How To Really Piss Me Off on Facebook

Just a note to all my Facebook friends. I’ve heard a few complaints out there. Just so you know – I’m not going to stop speaking out against #45. So, if you want to unfollow me, unfriend me, scroll past my posts, hide me, civilly disagree with me in a mature fashion – that’s fine. But don’t tell me to shut up or write “ENOUGH” on my Facebook wall and then block me without even engaging in a mature dialogue. You certainly cannot expect that I will have any form of respect for you as a mature individual any more. We are all entitled to speak out about what is happening.

And ANOTHER thing. Stop saying, he’s our President, move on. Accept it. Give him a chance to succeed. Do you understand that:

1) If there is, in fact, truth to greater Russian involvement with him and his surrogates than we knew earlier – this is of grave concern? As more and more facts of this are revealed, it is becoming clear that they have lied again and again? Many of us do not wish this administration success in withholding the truth from us.

2) He is acting consistently like a Dictator by trying to create massive distrust of a free press? Whether you like the media or not, in any given society, we need to have a non-state run media which challenges and investigates our government. That is NOT fake news. It is a pillar of any Democracy. Breitbart, Fox News and the Washington Times having access to him do not a pillar of Democracy make. There are those of us who do not wish this administration success at dismantling a free press and the 1st amendment.

3) He makes ridiculous claims, offers no proof, orders investigations that will cost millions of dollars and that WE THE TAXPAYERS WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM? Do you understand that if there is any legitimacy to this claim that Obama has, in fact, had his offices wiretapped, he has given no additional information beyond tweeting about it (misspelling tapp) and then going off to golf for the weekend and then ordering this investigation. Again, actions of a Dictator. Scary.

4) Bannon so much as admitted that all of the appointments that were made by Trump to each of the agencies was meant to dismantle the agencies and destroy each of them. How, in God’s name, do we want them to be successful? How and why do you?

5) While some of you may be for things like building walls, many of us aren’t. Many of us don’t believe in mass deportations. Many of us don’t stand for that. No, we don’t want that to be successful.

6) Many of us stand with the transgender community. To go after them the way this administration has is disgraceful. In addition, there has been an uptick in the number of hate crimes and murders of transgender women. No, we do NOT wish the administration further “success.”

7) The dismantling of Obamacare without a replacement healthcare plan in place will cost millions of Americans their ability to seek medical aid. How can anyone wish this upon our countrymen unless we lack any empathy? No, we do not wish this to be successful. Some of us have a heart. We don’t care only for ourselves.

8) We do not all support the immigration ban, which basically has just become a Muslim ban and a brown people ban if we’re going to be honest about it. The horror stories coming out if it, where not only people with legitimate authorization to come to this country, but citizens like Muhammed Ali’s son were detained – what in God’s name do we stand for any more as a country? No, this is not success. This is not OUR America.

9) What happened with the North Dakota Access Pipeline is one of the greatest travesties and tragedies many of us will EVER see in our lifetime. That NEVER should have happened. If you think that that was a success, there are no words for you. What we did as a country to our Native people once again when we had many options to circumvent their lands is despicable. We will never forgive #45 for his “success.” SAD! There is a special place in hell for those who supported that in the name of greed.

10) The rhetoric that has been launched on the anti-Muslim, nationalist, anti-immigration, anti-Mexican – basically anti-everything that is not white or Christian movement is frankly scary. We are seeing the consequences of it now in the very swiftly rising hate crimes being committed against those that this administration has marginalized. No, we do not wish this administration success in further dividing this country.

11) Some of us actually want to help refugees. We don’t believe they are terrorists. We believe they are living in a hell none of us can imagine and to close our doors to them at this time is the most uncharitable, ungiving and most callous thing we can do to people who are experiencing a hell that experts are saying cannot even be classified with PTSD. We don’t wish this administration success in keeping those doors closed.

12) We will not bow to a Dictator. Especially one who cannot spell in his tweets.

#RESISTANCE Kiran Kairab 03/06/2017

Should Celebrities Just Shut Up Already?

I was speaking today to a lovely couple in their 50’s that I spent some time with at my hotel’s pool for a bit. At some point in our conversation, they shared that they supported Trump and I listened as they explained their reasons why. I challenged them on a few things but I was not trying to convert them. They were unaware of certain facts like the EPA being disbanded in December 2018 and Bannon’s stated agenda at CPAC that the plan was to undermine critical agencies with key Cabinet appointments to eliminate them altogether. They dismissed “all of that.”

But I wanted to understand them better so I did listen to what they had to say. One of the things they complained about was how they are so disenchanted with people like Springsteen and DeNiro because “celebrities who talk politics are stupid.” When I asked why, they said, “Because they are going to lose people like us, people with money.”

This couple came from wealth, the indicators of which had not been lost on me. It seems arrogant to assume that the reasons that these celebrities are speaking out is to create more income for themselves. Perhaps the celebrities know that in speaking out, they may very well alienate a fan base like this couple, and it’s collateral damage they are willing to take on for the cause?

Taking a stance and having a voice is not a comfortable thing to do. It takes guts. These celebrities aren’t immune to the criticisms. This is not stupidity or hubris. It’s patriotism. It’s humanity.

I think there is this sense in society that when a public figure like Springsteen, Meryl Streep or DeNiro does something, they are “owned” by people. We watch them from our screens at home and we can buy their albums or their movies or change the channel. So somehow, we control their voices?

In a way, we do have some influence. We can choose not to buy their music or watch their movies, respectively. We can choose not to appreciate their art.

That is our prerogative as citizens in a free market economy. A democracy.

But to say that these individuals owe you or me any of their rights to not speak out if they see injustice is wrong.

There’s something inherently un-American about this continual desire to want to silence or shame those with a platform who are speaking out against this administration.

Something un-American about silencing anyone who challenges his authoritarian actions.

Something un-American about wanting to dismiss those who bring attention to the questionable and divisive actions being taken.

So go ahead. Boycott them. Hate on Meryl. Don’t “Dance in the Dark.”

Hey, baby.

It’s your loss.

But don’t think they owe you their silence.

The Dating Game – DC Singles

Ok. So we all know how honest I am. Sometimes painfully so. So I’m going to tell you a little story. It might make you laugh. It might make you laugh AT me. Not sure.

Being newly singly, and not having much luck at the dating apps and sites, I thought I would try my hand at a matchmaking company in DC called DC Singles. They pride themselves in being able to pair people together on compatibility and all that jazz and personality tests and whatever voodoo that they do. They also charge an exorbitant fee.

But I’m a sucker for romance that you pay for, so I bought in.

At first the matches were slow. They said this was because I was still separated and so not very “desirable.” The matches I was getting were like to guys ten years older+ to me or people who didn’t fit the profile I requested. Then I would get into matches where the guys would want to text for like 3 weeks, “hey what’s going on? whatcha doing?”

Um. definitely not that. The whole point of the service is you’re supposed to like, “go on a date.”

So. Then they set me up with this supposedly great guy right before election day. And of course, he’s a Trump supporter. Like die hard. Now, if they had done any kind of profiling on me at all, they would know that this is a deal breaker. For the kind of money they were taking, I’m sorry – it is.

I write songs about Building Bridges and knocking down walls. My core values are vehemently opposed to what Trump represents. I cannot.

So. I ask for my money back after about 4 or 5 horrible matches and say I can do better on my own and I don’t trust them at all. And they say – well – we think we did a really great job on that match. And honestly – this election was about picking between the lesser of two evils. And I’m like – “Are we really having this conversation?”

I’m like, listen. I’m brown. I come from a family of immigrants. He stands against everything my family represents.

And she says, “We’re all immigrants.”

And I’m like, “You’re going to play that card now? How often do people ask YOU where you’re from? My parents immigrated to this country. I was born here but my brothers and sisters weren’t. Khizr Khan looks like he could be my UNCLE. Don’t tell me you’re a target.”

There were other things about the guy they set me up with that were messed up too that I won’t mention here – but seriously. And they are like – you scored a 20 out of 21 on compatibility!! And I’m thinking – shows how wack the stupid test is!!!

Anyway – I don’t think I will be using their services. They won’t refund me my money – even though I can’t trust them. I asked if they would downgrade me – I still wouldn’t use their services but at least I could get some of my money back and they wouldn’t do that either. They refused to meet me half way at all.

And they have a shitty profiling and matching system.

Moral of the story – don’t ever use DC Singles and tell your friends and their friends too.

Embarrassing story to say the least but to hell with it if I’m going to be quiet.

Let the laughing commence. It’s ok. I kind of deserve this one.

A Weighty Responsibility

I know that right now, in spite of the fact that I am scared and anxious about the actions that Donald Trump is taking, I have to choose my words carefully.

Yes, I feared these very actions being taken against Muslims throughout his campaign. In fact, I was concerned by the nationalism he espoused from the beginning of his early days on the campaign trail, taking such a vitriolic stance against Mexicans that he would have made the late Ronald Reagan turn in his grave.

I never got the sense that immigrants were necessarily safe if they were “legal,” and Trump’s actions are proving that in the past few days. His executive orders have unleashed full pandemonium on refugees who are fleeing heinous situations and have been granted asylum in this country, only to be turned away at the airports after arriving in the United States, per the orders of the intolerant administration, acting in a manner unprecedented in American history.

These refugees have already gone through an extensive vetting process, despite the #alternativefacts being presented by Trump’s lying surrogates.

The past few days are truly a great blemish on this country, one which was founded on being a safe haven for religious freedom. Yes, we are not without our scars – the mistakes that we have made in the past should never be overlooked. Past and continue treatment of the native people of this land, the internment of Japanese civilians and the refusal of refuge to many Jews seeking asylum from Nazi Germany during World War II are part of our shame that we should never forget.

Our shame was meant to be a lesson we learned from, not one we repeated.

That being said, it’s a tenuous time for someone who did not embrace Trump from the beginning and is asking others to rise up and be vocal now. Because while I say that yes, I did see this coming, I am not asking for anyone who voted for him to be defensive or to apologize or to even regret their decision.

What I am asking though, is for well, you – yes – you – if you voted for him – to acknowledge that perhaps he is not the man who you thought he was. That perhaps, in spite of the appeal some of his messages held for you and even whatever disdain held you back from voting for Clinton, that you understand now that something dangerous is going on.

That Donald Trump does not speak for ALL Americans.

That Donald Trump does not care about upholding the Constitutional rights of all Americans.

That Donald Trump uses gaslighting to manipulate his followers into believing #alternativefacts, aka lies.

That Donald Trump still has not divested information about his taxes and his business debts to countries, calling into question many of his interests abroad.

That Donald Trump is putting his business interests ahead of the interests of US safety.

That Donald Trump is trying to resort to authoritarian tactics, for example, silencing the media.

That Donald Trump is appealing to fears by creating enemies out of the marginalized, one of the most commonly used weapons of plutocrats.

The list goes on.

But the point is, at some point, most people who voted for him don’t care or want to listen to this. Why listen to the truth? This has become a testosterone filled competition of the worst kind – not a society building exercise to restore civility and dignity to all citizens of this country.

So I bide my time and my words. I know that people know I am angry. But I also need everyone to know that I am not angry at Trump voters anymore. Perhaps there was a time that I was. But that time has passed.

We are all in this together and the only way we can admit there is a problem and challenge what is happening is together. I understand that your hand may have selected differently than mine on that ballot, but how do we walk forward together from here if you are truly against the injustice that you see being wrought within the first week of his chaotic presidency?

The time has passed for anyone to ask me to give him a chance. He lost those all too long ago, he burned those up the day he questioned the birth of our previous President, solely because he was African American. The day he openly went after the Khan family, the parents of fallen soldier Humayan Khan. The day his chummy video with Billy Bush came out. The day he revealed he was “smart” not to file his taxes. And all too many other times.

Those chances are long gone. He’s running on a major deficit.

What I ask of you is to withdraw from your silence. To acknowledge that the vast, vast majority of Muslims is NOT extremist  (CNN has estimated the number of violent Muslim Extremists to be approximately 106,000; Pew research says the number of Muslims worldwide to be around 1.6 billion – or 23% of the world’s population – less than .006625% is considered extremist. Courtesy of former colleague, Big Data Analytics Expert @Mark Loucks). To acknowledge that we can’t turn our backs on refugees facing a major humanitarian crisis (much of it in Syria also the machinations of Trump’s buddy Putin).

I do not blame you for your vote.

But I will never forget your silence.

Kiran

If The Snowflake Fits

I’m a “snowflake,” a liberal “elite.” Unlike snowflakes, I don’t melt in the sun, at least not yet – we’ll see what happens as climate change takes its toll.
I laugh at the title given by conservatives to me that calls me an elite. I want to feed the poor. I believe in education for everybody. I believe that no man is better than another based on the color of his skin or based on the family he was raised to.
I DO believe in working hard and education. But I don’t look down on those who are not educated. No, in fact, I fight for them to to protected and not taken advantage of by politicians who try to exploit their fears. I don’t equate lack of education with racism, bigotry and misogyny, but I do know enough to see the correlation and that frightens me. I will not apologize that as the child of immigrants who came here with NOTHING, I hard to get an education but to call me elite implies that I believe I am better than you. But is it really ME who thinks I am better than anybody?
So I fight for the underprivileged.
I fight for the rights of children.
I fight for the rights of women.
I fight for the rights of the elderly.
I fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
I fight for the rights of those who may not have health care – like coal workers with black lung.
I fight for the rights of victims of sexual harassment.
I fight for victims of hate crimes.
I fight for minorities who are marginalized by ignorance and racism.
I fight for education.
I fight against haters.
Call me a snowflake. Use your ill use of the English language to label me an “elite,” which implies you know nothing about elitism. But if what I’ve said offends you, I suggest you take a good look in the mirror.
When it comes to history, it is the liberals who time and time again stand on the right side of change. There is always resistance. There is always hate. But eventually, we do win.
So buckle up snowflakes. We have a long battle ahead of us.
Kiran

Don’t Tell Me How

A new song I’m working on. The lyrics pretty much say what I need to say today. Expect to hear it soon. xox

Verse 1:

Since the day we dropped a bomb on the world

I felt defeated, like I couldn’t find the words

How do I breathe in the shadow of the hate

How do I find my voice before it becomes too late?

Pre-Chorus:

It’s like a dream I can’t escape

With monsters tweeting to dictate

You might say just to wait it out

But this is a time we need to shout

Chorus:

Don’t tell me how I should feel right now

I can’t accept the tragedy, the complacency

No, not now

How can I hold back?

When all I love is being attacked

I won’t sit down, I won’t back down

Don’t tell me how to feel right now

Verse 2:

I walk in circles like I know where to go

I take the pill but it’s so bitter when I swallow

You want to tear us down and make us great

But who is us where do we go from hate

Pre-Chorus:

We’re supposed to act like we can’t see

The lack of grace and decency

It must be crazy to live on that throne

A demagogue who throws the largest stones

Chorus:

Don’t tell me how I should feel right now

I can’t accept the tragedy, the complacency

No, not now

How can I hold back?

When all I love is being attacked

I won’t sit down, I won’t back down

Don’t tell me how to feel right now

Bridge:

How do we stand for something that is true?

We’re told be silent that’s just what you do

But there are too many lives and dreams on the line

If you want silence, well that silence won’t be mine

Chorus:

Don’t tell me how I should feel right now

I can’t accept the tragedy, the complacency

No, not now

How can I hold back?

When all I love is being attacked

I won’t sit down, I won’t back down

Don’t tell me how to feel right now

 

Cuz I’m on fire, and I won’t be backing down

 

Vigilantly yours,

Kiran

kiran-album-shoot-kiran-album-shoot-0033_2

Living in Fear of a Tweet

I woke up early this morning and in an unwise decision, checked my phone and saw a rather disturbing news article. Well, several, because according to my Facebook feed, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and fast.

But this one was the one that caught my attention at 4:00 AM this morning and I could not for the life of me, get back to sleep.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-44-12-am

Some of you may already be familiar with the content of this article or of what is going on, so I’m going to be brief. Chuck Jones, the President of the United Steelworkers Union, called Trump out on some of the numbers he was touting that he had saved/created American jobs for Carrier which were bloated, exaggerated or just factually incorrect. While appreciative, Jones felt he needed to set the record straight on some promises that Trump had made which didn’t come to fruition and which now, Trump denied having made. (You can hear those statements in this video clip here).

It is unknown whether Trump’s next move was in retaliation, but it appears from all angles that it was. And this is what blows my mind and is cause for great concern for our democracy, because frankly, he seems to become emboldened more and more each day in his… inappropriateness. To put it mildly. What happened next was, as he likes to do when he is avoiding reading National Security briefs and you know, important shit, he took to Twitter. And he wrote THIS.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-54-39-am

He took a personal attack out against a private citizen of this country. And what happened as a result for Chuck Jones, a hardworking man who is representing the rights and the working conditions of the Carrier employees, was that he started to receive threatening calls. His family started to receive threatening calls.

Basically, by tweeting what he did, Trump has put an informal “hit” out on Chuck Jones or at least put him in a very threatening situation. Trump’s lowest common denominator supporters are already out there, ready to do God knows what to Chuck Jones. And knowing Trump and the kind of generous guy he is, he’d probably also offer to pay the legal bills. (Yes, I’m thinking back to the rally where he encouraged the beating of the Black Lives Matters activist and then offered to pay the legal fees of the culprit on live television).

Chuck Jones represents the working class. He represents the America that Trump said he was out to protect and whose America he was going to make great again. I have to tell you that what he is doing is not making anything great. This is a continuation of his campaign platform of hate and demagoguery but it also alludes to something much more dangerous.

What the President-Elect has basically just done is announce to the world that he is beyond repudiation. We already saw him doing this and playing these games with the media, which is scary enough and yes, it harkens back to many of the manipulative plays that Hitler himself made when he came to power.

What is different this time- markedly so – is that he is now going after individual citizens. He is going deep into the pockets of middle America and pointing a finger and saying, “You. You crossed me. Know my wrath. In 140 characters or less,” before he starts typing away.

These kind of intimidation tactics have no place in a democracy.  They are used by authoritarians to control the message around them. They are used in autocracies to stifle free press. They are used by dictators to suffocate the truth from society.

They are not the behavior of a President of the United States of America.

But here we are. And this is our President-Elect.

This is what I woke up to this morning.

I imagine there will be more mornings like this. I imagine right now, some people may find these tweets humorous or funny. But authoritarian and dictatorial figures have a funny way of turning their backs on those who might be friends today. They can be fickle like that. Because their biggest enemy isn’t a person, or really even a group of people.

No, you see? Their enemy is the truth.

And as long as there are people who have the backbone to defend the truth, they will be targets for this kind of intimidation and the hate that comes with it.

Signing off on my first post, but expecting to be writing much, much more in the days to come.

Vigilantly yours.

Kiran

quote-to-announce-that-there-must-be-no-criticism-of-the-president-is-morally-treasonable-theodore-roosevelt-25-9-0978