Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

A Letter from Mallika Chopra: After Election Day

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Last night, around 9:30pm (LA time) when it was clear Trump would win, I sat in bed with my girls as they both cried. They are 14 and 12 and completely engaged in politics and the world. They were hurt, scared, confused. How could this happen? What will happen to women, immigrants, Muslims? Are we going to move? It took everything in me to assure them it will be ok. We have checks and balances in this country. I ended up just going to bed with them, and skipping the remaining results. This morning, we woke up to tears once again knowing this is our reality.

But we made a commitment, before getting ready for school, that we will not to engage in the hysteria. We are going to keep the tvs off. We are keeping our schedules today. We are not talking about moving. We are focusing on family, friends, school, work.

And as the reality of this new world settles (which truly affects the whole world), we will do our part to stand up. We will strive to be more compassionate and understanding, but also strong and bold about living every day with intent and purpose.

Mallika Chopra, Founder of Intent.com

My 14 Year Old Daughter Is Asking You To Vote

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To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Tara, and I am fourteen years old. Today, I ask of you a simple task: on Tuesday, November 8th (or before if you can), go out and vote for not only your country’s President, but arguably one of the most powerful people in the world.

I am not going to avoid saying this either. I honestly hope you vote for Hillary Clinton.

I cannot vote, but if you can, I urge you to take advantage of a constitutional right that our founding fathers gave us 200 years ago. Not voting is a direct translation of not caring who the next President of your country is, and it does not matter if your favored candidate did not win the primaries, or you strongly dislike Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein. You have to picture who would be best sitting in the Oval Office next January, and you have to put their name on the ballot. It’s essential because that is the way our country works.

I am a girl living in Los Angeles. I am surrounded by people of all genders, religions, backgrounds, skin colors, and ideals. Depending on who you elect to the White House, some of those people or all of those people will be represented in our government. I know its hard – this election seems like a joke to many adults, and I know it is painstakingly hard not to laugh when my teachers discuss what a candidate said at the last debate or rallying speech, but its also important to realize that this election is not a joke. Its especially not a joke to the people whose jobs, homes, education, etc. are at stake depending on who takes the Oval.

Personally, I am worried about Tuesday. What will happen? Will my Muslim family friends be looked at differently when they walk down the streets, or be under “extreme vetting” merely because of the things they believe in? Will our world’s climate continue to worsen because it is looked at as a hoax created by another country? Will my fellow gender, the women of America, be allowed to make an extremely hard decision when they become pregnant or not? I’m really not sure. Continue reading

Can Trumpism Lead to a Better American Story?

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By Deepak Chopra, MD

We are living at a time when the story of America is changing, with nothing but more change on the horizon. Therefore, we face a critical decision. Should the new American story be born out of fear or hope? The stark contrasts in the 2016 election make this choice inevitable. One indelible human trait is the craving to turn our experiences into stories. These stories gather tags (now often called memes) that keep the story straight and allow people to agree about them. “The greatest generation” is such a tag, supporting the story of the Allied victory in World War II, which is referred to as a “good war,” another tag. Politics is many things, but one of the most important is a war between competing stories, and if your side comes up with the winning story, your victory can last far beyond one election cycle.

Donald Trump has been wildly erratic when it comes to actual ideas, policies, and positions, but he rode the crest of an immensely successful Republican story. So-called conservative “principles” are largely a collection of mythical storylines, and the tags that define them go back to the Nixon era. We are all familiar with law and order, the silent majority, morning in America, “Government isn’t the solution–it’s the problem,” “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev,” clash of civilizations, “Guns don’t kill people–people do,” and many other conservative memes.

So fervent is the craving for stories that the right wing clings to storylines that are totally false if your standard of truth is historical fact, accurate data, and pluralism. But rigidly clinging to our story is something we all do. By the same token, we become nervous and disturbed when our story starts to fray. The right plays upon fear very successfully at times of national anxiety, from Nixon’s “pitiful helpless giant” to Bush’s “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” to Trump’s “make America great again,” which plays upon the anxiety of national decline. Fear is a powerful motivator in the short term, even when it proves to be disastrously bad as a guide to action, as witness the Vietnam war and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It seems likely that Donald Trump has finally reached the end of his string and will self-destruct thanks to his total inability to control himself. But the crisis surrounding the American story won’t go away. The benign revolt led by Bernie Sanders isn’t comparable to the toxic revolt led by Trump. Yet they share a refusal to go along with the American story we’ve been living with, and the fact that such a huge proportion of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction indicates how deep our confusion, frustration, and discontent have progressed. Continue reading

Kids and These Presidential Debates

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There was a moment in the middle of the Republican debate last night, while Trump was shouting, “Little Marco spews his crap about the size of my hands!” that I muted the television and asked my daughters, “Should we actually be watching this?”

We have watched, as a family, most of the Democratic and Republican debates. My girls and I watched Hillary Clinton at the Benghazi hearings. As a parent, I feel that these forums are allowing my family to discuss the issues, but also watch the body language, tone of voice, and how people treat each other.

My daughters are in 8th grade and 5th grade. They are intelligent, empathetic, globally aware children. As a family, we have always discussed difficult issues together whether it’s a girls right to go to school, the water situation in Flint, the lack of justice for the shooting of a young black boy or what it means to be a refugee from a war torn country. Our extended family is on a group text where we share articles and thoughts on current events. My 8th grade daughter participates in debate tournaments and is adept at researching both sides of an issue, gathering facts and cultivating sound arguments. My husband and I have never shied away from exposing our girls to hard issues – always mindful that we do it in an age appropriate way. At 14 and 11 years old, we have felt they are old enough now to not only process, but also participate in this year’s election.

Yet, the spectacle and degradation of last night’s debate made me pause. Just a few days before, Van Jones, a former Obama staffer and commentator on CNN, had an unbelievable interaction with Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, about the KKK. In his emotion, he mentioned that he felt it was no longer appropriate for his son to watch the media which glorifies the sensational statements of Donald Trump. Continue reading

Students at the Forefront of the Iowa Caucus

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Photo borrowed from Kid Unity

Traveling from Los Angeles to Iowa, a group of 6th graders experienced the political process in a remarkable and personal way. The day of the Iowa Caucus, where the first votes for the next president of the United States will be cast, these kids were meeting candidates, interviewing political reporters and touring the site of this important event.

“As the next generation of voters, it’s important that we study the candidates, issues and process. Our classroom is on the front lines.” -Carlthorp Student

I followed their twitter feed throughout the Caucus, inspired and hopeful for the future. Here are their impressions and learnings in their own words… Continue reading

Hillary Clinton: Life Lessons from the Benghazi Testimony

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Yesterday, when my daughters and I came home after school, I put on the live stream of Hillary Clinton testifying before the Benghazi hearings.

I’m not sure if they were 6, 7 or 8 hours into grilling Hillary Clinton yet, but at that particular moment, a Republican congressman was shouting at her. My girls watched, first with horror and then laughing – who is that man? (Actually, my 11 year old daughter asked “Who is that crazy man?”) As he continued to give his own theory on Hillary Clinton’s actions around Benghazi, my 8th grader, who has done mock trials in Elementary and Middle School, asked if that is how a hearing is supposed to go – are you supposed to make up someone else’s story? Or, are you supposed to ask questions, listen, and gather information, facts?

But it was Hillary’s demeanor – calm, collected, in control – that made the most dramatic impression on my daughters and me.

She listened. She reviewed her notes. She didn’t attack.

She smiled as a panel in front of her berated her with nonsensical questions. She acted like a seasoned world leader.

Here are a few life lessons that my girls and I talked about after the debate: Continue reading

5 Famous Female Friendships to Challenge the ‘Mean Girls’ Stereotype

Let’s face it, women often get a bad reputation when it comes to camaraderie. They are labeled as “back-stabbing,” “catty,” “mean girls,” and of course a slew of curse words. Are women cruel and manipulative by nature? Are they somehow taught or socialized to feel desperately competitive, in a sort of “every woman for herself” dystopia? Many girls experience debilitating bullying from female peers, but that’s not to say this is the only way girls know how to interact. In fact, there are countless examples of strong and lasting female friendships throughout history (not to mention the everyday examples of bonding and support to which many women can attest.)

Here are 5 of the sweetest, most influential female friendships in history:

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1. Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald – Monroe reportedly called the owner of popular Hollywood nightclub Mocambo when she heard he had refused to book Fitzgerald from racial prejudice. Monroe personally sat in the front seat for every night of Fitzgerald’s show, just to prove her loyalty and solidarity with a woman who had been such an influence on her own early career.

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2. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton – These powerful ladies were drivers of the women’s suffrage movement of the late 19th century. Stanton mostly wrote, while Anthony handled business affairs. Together they also published a women’s newspaper, called Revolution.

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3. Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King – These powerful, longtime pals have been friends for over 30 years, and their friendship has withstood the tests of fame, fortune, and time.

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4. Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler – These hilarious friends often work as partners and are hailed as pioneers in women’s comedy. It’s a good thing they get along so well, for the sake of comedy-watchers everywhere.

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5. Hillary Clinton and Susie Tompkins Buell – Not only are these women close friends, but Buell even managed fundraising efforts in the Bay Area for Clinton’s campaign in 2008.

It is heartening to remember that the negative picture of women as backstabbers and bullies is nothing more than a caricature – one that does sometimes play out in reality, but that is by no means the norm.

 

Photo credit: Unknown

Photo credit: Library of Congress

Photo credit: Unknown

Photo credit: img.gawkerassets.com

Photo credit: Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Five Laws of Conflict – Burning Korans Breaks Them All

This Saturday, Florida-based pastor Terry Jones had planned to lead his congregation in a Koran burning, celebrating what they call "International Burn a Koran Day." Although everyone from the Pope to Hillary Clinton has urged him to halt his plans, it seems that only a sign from God can keep him from following through. I can’t decide if Terry is short-sighted or brilliant, if he lacks all ability to skillfully manage conflict or if he is, intentionally or accidentally, leading us to peace. Let us first review the folly of his Koran burning plan, drawing from history’s most brilliant masters of conflict. My survey shows that Terry’s demonstration breaks five fundamental laws governing how to win.

1. Violence is an inferior strategy: one of Sun Tzu’s most important statements is "the highest realization of warfare is to attack the enemy’s plans; next is to attack their alliances; next to attack their army; and the lowest is to attack their fortified cities." Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, "Arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms." Here we have two of history’s most well-known individuals saying great strategy solves conflict without violence. Now while burning Korans is not physically violent, it is morally vehement and, as we will see in a moment, grossly misdirected.

2. Make means consistent with ends: we love to read stories about bloody clashes of civilization–the French and U.S. Revolutions, for example. But the violent ones rarely sustain their victories. The Irish Republican Army, Palestine Liberation Army, Basque ETA, and Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers all ultimately struggled against the popular resistance their violent means engendered. In contrast, consider non-violent "wars" like the liberation of India, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the removal of dictators in the Philippines and Chile, or the democracy movement in Poland. All resulted in sustainable victories. As Gandhi pointed out, "The means must be consistent with the ends." History tells us that burning Korans, even if successful in some way, will eventually lead to an unsustainable world filled with burning Korans, Bibles, and Torahs.

3. Create no competition: Sun Tzu wrote that "to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." The best strategies preempt competition. By this measure, the burning of Korans is a step backward. It achieves no meaningful gain while it can only excite competition. What the burning of Koran does is draw a challenge in the sand; it creates an "us vs. you" dynamic that Gandhi saw as critical to undo: "We reaffirm our unity with others when we transform ‘us’ versus ‘them’ thinking and doing." At the heart of the Koran-burnings folly is that it achieves no gain yet activates conflicting identities–Christian vs. Islam–that will naturally trigger conflict.

4. Isolate your opponent: one the greatest strategists of modern times, Colonel John Boyd, suggests that a critical element of any successful campaign is to isolate your opponent from his supporters. Sun Tzu called this "attacking alliances." Some U.S. military strategists conceptualize our conflict with Islamic extremists as being a battle with four concentric spheres: at the center is Al-Qaeda (our primary target), surrounding them are various Jihadist groups that gain support and inspiration from formal-Qaeda, around them are Islamic fundamentalist sympathizers, and around them is the broader population of followers of Islam (see this report, PDF file). A smart strategy would laser in on Al-Qaeda and other Jihadist groups while isolating them from the support of sympathizers and followers of Islam. By robbing the target of their support, you weaken them. Burning Korans incites the outer concentric rings to support the Al-Qaeda target. It takes natural supporters of ours and gives them a reason to support the "enemy."

5. Never come down to your enemy: if your enemy is good with a sword, it would be foolish to pick up a sword against them. Instead, you should wield a weapon with which they are less familiar. If you fight like your enemy, you become your enemy. By turning to burning Korans, Terry sinks to the extremists’ level and breaks this important strategic law.

My Hope

While Machiavelli paints a foreboding hue on Terry’s Koran-burning strategy ("There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt"), my rosy lenses cannot help but reach for a positive outcome from this situation.

For the first time Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have something to agree on. Sarah joins Hillary in urging Terry to hold back, warning, "It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire." Reverend Billy Graham’s son has been calling Terry asking him to stop. Republican conservative Haley Barbour says of the incident, "I don’t think there is any excuse for it." Gen. David Petraeus, Angelina Jolie, and even the Pope have all weighed in on the same side.

Could this be Terry’s real plan? To unify the U.S. behind our highest ideals? Whether intentional or not, if Terry follows through, let us all hope that he and his 50-member congregation will set up a global shift that will result positive momentum for all of us. The strategic principles outlined above apply to any conflict you wish to skillfully engage in, whether for your business or life. Ask yourself the questions below to see how you can truly master conflict:

  1. What would it mean to attack your enemy’s plans or alliances, rather than attacking your adversary?
  2. Are your means consistent with your desired ends?
  3. Is your strategy activating unnecessary competition?
  4. How can you isolate your competitors from their sources of support?
  5. What is your competition’s preferred form of battle and how can you avoid playing their game?

Originally posted on FastCompany.com http://www.fastcompany.com/1688082/five-laws-of-conflict-burning-korans-breaks-them-all

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Malik_Braun

Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding: Who’s Fat?

 
Fat Suit.jpgGet Me to the Church All Svelte

Traditionally, when it comes to ‘wedding fat,’ it is the bride who weighs in most fahklumpt (Yiddish for emotionally overwhelmed, mixed up) over her number on the ”scales of injustice.’ It is she who dives head first into one crash diet or another (ouch!), seeking the magic bullet – the fastest bullet – that promises to deliver her to the church on time and ‘svelte.’

The Bride is soon followed into the Land of Weighty Neurosis by her mother (M.O.T.B.), the bridesmaids, and then, quietly but most definitely, by the mother of the groom (M.O.T.G.).

Not this time! Not this wedding! No fat women up front and center, losing it. This wedding – The Chelsea Clinton Wedding – has a different undulation to it.

So, who’s fat?
Bill, of course! Well, not fat at the moment, but butt but!

Bill Clinton, the F.O.T.B., told reporters back in April, "She [Chelsea] doesn’t think I’m in shape." Bill continued, "You know, she told me the other day, ‘Dad the only thing you gotta do is walk me down the aisle, and you gotta look good.’ So I said, ‘Well, what’s your definition?’ And she said, ‘Oh, about 15 pounds."

Communication Segue
Segue just for a moment with me, if you will, away from weight and notice the level of communication between Bill and Chelsea. Bill wondered what looking good looked like to Chelsea. There are so many ways in which one can interpret ‘looking good.’ Like sporting the right top hat, tux and cane (remember Tom Hanks in the movie BIG?); dying his hair back to its natural color (been so long, who can remember). Good thing he asked!

Bill’s 15 Pounds
At any rate, "lose 15 pounds" was the goal and needless to say, a relatively easy goal for the F.O.T.B., whose accomplishments are varied and many.

Lost and Found?
Still, the question remains. What’s to come after the wedding? Will the pounds move back in? Might Bill have unwittingly set himself up to lose 15 pounds and then find it again?

Is Cabbage Sustainable?
It has been rumored that Bill’s diet of choice is the Cabbage Soup Diet. A fad diet that promises unrealistic results (people claim that they lose up to 10 pounds in one week), and it has been rebuked by doctors as unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Certainly, the Cabbage Soup diet is not a sustainable healthy living plan, is it?

Event Planning
Losing weight for an event will only take you so far. Actually, as far as the event and then it’s over. Over, in a big weigh! And I can tell you why!

Essentially, it’s as if you’ve embedded a command into your unconscious mind. A kind of self-hypnosis. "I will lose 15 pounds for Chelsea’s wedding." The wedding comes and goes, and with it your ‘diet’ plan. Your unconscious mind ‘lifts the ban.’ The proverbial door to the barn is left open and all hell breaks loose.

What to do?
Learn what sustainable healthy living looks like, sounds like and tastes like. Incorporate healthy changes, one change/one step at a time into your life. And create a vision that will keep you fit and healthy forever. Past Chelsea’s wedding!

What will losing weight give you that you wouldn’t otherwise have?
What does your compelling future look like (long term future)?

Evolve! Don’t just temporarily improve.

Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice

For the best wellness & weight loss wisdom,
visit Janice: Our Lady of Weight Loss
 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / marshed

Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Who’s fat?

 
Fat Suit.jpgGet Me to the Church All Svelte

Traditionally, when it comes to ‘wedding fat,’ it is the bride who weighs in most fahklumpt (Yiddish for emotionally overwhelmed, mixed up) over her number on the ”scales of injustice.’ It is she who dives head first into one crash diet or another (ouch!), seeking the magic bullet – the fastest bullet – that promises to deliver her to the church on time and ‘svelte.’

The Bride is soon followed into the Land of Weighty Neurosis by her mother (M.O.T.B.), the bridesmaids, and then, quietly but most definitely, by the mother of the groom (M.O.T.G.).

Not this time! Not this wedding! No fat women up front and center, losing it. This wedding – The Chelsea Clinton Wedding – has a different undulation to it.

So, who’s fat?
Bill, of course! Well, not fat at the moment, but butt but!

Bill Clinton, the F.O.T.B., told reporters back in April, "She [Chelsea] doesn’t think I’m in shape." Bill continued, "You know, she told me the other day, ‘Dad the only thing you gotta do is walk me down the aisle, and you gotta look good.’ So I said, ‘Well, what’s your definition?’ And she said, ‘Oh, about 15 pounds."

Communication Segue
Segue just for a moment with me, if you will, away from weight and notice the level of communication between Bill and Chelsea. Bill wondered what looking good looked like to Chelsea. There are so many ways in which one can interpret ‘looking good.’ Like sporting the right top hat, tux and cane (remember Tom Hanks in the movie BIG?); dying his hair back to its natural color (been so long, who can remember). Good thing he asked!

Bill’s 15 Pounds
At any rate, "lose 15 pounds" was the goal and needless to say, a relatively easy goal for the F.O.T.B., whose accomplishments are varied and many.

Lost and Found?
Still, the question remains. What’s to come after the wedding? Will the pounds move back in? Might Bill have unwittingly set himself up to lose 15 pounds and then find it again?

Is Cabbage Sustainable?
It has been rumored that Bill’s diet of choice is the Cabbage Soup Diet. A fad diet that promises unrealistic results (people claim that they lose up to 10 pounds in one week), and it has been rebuked by doctors as unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Certainly, the Cabbage Soup diet is not a sustainable healthy living plan, is it?

Event Planning
Losing weight for an event will only take you so far. Actually, as far as the event and then it’s over. Over, in a big weigh! And I can tell you why!

Essentially, it’s as if you’ve embedded a command into your unconscious mind. A kind of self-hypnosis. "I will lose 15 pounds for Chelsea’s wedding." The wedding comes and goes, and with it your ‘diet’ plan. Your unconscious mind ‘lifts the ban.’ The proverbial door to the barn is left open and all hell breaks loose.

What to do?
Learn what sustainable healthy living looks like, sounds like and tastes like. Incorporate healthy changes, one change/one step at a time into your life. And create a vision that will keep you fit and healthy forever. Past Chelsea’s wedding!

What will losing weight give you that you wouldn’t otherwise have?
What does your compelling future look like (long term future)?

Evolve! Don’t just temporarily improve.

Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice

For the best wellness & weight loss wisdom,
visit Janice: Our Lady of Weight Loss
 

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