Matt Gaetz,3rd Class Jerk


Sex trafficking probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz emerges from Joel Greenberg  prosecution: report - Orlando Sentinel
Matt Gaetz-Roger Stone- Joel Greenberg

38 year old Matthew Louis Gaetz II is a Florida Congressman representing Florida’s first District located on the western side of the state in the Floridabama corridor. His wealthy father reportedly bankrolled the election. During his campaign, Gaetz received almost $480,000 in contributions, about five times more than anyone else in the field.

Gaetz is best known for being one of Trump’s bone carriers and one of his most enthuastic supporters. The Republican congressman did the unthinkable when he campained against Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney in her own state for supporting Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Trouble with a capital G

Matt Gaetz demeanor is more frat house than distingished Congressman, engaging in twitter wars with celebrities and sending incendiary tweets a la Trump.

In resent hours, we’ve learned he often bragged about his sexual escapades to his congressional colleagues. On the house floor, he proudly displayed inages of nude women on his phone. Shared pictures and videos of nude women he said he slept with.

On Tuesday, the New York Times revealed that the Department of Justice is actively probling whether Matt Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him across state lines. Gaetz has denied the allegations “in the strongest possible terms.” There has been an ongoing investiagtion for some time by The Department of Justice, taking place during the Trump Admistration under the watchful eye of the former Attorney General William Barr.

Gaetz associate, Former Florida, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg is suspected of using his position to engage in, and facilitate, the commission of federal offenses, including sex trafficking of a child, illegally obtaining personal information from a motor vehicle record … illegally producing identification and false identification documents, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and money laundering.

While they haven’t charged Gaetz, they have found,receipts from CashApp and Apple Pay that the Times reviewed reportedly showed payments from Gaetz to one of the women, who told pals the money was in exchange for sex. The sex trafficking charge against Greenberg allegedly involved the same teenager, two people briefed on the investigation told the newspaper.

Greenberg has pleaded not guilty to the trafficking, stalking and identity fraud charges, and he is scheduled to be arraigned on the wire fraud and money laundering charges next week.

Matt, what about your friends?

While, he has gone on cable news and talked about an extortion plot. His colleagues aren’t rallying around the Congressman. Minority House leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t seem warm and fuzzy when he said, “If a member at my conference gets indicted, they will get removed from a committee”

Campaigning against Liz Cheney hasn’t won him any friends. One former Trump campaign aide, who said Gaetz seems more interested in generating social media buzz than advancing conservative issues, said he frequently winced when the former president praised Gaetz.

He seems to have two strong allies in Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Green and Ohio’s Jim Jordan.

Perhaps he’s been reading tea leaves. Without Trump, he is on an island and he doesn’t have much of a future with the GOP. News of his antics on the House floor wont play well in his conservative district, so he is hoping for a future on conservative TV. After his appearence on the Tucker Carlson show, the window is closed at Fox.

Right now, he needs to lawyer up, perhaps he watched Donald Trump to closely. Every word he utters will be used against him. Its just a matter of time.

CityFella

Germany: Sinti, Roma face systemic prejudice


Sinti and Roma children in a Baden-Württemberg school gathering to see the visiting German president Joachim Gauck in 2013
Despite all the progress made, the Sinti and Roma minority has not achieved education equality in Germany

Some 76 years after the Nazi genocide that aimed to wipe out Germany’s Sinti and Roma communities, there has been progress in education equality for Europe’s largest minority group — but discrimination remains. 

Despite all the progress made, the Sinti and Roma minority has not achieved education equality in Germany

“You’re nothing, you can’t do anything, you’re the bottom of the pile.” That’s what members of Germany’s Sinti and Roma communities have been told for centuries, sometimes openly and sometimes subtly, said Sebastijan Kurtisi. 

As one of the interviewers for the latest RomnoKher study, Kurtisi surveyed Sinti and Roma people living in Germany, among them both Germans and immigrants. RomnoKher is the nationwide association of Sinti and Roma for the promotion of culture and education, and the study — which involved 614 interviews — was funded by the foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.” 

Like all the interviewers, Kurtisi is himself a member of Europe’s largest minority group. There are an estimated 6.3 million people in the European Union, who speak the language Romani. 

Sebastijan Kurtisi
‘Why are my people stigmatized as thieves, fortune-tellers, and beggars?’: Sebastijan Kurtisi

EU member states are required to actively promote the group’s participation in the education system. The vast majority of all respondents in the study believe this promotion is necessary, with over 80% considering education very important. 

‘Why do they think I am like this?’ 

Sebastijan Kurtisi was born in Macedonia, grew up in Serbia and graduated from a technical school before migrating to Germany with his parents when he was 17. He now has a German passport. In the western city of Aachen, he worked on the development of desulfurization plants, and now he coaches people who face special social challenges. 

At some point, he realized just how many prejudices there are about the Sinti and Roma. “My people are only thieves, musicians, fortune-tellers, and beggars? Why do they think I’m like that?” he asked.

The authors of the study refer to racism, antiziganism and discrimination. Some 40% of respondents reported discrimination against their children — including in the classroom — by teachers and fellow students. Two-thirds of all respondents feel discriminated against because they belong to a minority, including in the education system. 

But in those schools where teachers had high expectations for Roma and Sinti children, they achieved higher educational qualifications on average. 

Interviewer Manja Schuecker-Weiss, herself a German Sintesa, has seen this in her work. She told DW about the mother of a student with a German name who was treated quite normally on the phone. When she and her husband appeared at the school, with “dark hair, dark skin [and] wearing a skirt,” strange questions were asked. Suddenly the boy had to go to remedial classes, even though he was getting good grades. 

 Manja Schuecker-Weiss
Manja Schuecker-Weiss, a German Sintesa, has seen children from her community face prejudice from teachers

“I often see cases like that,” she explained. Despite good grades, many report getting less ambitious school career recommendations from their teachers. 

Her own daughter, who attends high school, has told her mother that she’s glad to have blonde hair and blue eyes. That way, she doesn’t have to explain herself to anyone. When police in the southern city of Singen recently took an 11-year-old Sinti child away in handcuffs without informing the parents, many in the community were upset. 

‘Shocking difference’ from overall population 

Overall, the RomnoKher study shows a lot of educational progress compared to previous studies and in a comparison with previous generations, according to Karin Cudak, an educational expert at the European University of Flensburg and one of the study’s authors. 

All the children from the communities now attend elementary school, but the study also shows “that a large proportion of those surveyed still leave the education system empty-handed” — one in three has no school diploma, and no vocational qualifications either. 

As a result, many find only low-paying jobs. Among the youngest respondents, only half as many do not graduate compared to older respondents. But this is still a significantly higher proportion than in the German population as a whole: Only 5% of all adults in Germany do not have a high school diploma. 

Despite all the progress made, especially among younger respondents, there is a “startling difference from the national average for the population.” Fewer minority children attended day care, for example, and significantly fewer attained a college or university degree. 

One reason could be that families are often unable to sufficiently support the children and cannot find access to offers of help, as the survey shows.

Long-term consequences of Nazi persecution 

RomnoKher co-founder Daniel Strauss published an early educational study of Roma and Sinti people in 2011. His father, one of the few survivors of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, was illiterate because of the ban on schooling for certain minorities. 

“He made sure his children went to school, even though he himself had not been allowed to do so,” said Strauss. 

Half of the concentration camp survivors, however, did not send their children to school. They were concerned about their children having to deal with “the same racist tendencies, the same materials, the same school management, the same teachers who excluded their parents.” As a result, many families missed out on educational opportunities for another generation. 

Germany has rejected the introduction of targeted support programs — as demanded by the EU — with the argument that the German school system is open to everyone. “Not everyone experienced the genocide,” Strauss pointed out. But to ensure equal opportunities, extra support is important — and it all takes time, he explained. Sinti and Roma organizations have therefore established mediator projects. 

‘The word was tattooed on the skin of our people’ 

Sebastijan Kurtisi is annoyed by the debate in Germany around the use of the word “gypsy” (“Zigeuner” in German, Editor’s note). 

“It’s not a question for me about the accuracy of the word. It’s about how much this word stigmatizes us. What primal fears and traumas it awakens in us,” he explained. “The word ‘Zigeuner’ was tattooed on the skin of our people. And then they were gassed.” 

“If I tell someone, ‘Please stop stepping on my foot, it’s hurting me,’ then they can’t just say, ‘Why should I? That’s how we’ve always behaved.’ “

But he and others are not only concerned about the “Z-word,” but also about the “rising numbers in the neo-Nazi scene, their sympathizers, the murders in Hanau [where members of the Roma and Sinti community were among those killed by a gunman in February 2020] and reports about police officers who move in these circles. It’s traumatizing and awakens these primal fears that we’ve carried with us for centuries, that peaked in the period between 1939 and 1945.” 

Deutschland | Veranstaltung Landesverband Deutscher Sinti und Roma in Mannheim | Daniel Strauß
The diversity of minorities needs to be understood, said RomnoKher co-founder Daniel Strauss

Empowerment and including the positive 

Study author Frank Reuter looked at how the minority was alienated long before Nazi persecution across Europe, and how antiziganism continued afterward in many institutions. The genocide was not even acknowledged until 1982. 

Reuter quoted a son of survivors: “The children called me a ‘dirty gypsy.’ Some of the teachers ‘were former Nazis.'” Reuter showed that some textbooks to this day do not refute stereotypes about the group, and positive narratives are virtually absent. 

Both the history of the persecution and also the success stories of the diverse Sinti and Roma cultures and the Romani language should find their place in teaching materials, believes Cudak. So far, this has only happened in isolated cases. 

In the state of Baden-Württemberg, these topics have been formalized in the curriculum since an agreement signed in 2013 by state legislators, said Strauss. But almost no one has signed up for the teacher training courses that were offered on these topics. 

Strauss is calling for an educational fund for all of Germany, more information about identity, culture and antiziganism, and more empowerment to “develop something in the group’s own terms.” For example, where there are “Romno Power Clubs” for young people, he said, the prospects for education also increase. 

Just as with the Sorbian or Danish minorities in Germany, cultural identity must be experienced from kindergarten onward. The diversity of the whole group needs to be understood, said Strauss. 

“A person from Bavaria is not just a Bavarian, but also a woman, or a man, a Catholic, or a Protestant, a Muslim or Jewish, tall, short, fat or thin,” he pointed out. “With the Roma and Sinti communities, many think: ‘If you know one, you know them all.’ It’s not like that!”

This text has been translated from German.

Lil Nas X “Heaven or Hell?”


Lil Nas X surprising the kids of Lander Elementary - YouTube

Sixty years ago. the United States was segreatated, blacks and people of color went to different schools than whites. Students were forbiden in some states to share text books. There were seperate and unequal laws for whites and people of color in many states.

In 1961, one of the highest paid singers in the world, wanted to expanding musicially. Naturally, their agent, the record company, musicians working with artist disagreeed, as their income and livelyhood was based on a single music catagory. Under the terms of the contract with the record company, this singer was free to do as they pleased,be it opera, bluegrass, or pop music.

In 1962, “Modern Sounds in Country and Western” became one of Ray Charles biggest selling albums. Charles born in the south, love country and western music. The album sold more than 700,000 copies in the first month. The follow up album “Modern Sounds in Country and Western, Vol 2” went gold the following year. Most country radio stations would not play his music, however many did. This album, expanded his fan base across the world.

How do you follow…….

Old Town Road! The song was #1 in Tweleve Countries, something the Queen Bee couldn’t pull that off. For nearly 27 years, Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” was the longest #1 song (16 weeks) on Billboard until…(OTR) ecliped it at 19 weeks. (OTR) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, has become the highest certified song ever by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), reaching 14-times platinum status in the U.S. — accumulating 14 million in equivalent song units. The song received tons of nominations.

Montero Lamar Hill (Lil Nas X) At nineteen years old,Time, named him one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet and before his twentith birthday he made Forbes Magazine “30 under 30”

Like Ray Charles, Lil Nas X did the impossible. He bridged two distinct musical genres, Country and Hip Hop. Then, the 19 year old, did the unthinkable, he came out. Homophobia, is one of the few things, Hip Hop and Country have incommon, particuly toward males artists. Lil Nas, was the first openly Black Gay Artist to win a Country Music Association award. Dispite a few bumps, Lil Nas, is unversally loved. Because of (OTR) his fan base is broad, emcompassing several generations from children to Baby Boomers.

Drip, Drip, Drip

If there is one thing Lil Nas, understands is social media. Despite his age (he turns 21 on April 9th) between the ages of fourteen and fifteen, he started promoting himself on social media.

After a year of silence, many artists will have to reintrouduce themselves to the public.

Last summer, Lil Nas played snippets of a new song on Twitter, teasing about a new album due to be released in 2021. (Tenatively Called “Montero”-yes his mother named him after a Mitsubitshi)

2021

January: Lil Nas releases, a childrens book “C is for Country” Febuary: Lil Nas, released more snippits of the song on Twiiter and annouced the official release date of the song. March: We learned the song has a gay theme. It it was written about a man he met in 2020, who was partying and doing drugs while in quarantine. Like (OTR) there may be several versions and videos of this song. There is a longer version of “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”, called Satan’s extended version.

Promotion too Far?

Lil Nas X put human blood into 666 pairs of Nikes because being queer means embracing your villainy.

A few weeks before the official release date of Montero. Lil Nas announced his team created 666 individually numbered pairs of Nike shoes, with pentagramsinverted crosses, and contained a drop of blood. The shoes, which cost $1,018 per pair, sold out in less than two minutes. Montero was released on March 26..

3/31 Nike is suing the maker of those bloody shoes for trademark infrigement.

In a tweet he wrote: “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shitt y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

The criticism and the blacklash has been swift, homosexuality, Satanism, all in one video. The majority of the criticism will come from people who will never see the video.

“I don’t want my grandbaby to see it at all” “I’m afraid if she goes looking for Old Town Road, this video would come next”Actress Lisa Raye on Fox Soul’s Podcast “Cocktails with the Queens”

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota reacted to the Satan Shoe on Twitter, writing: “Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it’s ‘exclusive.’ But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul.”

Sirus XM Radio Host, Clay Cane said on CNN: Nas isn’t worshiping the devil, he is coming from a place of deep hurt. This tweet speaks volumes for millions of queer folks, especially Black queer people, who have suffered spiritual and theological violence at the hand of church doctrines. X’s words are ones the late, great James Baldwin — who once wrote, “Because I was born in a Christian culture, I never considered myself to be totally a free human being” — would admire and support.Like Baldwin, Lil Nas X is insisting on being totally free. He is turning the devil’s mirror on everyone who told him to hate himself. He is refusing to wallow in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” trope, and he is shedding light on the literal hell the people in his community have been put through. For many queer folks, especially youth, hell is right here on Earth, in churches, schoolyards and homes.

I remember being twenty one, and have raised twenty one year olds. From the time they reach the age of majority, its about independence. Being your own person, making your own decisions and answering to no one! What a twenty something doesn’t fully realize, are the repercussions from those positions. Some could be life altering, and one is NEVER fully prepared.

The controversy from this song is just beginning and it is likely to get much worse. Its not so much about his sexuality, the issue for most people is religion, more importantly, what is perceived as celebrating or worshipping the devil.

The jar is open and the top is broken. Old Town Road was heaven, its generated joy the world over. This is a teachable moment for Lil Nas X, hopefully he has a strong support system because Montero is gonna be hell.

CityFella

How Hot is Sacramento’s Housing Market? Sizzling!


The Cove - Edgeview in Sacramento, CA :: New Homes by Beazer Homes

Experts expected Sacramento’s housing market to get hot…. Three months into year and the housing market is sizzling.

A very small inventory vs a huge demand equal a sellers market.

The owners of a Citrus Heights home received 122 offers on their 1400 square foot home in two days.

The downside of this frenzy is desperate buyers is waiving inspections and spending too much.

The condo market in Sacramento’s is currently soft. Two new fall developments near the Capitol could the direction of the city.

Don’t blame Facebook: How Fox News became the beating heart of the white nationalist movement


If you want to know what’s fuelling right-wing extremism, look no further than Fox News

main article imageJake A, 33, aka Yellowstone Wolf, from Phoenix, wrapped in a QAnon flag, addresses supporters of US President Donald Trump as they protest outside the Maricopa County Election Department as counting continues after the US presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 5, 2020. (OLIVIER TOURON/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Heather Digby Pardon/Salon.com

Political analysts are still trying to figure out just what has caused the Republican Party in this country to move so far to the right in recent years, and there are many theories. Much has been made of the Trump-loving white working class’s perceived loss of economic success due to outsourcing and international trade and we’ve endlessly discussed their various grievances about losing the status and privileges they believe they are entitled to. We try to understand their confusion about changing cultural norms and the cascading disinformation that permeates social media. In the end, all we really know is that they are very upset and Donald Trump gave voice to their overwhelming anger and disdain for their fellow Americans.

Last week there was yet another congressional hearing with the top social media executives, this one focusing on the role of their companies in promoting extremism, misinformation, and cyberbullying. Republicans were most concerned about the companies censoring right-wing voices (although interestingly, they didn’t complain much about Donald Trump’s expulsion from all the platforms) and Democrats complained about disinformation and extremism being allowed to flourish on the platforms.

We don’t really know at this point how much of that affected the 2020 election. As Kevin Drum pointed out , we are still awaiting data to tell us just how much people relied on social media for their political information during the election but judging by past analysis of election campaigns, it really isn’t as influential as we might assume. There’s no doubt that Facebook and Youtube and to some extent Twitter can lead people down the conspiracy rabbit hole, and there’s little doubt that right-wing extremism has had a very comfortable home on all those sites. But according to the analysis that Drum cites, TV and talk radio are still where the action is. Fox and OAN and Newsmax may pick up ideas that percolate up through the fever swamps to social media. But really, it mostly goes the other direction.

Journalist Peter Slevin spent some months in Iowa before and after the election to get a sense of what the mostly rural, Republican voters were thinking. He reports in this piece in the New Yorker that basically, they are awash in disinformation and as a result have come to believe that Democratic voters are hardly even Americans anymore. Their own form of “identity politics” has been distilled down to “I am a Republican” in opposition to their enemies.

They believed that Donald Trump was the only person who could control the violent, socialist mob that was threatening their way of life. And they believed everything he said

I met Kimberly Pont, the vice-chair of the Fayette County G.O.P., at a Mexican restaurant in the small city of Oelwein, and asked her what drove local residents to vote Republican. She said, “People could see the news. They could watch for themselves what was going on, when you have a party that’s not going to denounce rioting.” Pont believes covid-19 death figures are inflated, mail-in voting is dangerous, Biden is a “figurehead,” and Harris is unqualified. “I’m terrified,” she told me. “She is the most left-leaning of all the senators.” When I caught up with Pont this month, she told me that the failure by the courts to identify widespread election fraud left her “disappointed and disillusioned.”

Slevin noticed that in every house and business, right-wing talk radio was on in the background and the likes of the late Rush Limbaugh were saying things like this:

Obama’s been running the Democrats’ show since 2016. He ran the operation against Trump. He ran the Russia sting. He ran the Russian coup. He ran everything, and he’s running this.”

None of that is QAnon weirdness or Alex Jones and Infowars. It is standard issue mainstream conservative media, which millions of Republicans listen to every day and watch on Fox News and the lesser cable channels at night.

Throughout the Trump administration, there was an ongoing question about whether Fox News was the president’s brain or vice versa. I came to believe that it was a feedback loop with disinformation coming from both sides. There were numerous examples of Trump tweeting out some outlandish insult or idea just seconds after it had aired on the network. And the Fox News universe was dedicated to ensuring their audience saw Trump as their savior, often cleaning up his misstatements and amplifying his most effective messages to the faithful. They were a team.

Trump has begun to call into the shows again, clearly unable to keep out of the spotlight any longer. He checked in with Laura Ingraham a few days ago and made this stunning comment about January 6th

You will note that at the end he said of “the left”: “they truly hate our country.” That is the message those people in Iowa hear from him and all the talkers on the radio and right-wing cable news.

The question is where they go from here. It’s unknown if Trump will maintain his influence. He intends to, of course, and unless he fades, these blatant lies will continue to be believed by tens of millions of people. He can draw an audience. But he can’t last forever and there’s little reason to believe that his offspring have whatever it is he has that appeals so much to these folks. But one Fox News celebrity is laying out a roadmap.

You’ll note that this is all predicated on the notion that the liberals are making them do it. Carlson is the most flagrant white nationalist of the big-name Fox News celebrities and he gets the biggest ratings, which I suspect is not a coincidence. Before this guest joined Carlson, the host was nearly hysterical about the migrants at the border. He said: You’d think that if you’d caused a crisis of this magnitude that was going to change your country forever, possibly for the worse, you’d feel a moral obligation to learn a lot about it because it’s your crisis. You own it, you did it. But Biden hasn’t.”

A moral obligation to learn about a crisis? This is the same person who backed Trump’s COVID response to the hilt and has been recently pushing anti-vax propaganda.

If you want to know what’s fueling right-wing extremism, you don’t have to dig deeply into obscure corners of the dark web. Look no further than Fox News. It isn’t just a ratings game for them and it isn’t all about money. Fox News is the beating heart of the white nationalist movement in the United States and they are indoctrinating millions of people day in and day out. In fact, Donald Trump himself is one of those people, he just doesn’t know it. 

HEATHER DIGBY PARTON

Heather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.MORE FROM HEATHER DIGBY PARTON

Why ‘Mind Rest’ Is Essential For Your Brain’s Health — Plus, 10 Easy Ways To Recharge


Photo: Gettywoman wearing beanie and headphones leaning on wall

By: Cynthia Ackrill/your tango.com

Are you ready to wake up from this recurring nightmare? You may need to take part in some mind rest.

The past year has felt like being stuck in one of those classic dreams about showing up completely unprepared for an exam — racing hearts, shallow breathing, confusion, aloneness, and obliterated self-efficacy.

So much has been out of your control, it’s hard to remember what you actually can control.

You’re emotionally and physically exhausted from simply processing all the news, loss, disruption, trauma, and grief, and though things are looking up, there may still a long way to go until we’re out of the woods.

How can you find the kind of hope daylight brings, even in the dark of winter?

Mind rest is essential for your brain’s health.

It’s important to recharge.

And while you may not be able to use the same tools you were using before to keep up the faith, you can capture some really hard-earned lessons of this past year, reflect on what matters most to you, and create a new path forward to honor that.

You can use science and wisdom to build new, realistic strategies to feel more prepared for the challenges ahead. You can heal mind, body and spirt to adapt and grow.

But first, you need rest!

In every class I’ve led in the past few months, I’ve asked participants to describe how they are feeling. Emotions run the gamut, but “exhausted” takes the prize, with “frustrated” a close second.

Your tired, over-stressed brain is not alone. People are hitting the pandemic wall.

Even if you’ve been stuck at home with less to do and are sleeping more or even too much, ask yourself if you’re getting enough truly restorative rest, both in quiet mind time and effective sleep.

The on-and-off boundaries for our minds have been blurred.

Floundering to hold onto focus and purpose takes huge mental and emotional energy, as does regulate the roller coaster of emotions needed to process the news, conflicting information, losses, and uncertainty.

If more rest is what you accomplish in the next month — bravo!

You’re creating a smarter and more resilient mind. Every single one of your cells thanks you. Your mind thanks you. Your heart thanks you. Your family, friends, and co-workers thank you.

Your inner critic will likely rise up kicking and screaming, “Keep busy! Push on! You’re lazy! You’re going to miss your opportunity!” But tell it to go take a nap — you’ve got this!

Your rested mind can make better sense of challenges, hold healthier perspectives, make better choices, keep values and priorities in order, handle stress better, find hope, guide self-healing, create smarter solutions, and be more present for those who matter.

Have three minutes to hit refresh for your brain cells?

Your rested body can repair itself, fight off infections, undo the toxicities of stress, help vaccines work more effectively, and find the energy to do more good in the world.

Here are 10 ways to give your brain some much-needed rest.

1. Start with tiny steps.

No need to panic your brain! Turn off any technology 30 minutes earlier and go to bed 15 minutes earlier.

2. Turn off your smart devices.

Set your “smart whatever” to go off mid-morning and mid-afternoon for a five-minute break. Then, move away from your screens.

Get up and stretch. Rest your eyes by closing them or looking out the window.

3. Do something fun.

Start noticing which activities hit the refresh button for you. Which bog you down?

4. Fix your sleeping patterns.

Study up on sleep hygiene and brainstorm what you might try.Article continues below

5. Try guided meditations.

Give your mind a break. There are so many good apps for this: Insight TimerCalmBreetheHeadspaceTen Percent HappierBreathwrk, etc.

6. Listen to music.

Music can lift or calm your mental state.

7. Use your senses.

The sense of smell is particularly powerful. Try some calming lavender essential oil.

8. Listen.

Take a listening break for five minutes. Turn off all sounds and just notice what’s ambient.

9. Know what your body needs.

When you feel your energy start to dip, don’t automatically reach for the caffeine. What does your body really need?

10. Take part in self-care.

Give up that popular delusion that if you take a break, you’ll lose your focus, mojo, or drive. Trust that you’re refreshing your operating system.

Close a few tabs for your tired brain. Don’t let exhaustion rob you of your gifts. Learning habits to recharge will support your brilliance and resilience for life!

What’s working for you? What’s not?

And how can I help you create your best happy, healthy, whole human life?

Cynthia Ackrill, M.D. is a leader in the field of stress mastery and an expert in the critical connections between lifestyle choices, performance capacities, leadership effectiveness, health, and happiness. For more information, contact her or visit her courses and resources on her website.

It’s stupid, makes no sense, could take you to Hell!


If you follow this blog, you know I love electric cars. They are fast, cost less to operate than your typical gas powered car. Most of all they are cleaner, I want to leave the world a better place for my children and future grand children.

Having said ALL that, every time I hear the engine in this car, the teenager in me comes out and I say to myself, I WANT ONE!!!

Someone over at Chrysler, lost their complete minds! This engine makes no sense in the world we are living. From General Motors, Mercedes, BMW, Ford, no one is building V8 engines anymore, they gulp gas at a time when gas is expensive and they pollute. But the warped minds at Chrysler, kicked it up a notch, not only did they build a V8! They built a HUGE V8 (and then someone did a line) and added a supercharger to it.

In a world where BMW and Mercedes are building cars with small turbocharged four cylinder engines. The wacked out folks over at Chrysler built a ridiculous car that can melt different, in seconds and the world is a better place for it.

SIN IS CONTAGIOS!

Now and then we need a bit of outrageousness in our lives.  Sure we can get by with the basics, and its fine. You can gamble in nearly every state, but few places on the planet can match the experience of Las Vegas. 

The “Hellcat” is that kinda car.  Ford, Chevy and others have recently built cars with similar horsepower, they handle better and more refined than the Dodge’s. But the experience is different than the eleven mile per gallon city, Dodge Charger.  The “Hellcat’s” are very popular in the Middle East and there are videos of them in Russia.

If your a car person, you know about the “Hellcat” and its 707 horsepower engine. You know, that its rear suspension is from an even older Mercedes E class (Yes. Mercedes Benz once owned Chrysler). You know, that the whacked out people at Chrysler, dropped it into are cars has been on the market for more the 10 years and you know it is the fastest production car om the planet with a top speed of over 200 miles.

The people at Chrysler, then FCA and now Stellantis, increased the horsepower to over 800 on the some of the models.

This car has the ability to turn full grown men into hyper giddy children. I have been in a Tesla, that can out run this car from hell. The whirr was fun, but its NOT a beefy V8, there is no mean and nasty exhaust! That can harden my nipples like this BEAST of this car!

Again, the Hellcat car is wrong for the times!   You don’t have to go to hell, you have options.    You can get by and have fun in one of the six cylinder variants of the Dodge Challenger or Charger that you find at Hertz and other rent-a-car companies.  They have nearly 300 ponies, that can get you and overnight stay at a local jail.  More?   You have the choice of two other hemi V8’s 375 and 450 horsepower, which is still more than most of the competition.  However the 18 year old in me says ” Fuck NO!” gimmie the “Hellcat”!  I need it!  Like the excess that is Vegas, it doesn’t have to make sense. I need 800 ponies to buy milk!  Need 800, for the parking lot a McDonald’s.  Need 800 ponies just cuz!   

If I owned this car, it would be on the down low. During the week, I would be the mild mannered owner of an electric Chevy Bolt, saving the planet. Waving, smiling at the townfolk as I drive by. On the weekends, I would drive my Bolt to a storage facility at the edge of town and put on my Party City Natural Styled wig and become Johnny “Hellcat” Charger, looking for owners of expensive imported cars to humiliate!   Come Sunday, I’d pray for my mischievous soul. 

The Challenger/Charger in its current iteration has been around for nearly 15 years. Dodge is tweaked the car every year, and they have improved the fit and finish. Despite its age, there is a strong demand for these vehicles. Together, they outsell the newer Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro combined.

The “Hellcat” has the unique ability to turn grown men into children. Sam Haymart, the host of “Test Driven TV” is normally very serious when he evaluates cars. Watch him here. “Enjoy”

CityFella

The GOP wants to make it difficult for Asians, Blacks, Mexicans and Young Urban Whites to vote


Diversity | Andrea Obston Marketing Communications

THE BIG JUICY LIE

Trump’s stolen election lie has convinced many that fraud is a problem in American elections. Three out of every 4 Republicans believe that there was widespread voter fraud in last year’s election,  according to a December Quinnipiac University poll, despite all evidence to the contrary. State Republicans in TexasGeorgia and Florida are now proposing voting restrictions that they say are needed to restore trust in the system. According to the Brennan Center, there are at least 253 restrictive bills under consideration in 43 states this year.

From Coast to Coast, President Trump and some members of the Republican party’s believed the accounts of voter fraud emanated from the urban areas with large minority populations.

Republican and Democratic poll watchers could not find any significant evidence of tampering during the 2020 Presidential Election that would change the face of the election. The Justice Department found there was no widespread electoral fraud in 2020.

The GOP insists, with the new laws they are attempting to enact are based on election security. Based on what exactly?

When asked why the changes were necessary? Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “I don’t think we have identified a problem we are trying to solve, I think this is an opportunity ‘to update and modernize’ voting in Georgia.”

PHASE ONE :DISMANTLE MAIL IN VOTING

Republicans are attempting to dismantle mail in voting in nearly every state. The goal is to make if difficult to qualify for an absentee ballot. Pending bills may penalize a voter for returning a ballot too early. Others wont recognize ballots postmarked before election day and disqualify ballots arriving after election day, even though they were processed on time. If one state has its way, it will be a crime for any public official to give a citizen a absentee ballot. Nearly all the states propose more stringent ID requirement, with one state proposing voters will need a notary to qualify for absentee ballot.

If Texas has its way. Voters with disabilities will be required to prove they can’t make it to the polls before they can get a mail-in ballot.

PHASE TWO: PURGE

Unlike rural areas, cities have many moving pieces. Its not uncommon for voters in urban areas to change addresses. In some states, once a voter can prove he lives at an new address (often with a utility bill) with drivers license. Other states mail verification notices, requiring voters to return those cards to vote. Some states may purge a voter from the rolls if they who haven’t cast a ballot in “both the primary election and the general election for two consecutive primary and general elections. Independent voters would need to request a party primary ballot to participate,. Other states are considering removing voters ,after missing just two mailed ballots for general elections.

PHASE THREE: DISCOURAGE VOTING

In the last Presidential election, many red states not only reduced the number of voting locations in the big cities. They also reduced staffing, resulting in long lines nationally. Georgia Republicans just made it a crime, to give a voter in line food or water.

An analysis of data collected by Georgia Public Broadcasting and ProPublica, found a significant disparity in who had to wait the longest: The average wait time after the 7 p.m. scheduled poll-closing time was 51 minutes in polling places that were 90% or more non-White. But it was just six minutes in polling places where 90% of the voters were White.

Georgia the perennial red state, voted for Joe Biden. Followed by a two Democrats taking the US Senate in the runoff election. 30% of the states population is black. The fastest growing demographic is Asian. Georgia and number of states are legalizing voter intimidation. In Georgia, any Georgian can challenge the voting eligibility of an unlimited number of voters. Georgia’s law adds a new provision that allows the State Elections Board to sanction counties that refuse to comply with the provision allowing unlimited challenges.

Our government has a long history of excluding Native Americans from voting, with the U.S. government depriving them of citizenship until 1924. Some states, including the Dakotas, had laws preventing tribal members from voting into the 1950s.

Voters living on the reservation don’t always have addresses with a street names and numbers. Some states have required ID’s with street address for Native Americans. With few polling places on reservations it isn’t uncommon for residents to drive up to 75 miles to vote.

In Arizona: Senate Bill 1593 would shorten the window for mail voters to get and return their ballots and require they be postmarked on or prior to the Thursday before an election, something that could be particularly difficult on Arizona’s many Native American reservations, where many people do not have home mail service.

In Large cities, many polling locations closed without notice. Others relocated to remote locations, there were shortage of translators, and ballots.

Beginning this year, Latino’s will be the largest minority in the state of Texas. In the last few years ,there has been successful grass root movement to increase the Latino vote in the state. A new bill would Give the attorney general broad authority to prosecute volunteers who engage in get-out-the-vote campaigns in the lead-up to elections. The Texas voting law would ,give partisan “poll watchers” special rights to intimidate voters, outlawing their removal from polling places for any reason other than “election fraud”

Texas would require county-wide polling places in a given county have “approximately the same number of voting machines” as every other county-wide polling place in the county, regardless of variations in population.

Harris County is the largest county in Texas. Houston is the largest city. Nearly 45% of Houston’s population is Hispanic, 31% is black and 21% is white. If passed, the Houston (pop 2.7 million) would have the same number of voting machines in each polling place as El Lago (2.7 thousand).

THE END OF THE GOP?

Yesterday, President Biden was asked during a press conference whether he expects to run for reelection against former President Donald Trump in 2024?“I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?”

150, 000 Republicans have left the party since the Capitol Riots

15 years ago, the GOP acknowledged the party needed to make changes as the Demographic was changing, sighting the growth of the Latino population. Perhaps it lost its way, due to the invasion of the Tea Party. Since then, they party has not only closed the doors to Latinos, it has attacked them.

In California, Republican party went to war with rapidly growing Latino community. 1994’s Proposition 187 called “The Save Our State Initiative. The proposition, supported by the Republican Governor Pete Wilson, would have denied all public services to illegal immigrants and forced all state employees to immediately report illegal immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for deportation.  This proposition awakened the Latino community, the ads supporting the law suggested Latinos were lazy and illegally entered California, to get welfare. By 1997,the law was struck down by the courts. The fight over 187 changed the political landscape in California forever as Latinos were elected to states offices in large numbers throughout the state.

In 2010, Arizona Republicans passed SB 1070 ” Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” This law encouraged legal profiling. It required state law enforcement officers attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status. The weeks after the bill’s signing saw a sharp increase in the number of Hispanics in the state registering their party affiliations as Democrats.

This law was very popular in many Republican states, most were a considerable distance from the Mexican border. Indiana, Georgia, and South Carolina passed similar laws, Alabama’s HB 56 was stronger than Arizona’s. The court eventually struck down, most of the key provisions of the law in all of the states. Despite’s its popularity, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the bill into law, was not reelected.

These new voting laws, reinforces the image of a non-inclusive organization.

This isn’t 1981, the majority of Americans live in urban areas. They live and work in densely populated cities and integrated suburbs. Unlike the rural communities, they or their children, are likely to have a friend of another race ,which makes them sensitive to matters of race. Unlike 1981, many of the communities are multiracial.

These hastily written laws, will negatively effect many Republican’s who live in large suburbs. Like the Democrat’s, will be forced to wait in long lines, their friends and family would be subjected to fines if they brought water and sandwich. Their vote could be challenged by a complete stranger ,who may just happen to find their vote or eligibility suspicious.

There will be court challenges to these new voting laws.

Sixty, seventy years ago, politicians could be openly racist. Require, a Black , Asian, Native American or Mexican voter to count the number of jelly beans in the jar or participate in some rudimentary test designed to prevent them from voting. The Republicans say these new voting requirements are necessary to insure and restore trust in a voting system that isn’t broken. Just be patient.

CityFella

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He beat her down because she brought home a Quarter Pounder instead of a Big Mac


What is it about human behavior, that causes a mental switch to be tripped over something so trivial like a candy bar, kool aid, a pork chop or in this short story, a McDonalds burger?

Sunday night ,Mohamed Aboubaker from Minneapolis was visiting his son’s mother. Returning from McDonalds, Aboubaker became upset when he discovered she mistakenly ordered “Quarter Pounder” instead of a “Big Mac”

During an arguement. 39 year old Aboubaker, allegedly through her to the ground in front of their three year old son. He then went into the kitchen and removed money from her purse. She sprayed him in the face with Hornet spray.

Blue Earth County, Minnesota 911 received mulitiple calls, they could hear a child screaming in the background.

He fled the home, but was arrested and was charged for a pair of misdemeanor domestic assault counts.

This is not his first experience with the law, he has been convicted for aggravated robbery; receiving stolen property; domestic assault; disorderly conduct, driving with a suspended license; marijuana possession; and providing a false name to law enforcement and now he’s facing jail time over a “Big Mac”

Through the years, I have followed stories where people have gone to jail, for pulling someone through a fast food window because she received cold fries. A man pulled out a gun, because Popeyes ran out of chicken sandwiches. Attacked someone over because someone forgot to add cheese to their sandwich.

The perperator often receives REAL JAIL TIME, resulting in lost jobs, homes and cars. THEN having to pay LARGE FINES on top of that which is several hundred times more than the slice of cheese or ice in their soda. Let’s hope he ate the Quarter Pounder before entering jail. Its has more protein than the single slice bologna sandwiches jails often serve.

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CityFella

Evangelicals are teaching false doctrine. Who says so? Jesus Christ


main article image
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
I’ve spent my life around evangelical theology — and most of it is exactly the hypocrisy Christ warned us about

By: Nathaniel Manderson/SalonCom

Iwas raised by a pair of wild hippies, so my heart has always been committed to liberal ideology. As a Bible-believing Christian, however, I was surrounded by evangelical theology throughout my youth, in various churches, Bible camps and so on. When I decided to enter the ministry to attempt to change that conservative theology, I attended an evangelical seminary. It was clear on my first day on campus that no reform was going to occur.  

If I happened to mention voting for Al Gore, I was told by my classmates that God keeps a record of my voting history and that I had voted for a man who endorses baby-killing and tearing down the American family. Honestly, I was just hoping that President Gore might help save the planet and not make up a reason to go to war in Iraq. Anyway, in my 10 years in ministry I had even less luck making any changes, which is why I left the formal ministry a couple of years ago. 

The truth then, and even more so now, is that we cannot separate Republicans, and now the Trumpists, from the evangelicals. I have seen my fellow “Christian left” types attempting to reform the God vote — in fact, I’ve done it myself — but I feel we have been too timid in our approach. Stronger language and a pure rejection of evangelical theology is needed. From a purely Christian point of view, the evangelical leadership are false teachers teaching a false doctrine. Trumpism cannot be defeated without first facing down evangelicalism. Jesus Christ, who these people claim as their savior, himself provided a warning against these religious hypocrites in Matthew 23:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.  

The only real threat to Christianity is Christianity itself. Leading evangelical pastors like Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress made a passionate plea for Christian voters to ignore Trump’s shortcomings as a man because he stands with the Christian church on all things that are right and true. Apparently, that means Christians must shut the door to all LGBTQ people, abortion providers, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and anyone who happens to mention taxing the wealthy.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Many of the false American evangelical teachers demonize and look down upon the people in poorer countries. I have seen these “missionaries” in places like Haiti building their churches and making sure “proper doctrine” is followed. It is this type of modern-day colonialism that has provided foreign governments the religious authority to enact terrible anti-LGBTQ laws and restrictions on reproductive rights for women. 

Woe to you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.”You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 

False teachers have always believed that their financial wealth means favor with God. I have seen many Christian leaders give praise to God for their big homes, nice cars and million-dollar sanctuaries. This belief that God has blessed them with great stuff prevents them from ever understanding the need to fund programs that provide equality in the education, health care, justice and economic systems.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

These false evangelical leaders may have stayed within the law, but they know nothing about being merciful. They could never understand the message to reach out to undocumented immigrants because of God’s call to treat the foreigner as native born — because we were once foreigners ourselves. They only understand the language of rules and law without mercy and grace.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Many of these false evangelical leaders have spent a lot of time and money making sure their public image is clean. Ideal marriages, wonderful children, kind and loving people who are financially affluent and pay their taxes. Christ reminded his followers to be careful of such a well-crafted persona. Behind the curtain there are many filled with hypocrisy and wickedness. 

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Many of these current evangelical leaders love to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of love and forgiveness. Many would like to forget that most conservative Christian leaders rejected Dr. King’s message while he was alive, and some believed he was a communist. It is no mystery to me why there is no picture of the great Rev. Billy Graham marching with Dr. King. These false evangelical leaders expose themselves again as they reject the Rev. William J. Barber II’s message about honoring and uplifting the poor, which is far more clearly based in Christian doctrine than anything they preach. These false evangelical Christian leaders never understood Dr. King’s message to follow Jesus into those places in America where poor people struggle and suffer and too often die, and they never will.  

NATHANIEL MANDERSON

Nathaniel Manderson was educated at a conservative seminary, trained as a minister, ordained through the American Baptist Churches USA and guided by liberal ideals. Throughout his career he has been a pastor, a career counselor, an academic adviser, a high school teacher and an advocate for first-generation and low-income students, along with being a paper delivery man, a construction worker, a FedEx package handler and whatever else he could do to try to take care of his family.

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