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Clifford Taylor Fleischbein has been in full-time self-employment since 1975 earning revenue as a entrepreneur consultant, with the most recent passage of twenty years generating income from On-demand services for Information technology consulting, Database Management, Marketing, Change Management, and Customer relationship management job projects.

Greatly Blessed: Read The Pope’s Address To Congress

Pope Francis addressed Congress Thursday as part of his first visit to the United States, urging action on the refugee crisis in Europe, climate change and income inequality.

Read the full text below, as prepared for delivery:

Mr. Vice-President,
Mr. Speaker,
Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends,

Pope-Francis-addressed-USA-Congress-2015I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation.

On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families.

These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land.

I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self- sacrifice – some at the cost of their lives – to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people.

A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that “this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.

A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.

We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776).

If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his “dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of “dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy,

I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.

Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world.

It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.

A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle The Corporate State

I read Ralph Nader for the same reason that I read Tom Paine.  He knows what he thinks, says what he means, and his courage is a lesson for everyone.

UnStoppable - Ralph NaderRalph Nader has fought for over fifty years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society.  Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless.  In his new book Unstoppable, he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.

Large segments from the progressive, conservative, and libertarian political camps find themselves aligned in opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America’s wars, sovereignty-shredding trade agreements, and the unpublished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street.  Nader shows how Left-Right coalitions can prevail over the corporate state and crony capitalism.

Nader draws on  his extensive experience working with grassroots organizations in Washington and reveals the many surprising victories by united progressive and conservative forces.   As a participator in, and keen observer of, these budding alliances, Nader breaks new ground in showing how such coalitions can overcome specific obstacles that divide them, and how they can expand their power on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the decisive arena of public opinion.

Americans can reclaim their right to consume safe foods and drugs, live in healthy environments, receive fair rewards for their work, resist empire, regain control of taxpayer assets, strengthen investor rights, and make bureaucrats more efficient and accountable.

Nader argues it is in the interest of citizens of different political labels to join in the struggle against the corporate state that will, if left unchecked, ruin the Republic, override our constitution, and shred the basic rights of the American people.


Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle The Corporate State” by Ralph Nader (2014)


The Sons of Camplin – Loosen Up Naturally

Being a Rock-n-Roll-Band guitar player since 1966, I got turned on to THE SONS at a concert they played outdoors at Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill / Concord, CA) the summer of 1971. I bought and still have most of the Sons LPs. I will forever by grateful and influenced in my music by these musicians. What an awesome blend of instrument sounds and incredible grooves! The story line in the songs mean a lot to me. Thank you Sons of Champlin. God bless you, Bill !

Sons of Champlin
Recorded Live: 10/4/1975 – Winterland (San Francisco, CA)

More The Sons of Champlin at Music Vault:
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0:00:00 – Slippery When It’s Wet
0:04:33 – Saved By The Grace Of Your Love
0:08:54 – For A While
0:13:46 – There Goes Your All Night
0:16:57 – Like To Get To Know You
0:23:49 – We Can Make It
0:28:45 – Lookout
0:33:08 – Turn On Your Lovelight / Drum Solo / Gold Mine
0:44:11 – Freedom / Get High

Bill Champlin – guitar, keyboards, lead vocals
Terry Haggerty – guitar, vocals
Geoff Palmer – keyboards, vocals
Dave Schallock – bass, vocals
James Preston – drums, percussion
Phil Wood – trumpet
Michael Andreas- sax
Steve Frediani – sax

The Secret History of the American Empire

In his stunning memoir, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list, John Perkins detailed his role in the 1970’s and ’80s in the international corporate intrigues that created a defacto American Empire.  This riveting, behind-the-scenes expose’ unfolded like a cinematic blockbuster told through the eyes of a man who once helped shape the empire.

Now, in his second book, The Secret History of the American Empire, John Perkins zeros in on hot spots around the world today and, drawing on interviews with other hit men, jackals, CIA operatives, reporters, and activists, examines the current geopolitical crisis.  Instability is the norm: It’s clear that the world we’ve created is dangerous and no longer sustainable.  How did we get here?  Who’s responsible?  What good have we done?  And at what cost?  And what can we do to change things for the next generation?  Addressing these questions and more, Perkins reveals the secret history behind the events that have defined our world, including:

  • The current Latin-American revolution and its lessons for democracy
  • How the “defeats” in Vietnam and Iraq benefited big business
  • The role of Israel as “Fortress America” in the Middle East
  • Tragic repercussions of the IMF’s “Asian Economic Collapse” and Clinton’s “African Renaissance”
  • U.S. blunders in Tibet, Congo, Lebanon, and Venezuela
  • Jackal forays to assassinate democratic presidents

From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a web of corruption and corporate skulduggery.   Alarming yet hopeful, The Secret History of the American Empire concludes with a clear-eyed look toward the future and a compassionate plan to re-imagine the world.


Free Candy Bar over Free 10 oz Silver Bar

People Choose Free Candy Bar over Free 10 oz Silver Bar (Worth $150) in Experiment

Media analyst Mark Dice offers random people their choice of a Hershey chocolate bar or a 10 oz silver bar (Worth $150) in an experiment. You have to see what happened next!

*SUBSCRIBE* for NEW enlightening videos DAILY. Let everyone know what you think by sounding off in the comments section, give this video a thumbs up if you liked it and share it with your friends on social media to spread the word!

Usain Bolt has got nothing on Leonidas of Rhodos.

Usain Bolt has got nothingUsain-Bolt-olympic-runner
on Leonidas of Rhodos

Born nearly 2,000 years ago, Leonidas holds the record as the greatest sprinter of all time, winning more Olympic titles than anyone else in human history.

Leonidas-of-RhodosAt four straight Olympic games, Leonidas dominated all three sprinting events– the Stadion (roughly 200 meters), Diaulos (roughly 400 meters), and the bizarre Hoplitodromos– a 400 meter dash carrying 50 pounds of military gear.

Bear in mind that he competed at a time when there was only a prize for first place. Second place was first loser.

(And they didn’t hand out medals to all the kids just for participating.)

As such, Leonidas was a legend in his own time and was decorated accordingly.

Just like today, in fact, many ancient Greek athletes were rewarded by their city-states for an Olympic victory.

In Athens, the government would award prize money that was equivalent to about 500 sheep.

This was a highly coveted back then; livestock was considered a symbol of wealth and power, so a vast flock of sheep in Ancient Greece may have been the Maserati of its day.

I was particularly interested when I read this because I own some sheep in Chile; they cost the equivalent of about fifty to sixty US dollars in the marketplace.

It’s roughly the same price in the United States for young lamb and slaughter ewes (female sheep) based on USDA data.

But what really floored me was when I found out that the United States Olympic Committee hands out $25,000 in prize money to gold medal winners– roughly the amount necessary to buy a flock of 500 sheep today.

So over 2,000 years later, the prize money for champions is more or less the same.

Now, let’s consider which of these two is more valuable: $25,000 worth of sheep, or $25,000 worth of fiat money (paper currency).

Fiat money sits in a bank account earning a yield of 0.5%.

(Or if you’re really unlucky, you might even have the privilege of paying your bank interest like they do here in parts of Europe.)

Sheep, on the other hand, yield… more sheep.

Depending on breed, the typical conception rate for sheep is between 65% to 95%, with a gestation period of about 5 months.

So a herd can expand dramatically in a typical breeding season, producing meat, milk, and wool along the way.

Fiat money produces nothing. At least, not for you.

It remains in the hands of the bank where they make the most bonehead financial decisions with it, parking it whatever risky investment fad gets them the biggest annual bonus.

They’ll further act as unpaid agents of the government, freezing you out of your own savings in a heartbeat.

And if you request to withdraw your own money, they treat you like a criminal terrorist.

Now, I’m not trying to convince you to empty your bank account and go buy a flock of sheep.

The point is that productive assets stand the test of time. Paper currency does not.

Always remember that history is inflationary. And while there may be some aberrant years, holding cash will gradually erode your savings.

It’s imperative to make smart, long-term financial decisions. Seek stores of value that can stand the test of time.

In fairness, that’s easier said than done in an environment where every conventional asset class is in a bubble.

Stocks are at all-time highs. Bonds are at all-time highs (earning negative yields in some cases). Banks are perilously illiquid. Many real estate markets are frothy once again.

So it’s a tall order to find safety and stability– at least, within conventional finance.

Outside the mainstream, though, there are plenty of compelling options.

An heirloom Patek Phillipe wristwatch will likely be a much better store of value to pass on to your grandkids than the usual gift of a US government savings bond.

Productive real estate (including agriculture) can also be a much better alternative than letting money sit in a bank account. It’s like gold, with yield. And the added benefit of providing a place to stay, or even food on the table.

Privately held businesses can also be a great option as they can often be purchased at very low multiples on their earnings, generating instant yields of 40% or more.

And even though most stock are hovering at bubble levels, there are some deep value options available where you can buy shares of a well-managed, profitable business for less than the value of its net assets.

Don’t Limit Girls !

Do we limit girls and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be?

Do we box them into expected roles?

Well, we asked, and the answer was shocking: 72% of girls DO feel society limits them – especially during puberty – a time when their confidence totally plummets. Always is on an epic battle to keep girls’ confidence high during puberty and beyond!

Our original #LikeAGirl social experiment started a conversation to boost confidence by changing the meaning of “like a girl” from an insult to a total compliment. And – with your help – that conversation turned into major movement sweeping the entire globe.

We’re on a roll, and we’re not stopping! Now, we’re empowering girls everywhere by encouraging them to smash limitations and be Unstoppable #LikeAGirl. We need your help. Join us. Watch, share and champion all girls to be Unstoppable #LikeAGirl.

For more than three decades, we’ve made it our mission to empower young girls worldwide by educating millions of them about puberty and their cycle, so they can feel confident – any day of the month. Together, we’re making great change happen. Don’t stop!

HOW Emotionally Intelligent People Cope With Toxic People


8 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Deal With Toxic People

Toxic people poison those around them, and gain satisfaction from creating disorganization and a stressful atmosphere.

Life is stressful enough for most of us. Allowing a toxic individual to ravage your immediate environment can cause havoc in your mental well-being, which can lead to physical challenges.

A bad state of mind not only affects your physical well-being but How-To-Deal-With-Toxic-People-300x225makes it difficult for you to respond calmly under pressure. Ninety percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions, so your ability to perform effectively can be affected if you do not adopt strategies that will allow you to deal with toxic people.

1. Successful People Establish Boundaries

There is a fine line between being friendly and allowing somebody to lead you down a path that jeopardizes your ability to remain effective. Successful people understand this and do not allow the toxic among them to take charge, but rather choose to set effective boundaries.

2. No One Limits Their Joy

How much do the words of those around you affect your state of mind? Successful people have mastered the ability to ensure that the negative remarks of others do not affect their strong sense of accomplishment. Toxic people like to break you down with rude, hurtful comments, and gain satisfaction from watching you fall apart.

Learn to react less to the opinions of others, especially those you know do not have your well-being at heart.

3. They Have Mastered the Art of Rising Above

From a seminar session by John Rampton when he was on stage at the 2014 TC Disrupt, we learn that:

“By mastering the act of rising above, successful people are able to remain rational and calm in the presence of the irrational and chaotic. They master rising above the rest, no matter what the circumstance.”

4. They Are Solution Focused

Do you spend more time focused on the negative person and how they affect your life than on achieving your goals? If so, then you have a problem. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on your goals.

5. They Understand the Importance of Support

Reach out to your mentors, chances are, they have experienced what you are going through. There is a good chance that co-workers, team members, even family and friends have useful tips to help you get by. The emotionally intelligent understand how to tap into their resources to get through the challenges of working with toxic people.

6. They Are Aware

Self-awareness is important, because it involves knowing what it takes to push your buttons in order to prevent it from happening. Lack of emotional control is a great way to empower the toxic people in your life.

7. Forget-Me-Nots

Being forgiving comes with being emotionally intelligent. It allows you to remain unburdened by the mistakes of others and to have peace of mind. But being forgiving does not mean forgetting whom you can and cannot trust. It just means you stop wasting mental energy on those you cannot trust.

8. They Store Their Energy for Better Opportunities

As I have mentioned several times, the toxic thrive on chaos, and will do anything to have the ability to take you down to their level. Learning to understand your limits will help you to stay away from dangerous situations. Choose your battles wisely, and conserve your energy for bigger and better things.

Final Thoughts

Those we look up to as being the “bigger person” or as being able to conduct themselves in the most challenging of situations do not have a magic solution in their back pockets, but they have worked hard to become emotionally intelligent people. What are some of the challenges you have experienced with toxic people?

Related Reading:

How Successful People Handle Toxic People

1918 Human Statue of Liberty

It is amazing that this photo, taken so many years ago, actually still exists!  This INCREDIBLE picture was taken in 1918.

The photo shows 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge , in Iowa ..  EIGHTEEN THOUSAND MEN!!!!!

What a priceless gift from our grandfathers!


Base to Shoulder: 150 feet
Right Arm: 340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 feet
Right thumb: 35 feet
Thickest part of body: 29 feet
Left hand length: 30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800
Number of men in right arm: 1,200
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000

Total men: 18,000

Stop Children What’s That Sound ~ Buffalo Springfield

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me i got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Andrew Carnegie’s Weird “Wealth Machine” to Help Secure Their Retirements

Andrew-CarnegieDuring his lifetime, Andrew Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men on the planet. Before he began giving away his wealth, his net worth was valued at $475 million — the equivalent of about $75 billion in today’s dollars.

It’s been almost 100 years since Carnegie died. Today, he is remembered most for building Carnegie Hall in New York City and establishing the modern U.S. library system. Both are still in existence today, a remarkable testament to Carnegie’s legacy.

But did you know Carnegie created something else before he died that’s helped tens of thousands of people to secure their retirements?

Carnegie had a soft spot for American educators. He wanted to help provide professors at schools like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia with financial security in their old age. So in 1905, he gave $10 million to set up America’s very first variable annuity.

From $10 Million to $279 Billion…

Carnegie’s fledgling variable annuity started with $10 million. Today it is worth an astounding $279 billion. It is now called the Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, or TIAA-CREF for short.

Think about that. The TIAA-CREF was started in the year 1905 and it still exists today.

That means it survived the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. It survived Black Monday in 1987. And it survived the more recent financial meltdown of 2008 and 2009.

In fact, it has survived all the booms and busts of the last 110 years! That’s an amazing track record.

The only reason Carnegie’s annuity has survived so long is because annuities make conservative investments in order to fulfill promises to its investors. Therefore, annuities don’t gamble or make risky investments. They play it safe so they can continue paying out guaranteed payments every single year.

Ben Bernanke’s Shocking Retirement Secret

Before Ben Bernanke became the chairman of the Federal Reserve, he taught economics at Princeton University. While there, he set up two annuities through the annuity company Carnegie founded.

Apparently, Bernanke’s retirement strategy didn’t change a bit when he took over at the Fed because his two largest assets are still the annuities he set up while working at Princeton. Each of these annuities are currently valued between $500,001 and $1 million.

While other experts have criticized Bernanke’s conservative approach to retirement investing, maybe the better approach is to ask a question: Why would the man who was head of the most powerful financial institution in the world choose to invest in annuities?

The answer to this question will become clear when you compare average retirement savings to one particular group of people.

The Surprising Reason Why College Professors Have More Saved for Retirement than You

Ben Bernanke isn’t the only one who is benefiting from annuity investments. Many college professors and other higher education professionals have invested in the same annuity fund originally set up by Andrew Carnegie.

And the proof is in the pudding.

In a recent study conducted by TIAA-CREF, they discovered that “83 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty felt very or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, compared to 55 percent of workers overall.”

And there’s a good reason for their confidence. According to surveys, higher education employees who participate in retirement plans have average account balances that are 43% to 46% higher than average Americans.

The 8th Wonder of the World

Famous academic Albert Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.”

Einstein put his money where his mouth was by investing in annuities way back in 1933 when they were still a relatively new investment vehicle.

Annuities exist to provide people with safe and predictable investment returns every single year during retirement. Many of them come with guaranteed rates of return.

Just one year bad year in the stock market can take years to recover from. But safe and predictable compound growth — like that provided by annuity funds — can provide investors with a stable retirement and peace of mind.

That’s why Einstein invested in annuities. It’s why Ben Bernanke is invested in annuities. And it’s why thousands of higher education professionals invest in annuities every year. Maybe annuities are worth a closer look after all.

Forget What You Know – Aspergers Teen Genious – Jacob Barnett

Genius Child Kicked Out Of School For “Not Being Able To Learn” Could Win Nobel Peace Prize
They said he would never learn, now he’ll teach them a thing or two…

A genius boy whose IQ is higher than Albert Einstein is on his way to possibly winning a Nobel Prize after being set free of special education programs in public schools.

His mother made the decision to take him out of the programs, even after having doctors diagnose him with Aspergers and say that her son Jacob Barnett would never even learn to tie his shoes.

She describes in her book “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius” that she was afraid of trying to pull him out of school. “For a parent, it’s terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals. But I knew in my heart that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away.” Jacob was not thriving in special ed classes. He kept turning deeper into himself and was uncommunicative with other people.

His doctors prescribed medical treatment for the boy. When he wasn’t in therapy though, his mother noticed him doing amazing things. “He would create maps all over our floor using Q-tips. They would be maps of places we’ve visited and he would memorize every street.” Jake dropped out of elementary school in the 5th grade. His incredible memory allowed him to attend university classes after he learned all of high school math in two weeks. Now he’s on track to graduate from college at age 14 and working on theories to build on Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Morley Safer asks the talented teen if he wants to be an astronaut, he quickly defers to his brother, saying he’d rather run things from the ground. Safer’s profile of the young math and science prodigy will be broadcast on “60 Minutes” Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

60 minutes did a special on Jacob below:


Sir Ken Robinson did a talk for TED (google or youtube it) and shared how decades ago schools were set up to teach for the industrial age, which basically produces little humanoids that work in factories. However, today our society needs more creative minds. Sir Robinson provides very similar examples to the one posted about kids who would have been lost were it not for someone recognizing their creative potential. When Ken Robinson speaks of creative potential he doesn’t just mean the artists and musicians of the world, but instead those individuals with creative thinking abilities…the inventors, the problem solvers. His advice? To reintroduce creative activities in public schools.

The Perspectives of the Self-Made Wealthy

Billionaire Ken Fisher Shares 8 Insights Only the Self-Made Super Wealthy Understand
Wonder what it’s really like to strike it rich?
Billionaire Ken Fisher explains the perspectives of the self-made wealthy.


Not all entrepreneurs are in it for the money, but gaining wealth is certainly among the top motivators for company building. Not surprisingly, having great wealth brings it’s own unique responsibilities and circumstances that few get to experience first hand.

Based on an interview with billionaire Ken Fisher, founder, chairman, and CEO of Fisher Investments, best-selling author, Forbes magazine columnist, and No. 225 on the Forbes 400, Fisher provided a candid, no-holds-barred look at the perspective of the self-made super wealthy.

Here are his insights:

1. It isn’t pursuit of wealth, but pursuit of passion that creates wealth.

Focusing on money won’t likely get you to the Forbes list like Fisher. He aptly states: “Most people don’t get super wealthy by accumulating money. They get super wealthy by following some dream they are passionate about, whether its starting and running a business, or being a rock star musician or a visual entertainer.” He points out that most of the super wealthy overshoot their personal goals, and yet they are still driven by their passion. The super wealthy know that if you pursue your passion, the money will come.

2. After a certain monetary threshold, the desire isn’t for more wealth, but more time.

There is very little that the super wealthy cannot buy. As the wealth keeps accumulating, spending becomes less of a joy or ambition. “After a certain point,” Fisher explains, “there isn’t much more you can think of that you want.” What becomes more desirable is time to enjoy life. “The vacation homes, cars, boats, and wardrobes are just more stuff to deal with.” Fisher observes. “All that stuff clutters your time usage, so at a certain point, the wealthier you get the more you covet time.”

3. Everyone you’ve known forever (except your spouse) will think you’ve changed.

There is a common belief that wealth changes everyone, and not always for the better. Fisher says, “Only you will know that you haven’t changed; that passionate drive to follow dreams does not change.” Fisher explains it this way: “Everyone’s perceptions of change are as though they are seeing the clock at a few different hour points in your evolution, as opposed to seeing it as a continuous sweeping minute hand that doesn’t change.”

4. The super wealthy are guarded even with their closest acquaintances.

It’s hard for the super wealthy to know who their real friends are. Fisher describes the situation in clear detail. “All kinds of folks hit on you for money and deliver false pretenses on a regular basis. Charities hit you up like you were the prettiest girl at a ball otherwise filled with horny young males. ‘Relatives’ you never had approach you from nowhere. Old school non-chums want to reacquaint. You see an ugly side of our human existence, which is the world of false pretenses seeking your money. So you guard against it and what you’re really guarding is your time and the time of the few people you really value. And you get good at it. And as you do, you will seem cold to all those people. Of course, you’re just simply as cold as the relationship would have been had you no money at all.”

5. Most of your broader family will come to hate you.

There is an old saying that the rich person in any family is despised. Fisher claims this is true, pointing out that many relatives don’t understand why the wealth of one family member can’t easily be shared to solve all their problems. Fisher explains the issue further: “It doesn’t matter how much you do or don’t give people, it won’t be enough.” Often Fisher hears others grumbling that they would handle wealth differently, but he points out that if their approach worked they would already be wealthy, and says they are simply looking for the easy path. Fisher states, “They will wonder why you don’t simply relieve them of their suffering with money, yet won’t seek your time or advice in how to remove the core cause of that suffering.” If they did seek his advice, Fisher would happily help them understand how to solve their money issues by seeking a productive passion.

6. Wealth doesn’t spoil your children, but it may destroy your grandchildren.

I know many successful entrepreneurs who worry whether their own children will have ambition and drive after growing up with affluence. Fisher observes that the kids of self-made wealthy parents grow up solidified with values that were taught to them before their parents became wealthy, so wealth doesn’t negatively influence their values. “But your grandkids never knew anything else,” says Fisher, now 64. “And that wealth zaps the drive out of them–it is too easy for the young to spend for fun instead of seeking the real passion, as previously mentioned.”

7. The older you get, the less money means.

As super wealthy people age, material needs become normalized. According to Fisher, “The so-called golden years bring a simplicity and focusing of desires in all wealth classes. While the non-super wealthy won’t recognize it, the super wealthy have long lost their material urges beyond the basics. They spend less on themselves and likely less on others because they know it doesn’t create happiness either for them, for their offspring, or for their grandkids.” Quality time is once again what is most coveted. It is surely more important to offer time to loved ones, and time delivered in that regard is valued on both ends more than money.

8. Wealth can free your brain.

Of all Fisher’s insights, this was the most powerful. For all the challenges wealth can bring, Fisher says it’s worth the mental freedom it also brings. He makes this point: “You will think broader and more creatively because you don’t have the limits the people of lesser means suffer. Why? Because you can. You will contemplate things like: Could my wealth if donated solve this problem? Could I create (you name it) by trying? What if I did this unimaginable thing (because you can if you want in so many realms)? The reality is that few of these will you ever pursue for all the reasons above, but they will enter your mind to ponder because most of your limits are now only self-imposed.”

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