: 
Certainly not, here we are. Day 51 and what happened? The loss of that Russian warship. General, how much of a military setback is that? Is it really just symbolic and huge emotional or morale boosting win for Ukrainians? Or is it serious business in terms of the loss?

MCCAFFREY: 
Well I think it`s also a huge boost for Ukrainian morale. And by the way, I have no doubt in my own life for having followed this for the last 24 hours, Ukrainian sunk the ship with two Neptune missiles at a deception operation. It was a very clever, aggressive move. And there`s also unconfirmed rumors that much of that ship`s party were lost at sea. So, we need to listen to it in the coming day.

But, look, that was the flagship, that was not only pounding Ukrainian civilians with cruise missiles for 1,000 miles inland, it was also part of the air defense protection of 21 Russian combatant and amphibious ships. That`s how the logistics was getting in, the support the Russian army in fighting Mariupol. So, this is a big hole just got knocked in their capability.

The rest of the fleet has now withdrawn 80 miles away from the coast. So, this is a real military setback to the Russian -- to PU-man`s forces.

RUHLE: 
NBC`s Molly Hunter recently talked to a Ukrainian about Russia`s -- excuse me, Russia`s Navy efforts to take the city of Odessa. We have seen videos for days of those ships sort of trolling the shoreline back and forth. And the Ukrainians she spoke to was simply not having it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOLLY HUNTER, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: 

"We will kill them, drowned them, he says. They have no options.
So, you don`t think they can take Odessa? We will sink them and it will be fish feeding season, he says. And our fish will grow fat."
(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: 
Our fish will grow fat. Ambassador, how big of a win is this for Ukrainian morale?

TAYLOR: 
Stephanie, I heard, first thing this morning from several -- two of my friends in Ukraine, and they were both ecstatic. Both were military, one was former defense minister, the other is in the military right now. 

They knew exactly what was going on. Gen. McCaffrey exactly right. They knew it was their own Neptune that they created, they`ve manufactured, they were so proud. They were so hot. They knew the big problem is coming. They -- and one of my friends is on the line out in Izyum.

So, they are aware of this big battle that is coming. But this was an enormous boost for them this morning.

RUHLE: 
Garry, how concerned are you that this is so humiliating for PU-man he will truly seek revenge? He could bomb Ukraine`s railways. He could do some really twisted stuff. He does not like being humiliated.

KASPAROV: 
Oh, it`s humiliation and he will try to do his best. But, again, he lost his flagship. And as the general just pointed out, Russian warships have been used as the prime source of firing missiles to Ukraine.

They actually cause more damage than Russian bombers. That had to fly too high just on low altitude because they`re vulnerable for technology that was supplied to Ukraine by Americans and European allies.

But also I think it will -- it`s not just a boost for Ukrainians. I think it sends panic to Russian sailors, to Russian troops. Because the fact is that the Russian flagship was hit by two, let`s be honest, by old-fashioned missiles.

So, and, yes clever, deception operation, I heard, it but it`s a clearly sign of negligence. They were so confident that they were out of any danger. They were shelling Ukrainian cities and they thought, okay, how can Ukrainians even shoot at us?

And I think it may have serious consequences for the morale of Russian fleets, Russian Navy. And without the strategic advantage of the Russian Navy offered to PU-man`s armies, I think they will soon find themselves in great, great trouble.

RUHLE: 
General, let`s look ahead. We`ve been talking about what`s coming next, what the Russians are preparing for. What are you watching for as we are heading into this next phase of war?

MCCAFFREY: 
Well, can the Ukrainian generals, who have been extremely good, and our tactical leadership, and these sergeants, they created an NSO (ph) core, can they deal with armored warfare, a war of fire and maneuver?

We are now finally getting longer distance weapons and there through them, self-propelled 115 artillery weapons. But the Ukrainians have been doing hybrid warfare. They`ve been using extremely good special operations force guerrilla units, but it`s been urban defense. Now, they have got a war of maneuver against the Russians who have masses armor.

I`m encouraged, however, though the Ukrainians have recalled 200,000 territorial forces. We are now rushing to arm them, body armor, small arm, anti tank missiles. The ratio of forces is actually one-on-one now. The only place for Russians have a serious advantage is a five-fold advantage in air power.

So, the battle is about to be joined in the coming 30 to 90 days, the existence of the Ukrainian army is the vital outcome. Can they defeat the Russians and still be a force in being?

RUHLE: 
Gentlemen, before we go, Garry, I want to ask you about PU-man's opponent Vladimir Kara-Mrzka. He is now under arrest. Do you have any update? Do any know anything about his situation?

KASPAROV: 
No, not -- nothing I can add to what you already know. The only question remains unanswered is whether these arrests for 15 days prison was a last warning, basically telling him get out of the country, or he will not see daylight out of prison because they will come up in 15 days with criminal charge against him. I hope for the former, but you never know.

RUHLE: 
You never know, but we hope for the best. Gentlemen, thank you so much for starting us off this evening, General Barry McCaffrey, Ambassador William Taylor and Garry Kasparov.

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/the-eleventh-hour---status-on-the-war-in-ukraine Tue, 17 May 2022 03:39:42 GMT
Lawrence Tribe as Guest on Lawrence O'Donnell - The Last Word, MSNBC https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/lawrence-tribe-guest-on-lawrence-odonnell---the-last-word-msnbc Lawrence Tribe as Guest on Lawrence O'Donnell

"The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell", MSNBC 
Show Date: 1/31/22 MSNBC.com, Transcript

Ex-45th President Confessed Publicly to Conspiracy


O'DONNELL:

Our next guest says that DT's public comments are, quote, daring the attorney general to seek a grand jury indictment against him for seditious conspiracy and forgiving aid and comfort to an insurrection to overturn the election.

Joining us now is Laurence Tribe, university professor of constitutional law emeritus, at Harvard Law School.
He has won 35 cases in the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Tribe, thank you so much for joining us tonight. 
And could you give us a review of what criminal liability is you think increased for DT as a result of his recent public statements?

 

LAURENCE TRIBE, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR: 
He essentially confessed publicly, and openly, without any coercion, without any pressure, to having committed the crime of conspiracy to engage in sedition. Seditious conspiracy, because the United States government, punishable by 20 years in prison, because he quite specifically said that he thought he had a right to overturn the election, and that Vice President Pence had better straighten up and overturn the election for him.

He also confessed publicly to inciting and fomenting, and more importantly giving aid and comfort to an insurrection, which is punishable by ten years in prison, and importantly by permanent disqualification from ever again holding office under the United States.

There are other less serious crimes to which he confessed, but just take a step back and recognize how extraordinary this is. He basically is daring the United States government, and the attorney general, and the Justice Department, to enforce the rule of law. He is saying make my day, if you come after me, I am going to stir up my angry mobs, and you will suffer. He has been so threatening to the district attorney in Atlanta, that she now has formally announced that she is criminally investigating him, and needs FBI protection.

Merrick Garland has said that he will not stop just with the people on the ground, he will follow the evidence where it leads. But he does not have to follow a trail of bread crumbs here.

As Jamie Raskin pointed out, Representative Raskin, the impeachment manager for the second impeachment, as he pointed out the other day, this is a smoking gun. You do not have to look any further

Yes, more evidence could be gathered, the evidence could be tightened, but you have the final conclusion that the January 6th Committee has been leading up to, and trying to prove, namely, that the president wasn`t simply exercising freedom of speech, but he was organizing an attempt to overturn the election.

The initial plan, I call it plan A, was to overturn the election simply by sending in phony identical, phony certificates from seven different states claiming that they were the real electors. I am the real electors for DT even though he lost those states. That was the plan.

And the plan was to twist the arm of the vice president, tried to persuade him that under the Electoral Count Act, he had this magic power to toss out the electors who were certified by the states, and except these alternative slates, and send the matter back to the states and ultimately have the election result for the president.

That was an attempt to overturn the election without violence. A bloodless coup. If that had succeeded, we would not have necessarily seen officers crushed in some cases, severely injured in the Capitol, because it would have all succeeded without the insurrection.

But plan B, which he ended up having to resort to, plan B was this sacking of the Capitol, and the attempt through violence to seize power. And he`s now made it very clear that he has given aid and comfort to that violent insurrection after the fact, by offering that if he gets elected, he will basically pardon the people who sacked the Capitol. 

That is aid and comfort to a violent insurrection, which under 18 U.S. Code Section 2384, and 2383, this nullifies him from ever holding office again, just a section three of the 14th Amendment contemplates.

Just think about what it would mean if the attorney general just sits still now, having promised to pursue right to the very top, whoever might be guilty of trying to overturn the election of 2020, what it would mean to the people of the United States if he says, well, we are not going to do anything, or if he does not say anything. That will feed into the DT's narrative that he is entitled to have it his way no matter what the people of the United States vote for. And he has said as plainly as possible, he is going to do it again.

I don`t think that this attorney general can afford simply to lay down and play dead in front of the domestic terrorist. That is what this is, domestic terrorism. No former president has ever done it. And we simply cannot let this go on any longer.
 

O`DONNELL: 
What do you make of DT`s point that the fact that Congress is considering clarifying the electoral vote count law, that that proves that in fact Mike Pence did have the power to simply give the election to DT, and now they are trying to take that power away from the vice president for the first time?

 

TRIBE: 
Well, he cannot really needed, because that would mean that Kamala Harris would have the power to resolve the next election. I don`t think that is really what he means.

What he is trying to do is say that because an effort is underway to clarify the language of this terribly ambiguous statute that was passed in the 19th century, and plug is loopholes, and leave absolutely no doubt about the role of the vice president is simply to preside ceremonially over the counting of the electoral votes, that because we are trying to clarify, somehow it follows that the Electoral Count Act magically gave the vice president the power to pick the next president.

It didn`t do that. It obviously didn`t do that. But if it had tried to do it, that would have clearly violated the Constitution. So, it is a ridiculous argument. But it is typical of many of his arguments.

But we shouldn`t forget the fact that they are stupid and ridiculous, and not let this prevent us from seeing the danger that it poses. It is a danger that requires action now.
 

O`DONNELL: 
Professor Laurence Tribe, thank you very much for joining us once again. We always appreciate it.

 

TRIBE: 
Thank you, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: 
Thank you.

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/lawrence-tribe-guest-on-lawrence-odonnell---the-last-word-msnbc Tue, 17 May 2022 03:18:41 GMT
Obama's Speech at Stanford University Regarding Disinformation https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/obama-speech-at-stanford-university-regarding-disinformation Former President Barack Obama's Speech at Stanford University Regarding Disinformation

APRIL 21, 2022 updated April 22, at 12:51 pm PT
Stanford University News (Silicon Valley, California - San Jose)
BY MELISSA DE WITTE, TAYLOR KUBOTA, AND KER THAN


Challenges to Democracy in the Digital Information Realm

Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address about how information is created and consumed, and the threat that disinformation poses to democracy.  "Regulation has to be part of the answer to combating online disinformation", Barack Obama said at the Stanford event

During a speech at Stanford University on Thursday, former U.S. President Barack Obama presented his audience with a stark choice Do we allow our democracy to wither, or do we make it better?
 

Obama, who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017, was the keynote speaker at a one-day symposium, titled "Challenges to Democracy in the Digital Information Realm", co-hosted by the Stanford Cyber Policy Center and the Obama Foundation on the Stanford campus on April 21.


The event brought together people working in technology, policy, and academia for panel discussions on topics ranging from the role of government in establishing online trust, the relationship between democracy and tech companies, and the threat of digital authoritarians.  Over the course of an hour-long address, Obama outlined the threat that disinformation online, including deepfake technology powered by AI, poses to democracy as well as ways he thought the problems might be addressed in the United States and abroad.

This is an opportunity, it's a chance that we should welcome for governments to take on a big important problem and prove that democracy and innovation can coexist, Obama said.  

Obama told a packed audience of more than 600 people in CEMEX auditorium as well as more than 250,000 viewers tuning in online “that everyone is part of the solution to make democracy stronger in the digital age and that's all of us" from technology companies and their employees to students and ordinary citizens must work together to adapt old institutions and values to a new era of information. If we do nothing, I'm convinced the trends that we're seeing will get worse," he said.

Introducing the former president was Michael McFaul, director at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and U.S. ambassador to Russia under Obama, and Stanford alum and Obama Foundation fellow, Tiana Epps-Johnson, BA.  Epps-Johnson, who is the founder and executive director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, recalled her time answering calls to an election protection hotline during the 2006 midterm election. She said the experience taught her an important lesson, which was that "the overall health of our democracy, whether we have a voting process that is fair and trustworthy, is more important than any one election outcome."

Stanford freshman Evan Jackson said afterward that Obama's speech resonated with him. "I use social media a lot, every day, and I'm always seeing all the fake news that can be spread easily. And I do understand that when you have controversy attached to what you're saying, it can reach larger crowds,"  Jackson said. "So if we do find a way to better contain the controversy and the fake news, it can definitely help our democracy stay powerful for our nation."

 

The Promise and Perils Technology Poses to Democracy

In his keynote, Obama reflected on how technology has transformed the way people create and consume media. "Digital and social media companies have upended traditional media from local newspapers to broadcast television, as well as the role these outlets played in society at large.  During the 1960s and 1970s, the American public tuned in to one of three major networks, and while media from those earlier eras had their own set of problems (such as excluding women and people of color) they did provide people with a shared culture", Obama said.

"Moreover, these media institutions, with established journalistic best practices for accuracy and accountability, also provided people with similar information: When it came to the news, at least, citizens across the political spectrum tended to operate using a shared set of facts what they saw or what they heard from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley."

"Fast forward to today, where everyone has access to individualized news feeds that are fed by algorithms that reward the loudest and angriest voices (and which technology companies profit from). You have the sheer proliferation of content, and the splintering of information and audiences," Obama observed. "That's made democracy more complicated."

"Facts are competing with opinions, conspiracy theories, and fiction. For more and more of us, search and social media platforms aren't just our window into the internet. They serve as our primary source of news and information," Obama said. "No one tells us that the window is blurred, subject to unseen distortions, and subtle manipulations."

The splintering of news sources has also made all of us more prone to what psychologists call "confirmation bias,"  Obama said. "Inside our personal information bubbles, our assumptions, our blind spots, our prejudices aren't challenged, they are reinforced and naturally, we're more likely to react negatively to those consuming different facts and opinions all of which deepens existing racial and religious and cultural divides."

"But the problem is not just that our brains can't keep up with the growing amount of information online," Obama argued. "They're also the result of very specific choices made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular." The former president also made clear that he did not think technology was to blame for many of our social ills.  "Racism, sexism, and misogyny, all predate the internet, but technology has helped amplify them."

"Solving the disinformation problem won't cure all that ails our democracies or tears at the fabric of our world, but it can help tamp down divisions and let us rebuild the trust and solidarity needed to make our democracy stronger," Obama said. He gave examples of how social media has fueled violence and extremism around the world. For example, leaders from countries such as Russia to China, Hungary, the Philippines, and Brazil have harnessed social media platforms to manipulate their populations. "Autocrats like (the little PU Man) have used these platforms as a strategic weapon against democratic countries that they consider a threat," Obama said.

He also called out emerging technologies such as AI for their potential to sow further discord online. "I've already seen demonstrations of deep fake technology that show what looks like me on a screen, saying stuff I did not say. It's a strange experience people," Obama said. "Without some standards, implications of this technology for our elections, for our legal system, for our democracy, for rules of evidence, for our entire social order are frightening and profound."

"Regulation has to be part of the answer"  Obama discussed potential solutions for addressing some of the problems he viewed as contributing to a backsliding of democracy in the second half of his talk.

In an apt metaphor for a speech delivered in Silicon Valley, Obama compared the U.S. Constitution to software for running society. It had "a really innovative design," Obama said, "but also significant bugs. Slavery. You can discriminate against entire classes of people. Women couldn't vote. Even white men without property couldn't vote, couldn't participate, weren't part of We the People. The amendments to the Constitution were akin to software patches," the former president said, "that allowed us to continue to perfect our union."

"Similarly, governments and technology companies should be willing to introduce changes aimed at improving civil discourse online and reducing the amount of disinformation on the internet," Obama said. "The internet is a tool. Social media is a tool. At the end of the day, tools don't control us. We control them. And we can remake them. It's up to each of us to decide what we value and then use the tools we've been given to advance those values,"  he said. The former president put forth various solutions for combating online disinformation, including regulation, which many tech companies fiercely oppose.

"Here in the United States, we have a long history of regulating new technologies in the name of public safety, from cars and airplanes to prescription drugs to appliances," Obama said. "And while companies initially always complain that the rules are going to stifle innovation and destroy the industry, the truth is that a good regulatory environment usually ends up spurring innovation, because it raises the bar on safety and quality. And it turns out that innovation can meet that higher bar."

In particular, Obama urged policymakers to rethink Section 230, enacted as part of the United States Communications Decency Act in 1996, which stipulates that generally, online platforms cannot be held liable for content that other people post on their website.  "But technology has changed dramatically over the past two decades since Section 230 was enacted", Obama said. "These platforms are not like the old phone company."  He added: "In some cases, industry standards may replace or substitute for regulation, but regulation has to be part of the answer." Obama also urged technology companies to be more transparent in how they operate and "at minimum should share with researchers and regulators how some of their products and services are designed so there is some accountability".

"The responsibility also lies with ordinary citizens", the former president said.  "We have to take it upon ourselves to become better consumers of news, looking at sources, thinking before we share, and teaching our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources and separate opinion from fact."

Obama warned that if the U.S. does not act on these issues, it risks being eclipsed in this arena by other countries. "As the world's leading democracy, we have to set a better example. We should be able to lead on these discussions internationally, not [be] in the rear. Right now, Europe is forging ahead with some of the most sweeping legislation in years to regulate the abuses that are seen in big tech companies,"  Obama said.  "Their approach may not be exactly right for the United States, but it points to the need for us to coordinate with other democracies.  We need to find our voice in this global conversation."


The Power of Narrative

Obama made a surprise appearance at the symposium's afternoon panel moderated by Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford's Global Digital Policy Incubator.

"I learned something just from the brief time I was here,"  Obama said to the audience at the Bechtel Conference Center.  "I'm looking forward to all these younger people solving this problem now that I've thrown it out,"  he said, gesturing to some of the students attending the panel, which was on (how to defend open democratic systems in a global digitized world?).

Donahoe, who served under Obama as the U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, remarked: "I think it's fair to say we may never have had a president so disinclined to push people toward polarization, and you certainly demonstrated that in your speech today." Obama interrupted, "I thought you were going to say a better-looking president." The audience erupted in laughter. "That too," Donahoe quipped back, and went on to say: "But the other side is [you're] so gifted at using narrative to motivate people, and that is a unique combination."

Also speaking at the symposium was investigative journalist Maria Ressa whose courageous reporting earned her the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Ressa joined a panel moderated by Marietje Schaake, the international policy director at the Cyber Policy Center. Ressa said her critical reporting of the abuse of power and violence of (her authoritarian-home) regime and (the government's) efforts to suppress her and her colleagues' findings has shown her firsthand the corrosive effect of disinformation on democratic norms.

"I became a journalist because information is power," said Ressa, who is the CEO and co-founder of the digital news site Rappler. "When information is wrong or when the tech platform that delivers the news is biased against facts or they don't distinguish it's like introducing a virus and then everyone getting infected by it."   Ressa said the (named country) is an example of how an assault on the truth and facts can harm civic engagement and eventually destroy democracy. "You cannot have integrity of elections if you don't have integrity of facts. And we don't have integrity of facts," Ressa said.

At the end of the panel discussion, Schaake asked the panelists for solutions to the troubled relationship between democracy, media, and the information environment. Ressa responded, "I think the only option you have right now, that needs to kick in, is regulation and it should not be downstream at content moderation.  It should be at the algorithmic level and at the [level of] surveillance capitalism," which refers to the concept of tracking customers' personal data for profit.

 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2022/5/obama-speech-at-stanford-university-regarding-disinformation Tue, 17 May 2022 03:09:44 GMT
General Milley, Secretary Austin Answer Critical Race Theory Questions: https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/10/general-milley-secretary-austin-answer-critical-race-theory-questions-june-23-2021 JUNE, 23, 2021
 

Top General Defends Studying Critical Race Theory In The Military

NPR

June 23, 2021


The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, responded sharply to questions from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Wednesday about the examination of critical race theory in the U.S. military.

"I've read Mao Zedong. I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin. That doesn't make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding — having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?" Milley said.

He continued brusquely: "And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, noncommissioned officers of being, quote, 'woke' or something else, because we're studying some theories that are out there."

C-SPAN captured Gaetz shaking his head while the Joint Chiefs chairman spoke.

The exchange came at a House Armed Services Committee hearing to discuss the 2022 Defense Department budget.

Until recently, critical race theory was anything but a household phrase. Rather, it was used to describe an approach to studying institutional racism, as NPR's Barbara Sprunt has reported. But it has become a culture war issue, and the phrase has been stretched well beyond its initial meaning, as conservatives in particular have used the phrase to raise concerns about race in venues including state legislatures and local school boards.

Gaetz originally posed his questions on the theory to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the nation's first Black defense secretary. Gaetz cited unnamed military members criticizing the military's recent "stand down" to deal with extremism and then asked about how the Defense Department should "think about critical race theory."

Austin was less terse than Milley but also dismissed Gaetz's concerns.

"We do not teach critical race theory. We don't embrace critical race theory, and I think that's a spurious conversation," he said. "We are focused on extremist behaviors and not ideology — not people's thoughts, not people's political orientation. Behaviors is what we're focused on."

Austin also pushed back on the basis of Gaetz's concerns: "Thanks for your anecdotal input, but I would say that I have gotten 10 times that amount of input, 50 times that amount of input on the other side that have said, 'Hey, we're glad to have had the ability to have a conversation with ourselves and with our leadership.' "

Gaetz wasn't the only member who asked about the military's approach to addressing race.

Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., cited a letter he received from West Point's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, which states that one course at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point teaches about critical race theory (Waltz's office provided a copy of this letter to NPR). Waltz also referenced a seminar at West Point where an instructor reportedly taught about "understanding whiteness and white rage."

In his response to Gaetz, Milley referenced Waltz's concerns as well, saying that such education could be useful in understanding the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.

"I want to understand white rage, and I'm white, and I want to understand it," he said. "So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out."

From <https://www.npr.org/2021/06/23/1009592838/top-general-defends-studying-critical-race-theory-in-the-military>

 

General Milley, critical race theory and why GOP's 'woke' military concerns miss the mark:  When it comes to developing future military leaders, Congress needs to be following Milley and Austin’s lead — not the other way around.

NBC  June 28, 2021
By Jeff McCausland, retired Army colonel and former member of the National Security Council

Last Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to talk about the 2022 Defense Department budget.

During the hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., challenged Austin about, among other things, the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in the U.S. military. A relatively amorphous term often referring to the academic study of race and anti-racist movements, CRT has become a catch-all cause celebre for culture war conservatives. Later in the hearing, another Florida Republican, Rep. Michael Waltz, a military veteran, noted that CRT appeared in an elective at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and “white rage” was the focus of a seminar voluntarily attended by 100 cadets.

Milley made it clear that the U.S. military does not “teach” critical race theory and dismissed as offensive the characterization of officers and noncommissioned officers as ”woke.” But the general also reminded the committee that West Point is a college and that it is crucially important for those in uniform “to be open-minded and widely read.”

And as for learning more about white rage? “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white,” he said. "What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What is wrong with having some situational understanding about the country we are here to defend?”

There are a few things to unpack here. First of all, it seems clear that the congressmen had little real interest in anything that the military leaders had to say. Their goal was to score political points for news coverage and Twitter.

This exchange does, however, raise important questions about civil-military relations, as well as how the next generation of military leaders should be educated. Civil-military relations is a bedrock of our democratic process and fundamental to the execution of American national security. It’s vital that the military remain apolitical, while still retaining autonomy over key aspects of the profession. Obviously, this dynamic is imprecise and results in jurisdictional tensions between the military and its civilian masters as each seeks to exercise its responsibilities in the formulation of national security policy.

The recent exchange between the congressmen and America’s two most senior military leaders is illustrative of this ongoing friction and raises the question of whether the boundaries of professional responsibility, particularly with respect to officer development, are changing.

Gaetz and Waltz are hardly isolated examples. Recently numerous conservative lawmakers have seized on CRT as a blanket description for a broader education effort within the military. Several Republican congressmen have voiced concerns about a book on racism that is one of over 50 titles listed on the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program and demanded its removal. Even former President Donald Trump raised the issue during a recent rally in Ohio.

But Milley’s frustration most likely has a more philosophical source, as well. During my 30-year military career, I had the good fortune to teach at both West Point and Annapolis, serve on a leadership development advisory board for the Air Force Academy, and serve as the dean of academics at the Army War College. All these institutions focus on education, not indoctrination. As Milley suggested, each seek to encourage their students to think critically and develop the ability to analyze complex issues.

Milley told the representatives that he had read Mao, Marx and Lenin. So have I, and went on to use them in courses I later taught. As a cadet in the late 1960s, I also read Black writers such as Malcom X, Eldridge Cleaver, Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King Jr. I was the cadet host for a lecture and visit to West Point by the radical political organizer Saul Alinsky. Exposure to these ideas didn’t turn me or my classmates (that I know if) into Communists, militants or even socialists. But they did provide us invaluable perspectives when commissioned as officers in the turbulent early 1970s.

The professional military consider one of their special responsibilities to be the development of the next generation of officers, and Milley stressed the importance of building “leaders, now and in the future.” Currently, roughly 40 percent of the American military is made up of people of color, and this will most likely increase. Demographers suggest that by 2050 the white population of the United States will comprise 47 percent of the population. The cadets and midshipmen who graduated from our service academies this May will be generals and admirals by that time, and Milley underscored this point during remarks to the graduating ROTC cadets at Howard University. “It is your generation that can and will bring the joint force to be truly inclusive of all peoples,” he noted.

Gen. Daryl Williams, West Point’s superintendent, had a similar comment when asked about CRT by Waltz. In his reply, Williams placed the course in the broader context of a cadet’s professional development. “Although some controversial topics and guest lecturers are a part of the West Point educational experience, these opportunities are specific in nature and not a systemic part of the 47-month experience for every cadet,” he said.

Ultimately, Congress shouldn’t be trying to influence reading lists prepared by the chiefs of service in the first place. Nor should lawmakers have approval power over the content of specific lessons in electives taught at service academies and senior service colleges. Are two lessons in an elective for a handful of cadets whose goal is to “consider how the contemporary issues that relate to race, gender, and sexuality apply to the Army and how they impact the Army officer” a worthy area of research and debate for a congressional committee?

I’d argue no. When it comes to developing future military leaders, Congress needs to be following Milley and Austin’s lead — not the other way around. Gaetz was presumably too busy making accusations to listen to the questions posed by Milley. But that’s what lawmakers should be talking about — beyond the obviously important questions about budget and funding. What caused thousands of people to assault our Capitol and seek to overturn our Constitution? What is wrong with military officers having “some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” Our national security may depend on it.

From <https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/general-milley-critical-race-theory-why-gop-s-woke-military-ncna1272558>

 

Transcript:

 

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin responded to questions from Rep. Matt Gaetz about Critical Race Theory in a congressional testimony on June 23, 2021.

Read the transcript of their response and testimony starting here -

 

Matt Gaetz: 

Mr. Secretary, why was Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lohmeyer released of his command?

Secretary Austin: 

It was a decision made by his chain of command. And typically those decisions are made based upon either having confidence or a lack of confidence. This issue is under investigation by the IG. And so, I won’t comment any further on that.

Matt Gaetz: 

In my previous discussions with service members, and particularly officers, I would hear about complaints over parts, not arriving on time, long deployments. And in my more recent discussions with those officers, the number one issue that they raised to me with concern often unable to speak publicly for fear of the type of retribution that Lieutenant Colonel Lohmeyer faced, they say that your stand down regarding extremism did not help our military. It hurt the military. And I want to share with you that perspective that it caused service members to otherize one another. It impaired group cohesion. And interesting to me is that I’ve heard those sentiments most frequently from units that are majority minority, that this was not particularly helpful. So I wanted to give you the opportunity to maybe share with us more specificity regarding the definitions that seem to be a challenge when Ms. Hartzler was asking questions. How should the Department of Defense think about critical race theory?

Speaker 3:

Could I make a comment, Secretary? I’m sorry.

Matt Gaetz: 

I’m very limited on my time, General.

Speaker 3: 

I just want to make comment that-

Matt Gaetz: 

I’ve asked the question to the Secretary Austin.

Secretary Austin: 

I don’t know what the issue of critical race theory is and what the relevance here in the department. We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory. And I think that’s a spurious conversation. And so we are focused on extremist behaviors and not ideology, not people’s thoughts, not people’s political orientation. Behaviors is what we’re focused on. But in one final point, and thanks for your anecdotal input. But I would say that I have gotten 10 times that amount of input, 50 times that amount of input on the other side that have said, hey, we’re glad to have had the ability to have a conversation with ourselves and with our leadership, and that’s what we need-

Matt Gaetz: 

Reclaiming my time, Mr. Secretary. It may be that you’re receiving that input in the ratios you describe because it was your directive. It may be that people are concerned about criticizing your decision because Lieutenant Colonel Lomeyer was not relieved of his command for his actions. He was not relieved of his command because of poor performance regarding his duties. He was relieved of his command precisely because of his thoughts and because of his critique of critical race theory.

Matt Gaetz: 

It is particularly helpful that you have said that the Department of Defense does not embrace critical race theory, and that you think the discussion is not appropriate. I would suggest that it is the ideology that is not appropriate. And it is particularly concerning to me that you have hired a critical race theorist to give you advice on personnel matters. And that person is Bishop Garrison. And I would particularly observe that on July 27th, 2019, Bishop Garrison tweeted regarding former President Trump, “He’s dragging a lot of bad actors out into the sunlight, normalizing their actions.” And here’s the relevant part. “If you support the president, you support that. There is no room for nuance in this. There is no more, but I’m not like that talk.” And then he replies to his own tweet with what seems to be a very ethno nationalist hashtag, #black44. Could you enlighten us as to what advice Mr. Garrison has given you? And are you concerned that while you testify publicly to our committee, that the department doesn’t embrace critical race theory, you have hired someone who is precisely a critical race theorist?

Secretary Austin: 

This is the first I’ve ever heard Mr. Garrison be described as a critical race theorist. So this is new and I’m sure-

Matt Gaetz: 

Did you review his tweets before you hired him personally? Did you review his tweets before you hired him?

Secretary Austin: 

I did not personally review his tweets.

Matt Gaetz: 

I would just ask that maybe that’d be helpful. Is there anything you can share in just these final seconds regarding any advice he’s given you?

Secretary Austin:

Let me just share one other thing that you brought up, congressmen about the input that comes to me. You know, I trust my leadership from top to bottom that they will give me fair and balanced and unvarnished input. And for you to say that people are telling me what I want to hear, I get it, but I’m smart enough that-

Matt Gaetz: 

That does happen.

Secretary Austin: 

Yeah. You know, maybe they’re telling you what you want to hear.

Matt Gaetz: 

Well, I don’t know that they even know what I want to hear.

Mr. Chairman: 

The gentleman’s time has expired. Mr. Brown is recognized for five minutes.

Speaker 5:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman-

Ms. Houlahan:

… Mr. Chair, and thank you gentlemen, for joining us today. I know my time is very precious, but I would like to yield some of my time to General Milley, because I know that he had some comments that he wanted to make when Representative Gaetz was talking, as well as Mr. Waltz, about a similar subject of the stand down and race theory. Would you like a minute or so to comment on that? Do you remember what your line of questioning, your thought was there?

General Milley:

Sure. First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, et cetera, I’ll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And the United States Military Academy is university and it is important that we train and we understand. And I want to understand white rage and I’m white, and I want to understand it. So what is it that cause thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders now and in the future do understand it.

General Milley: 

I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned office rs of being quote woke or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there. That was started at Harvard Law School years ago. And it proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African-Americans that were three quarters of a human being when this country was formed. And then we had a Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation to change it. And we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took another a hundred years to change that.

General Milley: 

So look, I do want to know, and I respect your service. And you and I are both Green Berets, but I want to know, and it matters to our military and the discipline and cohesion of this military. And I thank you for the opportunity to make a comment on that.

Ms. Houlahan: 

Thank you, general.

 

From <https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/general-milley-secretary-austin-answer-critical-race-theory-questions-from-matt-gaetz-testimony-transcript>

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/10/general-milley-secretary-austin-answer-critical-race-theory-questions-june-23-2021 Sat, 02 Oct 2021 01:44:53 GMT
Frankenstein excerpt from the book by Mary Shelly https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/5/frankenstein-excerpt-from-the-book-by-mary-shelly 56-PICT3094 (2)56-PICT3094 (2)    Excerpt from the book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly
   page 198 paperback edition

 

….soon slept profoundly.  But sleep did not afford me respite

from thought and misery; my dreams presented a thousand

objects that scared me.  Towards morning I was possessed

by a kind of nightmare; I felt the fiend’s grasp in my neck,

and could not free myself from it; groans and cries rung

in my ears.       My father, who was watching over me,

perceiving my restlessness, awoke me; the dashing

waves were all around:  the cloudy sky above; 

the fiend was not here:  a sense of security,

a feeling that a truce was established

between the present hour and the

irresistible, disastrous future,

imparted to me a kind of

calm forgetfulness, of

which the human

mind is by its

structure

peculiarly

susceptible. 

 

 Excerpt from the book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly
  page 198 paperback edition

 

 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/5/frankenstein-excerpt-from-the-book-by-mary-shelly Thu, 13 May 2021 19:45:04 GMT
My Pocket Prayers https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/3/my-pocket-prayers 014-PICT8512014-PICT8512

My Pocket Prayers

 

Saved for many years
inside the folds of my wallet
for reminder and prayer,
and protection from harm.

With loving grateful thoughts
and endless appreciation
for all the comforts provided
in this wonderful life.

Every day above ground
is truly a terrific day.
Thankfully yours - S.

 


 

I love The Lord

The Lord is good to me

Please protect me Lord

And I'll be good to thee.

Thou art the Ruler of the

Heavens and the Earth

All the Universe

And all the Peoples of the world

Thou art the King of all hosts.

 

Through Thy mighty power

Thou provides us with strength and spirit

My imperfections as a human being

acknowledge to me reasons

for need of Thy care.

 

Through Thy infinite wisdom

Thou provides us with science

to challenge our human minds

and art to help us build creativity

within our souls

that helps us grow smarter

and more talented with age.


Knowing you O Lord

has made me a peaceful

and loving individual

Thou art my Shield for protection

my Rock and my Redeemer

Thou art the end of all Salvation.

 

Shma Yisreal Adonia Elohanu Adonia echad!

Here O Israel, The Lord is our God,

Adonai is One!


Barchu shaym kevod malchuto lolam vaed!

Praised be his name whose glorious kingdom

is for ever and ever!

 

I believe in only Thee O Lord

please be with me and fill my heart

Holy, holy holy is the Lord of Hosts

The whole world is filled with his glory

Thank you for giving me this life O Lord.

Amen!

 

Once again, I wish to proclaim

for all to hear

I Love the Lord

the Lord is good to me

Please guide me Lord

and show me how to serve Thee

Please protect the ones I love,

the people I’ve known,

and all the people of the earth,

Also please don’t forget

to protect the Earth itself

ensuring our future survival

for generations to come.

 

Please guide me Lord

and show me how

to do the right things

Use me as a conduit

to do your good bidding

I need you Lord both

in my Life and in Spirit

I plead with you over and over again

that I might find my way in this world

to understand thy teachings

and face life’s challenges with courage

I appreciate everything you have done

and provided us our mortal souls

Thank you for giving me

this precious life O Lord.

Amen!

(Sanford Widran)


 

For the Blessings:

For the blessings which You lavish upon us
In forest and sea,
in mountains and meadow, in rain and sun
we thank You.

For the blessings You implant within us,
joy and peace, meditation and laughter,
we are grateful to You.

For the blessings of friendship and love,
of family and community

For blessings we ask of You
and those we cannot ask,

For the blessings You bestow upon us openly
and those You give us in secret,

For all these blessings,
we thank You and are grateful to You.

For the blessings we recognize
And those we fail to recognize,

For the blessings of our tradition
and of our holy days,

For the blessings of return and forgiveness,
of memory, of vision and of hope -

For all these blessings
which surround us on every side
Dear God, hear our thanks
and accept our gratitude.   

 

(Ruth Brin)


 

Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.

And life is a journey;
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;

From innocence to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom;

From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;

From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude

From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding -
From faith to faith;

Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey,
Stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.

Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage –
To life everlasting.

(Rabbi Herbert Bronstein)


 

Avot – God of All Generations

We praise You, Adonai our God
And God of all generations:
God of Abraham, God of Isaac,
God of Jacob;
Great, might,
And awesome God
God supreme.

Master of all the living,
Your ways are ways of love.
You remember the faithfulness
Of our ancestors, and in love
Bring redemption to their
Children’s children for the sake
Of Your name.

Remember us unto life,
O Sovereign who delights
In life, and seal us in the
Book of Life, for Your sake,
O God of Life.

You are our Sovereign and our
Help, our Savior and our Shield.

Blessed is the Holy One, the
Shield of Abraham.

 


 

What are we? Of what value is our life?
You have shown us the answer:
Human beings are precious to You.
You singled us out at the beginning
from all Creation. 
Even though the righteous
cannot give You anything
which is not Yours already.

 


 

We thank you God
for all the blessings
that we receive daily.

We shall not take for granted
the wonders of the world we live in;
the marvels of life, the beauty of nature,
the love you have implanted in each of us
to share with one another.

 


 

Grant Us Peace,
Your most precious gift
eternal Source of peace
and enable Israel to be its messenger
unto the peoples of the earth.

Bless our country
that it may ever be a stronghold of peace,
And its advocate among the nations. 

May contentment reign within its borders,
health and happiness within its homes.

Strengthen the bonds of friendship
and fellowship among all
the inhabitants of our land.

Plant virtue in every soul,
and may the love of Your name
hallow every home and every heart.

Seal us in the Book of Life,
and grant us a year of prosperity and joy.

Praised are You, Adonai, Giver of peace.

May the One who causes peace
to reign in the high heavens,
let peace descend on us,
on all Israel,
and all the world,
and let us say:
Amen!

 


 

My conclusions therefore are:

decide to be happy
render others happy
proclaim your joy
love passionately your miraculous life
be grateful for every moment of life
pray and thank God every day
meditate
smile
laugh
whistle
sing
dance
look with fascination at everything
fill your lungs and heart with liberty
be yourself fully and immensely
feel God in your body, mind, heart and soul
and be convinced of eternal life.

 


 


A Prayer for The World

Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.

Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.

Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.

Let the warmth of the sun heal us
let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender and skin color.

Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.

And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.

Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
To surround us with beauty.

And let the mountains teach our people
To reach upward to heaven.

Amen!

 

 

My Pocket Prayers
(Sanford Widran)

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2021/3/my-pocket-prayers Fri, 12 Mar 2021 01:55:16 GMT
Reject Misinformation and all Forms of Intimidation https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/reject-misinformation-and-all-forms-of-intimidation

Reject Misinformation
And all Forms of Intimidation

By: Sanford Widran (c) Nov 2020 

(written between Election Day & the
 final set of Electoral College tallies)

 

Be patient

Plan ahead

Turnout takes time.

Know how, where and when

you’ll vote and bring a sandwich

or two with water to tide you

over. Waiting so, it seems

endlessly in line for the sun

to shine again on the USA, to

do our patriotic duty. Results

may seem to take a while,

while the US Post Office mailings

roll in slowly. Be calm, don’t shake!

It could still be several more days

to know the winners and losers.

Get your ballot in early since

Postal delivery can snake and

snail the mail up to seven days

long and you’ll want it to count.

To get there in time, look

for a Dropbox nearby instead

or go in person ahead.

Be respectable and responsible

drive a friend or bring a family elder.

Think it through, carefully

wear a mask, study the formal

literature too the candidates

produce then learn the numerous

and complicated proposition

issues Pros and Cons. They’re

expensive some. Don’t forget

about the judges or those

notorious School board members

who fight for survival or maybe?

Deserve to be sitting in a

governmental meeting seat,

some may already have a solid

record, or maybe not. Should

I vote by mail or risk it in line

and in person? Wear your

Personal Protection Gear (PPG),

Absentee or Mail-in ballot?

What’s the difference? None!

Intentional confusion reigns to

stifle voting with intimidation

none-the-less, even

Militias watching.

 

On the other slippery Right

hand still covered in Lube.

The dirty STUMPER death-tour,

stranding seniors in the icy cold,

just to Rally in his presence

forgetting his supporters

needed to get home, after.

The police alone could not

transport the size of the

crowd bused in for the

Super-spreader event this way

Left the big-ass sign says

and then they are left after

to fend for themselves.

When it was over

Ambulances were called

to take the frozen home

or to a hospital bed, since

someone forgot to call the 30

Buses to take the crowd back

out to the distant parking lots

far from the airport tarmac stage. 

Incompetence doesn’t compare,

the following day Seniors are

dropping like flies from the

dreadful Florida, suffocatingly

steamy heat where Paramedics

are attending to help folks back

up onto their feet at another

death-tour, Super-spreader

event crowd rally, this way Left

the big-ass sign says again, after

rally after rally not caring

who’s affected or how many

get infected.

 

This virus COVID-19 is a big

challenge for us all. A Pandemic

riding on our backs and our

Parents too, who now

must hide in their homes

for fear of, landing in a hospital

bed and isolation room with tubes

galore coming out due to low

Pulse Ox (oxygen) breathing air

supply. No more lovely greetings

with hugging and kissing, and

parties and more, are cancelled 

at least temporarily until a vaccine

becomes widely available.

Stumper’s politicizing of mask

wearing is in keeping with his

long-held moral vacuum and those

on the Right who close their eyes

and cover for him (his ass)But,

unlike some of the 45thst Executive

past absences of moral leadership, 

this one could cost people’s lives

as we all wait, and wait, although

we can’t wait, while we wait

and count the days until

the Inauguration Day,

coming soon.

 

We must bring truth back

to the proposition and

our conversations around

the table with all stakeholders.

To learn our lessons still and

build it back better than ever

before. And from the past at

our behests admit what you

can do, to improve with

willingness. Be still, listen

carefully with paper and pen

quill at hand to well qualified

and highly studied experts

of Science and more to form

a plan, a strategy to pursue

to mobilize our efforts in concert

as united, we stand ready

with our troops at hand to help us

reach out for troubling solutions

still together addressing our ills

although focused even more

clearly now especially for

130M doses vaccine distribution.

 

Please don’t make it someone

else’s problem or a Red States

verses Blue States conflict on issues

that matter, like life and death

See what happens, for example,

when we trust politicians

with our safety and security?

The corruption insurmountable,

the Congress oversees but

the final say is reserved

for the courts and suing parties.

That seems to last forever, like

it’s a dog fight to the end until

The US Supreme Court must

decide what laws to enforce.

Oh, wow!

 

In what biblical times we live

when a change in our Dear

Leader will do since a new

President can moderate the

course of our future as well as

put up a fight to prevent the new

Far-right Supreme Court Judges

that now rule over our large

and highly diverse cruise ship of

people and children and families

at risk, lead the ship, please lead

the ship. We need healthcare

with no preconditions. Steer us

into friendlier and calmer waters

with our Allies eyes at our backs

and Ours watching their butts too.

No more Nationalistic inner focus

again, now to be moved out and

Left, (pun-intended) in the dust bin

of history and nightmares. We can

only have hope that a Democratic

people’s government returns to

represent us all and that knows

how to follow our relatively young

Constitution, for the sake of

the world, just in time

we hope again.

Thank gosh!

 

Over the last four years we

have stress tested and weakened

our institutions, challenged by

politicizing appointees for the

Executive branch. So, by now

we should have imagined how

to fix our laws for good so some

Nut-Ball politician can’t hijack

the government again going

forward. And, it’s as if

Diversity” is a dirty word to

them” for some reason,

they” can’t stand the word or

Inclusion” either for all of “US

The United States of America,

we stand tall shoulder to

shoulder with each other

nonetheless together. Notice

the loss of the word “United

in the speeches by the Orange

Stumper when he stands and

says and God Bless America

at the end of his ramblings.

 

The greed... is sick and amoral!

Reject foreign influence and

secretly funneled donations that

ends in the pockets of shady

political “quid pro quo” con arts

hoping to drain the US Treasury

separating us from our Cash

into cleanly washed dollar bills

spread widely across the globe

into unlimited offshore shell bank

accounts galore in a slap down

challenge to the little Russian

PU-man for the title “World’s

Richest & Filthiest Whore”!

How perfect does it get? The

moral subversion is completely

intolerable! “All roads lead

to Russia and the PU-man

unfortunately, but fortunately

since Nancy Pelosi still rules

strong to save our sacred

Constitution. Watch dumb Mitch

stick his fingers in his pants at

the sight of her like the senile

ex-NY mayor did recently with

a Minorcaught on film.

 

The current senate leader from

that very poor horsey state hides

to avoid the sunlight like a

vampire by day and comes out

in the dark as a blood sucker by

night. He is useless and the

Death-Eater he claims to be.

It’s time to Ditch Incompetent Mitch

and put Chuck and Nancy in charge.

We must take both the House

and Senate too. Then we can

get something important done

over the next few years. Cross

your fingers and toes to

finally, please make it so.

 

And then the Progressives will

stand to unite us all to make it

rain Red, White and Blue all over. 

It’s not just you’re a Crook

Senator....said the Democratic

challenger in debate for Senate

Seat in Georgia. And then again

like never before, two run-off

election seats will decide

political control of the Senate,

the Congress and our future

together. It’s testament to our

strength and will to overcome

and push all these godless people

out of office, never for them

to be seen or heard from

ever again. We hope and

Long to say…

The End!

(to “them all” and this

  entire charade!

 

 

Reject Misinformation
And all Forms of Intimidation

By: Sanford Widran (c) Nov 2020 

(written between Election Day & the
 final set of Electoral College tallies)


 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/reject-misinformation-and-all-forms-of-intimidation Thu, 19 Nov 2020 21:07:45 GMT
My Father Made Friends with a Hummingbird Recently https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/my-father-made-friends-with-a-hummingbird-recently

095-PICT8326095-PICT8326Lillies of the Valley...Pond.

My Father Made Friends with
A Hummingbird Recently!

By Sanford Widran, (c) Aug 2020

 

My father made friends

with a hummingbird the other day.

They found each other adorable,

they both love to play, every day.

When my Dad rolls out in his back yard.

 

There is the same hummingbird

working really, hard.

Fluttering its wings very quickly

To sip the sweet nectar

From the hole in the mouth

of the Red Jar, disguised as a flower.

And, to rest after

the bird will stop by, As it goes

Vipppy, Vippp, Yipppy Vippp

from side to side.

To check you out

eventually to reside, and

show it’s pretty

shiny dark breast.

As it lands near by

Upon a twig in the tree

Quit near and

Next to my Dad and Me.

 

They would look each other

up and down real hard

To see the other carefully

And study what the other

Might do next, the moment brief.

But the quick gaze is just enough

To size the other up neatly.

And see what each of the

(My Father and the Hummingbird)

Other was wearing, sweetly.

And, I could swear that the Bird

Was draped in a shimmering

Purple and Gold Jacket!

So, it must have been a Laker Fan!

At least, they smiled so each

could see the other’s face

And feel safer, with one another

if ever so briefly.

And then off it goes yonder

Quickly darting high into the sky

And landing like a Daredevil

On the tall dark side

of a Palm Tree not far,

in the shade from the sun,

so it can rest now and hide.

With the heat and sun’s rays

so bright and intense

Until another time the bird

will take flight again sometime later.

 

As if it’s now energized

From cooling off so long

While keeping a keen eye out

It circles back around

To start the dance all over again.

The food of course it’s main purpose

The Red container still awaits

although standing, still, sitting, right there

out in the open in the direct sunshine,

all the time, all day long. Easy

to keep an eye on from Near and Far.

Don’t even Dare to come by

Another hummingbird or two

Might even try though. And before your eyes

Can even register

that friendly bird of yours was

not so nice to any Other

body with wings, that might not care!

The sound of the two or more birds

going at it was quite strange

as they went Vippy VIP, Vippy VIP

super quick.

And my Dad’s new friend returned

when it was secure

And the food source went undisturbed.

This was this little “guy’s” territory

So, you can’t just come waltzing in

for a quick drink without being

suddenly chased and squawked at

incessantly, at last.

“Move out of here fast Buddy

This my new friend’s place.”

And so again like he/she bird does

Every day now and settles on a limb, nearby

Each time my Dad comes outside to play.

They stare each other up and down

and so, wonder...

What might happen next?

 

Ooooh, there’s that other

pesky bird again already

as they chase each other up and down

for Air Superiority, a challenge which

Is never quite clear….

Is that the Same Hummingbird?

Over here? Hmmm....

Over here now on the twig?

With the super proud and shiny Breast

The Purple maze and glow intensity

all around looks pretty much

the same.

So, is this one,

my Dad’s little Friend?

Who won that battle?

High in the sky, rather here nor

there, they disappeared.

And only one returned to drink

from the super sticky jar with the

sweet nectar. Sure, it must nourish

that tiny body enough that's

built like a battery with storage.

Its energy within like a kite above

With wispy zippy wings!

Around it goes, and around again,

each time

through its familiar ritual.

From Shady Palm Tree to

Suckle honey from the mouth

Of the Red Upside-Down Jar,

And back again

Over to the Twig on the tree

Nearby my Dad and Me.

 

His Hummingbird friend takes

A break periodically to stop

Flapping its wings and gather

it’s strength

from all this new-found

energy source. Again, and again

to enjoy the sweet flavor,

if ever so ever, so briefly and neatly.

For another moment still, until that

pesky other Hummer shows it also

has a pretty face and wings again too.  

But, of course the endless chase

Begins and ends

To protect this special source

of delicious Life-Giving fruity fluids.

In this scary desert so hot

it’s amazing these little feathery creatures

can even survive. My Dad is amused

at the acrobatics these hummingbirds can do.

They can hoover so perfectly

right in front of you, flapping wings

left and right so fast that become invisible.

If only we could fly too!

Thought someone long ago

Studying birds in flight to

Understand the sight

of gravity and the danger, we might face.

For (Wo)Man to leave the ground

With just a little sip of fuel for energy

So, it seems

Just like a bird can or so Do. (does)

Although a Propeller HELPS too!

 

My Dad used to fly!

No - not Combat Jets

But overhead wing Cessna planes

He received his Visual License

to fly at his will. And then to keep learning

more and more, taking lessons still

then “Under the Hood” without looking

outside the cabin except

for the instrument panel and switches

and gear to fly the plane within

any condition without fear. But, he never

quite got there, all the way through

On completing his Instrument License, I hear.

 

He loved the freedom

the airplane provided to chase

the line on the horizon, to soar

and loop through the cloudless

blue sky, without even falling apart!

Himself too, mentally or physically

or physiology. The fun he says

is in the Practice STALLS,

while riding really high

in the sky, and then falling

endlessly it seems, back to Earth

completely recklessly now.

The stall turns the plane upside down

just to make sure it’s harder

for you to recover while spinning

out of control down…. down really, fast.

It feels just like your stomach

has been relocated,

The blood pumps so loudly through

your brain, while you're trying

to think this out clearly!

What is going to happen next,

is going to happen really fast

so, you better remember what to do

this time and next, if there is one.

 

Wake up! Here goes......

as you quickly ease back on the Throttle

All the way back without killing the engine

mid-flight. Then straighten the Airlons

Left and Right and back to Center,

while stomping your foot

on the opposite Rudder direction

to flatten your spin and then ever so ever

Gently pull back on the Elevators

Steering Handle Yoke

To “Pull Up, Pull Up” screams

the Stall Horn in your ear.

The dials are all spinning

In uncomfortable ways

As the intensity of the gravity

pull, thankfully, begins

to lessen now

bringing the flight more gradually

into flat space riding still high

enough, in the sky.

Then move the Throttle forward,

back to Normal position for proper air

flying speed, once again.

Whew…. we made it through,

another one of those Mind-Bending

events just to make sure you know

what to do and learn what it feels like!

To Recover up there

when you are up there all alone

in space, and must know

many more lessons just to find

your way home again, safe.

And make it back quick

to the correct Landing Strip!

 

Just like my Dad’s friendly

Hummingbird does each day

when it returns, Sitting

for a while to cool

On a nearby Twig!

All steady and calm

Then wings begin

The zippidy dash.... again,

To retrieve a sip of food

from the sweet jar and back.

From here to there, again and again

Every day now when my Dad

comes out to play in his backyard.

 

They are regular good friends now

that makes my Father smile and amused 

for quite a while, with tickled pink cheeks

at the sight of the Purple Hummingbird’s

breast. And certainly and thoroughly enjoyed,

by the seemingly calm of the rest and

the fun of each other’s rouses!

 

My Father Made Friends with
A Hummingbird Recently!


By Sanford Widran, (c) Aug 2020

 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/my-father-made-friends-with-a-hummingbird-recently Thu, 19 Nov 2020 21:07:28 GMT
A Remarkable Feeling....The Realization of our Being https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/a-remarkable-feeling-the-realization-of-our-being  

084-Pict0026p - Copy084-Pict0026p - Copy

A Remarkable Feeling...
The Realization of our Being!"

(tiny humans living on a floating planet)

Sanford Widran, (c) May 2020

 

Here I am.

At least, I think I am.

So, it must be true...Perhaps.

How are you?

 

Where am I?

Somewhere out here

In the atmosphere

Riding high

In the ozone sky

Like the Rainbows fly

Where I can see

far and wide

And much more clearly now,

Seems like Forever.

 

That's a Fact

So are You

Jack, and Jill

They walked down the hill

Holding hands

with their pail

in between them

Falling in Love.

Preparing to dip their toes 

in the water, 

of the ever flowing

River of Life,

ever changing

together,

take flight!

But hang on tight,

Cause our planet is turning

Floating like a Raft

Spinning through the draft

Now going really fast.

Flying through the Vastness

of Time and Space.

 

While our people must Unite

Through Strength in numbers

Becomes our Might!

By myself at first,

Then at next sight

Here are all

the rest of us, too.

Working all day and night

we bind together

for fair play.

Please help us friends,

we beg you.

We need respect

for our community

to comply

Families are hungry

Babies crying.

 

Paddling our way

Through the Bay now

Over waters still and flat

Like glass below

And reflected back

Sun shining brightly

as we go…

Gliding quietly,

Going slow

at first

Then for fun

going really fast.

In sync working hard

Moving forward

Always chasing

Towards our Goals.

 

“We all make our own prisons

although,

some are better decorated

than others.”

(attributed to some "Unknown Prisoner")

 

"Give me a minute

And I can save you

Many miles!

For what you Seek…”

(attributed to some “Unknown Shephard”)

 

“I can’t change

the direction of the wind

but I can adjust my sails

to always reach my destination.”

(attributed to some "Unknown Sailor-

Jimmy Dean")

 

“What lies before us

and what lies behind us

are tiny matters

compared to what lies within us”

(attributed to some "Deep Thinker-

Ralph Waldo Emerson")

 

Awareness of our souls

and pending mortality

are unique to us, our kind

Human Beings, we’re alive.

It becomes a part

of growing up and

maturing into an adult.  

Learning to understand

to accept these things.

Then again, have no fear

because with Faith you see,

so the Eternal goes, it

can become a part of you.

 

When I was young

And lying in bed

God said

I should listen carefully.

At least, I thought it was

God's voice,

who would speak to me

at night before falling asleep.

At this early age I did not realize

or understand quit yet

that

these were my own thoughts,

trying to figure things out.

meanings of life and death!

 

Going to sleep

for the night was always

A difficult time for me.

I feared the dark

until I turned like thirteen.

I could hold my pee, but had

bad nightmares all the time.

Many different repetitive

themes. Still do even

as an adult, although

about different ones now.
 

God would speak to me

I could hear him clearly

Listening to his warm

familiar voice all full

of logic and wisdom.

Comforting words still

follow me around today

He would impress

on my attention

how to Endure

Duress

with Patience

and think of him.

Until to pass the time

And kill the moments still.

So, it would hurry up

and pass already,

that stressful situation

will just have to deal,

Then soon enough

Sleep would take over.

 

Unfortunately,

Chronic Pain and Fatigue

Have now become

a significant part of

my daily existence

and struggle with hopefulness.

A mosquito bit with a virus

Is all it took outside one night

Who knew?

It could put me in a state

Like this, leaving me disabled

and unable to shake it or do

much of anything, now.

I have had to learn to adapt

My brain so twisted and

unable to focus clearly.

How frustrating to never

be the same again,

so full of energy

And strength,

alive and capable

No longer be the case

as I sleep all the time

and am tired while awake

as if in a conscious

but unconscious wakefulness.
 

Painful stimulation

has become a part of me.

A big impact on my life

and quality,

both subjective and dependent

on my Brains’ interpretation.

The meds work ok

a part of time

but then the pain again.

Each day brings new

Distressing difficulties

Making it more challenging to try

My legs so heavy, my head

like mushed in a blender.

It follows me around

everywhere I go

Insists I balance the pain

and carry the added weight

of it on my shoulders

like a pet Gorilla by day,

and while running,

running from that Dragon

of Pain in my nightmare

dreams all night long.

 

With everything I try to do,

I am exhausted so.

I cannot focus

or accomplish much

of anything at home.

How depressing to be told

There is no cure!

What shall I do?

Nothing much I guess

Although,

From the long list of all

My “Witch Doctors”

(neurologists, pain specialists,

doctors alike)

They each described my illness

Clearly,

They all prayed for me

Cheerfully, with a smile

And said there was nothing

They could do,

But, they “Witched me Good Luck!”

On my way out the door

Before I go, home.

 

My photography though is

Fun and quite Outstanding! 😄

Solarization Fine Art Photography

The World you barely know...

Exists!

Got to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Got to make it so 

The cookie, the reward.

Harmony of Presence with

Mindfulness and Openness

Willingness and Lovingness

Will bring us Hopefulness

and Peacefulness.

 

My artwork is as way different

as any great artist should be

in order to position their work

as truly unique,

A breakthrough in technique

Authentic and original.

My catalog is so vast

And quite extensive

I cover many types of

photographic genres

and specialty interests.

It’s all about the pleasantries

of the colors and how

they make you feel inside,

The emotions evoked

by reviewing carefully

With artistic pride!

 

"Every image is like a song

or a piece of music.

Each one plays with you

for a little while

with its unique nature

of visual communication"

(attributed to some "Wanna be

Musician- Sanford Widran")

 

Need to get moving,

Now, somewhere fast

Oh, no!

A time bomb

is going to explode.

Inside my head

one day, 

and Kill me Dead,

only

I don't know when!

So then, Uhm....

I better get my butt

in gear and show my

Photographic artwork

exhibit to the world today.

There, it is, It's here!

Ok, but move it quick

before it is too late! 

 

"I Can't Wait

Until Tomorrow Comes

Since I Get Better Looking

Every Day!"

(attributed to some "Great Player-

Joe Namath")

 

Please Lord forgive me

for all my sins

and past transgressions.

I will seek to do better

to improve my character.

And reassess periodically

to challenge old thoughts

and outdated beliefs.

Thus, rid myself forever

Of “stinking thinking!”

(attributed to some “Great Speaker-

Zig Ziglar”)

 

Thank you, Lord,

for this wonderful day

For granting us this

joyous filled life

And for all your bountiful

Blessings.

It was genius providing us

With a consciousness

of your presence

and awareness of our own

Human existence within

Mortal souls, so

We can recognize you

in worship, belief, and faith.

Thank you, Lord,

for your endless gifts

and comforts of our loving Home.

 

Here and now,

Lord, please help me again

I need your guidance

To find my way ahead.

I hope to feel better soon

so I can get back

out into the world

and resume

where I left off.

There is so much more

to learn and discover.

And, thank you Lord,

So much, for everything...

You do. Catch you,

next time and soon! 😊

“Amen”  

 

A Remarkable Feeling...
The Realization of our Being!"

(tiny humans living on a floating planet)

Sanford Widran, (c) May 2020

 

 


 

 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/11/a-remarkable-feeling-the-realization-of-our-being Thu, 19 Nov 2020 21:06:05 GMT
Where are We Now These Days, Anyways? https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/9/-where-are-we-now-these-days-anyways-by-sanford-widran-c-feb-2020 083-Pict0277083-Pict0277Yosemite Dawn

“Where are We Now These Days, Anyways?”

By Sanford Widran © Feb. 2020

 

The planets all sing with beauty

And many fun insults they sling

Across great distances

At each other

Into the long dark nights

Out there in space all alone

Except for my eight best friends

In our Solar System below:

 

Venus, my love (Bitch!)

My Penis grows Large for you,

Ho!

And I am turning Blue like you

Come closer while I Rage

I need to bang against you

To clear my head.

Quick, let’s jump in bed!

 

Mars, you mad man (Asshole!)

How can we attract? When

We are such polar opposites?

I am so pretty

And you are such

An ugly dirty Red.

 

Do you ever wash

Or brush your teeth?

Or shave that bumpy face?

And comb that straggly head?

 

I am blue and you are red

How can it be said:

That I Shall love You 💕

Forever?!

 

Saturn, you Devil,

Your rings are

Oh, “O”

so Intriguing

Funny how they all line up

Together,

in a Single plane.

 

Jupiter, you behemoth

I see so many moving colors

I can’t really tell

Which one To

Describe you with.

And that Monster Eye,

What’s up with that?

 

These are Gaseous Zombies

At our zenith in the darkness

With multiple moons

and rings around,

They make for our modern

astronomical interest.

 

Neptune, you squishy Fatso!

You are always off a bit,

And murky like a blue

Fish Soup.

We never know which part

You are getting

Through the lens,

When we try to look at you.

 

Mercury you’re a bald

hot head,

Pluto you’re as cold

as Hell,

And a pale Butt Face

we all laugh,

an outcast, an exoplanet,

no longer one of us

or number nine.

 

And Mars again

you’re still a mess,

though now an Orangey,

Dusty, hazy Red .

 

Uranus, you Anus!

I must kiss it now,

You are so far off

You’re at the butt-end

of Our Solar System.

Now, I love to say that

When for fun,

We must play around again,

As soon as I am done.

 

And so, many moons

go around

These wobbly orbs,

Them too are round,

sort of.

Spheres they call them

Where so many

Playground sounds

abound from.

 

We all sail Onboard together

Our Blue and Green planet

Earth, always moving, twisting

And turning without our notice,

Through the Grand Universe.

This Mother of all planets

Happens to be

The greatest steamy

Lover of them all,

And Sanctuary

in a world full of Atmosphere

Made by God

and Indivisible too,

Before now and Zen (then).

Suitable for blossoms

And creation of life

and our future home

for generations

of Mindful...

Evolution....

 

Thanks of all

to our Sun,

our Star!

That beautiful yellow

and powerful, Golden orb

Sunshine rays

go all the way around.

That generates the Green

and warmth of oceans seas

Shaping the plants and trees

And warms our bones by day

(and besides the magic sun

fire, at night too).

That gives us Strength

To bend our knees,

you know

We love the Bees,

Even though

they are leaving us soon!

 

We praise thee

For our wonderful location,

Spot on Within,

Our haunting Solar System.

And For granting us our lives

Hail thee to Mom and Dad!!!

 

(Is it the chicken or the egg?

Which came first?)

For us

Being born

Into this cute little corner

of Our orbital plane.

(no such thing)

ahhhh.......

Why is the Universe so big?

Daddy?

my young daughters asked.

 

This exhilarating round slice,

Of the ever expanding

universe(al) space

Is in a rush.

And inside us,

Our Human minds too.

That spirit of growth

and urgency,

with compassion

none-the-less.

 

New truths

are just waiting

to be uncovered.

Old ones dusted off,

and soon to be

(re) discovered.

And expanded upon

In thought and prayer

With pen to paper

(Or computer keystrokes)

Based on peer review

for final proof.

Only then

to be disclosed,

Broadly, to the public.

For filling libraries

And online Data Banks.

Finally used to build upon

For foundational support

Of future pursuits.

For finding new truths

Again, and again, such as

To save our climate

challenged,

Place in this World.

 

We as People,

the Human Race

Our dying love

will never cease.

And with great planning,

desperately seeking answers

in trial after trial

A solution to be found, finally

For another important problem

To be solved.

in order to move us

Forward unbound.

To advance our thinking

for all (Wo) Mankind

and to better secure

Our future survival.

 

We stretch our minds eyes

Filling our brains

with new (stuff),

Information.

Day after foreboding day.

Until we find ourselves,

With great expectations

The ability to rise from the dust

And bend our knees and elbows.

To build our homes

Using only the Earth’s earth,

Only the crust and the dust.

Using Only the darn dirt,

while trying and trying again.

And always digging

Ceaselessly, using our hands

through day and night

to shape these materials

In the way of our designs.

Hopefully, with help

From our family and friends, too

 

Assembled with many parts,

And so many fittings and screws

there are, you know.

All To be

Constructed

Into this one great

Networked machine

called Simplicity.

That, and within our own minds

Ever seeking perfection,

Towards Infinity and Oneness,

OH! WOW!

 

“Where are We Now These Days, Anyways?”

By Sanford Widran © Feb. 2020

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/9/-where-are-we-now-these-days-anyways-by-sanford-widran-c-feb-2020 Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:47:33 GMT
Medical Device Marketing Product Management https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/8/medical-device-marketing-product-management The Dividing Line that Unites Us

Medical Device Marketing Product Management Role

A typical Product Manager is viewed like a General Manager for the product. 
This tends to be a key pivotal role within an organization intended to drive:

  • Business results & product sales - gross revenues
  • Competitive advantage - market share gain
  • Customer satisfaction (long term) - market share retention


Competencies associated with effective and successful Product Managers: 

  1. Drive business results

  2. Deliver results through people

  3. Ensure market driven direction

  4. Guide product ‘fit’ and function

  5. Manage multiple priorities


1.Drive business resultsProduct managers need strong business skills to manage a piece of business. Setting a clear vision and strategy, converting this strategy into a plan with measurable objectives in terms of revenue and growth and having solid financial knowledge and decision making are some key skill that will enable product managers to drive business results

2.Deliver results through people – Product managers usually don’t have direct authority over people but requires product managers to deliver results through people. This means product manager needs to be able to lead upward, downward and sideways. They need to be effective communicators, both oral and written. And they also require perseverance and fortitude.

3.Ensure market driven direction – A key aspect of a product manager’s role is ensuring long term customer satisfaction. This can be achieved by ensuring product is guided by the market’s and customer’s needs. The product manager must not only have an ‘intimate’ understanding of customers, but must be the champion for the customers and advocate for the market within the organization.

4.Guide product ‘fit’ and function – To deliver for the customer’s needs, and drive competitive advantage for the organization, product managers must create a superior product and offering. This requires solid technical and operational knowledge and skills. Product managers must drive technical product specifications with a view of ‘what’ the product has to do and not necessarily the ‘how’.

5.Manage multiple priorities – Finally, product managers must be able to see the big picture while managing details and schedules. To manage multiple priorities, time management and project management are essential skills.

 

Multiple Stages - New Product Introduction

  1st - Assess Market Opportunities

  • Analyze customer problems/drivers
  • Analyze Competitive Marketplace
  • Analyze Product Opportunities
  • Quantify Opportunities and Revenue Potential

 2nd - Prepare Product Line Strategy

  • Road-map Creation
  • Align Operational Initiatives
  • Communicate Strategy

          3rd - Plan Product & Variations

  • Define Product Requirements
  • Prioritize Scope
  • Build and Communicate Plan

   4th - Develop the Product

  • Negotiate / Develop Technical Product and Software Requirements
  • Create Measures of Product Success – Product (Design & Market) Validation
  • Design and Validate Product & Market (market messaging) / Customer Interface Experience

   5th - Launch and Roll-Out

  • Validate Quality and Release
  • Communicate to the Organization
  • Measure and Communicate Impact

           

Product Manager - Key Responsibilities

  • Product Life-cycle activities

  • Product/Business strategies

  • Product Mix Road-map planning

  • Pricing

  • Forecasting

  • Performance Tracking

  • Sales/Marketing Programs Development

  • Market Research / Market Intelligence

  • Market Positioning, Messaging, Imaging, Quality

  • Business Planning

  • Branding, Names, Trademarks, Warranty

  • Labeling, Packaging, Training


Cross Functional Key Interactions

  • Project Management

  • Engineering

  • Regulatory

  • Quality Assurance

  • Document Control

  • Finance

  • Planner/Purchasing

  • Production

  • Sales

  • Technical Services

  • Customer Service

  • Clinical Research

  • Marketing Communications

  • Senior Staff Leadership

  • Global Market Channels

 

PM’s Role and Required Skills

  • Analyzing

  • Prioritizing

  • Tracking

  • Communicating

  • Innovating

    • Product

    • Messaging

    • Positioning

  • Responsible for Key Program Documents
  • Product Opportunity Proposal (POP)

  • Market Requirement Specifications (MRS)

  • Product Marketing Plan (PMP)

  • Product (Related) Business Plan (PBP)

 


 

The Four 'P's' of Product Marketing

1. Product (what)

  • Full bundle of goods and services offered to customer

         Includes:

  • Appearance
  • Functionality
  • Support or non-tangibles
  • Physical product itself
  • Packaging

2. Promotion (how, who)

  • Advertising and selling, message and timing

3. Place (where, when, how)

  • Where, when and how the product is distributed and sold

4. Price (why)

  • How much we charge for products or service, value thru premium tiers


- Product

  • PM is the Product Guru (subject matter expert)

  • Market plan

  • Contingency planning

  • Inventory/ Forecast

  • Strategic Design

    • Innovation

    • Quality

    • Integration

  • Competitive Assessment

  • Clinical Positioning

  • External & Internal Customer Relationships

  • Packaging

- Promotion

  • Brochures

  • Collateral

  • Trade shows

  • Videos

  • Surgical Techniques

  • Web Casts

  • Field Communications

  • Technical Bulletins

  • Giveaways

  • Newsletters

- Place

  • Launch Planning

    • Theme, Locations & Agenda

    • Launch Kits

    • Samples

    • Studies

    • Technique

    • Package insert/manual

    • Brochures

    • Multimedia Collateral

    • Promotion

    • Giveaways

    • Roll-out schedule

    • Guest speakers

  • Evaluations

  • Clinical Trials

  • Limited Market Release Availability

  • Transitions/ Back-Orders / Upgrades

  • Crisis Management

- Price

  • Price Sensitivity analysis

  • Competitive Pricing assessment

  • Value through Premium Tiered Pricing Schedule

  • Revenue and Unit Forecasting

  • Customer Cost-Benefit Analysis


     

“Upstream Strategic” Product Marketing

  • Communicating throughout organization

  • R&D thru Customer Interface

    • Strategic planning – Product Road-Map

    • Product Improvement, Prioritization

    • Competitive Positioning

    • Design - Domestic vs. International

    • Clinical Assessment

  • Cost/pricing

    • Units/dollars/ASP

  • Forecasting, Purchase Planning, Obsolescence and Manufacturing

  • Crisis Assessment and Management

  • Meetings and Documentsevery project in product area

  • Quality, Legal, Regulatory

 

“Downstream Tactical” Product Marketing

  • Launch manuals

  • Brochures

  • Videos

  • Web casts

  • Competitive assessment

  • Clinician and Field Staff relationships

  • Communications and meetings

  • Patient interfacing

  • Public relations

  • Medical education

  • Co-calling, field work

  • Sales training

  • Medical conferences

  • Trade shows

  • Field communications

  • Advertising

  • Newsletters

  • Web site maintenance

  • Sponsorships

  • Sales tools/ promotional giveaways

  • Product Samples or Appearance Mock-ups

  • Product Demonstrations

 

 

Product Marketing

  • Identify Problems Worth Solving
  • Define Situational scenarios
  • Determine Voice of the Customer
  • Conduct Workflow Analysis
  • Develop and Illustrate Solution Options Matrix
  • Create Market Research Questionnaire
  • Conduct Competitive Analyses
  • Conduct Existing Products Analyses
  • Determine Existing Clinical Trials
  • Identify Possible Future Competitive Products
  • Conduct Physician Product Strategy Review Board
  • Define Existing Product Shortfalls
  • Develop Feature Trade-off Testing
  • Determine Customer Expectations
  • Assess Level of Customer Satisfaction
  • Produce Market Research Analyses Report
  • Identify / Recommend Potential Market Opportunities
  • Define / Recommend Product Strategy
  • Illustrate Potential Customer Applications
  • Define New Product Required Features
  • Define New Product Customer Benefits
  • Identify Possible New Technology Required
  • Communicate Potential Marketing Claims
  • Define New Product(s) Clinical Data Requirements
  • Define New Product(s) Clinical Claims Matrix
  • Illustrate Product(s) Road-map evolution over time
  • Illustrate Product Timelines Market Launch in each Geographic region(s)
  • Product Launch Planning
  • Regulatory Planning
  • Product Claims for “Instructions for Use” (IFUs) Product Manuals
  • Write / Review Product Manual for Accuracy and Ease of Use
  • Product Manual Translations for foreign markets with Validation by local reps
  • Product Indications for Use
  • Define Product Intended Use Statements (work with Regulatory)
  • Product Names (formal & informal)
  • Model Numbers Applicable assignments
  • Communicate with Countries regarding Regulatory Approval planning
  • Trademarks – Product Feature Designs
  • Trademarks - Product Names Globally
  • Product Name Local Translations reviews
  • Work with Legal for Help and Approval of proposed Trademark names
  • Work with Legal to submit Patents associated w/product and review of "Prior Art" Globally
  • Company Branding
  • Product Branding
  • Product Family Branding
  • Product Features Branding
  • Market Positioning
  • Product Positioning
  • Notes, Cautions, Warnings (Regulatory Statements) for Product Manual
  • Software Error Handling messages, what to do, recommended workarounds, best options
  • Product Pricing
  • Product Line Value to Premium Offerings Strategy
  • Competitive Products Assessment
  • Product Release Letter for Customer Upgrades
  • Sales Reps Product Release Letter with Features and Benefits
  • Software Screen Shots and Menu Sequences
  • List of Nominal Settings and What's Changed (in straight forward terms)
  • List of Bugs Fixed and still existing
  • Marketing Sales Collateral
  • Sales Educational Materials and FAQs
  • Sales Rep and Customer Focus Groups to Validate Market Messaging
  • Business Plan with Product Marketing Plan
  • List of customer messaging and marketing collateral necessary
  • Internal marketing docs and support slides
  • Sales and Clinical Support plan
  • Marketing Product Technical Specifications
  • Competitive Intelligence Tracking
  • Products and Clinical Studies Tracking
  • Method for handling Product Complaints
  • Validate Contact Info. for all written materials
  • Review, revise, enhance Product Collateral prior to launch
  • Sales Training Materials
  • Field Engineer Training Materials
  • Product Road-map Timeline Updates
  • Strategic Investment Planning
  • Review Potential Outside Opportunities
  • Product Sales Forecasting and Production Plan Forecasting
  • Plan to Launch New Products at Major Conventions and Company Gatherings
  • Messaging for all Convention Activities, Customers
  • Travel for Sales and Internal Customer Training – US, International
  • Travel for Customer Training – US, International

 

Places I’ve Traveled for Work:  Domestically

Orlando, New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Long Island, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Monterey, Palm Springs, San Diego, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Anaheim, St. Louis, Rochester MN, Ontario Canada, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Reno, Louisville, Nashville, Newark, Seattle, Des Moines Iowa, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boulder, Tampa Bay, Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Fairfax Virginia, Connecticut.

 

Places I’ve Traveled for Work:  Internationally

Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Ismir Turkey, Istanbul Turkey, Budapest Hungry, Barcelona Spain, Copenhagen Denmark, Paris France, Nice France, Frankfurt Germany, Rome Italy, Kyoto Japan, Tokyo Japan, Melbourne Australia, Sydney Australia, Gold Coast Australia, Vienna Austria, Geneva Switzerland.

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/8/medical-device-marketing-product-management Thu, 06 Aug 2020 02:02:24 GMT
A Republic ...If You Can Keep It https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/7/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it-speech-given-by-rod-rosenstein-at-wharton-2-21-2019

A REPUBLIC... IF YOU CAN KEEP IT   
(Rod Rosenstein begs students to protect American democracy)

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy US attorney general, delivered a poignant speech on the fragility of American democracy (Feb. 21, 2019, Wharton), while stressing the insidious nature of white-collar crime, and the moral necessity of every citizen respecting the law. 

He called his speech “one of my last significant events.”

Rosenstein’s remarks pointedly stressed the importance of following the rule of law, which he said “reflects moral choices, principled decisions that promote society’s best interests, and protect citizens’ fundamental rights.” 

Rosenstein also highlighted the damage white-collar crimes can do. “Some people mistakenly describe white-collar crime as victimless,” he said at one point. “The damage is not always obvious, but financial fraud, bribery, corruption, price-fixing, insider trading—all those crimes harm people,” he said. 

He also underscored the importance of citizens’ participation in democracy, citing a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin, who allegedly described the new American Constitution he had just helped write in 1787 as a “republic…if you can keep it.Franklin “reminds us that it is not inevitable that we will remain a democratic republic,” Rosenstein said. “The Constitution comes with a condition,” he added, that “everyone is responsible” for preserving it.

His full remarks:

Thank you for that kind introduction, Dean Ruger. It is a great honor to join you here.

When I spoke at Wharton two years ago, it was one of my first significant public events as Deputy Attorney General. I came back today for one of my last significant events as Deputy Attorney General. Each time, I brought one of my daughters.

I encourage my children to spend time in Philadelphia for two reasons. First, I grew up about 20 miles from here. I arrived on this campus in 1982, at age 17. This city, and this university, shaped me. The second and more important reason is that Philadelphia is the home of the United States Constitution. I mention the Constitution in almost every speech. It is not just the words that matter. The history and context matter.

History and context are important. When I attended Penn, we had fewer sources of information. As a result, my world seemed a lot smaller than yours, and a great deal slower. News arrived twice a day – mornings and evenings – and there were only a few outlets. Reporters generally refrained from passing on gossip and innuendo. Most people had limited ability to communicate with anyone beyond their neighborhood.

Today, you are relentlessly bombarded with information, much of it of unknown reliability. The internet lets people share their most ignorant thoughts. Many news stories rely on anonymous sources, without providing details to assess their credibility and bias. Some critics worry that our society will be unable to distinguish fact from opinion, and truth from fiction.

But I remain optimistic about your generation. Most adults were raised with the mindset that they could rely on one or two trusted intermediaries to deliver objective facts – a local newspaper, perhaps, and a favorite television news anchor.

But members of your generation take a different approach. You do not rely on any one news source. You recognize that some people who appear regularly on television – the ones who always form an opinion before they know the facts – those characters are in the entertainment business. Because you understand that, you are more skeptical, and less gullible.

I work in a town where almost everyone is obsessed with breaking news, but I unplugged the television in my office. I try not to worry too much about what a commentator may say in the next 30 minutes. Instead, our law enforcement team focuses on what it takes to keep America safe for the next 30 years, and beyond.

When you study history, you learn to focus on the things that matter. How many of you know the origin of the phrase, “There is nothing new under the sun?” It is from the Book of Ecclesiastes, written 2,500 years ago. It is not meant to be taken literally. It is a lesson about human nature. Human nature is why we need rules, and it is why rules only work if we enforce them.

In 1787, Benjamin Franklin joined other leaders at Independence Hall to establish rules for America. When Franklin was walking home from the Constitutional Convention – about two miles from here – a woman named Elizabeth Powel asked him what type of government the Founders created. Franklin replied with these words: “A republic, … if you can keep it.”

Mrs. Powel’s question illustrates that it was not certain that our nation would be a democratic republic. Franklin’s answer reminds us that it is not inevitable that we will remain a democratic republic. The Constitution comes with a condition.

Some people think that politicians are responsible for keeping the republic. But Franklin spoke to an ordinary citizen – a woman, who did not even have the right to vote. The lesson is that everyone is responsible.

When I was drafting these remarks last night, my daughter showed me an essay she wrote about a time when she asked me a question and referred to the government as “they.” And I replied, “Who are they?” They are us. The people are the government. This is a participatory activity.

I have worked with law enforcement professionals for three decades. Some of them do the job for the money, but most are inspired by the realization that they are the government, a calling that we recognize as patriotism.

At the Department of Justice, our patriotic mission is to promote the rule of law.

The term “rule of law” describes the government’s obligation to follow neutral principles. The idea dates at least to the fourth century BC, when Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that “[i]t is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens.”

Last year, (45th) President Donald Trump issued a proclamation explaining that “we govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather [than] … the whims of an elite few or the dictates of collective will. Through law, we have ensured liberty.”

As the President recognized, law provides the framework for freedom. At its best, law reflects moral choices; principled decisions that promote society’s best interests, and protect citizens’ fundamental rights. That is the point of the Penn motto: “Leges sine moribus vanae.” Laws without morals are useless.

The rule of law is indispensable to a thriving and vibrant society. It shields citizens from government overreach. It allows businesses to invest with confidence. It gives innovators protection for their discoveries. It keeps people safe from dangerous criminals. And it allows us to resolve differences peacefully through reason and logic.

When you follow the law, it does not always yield the outcome you would choose. In fact, one indicator that you are following the law is when you respect a result although you do not agree with it. You respect it because it is dictated by the facts and the law.

Abraham Lincoln discussed the issue in his first published speech, in 1838. Lincoln worried about sharp political divisions and rising passions in our young republic. He argued that respect for the law is essential to bind society together.

“Let reverence for the laws,” he implored, “be breathed by every American [parent] . . . let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs — let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.”

And, Lincoln concluded, “let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions” keep the rule of law.

Two decades later, in 1858, Lincoln engaged in a series of seven lengthy debates with his Senate opponent, Stephen Douglas. The opening speaker addressed the audience for one hour. The other speaker took an hour and a half to reply. Then the first debater spent another half hour to respond.

People disagreed – sometimes vehemently – but they listened patiently, and they learned about opposing arguments.

Attention spans are much shorter today. The structural protections that preserve liberty are difficult to explain in a soundbite. But it remains essential for citizens to understand them. Our system of government is not self-executing. Liberty is protected by cultural norms as well as by constitutional text.

Theodore Roosevelt observed that a government’s survival depends on the character of citizens. He said that “[t]he average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed.”

Many of you will hold leadership roles in the private sector. Even if you never serve in government, you will be responsible for supporting the law, even when it is difficult, or costly.

A scholar once described the legal system as “wise restraints that make men free.” Law provides the framework for people to conduct their lives freely and enter into transactions with confidence. Business depends on law. It provides the floor that supports the market, and the walls around it.

The integrity and reliability of the financial system rests on the credibility of the legal system. Our economy attracts investors because they expect fair treatment in our courts. And investors and consumers are more confident when they know that the Department of Justice will protect them from fraud.

White collar crime skews the playing field for law-abiding competitors. It erodes confidence that hard work, discipline, and talent lead to success.

Some people mistakenly describe white-collar crime as victimless. The damage is not always obvious, but financial fraud, bribery, corruption, price-fixing, insider trading – all those crimes harm people.

Prosecutions are an important deterrent to crime, but strong corporate compliance programs are the first line of defense.

That is why the Department of Justice should reward companies that try in good faith to deter crime – those that voluntarily implement meaningful compliance programs. When crimes occur, good corporate citizens investigate it, report it to the authorities, cooperate in investigations, and implement appropriate remedies.

Law enforcement agencies should give the greatest consideration to companies that establish effective compliance programs, because it frees our agents and prosecutors to focus on people who commit more serious financial crimes or pose other threats to America.

During my tenure as Deputy Attorney General, we updated Department policies to reflect those principles and to create stronger incentives to uphold the law.

We also completed a comprehensive review and streamlining of other Department guidance. Our team executed a strategy to maximize the impact of our $28 billion budget and 115,000 employees. We consulted stakeholders, revised policies, and used results-driven management to build morale, cut bureaucracy, and increase efficiency. Our productivity increased more in 2018 than ever before, and crime fell.

Changes within large organizations can be difficult. But the ability to adapt to change is essential. A distinguished Wharton alumnus, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, coined the term “anti-fragile” to describe the most successful business model. According to Taleb, the opposite of fragility is not merely robustness or resiliency. Anti-fragile things do not just bounce back. They grow stronger, like muscles.

Complacency can be deadly. Taleb tells a story that illustrates the danger of forgetting that past performance is never a reliable indicator of future outcomes: “Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every … feeding [strengthens] the bird’s [confidence] that it is the general rule of life [that humans always] ‘look… out for its best interests’ …. On the … [day] before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey.” Taleb refers to that as a “Black Swan” event – a occurrence so low in probability that we ignore the risk, but so great in impact that it renders projections meaningless.

Corporations need to prepare for unexpected events, but government should provide certainty when possible.

That principle underlies my approach to corporate liability. Companies can be held legally responsible for criminal acts by their employees, but that is not always the most reasonable outcome. In our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, we established a policy that incentivises exemplary corporate conduct. Companies that self-report violations, cooperate with investigations, and remediate harm are rewarded with a presumption that we will decline to pursue the company with criminal charges. Instead, we focus our limited resources on companies that fail to take compliance obligations seriously.

We also changed our individual accountability policies to recognize differences between criminal and civil corporate enforcement matters.

The most effective deterrent to most crimes is identifying and punishing the individuals who engaged in criminal activity. But civil cases are different. The primary goal of affirmative civil enforcement cases is to recover money, so we revised our policy to permit us to negotiate civil releases for individuals when obtaining damages from individual employees is not feasible.

That allows us to resolve matters and provide certainty to companies and their employees when the resolution achieves the government’s objectives. There is no reason to delay a settlement that favorably resolves civil claims only because of a bureaucratic prohibition on releasing individuals we would not sue anyway.

At the Department of Justice, we work to encourage good corporate citizenship and deter fraud. I encourage you to do your part. Embrace change, adapt to new circumstances, but always emphasize your commitment to the rule of law.

Speaking of change, technological developments pose significant law enforcement challenges, because people who create and market new tools often do not consider the implications for public safety.

Electronic devices collect and transmit tremendous amounts of information about their customers. Many users do not understand that the companies use that data for commercial advantage. And all users are vulnerable when hackers steal data.

Then there are social media platforms, which provide unprecedented opportunities for the free exchange of ideas. But many people do not realize how they are exploited by malicious actors who deceive them.

Soon, we will need to come to terms with “deep fake” videos, which may defeat our ability to rely on things that we see and hear directly.

The speed and volume of technological advances exceeds the capacity of most people to comprehend the risks, let alone to protect against them.

Criminals are early adopters. They will deploy smarter, adaptive malware capable of thwarting existing defenses. They will use impenetrable communications platforms that defeat our ability to detect and prevent crimes.

Forestalling those ominous consequences will require concrete steps.

First, innovators should place security on the same footing as novelty and convenience, and design technology accordingly, in the same way that we build automobiles with horns, emergency lights, seatbelts and airbags; we equip ships with lifeboats and floatation devices; and we construct high-rise buildings with sprinklers and fire escapes. Anticipating worst-case scenarios must be part of the development process.

Second, we need companies to work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies to address novel risks.

The trajectory that we are on now – a culture in which some technology companies work to defeat legitimate law enforcement activities – will not end well. Protecting honest people from being harmed by criminals is a worthy endeavor, but protecting criminals from being caught imposes a heavy cost.

To return to my theme: upholding the law is not the job of government alone. It depends on countless decisions citizens make as they go about their lives. That is why it is so difficult to reform corrupt foreign governments. You cannot just adopt a Constitution. It only works in tandem with a culture of honesty, fairness, and integrity.

My time as a law enforcement official is coming to an end, a lot later than I expected. People joke about the revolving door between government and the private sector. The door never revolved for me. It was one way in, and one way out.

Thirty-five years ago – when I was sitting in your chairs – if I used my Wharton education and my HP-12C calculator to compute the net present value of my likely career, I would have taken a different path. My first law enforcement job paid less than half of a private law firm salary. My wife reminds me that the gap grows each year. But the noble mission of the Department of Justice inspires me every day. The rewards are difficult to measure in monetary terms.

When you study anyone’s career, there usually appears to be an obvious logic to their path. Each person was in the right place, at the right time, to take advantage of the next opportunity. But that appearance of logic is always wrong. It is a product of hindsight bias, the tendency to see a pattern in retrospect that never exists in real time.

The truth is that everyone’s life is a product of random events and consequential decisions. The random events are things that happen to you, beyond your control. The consequential decisions are what you choose to do in response.

I hope many of you will choose to devote at least a few years to public service. If you do, remember that truth is not determined by opinion polls, and history is not written by television pundits. Ignore the mercenary critics and focus on the things that matter, because a republic that endures for centuries is not governed by the news cycle.

I am proud of what the Department of Justice accomplished on my watch in the Trump Administration. We made rapid progress in achieving the Administration’s law enforcement priorities – reducing violent crime, enhancing support for the police, curtailing opioid abuse, protecting consumers, and restoring immigration enforcement – while preserving national security, and strengthening federal efforts in many other areas. Our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts and schemes to commit fraud, steal intellectual property, and launch cyberattacks.

In 1940, Attorney General Robert Jackson explained that government lawyers “must at times risk ourselves and our records to defend our legal processes from discredit, and to maintain a dispassionate, disinterested, and impartial enforcement of the law,” even if it requires us to incur criticism.

I took more than my fair share of criticism. But I kept the faith, I followed the rules, and I left my office in good hands. Those are the things that matter.

So let me conclude with advice that a legendary Philadelphian, Rocky Balboa, gave to his son: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows…. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward; how much you can take, and keep moving forward… [Y]ou got to be willing to take the hits.”

My daughter inscribed that on a plaque and gave it to me as a birthday gift, so I know she got the point. I hope you get it, too.

 

A REPUBLIC...IF YOU CAN KEEP IT   
(Rod Rosenstein begs students to protect American democracy)

 

 

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/7/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it-speech-given-by-rod-rosenstein-at-wharton-2-21-2019 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 01:45:00 GMT
Bill's Story: Some Will Wonder... If, One Can Be Enough... https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/4/-bills-story-some-will-wonder-if

 "Bill’s Story: Some Will Wonder…
If,
One Can Be Enough…
Oh Why, Am I So Powerless
Or Without Defense, Against
the First Drink?" 

Sanford Widran, © April 2020

 

One…The First One,

hurry up already, then!

Where is my favorite drink?

Soon, before you know

What just happened to you

And there it was, It’s Gone.

Already licked before,

You even finished writing this…

The First One Only Fuels my,

Desire for More, another and

Another please (where is

the next one Already?)

More, more, more!

More is always better.

One is just no fun,

One more please! You see

One is drastically in need

Of some company.

One is never quite enough,

One is such a lonely number.

I just can’t wait until

The next brand new one.

 

Two…The Second one

Came and went before I knew!

Two is way more fun than one.

I can still barely see some, but

Two is so enticing and intoxicating

Oooh! Two is such a lovely time.

I’m just starting to feel something

And, It’s rather quite Fine😍!

The second one may

Have rained down on me

With a withering Thirst for a Third!

The Second one, are you kidding me?

Get a move on with the next one.

Gosh! How did I already

Get started again?

 

Three…The Third one,

Whee!

I can finally see

Why I find such glee.

Please, keep them coming.

Happy Days are here again!

See, my eyes will be blinded

Following the third for even more.

Three, it seems a bit silly anyway

To stop here, always, always more.

And always room for more

It becomes like water see.

Let’s Party-on like

It’s the end of the World.

Quenching that desire, that thirst

to get from three to number Four.

 

Four…The Fourth one

Is no Snore! Or Superbowl Bore!

And always begs for,

You know, more, more, more.

Four is a really good time!

Feeling very light in the shoes.

Time to dance and sing.

Hey, I’m getting thirsty again,

From all this fun. More again,

Please since I’ve become, the

Best company. You see

I’m starting to lose my sight

And, am starting to See, NOT!

It’s that incomparable feeling

Now, just starting to feel alive

Like, never Before.

And ready to hit that

Dance floor, again once more.

Soon, and quite literally.

The sun is white,

The stars are bright,

The party has just begun!

 

Five…the Fifth one

Now I really feel alive!

This time You know

It ain’t no jive.

I’ve got this vibe.

I’m ready for another

Round of high five’s.

Ready and eagerly waiting,

Wow, to take that swan dive!

We are not indecisive?

Are we?  I can no longer

See anything, Why?

 

Six…the Sixth one

Is such mighty bliss.

And, it’s so hilarious!!

Like the floating calmness,

And a painting on a canvas.

Riding the endless alcoholic

Waters, with little waves,

And, slight ripples on the sea.

Man, my vision is surely

Lost now apparently. 

So, there is no point

Now, I can’t stop here.

 

Seven…the Seventh one

Is such heaven! (as y’all know)

Seven is a reminder why,

Uhh, it’s so hard now

to remember exactly why,

At most, it’s as great

As number eleven.

Except, Heaven is where I’ll

End up soon, If I don’t let up!

Maybe, some other time!

 

Eight… the Eighth one

Is SOOO Great! MANNN!!

I feel Elated, like

A seagull or roaring

Drone plane, Soaring

High Above. And now

Looking down at myself.

On the Ground, belated

Butt up, Face down.

Although, can’t stop now

Cause I’m already Wasted.

 

Nine…the Ninth one

Is so fine! If you can

Believe it now.

Cause it’s hard to tell

And nobody would know

Or remember it though

What it was like!

Walk the line, like

The Hoola dance.

If you can.

And show the Man

your Prance!  As,

You sway at will

In the blinding light,

While getting all caught up

In the wind-y, dangly Lights.

Thinking what it must

Have been like.

That day, how Wasted

And Cashed out

I must have been, like.

That reminds me

I was supposed to meet 

my Wife for dinner tonight.

Ohh, I might never

Get well or home Again!

 

Ten…the Tenth one

Just feels so empty!

It’s like starting over

Again. Cause I don’t know

Really, where I am!

Ten is my limit,

Oh, Mann!

Not so you Say?

But I can’t hear you

Now either!

Ten is like reaching Zen!

Or Zero all over again.

The master of them all.

Inaction and fair

The chase precedes

To reach this find

As clever as you might

Take flight!

And land hard somewhere

Else, or never make it

Back home either.

And only if you are Lucky!

But the memories,

Or lack thereof

Will be recorded in many

Future conversations.

 

Eleven…the Eleventh one

And last one really!

Can someone contact

my wife for me and tell her

I am on my way

To Heaven now, nearly 

Please call an ambulance for me

Quickly thanks, Please Hurry!

 

"Bill’s Story: Some Will Wonder…
If,
One Can Be Enough…
Oh Why, Am I So Powerless
Or Without Defense, Against
the First Drink?"

Sanford Widran, © April 2020

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/4/-bills-story-some-will-wonder-if Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:24:22 GMT
I was on my way to the Top, One Day at a Time, if only if! https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/4/-i-was-on-my-way-to-the-top-one-day-at-a-time-if-only-if-by-sanford-widran-march-2020 216-IMG_3202216-IMG_3202

“I was on my way to the Top,

One Day at a Time, if only if!”

by Sanford Widran © March 2020

 

I was working my way up.

On my way to the top

On my way up

one rung to the next

one day at a time.

On my way today

On my bike with dog ahead

Riding my bike today

With wind behind

Helping me up

Up in the world of class

Working up that Ladder

That Ladder of Success

Success and

Hopefully meaningless Excess!

I can’t wait to achieve

Achieve some sort of greatness

So back to today and my future

That future with endless chases

In my mind

While I ride

With dog ahead

And wind behind

I seen The Devil

I seen The Devil today

Don’t you understand?

Along my way

My way up

With wind behind

Pushing me Up

I seen The Devil today

And The Devil seen me

Perhaps and very unfortunately

As he chased me

From behind as I ahead

While working

Working in my thoughts

In my thoughts and dreams

About a new life ahead

A new life of

Unlimited Excesses

When

A brazen gust of air rushes by,

And scarily whispers in my ear

Gently whispers great visions of

Future promise,

a promise of Greatness

and a life of grandeur

How great a gift

if only if

I would do something

Do something along my way

That would quickly get me there

Perhaps a shortcut

Or a minor detour

Just a brief stop along my way

Somehow influenced by

That Devil I seen today

While chasing me

Chasing me with wind behind

Just trying to help me up

To help me along my way today

As a Gust of Air rushing by

A sudden gust whistles past

And whispers in my ear

You gotta pull over here

And do a quick deed for me

The Devils voice became clearly

Apparent in my ear

In my ear who insists and yells at me

“Pull over here right now

And do a quick deed for me,”

As The Devil was pushing me today

And soon enough

with no invisibility to hide

“The deed will happen quickly

While I hold your dog for you

I’ll hold your dog for you

So you won’t have to worry

And also to ensure your return

So you won’t have to worry

As long as you do this for me

A quick deed for me today

Today right now

and you’ll soon see Greatness

Greatness and Great Fortune

Beyond your imagination

If you’ll only stop right now!”

Right now

immediately along

Along your way up

Up that Ladder of Success

grueling day by day

And toiling in the dirt to scrounge

Only to someday from now

Someday to claw your way up

Clawing your way up

day in and day out

with dirt in your hair and

clenching your teeth

while trying so hard

to climb out.

When suddenly you see

that Devil says

"I can get you where you want,

get you there much more quickly

If you’ll only do this little deed

A deed for me

that will certainly

guarantee your success."

With speed and rush

The rush of air as it became

it became so hot that soon

Soon enough that rush of air

That rush began to yell now

And scream in my ear

rather tantalizing tails

of endless seductions.

‘Tails of great Fantasies

you’ll see

to ever satisfy your greed

If you only pull over here for me’

As the invisible air rushing by

Began to force me you see

To stop for just a moment

To do a little deed as needed

As I became so confused

And frustrated

Since I was tricked you see

By this Devil I saw today

Along my way while peddling

peddling hard

as can be to succeed.

And Before I knew it

and soon you’ll see

I was pushed hard

Hard by this grueling wind,

as I began going downhill fast

Along an unfamiliar and

A different path today

while along my way to success

I seen The Devil

And The Devil seen me

So you see I was forced

Forced down this way

Beyond my controls

Going downhill

really fast now

And my only way out

To escape you see is

If only I do this one little deed

And pull over here

Pull over here quickly you see

Cause a steep cliff lurks ahead

So to avoid this potential doom

I made this Deal,

if only if

I had thought it through

More thoroughly and

Without the urgency

Reality became blinded

Blinded by that offer

if only if

White sands and cocktails

Will be mine to share with all

All that comes with all that

All that grandeur so sure

If only if

I do this one quick deed

For that Devil who seen me

He seen me today along my way

Today

Working Up that Ladder of Success

so Hard and desperately.

And so he says he ‘chose’ me to

If only if

I do this one quick deed you see,

I could tell I was being used

But became very confused by

Why did that Devil chose me?

Apparently,

I had no choice

Because soon enough

I was quickly being pushed

downhill instead of up you see

By this very strong invisible wind

The air directed me to stop there

Before that cliff is up too close

Presenting me with a choice

Fast approaching now

A difficult choice not to stop

And do this deed very quickly here

Now to avoid that cliff ahead

That cliff so deep is scary

And my dog was with me

You see while I peddled my way

When I seen this scrappy Devil

And the Devil seen me today

Unfortunately,

because soon

Soon enough

I made this turn

To avoid that cliff ahead

Ever nearing and therefore

I had to do this one little thing

I made this turn while going fast

Reckless now really moving

Downhill instead of up

if only if

Being bullied by this foul wind

To turn here and pull over

Pull over there and deliver this

It won’t hurt anything you see

That Devil tricked me

Into believing

I could fast track it

To THE GOOD LIFE.

And

So to avoid this potential doom

from that looming cliff ahead

Of Debt and Overreaching.

Apparently, I had to do it

This one little thing

That won’t hurt anybody

While that Devil holds my dog

To ensure my return

After delivering this package

Small in size and high in value

And you see when

I was handed this wad Of Dough

while I sweated heavily,

Standing there at the door

waiting endlessly

at the threshold of this

crooked place.

It seemed while waiting

nervously in that moment

That moment that never ends

Breaking bad they say, So I’m

Waiting to be dismissed

And oh yah

I got what I came for I guess

as I hightailed it away

Away from there

as this was bad

This wad of cash

is going to get me into trouble

so I put it quickly

Stuffed it in my pocket and ran

Back to my dog

waiting patiently

I gave The Devil this wad of cash

It was stuck in my jeans pocket

You see while I was sweating

Sweating Nervously

trying to rip this cash

From my possession

in order to hand it over quickly

and retrieve my dog

from that Beast and fast

I had better

Get now

Get the Hell out of there

Rather quickly you see

Because that Devil forced me

To do things I’d rather not say

In exchange for my dog

Held hostage for my return

That day with that lump of cash

So I did it

and then I left fast

I left quickly with my dog ahead

To return from where we went

Being pushed and bullied

Bullied by that threatening air

The wind gushing around ahead

And whispering things so great

very tempting things in my ear

That could help me to the top

Ahead of others in line

To reach that final Ladder rung

If only if,

I do this one little thing

that won’t hurt anybody,

right!

And Gunshots rang out after

Leaving that shady place

I was forced to turn and stop

Again to do this one little thing

It would take me to the top

And a guaranteed life of comfort

To share with others you see

So I had to do it

to have it all

And do it fast

And get the Hell out of there

With dog ahead we’d gone

Back home.

Don’t you understand?

We’d seen the Devil today OK?

And he’d seen me unfortunately

We were riding

like we do nearly every day.

But today

The head winds became rough and

forced me you see

to do things I’d rather not say

but had to

Had to because

of that steep chasm

ever growing

that accumulating pile of debt

was just as threatening ahead

and just as scary as that rotten Devil.

So a very poor choice was made

in exchange for a

Lasting and Swift rise

to the Top.

A Toast for reaching the Top

To that very top of the world.

A Lavish Life Of Greatness

Chasing an over abundance

of unlimited Riches.

But unfortunately, you see

I have not arrived yet.

I was hood winked

By that sneaky rotten Devil

who sure fooled me!

I have to continuously watch

My back now

while continuing to struggle

through my daily toil,

CAUSE I’M STILL WAITIIN!!!

 

“I was on my way to the Top,

One Day at a Time, if only if!”

by Sanford Widran © March 2020

]]>
(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2020/4/-i-was-on-my-way-to-the-top-one-day-at-a-time-if-only-if-by-sanford-widran-march-2020 Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:24:03 GMT
When I'm Not, Too, Deeply Immersed in my Art! https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2017/2/when-im-not-too-deeply-immersed-in-my-art Signature Rose

When I'm Not Too, Deeply Immersed in my Art

"With Mindfulness and Positivity, 
Taking Control of our Future 
Alignment"

 
By Sanford (Sandy) Widran
© Copyright 2017, Feb.

 
An' Extraordinary Poem for An'
elusive and evocative women.

 
I dream about holding you
in my arms. Looking at your eyes 
transfixed in silence. 
Seeing the desire in you build 
and fall 
as I start to lean in towards your 
pretty face, and really kiss those 
supple lips all over, parting. 
I can smell the sweetness of your 
breath. And taste the warmness 
of your mouth. I might start to cry 
with happiness. 
I can feel the swelling of my heart. 
To only hold you tight each night. 
And always smell your body might.  
My mind is blown. So thankful for 
this precious world and finding 
you in it too. I want to share it with 
you forever and delight in it 
together. 
We'll run away and hide, until we 
can't stand one another  
for a short while. And later 
recognize that we can't go on 
Forever, without seeing and 
being apart like that or our hearts
will break and ache a lot.  
The world sounds so beautiful and 
I want you to hear it with me too. 
Shout it out and set the birds free 
on their wings to soar and rip 
through the air so light. We will 
build our world in a way together 
and I shall revel in your beauty and 
sight and warmth and comfort. 
I only want for you to feel 
Satisfaction. 
And see your joy release to
surround you with happiness. 
Tense and Breath in, deeply and 
relax. Calmness now. Visualize one 
of your favorite places and find 
yourself there.  Feel the energy 
flow thru your blood vessels. 
As it merges towards your brain, 
you can feel the sensations prickle 
and raise the hair on your arms. 
Now with great aim you can feel 
my touch even through 
eyes closed and beating heart 
in anticipation of letting go. 
I'll be yours and you'll me mine! 
Someday...
Thoughts of you illuminate my way 
and warms my heart at night. 
Hope springs eternal when 
I can see the future clearly now 
and there you are again, 
crossing paths with me purposely 
and there am I fawning at your 
sight. 
 
An' Extraordinary Poem for An, 
exquisite and elusive woman
I often see wandering at night  
through my mind and dreams. 
I save from danger again and 
again, when and whom provides 
me then with comfort from 
my head to my toes 
while I sleep.
 
Never let me go
Let me show you how
Gotta, let me know
I can hear your beating heart all
the way from here
Running, running hard to tell, 
away or towards or near.
Captivated by your grace 
I feel your hand safety tucked 
away under mine. 
I enjoy the shape of you
Your smile lights me up
Please be my valentine one day 
at a time. 
You are my sunshine blinding 
spot-light and bright-like a 
shining star in my days'-nights. 
Your body is so sweet and mighty 
fine and attractive too 
so gentle 
Your face so pure and beautiful
Your mouth just pulls me in.
Your lips are my desire. Oh, 
someday to be together. 
Let us pray it will be one day 
and then, for forever. 
 
Let us see and allow me please
to be free and with you soon. 
Chill out now. Gotta go, 
My attraction for you grows
as each day goes 
and brings us closer still 
together. 
My heart swells with cheer 
at the thought of you. 
As I carry you around 
attached right at my hip
so you can share in and take in 
all my experiences 
and feelings until 
we can 
see each other, again. 
Strangers carrying on like
And soon to be reunited 
Threads through life wound 
With ties tightly bound
For real
As far as I can see
Caring sharing daring wise
Embrace and you shall find 
The joy of waking up together 
next to me
in spirit now, and soon in kind. 
To seek comfort throughout
the day 
And protection as thy shield 
in the dark of night. 
I will provide for you someday 
And bring glory to your heart and 
our bright wide 
Smiles now for sharing the day 
together in mind 
And knowing when the darkness 
comes...
I will be there to guide you 
by the moon and stars light.
 
Colors bright and contrast strong
Brings out the intricate details in
The wonders of nature's designs. 
I'm captivated by the beauty 
of it all
this world and how it formed, 
that this existence slowly makes 
changes over time until perfection 
takes shape and beauty shines. 
To capture the moment allows us 
to relive the time with eyes alight
And to share the experience again 
and again with friends, delight. 
To open minds and doors alike
And reach upon the mountains' 
height. 
The climb achieved with thought 
and prayer to find that meaning
In us all that creates the bind. 
Together the energy flows and 
steers us to see the other's face
again.
With future plan and signs that 
might
That pull of fate we'll meet 
To revel in thy grace and thrice
Forever with you be my thoughts 
Until that day comes around
When you realize my mighty might
My hugs will reign upon thy body
tight, 
To relish in your taste of skin
Shared to last with pleasure still
And overcome the tough days that 
tire your mind ahead, sometimes. 
And reassure that tomorrow brings
New sight to those times in kind
That pulls us closer still
Until we merge in mind 
and spirit and heart
and find
The real meaning of that 
photograph 
under winds of thread we weave 
and treasures still
The discovery, oh, the thrill. 
Never ceases needs that move us 
gently forward to read the will, 
until,
We all want to be someday
Somebody special, somebody real
To stand out with wit and bright
and strong as steel,
To shine a light on sights to see
And share this energy within 
that connects us all with search 
and reach to find that right of 
nature shines so bright 
With common binds of grasping,
Why? How come? In what way? 
How does it work, so you say? 
with trials might?
The link of light blinds far and wide
To feel that knowing helps
In times of fright and biting need
Our peoples unite to build it tall
With foundation strength we lay it 
all, bare. 
Ensuring longevity of mind and 
thought and honesty, 
souls delight as we live and pass 
in sorrow's shadow following us 
around 
Reminding why the forward right
We shall overcome the shackles 
tight and fight 
to free the need for injustice might
Prevent our ability to bend the 
light and share the right of 
goodwill and sight of knowledge, 
together we can open eyes so 
wide the bulb of delight comes on
so white and nice and bright 
to read by 
the beacon shines on
Providing insights through 
The darkness of the universe's 
might.
Bringing us closer still to finding 
the truth through seeking proof 
With no alternative right,
That holds us back from feeling 
like we're proud you see and 
little need to be how others
might perceive and believe 
to build with facts, and gee 
I can do that with my mind 
and make it time to pursue 
that dream of passion will 
for drive to make it happen be.
I feel that need to share the way 
to find comfort within and 
with steady hand to steer in 
troubled seas. 
The horizon awaits a fine chase 
you see 
to catch that fleeting rainbow 
sight so fine your eyes
Will pop, with delight 
and something there you'll find 
tonight
To comfort thee in times of lonely 
heart you'll see and hear and taste 
and smell so sweet and lovely in 
your fine clothing bright with 
shivers when your presence make 
my heart will fly and knees so 
weak I knell before thee to share 
my mind and being with glee
And glory 
anytime within your sight of me. 
The pull shall bind and weave it's 
way until the tie becomes the day 
We shall intertwine, and now 
today's that day arriving will
already it's getting late, still... 
although,
The day is bright with smiles and 
Cherie, the tongues will be busy 
see to fend and share the glee
will be alive and shining bright 
with tea and toast that destiny 
pulls us ever closer still, and tight. 
Until we fall together and breath
the air between us knowing all 
the reasons why, for the way it is 
and the way it CAN be! 
With affection growing. 
You shall see. 
 
We can feel the light so bright
shining with our say 
to help us remember why 
we want to be this way, 
what's right,
as you feel we can be, and say
And it will within a timelines might
Even higher still until that moment
right when you say how important 
I am to family's tight with feeling 
good and so bright with growth 
it can be 
And tall alright the air so thin you 
gasp and plead for feeling like 
A need so tight that saucy see
The ride can be bumpy seas but 
smooth will be as time is ripe to 
pull the ship together tightly so.
Thee alike will elevate above 
and find a feeling like
Your mind is focused on your sight 
to see and produce and to have 
made and make use, with lots of 
energy 
will enable me to rally now
To find you once again to see the 
look on your face with fear and 
glee to find me there and wonder 
still how this could have possibly 
been, and happening now and then 
there you are in person, I 
hope to God you can and will. 
 
Wow wee, there's a bumble bee
Look closer still and see
With focal lens and CCD
Battery powered that captures we 
and background bright the world 
we see with all the colors and 
possibilities alike.
Anything your mind can find to fill 
the time until those days that 
come and go and brings us closer
still. Yet, again until that time my 
energy 
will be focused on health and life 
return again I see the light.
My muscles be so tight and ready
To guide me still quite steadily
Towards the days that come when 
we shall meet again. Fulfill the 
needs of others until that time 
comes around, 
to see of us, our will, our turn 
Again
we'll be so tightly bound together,
willingly.
Amen to that and pray to say the 
better together can be mighty 
To bear another's weight until 
Our 
hearts can be within our reach 
to feel
Oh yes and time will tell 
us secrets still that uncovers will 
the keys reveal the maker shall 
protect thee until 
your knight in shining armor thrill 
arrives and kneels in respect and 
kindness with candy giving less or 
more hopefully flowers too
Will find your heart openly
And accepting of me so, 
as I long to be held in your arms.
 
Hoping for a warm and budding 
relationship with thee. Like two 
birds on a swing. Back and forth 
we go, we, we, we. Onwards.... and
Forwards… singing Mindfully, 
And Peacefully together, again,
you'll see...
 
To a very special 
someone, 
a woman who 
appears often in my thoughts
and dreams and who brings, freely
Longing though the quiet nights
And sunshine bright 
to my busy days.
Your Vision 
Inspires and Attracts Me, 
so
Lots of Like, and Sincerely,
Sandy!

 
Mind exercises:
Things I like to do 
when I'm not, too, 
deeply immersed in 
my art.

 
"With Mindfulness and Positivity, 
Taking Control of our Future 
Alignment"

Sanford Widran
© Copyright 2017, Feb.
A Valentine’s Day Desire.

 

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2017/2/when-im-not-too-deeply-immersed-in-my-art Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:10:58 GMT
Photographic Genres of Special Interest https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2016/11/photographic-genres-of-special-interest   STILL LIFE PHOTO - BACKYARD STUDIO, DAYLIGHT SOLARIZATION
"WALKING ALONG THE SEA SHORE AT DUSK"

"Every Image is like a song or a piece of music.  Each one plays with you for a little while with its unique nature of visual communication."  - Sanford Widran 

Photographic Genres of Special Interest: 

(Photos Organized into Galleries by Genre Type)

  • Flowers, many varieties, lots of roses
  • Still Life, many arrangements
  • Abstracts
  • Color Studies
  • Geometrics
  • Patterns / Colors 
  • Textures
  • Macroscopics
  • Shadows and Reflections
  • Layers / Depth / Overlay
  • Landscapes
  • Travel
  • Mountains
  • Beaches
  • Conventional Photos

 

 

 

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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2016/11/photographic-genres-of-special-interest Sat, 05 Nov 2016 21:38:10 GMT
Artists Who've Influenced My Work https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2015/3/my-first-post

LIST OF INSPIRING ARTISTS
 
Albrecht Dürer
Alexander Calder
Alexej von Jawlensky
Amedeo Modigliani
Andre Derain
Anna Atkins
Ansel Adams
Camille Pissarro
Claude Monet
Dale Chihuly
David Hockney
Diego Rivera
Edgar Degas
Edouard Manet
Edovard Vuillard
Edvard Munch
El Greco
Eugene Boudin
Frantisek Kupka
Franz Marc
George Seurat 
Georges Braque
Georgia O'Keeffe
Giorgio de Chirico
Giovanni Bellini
Gustav Klimt
Gustave Caillebotte
Gustave Courbert
Hans Hoffman
Henri Matisse
Henry Rousseau
Jackson Pollack
James Turrell
Johannes Vermeer
John Pollock
Juan Miro
Leonardo Da Vinci
Marc Chagall
Mark Rothko
Michelangelo
Pablo Picasso
Paul Cézanne
Paul Gauguin
Paul Klee
Peter Max
Peter Paul Rubins
Pierre Auguste Renior
Pierre Bonnard
Piet Mondrian
Raphael
Rembrant van Rijn
Rene Magritte
Robert DeLauna
Robert Natkin
Roger Dean
Sandro Botticelli
Titian
Toulouse-Lautrec
Umberto Boccioni
Vincent Van Gogh
Wassily Kandinsky 
Willem de Kooning
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(WIDRAN FINE ARTS Solarization Photography) https://www.widranfinearts.com/blog/2015/3/my-first-post Sat, 14 Mar 2015 00:13:34 GMT