WHAT HAPPENED TO COMMON-SENSE VOTING? HOW TO IMPROVE
There was a time, not so many years ago, when people voted on election issues and candidates based more on empirical reasoning. Today voting is based almost exclusively on the party line or by what a person’s favorite network or pundit has to say about a particular candidate or issue. We see this even in Congress where our congressional leaders vote in lockstep on candidates and issues. This has made for a very derisive and corrosive situation where the best person or issue doesn’t always win and often, bringing down society’s standards.
In the media it’s the same story or worse. Not that long ago newscasters such as as Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert, known liberals, were able to put their personal political beliefs aside to report the straight news. Today, one can hardly distinguish between a news anchor and political pundit. Back in the 1960s when we studied journalism we were taught to give equal time to both sides of issues or candidates, as much as possible. One would make every effort to give both the Republican candidate and Democrat candidate equal opportunity to voice their platforms with or without pointed questions at not one but BOTH of them.
Such objective fairness has gone by the boards in recent years, especially when it comes to political issues and people. There are reasons for this, but in an effort to stay objective we won’t go into these in this article.
TWO SIDES TO MOST ISSUES – IMPORTANCE OF WITNESSING BOTH SIDES
Today’s media have made it more difficult to come up with the ‘right’ answers. Watching or listening to one specific station or network will usually give a person a skewed picture. In researching issues today one must watch, listen and read any number of networks and/or print media that represent both points of views – or sometimes more.
At one time the major networks, in general, reported the straight news. One would hear nearly the exact same information from any of the ‘Big Three’ networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. Same for publications. But today, in order to get a fair representation, one must go beyond those networks to find a balance of media representing both sides of issues. This can be difficult. In a 2016 survey by liberal Harvard University, most media were found to have a definite liberal slant. The baseline was the the Presidential Election involving Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Of the 10 media surveyed only FOX news showed an even-handed balance – and even they had a slight swing to the right. (See chart above)
So, to make a well reasoned decision in the upcoming election we encourage you to not limit yourself
to just one point of view because that’s what you’ll usually get if you just follow a single medium or even several from the same slant. Encourage your family members and friends to do the same. Then, maybe then you can have a REAL DEBATE over substantive issues rather than be afraid to talk politics, as so many are today.
Try walking into any election voting precinct and you should be able to vote with a valid address and little else. . Last election I did that without being asked for any ID. And I wasn’t even trying to cheat. Just think of all the people who do this intentionally many times over. Voter I.D. is way overdue.
Not since I happened upon a particular episode of ‘Touched By An Angel’ more than a decade ago have I come upon such spiritually healing words /visions that have done as much for this blogger. I’ve never been able to recapture that episode of TBAA but Dani Shapiro’s words are here to stay, and, hopefully may be of an equally healing nature for others like us who have been through many tragedies in life
This morning I had one of those personal revelations listening to Dani Shapiro interview on Oprah. Apparently Ive been doing alot of the ‘right’ things Ive needed to do after whats transpired in my life but didnt know I was necessarily moving in the right directions . ( I can go into this another time.) These thoughts probably wont have as much meaning for you as they do me but you can get a greater window into this sometimes neurotic person Burt K…and may gain something from it otherwise for your own spiritual enhancement.
‘YOU’RE GOING TO MISS THIS SOMEDAY ‘ -DANI SHAPIRO from Oprah Super Soul Sundays
Dani Shapiro was born to an orthodox father and athiest mother whose early death and illness became turning points in Dani’s life. These events WOKE HER UP from that ‘hard kernal of sadness’ in what was then ‘the humdrum everyday way of life ‘ for her and many around her. She would await the next impending doom in her life instead of experiencing the beautiful life of the NOW. Sad, Bad things will happen again and again in life but we must learn to not only enjoy but savor the many good times in between-especially those like some of us who have experienced much loss, sadness and even tragedy. And even build upon it.
As Oprah points out in the interview, at least Dani had the foresight to ‘awaken’ and do something about her spiritual void. After waking up every morning at 3 am with feelings of something really missing from life one day the word DEVOTION popped into her head during her yoga class and her reawakenin g began as she wrote down her thoughts around that word that became the title of her new book.
Not Just For Those Who Have Loved and Lost – A Healing Spiritual Revelation from Dani Shapiro, ‘Devotion’ Book
Special, fleeting moments… ‘Learn from others (like Dani) and incorporate new views and be open to change your previous ‘locked in’ thought patterns’…. Your teachers can be books, things you see on TV, even links on twitter as well as serendipitous events …Perhaps take notes. Be open to receive….Ref ‘The Alchemist’... Follow and be open to the ‘teachers’ around you. ‘Youre going to miss this someday… Dont let even mundane events like packing your kids lunch become routine. As the great Warren Zevon said ‘Enjoy every sandwich.’
Simply Driving with her son watching the fall leaves turn…That can be a sacred moment. WHEN YOU’RE BEING WITH SOMEONE REALLY BE WITH THAT PERSON. EVERY EVENT CAN BE MEMORABLE.
‘THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS’ ‘THE BURNING BUSH IS EVERYWHERE.’
Ask ‘What are the spiritual takeaways of your past and now?’…Recognize even the negative… Every death is a wake up call WE CAN LEARN FROM. Recognize the possibility of the divine in every moment like a lense to the world or that moment is lost. The energy of a place or event can becone sacred like that beautiful day in Napa with Mindy Helen Maggie and her mother and dog just sitting out on the winery lawn enjoying life one special day among many. Every day can be a special day and now THEY ARE in my life. Without the losses perhaps I would be unaware of these daily special moments…walking the dog or just waking early to that wonderful morning sun and fresh chill in the air. Ref: Abraham Joshua Heshold> ‘THE TASK OF LIFE IS TO FACE SACRED MOMENTS’ It can require courage. Some can shut down from close deaths and tragedy and some will make lemonade out of the lemons to use a trite phrase. God has given us this wonderful life not everyone gets to enjoy like those taken away from us prematurely…Joan, Don,Cookie, Polly, Mitch, Juicy, Dorian,Kevin and Mikee among others famous and not so famous. ( I like when I can drop names like this to keep these friends alive, never forgetting).
Life happens but we can control what we are given. One CAN heal from tragedy.
IS THERE GOD? YES THERE IS GOD. THERE IS ‘AN INVISABLE FABRIC THAT ENCOMPASES US ALL’
REMAIN CURIOUS. Greatest underated trait. Follow the path of my own calling. That is where to find peace..living , finding, speaking. Follow the gut more than the head.
All of have longing and it is important to keep reaching out for the invisable we cant touch
For Those Who Have Loved and Lost – A Revelation from Dani Shapiro, ‘Devotion’ Book
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including enjoying life and making the most of what time we have.
In my case, I’m lucky to have good health right now, but we never know what can happen
tomorrow, so each day should be savored and enjoyed, if not met with an accomplishment or two.
In recognition of Ornji, I try to do at least one good deed or achievement per day.
My accomplishment today was taking my surviving cat to a kennel to see if he would accept it for a day
so I could take my first vacation in a decade ; I won’t go into the many contributing factors
that held be back from traveling. If all goes well – I won’t go away if Zack doesn’t accept
the kennel (but first reports are good in this one day test) – this will be a major accomplishment for me.
In summation, your article came at a very opportune time for me. It’s amazing how good can result out
of bad. I will hang on to Fred’s story and think of him along my future road (hopefully the Road To Success).
With your permission I will pass on your artiocle to others like myself who may benefit from Fred’s story.
Thanks again to you and Fred.
AND NOW, FRED’S STORY, COURTESY OF JILL ( AND FRED)…
BY JILL KONRATH
” When my husband kissed me goodbye at the airport on November 6th, I had no idea it would be for the last time.
I was flying home for a day and then on to Boston to speak at HubSpot’s big INBOUND conference. Fred was staying at our condo in southern Utah to spend a couple weeks golfing.
That’s not how things turned out. Two days later he died of complications from PSC, an autoimmune liver disease. I made it back to say good-bye; so did my kids. It was tough. We all miss him—a lot.
As I reflect back on our life together, I realize how much Fred changed the trajectory of my life, reordered my priorities and modeled behaviors that I wanted to emulate. That’s why I want to share them with you.
Life Lesson 1. Winning is always possible.
When I first met Fred, he was the head football coach in White Bear Lake. By the age of 33, he’d already won two state championships. But in between those seasons, his teams really struggled.
I’ll never forget the time his team played Stillwater, the reigning state champs who had a 6-0 record. White Bear still hadn’t yet won a game. Over the weekend, Fred and the coaching staff spent hours watching game film. Their challenge? Figuring out how to stop an unstoppable offense and how to score against an impenetrable defense.
We went out for dinner mid-week. He was excited about what the team was working on. He used the placemat to draw up their offensive plans and blocking schemes. He diagramed how they were going to keep Stillwater from scoring.
Shocked, I finally said, “You don’t actually think you’re going to win, do you?”
Fred answered, “Yes. I do. We’ve got a good game plan. And, if we can execute it and they have a bad night, we can win.”
On Friday night, White Bear came out on top, winning by a score of 7-6. This was only possible because of the hard work put into figuring out a “win strategy” and near flawless execution.
Life Lesson 2. Be a cheerleader.
Any time you learn new skills or go beyond your comfort zone, fear and doubt creep in. As a life-long coach in both sports and business, Fred knew that the young people and adults he worked with needed to know the “why’s” and “how-to’s” first.
But, to be the best they could be, he knew that people needed someone to believe in them. When he was coaching, whenever kids did anything right, Fred was always the first one there, patting them on the back and saying, “Atta, baby!”
And, when people screwed up, he pulled them quietly aside to show/tell them what to do differently. Then, before he sent them back to work (or into the game), he’d pat them on the back and say, “You can do it.”
When I was thinking of starting my own consulting firm, I was a bundle of angst, worrying if I could actually make a go of it. When I told Fred my fears, he said with a 100% conviction, “I’d bet on you any day.” It’s what I needed to make the leap into entrepreneurship.
In short, Fred wanted people to be the best they could be—and this was how he helped them achieve it.
Life Lesson 3. Always have fun.
When I first watched my husband coaching the high school kids, it was clear that he was having more fun than anyone else on the field. He loved what he was doing and his enthusiasm was contagious. I saw him do the same thing when he coached both our kids. He made practice and drills fun, while working the team hard.
When he ran his leadership development program at Thrivent (a financial services firm), he spent hours at a magic shop figuring out what would be fun and surprising to the attendees. His favorite was setting a big glass of water down right in front of big table as he was talking.
Then, when he was gesturing wildly with his hands, he’d knock it over. Everyone would jump up to avoid getting soaked and quickly grab their workbooks, purses and devices. Except, no one ever did. When they weren’t looking, he’d dropped some “potion” in the water that turned it into a gel.
For me, Fred was my playmate. While I was working, he was busy planning what we’d do next. As I write this, I’m at our condo in Southern Utah. Every day, when I was done with work, he’d have an idea about where we should go hiking or a new restaurant to visit. He was always on the lookout for cool activities or incoming shows.
Fun matters. Fun makes everything better. Mary Poppins once said, “In every job that must be done, there’s an element of fun. And when you find the fun then snap, the job’s a game.”
Life Lesson 4. Learn new things.
When my husband decided to retire early due to health reasons, I was worried that he’d become a couch potato and lose his oomph (like so many retirees). After all, research shows that if you want to stay vital in life and work, learning new knowledge and skills is essential.
I shouldn’t have been concerned. The first project Fred tackled was earning his instrument rating, a special designation held by only 5% of private pilots that allows you to fly when visibility is near zero. It took a full year.
Then, he decided to re-do his prized possession, a 1966 Corvette. He literally took it apart piece-by-piece, putting every nut and bolt in a little plastic bag, labeling it and hanging it on a wall in the garage. When it was stripped bare, a welder fixed the corroded frame and then Fred started reassembling it.
He spent hours watching YouTube videos to figure out how to put it together again. He was a frequent visitor to Corvette forums, reading how others fixed problems, found good replacement parts and more. Four years later, after it was finally running again, he was proudly showing it at local car shows.
Finally, Fred was a golf lover. Even as a retiree, he was determined to bring his handicap down. He religiously read golf magazines, watched videos and experimented with new techniques. When the weather permitted, he practiced daily. Putting, chipping and ultimately, the drives. Shortly before he passed away, he shot a 78!
Life-long learning is essential for all of us. We feel better. We’re challenged. We stay at the top of our game.
Life Lesson 5. Create memorable experiences.
My husband loved planning events of all sorts—the kind that wouldn’t be forgotten. My surprise 40th birthday was filled with an assemblage of friends from every decade of my life. Anniversaries were carefully-planned romantic dinners. This fall, Fred pulled together a 5-day trip to the Columbia River Gorge to celebrate the completion of my newest book.
With my daughter Katie, he created a tradition of going to one big horse race each year. Together, they completed the Triple Crown series by going to the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont and the Preakness. They also looked forward to watching horse racing at a small local track, where they’d bet against each other for fun. When the track was closed, they’d visit the Science Museum, then go for dinner and gelato at a favorite Italian restaurant.
Memorable experiences with my son Ryan centered around football and flying. This fall, a few weeks before Fred died, the two of them went to UND’s homecoming game where my son played college ball. In previous years, they went to watch home games of the Oregon Ducks and Miami. They’d also make annual treks to the Oshkosh Airshow, camping out on the tarmac and spending their days looking at the planes.
In business today, customer experience is the #1 emerging trend. As leaders and sellers, it’s essential to think about this at work now too. But I’d also suggest you make it part of your personal life as well.
Life Lesson 6. Choose your attitude.
My husband had numerous health problems throughout his life, but most people didn’t have a clue. He was always so active and upbeat. Over the years, he had ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, bad headaches, severe curvature of the spine, Hashimoto’s disease, skin cancer and multiple operations.
Most recently, Fred had quadruple by-pass surgery (where he almost died), a hip replacement and was undergoing experimental procedures for neck pain. All the while, the PSC was slowly destroying his liver.
Yet Fred always got up with a smile on his face and plans for doing something that mattered. He always had some project going on to help others, improve the house, or to brighten someone’s day. And, he’d try to get some physical activity in as well, knowing it helped him stay healthier.
By evening, Fred was often exhausted and would collapse in front of the TV … but he felt good, like he’d accomplished something meaningful and enjoyed the people in his life.
Life Lesson 7. Your job is not your life.
After experiencing early success in sales at Xerox, I was hooked. I loved making my numbers, hitting 135% of quota, then even higher. I loved competing against the “A” players and beating them on the leader boards. I loved winning Sales Rep of the Month awards and the quarterly contests. All I could think about was getting promoted, the faster the better—and making even more money.
Today, I feel fortunate that my husband fought for my soul. While he was happy for my success, he continually challenged on the fact that my self-image was so wrapped up in being “successful.” Initially I hated him for it.
But the reality is, he was right. I could have easily become a bigwig executive making boatloads of money. I could have been so wrapped up in my job that I’d have lost the important relationships in my life—and all the priceless moments that go with them.
Fred helped me stay grounded in what matters. Family. Friends. And, doing work that matters.
Finally, I’d like to share the credo my husband lived by. Katie and Ryan heard him say it endlessly. As a coach, he always shared it with the kids on his teams. I think he got it from Lou Holtz, a legendary coach who once asked Fred to join his football staff.
Do what’s right. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be the best you can be.
A PRACTICAL Do-It-Yourself ‘GRATITUDE GUIDE’ FOR A HAPPIER, MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE –
TO KEEP AND REFER TO EVERYDAY – PUT IT ON YOUR MIRROR
How to Multiply your Abundance- ThanksGiving EVERYDAY
(inspired by Doug Andrew, LiveAbundant.com)
Why Do We Only Celebrate Thanks-Giving But One Day a Year? Why Not Celebrate Everyday? Here’s A Simple, Quick Practice for a Happier, more Meaningful Life
This little 10-minute activity could/should have great positive impact on your life as well as that of others, places and things.
What Are You Most Grateful For?
A PRACTICAL PRACTICE:
A.) On a tablet or large piece of paper
Write Down What You Are Most Grateful For: (See Top 10, below, but you can add to the list – )
and be sure to leave plenty of space after each item to write more later:
What Are You Most Grateful For? (Start Writing…)
1.) A Person (or Animal) You Are Grateful For
2.) A Person (or Animal) Who Has Passed Away you Are Grateful For Having known for his or her Talents, Values, etc. (g. could be a family relative or a famous person or anyone )
3.) A Physical Ability that you possess that you are grateful for (g. playing a musical instrument, adept at languages, athletics, good memory, etc.)4.) A Material Possession (may not be THAT important but why not… your car, smart phone,etc)
4.) Something in NATURE you’re grateful for (I love to go to Napa not just for the vineyards but for the beauty including riding my bike thru the vineyards and scenery. I love the Eastbay Park System with countless amazing, diverse places to explore by foot, bike, water, air)
5.) A Place On Earth (g. a favorite travel destination or just a place you admire for whatever reason)
6.) A Modern Day Invention (something as basic as the flush toilet or as complex as the smart phone or internet or your favorite food)
7.) Your Home or Place of Abode
8.) Your Family, siblings
9.) God, Universe or Higher Power – whatever your belief is
10. ) A Personal Possession – It may seem to go against the grain of what we’re aiming for here, but what the heck… you’re entitled to a favorite possession (even if it IS a material object such as a car or smart phone
WE’RE NOT DONE YET – HERE COMES THE ‘MAGIC’..
B.) Now Write Down WHY You Are Grateful for the Aboveand, finally…
C.) Write Down HOW You Would Show Your Appreciation for these People and Items
(e.g. Writing a note to those people expressing your gratitude for them or writing a blog or poem about your favorite place, possession or thing, etc.)
NOW, YOU HAVE YOUR GRATITUDE GUIDE TO ‘BOOKMARK’ OR PUT ON YOUR MIRROR TO REMIND YOU OF ‘THE GOOD’ WHEN THINGS MIGHT NOT BE GOING SO WELL IN YOUR LIFE –OR EVEN WHEN THEY ARE… AND TAKE ACTION MORE OFTEN TO MAKE FOR A HAPPIER, BETTER LIFE WHILE ALSO BRINGING JOY TO OTHERS AND NATURE
D.) optional) For an even more enhanced return, Share Your Top Three (of the 10 – or you can do all 10) Gratitudes with your family and/or friends for a wonderful , productive discussion next time you gather around – AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!
Republicans increasing support for Israel while Democrats waning
Less than 50% of Democrats Now Supporting Israel, Down from 60% high
Jews still identify most with Democrat party but down to 61%, which may , in part, explain the unexpected drop in Democrat support for Israel, noted in chart #2
Less Than 50% of Democrats Now Support Israel Despite Terror – Jews Leaving Party?
The Democratic Party, once known for its strident support for Israel, has been bypassed by Republicans by almost 30% in the past decades with Republicans now well ahead of Democrats in support of Israel, 75% to 48% as of a recent Gallup (2014) survey
Despite to what appears an increasing threat to Israel from ISIS, Iran and others – and, in light, of the latest terrorist killings in Tel Aviv, Israel- Democratic support for Israel is down to 48% , down from 61% in 1991. (Survey only goes back to 1990. ) We would imagine support was even higher with more supportive, earlier administrations, going back to the earlier skirmishes like the ‘6 Day War’ in late 1960s (but surveys don’t go back this far.)
It’s especially interesting because Democrats have, until recent times have been the greatest friends of Israel – and, especially the Jews, of which the great majority have identified as Democrats. But, even this stat, appears to be changing, remarkably, indicated by Chart #3 which shows Jewish Democratic identification was down to 61% in 2014 from over 70% in 2008. So, while the one-time ‘sympathetic’ party has, surprisingly dropped in support of Israel, the latter chart would lead us to believe that more Jews have ‘left the party’ or at least no longer identify with the Democratic party.
We must deduce that the Jewish drop in Democratic affiliation has come in light of the increasing threat to Israel, which includes that coming from increasing anti-Israel America. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Jews may be reacting to America’s increased support for Iran and seeming decrease for Israel, as evidenced by President Obama’s strained relations with Israel while signing off on the big Iran nuclear pact against Prime Minister Netenyahu’s wishes. It’s not surprising to see that some American Jews may be reacting to America’s estrangement with Israel as President Obama has welcomed Muslim immigration to America by 57% while increasing aid to Iran ($150 million) and other Muslim countries.
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