Category Archives: Success Principles

Pop Quiz: How To Tell If You Are A Racist.

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on Pop Quiz: How To Tell If You Are A Racist.

I learned long ago that talk’s cheap. Anyone can say anything. But, it is what they do that reveals their true thoughts and character. Learn to look, don’t listen.

“Their actions speak louder than words.” That’s something we have all heard. Here’s another cliche which is true. “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.” “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s the poster child for poor parenting! So, pick your truth.

And let’s see what you would do and support, or have done and have supported. Let’s all take this quiz:

Do you support bringing the unemployment of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and women to historically record lows? OR Do you support keeping those groups with perpetually higher unemployment than whites for example?

Do you support rising wages for blacks, and other minorities? OR Do you support holding them in the low income class, rather than the middle class?

Do you support stopping the killing of blacks and Hispanics in the inner cities like Chicago? OR Do you just turn a blind eye, dismissing them as criminals and “untouchables” that deserve what they get?

Do you support bringing business investment into depressed neighborhoods and inner cities to provide employment for the impoverished youth? OR Do you want to have them remain without work, dependent upon you and what you dole out of your wallet?

Do you support giving the parents of inner city youth the choice to take their child to a school where they have some hope of an education and chance for the future? OR Do you want to force them to remain in the inner city schools, even if it means they could never have a hope of competing and succeeding?

Do you support ending draconian life sentences for crimes that did not warrant that penalty? OR Do you want to continue that Clinton Era law, and keep a lot of criminal blacks, Hispanics, etc. off the streets permanently?

Do you support programs that help convicts come out into society and get a second chance, and employment? OR Do you ridicule the men and women who work to create those programs and believe that black people can’t change?

Do you support permanent funding of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities? OR Do you want them to have to beg every year for the money to keep their doors open, and their legacy continued?

Do you support encouraging a traditional and nuclear family where the parents take responsibility for their children? OR Do you want the state to become the “parent” of minority children, and take full responsibility for how they think, and what they can earn, and how high they can climb?

Do you insist that all black and minority lives matter, and refuse to only talk about black lives related to law enforcement? OR Do you turn a blind eye to all issues related to the loss of black lives, except for those related to law enforcement?

Do you believe that one is not “guilty by accusation,” and deserves Due Process–no matter their race, no matter the alleged crime? OR Do you rush to judgment at every bad act and actor and form your own “lynch mob”–demanding that no Due Process occurs?

Let’s check ourselves out on this. If you predominantly answered affirmatively to the first question in each series, you are not a racist–in my opinion. If you answered predominantly affirmatively to the second question in each series, you–in my opinion–are the racist.

For the record, Trump answered affirmatively to all of the first questions, and did not do so just with “words.” He did so with actual programs that have worked and resulted in dramatic improvement where the programs have been allowed to be implemented. So, if Donald J. Trump is a racist, he is really bad at it. He would surely get an F in a “How to Be A Successful Racist” class.

His opponents have chosen to predominantly support none of the first questions–not even with words–and appear to be the racists. Their actions or inactions speak louder than words. I think they would ace a class entitled: “How to Keep Minorities Down.”

There is a lot of noise out there, my friends. Look, don’t listen.

How To Ensure Your Vote Counts

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on How To Ensure Your Vote Counts

VOTE IN PERSON AT THE POLLS!!!!!!! THAT IS THE BEST WAY OF ALL.

IF YOU MUST DO AN ABSENTEE BALLOT, REQUEST IT EARLY, AND MAIL IT EARLY!!!!! IDEALLY DROP IT OFF AT THE MOST SECURE LOCATION AVAILABLE. (HINT: A DROP BOX ON A STREET CORNER IS PROBABLY NOT YOUR BEST CHOICE. NEITHER IS ANOTHER PERSON WHO PROMISES THEY WILL SEE IT GETS DELIVERED.)

IF YOU GET MORE THAN ONE “MAIL-IN” BALLOT MAILED TO YOU AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS (PREVIOUS ADDRESSES ETC.) FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE SURE ONLY THE BALLOT YOU CAST IS COUNTED. YOUR ELECTION OFFICIALS KNOW HOW TO DISPOSE OF OR TURN THEM IN PROPERLY. AND HOW TO REPORT POSSIBLE MISUSE OR FRAUD.

IF YOU HAVE MOVED, NOTIFY THE ELCTION BOARD TO REMOVE YOU FROM THE ROSTER, SO THEY DON’T MAIL ONE TO YOU THAT SOMEONE ELSE COULD TAKE AND FALSIFY. (THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN BY THE WAY WITH AN ABSENTEE BALLOT, SINCE YOU HAVE TO REQUEST IT PROACTIVELY. IT IS THE UNIVERSAL “MAIL IN” BALLOT THAT POSES A CHALLENGE, AND RISK)

BOTTOM LINE, IT IS YOUR VOTE. YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENSURING THAT YOUR VOTE COUNTS. DO NOT SIT BACK AND WAIT FOR BUREAUCRATS TO SORT ANYTHING OUT FOR YOU. NO EXCUSES HERE, FOLKS.

YOU MATTER, AND YOUR VOTE MATTERS. IT IS A SACRED RIGHT OF THE AMERICAN CITIZEN TO VOTE. THAT RIGHT BELONGS TO NO ONE BUT ELIGIBLE AMERICAN CITIZENS. BUT YOU ARE–IN THE END–THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY. ONLY YOU AND I CAN SCREW THIS UP. NO ONE TO BLAME BUT OURSELVES.

GOING TO THE POLLS IN PERSON IS THE BEST–ABSOLUTELY THE BEST. IF YOU CAN STAND IN LINE AT GROCERY STORES, YOU CAN STAND IN LINE AT THE POLLS. YOU CAN DISTANCE YOURSELF. YOU CAN WEAR MASKS.

DO NOT LET ANYONE INTIMIDATE YOU INTO THINKING IT IS NOT “SAFE” TO GO TO THE POLLS. YOU KNOW BY NOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS. BUT, IF YOU DOUBT THAT, THEN REQUEST A PROPER ABSENTEE BALLOT.

THE KEY IS NOT TO PROCRASTINATE. GET THE BALLOT. RETURN IT PROPERLY WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO SPARE.

AND REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR ELECTION, YOUR VOTE. TURN OFF THE NOISE, AND ENJOY ELECTION DAY!! HAVE SOME GOOD CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHERS AT THE POLLS. “SOCIALIZE” WHILE YOU “SOCIAL DISTANCE.” YOU CAN DO IT!!!

A Tribute to Barry Farber

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Barry Farber died this week, one day after his 90th birthday. His daughter’s tweet says he was live on the air the day before he passed, and that he viewed death as a place he hadn’t gone to yet, like Finland or Estonia.

Many things will be said about this brilliant man by men and women who knew him better than I. Even the New York Times will acknowledge the life and work of one of the earliest pioneers of talk radio. Much will be made of a man who broadcasted live almost every day for 60 years, taking time out only to run for Mayor of New York City for example.

Or they will praise the obvious genius of a man who spoke over 20 languages, who wrote books, and advised the mighty–in business, politics, and broadcast journalism.

His close friends and family will have the most intimate and touching stories to tell to memorialize him. As for me, I have my own personal perspective.

In 1986, I was introduced to Barry Farber over lunch by one of the investors in a show I had brought into New York about the legendary diarist Anais Nin. And without any hesitation whatsoever he tried to help a young actress/writer on her journey and promote her.

He encouraged me to sit in with him on his show at ABC studios, and encouraged me to weigh in on his famous nightly talk show. He, I, and his co-host at the time would then walk late at night to an ice cream place they loved. And they talked about the world. I listened.

Through the years, I would see Barry perhaps once every few years, talk to him briefly on the phone in between, occasionally email to fill him in on my latest novel. Always, he was an encourager.

Yes, Barry Farber was brilliant, articulate, a precision-thinker with uncanny wit. But, he was also a gentleman. No matter the argument, there was a grace about him on his show, and in person. There was a profound respect for his fellow man.

He personally guided me into an understanding of Israel, the Israeli people, and that remarkable country–whose leaders he knew very well, for a very long time. I gained a world-view and appreciation from my exposure to him, both in person and on the air.

I learned to extend my hand out to others, to help them accomplish their goals. He unselfishly helped me, when he did not even know me, and I learned to help others in like kind.

Mostly, since I admired him, and his grace under fire, I gained the ability in my writing to face some of the toughest issues and people in the world today. If you know me, or my work at all, you have an inkling.

So, how do I say thank you to someone I barely knew? To someone who touched my life by chance a long time ago, but whose influence was profound and enduring?

As I said in the previous Blog, you live, ’til you die. I am quite confident Barry Farber did just that–if his daughter’s tweet is any indication. He was a country boy who “died with his boots on.”

LIVE ’til You Die

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on LIVE ’til You Die

Some few decades ago, I realized something. For me, it was profound. Who knows what it will be for you. But, this is the truth, my friends. None of us gets out of this gig called life alive. We have bodies that are mortal, and they will die. All of us are in the process of dying, just some are doing it faster than others.

During this pandemic, so many in America today are suffering from a paralyzing fear that they are going to die. And they, and some in our governments, seem obsessed with living in such a way as to avoid dying. Talk about setting yourself up for a loss. Your body will die, and to make all choices in one’s life in the hope of not dying sets one up for failure. It is a game you can not win.

My personal belief is that you are an immortal being, but that our bodies are not. And from the time I embarked upon my careers in entertainment and business, it was somehow a given that I would—as they say in the West-“die with my boots on.”

My late husband “died with his boots on” very unexpectedly and quickly, and young. He was sitting at his computer in the middle of an email to his most troublesome client when he was stricken. There was nothing that could have saved him. His body was shot. But, until that last minute, he was living.

So my advice to all who have been frightened by this hidden, mysterious viral enemy, or who have been scared witless by the Armageddon worshipers known as the Media, or who are terrified of the helpless feeling they are experiencing right now, is: LIVE, ’til you die.

Before you get your underwear in a twist, I did not say live criminally. I did not say live recklessly. I did not say live selfishly. I simply said, LIVE!

Give thanks for the life you have, and even more for the opportunity you have to create the life of your dreams. Embrace your work. Strive towards higher goals every day that you are here–goals which uplift, inspire, encourage, and empower others–strive with an optimistic, expectant outlook.

I learned along the way that my vision will give a vision to someone else. Yours will too. My challenge to myself was to make sure that my vision was not a nightmare, however. Then charge, my friends! Embrace the challenge. In short: LIVE ’til you die.

Social Distancing & the First Amendment

Published / by Lee Kessler / 4 Comments on Social Distancing & the First Amendment

The First Amendment to the Constitution includes the five freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, the Right to Petition, and the Right to Assemble Peaceably.

Webster’s defines assemble as: “to meet together.” And defines assembly as: “a body of persons gathered together (as for discussing and making laws, worship, or entertainment)”

The right to peaceful assembly has long been an underpinning to our Republic. The people have the right to come together–even to march in protest–if the assembly is peaceful. As simple as it sounds, it is one of the proud elements that distinguishes us from other authoritarian or totalitarian governments and societies.

Today, in order to handle a real medical threat, Americans are voluntarily surrendering one of their First Amendment Rights for the good of their fellow countrymen. Our federal government, and most certainly our state governments are demanding of us that we “social distance,” which encompasses everything from staying 6 feet away from a neighbor while walking your dog, to standing 6-10 behind someone at the grocery store, to the inability to attend any movie, concert, church or restaurant gatherings, sporting events, work, classes, business conferences, and even political rallies.

Our freedom to assemble is temporarily suspended. When this pandemic has passed, and when people are allowed to engage again in the life they knew before we were told to stay away from each other, please make sure that your FULL right to assembly is restored. History has shown that once rights are suspended, they very often are not fully restored. There in fact occurs an erosion of the rights–always promoted as being in the “public good.”

We should and will be responsible citizens toward our brethren, but in my opinion we must be on guard for those within our government who will push our President to maintain some “social distancing,” even while allowing most gatherings to resume.

You never want to relinquish your right to march in the streets in peaceful protest. You never want to relinquish your right to call for a meeting to discuss the issues relevant to your work, your religion, or your government. You never want to relinquish your right to invite however many people you want and can afford to your wedding. You never want to allow your business expansion to be limited to only “so many people.” You never want to surrender your right to have as many customers in your establishment as the Fire Department allows, and the customers will tolerate.

I know for a fact that in Communist China, the citizens do not have the right to assemble. Meetings of only a very small size are allowed, and even those have to be permitted, and will be monitored by a political officer. For totalitarians have always known that if the people can not get together in locations–if they can be kept physically separated– they can be subjugated and controlled. And, even more importantly, they can not plot, let alone execute an overthrow of the regime that is enslaving them.

A long way from life in America you say? It was. But, now a perfect out-of- our-control phenomenon that kills people may have changed that. If we are alert, and vigilant, and desirous of our normal freedoms, we will return to our normal life.

But, mark my words, as soon as the virus has passed, someone in Washington will start lobbying for a “new normal” in how often and how much we can associate with each other, and assemble in crowds and groups. It will happen. It will be justified by the goal of saving lives in the future. If we just permanently revoke some of our current freedoms, we can insure that people in the future will be safer. That will be the case that is made, and it will be forced upon the President.

This is an argument that a particular political group (not a party, as members of both major parties subscribe to this philosophy) uses in every area: use of land restrictions, use of natural resources, medical responses, gun ownership battles, use of dangerous medications. The group always promotes the need to sacrifice the “now” for the “future” and has always been willing to trod on the rights of us living today for some vision they have of a future. They have a fear of the future, and instead of working to create the future they desire, they usually resort to limiting our freedoms today, in the hopes that such action will eliminate the future they fear.

It is driven by incompetence. Lacking confidence that they have the competency, they restrict the thought, voice, and movement of anyone who might be more competent.

Please take heed here. I am writing this from my bunker in Florida–dutifully doing what I can to help my fellow Americans. I do not have resentment, and I do not think it is necessarily an unwise choice in the “present” For the moment. But, if we are not allowed to return to our forms of entertainment; if businesses never recover because we are not allowed to assemble in the restaurants or at the ball fields, or the theme parks, and beaches; if permits for demonstrations are denied because there would be too many people in too much proximity; if voting at the voting booths is eliminated for a far more corruptible mail in-vote; if candidates are restricted as to the size of their rallies; if we are not allowed to fly again, and not allowed to create major business conventions, you will read a very different message from me.

For now, wait, serve your countrymen, and be vigilant when normalcy returns. Observe EVERY politician in Washington, or every bureaucrat, who wants you to surrender part of the First Amendment. Do not allow them to do that.

The next Blogs: “He Took the Bait.” And “None Dare Call it Sedition”