Inside (and Outside) The Alt-Right’s Inaugural Celebration

On Thursday evening, several middle-aged couples boarded an elevator in the Washington Press Club Building; in high spirits and dressed to the nines in pressed tuxedos and glittering ball gowns, they were the very image of inaugural revelry.

“Oh my God, I almost forgot, I nearly killed the dog the other day!” one woman exclaimed with mock horror as the elevator shot up to the 14th floor.

“Would’ve been fine by me!” another companion, presumably the woman’s husband, quipped.

Everyone laughed. It was all wonderful and breezy and almost enough to make you forget that you were in hell.

When the elevator reached the 14th floor, it opened up into DeploraBall, the inaugural fete thrown by Mike Cernovich and other allies of the white nationalist “alt-right” movement.

Indeed, DeploraBall was not a scene one typically associates with harmless conversational jousting among the comfortably married. Yet, like the alt-right itself, the evening was defined by extremism and ― to put it diplomatically ― an elastic relationship with reality. There was Cernovich revving up the crowd by calling Hillary Clinton a “bigoted Nazi” who “wanted to put us in camps”; there was Jeff Giesea, one of DeploraBall’s co-organizers, urging the crowd to “preserve our civilization”; there was conservative activist Lucian Wintrich dismissing accusations that the alt-right is extremist by denouncing the “fascist left” and calling liberals Nazis.

Then Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a far-right activist who let a prisoner die of dehydration in one of his prison cells, got up to speak. Informing the crowd that “the real fighting starts today,” Clarke assured the audience that the only time he would “reach across the aisle would be to grab [Democrats’] throats.”  

Though there were a lot of puzzling things about DeploraBall ― among them a performance of Bob Dylan’s protest anthem, “The Times They Are A Changin’” ― none was more head-scratching than a denunciation of fascism followed by a sitting law enforcement official threatening to choke his political opponents.

The so-called alt-right encompasses a range of nationalistic outlooks, ranging from segregationists to authoritarians to angry Redditors in need of a platform to vent their anger. Though their aims vary, almost all are united in their distaste for, and often outright hatred of, pluralism.

Other attendees included Martin Shkreli, the so-called “Pharma Bro” who is under indictment for securities fraud and who rose to prominence for raising the price of a live-saving drug; Roger Stone, the lifelong Republican activist known for his underhanded tactics; entrepreneur Peter Thiel, a member of  Donald Trump’s transition team and secret funder of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit that ultimately bankrupted Gawker; Michael Flynn Jr., son of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and a online propagator of fake news stories; James O’Keefe, the conservative activist criticized for selectively editing his undercover videos of progressives; Pamela Geller, a leading Islamophobic activist; and, of course, Cernovich, a near-bottomless well of controversial statements who has made a name for himself promoting an uber-macho brand of personal improvement.

There were other moments of unreality. As partygoers waited to pass through security, a man held up a sign that warned of “the MEXICAN NIGHTMARE.” Another attendee carried a sign reading, “HILLARY IS A DISHONEST UNTRUSTWORTHY, HATEFUL, ESTABLISHMENT WHORE AND A ?ITCH!” Chants of “Trump! Trump!” and “Lock her up!” soon erupted, and the sight of a man in a tuxedo barking, “Trump that bitch!” does not fade from memory quickly.

Inside, in the wood-panel-lined, boys-club-like environs of the Press Club, revelers snapped photos of themselves beside a Donald Trump impersonator and a painting of George Washington wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. They surveyed the offerings at the buffet and bar, which somewhat counterintuitively offered a foreign beer, Heineken. Partygoers, predominantly white, ranged in age and dress, some opting for classic evening wear and military dress uniforms while others sported their finest #MAGA T-shirts. This was the Met Gala for white people who feel under siege ― the Capote Ball for anyone who wants their kids to grow up and be like Fox News’ Jesse Watters.  

However, the evening was defined as much by what was going on within as by what was going on without. Fourteen stories below, on F Street NW, a large protest had gathered well before the festivities began, with hundreds of people holding signs denouncing extremism and espousing action (”SMASH FASCISM” and “Take to the Streets,” to name a couple). On one end, someone had inflated a giant elephant with the word “RACISM” stamped across it, while several hundred feet away, a woman carrying a “Free Palestine” sign argued with a man sporting an “American Bikers United Against Jihad” hoodie. Protesters had trained two spotlights on the Press Club Building, one of which read, “Impeach the Predator President” and the other ― in what was truly history’s strangest bat signal ― “Bragging About Grabbing A Woman’s Genitals.”

A human shield of police formed alongside the entrance to the party, dividing the partygoers from the more aggressive protesters, many of whom yelled invectives at the attendees. At one point, as the crush of protesters heaved forward, several officers fell over, forming a temporary gap. Suddenly exposed, a handful of attendees (and one Huffington Post reporter) scampered into the lobby, their flight set to a soundtrack of clacking heels and cries of “fascist!”

The protests were met with a mixture of amusement and anger by the self-proclaimed “deplorables” inside. Some snapped photos of the demonstrators as they snaked through the security line in the lobby, offering defiant waves and other, less friendly gestures through the windows.  

“I had a sign with ‘peace’ written on it thrown at my face!” one attendee in the security line recalled.

“You just can’t dress well in these parts,” his companion replied consolingly.

Others were significantly less good-humored.

“Was there tear gas?” one partygoer loitering by a bar upstairs in the Press Club asked about the protest.

“Yeah. Fuckin’ gas ‘em!” another replied.

“Fuckin’ billy-club them!” the first guest added.

“I’ll go out and help!” added the second.

One attendee was quite certain that the country was squarely on the side of her and her fellow deplorables.

“The media gives them a platform!” she insisted. “That’s what it is!”

“We love America here,” another guest injected. “That’s what this is!”

―-

Huffington Post reporter Eliot Nelson’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide to Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing and Sometimes Hilarious Government, is out now. 

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Screen Time May Not Be So Bad for Teens After All

Those who spend hours on smartphones, computers, TV can still flourish, develop social skills, study finds
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Ten Simple and Unexpected Ways to Boost Happiness

What are some small ways to boost happiness in everyday life? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Raj Raghunathan, Professor of marketing and happiness expert at UT Austin, on Quora:

I once surveyed my students to make a list of three small things that make them feel happy after watching this video. Here’s the Top Ten list from that survey:

Note that not all of them will work equally well for you, so you need to figure out which ones work best:

1. Engage in vigorous physical activity.

The next time you need a mood-boost, try this out: go for a long run or play a game of basketball. Now, what counts as a long run for you may be a mere walk in the park for me (it’s more likely to be the reverse), but the point is that the activity needs to be vigorous enough get your heart pumping and your mind distracted from your negative ruminations. If you are like most people, you are unlikely to want to get off your butt if you are feeling down. But, as the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!” Here’s a fact to get you going: you are guaranteed to feel better after a workout than you felt before it.

2. Hang out with friends.

When we feel down, we typically don’t want to interact with others. This is partly because we don’t want others to see our negative side, but it’s mostly because we don’t think that hanging out with others is really going to help us feel better. I’m not sure where this intuition comes from, but I can tell you that it is wrong: our mood reliably improves after we socialize, especially if the people with whom we socialize are happy and likeable. Similar to how it’s important to overcome the reluctance to exercise, it’s important to overcome the pessimism we feel about the effectiveness of socializing when feeling down.

If you are wondering where and with whom to socialize, just call one of the “favorites” on your smart phone and make a plan to meet. Tell them about what is troubling you to get you started–even a short chat with a close-friend can significantly improve your mood.

3. Consume a moderate amount of alcohol.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be encouraging people to drink, but what to do? It turns out that when we desperately need a happiness quick-fix, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol can be effective. The key here is to consume just enough to feel a little relaxed. The very process by which alcohol lowers inhibitions can also lower the tendency to worry. In other words, alcohol can temporarily take your mind off things that are causing you to feel negative and thus, can be useful in situations in which our mind is on a “negativity overdrive.” Needless to say, it is important to consume only a moderate amount of alcohol. If you are one of those who can’t stop after two, don’t try this at home or elsewhere!

4. Dress to kill.

As I mentioned in an earlier article, human beings are highly social creatures, which means that we worry a lot about what others think of us. When we believe that others view us positively, we feel good, and when we believe that they view us negatively, we feel bad. So, one way to make yourself feel good is to wear your best clothes and perfume (or cologne, as the case may be) and venture out to your local park or mall. We you look and smell good, or think that you do, you are likely to believe that others view you positively and this will make you feel good.

5. Revisit old (and positive) memories.

Reliving the “good old times” can be a surprisingly effective mood-booster. I say “surprising” because many of us, especially the young among us, rarely engage in reliving fond memories. Curiously, it seems that the more our life has become virtual, the less we are likely to revisit the past. My parents, for example, regularly spend time recalling pleasant past memories, and also routinely pore over the “family album” to relive past memories. Our existence in the virtual world, e.g., on social media websites, should, if anything, allow us to revisit our past even more effectively, given that many of our cherished memories and experiences are merely a “click away”.

A note of caution, however, if you are looking to the Internet to revisit the past: stay away from those who make you feel inferior. That is, stay away from people who are into the game of “keeping up with the joneses”–you know, the ones who frequently post pictures from their vacation in Spain, or engage in name-dropping. Findings show that such “friends” bring you down.

6. Watch a funny or touching video.

Some people prefer funny videos and others prefer heart-warming ones. Regardless, findings show is that even a short exposure to a positive video can significantly boost happiness. (There’s a reason why one of the most popular ways to manipulate mood in experiments is to have participants watch a video.) Here are links to two funny and two touching videos. (Note: the last one is relatively long, at about 15 minutes, but it is well worth it!)

Funny videos:

Dog playing piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

The Duck Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

Heart-warming videos:

Love Language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

Validation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

7. Talk to an older relative.

It’s a bit of a pity that, in many “new” cultures (like the US), the elderly aren’t as respected as they are older cultures (like China or India). Think about it: as you grow older, you get physically weak and mentally less nimble. The one saving grace could have been that you gain in respect. Without it, growing old seems to have no positives. No wonder the US is so “youth crazy”!

As findings on hyperopia show, the elderly do deserve our respect because they have “been there, done that.” They thus have many valuable lessons to share. In particular, no one can put things in perspective like the elderly can. Talking to them will help you discern the important from the merely urgent and will also help you not sweat the small stuff.

8. Tick something off your “to do” list.

Have you ever written down something on your things to do list just so that you can have the pleasure of scratching it out? Well, turns out you are not alone. Findings show that people derive an “efficacy boost” by accomplishing goals and this can, in turn, make them feel good. If you don’t have a things to do list or can’t think of something to write on it to scratch off, don’t worry. Just do something simple and easy, like depositing a check or washing a cup, and you’ll be on your way to feeling good.

9. Do a small act of kindness.

Perhaps the most powerful determinant of how we feel is the story we tell ourselves about who we are. The more we believe that we are efficacious and successful, the better we feel–which is why tip #8 (ticking something off your list) works. Another story you can tell yourself is that a large-hearted, generous person. One way to convince yourself of this story is to act like a large-hearted and generous person. This doesn’t mean that you break your bank to serve someone; all you need to do is to perform a small act of kindness such as, rescuing a kitten from a tree, or giving left-over food to a homeless person. Even merely smiling or saying “good morning!” to someone can pick your mood up.

10. Venture into nature.

Most urbanites don’t recognize it, but human beings are biophiles, that is, we love being out in nature. I take my MBA students on a two day retreat each year to a place out in the boonies. We hike up a hill and swim in the river and do various other “nature-oriented” things. Before going on the trip, most of my students are skeptical that being out in nature is going to do anything good, but many come away making a pledge that they will get out more in nature in the future. (I’m not sure if they actually make good on their pledge, but the pledge is good enough for me.) Turns out you don’t need to go on a two day retreat to reap the benefits of being out in nature: even a short hike or a picnic in a park can help you feel good.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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The Women Who Are Running To Protest Trump Are Tapping Into History

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Alison Désir, the founder of a community running organization in New York City called Harlem Run, turned her frustration into political action.

Désir’s remedy: a four-woman, 240-mile relay, beginning in Harlem, New York City, on Jan. 16 and ending in Washington, D.C., on the day of Trump’s inauguration. The race was designed to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood in honor of women. As of Jan. 20, the (Four Women) Run For ALL Women GoFundMe page had raised more than $ 89,000 ― more than twice their goal ― to give women access to cancer screenings and preventive care, even if Planned Parenthood is defunded this year.

Though Four Women are running specifically in opposition to Trump, they are participating in a legacy of people who run in protest or with advocacy in mind.

Protest and advocacy runs range from sponsored marathons to singular, public displays of support, such as Terry Fox’s famous 143-day marathon for cancer research or the recent 2,000-mile relay run from North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Désir’s activist relay is part of a larger tradition of running as a form of protest. Women in particular have a history of using long-distance running to call attention to their fight for equality. In fact, just the act of running while female used to be protest enough.

When Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb’s 1966 Boston Marathon entry was rejected by the Boston Athletic Association because women were neither allowed to participate, nor “physiologically able” to compete, she ignored her denial letter. 

Instead, she dressed in her brother’s clothing, hid her hair under a hooded sweatshirt, and joined the race without a bib. 

Gibb would go on to prove her detractors at the Boston Athletic Association wrong. She finished in the top third of the pack.

“Last week a tidy-looking and pretty 23-year-old blonde [had] a performance that should do much to phase out the old-fashioned notion that a female is too frail for distance running,” Sports Illustrated wrote at the time.

Her protest run also inspired other women to participate, most memorably at that time 20-year-old Kathy Switzer, who officially entered the Boston marathon under the non-gender specific name “K.V. Switzer” the following year. Remarkable though her physical achievement was, race director Jock Semple tried to tackle Switzer and toss her from the race for entering under false pretenses (as seen in the photo above snapped during the assault). As Switzer writes on her website:

A big man, a huge man, with bared teeth was set to pounce, and before I could react he grabbed my shoulder and flung me back, screaming, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” Then he swiped down my front, trying to rip off my bib number, just as I leapt backward from him. 

The resulting photos transformed Switzer into the face of women’s running and cemented her status as a feminist role model for generations of women.

Six women in New York City built on that activist legacy. When the gun went off at the start of the New York City Marathon in 1972, the women sat down at the starting line and held up signs protesting the Amateur Athletic Union, which required female runners to participate in a “separate but equal” marathon and start the race 10 minutes before the male runners, or on a different starting line. 

A photo of the sit-in ran in the New York Times the following Monday.

“It made a huge difference because it happened in New York. After that, the A.A.U. allowed women to run with men,” Nina Kuscsik, one of the protesters, told the Times in 2011. In 1972, Kuscsik became the first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon.

As for Désir, she and the women of (Four Women) Run For ALL Women are carrying what Désir calls the “baton of hope and health” into Washington Friday, then joining the Women’s March on Saturday, in honor of the rights of women everywhere. 

In doing so, they’re building on the legacies of Gibb, Switzer and Kucsik.

“There will be four of us running, but we’ll be running for all of us,” Désir wrote on her GoFundMe page.

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Ivanka Trump Is Opting Out, But Women Are Marching In

Ivanka Trump, self-proclaimed champion of working women, recently followed in the footsteps of so many other privileged professional women and opted out of work. She’s left her business to move to Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three young children.

Asked recently if Ivanka will play a big role in his administration, Donald Trump demurred. “She’s got the kids,” the president-elect said in an interview with The Times of London this week.

“She married very well,” he said of Ivanka on Thursday night at a campaign donors’ dinner in Washington. Her husband, Jared Kushner, who is taking on an official role in the administration, will work on bringing peace to the Middle East, Trump said.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Ivanka doesn’t have an outside job at the moment.

The brand of feminism she’s hawked for the past few years sets up women to leave their professional jobs. Her sanitized, individualistic version of women’s empowerment ― marketed on her website as #WomenWhoWork ―  is locked in a decades-old conception of how women can “have it all” just by the force of sheer will.

In Ivanka’s world, and, by extension, her father’s, professional women don’t need, or ask for, support from partners or policies, they need only work extra-hard to succeed. (They do get help from nannies and other low-paid working women, but that’s not discussed.)

A section of Ivanka’s website ― “the ultimate destination for women who work” ― called “Wise Words” is devoted to the idea that hard work is all it takes. “Give it 110 percent,” reads one Instagram-ready slogan. Another reads: “Don’t watch the clock, do what it does. Keep going.”

But right now, especially now, women need more than platitudes. As busloads of protesters arrive in Washington this weekend to register the beginning of their fight against the newly elected president, that’s never been more clear.

If ever anyone declared a war on women, it’s Trump, who’s belittled and demeaned women throughout his career. He has boasted of sexual assault and been accused by more than a dozen women of it. He’s prepared to nominate a Supreme Court judge specifically with the intent of rolling back Roe v. Wade. He’s pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has given women better access to birth control and preventive care.

Ivanka Trump’s feminism doesn’t soften those hits. It accommodates them. Many see through it as a flimsy cover for her father’s repellent behavior.

But even taken at face value, Ivanka’s vision for working women doesn’t get you very far. She herself is evidence of this.

The idea that women can will themselves to the top ignores the social and cultural realities women face at work, said Colleen Ammerman, assistant director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School. We don’t yet operate on an even playing field. More is expected of women at home, and at work mothers still face discrimination, as well. There’s little public policy that supports parents who need to work.

Yet Ivanka-ism asks nothing of men or of employers or of policymakers.

And as so many elite professional women before her learned the hard way, women can’t do it all alone. Without support from outside themselves ― from their partners, their government and their workplace ― women hit a wall.  

And if they’ve got money, they call the wall “opting out.” They quit their prestigious jobs and tell their friends and family and colleagues that they want to devote themselves more deeply to their families.

The phenomenon was identified in a now famous New York Times magazine piece by Lisa Belkin in 2003. Belkin reported that successful women ― Princeton graduates she interviewed ― were choosing to step away from their careers to pursue motherhood with intensity. She delves into the notion that women are simply more comfortable doing the nurturing.

Follow-up research told a different story. First, often women scaled back professionally because there was no one else to do their work at home. No father willing to step in and work out a balance. Has anyone said Ivanka’s husband couldn’t do his job because “he’s got the kids”?

Second, women were leaving the professional realm because it was essentially hostile to them, Pam Stone, a professor of sociology at Hunter College, explains in her book “Opting Out?” which came out around the time of Belkin’s piece.

Stone interviewed 54 predominantly white professional women around the U.S. who had left their jobs to devote themselves to mothering. She found these women didn’t really want to leave work but felt they had no choice. After having a child, their colleagues and managers made it clear, one way or another, that they were no longer welcome.

The hours at work were punishingly long, these women said. If you didn’t go all in, you were essentially out. Those who wanted to work fewer hours were penalized, taken off the track to promotion and put out to career pasture. Implicitly and explicitly their managers told these women that they expected them to leave. So they did. 

Ivanka Trump seems to be following in this grand tradition of focusing on motherhood.

To be sure, we don’t really know what Ivanka’s going to be doing over the next four years. There’s been speculation that she will take on some first lady duties.

Many academics and feminists I spoke with for this story said we’d do ourselves a disservice to outright dismiss Ivanka’s activism for working women.

After all, Ivanka is responsible for getting Trump to propose two policies targeted at women: maternity leave and child care tax credits.

Each proposal is deeply flawed. Paid leave is just six weeks long and would cover only women who give birth ― no adoptive or foster parents. And, of course, no men. Most experts say it would disadvantage women in the workplace. And it’s unclear whether the tax credits would offer much benefit to middle-class workers.

Ivanka’s said nothing about the myriad other policies that working women ― the kind that can’t afford to walk away from their jobs ― need: paid sick leave, raising the minimum wage. She also has said nothing about her father’s stated push to roll back reproductive rights or the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its protections for women’s health.

Still, paid maternity leave is something, Stone said. And while Ivanka doesn’t have a formal role in the administration, she does seem to have the ear of the man that’s about to run the country.

“She’s an ambivalent figure,” Stone said. “But she has the power and position to do some good things.”

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The low-down on hand soap

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Now is the Time: Do the Next, Right Thing

We will make only one choice.

Throughout our lives, we do only one thing. Again and again, moment by moment, year after year. It is how we live our days, how we shape our lives.

Our choice is this: What is the next, right thing for us to do? Where, in this moment, will we place our time, our care, our attention? Do we remain as we are, do we move? do we speak or keep silent, attend to this person, or that task, or turn away, in this direction, or that?

Each new moment demands a fresh choice.

after every decision, there is yet another to be made. And another. Ours are not so often obviously dramatic choices. We are rarely called upon to know the time to change careers, the day to get married, the hour to leave the city of our birth. Most choices are small, quiet, intimate things that flow from us as a breath, as water exhaled from a mountain spring. Endless, simple, one by one thimbles of water tumble into the next, creating the smallest trickles playing this way and that. Still. Over time, with neither map nor plan – through surprising twists, curving around unforeseen obstacles-mere droplets of water will always invariably find their way down, down, through the valley, completing their pilgrimage at last to become one, an ancient and familiar melting, into the sea, from which it came.

At every point of resistance, any threat of change, our tiny stream makes a choice: To go right or left? Over or around? Or it may just stop, right where it is. Without moving, our stream becomes a shallow pool, creates a slowly growing fullness, waiting. Waiting for that singularly perfect moment when the only possible next thing is to spill itself out and over, stumbling and rushing everywhere along its way.

The stream knows nothing of what lies ahead. It is not conscious of planning for any possible future. It is simply following the path of least resistance, motivated by gravity. Still, how does the water “decide” to go right, or left, when approaching a boulder, a fallen tree? And yet, a choice is made. Inch by inch, the water does the next, right thing, perhaps encountering tiny rivulets or flowing creeks along the way. By the end of the journey, if we look back, we witness the gradual, evolving birth of what we now realize has, drop by drop, choice by choice, become a stream.

A stream is little more than an ongoing fidelity, a consecrated relationship. A never-ending conversation between water, gravity, earth, overcoming obstacles, in a relationship born over time, which gives birth to this astonishing miracle we then call, “stream.” This ancient, elemental rhythm between water and earth creates all the streams that saturate all the seas that cover all the world.

So it is with our lives. The only choice we ever make is one called out from us by a similarly vital inner gravity, an invisible thread that carries our life forward, until our life – this one wild and precious life, meets the world. In all its wonder and promise, in all its ferocity and confusion. Just as it is.

So. We must prepare. We will make choices. If fortune smiles upon us we will make good, honorable, strong choices. But every decision we make, no matter how small, shapes the ground of our being. Each choice helps form the foundation upon which we stand, and live, and act.

This is our field of battle: Here, who we are meets what is in the world. This essential, heroic relationship, this intimate communion between the quiet wisdom of our hearts, and the ways the world emerges, moment by moment, right before our eyes becomes our most reliable tool, our most potent weapon, our true north, a lifelong practice of deep and holy listening for that very next, right thing we will – make no mistake – absolutely, and sooner than we imagine, be required to choose.

Our lives hang in the balance. Surely, goodness and mercy will follow us all.

Wayne Muller is leading a retreat at Ghost Ranch on “Sabbath as Refuge from the Trance of Ordinary Life” Feb. 22-26. https://www.ghostranch.org/visit/make-a-reservation/ 505-685-1000

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Here’s How Americans Ended Up Eating Too Much Sugar

Sugar is the tobacco of the new century, according to investigative science journalist and author Gary Taubes. 

With a powerful lobby and a huge consumer base, there are obvious parallels to tobacco, which for decades we didn’t know to be addictive and linked to lung cancer and other diseases. Taubes says sugar is making us dependent and sick, too. 

“You can’t think of sugar as a benign pleasure,” Taubes, who is the author of the new book The Case Against Sugar, argued during a recent Facebook Live interview with HuffPost’s “The Scope.” 

The average American consumes 82 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which is more than three times the maximum of 25 grams per day for women recommended by the American Heart Association. For decades, the science has shown a clear link between a diet high in added sugars and chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease, but it’s taking a long time for the average American’s diet to catch up. 

A big part of the problem is the high sugar content of most processed foods, Taubes says. When questions emerged about the role of dietary fat in heart disease, starting in the 1950s. Many American food companies began to remove fat from their processed foods to market them as healthy products. But they weren’t all that healthy, since the fat ― which is what gives food much of its taste ― was often replaced with high amounts of sugar to restore flavor.

What’s more, the actual research on the dietary fat-disease link isn’t as clear-cut as nutritional advice from that era makes it seem. While some population-level studies have found a relationship between a low-fat diet and improved heart health and longevity, investigations of the role of dietary fat on individual risk never really demonstrated what researchers set out to prove: that consuming fat resulted in increased risk of disease. 

“We started to do tests in the ‘60s, and the tests resolutely refused to confirm the idea,” Taubes said. “But the more tests you do, the more people assumed it had to be true.” 

By that time, the idea had caught on so much that the growing counter-evidence didn’t seem to matter. Low-fat diets took off, and were institutionalized by new USDA dietary guidelines advising people to restrict their fat intake. 

“The next thing you know, for 30 years, we’re all eating these low-fat diets,” he said. And the problem wasn’t necessarily that people were eating less fat, but that they were generally eating more sugar. 

Watch the video above to hear more from Taubes about how fat came to be seen as the number-one dietary villain.

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Fretful Nation to Trump: “Let’s Make a Deal”

I keep thinking there’s a number.

I don’t know what the number is. Maybe he doesn’t even know what the number is.

But there’s definitely a number.

A number that’s big enough – yuuuge enough, even – to convince one Donald J. Trump to bid adieu to the Oval Office, and go back to Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower full time. To resume his very comfortable (and very public) private life right where he left it. Only even more famous, if that’s possible, than he was when he first glided down that escalator – and billions richer.

And he wouldn’t even have to pretend to think about Syria anymore. Or the Federal Reserve. Or Meryl Streep.

The key, of course, is those billions.

I’m talking about paying Donald Trump an enormous sum of money, an unbelievable sum of money, to simply…go away.

It would be the ultimate deal.

I say he takes it. Certainly he considers it.

Maybe he sticks around through the inauguration – the oath, the parade, the fancy balls all over town. Just long enough to take pictures, to put him in the history books as America’s 45th president. (And Vladimir Putin’s first.)

Or maybe he takes the money and runs. Right now. He’s already done the things he most wanted to do – grab the spotlight, expand the brand, stick it to the candidates who competed with him, the dynasties that discounted him, all those other elites who laughed at him.

They’re not laughing now.

But there’s every chance they’ll start laughing again before very long. (When they’re not cowering, that is. Or screaming. Or suing.) From the looks of things in these last pre-presidential days, they certainly won’t lack for guffaw-worthy material. And you may have noticed: He’s also very much of a ridiculophobe – at least when he’s the target.

So don’t leave them laughing, Donald. Leave them before they’re laughing.

You, meanwhile – you’re skeptical we can pull this off. That two billion from Dubai he says he turned down just a week or so ago; it has you psyched out. Nah.

You really don’t think we could crowdsource enough money to capture the man’s attention? Please. Kickstarter, GoFundMe – they’re just made for this. Start with the 65-million-plus Hillary voters. Add the disillusioned Trump voters who’ve already figured out that “Drain the Swamp” is just Trumpspeak for “Appoint More Gazillionaires.” Then add those other Trump fans who never expected the Bus Tour of Famous American Landmarks to include the Kremlin.

Speaking of which: What about those millions of Europeans looking east with growing alarm? Would they do their share to help make Donald Trump an offer he couldn’t refuse? To grease the skids for someone – anyone! – else to sit in the Oval Office? Is there any doubt?

Besides, by now it has to be dawning on the man himself: Once the tiny hand comes off the tiny Bible, it won’t be nearly as much fun.

There’ll be issues you’ll be expected to know about, Mr. President, and difficult decisions you’ll be expected to make. Daily intelligence briefings? Waste of time! Meanwhile, the finance minister from Upper Lowvia – or is it Lower Upvia? – is requesting an audience, and you don’t even want to build a hotel there!

Boring. Totally, soul-numbingly boring. (Even for your soul.)

Those are the bad parts, true. Eventually, though, even the good parts stop being fun, don’t they?
Monetizing the presidency takes work, after all. Plus always having to stick your fingers in your ears to ignore some Ethics Nanny going on and on about how you’re violating centuries of tradition, not to mention the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

(Memo in the Meantime to the Opposition? Stop talking about violating “The Emoluments Clause” – it sounds like he chose the wrong skin cream! Call it something people will actually understand: The Foreign Bribes Act, for instance. “He’ll be violating The Foreign Bribes Act.” Got it? Good. Now back to the barricades.)

Where were we? Right – getting out while the getting’s good. Who knows? Someday even tweeting may lose its glamour!

It’s not a perfect solution, I admit; we’d still have Mike Pence running the store. But priorities are priorities, and luring Donald Trump out of the big chair with the big button has to be any sensible person’s first order of business.

And Donald’s first order of business? Doing what’s best for Donald, of course. That’s the beauty part.

The chance to pocket the biggest payday of his life? To pull off the greatest con in American history? To get all the headlines, and none of the heavy lifting?

There’s a number. Let’s find out.

# # #

Rick Horowitz is a writer and television commentator in Milwaukee.

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Short Stretches of Exercise May Have Anti-Inflammatory Effect

20 minutes on a treadmill linked to drop in immune cells tied to inflammation, study finds
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MOOD 🌕🌓🌚🌎

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Sometimes Light And
Sometimes Dark And
Sometimes Shades Of Gray …

How We View Them
Let Them Grow
Can Dominate Our Day …

If Only We Could
Look Around To See
What Nature Shows …

That ‘Change’
The Only Permanent
As Life Can Only Flow …

From Birth To Death
A One Way Street
With No Exceptions Had …

Then Maybe We Could
Just Decide Which Way
‘Joyful’ Or ‘Mad’ …

Which Way We Wished
To Live Our Lives
With Peacefulness Or Pain …

With Kindness And
Much Empathy ?
With Jealousy And Shame ? …

For All Of Us
We Have This Chance
To Choose The Life We Live …

No Matter Where
We Start Our Lives
We Still Can Always Give …

A Helping Hand
A Caring Heart
A Smile Along The Way …

To Lessen
All The Burden And
To Brighten Up A Day …

To Choose The Path
We Walk Through Life
And What We Wish To See …

For Beauty Sees
What Beauty Finds
If Only Just To BE …

And Just Like Clouds
These Moods Will Pass
The Sun Will Shine As Bright …

So Let Us All
Look Deep Inside
And Bring This World Some Light ✨✨✨…

____________________________________

Soe Moe Lwin
9:22 am
19/01/2017

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Actually, Tom Price, Women Have Been Fired For Their Reproductive Choices

During his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said he didn’t believe employers were currently able to fire women for their reproductive decisions, specifically their choice to use birth control. 

Back in 2015, Price voted for a resolution that would have dismantled the District of Columbia’s protections for women from being fired for their reproductive health decisions. The description of the resolution clearly states that it disapproves of the D.C. Council’s vote to approve the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which protects people from workplace discrimination based on their reproductive health decisions. 

But during Wednesday’s senate hearing, Price insisted that the resolution he voted for would not have the effect of allowing employers to let workers go because of their personal health decisions. Here’s part of the exchange, with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.): 

Hassan: No, the question is whether an employer, who, let’s say, in a self-insured, employer-provided health insurance plan, finds out that a female employee who earned the benefit with her hard work is using the benefit to provide health ― to provide birth control, to buy birth control, which the benefit provides, and then fires her because the employer disapproves of the use of birth control. 

Price: I don’t think that’s the case. 

Hassan: You don’t think that ― would you like us to provide examples for you? 

Price: Yeah, I’d be happy to. 

Hassan: So, you would be willing to say that employers may not — you would support a law, a rule, that employers may not discriminate against women for their reproductive health decisions?

Price: I don’t think that employers ought to, that employers have the opportunity right now to be able to let somebody go based upon their health status or the medications that they use.

To help Price out, here are just a few examples of women being fired for reproductive choices their employers didn’t agree with, compiled by the National Women’s Law Center:  

1. Christa Dias was fired from her job as a Catholic school teacher in Cincinnati in 2010, after school administrators found out she was unmarried and had become pregnant through artificial insemination. A jury awarded her more than $ 170,000 in 2013 after she filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 

2. Kelly Romenesko was fired from her teaching job at two Catholic schools in Wisconsin after she and her husband became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. The termination took place in 2004, just a few days after she told her boss that the fertility procedure had worked. Romenesko and her former employer, the Appleton Catholic Educational System Inc./Xavier, reached a settlement in 2007.

3. Emily Herx was fired from her job at a Catholic school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 2011 after school administrators found out that she and her husband were undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments. A jury awarded her $ 1.9 million in damages in 2014 after she filed a gender discrimination lawsuit. 

4. Christine John was fired from her job at a Seventh-day Adventist school in Michigan after school officials found out she was pregnant before she got married in 2005. 

5. Shaela Evenson was fired from her job at a Catholic school in Montana in 2014 after an anonymous letter to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena revealed that she was pregnant and unmarried. She had become pregnant through artificial insemination. In 2016, Evenson and the school reached a private settlement

6. Michelle McCusker was fired from her job at a Catholic school in New York in 2005 after she disclosed that she was pregnant and not planning to get married. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a discrimination complaint on her behalf, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2006 that she had been the victim of unlawful pregnancy discrimination

7. After being compelled by a state law to offer employees insurance plans that included birth control coverage, the Madison Catholic Diocese in Wisconsin told employees that they could be fired if they actually used the benefit to get contraception. 

Price’s vote on this resolution is one of many legislative decisions he has made against reproductive choice and the right to an abortion. He has sponsored unsuccessful legislation that would have granted constitutional rights to fertilized embryos, voted for legislation that would have banned abortions nationwide 20 weeks after fertilization, and is against the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage mandate

This reporting is brought to you by HuffPost’s health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your story: scopestories@huffingtonpost.com

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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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Assange Sticks To Extradition Promise Now That Chelsea Manning Will Be Freed

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be headed to the United States to face trial.

He pledged last week via Twitter to accept extradition to the U.S. if President Barack Obama agreed to grant clemency to Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Obama commuted Manning’s sentence on Tuesday, and it appears that Assange is sticking to his word.

He didn’t mention the extradition request in his own statement on Manning, which asked that the U.S. end its “war” on whistleblowers, but Assange’s lawyer, Melinda Taylor, made it clear that he’s “standing by” what he had said:

The U.S. has not yet submitted an extradition request for Assange, Taylor noted, although there’s an ongoing security prosecution against him. The U.K. hasn’t confirmed or denied whether it has received an extradition request either, she added.

Assange has not left the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, when he submitted an asylum request to the country. He is still wanted in Sweden on a rape charge, which he denies, and has said in the past that he fears U.S. extradition if he were to leave the embassy.

The White House said Tuesday that Assange’s pledge didn’t play a role in its decision to commute Manning’s sentence.

“The president’s decision to offer commutation was not influenced by public comments by Mr. Assange or the WikiLeaks organization,” a White House official told The Guardian. “I have no insight into Mr. Assange’s travel plans.”

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Health Tip: Get Moving Toward a Healthier You

Here’s what you can do
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A New Year, A New Chapter, A New You

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The start of the New Year has me thinking about endings, beginnings, and the paths we take to lead us from one chapter to the next. How did you choose your direction? How did you decide to be a botanist, a nurse, or a stay-at-home Dad? For some, life’s course comes naturally–as for those who know what they want to be as early as high school. For others, those decisions come hard–as for those of us who struggle to find our way until a midlife crisis leads us from one place to another.

For me, the certainty that I would wind up as a writer became apparent when I was quite young–though other ideas cropped up along the way. At one point, I dreamed of being a psychiatrist who could help people heal from the disease my mother suffered from. At another, I was sure I would be a horse breeder, spending my life on a farm with all sorts of animals, as I had at summer camp. But the passion for writing won out during my freshman year in college, and when I turned twenty-one I started my first book.

After two decades of writing fiction, at forty years old, I discovered–to my surprise–that I had something important to say about myself. I had a new grasp on all that had happened to me and all that I, at last, understood about my own history. A strong urge to express these revelations and my conclusions about them led me to memoir. I decided to jump genres.

Memoir requires a particular kind of courage–a willingness to open up emotionally and go public with your understanding of your life, rather than putting your experiences and ideas into the mouths of imaginary characters. This sort of writing is a challenge for me in many ways. First and foremost, it’s about “getting over” myself and learning how to be humble. Then there is conquering the fear of being vulnerable with an unknown host of others. Last but not least, there is the complicated matter of writing about people who are so integral to the experiences I am sharing with the world.

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I get questions from readers about all these issues regularly, and my answer to them is always the same simple truth: I am driven to reach out to others via what I have learned through my own life. I can’t flinch from writing about it. I often receive emails (or sometimes letters) from those who tell me that Searching for Mercy Street helped them to understand their parents better and to forgive the inevitable errors made while raising them. And others write to say that Half in Love has helped them to understand more about depression and suicide, or to move them to seek medical help, or to speak more frankly about their emotions with family–or just to take the risk of reaching out to me, a total stranger who might not answer, even though I seem to be a kindred spirit.

Every one of these reactions makes the fear of baring my soul to the world worthwhile, and this is what fulfills me. It puts into perspective any desire for better sales figures or stellar reviews. In the end, affecting other people with my writing is all that matters to me, and I’m grateful that my life allows me to pursue such a goal.

I have known many who have scrambled for a long time before being able to make a mid-life decision to go in a new direction. One who left a flourishing law practice to write; one who ditched the security of a being a physician to take the risk of becoming a Silicon Valley entrepreneur; one who took years away from her career in journalism to sail the world with her husband and young children; one who decided to become a stay-at-home Dad so that his wife could pursue her dream; one who conquered depression over being childless and adopted instead; one who went back to school at age forty to become a minister.

The changes these people created for themselves required enormous bravery and a willingness to take a leap of faith. I admire them immensely. They gave me the guts to make yet another shift in my professional life, one over which I had been hesitating. Although it was not dissatisfaction that pushed me to leave the genre that I loved, however temporarily, at the outset of 2015 I tackled fiction once again. I chose to start a novel in spite of my insecurity and fear about critics who sometimes judge that my memoirs are my best efforts. But, of course, the decision was softened by the fact that I was lucky enough to be able to continue using my own personal stories in my newsletters, blogs and articles.

We might all look for inspiration, as I did twice, in the examples of the others I’ve written about above–particularly if we are unhappy with wherever life has led us thus far. The advent of a new year is the perfect time to try something fresh. Summon up your courage and unleash whatever it is that fires you up.

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Copyright 2016 Linda Gray Sexton

Follow the author on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lindagraysextonauthor/

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NamAHHHste: Beer Yoga Is Just What The World Has Been Waiting For

It’s bottoms up in every sense as yoga is being mixed with beer at a growing number of events around the world.

It’s called “beer yoga,” and it’s just what it sounds like: A cross between the body-bending stretches of yoga and the palate-pleasing tastes of a good brew. 

Germany’s BierYoga appears to have started the trend. 

“Basically, I played around with it in my room with a Radler [half beer, half lemonade or soda],” yoga instructor of BierYoga cofounder Jhula told Vice last year. “I took standard vinyasa sequences, which most people have done a bunch of times, and tried to figure out everywhere I could work beer in there.”

Now, she’s taking the concept global, with a series of events in Australia. 

Broadsheet Sydney describe the event:

It’s an hour-long session of yoga with a twist – you drink a bottle or two of beer at the same time. The beer drinking is incorporated into the yoga poses, in what is sure to be one of the most interesting sessions of yoga you’ve had for a while.”  

Here’s the kind of pose you may expect… just try not to spill any of that precious golden elixir: 

Beer yoga has slowly been making inroads in the United States as well, where some yoga teachers say the addition of suds has been good for business.

“I find that teaching traditional yoga in nontraditional places brings people to the mat who otherwise wouldn’t normally start a yoga practice,” Erin Sonn, founder of Eat. Yoga. Drink. in Northern Virginia, which offers “Yoga+Beer” sessions, told Washington radio station WTOP.

Backers say it combines two activities with the same goal. 

We do these activities because they’re both relaxing,” Kristin Kelly of the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland, told the Frederick News-Dispatch. “So putting these two activities together really just makes sense. You’re doing your yoga in the morning before the brewery even opens, and then you get to hang out and have a beer.”

NamAHHHHHHste.

 

(h/t Mashable)

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Putin: Those Who Spread Fake Allegations About Trump Are ‘Worse Than Prostitutes’

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday an unsubstantiated report that alleged Russia had gathered compromising material on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was a hoax.

Putin, who reiterated he had never met Trump, said he hoped that Moscow and Washington could eventually get their troubled relations back to normal.

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How To Recover From Blogger Burnout In 3 Easy Ways

What Happens When You Step Away

What happens when you’ve slowed down on social media to truly reflect where you’re heading with your business?

What happens when you lose the flow of your posting schedule and you don’t even know where to start?

What happens when you think your voice won’t matter anymore?

What happens when you feel stuck?

You haven’t spoken up in over 2 months and we all know that is forever in the online world. You’ve not posted on all your social media platforms, You haven’t recorded a video, You’ve not showed up in your own FB group! What happens to your self-esteem and your confidence when these actions take place. Well, I should really ask what happens to your self-esteem and confidence when nothing has taken place or when you are sucked into this idea that you have to be online 24-7 in order to make a dollar? Well, it can be pretty depressing to know or should I rather say “think” that you have to start all over.

“Truth is being on social media all the time does not equate to running a business or conducting business activity”

You didn’t always feel this way…You actually had some rhyme or reason to what you were doing months before but somehow you’ve experienced something called burnout. That’s what it is. I hate this term burnout. It feels so cliche, it feels like I crashed and burned and there’s no return. There’s no getting back up. But really with all these emotions and thoughts there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a lesson to be learned and taught to others.

So…let me revisit those questions and share with you my answer.

What can happen when you’ve slowed down on social media?

For starters you get to reflect where you were/are heading with your business… So in my book, amazing things can happen! You begin to have a new sense of confidence and clarity. You can find a new sense of commitment to your goals and what you stand for in your business. You can begin to find your own voice again. You know what when you are constantly online being bombarded by everyone else’s messages you can begin to sound like or imitate someone you really admire. But guess what? You aren’t that person so this time away can bring about a uniqueness in you, and difference in you where you begin to stand out more in your own niche in this sea of online businesses.

What can happen when you lose your flow of your posting schedule and you don’t even know where to start?

Realistically you haven’t lost your flow…you had it scheduled once before. If you scheduled it before I’m sure you can refer back to your old schedule but this time with a breath of fresh ideas and opinions. You can find it on a piece of paper a word document, one of your planners. Start looking back and re-evaluating what you were doing before the burnout. You may just be in a bit of a funk…YOU personally and internally may not be in a flow but that’s ok. Begin to reconnect with your creator first, with the God who created you and listen in to your spirit and where He would have you begin. He’s given you a message for others and you know you gotta get it out to the masses. Start small. Start with an inspirational photo, feel free to reintroduce yourself. Do whatever feels right to you but whatever you do never give up because you lost your flow or feel like you don’t know where to start. I can help with that…I hope this blog post is helping with that now.

What happens when you think your voice won’t matter?

Well honey, this is more of an internal thing. If you are feeling like your voice won’t matter then guess what…it won’t. It’s not for you to determine how your story will connect with others. It’s not for you to give a consensus on the wonderful message imparted within you. Nope you don’t get to judge your message before sharing with others.

When I stepped outside of my own comfort zone and began to share my story and share what I stood for, guess what. I got an astounding…”That was powerful”. This was a mindset shift that I was sharing with other women in my group.

Did you know that I re-edited and re-edited and stressed over this message for days before I put it out. Your voice is your message and when you share it just know if you’ve touched one person you’ve done your job!!!

Conclusion

Whether you are recovering from “Burn Out” or currently experiencing it as you read this post, it’s important to remember that business is a journey and there is no race to the finish line. Brands continually evolve and grow just like we do as people. Sometimes that growth may feel stunted and other times you may experience a growth spurt. But most importantly, building a business is a journey through personal development.

Learning more about yourself and allowing your commitment to shine through regardless of where you think you should be in business are important steps to showing up and serving others through your business.

About the Author: Justina Ford is a Mindset and Success Coach for Multi-Passionate Business Minded Women of Faith. Check out her free workbook on 4 Simple steps to visualizing your Business with God. You can find her in her Facebook Group The Purposeful Pursuit to a Beautiful You.

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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

This Man Went Abroad And Brought Back A Disease U.S. Doctors Had Never Seen

This article is part of HuffPost’s Project Zero campaign, a yearlong series on neglected tropical diseases and efforts to fight them.

Lying in a hospital bed at the State Department medical unit in Washington, D.C., Claude Reece suspected he might have contracted malaria.

It was 1995 and the American was sent back to the U.S. after coming down with a fever, sweats, pounding stomach aches and headaches, while on his first assignment working as a USAID country desk officer for Chad.

“I felt that whatever ailment I contracted could be treated by the Medical Unit,” Reece told The Huffington Post ― that’s why he had been sent back to Washington. But the malaria test came back negative.

Instead, the doctors told Reece a blood test revealed he had contracted Human African trypanosomiasis or “sleeping sickness.” The disease is caused by parasites transmitted by infected tsetse flies. And it’s 100 percent fatal if untreated. The doctors told Reece they had never come across anyone with the disease before. They told him they had no medications to give him.

“I thought I was going to die,” Reece said. “I told my wife that. I told my children that. I told everybody that.”

“We prayed,” he added.

When the doctor tells you there is no drug for what you have

Reece knew what sleeping sickness was. Prior to spending those four weeks in Chad, earlier assignments working for USAID had taken him on several trips to Zimbabwe.

Reece ― who said he is a religious man ― had spent afternoons at a local church he belonged to treating the sick in the community.

“I saw people die from trypanosomiasis,” Reece said, referring to sleeping sickness.

Other than in extremely rare cases (like Reece’s), it is only found in Africa because the tsetse flies that spread the disease are only found on that continent.

“It is difficult to avoid bites from these flies, even though [Mr. Reece] was apparently exposed for only a relatively short time,” a note from the physician who treated Reece read. 

In most cases the disease progresses slowly, taking several months or even years for symptoms to appear ―while other cases progress within just a few months or even weeks.

In its advanced stages sleeping sickness invades the nervous system and causes severe sleep disruptions, paralysis, progressive mental deterioration and eventually death (without an effective treatment).

Researchers are currently in the process of (and very close to) developing two separate treatments, one of which if successfully tested would be a one-dose cure for the disease. The drugs, along with other new therapies and diagnostics, could help stamp out sleeping sickness in the next few years. But without adequate funding to make the potentially life-saving drugs available, the number of cases of the disease could rebound.

The only hope is a drug that has not been tested

Back in 1995 after Reece’s doctors told him he had sleeping sickness, Reece was admitted to George Washington University Hospital. He recalled having a large room to himself. Each day the headaches and the stomach aches got worse.

When friends came to visit him in the hospital they would begin a conversation and Reece would fall asleep mid-sentence. Reece said his friends told him he would be “talking to them one minute and then I was asleep.”

Reece said at that point he did not expect to leave the hospital.

But after a couple of weeks in the hospital his doctors had good news. They had been able to get an experimental drug that a company in Texas was testing to treat sleeping sickness.

I was hopeful and prayerful.
Claude Reece

“My response was to go ahead and use [it],” Reece said. “I was hopeful and prayerful.”

Reece was hooked up to an IV unit and had to receive several rounds of injections of the drug over several weeks, he said. Reece remembers sleeping a lot. 

And then the aches and pains started to go away. After more than a month of being in the hospital in Washington D.C., Reece was released. At that point he said his symptoms had completely vanished.

Completely cured

The treatment Reece received would become part of a drug cocktail that is currently used in Africa to treat cases of sleeping sickness. The treatment helped end the most recent sleeping sickness epidemic on the continent, which reached its peak in 1998, with more than 38,000 reported cases.

But the life-saving drug is difficult to administer in rural African communities because it requires that individuals receive several injections per day over several weeks.

That’s why experts say a one-dose cure ― like one of the new treatments the nonprofit Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative  is currently testing ― has the potential to actually be used more widely and get rid of the disease. A second treatment DNDi is testing also offers a big potential to be more widely distributed: Patients would only need to take one pill a day for 10 days.

“It is expected that these medicines, once developed and approved, can greatly help in eliminating the disease,” Ashok Moloo, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, previously told HuffPost.

Reece, now 79, said he has had no lingering effects from the disease.

“Everybody always asks me that,” Reece said. “Right up until now, there have been no effects. None.”

Reece and his wife had planned a trip to Europe in 1995 after Reece was scheduled to return from Africa. After being released from the hospital, Reece’s doctors told him to take the trip as planned, he said. He had a follow up visit with the doctor after returning from that trip and was told he was completely cured.

Ongoing, collaborative research efforts could make that final prognosis a reality for many many more people.

HuffPost is raising money for sleeping sickness research by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. Support the effort to stamp out sleeping sickness by clicking on the CrowdRise widget below: 

DNDi is a recipient of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which also funds HuffPost’s Project Zero series. All content in this series is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the Foundation. 

If you’d like to contribute a post to the series, send an email to ProjectZero@huffingtonpost.com. And follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ProjectZero.

Sarah DiGiulio is The Huffington Post’s sleep reporter. You can contact her at sarah.digiulio@huffingtonpost.com. 

More stories like this:

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Alec Baldwin’s Trump Takes On Obamacare And Golden Showers On ‘SNL’

Alec Baldwin stepped into Donald Trump’s shoes again for “Saturday Night Live” to present his own version of the president-elect’s recent press conference and talk about inauguration entertainment, golden showers and his sons, “Beavis” and “Butthead.”

Baldwin as Trump begins in the cold open with a serious warning: “Let me answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind: Yes this is real life, this is really happening. On January 20th, I, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Then two months later Mike Pence will become the 46th.”

He says he’s excited to move into the White House, and will even have a “little” pet: Paul Ryan.

“Who is excited for my Inauguration Day?” he asks. “We have got some of the biggest performers in the world lined up. Hold on to your tits and bits, because we have got Three Doors Down, Jackie What’s-her-face from “America’s Got Talent” and the one Rockette with the least money in her savings.” He also touts “huge A-List actors coming, like Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence … courtesy of Madame Tussauds” waxworks.

He then takes questions from “reporters,” but refuses to answer any “pee pee party” questions, referring to an unsubstantiated report of a “golden shower” sex fete in Russia, saying: “It didn’t happen and It wasn’t as cool as it sounds.” But he can’t quite steer away from golden shower images as he talks about his plan to bring a “thick stream of jobs” to the country. “This country will literally be showered with jobs. Because I’m a major wiz at jobs,” he gushes.

When a reporter tells him people “could die” if he eliminates Obamacare without a replacement, leaving 20 million people without health insurance, Baldwin’s Trump answers: “Listen, sweetheart, I’m about to be president. We’re all going to die.”

He also announces that he has “turned over all my business to my two sons, Beavis and Butthead.” Gesturing to SNL cast members Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, playing Donald Jr. and Eric, Baldwin adds: “Look at those two little American psychos.” He refuses to take a question from a reporter from the “failing pile of garbage” BuzzFeed or from “over-rated fake news” CNN, though insists repeatedly: “I respect the press.” 

The last question comes from shirtless Vladimir Putin look-alike Beck Bennett (claiming to be Wolf Blitzer) who asks Trump if he’s “very very sure” Russia hacked the American presidential election, while he holds up a small video labeled “pee pee tape.”

“It was China,” Baldwin responds. “No, it was Canada. OK, It was Meryl Streep.” He wraps it up with the sendoff: “Thanks for peeing here.”

Before the Trump skewering, “SNL” re-aired a 1978 episode featuring Carrie Fisher not long after she rocked the first “Star Wars” movie as Princess Leia. She opened the show dressed as Leia. Musical guests were the Blues Brothers: Dan Aykroyd and the late great John Belushi.

Saturday night’s episode was hosted by “Rogue One” actress Felicity Jones, who was joined in the opening monologue by an ersatz “hologram” of Tina Fey as Princess Leia. Fey warned Jones: “No matter how the show goes, the president of the United States will say that it’s sad and overrated,” adding: “It’s fine, no one cares.”

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Sprains and strains are common on the field
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12 Things Every ‘Type A’ Person Wants You To Know

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Robert Frost once said, “The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” He certainly wasn’t thinking about Type A people when he said that. They barrel into the office like they’re racing for a pot of gold, and they never seem to lose momentum. It’s as if they’re driven by a motor that never shuts off.

We each have our own understanding of what it means to have a Type A personality, but what does this term really mean and where did it come from? It actually started in a waiting room shared by a pair of cardiologists. The doctors noticed that their chairs didn’t have wear on the backs as expected–the wear was only visible on the front edge of the seats and the armrests, suggesting that patients were literally waiting on the edge of their seats, ready to jump up the second their names were called.

So, the cardiologists–Doctors Friedman and Rosenman–wanted to find out if the strange wear pattern on their chairs was because impatient people are more prone to heart disease. They discovered that their hunch was correct. They also found that people’s personalities tend to lean in one of two directions, which they labeled Type A and Type B.

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Most think of Type A people as driven and highly strung and Type B people as carefree and even-keeled, but there’s so much more to it. Type As, in particular, are often misunderstood, as we just don’t understand the motivation behind their behavior.

To fully grasp what it means to be Type A, you need to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Don’t take my word for it–let’s see what they have to say:

1. We believe that winning is the only option.
We’re really hard on ourselves. Our desire to do our best often morphs into a desire to be the best. After all, if someone else does something better than us, then we mustn’t have been trying hard enough, right? This ensures that even the most mundane activities become a competition.

2. We live and die by our goals.
We don’t do anything “just because.” There’s an end aim for everything. That morning cup of coffee? The goal is to wake up. Half an hour of Pokemon Go at lunch? It’s about squeezing in some exercise and capturing more Pokemon than our friend down the hall. Heaven help anyone who slows us down or gets in our way. We’re nothing if we don’t reach our goals.

3. We’re always stressed.
Achieving our goals is so important to us that we often get stressed out about our progress. It’s that specter of wasted time or missed opportunities hanging over our heads that gets us all riled up, which can be really hard on our emotional intelligence (EQ).

4. We squeeze something into every possible moment. It may seem hypocritical that we’re sometimes late even though the rest of the time we’re impatiently drumming our fingers, waiting for meetings to start on time. The problem is that we try to squeeze a task into every possible minute, and sometimes we overdo it. In our determination to avoid downtime, we sometimes inadvertently create downtime for other people.

5. We want you to get to the point.
Skip the long preamble; if we have questions, we’ll ask. There’s no need to waste time on the setup when you have something important to tell us–just tell us. The theme here is efficiency; we’re interested in hearing the main points so we can begin taking action.

6. We hate to wait. We don’t hate being stuck at a red light or cooling our heels in a doctor’s waiting room because we think we’re too good to wait. We just like to be efficient with our time and don’t like things getting in our way. Every minute spent waiting is a minute we could have spent doing something productive. It’s a minute that we’ll never get back.

7. We’re conscientious.
Like “later,” “good enough” isn’t part of our vocabulary. Things are either right or they’re wrong. And they always, always have to be right. No matter what we’re doing, we care too much to settle for mediocrity.

8. We multitask. We’re not being rude, and we’re not bored. We just have a sense that the value of our day is measured by how much we get done, and we accomplish more when we do two (or more!) things at once.

9. We have a tough time relaxing. Relaxation isn’t a measurable goal, and it feels like a waste of time when nothing is getting done. It’s very difficult for us to sit around and “just be”; instead, we prefer to be actively “becoming” whatever lies at the end of our current ambition. Anything else amounts to lost time.

10. We have an unrealistic sense of urgency. From our perspective, “now” is the only time that exists. There’s no sense in putting something off till another time. While that’s often a good thing, we tend to give trivial issues a greater sense of urgency than they deserve.

11. We follow a schedule. Our time is carefully orchestrated so that each day we accomplish what we intended. Again like “later,” “whenever” isn’t part of our vocabulary. Everything gets scheduled and added to lists, and we take great satisfaction in ticking all the boxes.

12. We’re restless. Our motors are always running, so when we have to idle, that excess energy manifests in various nervous habits, such as fidgeting or biting our nails. Don’t worry, we’re not freaking out. This is normal behavior for us.

Bringing It All Together

We know that we can be awfully hard on everybody, but we’re even harder on ourselves. This may be difficult to see because no one else is privy to the perfectionist that’s goading or berating our every move inside our heads. Just know this: We care–we care a lot–and we really are sorry if our personality makes us hard to get along with sometimes.

What other characteristics set Type A people apart? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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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

Sephora Is Selling An Eyeshadow Named ‘Druggie’. Seriously.

There are moments when it’s important to marshal as much evidence as possible to back up an argument. And then there are moments like this.

Sephora is selling a new shade of eyeshadow called “Druggie. 

The company describes the shade as “metallic purple with violet shift,” and it is part of Urban Decay’s “Afterdark” eyeshadow palette. Now, we get that fashion is an art form, even in a globally commodified context, and far be it for us to stomp on creative expression.

But by the time you have finished reading this article, it’s likely that somebody in the United States will have died of an opioid overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500 people, many of them young, are dying every week. Every 15 minutes, a new dead body is turning up in an emergency room, making orphans of children, breaking the hearts of parents and grandparents, the scourge of an entire generation.

Responding to complaints, Sephora has apologized but has not said it will drop the name. “We deeply apologize to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade. Please DM us for more information,” the company tweeted Friday in reply to a protest.

When reached by The Huffington Post, Sephora had this to say: “We deeply apologize to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade. We would never seek to do that. The shade was in a limited edition palette and was not planned to be re-ordered.”

HuffPost has reached out to Urban Decay and is awaiting comment.

Ryan Hampton, a recovery advocate for Facing Addiction told HuffPost that, while the apology is “a step in the right direction, Sephora clearly needs an education on substance use disorders. The recovery community is standing at the ready, and it’s our hope that their CEO not only pulls this product immediately but joins the national fight to face addiction.”

Still, Urban Decay’s ‘Druggie’ eyeshadow points out a big problem in the fashion and beauty industries, which have long histories of glamorizing addiction, even in the midst of the nation’s drug epidemic.

Hampton told HuffPost that Sephora said it would be meeting next week to decide how to handle the situation.

In the meantime, here’s a petition to help nudge them in the right direction.

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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 Is Set To Violate His D.C. Hotel Lease And The Agency Holding It Has No Plan

WASHINGTON ― When explaining how he would (somewhat) extricate himself from his myriad conflicts of interest this week, President-elect Donald Trump and his tax lawyer completely ignored what would happen to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. It looks like he also failed to discuss that with the government agency that holds the hotel lease.

Trump’s deal with the General Services Administration to operate a hotel in the Old Post Office building specifically states that the lease cannot be held by an elected official. And the clock is ticking down to Trump’s inauguration.

Yet the GSA released a statement on Wednesday, after the president-elect’s press conference, indicating that it was not aware of his plans for the Trump Organization until he announced them to the public.

This is a legitimate international scandal and they’re not part of the conversation.
Procurement law expert Steve Schooner, on the GSA

“GSA understands that an announcement has been made to change the business structure of the Trump Organization,” the agency said in a statement. “We are seeking additional information that explains and describes any new organizational structure as it applies to the Old Post Office lease. Upon receipt, consistent with our treatment of any contract to which we are a party, we will review this new organizational structure and determine its compliance with all the terms and conditions of the lease.”

The agency’s apparent lack of knowledge is “extraordinary,” according to Steven Schooner, a government procurement law professor at George Washington University.

“It does appear that GSA is out of the loop on this,” said Schooner, a former government contracting official at the Department of Justice and the Office of Management and Budget. “This is a legitimate international scandal and they’re not part of the conversation.”

The GSA did not respond to a request for comment.

The lease for the D.C. hotel was signed in 2013 and Trump announced his presidential campaign in June 2015. That means the agency has had nearly two years to come up with a plan on what to do if Trump won the presidency. So far, it has refused to state publicly whether it thinks Trump will be in violation of his lease the moment he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

On Wednesday, Trump announced his plans to hand over control of his business to his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, while still maintaining his ownership stake. Such an arrangement does little to nothing to resolve any conflicts related to the business. Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics, called the plan “meaningless” and far short of the steps that every other modern president has taken to eliminate financial conflicts upon taking office.

The hotel lease with the GSA clearly states, “No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.”

Since Trump will keep his ownership in the Trump Organization, he will inevitably remain a beneficiary of the lease.

The GSA has another Trump-related problem looming. As president, Trump can and probably will name a new head of the agency. That person will be in charge of annual lease negotiations with the president’s sons.

“There’s an imbalance of power,” Schooner previously noted to HuffPost. “In a 60-year, complicated contract, we’re going to ask a civil servant at GSA to negotiate annually with the president’s children.”

The fact that the GSA was left out of the loop on Trump’s business plans fits with how the president-elect and his company lawyers have treated the Office of Government Ethics. Shaub has said he lost touch with the Trump team after the election and attempted to get their attention with a stream of tweets calling on the president-elect to fully divest his business holdings.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, told HuffPost that he is “very concerned” in light of the latest GSA statement.

“I think they were reluctant to give a decision early on,” Cummings said. “In other words, before he violates it.”

Cummings added, “We’ll see what happens, I guess, see next Monday after he’s sworn in. I expect that there will be a decision on [Jan. 20].”

The GSA’s current silence on the hypothetical violation of the lease is consistent with its past public assertions.

Back in December, Cummings and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sent a letter to the agency asking whether it believed Trump would violate the lease agreement if he did not divest his holdings. The letter, released by Cummings, stated that Michael Gelber, deputy commissioner of the GSA’s Public Buildings Service, had said the new president would indeed be in violation.

The GSA, however, refused to comment, insisting that it could not make any determination until Trump assumed office.

“We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature,” the GSA statement said in December. “In fact, no determination regarding the Old Post Office can be completed until the full circumstances surrounding the President-elect’s business arrangements have been finalized and he has assumed office.”

Congressional Republicans have held no hearings on the issue.

— 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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Where is HOME?

A good friend of mine shared a question posed by guitarist, Chris Wood on her Facebook page:

“Bob Dylan described eloquently how his music has been the quest to get home. Now as much as ever feels like a good time to ask you; what feels like home to you? Are you there already or do you still have a way to go?”

On the same day, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran released a new song called “Castle on the Hill”. The song retraces the singer’s youth, returning to his former home and recalling his memories en route.

I grew up in a small rural town called Penrith in Cumbria, England. It’s a tourist town situated on the edge of the Lake District National Park. I return periodically but I’ve realised over the years how my fond memories are stored in music rather than the place itself.

I consider Penrith to be my home but every time I return I feel more distant, more disconnected. Maybe what I search for is my youth – to remember Penrith as I did back then and feel the way the town made me feel then – but lately it seems empty, soulless. The only way I can get that feeling back is by listening to music that reminds me of when it was my home. That works, then I miss it, then it feels like home again.

When my mind traces back through all the places I’ve lived, they each have songs associated with the memories. In that sense, each place feels like home. There’s a nostalgic pull to every dwelling for different reasons and different songs. For some, scents can also trigger memories of places they consider home.

But where is home? Is it the house or town you grew up in or the house or town where you raised your family? Maybe it’s the place you felt most loved or perhaps the place you gave most love to. How does our heart identify home?

For many, home is more than a memory. For refugees, home is their country; for the street children in Brazil and India, home is wherever they feel safest.

So are we all constantly striving to find home? Do creative people, like Bob Dylan, find sanctuary in their work?

I’ve spent hours pondering an answer to Chris Wood’s question and feel no definitive place as my home. The house where I live now, and watched my family grow, is my home but Penrith is my home town. Maybe I am still on that quest to go home, but I fear that home was a moment in time…

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what you consider home and why, so please comment below.

— 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

Tweeters Share Heartfelt Advice With Their 15-Year-Old Selves

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, so what tips would you give to your 15-year-old self?

Twitter users are doling out sage advice via the #WhatIWouldTellA15YearOldMe hashtag, ranging from financial guidance and “being you” to not sweating the small stuff and taking friends and family for granted.

Here are some of the best and most inspirational posts we’ve seen so far:

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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.

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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Trolls Attack Washington Post Editor Over Fake News Claiming She Spied On Trump Nominee

Online trolls have attacked a Washington Post editor over a fake news story falsely stating that she had snapped a photo of Rex Tillerson’s notes during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The video went viral, with conservatives including former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin jumping on the bandwagon, which incorrectly identified the Post’s homepage editor Doris Truong as the supposed offender.

But Truong said she wasn’t even working that day and assumes someone mistook her for another Asian woman. It was “my own personal Pizzagate,” Truong wrote in The Washington Post Thursday, referring to the viral fake news story linking human trafficking, Democrats and restaurants.

The uproar started with supporters of Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick to be secretary of state, expressing concern about a video purportedly showing a woman taking photos of papers on the table where Tillerson had been sitting on Wednesday.

Bloggers and tweeters determined it was Truong, even though no one contacted her to confirm the allegations.

She was hit with dozens of vicious messages overnight on her Twitter and YouTube accounts, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and even voicemail.

Trolls called Truong “pathetic” and a “sneaky thief.” Some accused her of spying for China, while others called for the Post to fire her.

Palin retweeted the misinformation on Thursday evening:

After the conservative website Gateway Pundit updated a post to state that the person in the video was not Truong, a few readers apologized to the journalist for their comments. “Not all Trump supporters are mindless and the real truth does matter,” one reader wrote. 

Truong said in her article that she was “shocked by how quickly the narrative went from someone trying to identify a woman in a video to another person attaching a name to hordes seizing upon that information as the truth.” 

The woman in the video had not been identified by Friday morning, and Truong isn’t sure that she should be.

“Why are people so quick to look for someone to condemn?” she wrote. “And during the confusion about the woman’s identity, why is it presumed that she is a journalist? Or that taking pictures of notes in an open hearing is illegal? Or, for that matter, that she was even taking pictures of Tillerson’s notes?”

Truong wants people to take a little bit of care to confirm information. She also pleads that “people will give the woman who was at the hearing a chance to explain her actions before questioning her motives.”

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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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Four Uncommon Ways to Clear Your Mind and Make Big Decisions

What are some tips for battling decision-fatigue? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Jenny Blake, Author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One, on Quora.

Decision-fatigue refers to the phenomenon that, like willpower, our ability to make decisions throughout the day diminishes without proper recharging. When mid-Pivot and asking life’s biggest questions, we are often overwhelmed by smaller decisions and things that might not have registered on our radar in the past. Or conversely, we’re so bogged down by small day-to-day decisions that we don’t have the space to ask bigger Pivot questions about what we really want and what next steps would resonate most.

To refresh your mind, I recommend the following:

  • Don’t ask the same giant questions every day (ie: Should I quit my job?). Give yourself a period of time where you don’t have to decide at all, perhaps while you’re researching options. Revisit the decision at specific intervals of your choosing, but not on a daily monkey-mind basis.
  • Create routines for as much as you can in your life – morning routines, scheduling exercise for the same recurring days/times, evening wind down rituals. What recharges you? The more you can create routines around these things, the less you will find yourself debating what to do when throughout the day (gobbling up precious mental bandwidth).
  • Write your questions down.
  • Go with your gut! We actually do know the answer to more than we think – on decisions large and small. If you find yourself debating unproductively, ask: what does my gut say?

This question originally appeared on Quora. – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:​

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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

What Happens If Republicans Repeal Without A ‘Replace’?

As the new Congress ramps up, the steady stream of news on “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act is becoming a deluge. If you are confused, you are not alone. The ACA has lots of intersecting parts, and so changing it is complex. Even experts have trouble staying oriented.

A primer is in order. What are the Republicans proposing to repeal, and with what effect?

To get your bearings, keep in mind the main categories of health insurance coverage in the U.S. There are five: Medicare (the federal “single payer” program that covers roughly 58 million people over 65 years of age), Medicaid (the federal-state matching-funds partnership that covers 68 million children, people of very low income, people with disabilities, and people in nursing homes who have spent down the bulk of their assets), employer-based insurance for 156 million, the non-group market (about 22 million people who have to find insurance on their own), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (which is another federal-state matching funds program that covers about 8 million children and pregnant women in families of limited income).

Another 18 million are covered by the military or Veteran’s Administration.  And 28 million people in our country still have no heath insurance at all.

The ACA, and its repeal, affects every one of those segments, but differently.

Repeal hurts Medicare. The ACA puts pressure on costs and rewards quality. It limits the rate of rise of what hospitals get paid and institutes new ways to pay for care that tie payment to quality of care. It tries to wean American doctors and hospitals from “fee-for-service” payment (“the more you do, the more you make”) to “value-based payment” (“the better the patient does, the more you make”).  The result should be better care at lower cost, and, indeed, it is. Post-ACA hospital readmission rates fell nearly 20 percent, complication rates fell 21 percent, and the rate of rise of Medicare costs is the lowest in decades. Medicare spending per person went up 7.4 percent per year in the ten years before the ACA, and 1.4 percent per year since the ACA.

In their “repeal” plans, the Trump-Ryan team proposes to end many of the ACA Medicare programs that got those results, like covering preventive care and supporting community-based care to help people stay out of nursing homes. The result for Medicare beneficiaries will be backsliding: higher costs and worse care.

Repeal devastates Medicaid. Prior to the ACA, every state determined its own Medicaid eligibility limits, and states varied a lot.  For example, in Alabama, parents with incomes above 13 percent of the federal poverty line are still not eligible for Medicaid, and childless adults aren’t eligible at all (unless disabled or elderly). In Massachusetts both of those groups are eligible up to 133 percent of poverty.  The ACA tried to cover more people under Medicaid by standardizing eligibility among states – to 138 percent of the poverty line, with the federal government providing nearly all of the funding for that expansion. The Supreme Court intervened, ruling that states could not be forced to expand eligibility. Nonetheless, as of today, 32 states have expanded. The combination of expansion and better outreach to eligible people has added 17 million Americans to Medicaid and CHIP coverage.

Ryan, Price, Trump, and colleagues propose to take all of that away.  They would take away both the federal expansion funds and the legal authority for states that want to expand. Their “replace” proposal, still behind curtains, is probably going to try to change the way all of Medicaid is funded, from the matching program in place since 1965, to “block grants” to states or “per capita” limits, under which the federal government would simply give a fixed amount of money to each state. The intent is to reduce federal Medicaid funding. The caps would be set at levels below what Medicaid is expected to cost, and disparities in coverage among states would be locked in. States would end up holding the bag as, say, needs changed or a recession occurred. Over the next decade, federal Medicaid payments would fall by 1 trillion dollars, and 14.5 million people would lose coverage by 2021.

If you think your employer-based premiums went up too much under the ACA, just wait until it’s gone to see what the ACA was actually protecting you from.

Repeal of the ACA hurts employer-based insurance. With tens of millions of people no longer insured via Medicaid expansion and subsidies, hospitals and doctors would find themselves back in the bad-old-days of uncompensated care and inadequate pools to support their free care.  There will be nowhere else to turn for resources than to higher premiums for people who do have insurance.  The new administration says it would keep many of the popular ACA protections for insured people, such as the abolishing of lifetime limits on coverage and forbidding insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But the math doesn’t work. There is no way to support a viable insurance market with those requirements absent the elements of the ACA that the Republicans want to end ― including the individual mandate. Bottom line: if you think your employer-based premiums went up too much under the ACA, just wait until it’s gone to see what the ACA was actually protecting you from.

Repeal will hurt the non-group market in many ways most of all. Individuals who want insurance but are not in large groups are not attractive customers for insurers; many tend to have worse health and a lot of them are far from wealthy.  That’s one reason why the ACA set up the so-called “exchanges,” marketplaces with federal subsidies for people whose incomes are too high for Medicaid eligibility but too low to afford usual insurance on their own.  The exchanges did have problems; mainly, their enrollees have turned out to have higher risks than predicted and therefore some individual and small group premiums soared.  That is all fixable – California did it, and so did Alaska.  But, with repeal of the subsidies, there will be nothing left to fix; the exchanges will implode, leaving over 8 million individuals high and dry.

And, finally, CHIP.  This highly successful program has provided coverage for millions of children and pregnant women who have no affordable alternative.  It has to be reauthorized later this year, and some Republicans propose to end it.

Add it all up, and, according to the Urban Institute in Washington, ACA repeal will throw 30 million Americans off of health insurance. And it’s not just the poor who will suffer. Repeal will harm almost every category of insured population in this nation.  It will unleash unprecedented increases in insurance rates and worsen benefits for most people with insurance. Repealing the ACA without a clear, cogent, politically viable, and effective alternative – a “replace” that works – is not responsible.

— 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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Obamacare Repeal Could Be More Difficult Than House Republicans Think

WASHINGTON ― It should be an easy vote.

House Republicans have successfully voted to repeal parts of Obamacare ― or the entire thing ― more than 60 times in the last six years. But now that lawmakers could actually be making law, there’s sudden apprehension in parts of the GOP conference.

Republicans generally agree they want the 2010 health care law gone. It’s just that many disagree over what they should replace it with.

Now conservatives and some GOP moderates, concerned that Republicans don’t have a clear plan on how they’ll move forward with an Obamacare alternative, could team up later this week to take down the first real vote in the House to set up a repeal of the law.

Even if lawmakers do, as expected, get behind this vote setting up an Obamacare repeal on Friday, there are already signs that some Republicans may eventually withhold support on a final repeal vote until GOP leadership releases details of an alternative.

Those concerns would be moot in President-elect Donald Trump’s version of the Obamacare repeal and replace, where those actions would happen “essentially simultaneously.” (“Most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day ― could be the same hour,” Trump said Wednesday, evidently believing in an alternate universe where Congress works like that.)

Here in the real world, where Senate action on any bill generally takes a week and an Obamacare replacement could take months or even years, GOP leaders are trying to convince members to trust that Republicans will be able to come up with something that won’t come back to haunt them. Some members, however, are reluctant to take that leap of faith.

A last-minute whip operation from Freedom Caucus hard-liners has raised new questions about the first vote on Friday. The budget resolution, acting as a vehicle for an Obamacare repeal, advanced out of the Senate early Thursday morning and is supposed to get a vote in the House on Friday.

GOP leadership aides are brushing aside any concerns about the vote going down.

“I feel great,” one GOP leadership aide told The Huffington Post Wednesday night. An aide for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Republicans were “looking forward to a good vote.”

All the same, leadership may want to double-check their head count.

Former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) spent much of the House’s long vote series Wednesday night whipping members of the HFC and talking to conservatives sympathetic to their cause.

“You know our concerns,” Jordan told HuffPost on Wednesday. “We want to make sure we fully repeal it. We want to make sure it happens in two years, not three or four.”

After the evening votes, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) met with Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), the co-chairman of the moderate GOP Tuesday Group, who said this week that he has “reservations” about voting for a repeal. According to Meadows, he and Dent discussed how many moderates might vote against the resolution to set up a fast-track for an Obamacare repeal.

“This particular budget issue has found common ground between the Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus,” Meadows told HuffPost Wednesday night.

Although the two groups have different ideas of what a replacement should look like, both of them want more information from GOP leadership on the Obamacare alternative.

“So the question becomes, will we continue down that path of getting more details quickly after a vote on Friday?” Meadows said.

Meadows suggested that if the Freedom Caucus wanted to take down this first vote, they could ― though some HFC members have questioned whether that’s the best strategy.

Jordan was taking the temperature of conservatives, and there look to be more than a few far-right Republicans who will vote no ― either out of concern over the resolution deeming the addition of more than $ 9 trillion in new debt as “appropriate” or because leadership has offered few details about a replacement.

Jordan noted that some Republicans are pushing to keep the Obamacare taxes in place. Others are pushing for a longer delay to the date of enactment. And still others are trying to keep Planned Parenthood funding in the health care law. These are all ideas that are anathema to conservatives.

“There are some of our Freedom Caucus guys who are willing to say, ‘Let’s give them a chance to bring something conservative in a replacement,’” Meadows said. “There are some who say, ‘We know what’s coming.’”

“If leadership had not committed to provide additional details to address some of the concerns, only some of the concerns of the Freedom Caucus, we probably would have taken a much harder line,” Meadows added.

Thursday could be a turning point for the vote. If the number of moderates with reservations about repealing reaches a critical mass, conservatives who are undecided or leaning against the bill might come out against it. If moderates get on board, conservatives might decide to go along on Friday as well.

Freedom Caucus leaders can keep a close eye on where their members stand using a private website they created ― whipteam.com ― to group-text members and find out which way they’re voting.

Even if the vote on Friday goes smoothly, this would just be the first in a series of votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. In some ways, this should be the easiest vote. Republicans are merely setting up the process to begin a repeal. But as they grapple with more details about a replacement, and as leadership tries to push a repeal through before Republicans ever start debating a replacement ― or even hold a hearing on the impact of getting rid of Obamacare ― a once-easy messaging vote might prove more difficult than leaders have let on.

— 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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Relationships That Have Roots are the Anchors in Our Lives

By Carolyn Massiah
UCF Forum columnist

The view in my backyard is a conservation area full of various types of trees. As the seasons pass, the trees lose their leaves and even some of their branches, but the trees remain in large part due to their sturdy roots.

To the side of my house is a concrete light pole. It doesn’t have any leaves and branches, obviously, but it is more susceptible to being blown down during a violent storm because it lacks the strong roots that mature trees have to anchor them through a storm.

When I compare and contrast the tree and the pole, I know I would much rather be a tree.

Both trees and light poles stand above the blanket of shrubs and bushes below. However, this is where the similarities end.

Many light poles are inorganic entities of concrete or metal, created through some form of human intervention. The shape and size in which these poles are created will forever be their shape and size as inorganic entities will not change during their existence unless there is additional intervention.

Trees, on the other hand, are organic. They are living organisms that continually change. They will lose and gain leaves and branches but they will also grow and mature throughout their existence. Continual growth and development is what I want for my own life. This is why I would rather be a tree than a light pole.

Unfortunately, positive growth sometimes must come from negative changes. Each year trees weather the change of seasons. With those changes in season, leaves come and they go and sometimes there may be seasons when the trees may not have any leaves at all on their branches.

The same can be said for our own lives. There are people that become attached to you as much as leaves are attached to branches. However, as the seasons change in our lives those people may disappear. Sometimes it seems several disappear at once and you are left bare much like trees in winter. For whatever reasons, those individuals were only meant to be in your life for a season. Yes, it hurts when those who you thought were going to stay forever leave your life before you are ready, but it is the nature of our organic lives.

Unfortunately, you never know how strong any branch will be until it is tested in the most violent of storms. Some branches appear thick and sturdy while they may actually be hollow or rotten to the core. If you step out on the branch for support because of its sturdy appearance, you might be disappointed and shocked when that branch does not support you but breaks and hurts you instead.

The same can be said for our own lives. There are people that we have relied upon and with whom we have built a long-term relationship. We have truly let them into our lives. However, as the weight of whatever burden you need bared by them increases, that friend gives under the load and breaks away from you in a permanent and irrevocable manner. Yes, it hurts but just as leaves come for a reason during a season, branches are there for those life-long lessons that we will take with us long after the branches have broken and been swept away. That is the nature of our organic lives.

So based on this, you might now be wondering why I would choose to be a tree instead of a pole. One word: roots!

Because trees are organic living creatures their roots continue to grow and strengthen as the tree grows and matures. When a storm comes, the roots anchor trees and allow trees to bend but not break in the storm.

Poles do not have that same anchor support. That is why we see more poles than trees down after severe hurricanes.

The same can be said for our own lives. Think about those individuals in your life that have been your anchor and support through the good and the bad. Often, much like a tree’s roots, those individuals do all of their work out of the view of others with no need of public acknowledgement. They are the blessings that we cannot overlook in our lives.

After comparing and contrasting the two, if I had to choose I would rather be a tree if it means that I will continue to have the blessings of roots just waiting to support me and feed me as I work to develop and mature throughout my existence.

Dr. Carolyn A. Massiah is an associate lecturer in the UCF College of Business. She can be reached at Carolyn.Massiah@ucf.edu.

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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

Here’s What People With Disabilities Want You To Know

This is one powerful PSA.

SoulPancake, a feel-good website dedicated to sharing inspirational stories, created a video that shines a light on what it means to live with a disability. Spoiler alert: You’re just like everyone else.

“Society doesn’t correlate disability and being attractive,” one woman says in the video. “We are beautiful people. Everyone’s beautiful in their own way.”

The video is part of the organization’s “How You See Me” series, which takes a personal lens to how society views different minority groups. It’s is a beautiful reminder that a person is not their ability ― and in a culture where even elected officials mock disability, the messaging could not be more important.

Over a billion people globally live with some form of disability ― from autism to spinal cord injuries ― and as many as 190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning because of their disability, according to the World Health Organization. Yet it’s incredibly stigmatized, which research shows can lead to damaging health care and cultural implications

“We’re only given one life ― and you gotta be proud of it,” another woman in the video explained.

Exactly.

Take a look at the video above to see more from people who are living with a disability.

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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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Reince Priebus Denies U.S. Officials Briefed Trump On Controversial Russia Report

President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is rejecting claims that an explosive but unverified report accusing Trump of salacious activity was discussed at a briefing with intelligence officials last week.

Priebus called the report, which accuses Trump of being fully aware of and supporting Russian hacking into government servers during the election, “phony baloney” and “total garbage.” 

The outgoing head of the Republican National Committee said on the “Today” show Wednesday that he was present at last week’s briefing and the report never came up. 

“What I can tell you is that I was there and these crazy accusations … were never discussed,” he told hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira.

Priebus said BuzzFeed’s controversial Tuesday publication of the unsubstantiated 35-page dossier, which also alleges Trump engaged in sexual acts with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton, was the first time he had heard of the allegations.

“This is not an intelligence document,” Priebus said, citing the “handwritten page numbers in the corners” of the report as “proof.”

Priebus sidestepped questions from Lauer and Vieira on whether Trump or anyone in his campaign staff had conversations with Russia during the election. Instead, he chose to focus on the report’s claims that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen held a secret meeting in Prague with Kremlin representatives in August.

“I told [Cohen] to give me his passport,” Priebus said. “Here’s what I can tell you … I looked at the passport page by page, it was verified that this person wasn’t in Prague.”

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the allegations were a “total political witch hunt.” He echoed the Kremlin’s repudiation of the reports on Wednesday, tweeting that he has “nothing to do” with Russia.

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The Year of Courage

2017-01-10-1484073658-7328710-Courage.jpg
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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
―Anais Nin

Years ago I gave up New Year’s Resolutions, because they always fell apart for me by March! Now instead I choose a theme each year – something I want to ponder, practice, and live into.

2016 was the year of noticing. I practiced noticing all year and got better and better at it – noticing small things and large patterns, how beautiful aging faces really are, and what people leave unsaid.

I’ve named 2017 the year of courage.

As we grow older, courage sometimes shows up in ways that are different from how it showed up in our younger years. For example, it took courage for my friend Joy to decide to stop downhill skiing. An excellent skier, she has loved skiing. And she’s past 70 and notices her reflexes have slowed down. She felt vulnerable and less confident the last couple of times she skiied. So – does her decision not to ski shrink or expand her life? I asked Joy. Her response was interesting. She said that although she thought it would shrink it, she now feels it actually expanded it. A good friend of hers fell and broke a leg skiing last year. Recovery has been slow and painful. “I had the courage to stop before that was me,” she said. And she’s recently started cross-country skiing, which she’d never tried before. “It’s a whole new skill,” she told me. “And I’m loving learning something new.”

Maybe it’s also true that as we age, the courage we need is different – not physical daring-type courage, but emotional and relational. Think of the courage to keep learning, to acknowledge when we don’t know, to see the humanity in someone we disagree with, to forgive.

I can already think of many ways I’m hoping to have courage this year:

  • To say “yes” to opportunities, challenges, life
  • To say “no” when I don’t want to do something
  • Not to be so sure I’m right about things
  • To listen deeply to people who have different views of things
  • To take care of myself, including eating less sugar
  • To create and participate in things that are a lot of fun
  • To stretch myself – keep learning
  • To speak up in the face of prejudice and injustice
  • To speak openly of spiritual matters
  • To love people deeply and well

Anne Lamott calls me to find new depths of courage:

“If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must.
Otherwise, you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’ve already been in.”

What would be a good theme for your 2017? My friend Donna named her year “Simplify.” Before choosing courage, I considered curiosity, generosity and love. Somehow this quote tipped me to courage: “Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.” ―Baltasar Gracian

COACHING QUESTIONS

  1. Consider choosing a theme for 2017.
  2. What will your theme for the new year be?
  3. How might it make 2017 a better year?
  4. Have a meaningful, fulfilling New Year!

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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

Deconstructing Stigma: Picturing the Beauty in Life

Editor’s note: Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life is a public awareness campaign developed by McLean Hospital to spark conversation not only about behavioral and mental health but also about the stigma that surrounds it. The campaign features compelling stories from people across the United States who have been affected by mental illness, including Alan’s story below.

McLean Hospital Guest Blogger
Alan S.

2017-01-11-1484099394-9768309-AlanS37blog.jpgDespite attempts to love and care for my mother, I never felt valued growing up. As a youth, I tried to take my own life. I wound up in a series of foster homes.

It has been a battle since I was 11 just to be here.

Generations of my family have battled mental illness. My grandfather, noted Red Sox centerfielder Jimmy Piersall, became the first sports figure to publicly declare his fight with bipolar disorder. I shared that diagnosis by the time I was 27.

There were manic episodes in my life where I could jump off a building as high as the sky and land on my feet, followed by depressive states where I was sadder than sad.

I would go on to try various medications to control my illness, but without success. In 2010, determined to break the cycle and take control of my life, I bought a gym membership and a pair of running shoes. I dropped 75 pounds. I began using a camera to capture the raw, beautiful emotions of the world as I see them.

You’ve got to find a way to like yourself. That’s a beginning. I’ve learned an active body builds a calmer mind.

Now I lead a community fitness group and have taken to social media to inspire others with positive thoughts, nutrition and fitness tips, and my zest for life.

The Lord is going to have to take me kicking and screaming now. I want to be a beacon of light and hope for others.

– – –

Alan is a 52-year-old fitness guru and photographer from Massachusetts. To read more about Deconstructing Stigma and to meet more people like him, visit DeconstructingStigma.org.

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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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Tuesday’s Morning Email: 6 GOP Senators Want To Slow Down The Obamacare Repeal Process

TOP STORIES

(And want to get The Morning Email each weekday? Sign up here.)

6 GOP SENATORS CALLED FOR A SLOWING DOWN OF OBAMACARE REPEAL UNTIL THERE’S A REPLACEMENT And three more have since voiced their support. Only three defections are needed to stop the repeal in Congress. [Jonathan Cohn, Laura Barron-Lopez and Ryan Grim, HuffPost]

CLEMSON MANAGED TO BEAT ALABAMA TO TAKE THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP The Tigers scored a touchdown with one second left to make it 35-31. Listen to the game-winning drive being called on nine different networks, unless you’re an Alabama fan like us. Then just repeat Roll Tide over and over again and remind yourself that Nick Saban will stew on this for eternity. [Travis Waldron, HuffPost]

THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS MAY NOT BE GUTTED But there’s now a new rule that allows House members to hide records. Which, yes, does seem to defeat the purpose of it all. [Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost]

SPEAKING OF ETHICS… “Four of the nine Trump nominees scheduled for hearings this week still haven’t disclosed key financial information to the Office of Government Ethics.” [Christina Wilkie and Paul Blumenthal, HuffPost]

THOUGHTS ON YAHOO’S NAME CHANGE TO ALTABA? At least, that’s the plan once the sale to Verizon goes through. [Michael McLaughlin, HuffPost]

DONALD TRUMP TO NAME SON-IN-LAW SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT Jared Kushner is expected to work closely with incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. [Christina Wilkie, HuffPost]

BERNIE SANDERS: I WON’T RULE OUT A 2020 RUN He’s already feeling the bern. And he’s not the only one. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also appears to be signaling he’s gearing up for a run. [Alana Horowitz Satlin, HuffPost]

THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THAT CAN SPOT GENETIC ISSUES “Face2Gene takes advantage of the fact that so many genetic conditions have a tell-tale ‘face’ ― a unique constellation of features that can provide clues to a potential diagnosis.” [Wired]

WHAT’S BREWING

NEW LIFE GOAL: BE COOL ENOUGH TO HAVE A HEAD OF STATE IN YOUR WEDDING President Barack Obama was a groomsman in longtime aide Marvin Nicholson’s wedding, proving that Nicholson just set the wedding party bar pretty darn high. The photos are officially adorable. [HuffPost]

MORE GOLDEN GLOBES AFTERMATH People are still talking about Meryl Streep’s big moment, which resulted in a spike in donations to this group. Jenna Bush Hager has apologized for her “Hidden Fences” flub. The awards show’s viewership was up, with an estimated 20 million people tuning in. Emma Stone had a hilarious response when asked about what she was wearing, while Tom Hiddleston has apologized for his odd acceptance speech. Here’s how the Oscars race has changed since Sunday, and here are our favorite moments of the whole shebang,in gifs. [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU NOW HAVE A FULL YEAR OF VACATION DAYS TO USE Check out these top travel sites and apps ― a beach is only a few clicks away from this Siberian-esque winter misery. [HuffPost]

INTRODUCING: THE SCOPE “We’ve created a new platform, The Scope, with the express purpose of looking at the day’s news through the prism of health. … You’ll find reporting, data analysis, personal essay and visual storytelling on everything from the opioid epidemic to the frontiers of neuroscience.” [HuffPost]

YOUR LEGOS JUST BECAME A LOT MORE… ALIVE With this boost kit, you can turn them into robots. Anyone getting some “Transformers” vibes right now? [Wired

THIS SENTENCE WAS THE MOST DEPRESSING THING WE READ MONDAY Start saving. “If average annual stock market returns fall by two percentage points over the next couple of decades, a 25-year-old saving for retirement would need to more than double how much she is saving to make up the shortfall, according to an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.” [WaPo]

BEFORE YOU GO

~ A score of Jewish centers in the Eastern U.S. faced false bomb threatsMonday.

~ This woman was caught “diabolically” framing her husband’s ex-girlfriend for a rape fantasy.

~ Are you surprised Prince hoarded gold bars?

~ Don’t fret, some things never change in Hollywood. It appears Brad Pitt is as popular as ever.

~ Meet the guy arrested for changing the Hollywood sign to “Hollyweed.”

~ The man who was fired for attending his son’s birth now has a wealth of job offers.

~ Channing Tatum decided to share an Insta of his wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum, napping naked.

~ This Neil Patrick Harris and James Corden Broadway riff-off is everything.

~ Take a look at the future of wireless charging.

~ You may be able to see the next star explosion.

~ St. Jude heart devices are getting cyber security updates, because that’s not an alarming headline straight out of “Homeland” for you.

~ Check out these 27 nonfiction books by women to put on your must reads list this year.

~ The iPhone turned 10 yesterday. Yes, you should feel ancient.

 

The Huffington Post’s Morning Email team aims to get you the top news, along with entertainment, lifestyle stories and other absurdity that you need to get through your workday — all with a dash of signature Morning Email snark.

Like The Morning Email? Send it to a friend! Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here.

 

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Four Things You Need to Stop Putting Off

What are the things you should do before it is too late? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Nicolas Cole, Author & Entrepreneur, on Quora:

Here are four things you should do before it’s too late.

Create That Project

Whatever project you want to create, create it now. Because the part of you that wants to create it right now will not last forever. The book you write at 25 will be very different than the book you write at 30, and 35, and 40, and so on. As we change, our perspectives and feelings change as well. Create what you want to create right now, and capture this moment in time.

Love That Person

Do you connect with someone? Do you like someone? Even if you know, you won’t marry this person, or spend the rest of your life with this person, let yourself love them. Ride that wave together. You never know where that wave will take you–who knows, maybe you will end up together after all. But trust how you feel right now because that feeling won’t last forever, and the opportunity will be gone as fast as it presented itself.

Take That Leap

Is right now a unique time in your life? Do you have the chance to do something special–if you take the leap? What happens if you don’t take the leap? When will you ever get this chance again? Opportunities present themselves at the right times. They are never perfect–an opportunity is called an opportunity because it asks you to take a risk yourself.

Work That Skill

Guess what? If you don’t work whatever it is you want to get better at today, then you won’t be any better at it tomorrow. And if you continue to make the decision not to get better today, then tomorrow will never come. And before you know it, that skill either will no longer interest you, or you will not be able to (physically, mentally, etc.) learn that skill’s foundation. Learn it now.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:

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Kendall Jenner’s Go-To Tool For Anxiety Is Really Smart

Kendall Jenner is getting candid about anxiety and, most importantly, how she copes with it.

The model revealed last year that she was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, partly due to fears about her family’s safety. And in a new essay for her website, Jenner shared what techniques she learned to help keep her worries at bay.

“[I] learned that it’s all mental, so I try to prevent anxiety attacks by bringing my mind somewhere else,” she wrote. This includes practicing breathing and meditation exercises, she explained.

Jenner also said in the post that flying can trigger panic attacks for her.

“I once had a really bad attack on a plane and just had to ride it out,” she wrote. “I felt my heart beating a million miles an hour and I even went a little numb.”

Her method for finding calm is smart: Deep breathing is a particularly useful tool for relieving stress in the body, according to health professionals. Moving your mind away from your panic, as Jenner suggests, can also work. Psychiatrists recommend tricks like “scheduling your anxiety” by writing down your worries and promising to revisit them later can help to ease what’s bothering you.

Of course, it’s important to consult a doctor to find the combination of techniques that work best for you. Therapy, medication and other self-help tricks are also useful tools when it comes to abating anxiety, a condition that affects an estimated 40 million American adults.

The star’s openness about her condition is also important. Experts say that celebrity testimonies about mental health issues can help eradicate some of the stigma associated with psychological conditions. The more exposure they get, the greater the likelihood that illnesses like anxiety and depression will be met with acceptance.

We’d call that a win. Keep it up, Kendall.

H/T Refinery29

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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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The Age Of Great Expectations And The Great Void

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

The fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989 abruptly ended one historical era and inaugurated another. So, too, did the outcome of last year’s U.S. presidential election. What are we to make of the interval between those two watershed moments? Answering that question is essential to understanding how Donald Trump became president and where his ascendency leaves us.

Hardly had this period commenced before observers fell into the habit of referring to it as the “post-Cold War” era. Now that it’s over, a more descriptive name might be in order. My suggestion: America’s Age of Great Expectations. 

Forgive and Forget

The end of the Cold War caught the United States completely by surprise.  During the 1980s, even with Mikhail Gorbachev running the Kremlin, few in Washington questioned the prevailing conviction that the Soviet-American rivalry was and would remain a defining feature of international politics more or less in perpetuity. Indeed, endorsing such an assumption was among the prerequisites for gaining entrée to official circles. Virtually no one in the American establishment gave serious thought to the here-today, gone-tomorrow possibility that the Soviet threat, the Soviet empire, and the Soviet Union itself might someday vanish. Washington had plans aplenty for what to do should a Third World War erupt, but none for what to do if the prospect of such a climactic conflict simply disappeared.

Still, without missing a beat, when the Berlin Wall fell and two years later the Soviet Union imploded, leading members of that establishment wasted no time in explaining the implications of developments they had totally failed to anticipate.  With something close to unanimity, politicians and policy-oriented intellectuals interpreted the unification of Berlin and the ensuing collapse of communism as an all-American victory of cosmic proportions.  “We” had won, “they” had lost ― with that outcome vindicating everything the United States represented as the archetype of freedom.

From within the confines of that establishment, one rising young intellectual audaciously suggested that the “end of history” itself might be at hand, with the “sole superpower” left standing now perfectly positioned to determine the future of all humankind.  In Washington, various powers-that-be considered this hypothesis and concluded that it sounded just about right.  The future took on the appearance of a blank slate upon which Destiny itself was inviting Americans to inscribe their intentions.

American elites might, of course, have assigned a far different, less celebratory meaning to the passing of the Cold War. They might have seen the outcome as a moment that called for regret, repentance, and making amends.

After all, the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, or more broadly between what was then called the Free World and the Communist bloc, had yielded a host of baleful effects.  An arms race between two superpowers had created monstrous nuclear arsenals and, on multiple occasions, brought the planet precariously close to Armageddon.  Two singularly inglorious wars had claimed the lives of many tens of thousands of American soldiers and literally millions of Asians.  One, on the Korean peninsula, had ended in an unsatisfactory draw; the other, in Southeast Asia, in catastrophic defeat.  Proxy fights in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East killed so many more and laid waste to whole countries.  Cold War obsessions led Washington to overthrow democratic governments, connive in assassination, make common cause with corrupt dictators, and turn a blind eye to genocidal violence.  On the home front, hysteria compromised civil liberties and fostered a sprawling, intrusive, and unaccountable national security apparatus.  Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex and its beneficiaries conspired to spend vast sums on weapons purchases that somehow never seemed adequate to the putative dangers at hand.  

Rather than reflecting on such somber and sordid matters, however, the American political establishment together with ambitious members of the country’s intelligentsia found it so much more expedient simply to move on. As they saw it, the annus mirabilis of 1989 wiped away the sins of former years. Eager to make a fresh start, Washington granted itself a plenary indulgence. After all, why contemplate past unpleasantness when a future so stunningly rich in promise now beckoned?

Three Big Ideas and a Dubious Corollary

Soon enough, that promise found concrete expression. In remarkably short order, three themes emerged to define the new American age.  Informing each of them was a sense of exuberant anticipation toward an era of almost unimaginable expectations. The twentieth century was ending on a high note.  For the planet as a whole but especially for the United States, great things lay ahead.

Focused on the world economy, the first of those themes emphasized the transformative potential of turbocharged globalization led by U.S.-based financial institutions and transnational corporations.  An “open world” would facilitate the movement of goods, capital, ideas, and people and thereby create wealth on an unprecedented scale.  In the process, the rules governing American-style corporate capitalism would come to prevail everywhere on the planet.  Everyone would benefit, but especially Americans who would continue to enjoy more than their fair share of material abundance.

Focused on statecraft, the second theme spelled out the implications of an international order dominated as never before ― not even in the heydays of the Roman and British Empires ― by a single nation. With the passing of the Cold War, the United States now stood apart as both supreme power and irreplaceable global leader, its status guaranteed by its unstoppable military might.

In the editorial offices of the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and the Weekly Standard, such “truths” achieved a self-evident status.  Although more muted in their public pronouncements than Washington’s reigning pundits, officials enjoying access to the Oval Office, the State Department’s 7th floor, and the E-ring of the Pentagon generally agreed.  The assertive exercise of (benign!) global hegemony seemingly held the key to ensuring that Americans would enjoy safety and security, both at home and abroad, now and in perpetuity.

The third theme was all about rethinking the concept of personal freedom as commonly understood and pursued by most Americans.  During the protracted emergency of the Cold War, reaching an accommodation between freedom and the putative imperatives of national security had not come easily.  Cold War-style patriotism seemingly prioritized the interests of the state at the expense of the individual.  Yet even as thrillingly expressed by John F. Kennedy ― “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” ― this was never an easy sell, especially if it meant wading through rice paddies and getting shot at.

Once the Cold War ended, however, the tension between individual freedom and national security momentarily dissipated.  Reigning conceptions of what freedom could or should entail underwent a radical transformation.  Emphasizing the removal of restraints and inhibitions, the shift made itself felt everywhere, from patterns of consumption and modes of cultural expression to sexuality and the definition of the family.  Norms that had prevailed for decades if not generations ― marriage as a union between a man and a woman, gender identity as fixed at birth ― became passé. The concept of a transcendent common good, which during the Cold War had taken a backseat to national security, now took a backseat to maximizing individual choice and autonomy.

Finally, as a complement to these themes, in the realm of governance, the end of the Cold War cemented the status of the president as quasi-deity.  In the Age of Great Expectations, the myth of the president as a deliverer from (or, in the eyes of critics, the ultimate perpetrator of) evil flourished.  In the solar system of American politics, the man in the White House increasingly became the sun around which everything seemed to orbit.  By comparison, nothing else much mattered.

From one administration to the next, of course, presidential efforts to deliver Americans to the Promised Land regularly came up short.  Even so, the political establishment and the establishment media collaborated in sustaining the pretense that out of the next endlessly hyped “race for the White House,” another Roosevelt or Kennedy or Reagan would magically emerge to save the nation.  From one election cycle to the next, these campaigns became longer and more expensive, drearier and yet ever more circus-like.  No matter.  During the Age of Great Expectations, the reflexive tendency to see the president as the ultimate guarantor of American abundance, security, and freedom remained sacrosanct.

Blindsided

Meanwhile, between promise and reality, a yawning gap began to appear. During the concluding decade of the twentieth century and the first decade-and-a-half of the twenty-first, Americans endured a seemingly endless series of crises.  Individually, none of these merit comparison with, say, the Civil War or World War II.  Yet never in U.S. history has a sequence of events occurring in such close proximity subjected American institutions and the American people to greater stress.

During the decade between 1998 and 2008, they came on with startling regularity: one president impeached and his successor chosen by the direct intervention of the Supreme Court; a massive terrorist attack on American soil that killed thousands, traumatized the nation, and left senior officials bereft of their senses; a mindless, needless, and unsuccessful war of choice launched on the basis of false claims and outright lies; a natural disaster (exacerbated by engineering folly) that all but destroyed a major American city, after which government agencies mounted a belated and half-hearted response; and finally, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, bringing ruin to millions of families.

For the sake of completeness, we should append to this roster of seismic occurrences one additional event: Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president.  He arrived at the zenith of American political life as a seemingly messianic figure called upon not only to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor, George W. Bush, but somehow to absolve the nation of its original sins of slavery and racism.

Yet during the Obama presidency race relations, in fact, deteriorated.  Whether prompted by cynical political calculations or a crass desire to boost ratings, race baiters came out of the woodwork ― one of them, of course, infamously birthered in Trump Tower in mid-Manhattan ― and poured their poisons into the body politic.  Even so, as the end of Obama’s term approached, the cult of the presidency itself remained remarkably intact.

Individually, the impact of these various crises ranged from disconcerting to debilitating to horrifying.  Yet to treat them separately is to overlook their collective implications, which the election of Donald Trump only now enables us to appreciate.  It was not one president’s dalliance with an intern orhanging chadsor 9/11 orMission Accomplishedor the inundation of the Lower Ninth Ward or the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the absurd birther movement that undermined the Age of Great Expectations.  It was the way all these events together exposed those expectations as radically suspect.

In effect, the various crises that punctuated the post-Cold War era called into question key themes to which a fevered American triumphalism had given rise.  Globalization, militarized hegemony, and a more expansive definition of freedom, guided by enlightened presidents in tune with the times, should have provided Americans with all the blessings that were rightly theirs as a consequence of having prevailed in the Cold War.  Instead, between 1989 and 2016, things kept happening that weren’t supposed to happen. A future marketed as all but foreordained proved elusive, if not illusory.  As actually experienced, the Age of Great Expectations became an Age of Unwelcome Surprises.

A Candidate for Decline

True, globalization created wealth on a vast scale, just not for ordinary Americans.  The already well-to-do did splendidly, in some cases unbelievably so.  But middle-class incomes stagnated and good jobs became increasingly hard to find or keep.  By the election of 2016, the United States looked increasingly like a society divided between haves and have-nots, the affluent and the left-behind, the 1 percent and everyone else. Prospective voters were noticing.

Meanwhile, policies inspired by Washington’s soaring hegemonic ambitions produced remarkably few happy outcomes.  With U.S. forces continuously engaged in combat operations, peace all but vanished as a policy objective (or even a word in Washington’s political lexicon). The acknowledged standing of the country’s military as the world’s best-trained, best-equipped, and best-led force coexisted uneasily with the fact that it proved unable to win. Instead, the national security establishment became conditioned to the idea of permanent war, high-ranking officials taking it for granted that ordinary citizens would simply accommodate themselves to this new reality. Yet it soon became apparent that, instead of giving ordinary Americans a sense of security, this new paradigm induced an acute sense of vulnerability, which left many susceptible to demagogic fear mongering.

As for the revised definition of freedom, with autonomy emerging as the national summum bonum, it left some satisfied but others adrift.  During the Age of Great Expectations, distinctions between citizen and consumer blurred.  Shopping became tantamount to a civic obligation, essential to keeping the economy afloat.  Yet if all the hoopla surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday represented a celebration of American freedom, its satisfactions were transitory at best, rarely extending beyond the due date printed on a credit card statement.  Meanwhile, as digital connections displaced personal ones, relationships, like jobs, became more contingent and temporary.  Loneliness emerged as an abiding affliction.  Meanwhile, for all the talk of empowering the marginalized ― people of color, women, gays ― elites reaped the lion’s share of the benefits while ordinary people were left to make do.  The atmosphere was rife with hypocrisy and even a whiff of nihilism.

To these various contradictions, the establishment itself remained stubbornly oblivious, with the 2016 presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton offering a case in point.  As her long record in public life made abundantly clear, Clinton embodied the establishment in the Age of Great Expectations.  She believed in globalization, in the indispensability of American leadership backed by military power, and in the post-Cold War cultural project.  And she certainly believed in the presidency as the mechanism to translate aspirations into outcomes.

Such commonplace convictions of the era, along with her vanguard role in pressing for the empowerment of women, imparted to her run an air of inevitability.  That she deserved to win appeared self-evident. It was, after all, her turn.  Largely overlooked were signs that the abiding themes of the Age of Great Expectations no longer commanded automatic allegiance.

Gasping for Air

Senator Bernie Sanders offered one of those signs.  That a past-his-prime, self-professed socialist from Vermont with a negligible record of legislative achievement and tenuous links to the Democratic Party might mount a serious challenge to Clinton seemed, on the face of it, absurd.  Yet by zeroing in on unfairness and inequality as inevitable byproducts of globalization, Sanders struck a chord.

Knocked briefly off balance, Clinton responded by modifying certain of her longstanding positions. By backing away from free trade, the ne plus ultra of globalization, she managed, though not without difficulty, to defeat the Sanders insurgency.  Even so, he, in effect, served as the canary in the establishment coal mine, signaling that the Age of Great Expectations might be running out of oxygen.

A parallel and far stranger insurgency was simultaneously wreaking havoc in the Republican Party.  That a narcissistic political neophyte stood the slightest chance of capturing the GOP seemed even more improbable than Sanders taking a nomination that appeared Clinton’s by right.

Coarse, vulgar, unprincipled, uninformed, erratic, and with little regard for truth, Trump was sui generis among presidential candidates.  Yet he possessed a singular gift: a knack for riling up those who nurse gripes and are keen to pin the blame on someone or something.  In post-Cold War America, among the millions that Hillary Clinton was famously dismissing as “deplorables,” gripes had been ripening like cheese in a hothouse.

Through whatever combination of intuition and malice aforethought, Trump demonstrated a genius for motivating those deplorables.  He pushed their buttons.  They responded by turning out in droves to attend his rallies. There they listened to a message that they found compelling.

In Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” his followers heard a promise to restore everything they believed had been taken from them in the Age of Great Expectations.  Globalization was neither beneficial nor inevitable, the candidate insisted, and vowed, once elected, to curb its effects along with the excesses of corporate capitalism, thereby bringing back millions of lost jobs from overseas.  He would, he swore, fund a massive infrastructure program, cut taxes, keep a lid on the national debt, and generally champion the cause of working stiffs.  The many complications and contradictions inherent in these various prescriptions would, he assured his fans, give way to his business savvy. 

In considering America’s role in the post-Cold War world, Trump exhibited a similar impatience with the status quo.  Rather than allowing armed conflicts to drag on forever, he promised to win them (putting to work his mastery of military affairs) or, if not, to quit and get out, pausing just long enough to claim as a sort of consolation prize whatever spoils might be lying loose on the battlefield.  At the very least, he would prevent so-called allies from treating the United States like some patsy. Henceforth, nations benefitting from American protection were going to foot their share of the bill.  What all of this added up to may not have been clear, but it did suggest a sharp departure from the usual post-1989 formula for exercising global leadership.

No less important than Trump’s semi-coherent critique of globalization and American globalism, however, was his success in channeling the discontent of all those who nursed an inchoate sense that post-Cold War freedoms might be working for some, but not for them.

Not that Trump had anything to say about whether freedom confers obligations, or whether conspicuous consumption might not actually hold the key to human happiness, or any of the various controversies related to gender, sexuality, and family.  He was indifferent to all such matters.  He was, however, distinctly able to offer his followers a grimly persuasive explanation for how America had gone off course and how the blessings of liberties to which they were entitled had been stolen.  He did that by fingering as scapegoats Muslims, Mexicans, and others “not-like-me.”

Trump’s political strategy reduced to this: as president, he would overturn the conventions that had governed right thinking since the end of the Cold War.  To the amazement of an establishment grown smug and lazy, his approach worked.  Even while disregarding all received wisdom when it came to organizing and conducting a presidential campaign in the Age of Great Expectations, Trump won.  He did so by enchanting the disenchanted, all those who had lost faith in the promises that had sprung from the bosom of the elites that the end of the Cold War had taken by surprise.

Adrift Without a Compass

Within hours of Trump’s election, among progressives, expressing fear and trepidation at the prospect of what he might actually do on assuming office became de rigueur.  Yet those who had actually voted for Trump were also left wondering what to expect.  Both camps assign him the status of a transformative historical figure.  However, premonitions of incipient fascism and hopes that he will engineer a new American Golden Age are likely to prove similarly misplaced.  To focus on the man himself rather than on the circumstances that produced him is to miss the significance of what has occurred.

Note, for example, that his mandate is almost entirely negative. It centers on rejection: of globalization, of counterproductive military meddling, and of the post-Cold War cultural project.  Yet neither Trump nor any of his surrogates has offered a coherent alternative to the triad of themes providing the through line for the last quarter-century of American history.  Apart a lingering conviction that forceful ― in The Donald’s case, blustering ― presidential leadership can somehow turn things around, “Trumpism” is a dog’s breakfast.

In all likelihood, his presidency will prove less transformative than transitional. As a result, concerns about what he may do, however worrisome, matter less than the larger question of where we go from here.  The principles that enjoyed favor following the Cold War have been found wanting. What should replace them?

Efforts to identify those principles should begin with an honest accounting of the age we are now leaving behind, the history that happened after “the end of history.”  That accounting should, in turn, allow room for regret, repentance, and making amends ― the very critical appraisal that ought to have occurred at the end of the Cold War but was preempted when American elites succumbed to their bout of victory disease.

Don’t expect Donald Trump to undertake any such appraisal.  Nor will the establishment that candidate Trump so roundly denounced, but which President-elect Trump, at least in his senior national security appointments, now shows sign of accommodating.  Those expecting Trump’s election to inject courage into members of the political class or imagination into inside-the-Beltway “thought leaders” are in for a disappointment. So the principles we need ― an approach to political economy providing sustainable and equitable prosperity; a foreign policy that discards militarism in favor of prudence and pragmatism; and an enriched, inclusive concept of freedom ― will have to come from somewhere else.

“Where there is no vision,” the Book of Proverbs tells us, “the people perish.”  In the present day, there is no vision to which Americans collectively adhere.  For proof, we need look no further than the election of Donald Trump.

The Age of Great Expectations has ended, leaving behind an ominous void.  Yet Trump’s own inability to explain what should fill that great void provides neither excuse for inaction nor cause for despair.  Instead, Trump himself makes manifest the need to reflect on the nation’s recent past and to think deeply about its future.

A decade before the Cold War ended, writing in democracy, a short-lived journal devoted to “political renewal and radical change,” the historian and social critic Christopher Lasch sketched out a set of principles that might lead us out of our current crisis. Lasch called for a politics based on “the nurture of the soil against the exploitation of resources, the family against the factory, the romantic vision of the individual against the technological vision, [and] localism over democratic centralism.” Nearly a half-century later, as a place to begin, his prescription remains apt.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands, as well as Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

— 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.

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Things They Didn’t Tell Us at My Fancy High School

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I’ll admit it, I was blessed to go to one of those super-posh, elite boys’ schools where someone with gray hair stands up in chapel and says “Gentlemen, someday you will rule the world.” Or something like that. I couldn’t entirely hear him over my handheld electronic football game. And mumbled recitations of the Shema.

But some people clearly took it seriously. Just in my time there, we had the guy who runs ABC, the Mayor of Los Angeles, the creator of Mad Men. We only had 129 boys in our graduating class and one has already had a studio movie made about his life story. And he wasn’t even a serial killer. Did I mention, I went to school in Los Angeles not Central Florida? Though in Central Florida’s defense, there was one movie about a murderer from my school. But it starred Judd Nelson, so all in all, we’ve had a pretty decent homicidal maniac-free run.

Our class slogan was “Greatness!’ Yes, we had a class slogan. I always thought it should be “Where Smart Boys Go to Feel Stupid.” But I can also see where theirs is slightly more aspirational. That said, even I left there with the wholly unearned cockiness of youth, convinced that the adult world would naturally bow before us. The following are some observations of what my adulthood to this point has actually been like. It’s the things they didn’t teach us (and we may never have left high school if they had.)

You will fail at life. Often. Often spectacularly. Sometimes even in Deadline Hollywood with a photo so unflattering you’d think the story was about exotic chin-removing techniques.

You will work hard, try your best, and sometimes still get fired. Occasionally, by friends. Sometimes for not having been on Friends. But you will have a Zen approach to being fired and never think about it again. I’m sorry. I meant to say, you will think about it all the time, dream about it more, and even momentarily consider purchasing an online voodoo doll-making kit from the set decorator of Gilligan’s Island.

Someday, you will start going to more funerals than weddings. This is not long after you’d gotten used to the idea that you were going to more weddings than Taco Tuesdays.

You will cry over the notion of your kids leaving not long after they arrive. Then again, when it’s actually close. Then again, when watching the end of Toy Story 3.

You will always think you are the same age as the cutest girl at Starbucks. At least until she says, “Excuse me, Sir, I think you dropped your banana.”

You will remember the names of every peripheral character from every Brady Bunch episode and all the ’75 Cincinnati Reds, but have no recollection of the name of the person you met with half an hour ago.

You may reach a point where you are more concerned with finding your voice or protecting your legacy than making money. While still being acutely aware that neither voice nor legacy pay for juice boxes or a condo in Tarzana.

You will never wear your high school letterman’s jacket again, except to a 50’s costume party. Also, you’ll never go to a 50’s costume party.

There is no moment where you definitively feel “I’ve made it!”

There is no moment where you definitively feel “I’m a grown up.” In fact, no matter how old your kids get, you’re still always secretly wondering when the real grown ups are going to get there. If not to take over, at least to drop off the handbook.

You can have almost no friends in grade school and 25,000 Twitter followers now and both feel roughly the same.

Unless you graduated from Trump University, nobody cares where you went to college. Believe me, I try to wedge Brown into sentences that have nothing to do with Brown. Like that. See, you didn’t care.

Over time, your body will change. You will spend a lot of time trying to get back to your high school weight. You will spend a lot of time trying to get back to Meat Loaf’s high school weight. At some point, you may even accept that you probably won’t play shirtless frisbee in an Abercrombie ad.

Along similar lines, you may find yourself trapped in your own wet suit in a public beach bathroom. You may also momentarily consider blowing a drifter to get you out of said wet suit. The first time. The second time is more common beach courtesy. Right? That’s what he told me.

Friends will marry people you don’t like. Friends will marry people you like too much. Classmates will die way younger than predicted by any actuarial chart or senior page quotes about living forever.

The girlfriend you profess eternal love to on your senior page will almost definitely not be your girlfriend by the time you see the proofs of your senior page.

Your real soulmate will never be who you thought it was going to be.

But unlike all romantic comedies and Nicholas Sparks books, the success of your marriage is less a function of how cute you met or the intensity of your passion. And way more a function of whether you remembered to go to Trader Joe’s or unload the dishwasher.

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Your back may someday be so tight you sleep on a heating pad and a gallon of Ben-Gay. And no, you didn’t suffer a ski accident. Or even a pickle-jar opening mishap.

You’ll learn that how people present themselves to the world or on social media isn’t always how they feel inside. Often it’s the polar opposite. You may learn that, too.

Your professional life may feel like high school. But not in the sense that hard work equals good grades equals selective college of your choice. No, more in the cool, popular crowd still gets rewarded for being cool and popular and having nice hair. And for living in the Palisades and vacationing with development execs.

Similarly, people who never opened a book in high school will make exponentially more money than you will. Never underestimate the words “family real estate.”

You may, at some point, suffer from depression, severe depression or Pennant Fever. As important as the names Martha Quinn and Kajagoogoo were in your teen years, the names Lexapro and Xanax will be in your forties.

You’ll romanticize literally everything that happened before you were 30.

You’ll stop eating because you’re hungry but to blunt the pain of general existence. Or because Baby Ruths make you feel better than carrots.

You’ll need to learn to talk to girls. Not just at them or about them.

You will reach an age where you think women in their fifties are “cute.”

And an age where your body will suddenly fail you in ways that didn’t existed. Like gallstones. And liver failure. And skin so yellow that people think you’re Ned Flanders’ stunt double.

You’ll eventually realize that your babies are only babies for an incredibly short time. And that most of the time you know them will be as fellow adults.

Some days breaking a half hour sitcom story feels like forever. And everything else literally just flies by.

You’ll fail more than you succeed. And bouncing back from failure will sneakily be your greatest success.

You may knowingly experience pain because it’s better to feel the panoply of human emotions than it is to band-aid over them with bong hits and Peanut M & M’s.

And with any luck, you may someday reach a point where you don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about. You’ll present yourself to the world as you honestly are without trying to put up a facade of success or well-being. And you’ll be okay with that. That, I think, is where true freedom lies. And I can’t wait to get there.

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Fentanyl Overdoses Are Rising And Science Can’t Keep Up

Bribery. Conspiracy. Racketeering.

Those are just three of the accusations that federal prosecutors leveled against two Alabama physicians in April as part of a 22-count criminal indictment ― alleging that Drs. John Couch and Xiulu Ruan ran an opioid pill mill in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company.

Couch and Ruan were arrested in 2015 after prescribing Medicare patients a combined $ 4.9 million in Subsys ― a potent form of fentanyl, taken via mouth spray and designed to treat severe cancer pain ― between 2013 and 2014.

Some of those prescriptions were “diverted and/or abused by drug traffickers and addicts,” prosecutors say, and may have contributed to the opioid crisis currently gripping the nation.

Couch and Ruan deny the allegations. 

A third doctor, Michigan neurologist Dr. Gavin Awerbuch, pleaded guilty in November to health care fraud and to prescribing Subsys without a legitimate medical purpose. Awerbuch prescribed more Subsys than any other dispenser in the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Couch, Ruan and Awerbuch’s alleged misdeeds signify more than a few rogue doctors attempting to turn a profit at the expense of patient health. The accusations against the physicians are part of a larger story about America’s insidious fentanyl problem and the doctors and pharmaceutical companies who’ve fueled it.

Many Americans first heard of fentanyl last year, when the singer Prince died after accidentally overdosing on the drug. Officials found pills in the pop icon’s home that were labeled as hydrocodone. Upon testing, it turned out these pills contained fentanyl. (It’s not clear whether the pills were mislabeled or illegally produced, or whether Prince even knew they contained fentanyl.)

But fentanyl has been a growing presence in the U.S. for some time now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug products seized by law enforcement that contained fentanyl increased by 426 percent between 2013 and 2014, and synthetic opioid overdose deaths rose by nearly 80 percent in that period.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that doctors typically prescribe to chronic pain patients, like those with end-stage cancer, as an injection, a patch or a lollipop. It has a high potential for abuse and can be fatal even in small amounts.

Because it induces extreme relaxation and euphoria, fentanyl is also sold on the black market. And since fentanyl is cheap, it’s frequently mixed with more-expensive heroin or cocaine, something users aren’t always aware of when they buy it.

Fentanyl is “not a joke,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neuroscientist and chief medical correspondent for CNN who serves on the American Pain Association’s board of directors, told The Huffington Post. “It’s 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s really lethal.” 

Now, a HuffPost analysis of available state-by-state data on synthetic opioid and fentanyl deaths and fentanyl seizures by law enforcement illustrates a troubling trend: Synthetic opioid overdose deaths driven by fentanyl, one of the strongest opioids on the market, are rising. 

These data highlight pockets of the United States ― the Eastern Seaboard and Appalachia in particular ― where fentanyl seizures and overdose deaths indicate a rapidly evolving problem that law enforcement and science aren’t keeping up with.

“We have not peaked yet,” said Dr. Peter Friedmann, associate dean for research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and chief research officer at the nonprofit Baystate Health.

“It’s going to be a big issue over the next couple of years,” said Friedmann, who has spent more than two decades studying substance abuse and addiction treatments. “I really think that the policy hasn’t caught up to the pharmacology.”




The rise of fentanyl

Although reports of fentanyl abuse date back to the 1970s, the current crisis has roots in the 1990s movement to end chronic pain.

It grew out of a series of compounding missteps. Pharmaceutical companies aggressively marketed opioids to doctors as safe and non-addictive during a period when those same doctors were under pressure to eliminate patient pain. The logical answer seemed to be to write more pain-pill prescriptions.

By 2003, 20 percent of 20- to 25-year-olds were abusing painkillers, compared to 7 percent of early-20-somethings a decade earlier, according to The New York Times. When the government restricted opioid prescriptions and cracked down on so-called “pill mills,” addicted patients turned to a cheaper and prescription-free alternative: heroin.

It’s a well-trod path. Forty percent of injection drug users abused prescription opioids before they tried heroin, according to a small study published in the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation in 2011.

Fentanyl is just the latest iteration of cheap and potent synthetic opioids. (In fact, authorities are battling an even newer synthetic drug, known as U-47700, in several states.)

Other fentanyl analogues include sufentanil, which is approximately eight times more potent than fentanyl, and carfentanil, which is about 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.  

Carfentanil is “used for tranquilizing elephants,” Friedmann said, noting that overdoses tend to happen when there’s a mismatch between a person’s tolerance level and the potency of the opiate they use.

When the government restricted opioid prescriptions and cracked down on so-called “pill mills,” addicted patients turned to a cheaper and prescription-free alternative: heroin.

In addition to prescription fentanyl, Mexican cartels smuggle black-market fentanyl across the border, and Chinese suppliers sell both the drug and the equipment to make it online. 

“We have seen an influx of fentanyl directly from China,” Carole Rendon, now the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, told the health news site Stat last year. “It’s being shipped by carrier. It’s hugely concerning.” 

It used to be that shutting down a major production site would help curb fatal overdoses. When fentanyl-related deaths surged in 2007, for example, the Drug Enforcement Administration traced the outbreak to a single site in Mexico. They shuttered the lab and the deaths stopped. Today, with decentralized units popping up around the country, it’s harder for law enforcement agents to crack down. 

The cheapest and deadliest of drugs

Part of what’s driving this public health crisis is that fentanyl is almost unthinkably potent. Patients with fentanyl prescriptions have overdosed even when they took the medication exactly as prescribed. DEA agents in St. Louis are learning to self-administer overdose reversal drugs in case they’re exposed in the line of duty. There’s a good reason officers are taking precautions: A speck of fentanyl the size of a few grains of salt can kill a 250-pound man, according to The Associated Press. 

Fentanyl’s potency means that the overdose reversal drug naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is less effective at reviving fentanyl overdose victims. A person overdosing on fentanyl could need twice as much naloxone to recover as a person overdosing on heroin ― and if the emergency responder doesn’t know which drug the person took, they might not administer enough medication to save them.

When Cathy Messina found her 21-year-old son David overdosing on her bathroom floor in 2014, she prayed her 911 call would bring first responders who could save her son. What she didn’t know at the time was that the batch of heroin her son overdosed on ― which came in a package stamped with the label “Bad News” ― was laced with fentanyl. David was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Messina isn’t sure whether David knew his heroin was cut. He may have wanted a better high than pure heroin could provide. Or he, like many drug users, simply may not have known that “Bad News” heroin contained fentanyl. Some dealers mix the cheap and powerful drug with heroin to improve their profit margins, and may or may not tell customers that their product is cut. Other dealers may be too far down the supply chain to know if the heroin they’re selling is tainted. 

“Clandestine fentanyl is available throughout the United States, most commonly in the white-powder heroin market,” Melvin Patterson, an agent with the DEA, told U.S. News & World Report last year. “Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or is mixed with and sold as fentanyl or disguised as highly potent heroin.” 

“It’s all about money,” Friedmann said. “Back in the day, dealers didn’t want to kill their clients. You want them to be repeat customers. But now, there are just so many people that they just don’t care.”







Tracking fentanyl east of the Mississippi

Simultaneous growth in synthetic opioid and fentanyl overdose death rates in the East suggests that fentanyl is fueling the region’s epidemic of opioid overdose.

Between 2014 and 2015, 15 states and Washington, D.C., reported at least a 50 percent increase in their synthetic opioid death rates. The areas in question were all east of the Mississippi River. The fentanyl death rate surged in the East that same period ― New Hampshire, for example, saw a 95 percent increase in its fentanyl-related death rate between 2014 and 2015, nearly double the 2015 figures of any other state.

In New England and Appalachia, law enforcement reported more fentanyl seizures than anywhere else in 2014, with Ohio (1,245 seizures), Massachusetts (630) and Pennsylvania (419) in the top three fentanyl confiscation slots.

So far, only 18 states and D.C. have made available any 2015 data on fentanyl overdose deaths (three of those had less than a 50 percent increase in their synthetic opioid death rates between 2014 and 2015, so they are not included in the chart above). Those limited data aren’t encouraging. Massachusetts saw a 103 percent increase in fentanyl deaths between 2014 and 2015, and West Virginia recorded a 229 percent increase year over year. The CDC doesn’t release data on fentanyl-specific deaths by state, so these data come from statewide health departments or medical examiners, and are based only on cases where medical examiners actually test for the presence of fentanyl ― meaning these numbers may be undercounts.

Experts aren’t sure why fentanyl seizures and death rates have risen on the East Coast and in Appalachia more than in the West.

“It’s [a] really hard problem to say there’s one cause,” said Nancy Campbell, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, who has published several books on drug policy and treatment.

“Many social, economic and political conditions would lead fentanyl to becoming available in these kind of places on [the] Eastern Seaboard,” Campbell said. 

Some people start out using opioids to manage physical pain, Campbell said, but transition to using them for emotional reasons.

“They realize as they are using these pharmaceutical opioids, that they don’t just relieve pain from sports injuries or dental work,” Campbell said. “Their problems become less compelling.”

Deaths from fentanyl overdose are most highly concentrated among white men ages 25 to 54. And while heroin users once clustered around major trafficking hubs like New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles, today people living on the outskirts of large metro areas and in medium-sized cities are more likely to die from fentanyl overdose than people in metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, according to the CDC.

Potentially contributing to the East-West fentanyl discrepancy is the fact that white powder heroin is easier to cut with fentanyl than darker heroin, because the two light-colored drugs look so similar.

“The West Coast is really marked by a kind of heroin called black tar,” said Traci Green, an epidemiologist and deputy director of the Injury Prevention Center at Boston Medical Center. “On the East Coast we see a lot of white powder heroin, which looks disturbingly like fentanyl powder.”

Experienced heroin users may think they can distinguish fentanyl from heroin by color, smell or taste. But when mere grains of fentanyl can trigger an overdose, there’s no room for miscalculation.

“The margin of error is very small with fentanyl,” Green said. 

The case of Ohio

“The moment we saw the first few cases of fentanyl coming across from the Department of Health, we did a deep dive,” said Andrea Boxill, deputy director of an opiate action team established by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

It seemed odd to Boxill and others that they were seeing fentanyl on the streets of Ohio but that there had only been a few reported deaths from the highly lethal drug. As it turned out, not all of the state’s coroners and medical examiners were testing for it.

Once they started testing, “we started seeing more numbers,” Boxill said.

Testing isn’t just a problem in Ohio. Synthetic opioids are evolving so rapidly that it’s hard for emergency rooms and forensics labs to keep pace. “Many of the emergency departments around the country don’t test for fentanyl,” Green said. If a lab hasn’t previously encountered fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue, the drug’s “fingerprint” probably isn’t in the lab’s database, and won’t show up on a toxicology or forensic report. 

In Ohio, better testing indeed yielded higher overdose statistics. The state’s number of recorded overdose deaths hit a record high in 2015, with 3,050 people dying that year. Ohio officials cited fentanyl overdoses as the culprit. 

The danger isn’t just that fentanyl is potent and deadly. It’s that the landscape of synthetic drug use is changing so quickly that law enforcement and science can’t keep up.

Boxill also noted that the shipping routes to and from several major drug-source areas ― including the Southwest border, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Atlanta and Canada ― go through Ohio. The state’s central location makes it especially vulnerable. “Ohio has the eighth-largest national highway system, which carries the seventh-highest volume of traffic in the nation, allowing drug transporters to blend in with the natural flow of traffic,” a 2011 Justice Department report notes.

States and emergency rooms that aren’t yet testing for fentanyl could be dealing with more of a problem than they realize.

“[High] level of testing isn’t necessarily coming to every emergency department and every forensic lab,” Green said. “We hope it’s getting to everybody. But the pace of change is exceptionally fast for the synthetic area.”

Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who researches drug control strategies, made a similar observation.

“The pace of change may be even greater in the next decade,” he said. “I don’t just mean increasing use. I can imagine significant changes in types of opioids, source of supply, relations to crime and violence. It’s a fluid situation.”

In other words, the danger isn’t just that fentanyl is potent and deadly. It’s that the landscape of synthetic drug use is changing so quickly that law enforcement and science can’t keep up.  

Rethinking addiction discrimination

Some authorities are beginning to push back. In July, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an unprecedented letter to 2.3 million health care professionals, asking them to commit to solving the country’s opioid epidemic. 

In his letter, Murthy emphasized that doctors need to change how they prescribe opioids for pain. He also urged doctors to lead the way in reframing addiction as a chronic medical condition, not a moral failing. Murthy has authored a 400-page report, “Facing Addiction in America,” that outlines evidence-based treatments and advocates for prevention and treatment funding.

“We need everyone in our country to help change how we think about addiction,” he said. “For far too many people, the stigma around addiction prevents them from stepping forward for help.” 

Murthy is calling for better access to medication as a way to treat both heroin addiction and prescription opioid addiction.

“What many people don’t realize is that these are scientifically proven treatment strategies, which help people live productive and fulfilling lives,” he said. “That’s why we have to make sure that those are accessible to more people.”

Although Friedmann thinks the surgeon general’s report is a positive step, he wishes it had come sooner.

“We’ve known that this is a problem ― this is a disease ― for some time,” he said. “I wish he would have [issued the report] years ago.”

Messina, for her part, is putting Murthy’s ideas into action in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where her son David overdosed. She educates the families and friends of people with substance use problems about overdose reversal drugs, and has worked to ensure that local police officers carry naloxone.

“People have to realize that this is a disease,” Messina said. “Yes, drugs are illegal, but everyone has to open up their minds and stop judging people.”

“I’m not ashamed of David,” she said. “I’m proud of him.”

This story is brought to you by The Huffington Post’s new health reporting project, The Scope. To read more stories like this one, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Have a tip? Email us at scopestories@huffingtonpost.com

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Republicans Would Repeal Obamacare In Precisely The Way They Accuse Democrats Of Enacting It

The story that Obamacare opponents tell about its enactment is that backers conceived the health insurance proposal in secret, misled the public about its provisions, and passed it without thinking through the consequences.

That’s a totally accurate account ― of what Republicans are planning to do right now.

Congress returned from its holiday break on Tuesday. And the first order of business, GOP leaders have promised, is repealing the Affordable Care Act ― the 2010 law that has brought the number of Americans without insurance to a record low, but has also raised premiums for some people while fueling an intense partisan backlash.

The process of repealing Obamacare would take several legislative steps. Republican leaders have promised to move through them swiftly, so that Donald Trump can sign a bill effectively killing the law within his first few weeks of office.

Such a vote could have dramatic consequences for millions of Americans, certainly in the long term and quite possibly in the short term. But Republicans have held no hearings about the vote and its possible impact, and they’ve mostly dodged questions from reporters.

All they have offered the American people are vague promises that the transition will be smooth ― and that whatever system emerges as a replacement will be better than what exists today. It’s not clear how much they have even considered the likely effects of repeal, let alone how they would deal with them.

Republicans Can’t Be Sure How Repeal-And-Delay Will Play Out

About the only thing certain right now is that Republicans intend to pursue a “repeal-and-delay” strategy ― stripping out the law’s funding and spending mechanisms right away, but leaving elements of its coverage expansion in place for up to four years so that they will have time to craft a replacement.

A major goal of the delay, Republicans say, is to protect the more than 20 million people who now get insurance through Obamacare “so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off,” as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) vowed last month.

But many insurers selling Obamacare policies have tolerated losses in the hopes of realizing future profits. If those profits aren’t going to materialize, insurers have little incentive continue selling Obamacare policies. They will be particularly antsy if repeal legislation immediately eliminates the individual mandate ― a financial penalty on people who decline to get coverage designed to encourage healthy people to sign up for insurance. Insurers rely on premiums from those healthy customers to offset the costs of people with high medical expenses.

Since the election, Republicans have been quietly negotiating with insurers over what it would take to keep carriers from hiking rates or abandoning states. The most obvious solution would be to shovel money at the companies, in order to cover big losses they might incur. But this would be difficult to accomplish politically, because such an infusion of funds would be exactly the kind of “bailout” that Republicans have vilified in the past and that many voters hate.

If the idea is to maintain coverage for those now relying on Obamacare, the best-case scenario is probably that Republicans make enough deals, through a combination of direct subsidies and regulatory changes, to keep state insurance markets functioning in some kind of zombified form. The worst-case scenario is a true insurance market “death spiral” that, as a recent Urban Institute analysis found, could cause millions of people to lose insurance in just the first year.

Republicans May Never Agree On An Obamacare Replacement

The long-term question looming over the repeal project, about the shape of the would-be Obamacare replacement plan, is another matter entirely.

Over the past few years, Republicans have made some very ambitious promises, usually involving supposedly superior benefits for less money. During the campaign, Trump went so far as to vow that everybody would have coverage when Republicans were done.

But a repeal bill is likely to eliminate the revenue that funds Obamacare, starting with $ 350 billion in taxes that fall on the richest Americans. Without such revenue, it’s pretty much impossible to produce a law that would insulate people from medical bills as much as Obamacare has. And it’s unlikely a Republican Congress would agree to reinstate that revenue, since it would amount to a tax increase.

Not that Republicans even know what kind of replacement they want. The party is deeply divided over government’s role in boosting health care access ― with some Republicans worrying aloud about cancer patients who couldn’t afford chemotherapy without insurance, and other Republicans suggesting it wouldn’t be so bad if people had to think twice before taking a kid with a broken arm to the emergency room.

It’s entirely reasonable to assume that, even after three or four years, Republicans would find themselves unable to coalesce around an alternative ― leaving 20 million or even 30 million Americans without coverage, according to the Urban Institute analysis.

Republicans Have Barely Addressed These Questions Publicly

So far, Republicans have held no hearings on how their transitional period is likely to play out, or the steps they are contemplating in order to keep insurance markets stable. And even now, nearly seven years after first promising to craft an Obamacare replacement, Republicans have held virtually no hearings on what that replacement might look like.

In fact, in response to inquiries from The Huffington Post last month, representatives from the five House and Senate committees with direct jurisdiction over health care legislation could cite only two hearings since 2010 that focused specifically on how to craft a new health care program. (Republican-led committees have held many more hearings on Obamacare, but nearly all focused on the law’s perceived problems, not possible replacements.)

The process that first produced Obamacare in 2009 and 2010 unfolded a bit differently. It featured its share of backroom deals and at least one big vow that Democrats would break. (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”) But it also featured more than a year of public deliberation, including upwards of 130 hearings across the five committees, according to a tally that Democratic staffers compiled at the time. 

Many of these hearings included testimony from both liberal and conservative experts, with opportunities for tough questions by both parties. And that followed a presidential campaign in which the Democratic candidates, including the eventual nominee and future president, coalesced quickly around a model for reform and spent their time litigating their relatively narrow disputes in detail.

Republicans still have a chance to do the same thing ― to explain in more detail exactly how they would proceed, to consider the immediate consequences, to offer details on how the process is supposed to end, and to do it all in a way that public can observe.

But doing that would require more time. It would also presuppose their procedural objections to Obamacare were about principle, rather than finding another excuse to bash a law they didn’t like.

— 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.

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10 Powerful Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

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Happiness comes in so many different forms that it can be hard to grasp. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when it’s taken ahold of you.

And let’s face it, happiness and work do not always go hand in hand. A 2013 Gallup study, which reported data from more than 180 million people, found that just 13% of us consider ourselves to be “happily engaged at work.”

Those who do rate themselves as happy are 36% more motivated, six times more energized, and twice as productive as their unhappy counterparts.

Happiness actually has less to do with your circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $ 10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them, and psychologists from the University of California found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50% of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.

Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control–the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Happiness is synthetic–you either create it, or you don’t.

When it comes to making yourself happy, you need to learn what works for you. Once you discover this, everything else tends to fall into place. And making yourself happy doesn’t just improve your performance; it’s also good for your health.

A critical skill set that happy people tend to have in common is emotional intelligence (EQ). At TalentSmart, we’ve tested the EQs of more than a million people and know what makes high EQ people tick. So, we went digging until we found some great ways that emotionally intelligent people create their own happiness.

1. They don’t obsess over things they can’t control. It’s good to know how the Brexit might affect your country’s markets or that your company could merge with its largest competitor, but there’s a big difference between understanding these larger forces and worrying about them. Happy people are ready and informed, but they don’t allow themselves to fret over things that are beyond their control.

2. They choose their battles wisely.
Emotionally intelligent people know how important it is to live to fight another day. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged and unhappy for some time to come. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

3. They get enough sleep. I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to improving your mood, focus, and self-control. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, removing toxic proteins that accumulate during the day as byproducts of normal neuronal activity. This ensures that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your energy, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation also raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Happy people make sleep a priority, because it makes them feel great and they know how lousy they feel when they’re sleep deprived.

4. They heed their moral compass. Crossing moral boundaries in the name of success is a sure-fire path to unhappiness. Violating your personal standards creates feelings of regret, dissatisfaction, and demotivation. Know when to stand your ground and express dissent when someone wants you to do something that you know you shouldn’t. When you’re feeling confused, take some time to review your values and write them down. This will help you to locate your moral compass.

5. They exercise during the week.
Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that also limits impulsivity. A University of Bristol study showed that people who exercised on workdays reported improvements in time management, mood, and performance. The benefits of exercise always outweigh the time lost in its pursuit.

6. They have a growth mindset.
People’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged, because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. This makes them happier because they are better at handling difficulties. They also outperform those with a fixed mindset because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

7. They clear the clutter.
I don’t need to remind you of how much time you spend at work. Take a good look at your workspace. You should create a space that’s soothing and uplifting. Whether it’s a picture of your family, a plant, or an award that you’re proud of, display them prominently to keep them on your mind. Get rid of the junk and clutter that hold no significance and do nothing positive for your mental state.

8. They lend a hand.
Taking the time to help your colleagues not only makes them happy, but it also makes you happy. Helping other people gives you a surge of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which create good feelings. In a Harvard study, employees who helped others were 10 times more likely to be focused at work and 40% more likely to get a promotion. The same study showed that people who consistently provided social support were the most likely to be happy during times of high stress. As long as you make certain that you aren’t overcommitting yourself, helping others is sure to have a positive influence on your happiness.

9. They let their strengths flow.
A University of Chicago study of peak performance found that people who were able to reach an intense state of focus, called flow, reaped massive benefits. Flow is the state of mind in which you find yourself completely engrossed in a project or task, and you lose awareness of the passage of time and other external distractions. Flow is often described as an exhilarating state in which you feel euphoria and mastery simultaneously. The result is not just happiness and productivity but also the development of new skills through a heightened state of learning. The key to reaching flow lies in organizing your tasks such that you have immediate and clear goals to pursue that play to your strengths. As you begin working on these tasks, your focus increases along with your feelings of adequacy. In time, you reach a flow state, in which productivity and happiness flourish. Set clear goals each day and experiment with task order until you find the secret formula that gets you flowing.

10. They believe the best is yet to come.
Don’t just tell yourself that the best is yet to come–believe it. Having a positive, optimistic outlook on the future doesn’t just make you happier; it also improves your performance by increasing your sense of self-efficacy. The mind has a tendency to magnify past pleasure to such a great degree that the present pales in comparison. This phenomenon can make you lose faith in the power of the future to outdo what you’ve already experienced. Don’t be fooled. Believe in the great things the future has in store.

Bringing It All Together

Applying these strategies won’t just improve your happiness at work; most of them will also improve your emotional intelligence. Pick those that resonate with you and have fun with them.

What makes you happy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

— 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.

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Steve Martin, Carrie Fisher, and the Male Response to Female Beauty

In response to the news that Carrie Fisher had died, Steve Martin shared on Facebook the vivid memory of the impact Ms. Fisher had had on him nearly forty years before (presumably when he’d seen her portraying Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie).

“When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen,” Martin began.

As has been widely reported, Steve Martin’s tribute was publicly attacked by some as “sexist.” “Remember Carrie Fisher for her talent, her feminism, her commentary on mental health,” New York Magazine wrote, “– not for the way she looked.” A Twitter user’s comment captured the essence of these attacks: “”Seriously @SteveMartinToGo quit being such a jerk for thinking Carrie Fisher was beautiful and saying so on the occasion of her death.”

Although Steve Martin had his defenders, nonetheless, in the face of the attacks, he retreated and deleted his posting.

More needs to be said about how wrong-headed are those attacks.

Let me begin by acknowledging that women have much to complain about the manner in which men relate to them regarding their looks and their bodies. And they have much to complain about how men fail to relate to them– as full human beings worthy of respect. Particularly in the aftermath of an election to the presidency of a man we have heard boasting of sexually assaulting women, the injured feelings of women whose humanity has been denied and abused warrants acknowledgment and consideration.

So the following is not intended as a counter-attack on those women who, triggered perhaps by his rhapsodic comment about Carrie Fisher’s beauty, attacked Steve Martin. It is, rather, an attempt to clarify what there is in men’s response to womanly beauty that deserves to be honored, not condemned.

“Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.” One can hear a fullness of heart in Steve Martin’s statement. He is recalling an experience of inspiration–a breathing in of spirit in response to something that touched him deeply, a pleasurable recollection of being moved by beauty.

I imagine most men can identify with that appreciation of womanly beauty. And it’s a good thing that we are that way. That response is deeply wired into our nature. It is a response that has for eons been life-serving, and life-enhancing.

The evolutionary process that has shaped us has seen to it that, by nature, we feel the feelings that help keep us alive and serve to pass our form of life forward into the future. It is good that the male human is moved, as Steve Martin was, by the perception of female beauty. That is no small part of how it has come to pass that there are people on this earth.

It has been well-established scientifically that what the human male finds beautiful in the human female is correlated with health, fertility, and advantageous genetic endowment. The perpetuation of life is vital business, and it is life-serving for us to appreciate what will help us continue our kind.

Appreciation of this sort connects with our fundamental being at a level way deeper than our liking someone’s “commentary on mental health.” That sort of thing can be real, but it is most unlikely to produce a memory that is still resonant forty years later.

Steve Martin was accused of responding to Carrie Fisher purely in physical terms. But I doubt that’s true at all. We humans do not just mate, we also form relationships as lovers. We are wired not just to produce offspring, but also to form families that can nurture our offspring through their prolonged period of dependency. Heart and soul are also involved, and when we see one another, we see more than just the purely physical.

Carrie Fisher was a woman of real spirit, and that quality of her being was entirely visible in her portrayal of the highly spirited character, Princess Leia. I would wager that when Steve Martin found Carrie Fisher beautiful, he was responding also to that spirit.

That was certainly the case the moment I first met my own beloved, April, more than thirty years ago. As she walked toward me on that afternoon in Rock Creek Park in Washington (on April 21, 1984), I saw her physical loveliness. (Not beauty-queen beautiful, but certainly pleasing to the eye even at that level.) But what captivated me immediately was a beauty that was both visible and at the level of the spirit.

Here’s how I put it two and a half years later, in the vow that I’d composed for our wedding. Describing her eyes as “like an open blue sky,” I said, “I saw in that first moment that your face is a clear window of your brave and beautiful soul.”

I continue to be moved by that beauty at moments that are, thankfully, not at all rare. Indeed, the moments that I’ve been most deeply moved by womanly beauty have been in recent years with April, who is now in her sixties. It is part of what I call “the sacred space of lovers.” And the experience of the heightening of my perception of such beauty illustrates the wisdom in the question asked by that old song: “Do I love you because you are beautiful? Or are you beautiful because I love you?”

The connections between the perception of beauty and the feeling of the open heart are complex. Steve Martin, I imagine, was not coming from any less-than-human “sexist” place in his perception of Carrie Fisher. I imagine that, back when he was a young man and he saw that beauty, had Steve Martin been given the opportunity to sit across the table from the young woman he had appreciated, he would have treated her as endearingly as he knew how to. If “sexism” implies some sort of lesser treatment, I doubt how he beheld Carrie Fisher would have been sexist in the least.

Men are supposed to appreciate women, and it all begins with first sight.

I am still moved also by the beauty I see in other women. Experiences of beauty – in general – are important to me. I am moved by the beauty of the music of Bach and Mozart. Moved, too, by the sight of the trees’ spring leaves emerging in the valley and ascending the slopes toward our house on the ridge. But nothing moves me more profoundly than womanly beauty, and the way movie stars are cast suggests that looking at such beauty is a pleasure that is pretty nigh universal.

I’m sure Steve Martin would affirm that his memory of seeing that “most beautiful creature” is a pleasurable one. Beholding womanly beauty is pleasurable for the men I know, and thus this response is life-enhancing as well as life-serving.

It does not diminish in the least that sacred space between April and me that I appreciate womanly beauty wherever I see it. As I see it, our being lovers is more than just a connection between her as a specific human woman and me as a specific human man. It is also a representation of that ancient reality of woman and man coming together in love, as lovers.

As Leonard Cohen put it in his song, “That’s No Way to Say Good-bye”:

Yes many loved before us
I know we are not new
In city and in forest
They smile like me and you

I love April not only for being her, but also for being the embodiment of Woman in my life. Did I not appreciate “woman,” I’d appreciate April the less.

That a man should respond to the beauty of woman is a sign of life’s flowering in him. Just as I would wish for every man to see in his beloved some substantial piece of the beauty that Steve Martin saw in Carrie Fisher, so would I wish for every man the capacity to see representatives of such beauty in the world around him.

The love of womanly beauty, and of the beautiful qualities that can be conveyed in that visible beauty, partakes of the sacred in the human realm.

Steve Martin’s recollection of Carrie Fisher’s beauty deserves to be celebrated, not silenced..

Andy Schmookler, who has spent the past dozen years warning about the destructive force that has been rising on the American right, will launch this spring a new series–not on the brokenness, but on a dimension of wholeness — with the title, “The Sacred Space of Lovers.”

— 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.

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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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How Obama Took An Existing Feminist Law And Made It Even Stronger

When the United States Women’s National Team visited the White House in October 2015 to celebrate winning the Women’s World Cup, President Barack Obama didn’t mince words when sharing his excitement. 

“This team taught all of America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass,” he said. 

He paused for a second.

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that phrase.”

The crowd laughed.

Left unsaid, though, was that the overwhelming dominance of American female athletes in international competitions during Obama’s two terms represented a major public policy victory for the United States, which more than four decades earlier had enshrined equal opportunity for girls and women in sports into federal law.

Obama is not responsible for creating Title IX, the 1972 law meant to guarantee women and girls equal access to athletics and education. But the president has aggressively celebrated, enforced and expanded Title IX’s reach on issues from gender equity in sports to campus sexual assault to the rights of transgender students and athletes.

Now, as President-elect Donald Trump sets out to reshape federal education policy, the question is whether that legacy can remain intact.

A Reversal Of Bush-Era Policy

Although Title IX itself does not explicitly mention sports, it is most commonly associated with gender equality on the athletic field. And almost immediately after Obama took office, his administration set about reshaping how the law applied to female athletes.

In 2005, President George W. Bush’s Department of Education walked back decades of Title IX practices by changing the rules for how to determine whether schools had violated female students’ rights to equal opportunity. The Bush administration’s move was seen as a setback for women and girls, who still faced massive gaps in access to sports at the primary and secondary school level. Activists pressured Obama and then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan to take action.

The Education Department reversed the Bush administration’s guidance in 2010, reinstating earlier standards that increased the burden on schools to demonstrate their compliance with the law. Complaints under Title IX drastically increased in the following years: In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the department’s Office of Civil Rights received more than 3,600 official complaints alleging disparities in athletic opportunities — nearly triple the number that had been filed in the four years prior.

Activists at the time said the rise in complaints were due at least in part to increased awareness about the law and the growing expectation that women and girls deserve equal footing on the field.

A ‘Historic’ Move Against Campus Sexual Assault

A year later, an even bigger change — one that could become the defining legacy of how Obama and Vice President Joe Biden approached Title IX — arrived when the administration took on an issue activists and students had pressed them on for years: campus sexual assault.

Federal officials had previously released recommendations on how to handle sexual assault and violence complaints under Title IX. But in 2011, the Office of Civil Rights issued what’s called a “Dear Colleague” letter — a means of outlining procedures and official departmental guidance under the law  — that told school administrators at the collegiate and K-12 level that they were responsible for protecting women from sexual violence and outlined specific rules and procedures for how to handle claims of assault.

“This was historic,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president who spearheaded much of the administration’s gender equity policy moves. “While Title IX had always protected students from sexual harassment and assault, this was the first time any federal administration called sexual violence a civil rights issue.”

That change has had tangible effects, especially when coupled with awareness campaigns Biden and student activists launched in subsequent years: The Office of Civil Rights is currently investigating more than 400 sexual assault complaints at colleges and schools, Jarrett said. Those include complaints at some of America’s most prestigious universities — including Harvard, Yale and Stanford — and in school districts in some of its largest cities, including the nation’s capital.

Several of the most high-profile cases involving Title IX and sexual assault came from the world of college sports. None, perhaps, made bigger news than the case of former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who was accused of rape by a female student in 2012. Winston wasn’t charged — Florida State settled a Title IX lawsuit with the accuser in January 2016, and Winston and his accuser ultimately settled lawsuits against each other in December.

But his case became a national example of the myriad issues around sexual assault on college campuses. It had the effect of broadening the impact of the Obama administration’s efforts to change the way such cases are handled, said Scott Lewis, a partner at the NCHERM Group, which advises schools on Title IX compliance.

“The Winston case, I think, took it to the broader audience in a fashion that had not been introduced to them before,” Lewis said. “That broadened the audience. Now you had ESPN talking about it in a different way [as well as] other people who before weren’t as open to that concept having more discussions about how schools should be doing this.”

‘Concern’ For The Trump Era

The Obama administration took another major action on Title IX in May, when the Education and Justice departments reminded schools that the law guaranteed equal treatment for transgender students — something that will inevitably spill over into athletics, given the controversy over the ability of those students to access the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

However, activists and experts are worried that the Trump administration could roll back Obama’s expansive actions.

Conservatives have already opposed the inclusion of transgender students under Title IX. The issue could soon be decided in court, after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction requested by Texas and other states.

There have also been concerns ― including from universities and legal scholars ― that the Obama administration applied Title IX to campus sexual assault and harassment issues in ways that hurt due process rights of accused students or lead to overzealous investigations.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education, supports major reforms for public education. And although her past suggests she will oppose the Obama administration’s inclusion of transgender students in Title IX, she has said little about her approach.

There’s a lot of understandable anxiety based on statements by the campaign and nominations that have been announced.
Neena Chaudhry, director of education at the National Women’s Law Center

“Obviously we’re concerned there will be a rollback in enforcement,” said Neena Chaudhry, director of education and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington.

“There’s a lot of understandable anxiety based on statements by the campaign and nominations that have been announced,” she said. “We’ve already seen an uptick in harassment and violence even since November, and I think it will be very important for the incoming administration to … continue to vigorously enforce civil rights law.”

But Chaudhry and others also see reasons to believe that big, swift changes might not come — especially when it comes to addressing campus sexual assault.

There’s bipartisan support for Senate legislation that could force sweeping changes in how colleges handle sexual assault cases. And schools have begun to take action on their own. Florida State, for example, argued that it undertook major efforts to reshape its approach to sexual assault cases in the wake of the Winston case, and Lewis said the rash of investigations and complaints over the last five years have begun to shift attitudes on campuses across the country. Schools now believe they have the responsibility to address these issues, and those attitudes won’t be easy to change.

At least on sexual assault issues, the Obama administration’s Title IX legacy is “pretty well-established in the fact that schools are really changing the way they address these issues, arguably in a fashion that should have been changed years ago,” Lewis said. “There’s an increase in reporting of incidents, an increase in adjudication, and an increase in accountability. I think their legacy is that schools are starting to realize that they have to do this better.”

There is similar momentum in sports. During the Obama years, women have ascended to previously inaccessible roles and set milestones in the Olympics, Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA and the sports media.

When the USWNT visited the White House, a 13-year-old girl named Ayla Ludlow introduced the president.

That summer, Ayla’s brother had walked into the room where she was watching the Women’s World Cup.

“Ayla,” she says he said, “boys are so much better than girls at soccer.”

“It makes me mad that people do not treat girls equally,” Ayla wrote in a letter to the Obamas.

“Plus,” she wrote, “a lot of girls are better at sports than boys.”

This piece is part of a series on Obama’s legacy that The Huffington Post will be publishing over the next week. Read other pieces in the series here.

— 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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‘Superbug’ Infections Down 30 Percent at VA Hospitals

Campaign to thwart antibiotic-resistant MRSA has made strides since 2007, study shows
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WATCH: Getting More Than Your Money’s Worth

We’ve all heard the expression, “You get what you paid for,” but we also all have experiences of feeling like we got little value for something we paid a lot for, and lots of value for something we got for little or no money (I’m hoping that certain YouTube videos fall into that category…). Maybe the real truth is that we get what we choose to get – that we are responsible for the amount of value we receive. And if that’s the case, choose to get maximum value from whatever you invest your time and money into. I hope this helps you get the most from this new year.

If you are new to tapping, it will be beneficial to also watch the first episode in the “Tap Out Your Fears” series — which explains the basics of EFT — click here.

As with any of my tapping videos, this is an abbreviated process for releasing uncomfortable feelings and enhancing good ones. Some folks may find their fear dissolve after just one tapping session, but for others, it will take some repetition, bringing the discomfort down little by little each time. (Still others may uncover specific issues that are best addressed directly with a wellness practitioner.) In any event, this brief video should help at least take the edge off the discomfort, freeing you up to enjoy life much more. Let us know how it helped you!

For a picture of the tapping points — and more info on EFT — click here.

Tapping can sometimes bring up long-buried emotions, which is why I state that, before tapping along, folks must take full responsibility for their own well-being. For more information about that, please read this disclaimer.

Until next time, feel free to tap along with any of the many videos I have on YouTube or the many recordings I have at www.TapWithBrad.com.

For EFT with kids, please visit: www.TheWizardsWish.com.

For more by Brad Yates, click here.

— 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

It’s Time To End The ‘Birth Control Causes Miscarriage’ Myth

Anti-abortion activists and politicians sometimes like to spread the damaging lie that hormonal birth control works by causing a miscarriage.

The most recent high-profile individual to grab attention for making that claim is Katy Talento, who was announced as a health care policy aide to President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday and who has a history of claiming that “chemical birth control” (whatever that means) causes “deliberate miscarriage” (again, meaning unclear). 

In a 2015 article in The Federalist ― rather ridiculously headlined “Miscarriage Of Justice: Is Big Pharma Breaking Your Uterus?” ― Talento, who has a master’s in epidemiology from Harvard but is not a medical doctor, argued:

Progestin in birth control thins the endometrial lining (uterine wall), but a fertilized egg needs a thick, fluffy, blood-rich uterine wall to attach to and begin growth. Without it, the embryo can’t survive, and a miscarriage occurs.

Advocates from both the anti-abortion and pro-abortion-rights camps have disputed that mechanism, Talento admitted in her essay ― but then she went on to argue that long-term birth control use runs the risk of “breaking your uterus for good.”

Here’s why that ― all of it ― is simply not true:

How birth control works

There are many types of hormonal contraception for women, including but not limited to the birth control pill (including combination and progestin-only), the birth control shot and the hormonal IUD (there is also the non-hormonal copper option).

In general, there are a few mechanisms by which those methods help prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills, patches and rings, for example, help the body prevent ovulation by keeping the body from releasing an egg. 

“What the hormones will do is prevent an egg from coming out,” Dr. Krishna Upadhya, a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent reproductive health told The Huffington Post. Upadhya is a member of the Oral Contraceptives Over The Counter working group. 

“Additionally we can try and prevent the sperm from getting to the egg,” she said. “The hormones can change the mucus in the cervix from getting to an egg that might have been released.”

Each method has its own specific mechanisms (for another example, the copper IUD prevents the sperm from reaching the egg because sperm “don’t like” copper). But with hormonal birth control, there’s really no clear way to know if during any given month, a potential pregnancy was stopped because a woman’s body didn’t release an egg or because the birth control method she is taking resulted in changes to her cervical mucus that prevented sperm from reaching the egg, Upadhya said. 

Why it’s not a miscarriage or abortion

When people argue that birth control causes miscarriage ― or even that it represents a form of abortion ― they are generally operating under the assumption that any time a sperm and egg have come together, that is considered a pregnancy.

“Some people, whether for religious reasons or other reasons, feel very strongly that there should be no outside interference in eggs and sperm potentially coming together … that is considered a conception, and anything that interferes with that conception going to term, essentially, is a miscarriage,” Upadhya said. “From a medical standpoint, that is not a definition we use.”

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnancy begins only when a fertilized egg has implanted in the lining of a woman’s uterus, which takes several days. (Plan B ― i.e., the morning-after pill ― is not considered an “abortion” either, because it works by preventing ovulation.)

Oh, and numerous studies have shown that taking birth control early on in a pregnancy does not harm that pregnancy ― nor does taking birth control affect future fertility.  

“Birth control is critical to women’s health,” Upadhya said. “It’s really important that we have people who direct our health policy who understand that.”

— 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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The Constitution Allows America To Choose Colin Powell for President On January 6

Colin Powell can be elected President of The United States on January 6.

And it is already in process.

Here’s how:

Step One: One Congressperson and one Senator challenge the results of The Electoral College. (As of January 5 at 5:20 pm, this author has just received confirmation that at least one Member of The House of Representatives WILL be challenging the results and that that Member is actively recruiting a corresponding Member from The United States Senate) .
Step Two: Each challenged vote is debated and ruled to be either valid or invalid by both houses of Congress
Step Three: If less than 270 of the 304 electoral votes for Donald Trump survive scrutiny by Congress, Donald Trump is not formally elected by The Electoral College and then the entire matter goes to The House of Representatives to choose.
Step Four:  The House chooses, according to The 12th Amendment, amongst the top 3 electoral vote getters. Because of The Hamilton Elector campaign encouraging electors of both parties to “vote their conscience” 7 electors actually did.  As a result, here was the vote:

Donald Trump:  304
Hillary Clinton:  227
Colin Powell:       3
John Kasich:       1
Bernie Sanders:  1
Ron Paul:            1
Faith Spotted Eagle  1

So, if Congress is able to invalidate at least 35 of Donald Trump’s 304 electoral votes, he will fall below the mandatory 270 vote threshold for victory and The House of Representatives will then be asked to choose amongst Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell.  Each state delegation gets 1 vote and the candidate – be it Trump, Clinton or Powell – who gets 26 of the 50 votes is our next President and Commander-in-Chief.

Yes, IF this gets to The House, Colin Powell can (and may very well) become America’s 45th President.

Crazy, huh.  Well, there seems to be no limit to the fun and surprises provided by our wonderful Electoral College system!

IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE THAT COLIN POWELL WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT?

Glad you asked.  It is, of course, unlikely, but it is absolutely possible. 

Really.  Here’s why:

1.  A just released study, authored by North Carolina attorney, Arlaine Rockey, her registered Republican sister and 6 other attorneys and 7 additional researchers has identified, according to them, at least 50 Republican (and many Democratic as well) electors who have violated one or more statutory or Constitutional requirements for them to be electors and for their electoral votes to count.  (Here is a 53 page Executive Summary of the 1,018 page study https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0GnyHC1E-uOaXVqbG05TFIwQzQ/view)

These requirements are:

a) The electors were not living in or registered to vote in the Congressional Districts that they represented in The Electoral College, an absolute requirement.
b) They were already elected officials and, as such, violated the absolute requirement that they not serve in two elected capacities.
c) Votes for President and Vice-President were made on the same ballot, in direct violation of the law.

The Path to a 26 State Vote Victory In The House of Representatives for Colin Powell

If all 13 states with a Democratic majority of Congresspersons vote for Colin Powell (realizing it is futile to vote for Hillary) he is halfway there and only 13 of the remaining 37 Republican States would have to vote for General Powell for him to become The 45th President of The United States.

One way for this to happen is if:
* The 3 states where there are almost as many Democrats as Republicans, Colorado (4-3), Arizona (5-4) and Wisconsin (5-3) have just one or two Republicans vote for Powell instead of Trump, and
* Maine, with 1 Republican and 1 Democrat, votes for Powell, and
* Utah, where Trump is not well loved, votes instead for Powell, and
* The one Congressperson delegations in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming vote for General Powell, and
* Just 3 more out of the remaining 27 Republican states decide that America would be better off with the much loved and much respected General Colin Powell than Donald Trump.
Or any other combination of 13 of the 37 Republican states vote for this consensus Republican to bring America together.

What Can You Do to Elect Colin Powell on Friday?

1) Call 202 224 3121 (Capitol Operator) and tell your Congressperson and BOTH United States Senators that you want them to object to each of the 50 indicated Elector’s votes because they are Constitutionally illegitimate, and
2) That when the election is thrown into The House, you would like for your Congressperson to help bring the country together by voting for General Powell.
*Note: We know that many would like for Democrats and others to vote for the winner of the popular vote, Hillary Clinton, but there is zero chance that even one Republican Congressperson would vote for Hillary and therefore Democratic Congresspersons would likely elect Donald Trump unless all of them vote for Colin Powell.

While a seeming fantasy, this can be done . . . and after the utterly crazy, unprecedented and surprising nature of Election 2016 what a deliciously crazy, unprecedented, surprising and somehow appropriate ending this could be!
Can you say, “President Colin Powell”? I think the vast majority of America would sleep better for the next 4 years if this became a reality and that the talented and patriotic General and former Secretary of State for George W. Bush would accept this call to duty to serve his nation yet again.

SUMMARY by The Legal Team

Here are the issues regarding the electoral college results that have come to our attention.

A number of attorneys, in researching other electoral college laws, identified what they saw as serious legal errors in the way the electoral college votes were taken.
Several states, in their state laws and constitutions, place clear limits on who can cast electoral college ballots. Some states, such as North Carolina, require that electoral college representatives (like congressional representatives) must come from a particular voting district. Under various state constitutions, there are prohibitions on certain office holders from cross swearing (taking two oaths and acting in two official positions). One challenge was brought in Ohio prior to the election to a dual office holder, and that elector Ohio State Representative Christina Hagan, stepped down. However, the tens of other dual office holders went ahead and cast electoral college votes in violation of their own state restrictions.

At this point, it is incumbent on congress to certify whether votes have been “regularly given” and “lawfully certified” but the prohibition on dual office holding makes this certification impossible. See 3 U.S. Code § 15.
The link, above, includes the list of the states in which Trump took a state majority, and reviewers have identified 50 votes that cannot be certified.

On January 6th, when Congress meets, if one member of each chamber objects to any given vote, then each chamber will debate the issue, with a maximum time of two hours for debate per vote. If a sufficient number of votes are not certified (by both houses) and Trump does not reach the required 270, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President from a list of three of the highest vote getters, with each state getting one vote in the house (for President). Similarly, in the Senate, if there is no 270 majority for Vice President, then the senate chooses the vice president by a majority of the whole number of senators from the two highest vote getters. 

 

 

— 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.

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Suggestions to avoid food poisoning
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3 Silicon Valley-Tested Tips For Introvert Networking

This article first appeared on QuietRev.com

In the Silicon Valley, many senior leaders are introverted—in fact, many more than in most other industries we’ve studied in our research of over 200 C-Suite Executives. There are some great lessons that we can learn about introverts from the Valley.

Rajeev Behera has worked in the Silicon Valley for the past seven years, running marketing teams in various start-ups. He now heads up Reflektive, a communication platform that enables employees to send and receive continual, real-time feedback. He provided me with three key tips for introverts to shine bright next to their louder, extroverted peers.

Focus on manager one-on-ones

One of the most important goals introverted employees need to keep in mind is to be intentional about having one-on-ones with their managers. Extroverts, as natural talkers, are comfortable discussing what they’re working on, what their goals are, and what progress they’ve made. Because they speak so freely, openly, and with such ease, peers and managers often hear of their progress and productivity at work. Extroverts’ more expressive nature can make silent introverts appear less productive.

What Behera suggests, then, is to play to one of the strengths of introverts—that of having deeper, more detailed conversations. People with quieter presences should intentionally converse daily with their managers, even for five minutes, to update them. Because introverts are not always talking, it’s important for them to set aside time to consciously inform and update their supervisors on their progress. This not only enables introverts to properly share their insights but also forms strong relationships. For introverts, it’s often easier to speak up one-on-one than in front of peers, so this tactic also gives them the opportunity to gain visibility in the eyes of their managers.

Behera put it well: “That’s probably the biggest key: letting them know how insightful you are and being very clear about what you’re doing in those one-on-ones, and making sure you develop that one-on-one relationship with your manager—outside of group meetings and team meetings.”

Focus on quality, not quantity

The next point Behera makes is similar to a point often made in the discussion about introverts and networking. Networking can be perceived as daunting and uncomfortable for many introverts. Rather than work a room the same way an extrovert would (speaking to many people for little time), introverts often speak to fewer people but have longer, more detailed conversations. Those conversations easily go beyond the superficial and can lead to relationships that last several years after the event, long beyond the more typical duration of a mere follow-up e-mail.

Within a company, the same tactic can be used to foster deeper relationships among employees. Once you reach a certain level at an organization, you have a tight-knit set of peers and co-workers; still, it’s often beneficial to maintain relationships with employees within various sectors of an organization.

The same way introverts would speak to fewer people at a networking event but sustain a deeper conversation, they could establish good relationships with employees across the company. This enables introverts to be known—not superficially by everyone at the company, but in-depth by quite a few.

Focus on synthesis

A final point is that it’s always helpful to be a second ear to your boss. Behera noticed the manifestation of this stemming from the one-on-one relationships he had with some of his employees. These employees would go off to their meetings or work in peer groups, listen intently to conversations, synthesize the information they’d heard, and report back to him in a thoughtful manner.

The ability to synthesize a lot of information is a key skill of introverts. Instead of talking a lot in meetings, they listen closely and share important takeaways from the meetings with their managers later on. The level of insight this skill provides is a great quality of introverts—one they should capitalize on.

Though introverts are quiet, they can shine just as brightly as their extroverted peers. Establishing one-on-one conversations with a manager, fostering deeper relationships with fewer employees across the company, and synthesizing information are all gateways for introverts to spotlight their talents and productive efforts.

Introverts deserve to be heard, and being quiet should not get in the way of that.  

Karl Moore, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management; Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University; and an Associate Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He is doing a major research project on quiet leaders: Introverts in the Executive Suite. He is also an Associate of the Quiet Leadership Institute. Karl’s co-writer, Aya Schechner, is a recent McGill BCom grad who is working with Karl as a producer on his radio show, the CEO Series, until she begins law school in fall 2017.

 

More from Quiet Revolution:

How to Learn to Love Networking

LinkedIn and Networking: An Introvert’s Perfect Partnership

The Art of Quiet Networking

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.

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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

Enough Is Enough: Reform The Rehab And Sober Living Industry In 2017

My dad always used to say, “nothing changes if nothing changes.” Over the past year, we’ve seen the mortality rate from drugs and alcohol spike to epidemic levels. People are dying at an alarming rate, so alarming that the CDC recently reported that heroin overdoses now outnumber gun homicides. Just as alarming, we’re seeing news reports, almost on a daily basis, chastising the treatment/sober living industry for substandard care, “body brokering,” unethical marketing practices – and the list goes on and on.

As a person living in long-term recovery from addiction, this angers me. However, from my perspective as an advocate for the recovery community, I’m absolutely disgusted. The fact that treatment operators are using this health crisis as an opportunity – as we continue to walk over dead bodies – to take advantage of what arguably is our nation’s most pressing health challenge is wrong, and something must change.

Recently, a bold approach from a Florida state attorney shed a tremendous amount of light on some of the obstacles the treatment/sober living industry faces. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg convened a grand jury last month to investigate the deceptive practices of this multi-billion dollar industry that leaves so many of our most vulnerable citizens at the hands of bad actors and shady operators. Pay-for-patient marketing, the misuse of Google key words, rerouting people who are facing life-or-death circumstances to unqualified phone “boiler rooms,” and fraudulent insurance practices are all abuses that need to be examined under a microscope – not just in Florida, but across the entire country.

Since Thanksgiving Day, we’ve seen a severe uptick in overdose deaths in our community. What we’ve been hearing about in the news in Ohio, New Hampshire, and elsewhere has arrived at the heart of the City of Roses, best known for its New Year’s Day Parade and Rose Bowl football game.

Now the Los Angeles area is also known for its high-rate of deaths stemming from alcohol and drug overdoses. As of last year’s reported data from the CDC, more than twice as many Californians die of drug overdoses than are murdered. This may be a tough statistic for my neighbors in Pasadena, CA to swallow, but it’s now a fact – and I see it every day. So no, now is not the time for treatment owners and operators to gouge those on the frontlines seeking a life in long-term recovery. Now is not the time to take advantage of an opioid epidemic that continues to take 91 lives per day.

On the contrary, it is time for those who’ve created a business model leading people into recovery to step it up. Operators in the treatment industry should not only be open, but completely willing to work with law enforcement, community organizations, and district attorneys in their hometowns. We must get rid of the shady operators who’ve turned this industry into a scheme that’s left so many behind.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the many people in this industry leading the way to save lives. There are countless facilities and legitimate sober homes that are unfortunately lost in the midst of the bad headlines and unscrupulous actions of others. They must make their voices heard and join the call to end these unconscionable practices making their way to the front pages of almost every hometown paper. In my opinion, this is the only alternative we have left: reform the system or sit on the sidelines as people continue to die.

Two years ago when I found my way into treatment for substance use disorder, I was lucky enough to stumble upon one of the good ones. It’s not necessarily the fanciest center in America. It didn’t have a pool or “extraordinary view of the Los Angeles skyline.” It did have an operator though who was genuinely in the business of saving lives. Mike Bloom took me in when others looked the other way because of my lack of financial resources. His center didn’t launch an all-out predatory marketing scheme on my family. He was client-focused, not profit-focused. You see, as business owners in the addiction space begin to wake up and understand that ethical and affordable treatment shouldn’t be an anomaly — their profits will skyrocket.

These past few months, public policy leaders and communities from coast-to-coast have heard the rallying cry of the recovery movement. I’ve seen the paradigm shift in how we’re breaking the stigma and ending the silence. Our country has come so far in such a short period of time. But we still have a lot of work to do. It’s time we take this conversation to the next level and address the business of addiction. Recovery treatment shouldn’t be pay-to-play nor should it be up for grabs to the highest bidder on Google. It should be transparent, qualified, and affordable for all who seek it.

— 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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Thursday’s Morning Email: House GOP Pushes To Undo Obama’s Legacy

TOP STORIES

HOUSE GOP PUSHES TO UNDO OBAMA’S LEGACY The U.S. House of Representative passed a bill Wednesday that would give Congress the power “to kill dozens of recently enacted rules in one fell swoop.” While President Barack Obama visited Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, president-elect Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets about the ACA that seemed to indicate he would not be a fan of an immediate repeal. And the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing this morning on “foreign cyberthreats to the United States.” [Arthur Delaney, HuffPost]

TRUMP PLANS TO PARE DOWN CIA IN RESTRUCTURING Somewhere, Carrie Mathison is having a category four meltdown. [WSJ | Paywall]

THE DEADLIEST SHOOTINGS OF 2016 That you didn’t hear about. [Melissa Jeltson, HuffPost]

FORGET WHAT YOU KNEW ABOUT CHILDREN AND PEANUT ALLERGIES The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases just released a new set of guidelines. [WaPo]

MORE THAN 100 INJURED IN BROOKLYN COMMUTER TRAIN DERAILMENT This is the “second major accident involving New York City’s commuter railroads in the past three months.”  [Reuters]

CHINA MAKES HUGE RENEWABLE ENERGY PLAY To the tune of a $ 361 billion price tag. [Reuters]

A MAN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WAS BOUND, GAGGED AND TORTURED By four teenagers in Chicago ― who livestreamed the whole thing on Facebook. [Ed Mazza, HuffPost]

AMBASSADOR CATHY RUSSELL AND TOM DONILON: WHY GENDER EQUALITY NEEDS TO BE A FOREIGN POLICY FOCUS “On an international scale, we know that women’s empowerment is spurring global growth and helping rebuild fragile and conflict-torn societies. These trends will boost American efforts to address geopolitical instability, to raise global living standards, and to expand markets for American businesses.” [Medium]

WHAT’S BREWING

THAT ONE TIME QUEEN ELIZABETH II WAS ALMOST SHOT By her own guard. [HuffPost]

‘YOUNG MOM EARNS $ 50 MILLION WHILE CARING FOR TWO CHILDREN’ Kim Kardashian made double that of the CEO of Goldman Sachs in the past year. [HuffPost]

THIS PHOTO OF KATIE COURIC WITHOUT MAKEUP Is all of us. Every.Single.One. [HuffPost]

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS U.S. NAVY DOLPHINS And they’re being deployed to save another species. [HuffPost]

MEET THE GUY WHO FILED 6,500 NOISE COMPLAINTS IN A YEAR And oh yeah ― he’s a former astronaut. [The Outline]

YOU HAVE ANOTHER ORGAN YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT And neither did scientists until very recently. Sorry med students, you’ll need to add this to the flash card deck. [HuffPost]

BEFORE YOU GO

~ Megyn Kelly was reportedly offered a heckuva lot more money to stay at Fox.

~ S’mores Girl Scout cookies are coming.

~ In case Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds couldn’t get any cuter

~ Sorry everyone: Oprah said she’s never running for president. Really was looking forward to a free car for all bill.

~ The United Arab Emirates has outlawed the owning of exotic pets, which was once a prized status symbol.

~ Macy’s is cutting over 10,000 jobs after weak holiday sales.

~ We can’t get over how magical the wedding photos are for this couple with Down syndrome.

~ A JonBenét Ramsey documentary is headed to Netflix.

~ The Brangelina divorce just got uglier in the latest court filings.

~ Because in the new year, nostalgia is high: Check out this reunion of your favorite Wildcats from “High School Musical” singing an acoustic duet.  

~ Here’s Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor with a massive Donald Trump tweet prop.

~ Micro-dosing isn’t going away any time soon ― will it be at your workplace next?

~ Trump has a thing for couriers.

~ We’re still cringing over this waterfall proposal gone wrong.

~ And inside the race to build the world’s fastest elevator.

 

The Huffington Post’s Morning Email team aims to get you the top news, along with entertainment, lifestyle stories and other absurdity that you need to get through your workday — all with a dash of signature Morning Email snark.

Like The Morning Email? Send it to a friend! Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here.

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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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New Guidelines Urge Early Intro to Peanut Products in High-Risk Infants

Change in recommendations based on results of groundbreaking trial
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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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Tired of Being Tired? How to Re-Energize and Be Happy

You’re tired. You’re exhausted from the moment you get up in the morning. It feels like you’ve been plowing the field with a fork. You’re working too hard and not getting enough done. This can get a person down, especially during this busy season. Fatigue can trigger sadness and vice versa.

There’s hope! Short of a serious medical issue, there are several reasons for being tired that can be remedied with just a bit of effort. I’ll list them below and then offer seven simple solutions to help you get more energy and a positive outlook; a rejuvenated way to greet the New Year.

Emotions
Anxiety, depression, fear, grief from loss, stress and the feeling of lack control are all factors that may create a bio-chemical reaction (cortisol and other stress hormones) that if unregulated may wear a person down. With a new year you may be reflecting on the past year and come up with self-criticism and regret. Or you may be anxious about the future, your finances and/or your loved ones. Below are some suggestions on how to release some of the emotional weight so that you are not feeling so exhausted from carrying them.

Time does not heal all wounds but gives us the tools to endure them. ~ Singer Patti Smith’s father

Habits

  • Not enough sleep – Adequate sleep is needed to replenish our body and internal systems so that we are refreshed able to think and feel energized to deal with the day. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep and go to bed at about the same time each day.
  • Too much caffeine – feeling tired may trigger you to drink more caffeine and that becomes a cycle where the caffeine keeps you from getting quality sleep which promotes the desire to ingest more caffeine the next day and so forth.
  • Too much alcohol – taxes the body’s filtering systems, liver, kidneys and also changes the way one thinks and acts, all of which can be tiring.
  • Excessive junk food – empty calories makes the body crave for nutrients and also hinders the body’s absorption of the very nutrients that can replenish the body.

How to Re-Energize

  1. One of the most effective ways to feel less tired is to do something new, break out of your routine. Take a class, research a topic you’re interested in, ask for a new work project and/or develop a fresh hobby. Even small changes like walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or trying new food/cuisine may help. When monotony or a worry pattern sets in, it oftentimes drains our enthusiasm for life, which results in a feeling of fatigue.
  2. Physical Exercise. The positive endorphins that are created and released in the body from exercise make us feel good and less tired. Endorphins blocks pain receptors and also produce the same positive feelings in the body like morphine. Start or increase your exercise program; do something that is a slight stretch from your current state depending on your current activity level.
  3. Go outside. Being in nature is very healing and it can improve one’s mood. You can combine exercise with being in nature by going for a walk in a park or some other kind of outdoor activity.
  4. Connect with others. Human beings are social animals and we thrive when we have positive social interactions, particularly physical touch. Sharing your concerns with a trusted person may also result in assistance and solutions. Have a meal with others, hike with a friend, make an appointment for a massage, or combine three things that will make you feel better: do an outdoor physical activity with others, your body and moods will thank you for that.
  5. Reassess your priorities. Review the total demands on your time. Perhaps you have very valid reasons for being tired. If you have too much on your plate, decide which ones you can eliminate, delegate or postpone. Just the very act of assessing your commitments may help you relieve some of the tension and stress that comes from having too much to do. Prioritize your tasks based on what is important for you and let go of the ones that are just busy work.
  6. 6. Ask for help. Seek professional and/or spiritual guidance from qualified people if you have an emotional matter that you feel stymied by. Request for assistance to help you get some of your tasks done. If the work is needed, there will be others who can help get it done. Position your appeal as something that is for the common good.
  7. Ask for help from a spiritual source. The power of healing and rejuvenation that may come from a spiritual level has been well documented.

As you move into the New Year, know that you can choose different ways to improve your health and wellbeing. Just by acknowledging the possibility that you can be less tired, you have already started your journey. Here’s to your health, vitality and happiness!

— 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

Shannen Doherty Dancing Amid Radiation Treatments Is Positive Force To Behold

Shannen Doherty isn’t letting radiation treatment for breast cancer sideline her.

On Wednesday, the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star shared a video of herself dancing with the hashtag #cancerslayer.

“Radiation is tiring,” she wrote. “It builds up within you and sometimes one just struggles to keep their eyes open. You can see how tired I am here but I’m still moving!!”

She also posed with the radiation machine she calls “Maggie.” In her caption, the actress expressed that she was grateful for the “life-saving treatment I’m receiving” in part from the machine, but is hopeful for a future where a cure for cancer is found.

Doherty, 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and has undergone a mastectomy and been treated with chemotherapy. She has documented her battle extensively on social media.

— 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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Wednesday’s Morning Email: House Republicans Backtrack On Gutting Ethics Office

TOP STORIES

HOUSE REPUBLICANS BACKTRACK ON GUTTING ETHICS OFFICE Following outcry from watchdogs, lawmakers and the president-elect, House Republicans dropped their plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. Here’s how the debacle started. [Paige Lavender and Matt Fuller, HuffPost]

MEGYN KELLY IS HEADING TO NBC The Fox News anchor is headed to NBC News, where she’ll “host a one-hour daytime talk show airing Monday through Friday and a Sunday evening news magazine show, and will contribute on breaking news stories and NBC’s coverage of major political and special events.” And here’s what this means for the future of Fox News. [Michael Calderone, HuffPost]

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO DRILL FOR A NORTH KOREAN ATTACK And the subsequent South Korean evacuation. [CNN]

COULD THE WOMEN’S MARCH BE THE BIGGEST ‘INAUGURATION DEMONSTRATION?’ “More than 100,000 people have registered their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in what is expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration and a focal point for activists on the left who have been energized in opposing his agenda.” [WaPo]

OVER 150 INMATES ESCAPE IN PHILIPPINE JAILBREAK Only 16 have been found so far. [Reuters]

PACK YOUR BAGS The U.S. Virgin Islands will PAY you to visit this year. Yes, you are reading this correctly. [Rebecca Shapiro, HuffPost]

WHAT’S BREWING

THE INTERNET CAN BREATHE AGAIN Kim Kardashian West has returned to the interwebs, and folks are going crazy over it, along with the fact that she briefly removed “West” from her social media accounts. New York Magazine asks ― is this the beginning of Kardashian Kamelot? [HuffPost]

IN CASE YOU DIDN’T ALREADY WANT TO GO TO COACHELLA Beyoncé is headlining. [HuffPost]

HAVE YOU SAVED A SIBLING’S LIFE TODAY? Because that’s what this toddler did for his twin after a dresser fell on him. You can watch the jaw-dropping footage (his poor brother is never going to be able to win any twin arguments. “I saved your life, remember?”). [HuffPost]

WATCH HUFFPOST JOURNALISTS READ MEAN TWEETS Jimmy Kimmel was onto something. [HuffPost]

THE BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2017 If you can stop that Netflix binge of “The OA” and all of Georgetown grads Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s other masterpieces. Oh wait, too late. [Vulture]

FIND SOMETHING That makes you as happy as Vice President Joe Biden is swearing in new lawmakers. [HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

~ There are early reports that Turkey has identified the Istanbul nightclub shooter.

~ Members of Congress can now be fined for taking photos or video on the House floor.

~ Congrats to Janet Jackson, who welcomed her first baby at 50 with her husband, Wissam Al Mana.

~ Is this implant the new way to prevent HIV?

~ A great close read of how the lack of women’s healthcare may have “destroyed “Star Wars” old republic, as well as Diego Luna talking about the importance of representation in the franchise’s universe.

~ In case “Jerry Maguire” wasn’t already enough of a legendary film ― someone proposed after one of its first screenings to his girlfriend.

~ Hollywood once told Chris Pratt he was too fat for their roles. He served them right.

~ This powerful PSA takes a look at gender roles in Latino households.

~ And Mariah Carey finally has spoken out about her nightmare NYE. 

 

The Huffington Post’s Morning Email team aims to get you the top news, along with entertainment, lifestyle stories and other absurdity that you need to get through your workday — all with a dash of signature Morning Email snark.

Like The Morning Email? Send it to a friend! Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here.

Check out HuffPost Politics and HuffPost Breaking News newsletters for more of the good stuff.

— 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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Health Tip: Order a Healthier Breakfast

Tips for better eating

healthfinder.gov Daily News
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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Why Sex Gets Better In Old Age

By Miri Forbes, Robert Krueger, Nicholas Eaton

Aging is generally associated with improvements in our quality of life: We become more proficient in our work, learn how to manage our finances better, and our bonds with loved ones deepen. With time and practice, most of the core domains of our lives improve as we develop skills and strategies to manage our lives with more mastery. An exception to this pattern is the quality of our sex lives, which has consistently been reported to deteriorate with age.

2016-12-16-1481921752-3363201-givingkindness.jpg

While this fits with the messages we receive from popular culture, which tell us that sex is a young person’s domain, it is somewhat at odds with the fact that older adults continue to explore and enjoy sexuality well into old age. The majority of men and women over 60 in the U.S. are sexually active, most at least two to three times per month (more often than many younger adults). They also rate sex as an important part of life.

So, if there is no epidemic of age-related frigidity, why would sexual quality of life take a nosedive in later life? A common answer to this question cites declining physical health and sexual functioning with age. Another answer might be: The quality of our sex lives doesn’t decline with age.

Studying sex and aging

There is a key element missing from nearly all studies of sex and aging: studying change over time. If we ask a group of people how satisfied they are with their sex life, and the younger people are more satisfied than the older people, does that mean that aging is responsible for this difference? What if instead the apparent age difference is because people born in the 1930s have different attitudes toward sex than people who grew up after the sexual revolution of the ’60’s and ’70’s?

To get to the bottom of how aging affects sexual quality of life, we analyzed patterns in longitudinal data collected from over 6,000 individuals followed over a period of 18 years, spanning ages 20-93. In 1995, 2004, and 2013, the representative sample of English-speaking Americans completed extensive self-administered survey questionnaires in private and returned them by mail.

A key question for our study was: How would you rate the sexual aspects of your life these days, from the worst possible situation (0) to the best possible situation (10)?

The basic trends in the data suggested that–without taking any other factors into account–sexual quality of life declines with age. But as people in the study aged, they placed more emphasis on the quality–not quantity–of sexual encounters. For example, frequency of sex became less important with age, and the amount of thought and effort invested in sex became more important.

These changing priorities were key predictors of sexual quality of life for older adults, and appeared to buffer its decline. When we matched older and younger adults on key characteristics of their sex lives–along with sociodemographic characteristics, and mental and physical health–older adults actually had better sexual quality of life.

For example, if we compared a 40-year-old man and a 50-year-old man with the same levels of perceived control over their sex life, who invest the same amount of thought and effort in their sex life, have sex with the same frequency and had the same number of sexual partners in the past year, we would expect the 50-year-old to report better sexual quality of life.

This is consistent with the improvement we see in other life domains with age, and highlights the benefits of life experience for sexuality as people learn more about their sexual preferences and their partners’ likes and dislikes. The positive relationship between sexual quality of life and aging was strongest in the context of good-quality romantic relationships, where sexual exploration and a focus on partners’ pleasure is more likely to take place.

Life experience related to a better sex life

Together these findings suggest that as we age, our sexual priorities change and we develop knowledge, skills, and preferences that protect against aging-related declines in sexual quality of life. Since wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment,” our study suggests that life experience is fostering sexual wisdom.

This is great news, as a satisfying sex life has been found to be important for health and well-being, regardless of age. For older adults in particular, being sexually active predicts a longer and healthier life.

We now know that age-related declines in sexual quality of life are largely related to modifiable factors, so we can target sexual skills, beliefs, and attitudes in clinical interventions. Given that our life expectancy continues to grow, this research highlights the opportunity to facilitate positive sexual experiences across the lifespan.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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New Law Bans Sale Of Specific Cough Medicine To Minors

Children under the age of 18 in Florida are now banned from purchasing over-the-counter cough syrup that contains the active ingredient dextromethorphan, according to a new law that went into effect January 1. 

Senate bill 938 also requires customers who look 25 years old or younger to show identification to purchase cough suppressants containing DXM, such as NyQuil and Robitussin.

The new law was put in place to prevent DXM misuse, or using the active ingredient in cough syrup to get high, what’s colloquially known as “robo-tripping.” DXM misuse can cause feelings of intoxication, euphoria and hallucinations.

“DXM has become popular among teenagers who want a cheap, easy high,” Dr. Deborah Mulligan, director of the Institute for Child Health Policy at Nova Scotia University told The Huffington Post. 

It also carries significant health risks and in rare cases, overdosing on DXM can cause death

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Audrey Robinson, a pharmacist in West Palm Beach, Florida, told ABC News (above). “It’s something that can be done here, where they can’t get access to it ― but parents still need to play a role at home to make sure it’s secured.”

According to the DEA, 12 percent of teens reported using over-the-counter cough medicine to get high at least once in his lifetime in 2011. A different ongoing study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that 5 percent of 8th, 10th and 12th-graders used cough syrup recreationally in the past year.

And although the percentage of 8th graders who used cough syrup recreationally increased slightly this year, from 1.6 percent in 2015 to 2.6 percent in 2016, that’s still lower than the peak of 4.2 percent that was first recorded in 2005.

(The problem also pales in comparison to the 58 percent of 8th, 10th and 12-graders who drank alcohol or the 35 percent of students who smoked pot during the NIH study period.) 

Symptoms of a DXM overdose include slow or labored breathing, blueish colored fingernails and lips, blurred vision, coma, constipation, seizures, drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, raise body temperature and stomach spasm, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

In 2012, California became the first state to prohibit the sale of DXM to minors. Since then, 11 other states have signed similar laws, although Delaware’s doesn’t go into effect until June 2017, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

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Leading Scientists Urge Donald Trump To Honor Iran Nuclear Deal

Dozens of leading scientists have urged President-elect Donald Trump to uphold the Iran nuclear deal, pointing to scores of progress made by the “critical U.S. strategic asset” less than a year after it went into effect.

In an open letter sent to Trump on Monday, 37 signatories ― including Nobel laureates and a physicist who helped design the first hydrogen bomb ― called the deal a “strong bulwark against an Iranian nuclear weapons program.” They said the accord has resulted in the deactivation of machinery used to enrich nuclear material, the export of 95 percent of Iran’s low-enriched uranium and the ability for nuclear inspectors to monitor enrichment facilities daily.

“As a result of the reduced centrifuge capacity and the elimination of the large stock of partially enriched uranium, the breakout time for Iran to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon has increased to many months, from just a few weeks,” the authors wrote.

The letter was organized by Richard Garwin, a physicist and science adviser to the U.S. government who helped design the hydrogen bomb, according to The New York Times.

Trump has called the pact with Iran a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.” In March he promised to “dismantle the disastrous deal” during a meeting with a pro-Israeli lobbying group, but those calls have waned in recent months as foreign policy leaders have urged the president-elect to uphold the agreement.

“I think it would be a major mistake for U.S. security, for the United States, to rip up the agreement,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in November.

CIA Director John Brennan echoed that opinion in an interview with the BBC, saying it would be “the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement.”

But some of the nominees in Trump’s Cabinet, including his choice for national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, have strongly opposed the deal. And Republicans in Congress who waged an unsuccessful fight to stop the agreement may put pressure on the president-elect to withdraw.

The group of signatories, which also includes the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, professors from MIT, Stanford and Princeton, and national security officials, strongly emphasized the ability to monitor any progress made by Iran should it attempt to restart its nuclear program.

“[The deal] has dramatically reduced the risk that Iran could suddenly produce significant quantities of nuclear-weapon materials,” they write, saying such ability has “lowered pressure felt by Iran’s neighbors” to develop weapons of their own.

“Indeed it makes it much easier for you to know if and when Iran heads for a bomb. It provides both time and legitimacy for an effective response.”

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Reflections on Aging and Living

I am past seventy now, and it would be ungrateful as well as foolish to lament the declining years I face as part of the human condition. Searching for ways to live these years – not in sadness but with meaning and in gratitude – I came across what I wrote when we lost our Maltese six years ago. I offer it here, in part for the broader lesson I think it offers but perhaps more as a reminder to myself. Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, Vern Law, also known as the “Deacon,” once said that “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” Thank you Sasha, for the test and the lesson.

When you lose what you love deeply, the grief is unbearable. But it is not insurmountable. We learned this from our dog. Now we have to live it.

Sasha bounded into our lives as she bounded down the stairs of her birth home, a whirring ball of short, wispy white hair who gobbled up life. Yet, whisked to our strange home, she had to adjust to loss for the first time.

She raced into a room, sniffed a bit, and then raced into the next. At day’s end, she was not exhausted – she was the “energizer bunny” as our vet would call her even in her last month. But she was afraid. Her brother and sister, between whom she had slept securely since birth, were gone forever. She adjusted again. In the small bathroom, where we had placed a soft towel in the dog carrier we had used to bring her home, she snuggled against the side. If life would deny her the feeling of her siblings, she would create it for herself, which she did with her five pounds in every bed she had for the rest of her life, including ours.

As the years raced by, and all who have loved anyone deeply know they always race by, Sasha lapped up the world as she lapped up water from the bowl with doggie prints on the bottom. Life dribbled over her and from her.

Her eyes took in everything, from the squirrels she chased to the smallest bit of duck poop spotted on daily walks. Her ears never missed the slightest sound. She was always at the door with a barked greeting to guests before we knew they had arrived. Her nose was her keenest radar. When she furiously started to dig in the garden, she always found what she was after, even if it was a disgusting morsel to her unappreciative companions. Her legs flew around the garden path with a leaf in her mouth, a leaf she grabbed as a treat she couldn’t fathom but wasn’t about to give up.

Advancing years were not as kind to Sasha, but she never let on. As her eyes began to fail, first with cataracts and then with the loss of peripheral vision, she compensated without complaint. Even when she could only see what was right in front of her nose, she grabbed at it and made it a part of her life, as she did with her daily cheese treat on her last morning as our enfolding arms substituted for the legs she could no longer count on. Even as those legs failed, which they did when a stroke took her muscles away, she adjusted, again without complaint or anger. As her hearing failed, she used her sense of smell to fill in what was missing. When she could not hear – or see – the rustle of plates that marked the start of breakfast, she could still smell the oatmeal cooking or the nearly imperceptible odor that comes from the first slice of a banana. And so she stumbled out of her bed in the kitchen to announce that she fully expected her share.

As her world became smaller in tandem with her remaining days, we could have easily slipped into anger and heartsickness at our impending loss. But Sasha was too busy living to permit it. So we soldiered on, content as she was with what she could still do because she still loved doing it. If she was adjusting, now almost daily, could we not as well?

But we had it wrong. It was not primarily up to us to make her last days full, gentle and comforting – though we tried. She did that mostly herself. It was up to us to learn from what she did. We were not her caretakers as much as Sasha was our teacher. She did not offer up the lessons of life in any organized way; the best teachers don’t. She just lived them.

As we rose for our first morning without her, knowing that there will be no chance to lift her from her bed or smell her soft hair, the day could have been filled with sadness. That is not what Sasha, whose life is our lesson, taught us. So we will have the courage to face each day as she did, embracing each minute because, as she knew, the next minute is never a certain gift. We will drink in life, smell, touch, taste, and run after it. We’ll find a way to extract joy from what is left us and give more joy to those whose lives we touch. Sasha never grieved for what she lost. She just enjoyed what she had. Forever in her debt, we owe her the same.

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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

Volunteers With No Medical Training Are Fighting Diseases The World Ignores

This article is part of HuffPost’s Project Zero campaign, a yearlong series on neglected tropical diseases and efforts to fight them.

For people suffering from painful diseases in remote parts of the world, neighbors volunteering as health educators can be their best shot at getting help.

Ordinary people, without any formal medical training, have stepped up to teach others about common illnesses in the province of Nampula, Mozambique, which has one of the highest rates of neglected tropical diseases in the country ― but where many people live in remote, rural communities, far from any health centers.

As part of a pilot program from the nonprofit Malaria Consortium and the ministry of health, about 150 volunteers have been trained since 2014 to hold monthly “community dialogues” in villages, gathering large groups of people to talk about neglected diseases. They discuss how to recognize symptoms and when and where to seek treatment, often handing out pamphlets with illustrations depicting the diseases, since not all people in the area are literate.

These diseases are affecting rural, removed communities with low education levels and where poverty is huge,” Sandrine Martin of Malaria Consortium told The Huffington Post. “In some provinces, you can have up to 80 percent of people who have these diseases, and people are usually infected with several at once.”

These are illnesses such as schistosomiasis, which can lead to blood in the urine or stool and, in severe cases, kidney failure or bladder cancer, killing 20,000 people worldwide each year. Elephantiasis is also common in the area, and can cause swelling in the legs and genitals, leading to pain, disability and social stigma. 

“These diseases affect more than half of people who live here,” volunteer Anivel Adriano Haueque, from the Mogovolas district in Nampula, told HuffPost. “I know a man who has swelling in his arm and scrotum from elephantiasis ― he has a lot of trouble doing normal tasks in his everyday life.” 

Both schistosomiasis and elephantiasis are part of a larger group of 18 illnesses dubbed neglected tropical diseases, which don’t receive wide global attention or resources, largely because they affect the poorest populations of the world.

Schistosomiasis, for instance, is transmitted by parasites in water, so it largely affects poor, rural communities that lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“They get it as kids bathing in water,” Martin said. “The symptoms, like blood in the urine, only develop later, so people tend to hide it because it’s in the genital area.”

Because for some of these diseases, symptoms develop years after the initial infection, it is common for folklore to develop around the original cause.

“For schistosomiasis, some believe that it can come from your mother having sex while she was breastfeeding,” Martin said. “For elephantiasis, some think it’s some kind of spirit, that someone put a spell on their family.”

Elephantiasis can cause severe swelling in the scrotum, leading some to believe it is a sexually transmitted disease, when actually it is spread by mosquitoes.

“They’re trying to make sense of things they don’t understand,” Martin added, “which is understandable.”

Part of what volunteers do is dispel myths of how these diseases are developed and discuss the real causes, so people can avoid getting them.

“If you think what you have has nothing to do with health, but is from a spell, you go to a traditional healer,” Martin said. “But with these community dialogues, people realize they have a disease that can be treated, and it generates a shift from healers to health centers.”

Other similar “village health teams” ― organized, trained and at times paid by local governments ― exist in countries throughout Africa. In Mozambique, these groups have existed since 2010, Martin told HuffPost, but they have focused on educating and treating people affected by more deadly diseases, such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea ― illnesses that aren’t considered to be neglected.

This means that Mozambicans battling less deadly, but often debilitating neglected tropical diseases were being left behind. The program in Nampula was created to change that. However, a lack of funding for neglected diseases has meant that these volunteers ― unlike those fighting malaria or diarrhea ― don’t have easy tools to diagnose or treat patients on-site, away from medical centers. This means their role is limited to simply informing people, and directing them to get professional help.

“What we do with community dialogue, is to say: This disease can be treated, it can be prevented,” Martin said. “That motivates people to seek care at health facilities.”

The Malaria Consortium pilot program for elephantiasis is still being evaluated, but the one for schistosomiasis seems to be working so far: After a year and a half, an evaluation of 700 households found that it increased knowledge of symptoms by 12 percent and of how the disease is acquired by 10 percent.  

The successes of the program also appear in more visible ways: After people in one area realized schistosomiasis was transmitted by infected water, they made sure each house in the community had a latrine, Martin said. 

But volunteers still need far more resources to better help their communities. 

“The people here need boots to be able to go into the river to clean and collect water without catching diseases,” volunteer Haueque said. “There aren’t any other sources of water here.” 

After a few education sessions in his community, Haueque says, some people have stopped swimming and having fun in the river altogether, to avoid diseases.

More needs to be done at all levels, according to Martin: Donors need to commit more funds to fighting neglected tropical diseases; pharmaceutical companies need to invest in easy-to-use diagnostic tools and drugs for remote settings; and governments need to prioritize strategies to tackle these diseases, including investing in safe water and sanitation in poor communities.

“These are diseases of poverty,” Martin said. “When you don’t have latrines or safe water, you have to go to a river, and that’s when you get these diseases.”

Most important of all, according to Martin, is that the communities that are affected be involved in any new programs.

“Two years ago there was a cholera outbreak and health workers toured the district putting chlorine in wells,” Martin said. “They were attacked by community members who thought they were poisoning them. You need to use people from communities to make sure health interventions put in place are accepted by communities, that they become part of the solution.”

HuffPost is raising money to help eliminate sleeping sickness, another neglected tropical disease. Support the campaign by clicking on this CrowdRise button:

The Malaria Consortium is a recipient of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which also funds HuffPost’s Project Zero series. All content in this series is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundation.

If you’d like to contribute a post to the series, send an email to ProjectZero@huffingtonpost.com. And follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ProjectZero.

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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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