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17 min read

Videos for you
And also Books

No matter who you are, we believe these videos are worth your time.

Forgiveness when he least deserved it​

Christian Picciolini was a skinhead from ages 14-22, with all of the hate and violence it implies.

But his life’s work is dedicated to helping people let go of hate and leave a skinhead or white-supremacist life.

Johnny Holmes, dad of one of his HS football teammates, was key to that turnaround, and all of the good work that has come from it.

Can anyone stop being a racist?

A twenty minute story of how Christian Picciolini first became a (self-described) racist skinhead and then came to found several anti-hate groups.

Can it be done? Can someone stop being a racist? That’s what Christian did. This is what Christian does with his life

Yes. Spend 20 minutes listening.

Research it for a decade.
Then tell the world.

Yeah, it sounds like an uncomfortable topic. But it is the #5 ranked TED talk of all time. Every human relationship that matters features human connection. What breaks connection? Shame. How to keep shame from blocking what matters? Vulnerability.

This will help your personal life.

This is also needed to solve society’s incredible divides.

Dr. Brene Brown, while doing her Ph.D. research, at her 2011 TEDxHouston speech.

Ever since she has been an in-demand public speaker.

Blame, Empathy, and short clips on connection

Shame is universal – Only sociopathic people don’t feel shame.. The more you hide it, the bigger the problem. It is the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me, that if people know or see it, will cause me to not be worthy connection? Shame is about the individual, unlike guilt, which is about the behavior of the individual.

Are you worthy of love? Yes. Are you good enough? Of course. But what about the people who don’t believe that? They’re incorrect. But nevertheless! Imagine a society filled with people who don’t feel worthy of connection….

Less blame, more empathy helps…

A playlist of some worthy, short Brene Brown videos. The first two are only 3 minutes

Brene Brown’s words: Whole hearted people have courage, compassion, and connection. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them amazing. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being excruciating, they just talked about it being necessary (for the great parts of life).. They talked about being willing to do something when there are no guarantees of what the outcome will be. They talked about a willingness to invest in a relationship that may not work out. They were willing to let go of anyone’s ideas of who they “Should” be – and instead have the courage to be their actual, authentic yet imperfect selves, and to try. In effect, they were like the Man in The Arena from Theodore Roosevelt’s quote – (paraphrased) “what matters not is what the critic says while sitting in the stands, but rather, what is done by the man in the arena, because even when he fails, he does so while daring greatly.”

Which Tribe(s) do you belong to?

Sebastian Junger knows what it means to be a combat infantryman in war – see the movie Restrepo. What would make a soldier want to be deployed again to a wartime post?

How about being critically needed by 30 people around you and similarly critically needing those same 30 people, with everyone dependent on one another for safety? A primal communal experience of brotherhood and connectedness. A band of brothers. One form of a tribe. Do you truly belong to a tribe? Maybe you should…

15 minutes of Sebastian Junger talking about an idea – the truly tribal experience of soldiers in a platoon.

Thank any soldier for their service, and then shut up and listen to him or her after you ask them if there are any stories they want to share of their experiences.

Support the troops. Understand their life.

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington were embedded with the 173rd Airborne in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan in 2010, at the outpost “Restrepo.” Their lives depended on each other, and Sebastian did everything the soldiers did except carry a weapon.

What does it mean in life to have bullets from hostile fire pass inches in front of your nose? To have your life completely depend on the 30 men around you, and only them? Listen to Sebastian’s experiences in this YouTube video, at least for 25 minutes of it.

One part of supporting troops is to understand what they live through. War is Hell. And yet…well, let Sebastian tell you.

Tell people WHY

Here at OnPoliticz, we tell you why.

Why do we do what we do?

We seek to spread love to all of humanity. Part of it may stem from religious beliefs – a vague Christian ethic. But mostly, I knew my grandparents well, and I knew their sacrifices to come to America or to achieve a higher socioeconomic status.

I believe in a world where everyone has a decent chance to become what they want. Not just as lip service, but in a way that matters socially, economically, and practically. And that probably requires political capability to enable people broadly to strive.

Join the team at if you also believe.

Currently the #4 ranked TED talk ever (was #3) explains the importance of WHY.

Create Leaders.

Expand Leadership

Simon Sinek says many ideas similar to what Sebastian Junger says about tribal groups and what makes leadership – actual leadership that garners genuine respect.

When the leader puts the organization first, remarkable things happen.

At OnPoliticz, we seek to do this, and that means we seek to only add people who put people first. People in the organization, and people outside of the organization, and even people who hate the organization.

Remember, we want to show love to everyone.

Currently the #4 ranked TED talk ever (was #3) explains the importance of WHY.

Put the lessons of these three thinkers together and what you get is a theme of connectedness, of imperfection, of authenticity, of courage, of meaning, and how any society can be a whole, interconnected unit that leaves its members feeling a sense of belonging beyond anything most of us know in modern society.

Some of our Thinkers really (and we mean really) make us think, like this next group.

I didn’t know I want that, but yes, I want it.

Malcolm Gladwell seeks out the intersection of interesting stories and social science research and uses them in his books and speaking engagements. He takes years between books, but the result is a collection of stories which builds to a point, and regardless of whether you agree or not, his work is thought provoking.

Malcolm Gladwell has his critics. But he authentically brings a unique perspective as the son of an English Mathematician and Jamaican Psychotherapist, born in England, raised in Canada, and worked in the USA for a while as an undocumented immigrant.

Most videos of Malcolm Gladwell are interesting but long – about an hour in length.

This 12 minute video explores how a scientist and then consumers proved that people can’t always tell you what they really want.

This next thinker is only being invoked for one topic – the Psychology of Crowds – because he is one of the only people in the history of the world to write about the subject, and he was the first to publish anything in a field that has very little literature.

Can anyone start to make sense of an angry mob (crowd)? Yes.

Many readers of Gustave Le Bon’s book, Crowd Psychology say that it foreshadows what happened in Nazi Germany. But he lived through the reign of lesser known French Emperor Napoleon III, a man who had a referendum vote to determine if he should become Emperor of France that had a 97% yes rate.

Yeah, that 97% seems high. Faked. Why? Behavior of crowds from 1860-1870. And don’t forget crowd behavior in the French Revolution.

Gustave Le Bon’s literal words were written in French, 150 years ago, but this video captures the essence of his ideas.

Do these ideas seem to capture the basics of how and why crowds (and angry mobs) behave differently than the individuals who join them?

All but one of the above were quick videos. Below is content that is longer but still worthy. We even go so far as to recommend you read a book or two. (gasp! horror!)


A short read. Inexpensive cost, invaluable experience.

There is no financial relationship between Sebastian, the publishers and this website.
It is just a really good book.

Imperfection, Vulernability

If you already know Brene Brown, you may already have come to embrace her message: If you are numbing your grief, sorrow, sadness, you are also numbing your joy, happiness, and excitement, and thus learning to live with vulnerability is the only way to really be alive, despite the fear it may initially incite.

And if you don’t, then maybe you should consider reading a Brene Brown book, and this would be a good start.

There is no financial arrangement between this website and Brene Brown, the publisher, or anyone else. We just recommend the book broadly.

Expert Secrets

A phenomenal read for entrepreneurs and people looking to build sales funnels, especially of online products.

Admittedly, it is a little bit off topic of civic virtue, Love of your fellow man, and freedom/liberty. Sure. But Russel Brunson’s book inspired us, specifically about the part where there is a hero’s journey – of growth, of leadership, of self-determination – to improve his/her village.

A Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Doris Kearns Goodwin dove deep into primary sources of secondary figures – the rivals and their beloved family members of the Cabinet of Abrham Lincoln. Abe was initially seen as a vacuous country bumpkin who lacked the vision, the cunning, the drive, and the force of personality necessary to be anything other than yet another forgettable member of a long string of forgettable Presidents since 1840’s Henry Harrison, who had died of Pneumonia months after inauguration. Lincoln put men who dismissively assumed he was inferior inside his team, on his cabinet.

Part of how we know this is Doris Kearns Goodwins relentless research into the letters that these men wrote to their wives, their children, and others. Each of the three defeated rivals comes to life as a fully fleshed out human being, which makes perhaps our greatest President ever even all the more amazing. Salomon Chase, Edward Bates, and William Seward had titanic egos and were powerful men.

It is useful for anyone to read about Lincoln’s greatness in turning Bates & Seward into unshakeable teammates and Chase and doddering Union generals into useful tools in America’s most dire moments of need. A hefty, well researched book to read cover-to-cover.

War – politics by another means

Very methodical. Very rigorous. Disciplined. Ordered. Very much the work of a 19th century Prussian military general.

It explains why war means crossing a red line, why each one is different, how it is inherently political, all in a way that makes so many decisions in past wars seem more rational, and why it might be so common in certain points of history. Deutschephones would probably prefer to read it in its original German publication. Perhaps it is a testament to Prussian discipline that 150 years later it moderately easy to read given how meaty and complex its topic is – just one little nasty brutish word – War. By Carl von Clausewitz

Rules for Rulers / Dictator’s Handbook

We admit we are influenced by this book, The Dictator’s Handbook, by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. Or rather, we are influenced by the video made by CGP Grey that outlines the themes and ideas of the book.

Specifically, rules 0, 1, 2, and 3 all seem to make sense for Dictators. We are less confident about how those rules work in functioning democratic republics – but as a first pass, sure, they seem accurate. We’re unsure why we hesitate, but we do. We always work to be honest with ourselves so we can be as honest as possible with the public.

Since we’ve never read a thing from the book, it is unethical to put the book alone without the video (which we have studied many times).

America’s Immigration Waves – Our Ethnicity History

The Ethnic Dimension in American History, by James S Olson (modern revisions by his daughter)

The USA has had many waves of immigration, and all of them have a say on what the country is today. Most of them have an identifiable start and stop, often resulting in Ethnic Enclaves (AKA Chinatown, or Little Italy), impact on society and labor, and intermarriage rates which often impact how long a group maintains a distinctly identifiable neighborhood. And the very last thing a person from that new American community loses as a connection to the home culture is the food.

Some of the waves are absolutely distinct. The Mexican migrants might finally be slowing to a trickle as Mexico approaches OECD status and democratic republic social structures – but the rest of Latin America and South America may never be distinguished from Mexicans by those with disdain for all Immigrants.

Of course, America’s relationship with the descendants of international human trafficking and enslavement have some documentation and a clear start and stop, Emmett Till and George Floyd are but two of the many names that should give us pause to ask:

Who is an American?
Who gets to set the standard of whom shall be an American?
Who sets the social standard for how new Americans are to be treated?

Well, there’s nothing quite like reading the history of what our past answers to this have been.
Note that the New York Times has an interesting modern “Mea Culpa” on “Irish Need Not Apply