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Donald Trump’s Black Voter Delusion

Michael K. Fauntroy is associate professor of political science at Howard University and the author of the book Republicans and the Black Vote. His next book, More than Just Partisanship: Conservatism and Black Voter Suppression will be published next year by New York University Press.

Donald Trump recently ramped up his Black voter outreach in the wake of poll after poll showing him failing to overcome a historically weak Democratic nominee in his bid for the White House. His Black outreach is equal parts condescension and bluster. He talked down to Black voters recently pointing out, inaccurately and out of context, that “you’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth are unemployed” before asking “What do you have to lose?” He also stated that he would get 95% of Black votes in his reelection campaign. Taken separately, these and other statements can charitably be said represent a deep misunderstanding of Black voters and Black life in America. Collectively, these statements reflect a deep delusion on the part of a candidate who has a history of race baiting.

Like most Republican nominees during the last eight decades, Trump has plenty of room for improvement. Credible recent polls show him with one or two percent support among Black voters. This is astonishingly low even among Republican nominees. If he ends up with two percent in November, then he would get half of what the 2008 nominee, John McCain, received in the historic election of Americas first Black President.

In the 22 presidential elections since 1936, for which even rudimentary polling was conducted, no Republican nominee has won a majority of Black votes. Only one, Thomas Dewey in 1944, received 40 percent, the high water mark in more than 75 years of presidential campaigns. Only three, Wendell Willkie, Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, and Richard Nixon in 1960, got between 30 and 39 percent. More recent Republican nominees have done consistently worse. In the last 10 elections, only Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Bob Dole in 1996 won 12 percent of the Black vote. Even setting aside the historic Barack Obama-induced headwinds facing John McCain in 2008 (four percent) and Mitt Romney in 2012 (six percent), GOP nominees since 1968 have largely been in the 10 to 15 percent range among African Americans. Trump is on the verge of a historically bad performance. After all, even Barry Goldwater won six percent of the Black vote in a treacherous 1964 campaign.

Trump’s “outreach” assumes that a few events in which he cynically mentions Black people is all that will be necessary to win over large numbers of African Americans to his cause. This strategy only works if Black voters are suddenly overtaken by amnesia and forget the many ways in which he has previously treated Black people. Unfortunately for Trump, there is a decades-long track record to show who he really is. He took out a full-page newspaper ad in April 1989 calling for a return of the death penalty in the wake of the infamous “Central Park 5.” The ad poured rhetorical gasoline on the anger many Whites felt over the five Black kids, the oldest of whom was 16, who were arrested for brutally beating and raping a White woman. They confessed under duress and without counsel present. Years later someone else confessed to the crime. DNA at the crime scene confirmed his guilt and the innocence of the falsely convicted. Trump has never apologized or acknowledged his inflammatory rhetoric during this period.

He joined up with racists when he became the most prominent among the far right birthers who repeatedly alleged that President Obama was not born in the United States. He elevated his profile among White racial conservatives by using his broad platform to traffic the false claims. Ignoring the evidence of Obama’s Hawaiian birth, he claimed that his investigators found that he was not born in the United States. He never produced evidence, just headlines. When proven false, rather than acknowledge his wrongness, he talked about the “service” he provided by keeping the issue in the news. Even now he cannot bring himself to acknowledge that he was wrong on all the facts about Obama’s birthplace.

The birth certificate foolishness, moreso than anything else he has said or done during the campaign, has made him radioactive in the Black community. Even Black people who are lukewarm to Obama understand the racist undercurrent of birtherism. They also understand that Trump led the charge in stoking the flames of birtherism. Questioning the nationality of an obviously native-born American, after a 2008 campaign that would have been stillborn if he were ineligible to serve, was Trump’s attempt to deligitimize the first Black President. Black people understood that then and remember it now.

His campaign is replete with other racial missteps and dog whistles. Since announcing his presidential bid, he has consistently tweeted or retweeted White supremacist conspiracy theories, erroneous statistics regarding Black crime, and seemingly encouraged the physical attacking of Black protestors at his rallies. Let’s also remember that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has repeatedly spoken very highly of Trump. Duke cited Trump as the inspiration for his decision to run for the U.S. Senate this year.

Any campaign that is serious about outreach to African Americans would at least do the following. First, it would include African Americans in significant decision making campaign positions. Second, it would advance policy proposals that reflect respect for and understanding of Black life. Third, it would constantly speak with an inspirational voice that encourages not demonizes. Fourth, it would advertise in Black media outlets and contract with Black vendors. More importantly than all this, serious outreach would be timely, not something seemingly done as an afterthought. Trump has failed on all counts. He has no significant African Americans in serious positions (No, Omorosa doesn’t count!). He has made no policy proposals that show an understanding of Black issues. A speech given barely more than three months before the election is not timely. There has been no inspirational rhetoric and no evidence of significant Black media or vendor engagement.

Donald Trump won the Republican nomination by swimming in the rotten river of racial stereotypes and invective. Those now talking about his pivot to a more presidential general election mode would do well to remember that Trump has been around. And Black people know him well enough that a few speeches here and there won’t change anyone’s mind.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Politics – The Huffington Post
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Thought-Provoking Questions

Often, when I am booked for lectures or radio and television interviews, I am provided questions in advance to help me prepare. Some of the questions are provocative, the kind that make me stop and think. So much so, I am sharing a few here with my replies.

1. What are three principles you live by?
a) “Identify the fear and then go there.” Usually I’m afraid because it is something I have never done before, and so I figure I will at least learn something new. I always ask myself: What is the worst-case scenario? If it’s one I can deal with, I go for it.
b) “Not everything worth doing is worth doing well.” Being stuck striving for perfection will not allow you to move on. For me, this pertains to writing. It is never finished and can always be improved upon. But at some point, it must be abandoned. Of course, this does not apply to everything; be sure to use discernment.
c) “Maintain an open mind.” I try to not be judgmental or assume that I know best. I listen and attempt to understand other points of view, seeing them in the contexts of culture and personality. When presented with a new opportunity, I ask myself: Will I learn something?

2. Do you believe nature or nurture has more impact?
People are born with specific tendencies; some children are shy, some are outgoing. This is a natural component of our genes, but then life experiences also impact our brains. Successes can reinforce behavior while failures discourage future attempts. So it is both. First it is nature, then nurture. Both have an equal influence.

3. What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
I wish I had not cared so much about what other people thought of me. As women, we try to please others more than necessary. Speak the truth as often as possible and be willing to be disliked, but respected.

4. What did you wish to be when you were a child?
My childhood dream was to be a poet. I won a poetry contest for a poem I wrote when I was eight. This early success inspired me to continue writing poems, which I still do today.

5. What role does luck play in success?
Obviously, luck plays a part–you have to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right people. However, success is also “opportunity meeting preparation.” I am always scanning my environment to look for ways to make a contribution and a difference.

6. What are the barriers to female leadership?
“MEN!” There is still gender discrimination, both conscious and unconscious, even by well-meaning men. Our culture continues to be dominated by male values, and, in the majority of cases, even when shown the same resume with a male or female name, men are chosen over women for both promotions and as new hires.

7. What was your biggest challenge?
a) Acceptance. As the only woman on the faculty of a business school, the first woman in a Rotary Club, the only female consultant in all-male organizations, I faced issues of acceptance. I did not try to blend in, as I knew this was not possible, so I stood out by wearing red suits, sitting on the arms of chairs to make me look taller (I am barely 5 feet tall).
b) A close second was being ignored–not only feeling invisible, but, also, not heard, and (when earned) not rewarded.

8. What changes in the workplace would you like to see?
I would like to see flexible working hours as a norm at work. This would permit time off not only for child-related needs, but, also, for the increasing needs of aging parents. Men must be provided with the same opportunity to take an equal share of these responsibilities without negative consequences in the workplace. What do you attribute your success to?
The willingness to ask the first question, using an assertive voice, looking others in the eye while conversing, giving credit when credit is due, looking and sounding confident (even when I do not feel that way), being well-prepared by knowing the agenda and relevant facts, and lastly, believing in myself.

9. What are the three rules you live by?
a) First of all, have fun. b) Do no harm. c) Be as helpful to as many people as possible.
I am urging you, my readers, to do the same. Think of each question as it relates to you, your values, philosophies, experiences, your life overall. Take time to answer these questions honestly and you might gain new insights–perhaps discover some unconscious motivations.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Trump’s Doctor Has An Amazing Explanation For That Bizarre Medical Report

Donald Trump’s personal physician told NBC News that he wrote a now-infamous medical report about the candidate in just five minutes.

Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist who has been Trump’s doctor for more than three decades, released a brief note last December declaring the reality TV star would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” The four-paragraph letter, which billed Trump’s health as “astonishingly excellent,” was far less detailed than medical reports traditionally released by presidential candidates. 

In an interview with NBC airing Friday, Bornstein said he spent “five minutes” on the letter while a car sent by Trump waited for him outside his office in Manhattan. 

“I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed, so I try to get four or five lines done as fast as possible,” Bornstein explained. “In a rush, I think some of those words didn’t come out exactly the way they were meant.”

The doctor stood by his assessment of the reality TV star’s wellness.

“His health is excellent, particularly his mental health,” he said. 

He also defended the claim that Trump would be the healthiest president in history.

“I like that sentence to be quite honest with you, and all the rest of them are either sick or dead,” he said. 

Watch the interview above.

Bornstein and his bizarre note have come under scrutiny again as Trump and his campaign surrogates have floated conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pressed Trump campaign manager Kellyane Conway on the issue during an interview Thursday. 

“If he was elected, Donald Trump would be the oldest person to ever be sworn in as president,” Maddow said. “Whether or not he’s going to try to make Hillary Clinton’s health the issue, doesn’t he owe it to the American people to release an actual medical report, a more credible, more complete statement?”

Conway said “perhaps” he should release more information.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Obama To Quadruple Hawaii Monument, Creating World’s Largest Protected Marine Area

President Barack Obama, who’s already protected more public acres than any U.S. president, will add to his legacy of conservation by quadrupling the marine monument surrounding the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the White House announced.

The designation, expected to take effect Friday, will expand Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument from 139,797 square miles to 582,578 square miles, making it the largest marine protected area on the planet.

The White House said the move “provides critical protections for more than 7,000 marine species,” including federally protected monk seals, whales and sea turtles, as well as black coral ― the longest-living marine species in the world.

The expansion also is expected to make the area more resilient to climate change-related threats, including rising sea levels, warming ocean temperatures and acidification.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who introduced the proposal in June, called Obama’s move “one of the most important actions an American president has ever taken for the health of the oceans.”

“Expanding Papahānaumokuākea will replenish stocks of ‘ahi, promote biodiversity, fight climate change, and give a greater voice to Native Hawaiians in managing this resource,” Schatz said Friday in a statement. “This declaration sets us on a strong path forward for our irreplaceable environment and the generations to come.”

Established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, Papahānaumokuākea was already larger than all of the country’s national parks combined.  

The expansion will extend the monument’s protections, including a ban on commercial fishing, from 50 miles to 200 miles around the remote island chain. The area covered by the expanded monument will be nearly four times the size of California, and nearly as big as Alaska. 

Matt Rand, director of Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy project, which worked with Native Hawaiians, scientists, community leaders and others in pushing for the expansion, called Friday’s announcement a “big deal for the planet.” 

“We’re just seeing significant environmental degradation globally, and this is a huge step in changing our course,” Rand told The Huffington Post. “I hope not only does it protect this ecosystem, but I hope it inspires the world.”

Papahanaumokuakea will dwarf the United Kingdom’s Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and the Chagos Marine Reserve in the Indian Ocean, which are 322,000 square miles and 247,000 square miles, respectively. Earlier this year, communities in a remote archipelago south of Tahiti proposed establishing a 385,000-square-mile ocean sanctuary.  

Along with Obama’s latest conservation decision, the White House announced the president will travel to Hawaii next week, where on Wednesday he will address leaders from the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress. On Thursday he plans to travel to Midway Atoll, located within the Papahānaumokuākea. 

The World Conservation Congress kicks off in Honolulu next month. The congress, held every four years, is the world’s largest environmental and nature conservation event.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Politics – The Huffington Post
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Best Guru

Lisa Machenberg interviewed me for her program Amazing Mind on Hypnosis TV and the main thing she wanted to discuss was how to find the best guru.

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– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Why We Need To Make Space For Quiet Teachers

This article first appeared on QuietRev.com

As the ice-cold applesauce poured over my head, I kept telling myself that it was for the kids. My humiliation was their gain. I would be the cool, hip teacher who was willing to embarrass himself instead of the stodgy taskmaster with high standards.

But after the completion of the all-school rally, in which several teachers and I agreed to be slimed with applesauce by students who met specific academic goals, I just felt sticky, gross, and humiliated. This is how I was going to inspire and encourage the next generation?

I know now that attempt to be cool and hip was utterly useless. My teaching and interactions with students were none the better for participating in such sophomoric stunts. In fact, for the students in my class, it was more startling than supportive, particularly for the quiet, thoughtful ones who had bonded with me because they had finally found a teacher to whom they could relate. I was a safe space—a teacher who wouldn’t constantly nag them to “be more social” or pair them up with the struggling students to push them through their work when the quiet ones had finished their own. They were happy to do well, participate when needed, and carry on with being good students; they felt comfort in having found a quiet role model in me. My departure from my quiet self shocked them.

A larger push for collaboration

Sadly, such quiet students and teachers won’t be left alone much longer. There’s a growing movement in education to turn teachers into performers and students into non-stop collaborators. This is the effect of the Extrovert Ideal. Teachers are increasingly expected to be not just knowledgeable about content and good at the art and science of teaching but also outgoing and exciting on stage. It’s the Ron Clark method run amok: in meeting after meeting, I’d constantly hear the need to excite students with learning. Unfortunately, that meant entertaining them, which doesn’t always go hand in hand with appealing to their intellect.

Every couple of weeks a YouTube video goes viral of a teacher dancing with their class orperforming a hip hop routine, which is supposed to show how well the students learned the content and bonded with their teacher. The problem is that sometimes learning isn’t that exciting. You may not have enjoyed grammar rules or algebraic problem solving, but for such disciplines, persistent focus is good for the mind. Deliberate practice and the road to mastery can be thrilling, but not for the entertainment value.

Oftentimes, the best teachers are exactly the opposite of those dancers above. Think of the patient but firm and knowledgeable sage who may have guided you to a breakthrough when you were interpreting the events of history, struggling to understand a challenging piece of literature, or trying to interpret data in the lab. And even if you’re an extrovert, you may have come to value that time alone to think through a problem. As has been noted, the best and most innovative thinking often comes to us when we are alone.

A tough road for quiet students

The outlook isn’t bleak just for quiet teachers. Introverted students are pushed more and more towards group work and collaboration throughout the school day. Movements like the flipped classroom and blended learning encourage students to constantly find a solution together. Group writing, problem solving, and presentations are the future. Yes, these play a part in the world of work. However, such demands will leave our quiet students exhausted by the end of the day. And quiet teachers will be forced to facilitate a nonstop parade where no one will learn the ability to take time to reflect.

This is unfortunate because introverts bring a lot of good to the teaching profession: we value deep and meaningful conversations and content. Tackling a complex math problem after patiently and silently assessing the problem yourself causes the learning to stick far more than chatting with a partner about what methods to employ. And everyone has been in that group where a couple of people struggle through the work while trying to wrangle the others to stay on task. Introvert teachers cherish taking and granting quiet time to think—something that students are being robbed of in the push for working with groups and partners. Worst of all, quiet students face little autonomy as more lessons are designed to elevate the Extrovert Experience. Parents of quiet children may have to watch out for social burnout or even consider a different placement if things become too overwhelming.

What are quiet teachers to do?

Whether teacher or student, an introvert finds it tough enough to be in today’s classroom. Even when you value your students, want the best for them, and have structured your classroom to include both quiet and group activities, there’s a small relief at sending them off at the end of the day. But if everything moves to a model that requires a teacher to be on stage and pushing conversation all the time, the job may be untenable for those with a quiet temperament.

Quiet teachers will have to find ways to carve out time for themselves when they can even if it means declining lunch invites or using that rare prep time to reflect on their practices. If it comes down to it, have a ready-made list of alternative obligations in your mind to ensure you get the quiet time you need: you may need to catch up on grading, plan for a parent conference, or finish up an independent study packet for a student about to go on vacation. In a profession where being social is a significant part of the day, you have to allow yourself moments to catch your breath. There’s also value in just being upfront with those with whom you work: people can be surprisingly understanding if you tell them that you just need a little time alone to recharge.

Yet, there’s also value in seeking out fellow introverted teachers as a way to build camaraderie and generate new ideas. Additionally, a tiny drop of rebellion is sometimes a good thing: bucking the extrovert trend by building in reflective time for students will not only benefit the introverts in class but provide some needed thinking time for everyone.

Extroverts certainly deserve the ability to interact with one another and engage in collaborative efforts during the school day. It’s not that this shouldn’t be a component of education. It’s just the scale is tipping profoundly in one direction. Forcing introverted kids and teachers to live as extroverts throughout the day would be the equivalent of asking all the extroverts to take a vow of silence. Finding the right balance and meeting everyone’s needs is the right approach, which is what education is supposed to be about.

2015-02-04-Joni_Blecher_150x150.jpg
This article originally appeared on QuietRev.com.

You can find more insights from Quiet Revolution on work, life, and parenting as an introvert at QuietRev.com.

Follow Quiet Revolution on Facebook and Twitter.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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GOP Climate Denier To Celebrate Park Service Centennial Amid Melting Glaciers

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a self-proclaimed climate change “skeptic,” is scheduled to visit Montana’s Glacier National Park on Thursday in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.

Daines, who would deny that humans are responsible for drastic, well-documented environmental changes at the park, will be surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks and rapidly melting glaciers.

Daines’ office announced his trip in an email advisory Wednesday, saying the senator would join other Instagram users at a park “InstaMeet,” an event that brings park visitors together to “make friends, take photos, and exchange ideas.”

The idea that man-made climate change is fueling the retreat of the park’s namesake glaciers, however, is likely not something Daines will be entertaining. 

In a 2014 interview with Montana Public Radio, Daines said “the jury is still out” about whether fossil fuels contribute to climate change. He said he’s seen “very good data” suggesting there are other contributing factors, including solar cycles. 

“Climate change,” Daines told the radio station, “is very real. The climate is always changing, it’s either warming or it’s cooling. The climate is dynamic, it’s not static … I think the question certainly is what part does man-made climate change factor [into] this equation, certainly with CO2 and greenhouse gases. And I think there’s just still reasonable debate here, whether or not it is a significant part of this or not.”

That kind of comment makes most climate scientists cringe. Studies suggest that 97 percent or more of scientists who are actively publishing research believe climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.

A visit to Glacier National Park is a front-row seat to the severity of the problem. In 1850, there were roughly 150 glaciers in the area. Today, there are just 25, many “mere remnants of what they once were,” according to the National Park Service. 

“If the current rate of warming persists, scientists predict the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be completely gone by the year 2030, if not earlier,” the park service writes on its website.

In a Facebook Live interview with The Huffington Post this week, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” said that during a recent trip to Glacier, park rangers told him they expect all the glaciers to be gone in five or six years.

“So it will be Sandy Hillside National Park,” Nye joked.

For anyone who runs into Daines on Thursday, ask if he’s concerned about the park losing the glaciers that have carved its landscape and have drawn more than 100 million visitors.

Daines’ office did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment Wednesday.

In April, Daines was among more than two dozen Republican senators who asked Secretary of State John Kerry to cut funding for the United States’ involvement in United Nations effort to address climate change.

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Two Keys Why You Don’t Receive & How to Shift It!

Have you ever wondered why you struggle receiving the things you want? I see this a lot in my coaching practice and with my students. In fact, I would say that receiving is one of the key issues most people face. I would like to share with you some thoughts that might help you break out of this painful cycle.

Here are the two core reasons I’ve seen over and over again that shut people down to receiving:

1. We are brought up to believe that receiving is wrong. For some, this belief stems in religion, and for others it begins in the home.

There is a tendency in religion to push the belief that being of service means you must deny yourself. In other words, don’t receive. But when you live by this belief, you shut down to taking the time to go within and connect to God. This is where you get the guidance you need to live life in the flow with grace and ease.

Even if your family wasn’t religious, you might have been brought up in a home in which your mom and dad gave themselves up to take care of your needs. They set the example that it wasn’t okay to receive. This is why it’s so important for parents to love themselves. They don’t realize that they are perpetuating a cycle of pain for their kids to grow up and do the same.

2. Feeling bad about one’s self is the second reason most people don’t receive. If you have beliefs, whether conscious or hidden, that tell you something is wrong with you or that you have to act a certain way to receive, you’ll stay shut down to having miracles show up. This is why it’s so important to do the inner work of cleaning up subconscious beliefs. As you chip away at each of them and raise your Worthiness Quotient to inner abundance, you attract outer abundance and miracles.

I share a story of Cassie in my book, The Enlightened Mom, and her awakening to the importance of receiving. Cassie had attended my weekly live Enlightened Mom class, focusing on helping the ladies release subconscious beliefs so they could finally love themselves unconditionally and open up to receive. From the very first session, most of the moms were having breakthroughs and seeing miracles show up in their daily lives. But Cassie was different. She was mired in the negativity of her mind and really struggled with receiving.

For the last session of our class, we went to a local bookstore and sat on the patio. I invited the ladies to take a moment and go within to get grounded and connected to God before going into the store. Their mission was to allow God to guide them and to open up to receive a message.

Cassie was the first one back to the patio! With tear-filled eyes and joy that was palpable, she shared the incredible messages she received, one after the other from the pages of a book she had been guided to pick up. Cassie exclaimed, “I get it now! I used to ask God for guidance and would get so angry because I never got answers. Now I realize the messages were always there. All I had to do was give myself permission to open up and receive them!”

Cassie had been mired in false beliefs about receiving. She gradually chipped away at some of those beliefs during our class. But it wasn’t until that day at the bookstore that she finally realized a huge truth:

You are the one who determines whether you receive.


2016-08-24-1472065296-5598401-15278638_s.jpg

Are you like Cassie was? Are you shut down to receiving the love, guidance and support you seek to make life a joyful flow?

If your answer is yes, it is time to look within. Do you have religious programming that says to be of service you must not receive? Or did you grow up in a family in which your parents put themselves on the backburner, giving you an example that this is love?

To be able to give freely, you must learn to receive. You can’t truly be of service if you’re coming from an empty cup.

Here are three simple steps to open up to receive:

1. Give yourself permission to receive. You are the boss of your life. If you’re not receiving a life of grace and ease, it’s because you’re still making others the authority of your life.

2. Take time daily to connect. Spend time in meditation, prayer, journaling or whatever works for you, but by all means, connect. This is a powerful way to set your inner compass to receiving.

3. Be you! Pay attention to when you shut down your voice, your feelings and your needs. Then give yourself permission to share these things. If you struggle with this, go within and clean up the beliefs that stop you down. By loving yourself unconditionally, you send out an energetic message to the universe that says, “I deserve to receive simply for being me!”

Receiving is the loving thing to do. As you transition into this new belief, you will feel loved, guided and supported. You will shift from lack to abundance. And your life will flow magically with grace and ease.

Receiving is an act of service.

As you give yourself permission to receive, your cup will be so full that you’ll want everyone else to feel the way you do. You’ll serve others by lifting them up. You’ll want to give like never before. Your life will be your greatest act of service.

Terri Britt is a spiritual coach, inspirational speaker, former Miss USA, and the award-winning author of The Enlightened Mom. Are you ready to open up and receive? It’s time to raise your Worthiness Quotient! Get my FREE gift, The Worthiness Quotient Breakthrough Bundle, and receive the tools to help you shift your life from stress and struggle to inner and outer abundance.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Afternoon Slump Got You Down? There’s A Nap For That

There’s a reason you, like clockwork, feel sluggish when 3 p.m. rolls around each day. Scientists call it the circadian dip, and it happens because our bodies regulate periods of wakefulness and sleepiness, the latter of which peaks for most adults during the nighttime hours of 2 and 4 a.m., and the daytime hours of 1 and 3 p.m.

The good news? There’s an easy solution. We’ve partnered with Sleep Number to get to the bottom of the #PowerOfSleep. Check out the video below to learn more.

Just like diet and exercise, sleep is unique to each person and important for optimal health. Sleep Number® beds adjust on each side to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support — your Sleep Number® setting. And when you add SleepIQ® technology you’ll know what to adjust for your best possible sleep.

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Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Right-Wing Radio Host Neal Larson Falls For Clickhole Story About Neil deGrasse Tyson

A conservative radio host fell for a story about world-famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that recently appeared on a parody website. 

Neal Larson of KID News Radio in Idaho Falls, Idaho, called Tyson a “horse’s astrophysicist” for supposedly mocking a 12-year-old girl who said she wanted to live on Jupiter. 

“He ridiculed her in the midst of a crowd, then later, several times, on Twitter,” Larson wrote in a column for the Times-News. “That told me everything I needed to know about Neil deGrasse Tyson.”

Just one problem: It never happened. 

The story Larson was referring to came from Clickhole, a satirical “clickbait” website run by The Onion, which itself operates on parody. 

Oops. 

Larson’s column ripping Tyson appeared on the Times-News website. The paper also published Tyson’s response setting the record straight on all of the factual errors Larson made. 

(h/t RawStory)

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Politics – The Huffington Post
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Bali High

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Although I’ve been home from Bali several weeks, I keep dreaming I’m there…the sounds, the smells, images of the people wash over me:

  • The beauty of this island full of flowers and smiling faces.
  • The gamelan music, an orchestra of percussion instruments, bells and bamboo flutes that mimic the sounds of a Bali morning – insects, birds, roosters, ocean waves.
  • The scent of incense lingering from the daily offerings of carefully crafted coconut or palm frond containers full of colorful flowers, offered to appease the lower gods and honor the higher gods.
  • The chaos of cars, trucks and motorbikes carrying whole families and goods to market passing within inches on narrow roads – made safe by the gentle toot or toot-toot that signals passing.

Immersed in the Balinese culture for two weeks, I was reminded there are so many good ways to live. We visited my friend Susan, a psychologist, who lives in Bali. There is no work for her among the locals. They are too happy. Traveling with my daughter Lisa, we mused about what keeps the people contented. Lisa wrote about it in her blog: What the Balinese do for Anxiety.

As part of their Hindu Buddhist religion, as Lisa describes, everyone prepares and dedicates offerings to the gods. Every day. In every home, store and village. Before picking us up, our drivers prayed in their family temples for our safe trips. Children learn very young to play in a gamelan orchestra, and to dance the traditional Balinese dances. The dancing is complex, physically difficult, using every body part including head and eyes, in still and flowing patterns to the sound of the gamelan, each movement carrying meaning. The dances act out familiar stories that are sometimes funny, always teaching moral lessons. Characters include the gods of good and mischief and evil. Beautifully carved sacred masks and elaborate costumes are integral to the dances.

We saw several Balinese dance performances, and one night we were treated to another traditional form of theater – a shadow puppet show. Behind the screen, which we were invited to visit, was an entire family supporting the puppeteer. He told a piece of the traditional Ramayana story – an ancient, epic Hindu story. However, he improvised the telling for the audience (our small group of Americans.) He made it modern and relevant to us, including references to surprising things like Pokemon Go!

Steeped in tradition, ritual and shared beliefs, the Balinese are warm, relaxed and friendly. Good humor abounds. They seem untroubled by questions like, “Who am I?” “Where do I belong?” and “How can I feel safe?” Those questions are answered in the context of their daily lives, living with family, belonging to compound and village, doing the daily rituals, sharing in the many large ceremonies and celebrations.

Bali is an open-hearted culture. Thinking of it makes me happy. I hope my Bali dreams continue.

Since coming home, I’ve been asking myself questions: how might we build ritual and tradition more solidly into our daily lives? How open-hearted is the United States? And – what might be an American equivalent to the gentle, respectful horn toots on the highways that keep people calm, safe and cared for?

COACHING QUESTIONS

  1. What new perspective have you gained from visiting other cultures (here or in other countries?)
  2. What rituals or traditions do you practice in your life?
  3. How do they help you feel safe and connect you with others?
  4. What rituals/traditions would you like to create in your life?
  5. When will you start?
  6. How do you contribute to the open-heartedness of your culture?

P.S. I promised to follow up on how well StopJetLag worked. It worked! Stopped jetlag in its tracks. Lisa and I recommend it heartily.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Is TMJ Disorder Costing You A Good Night’s Sleep?

If you are one of the estimated 40 million+ Americans who suffer each year from chronic sleep disorders or one of the additional 20 million who experience occasional sleeping problems, you know first hand how the problem can affect your quality of life. A sleep disorder can interfere with your work, your ability to drive and your participation in social activities.

Did you know that many patients who suffer from sleep disorders are also dealing with a problem directly related to disorders in their temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? The TMJ is the joint that attaches your lower jaw, or mandible, to the temporal bone of your head. More precisely, it is where the lower jaw fits into the skull and is supported by the muscles in your face. It is the joint that allows you to chew, swallow and yawn. However, when it isn’t functioning properly it can be the root of a lot of problems.

A disorder in this important joint can cause pain and discomfort in other parts of the body and these TMJ disorder symptoms — including sleep apnea, teeth grinding and tension headaches or migraines — can impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Experts estimate that more than 44 million Americans have one of the several variants of TMJ disorder, or TMD, with women more prone to the condition than men. Pain when chewing is a common symptom, as are other warning signs including limited movement of the jaw or a locking sensation, ringing in the ears, jaw clicking and grating or popping of the jaw joint. These symptoms are often a result of muscle tension and misalignment in the jaw. Although minor symptoms may be relieved with a little rest, hot and cold packs, a soft diet, TMJ massage and/or jaw exercises, persistent symptoms can lead to chronic problems that disrupt your sleep and can become more difficult to treat.

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Sleep Apnea

We have all seen the images of tools used to manage sleep apnea that require sufferers to sleep with a CPAP mask, making them look like a super villain or scuba diver. However, obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition. Sufferers experience obstructed airflow and stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes for a minute or even longer. This may happen from five times an hour to more than 100 in severe cases. The body is damaged by only 5 of these episodes an hour, and as we learn more, it appears that even minor episodes can cause chronic damage.

When breathing stops, the brain reacts to the situation by producing a rush of adrenalin which in turn quickens the heartbeat. Muscles in the chest then work to resume airflow and the person gasps for a breath and falls back asleep. This scenario is then repeated multiple times during the same night while the person never realizes what is occurring. That’s because they never really “wake up” but only experience a short pause in sleep. This pause destroys the normal sleep cycle cascade which is critically important to health and brain function.

More and more studies are showing a connection between TMD and sleep disturbances. In many sleep apnea cases, a misaligned jaw joint or TMJD, is actually to blame. This is because the tongue’s position is impacted by the alignment of the upper and lower teeth. When the teeth are misaligned, the tongue can block the airway as you sleep. This problem with the jaw alignment or malocclusion can cause a person to wake up frequently throughout the night.

Untreated sleep apnea causes snoring and can lead to much more serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, people with sleep apnea do not get the rest they need because, as a preventative reaction, their brains keep them from falling into a deep sleep mode.

Bruxism

Another symptom of TMD is bruxism, commonly called teeth grinding. A misalignment of the jaw can cause you to unconsciously grind or clench your teeth together.

Bruxism causes significant damage to your teeth and is something that is easily corrected with proper physiologic care. You would be surprised at how forcefully we can clench our teeth. As we are waking, the pressure when clamping the teeth together can reach about 200 pounds per square inch. However, when we are asleep, that force can reach more than 700 pounds per square inch!

Because of this force, people with severe bruxism can break their dental fillings and/or cause the outer layers of their tooth enamel to wear away, exposing the highly sensitive dentin. Additionally, this extreme jaw muscle tension can result in complications that include other TMJ disorder symptoms like lockjaw and tension headaches.

Night Headaches

When the bite and the lower jaw are misaligned, muscles are strained which can result in head pain that can mimic a migraine. This pain can be around the forehead, on the back of the head or radiating down the neck.

The same obstructive breathing that causes sleep apnea also can cause nighttime or hypertensive headaches. To put it simply, lack of oxygen can trigger a painful headache.

Many people turn to over-the-counter pain medication for headaches rather than exploring the root cause of the pain. Common signs that a headache is related to a TMJ disorder include:

● A clicking or popping sound emanating from the jaw
● A bite that feels off or does not close properly
● Complaints of snoring at night from your spouse or family
● Forward head posture

Researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine found that headaches related to TMJ dysfunction are frequently misdiagnosed as tension headaches. In a study of 583 patients with frequent headaches, 82 percent of female cases and 17 percent of male cases had symptoms associated with TMD.

Finding Relief

If you think TMD could be causing your sleep problems, here are some tips you can try at home:

● Gently stretch your neck throughout the day
● Improve your posture
● Avoid chewing gum
● Gently massage your jaw muscles
● Commit to a soft diet
● Try to use other home remedies to lessen the severity of a TMD flare up
● Learn to combat stress with exercise or meditation. (Stress can exacerbate pain.)
● Move the jaw gently from side to side 10 times and then allow it to rest for a minute. Do this for 5 sets a few times a day. This will help to stretch the muscles of mastication.

Although the exercises above may help, if the system is not physiologically correct, the best advice is to get it corrected. The headaches can start as a nuisance but can eventually become incapacitating.

In my experience as a educator for TMJ dentists and clinical director at LVI Global, up to 85% of TMJ disorder symptoms can be resolved without prescription drugs or surgery. Instead, we return the jaw muscles to their natural place of physiologic rest which allows the system to function correctly. Treatment through neuromuscular dentistry strives to reduce or resolve symptoms by focusing on fixing the muscles that support the bite. The result is a dramatic lessening of muscle pain and in many cases, a better night’s sleep.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Clinton, Conquering Pickle Jar, Laughs Off Claims Of Ill Health On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

During an appearance Monday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Hillary Clinton said she was unfazed by a new series of attacks questioning her health.

Allies of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have been alleging that the media have failed “to point out several signs of illness by her.” 

“Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness,’ take a look at the videos for yourself,” Giuliani urged viewers on Fox News last weekend.

In good humor, Clinton asked host Jimmy Kimmel to monitor her pulse while she addressed the claims (”There’s nothing there!”), which she called part of a “wacky strategy” that’s forced her to “sort of step into the alternative reality and answer questions about am I alive.” 

“I don’t know why they are saying this,” Clinton said. “I think on the one hand it’s part of the wacky strategy ― just say all these crazy things and maybe you can get some people to believe you. On the other hand it just absolutely makes no sense. I don’t go around questioning Donald Trump’s health.”

Clinton went on to conquer an “untampered” pickle jar Kimmel gave her to prove her fitness.

While she claimed she wasn’t upset by such statements (”I don’t get upset anymore, because I’d be upset all the time.”), the former secretary of state noted such talk could hurt the country.

Kimmel also asked if Clinton would prefer to run against someone “more boring,” like Mitt Romney.

“I would prefer to be running against somebody I thought was qualified to be president and temperamentally fit,” Clinton said. “Yes, I would, absolutely.”

Take a look above.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Unhappy at Work in Your 20s, Unhealthy in Your 40s?

How young adults feel about their careers might affect them physically, mentally by middle-age, study finds
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What No One Told Me About Following My Passion

Like much of my generation in America, I don’t have to worry about where my next meal will come from. I don’t have to worry about how I’ll get to work. I don’t have to worry about a safe, dry place to sleep.

So I worry about something else, with which much less of the world has the luxury of preoccupation: purpose. Some spend their days searching for food; I spend my life hunting meaning–full, but unsatisfied.

Most millennials’ basic needs have been met–a prerequisite for fulfilling our greatest potential. If we don’t make our lives meaningful, we will have dishonored and squandered our opportunity. Perhaps this responsibility explains our fixation with purpose.

We know what we want. The question is: how do we find it?

Hoping that international travel and novel experiences would infuse my life with meaning, I moved to Canada when I graduated college. There I learned, as I conclude in my essay The Myth of Wanderlust, “you can’t drive to purpose.”

So I returned home and pursued my lifelong passion of writing. For the last two years, I’ve followed a self-authored, step-by-step plan to successfully discovering, integrating and making money from my passions. A marketing position, an editing role and six months of self-employment later, I realized you can’t write to purpose, either.

Passion, I’ve learned, does not equal purpose.

Why?

Here’s a synopsis of the 8000 words I initially spewed on this question:

Passion, the way many millennials have come to define it, is self-oriented. Passion is “a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that one loves, values, and in which one invests a substantial amount of time and energy,” explains one study published in Self and Identity.

Purpose, on the other hand, is other-oriented. One Stanford study found that individuals with meaning mindsets “seek connections, give to others, and orient themselves to a larger purpose.”

Modern passion is pleasure-oriented. One influential study on passion defines it as “an autonomous internalization that leads individuals to choose to engage in the activity that they like.” In other words, passion’s answer to “Why are you doing this?” is “Because I like it.”

But meaningfulness, sums the Stanford study, sometimes involves “feeling bad”.

Passion is short-term. Though we tend to assume it’s lifelong, passion changes more than we anticipate because we change more than we anticipate. As Terri Trespicio observes in her TEDx Talk, ”Passion is not a plan. Passion is a feeling, and feelings change.”

Purpose is hardy. Gritty individuals, explains one study, prioritize long-term goals. This long-term perspective, another study notes, helps give “more weight to meaning than pleasure” and solidifies self-control.

I don’t regret following my passion. In fact, I still endorse my strategy. Passions help us understand who we are and what we want. They bring vitality and joy to our days. But following your passion is a deceptively slow, uncertain way to purpose.

If I could tell myself anything three years ago when I graduated college, it would probably be this:

“Follow your passion, sure. But don’t expect it to produce your purpose.”

I help 1000+ ambitious millennials find their professional purpose with a research-packed weekly newsletter. Want in? Subscribe.

A version of this article originally appeared on Forbes.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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A Unique Approach To Discomfort

“Destiny is not for comfort seekers. Destiny is for the daring and determined who are willing to endure some discomfort, delay gratification, and go where destiny leads.” ~ T.D. Jakes

“We ask God for signs, wonders and miracles, but refuse to go into circumstances where we need them.” — Christine Caine

One may believe that a happy life eschews pain and discomfort by all costs. But, in truth, life opens up to us and expands when we’re squeezed and pushed through discomfort. Our emotional constriction, which creates our discomfort, begins to soften and expand when we lean into our discomfort. Moreover, our dreams are actualized through moments of confusion, doubt, fear, and uncertainty. So, when we’re pushed into our discomfort zone, we’re better able to witness and cultivate new skills that will propel us to new heights in our spiritual, emotional, and physical evolution.

How many of us can say that we have grown and transformed the most when we are “seemingly” sailing through life? Not many of us. When things appear superficially “perfect” and aligned in our lives, what could possibly ignite us toward growth and realizing God’s deeper purpose for our lives?

However, what indubitably pushes us toward greater fulfillment and purpose in our lives is when we’re tightly squeezed and pushed through discomfort. The physical manifestation of the contrast between what we deeply desire on a soulful level to what is actually showing up in our lives, creates the emotional and spiritual dissonance for us to push through and create transformation.

Transformation is accelerated in our lives through pain and discomfort. Such that, God will use different people, events, and circumstances to show up in our lives that cause us aggravation and distress, as a catalyst for growth and inspiration. Personally, I created a life that I dreamed of, living on a paradise island as a Life & Spiritual Coach & Teacher, not by coasting through life and feeling on top of the world. No. My life was radically changed when I hit my lowest point. When my pain and suffering had become enough.

Through pain and suffering, my heart opened up to greater transparency for God’s light to shine through and heal, motivate, and push me at deeper levels. Surely, the pressure was strong and tightening, but the more pressure I experienced, the harder I fought. Had I experienced continued success selling real estate in New York City, perhaps with money flowing in easily and effortlessly, and joy living in a city that stole my heart 19 years ago, I would not be living the life of my dreams right now. I’d still be living a life that was content and good, but truthfully, mediocre in the eyes of God. But, God doesn’t want GOOD ENOUGH for our lives, he wants GREAT!

So where is discomfort showing up in your life? Is it in a relationship? A job? Your living circumstances? Your finances? Your health? Or a lack of balance in your life? Consider each difficulty as a message that God has something better and more meaningful for your life. As we release the need to pity ourselves in difficult times and rather use discomfort as the catalyst toward change, we create an opportunity for greater richness and joy in our lives. Discomfort and pressure will always show up. To the extent that, although my life is greater than it’s ever been, there are newer and completely different experiences of discomfort that appear. But, with greater awareness I now recognize that my discomfort shows me that there’s still more for me to see and do in my life. This inspires me to work harder and explore my path with greater curiosity and determination.

Today, find peace with your discomfort. Embrace the stickiness. Ask for its lessons and guidance. Trust that your uneasiness is the vehicle to catapult you to places you’ve never been before. Use discomfort to your advantage in creating a life you dream of.

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Joint U.S.-South Korean Drills Begin Despite North Korean Threats

SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States and South Korea kicked off annual military exercises on Monday, prompting warnings of retaliation from the North, as already-heightened tension on the peninsula has been inflamed by the defection of a Pyongyang diplomat.

North Korea has become further isolated after a January nuclear test, its fourth, and the launch of a long-range rocket in February brought tightened U.N. Security Council sanctions that Pyongyang defied with several ballistic missile launches.

About 25,000 U.S. troops are joining in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which runs until Sept 2. The U.S.-led U.N. Command Military Armistice Commission said it notified the North Korean army the exercises were “non-provocative” in nature.

The North calls the exercises preparations for invasion, and early on Monday threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike. North Korea frequently makes such threats.

“From this moment, the first-strike combined units of the Korean People’s Army keep themselves fully ready to mount a preemptive retaliatory strike at all enemy attack groups involved in Ulji Freedom Guardian,” a KPA spokesman said in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency.

“The nuclear warmongers should bear in mind that if they show the slightest sign of aggression, it would turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through a Korean-style preemptive nuclear strike.”

Last week, South Korea announced that Thae Yong Ho, the North’s deputy ambassador in London, had defected and arrived in the South with his family, in an embarrassing blow to the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

High-level defections pointed to cracks in the Kim regime, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday.

“Recently even North Korea’s elite group is collapsing, followed by key figures defecting to foreign countries, showing a sign of serious cracks, with chances of shaking the regime further,” she told a National Security Council meeting.

Thae’s defection followed the flight to Seoul this year of 12 waitresses from a North Korean restaurant in China.

On Monday, North Korea’s Red Cross sent a letter to its South Korean counterpart asking for the women to be sent back, saying they had been kidnapped by the South, according to KCNA. South Korea denies they were kidnapped.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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Family Trumps Friends in Extending Seniors’ Lives

People are comfortable expecting more help from relatives, researchers say
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These Underwater Yoga Photos Prove The Practice Is Truly Magical

Looking for a reason to hit the yoga mat today? Take a gander at these stunning photos.

The surreal images, which were snapped by photographer Elena Kalis, feature yoga instructor Britta Jade as she masterfully executes yoga poses under water. They’re a truly majestic display of how yoga can be both athletic and a work of art.

The photos are an inspirational reminder that the practice can be one of the best ways to move your body. Research shows yoga can reduce stress and lower your risk for heart disease. It also can improve your sleep and boost your brain function. Not to mention the fact that yoga can be an excellent form of strength training, which can help maintain a healthy weight.

While not everyone can exactly run off to the crystal shores of a remote island to nail these moves, there are some added perks to taking your yoga practice to the water. Studies suggest being near the ocean can make you calmer and more creative. The sea also puts your brain in a more meditative state.

If you’ve been slacking on a yoga routine (or hesitant to try one at all), take a look at the pictures below. Then check out these healthy reasons to prioritize the practice for additional motivation.

Nirvana: achieved.

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Health Official Warns Zika Could Spread Across U.S. Gulf

Aug 21 (Reuters) – One of the top U.S. public health officials on Sunday warned that the mosquito-borne Zika virus could extend its reach across the U.S. Gulf Coast after officials last week confirmed it as active in the popular tourist destination of Miami Beach.

The possibility of transmission in Gulf States such as Louisiana and Texas will likely fuel concerns that the virus, which has been shown to cause the severe birth defect known as microcephaly, could spread across the continental United States, even though officials have played down such an outcome.

Concern has mounted since confirmation that Zika has expanded into a second region of the tourist hub of Miami-Dade County in Florida. Miami’s Wynwood arts neighborhood last month became the site of the first locally transmitted cases of Zika in the continental United States.

“It would not be surprising we would see additional cases perhaps in other Gulf Coast states,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the allergy and infectious diseases unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said in an interview on Sunday morning with ABC News.

Fauci noted that record flooding this month in Louisiana – which has killed at least 13 people and damaged some 60,000 homes damaged – has boosted the likelihood Zika will spread into that state.

“There’s going to be a lot of problems getting rid of standing water” that could stymie the mosquito control efforts that are the best way to control Zika’s spread, he said.

U.S. health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed 1,835 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.

On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott confirmed that state health officials had identified five cases of Zika believed to be contracted in Miami Beach.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women they should avoid the trendy area and suggested those especially worried about exposure might consider avoiding all of Miami-Dade County.

NIH’s Fauci on Sunday said the conditions of most of the country make it unlikely there would be a “diffuse, broad outbreak,” even though officials need to prepare for that possibility.

He compared it with diseases such as Dengue, which is endemic in certain tropical and subtropical regions of the world but rarely occurs in the continental United States. In Miami’s Wynwood area, experts have seen “substantial” knockdowns of mosquito populations.

Still, its containment is more complicated because Zika can be sexually transmitted, Fauci said.

“This is something that could hang around for a year or two,” he said.

The World Health Organization has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump: Pretending to be Presidential

Trump has again shaken up his staff. He now has had as many campaign managers as he has had wives. He previously parted ways with Corey Lewandowski, then with Paul Manafort. Now Kellyanne Conway has taken command of this “huuge” ship of state– perhaps a vessel more like the Titanic or “Ship of Fools,” rather than the “Good Ship Lollypop” image that the Trump camp is attempting to project.

Smart Republicans are jumping ship, some for political reasons and others for moral motives. My advice to Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Reince Priebus is to get in a life boat while seats are still available– save yourself from this shipwreck.

Or is Trump really changing? Kellyanne Conway has launched a new Trump-Lite to make him look more “presidential.” Gone is the orange spray tan, make-up, or whatever Halloween substance he had on his face. Now he uses the Teleprompters that he previously ridiculed, and is out seeking big donors, something he formerly bragged he didn’t need or want.

And a couple days ago, Trump apologized (sort of), telling a crowd at a rally in North Carolina, “Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”

However, Trump followed that ambiguous mea culpa with “But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.” Of course, that statement was itself a lie. You just can’t keep up with this guy.

In fact, in December of 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact named him the worst lying presidential candidate, stating they have “been documenting Trump’s statements on our Truth-O-Meter, where we’ve rated 76 percent of them Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, out of 77 statements checked. No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial.” The same month Factcheck.org named him the “King of Whoppers”

The coup de grâce of Trump playing president was Friday when he and his current Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence went to flood ravished Louisiana, unabashedly using the flood victims to promote Trump as looking presidential. He did this even though Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards didn’t want politicians showboating there. A spokesman for the Governor reportedly stated, “We welcome him to LA but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”

And Friday Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told ABC News, “It’s also presidential today to have him and Governor Pence going to Louisiana in a decidedly nonpolitical event, no press allowed, going to help people on the ground who are in need.”

What? “Nonpolitical?” Ha! If not political, why did Trump chastise President Obama for not yet going. “No press allowed?” How did we all see it if no press was allowed? And what did they do to help people on the ground? Trump was seen in Louisiana signing his autograph on his hats, t-shirts, and other paraphernalia– but did anyone a catch glimpse of him signing a donation check?

Trump may pretend to be presidential, but that doesn’t make him so. There’s an old saying “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Oink Oink.

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Politics – The Huffington Post
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Twitter Broadening Discussions About Death, Grief: Study

Social media broaching once-taboo topics in very public forums, researchers report
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Angels and Molecules

The other day my wife, Ana, and I went out for a few hours. When we came back, we parked the car, entered through the downstairs garage door, came up to the first floor and into the living room. Where we saw our intrepid dog Ben, standing on the back of the living room couch, gazing out the window. Waiting.

To explain: Ana is the center of Ben’s universe, the sun around which all his planets revolve. She is his oxygen, his A to Z, his why the universe exists. He was waiting for her.

But Ben has gone deaf. He had somehow missed seeing the car’s approach, and hadn’t heard it come down the drive, or the motorized grind of the garage door opening, or our footsteps up the stairs. As far as he knew, we were still gone.

2016-08-19-1471640868-7835203-Ben2.jpg

Moments after I snapped this picture, I clapped, loud enough for him to hear, and he turned his head and saw Ana — and his little dog face broke into an ecstatic OMG, why didn’t someone tell me?! and all was right with the world.

It made me think of Beethoven.

Late in life, Beethoven was attending the premier of his ninth (and final) symphony. “Attending” is perhaps not the right word. Although he was by this time deaf as a board, he strongly felt he should be on hand to guide the musicians along in this huge and enormously challenging composition, so he stood right up there on stage, by the conductor, and gestured like crazy throughout the performance, doing his utmost to shape the right tempi and dynamics and phrasing — even though he could not hear a note.

After the last chord was sounded, the composer stood on the stage, breathing heavily, facing the orchestra. The audience, who had never heard anything like this before (nor, for that matter, had anyone on the planet), erupted into raucous, deafening applause.

The composer was oblivious. He had no idea anyone was even clapping. The mezzo-soprano soloist had to approach him (with tears in her eyes, and can you blame her?) and tug on his arm to get him to turn around and see the thunderous response his music has evoked.

This got me thinking:

What if we’re all like Ben and Beethoven?

What if we are surrounded by all the applause, but just don’t hear it? If the center of our universe, the thing we love most, has already arrived and is standing there watching us, but we just don’t know it yet?

I remember as a teenager, taking a walk one morning in my neighborhood, going blocks and blocks in my quiet suburban town, a Sunday, hardly anyone about. I’d been reading about physics and metaphysics and different thinkers’ understandings of how reality was assembled. I remember stopping, standing, and gazing out along a path down to a field.

It suddenly hit me that I was surrounded by billions, trillions, quadrillions of molecules, atoms, particles, all buzzing and humming and soaring in orbits around each other, vibrating like mad. I was a musician and student of acoustics, and I knew this basic fact of life: vibration makes noise. I was standing in the midst of the most colossal symphony imaginable. I just couldn’t hear it.

Although for those few moments, it felt as if I almost did.

There is an ancient tradition in Bali which holds that a gamelan orchestra, that most mesmerizing of human musical ensembles, doesn’t “make” its music. No, say the Balinese, that rippling stream of rhythm and melody is already happening, already going on, all around us, all the time. The job of the gamelan musicians is not to create the music, but simply to catch it, like a crystal set picking up radio waves and stepping them down to audible form.

What if we are surrounded by symphonies?

What if our ancestors, departed parents, and all those loved ones who have shuffled off before us are in fact standing right beside us, beaming with pleasure at our antics, cheering us on?

What if throngs of angels are stomping and hooting and laughing and shouting, exuberant as a sold-out Bruce Springsteen auditorium just to be there watching us, applauding our every mundane move like a chorus of thunderclaps?

You know, I think they may be.

You can almost hear them, can’t you?

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Back to School Means Heavy Backpacks And Back Pain

With school is just around the corner, children will be abandoning the playground and returning to the classroom. With an emphasis on providing a sound education for this young generation, children are given a literal “heavier” workload year after year. This has translated into more books and more accessories, which greatly contributes to the normalcy and reliance on carrying backpacks. However, despite their usefulness, backpacks can cause serious back pain if overloaded or worn improperly.

2016-08-20-1471714844-4735983-Untitled.png

To understand how heavy backpacks contribute to back pain, it’s important to look at the composition of the back. The adolescent spine is composed of 33 bones called vertebrae with discs between them that act as natural shock absorbers. When a heavy backpack is incorrectly placed over a child’s shoulders, the weight of the bag can force the child backwards. Usually, children counteract this force by arching or bending forward at the hips, causing the spine to compress unnaturally and contributing to neck, shoulder and back pain.

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The best way to prevent lower back pain is to either avoid overstuffing a backpack. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, children should limit their backpack weight to between 10 and 15 percent of their body weight. Backpacks weighing more than this are too heavy to maintain a standing posture. This weight causes children to lean forward, affecting the natural curve in the lumbar and lower back regions resulting in variety of orthopaedic injuries.

Dr. Ebraheim says,
“Kids these days think backpacks are moving libraries, carrying heavier weights back and forth to school and between classes without taking breaks. The weight can cause a variety of back problems including scoliosis. This is a problem not only for the child’s health but also because back pain can interfere with the learning environment. Kids need to feel healthy during the day so they can keep up with their schoolwork injury free.”

Wearing a backing improperly can also cause back injury. Many times children will sling their backpacks over only one shoulder. This uneven distribution of weight causes the child to compensate by leaning to one side. The frequent imbalance causes muscle strain. The problem can be exacerbated if backpacks have tight or narrow straps, as they can interfere with circulation and nerves.

There are, however, some simple ways to prevent your child from developing back pain. First, it’s important to monitor the weight of children’s backpacks to ensure that they are not overloading them. Second, purchase a backpack with wide, padded straps to distribute the load over the shoulders evenly. Backpacks that have waist and additional shoulder straps may also prove beneficial in transferring the load to the hips and preventing slouching. Lastly, it’s important to concentrate the bulk of the weight closest to your child’s body in the middle of the back. This will help your child achieve better posture and balance, while preventing possible falls.

For more videos about back pain, check out my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/nabilebraheim

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Friday Talking Points — As The Turd Tornado Turns…

Some weeks, it’s tough coming up with a subtitle for these columns. Some weeks, not so much. This is one of the latter, because the juxtaposition of a colorful (to say the least) description of Donald Trump with a soap opera’s title just naturally presented itself.

The quote comes in response to Trump’s campaign shakeup, which we’ll get to in a moment. One of the new people Trump hired comes from Breitbart News, and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro was being interviewed by CNN’s Brianna Keilar for his response to the shakeup. Here is the transcript, for everyone’s edification:

SHAPIRO: I mean, as you probably know, I think Donald Trump’s a turd tornado, but I also understand that he has no capacity whatsoever to control himself and be this staid politician that everyone wants him to be. Telling him to double down is not necessarily terrible strategy. If he’s gonna go down, he’s gonna go down being Trump.

KEILAR: A what tornado?

SHAPIRO: A turd tornado.

KEILAR: What is that?

SHAPIRO: Well, it’s like a sharknado. Except with poop.

Thanks for clearing that up, Ben! We’ll just add that to the images we never thought we’d have to think about in the world of politics (a list which has grown to epic proportions during this presidential race, it’s worth pointing out). With such an auspicious metaphor to work with, let’s see just how the turd tornado (turdnado?) turned last week.

The week began with a speech Donald Trump read off a TelePrompTer. And in a stunning development — are you sitting down? — he then did not stomp all over his message by saying monumentally stupid things for the rest of the week. No, really! True, his message was stomped all over by the shakeup news from his campaign, but this is actually an improvement for Trump. There wasn’t a single tweet or off-the-cuff statement at a rally that derailed Trump’s message this week — which has got to be a new record for him. How many days can he keep this up? We certainly don’t know, as evidenced by the fact that on Monday we wrote of the inevitability of it already happening by the end of the week — which we have to admit turned out not to be the case at all.

Before we get to the shakeup, a word about Trump’s messaging this week. He actually read three TelePrompTer speeches this week, and he seems to be improving (somewhat) on his delivery with each one. The first was on the subject of defeating terrorism and foreign policy in general. The Morning Joe program helpfully put together a mashup video of just a few of the things he said in Monday’s speech that utterly contradict what he’s said about the subjects in the past, which is pretty amusing to watch. The second was a law-and-order speech in front of a mostly-white audience, warning of the dangers of urban crime (which has been par for the course for Republicans since Richard Nixon’s time, it’s worth noting). By week’s end, Trump had made some astonishing news in the third speech, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The campaign shakeup news was rather ominous for Republicans, since Trump pushed aside the only guy running his campaign who has had actual experience running campaigns before, and replaced him with two additions — a woman who worked for Todd Akin’s campaign (in the “outreach to women” job — you just can’t make this stuff up), and a guy who ran Breitbart News, a website for those who think that Fox News is just another part of the mainstream media’s liberal conspiracy. Yes, there are people out there who think Fox isn’t rightwingy enough, and they all apparently get their news from Breitbart. They also get plenty of conspiracy theories, but that almost goes without saying. The new theme for the campaign, as Shapiro referenced above, is going to be returning to “letting Trump be Trump.” Hoo boy. Buckle up, boys and girls!

Little-noticed in the midst of all this news was the very first poll Breitbart ever commissioned, which was intended to “unskew” all that liberal polling saying Trump wasn’t beating Clinton. The only problem was that even after all this unskewing, Clinton still beat Trump by five points. Guess they’ll have to rework that unskewing formula, eh?

But back to the Trump campaign. With Trump adding a Breitbart executive to his campaign, the rest of the Republican Party spent the entire week waiting for the other shoe to drop. Nobody knew what form it would take, but this morning that shoe hit the ground with a thump, with the announcement that Paul Manafort would be stepping down from the Trump campaign. All week long, the Trump campaign had insisted that they weren’t going through a shakeup at all, they were instead expanding the campaign by hiring more people to run things. This falsehood was exposed with Manafort’s resignation. The Trump campaign is now being run by people who have never run a national campaign for anyone before. And it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the first such top-level shakeup in Trump’s campaign (and likely won’t be the last).

All of this news has led to noticeable glee over in the Clinton camp (and among Democrats in general). It’s easy to understand such giddiness, since Clinton’s recent polling is so strong, both in battleground states and in previously-deep-red states as well. Tim Kaine is campaigning in places like Wyoming, Idaho, and Missouri (to be fair, the first two aren’t realistic for Clinton to even hope for, as he was just fundraising there from wealthy Democrats). People are beginning to ask whether Trump’s defeat will rival Barry Goldwater’s — and it’s only August. With Trump doubling down on “being Trump,” things look pretty rosy for Hillary Clinton right now.

But there’s a cautionary tale running through the week that few inside-the-Beltway pundits have so far noticed. Could Trump actually be successfully pivoting, in the midst of the shakeup? He gave three TelePrompTer speeches, and had zero blowups this week. He didn’t say (or tweet) anything so radical it dominated the news cycle in a negative way — this during a week when naked Donald Trump statues mockingly appeared in multiple U.S. cities (more on that in the awards). He introduced his first two television ads of the general election. This is all new, for Trump. To end the week, Trump decided to pay a visit to flooding victims in Louisiana — an opportunity for him to show some compassion and “look presidential.” And in the third of those speeches he read this week, he kind-of sort-of apologized for all his previous outrageous statements. Here’s what he read off the screen:

Sometimes in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. But one thing; I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth.

Laughable as that might sound (especially that last line), this appears to be the first time Donald Trump has ever even remotely admitted any sort of mistake he’s made during the campaign. So, to review: three speeches read from prepared texts, two new television ads that will run in battleground states, one presidential-looking photo op, zero speeches ad-libbed at rallies, zero new controversial statements, and one semi-apology. That’s a much more focused Trump than we’ve yet seen. So perhaps all the Democratic celebration about his new campaign team might be a wee bit premature. Has Trump truly pivoted? Has he ridden out his own personal poopstorm? Time will tell. Perhaps this is all the final influence of Manafort, on his way out — perhaps next week Trump will return to form. But even with all the campaign shakeup news, Trump had a better week on the campaign trail than usual.

Finally, before we move along to the awards, we have to say a formal goodbye to John McLaughlin, who died earlier this week. The McLaughlin Group was a pioneer in political television, and for many (without cable subscriptions) was the only view into the contentious world that cable political shows have regularly become. With regulars on the right like Pat Buchanan and on the left people like Clarence Page, the show was always pretty freewheeling and interesting to watch. Countless political shows were inspired by their format, and McLaughlin had actually been trained as a Jesuit priest, which includes formal training in forming an argument (pro or con), so he was always able to examine strange angles and odd views that others routinely missed. OK, occasionally this veered into conspiratorial thinking, but McLaughlin usually seemed to be playing devil’s advocate (rather than “true believer”) by bringing such subjects up.

We’ll miss seeing John, and we’ll miss his show. Every year in this space, we run our year-end list of “McLaughlin awards,” since his categories were so complete and well-thought out. So we have a personal connection to the show (even if they never knew about it). So, in homage, there is only one possible way to salute John McLaughlin: with the final phrase he used to close each of his shows, to show how we will miss his presence.

“Bye-bye.”

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Occasionally, we redefine our awards, and this seems a dandy week to do so. Rather than handing out a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week, we are handing out a Most Impressive Anarchist Collective Of The Week award instead. We thought that changing it to the MIACOTW award would be more appreciated by an anarchist group, who might be offended by being linked to any official political party (even in an award).

The group INDECLINE had already made a name for itself by creating the largest-ever piece of illegal graffiti, by painting a political statement on a deserted military landing strip in the Mojave Desert. That’s pretty cool, we have to admit, especially when you consider that they spent $ 20,000 creating it.

But this week, INDECLINE outdid themselves, by placing a rather unflattering statue of a naked Donald Trump in five American cities (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Seattle). Being anarchists, they didn’t ask anyone’s permission, just set the statue up (and epoxied it to the ground, to make it harder to remove). This bit of political theater was even given a name: “The Emperor Has No Balls.” Reportedly, the statue didn’t, but it’s hard to tell from the available photos.

The artist, a guy from Las Vegas who goes by “Ginger,” reportedly “has a long history of designing monsters for haunted houses and horror movies.” That certainly seems like experience enough to create such monstrous statues, at least in our humble opinion.

The people behind the political theater knew their installations would be temporary. Reportedly, Cleveland was the fastest to remove it, while some in San Francisco are looking to preserve the statue in a suitable place. No real surprise there, we suppose.

Regular readers of this column will know that we are suckers for political theater (good, bad, and indifferent). As always, such theater must be judged on how amusing it is and how effective it is. On both these scales, “The Emperor Has No Balls” has to rate somewhere near the top end. It’s funny, it made a huge splash online, and now millions of people have laughed at a naked Trump provided by a group that few had ever previously heard of. All around, that’s pretty impressive, and well worth our special Most Impressive Anarchist Collective Of The Week award. Well done!

[Congratulate INDECLINE on their official contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

This one wasn’t hard to select this week. Former Pennsylvania state attorney general Kathleen Kane easily wins the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award for being convicted of nine criminal charges, two of them felonies. It’s pretty disappointing when any Democrat is convicted of crimes, but when it is the person who is in charge of the entire state’s justice and law enforcement divisions, it reaches a whole ‘nother level.

The whole story is convoluted and rather sad. It began with the Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno scandal, widened to sexist and racist emails, and wound up in a personal vendetta Kane waged against a political rival. The scandal not only shook up the Penn State’s athletic department but also brought down two justices on the state supreme court, and even Kane’s twin sister (who, it turned out, had sent some of the emails).

At the heart of the charges against Kane was a leak of grand jury evidence that she later tried to pin on a scapegoat rather than admitting to leaking. Not only did Kane commit the crime, she also tried to cover it up, to put it more bluntly.

Kane was once considered a rising star among Pennsylvania Democrats, but not any more (to put it mildly). Among her other woes this week, we simply have to add our own Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. This was a shameful episode in the midst of an investigation of an even-more-shameful crime, and there’s simply nothing good to say about it.

[Since Kathleen Kane has quit her office, she is now a private citizen, and our longstanding policy is not to provide contact info for people not currently serving in office.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 404 (8/19/16)

We should really just be able to write “Volume 404 — Talking Points Not Found” here, but we fear few would get the joke (and it’d be awfully lazy to do so). Kidding aside, we actually do have to admit we have been rather lazy in putting together the talking points for the past month or so. This was due to the fact that all it took was repackaging what Republicans were saying about Donald Trump. No Democratic input was even necessary — just repeating the scathing things Republicans were saying was enough.

This week, we’re going to try to wean ourselves off this habit, by only providing a mere three (less than half!) of our talking points directly from Republicans slamming Trump. And we promise, our last talking point is one of the funniest we’ve come across yet, so there’s that to look forward to.

As always, use these talking points responsibly, and refrain from operating heavy machinery while doing so. Heh.

 

1
   The middle finger

The Washington Post set the tone for what was going on this week, most notably in a headline to an article run immediately after the first news of the Trump campaign shakeup:

Donald Trump’s Hire Of Breitbart News Chief Is A Middle Finger To The GOP Establishment

 

2
   Right back atcha…

Of course, to be fair, the number of Republicans giving Trump the finger has been growing for weeks, now.

“You can’t really blame Trump for turning his back on the GOP establishment, because they’ve been running away from his campaign in droves. The letter begging the R.N.C. to pull all money from Trump in a desperate attempt to salvage Congress, which was released last week, was initially said to have 70 signatures of Republicans on it. Now it’s got more than 100. Maybe by next week it’ll have another 50, who knows? Also last week, a member of George W. Bush’s cabinet came out in support of Hillary Clinton. Will the last Republican to leave Trump’s campaign please turn out the lights?”

 

3
   Divine intervention necessary

George Shultz weighed in on Trump this week, too.

“When George Shultz — one of the most-respected Republican foreign policy voices around — was asked recently about the prospect of a Trump administration, his response was brief and personal: ‘God help us.’ Shultz is right — if Donald Trump is elected president, this country is going to need all the divine intervention it can possibly get.”

 

4
   Sorry, you can’t come in

Even right-wing pundits are getting in on the act.

“What with all the news about Trump’s campaign shakeup, the content of his Monday TelePrompTer speech was all but ignored. But Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin (whose column is even called ‘Right Turn,’ so you know where she’s coming from) hilariously took Trump to task for his concept of ‘extreme vetting.’ Rubin pointed out that Trump might just be a victim of his own program, if his ‘extreme vetting’ idea were ever to become law. Trump would fail on the metrics of ‘shares American values and respect for the American people,’ as well as falling short on being one of ‘those who we expect to flourish in our country and to embrace a tolerant American society.’ Be careful what you wish for, Donald, as you might not pass your own test quite as easily as you might think.”

 

5
   What, precisely, was Trump apologizing for?

The list is a long one.

“Donald Trump issued a blanket ‘apology’ this week. It was actually a non-apology, merely that he ‘regretted’ having said some things which ‘may have caused personal pain,’ but it’s as close to saying ‘I’m sorry’ as we’re ever likely to get. But his remarks were generic, with no specifics. The Washington Post then helpfully compiled a list of two dozen things he might have been referring to. Somebody needs to ask Trump which items on this list his non-apology apology covers, just to clear things up. With so many to choose from, inquiring minds want to know precisely what Trump actually ‘regrets’ having said so far.”

 

6
   A conspiracy theory that makes sense

The facts do seem to fit….

“Since Donald Trump began running, I’ve heard a lot of wild-eyed conspiracy theories from the left over what his plans actually were going to turn out to be. Most of these involved reading Trump’s mind and figuring out what his next move would be. Almost all of them have so far been proven hilariously wrong. My personal favorite was: ‘Trump will drop out of the primaries the minute he loses his first state.’ Or maybe: ‘Bill Clinton talked Donald into destroying the Republican Party’ — that was a fun one, right? But there’s a new conspiracy theory on the scene which actually could make a whole lot of sense. Is Donald Trump merely using a run for the presidency to launch his own branded media empire? Will ‘Trump News’ soon be on the air, competing with Fox News? Trump has reportedly been cozying up to Roger Ailes, and now he’s got the head of Breitbart News running his campaign, so it’s pretty easy to see how the effort could morph into ‘Trump TV,’ right after he loses in a landslide to Hillary Clinton. I mean, it could all make a twisted sort of sense, don’t you think?”

 

7
   Score one for NYC Parks

Issuing dry press releases all day in a mundane local government department must get pretty boring. And then a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity crosses your desk….

“The funniest thing I’ve heard this week was the official New York City parks department response, after they removed a nude statue of Donald Trump which had been illegally mounted in Union Square. Whoever came up with this gem deserves a raise, or a promotion to a P.R. job where they can better utilize their obvious skills. After removing the statue, an official statement was then released: ‘NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.’ NYC Parks certainly rose to that occasion, as it were.”

 

Chris Weigant blogs at:

ChrisWeigant.com

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com

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Derailment And How To Manage It

2016-08-19-1471635426-4431424-IMG_4095.JPG

In the world of psychology, derailment describes thought processes that veer off track, go awry, stray from the thought. Like a car that has skidded off the road, the ideas fail to arrive at their destination. In the realm of politics, derailment refers to a tactic by those in power that deflects attention away from complaints about abuse or wrongdoing by introducing an alternative topic. This blog explores derailment as a diversion from a life goal, and how it’s possible to get back on course.

In his journal, the writer John Cheever alluded to a loss of continuity at a critical point in his life. “It seems that in my coming of age I missed a year–perhaps a day or an hour….The consecutiveness of growth has been damaged. But how can I go back and find this moment that was lost?” Although the impact of Cheever’s derailment extends beyond the scope of this blog, his expression highlights the common problem.

In the newly released movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, the heroine, Florence, contracted syphilis from her first husband. As a result, she didn’t bear children and was deprived of a fulfilling family life. That derailment led her to devote her life to singing and supporting the musical world with the fortune she inherited from her father.

We assume an extreme diversion is equivalent to a disaster, but the event may actually represent a chance to recover a “lost” direction or passion. The classic story of The Little Prince (recently made into a popular movie) can be viewed as a metaphorical derailment in the realm of literature. As a young boy, the protagonist of the story drew a boa constrictor swallowing an elephant. But the adults insisted that the drawing resembled a hat. Unimpressed with the child’s skill, the grown-ups redirected him from artistic to practical studies– geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar. “That is why I abandoned, at the age of six, a magnificent career as an artist,” the protagonist says, justifying his profession as a pilot. Years later, his plane crashed in the middle of the desert, and he was visited by a little prince who commanded him to draw. The little prince may well represent the pilot’s imagination or alter ego that harbored his desire to become an artist.

In real life, a patient of mine, Ms. W., experienced a serious depression, a kind of psychological crash. During her hospitalization, she recalled that in her youth, she had aspired to become a singer. In the hospital, she had the opportunity to connect her depression with the long-forgotten ambition. Upon her recovery, she studied voice and became a successful musician.

Conclusion: Although we can’t undo the past, we can recognize a derailment and take action to get back on track.

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