REFLECTIONS ON THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY (1) THE GAP BETWEEN PROMISE AND PERFORMANCE

There will no doubt be many reflective essays written on the Obama presidency in the months and years to come; and in time, as more information becomes available, some of our initial judgments on the quality of that presidency will need to be reset. But there is great value in setting down contemporary reactions made in the absence of that data – if only to leave us better able later to judge what we missed by knowing now only what we have seen with our own eyes.

My own first sense is that – from all that we have seen over the last eight years, and particularly now that we know what is to follow – we are going to miss this president, and miss him badly. We are going to miss him for the values he so eloquently and regularly espoused. We are going to miss him for the intellect and the compassion he brought to the office; and we are going to miss him too for the quality of the immediate family that sustained him and that became so outstanding a role model for American families everywhere. I do not recall a single moment during his presidency when this man embarrassed me, or when I felt any need to apologize for him either to my fellow-Americans or to my many friends and family members overseas; and in that sense, having Barack Obama as my President was not like having George W. Bush at all. Nor was it like having Donald Trump as president – something truly awful, dangerous externally and divisive at home. The Obama years were instead ones in which a genuinely progressive man – and a black man at that – graced the office of president. We may not see such grace in that form again for many years to come.

But my other sense is that we will also look back on his presidency with a deepening sense of frustration. It is hard to capture now the sheer excitement that his supporters felt on the night he defeated John McCain in 2008, or even the renewed sense of hope that came with his unexpected defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012. The first of those periods opened an era of Democratic Party control of both the Congress and the White House. The second of them left the Democratic Party in control still of the White House and the Senate. Yet by that second election, much of the glitter had come off the Obama project and much of the hope that he could be a transformative president, as well as a gracious one, had already been lost. If we are to learn the necessary lessons from this presidency – the better to sustain more effective progressive politics in the future – we do need a clear sense of exactly how and why that initial glitter faded. We would have needed that sense even if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency in 2016. The fact that Donald Trump is to be Barack Obama’s successor in the White House makes such a lesson-drawing all the more vital.

I

Given that as our purpose, it is worth remembering that there were just two years out of the eight when the Obama presidency and the Democratic-controlled Congress worked in lockstep; and that those were years dominated at home by the huge and negative impact on the economy of the 2008 financial crisis – on employment and on house ownership in particular – and abroad by the winding down of the Iraq War and the promise of the Arab Spring. During those first two years, the Obama Administration’s policies at home and abroad did indeed seem a breath of fresh air – at least to progressives – when set against the domestic and foreign policy stances of the Bush Administration with which progressives had been so dissatisfied. To progressives at home and to many observers abroad, the incoming administration seemed to offer the possibility of a new, and a better, American beginning – the opening of a route to a twenty-first century equivalent of FDR’s New Deal.

But, of course, it did not work out that way.

Abroad, the Arab Spring slipped into the Libyan collapse, the return to military rule in Egypt and the horror of the Syrian civil war. Abroad too, withdrawal from Iraq brought no stability to the country that George W. Bush claimed to have liberated in 2003; an escalated US military presence in Afghanistan failed to dislodge the Taliban as an ongoing threat to the Kabul Government; and the problem of Al Qaida morphed with remarkable speed into the uncontrollable hydra that is now ISIS. And at home, after a broadly successful long and bruising political battle, Administration initiatives on Wall Street reform and on the Affordable Care Act were followed in very quick order by the Republican recapture of the House of Representatives and a turn to the politics of gridlock. From 2010 (when Republicans took the House) and 2014 (when they also took the Senate) any further progressive moves at home became increasingly difficult for the Obama Administration to deliver. Mix in a Supreme court willing to strike down part of the ACA and to allow corporations unfettered access to political lobbying, and the Obama Administration found itself increasingly isolated and impotent. It found itself blocked on the core of its progressive agenda by Congressional intransigence; and it found any extensive use of executive privilege for progressive purposes blocked by a conservative Supreme Court.

Blocked in this way, the priorities of the President and his Administration then shifted. They shifted away from domestic policy to foreign affairs, where presidential autonomy is traditionally greater; and at home the Administration became overwhelmingly concerned with protecting as much as it could of the legislative achievements of Obama’s first two years in office. And as his second term lengthened, Barack Obama increasingly turned his eyes forward: exploiting executive orders when the courts allowed him to, but otherwise using the publicity surrounding his office to regularly make the case for progressive change – an advocacy role which implicitly conceded just how much of his own agenda remained to be achieved, and just how much on his watch the progressive cause has been effectively stalled.

From gun control to immigration reform, and from Supreme Court nominees to the minimum wage, the Obama Administration found itself during the President’s second term increasingly unable to deliver its legislative agenda. And if you doubt that, think only of some of what the President himself laid out as that agenda in his 2013 State of the Union Address, delivered before the entire Washington political class (and via television, the entire nation) – an agenda that the Washington political class then consistently failed to deliver.

Not everything, of course, was negative. As the second Obama term came to a close, real living standards did begin at last to rise again for the bulk of the American middle class, and the deepest recession in US post-World War II history (the one that had cost more than seven million US jobs between 2008 and 2010) had been replaced by more than 73 months of steady if modest job growth (some 12 million new jobs in total). But the deeper structural problems of the US economy remained largely intact: not least the outsourcing of well-paid employment to cheaper labor markets abroad and the associated growth in the US trade deficit, especially with China; the steady failure to invest sufficiently in existing infrastructure and in the new technologies of the digital age; the persistent gap in wealth and income between the privileged few and the numerous poor, with that gap overlaid by visible maps of ethnicity and race; and the continued spending of huge treasure on foreign wars and military deployments in a context of limited welfare and education budgets that nowhere nearly matched the scale of the US’s deficits on educational performance and urban renewal.

Likewise abroad, and for all the success in negotiating a nuclear-arms deal with Iran and a climate change accord in Paris (neither of which is likely to survive a Trump presidency), the Obama Administration left its successors much the same legacy it was left by the Administration of George W. Bush: an unresolved Palestinian question, an immersion in what now seems to be a state of permanent war in the Middle East, and (actually an extended) covert military machine deploying drone warfare in an expanded number of countries and covert operations in territory formally controlled by more than half of the globe’s sovereign nations. The President had gone to Cairo five months into his presidency seeking, as he put it, “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam…share common principles — of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” But that widely admired speech turned out to be simply another of those early statements of intent that failed later to gather policy traction. Indeed, on foreign policy more than domestic policy, the Obama desire for that new beginning is even further from attainment in 2016 than it had been in 2009.

II

Little wonder then that conservative commentators like Charles Krauthammer, long critical of the Obama Administration, could celebrate what they see as “the stillborn legacy of Barack Obama” as they document an unraveling Affordable Care Act at home and a deepening (and in human terms, truly appalling) civil war in Syria. But that celebration is as inappropriate as it is partisan. It is far better simply to reset the Krauthammer critique in this way: namely to recognize that it is this critical gap between the quality of the man and the paucity of the record that needs to be understood and addressed if a similar gap is not to reappear in progressive administrations to come. It is for that reason, rather than for reasons of partisan celebration, that the causes of that gap – during the Obama years – will be the central concern of the series of linked postings that will now follow.

First posted, with full academic citations, at www.davidcoates.net

This is an extract from the closing essay in David Coates, The Progressive Case Stalled Published by Library Publishers Press, and bringing together all the Coates’ postings on Barack Obama’s second term. The postings on the Obama first term are also available, collected together as Pursuing the Progressive Case. Together, the two volumes make up Observing Obama in Real Time.

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3 Ways To Hack Your Environment To Help You Create

This article first appeared on QuietRev.com

This is the first article in Quiet Revolution’s two-part series on seeking creativity. Check out this space next week to learn about different techniques that make your mind more likely to generate creative thoughts.

Much of our creativity is tied up in our intrinsic natures as introverts or extroverts, and the ways we interact with our environment is uniquely dependent upon our temperaments.

According to The Atlantic, the great film director Ingmar Bergman spent the last 25 years of his life living on a small island in Sweden to eliminate chaos from his life. There, “…he would plan his films, write the scripts, [and] make the screenboards… He limited his activities: Besides working and thinking, he might go for a stroll. … In the late afternoon or evening, he would have visitors over to go and look at a movie in his cinema. And that was his routine, every day. He didn’t try to do more.”

Bergman wrote in a journal every day, and one day he wrote, “Here, in my solitude, I have the feeling that I contain too much humanity.”

Dorthe Nors reflected that “it is the job of the artist to sit with our feelings, to be receptive to them, to examine them, turn them into narrative or paint or film.” The act of creation is often synonymous with making opportunities for solitude, generating this overwhelming sense of humanity, and pouring it out on the page or the canvas.

The act of creation can be difficult. It requires good routines, inspiration, and surroundings. It’s especially important for introverts to pay attention to their environments and carefully cultivate creative spaces.

We’ve rounded up three of the best strategies for blocking out external demands and distractions to create time for inner stimulation.

1. Twyla Tharp’s bubble

In her book The Creative Habit, the world-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp writes that the ideal creative state—she calls “The Bubble”—is constructed and controlled. It’s “one where creativity becomes a self-perpetuating habit.” 

Tharp details the ways many other creatives construct bubbles, including novelist Philip Roth, who “lives alone in the country and works seven days a week, waking early and walking to a two-room studio fifty yards from his house… Near his desk he keeps two small signs, one reading ‘Stay Put,’ the other ‘No Optional Striving.’ [These are] reminders to avoid the temptation of anything other than the five essentials: food, writing, exercise, sleep, and solitude.”

Creating a bubble for yourself doesn’t have to be as extreme as Tharp’s or Roth’s—a bubble can also be a state of mind. Take stock of what you could subtract from your life. How can you adopt a more monastic mental state? Even when you’re amid chaos or traveling, you can still create a bubble for yourself and your creative work.

Try this theory in your life: How can you pare your life down to the minimum number of moving parts? What isn’t adding to your creativity? What can you say no to?

2. IDEO and Intel’s restorative time

IDEO designers frequently work on 10-12-week projects requiring intense teamwork. After a project wraps, the team is often wiped. But introverts can be especially burned out since they’ve most likely been working in a small project space with several other team members for weeks on end—not an optimal introvert environment.

But IDEO realizes that its success as a creative firm comes from its employees remaining inspired, so if the project calendar allows for it, designers are encouraged to take a few hours or a day off between projects. IDEOers use this time as a chance to rest. Once they’ve restored their energy, they use the time to get re-inspired.

Some IDEO teams actually build time for inspiration into their weekly work. One project team in New York used every Friday morning to get inspired together by taking trips to a museum or working outdoors.

Other offices structure this downtime into every working week. According to the New York Times, Intel “experimented in 2007 with conferring four uninterrupted hours of quiet time every Tuesday morning on 300 engineers and managers.” This pilot group loved it so much that the practice was extended to the rest of the company.

Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp (formerly known as 37Signals) is an introvert, and he’s structured his entire company around quiet time. In his bookRework, he urges creatives to remember that “every minute you avoid spending in a meeting is a minute you can get real work done instead.”

Try this theory in your life: Make a case at your office for days off after projects, quiet time, or no-meeting zones. Even if you can’t work remotely, you can build an argument for solitude at work.

3. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s theory on creativity and flow

It’s easy to forget that we have an innate capacity to know what being creative feels like. When we’re in an optimal state for creativity, we’re in a state of flow—we’re completely absorbed in an activity.

Positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes flow as a state when “we feel totally involved, lost in a seemingly effortless performance. Paradoxically, we feel 100% perfectly alive when we are so committed to the task at hand that we lose track of time, of our interests—even our own existence.”

So, why is it so hard to remember that doing excellent, creative work should feel good? Perhaps because it is increasingly hard to find moments of flow within our modern work environments. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi writes, “Few things in life are as enjoyable as when we concentrate on a difficult task, using all our skills, knowing what has to be done.”

Studies show that for most of us, flow occurs more often when we are engaging in work activities, not in leisure activities. But how can we ensure that we actually have the capacity to enter flow at work?

First, Csíkszentmihályi says we need jobs that provide “clear goals, immediate feedback, and a level of challenges matching our skill.” We also need an environment that will allow us to become wholly engaged in activities. This means having a sense of control with few distractions. For us introverts, this means longer stretches of interrupted work time, a quiet environment, and a community around us we know and trust. The thirdkey to finding flow is to work on something that you have intrinsic motivation for.

As Harvard Business Review reports, one CEO started using Csíkszentmihályi’s theories to help his employees find flow. His techniques included “allowing people to switch off email, fewer meetings, and focusing on smaller chunks of work.” This was particularly effective because the whole organization made the change.

Try this theory in your life: As you go through your day, notice the moments when you enter periods of flow. Identify what types of work and environments let this flow flourish. Try to maximize your time spent on these types of activities and in these environments.

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote,

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

The product of solitude—namely the humanity that’s put on paper—can inspire, delight, and provide great comfort. And anyone who has created or been moved by art would agree that the challenge and pain of seeking solitude and translating to the page is well worth it.

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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Check Out The Incredibly Shrinking Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval of the Boston Red Sox is looking like a new man.

Known as Kung Fu Panda for his roly poly appearance, Sandoval became the butt of jokes when a video surfaced of his belt bursting open while he took a swing in an April game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sandoval had received criticism for reporting to spring training with a bulging stomach, and his season turned into a bust. He played just three games before having shoulder surgery.

But at least for the moment, Sandoval appears to have won the battle of the bulge. In a photo shared Tuesday by WBZ TV sports reporter Dan Roche, the Panda looks relatively svelte.

Wonder what his secret was. Many of us would probably like to know ― even if we don’t have to get ready for spring training.

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Tuesday’s Morning Email: Joe Biden In 2020?

TOP STORIES

JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020? The vice president floated the idea to reporters after presiding over the Senate for a vote concerning part of his “cancer moonshot” initiative. [Marina Fang, HuffPost]

‘PENTAGON BURIES EVIDENCE OF $ 125 BILLION IN BUREAUCRATIC WASTE’ “The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $ 125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget.” [WaPo]

YOU THOUGHT BREXIT WAS BAD 2017 could prove to be a ‘bumpy one’ for the EU, with elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands. [NYT]

INSIDE THE ‘FORGIVENESS CEREMONY’ AT STANDING ROCK Take a look at the moving photos. [Jenna Amatulli, HuffPost]

JUDGE DECLARES MISTRIAL IN WALTER SCOTT CASE “A South Carolina judge declared a mistrial on Monday after jurors weighing a murder charge against a white former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed a black motorist said they were deadlocked.” Here’s how this could happen. [Julia Craven, HuffPost]

EDWARD SNOWDEN: DAVID PETRAEUS DISCLOSED MORE SENSITIVE INFORMATION THAN I DID And Snowden points out the retired general could be the next secretary of state. [Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost]

‘A REPUBLICAN ELECTOR HAS VOWED TO VOTE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP’ You can read the Texas member of the electoral college’s entire statement here, as well as take a look at this petition to reform the electoral college. [Chris D’Angelo, HuffPost]

WHAT’S BREWING

COUNTRYWIDE MUMPS OUTBREAKS ‘WORST IN DECADE’ The cases have more than tripled from last year. [WSJ | Paywall]

BAD NEWS IF YOU’RE A CHECKOUT CLERK Amazon has developed a grocery store that charges your items to your Amazon account through your phone ― and gets rid of the checkout line forever. [HuffPost]

A SPIN THROUGH JACKIE KENNEDY’S COSTUMES IN ‘JACKIE’ The silk, the cuts, the elegance ― it’s unmistakable. [Vanity Fair]

TURNS OUT PANTSUITS WERE ONCE ILLEGAL FOR WOMEN Well, at least Hillary Clinton showed them how it’s done. [Racked]

DON’T LOSE BETS TO LEONARDO DICAPRIO Or you’ll be like Tom Hardy, who has to get a tattoo of DiCaprio’s choosing. [Time]

MATTHEW ZOLLER SEITZ HAS RELEASED HIS TOP 10 SCRIPTED SHOWS OF THE YEAR Looks like we finally need to binge-watch “Atlanta.” [Vulture]

BEFORE YOU GO

~ Here’s what the web looks like around the world.

~ Ten-year-old Beyoncé performing has more spunk than you could summon in 10 years.

~ Lady Gaga opens up about fighting PTSD.

~ Could Ryan Lochte come back from public relations hell?

~ “Life in Obamacare’s dead zone.

~ LeBron James is opting out of staying at Trump hotel during the Cleveland Cavaliers visit to NYC.

~ How a Zara coat can go from design to the rack in 25 days.

~ NYC’s mayor wants the feds to chip in to pay for Trump’s expensive security. 

~ These just might be Queen Nefertari’s knees.

~ Learning from smart schools around the world.

~ Celebrities continue to speak out in horror over the revelations about the nonconsensual rape scene in “Last Tango in Paris.”

 

 

 

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.

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Health Tip: Cooking a Holiday Ham

Take steps for safe preparation

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Whom To Listen To and When

In April of (2008), I spent two weeks in India following a meditation guru from town to town.

This was my fourth visit to India, but I consider it my first real one. The other three were too touristy. Two were lecture tours, and I stayed in the best hotels, with warm water and the most excellent services money can buy. The third was for a Maha Kumba Mella, which is a gathering of Hindus on the Ganges River every 144 years. Sidhus descend from their caves in the Himalayas, and while it was an interesting experience to see them, it was not day-to-day India.

This time it was different. I slept in an ashram, was driven from town to town in terrible traffic, ate with Indians on the floor, and meditated with them. At my age (71), it was not an easy experience, but the guru was older (80-something) and he held on well, so who am I to complain?

What did I learn?

The meditation I was practicing is called sahaj marg, which means “the natural way.” The practice is to focus on the heart. No mantra, no focusing on the breath or on a candle or whatever, just listen to the heart by slowing down the mind.

I joined this type of practice because I believed I needed it. First, being Jewish, I spend most of my time in my head, and it needed some rest. Second, because I saw my dearest relatives and friends sent to their deaths during World War II, my heart has been closed all these years and it needed opening.
What does it mean to “listen to the heart?” How do you know, when you meditate, which thoughts are of the mind and which of the heart? Thoughts are thoughts, right?

No. There is a difference. You can argue with thoughts of the mind. You might toss and turn, and debate with yourself. But when your heart speaks, there is no argument. There is no discussion. There is no “Why?” or “Why not?” You are complete. You are at peace with yourself. The answer to the question “Why?” is “Because,” and that’s it.

That brought me to the next insight: If you really listen to your heart when you make a decision and your heart does not give you the answer, it means that you are not ready to finalize your decision. This is a case where it is better not to make a decision at that point in time.

That brought me to an interesting conclusion: When you decide with your heart, you cannot make a mistake.

Why?

Well, what is a mistake? It is always a conclusion you come to after the fact, right? It is a feeling of remorse and a judgment that you should have decided differently. It leads to self-accusations: that perhaps you did not deliberate enough, that you did not listen to advice, that you ignored facts, etc. All this is in your head.

When you make a decision with your heart, you are at peace with yourself. If, after the fact, you discover that your decision did not work out as you expected, you can not feel remorse because at the time you made the decision you had no doubts as to what to do, therefore you could not have done better. The fact that it did not work out is now only of academic interest. You can analyze what can be learned from what happened, but there is no place for remorse. You were at peace when you decided, and that was it.

Coming to this peace of mind when you decide with your heart is not a logical conclusion that you have reached after endless debates, internally or with others. It is beyond logic. It gives you a sense of completion, of integration, that almost defies logic. That is how you should feel when you decide to get married. That decision should be made with all your heart, not as a result of analyzing the cost-value relationship or an optimization model. When you make a decision with all your heart, as is the usual expression, you have the feeling of being integrated with your decision totally, wholly–maybe even holy. Mind, body, emotions, and spirit all feel at peace, united.

How does one come to such peace–usually we say “peace of mind,” though it would be more accurate to say “peace of the total body ” which is really peace of the heart–especially if there is a difficult decision to be made? You can do it by meditating. When you meditate you do not get attached to thoughts. Thus, you do not get into endless arguments with yourself. Instead, the decision eventually and automatically emerges as an insight.

If that description leaves you wondering how this insight can happen, let me share with you a story told to me by my one of my colleagues at UCLA, Professor Will McWhinney, that demonstrates this point. When McWhinney was a student at Yale, the fraternities held a contest for best choir. McWhinney’s fraternity had the worst voices at the university, except for one person whose voice was a pure, evangelical tenor. So they devised the following performance: The whole choir got on stage and began to sing where each person sang a different melody, which produced total cacophony. Then, slowly, one by one, each member of the choir stopped singing, except for the tenor, whose voice became stronger and stronger until it was alone, pure and crystal clear and totally enchanting. They won first prize.

This story is analogous to what happens in meditation. You have many voices in your head competing with each other. The more difficult the decision is, the more voices you hear, which can overwhelm you. When you meditate, the voices calm down one by one, while your heart’s voice grows stronger and stronger, until you simply “hear” the answer to your question and feel at peace with your decision.
But not only the head and heart think. We often say, “I have a gut feeling,” as if the gut is doing some decision processing.

That fact brought me to think in (PAEI) terms. The (A) processing is in the head. The (I) is processed by the heart. Where is (P) then? Sunil my associate suggested that if we follow the chakras, it is below the belly button, where our sexual organs are. Their role is survival of the species. That is where we feel instinctively. That is where the fight-or-flight reaction is processed: When we get scared we tighten the rectum, and the pelvic floor muscles.

Some people think with only one part of their body. Those who only react to their instincts are the (P)s: Act first, think later (if at all). Some do not listen to their instincts and use only their brain: These are the (A)s. Some people are only (E)s: all ideas and exciting priorities without considering what the repercussions of these ideas could be. And some people are all heart: They let their feelings for fellow humans or animals or whatever be the exclusive factor that determines their decision. These are the (I)s.

When a person processes information with all his faculties, the first one to respond to a new situation is the (P): His instincts of self preservation urge him to do something. Then the left mind, (A), gets activated: “Let’s think about it.” Next the right side of the brain gets involved, the (E), bringing new ideas to the table, while all along the heart, (I) is crying out, “Hey, listen to me too.”

To put it another way, instinctively you have the urge to do one thing, (P), but you think, (A), that it might not be prudent to do it, so new ideas, (E), come to mind, while you constantly check with yourself to see whether you feel at peace with the decision, (I). All these voices run through you at the same time. It is like a committee meeting where all the different styles compete with one another for attention. It’s a pure mess. Thus it’s not strange that when you have a really big problem to solve you get physically and emotionally exhausted. Your whole body hurts.

There is a difference between processing the (P), (A), (E), and (I) roles–between processing information with your instincts, mind, gut, or heart.

In processing (P), (A), and (E) roles you try to manage the process as best you can: You debate with your gut feelings, you challenge your instincts, and argue with your thoughts. When processing (P), (A), and (E) , you “talk” to the various parts of your body. You disagree with them. You may even get mad at them. It is as if you are the center and they are on the outskirts.

With the heart, (I), it is different. You do not argue with the heart, you listen to the heart. It is as if you subject yourself to something bigger, more powerful, than you. You are not the center any more. You say, “My heart tells me…” Compare that to what you say when you activate your mind: “I have to think it over.” Thinking it over, and over again, means that you are having a debate.

Now the weird stuff: Assume that “out there” is a cosmic, total, ultimate data warehouse. But it is not just data or knowledge, it is the ultimate wisdom based on values, the ultimate truth. It is endless, fixed energy with consciousness. (For me, that is God.) To connect to this cosmic energy you need to open your heart, to listen to your heart. It is as if the heart is the way to connect to God.

How do you hear the heart? How do you listen to it? Through meditation. Not through prayer. Prayer is like trying to manipulate God, pleading and begging him to act. If he does not listen to your prayer you might feel cheated, angry, and deceived.

When you pray, you talk to God. In meditation you listen to God. When you pray you make requests. Perhaps meekly, but no matter how nicely it is packaged and how much you are offering to “pay,” that is, what sacrifices you are willing to make, it is like a purchase order. When you meditate you listen to what God wants from you, not what you want from God. That is the difference.

Listen to your heart. That is where the truth is. Listen to the heart and you will not feel you made a mistake when you decide. If your heart is not ready to decide, you are not ready.

How should you make a decision then?

How should you decide? Here is the optimal path, the road less traveled. This is the lifecycle I suggested for organizations in my Managing Corporate Lifecycles book: Start with (I). Start with your heart first. Ask your heart first what is the right thing to do. Then go get some ideas about what to do, (E), but in doing so do not violate what your heart dictates. Then check those ideas to see if they make sense, (A), and finally be ready to act, (P) but first go back to the heart and check if you are at peace.
If more people would start with their heart and not with their penis, (P), maybe there would be less war, less divorce, less crime. Maybe we ought to teach meditation in prisons. Scientific tests of transcendental meditation have shown that when a certain percentage of people in a community meditate, there is less crime.

In yoga, they say that the mind is a terrorist. It often terrorizes our bodies, making us do things that are not good for us. I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “Do not always believe what you think.” For me this is profound because we Jews not only honor the mind, we worship the mind. With our Talmudic minds, we often complicate problems even when they are simple. We overdo and over-complicate our decision making, sometimes to the point that we cannot solve the problem. We do not listen to our instincts very well. In order to survive two thousand years of persecution, I wonder if we have not closed our hearts except to each other.

Just thinking
Ichak Kalderon Adizes

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18 Diseases The World Has Turned Its Back On

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

More than 1 billion people on the planet suffer from illnesses that the world pays little attention to.

Neglected tropical diseases are a group of at least 18 diseases that primarily affect people living in poverty in tropical regions of the world and are virtually unknown elsewhere, according to the World Health Organization.

These are diseases like river blindness, which has infected 18 million people worldwide and caused blindness in 270,000 people; or elephantiasis, a leading cause of disability worldwide, which affects over 120 million people and can cause severe swelling of the body parts, usually the legs or the scrotum.

While only some of these illnesses can be fatal, many of them can cause lifelong disabilities or disfigurement. And even though many neglected tropical diseases are preventable and treatable, getting proper medical care to the people who are most vulnerable can be challenging, as the diseases primarily affect people in high-poverty communities with limited access to health services.

“Because they are a threat only in impoverished settings, they have low visibility in the rest of the world,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says in a 2010 report. “While the scale of the need for treatment is huge, the poverty of those affected limits their access to interventions and the services needed to deliver them.”

HuffPost is raising money to help eliminate sleeping sickness, a neglected tropical disease. Support the campaign by clicking on this CrowdRise button:

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It’s tough to identify a single cause for the neglect. While some criticize the pharmaceutical industry for not investing enough in treatments for neglected tropical diseases ― likely because the poor populations affected wouldn’t make for a profitable consumer base ― others say it’s not Big Pharma’s job to make “non-profit medicines,” reports The Guardian. There have also been notable efforts by countries and drug companies to work together to tackle these diseases.

Governments should prioritize research and funding to fight these diseases, the WHO’s Ashok Moo told The Huffington Post. And they should seek to improve conditions in poor communities that are hardest-hit, for instance, by investing in clean water and sanitation, which would help curb the spread of some diseases. 

There is one thing everyone can agree on: Far more needs to be done.

Here is a list of the neglected tropical diseases that are all too often ignored.

1. Elephantiasis 

Lymphatic filariasis, more commonly known as elephantiasis, is a leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It affects over 120 million people around the world, and can cause severe swelling of the body parts, including the legs and scrotum.

While people are usually infected in childhood, the painful, disfiguring symptoms of the disease only show up later on in life.

 

2. River Blindness

Onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness, is an eye and skin disease that can cause severe itching and visual impairment ― including blindness.

Around 18 million people are infected. Of those, over 6.5 million suffer from severe itching, and 270,000 are blind.

The disease is caused by a parasitic worm, transmitted through bites from infected blackflies. The worm can live for up to 14 years in the human body ― and each adult female worm can be more than 1.5 feet long. 

 

3. Chagas

Chagas disease is a potentially life-threatening illness. In the first months after infection, symptoms are mild, including skin lesions and fever. But in its second, chronic phase, up to one in three patients develop cardiac disorders, which can lead to heart failure and sudden death.

The disease is transmitted to humans by “kissing bugs,” which live in the walls or roof cracks of poorly constructed homes in rural areas, according to the WHO.

Of the estimated 6 million to 7 million people affected worldwide, most live in Latin America, but the disease has also spread to the United States: Around 300,000 people in the U.S. have Chagas disease, according to the Dallas Morning News.

 

4. Dengue 

Dengue is a flu-like illness that can sometimes be lethal

In 2015, more than 2 million cases of dengue were reported in the Americas ― and in some Asian and Latin American countries, “severe” dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children. 

Dengue is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes ― the same type of insect that transmits Zika. To reduce the risk of bites, the WHO recommends covering water containers, using insecticide, having window screens and wearing long sleeves.

 

5. Sleeping Sickness

Human African trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness, is a chronic infection that affects the central nervous system. 

People can be infected for years without signs, but in the second stage, patients can suffer behavior changes, hallucinations and even slip into a coma and die.

Many people affected live in remote, rural areas that don’t have easy access to quality health services. This makes diagnosis and treatment more difficult.

The WHO has identified sleeping sickness as a disease that could be eliminated worldwide by 2020 if the right resources are dedicated to it.

 

6. Leishmaniasis

There are several forms of leishmaniasis, including visceral, which can be fatal, with symptoms including fever and weight loss; and cutaneous, the most common form, which causes skin lesions, leaving lifelong scars and disability.

The disease, spread by sandflies, affects some of the poorest people on earth, according to the WHO, and is associated with malnutrition and poor housing.

Around 1 million new cases occur annually, causing 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.

Leishmaniasis is climate-sensitive, affected by changes in rainfall, temperature and humidity ― which means it could be exacerbated by global warming.

 

7. Trachoma  

Trachoma is an eye disease, which if untreated, can cause irreversible blindness.

It causes visual impairment or blindness in 1.9 million people, per the WHO.

The disease is present in poor, rural areas of 42 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East ― but Africa is the most affected.

 

8. Rabies 

Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms show up, according to the WHO.

Initial symptoms are fever and tingling around the wound. As the virus spreads, people with “furious” rabies become hyperactive and die by cardiac arrest; people with “paralytic” rabies become paralyzed, fall into a coma and die.

Transmitted by pet dogs, rabies causes tens of thousands of deaths every year.

The disease is present on all continents except Antarctica ― but more than 95 percent of human deaths due to it occur in Asia and Africa. It is a neglected disease primarily affecting poor populations, where vaccines are not readily available.

 

9. Leprosy 

Leprosy is a chronic disease, which when untreated, can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. 

There were 176,176 cases at the end of 2015, according to the WHO.

While the stigma associated with the disease means people are less likely to seek treatment, leprosy is curable, and treatment early on can avoid disability.

Leprosy was eliminated as a public health problem in 2000 ― meaning there is now less than one case for every 10,000 people worldwide.

 

10.  Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease that causes gradual damage to internal organs. Symptoms include blood in urine, and in severe cases, kidney or liver failure, and even bladder cancer. Around 20,000 people die from it each year. 

Transmitted by parasites in infested water, the disease largely affects poor, rural communities in Africa that lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“[People] get it as kids bathing in water,” Sandrine Martin, a staff member for the nonprofit Malaria Consortium in Mozambique, told HuffPost. “But the symptoms, like blood in the urine, only develop later ― and then people tend to hide it because it’s in the genital area.”

 

11. Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a disease that causes fever and severe joint pain, according to the WHO. While it is rarely fatal, it can be debilitating.

Since 2004, it has infected more than 2 million people in Asia and Africa. 

There is no cure for the disease, which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes

The name comes from a word in the Kimakonde language, spoken in some areas of Mozambique and Tanzania, that means “to become contorted” ― a nod to the hunched-over position of people who are affected with joint pain.

 

12. Echinoccosis

Echinoccosis is a parasitic disease that leads to cysts in the liver and lungs.

While it can be life-threatening if untreated, even people who receive treatment often have a reduced quality of life, according to the WHO.

Found in every continent except Antarctica, the disease is acquired by consuming food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs, or through direct contact with animals who carry it, such as domestic dogs or sheep.

 

13. Foodborne Trematodiases 

Foodborne trematodiases can cause severe liver and lung disease, and on rare occasions death.

Most prevalent in East Asia and South America, the disease is caused by worms that people get by eating raw fish, shellfish or vegetables that have been infected with larvae.

While early, light infections can be asymptomatic, chronic infections are severe.

More than 56 million people were infected with foodborne trematodes, and over 7,000 people died in 2005, the year of the WHO’s most recent global estimate.

 

14. Buruli Ulcer

Buruli ulcer is a skin infection caused by bacteria that often starts as a painless swelling, but without treatment, it can lead to permanent disfigurement and disability.

In 2014, 2,200 new cases were reported, with most patients under age 15.

The exact mode of transmission is still unknown ― but the majority of cases, if detected early enough, can be cured with antibiotics.

 

15. Yaws

Yaws is a chronic, disfiguring childhood infectious disease. Affecting skin, bone and cartilage, the symptoms show up weeks to months after infection and include yellow lesions and bone swelling.

More than 250,000 cases of yaws were reported from 2010 to 2013, WHO told HuffPost. A lack of clean water and soap for bathing contributes to its spread.

Only 13 countries are known to still have cases of yaws, including Ghana, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

 

16. Soil-Transmitted Helminth 

Soil-transmitted helminth infections are among the most common infections worldwide and affect the poorest communities. People are infected by worms transmitted by human feces contaminating soil in areas with poor sanitation.

People with light infections usually have no symptoms. Heavier infections can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, general weakness and impaired cognitive development. Depending on the number of worms, it can lead to death.

Up to 2 billion people are infected worldwide, according to WHO. But because infections can be light, not all patients suffer, WHO’s Ashok Moo told HuffPost.

 

17. Taeniasis 

Taeniasis is an intestinal infection caused by tapeworms, which mostly causes mild symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.

But if larvae infect the brain, causing neurocysticercosis, the disease can cause epileptic seizures and can be fatal.

People get it by eating raw or undercooked infected pork. The ingested tapeworm eggs develop into larvae and migrate through the body.

Taeniasis is underreported worldwide because it is hard to diagnose in areas with little access to health services, according to the CDC.

 

18. Guinea-Worm

Guinea-worm is a crippling disease that it is close to being eradicated.

There were only 22 human cases reported in 2015, according to the WHO ― down from around 3.5 million cases in 21 countries in the mid-1980s.

The disease is usually transmitted when people with limited access to quality drinking water swallow stagnant water contaminated with parasites.

About a year after infection, a painful blister forms ― most of the time on the lower leg ― and one or more worms emerge, along with a burning sensation. It is rarely fatal, but can debilitate infected people for weeks.

This series is supported, in part, by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All content 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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Old-School Dr. Seuss Drawings Skewer Fascism One Frightening Drawing At A Time

While Theodore Geisel ― better known as Dr. Seuss ― is frequently celebrated for rhyming “cat” with “hat” and “one fish, two fish” with “red fish, blue fish,” the iconic children’s book author and illustrator could deliver a razor-sharp political cartoon, too.

Between 1941 and 1943, a decade before he published The Cat in the Hat, Seuss drew over 400 comics for the left-wing political magazine PM. 

Seuss, of Jewish German descent and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, was devastated by Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and similarly outraged by America’s initial ambivalence to it. “I think he just got mad,” Judith Morgan, coauthor of the book Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel, said in an interview with The Atlantic. “He saw the growing threat in Europe and thought the Americans were not paying attention.”

Drawing in his signature style of swooping trees with cloud-like leaves, Seuss lambasted Hitler and everything he stood for. In his cartoons he rendered the fascist dictator as a mad scientist, a trophy hunter, and a bureaucrat giving orders to the devil. Although somewhat childlike in their aesthetic, Seuss’ drawings tackled the most terrifying 20th-century issues plaguing Germany and beyond. 

Some of Seuss’ most insightful cartoons, posted online by Imgur user moriartytheking, have been making the rounds on the internet recently, for obvious reasons. While a significant portion of the U.S. struggles to determine whether the appropriate reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s win should be one of disappointment or utter terror, Seuss’ drawings present an example of what it looks like to witness and resist through art. 

Today’s authors have not shied away from drawing certain parallels between 1940s Germany and contemporary America. As author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in an essay for The New Yorker: “Now is not the time to tiptoe around historical references. Recalling Nazism is not extreme; it is the astute response of those who know that history gives both context and warning.”

Seuss’ drawings are another reminder of the subversive role artists and writers can play in the coming years. And if they do it with rhyming couplets and adorable turtles, all the better. 

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Study Sheds Light on Safety of Driving With Epilepsy

Those who had longer seizures during driving tests were more likely to have accidents
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The Power of Eloquence

Beautiful Words Have Power
by Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight, Jr.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol,” St. Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians two thousand years ago. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” Paul bequeathed us faith, hope and love -these three — “but the greatest of these,” he said, “is love.”
Paul passed away, as we all must in our time, but he continues to enrich the human experience with his beautiful words that are timeless. It should be noted that when Paul spoke of love, he was not talking about romance between a man and a woman, but rather love for our fellow human beings. Interestingly, the scholars working for King James translated that key phrase as “faith, hope and charity” which I believe came closer to Paul’s meaning.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence two centuries ago, “that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson and his editors among the Founding Fathers toyed with that last one. Some wanted to say “life, liberty and property.” But they hesitated to assert that everyone was entitled by God to property. I am glad they chose “pursuit of happiness” instead of “pursuit of property,” for the words are beautiful in their vague simplicity. Like the words of St. Paul, they have stood the test of time and still inspire people.
Some are troubled by Jefferson’s eloquence about liberty because of his hypocrisy as a slave owner, and he was certainly aware of that even within the context of his own time. Jefferson knew slavery was evil and acknowledged as much, saying it alarmed him “like a fire bell in the night” as if he had foreseen the consequences that would ensue for that failure to deal with the worst blot on our nation’s history. That was left for another great wordsmith to deal with.
“Fourscore and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” opined Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863. “We are now engaged in a great Civil War testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” He concluded his short address with the hope that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
St. Paul, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln shared a gift for beautiful words – constructing sentences that soar beyond mere communication to touch the heart and inspire humanity to rise above its mean estate. It is difficult to imagine President-elect Trump joining this company – tweets do not often sustain eloquence – but you never know. If he can summon President Reagan’s speechwriter Peggy Noonan back to Washington, anything is possible.
Lt. Gen. Clarence E. “Mac” McKnight, Jr., (USA-Ret) is the author of “From Pigeons to Tweets: A General Who Led Dramatic Change in Military Communications,” published by The History Publishing Company.

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Breathing into a New Home

Moving anywhere is hard. Moving halfway across the world, well that’s harder if only because everything familiar is missing. I’ve done both kinds of moving, several times, and it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it is to uproot ourselves–no matter the excitement and commitment we have to the process. Each time, I mourn the loss of ‘what was’ even as I discover new beauty in ‘what is.’ And each time, I learn more about what it means to be at home.

I made the most recent house move several months ago, and since then I’ve been observing the evolving process of coming into the new normal. This change was pretty much total: different county, language, culture, food, water and totally opposite time of day compared to the old home. In addition, there’s a new job, daily routine, and social community. Talk about dislocation and relocation. Or, from a different perspective: what a perfect yet stressful, growth-filled yet time-stopping life experience.

Here’s what I’ve learned and hopefully what might resonate for any of you who have ever left your familiar home and begun the process of making a new one somewhere else.

The process of taking leave (from where you’ve been) and re-establishing your home is painfully slow. I’m reminded again and again to stay present mentally and spiritually, because there’s nothing to do other than to keep going. ‘Settling in’ takes time, and thinking we can rush it is a delusion that only prolongs the discomfort. So I’ve been taking a little time each day to sit quietly and breath. I breathe in, and I breathe out. I try to remain mindful even when it hurts. Then another minute passes and I’m still here and I’m ok. In some deeply primal way I know that mindful breathing marks the passage of time and time permits growth. With time, I’ve begun breathing easier.

Prior to the modern era, the process of getting someplace far away took a long time and allowed travellers to adapt physically, emotionally and spiritually through the journey. Now, you can get on a plane today and get off tomorrow on the other side of the world, and although putting two feet on new ground attests to the fact that your body has arrived, the mind and heart tend to take longer to catch up.

There are phases to adaptation beginning with when the newness is exciting and invigorating (and the jet lag makes you too tired to know what’s really happening). After some days or maybe weeks, the protective sense of newness transforms into an irritating feeling of pervasive unfamiliarity. What was charming is now challenging. In this raw and painful space, you long for what’s known and comfortable: friends and family, fresh air and familiar foods. There’s drudgery and despair. A grown adult, you’re totally homesick. You wonder, ‘what the f— am I doing here?” and wonder, “will I manage?” Like grief (actually, it is grief), these waves of emotion come and go.

You hit bottom weeks or months later, and only know how bad it was when you start to feel better on the rebound. The shift happens when the unfamiliar becomes familiar: the new normal. You still miss everything and everyone, but somehow more confident, mindful of the challenges but also aware of the opportunities. There’s beauty and meaning again.

Different routines form familiar daily patterns and staying in touch with loved ones proves workable and nourishing. It’s still hard to live so far away, but it becomes tolerable once we realize that home isn’t a place. It’s a space within us, in each breath… in being where ever we are: physically, mentally and spiritually.

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Green Party’s Stein To Pursue Pennsylvania Recount Petition In Federal Court

Green Party candidate Jill Stein late Saturday vowed to bring her fight for a recount of votes cast in Pennsylvania in the U.S. presidential election to federal court, after a state judge ordered her campaign to post a $ 1 million bond.

“The Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to Stein’s recount efforts, said in a statement.

Saying it has become clear that “the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem,” the statement said “we must seek federal court intervention.”

The Stein campaign said it will file for emergency relief in the Pennsylvania effort in federal court on Monday, “demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”

The bond was set by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania a day after representatives of President-elect Donald Trump requested a $ 10 million bond, according to court papers.

The court gave the petitioners until 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Monday to post the bond, but said it could modify the amount if shown good cause. Instead, Stein’s campaign withdrew.

“Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $ 1,000,000 bond required by the court,” wrote attorney Lawrence Otter, informing the court of the decision to withdraw.

Stein, who garnered about 1 percent of the presidential vote on Nov. 8, has also sought recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won narrow victories over Democrat Hillary Clinton in all three states, part of the industrial heartland of the country until manufacturers started leaving for Mexico and other low-wage countries.

Trump and his allies have attempted to stop the initiatives in the states, calling the recount effort a “scam.” Clinton’s campaign has said it would take part in the recounts.

“The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” Stein said in a statement. “No voter in America should be forced to pay thousands of dollars to know if her or his vote was counted.”

Stein said she planned to announce “the next step” in the recount effort on Monday at a previously scheduled news conference at Trump Tower in New York City.

She said recounts already under way in some Pennsylvania counties would continue. The state’s election commission had approved recounts in 75 precincts where voters requested one, but refused to allow a full forensic audit of voting machines.

Even if all the recounts were to take place, the overall election outcome would not likely change. The race is decided by the Electoral College, or a tally of wins from the state-by-state contests, rather than by the popular national vote.

Trump surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with 306. Recounts would have to flip the result to Clinton in all three states to change the result.

In the popular vote, Clinton had more than 2.5 million votes over Trump, the independent Cook Political Report said.

(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Chris Michaud in New York; Writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Bill Rigby, Tom Brown and Nick Macfie)

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Politics – The Huffington Post
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Worldwide Cancer Rates Up More Than One-Third in Past Decade: Report

Researchers cite population aging and growth
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5 Things That Will Make You Much Happier

2016-11-18-1479509543-1079096-5ThingsThatWillMakeYouMuchHappierHP

There’s enough advice on happiness floating around out there to make your head spin. Yet, this is understandable, as everyone is different. What makes one person happy might make another miserable.

In the face of so much contradictory, and often subjective, advice, what are you supposed to do if you want to live a happier life? Just forget about all that subjective advice and focus your energy and attention on science-proven facts.


“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has spent a great deal of time studying the effects of different happiness strategies on the brain. His findings have a lot to teach us about what actually works when it comes to boosting happiness.

Korb’s research demonstrated that your thoughts–and the emotions you feel in response to those thoughts–have a profound impact on surprising areas of your brain.

Guilt and shame, for example, activate the brain’s reward center, which explains why we have such a strong tendency to heap guilt and shame upon ourselves. Likewise, worrying increases activity in the prefrontal cortex (the rational brain), which is why worrying can make you feel more in control than doing nothing at all.

1. Gratitude creates happiness. I’m not advocating worry, guilt, and shame as the path to happiness. The illustration shows why we tend to succumb to thoughts that fuel these emotions. The real neural antidepressant is gratitude. Gratitude boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine–the brain’s happy chemicals and the same chemicals targeted by antidepressant medications. The striking thing about gratitude is that it can work even when things aren’t going well for you. That’s because you don’t actually have to feel spontaneous gratitude in order to produce chemical changes in your brain; you just have to force yourself to think about something in your life that you appreciate. This train of thought activates your brain to make you feel happier.

2. Labeling negative feelings dilutes their power. There is an amazing amount of power in simply labeling your negative emotions. In one study, participants underwent fMRI scans of their brains while they labeled negative emotions. When they named these emotions, the brain’s prefrontal cortex took over and the amygdala (where emotions are generated) calmed down. This effect doesn’t just work with your own emotions; labeling the emotions of other people calms them down too, which is why FBI hostage negotiators frequently rely on this technique.

3. Making decisions feels good. Similar to naming emotions, making decisions engages the prefrontal cortex, which calms the amygdala and the rest of the limbic system. The key is to make a “good enough” decision. Trying to make the perfect decision causes stress. We’ve always known that, but now there’s scientific research that explains why. Making a “good enough” decision activates the dorsolateral prefrontal areas of the brain, calming emotions down and helping you feel more in control. Trying to make a perfect decision, on the other hand, ramps up ventromedial frontal activity–which basically means your emotions get overly involved in the decision-making process.

4. It helps you to lend a hand.Taking the time to help your colleagues not only makes them happy but 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 to others 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.

5. Our brains are wired for touch. Humans are social animals, to the point that our brains react to social exclusion in the same way that they react to physical pain, with activity in the anterior cingulate and insula. Similarly, our brains are hardwired to interpret touch as social acceptance. Touch is one of the primary stimuli for releasing oxytocin, which calms the amygdala and, in turn, calms emotions. There are even studies that show that holding hands with a loved one actually reduces the brain’s response to pain. You might think that’s bad news for people who are socially isolated, but studies show that a massage increases serotonin by as much as 30%. Touch reduces stress hormones, decreases the perception of pain, improves sleep, and reduces fatigue.

Bringing It All Together

Kolb’s research highlights just how amazing the brain is, and he summarized his findings succinctly when he said, “Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision-making. Decision-making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, makes you happier.”

Do you think these tricks might work for you? 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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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

Pectoralis Muscle, Tendon Tear


The pectoralis major is a large muscle that lies in front of the chest wall (Figure 1). It is a powerful adductor, internal rotator, and flexor of the shoulder.

2016-12-02-1480705320-3552065-pec1.PNG

The pectoralis major has two heads; the clavicular head (upper part) and the sternal head (lower part) (Figure 2).

2016-12-02-1480705341-3525770-pec2.PNG

The pectoralis major muscle works to push the arm in front of the body. Ruptures of the pectoralis major muscle are due to weight training, particularly during a bench press maneuver (Figure 3). Ruptures or tears of the muscle are uncommon.

2016-12-02-1480705360-6396094-pec3.PNG

The patient will experience pain while extending the arm. Ecchymosis is present down the arm. The pain is worsened with resisted adduction and extension. There will also be a loss of normal contour of the axillary fold (Figure 4).

2016-12-02-1480705378-9269894-pec4.PNG

The rupture usually occurs in males 20-50 years old, weight lifters (especially those practicing bench press), football players and wrestlers. The rupture can occur in the absence of taking steroids. It usually occurs as a complete tear from the bony insertion of the humerus.

How do you prevent a rupture?
To prevent a rupture one must practice the proper bench press technique, limit the distance the bar is lowered, and narrow the grip of the hands on the bar.

Treatment
For a complete tear of the pectoralis major muscle, it must be repaired early. A delayed or chronic rupture, which usually occurs longer than a few months, will probably require a tendon graft. The muscle is retracted and the operation is difficult. The result is not as good as in an acute repair.

Acute Repair
The tendon is sutured and attached to the humerus with anchors (Figure 5). The sutures are tightened to approximate the tendon to the bone.


2016-12-02-1480705406-288038-pec5.PNG

For more information, visit my YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/nabilebraheim/

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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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Nancy Pelosi Has A Plan For Taking On The GOP Majority. It Worked Before.

WASHINGTON ― Democrats just got their asses handed to them. They lost the presidential election, failed to take back the Senate and barely made a dent in their minority status in the House. Now what are they supposed to do?

Fresh on the heels of being re-elected House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi’s strategy for preventing Republicans from erasing President Barack Obama’s accomplishments over the next two to four years ― at a time when her party has next to no leverage ― is coming into focus. It looks a lot like 2006.

“When people told us it was time for a Republican majority … around now, in 2004 as we got ready for 2005, we had our plan,” she told The Huffington Post in a Monday interview. “We stuck together. We were unified, strategic, and really it was a beautiful sight to behold.”

“And we won.”

She’s referring to the Democratic wave that came in 2006, when her party reclaimed the House and the Senate. That was the year then-President George W. Bush conceded his party “took a thumping,” and when Pelosi was vaulted into the job of House speaker. Two years later, Obama became president, elevating Democrats to the same position of power Republicans are in now. 

There were different circumstances then. Bush was an unpopular president and so was his war in Iraq ― two issues Democrats could seize on in making the case to Americans for their proposals. There also wasn’t a wildcard like Donald Trump in the picture, preparing to move into the White House after a campaign fueled by hateful rhetoric and with an agenda that nobody really knows.

The political landscape has changed since then, too, and in a devastating way for Democrats. Since Obama became president, the party has lost more than 900 state legislature states, 12 governors, 69 House seats and 13 Senate seats. Some Democrats are clamoring for an internal shakeup, and that includes replacing people like Pelosi. More than 60 members of her caucus voted against her as leader this week, the most opposition she’s ever faced.

But Pelosi still pulled off a decisive win, and she’s convinced the most effective way to counter the GOP of 2017 is to repeat the effort she led in 2006. It relies on Democrats presenting a united front, hammering in the message that they are fighting for working families ― something Pelosi sees as the core of the party, even if they failed to communicate it widely enough in 2016 ― and differentiating themselves from the kinds of GOP policies that benefit the rich and powerful.

“Running against Washington is tried and true,” she said. “It isn’t easy. You have to have a plan and you have to be unified and you have to be strategic. And we’re prepared to do that.”

Republicans miscalculated in 2004 when, emboldened by their control of Congress and the White House, they tried to privatize Social Security. Bush barnstormed around the country selling the idea to the public. But within months, fractures were forming in the GOP coalition as Democrats held firm in their opposition. Pelosi and other Democrats worked with advocacy groups to help stop the effort, including the powerful AARP. By the time the Senate held a test vote in March 2005, five Republican senators had pulled out, fearful they would be cast as trying to dismantle a popular program like Social Security.

It was a disaster for Bush and the GOP. Yet it’s the kind of effort some top Republicans are eager to try again. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has long wanted to privatize Medicare, the popular health insurance program for tens of millions of seniors. And Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who Trump just tapped as his Health and Human Services secretary, is a huge advocate of overhauling Medicare and Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

It’s unclear whether Trump will embrace Ryan’s vision of entitlement reform; he’s suggested budget and tax reform can be done without touching Medicare or Social Security benefits. Some Senate Republicans don’t seem to want to go anywhere near the subject for now. But if Trump signs on with Ryan’s plan, Pelosi sees a huge opportunity for Democrats to side with public outcry and fire up supporters already outraged that Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. 

“We have a sense of urgency that is much greater than 2004,” she said. “We don’t have to drum anything up. … I think the Republican leadership will find people are interested in what the Republican president has to say and what the opposition has to say more than what the Republicans in Congress have to say. So our voice is much more enhanced than theirs.”

Throughout the interview, Pelosi exuded the kind of hope and optimism one would expect in a party leader girding for a fight. But even so, there were moments when the woman known for her focus and strategic approach to Washington politics showed flashes of pain at Clinton’s loss. Talking about what her Christmas cards would say this year, she choked up.

“May we have hope that has faith in America ― no, we have spirits that have faith in America, hope for our future ― I can’t say it. I just can’t say it. I’m just really sorry,” Pelosi said.

“It is, for those of us who care, who dedicate our lives to making the future better, and to see something happen with such ― elections are elections. Some people win, some people lose. That’s just the way it is. We accept the results of it,” she continued, visibly upset. “But to see something so drastic as this, and for Hillary not to win when we had such expectation … I’m still not, kind of, to the next step of, ‘OK, let’s just move on.’”

Asked if it was particularly disappointing seeing Clinton lose as someone who has broken barriers for women in politics, Pelosi listed off the things Democrats could have passed if Clinton had won and Democrats retook the Senate: the Equality Act, a bill banning LGBTQ discrimination in employment and housing, an infrastructure investment bill, immigration reform and gun safety bills.

“I just don’t like missed opportunities,” she finally said. “I just thought that was such a missed opportunity for our country.”

And just like that, she was back in strategist mode.

“Having said that, we don’t agonize, we organize. We get moving to make sure the public knows what’s at stake in the policy decisions and then go to the next step, which is hopefully try to do some things together,” Pelosi said. “I mean, who knows. Do you know how [Trump] is going to be?”

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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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Low-Carb Diet May Aid Your Metabolism

Cutting back on sweets helps, while exercising before meals may not, small study finds
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WATCH: Embracing the Mystery (Not Having All the Answers)

It can be very frustrating when we don’t know what to do… how to handle certain situations… what the future might bring. But, that’s how life is sometimes – we’re never going to know everything (unless you are Dr. Bernofsky…). So, we can let that be a source of energy-draining upset, or we can accept it. Maybe even embrace it. I hope this will help you do so.

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.

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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

We’ll Remember Cuba’s Ebola Compassion Long After Castro’s Death

While the Cuban government’s accomplishments and failures are still being tallied in the days following Fidel Castro’s death on Nov. 25, the island nation’s health care system is one achievement expected to stand the test of history. 

One striking example of the country’s unique health footprint: For a nation with only 11 million people, Cuba sent an unparalleled number of medical personnel to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014.

When Ebola spread through West Africa in 2014, Cuba announced that it would send more than 460 doctors and nurses to West Africa. The epidemic ultimately killed 11,310 people, more than any previous outbreak, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Ultimately Cuba deployed approximately 265 medical personnel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.

For comparison’s sake, in November 2014, President Obama promised just 65 health professionals, supported by 4,000 U.S. troops. (WHO said it’s difficult to track actual personnel deployed from the U.S. because they weren’t a unified group like the Cubans were. Americans may have volunteered with nongovernmental organizations, for example.)

“[Cuba] has become something like the world’s first responder to international crises in recent years,” Jon Lee Anderson wrote in The New Yorker in 2014. Indeed, Cuba’s 50,000 roving medical professionals stationed in more than 60 countries are often the first foreign health workers at catastrophes around the world. Cuban doctors, for example cared for almost 40 percent of victims during Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, according to The Guardian. The deployments are the result of a longtime Cuban program to send health care workers abroad as a way to boost its image and to trade services for goods for the embargoed island.

The Cuban medical response is built on a larger culture of population health. Cuban doctors practice prevention-oriented primary care and are responsible for improving the overall health of their patient populations. Cuba also has one of the best doctor-to-population ratios in the world, meaning the country spends far less money per person on health care costs than does the United States, but it boasts a better child mortality rate and similar life expectancy

According to the World Bank, in 2010 Cuba had 6.7 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with the United States’ 2.5 doctors per 1,000 people.

“Unlike students trained in the U.S. or Western Europe, Cuban students are trained to improve population health status,” Dr. C. William Keck, professor emeritus at Northeast Ohio Medical University, previously told The Huffington Post. 

“We certainly aren’t here. When I went to medical school, I was taught to do battle with disease one patient at a time. You dealt with what came in the door. You didn’t focus much on the community. It’s a much different approach,” said Keck, who is a member of the Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a nonprofit that promotes U.S.-Cuba health collaborations.

That dedication to community health extends beyond Cuba’s borders. 

“We know what can happen. We know we’re going to a hostile environment,” Cuban doctor Leonardo Fernandez told Reuters before he left to fight Ebola in West Africa in 2014.

“But it is our duty. That’s how we’ve been educated. This little bit that we have, when people need it, we are capable of sharing. It’s a basic concept.”

— 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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Friday’s Morning Email: Trump’s ‘Thank-You Tour’ Looks A Lot Like The Campaign

TOP STORIES

TRUMP KICKS OFF ‘THANK-YOU’ TOUR LIKE IT’S THE FIRST STOP ON A CAMPAIGN TRIP In his first public events since winning the presidency, Donald Trump went back to his campaign ways. So yes, a proper media bashing ensued. [Marina Fang, HuffPost]

TRUMP NAMES JAMES MATTIS DEFENSE SECRETARY Meet the 66-year-old retired general whose nicknames include “mad dog.” [Igor Bobic, HuffPost]

CHICAGO PASSES 700 HOMICIDES IN 2016 There were 480 homicides in the city in 2015. [CNN]

STARBUCKS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO STEPPING DOWN  Howard Schultz will hand over the reins next year. [Reuters]

A FAMILY GRAPPLES WITH LIFE AFTER THEIR 3-YEAR-OLD ACCIDENTALLY SHOT AND KILLED THEIR 9-YEAR-OLD “I have no one to blame. I can’t blame my kid. I can’t blame God because it’s inappropriate. I have nobody to blame. I have no outlet as far as taking out my anger, so I use my family and my fiancé as a punching bag.” [WaPo]

JOE MCKNIGHT KILLED AT 28 The former NFL running back was shot and killed during a road rage incident in Louisiana. [Maxwell Strachan, HuffPost]

THERE HAVE BEEN 200 SHOOTINGS OF POLICE THIS YEAR And 56 officers have been killed. [Christopher Mathias, HuffPost]

TURNS OUT IT WAS TOO SOON To put Trump and Clinton’s campaign managers on a panel and expect it to not devolve into shouting. [S.V. Date, HuffPost]

WHAT’S BREWING

IN HONOR OF WORLD AIDS DAY YESTERDAY Your favorites, Prince Harry and Rihanna, were tested for HIV together. And here’s how D.C.’s mayor is planning to tackle an HIV epidemic in the nation’s capital. [HuffPost]

AS MUCH AS YOU PRETEND TO HATE IT You already love DJ Earworm’s 2016 mash-up. [Vulture]

COUPLES TALK MONEY And everything that comes with or without it. [Bloomberg]

CONGRATS TO MILA KUNIS AND ASHTON KUTCHER Who welcomed their second child. [USA Today]

FORGET THE POOL Michael Phelps is headed to Silicon Valley. [AP]

THIS BEAVER HAD NO TIME FOR ARTIFICIAL TREES The wayward woodland creature trashed a store after spotting the fake Christmas trees. We couldn’t even make this up. [HuffPost]

ESPN LOST OVER A MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN THE PAST TWO MONTHS Disney is not happy. [HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

~ Jennifer Aniston is here to kill all of your “Friends” reunion hopes and dreams.

~ We cannot stop laughing over this Erin Foster joke about Leonardo DiCaprio’s penchant for Victoria’s Secret models.

~ Is it just us, or do the Lifetime versions of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline look nothing like the originals?

~ Meet the Body Bearers, “an elite unit that carries Marines to their final resting place.”

~ As The New York Times puts it: “you’re never too old to wear a tiara.

~ Be careful downloading apps on your Android: Over 1.3 million Google accounts have been hacked through illegitimate apps.

~ Could CNN make a play for Megyn Kelly?

~ And Leah Remini revealed even more Scientology secrets in a Reddit AMA.

 

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: At Risk of a Sprained Ankle?

Activities that raise your chances

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Stop Expecting Your Life to Be Like a Television Show

What is a hard thing to do in life? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Matthew Manning, on Quora:

What is a hard thing to do in life? Understanding that your life is not a television show.

One of the hardest things to understand about my life has been the fact that it is not episodic. That is to say, most of the time life is not full of “important stuff.” My life isn’t a television show. It is mostly the stuff that happens between each episode.

Most of the time, important stuff happens when you least expect it, and when you’re barely ready for it. The majority of your time will be spent between the important stuff. This includes:

  • Doing laundry.
  • Folding laundry.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Paying bills.
  • Picking small crumbs up from your floor so as to delay vacuuming.

This is difficult to swallow as you get older and cease to be ushered from event to event and hand-delivered meaningful experiences. Most of the time, we’re doing what has to be done in order to better position ourselves for what we wish to do.

If this sounds like drudgery, that’s because it is. There are some pretty salient myths about the joy of daily life, and I think we are lead to believe that a happy life is one filled each day with intrigue and adventure. We are not the Great Gatsby. Most of my day is a grind – and I actually enjoy my job.

If you can’t be happy with the things in front of you, no great plot line is going to save you from that.

And if you figure out how to do that, tell me how.

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How D.C.’s Mayor Plans To End The HIV Epidemic In The Capitol’s Backyard

More than 13,000 people are living with HIV in Washington, D.C. That’s 2 percent of the city’s population, or double the rate that constitutes an “epidemic” in the eyes of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nancy Mahon, global executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund, the philanthropic arm of the cosmetic company MAC, says it’s “shameful” that the infection rate is so high “in the backyard of our nation’s Capitol” ― especially given the United States’ leading role in funding international AIDS work.

While D.C.’s infection rate has fallen from its height of 3 percent in 2009 ― a rate that was higher than that of West Africa ― the level of infection is still unacceptable, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at an event Thursday kicking off the city’s newest plan to combat the epidemic.

Last year, Bowser and the city’s department of health announced that they would work with the Washington AIDS Partnership and the DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice on an initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the District by 2020. The effort, they said, would be known as the 90/90/90/50 Plan.

They outlined the details of that plan on Thursday, during an event scheduled to coincide with World AIDS Day. The plan stresses four goals: to ensure that 90 percent of D.C. residents living with HIV will know their status; that 90 percent of people diagnosed with HIV will be in treatment; that 90 percent of people in treatment will achieve viral load suppression; and that there will be a 50 percent decrease in new HIV infections, all by 2020.

This plan builds on the 90-90-90 goals that UNAIDS, the United Nations organization committed to dealing with the disease, set out two years ago. D.C. joins New York state and San Francisco, which have set similar goals.

Those places are leading the charge nationally, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. This plan is the kind of thing that leads to a tidal wave of cities trying to copy cities,” Fauci told The Huffington Post. “The goal is that we should be striving for this worldwide, but if we can do this in the U.S. in high-level cities, this is a good step in the right direction.”

To achieve those goals, D.C. plans to build on the success of the city’s needle exchange program, which has reduced the number of new HIV cases among injection drug users by 95 percent since it was introduced in 2007. The city’s plans also include educational programs for health care providers, a push to reduce the stigma around the disease, and an effort to increase public awareness and accessibility of treatments like Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP ― a drug regimen used to prevent infections among people who are at high risk for contracting HIV. It also calls for renewed efforts to make sure D.C. residents have access to stable housing, which the plan’s authors say is essential to overall wellness goals.

I don’t think it’s any mistake that both the mayor and the director [of the D.C. Department of Health] are African-American women, and they are the first people in the country to do this.
Nancy Mahon, global executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund

The MAC AIDS Fund has also provided a $ 1 million grant for a marketing campaign to encourage D.C.’s black women to use PrEP. Black women are the second highest at-risk group in the district, accounting for 1 in 6 new HIV diagnoses.

“I don’t think it’s any mistake that both the mayor and the director [of the D.C. Department of Health] are African-American women, and they are the first people in the country to do this,” Mahon said ― a reference to Bowser and to DOH’s Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.

The MAC AIDS Fund has donated a total of $ 8.7 million to D.C. over the past decade. The latest grant is part of its $ 6.6 million initiative aimed at curbing HIV rates in cities around the globe, with campaigns in Paris, Berlin, Mexico City and London.

Walter Smith, the executive director of DC Appleseed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving public policy problems in the nation’s capital, said Thursday that the innovation in D.C.’s 90/90/90/50 Plan lies in its public and private partnerships, which he hopes can serve as an example for other cities.

“Given where we started, we came from a situation where the District of Columbia was setting a bad example for the nation ― we all knew where we were with HIV/AIDS was absolutely unacceptable,” he said. “We have come so far [from] that with this plan. We are on the verge of setting a good example for the nation.”

Fauci went even further in his praise.

“The dynamics of plans like this,” he said, “can turn around outbreaks.”

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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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Thursday’s Morning Email: Wall Street Triumphs In Trump’s Latest Picks

TOP STORIES

WALL STREET TRIUMPHS IN DONALD TRUMP’S LATEST PICKSLearn more on how the Treasury and Commerce picks are infuriating progressives with Trump’s “embrace of Wall Street’s elite.” And these are just a few of the folks that will most likely make up the “richest administration in modern American history.” [Daniel Marans, HuffPost]

COLOMBIA’S CONGRESS APPROVES REVISED PEACE ACCORD WITH FARC REBELS Which may be the final step toward peace after a referendum on the agreement failed this fall. [NYT]

TENNESSEE FIRES RAGE FOR THIRD DAY The death count rose to seven, with over 700 homes and businesses damaged. Take a look at photos of the “apocalyptic wasteland” left behind. [Hayley Miller, HuffPost]

NANCY PELOSI WON HER RE-ELECTION FOR HOUSE MINORITY LEADER But there’s trouble in paradise, as 63 Democrats voted against her. [Jennifer Bendery, HuffPost]

THE FBI GAINS THE ABILITY TO HACK MILLIONS OF COMPUTERS TODAY “Starting Thursday, a Department of Justice official will be able to go to a single judge, assert that a computer crime may involve millions of networked devices, and get a warrant that lets the FBI hack all of those devices.” [Michael McAuliff, HuffPost]

INTEL OFFICERS: THE RUSSIANS HELPED SPREAD FAKE NEWS In order to interfere with the presidential election. [Buzzfeed]

IN YEMEN, CHOOSING BETWEEN CHILDREN “The family of Osama Hassan faced a wrenching choice as his tiny body wasted away. Should they use the little money they had, in a time of war, to take the 2-year-old to a hospital? Or should they buy food to feed their other children? His family chose food.” [WaPo]

INSIDE THE NFL’S ‘BIG-TOBACCO’ TACTICS TO LURE THE NEXT GENERATION OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND FANS And what the league is doing to combat the growing alarm from parents about the dangers of the sport. [Jenifer Bendery, HuffPost]

AND TO CLARIFY The headline of yesterday’s email said President-elect Trump had announced he would step away from his company. However, Trump did not provide any details beyond that his children would run his company. Trump made similar statements during the campaign, but such a plan fails to address his significant conflicts of interest. [Alexander Kaufman and Paige Lavender, HuffPost]

WHAT’S BREWING

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY You can now watch Netflix offline. This is not a drill, people. [HuffPost]

CONGRATS TO BRADLEY COOPER AND IRINA SHAYK On the reports that they are expecting their first child, which came after Shayk killed it on the runway for Victoria’s Secret Wednesday night. And yes, we have some sneak peek photos of the show, which airs next Monday. [HuffPost]

HOW TO MAKE $ 400 MILLION DISAPPEAR FOR A DIVORCE “Created by lawyers, accountants and private bankers and operating out of a global archipelago of European principalities, former British colonies and Asian city-states, the system has one main purpose: to make the richest people in the world appear to own as little as possible.” [NYT]

THIS TEENAGER SPOKE OUT ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE Months later, he was killed by gunfire. [Ryan Grenoble, HuffPost]

ANTI-VACCINE ADVOCATES ARE EXCITED ABOUT A TRUMP PRESIDENCY “At the most basic level, they’re hoping Trump will use his bully pulpit to advance his oft-stated concern — debunked by an extensive body of scientific evidence — that there’s a link between vaccines and autism.” [STAT]

ARE RE-SHOOTS THE ‘KISS OF DEATH’ FOR ‘ROGUE ONE’? Could this be “Fantastic Four”-level bad? [Vanity Fair]

WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME AN INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER So. Many. Photos. [Bloomberg]

DETAILS ABOUT MIKE ALLEN AND JIM VANDEHEI’S MEDIA PROJECT ARE FINALLY REVEALED Meet Axios. [Vanity Fair

BEFORE YOU GO

~ Try not to freak out about this photo of Prince Harry with Rihanna

~ Jill Stein’s Wisconsin recount begins today.

~ And the winner of the World Chess Championship is…

~ So, turns out what Americans are googling about food means a great deal with it comes to the country’s taste.

~ But this is apparently the only thing Mariah Carey eats. And no, it’s not gold-flaked.

~ What the legendary Marty Baron of The Washington Post has to say about journalism in the age of the Trump presidency.

~ We don’t know how we feel about “Gossip Girl” star Penn Badgly’s new look.

~ Bob Dylan casually didn’t have time to stop by President Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize Event. 

~ Looks like ‘shrooms may help fight depression in cancer patients.

~ What happens when you spend a winter with a shaman in Kazakhstan.

~ Good for this “Walking Dead” star, who shot down the bodyshamers with a powerful post.

~ We can’t stop listening to this Dolly Parton-Miley Cyrus-Pentatonix team-up performance of “Jolene.”

~ Need to zone out for a bit? Take a look at these gifs of food being madeand feel at peace with the beauty of donuts and Hershey Kisses.

~ And you thought you were a “Game of Thrones” geek: This website breaks down all the interactions between characters throughout the show’s six seasons.

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.

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Quiet Black Girls—And How We Fail Them

This article first appeared on QuietRev.com

I’m not a scientist—I am a practitioner of public education as an administrator. Yet, in my teaching days before I entered admin, I noticed certain trends in a segment of my classroom and school that I dubbed “Quiet Black Girl Syndrome.” I assembled data from daily interactions and from observing my students at recess or in academic settings, and I didn’t initially have a descriptor for it. I simply noted what happened to the Black girls in class who didn’t speak up often.

It’s to my detriment that I didn’t see it as an introverted issue. In fact, had I realized this was tied to the temperament spectrum, I could have collected resources and sought out social and emotional assistance for them. But early on, I didn’t even realize these girls were suffering; that discovery came during a tense parent/teacher conference.

My student, Starre, was incredibly bright and always turned in her work. She had straight As; she occasionally struggled with a concept, but she worked so hard that I didn’t bother worrying about her. It embarrasses me now to think about this, but let me say again: I didn’t bother worrying about her. She became wallpaper in my classroom. I often forgot to call on her during discussions and critical conversations about learning. Some days when I took attendance and she wasn’t there, I failed to notice it and just marked her “present.” I’d think back later to the class period: “Did I see Starre in class today? Hmm. I can’t remember.”

Starre, and girls like her, oftentimes begin the process of becoming invisible in the classroom. This invisibility fully manifests in adulthood, in the ways that Black women must move through the world. It’s kind of a phenomenon that we educators conflate “quiet” with “good.” We call them “good Black girls” because we don’t have to deal with them, while we allow other—louder—students to take our attention in the classroom. Because they’re so “good,” we expect them to behave all the time, which doesn’t give them the space to be individuals or growing adolescents. Making these assumptions about them fails to include them or support them in their growth—and their exclusion impacts all of us.

It’s an ugly truth that the outcomes of students’ learning are dependent on their self-presentation. Young students who are female and Black are already dealing with the intersections that marginalize them. When they’re quiet too—truly introverted—I have to admit, I’ve failed them on multiple levels in the past. When those girls find their voices and begin to assert themselves, they are often shut down and asked to return to the quiet girls we once knew and ignored. The shutting down stems from racially problematic and historic issues within the larger culture.

Educators like to call it an “achievement” gap, but I much prefer to say it’s an “access” gap—this label better reflects the context of the lesser quality education that students of color have historically been offered.

“Access gap” also speaks to housing discrimination. Each district’s educational dollars are based on local state housing tax income, thus directly attaching the educational quality of our schools to the wealth in the area: the wealthier a community is, the better their schools can be.

Education reformers like to label these schools as “failing” when the reality is they are being made to fail. The lesser access to quality education leads to beliefs of lesser ability. Research shows that white male teachers are 10 to 20 percent more likely to have low expectations for Black female students. The data doesn’t lie; we continue to learn that Black girls are victims of a kind of double jeopardy “wherein they are disadvantaged because of negative race stereotypes and negative gender stereotypes.”

Starre’s mother helped me see this bias, which, even though I myself am a Black female educator, I am still prey to, in our conference. She wasn’t angry with me, but the full weight of her frustration—of constantly fighting for her daughter’s involvement and recognition in the classroom—came to rest at my feet that day. Why, she wondered, was her daughter never asked to be one of the student ambassadors who took people on tours of the school? Why was she never nominated for Student of the Month? Her mother had seen photos on our website of those celebrations, overrun with mostly white, middle-class students whose parents attended the PTO meetings. Why didn’t I challenge her daughter, when I knew she was capable of more than the mediocre work I was accepting?

Nothing about her questions was easy for me. I thanked her for homing my attention on her quiet, introverted girl, who was developing along with her peers but to whom we paid no attention because she wasn’t a problem in the classroom. Without the focus we denied her, Starre could move through school lithely, but what a missed opportunity for us to push her towards reaching her potential!

Starre was a good Black girl, and she fell on the temperament spectrum as introverted. She did her work, completed assignments, and faithfully met classwork requirements. I was failing her by assuming that was all she could achieve. And by ignoring her, I was missing out on the potential impact of a great student who could offer much more than the surface revealed.

It doesn’t take a scientist or clinician to see how schools can fail students who are people of color, but a huge piece of future impact would be to consider that they can be introverts too and that educators need to respond to their needs.

Love Quiet Revolution’s parenting articles? Listen to Quiet—our new podcast for parents and educators of quiet kids hosted by bestselling author Susan Cain. We’ve also developed a Parenting Quiet Kids online course, including expert advice, tools, and strategies. Take our free quiz to learn more!

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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Psychologists Think Your Lies About Santa Will Damage Your Kids

Now that the holidays are upon us, many children around the world will stand in line for or write a letter to a jolly old man dressed in red, sharing their heart’s deepest desires. 

But perpetuating the Santa Claus myth may set children up to realize that their parents are liars, psychologist Christopher Boyle and mental health researcher Kathy McKay argue in a new essay in the medical journal Lancet Psychiatry. The thought of an all-knowing being who watches their every move (maybe with help from the Elf on the Shelf) may even terrorize them. 

While the stakes seem low ― after all, how much harm could really come from a little fairytale? ― Boyle and McKay make several compelling arguments against perpetuating the Santa Claus myth. 

1. You’re setting your child up for inevitable disappointment when they realize the truth about Santa.

Everyone remembers that moment they realized that Santa Claus wasn’t real, Boyle and McKay write. The disappointment is so searing that it creates a “JFK effect” ― people remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the sad news. For many people, they write, the holidays never again hold the same kind of magic.

Speaking as former children, both authors remember the abject disappointment when they found out that this Christmas magic was in fact human based. The spell was broken; the escape from reality that children and adults can share for a few months had gone. Christmas was never the same again.

2. You are laying the groundwork for your child’s distrust.

The authors cite research that finds young kids have “a more general tendency to assume that adults only talk about real things.” But after the years-long con is over, a child’s natural trust in their guardian could be somewhat tainted by the Santa experience ― exacerbated, no doubt, by the parents’ repeated denials and justifications for Santa when a child comes with questions or “evidence” about his existence.  

Children must all find out eventually that their parents have blatantly and consistently carried on a lie for a number of years. Children may find out from a third party, or through their parents getting bored of the make-believe and making a mistake; both might affect the trust that exists between child and parent. If adults have been lying about Santa, even though it has usually been well intentioned, what else is a lie? If Santa isn’t real, are fairies real? Is magic? Is God?

3. The Santa myth serves you more than your children.

In addition to collecting the treats and sweets children leave out for Santa the night before Christmas, adults also get to cash in on a nostalgic sense of holiday magic that comes with perpetuating the “Christmas lie,” the authors write. Playing Santa for their children, they suggest, lets parents briefly escape to “a better place and time” where the use of imagination was encouraged and nurtured.  

It seems that by returning to a fantasy world, there is a comfort in being able to briefly re-enter childhood, which was a magical experience for many. A time when imagination was accepted and encouraged but which becomes lost in the space and time of adulthood. The self-conscious recreation of myth seems to be as popular as it ever was. Might it be the case that the harshness of real life requires the creation of something better, something to believe in, something to hope for in the future or to return to a long lost childhood a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…?

“All children will eventually find out they’ve been consistently lied to for years, and this might make them wonder what other lies they’ve been told,” Boyle concluded in a statement. “Whether it’s right to make children believe in Father Christmas is an interesting question, and it’s also interesting to ask whether lying in this way will affect children in ways that have not been considered.”

The effect of a parent’s lies on children

Emerging studies do suggest that parents’ lies may have a detrimental effect on a child’s behavior. A small MIT study on six- and seven-year-olds found that when an authority figure omits the truth, it may cause children to suspend their trust or be suspicious of anything else that authority figure says in the future. An experiment from the University of California, San Diego found that when children ages five to seven are lied to, they are also more likely to cheat and then lie in return. 

So why do parents lie at all? It basically boils down to two reasons: to make children do something, and to make children happy, according to Gail Heyman, a UCSD psychology researcher. And at first blush, it might seem that the Santa myth accomplishes both things at once. It motivates children to behave well, with the promise of a Christmas day jackpot at the end. 

But not everyone is as convinced as Boyle and McKay that the Santa lie may hurt children ― or that it even qualifies as a lie at all.

“Many people think the Santa myth is not a lie and is more like fantasy play,” Heyman said.  

She says scientists are only just starting to understand the effect a parent’s lies ― big, small and holiday-themed ― have on children, and are nowhere near understanding what psychological effects a years-long Santa con may have on developing minds. 

At this point, there is no evidence that lying about Santa in particular is harmful to children, and may young adults tell us of fond memories of Santa,” she said.

How should conscientious parents approach Santa?

While there is currently no study to show that the Santa Claus myth does harm children, Heyman is partial to the approach astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson took with his daughter when she lost a tooth and asked him about the Tooth Fairy.

Tyson swapped his daughter’s tooth with a present while she slept, but the next morning asked her a lot of skeptical questions and encouraged her to talk to her friends about the experience. Together, his daughter and her friends decided that the next person to lose a tooth would hide it under their pillow without announcing its loss to anyone. After conducting this little experiment, they realized the Tooth Fairy was actually just their parents. 

“I personally prefer the DeGrasse Tyson approach because I value critical thinking so much, and I think young children face enough challenges in figuring out what is real or not without their parents potentially adding to the confusion,” Heyman concluded. “I also think there are better ways to promote imaginative thinking.”

Gail Gross, a psychologist and child development expert, suggests a compromise: Share Santa with your children, but as the fable and tradition that it is, and not a magical being to believe in.

“Telling children the truth about the Santa myth can give them confidence in your honesty and support. Trust is based on experience, and if children trust you, they learn to trust themselves, and ultimately others,” Gross said. 

How do you approach the Santa Claus myth with your children? Let us know in the comments what you tell them, and why. 

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One Of Two Jail Escapees Captured In California After Week-Long Hunt

One of the two California inmates who escaped last week by cutting through the bars of a second-story jail window and rappelling down the building’s side with a rope made of clothes was captured on Tuesday, police said.

Laron Campbell, 26, was in custody and being taken back to Santa Clara County jail where he escaped last Wednesday with Rogelio Chavez, 33, who was still at large, the Santa Clara County Sheriff Office said on Twitter.

The sheriff gave no details of Campbell’s capture.

A 35-year-old woman was arrested on Monday on suspicion of helping Chavez to escape, the Mercury News reported.

Chavez and Campbell were being held on charges including false imprisonment and firearms violations.

Authorities have not said how the prisoners got their hands on tools and said that no tools were found in the cell after the escape on Wednesday night.

KNTV, an NBC affiliate, quoted a sheriff’s spokesman as saying they prisoners used clothes to climb down the side of the building. A deputy on patrol noticed the clothing hanging from the window, it said.

Two other inmates who broke out of the jail with the pair were caught immediately, the sheriff’s office said.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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Gratitude: The Path to a Meaningful – and Magical – Life

Long after Thanksgiving is over, two things endure – the feeling that I couldn’t possibly eat another piece of turkey…and, more importantly, a deep sense of gratitude.

It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that I recently picked up a book called GRATITUDE by Oliver Sacks. It’s a quartet of essays that he wrote in the last two years of his life. Despite his struggles battling cancer, he chose to highlight his immense gratitude – something he felt not only through that ordeal, but through his entire life.

Here’s what he says about the gifts of old age:

One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’ too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities… One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty.

And he concludes:

I do not think of old age as an ever-grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time…freed from the urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together.

As you gather with loved ones this holiday season, I invite you to allow gratitude to fill your spirit and lead you into the New Year. How? Let Merlin guide you.

While Merlin is beloved around the world as a legendary wizard, the Merlin I’ve written many books about is also a real human being. He has struggles, sorrows, joys, and aspirations – and, hidden deep within him, a remarkable gift. In that way, Merlin is no different from all of us: he is burdened by the human experience, while at the very same time exalted by it.

All of us have hidden struggles – and hidden potential. And all of us, like the great wizard Merlin, have something special within us. No matter how many obstacles we face, we still have the ability to reach for the stars. We can strive, create, love, hope, sing, be kind, and work to build a better world.

Recently, I wrote a book about Merlin’s seven most magical words, THE WISDOM OF MERLIN: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. I purposely chose Gratitude to be the first of those words. Here’s a passage that explains why:

Gratitude is a good place to begin to make a meaningful life. To be wholly alive is to be grateful–for every breath we take, every song we sing, every person we love, every day we discover.

All we have–truly all we have–is our time and our souls. Even if you live as long as a wizard, that time is really very brief. It’s never long enough to do all you can do and be all you can be.

Each day, take a moment to love a person, a place, or an idea that touched your heart. Cherish those blessings through all the seasons of a year–and all the seasons of your life.

My favorite place to feel grateful is in nature–under a starry sky in Colorado wilderness, by the vast ocean at the Great Barrier Reef, or in a grove of towering redwoods in California.

Here’s the miracle of such places: With nature’s wonders all around, I feel both very small and very large at once–diminished and humbled by my own insignificance, while also enlarged and inspired by the vast sweep of creation. And both you and I belong to that creation! For we are all made from miracles, no less than the stars themselves.

One of humanity’s great challenges is to embrace nature without suffocating it–to treat our natural home with appreciation, not exploitation. We have been given the garden planet of the universe–and we can either nurture or devour it, protect or destroy it.

Fortunately, we have one great advantage in facing any challenges: ourselves. We can accomplish anything if we truly devote ourselves to the task.

And that, my friend, is worthy of our gratitude.

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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

The Stakes Are High As DEA Reconsiders Waging War On The Herb Kratom

Seven weeks after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officially withdrew its plan to ban kratom, the federal government is once again set to decide the fate of the herb and the people who rely on it for pain relief and other treatment.

The DEA had initially planned to use its emergency scheduling power to push through the ban without input from the public, despite concerns from lawmakers and scientists ― as well as kratom users ― that the move would do more harm than good. In October, however, the DEA opened a public comment period allowing individuals to weigh in on the agency’s decision to place mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, two active compounds in kratom, in Schedule I. Substances in this category include heroin and LSD and are considered to have no known medical benefit and a high potential for abuse.

With the comment period set to close on Thursday, the DEA will now have to take into account the nearly 9,000 submissions from people who wanted to voice their opinions about this proposed expansion of the war on drugs.

But kratom isn’t in the clear yet. The DEA is currently awaiting the results of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration analysis on the potential harms and health benefits of the herb, which will determine if kratom truly poses an “imminent hazard to the public safety,” as the agency initially claimed in August.

The DEA doesn’t know when it will get the results of the FDA’s review, Russell Baer, a spokesperson for the agency, told The Huffington Post.

“We’ve asked the FDA to expedite their analysis, but they’ve not given us any indication as to when that may be done, other than as soon as practical,” said Baer. “They’re involved in an exhaustive scientific review and evaluation, so these things do take time.”

Although Baer said he expects the DEA to wait for the FDA’s analysis before deciding on an appropriate schedule for kratom ― or whether it should be scheduled at all ― he noted that the agency could still proceed with emergency scheduling even in the absence of more concrete scientific evidence.

The DEA’s next steps will have huge implications for people like Joshua Levy. In the video above, Levy explains that he turned to kratom after struggling with dependence on the opioid painkillers he’d been prescribed following a hit-and-run accident. Like many kratom users, he says the herb gave him back the life that had been taken from him by addiction and other side-effects of narcotic painkillers.

“Since I started taking kratom, since I had gotten off of the pain pills, my life has basically opened up dramatically,” Levy told HuffPost. “I got a new job. I’m building a friendship up with my sister that I haven’t had in a long time. I’m not lazy anymore. I don’t want to isolate myself. I want to go out, I want to be out of the house.”

The kratom community is full of success stories like Levy’s. But together, they form only anecdotal evidence of the herb’s benefits, which is not enough to support a more official confirmation of its medicinal value.

Experts like Andrew Kruegel, an associate research scientist at Columbia University, hope the DEA will allow kratom to remain legal so they can keep working to unlock the herb’s potential.

Kruegel’s studies have shown that kratom can be used to alleviate mild pain, and that the plant’s negative side effects are relatively minor.

“As a scientist, I try to be as objective as possible and not overstate the promise of kratom,” said Kruegel. “We just don’t know that much about the plant yet.”

But Kruegel also has bigger hopes for kratom, which he believes can be used to aid in the development of safer alternatives to the prescription opioids that claimed more than 18,000 lives in the U.S. in 2014 due to overdose.

“Of course, if it’s in Schedule I, historically that greatly limits the ability to do research on it,” he said.

Video shot, produced and edited by Savannah O’Leary. Audio mixing by Nick Offenberg.

— 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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HUFFPOLLSTER: The One Thing Americans Can Agree On Is That They’re Divided

Americans find common ground in the notion that they’re hopelessly split, but most have higher hopes for Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress. President Obama is getting set to leave office on a political high note. And election predictions may need to look beyond polling for data. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

HuffPost Pollster is going semiweekly! Look for it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Fridays.

AMERICANS AGREE THAT THEY’RE DIVIDED – There’s only one thing that Americans can agree on politically right now: 85 percent say that the country is more deeply divided on major issues than it has been in the last several years, according to a recent CNN/ORC national poll. That number remains the same regardless of party affiliation ― 84 percent of Democrats, 86 percent of independents and 85 percent of Republicans say divisiveness is higher now than in recent years. That number is backed up by answers to basically every other question on the survey that show a wide gulf between Democrats’ and Republicans’ views. For example, 66 percent of Democrats say things are going “fairly well” or “very well” in the country, while 68 percent of Republicans say things are going “pretty badly” or “very badly.” A recent national poll from Quinnipiac shows that the divide extends to economic concerns: 64 percent of Democrats say the state of the nation’s economy is excellent or very good, while 87 percent of Republicans say it’s not so good or poor. [CNN on state of the country, CNN on divisiveness, Quinnipiac]  

MOST EXPECT TRUMP TO WORK WITH DEMOCRATS – Frank Newport: “Although Republican President-elect Donald Trump will take office with his party in firm control of Congress, a majority of Americans (58%) are optimistic that he will make a sincere effort to work with Democrats to find solutions to the nation’s problems. The same majority also believe that Democrats in Congress will sincerely try to work with Trump. Americans are less sure (49%) that Republicans in Congress will reach across the aisle. These results, from Gallup’s Nov. 9-13 post-election survey, are updates to similar questions Gallup asked after the 2008 and 2012 elections. Americans were significantly more hopeful in 2008 about the possibilities of newly elected President Barack Obama than they are now about Trump. Eight in 10 Americans at the time expected Obama would cooperate with the opposing party in Congress….Although the political circumstances were different four years ago than they are now, just like today, Americans then gave more credit to the Democrats than to the Republicans in Congress for willingness to cooperate with the other party.” [Gallup]

OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATING REMAINS HIGH – Quinnipiac University: “American voters approve 50 – 43 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his highest score since a 53 – 40 percent approval rating December 6, 2012, right after he won reelection, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. President Obama has been a ‘great’ president, 22 percent of voters say, while 33 percent say he has been a ‘good’ president, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. Another 23 percent say ‘not so good’ and 22 percent say he has been a ‘bad’ president. Obama’s policies have helped the nation’s economy, 44 percent of voters say, as 38 percent say his policies have hurt the economy and 16 percent say his policies haven’t made a difference. But only 21 percent of voters say Obama’s policies have helped their personal financial situation, as 33 percent say these policies have hurt them personally and 44 percent say they’ve made no difference.” [Quinnipiac]

HuffPost Pollster gives Obama an average approval rating of nearly 54 percent, with 43 percent disapproving, his best numbers since his first year in office, 2009. Recent surveys, including Gallup’s, have shown his approval stretching as high as 57 percent. [Pollster chart]

WE MIGHT NEED TO LOOK BEYOND POLLS TO PREDICT ELECTION OUTCOMES – Kristen Soltis Anderson and Patrick Ruffini:Despite America’s surprise at Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, not all polls failed in 2016…. But polls were off in enough other states by large enough magnitudes to mislead forecasters about which states were in play and which way the electoral college would go…. Indeed, there were signs this year that the Democrats’ electoral map was more fragile than the polls made it appear to be. While the polls gave conflicting signals about the state of play in the upper Midwest… Demographic modeling by the likes of David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report provided a more accurate view, showing the Rust Belt poised to move solidly toward Trump…. We can learn from the digital world, too…. Throughout the election, we tracked conversations among thousands of partisans on Twitter to gauge which side seemed more interested and enthusiastic at any given moment. The data in the last few weeks was revealing: The volume of liberal attacks on Trump began to decline around the time of the final debate, while conservatives continued to ratchet up the pressure on Clinton heading into Election Day…. The growing availability of data, from digital and traditional sources, and the ability to analyze it mean we now have more than just polls to understand the electorate.” [WashPost]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! – You can receive this morning update twice a week via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click “sign up.” That’s all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

TUESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ – Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data: 

-Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a surefire winning coalition on their side. [HuffPost]

-Danielle Kurtzleben knocks down the Trump team’s claims of voter fraud. [NPR]

-Christie Aschwanden delves into the psyche of Internet commenters. [538]

-Aaron Blake notes that Donald Trump’s mandate to govern is small given his popular vote loss. [WashPost]  

-Americans think belief in Santa Claus is declining. [Ipsos]

— 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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Love Actually: Don’t Fast Forward To The Happy Ending

One of the many characters in Love Actually is a widower named Daniel (Liam Neeson.) While delivering his wife Joanne’s eulogy, he gives us a hint at her sense of humor:

“Jo and I had uh, a lot of time to prepare for this moment. Some of her, uh, requests – for instance, that I should bring Claudia Schiffer as my date to the funeral – I was confident she expected me to ignore.”

In a scene shortly following the funeral, Daniel cries in front of his married friend Karen (Emma Thompson.) Karen responds be telling him:

“Get a grip, people hate sissies. No-one’s ever gonna shag you if you cry all the time.”

In the movie, that bit of dialogue is not meant to paint Karen as being a bad friend. Rather, this is how the movie actually sees the world: Only wimps have emotions, real men don’t cry, and it’s a widower’s JOB to get laid.

And sure enough, by the end of the movie, the widower is successfully flirting with (and beginning a relationship with) Carol, a women who happens to look a lot like Claudia Schiffer (perhaps because she’s being played by Claudia Schiffer.) The timeline between the widower burying his wife and hitting it off with a supermodel? Five weeks.

Five weeks. That’s the timeline movies like Love Actually have for grief. After that, it’s time to give the audience what they really want, namely the excitement of seeing a “boy meets girl” moment. Joanne, who is never even seen alive during the movie, was only written into existence to set up a surprise romance. It’s suggested that Joanne suffered through a long illness, but her real cause of death was narrative efficiency.

There is a shocking amount of pressure placed on real-life widows and widowers to “get back out there.” People will actually start talking to the bereaved about dating as early as the funeral. Love Actually, The Holiday, and other movies that use an off-screen dead spouse to help set up an eventual “meet cute” romantic-comedy moment are only contributing to the problem.

People’s lives do not follow narrative arcs. When you or somebody you know faces a personal loss, respect that loss for what it is. Let it be a self-contained terrible moment in time, not a mere set up for something wonderful that you want to believe is just around the corner. Don’t try to fast forward to the happy ending.

— 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

This Doctor Gave Up His Shot At A Cushy Career To Cure A Little Known-Disease

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

His name was Tendayi. He had watched five of his nine children die. Yet when he was diagnosed with a serious disease, he steadfastly held onto his will to live ― until he just couldn’t anymore.  

Tendayi died about a decade ago, but his picture still sits on Dr. Wilfried Mutombo’s desk in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It reminds him daily that a terrifying ― yet treatable ― disease is still killing far too many people.

Mutombo, 45, could have chosen a path that promised competitive compensation and days full of seeing patients with common ailments. Instead, he decided to focus on finding a cure for the mystifying illness that killed Tendayi and thousands of other people living in rural areas. 

Tendayi succumbed to African trypanosomiasis, known as African sleeping sickness. It occurs primarily in the DRC, and is far more alarming than its name would suggest

The parasitic disease is transmitted by the tsetse fly and attacks the central nervous system. It can cause people to sleep all day and stay up through the night. The illness can also lead to severe hallucinations ― some patients have been known to chase neighbors with machetes and scream in response to the slightest touch. And it can be deadly when not treated properly. 

The disease mostly affects people living in rural areas, and those who spend their time on agriculture, fishing or hunting are most at risk. The DRC accounted for 85 percent of the African sleeping sickness cases reported in 2014.

The number of recorded cases hit a seemingly manageable number last year ― fewer than 3,000, according to the World Health Organization ― and the treatments available today are far superior to what Tendayi was given. But Mutombo remains only cautiously optimistic. 

Because the illness affects such a small and isolated population, there isn’t that much interest globally ― or even within the DRC ― in addressing it. 

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

It’s not every day that you can help eliminate a deadly disease.

Today, you can.

Mutombo, who studied medicine at the University of Bujimayi in the DRC, said about one page in his infectious diseases textbook was devoted to sleeping sickness. 

After graduating in 2004, many of Mutombo’s peers migrated to big cities in South Africa to make a reasonable income. Mutombo chose a different route. He took a job at Kasansa Hospital in the DRC’s Kasai Oriental Province, earning about $ 200 a month in a remote area with limited resources.

Mutombo was the sole medical doctor, and there were three nurses on staff.

The fresh-faced physician functioned as the hospital’s pediatrician, gynecologist and infectious disease specialist ― essentially, he took on every case that came his way. 

It was during his time at the hospital that Mutombo was first exposed to the prevalence of sleeping sickness cases in the region, and the frustration that comes with trying to effectively treat these patients. Mutombo estimates that he has treated about 500 cases of the disease, 

The work, especially with its low pay, was a “sacrifice,” the father of three told The Huffington Post.

Until 2009, a medication called melarsoprol ― which a Swedish pathologist developed in 1949 ― was the only feasible treatment for a patient with stage-two sleeping sickness. About 1 in 20 people die after taking the arsenic-based treatment, and it causes such severe pain that it has been dubbed “fire in the veins.” It wasn’t all that effective, either: About 40 percent of people relapsed, according to Mutombo.

“It’s terrible,” Mutombo said of watching his patients take the medication and endure agony and fear. 

Tendayi was one such patient. 

He was 39 years old in July 2005, when he was diagnosed with stage-two sleeping sickness ― meaning the parasite had already infected his central nervous system. Patients at this stage can experience severe issues including personality changes, sleep disturbances and partial paralysis. 

Tendayi was treated with melarsoprol for 20 days. He relapsed six months later and returned for another round of treatment. When Tendayi relapsed again in 2007, he was “disappointed,” Mutombo said.

That’s when he stopped coming in for treatment. When left untreated, sleeping sickness will eventually lead to coma and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It was complicated,” Mutombo said of the case. “All these years later I have his name in my mind. I still look at his picture.”

Because stage-one symptoms such as headache and fever are associated with a number of other conditions, many patients don’t seek treatment until they’ve reached stage two, Mutombo said. People often assume they have malaria and spend months getting treatment for that.

It’s when patients start sleeping all day and staying up all night, when they can’t stop smiling or feel overwhelmingly angry, when they can’t eat and start losing weight ― that’s when they’ll realize they likely have sleeping sickness, Mutombo said. But by that point, they’ve already reached stage two.

Mutombo felt helpless after another patient who had been treated with melarsoprol died. He thought he wouldn’t be able to find help in improving the course of treatment. 

That changed more quickly than Mutombo could ever have expected.

In 2006, he learned that the nonprofit Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) was looking for researchers to conduct clinical trials and explore alternative treatments for sleeping sickness. Mutombo pounced on the opportunity. (HuffPost is currently raising money to support DNDi’s efforts to identify new drugs that are easy to administer.) 

DNDi, which develops drugs and treatments for overlooked illnesses, hired Mutombo as a local investigator.

For the next three years, Mutombo immersed himself in research. He spent six months doing a clinical internship with Sanofis-Aventis, a France-based pharmaceutical company. He also spent half a year working in Geneva completing a fellowship with the World Health Organization. 

Along with Doctors Without Borders and other partners, DNDi made a breakthrough in 2009: A treatment called nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy (NECT), which had a cure rate of more than 96 percent, was approved for people with stage-two sleeping sickness. Unlike another viable treatment that has been used in recent years, patients only need to receive 14 infusions over a period of a week together with a 10-day pill regimen. 

It was a great step forward in treating the sleeping sickness, but its application came with a few challenges.

Patients have to undergo a spinal tap to determine where they are on the disease spectrum and how much medicine they need, and hospitals need staff members who are well-versed in administering the treatments. Clean needles aren’t easy to come by. The equipment is bulky and difficult to transport.

Patients also have to stay at a hospital for the duration of the treatment. For people living in rural areas, especially now that the country is on the brink of a civil war, it can take hours or even days to get to a clinic ― if they can get there at all.

That’s why Mutombo and other researchers involved with DNDi are eager to keep working toward developing an oral pill to eliminate most of the challenges NECT presents.

It typically costs $ 3 billion to develop a new drug. But through its partnership networks, DNDi has found resourceful ways to cut costs. For example, while developing a new oral pill, DNDi made a deal with pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis. DNDi would take care of the clinical trials and the pharmaceutical company would file for regulatory approval. 

DNDi expects to spend $ 45 million to develop an oral pill called fexinidazole and $ 50 million on another called SCYX-7158. The group will complete the clinical trials for fexinidazole this year. 

Even though the number of sleeping sickness cases hit a record low in 2015, Mutombo stressed the importance of aggressively addressing the issue now. 

“When you look at the trend now, you have the impression that [sleeping sickness] is decreasing,” he said. “If we stop now, I think in five years, we’ll have many, many cases. We need better drugs. Drugs that are effective and easy to use.”

This series is supported, in part, by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All content 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.

— 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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This Is What Democratic Rollback Looks Like

During the raft of protests following Donald Trump’s election victory, one of the frequent chants was “this is what democracy looks like.” Protesters chanting that were correct to remind us of the centrality of freedom of speech and assembly to any meaningful notion of democracy. Unfortunately, almost two months before Donald Trump will be sworn in as president we are beginning to see what democratic rollback looks like as well. A lot has been written about what might happen to democracy during a Trump administration, but we should not let that overshadow what is already happening to our democracy.

Donald Trump has not been President-elect for a month yet, and he is already making good on his campaign pledge to limit free speech. Thus far he has demanded an apology from actors who spoke with respect, and concern, to Vice President-elect Mike Pence from the stage, has suggested that Americans in a public setting do not have the right to boo a politician, has called a meeting with the press to castigate them for their coverage, and sent streams of nasty Tweets to the New York Times. These are not the actions of a President who respects freedom of speech and understands that critical stories are just some of the punches with which any President in a democratic system must roll. We have also seen the elevation of Breitbart Media head, and noted bigot, Steve Bannon to a senior position in the White House and it is widely expected that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also owns the the Observer, will be one of President Trump’s most influential advisors. Breitbart and the Observer have been largely uncritical of the President-elect in recent weeks suggesting that they may emerging as government media organs, another sign that the institution of free media is imperiled.

Republican control of both houses of congress means that President Trump will likely encounter little trouble passing any conservative legislation. That is not a failure of our institutions; that is how the institutions are supposed to work. There is, however, reason to be concerned about the legislature remaining an effective check on presidential power. The breadth of Trump’s conflicts of interests that has become evident since his election, including his evident desire to use the office to promote Trump business ventures in various parts of the world, is extraordinary. This is something into which a functioning legislature, particularly one that is interested in working with Trump to pursue shared partisan interest, should look. The silence from Republicans in Congress on this issue demonstrates that Congress is no longer capable of, or interested in, acting as a check on executive power in this way. They are either too afraid of what President Trump might do to them or believe that their efforts would be dodged by the President-elect. The result is that these obvious conflicts of interests will go unexamined and one more check on the executive will fade away.

Since the election, many state and local leaders have indicated they will resist attempts by the Trump administration to mistreat immigrants or limit civil liberties. Almost all of America’s biggest cities, as well as several of its most populous states, are run by Democrats. Democrats like Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, as well as progressive mayors like New York City’s Bill de Blasio will be the first line of defense for many immigrants and others who feel threatened by the ugly bigoted tone of the administration.

Given this, we can expect Trump to begin to weaken the power of cities and states. This is ironic, given that for many years the GOP claimed to believe in states rights, but things are different now. In some respects this has already begun. For example, because Donald Trump’s wife and youngest son will continue to live in New York, while he may continue to use Trump Tower as a kind of auxiliary office, the City of New York will need to spend an estimated $ 1,000,000 per day on security. While the President’s family needs to be safe, this amounts to an unfunded mandate of nearly $ 400 million a year that New York’s progressive mayor, and outspoken Trump opponent, Bill de Blasio could have used to help more New Yorkers. Trump, therefore, is using Trump Tower as a way to weaken a locally elected political opponent. We can expect more gambits like this from the President in the coming months and years. Additionally, the security around Trump Tower has created traffic problems for blocks around the building. It is apparent that the security is there not just to keep him safe, but to keep us quiet.

It is possible that the institutions will rebound, the worst of Trumpism will be reined in and Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020 will minimize the damage of a Trump presidency, but the early signs suggest that is not likely to happen. The institutions, after decades of slow erosion may finally be collapsing entirely. It is still too early to know definitively, but the early signs cannot be ignored.

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It’s a common childhood ailment, but adults can get it, too
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8 Habits of Considerate People

2016-11-03-1478213220-62217-8HabitsofConsideratePeopleHP.jpg

Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.” It’s true. Being kind and considerate softens people and makes them malleable to your way of thinking.

But I see another meaning there, too. I think he’s also saying that being considerate of others is an integral part of what it means to be human. Charles Darwin would have agreed. He argued that our instinct to be considerate is even stronger than our instinct to be self-serving.

As obvious as that may seem, it’s only recently that neuroscience has been able to explain why. Research conducted by Dacher Keltner at Berkeley showed that our brains react exactly the same when we see other people in pain as when we experience pain ourselves. Watching someone else experience pain also activates the structure deep inside the brain that’s responsible for nurturing behavior, called the periaqueductal gray.

Being considerate of others is certainly a good career move, but it’s also good for your health. When you show consideration for others, the brain’s reward center is triggered, which elevates the feel-good chemicals dopamine, oxytocin, and endogenous opioids. This gives you a great feeling, which is similar to what’s known as “runner’s high,” and all that oxytocin is good for your heart.

“Being considerate of others will take you further in life than any college or professional degree.” – Marian Wright Edelman

That’s all well and good, but how practical is it? How do you become more considerate when you have so many other things competing for your finite mental energy? It’s not that hard–all you have to do is emulate the habits of highly considerate people.

1. Show up on time. Sure, sometimes things happen, but always showing up late sends a very clear message that you think your time is more important than everyone else’s, and that’s just rude. Even if you really do think that your time is more important, you don’t have to broadcast that belief to the world. Instead, be considerate and show up when you said you would.

2. Be deliberately empathic. It’s one thing to feel empathy for other people, but putting that feeling into action is another matter entirely. It’s great to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes–in fact, it’s essential–but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being considerate. To be deliberately empathic, you have to let your ability to walk in their shoes change what you do, whether that’s changing your behavior to accommodate their feelings or providing tangible help in a tough situation. This requires emotional intelligence.

3. Apologize when you need to (and don’t when you don’t).
We all know people who are so insecure or so afraid of offending someone that they practically apologize for breathing. In such situations, apologizing loses its meaning. But it’s a different matter entirely when a sincere apology is really necessary. When you’ve made a mistake, or even think you’ve made a mistake, apologizing is a crucial part of being considerate.

4. Smile a lot. Physically, it’s easier to frown than to smile–smiling involves 42 different muscles; however, it pays to make the extra effort, as smiling has a huge effect on other people. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. When you smile at people, they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

5. Mind your manners. A lot of people have come to believe that not only are manners unnecessary, they’re undesirable because they’re fake. These people think that being polite means you’re acting in a way that doesn’t reflect how you actually feel, but they’ve got it backwards. “Minding your manners” is all about focusing on how the other person feels, not on how you feel. It’s consciously acting in a way that puts other people at ease and makes them feel comfortable.

6. Be emotionally intelligent. One of the huge fallacies our culture has embraced is that feeling something is the same as acting on that feeling, and that’s just wrong, because there’s this little thing called self-control. Whether it’s helping out a co-worker when you’re in a crunch to meet your own deadline or continuing to be pleasant with someone who is failing to return the favor, being considerate often means not acting on what you feel.

7. Try to find a way for everybody to win. Many people approach life as a zero-sum game. They think that somebody has to win and somebody else has to lose. Considerate people, on the other hand, try to find a way for everybody to win. That’s not always possible, but it’s their goal. If you want to be more considerate, stop thinking of every interaction with others as a win/lose scenario.

8. Act on your intuition when it comes to other people’s needs.
Sometimes you can just tell when someone is upset or having a bad day. In such cases, being considerate means checking in with them to see if your intuition is correct. If your intuition is telling you to reach out–do it; they’ll appreciate your concern.

Bringing It All Together

Being considerate is good for your mental and physical health, your career, and everyone around you. On top of that, it just feels good.

What are some other ways to show consideration for others? 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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When FOMO Causes You To Move In Slo-Mo

Huffington Post is proud to partner with American Sleep Association (ASA) to promote sleep awareness.

Tips for Promoting Healthy Sleep in Teenagers

FOMO, also known as Fear Of Missing Out, is the concept of constant connection to social media and fear of social events happening and you not being present. According to Urban Dictionary, it is a “compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.” FOMO is one of many factors that can negatively impact your teenager’s sleep.


So, what does healthy sleep look like?

If your teenager has healthy sleep habits, he or she should be able to fall asleep within 30 minutes of lying down, should not wake up more than once throughout the night, and should be able to go back to sleep quickly. Your teenager should wake up feeling refreshed, and any grogginess should dissipate quickly. Younger teenagers or “tweens” (ages 12-13) should get 9-11 hours of sleep per night; teenagers (ages 14-17), 8-10 hours of sleep; and young adults (ages 18-25), 7-9 hours of sleep. Teenagers should not feel sleepy during the day. If your teen appears to have healthy sleep and seems well-rested, no sleep routine changes need to be made.

What do your genes have to do with sleep?

Wake up time is genetic, meaning people are either predisposed to wake up early and be ready for bed early (“genetic larks”) or to wake up later and be tired later (“genetic owls”). Fighting against this can have limited effectiveness. Matching a teenager’s bedtime with his or her natural circadian rhythm is a good place to start. However, bedtime should be fairly consistent, within 2 hours of weekdays on weekends, to avoid sleep phase shift disorder (jet lag syndrome).
Does your teenager always seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

If so, it could be attributed to when during the sleep cycle your teenager awakens. Teenagers who wake up in stage 3 or 4 (deep) sleep tend to be cranky, while teens who wake up during stage 1 or 2 (light) sleep tend to start their day in a better mood. Letting them sleep an additional 15 minutes in the morning can improve their affect since it may only take a few minutes to progress to the next sleep stage.


Tips to Help Your Teenager Sleep:

What you do matters: In general, the bed should only be used for 2 activities: sleep and for older teens, sex. Teenagers should try to avoid activities in bed such as reading, homework, texting, and talking on the phone, which can confuse and prevent the brain from winding down when it’s time to use the bed for sleeping.
“5 More Minutes”: Avoid using the snooze button, which can make it harder in the long run to get up for the day.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: Caffeine consumption should be limited after 3 PM. Recent research shows that even small amounts of caffeine early in the day can affect your ability to sleep. Elimination of caffeine all together may be necessary.
Set the mood: Relaxing activities can provide stress and arousal reduction. Your teen can try taking a hot bath, drinking soothing beverages such as chamomile, meditation, massage, and deep breathing before bed.
Set the environment: Reducing noise, maintaining a cool, comfortable temperature, dimming the lights, and using pleasant scents such as lavender and chamomile provide an optimal environment for sleeping. Teens will sleep better wearing light clothes with a heavier blanket than they will in warmer clothing.
Timing is everything: Exercise has been shown to improve sleep but not right before bedtime. Exercise should be encouraged earlier in the day on a regular basis. Teens should try to avoid working out in their bedrooms before bed.

Why do electronics affect sleep and what can be done about it?

Blue light (610-670 THz) is emitted from electronic screens such as television and smartphones. This interferes with the body’s preparation for sleep by reducing melatonin (an important hormone that helps you sleep).
Using software such as f.lux (https://justgetflux.com) and turning smartphones to night mode can reduce the amount of blue light your phone or computer screen emits as the day goes on. Dimming or reducing overhead lights, turning off electronic displays 1-2 hours before bed, or using candlelight are “smart” alternatives.
Engaging TV programs, addictive video games, and intense music should be moved to earlier in the day. Violent content before bed should also be discouraged.
Smartphones should be moved out of reach to avoid the temptation to check social media and text messages. Simply putting the phone outside of one’s view can eliminate the temptation to check it, especially overnight.

Tell Them “It’s Not Forever!”

Because teenagers may not want to make any or all of these changes permanently, negotiating with your teen to test these suggestions out for a week might encourage buy-in. If the changes make a significant improvement in quality of sleep, your teen may be more likely to continue them on their own.

Authors: Cheryl Tierney, MD, MPH, Taylor Aves, Alexandra Lazzara, Megan Veglia

Cheryl Tierney, MD, MPH is a Board-Certified behavior and developmental pediatrician who has been in practice since 2002. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York and completed medical school at Tufts University in Boston. Her pediatric residency was at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She completed Fellowships in Health Services Research, where she received her MPH at Harvard School of Public Health as well as Behavior and Developmental Pediatrics in 2002.
President, ABA in PA INITIATIVE
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Section Chief, Developmental Pediatrics, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital

The primary mission of American Sleep Association (ASA) is to improve public health by increasing awareness about the importance of sleep and the dangers of sleep disorders. ASA was founded in 2002 by sleep professionals as a member-driven public awareness effort. The article was originally posted at When FOMO Causes You To Move In Slo-Mo

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Afghanistan Is All Ready To Be Donald Trump’s First Foreign Policy Disaster

Afghanistan is failing. 

Fifteen years after the United States first scattered the Taliban with high-altitude bombing, the battlefield gains achieved by tens of thousands of U.S. troops are in jeopardy from a resurgent Taliban. 

The United States has spent $ 115 billion on this longest war in its history. The conflict has taken the lives of 1,865 Americans and wounded 20,224 (as of Nov. 16), many with life-shattering injuries. Yet the main goals set forth by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama haven’t been achieved: Afghanistan does not have a stable, working democracy and terrorists still find a safe haven there.

Even stalwart defenders of the U.S. intervention, such as Vice President Joe Biden, now seem deeply concerned.

But few people in the U.S. are paying attention.

The 15th anniversary of the start of the war passed last month almost without notice. The stark choices facing President-elect Donald Trump ― more troops? more money? withdrawal? ― received no attention in the presidential campaign, an ill omen for the months ahead when careful and considered action will be needed.

And time is short.

Major cities across Afghanistan are under siege by the Taliban and other Islamic extremist militias, which are steadily taking more territory.

In their path, the U.S. has some 7,000 U.S. troops training and advising Afghan forces, and another 6,000 mostly special forces members engaged in counter-terrorism operations.  Last week, two soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division ― Sgt. John W. Perry, 30, of Stockton, California, and Pfc. Tyler Iubelt, 20, of Tamaroa, Illinois ― were killed by a suicide bomber at Bagram, the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan. Two American contractors, not identified by the Defense Department, died as well, and 17 people were wounded.

Also at risk are tens of thousands of Afghans, especially women and children, who have relied on the U.S. commitment to help safeguard what progress they have made in self-government, human rights and education. In growing violence, 30 people were killed Monday and more than 70 injured in a bomb blast at a Kabul mosque. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Little is known about Trump’s views on Afghanistan, although he has suggested that building schools there is a waste of money. In his most detailed comments, he declared in 2012 that the U.S. intervention is “a total and complete disaster.”

It likely will be months before the Trump White House can shift from such criticism toward a coherent strategy for Afghanistan.

The Afghan military and police have been unable to reverse the insurgents’ gains, despite the $ 68 billion spent by the U.S. trying to build up the country’s security forces. The Afghan army loses a third of its soldiers every year between battle casualties, desertions and those who decline to re-enlist. Officials reportedly pocket the pay of legions of non-existent “ghost soldiers.”

The Taliban “continue to expand their influence,” the Pentagon acknowledged this fall. U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the senior commander in Afghanistan, told reporters in July that the overstretched Afghan army has basically conceded parts of the country to the Taliban.

The most recent data provided by the Pentagon to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction show that among the country’s 407 districts, the number controlled by the government slipped from 267 in May to 258 in August. The Taliban controls only eight districts and influences another 25, according to the Pentagon data. But a new independent analysis found worse news: The Taliban actually controls or influences 97 districts, up from 70 a year ago.

It is from these districts that insurgents have been able to launch serious and continuing assaults on five provincial capitals: Kunduz in the north, Maimana in the northwest, Tarin Kowt in the southeast, Farah city in the west and Lashkar Gah in the south.

The northeast city of Gormach, a vital post on the strategic Ring Road that links a number of major cities, was overrun this fall. Kunduz, where U.S. and allied troops spent years training security forces and helping stabilize the local economy and government, has been overrun twice. This fall, hasty reinforcements of Afghan special forces in Kunduz and Lashkar Gah, aided by U.S. airstrikes and U.S. special forces, narrowly beat back determined Taliban attacks. Rebel forces remain on the outskirts of those cities and sporadic fighting continues.

And in the western city of Mazar e-Sharif, site of a major German and U.S. military base, the German consulate was hurriedly evacuated last week after Taliban fighters attacked with a massive truck bomb, killing four Afghans and wounding 128. 

It’s pretty grim.
Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan analyst for Human Rights Watch

Local corruption, ethnic squabbling and inept officials have eroded the population’s faith in their government and effectively provided the Taliban with safe bases from which to continue their attacks, according to an analysis by two U.S. Army officers who served in Kunduz.

The latest Taliban gains, even if temporary, have further shaken the people’s trust. Forty-two percent of Afghans say security is worse than it was under Taliban rule in the 1990s, according to the latest United Nations report. The number of refugees fleeing to Europe has increased 83 percent this year.

As the war grinds on, violence has intensified to horrifying levels and civilians are increasingly the victims. The new Afghan air force alone is responsible for a 72 percent increase in civilian casualties since 2015, the U.N. said. Suicide bomb blasts in July, also the work of Islamic State terrorists, killed 85 peaceful demonstrators and injured 413, in what the U.N. called the single most deadly incident in the country since 2001. And the number of dead and injured children has risen 15 percent this year, as the Taliban has attacked schools and health clinics.

“For God sake, don’t kill innocent Afghans,” an elderly widow from Kunduz, Bibi Gul, told the Pajhwok Afghan News. She had lost her 35-year-old son in the fighting. Stop the war, she begged, “or kill us all together to end our plight forever.”

People are scared, said Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan analyst for Human Rights Watch. “There are gains [by the Taliban], and now the attitude is, ‘We have to push them back regardless of the cost.’”

“It’s pretty grim,” she added. Gossman has been visiting and studying Afghanistan since the early 1990s.

Against these daunting problems, the national government’s awkward political power-sharing arrangement, brokered by the U.S. in 2014, has devolved into squabbling. In August, one chief executive declared the other “unfit” to lead the country. Systemic corruption continues to undermine attempts at reform, and opium production is skyrocketing.

“I regret there’s still real problems in Afghanistan,” Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Oct. 16. But with U.S. forces currently engaged in Iraq and Syria, he added, “there has to be a sense of humility about what is able to be done at the time.”

Yet some military and foreign policy experts argue that the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, with its goal of a stable nation free of extremists, is not a lost cause yet. A “surge” of U.S. troop reinforcements would certainly help, some argue, and even at current levels, U.S. military advisers in Afghanistan could be given more leeway to engage directly in combat. For many who have served there, the bottom line is this: The United States cannot abandon those Afghans who were promised that the U.S. would stand by them.

Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013, is one who argues that Afghanistan is not “ready to go over the edge,” even though it might appear so from a distance. “I know from personal experience that Afghanistan always looks better close up,” he told The Huffington Post.

Allen cited the increase in life expectancy for Afghans, from 53 years in 1996 to 60.5 years today, as one hopeful sign that foreign investment in Afghanistan’s schools and health clinics is having an effect.

The retired general said the Obama administration’s decision to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan ― and to announce the timetable for the withdrawals ― damaged the American effort there. “That’s been hard to overcome,” he said. “Our words say we are committed; our actions do not.”

“But that’s water under the bridge,” Allen added.

Can Afghanistan’s slide toward failure be arrested?

John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, is in essence a congressionally mandated gumshoe looking over U.S. efforts. In an October report to lawmakers, he wrote that “systemic corruption, aggravated by floods of aid money, undermined the U.S. mission in Afghanistan from the outset and, unless effectively checked, will continue to undermine progress and could ultimately result in mission failure.”

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” he told HuffPost from Afghanistan, adding that he is “impressed at the hard work being done by Afghans in civil society, media and top leadership.”

“But much more remains to be done,” Sopko said.

The new administration should give the nation’s top Afghanistan experts 90 days, Allen suggested, to come up with a plan to bolster that nation’s security, economy and government performance. (He talked to The Huffington Post several days before the election and was not speaking specifically of Trump.)

Perhaps the one clearly wrong decision would be for Trump to put Afghanistan on the backburner. “Our hard-won successes are in the balance,” Sopko said.

And the Taliban advance.

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Snowboarders and skiers should always use properly maintained equipment and be fully rested
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Jim Selman reads a thought provoking letter he wrote to a dear friend

Jim Selman reads a thought provoking letter he wrote to a dear friend

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The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival Is Best When It Talks About Grief

There’s a moment in the opening chapter of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” after the first “la las” and Gwyneth Paltrow dig, when the long-awaited Netflix revival finally takes a second to breathe. Fueled by a late-night batch of coffee, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) convene in their rarely used kitchen to do the thing they do better than anyone else on television: talk.

“I’m just stressed out and kind of feeling my mortality lately,” Lorelai says after confessing that she willingly flipped through a brochure for an all-expenses-paid cruise, much to the women’s shared horror.

The line is especially significant given that the series, much like its caffeine-infused hero, is also contending with its mortality. Nine years after it was cancelled by the CW on the heels of a rudderless final season, “Gilmore Girls” has become the latest in a long line of early 2000s series to get the revival treatment. But instead of abandoning what made the show so beloved, “A Year in the Life,” at its best, honors the essential themes of the series (family, fighting and Al’s Pancake World, duh) by taking the Gilmore women on a yearlong journey of grief and self-discovery. 

Besides the steady stream of “Tuck Everlasting” water under Stars Hollow that’s apparently keeping everybody ageless, the undercurrent of the revival series is the death of actor Edward Hermann, who embodied Gilmore family patriarch Richard. His absence strikes Lorelai, Rory and his wife of 50 years, Emily (Kelly Bishop), who also shared a deep bond with Hermann off-set, in both devastating and humorous ways.

Each woman is facing a crossroads in life. Lorelai, now in a full-fledged relationship with Luke (Scott Patterson), is questioning her happily ever after. A sizable inheritance for an expansion of Luke’s Diner is revealed to be Richard’s parting gift to his daughter’s presumed husband, although Emily is happy to remind everybody that they haven’t gotten married yet. Emily is unleashed as a widow in mourning, wearing jeans, Marie Kondo-ing her Connecticut mansion and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy without her other half. She’s made vulnerable by blow of losing a lifelong partner, but still retains the ability to verbally decimate anyone who dares cross her.

“You never do anything unless it’s what you want to do,” Emily seethes at Lorelai in a bitter showdown after she bungles a eulogy at Richard’s wake. “You never have. You blow through life like a natural disaster, knocking down everything and everyone in your path.”

Rory, too, has been affected, but we feel her mourning most acutely in the challenges in her career. See, the great Rory Gilmore is having trouble living up to her potential, bouncing from one freelance journalism gig to another before eventually moving home. We can only imagine that one of the driving forces behind her soul searching is her grandfather’s well-documented expectations of her success. In fact, it’s in his study that she finally discovers her true calling, writing a novel about her family titled Gilmore Girls.

Midway through the first installment we learn that Richard died suddenly due to a massive heart attack. His last words were, “Get the hell away from me,” Lorelai recounts in a therapy session (yes, we get Lorelai and Emily therapy, everybody), leaving his family with little closure and a lot of unresolved anger.

For all the talk of the perpetually chippy “Gilmore” universe, the revival isn’t afraid to go to the dark side, refusing to shy away from the the division and ugliness that can arise after a loved one dies. We witness each of the Gilmore women in a moment of desperation ― Emily’s is wearing jeans, obviously ― but as winter, spring, summer and fall pass, each finds a moment of clarity amid her grief, making them that much more human in the process. 

Graham and Bishop have always done the series’ heavy lifting, but their scenes together in “A Year in the Life” should make dual nominations for the actresses a given come awards season. Without the buffer that’s kept them from tackling a stable of mother-daughter issues, their relationship becomes the prism through which the series most successfully tackles the grieving process. In the closing chapter, “Fall,” an empowered Lorelai is finally able to deliver the eulogy she meant to at the start of the series after coming to a revelation on a “Wild”-inspired adventure.

Her monologue about the “best birthday ever” with her father is too long and heartbreaking to include here, but let’s just say it involves Richard Gilmore, a mall pretzel and the movie “Grease.” In perhaps the most rewarding moment of the four chapters, Graham successfully communicates the complicated but fierce love she had for him while on the phone with a mother that was never truly able to understand her. 

“I got up enough courage to look up at him,” Lorelai tells Emily with tears streaming down her face. “And he was standing there with a pretzel. A giant pretzel, covered with mustard. And he handed it to me and he said, ‘Let’s go.’ And he took me to the movies.”

Big deaths on television are commonplace these days, as the stakes have been considerably raised since “Gilmore Girls” went off the air. What distinguished the series, even back when it was airing before “One Tree Hill,” however, is that it has never been particularly plot-heavy. Series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino doled out big life moments with a glorious stinginess in the original run, making sure the audience recognized the importance of each one.

We sobbed along at Rory’s Chilton graduation because the series had earned our tears and now we mourn Richard and Hermann’s death because the revival treats it with the gravity it deserves. Instead of limiting grief to some easily digestible three-episode arc, “Gilmore Girls” prefers to look death straight in the eye, much like the series “Six Feet Under” (shoutout to newly minted park ranger Peter Krause), by authentically exploring what these women have lost over the course of a year and how it has shaped them.

And as for those final four words, with death comes life. So as Lorelai Gilmore would say: “Full freakin’ circle.” 

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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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Why You Cannot Wash Your Hands Of The Sexism

As a feminist and a progressive liberal, I have watched this election with a kind of horror. I have been frightened by the sexism, homophobia, and racism I have seen coming from both the right, and sadly but more subtly, the left. (Sorry, my left-leaning friends, but yes, it takes a lot of unacknowledged privilege to argue that you know better who to represent women, the LGBTQIA, and African Americans than members of those groups do).

And so, as one of those dreaded SJWs, I have spent a lot of time this last year talking about misogyny, patriarchy, and sexism to those on both sides.

Some people think, when I say that misogyny is the reason too much of the country hates Hillary, that I am talking about personal sexism: prejudice at the level of the individual. There is, of course, some of that — too much of that — but what I really mean is that the image that those people have of her isn’t real. It’s a construct of layer over layer of misogyny. And it started a long time ago.

Back in the early 90’s, while some of us were thrilled to meet Bill’s bride and find her to be a compassionate but savvy professional woman, another part of the country loathed her for no other reason than that she didn’t match their sexist image of the demure woman who exists only to prop up her husband’s political career.

That made her an easier target; it made her “unnatural.” And like so many women in history, that “sin” made all other sins more believable: because a woman not willing to accept her place is capable of any heinous thing you can imagine. This was made worse by the fact that tales of the duplicity of women are as deeply embedded in our cultural narratives as Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. These two things allowed people to be suspicious of her, and anything they heard became plausible justification for those suspicions. It didn’t matter that there was no evidence to back up the accusations made against her–not even at the end of years of fruitless investigation after investigation of her by her enemies. As long as the those accusations were constructed to play to the deeply entrenched and misogynistic ideas we still harbor about women, they would be believed.

Had any of those supposed sins been committed by a man, there would have been a chorus of voices pushing back: “You have to look at it in context.” “We should wait til we see all the evidence before judging.” Hillary, as a woman, had no old boys club choir to rely on. Women who stood up to protest the way she was talked about and treated were dismissed based on many of those same beliefs: women are irrational and given to emotional overstatement. Everybody knows that. And without that pushback — from anyone who mattered — every new accusation just built up over all the ones before it.

That meant that (mostly) men could buy into that accumulation of lies without ever having to face their own sexism: it’s like buying juice that says “no sugar added.” The fact that extra sugar hasn’t been added to a beverage that any nutritionist will tell you is mostly sugars and water doesn’t make it any better for you. But those who bought into the more removed sexism of the Hillary narrative could tell themselves: “If only it were any other woman…”

But it could not have been any other woman. Because only a woman like Hillary — persistent, strategic, aggressive, pragmatic, and apparently reserved — could have made it through the gauntlet set up for women who run for high office in this country. To have lacked any of those or a dozen other qualities, which we don’t question in men but view with suspicion in women, would have been the end of her political career. Hopefully, it will be different in the future, but for now, this is how the first one had to do it.

And so any woman who got this far would have this same cloak of misogyny-manufactured dishonesty about her that Hillary has been forced to accept. Her wearing it doesn’t say anything about her. She has repeatedly been shown to be the most honest person who ran for President this cycle by unbiased fact-checking groups.

It does, however, say everything about us that, when provided with the examples of Hillary (who the fact-checkers say tells the truth about 70% of the time) and Trump (who they report is lying at least 70% of the time), so many people throw their hands up and claim they are the same. We accept the misogynist construction because, at some level, we have absorbed the sexist standard that women are more deceitful than men by their nature. But we don’t have to think of ourselves as misogynist.

It’s her fault: She is unnatural (I mean, she doesn’t bake cookies, FFS) because she doesn’t fit a straitjacketing and now-anachronistic mold for women. Except when it comes to lying. Then she’s as female as all get out.

Sorry… but it is misogyny all ’round. Even among so many of us who should know better.

— 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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Elder Abuse Often Missed In ER

Up to 1 in 10 seniors affected, but harm or neglect can be difficult to identify, geriatric specialist says
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WATCH: Doubting You Deserve Better

It’s very difficult for us to manifest into our lives more than we believe we deserve. What do you unconsciously believe you deserve? Look around at what you’ve got at present. If you’d like things to get better, allow yourself to know the truth – you deserve better. I hope this will help.

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

Trump Presidency Risks Health Of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians And Pacific Islanders

By Kathy Ko Chin, Ben D’Avanzo

While the details of President-elect Donald Trump’s policy plans have been vague, he campaigned that “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be one of his top priorities. This campaign pledge echoed legislative proposals introduced by Congressional Republicans since the bill’s passage, and who now have majority control over both the House of Representatives and Senate. Repealing the ACA would have a disastrous impact on the millions of Americans who have benefited from its expansion of access to health care, especially for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who benefited the most from the law and have much at risk in the incoming Trump presidency.

For example, under the ACA, Kay Bounkeua was able to join her parent’s health insurance. Anton Saleh was able to switch to an insurer who covered his medications. And Tot ‘Sy’ Tran was better able to access Vietnamese-speaking health care interpreters. Without the ACA, neither Kay, Anton, nor Sy would be able to get the care they need to live healthy lives.

In 2010, before the ACA was implemented, over 2.3 million Asian Americans did not have health insurance — 15.7 percent of the Asian American population. Last year, the number of uninsured in our communities had decreased to 1.3 million, or 7.8 percent. This change was the greatest among any other race or ethnicity. Accounting for the rapid Asian American population growth in the past five years, as many as 2.7 million Asian Americans would be at risk for losing access to health care if the ACA was repealed. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander are also at risk. More than 85,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were uninsured in 2010, 17.4 percent of the population. In 2015, that rate fell to 9.9 percent, fewer than 55,000. If the rate returned to pre-ACA levels, over 94,000 would be at risk of losing their access to health care.

Fortunately, since the election, President-elect Trump has begun to back-track on his campaign pledge of a blanket repeal of the ACA. For example, he has stated that he favors allowing young people under age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans and continuing the prohibition against denial of health insurance coverage because of pre-existing health conditions.

Both of these parts of the ACA are vitally important to our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Asian Americans are one of the younger race groups in the U.S., with 37 percent of the population under the age of 26, compared to 35 percent for the U.S. population as a whole. The 2.2 million Asian Americans who are between the age of 18 and 26 are at risk of losing health care if the ACA is repealed. The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population is even younger, with 48 percent under age 26. Nearly 180,000 are between 18 and 26, and would be jeopardy of losing their health care if this part of the ACA were repealed.

Prior to the ACA, insurance companies could deny coverage, or charge unconscionable and unaffordable rates, for consumers who have pre-existing conditions. Asian Americans are at high risk for certain diseases, such as being 4.5 times as likely to be infected with Hepatitis B. Asian Americans are 10 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than Whites, while Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders 2.4 times more likely. Returning to a time when there were few health insurance options for populations with pre-existing conditions would result in many Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders with chronic health conditions becoming uninsured and at greater risk for deteriorating health.

It remains unclear how President-elect Trump and the 115th Congress will be able to pick and choose what parts of the ACA they end up preserving. The law is based on a complex, inter-dependent framework of employer-based coverage, individual obligations to purchase health insurance, and federal subsidies to help low-income individuals and families afford coverage. Without the entire framework, the entire system can easily unravel, sending the number of uninsured Americans sky-rocketing.

Repealing the ACA would be a huge step back for everyone in the United States, but especially for our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum joined many other organizations to pass, defend, and help implement this historic law that has expanded access to health care for so many in our communities. We will re-commit to organizing our communities and our allies to continue to defend the ACA, and to urge the incoming President and Congress to preserve these important gains for all Americans.

Kathy Ko Chin is the President & CEO and Ben D’Avanzo is a Policy Analyst at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

— 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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Donald Trump Gorges On Himself During Thanksgiving Feast

Even Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving is all about Donald Trump.

The President elect celebrated the holiday true to form by eating two dishes named after himself. According to NBC News, the Trump family’s Thanksgiving menu featured 24 dishes, including a salad dubbed “Mr. Trump’s Wedge Salad” and a dessert called “Three-Layer Trump Chocolate Cake.”

The eponymous salad is an odd choice given Trump’s notoriously unhealthy diet. He’s spoken highly of McDonald’s and KFC, and is often photographed eating fast food.

The dinner was held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and included local favorites like Key Lime Pie in addition to traditional holiday foods (no taco bowls, though.) 

Meanwhile, President Obama won Thanksgiving by serving pizza bites at the official White House dinner. Yes, pizza bites.

— 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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Start with some gentle stretching

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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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Screaming From The Golden Cage: Heal Anxiety, Depression And Addiction By Embracing The Truth

Dr. Bruce Alexander, professor emeritus of psychology, performed an experiment in the 1970s. His team built two cages for laboratory rats. In one cage a rat was alone and isolated. It couldn’t see or touch other rats and had nothing to do. In the other cage called Rat Park, they had good food and lots of cheese, running wheels for exercise, colored balls, platforms for climbing, tin cans for hiding and many other rats to play and have sex with.

Rat Park soon filled with babies. In both cases, rats had access to two drinking bottles: a bottle of water and a bottle of water with morphine. Morphine is pure heroin. Unlike street heroin that contains brick dust, bleach powder, cement and other contaminants, morphine is much stronger. At the end of each day, researchers measured the two bottles to see if rats preferred the pure water or the heroin water.

The rats in solitary confinement almost always chose the heroin water. They always became addicted and killed themselves. In Rat Park, they almost never drank heroin water. None become addicted or overdosed. Rats are social, sexual and working beings just like humans.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
Is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
– Mark Twain

People who become addicted don’t have to be put in cages. It’s enough for them only to feel caged-in a job, in a relationship, in a family or in a country. They will drink or take drugs to cope with the situation. Prof. Alexander concluded that addiction is an escape from an environment where human connection is impossible. Alcohol or drug dependence is the consequence of not bearing being present in your own life.

While prof. Alexander was studying the effects of the social environment on rats, the Vietnam war was unfolding on the other side of the world. According to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, 20 percent of the American soldiers fighting in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. The public in the United States was terrified that hundreds of thousands of veterans will become junkies but this never happened.

When they returned home, 95 percent of the addicted soldiers stopped using heroin within one year. Another study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry revealed that addicts who didn’t receive any treatment were as likely to stop using drugs as those who went rehab. They changed the environment, they changed their behaviors.

Johann Hari, in his book Chasing the Scream, wrote that rats in solitary confinement and soldiers in Vietnam didn’t become victims of the drug but of their environment. Addiction was their way of coping with “being dislocated from everything that gave them meaning,” wrote Hari. When you feel caged, and your world becomes intolerable, you leave physically if you can or mentally if you cannot. When soldiers returned home to a meaningful life, they gave up the drugs.

People who live in a social environment where they can connect with others and bond with their work will not become addicted even if they have alcohol and drugs around them because they want to be present in their lives. But if you feel trapped or caged in a situation, a job or a relationship, if you cannot bond because of you in life in a social context that punishes you for expressing who you are and for living your truth, you will find refuge in whatever takes your pain away. Prof. Peter Cohen, director of the Center for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam, suggested that we need to replace the word addiction with the word bonding. We have a fundamental human need to bond with our work and with others, but we can only bond if we live our truth and open our hearts.

Do You Feel Caged?

You don’t need to live in a cage, or to go to war to feel caged, and not be able to find meaning in life. Your own mind, your unconscious beliefs, a toxic friendship, a job environment or family relationship can choke your will to express who you are with the same tragic effects. The heart’s calling – your will – is only love and cannot be anything else. Your will flows through your heart and pulls you towards what you most value in life.

When you embrace it, you find meaning. When you block it, you find pain. Love is the force that pulls us to follow our dreams and step into the unknown, to reveal and express who we are, to explore, to discover, to create and to bond. Whenever your behaviors conflict your will, whenever you think and act against love, tension grows within yourself. Strain turns into pain. Anger, anxiety, and depression follow.

The Importance of Living Your Truth

I have a friend who is project manager for a financial corporation, but her dream is to open a restaurant. Her will is to start this new business. Every time she thinks about her calling her heart fills with joy. She feels love. But immediately her mind drags her in the opposite direction: ‘What if it doesn’t work?’ ‘I am in my thirties, and I have a child. ‘What will my parents say about me quitting my job after they supported me through college?’

She then acts as she thinks she should and stays in her job without actually willing to do so. Everyone envies her. She earns a great paycheck, has a loving husband and a beautiful child, and she’s sinking into depression. She feels even worse when she looks around her because apparently, she has no reason to feel depressed. The truth is she has the only reason to feel depressed: her heart is screaming from a golden cage, and she doesn’t listen.

Finding Peace of Mind and Joy with Truth

The greater is the gap between what love calls you to do and what you actually do, the deeper the depression you can fall into. The way to find joy is to leave the cage, not to make it prettier. Why do you think the waiting rooms of psychologists and psychiatrists are filled with successful people who realized after twenty or thirty years of work that money, a career and a house in the suburbs do not bring peace of mind and joy of heart?

They keep hoping that by changing the external conditions of their lives – earn more money, be in a better physical shape, have another partner or travel more – will change how they feel. It never works because the emptiness is not around them. The emptiness is within them. And the only way to come back to life is to acknowledge that little voice rising from your heart and begging you to return to love, to return to truth.

Dr. Dragos

PS: If you like this conversation, join my online course FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: The science-proven method to living your truth and making your dreams a reality.

— 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

How To Get Drunk The Healthy Way This Holiday Season

If I want to get drunk, but in as healthy a way as possible, what are the best beverages and strategies? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Greg Huang, Co-founder/CEO at drinkwel.com – the multivitamin for people who drink, on Quora:

Because of my company I’ve spent a lot of time learning about being healthier about including alcohol in my lifestyle. Here’s my top ten list for how to get drunk as healthily as possible:

  1. Avoid sugary mixers. Things like margarita mix, juice with high fructose corn syrup, and Red Bull are just as hard for your body to process as the alcohol itself. Not to mention, they’re bad for you. Try mixing your booze with water and fresh fruit juice (no sugar added). You’d be surprised what great drinks you can make without all that extra sugar.
  2. The clearer, the better. Vodka, gin, and light beer are much easier on your body (and lower in calories) than whiskey, bourbon, or red wine.
  3. Don’t mix. It’s hard on your stomach. It’s hard on your head. Mixing alcohol is never a good idea. Pick your drink of choice–and stick to it for the night. You’ll thank yourself the next day.
  4. Take a drinking break. Push yourself to go for an extended period (days, weeks, etc.) with no drinking at all. Your liver will appreciate the rest, and you might even see a decrease in your tolerance so you can drink less (and spend less!), but have just as much fun.
  5. Eat well the next day. If you feel hung over in the morning, try healthy breakfast options like eggs and fresh juice. Despite what you may have heard, greasy food won’t do anything to help you feel better the next day. There’s no such thing as “soaking” up the booze–your body has already processed the alcohol, and the grease will only leave you feeling more bloated. The best thing you can do for yourself is to eat foods that will help replenish the vitamins and minerals you’ve lost and put your body back on a healthy digestive cycle.
  6. Eat before you drink. Having a snack or a meal before your first beverage will help give your body the time it needs to process alcohol and aid in preventing nausea, headache, and an upset stomach. A little bit of starch or dairy goes a long way in coating your stomach lining and preparing your body for alcohol.
  7. Eat while you drink. We all get the drunk-munchies (and are guilty of downing pizza, or Jack in the Box or whatever else sounds delicious when you’re too drunk to think about calories). An excellent way to avoid these grievous choices, and help your body absorb the alcohol correctly, is to keep healthy snacks around while you’re drinking. That way, by the time you’re wasted, you’ll also be full.
  8. Drink water. Before, during, and after. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration. Have a glass of water in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated and help prevent those nasty dehydration side effects.
  9. Drink less. I know, I know, some people don’t want to hear this, but do yourself a favor, and try to have fewer drinks on those big nights out. Sometimes it’s just about saying no to that last shot of Patrón.
  10. Take your vitamins and minerals. Drinking depletes essential nutrients–make sure you’re feeding them to your system. It won’t do everything, but it will help.

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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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 Benefits Plenty Of People In States Donald Trump Won

One reason Republicans may be eager to repeal Obamacare is that they figure it won’t affect too many of their constituents adversely.

They may want to look more closely at the enrollment data.

And maybe an electoral map, too.

More than 20 million people now get insurance through programs of the Affordable Care Act. These people are spread across the country. This means, naturally, that plenty of them live in states that were key parts of President-elect Donald Trump’s majority in the Electoral College, or they have at least one Republican senator, or both.

This makes them of high political importance to the GOP.

Key Obamacare users to watch are the ones who buy private coverage on one of the law’s exchanges and who qualify for tax credits that offset premiums and (for some of them) out-of-pocket costs.

Without financial assistance or strong protections for people with pre-existing conditions, they would be the ones most likely to go without coverage. 

In Florida this year, for example, there are roughly 1.6 million people buying coverage through healthcare.gov and receiving at least some financial assistance. In North Carolina, there are more than half a million such people. For Pennsylvania and Michigan, it’s near 300,000.

You can see the full breakdown in the chart below:

These numbers represent just one part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. They don’t include people buying coverage without financial assistance, either through the exchanges or on their own, directly from insurers. 

These people tend to be more affluent and it’s safe to assume they are among the ones least pleased with Obamacare coverage, whether because of high costs, limited doctor choices, or both.

They might not mind losing what they have through Obamacare. In fact, it’s nearly a sure thing some would celebrate it.

But surveys have suggested that for all of the law’s very real shortcomings, and the legitimate grievances many people have with it, most Americans who have obtained private coverage through the exchanges or on their own still rate their insurance as good or even excellent.

The same goes for the millions who got coverage through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which has made coverage available to people with incomes below or just above the poverty line in states where officials have gone along.

That may not matter in states like Florida and North Carolina, where expansion plans have run into intractable political opposition. But it’s going to make a big difference in the midwest states that Trump swept.

Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin all have expanded Medicaid eligibility now. So do Iowa and Arizona, for that matter. Most of those states have Republican governors, too.

Republicans aren’t promising simply to repeal the the law, of course. They have pledged to replace it with a scheme that, they insist, would be even better ― “great health care for much less money,” as Trump likes to put it. 

But Republican leaders in the different branches of government have yet to agree on a detailed proposal, even though they have vowed to do so for more than six years. House leadership only came together behind a rough framework for reform a few months ago.

And even the better-developed plans, which conservative intellectuals have been refining for the past few years, would generally result in fewer people covered, less financial protection for those with insurance, or a combination of both factors. Independent estimates of proposals in circulation have consistently found the net result would be millions of newly uninsured ― maybe more than 10 million and maybe even more than 20 million, depending on the details.

Note that those numbers of people losing their Obamacare insurance from repeal would almost certainly dwarf the number of people who lost their old policies in early 2014, when insurers jacked up premiums and cancelled plans in order to comply with the health care law’s requirements to cover more people and a wider array of services.

And the vast majority of those people were able to find some kind of coverage instead.

In theory, Republicans could pass a replacement plan that would not leave so many people worse off. In practice, that seems unlikely, given that it would require committing the kind of federal dollars that Obamacare does ― and one of the GOP’s main goals is to downsize that commitment. 

Republicans have also floated the idea of “repeal and delay” ― that is, passing repeal quickly but postponing the effective date for a year or two. Supposedly this would give Republicans time to craft a suitable replacement, while giving the people on Obamacare now more time to adjust. 

But industry and state officials are warning that won’t work, either. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell has already pointed this out in an interview with The Huffington Post’s Jeffrey Young this week.

The moment a repeal passes, all of these people say, insurers would begin to pull out of the existing markets, creating instability and causing a new wave of disruptions.

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Overcoming Self-Deception Can Be Crucial for Survival

Is it a therapist’s job to make the client feel better or see reality more accurately? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Irene Yancher, Psychotherapist & TechCrunch, NPR contributor, Liv Pyschotherapy, on Quora:

Self-deception serves a purpose. It addresses underlying needs, but with potentially short and unsatisfying results. Anyone who has believed they can quell hunger with a bag of chips, instead of a real dinner, knows the feeling – you may be temporarily full, but you’re not satisfied.

Helping clients understand and fulfill their needs in an enduring, satisfying way of making self-deception unnecessary. Thus, seeing reality and feeling better typically go hand-in-hand. But until self-deception’s function is addressed, the belief that a therapist can help someone see reality may itself be an illusion.

In 1997, the Heaven’s Gate cult showed the world just how tenacious self-deception can be. Thirty-nine members of the cult committed suicide because they were convinced that a spaceship would take their souls to heaven. A few days before their suicides, cult members purchased a $ 3,600 telescope, only to return it with claims of device faultiness.

Why did cult members commit suicide even after being presented with actual evidence that should have, in theory, discredited their beliefs? To understand the concept, it’s important to comprehend the nature of self-deception and why it takes root.

Self-deception gets a bad rap, but some self-deception is healthy. A toddler who feels Teddy is real is meeting a need for comfort and is not suffering as a result. Repressing painful truths, like aging and death, can be an adaptive way to cope with an otherwise overwhelming reality. However, the more severe the deception, the higher the cost.

The Heaven’s Gate cult members likely suffered great emotional pain before they ever joined the cult. The cult’s appeal was its ability to fulfill some crucial needs. The exact type of need was probably different for each person – perhaps a sense of meaning or unconditional love. It’s tough to trade in this fulfillment, even if it’s temporary, false, and ultimately harmful, for a reality that feels bleak.

In psychotherapy, I often work with clients who distort reality somewhere between the two aforementioned extremes. A patient with an eating disorder, for instance, may be convinced she is overweight. This fabricated reality enables her to focus on something within her control (weight). If she feels that her body is the only thing over which she has any control, the belief that she is overweight is serving an important purpose.

Although one may be tempted to show this client a BMI chart to prove she’s thin, the evidence is unlikely to be effective. Assuming the disorder is not life-threatening, I could instead help the client develop agency in other parts of her life. As we work together to satisfy the patient’s underlying needs, the need to control her weight will likely diminish, along with the illusion of being overweight.

There are many ways to help a client see reality. Sometimes this is done by directly questioning the client’s constricted view (e.g., “is there any other possible reason your friend didn’t confide in you?”). Other times, it’s not feasible or practical to directly challenge a belief. In these cases, psychotherapists can help clients understand their underlying needs. Then, they can work together to replace self-deception with a more adaptive, fulfilling alternative that’s rooted in reality.

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My FitBit Alta Is So, So Patronizing

Is the Fitbit Alta any good? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Julie Anne Exter, FitBit wearer, on Quora:

The Fitbit Alta is the latest in a line of well-intentioned wearables that is designed to give users an awareness of how much they’re actually moving during any given day. This, at its core, is a noble mission. Everyone should be made to “oh, dayum” about how little they’re moving around, because not moving around is a pretty bad thing for your overall health, and nobody has ever said, “Hey, know what would be ideal for me? Moving less.”

So Fitbit Alta and its predecessors found a significant problem to tackle. The newest model has gone all-in with all sorts of bells and whistles and tracking metrics that you can use to monitor your exercise, steps taken, sleep, heart rate, and calorie intake, right down to the last bite of Phish Food. All good, in theory.

My main problem with Fitbit Alta is this: I have not run across a piece of technology that comes built-in with the ability to be extremely patronizing in quite the way this small purple wristband does. Now, maybe that’s just my personality, which does admittedly trend towards the cynical. But even so, it’s been my experience that some of Fitbit Alta’s well-meaning attempts to get you moving are, well, annoying. Even though that’s the whole point of the product:

  • It will occasionally toss out a “motivational message” if you’ve been moving around for awhile — along the lines of, “Great job, Julie! You hit 2000 steps! Keep it up!” The hilarious part is when you haven’t been moving around much, and then you happen to get up to, say, walk 25 steps to grab another Hot Pocket, Fitbit will obsequiously praise even your smallest effort. So when I see, “FANTASTIC JOB! You walked 250 steps!” I laugh. Because what it’s saying is, “Gee, you’re more hopeless than we thought! BUT WE CAN WORK WITH THIS AND WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY and GOSH, what a super job, ya lovable blob!”
  • It is designed to politely suggest that you get up and walk when you’ve been sitting for awhile. It does this by vibrating your wrist — mainly shocking you like the bulky piece of human livestock you are. Which, let me tell you, is actually kind of jarring if you’re in the middle of working on something and you’re getting into a flow state. In all fairness, you can probably opt out of that somehow, but it’s not readily apparent how, and I’m not that motivated. Which, of course, is precisely why I initially needed a Fitbit Alta.

And then there was my biggest disappointment of all. “Walk 10,000 steps and see a big celebration on your wrist!” gushes the Fitbit app. Hey, I like celebrations, I thought to myself. Let’s do this! Yaaaaaaas! So I got to 10,000 steps and even managed to not eat any Hot Pockets on the way, and at step 9,999 I gleefully looked at my wrist and prepared to party …

… and it was, like, a split-second of halfhearted fireworks. Oh, Fitbit. You oversold me, and I fell for it. Shame on me.

It’s a great step tracker, though. I just feel like Fitbit should come with some different personality options. I think I’d respond better if my Fitbit were a bit more insulting and sarcastic.

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Donald Trump Backs Away From His Threat To Throw Hillary Clinton In Jail

After running a campaign that had, as one of its main rallying cries, a chant to lock up the opposition candidate, President-Elect Donald Trump has pledged to avoid doing just that.

The incoming administration will not be appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while at the State Department, MSNBC’s Morning Joe reported on Tuesday. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, confirmed as much later on the same program. However, it’s unclear how or if the incoming attorney general would follow these instructions, since they tend to have independent say over the cases they pursue.

The news is an undramatic but highly expected coda to Trump’s push throughout the campaign to pursue Clinton’s prosecution if elected president. At one debate, he declared that his opponent should be in jail. The talk left many commentators appalled. Some argued that it was more customary to a banana republic than a modern democracy.

But Trump kept at it. His campaign was particularly critical of FBI Director James Comey for declining to recommend pressing charges over the summer. The team then praised him for examining fresh evidence regarding Clinton’s emails with just days to go in the campaign, only to then suggest that the system was rigged when Comey announced he had found nothing new in his review.

Trump’s supporters likely won’t care that he is now backtracking on his pledge to prosecute Clinton. He can do little wrong in their eyes. But the reaction from Democrats was a mix of gratefulness with the outcome and annoyance that Trump gets to look magnanimous for deciding to not prosecute a case he likely wouldn’t have won.  

There were also institutional concerns about what it meant that an incoming president and his top aide simply got to determine which cases to pursue. 

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Politics – The Huffington Post
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Mindful Holidays

If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family! ~ Ram Dass

Although Americans enjoy more privileges and freedoms than people in many other countries, growing up in such a highly competitive society where children are constantly pushed to get good grades and “achieve” various goals on daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly bases, whoever pushed us – usually our family members – wounded us by subconsciously informing us that whatever we did was “not good enough.” Even positive statements like “You’ll do better next time” we may have heard as telling us that we were failing or failures in some way. All of that (totally unintentional) wounding from our childhoods adds up to adult low self-worth, low self-esteem, feeling unlovable or only conditionally lovable – because we “do” certain things or look a certain way or have attained certain goals or a certain status.

Ram Dass’ famous quote is particularly poignant during the holiday season because that is when our childhood or core wounds often get reopened. If I get emergency phone calls from patients over Thanksgiving or Christmas I often tell them that “That fight you’re having with your mother/father/sister/brother isn’t about what you think it’s about” and then we discuss things that happened in childhood – abandonments, betrayals, violations, humiliations, frustrations, not feeling heard, being sick of told what to do and who to be, etc. – and figure out what is really going on.

Mindfulness is by far the greatest tool for these situations because it TEACHS US TO CULTIVATE NON-REACTIVITY. NOT-reacting to a dynamic that was established 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years ago is definitely the best way to change it.

And then you can make healthier, more compassionate long terms decisions that bode favorably for peace and harmony .

I like to give patients phrases such as, “Wow… isn’t that interesting! All of my mommy/abandonment/trust (whatever the core issue is) buttons are being pushed right now! I thought I had gotten over that a long time ago! So interesting!” And then they can decide to take a walk or doing something healthy instead of exacerbating the situation.

In particular, I LOVE all observing thoughts meditations. Most of our thoughts are redundant and negative and unwittingly maladaptive – most of our reactions do not help us get our emotional and psychological needs met. Let’s take sarcasm as an example. Sarcasm, to me, has the intention of drawing someone closer for a laugh, for something witty; but subconsciously it pushes people away because they become wary of eventually becoming the brunt of the sarcasm.

To prepare for the holidays I suggest going onto youtube and doing a few minutes of observing your thoughts meditations every day. Think of it as exercising a muscle, going to a gym for your mind.

Once you can sit and observe how your mind operates, then when you are in situations that normally trigger you, you can make healthy choices – like choosing just to observe the triggers and being proud for not reacting.

I’ll give an example: let’s say your mother or father forgets something for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and asks you to drive them to the store. Everything is going well until you have to park and your parent starts looking around nervously, then telling you “More to the left, no now to the right – I said more left… no, more to the right.” They’re trying to help you parallel park but the wounded child in you might hear “I can never do anything right.” So mindfulness helps you be present, be in the present moment, and not listen to those negative voices that stem for your childhood.

Happy mindful holidays!
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Are You Going to be the Hero of Your Own Life?

It’s an issue that influences life, sex and relationships – that we live in a culture that often celebrates the false and shuns real humanity.

Are we becoming more critical and knowing in regard to our cultural attraction to the unreal or are we just becoming more unquestioningly accepting of fake as desirable?

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As a couple therapist I’ve often been confronted with the pain caused by sexual, romantic and relationship expectations that we impose on real relationships, real sex and real bodies, straight out the impossibly ‘perfect’ realm.

What is the worship of plastic bods, celebrity lives and everything unreality all about at the core? Why do we so love illusion? Why is fake so damn alluring?

Have you ever found yourself expecting your life, your relationship, your body to emulate images presented on film or the interwebs – even though you KNOW so much of what you’re being presented with is not REAL and not even attainable?

Here’s what David Duchovny had to say about celebrity worship and how the camera sucks us in, way back in the 1990’s when he was super huge in The X Files:

“Being photographed gives you a certain energy in other people’s eyes, a certain buzz. I’m the focus of millions of eyes every Friday night on American TV because the camera is photographing me”.

“That changes the way people see me, but it has nothing to do with me. My celebrity is a function of an optical instrument and it creates the illusion that I am somehow greater or more compelling than your own life. But that’s a fallacy, and it’s self-deluding to think that your existence has any particular value outside of your own relationships”. (Go Dave, right?!!)

“Maybe my work has some artistic merit, maybe not. But celebrity has nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the artist or her art. That was the whole point of Warhol.”

Hell yeah, David!

It’s no coincidence that Warhol’s my favourite artist. Although my admiration of the late Andy is actually more about his reflections on the crazy power of celebrity in our culture and his reported intense work ethic, not just his art.

Do we need a second coming of Warhol, flawed as he may have been, to remind us to deeply question the power of images around us, to stay real and keep relationships and sex real so we don’t forget what matters? Can we focus on being the hero of our own lives, rather than giving that power to those who pose hardest?

What am I going to do, and what are YOU going to do today, to be the hero of your own life, someone you’d look up to?

Need some help to rise and create the relationship of your dreams, get some help here.

Just BE the love that you ARE.

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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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Monday’s Morning Email: The Next Round Of Trump Cabinet Picks

TOP STORIES

TRUMP’S CABINET PICKS KEEP COMING Here’s how Donald Trump has turned the “staid process” of picking a Cabinet into a media circus. Mitt Romney is still in contention for secretary of state, Rick Perry is now in the mix and Chris Christie may not be totally down for the count. And take a look at what the first days of a Trump presidency look like for Congress. [Reuters]

THE ‘DANGERS’ OF TRUMP’S GLOBAL BUSINESS EMPIRE “Turkey is a nation in crisis, scarred by government crackdowns following a failed coup attempt and on a potential collision course with the West. It is also home to a valuable revenue stream for the president-elect’s business empire: Trump Towers Istanbul.” [WaPo]

OVER 140 ARE DEAD AFTER TRAIN DERAILMENT IN INDIA And over 150 more were wounded in the deadly accident near Kanpur. [USA Today]

GIVE A WARM WELCOME To Huffington Post South Africa. [HuffPost]

POPE FRANCIS: ALL PRIESTS CAN NOW FORGIVE ABORTION Previously only bishops or special confessors could. [Reuters]

BAD NEWS ABOUT YOUR SABRA HUMMUS The popular brand has been recalled for listeria ― again. [Nina Golgowski, HuffPost]

IT’S OFFICIAL Melania and Barron Trump aren’t moving to the White House until the school year is over. So here’s a breakdown of all the places the Trumps could call home that aren’t 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. [Howard Fineman, Jason Linkins and Lauren Weber, HuffPost]

WHAT’S BREWING

ALL THE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS Selena Gomez’s triumphant return was inspiring, Drake and Taylor Swift are definitely maybe dating and the Price tribute was on point. Oh, and here are the actual winners. [HuffPost]

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO EUROPE Looks like the euro and dollar are close to parity. [WSJ | Paywall]

‘HOW TO TALK TO ALIENS’ “’We’re looking for a cosmic Rosetta stone,’ said Vakoch. ‘But the question is: What do us and the extraterrestrials both have in common?’” [Motherboard

KANYE, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO AGITATE THE BEYHIVE But we’ll let you finish… [Vanity Fair]

SNAPCHAT’S SPECTACLES ARE TAKING OVER Welcome to a “camera-first world.” [Wired]

THE WIZARDING WORLD MADE MAGIC AT THE BOX OFFICE THIS WEEKEND “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” hauled in over $ 75 million for its opening. [HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

~ Andrew Cuomo established a special unit in New York to investigate the post-election uptick in hate crimes.

~ France announced it successfully thwarted a major terrorism plot.

~ Yeah, you can’t unsee the Kylie Jenner-Tyga birthday photo.

~ Meet the new “yellow journalists.”

~ Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term.

~ Amy Schumer and her boyfriend took slightly different tacks to their first anniversary Instagram posts.

~ According to “SNL,” you should spend a lot of time in Target’s parking lotthis Thanksgiving break.

~ The new Santa cams are reminding us of the creepiness inherent in the Elf on the Shelf.

~ The other folks searching for middle America post-election: advertisers.

 

 

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.

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Choose the Healthy Foods Options This Holiday Season

Display healthy foods and keep unhealthy ones out of sight, nutritionist advises
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The 6 Things You Shouldn’t Bring To The 2016 Thanksgiving Table

With the country feeling about as fractured as it’s ever felt, Thanksgiving ― a holiday already fraught with family demons ― is looking to be a doozy. Here’s some advice we gave you in 2013 about what not to bring to the Thanksgiving table, updated:

 

1) Your politics.

Just like the Civil War divided families, so has the election of Donald Trump. We have either all seen or all denied the big uptick in hateful behavior since Nov. 8.

Everyone needs a day off, right? There is no point in telling Uncle Tim what a gross disservice he did to his daughters by voting for Trump. Nor does it serve any useful purpose to see how many times you can call Clinton “Crooked Hillary” just to annoy people.

Just give it a rest. 

2) Your eating habits.

Sure you can skip all the meat dishes, as well as anything with gluten, sugar or nuts, but how about just doing it quietly? Most Thanksgiving tables are laden with enough food to feed a small army, so pick your spots. Just don’t make a big deal about it, OK?

Both you and your mom will feel better if you skip the eye roll when she offers you the turkey drumstick even though you have been a vegetarian since college. Did she just forget, or is she taking a happy walk down Memory Lane when you were a little kid and used to make her promise the drumstick was yours, all yours?

As for everyone else, your hosts have spent a lot of time, energy and money on this feast. In the spirit of the holiday and in recognition of their effort, how about just buttoning up the lecture on why you feel so much better now that you are gluten-free and let the rest of us enjoy the stuffing in peace?

3) A dish without asking.

I like to claim credit for inventing the pot luck, but I suppose sharing the burdens of meal preparation was something the cavewomen came up with. But before you just bring something, please check what your hostess needs. That or she will wind up with four green bean casseroles, as I once did. And damn my kids for liking the one our Alabama guest made better than mine. She opened cans of green beans, cream of mushroom soup and fried onions and just kind of tossed it all together. I’ve never been able to serve my kids the fresh organic bean dish since.

 

4) A bottle of wine.

Don’t bring a bottle of wine; bring two. One is your contribution to the meal and the other is for your hosts to enjoy later. Bringing a hostess gift is a long-lost tradition that should be revived. Especially if I’m the hostess. Pinot Noir, please.

5) Your sense of entitlement.

Thanksgiving is when we remember what we are grateful for. Make sure that people are grateful for you and grateful you are there. You do that by genuinely being interested in what Uncle Bob has to say, showing real happiness that your cousin just got into a better college than the one you went to, and that your divorced sister just got engaged to a really great guy while the seat to your left remains empty. Adopt an attitude of gratitude for what you have and put all other feelings aside.

 

6) Your rotten childhood or any other baggage.

Most of our problems don’t start at the Thanksgiving table. And we shouldn’t bring them along. Thanksgiving isn’t the time to ask for money, nor is it the time to point fingers of blame on things in your life that aren’t going so swell. Seriously, save that for Christmas. And remember, you already have the therapist booked for Monday.

 

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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5 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Humidifier

Static hair, nosebleeds and cracked skin are all signs that dry, cold winter weather has arrived. Great.

People with seasonal allergies may notice other discomforts like irritated sinuses or eczema, too, according to Anju Peters, an allergist and immunologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 

One solution that can provide relief? The humidifier.

Basically, it’s a small machine that puts moisture back in the air, Peters explained. “You may feel more comfortable breathing. Your nose might feel better. And your skin might feel better,” she said.

They can be really helpful for people who live in cold, dry climates, Peters said.

But humidifiers are not necessarily a cure-all for everyone, she added. And they won’t necessarily help you get over a cold any faster.

“Most [winter colds] are viral infections that need to run their course,” Peters said. A humidifier may make it feel more comfortable if an infection causes dryness ― but they haven’t been proven to actually help you heal, she explained.

Here are five tips for getting the most out of your humidifier:

1. Keep humidity between 30 and 50 percent

Putting moisture back in the air is what provides relief to dry, irritate skin and nasal passages, but too much moisture can invite a host of other problems, like dust mites and mold. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping humidity below 50 percent. And keeping humidity above 30 percent should still feel comfortable, Peters added.

And look for any signs of condensation (on windows or other surfaces) ― a sign the air is too moist.

2. Change the water daily

Mold and bacteria grow in standing water, Peters explained. Changing the water in your humidifier often ― Peters suggests daily ― prevents such unwanted growth from escaping into the air.

3. Clean it ― often!

Follow your humidifier’s directions on the best way to clean it. Typically wiping down the inside of the machine with disinfectant or bleach every three or four days works best, Peters said.

4. Use distilled water

Tap water may have minerals or other particles in it that may make it easier for mold and bacteria to grow, Peters said. Using distilled water helps keep your humidifier growth-free.

5. Skip it if you have mold or dust mite allergies

More humidity can invite mold and dust mites, Peters explained. That’s not good for anyone, but particularly for people with mold and dust mite allergies, even small traces of the irritants can cause big problems. Peters recommends people with these allergies use saline solutions or moisturizers to deal with dryness and irritation instead, she said.

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

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Dozens Killed In Aleppo Bombing, Including Family Of 6

A barrel bomb killed a family of six in rebel-held eastern Aleppo early on Sunday and rebel shelling killed eight children at a school in the government-held sector almost a week into one of the heaviest government bombardments of Syria’s civil war.

Two medics said the al-Baytounji family had suffocated to death because the barrel bomb, which fell in the Sakhour district at about midnight, had been laced with chlorine gas.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, confirmed the bombing but could not confirm that chlorine gas was used. Damascus has denied use of the gas, which would contravene the international Chemical Weapons Convention.

Rebel shelling killed at least eight children, aged from six to 12 years, among 10 deaths in the Saria Hasoun school in al-Farqan district, the Observatory and Syrian state television reported.

Hundreds of people have been killed since Tuesday as the government and its allies attempt to quash resistance in Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern zone.

Syria’s military and Russia’s air force had paused their bombardment of eastern Aleppo, except for on the frontlines, for two weeks after a month-long offensive from late September to late October, but recommenced strikes on Tuesday.

The plight of civilians in eastern Aleppo was underscored on Saturday when the World Health Organisation reported that bombing had put all the hospitals in the besieged district out of operation. An official with a rebel group based in east Aleppo said there were still no working hospitals there on Sunday.

The army and its allies began some ground attacks on Friday. The Observatory reported intense clashes in Sheikh Saeed in southeast Aleppo and in Baeedain and Bustan al-Basha in northeast Aleppo.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, one of the army’s main allies in the fighting, said on Sunday that clashes were taking place in the Hanano district of northeast Aleppo and that pro-government forces were bringing big reinforcements to the city.

An inquiry by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has said Syrian government forces have used chlorine gas in barrel bombs at least three times during the war. Damascus denies it.

Syria also denies using barrel bombs – improvised ordnance made by oil drums filled with high explosive and shrapnel and dropped from helicopters. Their use has been condemned by the United Nations for causing unnecessary suffering.

Air strikes continued to hit several districts of eastern Aleppo early on Sunday, the Observatory said, after at least 54 people were killed in bombing on Saturday.

So far, around 240 people have been killed in bombing in eastern Aleppo and the rebel-held countryside to the west of the city since Tuesday, it added.

Staffan De Mistura, the envoy of the United Nations secretary general, arrived in Damascus for talks with Syrian Foreign Ministry officials on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moalem said in a televised news conference that De Mistura had discussed the possibility of an autonomous administration being set up in eastern Aleppo, but that Damascus completely rejected this. An elected city council oversees services in the rebel-held eastern districts.

Moalem said that the arrangement was intended by rebel groups to control distribution of food and that they were holding the civilians of eastern Aleppo hostage.

Asked in a televised news conference about Damascus’ expectations from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, he said it wanted him to stop arming rebel groups and to curb regional powers who also did so.

The two medics identified the family they said was killed by chlorine in a film distributed online. It showed the corpses of four children stretched out on a floor, their lips blue and dark marks around their open eyes.

One of the medics, Abu al-Abbas, has a colleague who lives on the same street, he said. Another was the manager of a hospital and said doctors had confirmed the cause of their death as gas poisoning. A rebel official, Zakaria al-Malahifji, from the Fastaqim group, also said they had been killed by gas.

Medics and residents in rebel-held areas have often accused the Syrian military of using chlorine in barrel bomb attacks on their areas, but the difficulty of reaching besieged districts makes it hard for international agencies to verify this.

Syria and Russia have also accused the rebels of using toxic gas in shells, including during a major assault on the western fringe of the government-held zone in Aleppo early this month.

The civil war pits President Bashar al-Assad backed by Russia’s air force, Iran and Shi’ite militias against mostly Sunni rebels including groups supported by the United States, Turkey and Gulf monarchies.

Aleppo has become the focal point for fighting, as the army and its allies attempt to end insurgent resistance there, alternating intense bombardment and ground attacks with offers to rebels to quit the city during periods of reduced bombing.

The use of siege and bombardment tactics has previously forced rebels to surrender other encircled areas such as the large town of Daraya southeast of Damascus, seen for years as a stronghold of the rising against Assad.

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The Heart of Change

THE HEART OF CHANGE

A frequent explanation for the unexpected election result is that this was a “change election” in which a majority of voters wanted some kind of sweeping change at the national level. Disruption is another word being used to explain both the method and the aim of the Trump campaign. The new leader represents the energy of disruption that will shake things up and turn things around.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that disruption comes from the root rupture which carries troubling meanings like “tearing asunder, breaking apart, splitting up and breaking to pieces.” When it comes to change the old warning is ‘be careful what you wish for.’ People who simply want some kind of change often wind up ‘throwing the baby out with the bath.’ Like the Brexit vote in the British Isles, there will be increasing buyer’s remorse as people realize that the problems of the modern world are massive in size, complicated in nature and global in scope.

Change, so greatly desired, is not easily accomplished. Genuine change requires a sense of unity, a feeling of wholeness as happens when a person’s entire life becomes altered; mind and body, spirit and soul. The same truth applies to a country or a culture which must touch its deepest, most inclusive roots in order to both unify and genuinely change.

On the day after the election a group of us were meeting in the office of our non-profit organization that works with at-risk youth, people in various states of trauma and inter-cultural healing projects. We were trying to imagine what changes and what troubles would come from the upsetting election and the vitriolic campaign. The obvious concern was that the fractures and divisions in our culture would only be intensified and the rampant disparities be increased.

Our weighty conversation was interrupted by the sound of people shouting, getting louder and louder in the street outside. Pulling up the window blinds revealed a group of 70 to 80 high school students marching up the sidewalk below, calling out in unison, “Give us our future back. Give us our future back.” We went down to the intersection where they stood chanting enthusiastically, their tone sounding more like a song than a demand.

An older man with a loud, deep voice yelled out: “White lives matter too!” Someone nearby answered, “Of course;” as if gently pointing to the white students who looked to be the majority of a diverse group that included African American, Hispanic and Asian boys and girls all standing together.

The chant shifted to, “Save our future. Save our future.” Some people in cars began honking back in a kind of rhythmic support of the young spirits. Others banged their horns impatiently, as if to say, “Get out of my way; I don’t have time for this.” For a moment the daily traffic ceased as the divide between the past and the future appeared in the intersection along with the potentially growing distance between the young and the old.

Painful divisions in the culture have been there all along, serious injuries have gone unhealed for decades and great injustices have been routinely ignored. Now that campaigns are waged like desperate, all-out wars, all the underlying angers, resentments and fears have been stirred up and have risen to the surface. There is a return of the repressed fears and feelings and a release of toxins as when an old wound is opened or ruptures.

Amidst reckless provocation, the age-old American problems of race, ethnicity and immigration have become weaponized and the fractures and fault lines between genders and age groups, between urban and rural populations, between wealthy and poor groups have been rashly exploited. When a country becomes so divided winning is a lot like losing. When the electoral vote and the popular vote diverge everyone loses something. Amidst all the vitriol, crude animosity, fake news and false information something essential has been lost and everyone’s future is in greater peril.

There in the street, I wanted to tell the students that they were right to cry out in the midst of all the pain and fear. I wanted to call out that those who indulge in hating others secretly hate themselves. I wanted to shout that every war has two losers; that the real battle is always in the human heart; that the genuine ideals of truth and justice, of love and beauty remain worth fighting for regardless of the odds.

But, they were on the move again, crossing through the intersection with a new chant that became even more passionate, “Love trumps hate! Love is greater than hate!” The words rang out above the sounds of the street as the intersection began to clear and the daily traffic resumed. “Love is greater than hate,” echoed loudly from the walls of the buildings on both sides of the street as everyone moved on carrying their own thoughts and hopes and fears.

The world can become polarized and threatened in a thousand different ways and we can become deeply disheartened as “man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.” The fact that love is greater than hate is all that tips the balance of the world towards life. But only if enough people, young and old, find the love and courage in their hearts to truly change the world.

One root of the word change means to simply “exchange one thing for another.” The deeper, more radical root means “to transform, to become a different substance entirely.” What we need at this critical time in the history of the world are the kinds of changes that go beyond the limits of power politics, fixed ideologies and economic theories. What we need are the kinds of changes that can only begin in the depths of the human heart and soul, the place where history is always being made. Hate and anger can change things in the moment; but love is greater than hate and what the heart loves can alter the substance of life and thus change the world.

An old idea states that each soul comes to life at a time when it has something to give to the world. Each child born, regardless of race or ethnicity, gender identification or sexual inclination, social status or economic condition brings some gifts and genius qualities to life. Each person is automatically valuable and worthy of respect because each has something substantial and unique to contribute to life.

We live at a time when both nature and culture need healing; when people all over the world need a renewed sense that life is indeed meaningful, that each living soul is worthy of love and respect. This is no time for cynicism or giving in to despair; this is the time we have come to life to live, the time to work for what we truly love. As the African proverb insists, ‘what you love is the cure.’ What we love is the cure for what ails us and what brings healing to the human heart also helps heal the world.

Love can be gentle when care is needed, but fierce when change is required. Despite all that is disheartening, because of all the pain and fear, it is time to become true agents of change in order to help transform the world we must live in together. Amidst all the darkness at this, the darkest time of the year, we can take heart from the voices and diverse spirits of the young who must imagine a better future for human cultures and for the common earth we all inhabit. When in touch with what we love our hearts become young again. Love is greater than hate, love tips the world towards ongoing creation, what we truly love is the cure.

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5 Classic Holiday Foods With Anti-Aging Benefits

When you think of Thanksgiving, typically all-day feasting, followed by bloating, weight gain and a food coma probably come to mind. But what if we told you that better skin and anti-aging benefits could also come from the holiday buffet?

While your willpower might be wearing thin around this time of year, we’ve rounded up some of the healthier choices you can make over the holidays ― choices that are packed with an age-fighting punch. 

1. Cranberries

You either love them or hate them, but cranberries are a staple no holiday meal would be complete without. These tangy berries can be found in many forms, from sauces to cocktails. If you can handle the strong taste, cranberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only is vitamin C crucial in collagen synthesis in the skin, but some research also has shown it can help keep your skin hydrated. It’s found commonly in topical anti-aging products. 

Just make sure to stick to a form that isn’t loaded with sugar. 

2. Beets

OK, so maybe this food isn’t what you were dreaming of indulging in on Turkey Day. But beets are high in fiber, so they might be a good food to start your meal with to help fill you up and keep you from making any unhealthy decisions. Along with vitamin C, this mild-flavored root is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, studies have shown that beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure. Win-win.

3. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is not only delicious but versatile. It can be used in soups, in pastas or just roasted with some spices. This relative of the pumpkin is also high in fiber, which will help with satiety. It’s rich in vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, as well as vitamin C, which helps build collagen. But it’s also an excellent source of beta carotene ― which gives it its robust color. Beta carotene is also an antioxidant, which protects the skin from damage, by helping eliminate free radicals. 

4. Carrots

Like squash, carrots are also one of the best sources of beta carotene. In fact, beta carotene gets its name from the vegetable. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A ― retinol, that ingredient found in many anti-aging, wrinkle-smoothing creams, is one form of the vitamin. Not only is it good for your skin, it also helps support your immune system. 

You’ll likely find some roasted carrots to go with that roasted turkey and gravy at the dinner table. 

5. Sweet Potatoes

If you’re not seeing orange already, this will seal the deal. Another bright-hued food is the sweet potato. While we don’t recommend going for a serving of a sugar-laden sweet potato pie, a smarter option might be roasted sweet potatoes or a sweet potato mash.

Like the other orange veggies on the list, the sweet potato is rich in beta carotene as you may have guessed, along with vitamins A and C. But sweet potato is also rich in copper. Copper helps build collagen, which not only is important for skin’s firmness and elasticity, but for preventing osteoporosis. 

 

 

 

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Donald Trump’s Attorney General Nominee Wrote Off Nearly All Immigrants From An Entire Country

WASHINGTON ― In a 2006 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, castigated a subset of Latino immigrants as useless to American society.

The speech Sessions gave, which came during the debate over immigration reform during President George W. Bush’s second term, was broad in its overview and assessment of different ethnic groups immigrating to the United States. But when he addressed those coming from the Dominican Republic specifically, the Alabama Republican was blunt, insisting that a massive chunk of that population had sham marriages to get legal status in the United States. And then he got even more blunt. 

“Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in our society,” Sessions said at the time. “They come in because some other family member of a qualified relation is here as a citizen or even a green card holder. That is how they get to come. They are creating a false document to show these are relatives or their spouses and they are married when it is not so.”

A vocal early supporter of Trump, Sessions was a logical candidate for a top position in the incoming administration. But his past statements on civil rights and race ensured his nomination would be contentious. Thirty years ago, Sessions was denied confirmation for a federal judgeship after the Senate Judiciary Committee objected to racist remarks he had made calling the NAACP and ACLU “un-American” and expressing sympathy for the KKK.

In 1996, Sessions won election to the U.S. Senate, where he became one of the most hardline voices on immigration. His stridency on the issue made him an outlier in his chamber but it endeared him to Trump, who also was a vocal opponent of immigration reform during his presidential campaign. On Friday, Trump announced that Sessions would be his nominee for attorney general, the highest law enforcement office in the land.

Sessions may face a turbulent road to confirmation, though many of his senatorial colleagues ― including at least one Democrat ― said on Friday that they would support his bid. The primary hold-up, to this point, has been his past statements on the KKK and his positions on the civil rights movement. But his 2006 statement on Dominicans could open up a new vulnerability, in part because it is far more recent ― coming almost two decades after his judgeship nomination was rejected by the judiciary committee.

“Mr. Sessions would benefit from a tutorial about what Dominican Americans contribute to the United States. He should start by looking at the achievements of our community in New York and in cities all across the country,” said New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), who will become Congress’ first Dominican-American member when he joins the House this coming year. “If Mr. Sessions’ appointment is any indication of the direction of President-elect Trump’s administration, then every American ― regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or ethnic background ― should take a stand and say that this appointment does not reflect the values that have made America great.”

Other famous Dominican Americans include Labor Secretary Tom Perez, author Junot Díaz and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.

Sessions’ office did not return a request for comment.

Want more updates from Amanda? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth.

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An Unexpected Houseguest

I had an unexpected houseguest recently and it brought an incredible gift, in spite of the fact that it was freaking out. It was a beautiful day and I had my sliding glass doors wide open so my dogs could come and go outside. But as soon as I heard commotion and the sound of a panicked bird, I knew we had a problem.

I ran into the living room to see a wren flying frantically around the room. My dogs were engrossed in trying to figure out what this little creature was doing in our home, so they ran around trying to capture it. Of course, this freaked out our little houseguest.

As the bird banged itself up against our glass front door and landed on the floor, I swept it into my hands and cradled it to my chest.

Now, if I’m honest, I love “watching” birds, but that old movie The Birds has always hung out in the recesses of my mind and kept me from wanting to pet them, much less hold them. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the old movie where birds take over a town and peck people’s eyes out!

But for whatever reason, something came over me with this little bird and I just swooped it up without thinking about it. And then I began to sing to it. LOL! We have lots of critters around our home, especially a ton of deer, so when I’m outside and they walk up, I sing. It’s not just any song. It’s the Barney song. You know, the one that says, “I love you. You love me. We’re a hap-py fam-i-ly.” I’m often amazed how the deer will stop and listen. I know it’s not because of my voice, but the love behind the song. And it was no different with the bird.

The wren nestled into my hands and completely relaxed. I massaged its back and it closed its eyes. I couldn’t believe the connection I felt to this little guy.

I continued to sing to it as I walked it outdoors. As I opened my hands, I was sure it would fly away, but it didn’t. Instead it grabbed on tight. I thought it might be hurt, but it wasn’t.


2016-11-17-1479415097-420539-Wren.jpg

My hubby, Charlie, walked up and stroked the wren’s back and then picked it up to take it closer to a tree. As soon as he did, the bird flew to safety.

I walked away from that moment feeling so connected to that little bird. I knew it felt connected to me, too. I felt the light of God running through my heart and my hands and am sure that this is why the little bird was so relaxed.

I had to think about what’s changed over the years from being fearful of picking up a bird to cradling one in my hands. And the answer I got is, “I feel connected.”

I used to feel so disconnected from God and from everything around me. I felt quite alone. But that all changed when I made a decision to heal and created a connection to my heart.

That meant listening to my feelings, getting to know my truth, and loving myself unconditionally to allow myself to stand in it. And the deeper I moved into unconditional love, the more my heart exploded open. No longer did I feel alone. I began to feel a connection to everything. I’m talking about people, animals, trees, even bears and snakes! Yes, we have those critters, too.

Our society tells us that taking the time to go within is selfish. We should take care of everyone else at the expense of ourselves. But as we stay in a perpetual disconnect from our hearts, we disconnect from God and the world around us. But when we make a commitment to heal, we dive deep into love. And then before you know it, that love is overflowing to the world around us.

When I look at the divisiveness in our country right now, I know it’s because people feel disconnected. They may not know it, but that’s the crux of what’s going on.

If we want our world to feel peaceful and loving, we have to make a decision to go within and heal. We have to create a connection to the love within so that it can expand out into the world.

I’m so thankful that little wren flew into my home. I’m so thankful that I got to mend an old area that was broken in my heart. I let go of my fear of the bird hurting me. I allowed the love to flow through me and was reminded that our connection to all of God’s creatures begins when we create a connection within.

Former Miss USA, Terri Britt, is a Spiritual Coach, Energetic Healer, Award-Winning Author of The Enlightened Mom, and an Inspirational Speaker. Are you ready to create a connection within so you can feel more love and connection to the world? Get the guided meditation, “Grounding in God’s Light,” as a gift. It is the foundational tool Terri uses daily and has for two decades. It will help you be the calm in the storm and create a deep connection within so you can spread more peace and love in the world. Click here to grab it!

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Why Some People Take Action On Climate Change — And Others Don’t

In the wake of last week’s election, the gulf between liberals and conservatives has never felt bigger.

This divide is just as apparent when it comes to environmental issues as it is with any others. With a Trump presidency comes an Environmental Protection Agency led by “climate criminal” Myron Ebell, the possible cancelation of the Paris climate agreement and the potential scrapping of major carbon restrictions ― measures that many conservatives applaud as being good for business but liberals view as nothing less than a disaster.

The diverging moral values of liberals and conservatives offer an important window into why the two groups differ in their willingness to take action to protect the environment, according to new Cornell University research

But it’s not as simple as liberal versus conservative or Democrat versus Republican. The study, which was conducted on over 1,000 volunteers and published in the online journal PLOS One on Oct. 19, found that the moral values of compassion and fairness ― and, to a lesser extent, purity ― influenced an individual’s willingness to take personal action to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

“As we learn what’s important to different kinds of people with respect to climate change, that information can help us communicate in ways where the problem can be heard,” Dr. Janis Dickinson, a professor of natural resources at Cornell and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post. “And I think we may be missing arguments that are important to people if we ignore moral diversity.”

Morality, Neither Liberal Nor Conservative 

The researchers found, unsurprisingly, that those who believed in climate change, regardless of party affiliation, were much more willing to act. On the other hand, people who described themselves as conservative, as well as those who were older and male, were less inclined to act.

The study’s investigation of moral values was based on a theory developed by prominent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, which identifies five “axes” around which we formulate moral reasoning: compassion/harming, fairness/cheating, in-group loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion and purity/degradation.

Previous research has found that liberals value compassion and fairness more highly ― values that are clearly at play in the climate change debate ― while conservatives tend to value purity, in-group loyalty and authority most. 

It’s easy to see how compassion and fairness play into other social causes championed by liberals, such as marriage equality and racial justice. On the other hand, a drive toward purity and in-group loyalty seem to play a role in conservative stances opposing abortion and immigration. 

Most moral arguments around climate change may inadvertently appeal more to liberals by focusing on its effects on animals, vulnerable populations and future generations.

“Climate change will have its earliest and greatest impacts on nations and people with fewer resources, so it is clearly about both equity and suffering,” Dickinson said. “Inequity aversion and compassion or caring are really what drive us, in the immediate sense, to give up some of what we are attached to for the sake of others.”

“We shouldn’t rule out anyone and we cannot afford to be polarized on this issue, which is going to have a huge impact on current and future generations.”

The values of compassion and fairness are ultimately about relationships, added environmental psychologist Dr. Renee Lertzman, who reviewed the study for The Huffington Post.

“It is relationship here that is at stake — relationships with diverse populations and communities, as well as with the nonhuman lives we share the planet with,” she said. 

But it’s important to note that even strong moral values can easily conflict with other values a person might hold, limiting that person’s willingness to make personal choices that benefit the environment. Those conflicts need to be considered, Lertzman added. 

“We may value compassion and fairness, but also value being a good provider, which can involves high carbon behaviors,” she said. “We need to find ways to address how values can be in conflict for many — and how we can help people move through those conflicts into action.” 

So people profiting from fossil fuel industries, for example, might override their compassionate feelings in favor of preserving their financial stability. 

Moving The Dial On Climate Change

Appealing to moral values including purity ― for instance, by emphasizing the “impurity” of destroying natural resources ― may be one way to mobilize individuals of both political parties around environmental issues. 

There’s some evidence suggesting this strategy may be effective. A 2013 study showed that framing climate change issues in terms of “pollution and contamination” improved environmental attitudes among conservatives, while other types of moral appeals did not have an effect. 

“If communicators, and especially religious leaders, can make use of this understanding of moral diversity by including all three of these moral values in their discussions of climate change, this may prove helpful,” Dickinson said. “We shouldn’t rule out anyone and we cannot afford to be polarized on this issue, which is going to have a huge impact on current and future generations.”

With Trump’s presidency looms the potential of enormous, if not catastrophic, setbacks to humans’ attempts to mitigate climate change. Now more than ever, action and progress on environmental issues must continue. For people wondering about how to support the environment in light of the election, donating to reputable environmental organizations is one place to start. 

“I think many of us who are scientists, especially those of us who study the earth’s biota, are deeply concerned about the irreversible damage to the earth system that is inevitable if Donald Trump’s campaign promises come to fruition,” she said. “My personal strategy will be to make monthly payments to the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Sierra Club. Together, we need to work to keep policies and protections in place at the federal and state levels, and to uphold our international commitments on climate change.”

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HUFFPOLLSTER: Donald Trump Has The Lowest Favorability Of Any Recent President-Elect

Views of the new President-elect remain unusually polarized.. Most Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College. And Donald Trump might have gotten more support from rural Hispanic voters than previous Republican nominees did. This is HuffPollster for Friday, November 18, 2016.

DONALD TRUMP’S FAVORABILITY RISES, BUT REMAINS LOW – Jeffrey M. Jones: “Donald Trump’s favorable rating has improved from 34% to 42% after his election as president. While a majority in the U.S. still have an unfavorable view of him, his image is the best it has been since March 2011 when 43% viewed him positively….Republicans have shown the greatest increase ― 11 percentage points ― to 82%. Thirty-nine percent of independents, up from 32%, and 10% of Democrats, up from 5%, view Trump positively….The last three presidents-elect had much higher favorable ratings at comparable time periods than Trump currently does. Then President-elect Barack Obama had the highest favorable rating, 68%, in November 2008. Fifty-nine percent of Americans viewed George W. Bush positively just after the Supreme Court effectively decided the 2000 election in his favor in December of that year. Bill Clinton’s favorable ratings were also just shy of 60% after he won the 1992 election. Trump’s ratings lag behind those of other presidents-elect in large part because Democrats’ views of him are much worse than the opposition party’s supporters’ ratings have been in the past. Whereas 10% of Democrats view Trump favorably, 25% of Republicans had a positive opinion of Clinton, 31% of Democrats had a positive opinion of Bush and 35% of Republicans viewed Obama favorably. “ [Gallup]

Americans’ satisfaction with the country sinks – Jim Norman: “ Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. plunged 10 percentage points in the aftermath of the presidential election ― retreating from a decade high of 37% in the run-up to last Tuesday’s vote….A sharp decline in satisfaction among Democrats explains most of the drop. Before the election, 62% of Democrats were satisfied; now, 34% are….Satisfaction levels followed a similar pattern after the White House changed parties in 2008. In the days following that election, satisfaction dropped more among Republicans (26% to 19%) than it rose among Democrats (4% to 7%).”  [Gallup]

DEMOCRATS ARE READY TO SCRAP THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE – HuffPollster: “Most Democrats want to see the nation switch over to a popular vote system for electing the nation’s leader, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, with about 4 in 10 also saying that they will refuse to accept Donald Trump as their legitimate president….Democrats now favor a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College, 66 percent to 14 percent, according to the HuffPost/YouGov survey, while Republicans support keeping the current system by 67 percent to 13 percent. Independents are close to evenly split. Partisanship also affects Americans’ confidence in the voting process….Republicans’ confidence in the system now outstrips Democrats’. Forty-six percent of Republicans say they’re “very confident” that their vote was accurately counted, compared to 31 percent of Democrats who say the same. Twenty percent of Democrats, as opposed to just 8 percent of Republicans, are not too confident or not at all confident that their vote was counted accurately.” [HuffPost]

EVEN HISPANIC RURAL VOTERS SHIFTED TOWARD TRUMP – Geraldo L. Cadava: “My county-by-county comparison of election results in 2016 and 2012, drawn from data available at CNN.com, Politico.com, PBS.org and other sites, shows that rural white and rural Hispanic voters have a lot in common. Or to put it another way, the election of 2016 revealed an urban/rural divide that was as strong as the white/Hispanic divide…. many rural Southwestern counties with large Hispanic, predominantly Mexican populations, moved in Trump’s direction as well. That wasn’t true in Southwestern states as a whole… Hillary Clinton got strong Hispanic turnout in Sun Belt metropolises like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Antonio. But if you look closely at many largely Hispanic rural areas in these states, you find that Trump did better — and Hillary did worse — than did Mitt Romney or Barack Obama…. To be sure, some of these rural Southwestern counties are extremely small compared with the big cities where Hispanic support for Clinton was strong. In small counties, the Hispanic vote adds up to hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands — while in cities, it totals hundreds of thousands. Therefore, rural Hispanics won’t be credited with moving the needle much in one direction or the other. So yes, there was a Hispanic ‘surge’ in big Southwestern cities… But that ignores the vote in rural counties across the country — including those that are largely Hispanic — that led to Trump’s victory.” [WashPost]

Women in rural areas also strongly favored Trump – Rich Morin: “In rural parts of America, it wasn’t just white men who flocked to the polls on Election Day to vote for Donald Trump. Rural white women were right there in the voting lines with them…. The gender gap was a key part of the narrative this election season. Overall, 54% of all women voters said they voted for Clinton, while about the same proportion of men supported Trump (53%), the NBC News exit poll found. But among whites, the story was very different – particularly among men and women living in rural areas or small towns. Trump won comfortable majorities of both rural white men and women, according to the exit poll. While Trump held a 10-percentage-point advantage over Clinton among white women nationally (53% to 43%), his victory margin nearly triples to 28 points among rural white women (62% to 34%). Trump led Clinton by 32 points among all white men nationally (63% to 31%), but he beat the Democrat by 48 points among white men living in rural areas (72% to 24%).” [Pew Research]

‘DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN’ DIDN’T DESTROY POLLING  – Lily Rothman, commemorating the 115th birthday of pollster George Gallup: “By 1948, the Gallup Poll organization operated in a dozen countries… And, with a Gallup poll readily available, the American media and public came to expect that elections—and so much else—could be correctly predicted…. Gallup and the rest of the country saw just how complicated it could get. That year’s election produced the most famous—well, perhaps now the second most famous—polling error in American political history: President Harry S. Truman’s victory over Thomas Dewey. Gallup and his fellow pollsters had predicted just the opposite. TIME reported that Gallup, even as he put some blame on the margin of error, sent his interviewers out to talk to the same people they had spoken to before the election, to see where they went wrong. But, much as the U.S. might swear in 1948 that no pollster would ever again be trusted, it was too late for that. ‘The argument over whether public-opinion polls are good or bad for a democracy has become somewhat academic —they are obviously here to stay,’ TIME had noted earlier that year… ‘They can find out what the people, who rule a democracy, think and want.’” [TIME]    

Pollsters are working now to find out what happened in 2016 – From the American Association for Public Opinion Research, on Thursday: “AAPOR’s Council met today and it strongly reaffirms its commitment to examine the performance of the polls in the 2016 election through its Ad‐Hoc Committee on 2016 Election Polling. The committee draws together prominent academics, election pollsters as well as authorities on public opinion who are not directly involved in political polling.  Every member of the committee understands that its work must meet the highest standards of objectivity and thoroughness. Individually and as a group, they are committed to achieving those goals. We are confident that the committee’s finished report will be useful, fair, and an important contribution to our understanding of election polling. We explored the possibility of shifting this work to the National Academy of Sciences. But it soon became apparent that this would delay the publication of a report by at least a year, add considerable cost, and likely would tap many of the same experts who are already members of the AAPOR committee.  The Council applauds the work the committee has done to date and looks forward to its final report next year.”

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! – You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click “sign up.” That’s all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ – Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-David Leonhardt delves into Democrats’ issues with stagnating turnout. [NYT]

-Harry Enten argues against the theory of “shy Trump” voters. [538]

-David Byler takes a deep dive into the Clinton and Trump coalitions. [RCP]

-Aaron Blake looks at the evidence for a strong late shift toward Donald Trump. [WashPost]

Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley offer 16 observations about the 2016 elections. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Michael Barthel and Jeffrey Gottfried review Americans’ expectations for interpretation from the news media. [Pew]

-Kevin Munger explains how he created bots to fight racism on Twitter [WashPost]

-About a quarter of Americans have earned money from the digital “platform economy.” [Pew Internet]

— 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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