The Blog

“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free. Your. Mind.” – Morpheus, in The Matrix movie

The Blog is an exploration of the counterfear work.  More here:  "About the Blog."

This blog is a dynamic tool.  As stories unfold and content builds, you can use the buttons below to search for blog topics you are interested in.  Each Focus Area has a tag.  All blog post entries are original unless noted.  Contact us to ask about posting as a guest.  All blog post comments are moderated and may be delayed until approved.

Tools are tagged in two ways.  Each can be found below via the tags noted here, or on their own pages: 1) "shift the country - tools" or 2) "counterfear tools (in blog)".  

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Shift the Country: Growing Something Like A Phenomenon

Monday, November 4, 2019
[2-pg PDF version here] To win in 2020, Democrats need to grow, expand, and evolve what it took to win the 2018 election, especially in the formerly-known-as-red-states.  We’ve got to win the rural country to protect and advance the entire country.  The... Read more

Telling Our True Stories

Thursday, September 26, 2019
I went to write a post today on vulnerability, threw it out, and ended up at fierce. I’m in a trench; in the fight. It’s time to tell more of the story.  Not just mine. Bridges & Strength What I haven’t been saying out loud – and have been going to some lengths to talk around – is exactly how much of a struggle it’s been to create and grow this new work to... Read more

Cutting-Edge Campaigning: Why We're Unique

Thursday, September 12, 2019
It’s tempting to title this post “Why This Super PAC Is Super Awesome.”  We’re a bit biased.  We're innovative, too, so we went with that theme instead. We’re building something unique – a Super PAC to help the left win rural America.   The goal is to create movement to “Shift the Country” to help democrats win... Read more

Going All Out

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
I’ve been trying to sort something for two days – and I finally figured it out. I don’t think I’ve been going all out on this effort I’ve been growing to Shift the Country. It’s a bit absurd to say that.  Those who have seen the state of my personal life in the offline world might disagree.  I mean… I’m pretty damn far in.  Pretty far.  There are impacts. But something’s been missing.  I haven’t known what.  There’s been a bit of paralysis.  Overwhelm.  That’s... Read more

Funding Specifics To Get Shift Started

Friday, August 23, 2019
The Shift the Country PAC is raising funds... to help win the heart of rural America.  The goal is to help the left win the Senate & the White House, & to hold the US House in 2020. The idea with this work is something like what Indivisible (no affiliation) has created –... Read more

The Road So Far

Friday, August 23, 2019
We intend to win the heart of rural America.  It's a big country - we've got tremendous potential to make shift happen.  Lots of highways out there to try out.  Lots of open sky. As with... Read more

Shift the Country PAC: What We're Here To Do

Thursday, August 22, 2019
To win in 2020, the left needs to win the heart of rural America. No small feat. We can do it. Shift the Country PAC has launched with a mission to help democrats win the US Senate, hold the US House,... Read more

Shifting Into Leadership

Monday, August 12, 2019
Today's realization: every single time since April 25* that I have tried to get an existing organization to lead - or tried to do something the fast or... Read more

The Dimished Fight Against Domestic Terrorists

Saturday, August 3, 2019
As a reminder, one of the first things the Trump Administration did in the early months was to attempt to or to successfully shut down the office for... Read more

Active Shooter in El Paso - Quick Tools

Saturday, August 3, 2019
Police in #ElPaso, TX responding to an active shooter at/near one of the largest US malls. What can you do? Learn how to Stop the Bleed, & help your... Read more

Clarion Call: Time To Do Different Things

Friday, August 2, 2019
Hi all! I started this as a little life update, but it turns out it's more of a clarion call.I feel like I'm on the eve of something big. We're in a time... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 00 - Intro & Contents

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 00 - Contents & Introduction.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work. Thank you.~~~~~~~ COVER PAGE TABLE OF... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 01 - Situation & Risk

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 00 - Contents & Introduction.  You can help support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work. Thank you.~~~~~~~ PART 1 – ANALYSIS This half of the proposal is the high-level science and analysis.  Its sections lay out the sources, methods, and hypotheses, with discussion.  “Part 2 – The Work” is... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 02 - The People

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 00 - Contents & Introduction.  You can help support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 03 - Analysis Overview: Potential for Shift

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 00 - Contents & Introduction.  You can help support the shift by sending financial... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 04 - Tipping Points: Creating a Phenomenon

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 4 - Tipping Points.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~   4.  Tipping Points: Creating a Phenomenon TIPPING POINTS One major key to this proposal is to create “tipping points,” like those described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point (2000).  The book has a nice summary of sociological research – bringing much of it together to explain how many kinds of phenomena can experience a tipping point.  For example, when a social media post... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 05 - E Pluribus Unum: Community & Humanity

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 5 - E Pluribus Unum: Community & Humanity.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 5.  E Pluribus Unum: Community & Humanity COMMUNITY, CITIZENSHIP, & THE SACRED E pluribus unum, Latin for “out of many, one,” is an unofficial motto of... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 06 - Partnership, Collaboration, & Leverage

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 6 - Partnership, Collaboration, & Leverage.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing,... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 07 - The Power of Empathy, Connection, & Conversation

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 7 - The Power of Empathy, Connection, & Conversation.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 13 - The Social Contract, Institutions, Federalism, & Government

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 13 - The Social Contract, Institutions, Federalism, & Government.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 13.  The Social Contract, Institutions, Federalism, & Government THE SPECTRE OF AUTHORITARIANISM The phenomenon of the Trump election has led to much theorizing and... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 14 - Resilience, Economy, Innovation, Energy, & Infrastructure

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 14 - Economy, Innovation, Resilience, Energy, Agriculture, & Infrastructure.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 14.  Economy, Innovation, Resilience, Energy, Agriculture, & Infrastructure Each of the subjects in this section are enormous, wide-reaching, and critical as we Shift the Country.  These subjects are deeply... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 21 - Live It To Give It

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 21 - Live It To Give It.  You can support the shift by sending financial... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 08 - Values & Framing

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 8 - Values & Framing.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 8.  Values & Framing VALUES, WORLD VIEWS, & MORAL ARGUMENTS Research indicates that conservative voters tend to be more motivated or informed by fear.  There is a sort of genetic predisposition in some conservative-leaning voters, where there is more of a reaction to fear than in those who tend to lean liberal.  That fear tends to be of change, of an evolving world, of threats to the... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 09 - Language

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 9 - Language.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 9.  Language DEVELOP LANGUAGE RECOMMENDATIONS Language is of course the basis for how we communicate.  It... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 10 - Overton Window & The Public Agenda

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 10 - Overton Window & The Public Agenda.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 11 - Bias

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 11 - Bias.  We need your help to grow this movement!  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 11.  Bias Any work addressing bias should first involve consultation with people from any impacted groups to update,... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 12 - Resentment

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 12 - Resentment.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 12.  Resentment This section on “Resentment” is adjacent to the section on “Bias” for a reason:  they are often intertwined.  To effectively shift the country, we need to understand the nuance of the  intermingling. To listen to... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 15 - A Focus on Towns, Cities, Tribes, & States

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 15 - A Focus on Towns, Cities, Tribes, & States.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 17 - Amplifying to Shift the Country

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 17 - Ampifying to Shift the Country.  You can support the shift by sending financial support, talking to people about what we're doing, sharing it, & signing up for team work.  Thank you.~~~~~~~ 17. ... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 19 - Operational Security (OP-SEC)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 19 - Operational Security (OP-SEC).  You can support the... Read more

Shift the Country Proposal, Section 24 - References & Background

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
~~~~~~~This post is one section of the Proposal to Shift the Country.  This section is also in PDF here:  Section 24 - References & Background.  You can support... Read more

Found My Resonance: It's Shifting The Country

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The Spectre When it comes to dealing with the current state of the country, I feel like I had a bit of a head start.  I moved to Iowa from Washington, DC in the fall of 2015… just as the races were really heating up for the Iowa Caucus set for February of 2016.  So much for leaving the politics of Washington. As I started to settle into my new life in the midwest, the spectre of Donald Trump was becoming more ominous.  He seemed to be everywhere.  His intention to be a disruptor was crystal clear. I had a talk about Mr. Trump on a phone call with a friend of mine around that time.  It was November of 2015, and I can tell you right where I was... Read more

Attempted Bombings

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I wish I could say I was surprised about the attempted bombings and/or suspicious packages today that were sent to political figures in the US. It sounds brazen to say I was not surprised.  It might sound callous.  It’s... Read more

Knowledge IS Power: Why We Need the Scientific Method

Monday, October 22, 2018
I just went on a five minute rant to a local Facebook friend about the scientific method. Y'all, I've taken three classes in philosophy of science and... Read more

A More Open World: Navigating Social Media Overwhelm

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Overwhelmed by social media? The thing is, people were ugly before. What's changed is that now we are seeing it. We are in a more open world. We can see... Read more

Embracing the Space Social Media Brings

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
I like the space on social media because we can see how much other people really very deeply care about this country. What I see here is some very thoughtful... Read more

Fight Conspiracy Theories: The Presidential Alert

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Hey!  Are you concerned by the “presidential alert” today?  Here’s your opportunity to fight rumor-mongering and conspiracy theories… The president does not have your phone number!  The... Read more

Stop Waiting For Something Bad To Happen: It Has (And There Are Things You Can Do About It)

Saturday, August 4, 2018
If you are under the impression that the United States government can do nothing to fight Russian cyber actions and attacks, to help states with election security, to help with detection of cyber threats to states or companies or federal systems, or to take offensive cyber... Read more

Holding the Line: DNI Coats On The Record In Aspen

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Here’s my quick high-level reaction to DNI Coats’ lengthy live interview on NBC today.  Fascinating that the Aspen Security Forum is the same week that the US president kowtows to an enemy of the US known to have attacked us, and speaks AGAIN against the US... Read more

Alloys Forged in the Fires of Fracture

Thursday, July 19, 2018
The fractures on the “social pages” these days are, perhaps unusually, reflective of the fractures spreading elsewhere – between friends and families, and within communities. As an... Read more

Why I Stopped Salsa Dancing (or, Russia Doesn't Play)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
I’d bet that lots who have worked in national security keep quiet about certain things – even in light of any given news, reveals, or leaks.  Many have also been speaking out through various media.  Twitter is a hotbed of national security discussion.  Among other things. Here’s my national security... Read more

When "Burning It All Down" Has Begun

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The thing is, when people take action meant to burn it all down, there's a chance it will actually all burn down. Once a disastrous fire is burning, you don't know where it will... Read more

Deep Resilience: The Hidden Work of Government Continuity

Saturday, June 30, 2018
There are a few things I don’t talk about very much, and one of them is Continuity of Government (COG).  It’s about actions and protocols that maintain the continuity of Constitutional US government.  It’s not a light subject.  It doesn’t come into the light in the public sphere very often. Yet. I very recently watched an episode of the CBS TV show Madam Secretary called “Night Watch” (summary here) that aired May... Read more

America The More Vulnerable (Why I March)

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Big day for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Nationwide protests of its activities. Federal Protective Service, or FPS, which is in NPPD... Read more

DHS ICE HSI Agents Send Protest Letter To Secretary

Friday, June 29, 2018
I get very serious when it comes to what homeland security is supposed to be about.  We can push exactly that as a critical message at this time. It's directly related... Read more

Despondency Doesn't Save Democracy

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair.  Be hopeful, be optimistic.  Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.  Never ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” – Representative John Lewis Things are getting more intense, here in the U.S. of A.  We’re in a near-constant ramping up of, well, a whole heck of a lot. This weekend, a protest... Read more

Homeland Security: Action Calls & Election Issues

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
× × × PLEASE SHARE WIDELY × × × When you're making action calls, and/or preparing for the 2018 mid-term elections: Ask which homeland security priorities... Read more

Actions For You & Yours In An Active Shooter Incident

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Active shooter again today.  This time it's at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School (#StonemanShooting) in #ParklandFlorida. Every time there is an active shooter incident, it is a chance to think and talk about how you would react.  It is a chance for... Read more

Doing The Same Thing Over & Over Doesn't Cause Change

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Y'all, @600 people were shot at one single incident in the past year in Las Vegas. There are active shooter incidents every few days in the US. Orlando in... Read more

So You Want To Help Counter Election Interference

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The Risk & The Election This week, the US Intelligence Community (IC) said in public that the country’s next election is threatened by Russia. They said this already about the last election. The... Read more

Holding The Line: Law & Order

Thursday, January 25, 2018
The Institution Is Essential Institutions matter. They are the anchors to society, the social contract, and government itself. When it is your... Read more

The Mueller-Oprah Phenomenon, & Another Way

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Holding Out for a Hero No one person is going to save the day – or the country.  It's not Special Counsel Mueller.  Despite all of the twitterpation since Sunday’s Golden Globes that Oprah... Read more

Allowing Hope In

Saturday, December 30, 2017
I keep leaving fire.  It’s a funny thing to leave, because the ways in which I leave are not really visible to the fire world.  They’re quiet – as so many leavings are.  They vary, too.  I left the field for fire management.  I left fire management to work on post-9/11 stuff in Washington, DC.  I left that because it didn’t... Read more

Tool: Hold The Line

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Disruption can throw us off.  Like, it can really throw us off.  It can throw our world out of kilter.  Our home life, our work, our community, our country.  It can be anything from a job loss to a tornado to a relationship change to a broken leg to a move.  Anything. One of the things... Read more

It's Time To Talk About National Security

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
My advice today:  it is time to talk about National Security. This is the dialogue.  This isn't about politics.  This isn't about anything else now but a threat to the security of... Read more

Not Panicking... When You're the Fire Department

Thursday, October 12, 2017
There is a scene in the movie Roxanne, where the fire chief walks into his small-town Colorado fire department on a summer evening, and a 50-gallon drum is on fire in the station.  He hollers up to the volunteers, who... Read more

Decision Support Information, aka Incident Intelligence

Thursday, October 12, 2017
The Basics of Fire Intelligence I had a super sexy sounding job once as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops,” the busiest interagency emergency coordination center in the world.  Our job as one of eleven geographic area coordination centers in the US was to coordinate regional... Read more

My List: As Long As Any Woman's List

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
"Pissed off women move mountains." - Me (Vanessa Burnett) I see that a whole lot of my women Facebook friends are sharing their stories of icky man interactions.  Assault.  Rape. ... Read more

We Need to be Careful on Wildfire & Climate Ties

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
We need to be careful about citing every intense wildfire as tied to climate change. California has a natural fire ecology, frequently severe fires, high fire... Read more

Holding Space for Las Vegas With Our Actions

Monday, October 2, 2017
Holding space today for everyone in Las Vegas and those connected to the incident. Unfortunately, active shooters are part of our way of life now. We can hold space for those affected, but we... Read more

Humanity in Vegas

Monday, October 2, 2017
This quote is from a witness in the Las Vegas mass shooting.  His name is Anthony, filmed with his girlfriend Dillon. He was interviewed by Jo Ling Kent, NBC News Correspondent at 8:05 p.m.... Read more

Inclusive Pricing Launches October 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Join the Accessible Rates Revolution One of the things about running a business is that you do need to actually bring in money.  It’s a key feature. The intention of this business is to help people counter fear, and to be able to... Read more

On True Believers

Sunday, September 10, 2017
“Why does everyone assume when I’m talking about belief, I’m talking about God?  I don’t care what you believe – just… believe it!” – Reverend Book, Serenity  The idea of the true believer has come up again in my life, so I thought it would be useful to put a piece together... Read more

Disaster Emotion: On Heartbreak & Resilience

Thursday, September 7, 2017
This piece is long, and I’m okay with that.  Sadness and hard truths aren’t always short stories. We are at a unique time in America, when hundreds of thousands are being affected by disaster of some type.  There are incredible wildfires across the western US, Texas and Louisiana are in response and recovery from Hurricane Harvey and its incredible related flooding, and Hurricane Irma is... Read more

Ill Will & Name-Calling

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Today I’m fired up.  I get in a state when there are impending catastrophes, especially given the fact that we’ve already got one or two well underway. Years ago, I committed to living my life well within my own integrity.  For me, this means loving people, giving folks a chance, and embracing... Read more

Keeping My Damn Voice

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
There are moments... and I find myself tempted to temper my voice to meet some perceived Important Mission. Here's the thing, though. I tempered my voice... Read more

Yellow Clouds Today (a.k.a Wildfire System Info)

Monday, September 4, 2017
We have yellow clouds and light in Iowa today, and I have been avoiding verifying the reason all day. I try to stay out of wildland fire news because it is... Read more

Texas Flooding: Infrastructure Interdependencies

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Two examples of cascading infrastructure impacts and infrastructure interdependencies from the Texas Flooding: Baptist Beaumont Hospital is evacuating... Read more

Natural Disasters & Terrorism & Critical Infrastructure, Oh My

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Quick post in reference to this story:  "Chemical plant struck by Harvey now likely to explode." I'll be damned if I didn't spend my first week in the US... Read more

Disaster Resilience, on the Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Today in 2005, Hurricane Katrine hit. I was in a Department of the Interior (DOI) headquarters emergency management office, with new internal mapping... Read more

Public Private Partnerships in Hurricane Harvey

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
This is a nice piece on what the private sector is doing to support Hurricane Harvery:  "What Corporate America is doing to help Hurricane Harvey... Read more

10 Ways to Help in Hurricane Harvey Disaster

Monday, August 28, 2017
Hurricane Harvey aka Tropical Storm Harvey is unfolding as the largest US catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina. Rain and flooding are expected to continue this week. What can you do to help?... Read more

On Presidents Visiting Disasters

Monday, August 28, 2017
Just as an FYI, any time a US president visits a disaster - any president, and any disaster - it is usually not helpful to the disaster itself. The media... Read more

Catastrophe in a Catastrophe: Hurricane Harvey

Saturday, August 26, 2017
There is no doubt that Hurricane Harvey is a natural disaster already underway. We don’t know yet if it will become a catastrophe – time will tell, as flooding persists over days. First, this post will note how to help in a... Read more

Be the Storm: Channeling Intensity

Thursday, August 24, 2017
"Fate whispers to the warrior, 'you cannot withstand the storm,’ and the warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’” – Unknown Sometimes I forget that I am an intense person.  This is probably due in part to years of work in federal bureaucracy attempting to squish it out of me.  Today I remembered because I was playing the Beastie... Read more

Flash Flood Eclipses Eclipse

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The Eclipse I live in central Iowa.  Naturally, like much of America, I felt inclined to take a dive into total solar eclipse madness… after all, I was only 3.5 hrs’ drive to the north.  Probably like more of America than Americans would admit, I made my travel plans at very nearly the last minute.  That part worked out pretty well, because I ended up having what was really a pretty divine... Read more

Embracing Chaos... Road Trip to the Eclipse

Monday, August 21, 2017
Woohoo! Up early for eclipse viewing! Drove south yesterday from Iowa to Kansas City, KS. Three states in one day is more challenging in the Midwest than in... Read more

Quick Guide: Get Media Coverage Of Your Protest

Sunday, August 13, 2017
NOTE:  This post was originally published on the Counterfear Facebook page here, where there is some discussion. --- Folks, if you are doing... Read more

Charlottesville: What Would Your City Do?

Saturday, August 12, 2017
A white supremacist rally was declared unlawful after turning violent today in Charlottesville, VA, and an emergency declaration was issued by the... Read more

Washington Only Works When You Have Friends

Friday, August 11, 2017
Here's something I learned about getting things done in Washington, DC, from my 11 years there. You have to have allies. Everyone has allies. You'll never... Read more

Guam, North Korea, & a Nuclear Threat

Friday, August 11, 2017
I have never been to Guam, but I have twice been on teams whose job it is to look after it in some way. At South Ops in Riverside, CA, the South Pacific... Read more

Hope Doesn't Mitigate Disaster

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
How do we explain the moment that we're in?  We've got a US president and some in his administration under investigation for collaborating with a hostile foreign state.  A foreign state that 17 US intelligence agencies agree... Read more

Close to Home: Lawmakers Targeted in Alexandria Shooting

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
"Our strength is our resilience, and it's usually times like these that bring us together and we're always better afterwards. So pray for the continued... Read more

This IS the Disaster

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Some on social media today seem surprised or extra disheartened by the behavior of Senators in the Attorney General Sessions hearing regarding the Russia... Read more

Floored by the Shock About Paris Climate Accord

Friday, June 2, 2017
Well I'm going to have to swear. I have to admit to being flat-out stunned that so many people are stunned about the POTUS pulling the US out of the... Read more

It's Kind of a Long Story (Book vs. Blog)

Friday, May 12, 2017
Way back when I was in college, my mom suggested I write a book. Wait, do I sound younger if I just say "Back when I was in college?" I digress. At the... Read more

Just Write

Thursday, May 11, 2017
From what I have seen, when aspiring writers ask widely known writers how to do it, the second group always tell the first group to start by JUST WRITING.... Read more

What "I'm Done" Means

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Yesterday I heard myself say the words "I'm done," in reference to something I have loved for years. A part of my work. I spent the rest of the evening... Read more

Sea Change: Let's Call the Budget Proposal What It Is

Friday, March 17, 2017
"Brace for impact." - 'Sully' Sullenberger Perusing the news or your Facebook feed can be perilous these days - especially if you are a news addict with a... Read more

Have a Resilient Inauguration Week Trip to DC

Monday, January 16, 2017
So you’re going to Washington! Whether you are traveling to the nation’s capital for a party, a protest, or just to be present, one thing is for sure: you will need to be resilient. Anything can happen in a city on a normal day, but let’s admit it: this week, Washington, DC will be a special case. Really and truly — anything is possible. Things may go just swimmingly. Hopefully that’s the case.... Read more

A Prayer for Election Day

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
And so it begins.  US Election Day 2016.  Years in the making. May we be wise in our choices, and peaceful in our response.  May we find acceptance.  May we... Read more

Everything You Want Is On The Other Side of Fear

Sunday, October 23, 2016
George Addair said, "Everythig you want is on the other side of fear."  I love that, because it is a tool. If we face our fear; if we counter it - we start a shift.  The action might just be finding the fear, and... Read more

Breakpoints & Resilience: Why Sidewalks Are Sexy

Saturday, October 22, 2016
"There's no doubt the ground will shift.  The question is: when it does, will you be ready?" - Seth Godin Nobody wants to talk about sidewalks.  Sidewalks are boring.  The opposite of sexy.  A... Read more

Staring Down Transformation

Thursday, October 20, 2016
"You can't transform something you won't look at." - Dixie St. John It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and a bit paralyzed.  We tend to resist change, even when risk is... Read more

Going the Full Phoenix

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
I learned a beautiful metaphor about transformation when I was in life coach training with Martha Beck.  It’s a bit about how a caterpillar doesn’t go into a cocoon and slowly transform... Read more

Countering Fear & 9/11: A Community Radio Conversation

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Click on the graphic below to hear KHOI's "Heart of Iowa" 9/15/16 Community Radio Show I’ve spent kind of a ridiculous amount of time this year thinking about 9/11.  The fact that I think that that is... Read more

Terrorism: Accepting the Unacceptable

Monday, September 19, 2016
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” - Og Mandino Just when I feel like it’s safe to take a time-out from the news for a day or so, we’ve got more terrorism. I won’t even try to summarize the latest developments… but the super-quick picture is that there were attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota this weekend.  The debate rages on about whether these were terrorist attacks.  At its... Read more

Anchor and Flank

Sunday, September 18, 2016
"Anchor and Flank" is at the core of the counterfear process (check out the Focus Area page "Anchor and Flank" for more).  It comes from fire.  In fact, it's a core principle of wildland firefighting,... Read more

Light From the Darkness: The Day After 15 Years After 9/11

Monday, September 12, 2016
"I remember exactly that moment when the whole world stopped & we saw each other standing there. Wondering how we ever forgot that we are all light wanting to shine for each other." - Brian Andreas, StoryPeople Yesterday I tried to write a blog post about 9/11.  Well, if I’m honest, I started trying to write it on Friday.  Didn’t work.  Didn’t... Read more

Tool: The Art of Triage

Friday, September 9, 2016
Addressing Chaos Years ago when I worked as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops," I set about finding some tools to help me organize and prioritize.  South Ops is the country’s busiest interagency operations coordination center, and is reputed to be the busiest such center center in the world.  It covers response coordination... Read more