ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
Solar is mostly for the wealthy. Here’s how Obama plans to change that
By Tim McDonnell
This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Rooftop solar power systems cost a lot less these days than they did five or 10 years ago, and with many solar companies now offering leases and loans, it’s safe to say that going solar is more affordable than ever before. That trend goes a long way to explaining why solar, while still making up less than 1 percent of the total U.S. energy mix, is the fastest-growing power source in the country.
But access to solar power is still overwhelmingly skewed toward affluent households. Of the roughly 645,000 homes and business with rooftop solar panels in the U.S., less than 5 percent are households earning less than $40,000, according to a report earlier this year from the George Washington University Solar Institute. The typical solar home is 34 percent larger than the typical non-solar home, according to energy software provider Opower.
President Barack Obama wants to change that. On Monday, the White House announced a package of initiatives to make solar more accessible for low-income households. The plans include a new solar target for federally subsidized housing and an effort to increase the availability of federally insured loans for solar systems.
Low-income households face a number of barriers to going solar. They’re less likely to own their own roof, less able to access loans or other financing options for solar, and more likely to have subsidized utility bills that don’t transfer the financial benefits of solar to the homeowner. And yet, in many ways low-income households stand to benefit the most from producing their own energy: The proportion of their income spent on energy is about four times greater than the national median, according to federal statistics. And because lower-income households tend to use less electricity overall than higher-income households, a typical solar setup covers more of their demand. The GW study found that a 4 kilowatt solar system, about the average size for a house, would cover more than half of a typical low-income household’s energy needs and that if all low-income households went solar, they would collectively save up to $23.3 billion each year.
“[This is] aimed at taking directly on those challenges and making it easier and straightforward to deploy low-cost solar energy in every community in the country,” senior White House climate advisor Brian Deese told reporters in a call yesterday.
The initiative starts by tripling the target for solar on federally subsidized housing to 300 megawatts by 2020, as well as directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide technical guidance for state and local housing authorities on how to go solar. The White House also announced more than $520 million in commitments from private companies, investors, NGOs, and state and local governments to pay for energy efficiency and solar projects for low-income households. The initiative places particular emphasis on so-called “community” solar, in which groups of households pool resources to build and maintain a shared solar system in their neighborhood.
Some states and power companies are already angling to support solar for low-income housing. Arizona Public Service, a Phoenix-area utility, recently launched a $28.5 million program to install its own solar panels on rooftops in its service area, specifically targeting low-income households. And New York’s electricity regulators recently bolstered incentives for power companies that invest in energy efficiency and renewables. Con Ed, the power company serving most of New York City, plans to spend $250 million on such upgrades in Brooklyn and Queens, as an alternative to a $1 billion upgrade to the old natural gas-fired electric grid.
The president’s plan builds on a commitment he announced earlier this year to train 75,000 workers for the solar industry (which is already adding jobs 10 times faster than the overall economy). It also dovetails neatly with Obama’s larger climate objectives, especially his hotly contested plan to reduce the nation’s energy-related carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030, as well as the economy-wide climate targets that form the U.S. bargaining chip for this year’s U.N. climate negotiations in Paris.
For all those promises to work, “the question is how states and utilities can reduce their emissions, and the buildings that they serve are a critical part of that system,” said Natural Resources Defense Council financial policy analyst Philip Henderson. “Making those buildings more efficient and using less energy from dirty power plants is a direct and essential way to meet those goals.”
7 Reasons Generous People Are More Likely To Be Successful
Communication Motivation by John Patrick Hickey
Who doesn’t love a generous person? Many of us have been blessed by a person who has help us in a time of need, given us advice when we were confused of was just kind when kindness was needed. Where being generous is great for those who are around such people, the habit of generosity does a great deal for the person who practices it as well.
Truly generous people are often successful in life. Not just at work or in the community, but in their personal lives as well. The wonderful thing about generosity is that anyone can become a generous person no matter what station you are in life, how much you have or what you hope to have. Here are seven reasons why success often fills the lives of generous people.
1. Generous People are Happy People
You will be hard pressed to find a generous person who is grumpy and unhappy. People who are willing to share of their time, possessions, and talents are often some of the happiest people there are. They have a great sense of contributing to the world they live in. All of us seek to have meaning in life and to feel that we matter to the world. For generous people, happiness comes from giving more than from taking.
2. Generous People are More Relaxed
There is no greater stress than feeling that you are in need or that you have to get more in life. Greed as well as a sense of poverty drive people to constantly worry about what they do not have and at times will cause then to make bad choices to try and remedy the problem. Generosity is a state of mind. It is not based on how much money or possessions you have. Generous people can in fact have very little, however, what they do have they are willing to share and are not in bondage to their possessions. There is a great calm and peace that comes when we always sense that we can give of whatever we have.
3. Generous People are willing to Work Hard
A common trait of generous people is that they are willing and happy to work hard for what they have. Success comes through hard work. There is not short cuts or easy paths to take. Generous people realize this and will do what it takes to achieve their goals and dreams in life. Since they tend to be others-focused rather than self-focused they see their own success as a benefit for all, not just for them.
4. Generous People are Kind People
Just as you will not find a generous person who is unhappy, you will not find one who is not kind. Generosity is all about kindness. It is giving of yourself to others to help them in a time of need or to advance them on their journey to success. When you are kind to others you will find that others will be kind to you. A key to achieving success is knowing that what you give you will receive back. Zig Ziglar had it right when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
5. Generous People are Free People
The strongest prisons in the universe are those built on greed, want and selfishness. They are chains that hold you down from achieving real success in life and limit all you hope to do. The only thing that breaks these chains is generosity. Generous people are free to do what they wish, and have what they want because their happiness and success is not dependent on what they keep, but more on what they give away. Have you ever noticed that generous people seem to have more than they need of all of life’s treasures? That is because you will always receive in the same proportion as what you give.
6. Generous People Have Better Relationships
It is just a fact, happy, kind and generous people have more friends, better friends and stronger personal relationships. It is not because others know they can get something from these people, in fact, what they have or do not have has nothing to do with it. Generous people are faithful and loyal and these qualities strengthen all the relationships they have.
7. Generous People are Confident People
When you are not the center of your universe, you will find that you not only feel better about others, you feel better about yourself. Generous people do not get their self-worth from what they give, but by their freedom to give it. The insecurity that comes with greed, want and selfishness is not there to hinder them. They know they can be and do whatever their heart desires.
Is a cult of happiness leading us to lose sight of life?
This article is part of a series, On Happiness, examining what it means and how it might be achieved in the 21st century.
We live in a society that seems obsessed with the “cult of happiness”. Characters in movies and on television are frequently asked, “Are you happy?” Parents incessantly wish happiness upon their children:
I just want them to be happy.
In her song Just Be Happy, pop singer Rihanna chants “just as long as it makes you happy”, over and over again. Pharrell Williams' 2014 song Happy was a worldwide hit.
If you sing it enough, maybe you can ‘be happy’ in Rihanna’s world.
Countless websites, shelves and shelves of self-help books and endless magazine articles attempt to identify exactly just what makes us happy! These are accompanied by step-by-step guides such as lifestyle website body+soul’s Eight Steps to Happiness.
One example of this self-help genre is Sonja Lyubomirsky’s step-by-step program, The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting the Life You Want. According to Lyubomirsky, each of us has a kind of happiness “set point”, which can be calibrated to different highs and lows. The book advises readers on how to raise this “set point”.
The ubiquitous motivational speaker Anthony Robbins also offers a great deal of advice on happiness. His books, websites, conferences and training programs, not to mention special appearances on Oprah Winfrey’s Life Class series, tell us about the three steps we need to follow to find true happiness.
Robbins has built a prosperous career linking happiness with success. His Unleash the Power Within training programme is accompanied by testimonials from none other than Bill Clinton and Hugh Jackman.
So much advice, so little of it good
Through my involvement in writing on “happiness”, I have done my best to review the overwhelming volume of self-help literature and I have found very little to salvage. You are left, at best, cynical and, at worst, feeling inadequate.
This assessment is based on three broad observations.
• Happiness is often identified as an “end point”: a place to which we travel.
• The focus is on the individual and ignores any community bonds. In the words of Heidi Marie Rimke, this celebrates a culture of “hyper-individuality for which an inherent, responsible relationality with others is actively discouraged and pathologised”.
• Happiness is presented as something that can be administered through a list of exercises, or checklists.
The key question that each of these books, magazine articles and speakers fails to ask is whether happiness is actually possible.
If we accept that happiness is a state of being satisfied with one’s life, at what point is it possible to say we are truly satisfied? Perhaps happiness relies on the way we view the world. Is happiness a function of the world around us or our own perception of it?
Must we forget the world to be happy?
Can we be happy, for example, when successive Australian governments pursue brutal detention policies against refugees seeking asylum in this country? On our behalf, in our name, they are banished to what have been described as “concentration camps”.
In this context, the pursuit of happiness can seem trivial or juvenile.
Or is our happiness only possible through exclusion? That is, is the pursuit of safety and freedom from persecution by asylum seekers pitted against the happiness of the domestic population: two populations whose interests are said to be at odds.
Can we be happy when on any single night across Australia one person per 200 experiences homelessness? In a wealthy nation of only 23 million people, this figure ought to be astonishing.
The principal cause of homelessness among women and children is male violence: two-thirds of homeless children are accompanying a woman escaping domestic violence. Other reasons range from entrenched structural inequality and inadequate affordable housing supply to intergenerational poverty and long-term unemployment.
Happiness as a shared expression of love
Sara Ahmed takes a similar journey in questioning the pursuit of happiness in her well-recognised work Feminist Killjoys, which was followed by The Promise of Happiness. In these texts, Ahmed undertakes a robust cultural analysis of the idea of happiness as it functions in present-day Britain – but with much broader relevance.
It is worth recounting Ahmed’s arguments, as she simultaneously captures the individualised nature of happiness that allows us to ignore the plight of others, and the idea that happiness is something that someone else can bestow upon you. Happiness, Ahmed argues, is that which we “promise to give to others as an expression of love”. We say, “I just want you to be happy.”
The Beatles were perhaps wiser than they knew when they closed the first global live satellite TV broadcast with All You Need Is Love.
As someone who is inherently optimistic, I do think happiness is possible. But rather than an end point, it can be found in the fleeting moments of the everyday: noticing the sunset, the taste of fresh tomatoes, or a meal with friends and family.
It is within these moments that we need to appreciate happiness – to understand it within the context of an often brutal world and contextualise it within our own frailties and mortality.
These moments do not end the plight of refugees or house the homeless. What they do, however, is challenge the individualised nature of happiness as described by self-help literature. We are prompted to actively seek out moments of happiness in daily interactions with others and experiences, and take a moment to reflect and appreciate such instances. It echoes Eleanor Roosevelt’s valuable advice that happiness is a by-product of experiences, not an end in itself.
Oh joy! Oh rapture! A language of happiness
Last year, to mark the United Nations International Day of World Happiness, on March 20th, the EU’s Eurobarometer ranked Ireland among countries with the highest quality of life. We are meant to infer that we are happy.
It may be imprudent to assume that happiness and quality of life are unrelated, although I suspect you can have one without the other – and, indeed, neither can be easily defined by the other.
It is fatuous to suggest that material needs are irrelevant to contentment. Tet happiness is more private, more personal than this. It is an inner quality with an outward expression. You can tell a happy person by their gait, their bodily attitude, their willingness to smile, their easiness in their own skin. You might mistake it for nonchalance.
Happiness is a bit like grace: it’s a gift. You receive it when you release your hold on worry and attachment. It’s a letting go more than a grasping. It’s a childlike sense of wonder at the variety of experience still available to us.
In Tristia the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam wrote: “O indigence at the root of our lives, / how poor is the language of happiness!”
That seems to be true. In literature we have long passages given to rapture and joy. They concern the great outdoors, the sea, sex, beauty. They applaud the scenery, the climate, birdsong and heaving bosoms. You find them in Melville, Austen, Lawrence, James and Eliot, but happiness is a different animal to joy.
The tutor of a writing workshop I attended told the class that in order to write you had to have something happen, and then something else had to happen, and so on. It was the happenings that created the story.
When we relate our own story we tell it through a succession of happenings. But what’s left out, I suggest, is the simple happiness of the ordinary in the gaps between the happenings. It’s no coincidence that both words have the same root.
I realise that, for many, happiness is elusive. There is too much loss or grief or anxiety or ill health, but even these people may have known periods in their lives when there was happiness. It is centred on love, I think, and is a feeling of ease and reconciliation.
When I was a child I worried that there was no roof on the world, that we were all exposed to the great abyss of the universe. But I also recall the words of TE Hulme in his poem Embankment: “Oh, God, make small / The old star-eaten blanket of the sky / That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.”
I’m not religious, although I feel an urge to both rail and be grateful. I’m careful not to confuse happiness with smugness or elation or a lack of empathy. That said, we need to further explore the language of happiness.
In Snow, by Louis MacNeice, the poet contemplates the multiplicity of sensations both within the living room and without in the garden: “There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.” Here “more” refers to the exquisite taste of tangerine, the great bay window, the bubbling sound of a fire flaming, the spawning flakes , the pink flowers, the “drunkenness of things being various”.
Coming into the summer now, we can expect a barrage of colour in our gardens. At the heart of the experience of the ordinary lies happiness, and it remains unmeasured by the UN.
Isabelle Cartwright is a member of the Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers
Happiness: 5 Things That Do Not Worry Happy People
by Leigh Haugh
HappinessAre you a happy person? The concept of happiness is more complicated than you might think. However, it is a concept that everyone can relate to and hopes to achieve in their lifetime. How do we obtain happiness? How do happy people think and process information? How do happy people view the world differently? Sometimes we unintentionally create obstacles of our own making that prevent us from attaining happiness. It is important to explore our own behavior and habits in order to discover how we are limiting ourselves, so we can fully achieve happiness and maintain it.
An essential aspect in achieving happiness lies within a person’s perspective. Happy and unhappy people view the world via completely different viewpoints. Here are five things that do not worry happy people, but may distress or concern unhappy people to no end.
1. Gossip–While unhappy people may feel the need to gossip, happy people are rarely interested in such activities. That is because happy people are fulfilled and satisfied with their lives, while unhappy people need to fill voids and compensate for their shortcomings.
2. Negative Thinking and Attitudes–There is such a thing as a “Negative Ned or Nancy.” We all know people like this–they are miserable people, who are always complaining about various issues and/or other people. Often, it is all they talk about; it may even consume their lives. While, on the other end of the spectrum, we have the super optimistic people who are constantly looking for more out of life and view the glass as half full. While it is always good to view the world positively and focus on the good, there is a middle ground between “Pessimism Penny” and “Eternal Sunshine Susie.” It is wise to interject some realism into the equation and keep your expectations grounded. It will directly affect your happiness since you are focusing on the good, but not exceeding your expectations, which could result in disappointment.
3. Holding Onto Resentment–Among the five things that do not worry happy people, resentment or lack thereof is a key component to happiness. Everyone knows that resentment is inherently negative. When you hold onto resentment, it allows you to perpetuate and seethe in that negativity. It just makes you moody, sad, and angry. Generally, happy people learn to let things go, especially those things that are beyond their control and rooted in the past. If you learn to let go of things and resentment, there is a burden lifted and sense of freedom associated with it. Unhappy people will wallow in the resentment while happy people will simply move on and focus on the positive.
4. Search for Inner and Outer Happiness–Your own happiness is directly related to your perspective and attitude, not the actual circumstances involved. We all encounter bumps along the road, but how you choose to view things is of great importance. It is so important to try to remain positive. You also must search within yourself for joy, satisfaction, and completion. Do not look to others for happiness and fulfillment. In truth, you can never be truly fulfilled until you achieve balance and happiness internally. That way, no matter the twists or turns on life’s road, you know you will endure and become stronger in the long run. Unhappy people tend to believe that a relationship or material wealth can bring true happiness. However, until you are happy on your own, you will never be fulfilled or satisfied.
5. Unreasonable Expectations–Happy people rarely have unreasonable expectations. You cannot make or force people to change. Any change that occurs must be organic and initiated as well as wanted by the individual. Once you accept that truth, the burden is removed from you. The reason many problems arise is when expectations are not met. These unreasonable expectations will result in disappointment and even anger. If you approach situations with an open mind and let things play out organically, the outcome will be much more rewarding and satisfying. While unhappy people will often become mired in disappointment, happy people tend to “go with the flow.”
The concept of happiness is more complicated than you might think. However, it is a concept that everyone can relate to and hopes to achieve in their lifetime. Are you a happy person? How do we obtain and maintain happiness? How do happy people think and process information? How do happy people view the world differently? Do you strive for fulfillment? If you truly seek fulfillment, figure out what obstacles of your own making may be preventing you from attaining happiness. It is important to explore our own behavior, perspectives, and habits in order to discover how we are limiting ourselves, so we can fully achieve happiness and maintain it. It all boils down to a person’s perspectives and attitudes. Hopefully, people will take note of the five things that do not worry happy people mentioned in this article and try to focus more on the positive, avoid the negative, as well as look inside themselves to figure out how their own happiness is defined.
6 ways to increase your happiness from the 2015 World Happiness Report
By Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National Edition
Happiness is having a moment. Long the focus of inspirational life advice like "Don't worry, be happy," it is now the subject of serious research and even government policies, as researchers noted in the 2015 World Happiness Report.
"Growing awareness of the possibilities for well-being-based measurement and policy have led an increasing number of national and local governments to use happiness data and research in their search for policies that could enable people to live better lives," said the authors, a group of independent experts who prepared the report for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
In the report, "happiness" is the term researchers use to refer to subjective well-being, which is influenced by factors like physical health, financial security and social support systems. Well-being was measured through an individual assessment of quality of life: participants were asked to evaluate their lives on a scale from zero (worst possible life) to 10.
Although the report's authors admit that this measure — and the study of happiness more generally — strikes many as simplistic, they said its implications are immense, noting how countries like Germany, South Korea and Great Britain, as well as communities like Santa Monica, California, are investing financial and political resources into the search for a more satisfied population.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network works in partnership with the United Nations. The 2015 World Happiness Report is targeted at policymakers, who have the power to fund additional research projects or support social programs.
The report highlights six key determinants of subjective well-being — GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, trust, perceived freedom to make life decisions and generosity — as potential areas for policies to center around, noting that they explain almost three quarters of the variation in life evaluations between countries.
According to happiness researchers, these national- and community-level suggestions also hold lessons for individuals, who can distill the report's guidelines into easy-to-follow steps to a happier life.
Here are the six drivers of happiness, along with advice from well-being experts about the pursuit of happiness:
1. Budget with well-being in mind
In the World Happiness Report, GDP per capita was one of the strongest predictors of people's life evaluations.
Beyond earning a promotion or coming into an inheritance, people rarely have an opportunity to increase their financial resources overnight. But they can control the way they spend the money they do have, said Jill Liberman, author of "Choose Happy: Your Go-to-Guide for Living a Happier Life."
She said she likes to assess potential purchases on a "happiness scale," buying only the items that bring positive energy to her life.
"Don't buy things with the goal of impressing other people," she said. Instead, focus on purchases that help you live out your passion or bring you closer to others, like a vacation or a meal with friends at a favorite restaurant.
Liberman's philosophy of happiness includes planning something every day to look forward to, which requires creating space in her budget for little treats.
"Things like coffee with a friend or reading a new book … really affect someone's happiness," she said.
Her advice echoed previous research on the value of purchasing experiences rather than material goods. "Experiences tend to make people happier because they are less likely to measure the value of their experiences by comparing them to those of others," reported The Atlantic in 2013.
2. Eat healthy foods and exercise often
Another key happiness influencer was healthy life expectancy, or the number of years a baby born in a given country can be expected to live in good health.
Because it's driven by national health care policies and medical resources, the healthy life expectancy rate won't change based on an individual's diet plan or exercise routine, said Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University and the author of "Healthy Brain, Happy Life." But the link between physical wellness and overall well-being can still inspire people to take their health seriously.
"Everybody realizes that exercise is good for the brain and body. Motivation is the big issue," she said.
Suzuki's book describes a variety of ways to trick the brain into getting excited about exercise, easing people's journey to better health and higher happiness levels.
"One of my favorite pieces of advice is for people to choose a song that makes their foot tap. While that song is playing, climb the stairs or dance around your living room," Suzuki said. "It's one of those simple ways to get people moving."
And putting good food in your body can encourage positive energy to come out, Liberman noted.
"Eating healthy affects a person's mood and energy levels," she said.
3. Seek out social support
In the World Happiness Report, social support, which the researchers defined as "having someone to count on in times of trouble," had nearly as powerful an impact on life evaluations as GDP per capita.
In light of this finding, people should commit to finding opportunities to leave the house and connect with others, even when the couch and a new season of a favorite TV show is calling, Liberman said.
"You have to open yourself up to new people and opportunities," she said, noting that the process doesn't have to be uncomfortable. "Try socializing with people who have common interests," by heading to a dog park with your puppy or joining a book club.
Julie Rusk, assistant director of community and cultural services for the city of Santa Monica, echoed Liberman, noting that she and her team work to support and publicize the kind of events that convince people to get out and socialize.
Through her work with The Wellbeing Project, Santa Monica's city-wide effort to boost individual happiness, Rusk has highlighted the way small habits like chatting with neighbors and smiling at strangers can boost happiness in big ways.
"We want (community members) to think about the small things they can do to improve their sense of feeling good," Rusk said.
The Wellbeing Project's website includes activity suggestions for people hoping to form new friendships in the community, which include hosting a block party, volunteering or spending an hour or two at a farmers market.
Rusk believes one of the initiative's biggest strengths is its ability to promote events that get people out of their homes and into the community.
"Local government is particularly well-suited to think in some new ways about how to improve social connections," she said.
4. Finding reasons for optimism
The fourth factor named in The World Happiness Report is trust, or the way citizens characterize their country's government and business leaders. It was measured with survey questions on the presence of corruption.
Of the six determinants of happiness named in the report, trust in leadership is likely the most complicated to nurture at an individual level, because individual citizens rarely have the power to influence the culture that surrounds them, said Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist and happiness consultant.
However, she noted that people can work to support a spirit of optimism in themselves, balancing bad news with more hopeful messages.
"You can think about what you're putting in your brain" and focus on nurturing positive energy, Lombardo added. "Where you focus your attention sets the stage for your day."
5. Acknowledge autonomy
A positive mindset is also involved in the fifth determinant of happiness, which the researchers called autonomy. The term refers to a perceived freedom to live the way you want to live, including the ability to direct your own career path and follow your passions.
A sense of autonomy enables people to find their purpose in life and pursue it, which Rusk described as another essential aspect of living a happy life.
"I think there is very real empirical evidence that, as people live lives that feel purposeful, they are going to thrive," she said.
6. Cultivate a generous spirit
The final variable included in the World Happiness Report is generosity, or charitable contributions to others.
Studies have long shown that donating money boosts individual well-being, especially when people channel their generosity to the causes about which they feel most passionate, as The Huffington Post reported in 2013.
In addition to pulling out their pocketbooks, people should be inspired by this finding to be more generous in general, including with their time and attention, Lombardo noted.
"True happiness is about purpose and meaning and connection and contribution," she said, highlighting how her own pursuit of happiness has made her a more compassionate person.
"When I go to the grocery store, I always look at the cashier and say, 'Thank you,'" she said. "It doesn't take any time at all, but it helps people feel more connected."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @kelsey_dallas
SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
Imagine there’s some minimum income you get periodically whether or not you work, whether or not you’re a good person, whether or not you do the right thing in life. —Michael Lewis
By: Jessica McKenzie Jul 2, 2015
In May, Civic Hall hosted a conversation on whether the time has come for a universal basic income. The event featured a panel of experts with diverse backgrounds: Peter Barnes, co-founder of Working Assets/CREDO and the author of With Liberty and Dividends for All; Michael Lewis, a professor at the Silberman School of Social Work; Nathan Schneider, journalist and author of Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse; and Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a New York-based early stage VC firm. The panel was moderated by Natalie Foster, a fellow at the Institute for the Future and co-founder of Peers.org.
The conversation ranged all over the place, from the reasons we need a basic income now (robots! climate change! to save democracy!), to the ways it could be made a reality (redistribution of existing public assistance! Reddit!), to the places it is already at work (Alaska! No, really, Alaska!). One thing that is clear is that universal basic income doesn’t have to be a one size fits all countries solution: just because this European country does it this way doesn’t mean the U.S. has to do it that way. In fact, in some of the possible solutions the panelists put forward, the government doesn’t have to get involved at all. As Nathan Schneider concluded, “Maybe the question is not so much whether to do basic income, but how. “
What follows are a few excerpts from their conversation, and you can listen to the full audio here:
Michael Lewis defines the basic income
The way I think about it is that a person’s income, their starting income, whether or not they work, doesn’t have to be zero. Like right now we think that people, that most of us who are able-bodied, able-minded, we get our income from work. Or if we’re kids, we get our income from those who take care of us, our caretakers. But a basic income is just an income that you get from the government, financed—it can be financed in various ways I’m sure we’ll talk about, right? But it will come from the government, and the way I think about it is imagine that we—I think you probably have an idea what social security is, right? That’s the one for the elderly, right? Imagine that program expanded to everyone, right? So it’s not just for the elderly, but it’s like social security for everyone, and so you get it whether you’re elderly, young, old, whatever.
There’s some minimum income you get periodically whether or not you work, whether or not you’re a good person.
You get it unconditionally just by virtue of being a resident in some—I mean some say citizen. I prefer resident. You get that whether or not you do the right thing in life, so you just get that as a guarantee and it’s really social security expanded to everyone. That’s how I think about it.
Albert Wenger on the robots coming for our jobs and why the time has come for a universal basic income
At Union Square Ventures, we recently invested in a company that does image recognition. A notoriously difficult task, figuring out what’s in an image. Something we think we as humans are good at. And again, it was one of those problems that like no progress, no progress, no progress, and then all of a sudden in the last couple of years, machines are better at recognizing faces than humans. So I think the reason this is a pertinent discussion now is because many human activities that people currently get paid for, currently are the source of their livelihood, that let them pay for rent, that let them pay for clothing, that let them feed their kids, et cetera, many of these activities will be executed better by machines. And what’s important to keep in mind is it doesn’t matter, it’s not an idea of machines taking over of these jobs overnight.
What matters is on the margin, when somebody makes a hiring decision, what’s the marginal substitute? Prices in markets get determined on the margin. So wage pressure will start the second you can substitute, not when everybody has been substituted. I think that’s really, really important to understand.
Peter Barnes on Alaska and benefitting from the commons
So here is an example in the United States, in a red conservative frontier state, where everybody who is a resident of Alaska gets a dividend every year, no questions asked, just the way Michael was describing. The eligibility is you have to have been a resident of Alaska for one year or more. Children are included, so a family of four gets four dividend checks.
Now, this idea of a permanent fund was invented by a Republican governor in the 1970s, and most of the governors of Alaska since then have also been Republicans and they love this idea.
Everybody in Alaska, whatever your party, loves getting dividend checks.
Now, where does the money come from? This is the question. In Alaska it comes from oil, which is kind of a unique situation because they’ve got all this oil and not very many people and so the math works out very well. But underneath that is a concept that there are certain kinds of wealth that belong to everybody equally. In Alaska’s case, it’s oil. And if you compare how Alaska treated its oil wealth to how countries all over the world have treated their oil wealth, you’ve got to agree that Alaska has done the best thing with oil wealth of any country in the world.
So my concept, which is written up in this book With Liberty and Dividends for All, is to take that Alaska model and blow it up, cover all 50 states, every American, probably, like Michael said, legal residents, not citizens, because then you get into a lot of other issues which it’s best not to get into. But basically, if you’re living in America legally, you should get a dividend that comes from wealth that belongs to all of us. Now, to make this work at a national level and not just in one state with a lot of oil, you’ve got to think a little more broadly about what other kinds of wealth actually belong to everybody.
In the tech community, the appeal often seems to be kind of encapsulated in a term used by a blogger in Silicon Valley, Steve Randy Waldman. He talks about VC for the people, right? It’s a kind of innovation dividend. It gives the opportunity for more people to do more tinkering, right? And so for the world view in which more tinkering is the best possible thing, because it will mean more technology, more things to invest in, more opportunities for creating a more convenient life maybe, basic income is a means to that end. It would enable more people to maybe spend more time in those garages.
…and how some people on Reddit already have
Another approach that is just starting to emerge and I think is interesting to put on the table is one that doesn’t involve government at all. And this is the idea that maybe we can just create basic income ourselves in a kind of entrepreneurial way. A lot of the examples of this kind are coming from the world of people who are interested in bitcoin-like crypto currencies, money that can seemingly come out of cyberspace that can appear and, through adoption and use, become more valuable.
So people are thinking, okay, what do we do with this money that possible can come out of thin air, and how do we get lots of people to use this money? Well actually, basic income is a very good way of solving both of those problems. And so a number of people, many of whom are organizing themselves on Reddit, have been experimenting with different ways of getting this going. And actually, there are a couple of different models that are actually being implemented now where you can actually get tiny little amounts of bitcoin just for signing up. And these systems tend to be opt-in. You know, so it’s not something everyone with a social security number is getting. It’s something where everyone who wants to be part of this gets it. And that on the one hand offers a bit of freedom, right, where you only buy in to the system or enter the system if you really want to. You don’t need the government coercion to do it. But on the other hand, it creates kind of the specter of the sea-steading states, the designer states off in the ocean, where the rules are made by some kind of benevolent or not so benevolent dictator, and if you play by those rules, you get your basic income and maybe if you don’t, you don’t.
Hoosegow \HOOSS-gow\ jail In Spanish, juzgado means "panel of judges, courtroom." The word is based on the Spanish past participle of juzgar, meaning "to judge," which itself was influenced by Latin judicare—a combination of jus, "right, law," and dicere, "to decide, say." When English speakers of the American West borrowed juzgado in the early 1900s, they recorded it the way they heard it: hoosegow. They also associated the word specifically with the jail that was usually in the same building as a courthouse. Today, hoosegow has become slang for any place of confinement for lawbreakers.
Paid Parental Leave: Boston Starts Another Party
In a recent trail blazing move, Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an ordinance establishing paid parental leave for city employees. This ordinance distinguishes Boston — known for some other revolution-inducing tactics — from the United States, most individual states, and nearly every other city nationwide. In fact, in the preamble to the new ordinance, the city council of Boston highlights the fact that the United States is one of only three countries that lacks a law requiring employers to fund parental pay. Only a handful of cities, Seattle among them, have such leave laws and only three states — New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island — currently offer paid family leave. Boston’s new ordinance aligns the city, however, with approximately 178 countries worldwide that offer some form of paid parental leave.
The new ordinance is noteworthy for more than just its relative rarity in the United States. Its scope is also unusually broad. Unlike other family leave policies — which often are applied differentially based on gender — the Boston ordinance provides both female and male city employees with six weeks of paid parental leave to be taken by day or week anytime during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child. In addition, the leave is available to employees regardless of the means by which they have become parents — either through natural birth, adoption, surrogacy, or stillbirth. Eligible employees receive 100 percent of their pay for two weeks of the leave, 75 percent for another two weeks, and 50 percent for the remaining two weeks.
If the White House’s position on the matter of paid parental leave is any indication, other cities and states may not be far behind Boston’s lead. In January, the White House affirmed its commitment to paid family leave (among other types of paid leave) and announced that it “would award $1 million for a grant program to help states, municipalities, and federally recognized tribes conduct feasibility studies for paid leave programs.” President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget also included more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to develop paid family and medical leave programs and $35 million in competitive grants to assist states that are still building the administrative infrastructure needed to implement paid leave programs.
Businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve on this issue would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the current state and city statutes and ordinances mandating paid family leave, and to explore the potential administrative costs and benefits of such policies in the event that laws are passed that require private businesses to provide this leave benefit. While many critics of statutorily required paid parental leave policies claim that the cost of their implementation is high and is sometimes passed through to employees in the form of decreased wages or other discretionary benefits — thereby hurting rather than helping workers — as the Boston city council noted, proponents of such requirements believe “paid leave and workplace flexibility increase productivity, help recruit more talented workers, lower worker turnover and replacement costs, reduce absenteeism, and improve job satisfaction.” As momentum for paid parental leave laws potentially builds, employers would be wise to stay informed on this issue.
© 2015 Foley & Lardner LLP
Family leave shouldn't be a luxury
Robert Mentzer, Gannett Wisconsin Media
There are huge economic benefits to paid leave for new mothers and fathers. So why doesn't the U.S. mandate any?
This time four years ago, I had gotten to watch a fair number of World Cup matches on TV, or at least part of the matches. I think I watched Sweden play North Korea, to give you a sense of how far I was willing to go.
This year I have hardly gotten to watch any. Don't get me wrong: I will make it a priority to find a television on Sunday so that I can cheer on the U.S. women in the finals against Japan, the same team that beat us in 2011. It's my patriotic duty, and one feels especially sensitive to patriotic duties on July 4 weekend.
There are several reasons that my World Cup viewing has flagged this time around, but the main one is that, exactly four years ago, I was on the tail end of eight weeks of unpaid paternity leave and was at home, trying to learn what to do with this new baby son who was living in our house all of a sudden.
Two months is not a long time, really, and it goes by in a sleep-deprived, half-panicked haze. (I may be nostalgic for the soccer matches now, but at the time they were far from a priority.) Still, those eight weeks were some of the most important of my life, and I think they have helped set the course for the years that have followed, for my son Forrest, for my wife and me.
Family leave is important for both men and women, and there have been lots of economic studies showing long-term benefits to children and families. "In Britain," the Economist magazine wrote, "dads who took time off at birth were almost a third more likely to read books with their toddlers than those who hadn't." Paternity leave also correlates to improved performance in school, better sharing of parenting duties — and, actually, better employee retention for companies.
Paid leave is something of an emerging political issue, and it is stunning to recognize how rare the U.S. policy of zero weeks of mandatory paid leave truly is. The United Kingdom mandates 40 weeks of paid maternity leave — which, I admit, sounds like a lot. But Canada mandates 15 weeks, China 14, Mexico 12. Out of 185 countries, only the U.S., Oman and Papua New Guinea are new mothers not guaranteed a single day's worth of leave. Most countries also have some sort of less-generous mandate for paternity leave.
(By the way, leave in other countries isn't paid directly by the employer or by the taxpayer, but through a kind of mandatory insurance fund that employees pay into, sort of like Social Security tax in the U.S.)
On July 1, a new law in California made 6.5 million Californians eligible for paid sick leave for the first time. There are a couple of paid family leave bills kicking around in Washington, and both President Obama and likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have mentioned it as an issue.
In Wisconsin, meanwhile, some GOP legislative leaders have signaled a willingness to repeal some of the state's existing protections on leave, a move that triggered some strong pushback among Democrats.
I'd say that is a worthwhile fight to have. It is possible to design family leave policies in a way that are not overly burdensome to employers, and the weight of economic and neurological research on the subject show that the upsides to families and young children are immense.
As I said above, my leave four years ago was unpaid. I am well aware that most households cannot afford to do what my wife and I did and use savings to cover the loss of income in that time. We had that luxury, that privilege, and I'm glad of it.
But time off to care for a new baby shouldn't be a luxury.
Robert Mentzer is engagement editor for Gannett Central Wisconsin Media. Contact: email@example.com, 715-845-0604; on Twitter: @robertmentzer.
14 Ways Positive People Separate Themselves From Negative Energy
Communication Motivation by Oskar Nowik
Negative energy can be found almost everywhere. There are people complaining about life constantly, practicing bad habits and bringing you down. The emotions they spread influence your thoughts and actions in a bad way so avoiding the sources of negative energy is obligatory if you want to be more successful.
Everyone can be easily affected by negative emotions and the only exceptions are people who learned how to deal with it. These 14 Ways will show you how positive people handle negativity so you can apply it to your life.
1. They create happiness from within.
Happy people don’t base their happiness on external stimulations. They realize once the stimulant is gone, their mood would be ruined. Instead, they look for internal sources of positive energy and practice mindfulness.
2. They practice positive thinking.
Thoughts influence your actions, so, if you think negatively, there’s no bright future ahead of you. Positive people don’t believe in the excuses their minds come up with. Through positive affirmations and finding the good side of any problem, they make sure they are mentally set up for success.
3. They look for reasons to believe in themselves.
“Never let the negativity get to you. There are gonna be a lot of people you have to plow through, but as long you believe in yourself, that’s all that matters.” – Becky G.
There are endless reasons to believe in yourself even if you feel completely helpless and worthless. These negative thoughts are temporary obstacles and most of the time, they are made-up.
4. They cut off negative people.
Your surroundings have a tremendous impact on yourself. If you spend time with positive people, you are more likely to be happy and content. On the other hand, if you are too close to naysayers and complainers, you will have a hard time removing the negativity from your life.
Use these 9 tips to deal with negative people.
5. They train regularly.
Physical training is associated with releasing endorphins which are responsible for “feeling good.” Treating your body the right way pays off and results in reduced stress and boosted happiness. On the other hand, if you ignore your body’s needs, it will let you experience the negative consequences soon enough.
6. They spend time in the nature.
Being in the nature clears your mind and relaxes your body. Positive people dedicate a part of their day to get outside and admire the beauty of our planet. It’s a great way to load your batteries!
7. They avoid impulsive spending.
Nowadays, extra deals and sales fight for your attention, so it’s easy to end up lost in the buying mode. Whereas excessive buying may make you feel better instantly, from a long-term perspective, it’s an unhealthy habit positive people avoid at all costs. They would rather invest in experiences to discover the world and create some great memories.
8. They accept failure.
Positive people embrace failure as they realize it’s the only way to learn and grow. Whenever they collapse, they work hard to get at the top again instead of giving up. Even though a failure brings negative emotions, they comprehend these are brief and will fade away quickly. To accelerate the process, they keep thinking positively.
9. They take full responsibility.
Positive people always give themselves the responsibility for what happens in their lives. Whether it’s a success or failure, it’s always an effect of their actions and thoughts. A positive person will never blame external factors and focus on things within the reach that could be improved.
By doing that, they pursue being better and experience constant progress instead of getting frustrated by things out of their control.
10. They learn to control their thoughts.
A mind can be easily brought out of control by sudden negative thoughts. Positive individuals know if they don’t control their thoughts, they will lose control over their actions and behaviors. For this reason, they practice mind control, for example through meditation.
11. They devote some time to relax.
Instead of trying to be perfect, positive people realize sometimes you need to slow down, make your goals and ambitions secondary and simply loosen up. By doing this, they avoid burning out which would cause unnecessary negative energy.
In a nutshell, they take a step back to move further the next day.
12. They believe there’s always a solution.
Sometimes, life hits you hopelessly hard. At these moments, you tend to doubt your abilities to solve the current problem. The fact is, there’s always a way to overcome an obstacle and positive people keep that in mind. Even if they reach rock bottom, they believe it happens so they can get to the top even stronger.
13. They know when to say no.
The value of saying ‘no’ and ‘yes’ at the right moment is priceless. Opposed to misconceptions, these two words have an immense power and how you use them dictates what happens in your life.
Positive people focus on their priorities instead pleasing others. That’s why they know there are many things you don’t need to say yes to.
14. They don’t look for anyone’s approval.
If you let others’ opinions paralyze you, you will have a hard time feeling good and happy. Many people are afraid of not getting validation and being criticized. Positive individuals think and act quite the opposite.
They use disapproval as an indicator of being authentic and true. The fact is, there are countless things you don’t need anyone’s approval for though you think you do.
11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude
Maintaining your positive attitude is critical when you want to achieve anything… or just to improve the quality of your life. Most success literature will talk about the power of positive thinking and how important it is. It’s often easier said than done.
Today we’ll look at 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude no matter what’s going on in your life.
1. You Determine Your Reality
It’s important to realize that you determine your reality by the way you react to the outside world. When something happens you get to choose whether it’s a positive or negative experience and react accordingly. Losing your job might be a disaster or it might be the opportunity for bigger and brighter things… you choose what it will mean to you.
2. Start Your Day Strong
Most of the population have to drag themselves out of bed and this sets a negative frame for their entire day. Positive people create a morning ritual that reinforces how great life is and how happy they are to be alive.
I used to wake up and immediately turn on Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life“ to get me into state. Now I start my day by reading or listening to something positive. Whether you have 1 minute, 15 minutes or an hour to dedicate to your ritual you can start the day in whatever state you prefer.
3. Exercise Is The Natural Feel Good Drug
Exercise is a great way to maintain your positive attitude because of all the positive chemicals it releases into the blood stream. I used to exercise in the morning (after Bon Jovi) and this is often recommended as a powerful way to start the day. Now I exercise by doing activities I love (kung fu and dancing) most evenings but even a walk around the block with inspiring audio will help.
4. Use Books, Audio And Videos To Overload Your Brain With Positivity
There are millions of amazing books, audios and videos for you to absorb from people who are inspiring and living the life of their dreams. Tap into their positive emotions and their experience by learning how they think and what they do to create the lives they want. You can do this in the morning or while exercising, eating, commuting, cooking, cleaning… there’s always time for positivity.
5. Your Language Shapes Your Thoughts
Little changes in your language can change the way you think and how you act. Whenever someone greets you and asks how you’re doing do you answer with “fine” or “not too bad?” Think about just what this language is communicating to others… and yourself.
I always answer with “great,” “fantastic,” or “amazing.” Not only does this remind me that life really is great but it usually surprises and lifts the state of the person I’m talking to as well.
6. Hang Out With Positive People
It is often said that you will have a similar level of health, income and lifestyle as the 5 people you spend the most time with. So if you want to be fit then starting hanging out with fit people… want to start a business then hang out with business owners. And if you want to be positive make sure you’re hanging out with positive people.
7. Show Your Appreciation For Others
By appreciating others for a job well done, their outfit or their smile you start to cause a positive chain reaction. Don’t you feel great when you receive a compliment from someone else? Well if you want to receive more then start giving them out and watch what happens to the people around you.
8. Garbage In, Garbage Out
This is an expression from programming where the result is only as good as the input. So if you’re feeding yourself with negativity all day long then it’s pretty obvious you’re going to be feeling negative as well. A lot of the media including news and TV thrive on negativity so put yourself on a negativity diet (including people) and watch how much easier it is to maintain your positive attitude.
9. Stop Negative Thoughts In Their Tracks
It’s hard to be a constantly positive person and negative thoughts are going to bubble up from time to time. These will be more frequent in the beginning but decrease as you practice the tips we’re talking about. When you start to notice negative thoughts you can use a pattern interrupt to stop them in their tracks.
The idea is to interrupt your current thought pattern and change your state. My most successful one is The Smurfs theme song. Whenever I start to feel frustrated, sad or angry I simply start humming the tune and pretty soon a big silly smile comes over my face.
10. Live With Gratitude
So many positive things happen during our day and we often ignore them while letting one negative comment or event ruin our mood. It can help to keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each night or during the day. If you’re reading this then you probably live with a roof over your head and food in your belly which is a daily struggle for most of the world… so it should be easy to find tons of things you’re grateful for.
11. Recharge Your Batteries
A key to maintaining your positive attitude is taking the time to recharge your batteries. This might mean taking a few hours on the weekend to read a positive book or taking a few weeks for a holiday. If you’re not in the position to travel you can always have a Home Holiday where you simply switch off from the outside world and spend time doing things you love.
How To Use These 11 Tips
You now have 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude but they are no use to you unless you implement them into your life. So pick the easiest tip or the one that you really love and introduce it into your life starting right now. Then over time start implementing the other tips and watch your positivity soar.
Writing program with student interaction creates sense of purpose for seniors
A unique program combining a life review writing workshop with conversations between seniors and college students enhances the sense of meaning in life for older adults living independently, finds a new study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The study is published in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
Americans are living longer than ever. The majority of older adults in our aging population want to remain in their own home or "age in place," as opposed to moving to housing for seniors or moving in with family members. Although physical function is important for community-dwelling seniors, mental health and well-being are also critical to their health and wellness.
Studies have shown that life review -- a systematic review of life events from childhood to present day -- has a positive effect on the mental health of older adults, especially when done in writing. Programs integrating younger generations with older adults have also been shown to be beneficial in enhancing seniors' sense of well-being, increasing intergenerational understanding, and decreasing depressive symptoms.
"A sense of purpose and meaning in life can affect disability status, cognitive function, and mortality among seniors," said study author Tracy Chippendale, assistant professor of occupational therapy at NYU Steinhardt. "Effective interventions that can influence something known to prevent cognitive loss and disability are important for helping people to age in place."
Chippendale and her colleague studied the therapeutic benefits for community-dwelling seniors of the Living Legends program, which includes life review writing plus an interactive exchange between seniors and students, as compared with life review writing alone.
Thirty-nine seniors living at home were randomly assigned to a life review writing workshop or the workshop plus the intergenerational exchange. For eight weeks, Chippendale met weekly with seniors at senior centers and led them through the life review writing workshop, which included writing prompts, tips, and feedback.
After the workshop concluded, the older adults randomly selected to participate in the Living Legends program met with college students studying health sciences once a week for four weeks. In 90-minute sessions, the seniors read pieces of writing from the earlier workshop and took part in guided discussions with students about the content of their writing.
Using questionnaires and written responses, the researchers gathered information about the seniors and their sense of purpose before the writing workshop, after the workshop, and at the end of the Living Legends program.
The researchers observed a significant increase in the sense of purpose and meaning in life for seniors in the writing workshop plus the interactive exchange between students and seniors, but not for those in the writing workshop alone. The Living Legends program was particularly beneficial for older adults who had low initial scores for sense of purpose and meaning in life.
An analysis of the seniors' written responses revealed additional benefits. The older adults found Living Legends to be a positive experience and felt that it promoted well-being, sharing, and learning. They also had positive views of the students, and valued the supportive environment provided by the program.
"Seniors expressed that the program gave them the opportunity to share their life adventures, create legacies, and inspire the next generation to examine their own lives. Their written responses shed light on the quantitative findings regarding enhanced sense of purpose and meaning in life," said Chippendale.
Although life review writing had previously been shown to have therapeutic benefits for seniors, specifically a decrease in depressive symptoms, the addition of the exchange with students offered them an enhanced sense of purpose and meaning in life.
"Given that purpose and meaning in life is an important factor with regard to preventing cognitive decline, disability, and mortality, the Living Legends program appears to be an effective health intervention, and may in turn help older adults remain at home longer," said Chippendale.
“I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
“In order to achieve liberation, first of all one must develop a strong wish to achieve it.”
The Dalai Lama
Books are the best of things if well used; if abused among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit and made a satellite instead of a system. Emerson
300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly emersonsaidit.blogspot.com
What Love is…..
Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.
Vincent Van Gogh
OP-ED: Let Kalief Browder’s Death Lead to Reform for Other Young People
By: ASHLEY NELLIS |
of Kalief Browder, a one-time inmate held in the adolescent jail on notorious Rikers Island, is a wake-up call to stop treating youth in our justice system as if they were adults.
After three years of incarceration beginning in 2010, two of which were spent in solitary confinement, Browder was working his way back toward a normal life. Despite the abuses he experienced, he was moving in the right direction, working toward a college degree.
Putting his Rikers experiences behind him was no small order.
Browder was deprived of age-appropriate services and denied protections that youth get who are housed in juvenile-specific facilities that prioritize evidence-based responses. Instead, he was assaulted by correctional officers as well as by a gang of inmates, some of which was caught on videotape.
The justice system failed him at numerous junctures, as it has so many others; there is no excuse for the way he was treated.
Browder’s abuse is not an anomaly; this type of treatment is common at the jail. According to a U.S. Justice Department report released in 2014, the jail is a place that “seems more inspired by Lord of the Flies than any legitimate philosophy of humane detention.”
New York’s adolescent jail for 16- and 17-year-olds awaiting criminal trials is a far cry from the standards established by experts in juvenile justice.
Indeed, it is nothing more than an adult jail for teenagers, employed with correctional officers and lacking in the therapeutic programming and interventions that we know changes young lives.
Browder’s early death presents an opportunity to change course on the way that thousands of adolescents are treated in the justice system.
More than 6,000 children under the age of 18 are housed in adult prisons and jails on any given day in the United States, facing experiences similar to those that Kalief Browder endured, experiences from which he never recovered and that ultimately pushed him to take his own life.
The tragedy of his suicide sparks an urgent call for multiple reforms, including a call to end overpolicing in communities of color, a call for bail reform, a call for improved access to quality counsel and a call for improved conditions of confinement, including the abolishment of solitary confinement for children.
There is a pressing need to abandon the practice of housing juveniles awaiting trial in adult or adultlike facilities.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), long overdue for reauthorization, is currently being considered by Congress.
A strengthened JJDPA would require that adolescents under age 18 be housed in facilities designed for youth and adolescents, and operated by skilled professionals with specialized training in adolescent development.
Ashley Nellis, Ph.D. has an academic and professional background in analyzing criminal and juvenile justice policies and practice, and has extensive experience in analyzing disparities among youth of color in the juvenile justice system. She leads The Sentencing Project's research and legislative activities in juvenile justice reform.
CNN journalist Josh Levs forced his employer to give new dads more time off. Now he wants others to speak up, too
By Brigid Schulte
The United States is the only advanced economy with no paid parental leave for either mothers or fathers. And though 58 percent of U.S. companies give new mothers some kind of pay, usually disability, after giving birth, only 14 percent offer paid leave to their spouses or partners. Josh Levs, author of the new book, All In, is among a growing number of men who maintain that fathers’ roles are changing and that paid leave is important for both parents from the start to set a new family dynamic. (Full disclosure: the book includes an endorsement from me).
Q: What happened to make you write this book?
Levs: I’d been covering parenting issues for CNN, and then all of a sudden I was in the news. I was doing stories and columns on fatherhood, then my wife was about to have our daughter. My employer, Time Warner, had an extremely unusual policy: anyone could get 10 weeks of paid leave to take care of a new child – except the man who’d impregnated the mother of his child. Me. The biological father.
Mothers got 10 weeks of paid leave….The structure was set up to prevent men from having that option. But what it was really doing was preventing both men and women from having options.
As long as you’re pushing men to stay at work, you’re pushing women to stay home.
In 2013, I went to Time Warner, privately, quietly. I said, ‘I’m needed at home when my baby will be born in a few months.’ They didn’t give me an answer for months.
Then my daughter was born early and I was holding my tiny, preemie daughter in my arms, going back and forth, asking for an answer. They finally said no.
It was like the problems of workplace discrimination fell into my lap. So I filed a complaint of gender discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Q: Where does the complaint stand now?
Levs: It’s still pending. When I filed it, it was like I had unleashed the floodgates. I didn’t realize the outpouring of support I’d get from men’s groups, from women’s groups. We discovered we’re all in this together. We’re all up against these ancient structures. So that support was incredible.
It also had a pragmatic effect. One year later, when it came time to announce the policies for 2015, Time Warner announced it had revolutionized its leave policies in a way that would benefit the overwhelming majority of parents of both genders. That was a big victory.
They all offer mothers and fathers big blocks of time for paid parental leave. More and more companies offer several months worth of paid family leave. They’ve found it helps keep and retain employees, makes them loyal, happier and more productive workers.
At the same time, studies show overall employers are cutting back on paid leave. I’m a big believer in education. If people learn the truth, they’ll see the benefit if they have gender neutral policies.
Q: Aside from the expense, what’s keeping so many companies from offering equal parental leave?
Levs: We have a 1950s mentality behind our structures. In the United States, we’re the real outlier with the rest of the world. We have no paid maternity leave. And some countries not only have paid maternity leave, they have paid paternity leave as well.
We don’t hear why. And we need to look at why.
Our structures are based on this archaic concept that men will make all the money and the women will stay home. Why would you have maternity leave? Mothers are supposed to stay home. Why have paternity leave? The man is supposed to make all the money.
But the majority of mothers work – and are responsible for taking care of the kids and home. And more fathers are spending more time doing child care and housework, and still working long hours. That work-life conflict is weighing on everybody.
One study found it weighs more heavily on men: They want to be home more, yet they’re under pressure to be providers.
That work-life conflict is leading to stress, that can mess with your mental health, and mess with your physical life.
All this stuff is intertwined. When your life is forced to be this frenetic, because we have policies that don’t make sense, we’re hurting business, we’re hurting men, we’re hurting women…and we’re hurting children.
The best thing a society can do is ensure its children are taken care of.
Q: You write about taking on the “gender police,” what do you mean?
Levs: The stories are just wild. One father – he and his wife’s baby was born in the middle of the week in an emergency. He just took off the rest of the week. His boss called him in on Monday and rebuked him for taking off so much time. And his boss was a pregnant woman.
That guy ended up quitting – he was comptroller of the company. What they lost was tremendous.
Yet you find that this prejudice exists. The prejudice is against men and women – assuming men stay at work. That’s the reason why we don’t have enough women in the halls of power – the prejudice is pushing women to go home
Q: What could readers facing this stigma do?
Levs: There are little steps and big steps.
I’m optimistic. I really believe people in power want to do the right thing.
1. Take the information to your bosses. Lay out the research. Educate them.
2. Collect information. What are your company’s policies? How do they compare across the industry?
3. Keep lots and lots of records, on your own performance and productivity, on the impact of policies
4. Get excellent legal advice
5. Research about what competitors to your business are offering. And continuously apply for jobs at those places so you have choices.
6. Take steps to promote flexible schedules.
7. And figure out how you best present information to make your pitch. Some prefer writing. Some speaking.
8. Build rapport.
Taking the kind of legal action I took is a last resort. That only applies when policy is discriminatory, though it is an option. Workers in this country forget that we do have power. After 2008, people became so legitimately afraid to stand up. But studies show employers are, in many cases, willing to offer opportunities more than people think. It’s just that a lot of people haven’t asked.
But if you don’t get anywhere, and you are the victim of a gender discriminatory policy, you have the right to take action with the EEOC. Your employer can’t fire you for doing so.
Q: Time Warner has said it can’t comment on pending legal action and has said very little publicly about your case. What was it like working at CNN after you filed the EEOC complaint?
Levs: My colleagues, when I got back to work were openly supportive. Slapping me on my back. People hugging me. When the annual benefits information was released in October, I saw that they’d revolutionized the policy, offering fathers six weeks of paid parental leave.
Now, I get notes from people all across Time Warner – ‘Sending a blessing to you every night for the six weeks I get with my baby.’
It doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved. I don’t know if executives think of me now as someone who rocked the boat.
But I’m optimistic – I think that they wanted to do the right thing. They listened to the research, and made a change.
Q: Has the policy change made a difference for you and your family?
Levs: The six paid weeks were not retroactive. So I didn’t get that.
It’s incredibly painful to think back to the time I had to come back to work. I was so, so needed at home. Like the vast majority of people in America, I couldn’t take unpaid leave. I ended up taking some unpaid leave later on, when I got the book advance. But at that point, my daughter was older, the family dynamics were established.
I take solace in knowing that some of the steps I took can help other people.
This above all; to thine own self be true.
Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below http://shakespeareinamericanenglish.blogspot.com/
Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”
THE BOOK OF FUNNY, ODD AND INTERESTING THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY
John William Tuohy
Lost in translation
In a Tokyo Hotel: Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notis.
In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.
In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.
In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.
In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.
In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. daily.
In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.
In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursdays.
In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.
On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.
On the menu of a Polish hotel: Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.
Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
In a Bangkok dry cleaner's: Drop your trousers here for best results.
Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.
In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
Russian newspaper: There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Russian painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.
In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.
In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.
In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.
Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:Would you like to ride on your own ass?
In a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.
In a Tokyo bar: Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.
In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to Russia, you are welcome to it.
In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
In a Budapest zoo:Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
In the office of a Rome doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.
In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.
In a Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.
In a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner: Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.
In a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo: When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.
Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:- English well talking.- Here speeching American.
On a Malaga freeway: Locals for sale or rent.
In a hotel in Bruges: Bathroom light operates with motion sensor. Turns off approx. 15 minutes after last registered motion.
On a Bulgarian web site: You may visit this webpage, only if you are logged in or it is unavailable.
In an East African newspaper: A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.
In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours. We guarantee no miscarriages.
Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan: Stop: Drive Sideways.
Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following slogan in an advertising campaign in America: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”
The name Coca-Cola in China was translated by Americans as Ke-kou-ke-la. which means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. What the meant to write was ko-kou-ko-le,” which translated means as “happiness in the mouth.”
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” but translated means “It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
The Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.” in Chinese.
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem - Feeling Free,” got translated in the Japanese market into “When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”
General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, with out understanding thatin Spanish “no va” means “it won’t go.”
"It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose." -- A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest.
"Dirty Water Punishment Place" -- How a sewage treatment plant was marked on a Tokyo map.
"Coffee and Snakes" -- A sign in a coffee shop in Ingolstadt, Germany.
"You did not report yourself by the Alien police. You have to do this in a short time, otherwise you get troubles! When you don't come to our office, we demand you to come! And when you don't come again, you maybe have to pay a fine, and it is possible that you will be expanded." -- A letter sent by the Rotterdam (Netherlands) foreign police to someone who did not show up for a registration appointment.
"Please Use The Thong's." -- A sign asking customers to serve themselves rolls with the tongs provided; see a scanned image.
"Beware of being swallowed by child, due to small parts."
"Avoid disturbing the other while enjoying this item."
"During cutting, do not put your head too close."
"There is difference between up and down."
"Insert G-51 until you hear 'Kar'."
"Please be sure to keep the vents on top open. Do not bring spillables near these, like chicken soup and dust."
"Known to cure itching, colds, stomachs, brains, and other diseases."
Rules for climbing Mt. Fuji: A teffific Gust often overtakes three times consecutively. Keep yourself lying flat on the siope until it's completely blown over. Danger comes soonest when it's despised.
In case of Bad weather such as, storm, fain, snow and a dense fog, avoid climbing futher than the fifth staition. when the weather breaks Suddely. just give up half-way and Return.
The nearest-to-the-sky location in Japan is far colder than the feets of the mountain.
Bring garbage back to your home.
"If a tour group contains more than the number stiputed above, it is different in application. The particulars will be asked the clerk at the window. A man below 18 years old should be accompanied by the adults." -- Rules for touring the Kyoto Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan.
Please don't use by children or person who doesn't read this instruction.
Brake is unable to provide reliable protection on slopes, thus, aware of the speed and make sure you can stop when necessary. But don't reduce the speed too fast, you may fall.
You may lose your balance while tuming, you are batter to get off or decrease your speed before tuming.
Can Wash (Car wash)
The low temperature is very hot
"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice Chinese Food with Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history. and cultual." -- Instructions on a chopsticks wrapper.
"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try Your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks. the traditional and typical If Chinaes glorious history and culture." -- Instructions on the wrapper for the same brand of chopsticks, as rewritten months later.
"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice Chinese Food with chopsticks. the traditional and typical of Chinese glonous history and cultual." -- The same instructions, rewritten still more months later.
"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticke the traditional and trpical of Chinese glorious history and cultual." -- Another rewrite.
"Hey, you there! Open those windows. Let the air force come in!" -- Spoken by a teacher for whom English was a second language.
"With you I feel myself in kindergarten!" -- Spoken by a Russian teacher of mathematics to a noisy class.
"Toyota E-com will be come a main type of car suitable for commutation in metropolis and the suburbs nearly in the future." -- On a brochure in Japan.
"The story of each riding is different. Many people cannot help riding again and again." -- On a brochure for a theme park in Japan.
"Have formality of the first kabuki play ground. There is the earphone guide who can hear explanation which enjoying the play." -- On a brochure for Idemitsu Museum in Japan.
"Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool while you drink it all in." -- From a brochure.
"Let's fun." -- From a advertising paper for a local disco in Luxembourg.
"A Great Stage Where Wings of the World Gather, Flap, and Fly skyward." -- From a guide to the Narita airport.
"Val d'Isere, a resort village, expects you in Winter as well as in Summer for spending relaxing and well-being moments in its comfortable environment." -- From a brochure for the Val d'Isere ski resort.
"In case of fire, please read this." -- On a Saudi hotel's fire safety brochure.
"In the close village you can buy jolly memorials for when you pass away." -- From a tourist brochure.
"Come to Juan's Jewelry Shop. We won't screw you too much." -- On cards handed out by a man in front of a jewelry shop in Mexico.
"A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers." -- From a story in an East African newspaper.
"If you understand English, press 1. If you do not understand English, press 2." -- From a recording on an Australian information line, which was set up to answer questions about the new Goods and Services Tax plan.
"If you need help in Spanish, please tell an employee 'Ayudar en Espanol' and they will get you help over the telephone." -- From a sign in an AutoZone shop.
"Lemon Gas" -- The name of a gas station in Japan.
"Calpis Nude" -- The name of a kind of soda in Japan.
Signs and Notices
"Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose." -- A sign in a Swiss hotel.
"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time." -- A sign in a laundry in Rome.
"Members and non-members only." -- A sign outside Mexico City's Mandinga Disco in the Hotel Emporio.
"Shower of Happiness. Total Safety Guaranteed." -- A label on an electric shower (to heat cold water) in Thailand.
"Do not spit here and there." -- A sign in Calcutta, India.
"Commit No Nuisance." -- A sign in Calcutta, India.
"Dresses for streetwalkers." -- A junk mail ad in Germany.
"Don't get into this." -- A sign in Japan with the universal "do not enter" symbol.
"We are thinking that 'How to management' is more important than 'What for sell'. we want to realize that is 'It's well that!' that is our opinion." -- On the cover of a photo shop's envelopes for newly developed film.
"Parkinginwrong Places Will Make you accountal be to Law Apartfrom being atres Passingon the Right of the Citizenand the state." -- A sign in Luxor, Egypt.
"Deposit: The owner asks for a deposit of 25.000 ptas as a guarantee for the flat. This amount will be returned at the end of your stay if any damage has been done." -- A sign in a Spanish hotel.
"Warning: Do not leave it in this place which may have a high temperature such as the car closed." -- Instructions for a CD adapter for a car's tape player.
"SOTP" -- A sign near a road crossing in Milan.
"Warning! Difficult to swim out if wearing wader filled with water by falling down! Therefor, please avoid deep water where danger of drowning possibility exists." -- On the label of a pair of chest waders manufactured in Taiwan.
"Please leave your values at the front desk." -- A sign in a Paris hotel.
"Let's skiing." -- A sign in a ski chalet in Nagano, Japan.
"Child be a public servant. The best balance of music and technology within a vaguely." -- Written on a T-shirt for sale in a market in Hong Kong.
"Dah Wong Path." -- A sign for a park path in Hong Kong.
"Caution Water On Road During Rain" -- A sign in Malaysia.
"Refund!" -- "Caution," as translated into Italian on a "wet floor" sign in an Italian McDonald's.
"Please to bathe inside the tub." -- A sign in a Japanese hotel room.
"Our staffs are always here waiting for you to patronize them." -- From an advertisement for a hotel in Tokyo.
"This shop has been moved to the present place for 35 years." -- From an advertisement for an antique shop in Tokyo.
"Colorful dining space surrounded by stained glasses." -- From an advertisement for a restaurant in Tokyo.
Let's wash a hand well before and after a wash.
Don't wash the person who get's an epidemic, and clothes which contacted with the person.
Don't wash a diaper which urine stuck to, sports shoes, an animal's rug because an unpleasantness is given to the person handled later and it is un-sanitation.
Let's bring it back after you spread the wash from the dryness machine and a state is done.
Please ask a satellite control person in charge for the inquiry about the establishment, the contact of in case of emergency.
"Schweppes Toilet Water." -- "Schweppes Tonic Water," as originally translated into Italian.
"Manure stick." -- "Mist Stick," a brand of curling iron, in German slang.
"Micro tender rat." -- "Microsoft Mouse," as translated into Italian on the instruction sheet for a Taiwanese Microsoft-compatible mouse.
"Eat your fingers off." -- "Finger lickin' good," as originally translated into Chinese.
"Are you lactating?" -- "Got milk?" as originally translated into Spanish for advertising in Mexico.
"Suffer from diarrhea." -- "Turn it loose," as originally translated into Spanish for advertising of Coors.
"Fly naked." -- "Fly in leather," as originally translated into Spanish for advertising of American Airlines' leather first class seats.
"I saw the potato." -- "I saw the Pope," as translated into Spanish. The slogan was used on promotional T-Shirts for the Pope's visit to Miami.
"Nothing sucks like an Electrolux." -- An English slogan used by Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux for an American advertising campaign.
"Be a prostitute." -- The Dr. Pepper advertising slogan "Be a Pepper," as understood in England, where "pepper" is slang for "prostitute." Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?
"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for." -- From a menu in Switzerland.
"Savour best match of the mysterious sauces." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Modernly arranged miscellaneous European Flavors." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Vietnam bird salad, mixed Chimaki and asian corses." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Seasonal ingredients specially pre-pared and directly imported from their place of origination." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Cold shredded children and sea blubber in spicy sauce." -- From a menu in China.
"Jam and Cheese Sandwich." -- From a menu in Costa Rica.
"Pastry Chef." -- From a menu in Costa Rica.
"Waffies." -- From a menu in Thailand.
"Children soup." -- From a menu in India.
"Deep Fried Fingers of my Lady." -- From a menu in India.
"Grilled lamp ribs." -- From a menu in Barcelona.
"Vegitational beef soap." -- From a menu in Brazil.
"'Boys style' little chickens." -- From a menu in Barcelona.
"Pork with fresh garbage." -- From a menu in Vietnam.
"Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger." -- From a menu in Poland.
"French fried ships." -- From a menu in Cairo.
"Fried friendship." -- From a menu in Nepal.
"Fried fishermen." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Friend eggs." -- From a menu in Laos.
"Gordon blue." -- From a menu in a Korean hotel.
"Cram Chowder." -- From a Chinese buffet in Canada.
"Rather burnt land slug." -- On a menu in Thailand.
"Chessburger." -- On a menu in Poland.
"Turkey meat, salad, and sos." -- A creative spelling of "sauce" on a menu in Poland.
"Roat poik." -- From a menu in a Chinese Restaurant in the United States.
"Ckicken Velvet and Ckicken Noddle." -- The soups of the day listing, from a menu in a Chinese Restaurant in the United States.
"Ha Ha Fortune Cookies." -- From a menu in a Chinese Restaurant in the United States.
"Sweat from the trolley." -- From a menu in Europe.
"Salad a firm's own make." -- From a menu in Poland.
"Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream." -- From a menu in China.
"Strawberry crap." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion." -- From a menu in Poland.
"Buttered saucepans and fried hormones." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Indonesian Nazi Goreng." -- From a menu in Hong Kong.
"Muscles Of Marines/Lobster Thermos." -- From a menu in Cairo.
"Toes with butter and jam." -- From a menu in Bali.
"Teppan Yaki - Before Your Cooked Right Eyes." -- From a menu in Japan.
"Soon Go Fatt" -- The name of a Chinese Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.
"Hamanegs." -- From many menus in Slovakia.
"Guinea-Pig Breast." -- From a menu in Slovakia.
"Are you finished? No, I'm Swedish." -- From a "Learn English" tape in Finland.
"I am looking for an realy educated man who can be joke to himself." -- Excerpt from the personal ad of a Russian woman.
English-As-A-Second-Language Placement Test Essay Quotations
"If you seat down and wash TV all time, you get fat."
"I hate to see people sad or angry because you only get one life so why waste it on retarted stuff."
"We could talk, eat snakes and laugh."
"Sometimes television's programation has bad bad quality of programs."
"I was a prodigy of a teenage pregnancy."
"In conclusion, television affects my life by not getting a part-time job in the afternoon."
"In the 18th century, there weren't many television programs designed for children."
"New Mexico are my best experience or best times I never had."
"Travel is an activity that makes me feel another person."
"I felt the happiest woman on Earth at the time."
"T.V. could be bad too because you could go more blinder."
"I recently gave birth to a gorgeous and healthy five-month-old baby girl."
"If not for the cell phones, we would still not know where we are at."
"Just feeling the cool breeze going through my face."
"A world without television is a world without knowing, and without television there would be no famous people."
"I use my dancing skills at clubs, churches, and AA gatherings."
"History deeply amuses, from the Ice Age to the war in Iraq."
"I came to the conclusion that apart from myself, I don't have any talents."
"On top of her, I have a pretty big family."
"Anyone can laugh at a good joke or enjoy watching a friend trip."
"When I'm in my nursing home and some detestable scoundrel dares to steal my pudding, you know I'll be willing to throw down."
"Cell phones evolutionated the industry of communication."
"The calming crash of the waves against the rocks screamed serenity."
Spam Email: Excuse me for your busy time.
Architecture for the blog of it
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Sculpture this and Sculpture that
The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)
Album Art (Photographic arts)
Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot
On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
Good chowda (New England foods)
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And I Love Clams (New England foods)
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)
Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (New England foods)
Foster Care new and Updates
Aging out of the system
Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system
Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System
The Foster Children’s Blogs
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The Foster Children’s Bill of Right
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Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)
The Quotable Helen Keller
Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)
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Whatever you do, don't laugh
The Quotable Grouch Marx
A Big Blog of Irish Literature
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The Irish American Gangster
The Irish in their Own Words
When Washington Was Irish
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NEW ENGLAND BLOGS
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And I Love Clams
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener
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God, How I hated the 70s
Child of the Sixties Forever
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Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)
Beatles Fan Forever
Year One, 1955
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Early Gangsters of New York City
Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man
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Recipes we would Die For
The Prohibition in Pictures
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Roger Touhy Gangster
Chicago’s Mob Bosses
Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here
Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland
The Mob Across America
Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men
Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz
Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)
The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)
The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)
Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)
Mobsters in the News
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The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)
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Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas
Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)
The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)
It’s All Greek Mythology to me
The Rarifieid Tribe
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DC Behind the Monuments
When Washington Was Irish