A twisted story


MSNBC unearths three-year-old interview with Trump in Moscow: ‘I do have a relationship’ with Putin



GOP nominee Donald Trump has been facing scrutiny recently for his alleged ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this week, Trump came under fire for suggesting that Russian hackers should “find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” In the same press conference, given in Florida on Wednesday, Trump said, “I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius.”

Trump also said he hopes Putin “likes me” if elected.

But MSNBC unearthed an interview from three years ago that suggests Trump not only knows Putin, but also was aware Putin was monitoring him in some fashion. The interview was conducted by MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts in Moscow, ahead of a Miss Universe pageant.

“I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today,” Trump told Roberts, when asked about his relationship with Putin. “He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form. But I do have a relationship with him and I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened.”
He then reiterated his frequent praise of Putin as a leader while disparaging President Barack Obama.

“I mean look, he’s done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and what he’s representing,” Trump said. “If you look at what he’s done with Syria, if you look at so many of the different things, he has really eaten our president’s lunch, let’s not kid ourselves.”

Trump claimed in an interview Wednesday with CBS that, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”

Roberts asked Republican strategist and Trump campaign surrogate Boris Epshteyn to explain Trump’s comments.
Epshteyn said the “relationship” Trump was describing didn’t extend beyond Putin following what Trump was doing in Moscow.

“Of course the Russian president would notice that somebody of that stature was in Moscow,” he said. “What he said yesterday was that there was no business dealings between in him and Vladimir Putin.”

Epshteyn then tried to steer to subject to what was in the email hacks on the Democratic National Convention. The FBI is investigating the hacks, but they are suspected to have been carried out by Russians, possibly connected to the government.


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We are now down to the business part of the election cycle. Trump has said many things that fact checkers call baloney.  It will be interesting to see if Trump and the Russians are in bed together. This could be dangerous for America and the whole world. we are at an intersection in world history now. We made history last night. What else is coming for humanity?




The Ordinary Truth

What one determined woman can accomplish

What one determined woman can accomplish

Rosa Parks was right. We need to each live our lives to the best of their ability. Actually, there are ordinary truths and eloquent truths. The ordinary truth is that some artists can earn six figures for their work. Most of us can’t make that money with our creative endeavors. The eloquent truth is that this harsh fact does not mean you can’t live a authentic life.

Our creativity is a gnawing within us. There is something within that wants to come out. The really bad times is when it is scratching at you to get out and you are blocked. The ordinary truth is that you will make mistakes and not be able to produce what is alive and well within. We all fall short sometimes.

The eloquent truth is that this need not defeat you. Artists must never give up. You were given a gift and while you may not be Monet, you have a gift that must be expressed. What others say or don’t say about this doesn’t matter. The important thing is to use what The One gives to you. It is a part of you and it is a large piece of what makes you authentic. Being real not being or doing what others tell you, but being loyal to yourself. This is authenticity. As we reckon with our existence, we become more real, more authentic.

Love is real

Love is real

Another part of being authentic is loving yourself, loving the gift you have been given, refusing to think of it as a burden. And the hardest part is to not compare yourself to others. We are brought up to be competitive and that is not the way of the creative soul.

To live an authentic life is a challenge as well as a gift. And it is also a spiritual practice. Not in the sense that you are attending a church, synagogue, or temple. But in that you allow your talent and your spirit to meet and create. Art is a practical skill, a relational skill, it is gripping and consuming. It is genius and shines like a starry night.

It is also confusing, confounding, tedious, exhausting and frightening.

“The dream is always running ahead. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that is the miracle” —Anais Nin

We have freedom to create, to write, to sing, to paint, to draw. The challenge is to use it. Use all of it as long as you are still drawing breath. As long as we can draw breath, we can create meaning in this world. I have often thought about all of the artists who receive no credit for their work while they are alive. It is as if the work is insignificant. Then when they die, people are sad and they miss this creative being. They open their eyes because of the hole left because that person is not there any longer. They open their eyes and see, really see what has been there in front of them for so long. They declare it beautiful, stimulating, moving, heart stopping. That creative person can’t hear the compliments but they flow through the air like invisible rose petals on a breeze. And then the truth becomes eloquent. This person had a beautiful talent. I didn’t realize. I am speechless, but your creations are not speechless and will speak for you always. And someone will come along and they will see or hear your work and it will give them the courage to pick up their gift and dust it off. And they will speak with authenticity because you did.

Being creative is not easy. We are different from so many others, our lives are not always easy but you leave a shimmer, a glow in this old world. You create and it makes the world sparkle. So get out there and shimmer and shine.

Sculpture garden in Windsor, Ontario. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 1997

Sculpture garden in Windsor, Ontario. Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 1997

Stand Up and Say No With Your Vote

“Traditionally, a woman’s life was not her own; she belonged first to daddy and then to husband. Indeed, she was raised with the expectation that she would be—literally, body and soul—–someone else’s. Today, women are claiming their lives. We still choose love and intimate relationship, but not as reasons for being. We can no longer live through others. ”
——Marilyn Sewell

Well, our most disgusting Congressman is now making apologies. Medical people told him incorrect information. He is so sorry. Yet, he spoke his truth. He said what he believes to be true and his thoughts and spoken words insult and endanger all women. He apologized, what about the woman who just survived a rape and heard him with his sexist point of view. He made her feel as if she were violated once again. Like many in Congress, there are few who live what they talk. They talk very condescending about what women need. How can they understand a woman’s struggle in this life? They don’t walk in the shoes of a woman. They don’t worry about breast cancer, contraception, hysterectomies, pregnancy, labor and delivery, menopause, being treated like second class citizens.

What we should be showing them, that they have to worry about is our getting out in record numbers and voting the male and female sexists out of office. There are plenty of men of quality and women who care for women’s rights to make up a Congress that is ‘for the people and by the people’. Even if you don’t feel strongly about how the elections in the next two years will effect you, think of the younger generations of young people coming up behind us.

These young people deserve not to live in a society that is rampant with violence and where racism and sexism deny American citizens their rights. So few people have read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. We need more than sound bites to understand what is happening in this, our country, our America.
It is tempting to turn a blind eye to the news and politics some days. If we do that though, we will end up with tyrants and dictators and women and minorities will be the ones to suffer the most. So stand up and be proud that you are a women and “Let them hear you roar!” You get one life; live it freely in control of your choices and your bodies.

The Path to The One

Creation Picture from The Gathas of Zarathushtra

The Zorathushtra is the Prophet of the Zoroastrian religion. Zarathushtra is believed to be the first in human history to have founded a religion based on the ethical values of Truth and Justice. He taught that there was one God and his name was Ahura Mazda, Lord of Life and Wisdom. It is considered to be the most ancient of the revealed religions.

It is not known exactly when Zarathushtra lived or when the Gathas were composed. The Greeks considered him a very ancient prophet and placed him around 6000 BC.

The language the Gathas were written in is called Gathic or Old Avestan to distinguish them from the later tests, such as the Rig-Vida.

Zarathusthra describes himself as a Zaotar. He identified with oppressed peoples, the poor and downtrodden. His disciples defended the herders and the marginalized.

Even though many declare that there are many differences between religions or spiritual paths; there really are so many similarities. It is as if we could take all the similarities of God/Goddess/Divine Energy and put them all together as if it were a puzzle. I think if we put them together we would have a truer and more accurate picture of The One. I do want to stress that Zarthushtra was the first prophet to proclaim that there is one God. And God demands humans to choose The Truth and live by it. Mankind must also take responsibility for their actions.

In his position as prophet he prayed for himself because he knew that he would suffer much in his efforts to do what was best for mankind. He chose to live in truth and to teach how Ahura Mazda reaches out to all mankind with his blessings.

This is from the Gathas. It is Yasna 43. I think it is very beautiful.

“May that man of innate nobility
progress from good to greater good.
May he instruct us
concerning the straight paths of salvation in this
bodily life and that of the mind.
There are the paths
where Ahura Mazda Himself dwells.
And so your ardent devotee
becomes one like you, O Mazda,
resplendent in Wisdom.”

” Ahura Mazda’s First Thought
blazed into myriads of sparks of light
and filled the entire heavens.
He Himself, in His Wisdom,
is the Creator of Truth which
upholds His Supreme Mind.

When I held You in my mind’s eye,
then I realized You, O Mazda,
as the First and the Last for all of Eternity,
as the Father of Good Mind,
the true Creator of Truth,
and Lord over the actions of life.”

These translations are by Piloo Nanavutty.

I am so amazed and moved at how the different paths take us to The One and that ultimately we have hated without reason, fought wars for no reason, and failed to love others because they were different from us. This is not what humans are supposed to be doing. We are supposed to be living with compassion and love and caring for others. We can choose to change this. It will work to change one person at a time. If each of us live with compassion, love and caring we can make progress on the path to living the way The Eternal wants us to.

Women’s Quest for Her Own Story

Photo by Barbara Mattio

I have a secret passion. I love to read the journals that have been published hundreds of years ago. Especially, before women’s rights and our obtaining the vote with the passage of the nineteenth amendment. This is where you hear the truth in women’s stories, uncensored and unfiltered. In these  journals and diaries are the words the tears couldn’t express. Women’s lives so often are filled with silent screams. Feminism means to be able to articulate a self-consciousness about women’s identity.  An Identity not defined by the man, husband or father in her life. Not identified by how clean her house is or how quiet and well-scrubbed her children are.
In these journals I have found women’s stories to be presented only as  they relate to the events of men’s lives. In truth, these stories are tales of courage and strength we can only imagine since things have changed since the 1890’s.

Deborah Cameron has written, “What does it mean to be unambiguously a woman?” It means to put a man at the center of one’s story  and to allow only what honors his prime position. At this present time, many men are looking to put women back into this role. It is a role we must not accept, as we have our own stories to write as much as they do.

Autobiographies of women too often show images of denying both accomplishment and suffering. Yet these are the meat of women’s stories. Now that there is a growing wish to silence women once again, and put us in our place, I believe we need to speak up without hesitation. Our words will be the light shining forth to future generations of women and men.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

” The Moon is always female.”—Marge Piercy