UNLV Erupts After Instructor Threatens to Turn In Immigrant Students

A Nevada university instructor is furiously back-pedaling after warning that his classroom is not a “safe space” and vowing to turn students in to immigration authorities if he suspects they are in the country illegally.

The controversial comments are one more example of a mounting anti-immigrant rhetoric ignited by the presidential election, but it’s among the most significant to date on an American college campus from a faculty member.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas launched an investigation after a student revealed a Facebook conversation with math teacher David Buch in which Buch said he would contact officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about any illegal immigrant students.

“No safe spaces in my classes” for such students, read Buch’s post to one of his students, whose parents are Cuban. “I would have to turn you into ICE,” he posted. “I don’t mind diversity … I mind criminals.” 

But after an uproar on campus over the posts, Buch insisted to the student newspaper that he was just kidding.

“I’m extremely sorry for the comments. I know how hurtful they are to many of you,” Buch said in a statement to UNLV’s Rebel Yell. “It was intended to be a joke, although clearly a poor one. I have never, nor will I ever, create a classroom of hate or intolerance. These students and their success mean everything to me, and I’m sorry that I put them in jeopardy.”

The comments were widely denounced by students and faculty members, and some 80 members of the community held a news conference Thursday to address the issue, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“We particularly take offense when an instructor who’s supposed to create a positive learning environment actually does the opposite by intimidating and scaring our students,” Francisco Morales, state director for the Center for Community Change Action, said at the news conference.

Buch has been a popular instructor on campus and has been ranked highly by students on a website ranking teachers.

His comments have also been supported by some students speaking out against “illegals.” 

Barrett Morris, director of UNLV’s Office of Compliance, said his office would investigate complaints of “these allegations of intimidation/discrimination against Professor Buch and will follow up with you when we have appropriately vetted these concerns.”

UNLV President Len Jessup is one of hundreds of American university presidents who signed a letter supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday to obtain a work permit and protection from deportation.  

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Politics – The Huffington Post
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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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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.”

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Florida Atheist Sets Up Anti-Trump Festivus Pole At City’s Christmas Display

Donald Trump is already getting some Christmas jeer. 

Florida atheist and First Amendment activist Chaz Stevens has made the president-elect the subject of his “Distresstivus” Pole, placed next to a Nativity scene on city property in Deerfield Beach.

That’s his version of a Festivus pole, the centerpiece of the secular holiday celebrated on Seinfeld known for its “airing of the grievances.”

And when it comes to Trump, Stevens ― founder of the Religious Liberty Project ― has plenty of grievances.

“Wrapped with an upside-down American flag (acknowledging the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for the Pumpkin In Chief), this year’s pole is shorter, a shout-out to Donald’s tiny hands,” Stevens said via email. “We’ve donned Distresstivus with the infamous Make America Great Again red cap, and fastened it all together with a big ol’ safety pin.”

He is hoping to eventually burn the display and has applied for a fire permit from the city, but said he hasn’t heard back. 

Stevens has trolled Trump before. Earlier this year, members of his group wore a giant penis costume with Trump’s face as they crashed rallies.

But it’s the holiday displays that have gained him national fame ― which may be ironic since his initial goal wasn’t to create a holiday scene, but to have the Nativity display in Deerfield Beach removed on First Amendment grounds.

When the city refused, Stevens took a different tack and instead pushed for the inclusion of his own seasonal message ― choosing Festivus, with the pole each year themed to a topical issue.

“I thought, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” Stevens told the Sun Sentinel last year, when he erected a rainbow-striped pole topped with a disco ball in celebration of gay rights.  

Last year’s poles were set up in at least five states, in capitol buildings and other public locations where governments have allowed Nativity scenes and other religious symbols. 

This year, Stevens has a pole going up in Delray Beach, also in Florida ― the third time it has been placed there ― along with the one in Deerfield Beach.  

“Additionally, we’re returning late this month to the Florida State Capitol rotunda, planting Distresstivus right down the hall from Gov. Skeletor’s office,” he said, referring to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. 

Stevens has eight poles ready to go. Supporters who want to see them erected around the country can contribute to the Religious Liberty Project.

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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.

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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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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Trevor Noah Expertly Skewers Conservative Tomi Lahren

When conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren walked on to the “Daily Show” Wednesday night, one of the first things she said was “Sometimes people just need to be called on their shit.”

Host Trevor Noah proceeded to do just that to Lahren, whose blistering commentaries against Colin Kaepernick, Beyonce and the Black Lives Matter movement get millions of likes from likeminded people on Facebook.

Lahren attempted to deny that the incendiary things she’s said such as “the Black Lives Matter movement is the new KKK” are based in any racial bias.

“Because I criticized a black person or the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t mean I’m anti-black. It doesn’t mean I don’t like black people or that I’m racist,” she said. “I don’t see color. I go after Hillary Clinton and she’s as white as they come.”

Noah paused for a second.

“You don’t see color? So what do you do at a traffic light?” he asked, before explaining “There’s nothing wrong with seeing color, it’s how you treat color that’s important.”

Noah then asked Lahren about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is protesting the way black people are treated in America by kneeling during the National Anthem at games.

He summed up her opinion thusly: “You have the right to say what you want so shut up!”

Lahren agreed that Kaepernick has the right to protest, but thinks it’s unfair that she should be criticized for criticizing his protest.

“So because I don’t agree with what he did, I should shut up because I’m white? I should shut up? I shouldn’t be able to talk about black issues because I’m white?”

Noah’s response was cool, calm, collected and cutting.

“No one brought up white at all,” he said. “I never said that. I don’t see color.”

Lahren is already tweeting about how her segment was edited.

The extended 26 minute version of the interview is up above and definitely worth watching in its entirety.

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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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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

Poll: Only One-Fourth Of Americans Actually Want Full Obamacare Repeal

The first major post-election survey on Obamacare suggests that repeal is a lot less popular than President-elect Donald Trump and other Republicans may imagine.

The poll also finds that even many Americans who support repeal think Republicans should decide how they’d replace Obamacare before passing a law that would end the program.

The survey comes from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which has been tracking public attitudes toward the the Affordable Care Act since 2010, when President Barack Obama signed it into law. 

Like earlier surveys, this one finds the public sharply divided on the law, with sentiments tracking partisan alignments closely. Democrats tend to support it, Republicans do not.

But in the Kaiser poll, support for full repeal is a distinctly minority position. Only 26 percent of Americans favor it, according to the survey, with another 17 percent preferring that Trump and Republicans merely “scale back what the law does.” 

Support for full repeal actually declines further when people learn that it could mean allowing insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions ― or that 20 million people could lose their insurance altogether. And even among those who want repeal, 42 percent think Republicans should hold off on passing it until they’ve agreed upon a replacement. 

Meanwhile, a plurality of all respondents don’t want Republicans to dial back Obamacare at all, the poll says. Instead, 19 percent of Americans want Trump and the Republicans to “move forward with implementing” the law as it is. Another 30 percent want lawmakers to “expand what the law does.”

In other words, roughly half the country wants lawmakers to leave Obamacare alone, unless changes would make it bigger and stronger.

It’s just one poll, of course. Particularly with a complex issue like health care policy, surveys cannot always capture the nuances of public opinion ― or how voters would actually react, in real life, to the kinds of changes Republicans are proposing. A lot could depend on whether Republicans ever come together on a replacement scheme and, if they do, what that scheme entails.

But these findings certainly don’t represent a hiccup in public opinion. On the contrary, the new results from Kaiser are broadly consistent with what previous polls have shown for most of the last six years.

In the Kaiser poll, the portion of the public with favorable opinions of the law briefly peaked at 50 percent in 2010 after its passage. Since that time, percentage of approval has bounced between the high 30s and mid 40s. In the new survey, it’s at 43 percent.

That’s hardly a strong vote of confidence for Obamacare. But notwithstanding this ambivalence, pluralities have generally opposed total repeal, preferring to amend or strengthen the program.

And large majorities have always supported most of the law’s individual features, including financial assistance for low- and middle-income people buying insurance on their own, as well as guarantees of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The one provision majorities have consistently opposed is the individual mandate ― that is, the requirement that people who decline affordable coverage pay a penalty.

Of course, this latest survey did detect one shift of potential political significance.

Among Republican voters specifically, the proportion who favor full repeal of Obamacare declined in the last month ― from 69 percent in October to 52 percent in November.

At the same time, the proportion of Republican voters who would prefer lawmakers merely scale back the law more than doubled, from 11 percent in October to 25 percent in November.

That change could be temporary, or include some statistical noise.

It could also represent a growing reluctance to junk the law, now that repeal might finally happen.

The Kaiser Foundation conducted its poll from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21, using a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of 1,202 adults. Pollsters reached respondents by both landline and mobile phone, conducting interviews in English and Spanish. The margin of error for the full sample, Kaiser said, was plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

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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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The Internet Can’t Get Enough Of That Awkward Trump-Romney Dinner Photo

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney had a dinner date in New York on Tuesday night ― and one of the images from the meal got immediate attention on social media… maybe for all the wrong reasons. 

Within minutes of its release, the dinner pic launched both a Photoshop battle and a caption contest.

Here’s a sampling of the images being shared on imgur and Twitter:  

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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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At all ages, the habit boosted odds for heart trouble, but younger people fared the worst, study found
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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

6 Science-Backed Tips For Falling Back Asleep That Actually Work

There’s nothing worse than being wide awake at 4 a.m., staring at the ceiling and willing yourself back to dreamland. Middle-of-the-night wake-ups can happen for many reasons, making it hard and frustrating to combat in the moment.

How about we break the cycle tonight? We’ve partnered with Sleep Number to bring you six scientifically proven tips and tricks that will have you back to sleep in no time.

1. Try Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient therapy that involves finger placement and pressure over specific points on the body. These points follow the same channels, called meridians, used in acupuncture. Putting pressure (or needles) on these points is believed to promote blood flow and unlock tension ― among other benefits like alleviating lower-back pain and headaches.

Leigh Gilkey and Siri Michel, licensed acupuncturists and founders of Essential Acupuncture in Chicago, say that self-administered acupressure before bed can promote a restful night of uninterrupted sleep and, in the event of an unwanted nighttime awakening, can help get you back to sleep. A couple of their favorite points to treat insomnia include:

  • Anmian, located behind the ear. Behind the ear is a bone called the mastoid process.  Place your finger on the mastoid process and slide back off the bone and slightly upwards. Look for a little depression and press in a downward motion.
  • Liver 3, located on the top of the foot. Place a finger between the first toe and the second toe and push toward your ankle. There is a depression before the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones. Simply pressing on it or pulling in a downward motion is great for activating this point.

2. Dunk Your Head In Ice-Cold Water

Yes, you read that right. Submerge your face into a bowl of ice water; making sure the area below your eyes and above your cheekbones is wet. Hold your breath for 30 seconds before coming back up for air. This will trigger your mammalian diving reflex, an involuntary human response that will automatically slow down your heart rate and encourage your body to calm itself by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. You will be left feeling relaxed and, you guessed it, more ready for sleep.

3. Reach That Big O

The reason most of us sleep soundly after sex is because oxytocin, the “love hormone,” counteracts stress hormones that can keep you wide awake. Likewise, the endorphins released during sexual activity ― be it solo or among partners ― are like nature’s sedative, working in tandem to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

4. Grab A Snack

That anxious awakening you get in the middle of the night could be the result of low blood sugar, studies show. The adrenal glands, two walnut-shaped organs that sit atop the kidneys, play a key role in regulating blood sugar, especially as you sleep. When your blood sugar drops significantly through the night, these grands release stress hormones that trigger the body to raise blood sugar levels, and stress hormones are no friend to your beauty sleep.

While midnight snacks might not be great for your waistline, there are healthy food options to help you fall back asleep, says Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist. He suggests eating a 250-calorie snack made up of 75 percent carbs, 25 percent protein. Things like an apple with nut butter, a small bowl of non-sugar cereal or frozen Greek yogurt are good options, he says.

5. Dim Those Lights

The next time you wake in the middle of the night and head to the kitchen for a midnight snack or a glass of water, try keeping those lights as dim as possible. It’s the same science that proves blue light exposure from cell phones has a bigger impact on decreasing melatonin levels than other light wavelengths.

“Nighttime light exposure … suppresses the hormone melatonin, which plays an important role in regulating sleep and circadian rhythms,” Breus says in a blog post on his website.

Though unscientific anecdotes such as living by candlelight can purportedly be better for quality sleep and mindful living, there are safer options. Instead of turning on a light the next time you head to the bathroom in the middle of the night, try instead using a dimmer or another softer light source. You can also buy commercial products that will help limit exposure, like the bulbs from Lighting Science. “These will filter out blue light but still give a nice overall lighting solution,” Breus says.

6. Keep It Cool

Falling back asleep may be as simple as lowering the thermostat. Your core body temperature drops at the onset of sleep, which means that a too-warm (or too-cool) room may wake you up. The National Sleep Foundation suggests keeping the bedroom temp around 60 to 68 degrees to get you back to sleep. It’s the ideal temperature scale to layer on those PJs, blankets and duvet cover.

 If you start to feel slightly overheated during the night, try stick one or both feet out from under the covers. Because we’re mammals, the palms of our hands and feet help regulate our core body temperature. Think of them as nature’s thermostats.

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

– 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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Trump – ripples effects in Europe

2016-11-29-1480403352-6151323-TrumpEuropecopy.jpg

Bogdan Marcu, Los Angeles. This article is written together with Cristian Rosu, a Romanian media expert who works for Kirchhoff Consult Romania, a corporation for Public Relations and Communications. Cristian has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest. More articles and social media analyses by Cristian can be found on his blog.

The unexpected Mr. Trump

While there are significant difference between the political systems of Europe and the US, some similarities and political symptoms do cross the Atlantic westward, where US voters may react in some form of contamination. Trump’s victory in the November 8th elections seems to have taken the European chancelleries by surprise, but perhaps it shouldn’t have.

The political trends in several European countries were already pointing towards the disruption of the establishment. In 2015, the Greeks elected Alexis Tsipras as their prime minister: a charismatic but off-main-stream leader, with strong leftist views who took little time to begin a disruptive set of actions. In Hungary, the prime minister Viktor Orban is one of the Eastern Europe’s leaders with the most vocal Eurosceptic views, also expressing pro-Russian views in spite of Hungary’s NATO membership. In Central Europe, Poland’s political leaders express the same level of Euroscepticism as Hungary, and perhaps stronger. Under the presidency of Andrzej Duda, Poland is pushing back against the idea that EU decisions made in Brussels should be automatically accepted in Warsaw. In particular, Poland, just as Hungary, unilaterally refuses to accept the refugee quotas imposed by the EU.

Two major events in 2016 should have provided a stronger warning that the disruptive current against established order and against existing political structures has widened and gained strength. On June 23 2016, the voters in the UK decided 52% to 48% in favor of leaving the European Union, an outcome known as the Brexit. The voter turnout was 71.8% with more than 30 million people voting. This decision leaves the US without an important ally within the EU structure. The second event is murkier, both in terms of the known details as well as the implications: on 15th of July 2016, a coup d’état was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including, but not limited to the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The coup failed and it was followed by vigorous purging of the military by Erdogan, as well as other significant outcomes: the coup has shaken the structure of the NATO alliance of which Turkey is a crucial member, and it has distanced Ankara from Washington with an apparent realignment towards Moscow, at least to some extent, as Erdogan and Putin are currently displaying a warm relationship.

In the meantime, anti-establishment currents have been growing in strength in Germany, France and Austria. In Germany, the large influx of Middle Eastern immigrants allowed into the country by the Merkel’s government has led to a significant decrease of support for Merkel among the German voters. The Alternative for Germany, a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic political party in Germany had gained representation in 10 of the 16 German state parliaments as of September 2016. In Austria, the presidential candidate of the right wing Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer, won the first round of the presidential election of 2016, receiving 35.1%, and was only narrowly defeated by Green Party’s candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, in the run-off. The election was contested however, and a re-run will be held on December 4th, with poll results too close to call a prediction. In France, the National Front party, a right wing nationalist party led by Marine Le Pen is growing in popularity. Marine Le Pen would lead the first round of the 2017 presidential elections, according to various polls. As of 2015, the National Front has established itself as one of the largest political forces in France.

The trends and events described indicate that in Europe, the politically correct legacy of the establishment is being vigorously contested due to the harsh realities of economic austerity, refugee crisis and attempts at diminishing the national identity. There is a common theme across Europe where the citizens find more alignment of their personal interests and worries with extremist parties than with the established parties. The Brexit is viewed a movement of protectionism and anti-immigration in the UK, despite the discrediting descriptions given in the media about the true awareness of the UK voters, or lack thereof, towards the real effects of their decision.

In the same measure, these trends should have been examined from the point of view of their diffusion across the Atlantic. After 8 years of the Obama administration which enjoyed popularity in Europe but was perceived as weak in foreign affairs, after Russia’s moves in Ukraine and the Middle East and the creation and fast growth of ISIS, these changed trends should have pointed the analysts towards the possibility that the US voters would elect a president anti-establishment, a person with a direct manner, more aware of the harsh economic reality of unemployment rather than an embracer of ethnic diversity, a candidate with a stronger hand in foreign affairs and immigration. Donald Trump presented himself as such a candidate and won.

The administrations in Paris and Berlin have received the news of Trumps election victory with great concern. The European Establishment’s concerns are many: what will be the new US administration’s approach to the European’s defense and NATO, given Trump’s campaign rhetoric on the issue, and how will the new administration deal with immigration, given the aggressive Trump’s statements during the campaign, and his departure from the accepted political correctness. What would be the implications of the unknown yet US policy on immigration, given the EU refugee crisis, and the rise of nationalism and extremism?

The President Elect Trump is viewed in some European circles as a counter-revolutionary leader against the EU policy of “unity in diversity”. From this point of view, after several years during which an African American US president has been by far the most representative symbol of accepted diversity all over the world, after the acceptance and legalization of the same sex marriage in many European countries, and after the decision by Germany and to a lesser extent by France to accept a large number of Middle Eastern refugees, suddenly the new White House resident speaks forcefully of deportations, of renegotiation of economic agreements, of warmer relations with Russia, and selects for his future cabinets personalities with known extremist views.

The EU’s own daemons + Russia

The economic crisis has strongly impacted the EU, although at different level of severity for different countries. While Germany has remained the uncontested locomotive of economics for the old continent, the so called PIIGS group of countries, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, were strongly affected. Among them, Greece has been in a continuous and extended dire condition with no clear solution in sight, while Italy’s banks are seen as a strong liability for the Europe’s financial system. Following the Brexit, several other countries contemplated the exit idea, among them Italy. This situation has led some political analysts to the conclusion that the EU could dissolve, either partially or completely.

The agreement reached by 28 European countries with Turkey on March 18th, to slow down the flow of refugees into Europe is now uncertain in terms of its execution due to various legal issues, but mostly due to complications related to the Turkey coup.

To all this, Trump’s victory and his statements regarding NATO have fallen like a hammer on the heads of states in the EU.

Currently, France and Germany are the uncontested leaders of the European Union. While the EU Parliament in Brussels is officially the EU legislative body, the management of the economic crisis in EU is executed by decisions made mostly in Berlin and Paris, with the participation of the European Central Bank. In the meantime, however, both Germany and France are confronted with important domestic issues.

Parliamentary elections are due in Germany no later than October 22 2017. The popularity of Angela Merkel is currently at a historical minimum, with contesting actions even from her own party, the Christian Democratic Union. The refugee crisis and the various terrorist attacks, executed or attempted in Germany are problems hanging heavily on the ratings of Merkel’s government. In particular, after large scale incidents of rape and attacks against women by refugees reported to the police around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Germany, the weak official reaction was perceived as a cover up meant to suppress the expected popular rejection of more inflow of refugees, and maintain Merkel’s decision to bring in more. German foreign affairs have become more complex due to the complications in the relations with the US related to the Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank scandals. These two latest developments are adding to the strain generated by the revelations in 2015 that the NSA had been tapping the German Chancellery. Adding to the complexities, Trump’s victory, and his statements related to the requirement that all NATO member states should increase their defense spending to a minimum of 2% of their GDP place Germany in a difficult position politically. This conjecture opens and increases the chances of the extremist and anti-establishment parties for the upcoming German parliamentary elections in 2017. In this context, it has become very difficult for Germany to manage both its internal and the overall EU crises.

France is in even more complex and difficult state. Although powerful from the military standpoint, with a very advanced industry and technology, the country is affected by 10% unemployment rate overall and between 24% to 26% youth unemployment rate. The youth unemployment is closely correlated with the presence in France of minorities from early waves of immigrants coming from the former French colonies. To that social layer is added the new wave of recent immigrant refugees, a situation that strains, cumulatively, the French social system. Shaken by the chain of terrorist attacks in the last two years, the country is heading towards the presidential elections of 2017. After the US election results were announced, both the French prime minister Manuel Valls and the president Fancois Hollande expressed their deep concerns regarding the ripple effects in France. Current president, Francois Hollande is fairing very low in polls, and another 4 years at the Elysee Palace is just a nice dream. The primaries of the French conservative parties were won by Fancois Fillon, considered a “has been” political figure but with a recent strong showing in polls. Trump’s victory in the US may diminish the chances for such an establishment gentleman. On the rightmost end of the French political spectrum, Marine Le Pen was one of the first European leaders to congratulate Trump. Given Trump’s statements regarding Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the good relationship between Marine Le Pen and the Russian leader, the potential trend generated by Trump’s victory will cause many sleepless nights in Paris.

This conjecture generates great expectations at the Kremlin. For Russia, the objective of a rapprochement with the US is the lifting of economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea which have severely affected the Russian economy. In addition, the significant drop in the price of commodities and especially the drop in the price of oil due to the production gluts and excessive pumping by the OPEC members generate a significant squeeze of the Russian budgets. Besides the lifting of sanctions, Putin will want Trump to recognize Russia’s ownership of Crimea – something no major state has done thus far. Putin also feels that Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence over the former republics of the Soviet Union, and Eastern and Central Europe. Moscow is pushing an ideology of “civilisational spheres” and “pluri-centricism” – code for Russia being a dominant world force on equal terms with the US. Just as with Crimea, Putin would like to revisit history: a new version of the 1945 Yalta treaty, when the US and Britain left the countries of Eastern Europe at Stalin’s mercy. Perhaps Putin would settle for a deal where Trump implicitly acknowledges that Russia has “legitimate interests” in its former backyard. Trump has already questioned the role of NATO and said that the US will not defend countries that fail to contribute to NATO coffers. The vague potential that the new Trump administration may negotiate with Putin on these issues is generating fever chills in many European capital cities.

And in fact, the current situation in Eastern Europe appears favorable to the Russian objectives.

Ukraine’s political movement that generated the break-away from its close relationship with Moscow now appears to lose momentum, with issues such as government corruption stalling progress, while the civil war in the East continues.

In Serbia, the government led by Tomislav_Nikolić maintains close ties with Russia. Serbia is one of Kremlin’s most reliable political links, not because of any Slavic-Orthodox fraternity, but as a consequence of political calculation and propaganda disseminated through the local media, Internet, and social networks pounding on historical solidarity, the pernicious West and defense of traditional values.

In Hungary, the Prime Minister Viktor Orban has clear pro-Russian views as mentioned already here. Moscow is doubly influential in the country by informally partnering with Orban and, at the same time, bankrolling the extremist Jobbik party, a xenophobic group to the right of Orban’s Fidesz party. Through these maneuvers, Moscow has two allies in the country: one in the opposition, and one in power. “Fidesz and Jobbik are crucial in channeling and implementing Russian interests,” argues Daniel Hegedus, a Hungarian analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations, a Berlin-based think tank. As a member of the EU and NATO, Hungary “is able to influence the political agenda and decision-making processes of these bodies.” In particular, Hungary is notably vocal in warning the EU against renewing the sanctions in place against Russia.

The recent election in the Republic of Moldova, former Soviet Republic and a former territory of Romania occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union after the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, designated Igor Dodon as winner. While the result is contested and thousands of citizens in the Moldavian diaspora claim they had been unable to vote, the result of the election is not likely to change. Dodon is a strong pro-Russian leader and is expected to propel Moldova on close Russian orbits.

A similar election result came in Bulgaria, population 7 million, and a member of both NATO and the European Union. It elected Rumen Radev as president, leading to the resignation of its prime minister, Boyko Borisov, and prompting parliamentary elections for the spring. During communist times, Bulgaria was the closest Eastern European member of both the Soviet Union’s military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, and COMECON, its economic union, prior to the breakup of the USSR. Radev is another new Eastern European leader with strong pro-Russian views.

In opposition to these trends, Romania and the Baltic States are the countries in Eastern Europe which, together with Poland in Central Europe, still maintain a strong desire to distance themselves from Russia.

The Baltics: Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. They are the countries where NATO membership and US protection is most critical. However, campaign statements by Donald Trump that NATO states must pay more for defense, his ambivalence about Crimea, and allusions to how America may not defend members against Russian military action generate strong concern for the local governments. As Bloomberg reported recently: “over the past month, Russian TV channels widely watched in the Baltics filled airtime with apocalyptic rhetoric about world war. Russia recently made a show of moving short-range, nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its militarized Baltic exclave, Kaliningrad, wedged between Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea. And a recent military exercise near the Latvian border involved Russian servicemen using loudspeakers to call on NATO soldiers to surrender. The Baltics, with a combined population of 6.1 million (Russia has 142.4 million), have responded by raising defense expenditures and training their military–and general population–in guerrilla warfare. During the last days of October, Latvia staged a major military exercise involving 3,000 troops from the U.S. and other NATO countries, as well as a nationwide civil defense drill”.

Romania, also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union finds itself in a geopolitical conjecture where it is surrounded by pro-Russian interests. At the present, the local political landscape is stable, and the country will hold parliamentary elections on December 11th. But underneath the calm, there are daemons as well. The elections and the related campaigns are held against a background where the fight against government corruption is the main theme, besides the concern and suspicion regarding potential Russian overt or clandestine manouvers. The political parties which are considered in the lead by various polls, the Social Democrat (PSD) and the Liberal (PNL) parties are also considered to carry controversial legacies. Recently, under pressure from the EU, the country’s Military Justice Court (Parchetul Militar) has re-opened for the 4th time the investigation of the events of December 1989. However, for the first time in 27 years, the official statements of the Court referred to the events as an organized action against the state, essentially a coup, and not a revolution. Unofficially, it is generally accepted in Romania that the coup was organized by the then Soviet secret services, the KGB and the GRU, with some degree of approval from the West and the US, following the Malta secret talks between the US president G.H. Bush and general secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev. The implications, relative to the current elections, are related to the legacy of the Social Democrat Party, which has its roots in the December 1989 National Salvation Front, considered today to have been founded by the coup leaders. Ion Iliescu, who is considered the leader of the coup of 1989 and who served twice as president of Romania from 1989 to 1996 and 2000 to 2004 is an honor member of the PSD, but no longer influential in the decisions of the party, after the new party leadership has formally condemned communism, and specifically condemned the decisions made by Iliescu in the early ’90′s when coal miners were brought to Bucharest to violently squash street demonstrations against him. A good fraction of the current PSD is looking westward and attempts at reforming from within: the formal entrance of Romania into the NATO membership was officially signed under the PSD watch, 85% of the current candidates are newcomers to the party while party rhetoric is very much in line with Western values of multi-culture, political and economic liberalism and reform. The National Liberal party also includes members considered as having been part of the 1989 coup legacy. During the recent mayoral race for Bucharest, the Liberal party was noted for a series of political gaffes, among which promoting and then quickly withdrawing several candidates in a short period of time. A third party is also challenging the two established organizations mentioned above: the Save Romania Union (USR) is a political party founded in 2016, extending an initial organization – the Save Bucharest Union – which unsuccessfully ran candidates for the mayoral race in the country’s capital, Bucharest – to national level. The party leader, Nicusor Dan is considered an outsider and perhaps inexperienced, but the party’s candidates run campaigns on a radical anti-corruption platform that is attractive to the young voters and to the large diaspora which considers USR as the only viable option for the country. Militarily, Romania has a special status within NATO and in direct relations with the US: both Poland and Romania are hosting on their territories the military installations of the US/NATO anti-missile shield. The United States sees the $ 800 million missile shield as vital to defend itself and Europe from so-called rogue states but the Kremlin says is aimed at blunting its own nuclear arsenal, and expresses strong irritation about the installations. Consequently, Russia’s moving Iskander missiles into the Kaliningrad region is viewed as a response, in part, to the missile shield installations in Romania and Poland. In Romania, the missile shield installations are seen as a special guarantee extended by the US and NATO to Romania, an interpretation which generates special confidence in the US direction of its foreign relations with respect to the region, regardless of the electoral rhetoric in the US.

Quo vadis?

This short review clearly shows that Trump’s victory finds the EU in a complex and difficult situation. Until now, the US military guarantees extended through NATO, doubled by NATO’s Turkey control of the maritime access by Russian Navy to the Mediterranean through the Turkish straights have been the main defense directions for the EU against Russia. The “European Army” is still only a concept, while the military forces of Germany and France, considered individually, are no match against the Russian military. The EU states have not been allocating significant budgets to their military, after decades of American protection. In addition, Russia has demonstrated in Ukraine a special ability to carry a new type of hybrid war for which the EU has neither efficient counter measures nor adequate tactics.

Donald Trump’s statements regarding a reduced US role within NATO and towards normalizing the relations with Moscow will generates uncertainty in the EU. It is also expected that the future Trump administration will have priorities other than the EU: China, the Middle East, and internal US economy. DEBKA website already reports that Trump’s team is planning, in close contact with Russian and Turkish governments, significant military operations in the Middle East, to be initiated immediately after Trump’s inauguration.

The EU leaders are therefore expected to operate in catch-up mode in reaction to the expected and unexpected decisions of the future Trump administration. This complicates the EU political dynamics in a way that may lead to significant changes in the EU political spectrum and parliamentary representation, with a potential disruption of the establishment.

Sources
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772+
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/29/deutsche-banks-10-billion-scandal
http://www.euronews.com/2016/05/17/francois-hollande-scores-lowest-poll-for-a-french-president
https://www.yahoo.com/news/french-pm-says-france-supports-clinton-over-trump-141011139.html
http://www.thelocal.fr/20161109/france-will-work-with-donald-trump-but-we-have-questions-united-states
http://www.politico.eu/article/le-pen-russia-crimea-putin-money-bank-national-front-seeks-russian-cash-for-election-fight/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3715877/Thousands-German-protesters-prepare-streets-Merkel-demonstration-against-Premier-s-immigration-policies-say-caused-terror-attacks.html
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/20/new-special-relationship-what-does-putin-want-from-trump-kgb
http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/16/ex-georgian-president-saakashvili-says-ukraine-is-running-against-the-clock-to-prevent-another-revolution/
http://cepa.org/Europes-Edge/Russia-stifles-Serbia

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Alzheimer’s Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

Deposits can cause patients’ heart muscle to stiffen, keeping it from pumping properly, study suggests
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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.

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In A Stunning Development, Congress Drops A Billion Dollars On The Heroin Crisis

WASHINGTON ― Congress is close to passing a bill, after several thwarted attempts, that would include a provision allocating $ 1 billion to address the opioid epidemic.

But that effort could still be upended by last-minute concerns that the broader legislation is too much of a giveaway to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

House and Senate Republicans agreed over the weekend on a final version of the 21st Century Cures Act, one of the last bills on the table before the new Congress is sworn in this January.

Three years in the making, 21st Century Cures is designed as a broad investment in medical research and development at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, coupled with the loosening of bureaucratic red tape and regulatory restrictions. Its authors have tinkered with the sources of funding and the language of the legislation. And, in the process, they’ve encouraged lawmakers to offer their support by adding specific, popular provisions to the final product. 

One of those provisions was funding to tackle the opioid epidemic, a development that seemed unlikely to transpire as recently as several months ago.

Deaths from opioid overdoses have continued to rise in many communities across the country, and existing treatment systems are outdated and ill-equipped to address the influx, making the need to address the crisis a political imperative. Over the summer, President Barack Obama had signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act into law, a bipartisan bill that contained several hopeful developments, such as expanding access to medication-assisted treatments — but included essentially no funding to implement the proposals.

So earlier this month, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) began a push to include opioid-related funding in the 21st Century Cures legislation, reminding lawmakers that Congress has yet to help states contain the growing crisis. Last week, they were joined by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in writing a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to take action.

“As the end of the year fast approaches, it is past time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to provide emergency funding and increase investments in prevention and treatment services for opioid use, misuse, and use disorders,” the letter read. “Until we do, our job is not done and our communities will continue to hurt.”

But while the opioid funding has helped draw Democrats to support 21st Century Cures, other provisions, including the removal of a mandatory funding stream for medical research investments, have driven some lawmakers away. 

Among the bill’s major opponents is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who on Monday announced that she will not vote for the bill, despite supporting much of its content, because it has been one of the most heavily lobbied health care bills.

Warren said Senate Republicans “let Big Pharma hijack the Cures bill” and accused them of “trying to buy off Democratic votes one by one by tacking on good bipartisan proposals that senators in both parties have worked on in good faith for years.”

“This final deal has only a tiny fig leaf of funding for NIH and for the opioid crisis,” she said on the Senate floor. “And most of that fig leaf isn’t even real. Most of the money won’t be there, unless future Congresses pass future bills in future years to fund those dollars. So why bother with a fig leaf in the Cures bill? Why pretend to give money to NIH or opioids? Because this funding is political cover for huge giveaways to giant drug companies.”

The House is expected to vote on the 21st Century Cures Act on Wednesday, and the Senate will consider it next week.

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WATCH: Pastor Speaks In Tongues To Celebrate Defeat Of ‘Jezebel’ Hillary Clinton

A preacher was caught on video apparently speaking in tongues to celebrate Donald Trump’s election victory.

Pastor John Kilpatrick never mentions Trump’s name in the clip posted online by Raw Story, which shows him speaking at the Evangel Temple in Meridian, Mississippi, earlier this month. 

However, he declares that “God’s spirit is going to begin to move again in America” because of the election results.  

Kilpatrick also cries out an insult aimed at Hillary Clinton

“Thank the Lord for the victory! Thank you for saving our nation! Thank you, Lord, for bringing Jezebel down! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you WOOOOOO! Revival’s on the way!” 

Jezebel was a biblical figure killed for idolatry, and her name is often used to mean an evil or immoral woman.

Throughout the clip, Kilpatrick speaks in what sounds like gibberish.

He also calls on his followers to stand and pray with each other and “lay hands on one another” ― but men are allowed only to pray with and “lay hands on” other men, and women only with other women. 

“The politically correct mindset would say I’m a crazy man,” he says at one point in the clip. “The politically correct mindset would say don’t listen to him, he’s a nut.”

See more in the clip above. 

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How to Prevent Spread of the Skin Infection Impetigo

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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Body Image vs. Self Image: A Self Discovery?

Body Image vs. Self Image; A Self Discovery?
Robert Reames, CSCS, CN, CES/FNS/CPT www.facebook.com/robertreameslive

If you’ve ever looked at celebrities in the media and thought to yourself; “does she really look like that? Is he that perfect?” The answer to these and other questions like this; highly doubtful. I think it started back as early as the 40′s and 50′s the onset of the “glamour” days in Hollywood. The “looks” of the media stars seem to set the tone and the quest for the flawless. Sometimes even when a healthy weight is achieved there are still parts of our bodies that in our thoughts don’t quite meet a level of beauty that the media and the fitness industry somehow has convinced us that we need to reach. As technology continues to develop so has the ability to enhance looks of perfection. In reality these folks you see in the media are just like you and me. Airbrushing, great lighting, make-up, photo shopping, injections, plastic surgery, extreme dieting prior to a movie, TV or photo shoot and other techniques are all used to create these illusions. Extreme measures many times are taken to create “the look.” This is the “glamour machine” in action. Then most likely, after the production or photo shoot because they’re human just like you and me it’s beer and pizza and or whatever the individual preference of indulgence may be.

That said, let’s talk about your body image and how this image has a huge impact on your self image. I mention the above because this concept tends to drive our thoughts, inner dialogue and self perception. These images often create unachievable expectations and sometimes can cause one to say; “why even bother?” The tendency is not to acknowledge your own individual progress or personal best because it’s not perfection. It’s important to shift the focus towards your individual goals and needs and what you can accomplish. And shift away from what is presented by the Hollywood glamour machine, the cover of the fitness magazine at the newstand or that skinny person down the street who can eat everything in site and not gain a pound. Own the fact that you are a unique being. Achieve your own personal best and not someone else’s. Your goals are real and valid. Own your own unique gifts and lead with these gifts; these talents. Be that electric person in the room who just knows who you are, is grounded and passionate about what you bring to this life. Think about it; there’s nothing more attractive than that. You’re not a failure or a bad person (self image) because you’ve gained a few pounds. (body image) The fitness industry contributes to this as well. This focus on external body perfection has always been a peeve I have with the business and I continue to work hard to shift this focus. The emphasis tends to be on the external while ignoring internal benefits and a return to health. Not that we all don’t want to look our best…that’s a huge benefit of taking great care of ourselves. However, getting optimum numbers on our yearly physicals, quality longevity, exuding a healthy glow, having mobility to play with our kids and grandkids, climb stairs, being able to mow the lawn, shovel the snow or haul the groceries in at night needs more attention. Obesity with adults and kids and healthcare costs in America are all dramatically rising every year. So the approach of the sheened up body under perfect lighting after fasting for two days is clearly not working. It never worked for any long term. www.twitter.com/Robertreames

So what is body image? It’s a reaction you have within in response to what you see in the mirror or a picture. This encompasses the perceptions and things you tell yourself about how you feel about your body. You’re too fat, too thin, ugly, old, bloated and tired, average, amazing, fit, beautiful or whatever you tell yourself based on what you see. This is your body image. Self image is how we feel about ourselves as people, as human beings. It’s who you are as a person from the soul; self esteem. If you’re a good giving and caring person, a good parent, a great friend or sibling. Body image and self image for most everyone go hand in hand. You may have great body image but a poor self image; poor self esteem. Or you may have the opposite. Ultimately you want a healthy and positive image of both. If you’ve looked in the mirror and punished yourself for what you see based on the fact that you’ve let your health go and gained weight you get what I’m talking about here. Because you’ve let yourself go (body image) …now you’ve deemed yourself as a total failure in life. (self image) The fat on your hips and thighs, your flabby midsection, the chubby arms…these are not who you are. (body image) And because you may have let yourself go for whatever reason, you’re still the same loving giving person that you’ve always been. (self image) Your friends, family and loved ones around you know and embrace this as well. I’ve said before that being overweight for the most part is always the result of something much bigger; an injury that caused you to become inactive, a traumatic event, your need to be protected by the fat suit, depression, loss, a bad relationship or any other reason in life that took you in the wrong direction health wise. These events and the current result of being overweight again are not who you are. No need to punish yourself. And newsflash; If you’re overweight you have the power within you to do something about it.

Your body image now may not be so much that you hate yourself and where you are now. But more a feeling of disappointment that you’ve not kept the standards that you really do have for yourself. You’ve let yourself go. Truth is if these standards didn’t exist in you, your poor body image due to being fat and out of shape wouldn’t bother you at all. You’d be fat, bloated, happy and loving life. Tap your resources and put this in motion. Raise your standards, alter your perspective and move forward one step at a time but continue the move forward. Focus on your goals, your passions, your inner goodness and not the illusion of the media machine.

Avoid a “diet” as these are temporary plans that yield temporary results. If you’re not going to commit to a level that you can commit to or do it right you’re better off to stay overweight until you decide that you’re ready to do it. Then make the changes necessary to embrace a lifestyle that will get you to your goal weight and keep you there. Ultimately you to learn what I call the “skill of weight control.” Determine a weight that you realistically can attain and sustain and work with that. And this perspective will continue to have ebbs and flows. That’s okay. Just stay conscious and real about what you are willing to do.

It’s keeping standards high for the choices you make on a daily basis. Heck yes you’ll look good…absolutely! Enjoy and flaunt this great pay-off. But go even deeper on this for yourself, your health and how you’ll feel. Your energy levels will soar and there is so much out there in life that awaits you. At your physical the doctor hands you tremendous results. If you have kids, nieces or nephews you’re going to turn around one day and they’ll have kids. You want to begin now to enjoy these times later. And yes; you’ll be able to wear those benchmark jeans! Don’t wait for tragedy to wake you up forcing you to play catch up. Get off the couch and take action now. You don’t have to be perfect just be you. “Acknowledge all progress” as I say. You’ll feel better and who doesn’t want that? Love your body and who you are. Get in the game and enjoy the journey!

- Head Trainer for The Dr. Phil Show (14th season)
- Pear Sports Coach for Pear Mobile Personal Coaching Audio/Heart Rate Training System www.pearsports.com Download the free App at the App Store or Google Play
- Pear Pro System Coach
- TPI (Titleast Performance Institute) Level 3 Trainer www.mytpi.com
- Co-creator of the Lean For Life by Lindora Fitness App for Pear Sports
- Spokesperson for the VEEP Nutrition System www.veep.com (The Visual Eating and Exercise System)
- 12 year Member of the renown Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute www.goldsgym.com
- Host of “Robert Reames Live!” radio/video podcast at -www.gvbstudios.com/robert-reames-live and available on Itunes

The PEAR Personal Coaching System calibrates to your fitness level: www.pearsports.com

The VEEP Nutrition System tells you exactly what to eat! www.veep.com

Connect with Robert: www.facebook.com/robertreameslive and www.twitter.com/Robertreames or via email: rreames@robertreames.net

– 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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People Are Imagining The White House Exit Pranks Obama Could Play

President Barack Obama will hand over the keys to the White House to President-elect Donald Trump in less than two months.

And Twitter users are already suggesting some lighthearted practical jokes the outgoing POTUS could play on his successor, via @TheWeeHoursWar and @Dubzzzinyaface’s globally trending #WhiteHouseExitPranks hashtag.

It follows the wildly popular post-election Joe Biden meme, in which people imagined the vice president’s conversations with Obama during the transition.

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

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58296e98e4b0c4b63b0d4443,57ce6d1ce4b078581f13bff4,57e78646e4b0e80b1ba27f92

– 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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Hitting the Slopes? Keep These Safety Tips in Mind

Snowboarders and skiers should always use properly maintained equipment and be fully rested
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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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

– 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

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.” 

– 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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Beauty Care Choices – $20 off orders over $100

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Fidel Castro Dead: Cuban Revolutionary Leader Dies At 90

Fidel Castro, the controversial revolutionary leader and former head of state of Cuba, has died at the age of 90, Cuban state television announced.

One of the world’s longest-serving political leaders, Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years after playing a central role in the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. He cut a divisive figure during his lifetime, transforming Cuba into the Western Hemisphere’s first communist country and becoming a thorn in the side of the United States during the Cold War.

Hailed by supporters as a hero who fought for socialist ideals by standing up to the U.S. and the world’s other political giants, Castro was seen by critics as a ruthless dictator guilty of subjecting his people to countless human rights abuses, devastating Cuba’s economy and forcing more than a million Cubans to flee the island.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

The illegitimate son of a successful sugar cane farmer, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born Aug. 13, 1926, on his father’s farm, near Birán, Cuba. Educated in private Jesuit boarding schools, Castro was a clever and athletic but rambunctious child. In high school, his reckless behavior reportedly earned him the nickname “El Loco,” the crazy one. This reputation followed him to the University of Havana, where he began studying law in 1945.

The university was a hotbed of political activity at the time, and Castro became interested in politics and activism. Influenced by the ideology of Cuban nationalism, he became a vocal student activist. He frequently organized strikes and demonstrations and spoke out against then-President Ramón Grau and his government.

“Fidel’s generation had a terrible sense of frustration,” veteran American journalist Georgie Anna Geyer said in a 2005 PBS documentary on Castro. “Cuba was supposed to be one of the three wealthiest countries in the hemisphere, with the United States and Argentina, and yet they couldn’t put themselves together politically. … They saw leader after leader either be corrupt, killed, replaced by the United States ― fail, fail, fail.”

Castro showed signs of brilliance as a college student, but he was also rumored to have been involved in acts of violence. His reputation at the time was such that when a young woman named Mirta Díaz Balart (whom Castro would marry in 1948) fell in love with him, her brother gave her the following warning: “You know he’s crazy, he’s paranoid and a psychopath who’d just as soon throw you off the 10th floor as buy you a mink coat.”

REVOLUCIÓN

Castro graduated from the University of Havana in 1950 with a doctorate in law, and he started a small law practice. Politics, however, remained his primary passion, and he began campaigning with the Ortodoxo party for a place in congress.

But in March 1952, Castro’s political ambitions ― and Cuba’s democracy ― were derailed when General Fulgencio Batista led a coup d’etat, ousting the sitting president. As a dictator, Batista became increasingly ruthless, and his government grew ever more corrupt.

Castro, together with his brother Raúl and more than 100 other rebels, organized an attack against the Batista regime. Their target: the Moncada Barracks, one of the largest military garrisons in the country. Usually regarded as the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, the July 26, 1953, offensive was a total disaster. Dozens of rebels either were killed or were captured, tortured and later executed. Castro and his brother were caught and sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

“Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me,” Castro, who argued in his own defense, famously said during his trial.

Though the Moncada Barracks attack was, from a military perspective, a failure for the rebels, it had tremendous symbolic value. Castro became an icon, a symbol of the anti-Batista movement. In 1955, he and Raúl were released from prison as part of an amnesty deal with the Batista government. The brothers then traveled to Mexico, where they prepared to re-launch their revolutionary campaign. It was there that they met Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who played an instrumental role in the revolution and the early years of Cuba’s new regime.

On Dec. 2, 1956, a group of 82 men, including Castro, his brother and Guevara, landed in Cuba on an overloaded yacht named the Granma. Like Moncada, the attack was a disaster, and most of the men were killed. A small group of survivors managed to flee into the mountains, where they recruited new fighters. The revolutionaries went on to engage in a fierce and successful guerrilla war against government troops.

On New Year’s Day 1959, following years of clashes with the rebels, Batista fled Cuba.

Considered by many to be a national hero, Castro in February 1959 was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba.

While the international community criticized Castro’s government for its brutal campaign of retribution against Batista supporters, the Cuban people were firmly on Castro’s side. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans would gather and cheer as he delivered long, rousing speeches — some of them lasting hours — about the revolution.

The Cuban people “turned their good will, their faith and their judgment over to Fidel Castro,” Marifeli Pérez-Stable, a Cuban-born scholar and professor who now lives in the United States, told PBS in 2005, “and that was huge political capital, political capital that allowed him to centralize power.”

José Orlando Padrón, the Cuban émigré who founded Padrón Cigars, put it another way, saying in the 2012 documentary “Cubamerican,” “We followed him, and we were all fooled.”

COLD WAR

In the decades that followed, Castro would rule Cuba with an iron fist, becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

During the Cold War, Castro’s Cuba proved especially influential in the politics of the day. He revealed his belief in socialism and declared his allegiance to the USSR early on in his rule. Castro also never minced words about his animosity toward the United States and all capitalistic and imperialistic enterprises.

In 1960, at the beginning of what would become a decades-long enmity between the two neighbors, Castro expropriated American-owned property and nationalized U.S.-owned assets and companies in Cuba. Annoyed and alarmed by Castro’s behavior and his close ties to the Soviets, the U.S. retaliated, first by initiating an economic embargo that would cripple Cuba’s economy and then by plotting his overthrow withthe 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, a CIA-orchestrated attack on Cuba that proved disastrous for the Americans.

A year after the invasion, Castro became a central figure in the most harrowing close call of the Cold War: the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Castro had consented to let the Soviets deploy ballistic missiles to Cuba, reportedly telling then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in a letter that a nuclear strike should be launched against the United States and that the Cuban people were “prepared to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the destruction of imperialism and the victory of world revolution.”

After the missiles were spotted by an American spy plane in October 1962, the destruction Castro spoke of was almost realized. Over the next two weeks, as the Soviets and the Americans engaged in tense negotiations, the world spun closer to nuclear war than at any other time before or since. Fortunately, however, the USSR ― to Castro’s fury ― finally agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, and the crisis was averted.

LEGACY OF CONTROVERSY

In 2006, after falling ill with an undisclosed disease, Castro handed the reins of power to his brother Raúl. Castro officially resigned in 2008, after 49 years as Cuba’s head of state.

Over the course of his rule, Castro was credited with instituting some positive social reforms, such as universal health care and education. In 2011, the literacy rate in Cubawas estimated to be 99.8 percent.

In 2006, the left-wing British politician Ken Livingstone, who was then mayor of London, praised Castro’s social reforms. “What’s amazing here is you’ve got a country that’s suffered an illegal economic blockade by the United States for almost half a century and yet it’s been able to give its people the best standard of health care, brilliant education,” Livingstone’s been quoted as saying. “To do this in the teeth of an almost economic war is a tribute to Fidel Castro.”

However, in his years in power, Castro is also said to have demanded absolute subservience from the Cuban people and was known for quashing freedom of press and imprisoning people he deemed “anti-social,” including dissidents, artists and members of the LGBT community.

“For almost five decades, Cuban citizens have been systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to free expression, privacy, association, assembly, movement, and due process of law,” Human Rights Watch said in 2008. “Tactics for enforcing political conformity have included police warnings, surveillance, short-term detentions, house arrests, travel restrictions, criminal prosecutions, and politically motivated dismissals from employment.”

Castro is believed to have imprisoned thousands of political prisoners. More than one million Cubans fled the country during the years he held power.

Members of Castro’s own family have denounced him and his actions. His sister Juanita Castro, who fled Cuba in the 1960s, famously said shortly after her defection: “I cannot any longer remain indifferent to what is happening in my country. My brothers Fidel and Raúl have made it an enormous prison surrounded by water. The people are nailed to a cross of torment imposed by international communism.”

Alina Fernández, one of Castro’s daughters (he fathered at least eight children), has also been extremely critical of his regime. Fernández, who fled Cuba in 1993, was oncequoted as saying that her father’s legacy would be a “country ruined … with part of its people in exile, an experience very hard and very difficult to cure.”

On the international stage, Castro was beloved and despised in equal measure. He claimed to have survived more than 630 assassination attempts, most of them allegedly orchestrated by the CIA. But for all his enemies, he never had a shortage of avid supporters.

Twice elected the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, an intergovernmental organization dedicated to representing the interests of developing countries, Castro has also been praised by several influential figures ― among them, former South African leader Nelson Mandela and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson ― for his bravery and revolutionary zeal. Castro is “the most honest, courageous politician I have ever met,” Jackson has been quoted as saying.

Under Castro, Cuba was seen by many in the developing world as a revolutionary center, and Castro played an influential role in the anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism that was sweeping across the world in the latter half of the 20th century. In 2001, Castro was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of developing nations.

The Cuban leader also spoke up against global warming and other environmental issues and was lauded by some for his environmentalism and green policies.

 

Ultimately, the world has remained divided over his legacy.

In 2003, near the end of Castro’s tenure as president of Cuba, author Anthony Daniels wrote of him: “Nearly half a century after he first took power, he fascinates in a way that the younger gray functionaries who now control the world do not, and he still provokes the strongest passions. No one is neutral about him.”

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

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The Spoof Bands That Could Play At Donald Trump’s Inauguration

President-elect Donald Trump shouldn’t worry about which music stars will perform at his inauguration.

After Elton John ruled himself out of the gig on Wednesday, Twitter users have been helpfully imagining a bunch of other (spoof) bands who could instead take to the stage on Jan. 20.

Via the globally trending #TrumpInauguralBands hashtag, they’ve suggested everyone from “Earth, Wind and You’re Fired” to “System of a Clown.”

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

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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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As holiday shopping season kicks off, here are tips on buying toys and sports-related items
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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.

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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.

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Seth Meyers Rips ‘Tricky Dick’ Donald Trump Over His Substantial Conflicts Of Interest

Seth Meyers took aim at Donald Trump’s significant conflicts of interest on Wednesday.

The “Late Night” host said the president-elect continues to face “a barrage of questions over his foreign business ties” and how they may affect his administration.

Meyers recalled how Trump had promised throughout his presidential campaign to get tough on China, but said that vow was now compromised after it emerged a Chinese state-run bank rents office space from him inside Trump Tower.

“To be fair to Trump, he might not have realized the bank was owned by China,” said Meyers, before delivering the killer line, “What’s the bank’s name? The Bank of China.”

“We keep getting more reasons to worry that Trump could use his office to benefit himself,” the comedian later added, before likening Trump to former President Richard Nixon“Just a couple of tricky dicks,” he said of the duo.

Check it out in the clip above, and watch Meyers further explore Trump’s foreign business ties and the issues they pose on Wednesday night’s show below:

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Health Tip: Exercise Can Be a Brain-Booster

The result: clearer thinking, sharper focus

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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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Thanksgiving in the Shadow of Trump: Don’t Let him Ruin Your Holiday

Don’t Let Trump Ruin Your Thanksgiving
By Rabbi Michael Lerner

Don’t let the latest outrageous appointment to his Administration of racists and antiSemites or the oppressive policy “the Donald” plans to implement as soon as he takes office, or the upsurge of hate crimes after the election ruin your opportunity to rejoice at all that is good in our world and in your own life!

How about starting with this to put things in perspective: a very clear and strong majority of Americans voted for Hillary Clinton–she won the popular vote by over one and half million. So celebrate the fact that the American voting majority preferred her to Trump, and if we lived in a democracy, she would be taking office in January. After Al Gore similarly won the majority and still was not allowed to become president, the Dems could have used the first two years of the Obama presidency, when they controlled both Houses of Congress, to start the process of amending the Constitution to both end the electoral college (added to the Constitution to prevent a majority from eliminating slavery in southern states, and continuing to give American racists disproportionate say in public policy) and to end the role of money in politics (the ESRA–Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would do that , please read it at www.tikkun.org/esra).

And it’s not too late for President Obama to proclaim: “Hillary Clinton is the real president of the majority of Americans, so I’ve asked her to appoint a Cabinet composed on the kinds of people she would have had helping her run the government, so that they can articulate for the American majority the policies and practices the majority voted for. I don’t expect her to subject herself to more of the abuse she suffered from Donald Trump by reentering the public arena as ‘the real President of Americans’ she actually is, but I believe that the platform she and Bernie Sanders worked out together is much closer to what the American public wants than what our very defective electoral college system is planning to give us. I call upon the media, which gave Donald Trump a path to the White House by the free publicity it gave to him in order to defeat many Republican adversaries in the primaries, to now give that same attention to the voices of those who actually would have won the presidency were our democratic system to have already fixed this unjustified holdover from the days when women and people of color and poor whites were not able to vote. It’s a key step toward turning our country into a genuine democracy.”

But I’m not holding my breath. Obama has consistently lacked the courage we needed from a liberal or progressive leader–we need only look at his failure to order an end to the building of yet another oil pipeline, this one threatening the water supplies of Native Americans in North Dakota.

And by the way, that resistance by Native Americans to the pumping of yet more oil that threatens the life support system of our planet is another thing to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Many Native Americans have joined together to form the Standing Rock encampments and demonstrations not only to prevent their own water supply from being destroyed by yet another ill-conceived effort to frack and then pump oil when our world needs instead to have the monies invested in alternative energy sources, but also to explicitly wake the rest of us up to the demand to keep the fossil fuels in the ground or impose a hefty carbon tax on those who use that form of energy.

What is particularly impressive, deserving celebration, is the way that the Native Americans (and the many others who have come to the Standing Rock demonstrations as volunteers) have stood their ground non-violently, refusing to sink to the despicable level of the militarized police who have consistently met the demonstrators with horrific levels of violence. We should take a few minutes at our Thanksgiving dinners to celebrate these Native Americans, descendents of those who welcomed the first American Pilgrims and shared the first Thanksgiving dinner with them (or so the mythology goes), and to pray for the many hundreds of people who have been assaulted and/or wounded by police violence in Standing Rock, and in communities where people of color daily face unjust assaults, arrests, and violence from police and other racists.

Please bring all this to the attention of everyone with whom you are celebrating Thanksgiving, as well as to offer prayers for Sophia Wilansky, a Jewish woman who took part in a nonviolent protest led by the Sioux Nation of Standing Rock, and was severely wounded Sunday night by a concussion grenade, fired by the police and others hired by the Dakota Pipe-Line companies, that blew apart her left arm. We can give thanks that we still have the freedom to challenge these kinds of brutal assaults and resolve to resist any erosion of that freedom Trump’s new attorney general might have in mind to impose.

I want also to celebrate this Thanksgiving all those who have stood up, and taken risks, to oppose the racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-Semitism which still persists in America (both in the actions of some haters who have now become more visible as they celebrate their new president as a comrade with shared values, and in many of the economic and political institutions of our society).

I’m proud to have been arrested several times for nonviolent participation in demonstrations against all these forms of oppression. Yet even as we celebrate all those who fight against every form of hatred, racism, sexism, etc. and give thanks for their courageous work, we also have to reconsider the way we’ve done that in the past. Martin Luther King jr. had a beautiful way–always putting forward a universalistic vision of “Blacks and Whites together” building a world based on love and nonviolence. But in the past few decades the liberal and progressive world has too often embraced or tolerated an “identity politics” which has at times set one group against another, each feeling that its oppression is worse than anyone else’s, and not emphasizing our common humanity. And while this has greatly weakened the Left (that is, liberal and progressive movements and political parties) it has also made it easier for Rightists to characterize us all as elitists who don’t care for white people and men. When lefties talk about “white skin privilege” or “male privilege” this has often sounded to many whites and many men as though the Left has no understanding of the class structure and the way that most whites and most men have very little power to shape the world in which they live, inherited a world already structured in racist and sexist ways, and perceive themselves as having little power to change it. Yet many people hear the Left as implying or saying explicitly that anyone who is not already on our side must be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, antiSemitic or just plain stupid.

We at Tikkun magazine and our interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives have consistently critiqued those who make the sweeping assumption that everyone who is on the Right or who voted for Trump was a racist, sexist, homophobe, etc. What the research I conducted through the Institute for Labor and Mental Health (Tikkun’s parent body) revealed is that many working people are in deep pain in their lives, in part because they’ve bought into the dominant ideology of our capitalist society that we live in a meritocracy, so if your income doesn’t match your needs, or if your relationships don’t feel nurturing and you are not getting the respect you deserve, you have no one to blame but yourself.

This self-blaming is one reason many people are desperate for some kind of community that accepts them as they are, and doesn’t see them as “less than” others the way they get to feel all day in the world of work and sometimes also in their own family life. I’ve explained in my book The Left Hand of God–Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right how the dynamics of a competitive marketplace has the ironic consequence of making most people feel that they are really alone, unable to count on others, and desperate for some place where people are not looking at them through the utilitarian framework of “what can YOU do to satisfy MY needs?” but rather accepts them with all their flaws and limitations, and on the other hand also makes them feel that creating a society that truly respects and cares for others is a utopian fantasy and that they had best protect themselves from others by building a wall around themselves and honing the skills of domination and manipulation lest they themselves be dominated.

They find this accepting community either in right-wing ultra-nationalist organizations, or in fundamentalist churches, where everyone inside the community is valued and everyone outside is seen as potential enemy. In this context, people are getting the following message: “You are ok, so stop your self blaming, because the cause of your problems is not you, but is part of the social reality in which e not you live.” This brings deep relief from self-blaming, and earns the Right wing immense gratitude from people who have been feeling bad about themselves. The only hitch? The Right goes on to say, “the reason you are not getting the respect you need, the success you need, even the family stability and love you need, is because there is some Other that the liberals and progressives are giving what you actually deserve.” That Other was Jews in Nazi Germany (along with gays and gypsies), the Chinese in Japan and India, the Japanese in China and Southeast Asia, the Arabs in Israel and the Americans and Israelis in parts of the Muslim world. And in the U.S. that has been Native Americans and African Americans for centuries, and more recently feminists, gays and lesbians, Muslims, immigrants, and now once again Jews.

Please understand what is happening here. People are in deep pain, often a product of the way these “hidden injuries of class” play out in their personal lives, making them feel terrible about themselves. The Right comes along and relieves the self-blaming by directing towards demeaned Others the anger that people had previously directed against themselves. In short, a legitimate pain is being dealt with through an illegitimate and poisonous strategy of other-blaming. The pain is real, the solution offered by the Right is illusory and destructive.

But that pain gets compounded when liberals and progressives dismiss everyone on the Right or among Trump supporters as racist, sexist, etc. That blaming and shaming is one reason why people who 8 years ago voted for Obama, or even this past Spring hoped that Bernie Sanders would get the Democratic nomination and they would have supported him, but this November voted for Trump. They voted for a racist and sexist this time, and for some who voted for Trump it was precisely this that attracted them. But for many others, including 53% of white women who voted for Trump, it wasn’t the racism or sexism that attracted them to Trump, but his ability to articulate the intense anger and outrage that they had been feeling for many years and never had anyone who liberated them to really express it. And this latter group, which could still be reached by an empathic and compassionate progressive world, instead finds themselves demeaned by the Left, told that their sole motivation is that they are either haters or stupid—and this demeaning makes them even more loyal to the Right no matter how crazy its policies appear to be.

No, I’m not suggesting that you celebrate this reality. But yes, we can celebrate that there are many people who could still be won back to a progressive agenda in the next 4 to 8 years if we can help build a liberal and progressive movement that would approach these people not as enemies and not as dummies, but as decent people who deserve respect even when we disagree with the choices they have been making.

To build such a movement, we have to approach with sensitivity and compassion those on the Left who have made this mistake of demeaning all Trump voters instead of recognizing the possibility that while some of them are in fact racist, sexist, bullying jerks, a lot of others are decent people with ideas that need to be respectfully addressed and challenged.

Yet we also need compassion for those on the Left who are following this path. These lefties are often people who have themselves been sexually abused, or demeaned as women or gays or lesbians or people of color. Their life experience has been one which led them to the Left, and their outrage at the continuation and momentary triumph of racist and sexist forces in America deserves to be treated with respect. We need more people in our society to be outraged at every form of oppression and prejudice. This outrage is a form of righteous indignation that many of us at Tikkun share fully. But there is a big difference between being outraged at oppression and prejudice and being outraged at the human beings who express or participate in oppresssive behaviors that manifest prejudice or vote for people who express those prejudices, and being outraged at the people themselves who carry mistaken ideas. In fact, the Left often devours its own members by discovering that each of us may still have remnants of sexism, racism or homophobia within ourselves, and then spends its energy dissing each other!!! We should not be throwing verbal stones at anyone else, because we ourselves, all of us, are participating in a society which, compared to many places on this planet, gives “privilege” to all Americans regardless of their sex, race or sexual orientation. Focusing on privilege in this way is a gift to the ruling elites–they can always remind us to also feel guilty and hence disempower us to struggle against the system and the way it enshrines racism, sexism, etc. Don’t fall into their trap–encouraging us to feel bad about ourselves is very disempowering, and can be applied to people of color and other groups that are oppressed here but privileged in regard to some other parts of the world’s population. This is a path that leads movements to destroy themselves.

And yet, here is another thing to celebrate on Thanksgiving: it is possible for us to recognize that our anger at the various forms of oppression is correct, our indignation righteous, but shaming blaming, and emphasizing how bad or distorted we or others are is not necessarily smart as a strategy. We need to validate the feelings of outrage at racism, sexism, and every other form of oppression–and fight against racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and/or antiSemitic policies and practices, the spreading of distorted views of others, the public or private demeaning of others.

AND then, we need to develop a strategy in which we reach out to people who voted for Trump with compassion, not because they have a “right” to demand that of us, but because we have a need to win in our struggle to heal and transform our society, and to win we need to sometimes let go of being “right” and instead start to figure out how to be “smart.” And demeaning the others, asking them to listen as we tell them how privileged they are, lecture them on their white skin privilege or their male privilege, has proved to be a destructive strategy which neither changes the others nor helps us succeed.

To succeed, we need to help those who are not yet on our side be able to actually feel that they can get respect and genuine caring from us, and that they’ll never feel as long as we feel the need to tell them how privileged they are, how evil their ideas, how stupid their concepts. To indulge ourselves in this kind of shaming and blaming is actually a way of abandoning the needs of those who suffer most in our society

I often think of how much I would have wished there had been in Germany in the 1920s, when the Nazi movement was growing but had not yet taken over and abolished democratic processes, a group on the Left that could have thought about what legitimate needs the Nazis were addressing in illegitimate ways, and then sought to address those needs in more healthy ways, in the process winning people away from the fascist agenda. And that is precisely what we need in the U.S. today.

So another thing I invite you to celebrate is this fact: that people, no matter how far gone into ideas that we might find offensive or hurtful, can often be won away to a different way of thinking if they are approached with genuine empathy and a real desire on our part to understand how they have experienced the world. This requires a lot from us–the ability to listen without judgment, to really hear, and to really want to know others’ pain. Both the pain of those on the Left who simply can’t go this path because they are still so stuck in the pain they’ve experienced from racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, antiSemities, etc. and because they are rightly scared (as I am to some extent) by the horrific possibilities that a Trump presidency might bring). But also recognize the pain of those on the Right who have been put down in so many ways by people on the Left (I haven’t even begun in this article to talk of the ways that they have been put down by the religiophobia rampant on the Left that approaches everyone who is religious or spiritual as though they are on a lower level of consciousness than those who have rejected the religious and spiritual world).

So yes, the task is difficult, the path requiring a lot of psychological sophistication and training. By the way, Cat Zavis, executive director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives is offering some of that very training–if you are interested, contact her: cat@spiritualprogressives.com. But we can still give thanks on Thanksgiving that the possibility of tikkun (the Hebrew word for healing, repair and transformation) is still with us.

In fact, you might find that if you share this analysis with people at your Thanksgiving table, talk about the idea that people on the Left are beginning to recognize and repent for the ways that we in the liberal and progressive world put others down, made them feel stupid or evil, and that we recognize that as a big mistake, you might be surprised to find people whom you thought were unreachable suddenly willing to listen, particularly if you ask them to share their stories of the parts of their life about which they still feel that they were unsuccessful or failures, or the ways that they felt blamed or put down by people on the Left (maybe even by you personally). It will open up amazing conversations that can be built upon after Thanksgiving as well.

Of course, there is so much more to celebrate. Every day I start my day by walking with my wife around our neighborhood, giving thanks for being alive, conscious, with relatively healthy bodies, and part of this amazingly alive planet Earth. We sing songs and prayers of appreciation for all the amazing realities of this universe, human beings and animals being part of what there is to celebrate, and also so many other aspects of this fantastic planet that sustains us. Try this spiritual practice for 30 minutes each morning–it is life energizing and consciousness refreshing! Try it, alone or partnered, on Thanksgiving morning before you go to any celebration with other people–it will deepen your experience. And of course, our friends, lovers, partners, spouse, coworkers, and comrades in the struggle for a world of love and generosity also should be celebrated as we give thanks this Thanksgiving.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine (www.tikkun.org/subscribe) chair of the interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming NSP–Network of Spiritual Progressives, and author of 11 books including The Politics of Meaning. He invites you to tell him what happened if you shared these ideas with others at the Thanksgiving celebration you attended. RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com

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

Politics – The Huffington Post
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Violent Media Often Give Rise to Nightmares

Research also found viewing sexual content can lead to erotic dreams, but not as often
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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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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Kids Are Writing Letters To Donald Trump To Ask Him To Be Kind

How do you explain to your child that America’s next president is someone who has mocked a person with a disability, made lewd and sexist comments about women, proposed to ban an entire religion from the country, insulted people of color and incited violence?

That was the question on Molly Spence Sahebjami’s mind after Donald Trump was elected to the White House and the reason she launched the private Facebook group, “Dear President Trump: Letters From Kids About Kindness” in the wake of the election.

“I talked to many of my friends with kids, and we all shared the same question: What do we tell our kids about why the mean man won?” Sahebjami, a mother and Hillary Clinton supporter from Seattle, Washington, told The Huffington Post. 

Sahebjami’s plan was simple: She would invite parents to join her Facebook group and have their kids write positive, non-partisan letters to the president-elect, explaining the importance of being kind to others. It was an experiment she took up with her 5-year-old son to help make sense of the election.

Within days, thousands of people joined the private group, posting photos of their children’s letters and sharing them on social media with the hashtag #KidsLettersToTrump. By Tuesday, more than 12,000 people had requested to join Sahebjami’s group.

The handwritten notes range from cards covered in block letters and misspelled words, to drawings of rainbows and kids of all colors, to thoughtful essays penned neatly on lined paper. 

The words are different, but the messages to the president-elect resonate the same: Be kind. Show compassion. Don’t call people mean names.

Young kids “may have varying levels of knowledge about the key issues in the election, but there is one thing they know for sure,” Sahebjami told HuffPost. “Trump said some really unkind things about certain groups of people.”

That’s why, Sahebjami said, the letter-writing campaign gained steam so quickly. Parents of young kids needed a positive way to react to the election results.

“It’s a patriotic thing, and such an American thing, for kids to write letters to their president, expressing their hopes for the nation,” she told HuffPost. “These are our future voters.” 

The letters to Trump, written by kids from ages 4 to 18, are overwhelmingly positive, but there are a few that convey undeniable frustration and fear over the president-elect’s rhetoric and some of the policies he promised to implement, which, Sahebjami says, are “inconsistent with what we teach our children about kindness.”

“Kids in my class are very scared, please don’t kick them out,” reads a note from Abby, 6. “In my school, we get sent to the wall when we’re in trouble. My friends did not do anything wrong.”

“I hope that during your presidency, you can defy my expectations,” reads another note, written on the back of a postcard by Hadley, 13. “I hope you can help everyone of every race, not just white men with the same beliefs.”

Sahebjami hopes that these letters inspire young people to take an interest in democracy and understand their role in it. She also hopes it will remind parents of the “simple, pure way” that children think about being kind.

But most of all, she hopes that the president-elect listens to the kids and takes the movement to heart.

“It would be great if we can catch the attention of Donald Trump,” Sahebjami said. “He’s a father and a grandfather, and he’s human.”

It’s not currently clear if the president-elect reads these letters, but for now, we can continue to share the words of the littlest voices in our country, in hopes that their message will be heard.

“Dear Mr. Trump, Be kind please.” ― a note signed “Little Boy Tommy”

“Please tell your supporters to stop saying and doing mean things to other people.” ― Sam, age 8

“Let the love shine through.” ― Avery, age 6

– 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
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