AFTERLIFE: Eben Alexander vs. Woody Allen

LEITER WRITING TIPS #4 — AFTERLIFE: Eben Alexander vs. Woody Allen
[Suggestions, observations, and advice, writing as Ben Leiter]

from PROOF OF HEAVEN by Dr. Eben Alexander, who experienced a significant near-death experience:
[“And particles are made up of …Well, quite frankly, physicists don’t really know. But one thing we do know about particles is that each one is connected to every other one in the universe. They are all, at the deepest level, interconnected.”
“This other, vastly grander universe isn’t ‘far away’ at all. In fact, it’s right here — right here where I am, typing this sentence, and right there where you are, reading it. It’s not far away physically but simply exists on a different frequency. It’s right here, right now, but we’re unaware of it because we are for the most part closed to those frequencies on which it manifests. We live in the dimensions of familiar space and time, hemmed in by the peculiar limitations of our sensory organs and by our perceptual scaling within the spectrum from subatomic quantum up through the entire universe. Those dimensions, while they have many things going for them, also shut us out from the other dimensions that exist as well.”
“The universe has no beginning or end, and God is entirely present within every particle of it.”]

But Woody Allen says: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen. I would rather live in my apartment.

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True-life stories

CITY MANAGEMENT SNAPSHOTS: ON THE RUN
A memoir with true-life stories. Available at Amazon/kindle under the pen name of Ben Leiter.
Introduction
Unfortunately, IT’S ALL TRUE. Or, at least it’s my truth.
I present professional life snapshots of conflict, corruption, character assassination, betrayal, murder, suicide, drug running, spying, sex scandals, courage, heroes, and a monkey on the loose. Most days were meetings.
This is my story as a municipal bureaucrat, spanning forty- four years.
I am a gray man. My training and environment dictated planned, constrained, organizational nuance. Budgets, staff meetings, zoning hearings, union negotiations, and more meetings constituted my world.
I encountered the best and the worst in people. On one level, this is just a City Manager memoir; on another, it reflects themes in everyone’s life journey.
What is that old saying? “We make plans, and God laughs.” I made lots of plans. God looked at me, and She is in hysterics. Poor, poor gray man.
I present this story to you in candid, rapid-fire snapshots. No specific individual or city is identified. This protects the innocent and, unfortunately, the guilty, too. Camouflaged with anonymity and the pseudonym Ben Leiter, I can tell my story the way it needs to be told. Truth.
I have served all over the country.
As a young person struggling to make the right career choice, I wanted my work to make a meaningful contribution, and I didn’t want to be bored.
I have not been bored.
After you read this book, if you should run into the City Manager of your community, just say “thanks.” He or she will know what you mean.

MICHAEL WOLFF’S INSIDER WHITE HOUSE

 Michael Wolff rains down fire and fury on the President and his Keystone-Kops-can’t-shoot-straight administration which fosters internecine warfare like a factionalized Lebanon. Everything but the car bombings—so far. He lays it all out in his fly-on-the-wall FIRE AND FURY: INSIDE THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE.  

Maybe other presidential administrations had internal problems too. I suspect so. 

Nixon with his impeachment. 

Clinton’s driven libido. (p.s. I was a strong Clinton fan, and I heard him speak at our local high school—mesmerizing, but came to realize he should have resigned. He disgraced the Office of the President, and probably cost Gore the 2000 election. But the disgrace was not on this Trumpian scale, allegedly engaging in antics with porn stars.)

So, while I fret about the sheer disorganization and administrative guerrilla-war conflicts of Trump and his people, at least he hasn’t plunged us into a 15-year-graveyard-of-empires-war, at the cost of trillions that could have rebuilt and reeducated America, to say nothing of the 500,000 dead Iraqis in the missing-weapons-conflict. 

Obviously, I digress a bit.

A summary excerpt, capturing the dysfunctional White House flavor, from the point of view of Wolff: 

“As Walsh saw it, Steven Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was running the Paul Ryan White House. ….”

My former career as a city manager placed critical emphases on communications, organization, efficiency, and productivity. That professional world-view contributes to my angst, despising Trump and his culture of disorganization. 

Then, I had a counter-revelation. If we can survive Trump until his impeachment, we are safer with his mindless chaos. Can you imagine if Trump were really an effective CEO? 

Meanwhile, I’ m counting on the American deep-state to keep us safe. Trump calls them “deep state.” 

I call them the federal civil service; the intelligence community; and a military who take an oath to the constitution, not to the president. And, thank God, despite my personal aversion to the historical “racist” emphasis on State’s Rights—those State’s Rights are looking pretty good right now. Thank God we have fifty state governments. Maybe not the most efficient system, but built to thwart egomaniacal heads of state.

Every once in a while, our Founding Fathers look really smart, don’t they?

WHY ROCKET MAN STILL LIVES

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I worked in government in the Washington, D.C. area for 19 years. You run into interesting people. One fellow prepared the President’s daily brief, and we talked. I won’t say whether or not we kept up a relationship over the years.
Let me tell you what is going on. Why? Because The Donald already let the cat out of the bag when Director Pompeo, the new CIA chief, secretly met with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean Dictator.
Pompeo didn’t spill all the beans, just enough to have The Dictator completely reverse his belligerent, you-can’t-touch-this position. Kim pivoted on a dime. Survival will do that to you.
Whatever did Pompeo say?
Not much. It was show-and-tell time.
First, pictures of Kim appearing at several test missile launches. Then, pictures of Kim’s high-security caravan speeding through the empty streets of Pyongyang. Then, more time-date photos of Kim’s steel-plated personal vehicle outside one of his mistresses’ apartments.
Message? We know where to get you if and when we want to. And, we’re starting to get to want to.
Second, vague references to a grouping of laser satellites permanently positioned in geosynchronous orbit approximately 22,300 miles above Earth, coincidentally a bee-line directly to Pyongyang — if bees could fly in space and ride lasers down to us flatlanders.
Thank God, he didn’t put all our cards on the table. He could have referenced the secret cruise missiles equipped with electromagnetic pulse waves which shut down all electronic waves and connections in a several-mile-wide swath and to a depth of 3,000 feet underground. Can you say “Useless North Korean atomic weapons?” Pompeo didn’t offer any more detail.
But, Dennis Rodman did in a recent visit. He concluded his comments with “Supreme Leader, they told me to tell you this, but I think it’s just bullshit. They’re trying to scare you. We Brothers don’t play that game, do we, sir. Now, let’s go shoot some hoops.”
Ever hear the term reverse psychology?
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CITY MANAGEMENT SNAPSHOTS available on Amazon/Kindle.

 

ON THE BEACH

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I am a former city manager of seven cities across the country.

“On the beach” means, in the city management profession:

“In transition.”

“Recently resigned or fired.”

“Looking for another job.”

In my youth, since I was  a native of flyover country, the beach held enormous appeal.

Now? Not so much. Besides you can easily get sunburned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS AND THE DONALD

Ben Leiter, worked for 19 years in Washington, D.C. and knows people who know people.

He likes Jesus. The Donald — not so much.

He says both Jesus and The Donald have one thing in common. They both messed with THE MONEY. They crucified one for turning over the money tables in the Temple.
The Donald just sent the stock market plunging with no end in site with tariff wars and the threat of real war with Neo-fascist Bolton. You don’t mess with THE MONEY!

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And Ben also reminded me that both hung out with prostitutes, to the distress of the public. But it wasn’t the same thing, was it. Each had a different agenda.

Somehow, I don’t think The Donald was trying to redeem anyone.