Monday, October 11, 2021

A MUST-SEE: Bill Maher is saying what our news journalists need to be saying NOW - what do YOU think?


Although I disagree with him at times,  I think Bill Maher is frighteningly accurate with this latest dire warning on the disaster we are facing in our country with Trump's return to the presidency in 2024. We are a dumbed-down country with the least conscious among us under the influence of a cult leader who spews constant lies that are believed and acted on by his followers. As we know by now, Trump and the GOP leaders have no moral compass and will do ANYthing to regain and keep power.  With the aid of McConnell and a soon-to-be (in gerrymandered 2022 elections) Republican House and Senate, Trump and the GOP are steadily setting in place the cult members who will lie to put him back in the White House -- and completely destroy our democracy.  They are putting into power the state legislators who will decide which votes count in forthcoming elections. They will erode democracy from within by following Trump's orders for finding "more votes" whenever and wherever he needs them.

The Democrats, sadly, are not up to this fight. They are acting like it's politics in the old normal way.  It's NOT.  Biden and Harris -- and even Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary who seemingly can't bring order to merchant ships stacked up in our ports -- are out of their league when it comes to fighting in the gutter and the sewer. The muck-covered GOP, McConnell and Trump are in their element. They cause the fires and set off explosions -- and then run back to their approving patron corporate supporters, leaving the Democrats to face the consequences and clean up the debris (and with McConnell in charge of the Senate, all the while hampering them from doing so).

Trump Party members are determined to have their own way -- to line their pockets and bring down our country...and they're already doing a heckuvajob of it!  It's AWOOGAH! ALL HANDS ON DECK! time for Democrats and voters who want to keep living in a democratic republic. (Oh, and by the way, to save the planet as our viable home!)  But you wouldn't know the depth of the crisis from the way journalists of all kinds are just plodding along with political reporting as usual. Their hair should be on fire, but most of them are still acting as though there are legitimate "both sides" to political arguments.  

And all the while, behind the scenes -- and even out in the open -- the Republicans are changing the gears that run our country, installing rightwing judges, and gerrymandering districts to elect legislators and governors who will follow Trump's orders by lying to keep him in power.  

I remember Hitler's Germany.  I vividly recall those sad and terrible years of WWII.  The stench of this is the same...and, this time, it's happening in our country. 😢😪😵😐🤔  Where is our powerful Democratic leader this time? Where is our take-the-reins, no-holds-barred FDR? (Though he may have had failings, Roosevelt at least was BOLD).  Where is our "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" Leader????  Do we have to depend on a comedian to tell us the bold truth and demand action????  

Question for President Biden:  Please stop your helpless dickering. How about doing away with the filibuster for starts????  (Some how-to suggestions for Joe:  https://theintercept.com/2021/03/17/joe-biden-end-filibuster-senate/ )

Since our country's leadership and watchdog journalists are not up to the job, I guess we will just have to count on angels to save us. 😪😢🙏

For me, it's Wake UP! time for our country.  Watch Maher's impassioned plea/warning monologue at the link below, and decide what YOU think. Do we need to start marching in the streets to get some action from our leaders? I've done this before in my life -- and am ready to grab a cane and do it again at age 85.

From CNN:

Maher's monologue

HBO host Bill Maher went viral after he warned of Trump's "slow coup" on "Real Time" Friday night. He delivered an eight-minute monologue premised on these three points: Trump "will run in 2024; he will get the Republican nomination; and whatever happens on election night, the next day he will announce that he won."
Maher laid out a scary undemocratic scenario in the hopes of arousing viewers from slumber.
"I've been saying it ever since he lost, he's like a shark that's not gone, just gone out to sea," Maher warned. "But actually he's been quietly eating people this whole time." Using a reference from "Game of Thrones," a show in which power-hungry characters kill each other for the coveted Iron Throne, Maher clarifies his warning by saying, "And by eating people, I mean he has been methodically purging the Republican party of anyone who voted for his impeachment or doesn't believe that he is the rightful leader of the Seven Kingdoms."
MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan reacted by commenting, "I wish more actual journalists would say what a late-night comedian's saying."
Coming at it from a very different ideological POV, "Allahpundit" of the Hot Air blog said Maher was right, "even if Republicans don't want to hear it. And it's a show of integrity on his part that he felt obliged to drop this truth bomb at the very moment that he's gaining right-wing fans for his anti-woke commentary."
Decide for yourself -— here's the monologue.
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Saturday, February 13, 2021

A letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter on the Universal Force of Love ❤️

I know I sent this before, but it is so inspiring, it's definitely worth a 2nd go-around, especially now when love and understanding are so much needed in our world. ❤️  Beautiful photo of Einstein, too. (~.~)

A LETTER FROM ALBERT EINSTEIN TO HIS DAUGHTER

THE UNIVERSAL FORCE OF LOVE






A letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter, Lieserl on The Universal Force of Love

"When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.

After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it's too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! ".

Your father,
Albert Einstein


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Friday, December 04, 2020

HEARTFUL and Touching: Anderson Cooper on Mindfulness AND his deep conversation with Stephen Colbert on loss and grief

Anderson Cooper learned how to meditate and it has changed life for him.  All of the following are touching interviews that can be helpful for everyone in this dramatic time we are going through.  A good pass-along during this transition period.

A few years ago, Anderson did a segment on 60 Minutes about Mindfulness after attending a small Silicon Valley session here in the Santa Cruz mountains.  Later he was interviewed another time, with questions about that experience and how the practice of Mindfulness has affected his life. Those interviews and a couple other heart-touchers are below. Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozyr7jVucz0  - 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnMip8gzBGM - Interview of Anderson by Soren Gordhamer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnLRhHulcDU  - Another interview with Anderson on Mindfulness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDnSgHPREh4 - Anderson's below-the-surface interview with model Gisele Bundchen re. her panic attacks and how Mindfulness and deep breathing helped her. She talks about how she learned she could look at her life like a movie -- and take a step back in difficult times, realizing she can make decisions from an objective position.  As she says, "The mind is an instrument; don't let it play YOU."  This interview took place in 2019, but it's very helpful for anyone to see it now during Covid times.

And then, there is is the following raw and deeply heartfelt talk between Anderson and Stephen Colbert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB46h1koicQ  --  Beautiful discussion between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper on how deaths of their fathers, mothers and siblings have affected their lives. They talk about how their lives became bifurcated at age 10 when their fathers died.  Anderson says he and his mom both felt like "everything is possible and nothing is safe,"  with the "everything" meaning it could be good or bad -- a sudden phone call in the middle of the night and your life is changed forever.  I think my family understands that very well through our own personal experiences.

I felt my attention riveted in this talk between these two men about grief and how it led them to understand what is really important in life  -- they are sharing from deep in their souls.  Anderson says he felt like he had to protect his mom from the world.  He finally came to see her strengths by watching her always being open and vulnerable and optimistic.  At the same time, he always felt he had to run interference for her and keep her protected from the world that had once hurt her and could hurt her again.  Colbert says he felt he had to step in as a 10-year-old and almost literally raise his mom since she was so shattered when she lost her husband and 2 sons in a plane crash.

The raw, honest feeling that is expressed between these two men, both of whom often laugh and seek humor as a kind of cover for their more hidden feelings, touched me deeply as I watched them sharing from their hearts with each other.  At one point Anderson's eyes filled with tears and his voice quivered as he asked Stephen a very deep question...you will know that part when you see it. Stephen answered it from a perspective of understanding derived from Catholicism and Buddhism, both of which he has experienced in his life.

This is a side of these two beautiful souls that you don't often get to see.  I wanted to share this with everyone today, as we are all going through difficult times, and it is helpful to see how others have navigated through their great personal losses and griefs.  Shared love and shared stories can be a balm to the spirit and provide uplifting energy, even when speaking of hard, difficult life experiences.  Anderson says this very sincerely as he tells how he welcomes the chance to talk with people about his own grief and to listen to them talk about theirs.  It feels like a communion of the spirit that transcends the daily stuff his life normally revolves around as a journalist.  Both of these men are deep, loving, giving souls.  It is a treat to be able to hear them together.  I can identify with them both in the deepest place in my heart, and am grateful for their openness in revealing so much of their Real identity and spirit to the world.




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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Best essay on Worry - the country song by the Carter family at the end etc(click on the link) is perfect.

This columnist's style reminds me of Robert Benchley (you might not remember him, but I do, and it shows how old I am!) and Mark Twain.  I loved this essay.  If you're a worrier, like its author, you will enjoy reading this one -- you might just recognize yourself...and even be able to laugh a little about it.:-)

As for me, I'm keeping my fingers crossed about this election.🤞

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jaime-oneill/93297/worry-worry-worry

WORRY, WORRY, WORRY

By Jaime O'Neill

I've worried my way through life. Hasn't everyone? For those of you willing to admit they are worriers, too, you'll know the worry caused by wondering if other people manage to worry less than you do. Are you worrying excessively, beyond the normal range of worrying? And if so, what harm is it causing you? How might it be shortening your life? What can you do about it? Is there a pill? Do you need to see a shrink? Can you afford a shrink? What if you get a bad one who worsens your worries rather than lifting the burden of them?

When I was a kid, I worried about monsters under the bed. I worried about not getting good grades. I worried about my dad getting laid off. I heard the phrase early and often, knew it was not a good thing. I worried about getting in trouble with mom. She called me a "worry wart." I didn't like that. I worried about it. The metaphor was too vivid. Most kids don't do metaphors very well, and I worried about whether worry would transform me into a walking wart.

When I was in grade school, I worried about how I'd do in Middle School. I worried about tests, worried in eighth grade about the transition to high school. In my last year of high school, I worried about getting drafted, worried about getting through basic training if that happened, worried about where I might be sent and who might try to kill me once I arrived.

I worried about what I was eating because someone was always telling us that we weren't eating right.

When I married, I worried if I could be a good husband. Then, not much later, I worried about whether I could be a good dad to a baby girl, a contingency I had not planned for nor ever quite imagined. Obviously, in the event that fatherhood was something that awaited me, I would have a boy. Wouldn't I?

And then I began worrying in earnest, about that baby girl, and then the one after that. I worried about their health, and about the health of their mother, and my own. There were responsibilities now, and they were huge.

I went to college at night, worrying if I could handle a full-time job and the demands of going to school four nights a week. And I worried about the world coming to an end, worried about a nuclear exchange between my country and the Soviet Union. Worry about that was pretty universal in those days. I was not unique.

When I was a kid, I always worried about being too skinny. Now, older by a lot, I worry about getting fat. In high school, I worried about my future. Would I be able to make it in the world? And now, thanks to Donald Trump and the current accelerating madness, I wonder about whether the world will continue to be a place where anyone but the very worst people can be assured of making it at all.

All along the way, damn near from birth-to-77 in no time flat--I worried that while I may have been worrying too much, other people weren't worrying near enough. They weren't worrying enough about the environment, about equal rights for all, about the war in Vietnam, or later, about the rush to war in Iraq. They didn't worry enough about nuclear winter, or about police brutality, or about gender inequality (was I the only one who had close relatives--mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters--who were women? Why did half the eligible voters in the country not bother with voting? Were they free of worry about who was making choices that could make their lives worse, could send their kids to be killed in unnecessary wars far away, or make their children's lives worse in ways too numerous to enumerate? Was it too much to expect my fellow citizens to pay attention?

I worried about that.

And now I worry daily about the immediate future, of my country and the planet. Big worry, that. Having a madman in charge hasn't helped, but at least I no longer worry that I'm alone in my worries. Now I worry about the fact that everyone is worrying. About the spread of the pandemic. About the threat of a homegrown terrorism and the danger of mad men goaded into action by the madman-in-chief. About a desperate army of dispossessed homeless people in search of food.

I worry about being too worried, and not worried enough.

This morning my worried mind presented me with the worry that Trump's current behavior may be suggesting that he's no longer worried about being re-elected. I'm worried that he knows something we don't know. That he has been told by the Russian hackers that they've got this, that he needn't worry about the polls, or the press, or about Biden/Harris. He needn't worry about democracy at all because the election is, as he's so often said, rigged. And rigged to ensure he will win, rigged in the "cloud," rigged somewhere in that vast universe of cyberspace only the geeks--Russian, Chinese, American, Saudi, Israeli, Argentinian--understand.

Because Trump surely is not behaving like a man who needs to worry about winning an election, is he now? Take it from an expert on worrying. He's just not that worried. And that worries the hell out of me.

We've all been told not to worry. I often quote a line from Mark Twain: "Worry is interest paid on a debt we may never owe." And he was right, of course. But I worry if I stop worrying so much, I might tip some sort of cosmic balance wheel and that the disaster that followed would be all my fault.

But no worries. It's far too late in the game for me to worry myself into an early grave. If you are younger, however, I'd suggest you ramp up your worries because you've got a lot of compensatory worrying to do once I'm gone.

To hear "Worried Man" song, click here:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jaime-oneill/93297/worry-worry-worry

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

For your viewing pleasure -- Lincoln Project and Randy Rainbow

Newest Lincoln Project ad -- best ever!  Evita/Trump
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tZVnbDq9B4

Newest Randy Rainbow -- with Patti LuPone
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Monday, October 05, 2020

The Social Dilemma - most important info for phone and computer users (isn't that everyone?)

 streaming on Netflix

In my opinion, this may well be the most important documentary of our time. Silicon Valley technology designers/experts are warning/telling us the harsh reality of what their technology is costing us and the world itself.  This is a truly alarming warning -- a blast of AWOOOGAAAAH!!! to us all.  If you have a child or grandchild using their cell phone constantly and you yourself are doing the same (and this is practically EVERYBODY these days), then you owe it to yourself to watch this documentary.  If your child (especially teenagers, as the film points out) is depressed, anxious, fragile, finding it impossible to concentrate on doing homework, sad, and worried about their own mental health, you will want to view this. It seems this is a worldwide phenomenon affecting the present generation of kids, in which fear and depression has risen by astronomical numbers. The developers of the technology are aware that AI is running away with the technology in the way it has been programmed to do, and, instead of being used for good as they hoped, it is being used against us and our kids.  It is chilling to learn that these developers, because of their own fears about the technology they have created, have left their jobs and are gathering together to warn us. They won't even let their own children have access to social media as it is programmed in today's world. In a portrayal, with actors, of an average family, the film shows how strongly addictive social media has become to everyone, and especially the kids.  I hope millions will watch this film, for the important educational information contained in it. Our world is in need of its warning.  Here is one review of it:

Amid all the stuff you are watching and feeding yourself with these days, The Social Dilemma is a must-watch. Even if you are not a documentary person, you will want to watch it because it carries the potential to change your life for good. 

In this documentary, the high-positioned ex-employees of many major Silicon Valley social media platforms tell of damaging ways this technology has impacted the world. While it talks about positives and good intentions as well, there's a huge focus on how social media has become a tool of spreading negativity and influencing the minds of people all over the world. Democratically run countries are particularly at risk from the negative effects of social media, as factual truth itself is being demolished as a base from which to understand and act.  You realize the shape and scale of this only after seeing the mind manipulation taking place on both conscious and subliminal levels.

It's an eye-opener to see how these technology developers have quit their dream jobs because of their alarm in how the social fabric of the world has been harmed. They are trying now to alert us to what is happening, so regulatory changes can be made -- and the technology and their positive hopes for it can be realized in ways to benefit the world and its people, rather than the damaging ways it is being used now.

One little tidbit: Plastic surgeons have informed about a new syndrome called 'Snapchat dysmorphia'. It is when young people want surgery so they can look more like they look in filtered selfies. I learned this and so much more in just 5-10 mins of watching this eye-opening documentary. It is 93 minutes of awesomeness.

The Social Dilemma Review: Go & Watch How Social Media          Giants Have Made You Lab Rats
The Social Dilemma Review:  How Social Media Giants Have Made You and Your Children into Lab Rats

As The Social Dilemma moves forward, it talks about how social media manipulates our minds, using our own preferences against us. It warns of how our behavior changes as we scroll through our social media timeline, designed specifically for us individually, using info gathered about us from all over the internet. Each of us is unknowingly being led to ads and information we would not normally seek out for ourselves, but which artificial intelligence in the technology has determined will appeal to us -- and which will bring in more money for the advertisers.  It's very likely that browsing social media won't be the same experience for you after seeing this.  The creators of the technology tell you how the UI (User Interface) is created in a way as to harness maximum user engagement, which benefits advertisers and the social media giants themselves. This has led to users being nothing but lab rats for social media giants. I have studied about this before as well, but I was still surprised to learn about science and logic behind "photo tagging", "generating comments," "replies to comments", "suggesting emojis as replies to comments". These are devised to manipulate you to engage and spend as much time on the site as possible. You might get a notification about a friend tagging you in a photo, that photo isn't shown in the notification, and that is just because they want you to click on it and get engaged and led down the rabbit hole of ever-more viewing/buying/absorption. They hack into your psychology. Every little part of social media has been crafted for that. Everything you see on your timeline has been especially served to you and you alone by the algorithms. We may think we are all seeing the same things, but no -- you are exclusively being pinpointed, as is each consumer in the same way, through their own phones and computers.  And the technology keeps gathering more information to continue upgrading itself, without the help of humans. A.I. is here now --not in some future dystopia -- and it is manipulating us in ways we never could have imagined. 

Overall, watching The Social Dilemma is nothing less than mini enlightenment. You don't know how much you need it until you view it.  You will not be able to forget it, and I think that is a Good thing!


 



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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A heart-touching interview of sister of 28-year-old doctor who died of Covid

I don't think anyone could watch this interview with a woman from Syracuse -- and not cry along with her at the loss of her dearly loved sister, a Syracuse native who was serving as a doctor in Houston.  Kate Bolduan, the interviewer, was in tears herself.

and 

What are we going to do about Trump, who hasn't an ounce of compassion in him -- and who is getting cheered at his rallies when he tells his supporters that Covid is only killing the old?  That in itself is terrible, because it implies that older people don't matter, but it isn't even true.  I don't know how the diehard Trump lovers can be reached. But the rest of us can make sure we vote and get others around us to vote.  We must rid ourselves of the heartless monster in the White House, before he wreaks more havoc on our country and its people.  He is already in the midst of taking away women's rights with his choice for the Supreme Court. What is next on his agenda?  The reversal of Brown v. Board of Education?  
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