Kyle Borland

Storyteller and strategist at the intersections of cannabis, branding & communications, justice, and Urbanism.

ACES in Spades – January 17-18

Thanks for signing up! “In Spades”, my new semi-daily newsletter, where I attempt to show and expound upon the relationships between the four values of accountability, connectivity, equity and sustainability and how we can apply these values to save our Republic.

Accountability watches the actions of our politicians and corporations (re: the ruling class) to hold them, and ourselves, accountable.

Connectivity highlights the news stories and cultures of the United States, the states that make it up and the rest of the world.

Equity promotes the fight for equitable racial, social, economic and civic justice.

Sustainability educates on the building blocks of tomorrow.

If you have any stories or trends you’d like to see highlighted, please reach out to me at Right now, I’m collecting the news I read into a digestible form. As In Spades develops, it will become less bulky, more targeted and a narrative will begin to hold. For the time being, I’m trying to show our countries lack of ACES, in spades. –KGB

PS: Sign up for the newsletter!

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Accountability → Watch the Throne

Resistance Manual — A project by StayWoke

  • This is an anti-Trump Wiki. The community will continuously update the page as learn more about the incoming administration’s policies.

How to win in populist times by Jonathan Smucker (Waging Nonviolence)


ACTION: Call your Senators toll-free at 855–882–6229 and tell them to vote NO on Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. #DumpDeVos

  • Democrats have no answer for Trump — I have to agree. Since I live in the Democrats’ citadel (SF Bay), I see firsthand the rampant divisions among Democrats. Even on Facebook, I find myself clashing more with people who I differ from slightly than with people who outright disagree with me. Liberals, Democrat or not, must all figure out around this if we are going to launch an effective counter-offensive against Trump. I agree with the article that the Women’s March is a great start but it amounts, politically, to a giant group hug. (The Atlantic)


  • 8 men have more money than 3.6 BILLION — You’re not reading that wrong, it’s “B.” Oxfam, the inequality watchdog, also noted that the world’s first trillionaire was already among us. This is not sustainable and the world’s poor will only eat cake for so long. If you haven’t before, do some research on the global south. Specifically, research what’s going on in Venezuela right now. This is all just getting started. (Fortune)
  • #AntiTrust: BAT to become world’s largest tobacco king — BAT has acquired Reynolds to the sound of $49.4 billion. Mega-mergers have become par-for-course in the 2000s. I think it might be time to put some effort into blocking some of this mega-mergers with coordinated action. There must be a way to tap into the all-american #AntiTrust well. (Bloomberg)
  • IBM: Corporations will soon be smarter than humans — Over the next three decades, that amount of data we encounter daily is expected to rise to over four zetabytes, according to Northwestern University psychology professor Paul Reber. Robots are the only way we have to sort through it all. (Inverse)
  • SalesForce CEO, Marc Benioff: Gilded Tech’s Carnegie: “Businesses driving the global economy are the greatest platforms for change, and as business leaders we can choose whether we commit ourselves to harnessing the new technologies and engaging with our communities to improve the state of the world, or let it erode what binds us together and cripple our planet. I believe that four core, linked values are critical to navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution going forward and addressing the complex challenges it presents: Trust, Growth, Innovation, and Equality.” (Fortune)

Connectivity → Bridge the Gap

From Alabama to California

  • American infrastructure projects cost 6x more than they should — As is the case with most infrastructure projects, they go over budget and schedule. Although the scum-of-the-Earth that are contractors are partially to blame, we must also look at our government’s regulations to see the tangled knot we have written ourselves into that’s choking our economy. (New Yorker)
  • From SF to DC, gentrification is a national problem — Walking through the Mission here in SF is basically walking through ground zero of gentrification in the United States. It’s a complicated problem that has been decades in the making. This article does a good job of highlighting the local’s side of the story and showing us transplants how we can properly move to a new location without presenting our privilege. (NPR)
  • “Independent choice” a device for segregationists — I will repeat this time and time again in this newsletter and wherever people will listen — we must BAN private schools. True integration can only be reached by requiring all children to be educated by the United States. If we hope to fix this country, we must provide every student with the same quality, objective education. (NPR) 
Case-and-point: Alabama city moves toward segregation (CityLab)

World Affairs

  • Asia gets pushy without American hegemony — Things in Asia are getting icy now that China has more room to flex its muscles. India and China are having growing pains over Pakistan — namely, the size of India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals. All three countries, and Russia, are gearing up for potential border skirmishes between India and Pakistan in the coming years. Don’t look for this to blow over anytime soon, if WWIII breaks out from anywhere it’ll be near and around Kashmir. (Quartz)
  • Davos: China grabs the baton — President Xi Jinping seized upon the power vacuum at Davos, the annual gathering of the world’s rich and powerful high up in the Swiss Alps, to reinforce China’s position of support for globalization, countering Trump. (Fortune)
  • Straight from the Dragon’s Mouth — ”It is quite likely that China and the US will face a head-on confrontation. China must be quick in preparing for sharp provocations from the Trump administration. China’s win over this confrontation will serve as the basis for normal exchanges between the two in the future,” says the state-run news outlet’s editorial.” O_o (Times of India)

Equity → Pursue the Dream

Criminal, Social and Voter Justice

ACTION: Call the Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer at 202–616–6070, ext. 4. Script below:

  • SCRIPT: “Hello, my name is_____________, and I’m calling on President Obama to release all currently held political prisoners from prison before he leaves office. Leonard Peltier (#89637–132, USP Coleman), Veronza Bowers (#35316–136, USP Atlanta), and Dr. Mutulu Shakur (#83205–012, Victorville USP) represent a small number of currently incarcerated individuals who have served over 30 years in prison each as a result of the illegal COINTELPRO program that targeted social justice activists and communities of color. They have served their time and deserve to finally come home to their families and communities.” (M4BL)
  • Abortion rate drops to lowest rate since Roe v. Wade — Look what happens when you make contraceptives and quality healthcare accessible to as many people as possible! (USA Today)
  • BLM: Birth of a Movement — An in-depth look at the origins of BLM and how the movement plans to address the Trump era. (The Guardian)
  • News flash: Destroying the black family unit screwed the kids — By locking up communities of color, we have destroyed their youth’s ability to access their potential. Physical, emotional and mental turmoil cause educational performance to drop among affected communities, with no signs of slowing down. (The Atlantic)
  • Protesting? Know your rights. — Activism can get messy, so make sure you’re aware of your constitutional rights and how to react if they’re not respected. (ACLU)


  • Jealous states look to take down CO cannabis laws — Oklahoma and Nebraska want to put out Colorado’s fire. Citing federal laws, the parties argued before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to decide how much to the state’s drug laws fly in the face of the Fed. (The Cannabist)
  • Justice system stumped on how to measure high drivers — I’m personally a better driver when I’m high but I understand why there’s a need for this. Life hack: cross country roadtrips are so much better while high. (The Marshall Project)
  • Scientists to government: We’d like to study marijuana — Even with a potentially hostile incoming administration, cannabis supporters are hoping Trump / Sessions will reclassify cannabis in order to allow for a streamlining of research nationwide. (NYT)

Sustainability → Build for 1000x


  • NIMBY ALERT: SF progressives — proud NIMBYs — have rejected a low-income development for seniors based on height level. We have another word for that: “Faux-gressive.” (SF Business Times)
  • Transportation agencies will acknowledge reality — Before, agencies counted a bus / train / mass transport vehicle as the same category as a single-person / family vehicle. No longer. Transportation officials will now regard mass transport vehicles in a different light when taking them into account for planning processes / considerations. (Streetsblog)

ACES: In Spades – January 24

ACES in Spades – January 16