Archive for the ‘Martha’s Book :: Your Survival Skills Are Killing You’ Category

“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination’ and you can use my words against me and you will be absolutely right.”

Lindsey Graham – 2016


Trust me. I will never lie to you.

In 2016, joining Lindsey Graham to deny President Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court replacement when there was over 10 months remaining before the election are:

2016, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.): “The campaign is already under way. It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.”

2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):“It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.”

2016, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term – I would say that even if it was a Republican president.”

2016, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.): “The very balance of our nation’s highest court is in serious jeopardy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will do everything in my power to encourage the president and Senate leadership not to start this process until we hear from the American people.”

2016, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice.”

2016, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): “In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have their say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Antonin Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president.”

 2016, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.):“The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.”

2016, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.):“I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”

2016, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio):“I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in on who should make a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. This wouldn’t be unusual. It is common practice for the Senate to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term, and it’s been nearly 80 years since any president was permitted to immediately fill a vacancy that arose in a presidential election year.”

2016, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.):“I strongly agree that the American people should decide the future direction of the Supreme Court by their votes for president and the majority party in the U.S. Senate.”

And from the Leader of the Senate himself…

March 2016, Mitch McConnell:

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”


 Lying Hypocrites Every One

 Every one of these men, and ALL of the Republican Senators have gone back on every word they said. All lies, but it was predictable because on a daily basis, they all lie, manipulate and deceive the gullible factions within their base so much, any level of an assumed moral standard has been eradicated. Lies and hypocrisy have become the norm.

Their followers, as in a cult, refuse to listen or hear or believe what is being said and being done right in front of their eyes. Like all people who fall for a con, they only hear what they want to hear and they disregard the rest.

As Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time.” As Trump himself said of his followers, “I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and they’d still follow me.”

How true.

Others of us know Trump is a deeply disturbed, mentally unstable man who has no regard for human life, unless it can enrich or empower him. But it’s the Republican Senators who are most derelict in their duty to:

1) maintain a balance of power and hold the President accountable with consequences and

2) protect the American people and the country from enemy invasion (internally, externally, militarily and through cyberspace).

It’s the Republican Senators who enable Trump, support him and defend his erratic irrational, destructive behaviors.

They are lock-step behind this criminal, unrepentant sociopath, and along with him, they have overseen the preventable deaths of over 200,000 deaths of American citizens. That is the insidious corrupt bargain they have made with the devil, all to maintain their own lust power and financial gain.

In return, they get a conservative super majority on the Supreme Court so they can rip up Roe vs. Wade (to control women and tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies), overturn Obamacare (and eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions) and invalidate the Nov. election if Trump loses.

They do not care. That is their plan. They do not care about the pandemic and the death toll. They do not care about protecting people or legitimate voting practices. They do not care about protecting our national security. They do not care about the Constitution or democracy.

All they want is raw power and they will do whatever they can to get it and keep it…They will lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, control, kill, hurt, overpower – whatever it takes to win, regardless of the cost. They are cut-throat win/lose players.

The closer we get to the election, the deeper Trump’s psychosis will drive him into the darkness. For our Democracy to survive, we MUST get rid of him and we MUST Flip the Senate.

We must not only vote them OUT, but we must do so by a huge margin because Trump has already said if he doesn’t win, then the elections are “rigged” and fraudulent (without one iota of evidence) and he has already admitted to plans to invalidate and manipulate the results if they’re not favorable to him… If that happens, get ready folks.

Don’t anticipate “reasonable” reactions. I promise you, he will stop at nothing and it would not surprise me if he even started a nuclear war to stay in power.

ONLY if we overturn the Presidency and Flip the Senate can we have a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

Use your time, your energy, your resources, every ounce of commitment you have, and VOTE EARLY. Please contact all your friends to make sure they vote, too.

There is absolutely nothing more important you can do this year than to VOTE.

The future of our country will be affected greatly by your choice for years to come…


For all the information you need, go to: www.Vote.org












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Out of Control!


Last night you watched an obnoxious, spoiled little rich boy brat throwing a tantrum. He has never been told “NO”, never before told to “Shut up” and like every two-year old, he thinks the world revolves around him as he demands all the attention be on him.

No one stops him, not his hand-picked aides, not the Senate, nor the Justice Dept. and so he gets his own way and runs rough-shod over everyone. Rules don’t apply to him. As someone on Facebook said, Chris Wallace should have been replaced by any mother who has been in quarantine with her kids since March.


To cover up his pathological insecurity and inability to discuss issues intelligently, like all schoolyard bullies, he resorts to attack, humiliation, abuse and lies. Combine this with the unwavering support of the Republican Senate and Justice Department, he possesses a frightening, dangerous power to destroy.

Like a rabid, wild animal that is cornered, Trump lashed out in a desperate attempt to save himself. He knows he is losing and that means he will soon be an open target for some serious legal charges, which will very likely land him in prison. With over 200,000 dead in our country, he instead chose to focus his outraged utterances between the incendiary and an outright assault on the American political system, declaring the election, the most sacred act of a democracy, will be a fraud.

He refused to denounce White Supremacists and instead gave a recruiting rallying cry to “The Proud Boys”, a far-right neo-fascist male-only gang of vigilantes that promote and engage in political violence. When he told them to “Stand By” they cheered, loaded their guns and now await his next command.

Near the end of the debate, Trump implied ominously that the violence in American streets and the deep divisions in the nation were just a sample of what was to come after Election Day.


“This is not going to end well,” Trump vowed. “This is not going to end well.” The Proud Boys militia are listening. They are eager and ready…

He didn’t denounce White Supremacists because he is one.


If you support him and the Senate that enables and defends him, then by default….

So are YOU!

I just received the following from my good friend and a real patriot, Marsela Pecanac. Like so many of you who are supporting Biden by donating money and time making calls and sending out post cards, she has not stood idly by. She has taken 100% responsibility to do her part to save our vulnerable democracy.

As a survivor of the vicious Bosnian war, she knows only too well how quickly a group of rabid, prejudiced anarchists waving flags from their trucks, can take over a country. She wrote:

“Responding to the urgency of this moment requires every creative, persuasive and impactful piece of content we can generate and disseminate. Some of us are pooling resources and working with media experts to launch a social media campaign to distribute the video “Trump Is The Virus”, created by our friend Yuval Lion. We found this footage compelling and powerful.”

Click the link to watch this 1:15 video. It’s excellent.

Trump Is The Virus

As Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast wrote, “The institutions of democracy are only as strong as the people who run them. Before Donald Trump, we tended to think that because these institutions have been around for so many years, they’re sturdy and stable and one man can’t destroy them in a mere four years.

But now we’ve learned no institution of democracy is inherently stable or strong. They’re only as strong as the people who are in charge of them. The special counsel’s office can be strong. But Robert Mueller decided, at the moment his nation needed him most, to be weak. Congress can be a strong check on presidential power. But Republicans have turned that to mush. The Department of Justice can also be a strong defender of democratic principle against an abusive president. But William Barr is a fascist.”

Never before have YOU had so much influence with the direction of our country than you have right NOW.

To preserve our democracy and to restore integrity to our leadership, we must remove Trump and the Republican Senate.

Your VOTE matters!!


For all the information you need,

go to: www.Vote.org.


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Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live

Our country can’t afford another 4 years of Trump… another 4 years of Mitch McConnell’s Republican Senate majority… another 4 years of national policies fueled by white nationalist hate…
We can’t afford another 4 years of the Far Right’s attacks on our democracy… of their aggressive efforts to hijack our federal judiciary… of their war on the American Way and on truth itself.
My impression of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live gets laughs, but there’s nothing funny about what he and his allies are doing to our country. Trump, his enablers in Congress, and the dangerous, racist, right-wing movement that he’s helped to catalyze, threatens our core ideals and the fundamental rights of so many.”

Alec Baldwin

My friends, I am not an alarmist when I say the groundwork of fascism is being laid. The situation is urgent. Any student of human behavior will tell you the President of the USA is a malignant narcissistic sociopath and a pathological liar. He has mental disorders.

There is nothing a power hungry, ego-centric personality like his would like more than to be the Commander in Chief of another World War. It is the maniacal dream of every narcissist to be the ultimate ruler of the world. Whether he actually attempts this or not remains to be seen, but I promise you he dreams of it.

Every decision and action he takes is totally and solely centered on himself and his own personal gain and aggrandisement. He cares nothing about you. If you think he does, you have fallen for his con. Because of the immense power he has as President of the USA, he’s the most dangerous, authoritarian win/lose player we have ever had as the leader of our democratic government.

  • His irresponsible avoidance of the Covid-19 pandemic and his lack of leadership to prepare a plan to meet the virus with appropriate testing, tracking and equipment has resulted in the worst record of cases and deaths of any country in the entire world. We now have over 200,000 DEAD!! That’s the same as a 9-11 catastrophe every day for 66 days straight. Predictions have us @ 300,000 by the end of the year all because he is denying science and doing nothing.
  • His lies were designed to purposefully deceive the American public when he knew full well of the acute danger…
  • His total disregard for the health, well-being and safety of others for his own benefit, (originally calling the virus a “hoax” drummed up by Democrats, violating state mandates to have rallies to pump up is ego, encouraging schools and colleges and sports to ignore the hazards, disregarding masks as unnecessary) cumulatively have caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths…some estimates say 100,000 DEATHS could have been averted.
  • His brutal bullying, racist denigration of Muslims, women, Mexicans, Blacks, disabled, etc.
  • His misogyny and total disregard for women (except for when he wants to “grab them by the pussy” – his words not mine)
  • His attacks on the free press…and supporting Fox propaganda…
  • Calling members of our military “suckers” and “losers”…
  • His total denial of climate change as the world burns and increasing number of hurricanes tear apart entire communities…
  • His pulling out of the Paris Accord, WHO and NATO has alienated our allies…
  • His politicizing and control over our justice system (which is one of the first steps of a dictator), followed closely by…
  • His misuse of our military against U.S citizens and teargassing peaceful protesters so he could have a photo op holding a Bible upside down…
  • His attempts to undermine and control our most fundamental institutions and agencies designed to protect our democracy and our safety; the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security. Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control…
  • His appointing a Postmaster General (multi-millionaire with NO experience) right before the election and mail-in voting, who has purposefully fired key personnel, removed sorting machines and letter boxes to slow down the mail…
  • His admiration for other world dictators and his protection and support for Putin.
  • His unsubstantiated, libelous accusations and vicious vindictiveness, firings and public humiliations towards anyone who doesn’t obey him or agree with him, make him the most unethical, immoral, deceitful, dangerous man ever to sit in the White House. Drain the Swamp? He and his cronies ARE the swamp.
Do you realize in his first term:
  • Seven of his hand-picked advisors have been criminally charged and jailed for their unlawful ties to Russia and for lying to our FBI and
  • Many, many others are currently under indictment!
I am not a stupid person. I have spent my entire professional career studying human behavior and mark my words…
We are watching democracy disappear and a dictatorship being formed before our very eyes.
If he wins in November, many years from now, people will be saying,

“Why couldn’t people see what an evil person he was?”

I’m wondering the same thing right now…


Instead of holding him accountable and censuring him for running roughshod over our democracy, equal rights and justice, they have defended and protected him. They are seriously derelict in their #1 duty: to protect the American people and the safety of our country.

If we don’t take committed action, Trump and the Republicans in Congress will roll back a century of progress, deny the fundamental rights guaranteed to all by our Constitution, and transfer every last ounce of wealth and power to themselves, their cronies and corporations that already control most of it (at the expense of everyone else).

The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, the middle class will disappear and our freedoms will be gone. He has surrounded himself with others just like him. Those with any kind of moral code left long ago.


If you think I am being extreme right now, then you have been had! You have been conned my friend. He’s got you right where he wants you and you can’t see it.
However, if you realize the dire threat to our country and can see what I and the majority of millions of Americans can see (including people throughout the world) then here’s what you can do:


  • Keep the pressure on. Show up and speak up. IT WORKS! Our constant and consistent participation is the key.
  • Actively respond to the current attacks on our freedoms and civil liberties.
  • Participate in local politics. Get involved, Form or join a local group to take action in your town and act nationally when needed, which is NOW!
  • Become a poll worker
  • Help get out the vote. Call all your friends and urge them to vote.
Never for one second, forget:
America is YOUR country and the President and members of Congress WORK FOR YOU!!! Tell them what you think with your vote.
The only reason we’re in this truly dangerous place right now is because too many people took our democracy for granted. We became complacent and have believed that somehow, we are different and fascism could never happen here. Yet, it is in the process of forming right now as we speak.
If you are reading this, you are needed to save this country from tyranny.
You matter.
Your vote COUNTS and I urge you to…


For all the information you need, go to:





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Ruth Bader Ginsberg

American Hero  1933 – 2020


Equality and Justice for All. Period.

“Today we stand in mourning of an American hero, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. This was a mother, a grandmother and as we all know, had one of the most extraordinary life partnerships with her husband, Marty. To be born into a world that does not see you, that does not believe in your potential, that does not give you a path for opportunity or a clear path for education and despite this, to be able to see beyond the world you are in, to imagine some things can be different, that is the job of a prophet. And it is a rare prophet that not only imagines a new world, but also makes that new world a reality in her lifetime.

This was the brilliance and wisdom of Justice Ginsberg…and I quote her,

‘Think back to 1787. Who were We the People? They certainly weren’t women, they certainly weren’t people held in human bondage. The genius of our Constitution is now, over more than 200 sometimes turbulent years, we have expanded and expanded.’…

Nothing could stop Justice Ginsberg’s unflagging devotion to this cause, not even cancer.

Justice Ginsberg, we promise to carry forward your legacy. May you rest…knowing you have tirelessly served us and this great country of the United States of America.

Exhaulted, compassionate God, grant infinite rest in your sheltering presence among the holy and the pure to the soul of Ruth Bader Ginsberg who has gone to her eternal home…May she rest in peace…Amen.”


Eulogy delivered by Rabbi Holtzblatt





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Sonoma County, California


“The clouds bellied out in the sultry heat, the sky cracked open with a crimson gash, spewed flame-and the ancient forest began to smoke.”

Yevgeny Zamyatin




WE ARE HOME safe and sound!!! The fire came very close, but everything is exactly as we left it 12 days ago when our lives were so quickly interrupted and time seemed to have stopped mid-sentence… a few dishes in the sink, two half empty wine glasses on the counter… unopened mail on my desk.


Jason Boaz is the kind of man who makes you feel safe just being around him. He’s our Healdsburg Fire Chief and a friend, and although our road is closed to traffic, he personally escorted us home. How can we ever thank him and all the firefighters? How can we ever thank someone for saving a precious part of our lives? How can we ever show the deep appreciation we feel for those who rush towards the danger to protect those of us who flee? Heroes, every one of them.


I also thank ALL of you who called, wrote me emails, texts and words of encouragement. I was pretty occupied and didn’t get to answer you, but please know each and every kind, beautiful message, whether short or long, warmed my heart and lifted my spirit. Your words really made a difference.


Now for those of you who truly appreciate drama, I will summarize our time away… The Universe has been having all kinds of fun throwing us test after test, after test…


As some of you already know, 12 days ago, my daughter Gabi, her boyfriend Jason and I evacuated quickly with our combined 5 cats, 3 dogs and several bottles of wine. We packed, unpacked and caravanned all of our animals and stuff in our 3 cars for a total of 5 times in 4 different places…Oakland, Los Altos, Discovery Bay, Santa Rosa and finally, home.


A few days in, I received a call telling me my dear Bernese Mtn. Dog Gina had melanoma and shortly thereafter, her legs gave out so she had to be carried up/down steps. Max, my male Berner, stopped eating completely for 5 days. They both got all kinds of tests. My sweet Gina girl is not doing well and may not be with us much longer, but being the trooper she is, she made it home and now I wait for her to tell me when it is time. We still don’t know what is wrong with Max. An appetizer enhancer has him eating a little…


I stayed inside at each Airbnb (remember the pandemic?) and while Gabi and Jason were off driving all over the countryside taking the dogs to the vets, a huge palm tree crashed down on the roof where we were staying and came through the ceiling! (You just can’t make this stuff up.) If you’ve never been in a house when a tree falls on it, believe me when I say, it is impressive! I am still shaking!! (We packed up all our stuff again) and miraculously, found another place.


Gabi and Jason drove a total of 18 hrs. to and from homes and veterinary clinics, never mind the number of trips they took to get food and more wine. They did all the organizing, packing, unpacking, cooking and cleaning, and never complained once. They have both been my Guardian Angels and I could never even tell you how wonderful they have been. I couldn’t have done this without them.


Now we are in our own home again and grateful to see everything is still here. The House Blessings within its walls, and your loving energy surely helped protect it from harm. The air is smoky and there’s some ash, but we came through it unscathed and are truly blessed. The simple treasures we took with us, we will return to their rightful places and life will go on for us. But not all are so fortunate.


Tonight, when we safely return to the security of our own beds, others of you will be tossing and turning in some strange place, with hearts filled with sadness, anxiety and fear of the unknown future. My love goes out to those of you who lost your homes, your cars, your beloved pets—your everything. It is a true tragedy for which there are no words. And I am so, so very sorry…


If there is anything I can do to support you, please just let me know… there’s a whole community of Self-Mastery grads who I know, along with myself, will generously offer you help.


Now is the time to remember…


“Just as fire destroys, it also creates. As a symbol of change and renewal, it removes the old and makes way for new beginnings…”


The year 2020 is a time of upheaval. Tremendous change is occurring. A birth of something new is pending and like all births, it’s messy, it’s hard, painful and always a struggle.


But we will get through all this… we will all love and laugh again and when we turn that corner, we will find ourselves on a higher plain than ever before. We must not despair. As individuals, a community, a country and a world, we have challenging work ahead of us, but never forget…


“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”


Love, Martha

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“You’re doing better than you think you are. Be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you; keep going. You’ve got this. I have faith in you.”

The following was written by John Pavlovitz. He expresses my thoughts far better than I, so I pass this on to you with my love, caring, and understanding. We are all going through some very, very difficult times, and….

“I don’t know whether anyone’s told you lately or not, but you’re doing a great job.


You probably don’t feel that way, but under the conditions that’s understandable. You’ve been busy.
You’ve had your hands full.

Friend, take a second and think about what you’ve been through in the short span of the Spring:

  • You’ve dealt with an unprecedented health crisis that has paralyzed the planet.
  • With almost no warning, you’ve had to alter the way you do just about everything.
  • You’ve lost the ability to travel.
  • You’ve lost a good deal of income.
  • You may have even lost your job.
  • You’ve had to become a homeschool teacher.
  • You’ve had to become a primary caregiver.
  • You’ve had to become your own marriage counselor.
  • You’ve had to learn how to fix the dishwasher.
  • You’ve had to learn to cut your own hair.
  • You’ve had to search the dark web for toilet paper and then ration it like it was spun gold.
  • You’ve had to digest a relentless, ever-shifting barrage of news stories and expert recommendations and changing timelines and behavior restrictions.
  • You’ve had to experience birthdays and graduations and milestone moments you’d have never missed, through a jittery Zoom connection or a scratched phone screen.
  • You haven’t been able to hold your grandchildren or kiss them on the forehead.
  • You’ve had to grieve people you love dearly, from a distance and alone in a private funeral at your kitchen table.
  • You’ve been terribly lonely or you haven’t had a moment alone.
  • You’ve had to try and help your kids understand why they can’t go play with their friends, knowing it will still feel like a punishment to them.
  • You’ve sat with your sobbing teenager as the first breakup came at the absolute worst time.
  • You’ve had your faith shaken to its bedrock or may have lost your religion altogether.
  • You’ve watched your mental health deteriorate, as reality has become the nightmare you always imagined it was.
  • You’ve seen the death toll rise well beyond the worst of your fears when all this began.
  • You witnessed the absolute worst of humanity: hoarding pasta, berating grocery store clerks, protesting with weapons at capitol buildings, burning masks, calling 911 on people for simply existing.
  • You’ve watched more than one black man be murdered in the street.
  • You learned the levels of racism afflicting your family and your friendships and our leadership.
  • You’ve been reminded of how fractured this nation is.
  • You’ve had to do all of it without a single hug. The level of difficulty of your current life is a few steps above Batman.

So yeah, you’ve gained a few pounds or you’ve slacked on the meal planning, or you’ve let some stuff slide around the house, or you’ve ignored the shrubs, or you’ve missed sending that birthday card, or you’ve binge-watched a few dozen shows, or you’ve served cereal for dinner and called it “Breakfast Night”—give yourself a damn break.

No, you’re not equipped for this and yes, you’re overmatched and overwhelmed—because this is a special kind of creative and historic hell no one could have prepared for and no one is thriving through.

No one.

Everyone you live with or love or see from a distance or marvel at on social media is pressed so far past their limits, they are often near tears. Everyone is so beaten down by all the unknowns, their minds are exhausted from a million swirling contingencies and scenarios and possibilities. Everyone is working with Plan B (or Plan Q) at this point, and we’re all feeling like we’re floundering and failing.

It is enough right now to survive and to accept that as a victory.

You’re here and you’re somehow making the unworkable work: with the sub-par dinners and the less-than-stellar haircut and the occasional tantrums from your child or your lover or yourself.

You’re MacGyver—ing a makeshift life from the odd assortment of stuff you can cobble together around you, and honestly, it’s a thing of beauty to behold.

So have a good cry or a piece of cake, go scream into your pillow or run around the block, toss up a prayer or drop an f-bomb—and then take a look around and survey your handiwork: the stuff you’ve made or the things you’ve fixed or the people you’ve cared for or the work you’ve done, and appreciate the duress under which you’ve managed it all.

One day you’re going to look back on these days and realize you weren’t a failure or a fraud or a lousy parent or a crappy partner. You’re going to see you were a frickin’ superhero doing world-saving work in Kryptonite circumstances that should have leveled you but didn’t. You’re going to see it was your finest hour.

And because you likely can’t see that right now, I wanted you to know I see it in you.

So, yeah, you’ve got a lot on your plate, but you’re making it work.

Life is not what you planned, but it’s yours.

Keep going.

You’re doing great.”



 Self Mastery Grads – Let’s Support Each Other

I will soon be contacting all Self Mastery grads with times for us to get together for some complimentary coaching check-in Zoom calls with each other. I’ll keep the groups small so everyone will have a chance to share, get coaching support and we’ll continue to learn together. Everyone is climbing their own mountain. Let’s do it together. I look forward to reconnecting with all of you. It’s been way too long… I miss you guys… You’re the best… and…

I love you,




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Steven Colbert Interviews Jon Stewart

Part 1

August 4, 2020


Let’s talk about the incredible civil rights demonstrations that have been going on in the wake of George Floyd’s death and Bronwyn Taylor’s death and Ahmaud Arbery… why do you think right now there has been such a powerful movement in the street that has been so broad…like 2,000 different towns and cities…people of all walks of life, all taking to the streets demanding change. What do you think is different now?


Such a great question. You know, I was thinking back when this happened to when I was still doing the show and the terrible tragedy in Charleston, Ferguson, Eric Garner, and I don’t know, because I remember those moments being so chilling and feeling like such a wake-up call, but also feeling hopeless – that we continue to stare at this sort of abyss of a gaping racial wound, but we never seem to do anything about. And so, in this moment, I don’t know … I think it was Will Smith who said, “It’s not that racism is worse, it’s being filmed.” But the others were on camera as well.


In some respects, I wonder if the pandemic, because we all went into a kind of stasis, and so much of the distractions of your daily life were removed, it allowed the country a moment of clarity. Because so much of the noise had ended – it’s almost like, in this moment of more quiet reflection, America stopped and smelled the racism.
You know what I mean?


There was that feeling we were in a moment’s pause, and in that one breath, maybe it suddenly became clearer…because look…the biggest obstacle to change has always been our inability to understand. It’s not just about ending segregation, it’s about dismantling the barriers….look…Black people have been working so hard for equality for so long, and the exhaustion of that, just the despair of that, and the anguish of that…that while they were fighting for equality, white people were building equity and the disparity then between the lack of equality and the rise in equity, just exacerbates…and they are always negotiating from this subservient position what should not be a negotiation.


They had to, from the get-go, ask for human hood, ask for those things that in our Declaration of Independence very clearly say are your inalienable rights from your Creator. They’re not…you know…if God creates us all equal, the American government somehow got to be the bouncer of that creed… and you had to ask and beg and plead and fight and take to the streets to gain equality. But while that was going on there, we still had legal boundaries to keep them from gaining equity and I think equality will only come once the Black community can gain the equity that was taken from them…F***…from the beginning.


I mean, you’re talking about the Homestead Act. Once all the slaves were freed, they didn’t have their own land, they didn’t get the 40 acres and a mule that was promised to them, Andrew Johnson made sure of that. So we had the Homestead Act and homesteaders were given millions of acres of land, which was the equity… Somebody was telling me – I think what they said was that 20% of the wealth in that era can actually be traced to the Homestead Act, which explicitly did not include Black people.


The Federal Housing Administration in the New Deal, explicitly said that you cannot loan these low-cost loans that were intended for White people to gain equity, you cannot give them to Black people. The most progressive piece of legislation that may have ever happened on the soil of America explicitly excluded Black people. The GI Bill in Long Island, when everybody was buying into Levittown, explicitly excluded Black people. Until and when we address that…equality will come. That to me feels like the root.


I think that is the root and I would only add to that, is that one of the reasons I think this is a catalytic moment is because of all the work done by Black organizers over the last five to six years… specifically, Black Lives Matter, who four years ago at the election, it was “Who is this radical organization?” and now it’s generally accepted to have a proper goal and people understand what Black Lives Matter really means. It is more broadly accepted. The second thing would be… (Jon interrupts) …Go ahead…


I was just going to say… but it’s still going to be the “but” people. So the things working against it are the “but” people… and by the way, as ridiculous as it is for two old white dudes to be sitting around saying, “The problem with racism in this country is…” (they both mimic pondering and laugh)


I think it’s valid to talk about why it’s widely accepted because I’m talking about why it’s not just the Black community that believes this has to happen now…


Right! And here’s why I think this is important, I think White people can function as avatars and for some reason…we used to do this on the show. We did a bit on it. I think it was myself, Jordan Klepper and Jessica Williams, and we were talking about one of those things at Ferguson and she was making a great point about systemic racism and Jordan Klepper would say, ”I don’t know, that just doesn’t sound like it’s real.”


And then I would say the same thing that she said, just slightly reformatted and he would say, “That is so deep and profound! You are such a thought leader on race. I really respect you for that.” And she’d go, “I just said that” and he’d go, “I don’t think you did.”


Because I think the problem has always been… maybe two-fold… one is the “but” people… they’ll come out and say, “Y’know, what happened to George Floyd was awful, we watched it, and no one condones that… BUT…” As soon as you hear “but” you know they’re about to negate the reality of the situation. “Ya but— he wasn’t an angel” or “what about the criminality?”


One of the biggest problems… I think the problem is twofold. One, I think there’s a wide swath of the White population, and you know this as well as I do, that believes that somehow the inequality in the Black community is on them.


Right! They’re not working hard enough.


Correct. That there is a problem of virtue and culture.
“Pull your pants up!”
“If you just…”
“My grandfather had to work”
– But when your grandfather came home from World War II, he got a low-cost loan to buy a house. When a Black GI came home from World War II, they weren’t allowed to and they were never allowed to build that equity.


So the first thing is to try and have the conversation because we don’t talk about White entrenched poverty in the same way. Look at how they talk about poverty in the inner city… somehow it’s the fault of the Denizens there. But White poverty is a tragedy of circumstance – it’s globalism, it’s jobs that go overseas. Their problems are debts of despair. Opioids are treated differently than crack. Crack is criminalized and people are put away. Opioids, they’re just sad because the jobs are gone.


Well, how would you handle what has been systemically been done to the Blacks? … And [they say] to the Black community, “Hey man, c’mon, we’re not slave owners. Why can’t you get over it?” Meanwhile, look what happened to White people. Six weeks of quarantine and they’re like… (Jon puts his hands to his head with a look of exasperation) “I’m going to storm the government with my AK-47…”


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fas·cism (făsh′ĭz′əm)


  1. A right-wing militarist, nationalist and authoritarian regime, such as that founded by Mussolini 1919 and inspiring, among others, the German Nazi Party.


  1.  A form of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.


  1.  An ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism


“Can it happen here? It IS happening here. Democracy in America has been a series of narrow escapes. We may be running out of luck, and no one is coming to save us. For that, we have only ourselves.”

Bill Moyers


This is a “must-read” (5 min.)

We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident:

It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes

Bill Moyers June 5, 2020

At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.

Fascist bullies and threats, anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator, but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India Theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.

In time, we became colleagues on a series of broadcasts about the 20th century. As we compared the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler in an episode titled, The President and the Dictator, Bernie kept reminding the team the most cunning demagogues “are never more than a few steps from becoming dictators.” Not surprisingly, the subject came up again when Trump was elected. No, we didn’t think he was Hitler, or the Republican Nazis, but both of us acknowledged a deep unease over the vulnerabilities of democracy, which had led to Trump’s election in the first place.

Inspired by Bernie and unnerved by Trump, I decided to take a deeper look at democracy under stress and began reading what is now more than a dozen books on Europe in the 1930s. The most recent is a compelling and chilling account of Hitler’s First Hundred Days, by the historian Peter Fritzsche – a familiar story revisited by the author with fresh verve and insight.

Hitler was a master of manipulation, using propaganda, violence, intimidation, showmanship, and spectacle — and above all, fear. By demonizing “the other” – Jews, social democrats, and communists – Hitler won the hearts and minds of the masses, consolidating his power, and turning Germany into a one-party Nazi state.

I had just finished the book when I received a short email from Bernie, who had been watching on television the events following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. He wrote, “All this open talk by Trump of dominance is pretty undisguised fascism. He’s inciting chaos to set the stage for the strong man to ‘rescue’ the nation.”

There was no doubt who would be Superman riding to America’s rescue. When Trump promised to end what he called “American carnage” – a crisis of “poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, crime and gangs and drugs” — he did not ask for our help. He did not ask that we put our faith in each other or in our democratic values or even in God. Donald J. Trump would be our savior, the new Messiah — because “I alone can fix it.”

Bernie’s note triggered a recollection, sending me across the room to retrieve from a file drawer an essay written two years ago in The New York Review of Books by the American legal scholar Cass Sunstein. Reviewing three new books about ordinary Germans and the Nazi regime, he concluded: “With our system of checks and balances, full-blown authoritarianism is unlikely to happen here.”

I had admired Sunstein’s work for years and found reassuring his judgment that the rule of law would check a would-be tyrant. But many found that assurance disquieting. One dissenter was Norman Ravitch, emeritus professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. Responding to Sunstein, he wrote:

“The normal concern of people of all sorts with their daily lives, family, work, leisure, and so on indicates that only those in certain areas of work and life could possibly notice the slow but relentless advance of authoritarian and totalitarian policies by the government. The Nazis knew how to appeal to people who did not have the ideological concerns, but only normal human concerns. They knew how to conceal their real goals and how to make passive individuals active supporters.”

So does Trump. He understands most Americans are concerned with little more than the economy, health care, and jobs. They respond positively to politicians who promise action on these priorities, whether or not they know if those promises will ever be fulfilled. Ravitch pointed out that like Hitler and like Mussolini, Trump knows how to appeal to a variety of concerns with promises that can be both attractive and contradictory.

Because no population is educated enough, sensitive enough, or ethical enough to see through the deception, “the danger is very great indeed. It may, in fact, be one of the chief weaknesses of democracy that democracy can lead to tyranny just as well or perhaps even more than other political systems.”

Two years have passed since that exchange between scholars, and in those two years, Trump has doubled down. This president is no friend of democracy.

He has declared himself above the law, preached insurrection by encouraging armed supporters to “liberate” states from the governance of duly elected officials, told police not to be “too nice” while doing their job, and gloated over the ability of the Secret Service to turn “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” loose on demonstrators — to “come down on them hard” if they get too “frisky.

He has politicized the Department of Justice while remaking the judiciary in his image.He has stifled investigations into his administration’s corruption, fired officials charged with holding federal agencies accountable to the public, and rewarded his donors and cronies with government contracts, subsidies, deregulations, and tax breaks. He has maligned and mocked the disadvantaged, the disabled, and people of color.

He has sought to politicize the military, including in his entourage the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (dressed in combat fatigues), as his orderlies unleashed chemical fumes on peaceful protesters – all so the president could use them as stage props in a photo op, holding up a Bible in front of a historic church, just to make a dandy ad for his re-election campaign.

(Since the writing of this, it’s getting even worse. Like other leaders he admires – Kim Jong un and Putin, he is attempting to suppress all dissenters. Against the will of state officials, he has stormed Portland, Ore. with secret military police in war gear that have attacked everyday citizens who are peacefully exercising their right to protest and even taken some into unmarked cars and carted them away. He has threatened to do this against other cities with Democratic mayors.).

He has purged his own party of independent thinkers and turned it into a spineless, mindless cult while demonizing the opposition. He has purloined religion for state and political ends. He has desecrated the most revered symbols of Christian faith by converting them to partisan brands. He has recruited religious zealots for jobs in his administration, rewarding with government favors the electoral loyalty of their followers.

He has relentlessly attacked mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people” while collaborating with a sycophantic right-wing media – including the Murdoch family’s Fox News — to flood the country with lies and propaganda. He has maneuvered the morally hollow founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, into compromising the integrity of the most powerful media giant in the country by infusing it with partisan bias.

And because truth is the foe he most fears, he has banned it from his administration and his lips.

Yes, Bernie, you are right: the man in the White House has taken all the necessary steps to achieve the despot’s dream of dominance.

Can it happen here?

It is happening here.

Democracy in America has been a series of narrow escapes. We may be running out of luck, and no one is coming to save us. For that, we have only ourselves.

Bill Moyers For more than half a century, Bill Moyers has been listening to America as a journalist, writer and producer. You can explore his body of work on the Bill Moyers Timeline. Follow his work on Twitter at @BillMoyers.


Peacefully Protest for a Paradigm shift, and change Political Power for Policies that treat People equally under the law.








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“The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. It is the good-natured side of the truth.”

Mark Twain


With all the intensity surrounding us, it’s healthy and good to take a break once in a while and remember to laugh.

There are many shreds of truth found within this humorous list.


1. So let me get this straight, there’s no cure for a virus that can be killed by sanitizer and hand soap?

2. Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree yet? I have run out of things to do.

3. When this virus thing is over with, I still want some of you to stay away from me.

4. If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet, particularly among politicians and bureaucrats.

5. Just wait a second – so what you’re telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?

6. People are scared of getting fined or arrested for congregating in crowds. As if catching a deadly disease and dying a horrible death wasn’t enough of a deterrent.

7. If you believe all this will end and we will get back to normal just because we reopen everything, raise your hand. Now slap yourself with it.

8. Another Saturday night in the house and I just realized the trash goes out more than me.

9. Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is obviously a bald-headed alcoholic.

10. Remember when you were little and all your underwear had the days of the week on them? Those would be helpful right now.

11. The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors:

a. How dense the population is and

b. How dense the population is

12. Remember all those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Well, wish granted. Happy now?

13. It may take a village to raise a child, but I swear it’s going to take a whole vineyard to home school one.

14. Did a big load of pajamas so I would have enough clean work clothes for this week.

— Author Unknown

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“True joy and happiness come to those who develop the ability to accept and be at one with what is – with gratitude.”

Martha Borst

Where Is Happiness?


As the pandemic continues to surround us, we are forced to continually adjust our lives. We seek stability and peace of mind in an inconstant world. What used to bring happiness eludes us. Our jobs, gathering with friends and family for fun times, travelling, eating out, attending sporting events, theater and concerts are all severely limited.

We are challenged to find pleasure and satisfaction in different ways. The following is a helpful reflection by Pope Francis, a wise and gentle man, on what happiness really is and where to find it…

You can have flaws, be anxious, and even be angry, but do not forget your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from going bust. Many appreciate you, admire you and love you. Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.

To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It is not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures. It is not only to feel happy with the applause, but to be happy in anonymity.

Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but an achievement for those who can travel within themselves. To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny’s author. It is to cross deserts, yet to be able to find an oasis in the depths of our soul. It is to thank God for every morning, for the miracle of life.

Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It’s to be able to talk about you. It is having the courage to hear a “no”. It is confidence in the face of criticism, even when unjustified. It is to kiss your children, pamper your parents, to live poetic moments with friends, even when they hurt us.

To be happy is to let live the creature that lives in each of us, free, joyful and simple.
It is to have maturity to be able to say: “I made mistakes”.
It is to have the courage to say, “I am sorry”.
It is to have the sensitivity to say, “I need you”.
It is to have the ability to say “I love you”.

May your life become a garden of opportunities for happiness …
That in spring may it be a lover of joy.
In winter a lover of wisdom.
And when you make a mistake, start all over again.

For only then will you be in love with life.

You will find that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use the tears to irrigate tolerance.
Use your losses to train patience.
Use your mistakes to sculptor serenity.
Use pain to plaster pleasure.
Use obstacles to open windows of intelligence.

Never give up… Never give up on people who love you.

Never give up on happiness, for life is an incredible show.

— Pope Francis


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