On Thanksgiving this year I am profoundly thankful for so many things. I am thankful for having amazing friends and family in my life who love and support me, and whom I love and support. I am thankful for the extraordinary freedoms and privileges I have living in America, even if they are quite imperfect. I am thankful to be in good health. I am thankful for all the majestic beauty around me… I am so lucky to be able to look out my living room window, past my rose garden, and see the morning sunshine reflecting on the ocean beyond.
Racists don’t like being told they are racists.
Those who support politicians who refuse to enact gun safety legislation don’t like being told they have blood on their hands when so many people needlessly die.
People who support or remain silent to the rise of fascism in the United States don’t like being compared to those in Italy and Germany who supported or stayed silent when Mussolini and Hitler engaged in nearly identical behaviors.
But these people ARE racists. They DO have blood on their hands. And they SUPPORT the END OF AMERICA as a secular, capitalistic democracy.
In a disaster entirely of his own making, the President of the United States stood alongside Vladamir Putin at a press conference in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018 and confirmed to the entire world what so many of us already knew: Donald John Trump has betrayed his duty to America, and acts as though he is beholden to and under undue influence of Putin in ways that constitute an extraordinary betrayal of his oath of office.
And that’s just what we know from Trump’s public statement with Putin. Because Trump has been silent on the matter, we still have virtually no specifics about what Trump discussed and promised to Putin in their private meeting. There are reports coming out of Russia that agreements were in fact reached, and given that Trump won’t say anything about them, it seems likely that they could very well constitute an even vastly greater betrayal of American interests. See: US offers no details as Russia claims Trump and Putin reached military agreements.
As we celebrate Independence Day, it is a good time to remember that we owe our heritage to those who had the courage to stand up to tyranny, and who fought for freedom and democracy. At no time, at least within my lifetime, has our country needed to remember this more than today.
Our President has declared war on Western democracy and on Western values, as he flirts with neo-fascist leaders around the world, and he gaslights to declare war on truth and the rule of law here at home.
After I published my last column (Patterns of Force – Realizing Which of our Friends Would Have Supported Hitler), perceptive reader Paul Tergeist noted that if Hitler were alive today “Trump would have hosted him at the White House and gushed about what a strong leader he was.” Those words ring with hypothetical plausibility.
America has a pre-existing condition, and it’s name is Donald John Trump.
As this column goes to press, there are 1353 days left. Now that all the efforts to review the Trump administration’s first 100 days are behind us, today we look deeply at how we can use what we have learned over the first 108 days to make educated predictions at what lies in store for the American people over the remainder of Trump’s term.
The climate is changing.
This past Saturday I joined an estimated 1,200 other people in the March for Science in San Luis Obispo, California. Our march was one of more than 500 such marches that took place around the world on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, likely involving more than a hundred thousand people world-wide.
It was a day for celebration. Celebration of the benefits that science and technology have brought to each of us to improve our quality of life and our ability to understand the universe in which we live.
The people I know who have lived the most extraordinary lives didn’t do so by accident. They made it happen through tenacity and determination, and they celebrated each and every success along the way. Domino Principle #3, Dance Passionately, teaches us to never stop dreaming of a better world, working to bring our dreams to fruition, and celebrating the gifts we already have in our life today.
When my mother, Jackie Kurtzman, recently completed her life’s journey, it was a chance to reflect upon what an extraordinary life she had, and because of what she taught me and the opportunities she gave me, what an extraordinary life I have had. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel much the globe, with treks ranging from visiting the polar ice pack north of Norway…
Last summer I sat down and asked myself… if I could redesign my life, how would I change it? As noted computer scientist Alan Kay once wrote “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
The idea was inspired, in part, by an article that my friend Renée Rouleau suggested to me: “Staying Is Settling: Why You Need To Move At Least 5 Times In Your Life.” It is about having the strength and courage to break old bonds and move out of one’s comfort zone to have the chance to create an even more fulfilling and interesting life. The article perceptively notes:
I scored some major “dad points” the other night.
My daughter and I were enjoying an absolutely amazing dinner at Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans a few days ago. R’evolution is on my personal list of top 10 restaurants in the world, and we were not disappointed (more details on the meal in the addendum below). My daughter is a neuroscience major in college, and she also waitresses while going through school to help meet expenses. She’s interested in getting a different job at a much higher-end restaurant than the one that she works at now, where the tips will be much better and the food will have the sophistication to cater to a clientele of bon vivants. So she picks the cutest waiter she can find and asks him how he got his job at R’evolution.
“As in life, when playing dominoes the points of light are what matter, not the surrounding blank. Look for the dots of goodness in the world and an impressive pattern of possibilities emerges. It is here the game is won.” –M. Daniel Nickle
Did you know that there are 55 different techniques of faulty reasoning and distortion that people use when they try to convince you of something that isn’t necessarily true or factual?
Do you know how to identify these faulty reasoning techniques so you don’t get swindled?