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Would You Rather Be Right or Would You Rather Be Happy? Print E-mail

Would You Rather Be Right or Would You Rather Be Happy?

By Dan Mager, MSW

The need to be right separates those afflicted with it from others, and from all that which is beyond the cramped confines of self. Separation closes the heart. Recognizing and shifting out of the attachment to having to be right opens and softens the heart, creating the space that makes it possible to experience greater happiness, contentment, and peace of mind.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu

Hey NFL Fans: Ray Rice Isn’t the Problem. You Are. Print E-mail

Hey NFL Fans: Ray Rice Isn’t the Problem. You Are.

Before football fans get too sanctimonious about the Ray Rice wrist slap, they should worry about their complicity in footballs' culture of violence.

By now, most every football fan in America (and lots of non-fans) will have read about the arrest of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for an altercation with Janay Palmer, his former fiancé and current wife. The fight took place in February at a resort casino in Atlantic City called Revel.

According to the police report summary of the incident, “After reviewing surveillance footage it appeared both parties were involved in a physical altercation. The complaint summons indicates that both Rich [sic] and Palmer struck each other with their hands.” The report goes on to note that, “Ms. Palmer and Mr. Rice refused any medical attention as no injuries were reported by either party.”

What the report fails to note is that Rice knocked Ms. Palmer unconscious, as a subsequently released video attests. (You might want to skip the video, unless you enjoy watching a man who has just knocked out his fiancé attempt to drag her out of an elevator.)

Rice managed to avoid jail time by entering a pre-trail diversionary program. He also met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to explain the incident.

Goodell, a man who recently suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon 16 games for the high crime of smoking pot, has now rendered his verdict. Ray Rice is suspended for … two games.

Meal-Delivery Startups Look for Winning Recipe Print E-mail

Meal-Delivery Startups Look for Winning Recipe

Plated, Blue Apron Use Data to Focus on the Details; Measuring Demand for Crunchy Tofu

 By Ruth Simon and Lora Kolodny

At the Bronx fulfillment center for meal delivery startup Plated, hourly workers in lab coats and hair nets pluck those items, plus basil, oil and other ingredients, from white plastic shelves. The ingredients then are packed, with a recipe, into brown cardboard boxes emblazoned with the tagline "Redefining weeknight dinner."

Software engineers in an office 9 miles away developed algorithms to model and measure prospective demand for Crunchy Tofu with Walnut Romesco and Zucchini Boats with Jeweled Rice and Cherry Tomato Sauce.

At the two-year-old startup, and fast-growing rivals such as Blue Apron Inc., the challenge is to marry software applications and Web- and mobile- technology to a just-in-time supply of ingredients for generally healthy meals.

Crunching data is a crucial chore because Plated says it aims to lose less than 1% of its perishable inventory to spoilage even as it offers a different batch of seven new menu options weekly. It receives orders in as little as the day of delivery in some locations, and ships more than 100,000 meals a month from three different cities to customers in 46 states.

"There is a lot of complexity going on behind the scenes that the customer should never see or know about in order to enable a perfect meal arriving at their door," says Nick Taranto, a 29-year-old Harvard Business School graduate and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, who co-founded Plated in 2012.

By staying focused and keeping a close eye on details and customer experience, the meal-kit companies and their investors are hoping to avoid the fate of era food industry failures such as Webvan and and more recent fizzles, like gourmet food delivery startup Pop-Up Pantry.

What President Obama gets wrong about ‘acting white’ Print E-mail

What President Obama gets wrong about ‘acting white’

Nia-Malika Henderson

President Obama often brings up the idea that black students face an “acting white” stigma. But, it’s much more complicated than he allows.

When President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama speak to an audience of African Americans, particularly students, they invariably mention the trope of  “acting white.”  That is the notion that one impediment to black students’ success is the belief in some black communities that academic achievement is synonymous with whiteness, and therefore devalued.

In a commencement speech at Bowie State in 2013, Michelle Obama said to an audience of new graduates and their families and friends:  “And as my husband has said often, please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white.”

The first lady is right, the president has mentioned the idea of “acting white” quite often. (And, yes, the Obamas also express pride in and offer praise for black students, especially when they speak at commencement ceremonies.)

As recently as Monday, while speaking to a room full of students at the Walker Jones Education Campus, where he announced a new round of investments for the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, Obama mentioned it again.

In response to a question posed by a young Native American man about what the U.S. government is doing to help American Indians revitalize their language and culture, Obama talked about the importance of “knowing your culture — the traditional cultures out of which your families come, but also being part of the larger culture.”

He then went into a riff on “acting white”:

Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of “acting white” — which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly? And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.

Obama is right when he says that the notion of acting white is sometimes overstated. Perhaps, it’s overstated by Obama himself.

Russia, MH17 and the West: A web of lies Print E-mail

Russia, MH17 and the West: A web of lies

Vladimir Putin’s epic deceits have grave consequences for his people and the outside world

IN 1991, when Soviet Communism collapsed, it seemed as if the Russian people might at last have the chance to become citizens of a normal Western democracy. Vladimir Putin’s disastrous contribution to Russia’s history has been to set his country on a different path. And yet many around the world, through self-interest or self-deception, have been unwilling to see Mr Putin as he really is.

The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the killing of 298 innocent people and the desecration of their bodies in the sunflower fields of eastern Ukraine, is above all a tragedy of lives cut short and of those left behind to mourn. But it is also a measure of the harm Mr Putin has done. Under him Russia has again become a place in which truth and falsehood are no longer distinct and facts are put into the service of the government. Mr Putin sets himself up as a patriot, but he is a threat—to international norms, to his neighbours and to the Russians themselves, who are intoxicated by his hysterical brand of anti-Western propaganda.

The world needs to face the danger Mr Putin poses. If it does not stand up to him today, worse will follow.

John Boehner calls on Obama to support legislation speeding up deportations Print E-mail

John Boehner calls on Obama to support legislation speeding up deportations

Susan Ferrechio

House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday warning that it could be impossible for Congress to green-light additional money to deal with the border crisis unless the president publicly supports a change in a law that is slowing deportations.

President Obama has backed away from his June 30 request to change in a 2008 law that prevents fast deportation of minors who come from countries other than Mexico or Canada.

Democrats in the House and Senate have also expressed growing opposition, but Republicans are insisting on a change in the law, because many of the nearly 60,000 people who have arrived here illegally in recent months are children from Central America. The law prevents them from being sent straight back to their home countries, and they are instead processed and provided court dates, which is costly and is more likely to result in fewer deportations.

Obama’s about-face on the matter has angered Republicans, who said they were already displeased with the notion of providing a “blank check” to the president to deal with the border crisis.

Where Child Migrant Surge Could Hit Home Print E-mail

Where Child Migrant Surge Could Hit Home

By Dante Chinni

Immigrant populations tend to cluster in the U.S., and some House districts are much more apt to feel a direct impact from the crisis.

The surge of unaccompanied minors coming over the U.S. borders looks to remain a hot topic for the 2014 midterms, as it adds another troubling dimension to Washington’s long-simmering, intractable fight over immigration.

On Friday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are set to meet with the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to talk about the crisis.

But beyond the national headlines, the impacts may be highly localized. Immigrant populations tend to cluster in the U.S., and some House districts are much more apt to feel a direct impact from the crisis.

Districts with large populations from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are more likely to have residents who are following the story closely. And, perhaps more important, those communities are more likely to see an influx of young immigrants from any unaccompanied children granted even temporary residency to live with a close relative.

Hillary 'claimed Bill was addicted to sex because he was abused by his mother' Print E-mail

Hillary 'claimed Bill was addicted to sex because he was abused by his mother'

Family ties: Bill Clinton with his mother Virginia and her husband Dick Kelley. Hillary allegedly claimed her mother-in-law abused Bill as a child

In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary Clinton claimed that her husband was addicted to sex because he was abused by his mother, a journalist said.

The then First Lady allegedly made the claims during a 1999 interview with Lucinda Franks, but the Pulitzer prize-winner declined to use them for the article she was working on. The revelation is one of a series of sensational claims made in a series of new books being published in anticipation that Clinton will make a presidential run in 2016.

Clinton claimed that Kelley, who died in 1994, hurt her son 'in ways you wouldn't believe' and, while not giving details about the alleged abuse, claimed it had been responsible for her husband's affair.

'When a mother does what she does, it affects you forever,' Clinton allegedly told Franks, 68.

The claims were not included in the article Frank was writing for a magazine called Talk.

But the Daily News has seen a version of the memoir that discussed a fraught relationship between the President's mother and grandmother.

Franks has said she wanted to publish the interview in its entirety at the time but didn't because of the media storm over the Lewinsky affair.

In the 1999 interview, Clinton described her husband's affair as a 'sin of weakness', and said she remained devoted to him despite 'enormous pain, enormous anger' over his infidelities.

She added that the affair had come at a time of upheaval for the President, who was coming to terms with the loss of his mother.

Frank alluded to a difficult upbringing for the President, according to, and quoted Clinton as saying: 'He was so young when he was scarred by abuse. There was a terrible conflict between his mother and grandmother.'

Chris Cillizza: why President Obama’s dismal approval ratings matter this November Print E-mail

Here’s why President Obama’s dismal approval ratings matter this November

Here’s why President Obama’s dismal approval ratings matter this November

Chris Cillizza

More than half of people who plan to vote Republican say it is a vote against the president.

Any time I write about President Obama's lackluster poll numbers, any number of people take to Twitter to helpfully remind me that he isn't on the ballot this fall and is constitutionally barred from seeking a third time. Their argument comes down to this: Who cares what President Obama's approval ratings are?

A new national Pew Research Center poll shows why any Democrat on the ballot this November should care. Roughly three in ten people said that their vote this fall would be "against" Obama as compared to just 19 percent who said that their vote would be to show support for the president. Those numbers aren't as bad as what George W. Bush and Republicans faced before the 2006 midterms (38 percent voting against Bush, 15 percent voting for him) but are worse for Obama than at this time in the 2010 election cycle (28 percent vote against, 23 percent vote for) in which the president's party lost 63 house seats.

Isis orders all women and girls in Mosul to undergo FGM, says UN Print E-mail

Iraqi refugees

Isis orders all women and girls in Mosul to undergo FGM, says UN

UN says 'fatwa' issued by militant group in and around Iraqi city could affect 4 million

The militant group Islamic State (Isis) has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations says.

The "fatwa" issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock, told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Irbil.

"This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," she said.

"This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.

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