407 Comments
Apr 11Liked by Heather Lofthouse

I always enjoy your autobiographical posts. These personal essays reveal not only a very gifted person, but one who is (despite your many successes) a very humble public servant, which is rare, especially in the current state of such political savagery.

Thank you Dr. Reich.

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Deborah I echo your applause and praise for the very gifted Robert Reich. I offer a thought for you to ponder and that is this: there are thousands of very humble brilliant public servants. They do their jobs with a fire in the belly (passion) to do well and do it right. I worked 30 years for US Fish and Wildlife and, with extreme rare exception, smart ppl (public servants) happily and with great dedication performed their jobs day in and day out. I, for one, never forgot I worked for the American people.

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I agree with you! I worked for OSHA for 30 years and I worked with such dedicated people who truly wanted to keep people safe and healthy so they could come home to their families at the end of the day and enjoy retirement when the time came. They were humble brilliant public servants!

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Yes, people need to be reminded of our wonderful Federal Workers who are at risk if a “certain person” wins in Nov. We take “you” for granted - so let’s talk you up to our friends and neighbors. I’ve always found “you” so well informed, helpful; we need “you” in so many ways but don’t know it!

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I worked 30 years with SSA/OHA,and agree that federal employees worked hard and tried their best to remain politically neutral. Butbthe threats by Trump to dismantle the federal bureaucracy, discourage that neutrality.

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Alan, I agree, ppl are more likely to share their political leaning, but nonetheless my experience is that nearly everyone continues to execute the function of their public service with passion and honor and neutrality.

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Deborah, your post speaks for me, too. Dr.Robert’s starting his day drawing, light-heartedly, has inspired me among the millions of us. His drawings are wonderful, whimsical and powerful. As a retired Art Teacher/Interior Designer, an Artist, who needs and wants to return to her easel, post surgery. I’ve been wanting to start an “active centering meditation” to start my day.

“A Drawing Day Start” is just right for me, after Daily Affirmations between Reading favorite authors on SubStack columns, Dr Reich’s is my 1st am Read.

My creativity and I Thank you, Dr Robert Reich for your Inspiration, and sharing your Drawings! Kali H.

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He truly is an inspiration. Pure inspiration. He's amazing.

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and a very interesting, meaningful life.

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Apr 11Liked by Robert Reich, Heather Lofthouse

I want to read THE ADVENTURES OF ITCHY THE MOSQUITO!

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Yeah! Please publish itchy or re-do a story board or something.

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So do I!

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That reminded me of the adventure stories I wrote about kids or animals or dinosaurs accompanied with drawings I made. It's something I wish I had kept up beyond my single digit years.

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founding

You can still do it, Jaime. 😀

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That title "tickled" me too!

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Me, too!!

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I concur!

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I heard ITCHY was involved in a RAID!

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Me, too!

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founding

Me, too!

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It could be a good fundraiser!

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It would be a bestseller!

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Your combination of thoughts, art and humor (and intelligence) is always a bright spot in my day.

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Perhaps it’s time to draw more of trumpet 🎺 with Money 💰 bags as prominent articles his to get the full measure of the man…

Or would that be the full measure of POLTICS in general ???

Just saying…

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I was going to write some things in high praise of this remarkable essay. But so many others have said it much better than I ever could. Let me just say that I deeply appreciate you, Robert, as we all. Keep it up, please!

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founding

Same !

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Ditto!! I appreciate your creativity and talent with words and drawings.

Thanks for sharing it with us!!

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👍

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I always appreciate it when an artist shares their process. Thank your for sharing!

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You are an absolute treasure of this great country!!I love your drawings and your writing!

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Robert, you draw because of the old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Just think of the time you've saved. Thanks for all that you do.

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My dad told me of the time he had to take a test, & just wrote on it "a picture is worth a thousand words". Well, that got him an "F". Maybe if he actually drew a picture rather than leaving the paper blank...

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founding

A budding John Cage. 😀

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Jaime--Great story.

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Yes, and that is why I so appreciate Haiku and 10 minute plays !

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The drawings are a delight. Instructive, subversive, funny, sometimes laugh out loud hilarious. It’s your gift to make us smile while grappling with disaster, reminding us to never give up. Thank you!

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"subversive" ? yes but in a good way. . . I agree.

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Your caricature of Mitch McConnell is better than any political cartoonist I know of has done.

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What a gift to think in pictures! It takes me back to middle school when the boys always drew on their cloth-covered notebooks (mostly airplanes, I recall) while the girls collected autographs. Every time I'm tempted to order from Amazon, I'm going to think of Bezos with the dollars coming out of his head. Thank you!

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Nice comment. I especially liked "think in pictures". I never thought about that before. (I was one of the boys who drew "airplanes" in my notebook.)

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I drew monsters, race cars and superheroes. lol.

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I drew animals, including dinosaurs, trees & planets.

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Interesting. So you drew circles? (planets) Did you fill in the circles with what you thought the planets look like?

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I was into astronomy. It was planets of various sizes, colors & configurations (like presence of rings), along with moons & other heavenly bodies. I did a series of stories about a boy who had a rocket & visited planets & moons, which had their own unique creatures.

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Now you can imagine that boy meeting Itchy the Mosquito on another planet.

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You were into (I was out-of) astronomy. I didn't give a flying flip about what what out there, and still don't. However, I am glad there are you and others who do. Thanks for taking time to explain. I appreciate it.

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founding

I was always drawing horses.

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As a young kid one stepped on my foot. Sad to say, I've not liked horses since. I could enjoy drawing dogs, however.

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founding

Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear that. Well, maybe an English sheepdog or a corgi then.

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Good idea, but no. I would rather draw a cocker spaniel. Back in my 30's I had one and still today I could cry over her death. My eyes are watering now.

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founding

I can imagine. I still miss all my former pets.

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That’s why I look forward to your daily Substack. Each day brings me an enlightening insight into your thoughts about how we got here and you end the week with a cartoon for everyone to take part in on Sunday.

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The world needs more creativity. Thank you

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Yes, but not the Trump kind.

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I’m impressed, your itchy mosquito drawing has the proper amount of legs. 🦵 seriously though, you have a wonderful talent with your skills at both writing & illustration. ;-)

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founding

And it really works! I feel itchy just looking at it.

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Creativity at its finest

Distilling the complex to the easily understood

A picture is worth a thousand words

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Brilliant, I love it Robert!

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Sigh as often happens I should be sleeping when your posts appear.

I am jealous.

I have lost much and almost certainly will lose more.

I didn't enjoy my life so far, and expect I will not enjoy the rest of it.

I cannot draw.

Another thing to be jealous of.

I am going back to bed, and hope when I wake up, I am more hopeful and can find a positive path forward

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Apr 11·edited Apr 12

Is there anything you need in the way of help right now? I just read the book "Slow Noodles." It just came out. The woman who wrote it escaped from Cambodia during the days of the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnam War. She lost so many things, as did her family. I read the book for several reasons, but the one thing that really attracted me was that she said in a radio interview that even if you have lost everything, you can still be hopeful of finding happiness. The book cover is GORGEOUS and very unusual. She includes so many of her mother's recipes, right down to the enth detail of how to prepare them. (It is a cookbook/autobiography/ memoir.) She was in an interview on NPR/WPLN, 90.3 FM, wpln.org, on Feb. 20, on the program "This Is Nashville." Her name is Chantha Nguon, and you can go online and listen to it. She really rebuilt her life and accomplished a lot of good after the 10 years of hell that she had to go through. She and her daughter both live in Nashville now. This is a book you can't put down, it is so beautifully written . . . it just flows.

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Thank you for sharing.

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I hope you do too Fred! I've found connections to people make all the difference in my life. Your post touched me, as it did others, keep reaching put if you're able. Sending positive energy!

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I like one of the following to perk me up:

Any interview with Simon Rosenberg.

The BBC's Repair Shop.

Apollo and frens (about an African gray parrot learning words).

Right now I'm gonna get off my consarned computer and take a breath of fresh air outside.

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Great suggestions & yes, being outside in nature is daily reprieve!

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Hi, Fred. Speaking only personally, I find that it takes some courage for me to go to youtube each day and watch Israel and Trump videos. When I find that is getting me down I switch to Rodney Dangerfield and Marx Brothers videos. I don't know what makes you feel the way you do but engaging in the ugly politics of the day couldn't help any.

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I like George Carlin and other assorted comedians YouTubes for me as well. Also I like inappropriate memes for kicks.

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Neither can I but I can read. That's enough.

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I was very saddened to read your note here, Fred. When you were a child, someone must have den integrated your early efforts at drawing thereby severely bruising your developing ego. Unfortunately You took this criticism to heart and allowed it to fester over the years to the point where you now believe it to be true. I am here to call BS on the cruel person or persons who did that to you. Never mind what reasons they may have had

to do so. There’s no excuse for foisting their own ignorance and cruelty on a young child. I tell you this because I suffered similar experiences growing up. I instinctively knew I had talent and grew angry every time someone, especially a teacher, said something mean to me. I was determined to prove them wrong.

Bottom line: I have been a professional illustrator, designer and writer and have had a busy, satisfying career for 50+ years. When I taught illustration at a private art school and at a major university, I related my own experiences to my students to encourage them to pursue their own path in the arts whatever that would be. A number of them became well-known creative professionals in time and have remained in my life as friends.

I don’t know how old you are, but I would remind you to look to Grandma Moses as an example of an artist whose life made it nearly impossible for her to take up her craft until she was quite elderly. Where naïve painting is concerned, she has become a household word.

Never give up! Everyone has something of value to impart to the world.

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Wheb I was about 12 years old, I wrote my first short story...it turned out to be my LAST until I was about 60 years old and took writing classes at night school at the local junior college. My parents laughed long and loudly! It was a "romantic" story and I said, "they looked at each other with lovelight in their eyes." Where I got that, I haven't a clue. But their utter disregard for my overly-sensitive feelings really curtailed my attempt at creativity. Turned out I was a pretty good writer and got "A's" in every writing and poetry class I took.

So, Fred, you can see that a lot of folks have tried to come to your rescue. We care! We're all in this (incarnation) together, Fred. For God's sake, don't listen to news you don't like! And try to do as the old song says: "Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don't mess with Mr. In-between!"

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Fred,

every person on this Earth is a unique, gifted human being. It sounds like you might have not received the attention and support you needed in your youth

I'd like to encourage You to discover your own unique strengths, because from my personal journey I know everybody has at least one...

And if you want to draw - just draw and have fun. Nobody becomes good without practice.

I'd like to encourage you to google the poem "Desiderata" and read the whole thing - it's a great "prescription" for living...

Here is my favorite quote:

"You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here [...]

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

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Hope things improve.I like cycling.This of course depends on the climate where you live and the infrastructure.

My city has perhaps 1500 miles of top quality cycle paths and is very flat. Parrots and cockatoos have a wonderful sense of humour,they seem to sit in the trees and wait,then drop honky nuts ( gum nuts) on people, then cackle if they hit the target.

The city is a melting pot of different nationalities and students from all over the world.A very large transient and permanent immigrant population.

At the minute for some reason people from Bhutan are everywhere,they come here to study at university.They have me/us very keen to holiday there and revisit temples in Cambodia.Entry into Bhutan seems difficult for tourists,but it looks stunningly beautiful.A young Irish girl here on a working holiday visa has given me orders.Like a lot of countries we need young people.She wants to stay here so I have to be a bigamist.I marry her if she cannot get permanent residency,she then gets permanent residency ( perhaps).I have to keep it a secret from the good lady.

Podcasts are good.As very few people know anything about Australia then a UK podcast called The bugle is very funny.Comedians from all over the world just having a chat.

An Australian/ Japanese journalist ( Yumi Taguchi) has a TV programme called insight.Ordinary people just discussing the many tribulations/trials that life throws at you.I slowly catch up with it,watched a one from 3 weeks ago called guilt,it is brilliant.I think she has a podcast now called Insightful which expands on the TV programme.

With a financial background I like a podcast where people explain how they built a company.Look for a Graham (Skroo) Turner podcast for how he built his company,Flight centre ..Skroo is good fun and very down to earth.

The Wal mart museum shows how a company is built,original documents,history etc.Profit sharing for employees and employee share purchase plans.The museum is online and well worth looking at.The $16.50 for 1 share that after splits is just over 6000 shares and has a value of $350 to $380 K depending on price fluctuations through the year.Why it has 2 different charities,Wal mart charity and Walton family trust charity.

There is just so much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it.

I really would give cycling a try .For mental health,fun and excersise and keeping the doctors happy it is wonderful.Stops me and the lady from killing each other if we have to spend all day together😀.

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