We Are All Jedis, Now.




We are all Jedis, now.

Darkness descending, so fast,

Erasing the past.


Hate, Lies, Bigotry

Spreading plaque-like, killing vows;

We are all Jedis, now.


Death and dying near,

Princess Leia no more here—

We are all Jedis, now.


Ali, Ali, where are thee?

Floating, and stinging like bees.

We are all Jedis, now.



Leonard Cohen, you too-ya?

We’re all Jedis, now.


Easy, so easy

To turn out the lights, give in

To the coming night.


But we are alive,

With breath, mind and beating heart—

Each day, a new start


To love, live, create;

Never surrender our light,

Our hope, souls, our fight.


We are all Jedis, now.

Fearless with our strength and skills,

Hearts on fire, refusing to bow….

We are ALL Jedis, NOW.



Letter from the Wake County Jail, Raleigh, North Carolina: Stella Kirkendale & the Fight for Democracy

(Stella Kirkendale, and her North Carolina colleagues protest the totalitarian tactics of the GOP controlled North Carolina State Legislature before 61 of them were arrested protecting democracy.  (photo by Kevin Smith))



(I had the pleasure of working with Stella Kirkendale on Voter Protection and attending rallies supported by the North Carolina NAACP when I was in North Carolina for the four weeks leading up to the Presidential Election of 2016. Stella and 61 of her colleagues were arrested last week while protesting the unconstitutional and totalitarian actions of the GOP controlled NC State Legislature to strip the incoming Democratic Governor, Roy Cooper of his powers. It’s my honor to post Stella’s “Letter from the Wake County Jail,” on my website at www.socialvisionproductions.com, on Medium.com, LinkedIn and Twitter, and all over social media, to inspire others to act in defense of the Constitution and democracy. I know Stella and these good folks who were arrested. They represent the best of humanity.)


 By Stella Kirkendale, Raleigh, NC, December 19, 2016


Where to begin? It’s been called the Carolina Coup, an ambush, a legislative power grab, reminiscent of Jim Crow governance, a secret society takeover and more… What you need to know is that this has been in the making for some time, since GOP-led extremists took over the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) four years ago. It is part of our Southern history.


After a drawn-out attempt to contest Democrat Governor-elect Roy Cooper’s win on November 8, Governor Pat McCrory conceded a month later. Then, under the guise of calling a special session on hurricane relief last week, Republican legislators introduced a gamut of new bills (22 total) intended to strip Cooper of his authority. This despite the fact that federal courts deemed the legislative districts illegitimate earlier this year, in the wake of widespread voter suppression and racial gerrymandering that targeted African-American voters “with surgical precision,” mandating a new legislative election in 2017. These bills undermine and manipulate the judicial system, boards of election, public education, and reduce new state hires by our new governor from 1,500 to 425.


When North Carolina’s NAACP, Democracy NC and other coalition partners issued an urgent call to citizens to pack the NCGA last Tuesday, December 13, showed up. Senate and House leaders played games with us through mid-day Wednesday, calling one session after another to order only to recess a few minutes later – after praying for wisdom!


For me personally the last straw was witnessing firsthand the devious trickery of a bunch of desperate, power-hungry white men: sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives Wednesday, waiting for a 5pm session to begin, I looked down and saw the Democrats seated – a racially and gender-diverse group. We waited and waited and waited, until 6:30pm, when Speaker Tim Moore opened the meeting. I looked down again and was stunned at the display of patriarchy and white supremacy below me. The Democrats, fully aware that the planning for these meetings had been conducted in secret, quickly left to emergency caucus.


On Wednesday, following a NC NAACP press conference, Democrat leaders from the Senate and House spoke to the crowd assembled outside the press room, impressing urgency upon us to organize like never before.


That afternoon, seated in the House again, 17 of us knew what we needed to do. After all, many of us have been involved in the Moral Monday / Forward Together movement led by Reverend Dr. William Barber II since its inception. We stood up in unison to raise our voices in protest and to shine a light on the devious power grab. We sang and chanted, “All political power comes from the people.” I sign interpreted as well, as deafness appeared to be prevalent below. When we refused to leave we were handcuffed and led off one by one.


I must say that we were treated with utmost respect by the Raleigh police officers who were called in to do the dirty work. After a holding period in the cafeteria we were transported to the Wake County Detention Center in the back of inmate transfer vans that hold 8 people. We sang as we pulled out, to let our supporters outside know that our spirits were strong. We also discussed strategic talking points should the media be present for our release.


Our processing in the detention center was different from my last experience in July 2013. We had to remove and relinquish our shoelaces, belts and scarves; sit on a device that screened our backsides for inserted objects and place our chins / cheeks on the top level to check our mouths. I became acutely aware of my white privilege when I saw other inmates being booked, locked in cells and escorted in striped jumpsuits. With few exceptions, the other inmates were young and black or Latino. One young woman in the discharge area shared with us at 10:30pm that she was 22 years old, pregnant, with 4 children. She had been there since 3pm.


We were released at 11pm, into the arms of our NAACP and Moral Monday family. The next morning we were back at the North Carolina General Assembly, to continue to witness and support our fellow citizens attempting to enter the House, resulting in 45 additional arrests, including Santa, a breastfeeding mother, a reporter and senior citizens. By the end of the day Governor McCrory had signed the new legislation.


North Carolina can be viewed simultaneously as a case study of how to organize successfully against oppression and as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of the nation. We have truth on our side, knowing the illegitimacy of the entire charade. We are a broad and diverse fusion movement for social justice, and we shall overcome. We hope you will join us!

Stella Kirkendale, MPH is an activist and public health professional with over 25 years experience in local and global HIV/AIDS. She has also worked in TB infection control in Africa and Asia, and on the Ebola recovery in Sierra Leone in 2015. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone in the early 1980s.






President Obama: Why Are You So Silent?

( Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Sculpture by Michael Richards, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina)


Dear President Obama:


I voted for you three times over the past eight years: once in the New York State Democratic Presidential Primary in 2008, once for President in November, 2008, and once for President again, in 2012. I was proud of each vote, and grateful for the outstanding service you have rendered the nation during your two terms as President. That’s why I am perplexed by your silence in the face of the shocking revelation by the CIA that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, throwing its legitimacy into question.


I was also disturbed to learn, Mr. President, that the CIA’s information and that information of Russia’s illegal interference in our elections was intentionally withheld by GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the National Republican Party,and that you chose not to go public with the CIA report one month before the election—despite strong urging from Senator Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.


I don’t understand why you have not yet called a major press conference–or called for an emergency session of Congress–to address this very disturbing development and act of cyber warfare which a former CIA official has called the most serious violation of our national security since 9/11. Now, with Donald Trump’s nomination of a top Exxon/Mobil official for Secretary of State, who is a multi-billion dollar business partner of Putin’s, American national interest is being shredded before our eyes, and the Putin/Trump quid-pro-quo is emerging. Yet, strangely you remain silent, even though the very effective economic sanctions you imposed upon Russia in 2014 for invading Crimea are now at serious risk of being reversed, yielding billions of dollars in profits to Russia and Exxon/Mobil.


If this turn of events is not enough for you to make a major national speech–before the Electoral College votes on December 19, and to release the classified CIA information to all Presidential Electors–I don’t know what is, President Obama. The essential underpinning of our democracy—a free and fair election, without foreign interference—is at risk of being traded away to a hostile, anti-democratic power in exchange for billions of dollars in profits for Vladimir Putin, Russian oligarchs and their American Oil company partners.


My father fought totalitarianism in World War II, as did all of my uncles, my wife’s father and her uncles. Her youngest Uncle, Herbert Jacobson, an American Jew, was killed at 20 years of age, fighting Fascism in Europe. They did not sacrifice to see a fascist dictator of Russia tamper with our national presidential election, nor to see American national interests become second to the interests of Russia and Exxon/Mobil.


You still have 5 weeks left as our President, and the power to command the world’s attention to condemn the illegal interference in our national affairs by a hostile foreign power. This act of cyber warfare has directly undermined the legitimacy—and security—of our democratic form of government.


Accordingly, I do not understand your silence, President Obama, nor your reluctance to use your powerful gifts of oratory and integrity–and your high public standing–to deliver an urgent message to the nation and the world, remind the members of the Electoral College of their constitutional responsibility to put the national interest above all partisan ones, and to stand up as true patriots against foreign interference in American elections, particularly in the election of a President.


Why are you waiting to speak out at this critical time in our nation’s history? Less than one week remains before 538 Electors cast their votes for President. Will you remind them of their constitutional duty to protect our democracy?



Steve Villano.

An tax-paying American Citizen and Patriot




I’m Spartacus!



On the 100th Birthday of Kirk Douglas (December 9, 2016)—one month after the election of the most anti-democratic, anti-human rights government in American history—it’s time for ALL of us to step up and become as courageous as “Spartacus!”


NOW is the time for all of us to declare, “I’m Spartacus” and stand up for each other, when anyone of us is threatened: Muslims, Jews, Christians, LBGT, Immigrants, the disabled, union leaders, political activists, and socially responsible corporate leaders. Threats or actions against any one of us, are a threat to all, and a danger to individual liberties and human rights.


The 100th birthday of Kirk Douglas, a Jewish actor born of poor immigrant parents in upstate New York, who played Spartacus in the film written by the politically blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, is the perfect date to launch a nationwide movement to protect and fight for each other’s individual liberties. That’s what the “I’m Spartacus” movement is all about.


We’ve spoken with Americans of good will from Churches, Synagogues and Mosques across the nation about each of us standing up for each other, as Spartacus’ fellow soldiers did when his life and liberty were threatened.


I’ll have more details about the “I’m Spartacus” call to action all across social media as we move forward in the coming weeks. For now, know that the inspiration comes from each other, from Muslims, Jews, Christians, union activists and members of the LGBT community who have been targeted by hate groups—on-line, and in our communities. Our inspiration comes from political outcasts, like Trumbo, and religious/ethnic outcasts, like Kirk Douglas: examples of courage during times of violence and oppression.


Now, it’s OUR time to stand up for each other, fearlessly, and declare “I’m Spartacus!” It’s time for us to stand strong whenever anyone of goodwill, just wanting a peaceful and safe life for themselves and their families, is threatened or bullied.


“I’m Spartacus!” Stand up with each other and FOR each other, and fight the forces of hate, lawlessness, and darkness. If you’d like to take part in our “I’m Spartacus” movement, let us know by hitting the “like” button under this posting, or by sending a message of support to which ever social media or communications site where you see “I’m Spartacus” standing tall. We’ll have more information and more avenues of involvement becoming available over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.


I’m Spartacus! And, so are you.



Sleep Well, NBC & Comcast’s Brian Roberts & Steve Burke: You’ve Enabled the Raping & Pillaging of the Country, but, at least, You & the Kleptocrat-in-Chief are Making $$$$


(Thirteen months ago, almost to the day, I posted this blog criticizing NBC for creating the television career of the Vulgarian Trump, and paying him more than $200 million for aggrandizing his piggish, demeaning, sexist ways on a national TV network. In the immediate aftermath of the revelations of the Trump Sex Abuse Tapes, done in conjunction with another NBC employee, Billy Bush, I reposted my essay. That was two months ago. I’ve revised this essay now that NBC has decided to reclaim their evil spawn, by re-hiring him as Executive Producer of “The Apprentice.” Mark Burnett is not yet revealing how much they’ll be paying the Kleptocrat-in-Chief. Emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution anyone? Impeachment?
Tom Brokaw’s two and one-half minute noble tsk-tsking of Donald Trump’s full-blown Fascism — coming at the tail end of a little-watched Tuesday night 6 pm newscast over a year ago — was far too little, way too late from the Broadcast network which made Trump an international TV star and helped launch his political career.
Now that Trump’s big, ugly Un-American backside has been bared for all to see, those wonderful folks who gave this monster a global platform to pedal his pernicious views, are beginning to have some second thoughts, but very few have anything to do with soul searching. NBC, for example did pay Donald Trump a total of $213, 606, 575 in salary to host 14 seasons of “The Apprentice” — an average of about $15 million per season, according to documents Trump’s campaign filed with the Federal Elections Commission.


Then, after they handed Trump the bully’s pulpit to pick on everyone from the disabled, to Mexicans, to Syrian Refugees, to wounded war veterans, to Muslims, NBC — no longer seeing profit in Trump’s pugnaciousness — fired the Towering Inferno after he insulted all Mexicans in late June, 2015, during his announcement for President. NBC’s Latino market was just too big for the network to fail. But now, that the NBC/Comcast stellar citizens see a chance to make almost as much money off a Trump presidency than the Kleptocrat-in-Chief himself, they’re inviting the pig back to the trough.
Financially, as well as cosmetically, NBC’s announcement to Dump Trump last year was good business. Following its’ first five years, “ The Apprentice” began to rapidly lose market share. NBC meanwhile, had become the NBC/Universal/Comcast monolith after 2009, rolling up big new profits in its cable, movie and amusement park businesses. But now, NBC’s high dudgeon over Trump’s filthy mouth, racist and sexist slurs, has disappeared: they’re clamoring to get back into the pocket of the Kleptocrat they created.
NBC and Burnett made Donald Trump — long viewed as another wannabe starlet in New York politics–richer, far more famous, and extraordinarily more powerful than he had ever been before. Trump’s little inheritance of his father’s real estate fortune — built with federal funds for constructing middle-income housing, and keeping Blacks out of that housing — and even a New York Daily News front page headline boasting of the “Best Sex I’ve Ever Had” with Marla Maples, weren’t enough to get him the kind of attention he craved. Before his stint at NBC, Trump looked like a silly little post-card painter without serious recognition of his talent.
Then along came Mark Burnett and NBC, and the inner Trump was let loose in the living rooms of millions of Americans through the mindlessness of Reality TV. Burnett, Trump’s co-producer on “Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice”, and a prime mover in bringing Reality TV to American television with his “Survivor” in 2000, and other programming such as “The Voice,” “Shark Tank,” “ Sarah Palin’s Alaska (yes, that too) and, the aptly named “Are you smarter than a fifth-grader?” boasts a net worth estimated at somewhere between $385 million to $450 million — a small fortune built on convincing Americans that eating bugs and spitting bile at people was entertainment. Trump spotted a winning formula for his brand of bragadaccio, and a malleable audience to swallow his hollow values and hateful views.
Forbes reported earlier this year that Trump’s entertainment-related income since 2004 — the first, and most successful year of “The Apprentice”– was approximately $500 million, from his books, speeches, beauty pageants and Reality-TV employment, the bulk of which, came from NBC, and was made possible by his ten-year run on the NBC aired reality show–including nearly $100 million in product-placement fees Trump and “Apprentice” co-producer Burnett got from shaking down program sponsors like Pepsi and Crest.
NBC can roll out all of the Tom Brokaw mea culpa commentaries it wants; pretend to be righteous by having Joe Scarborough cut off Trump after allowing the Quasimodo of Queens to rant on, or even continue to allow MSNBC to operate. The network conglomerate created this monster, and, with the willing leadership of programming ghouls like Mark Burnett and Jeff Zucker at the time (who went on to greater shame at CNN), NBC disarmed the audience of any analytical ability to recognize that its collective brain was being snatched, and now, it’s pockets being picked as well.
Sleep well, NBC & Comcast’s Brian Roberts and Steve Burke: you’ve enabled the raping and pillaging of the country, but, at least, you and the Kleptocrat-in-Chief are making money

Eva, Eva Conway Braun




Eva, Eva, Conway Braun,

Sitting on the White House lawn.

Smiling like a bulb so bright–

God, her face is such a fright.


Mercenary Mercer’s girl

Shills for vilest of them all.

Akins’ rapin’ was legit;

Carson, Newt & Cruz: such shit.


Eva Conway, Eva Braun,

Mendacious men know she’s their pawn.

Mercer’s money, Bannon’s bile

Lure her to the basest pile.


When the Fuhrer waves his hair,

Eva Conway Braun is there…

When his tiny lips spit lies,

Eva stamps them with her eyes.


Eva, Eva, Conway Braun,

Naked on the White House lawn.

Stripped of every shred of self,

Cyanide pill on her shelf.