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Tim Knight ~ My Dear Americans

Tim Knight ~ My Dear Americans


My Dear Americans,

So very sorry to hear about your new president and the appalling way he’s treating you.

I really, really feel your pain.

But you’re not alone. We, here in South Africa, know what it’s like to elect a paranoid, grandiose, delusional, narcissistic, demagogic and probably sociopathic president.

Our version is Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma — a corrupt, giggling, barely-educated Zulu polygamist worth some $215-million after a lifetime in various forms of politics, who says his ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) will rule “until Jesus returns” and that the ANC is more important than the nation. 

Your version is Donald John Trump — a coarse, dyed, lying multi-billionaire who in the short time we’ve had the displeasure of knowing him, shows every sign of copying Zuma’s blatant disrespect and disregard for truth and democracy.

So, using Zuma as an example, let me warn you about what happens when a narcissistic, paranoid, grandiose, delusional, demagogic and probably sociopathic person becomes president of a country.

The first and most obvious symptom for the sickness to come is that he believes  — along with the French Sun King, Louis XlV — “L’etat c’est moi.”

This inevitably translates, as it has in South Africa, into something called State Capture.

Ongama Mtimka, of the Department of Political & Conflict Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, describes State Capture this way:

In a nutshell, it denotes holding the state ransom to the private desires of a particular group or for their selfish gains. A level of aggression and foul play is implied.”

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (most appropriately, Gedleyihlekisa translates roughly as “he who laughs while hurting you”) has been plotting to capture the South African state ever since he took power some nine years ago.

Over those years, Zuma has been spectacularly successful at looting the nation’s rapidly dwindling wealth and redirecting as much as he can into the pockets of his huge family — including four very expensive wives — and the sordid gang of lickspittles, sycophants and cronies who flourish on the leftovers.

For most of these years he’s faced — and used millions of state money to fight — a total of 783 corruption, fraud and racketeering charges connected to an extremely shady $2.1 billion arms deal.

Only last year, South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma violated the Constitution by failing to “uphold, defend and respect” it.

And that he acted unlawfully when he tried to saddle taxpayers with the bill for his private U$19-million home.

He appoints often wildly incompetent government ministers whose only loyalty is to himself. One example last year was a new Finance Minister who lasted just four days before even ANC grandees noticed the rapidly-dying Rand and forced a far better choice on him.

Which is where Zuma’s very, very good friends, the Gupta family comes in.

The Guptas are a stinking-rich, naturalised Indian family who’ve known Zuma ever since he became president. The two families are so close that South Africans refer to them collectively as the “Zuptas.”

Over the years, a Zuma wife, a Zuma son and a Zuma daughter have worked for Gupta companies and been most appropriately rewarded.

Not coincidentally, The Guptas have built a massive business empire on the backs of ANC government contracts.

The family are seen to be co-conspirators in Zuma’s inexorable drive to seize and loot those parts of the South African state — like the Treasury — which are still relatively honest and independent.

They’re believed to have directly offered Cabinet appointments — and huge amounts of cash — to people willing to do anything the Zuptas desire.

Don’t take my word for it. That’s the considered opinion of Thuli Madonsela, the former South African Public Protector (a sort of state ombudsman).

She said flatly that there’s evidence of corruption at the highest level of the South Africa’s government.

The family owns a blatantly Zuma-loving newspaper — which flourishes on huge, out-of-proportion government advertising — and a 24-hour TV news channel even more Zumian than Fox news is Trumpian.

The good news is that our own narcissistic, paranoid, grandiose, delusional, demagogic and probably sociopathic president hasn’t yet destroyed our democracy.

Not yet.

And not for want of trying.

But he keeps working on it.

Only last year Jacob Zuma said if he were a dictator he would solve South Africa’s problems.

“If you just give me six months to be a dictator, things will be straight. Right now, to make a decision you need a resolution, decision, collective, petition. Yoh! It’s a lot of work.”

Those exact words could have come from Donald Trump, twelve thousand kilometres away in Washington D.C.

Except that he would have said “sad!!” rather than “yoh!!”.

Zuma and Trump have much in common.

Both men reject the media’s historic constitutional role as watchdog over the powerful, particularly the government of the day.

Both men despise the law and the courts.

Both are secretive, arrogant bullies who believe journalists and news outlets that don’t slavishly respect and support them are therefore conspiring against them and are even guilty of treason.

Zuma wants a Protection of State Information Bill to grant state agencies broad authority to classify a wide range of information as in the “national interest” with potential prison terms for violations.

“Every morning” he’s said “you feel like you must leave this country because the reporting concentrates on the opposite of the positive.”

Trump of course, goes a lot further.

He wants to destroy the news media entirely. He describes them — while offering not a shred of evidence — of being “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” “The press is out of control,” he says. “The level of dishonesty is out of control.” The media are “the enemy of the American people.”

Both men loathe the Free Marketplace of Ideas which, in a democracy, is served and guarded by the media and holds that the truth will emerge from the competition of ideas in free, transparent public discourse.

Both Zuma and Trump have parliamentary majorities which have long since abandoned any pretence of real democratic debate and vote strictly along party lines.

Both believe in their own omnipotence, grandeur and invincibility.

And, of course, both are narcissistic, paranoid, grandiose, delusional, demagogic and probably sociopathic.

But there’s one big difference between Zuma and Trump.

Zuma — unlike Trump — doesn’t have his finger anywhere near the nuclear button.

That’s because apartheid South Africa destroyed all six of its very own nuclear bombs shortly before the 1994 election which ended apartheid and birthed democracy.

The official reason was that ending the nuclear program “will inspire other countries to take the same steps.” In fact, it’s widely believed that the then-white government was terrified that the bombs might one day fall into the hands of some future black government.

Just imagine Jacob Zuma’s finger anywhere near that button!

Now go really, really pale and realize that Donald Trump’s finger hovers near that button every single hour of his presidency!

The terrible truth is that both Zuma and Trump are the real thing. These are not the adopted personae so many politicians use to reach and hold office.


What you see is what you get.

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma and Donald John Trump are narcissistic, paranoid, grandiose, delusional, demagogic and probably sociopathic men who will destroy our democracies if we let them.

And they’re not going to change.


I guess the only possible solution to the problem is that if they won’t change, we have to change them.

And excellent start would be to somehow force them out of their high offices.

We in South Africa haven’t been able to do that.

Not so far, anyway.

So good luck to you Americans.

I wish you peace and love,


Apropos of nothing to do with the above … back in 1964 while a reporter/producer for ABC News, I covered Arizona Republican senator Barry Goldwater’s run for the U.S. presidency.

Goldwater’s motto was: “In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right.”

The Democrats fought back and won with: “In Your Guts, You Know He’s Nuts.

Tim Knight is an Emmy Award winner who’s worked on three newspapers, United Press International (three years and two wars in the Congo), and was a producer/reporter/filmmaker for ABC, NBC and PBS out of New York. For ten years he was lead trainer for TV News journalists at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Knight is author of Storytelling and the Anima Factor, now in its second edition.

Morgan Freeman Calls Black History Month ‘Ridiculous’

Morgan Freeman Calls Black History Month ‘Ridiculous’


Black History Month ‘Ridiculous’


There aren’t many people in Hollywood who could call Black History Month ‘ridiculous’ without receiving a ton of hate mail, but that’s exactly what Morgan Freeman did back in 2005 – and he managed to back up his controversial words with some very thought-provoking ideas about racial equality.

The Hollywood legend was being interviewed by Mike Wallace for CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ news magazine program when he was asked his opinion on the concept of Black History Month. But Morgan Freeman-  arguably one of the greatest and most respected black actors of all time-  wasn’t playing ball.

After branding the idea ‘ridiculous’, Freeman asks a pretty good rhetorical question: “What- you’re going to relegate my history to a month?”

Wallace doesn’t know what to make of this comment, but Freeman’s not done with him yet.

“What do you do with yours?” the actor asks his host, getting more pissed by the minute with Wallace’s line of questioning. “Which month is White History Month?” he demands. “Come on, tell me.”

Wallace replies that he’s Jewish, to which Freeman hits back: “Ok. Which month is Jewish History Month?” Wallace is forced to admit there isn’t one, and he tells Freeman he wouldn’t really want that kind of commemoration anyway.

“I don’t either,” Freeman tells him matter-of-factly. I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”

Read More:


Wallace replies that he’s Jewish, to which Freeman hits back: “Ok. Which month is Jewish History Month?” Wallace is forced to admit there isn’t one, and he tells Freeman he wouldn’t really want that kind of commemoration anyway.

“I don’t either,” Freeman tells him matter-of-factly. I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”


Anytime someone calls Black History Month ridiculous, they’re met with immediate backlash (as they should).

Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson

“You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” the 79-year-old actor said during a “60 Minutes” interview in 2005. “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”

The Oscar-winning actor’s beliefs reiterate those of historian Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History Month.”

Woodson dedicated his career to making sure African-American history was taught and studied after he noticed black people were poorly underrepresented in school lessons and books. In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) and, 11 years later, created Negro History Week, which eventually expanded to become Black History Month.

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Kelley White ~ Make Matters So Much More Emergent?

Kelley White ~ Make Matters So Much More Emergent?


I appreciate Byron Katie greatly. I find the work something I resist. When I resist something with such veracity it most often has its roots in some larger truth secreted, awaiting discovery. When I resist something quite often it is the very thing I need to so.

How was I to do the work regarding our current President?


Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply as “The Work”.

I attempted to watch a video which was created by Byron Katie for this occasion and after several minutes found myself angered at the surreal absurdity with which something which does pose a concrete threat was dismissed. I found myself wanting to sit down with Byron Katie and ask some questions of my own.

What would the work have looked like if Byron had the ability to go back in time and meet with Hitler?

It then hit me, as I was contemplating Heisenberg wave theory of all things, that perhaps my issue was I had different fears?

The work is unique to the individual. What if my questions raised a different awareness for consideration?

Climate change is a very real issue. Fossil fuel dependency is a very real issue. Fracking is environmentally hazardous. Pollution and toxicity are impacting species and the earth’s capacity to maintain the narrow spectrum of conditions requisite to sustain life as we now know it in many forms on the planet. It is true that human conduct is negatively impacting the health of the planet.

It is true that President Trump’s current plans as outlined on his website will cause further harm to the environment. These are facts, not alternate facts, or even facts lite.

It is true that there are many who dismiss scientific evidence under the erroneous assumption there is some grand conspiracy afoot to further a liberal global elite agenda. Ironically globalization is inevitable because we function within a larger ecosystem called earth to whom we are all answerable.

Nature is not a respecter of persons.

The only turn around I can arrive at is I (we) indeed are all remiss in one nuance of the spectrum or another in contributing to the larger scope of the problem in small ways which prove exponentially problematic.

The President merely represents a different position on the spectrum of indifference and overall contribution. He can create an impact on a larger scale, thus his waves create a larger ripple effect. His consequences, in turn, will be equally and appositionally proportionate with one another.

Slavery has created a huge wound in this nation which we have yet to address or heal. The theft of the very land we reside in from our Native Americans is another deep wound we pour salt on versus attempt to redress. The Civil War is another tragedy still churning animosity. These things are true. I know they are true.

It has become abundantly clear the political correctness driving unpopular speech behind closed doors through public opinion merely hid a seething cancer only those who experienced it knew was still with us.

Periods of historical contraction offer us the ability to reflect and act where we once failed to act, altering an old self-defeating global response, and creating a new movement of global change.

If I did the work I could see that my failing was impatience with those whom in my humble estimation and experience failed to comprehend the larger complexities and potential outcomes juxtaposing the micro with the macro for a more holistic understanding from which to make more educated and thus hopefully more precise successive approximations towards slow but lasting positive progress. Such deliberation minimizes the inevitable setbacks one will encounter despite the best planning.

We appear to be a nation divided in approach as to how change is achieved on the personal, the interpersonal or the social level. One portion is impatient, seeking immediate remedy for issues decades and or centuries in the formation through external force. The other seems more understanding that progress is not a linear process but an internal transformation.

It is a difference of simplicity versus complexity, and fluidity versus rigidity. It is the tension of attachment versus detachment and optimism versus cynicism. If peak creativity occurs at the threshold of maximum tension? We can resist tyranny and enter a period of self-determination within the fluidity of a cooperative paradigm. Succeed or fail we must create anew with heart that which we deconstruct.

It juxtaposes those who think the story of the universe is complete through the mythologies presented in holy scriptures with those who see the spirit’s essence in pattern expressed in math ever contracting and expanding.

This creative tension exists to elicit a vibrant explosive energy of potentialities and probabilities which can either propel us exponentially into an ever-expansive cooperative social paradigm or send us spiralling into a cycle of “as long as I get mine” mentality which sees Earth bidding us good riddance to restore balance to the larger system which sustains all life.

If anything became apparent to me from my own foray into doing the work?

Perhaps if The President took us ten steps backward it would be the best thing that could happen.

If we are not ready to progress into the future with equity for one another and all life forms on this planet it is best for our overall survival to run out of oil with no back up plan. Perhaps it is best for us to continue to allow water to be polluted or looted. Perhaps it is best for us to make matters so much more emergent they will no longer be met by platitudes and euphemisms but concrete action.

Love is a verb.

If we are set back at a time when our progress would only mean destruction due to arrogance and ignorance?

Perhaps we will unwittingly save ourselves from a larger destruction which could prove irreversible or fatal for more than just our species.

©2017 Kelley White


MJ Wright ~ The Year Where Gratitude Meets Courage

MJ Wright ~ The Year Where Gratitude Meets Courage


The Year Where Gratitude Meets Courage



by MJ Wright


I spent most of yesterday contemplating how to proceed with my life, my writing, my career. I accomplished a lot in 2016, but where to go, do, be next has been on my mind with no real indication on what the right road is to take. Then I watched a video that gave me the answer of why I was unable to move forward.

Fear. It asked the question, what would you do if you had no fear?

It kind of gobsmacked me. Wasn’t I the woman who threw all caution to the wind, packed her truck and set off West just her and her dog and a thousand bucks cash. Wasn’t I the woman who although she has a multitude of conditions and diseases each one in their own right debilitating, combined they are sometimes more than she is able to bear, isn’t she the same woman who gave up the security of disability fully realizing she would have to make it on her own. I was, that woman!

And I was still afraid.

Of what people would think, what if, I failed, what if, I succeeded…..
I have had a full time job of having imposter syndrome. Who do you think you are? What do you know? Who would want to read your writing? What makes you think anyone would pay you to write?


………. <insert panic attack>………..


2017 – the year where gratitude meets courage.
The year where we challenge the fear, we rise up on wings like eagles. We ascend to the life we were meant to live.

2017 Acts of Kindness Challenge

2017 Acts of Kindness Challenge


Acts of Kindness Challenge



From criminals lassoed by cowboys then tied to a pole awaiting justice, to waiters tipped hundreds as a “gift”, Acts of Kindness are taking hold and you never know where they might hit next.


If you’ve been on Facebook, or any other social media site then you’ve likely had the pleasure of meeting a well-known, and much loved Canadian artist, dog rescuer, political junkie and coffee addict by the name of Mike Rilstone. Mike’s social media activities have touched millions of followers around the world, and he often has a major impact wherever he goes.


Over the years I’ve watched Mike get deeply involved in almost every type of social action. I’ve watched as his efforts impacted major national and international elections, and I’ve seen his actions improve small-town local fundraisers, but this past year brought about the development of his newest effort; an Acts of Kindness Challenge that people from all parts of the globe can take part in.


Dawn Douglas, an Australian Public Relations professional shared her thoughts in a post that echoes something we can all agree with, “be kind to others, it’ll make you feel amazing!!”


I asked Mike why he took on this newest social action and considering his past good deeds, I wasn’t surprised by his answer, “I was annoyed that mainstream media always trumped the good news with the bad. So I thought we needed a central depository to share the good things that were happening around us.”


His thinking has certainly paid off and thanks to public demand Mike’s decided to take it further. “Its original intent was to break through all the bad news in 2016 (especially political) and help take us into a happier Christmas season, but the page seems to have taken on a life of its own and I for one like the happy reprieve it brings on a daily basis.”


Throughout history, great leaders of all ages, cultures and religious beliefs have their own way of saying, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ With each New Year, come New Year’s resolutions and with it we’ll often hear a global call for change, but to achieve change we’ve all got to play a part, even if it’s just one small good deed at a time.


For Dawn Douglas it was simple, “I’ve been doing random acts of kindness for decades now, so when this page was suggested by a friend I hopped on board to join like-minded people. I’m hoping that by sharing random acts of kindness it will spread to others making the world a more caring place than it is.”


The Acts of Kindness Challenge is, as Mike describes it, “a safe place where those who are generally quiet about their good deeds can come to share them among friends, allowing good ideas to spread. It has become a place many now drop into regularly just to feel good.”


If you want to take part in creating the change you want to see in the world, then The Acts of Kindness Challenge is a great place to start.


JOIN the 2017 Acts of Kindness Challenge – CLICK HERE


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