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Resisting temptation can be hard... do you have the willpower to overcome ego depletion?
We've all been there…
It's late in the day… You're tired… You're distractible… And then you see something you want to eat.
Scratch that. Something you have to eat.
A muffin. A donut. A slice of cake...
Yes, yes, you know you shouldn't. But it's just so tempting! And despite how hard you try, it's simply too difficult to resist.
So you indulge. You give in. You succumb to that shameful little part of yourself that says, "Go on, do it, do it... It's small. One little bit's not going to hurt!"
In the moment, giving in to temptation feels good. After all, you get what you want.
But you know what happens next. That pleasurable feeling never lasts long. It quickly gets pushed aside as regret, guilt, and disappointment come rushing in to fill its place.
Clearly, a lack of willpower…
It can be discouraging when this happens to us, because we think to ourselves, "If I can't even control myself from having a bit of cake, how am I supposed to control myself when it comes to the really important decisions in life?"
If we're to set ourselves a goal and take steps to achieving it -- whether it's sticking to a diet or writing a book or starting a business venture -- self-control is obviously something that's of paramount importance.
Is there anything we can do to sustain it?
There is. But first, we need to understand something…
Science has shown that willpower really is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more it gets fatigued.
As you resist temptation throughout your day, then the less and less willpower you have.
Psychologists have a special term for this phenomenon. It's called 'ego depletion'. And though we may wish it were otherwise, it's something that affects us all...
"No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be," writes John Tierney in The New York Times, "you can't make decision after decision - without paying a biological price.
It's different from ordinary physical fatigue -- you're not consciously aware of being tired -- but you're low on mental energy."
This takes its toll on us.
"The more choices you make throughout the day," says Tierney, "the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways.
One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively, instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences... The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: Do nothing.
"Scientists are only just beginning to understand the consequences of ego depletion. It's far more wide-reaching than anyone had realized.
OK, so now you have an understanding of ego depletion and can recognize why it's a problem... but what should you do about it?
There are a number of strategies you can use. One of them is very simple, and since you've read this far, you've already got it.
It's knowledge... awareness of the fact this phenomenon exists.
"Simply knowing you can become depleted," says behavioral economist Dan Ariely, and "knowing the kinds of decisions you might make as a result, makes you far better equipped to handle difficult situations when and as they arise."
There's real wisdom, then, in that old advice to "sleep on it." If it's an important decision, getting some rest and waiting until the next day is probably smart.
At the very least, you should at least recognize it's not ideal to be making big decisions at the end of the day.
"Studies show that people with the best self-control - are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower," writes John Tierney.
"They don't schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices."
So what this means is that "instead of deciding every morning, whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend.
Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it's available for emergencies and important decisions."
This sage advice is echoed in the book The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.
Loehr and Schwartz make a distinction between "push" and "pull" activities.
Push activities... are ones you have to summon all your willpower to push yourself to do. Pull activities... in contrast, are ones that you feel compelled to do because they're a ritual, a habit.
If you've made it a habit to go for a 30-minute walk every second morning at 7 a.m., it really requires very little willpower to do. You just do it. It's automatic.
But if it's not a habit, each morning, you have to fight yourself to decide whether to stay in bed or go for a walk.
And as you now know, this battle draws on finite mental energies.
The lesson, then, is clear: Try to adopt rituals and make certain activities a habit.
This way, you can conserve your cognitive capacity for the important stuff.
Why do People Gossip? Man on the street...
Are you guilty of this? (Think before you answer). Let's be honest, we all know we shouldn't... but we do it anyway. The real question is: Why?
Do we do it to feel better about ourselves? SoulPancake hit the streets to talk to strangers about why, and when, we gossip.
"Someone once asked me, 'Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?' I replied, 'Why do you assume I see two roads?" Unknown...
Blind Spot 101! We, meaning humans, ALL have a “BLIND SPOT”, which means that there are things about you, that your mind DOES NOT allow you to see.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WQx3ePgHuQ&feature=player_embedded
Relax... it's the media's job to hype things
What's the panic level like in Mexico over Ebola? Or Argentina? Or Singapore? Or almost any country outside of the US and Europe?
What are the calls from the public, on plans to deal with Ebola in other countries? There are none... and probably rightfully so.
If you live anywhere in the US right now and are panicking about Ebola - you need to immediately turn off your television.
While we certainly aren't experts, at all, on viruses, we do take note of all the panics that have been promoted by the media over the last few decades... that never came to fruition.
Swine flu, SARS, bird flu, HIV/AIDS...
Remember Oprah saying this in 1987? ...
"Research studies now project that one in five — listen to me, hard to believe — one in five heterosexuals could be dead from AIDS at the end of the next three years. That’s by 1990. One in five.".
Global Cooling (Time and Newsweek predicted a coming ice age in the 1970s), Acid Rain (1980s), Global Warming (2000s),.
Al Qaeda (2000s), ISIS (2010s), Korasan (which lasted for a few weeks, last month)...
It's no wonder the largest cause of death in the US is "heart disease"... faced with this much fear porn its no wonder everyone hasn't died from a heart attack yet.
In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.
Today is October 24th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $4 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Here's Obama's latest propaganda...
Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 10/24/2014...
It turns out, contrary to what Obama falsely promised...
Obamacare will cost a whopping $300 billion dollars more than what we were told
According to a recent analysis conducted by the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff, Obama's promise not to sign a health care law that added "a dime" to the deficit - has gone sour.
"The most recent CBO estimate," the report reads, "released in July 2012, indicated the law was projected to reduce the deficit by $109 billion over the 10-year period from FY 2013–2022.
"Nevertheless, considerable changes have occurred since then: a botched rollout of the insurance exchanges; unilateral changes made by the Administration to exempt certain groups from complying with key aspects of the law...
Technical adjustments to CBO's baseline projections for federal health spending; updated economic forecasts; a better understanding of the labor market effects of the legislation; and a new 10-year budget window," the report reads.
"This is more than just a glitch," Tim Phillips, president of free-market Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement last week.
"The administration's decision to withhold the costs of this law until after Election Day is just more proof that Obamacare is a bad deal for Americans...
For that matter... Obama himself is a bad deal for Americans!"
Time to give Democrats the boot this upcoming election... even Obama says so...
Obama says a vote for Democrats, is a vote for more Obama lies, frauds and failures!
Obama giftwraps another sound bite for Republicans...
A couple weeks ago, President Obama declared that, while he wasn't on the Nov. 4 ballot - his policies were.
And just about every GOP candidate in a red or swing state - soon launched an ad using that comment - to tie his or her Democratic opponent to Obama.
Well, Obama appears to have just handed Republicans some more ammunition.
In an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday, Obama defended his support for candidates in top races, who haven't welcomed Obama to campaign with them.
"The bottom line is, though, these are are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress," Obama said.
While it's the second time Obama has gone down this road, this comment probably stings more than the last one, for Democrats running in key Senate races -
Almost all of which are in red or swing states... where Obama is quite unpopular.
While Obama's previous comment suggested the election was indeed something of a referendum on him, these comments suggest not only that...
But that Democratic candidates are actually on-board with him -- something most of them have made pains to argue is not the case.
Obama's comments are the kind of thing Democrats might privately say to assure donors and the party base, but wouldn't really say in public.
At the same time, he's really only saying something that most political observers already believe to be true --
That however much distance these Democrats are seeking from the president, they will generally be on-board with his agenda.
Almost all Democrats in Congress, after all - vote with their party, the vast majority of the time.
It's just that two weeks before an election in states in which Obama isn't all that popular, Democratic candidates probably don't want voters to be reminded of that fact.
Obama’s narcissism is exceeded only by his immaturity. It's all about him - all the time.
He cares not a lick for the American citizens, or the country.
Liberal racism and division... it's all about their own selfish agenda for control
Here's something for 'thinking liberals' to think about. As opposed to the 'clone puppet liberals' ... that mindlessly follow the hateful lead of the liberal talking heads.
You race-baiting liberals have set up the culture - where everything is about race. The entire Democrat party revolves around racial tension. And where there isn’t any racial tension – you fabricate it.
You have turned our schools and universities into cesspools of liberal indoctrination... spewing hateful views and teaching via redacted and revised liberal agenda history.
You have set up race/gender studies departments in every college in the nation. You have created "critical legal studies" that interprets law as the expression of hidden interests and class domination.
I can see that there is a place to look at race and gender, and there is a value in thinking about law as something that goes beyond universal rules to fence in the bad guys.
But today in America… thousands of liberal activists running around doing activism...
Based on a atheist belief in fundamental injustice, issuing from race and gender inequality and unjust laws.
On this liberal view - everything is about race and gender - and everything can and should be politicized and brought under the lens of liberal politics.
Because the liberal mind is all about social justice – as interpreted by liberals. And where there is equality and social justice, you try to instill social injustice – even when it doesn’t exist.
How selfish is that?
There is a danger, when you keep playing the race card - right before elections and revving up the base to fever pitch.
One day it may not work, especially in the sixth year of an unspectacular presidency.
We've heard, after all, about people booing the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton and complaining that Obama has done nothing for them.
In his six years as president… Obama’s biggest anti-accomplishment - is his amazing failure to actually accomplish anything beneficial. Obama has made himself into a lethal political contagion.
During the election cycle, all other Democrats now falsely pretend they are against Obama’s corrupt liberal agenda.
Now... in the middle of Obama's false propaganda speeches, people are heckling him and walking out en masse.
The citizens have finally wised-up… hopefully.
Obama continually contradicts Obama
Obama in 2008, accused George Bush of abusing power as president. Then when he became president... he abused power ten times worse, than he accused Bush of?
Six years into Obama's failed presidency... he declared himself dictator of the United States, stating if he doesn't get his way -
He will make it so, by a bogus executive order.
Gondolas and boats are captured in a long exposure image leaving St. Mark's Basin after the fireworks display for the Redentore Celebrations in Venice, Italy, July 19, 2014.
Redentore, which is in remembrance of the end of the 1577 plague, is one of Venice's most loved celebrations.
Highlights of the celebration include the pontoon bridge extending across the Giudecca Canal, gatherings on boats in the St. Mark's Basin and a spectacular fireworks display.
A kayaker paddles near the Flanston foreshore as the sun sets over the low lying cloud of fog in Melbourne, Australia, July 22, 2014.
Allie Shaughnessy, who is dressed as the X-Men character, Mystique, poses during the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, Calif., July 24, 2014.
A man pushes his electric bicycle against strong wind and heavy rainfalls along a flooded seaside street as Typhoon Rammasun hits Haikou, Hainan province, July 18, 2014.
The super typhoon slammed into China killing one person, as the government ordered an all-out effort to prevent loss of life from a storm that had already killed at least 64 people in the Philippines.
A 22-meter tall golden fabric frog is displayed at Yuyuantan Park, in Beijing, China, July 19, 2014. The frog is based on the golden frog which symbolizes luck and is thought to bring wealth and fortune in Chinese traditional culture. The exhibition will last until August 20.
A flamingo and flamingo chicks are seen in a corral before being tagged at dawn at the Fuente de Piedra natural reserve, near Malaga, southern Spain, July 19, 2014. Around 600 flamingos were tagged and measured before being placed in the lagoon, one of the largest colonies of flamingos in Europe.
Williams Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil crashes his car in the first corner after the start of the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racing circuit, July 20, 2014
Canada's Patricia Bezzoubenko performs during women's rhythmic gymnastics team competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 24, 2014
"Do, or Do Not. There is No Try" -- Yoda
"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." -- Thomas A. Edison
Laughter is like a windshield wiper... it doesn't stop the rain, but allows us to keep going.
"Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers... you can not be successful or happy." -- Norman Vincent Peale
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control...
Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here are 861 well sourced examples... of Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc.
I ask you to please show this list to as many people as possible – and especially, to please show it to as many Obama supporters as possible. Sunshine really is the best disinfectant.
I can’t stop Obama from doing any of these horrible things, but I can tell people about what he is doing. So please share this list with others on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you.
Every President, every politician, and every human being tells lies and engages in acts of hypocrisy.
But Barack Obama does these things - to a far greater degree - than anyone else that I have ever known of.
His bogus campaign promises... were so much better sounding than anyone else’s – no lobbyists in his administration... waiting five days before signing all non-emergency bills so people would have time to read them...
Putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN... reading every bill line by line to make sure money isn’t being wasted... prosecution of Wall St. criminals... ending raids against medical marijuana in states where it’s legal... high levels of transparency.
Obama’s promises of these wonderful things sounded inspiring and sincere. They sounded so much better than the promises of any other President.
So when Obama broke - all of these promises - it felt so much worse than when other Presidents broke their promises.
The link to Obama's 861 lies: http://tinyurl.com/ku9vxug
Man claims China lottery prize in bear costume... to protect identity
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but that large sum of cash often comes with overwhelming attention. In China, they have come up with a quirky... albeit effective solution.
A lucky winner from the Shanxi Province provided an entertaining press conference when he picked up his winnings, the equivalent of nearly $85 million, in a bear costume.
While it might seem a little wacky, it's common for lottery winners in many countries to want to remain anonymous.
We get it - once people hear of your newfound wealth, you'll likely be bothered by exes, long-lost "friends," and questionable relatives claiming to be financial experts.
If you win the lottery in the U.S., only five states (Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, and Ohio) allow you to legally remain anonymous, by keeping your name off public records.
In China, though, where press conferences showing the prize handoff are televised across the country, citizens have the option to choose anonymity.
Winners playing dress-up to hide their faces are not unusual.
In August, a knockoff Mickey Mouse took home a large check, and a lucky panda hit it big in 2011.
Though he looked a little out of the ordinary, the man in the bear costume gave the usual lottery win spiel:
"I feel really excited. I think I will give part of the prize money to charity. I still don't have a specific plan."
He also reminded us that winning the lottery is a gamble. "I never buy lottery tickets regularly. I buy them at random," he said.
Chinese lottery winners pay a 20 percent tax on their prize money, which is about $17 million for the man dressed up as a bear.
The shop that sold the winning lottery ticket must be feeling lucky as well. It received some money from the local lottery wellness center, and the owner says his business has doubled since the prize was announced.
China, which started offering the lotto in 1987, uses the proceeds for social welfare.
Too many conservatives are failing to engage, participate and be proactive
Social conservatives are not in trouble, because of the actions of government...
They are in trouble... because social conservatives are not speaking out and are not voting in large numbers, Huckabee said Friday at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.
Huckabee estimated that there are probably over 100 million social conservatives in the United States.
Using just the example of Evangelicals, he said there are about 80 million, but only half of them are even registered to vote...
And of those who are registered, only 20 million actually vote in a presidential year?
An even smaller number, about 10 million, vote in midterm elections and an even smaller number than that... vote in the primary elections, that determine who the major party candidates will be.
"What would happen," he asked, "if, instead of half of those voters being registered, 75 percent of them were?
And what would happen if, instead of half of them voting, 75 percent of them voted?
If 10 percent more Evangelicals had voted in the last presidential election, we would have a different president than the one we have right now."
The audience laughed as he said: "That great theologian, Woody Allen, once said this, 'Success is 80 percent just showing up.' ...
And frankly, if we don't show up, then I'll tell you what happens.
Government does whatever it wishes to do. When we show up, government does what we send it to do."
Huckabee was formerly the governor of Arkansas and ran for president in 2008. Currently, he is the host of Fox News' "Huckabee."
He is considering running for president again in 2016.
Here it is... the internet connected toothbrush makes you a better brusher
Brushing your teeth as a "goal-oriented" activity: Who knew?
"The world's first of its kind with Bluetooth connectivity, the Oral-B SmartSeries electric toothbrush will be available in the U.S. in October 2014," promises Oral-B.
That's this month, so it should arrive any day now.
It doesn't look much different from an ordinary electric toothbrush, but it logs things like the time you spend and the pressure you apply.
"It records brushing activity as data that you can chart on your own and share with dental professionals," the Oral-B website gushes. Put your smartphone next to the toothbrush on your vanity and the Internet does the rest.
Although we have to say the screen-grabs on the website make it look as if the product is targeted toward, if the phrase isn't too impolite for a family e-letter, the anal-retentive...
Understand the toothbrush itself is not the investment opportunity. Oral-B is one of many products from that bluest of blue chips, Procter & Gamble.
Korean k-pop sensation 'T-ara' ... performing live "Because I Know" & "Number 9"
T-ara is a South Korean girl group that debuted in 2009. Originally a five-member group composed of Jiae, Jiwon, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Jiyeon.
They released their first song "Good Person" for the soundtrack of the Korean drama Cinderella Man in April 2009.
The meaning behind the group's name, which is based on the word "tiara", comes from the idea that they will become the "queens of the music industry".
"Neukkim Anikka", ("Because I Know") is a song from their eight extended play Again. The song was written and composed by Baek Hyun Jung and Baek Deok Sang. "Because I Know" was released as the co-lead single from the album on October 10, 2013.
"Number Nine" is a song from their eighth extended play Again. The song was written and composed by Shinsadong Tiger and Choi Gyu Sung. "Number Nine" was released as the lead single from the album on October 10, 2013.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOy8gadMELU
by Ted Kooser
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.
A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.
Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm - a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.
This newspaper's citronella-infused ink repels mosquitoes and helps fight disease
Once you’re done reading them, newspapers are still pretty handy to keep around. They make decent makeshift umbrellas and fans, and they’re great for starting fires. Now there’s even a newspaper that can repel mosquitoes.
The Mawbima News is one of Sri Lanka’s most widely-read newspapers, and the publisher wanted to do something to show support for World Health Day.
Dengue fever is still a big problem in Sri Lanka, where more than 16,000 cases were reported in 2013. The illness is spread by mosquitoes, so Mawbima teamed up with creatives from Leo Burnett on a campaign to help keep locals fever-free.
What they came up with was citronella-infused ink.
Citronella oil has long been used as an insect repellent, though you’re obviously much more likely to find it in sprays, soaps, or candles and lamp oil than you are on the pages of a daily newspaper.
According to Mawbima, this was the first time it’s ever been done.
It’s an incredibly clever way to offer a bit of widespread protection, and it also helped get the message about Dengue fever out to Mawbima’s readers.
Clearly, Sri Lankans were very excited about the idea of a newspaper that could repel mosquitoes. Mawbima’s circulation increased by more than 300,000 during the campaign.
In addition to the bug-busting ink, Mawbima and Leo Burnett developed a special font which featured Sinhalese characters “stamping out” mosquitoes.
It’s a pretty slick design: There was more to the campaign than specially-printed newspapers, too.
The citronella ink was also used to produce posters that were hung at bus stops, and Mawbima distributed mosquito-repelling stickers to schoolchildren.
Next on the agenda: figuring out a way to print the comics page with Benadryl...
Just in case a mosquito or two doesn’t realize it’s supposed to be deterred by the citronella.
Check It! Christian Hip-Hop has arrived! ... and he's got a message about your purpose in life
If popular Christian rapper Lecrae Moore could deliver one message to atheists, he says it would consist of a simple question:
“If there’s no purpose, if there’s no creator and … no rhyme or reason to the life that we’re living, then why are we not acting consistent with that thought?
Moore - whose stage name is simply Lecrae - said that atheist activists like Richard Dawkins would likely say that they have created their own purpose...
But the rapper believes that this response isn’t sufficient, as it doesn’t get at the heart of what drives nonbelievers to act as though they are purposeful.
Purpose, Lecrae believes, comes from God - an ideal he explained in detail during a recent interview in TheBlaze‘s New York City newsroom.
Despite disagreeing with nonbelievers, the rapper said he doesn’t look down on them, and he decried the “us versus them” mentality that sometimes takes form when it comes to addressing theological issues.
“I think that for some reason we position ourselves as enemies. It’s kind of ‘us versus them,’” he said. “No, if anything it’s ‘us for them.’”
Watch TheBlaze‘s extensive sit-down interview with Lecrae that covers his life, career and views on the Christian faith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW8mFLWnRWg&feature=player_embedded
Lecrae, who stars in the new movie “Believe Me” and whose album “Anomaly” recently scored the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart, discussed the positive message his recent success is sending.
“Without a chart topping single on the radio, without having to sacrifice my morality or faith - this is still a reality, and I think that’s a message for a lot of people,” he said of scoring a number one album.
“It was a win for the culture, it was a win for a lot of parents raising children who want something on the radio that they can champion and play in their home.”
Lecrae‘s path to success has been interesting to watch, especially considering that rap isn’t a common genre in Christian circles. And in the secular music world, faith-based rap and hip hop is somewhat foreign.
So, in many ways, Lecrae has defied the odds in paving new and uncharted ground and proving that there’s a major market out there for his music.
At the center of his work is a concerted effort to rectify what he believes Christian art has gotten wrong for so long.
“Christians, historically, love to give answers instead of creating great questions,” Lecrae told TheBlaze.
“My generation - we grew up afraid of quicksand, because the culture told us through imagery and stories that quicksand was going to get us.”
The rapper’s point was that it’s often more memorable and effective to create art that tells great stories and raises questions... rather than delivering definitive answers.
And that’s something he’s always trying to do in his own work.
Despite all of his recent success, Lecrae remains humble and reflective, telling TheBlaze that he continually works to maintain his humility.
“You don’t wake up humble, you don’t wake up disciplined, you don’t wake up gracious. This is a pursuit and you fight for a right frame of mind everyday,” he said.
“For me, practically, it’s having people in my life who can constantly remind me of the realities we exist in.”
Lecrae also addressed his upbringing and the path he took from atheism to Christianity, noting that, as a young man, his values were “twisted.”
“A value for me was, ‘Man, that guy on the corner looks like a gangster. I want to be like that,’” he said of his early years. ”For you to tell me that he’s wrong and that’s not okay - it didn’t make sense to my brain.”
While his grandmother was a Christian, Lecrae said he simply wasn’t interested in the faith during his early years. But after realizing that he was essentially an atheist, the rapper said he got nervous and started questioning his purpose.
“Christianity was my last option. I’m like, I’m not checking into that,” he said, noting that he viewed it as “old school” and something reserved for people like his grandmother.
“I had no real sense of morality. It was all self-preservation.” It wasn’t until he turned 19 that Lecrae said his life profoundly changed.
A college student at the time, he said that a friend invited him to a Bible study, and since he was all about new experiences - be they drugs or a new club to try - he decided to take him up on it.
Watch the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=svFeSR8Smu8
In the end, the rapper said that he was unexpectedly blown away.
“I would revisit that meeting and after a couple years the message really impacted me and transformed me,” Lecrae said.
While he eventually embraced Christianity, it took about two years before he really felt as though he was on solid footing when it came to his drug and alcohol use and his comprehension of the faith.
And today, he’s in awe of all that’s unfolded since. “I would never have imagined this,” he said of his Christian rap career.
Lecrae is now hoping to inspire others to think through their lives and to consider where God wants them. Without lining up one’s vision with the Lord’s plan for their lives, he warns that perspectives can become easily warped.
“My central message is: I’m weak and I admit I need a savior. I’m not a Christian because I’m strong … I’m a Christian because I’m weak and I can admit I need a savior,” he said.
“I’m flawed, I’m imperfect. I don’t have it all together. Not an excuse to do stupid stuff, but I can point you to a place where you can find hope and redemption - and it’s not me.”
No Signs of Improvement
Jim Weber, the conductor was furious with Hank, the drummer, who constantly seemed to be out of beat. Having supervised him for long hours, Jim felt frustrated as Hank did not show any signs of improvement.
Frustrated, Jim Weber reprimanded Hank, "When a performer can't perform anymore and is too stubborn to pick up, they give him 2 sticks, and make him a drummer."
A violinist whispered, "And if he doesn't even manage that, they snatch one of his sticks and make him a conductor!"
President Obama was out playing golf today. He hit one tee shot 250 yards. Even golf balls are trying to distance themselves from him. -- David Letterman
Today they arrested a White House intruder who was jumping over the fence to get OUT of the White House. -- David Letterman
Ladies and gentlemen, you've come to the right place. As a public service tonight, I will be taking the temperature of all viewers. -- David Letterman
The Pentagon has picked “Operation Inherent Resolve” as the name for its fight against ISIS. Unfortunately, two terrorists got away while they were busy thinking of that name. Who cares what you call it. Just do something! -- Jimmy Fallon
Whole Foods is introducing a new system that will label its produce “good, better, and best” depending on their supplier's farming practices. Good means “no pesticides,” better means “environmentally friendly,” and “Best” means “still not worth five bucks for an apple.” -- Jimmy Fallon
Over the weekend President Obama told Americans not to panic about Ebola. Then when asked about the Democrats' chances in the upcoming midterm elections, Obama said, "Man, that Ebola sure is scary." -- Conan O'Brien
After embracing the gay community last week, the Vatican is now distancing itself from those comments. The Vatican explained, "Hey, that was just one crazy weekend, OK? We've all had them, right? -- Conan O'Brien
A new study has found that men who are vegan have a much lower sperm count compared to those that eat meat. Even worse, the few sperm vegan men do have refuse to go anywhere near an egg. -- Conan O'Brien
Rock 'n' roll legend Tom Petty turned 64 years old today. Tom Petty has gone from "I Won't Back Down" to "I Can't Get Up." He's gone from "Runnin' Down a Dream" to "Scooterin' Up a Ramp." He's gone from "Learnin' to Fly" to "Forgettin' How to Drive." -- Craig Ferguson
Amazon announced they're opening a store in Manhattan. In other words, Amazon doesn't understand the point of Amazon. -- Craig Ferguson
Ebola vs The Flu
With regard to some newsletter editors' hair-on-fire attempts to sell subscriptions, can we at least try to bring a wee bit of perspective to this 'Ebola outbreak'?
"Influenza infects millions upon millions of Americans every single year, and somewhere around 30,000 die from it.
Additionally, Ebola is passed along solely by contact with bodily fluids of the infected, while the flu is transmitted in various ways, including through the air.
Historically, the flu has killed tens of millions more people than have died from Ebola, and the possibility of a virulent strain arising is always present.
"So it seems clear, at least to me, that the real deadly threat to Americans right now is not Ebola but the approaching 'flu season,' which will bring with it the death of 30,000 or more Americans.
Yet the punditry class, the news media, scientifically illiterate GOP politicians and, yes, Agora Financial lose their collective minds over Ebola. Dudes, get a grip."
Why this Ebola virus is unlike anything we've seen before... the danger of pandemic is real
"If West Africa is a can of gas waiting for a match, Africa is a tanker"… why the whole of Africa is brewing a perfect storm for Ebola... "
In 2006, after trying to recover from a savage civil war, Liberia clocked in with a total of about 50 doctors. Yes, in the entire country.
As Martin Robbins wrote on the Vice blog yesterday, "you'd struggle to find a worse place for an outbreak to happen if you tried."
Here's what the world's leaders in medicine had to say…
Dr. Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
He's also the author of the New York Times best-selling book Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe.
And the picture he paints of a future Africa is dark.
All of Africa is brewing a perfect storm for a continent-wide Ebola pandemic…
Let's tick off the reasons…
First, on Monday, Osterholm reported, Liberian health care workers went on strike because of lack of gloves, masks, and goggles.
A mind-blowing 80% of them are expected to work with highly infectious Ebola victims without the proper protection. We're talking about even the bare essentials here: gloves, gowns and bleach.
"If we can get iPhones delivered across the world in a day," he said, "why can't we get equipment to Liberia?" Osterholm asked, chastising the world's response to the crisis.
We live in a country where we can give $384,949 to Yale University so they can study "Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia."
(This happened last year. The researchers looked at… I'm not kidding… the 'plasticity in duck penis length')
Yet they twiddle their thumbs for two weeks about spending a fraction of that to buy bleach and rubber gloves.
Proving that the so-called arbiter of humankind is only as quick to react as its self-interest will allow.
The current Ebola virus' hyper-evolution is unprecedented
There has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months - than most likely occurred in the last 500-1,000 years," Osterholm recently wrote in an Op-Ed for NYT last month.
"Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.
If certain mutations occurred… infections could spread quickly to every part of the globe, as the H1N1 influenza virus did in 2009, after its birth in Mexico."
"The current virus," Osterholm said, "is completely different from any strain we've seen."
And it's spreading at an accelerated rate. Every three to six weeks, the panel told us, the number of infected cases will double.
And it we don't do anything, we're going to have a massive global crisis on our hands.
The number of Wi-Fi-connected devices is set to explode to 50 billion devices by 2020.
That makes the current Internet, with its 6 billion connected devices, puny by comparison
What makes the IoT unstoppable is how it makes mundane business activities far more efficient -- and far less costly.
"Consider the maintenance of GE jet engines," says the article. "When an airline such as United needs a part for a plane already at a gate, it usually barters with another carrier with a nearby plane, causing delays."
But with the IoT, GE computers can monitor the engine at all times... detect when the part is on the verge of failure... and deliver a replacement."
"There is no sector of the economy where there aren't billions of dollars trapped in inefficiencies," Harbor Research analyst Glen Allmendinger tells the paper.
"Look at the way PCs in the 1990s improved office productivity. The impact of IoT will be many times greater."
How to play it? "The explosion of connected things offers opportunities for technology companies across the spectrum," says Barron's...
"Including chipmakers such as Qualcomm and Thin Film Electronics, traditional networking firms such as Cisco Systems...
Software vendors such as PTC and Splunk and cloud-computing service providers such as Amazon and Salesforce.com."
Another Oil War? There's an abundance of oil on the market and gas prices are finally coming down
Teach a parrot the words "supply and demand" and you've got yourself an economist. So runs an old quip widely attributed to the long-deceased Scottish economist Thomas Carlyle.
Supplies increase... prices decrease. And vice versa. Everything else is just talk.
OK, so what does that have to do with the price of eggs? Much, no doubt. But our mind is on oil today...
The American shale oil boom has Saudi Arabia over a barrel, if you'll forgive the expression. The flood of new U.S. oil supplies has suppressed the price of Saudi crude -- practically the kingdom's sole source of national income.
God only knows how much money they've lost in recent years to the American energy renaissance. And they'd love to strangle that baby in its crib.
What to do if you're the Saudis? Simple. You cut oil production. Take some of the goo off the market, let the iron laws of economics do their voodoo and watch prices rise. Problem solved.
So to the surprise of precisely no one, the greedy SOBs finally did it this week... they pledged not to cut oil production.
Yes, that's correct. Not only are the Saudis maintaining current levels of production... they're actually reducing the prices of all their oil exports. "Holy cow!" a theoretical reader shrieks.
"But doesn't that, like... break all the rules you just jabbered about?"
Well, sort of (condescending, professorial tone).
"And wouldn't that sabotage their own economic interests?"
Um, yes, you would think (puzzled, mildly irritated).
"Who does that?"
(Awkward silence. No more questions!)
Even a damn parrot knows the Saudis should be slashing oil production.
What's behind the Saudi whim-wham? And why must every soul with even a dollar in the market know the answer -- pronto?
Another Oil War?
Oil is in headlong retreat. And the Saudis, of all people, are spearheading the exodus from the battlefield. Something doesn't jibe.
Could it be... that the Saudis are conspiring with their American frenemy to lower oil prices? Psst... you didn't hear it from us... but lower prices also hurt Russia and Iran by forcing down the prices of their oil exports.
And what two countries are foremost in Washington's and Riyadh's doghouses? Hey, we're just sayin'...
Or are our Saudi pals merely undercutting us? And how long can the Saudis play this game... before it comes back to bite them in the backside?
Making $100,00 a year "Twerking"
While jobs are being decimated left and right, innovation and creative thinking are creating jobs that are even more lucrative than those from the old world.
Here's an odd example of what we (kind of) mean…
Meet Jessica Vanessa, who has fully embraced the "New Economy."
What does she do? Twerks.
Not familiar? It's all the rage. Walk into any recently post-pubescent dance party and you won't be able to miss it…
If you're Jessica Vanessa, twerking is a lucrative gig.
"What I make in six seconds would take me four months to make as a teaching assistant," Vanessa told Barcroft TV.
The 22-year-old Floridian is making over $100,000 a year - making videos of herself shaking her butt online.
We've spoken a lot about making money from your talents.
Of course, we're not saying you should follow in her footsteps (unless that's where your heart leads you)...
Our point is: There's money to be made on your unique gifts. No matter how bizarre.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4amtmDyOb_I
7 Day Free Trial @ Chemistry.com.
Thought for the day...
You can fight City Hall
You can't fight City Hall. This is propaganda issued by City Hall – government and bureaucrats – to discourage those who would dissent, rebel or resist.
“Nothing can be done to change the situation,” they declare, “so nothing should be attempted.”
A corollary lie is that one person cannot successfully stand up against the system. Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden prove the opposite.
Each contributed a surprise plot twist in the history of totalitarianism being written by officials.
Each also point to the price individuals can pay for speaking truth to power.
They provide valuable lessons on how to dissent, rebel or resist while sustaining the least possible damage to your life.
You can fight City Hall. You can win. And win without suffering devastating (or any) consequences to your life. But there are rules.
They include: secrecy, having trustworthy companions, being discreet rather than arrogant, hiding in plain sight or removing yourself to a 'safe' jurisdiction, and being willing to disappear.
Whether you are a whistleblower or not - one of the most prudent actions to take is to remove yourself from the U.S. government in every way possible.
For Americans that can mean expatriating, living outside the US and especially getting a foreign passport.
If Edward Snowden had a second passport... he would have many more options than he does today.
Are you a fascist?
You might scoff at the question, "Are you a fascist?" But you should give yourself more credit. Mussolini defines "fascist" quite simply:
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
So, after all, maybe you are a fascist. Here, let me explain. There are countless examples of fascism in everyday American life.
For instance... when you send your kids to government school for their state-approved common core "education" ...
Sometimes they will have a list of marginally nutritious foods to choose from, like chicken fingers and french fries and pasteurized milk.
Private companies raise these foods, make these foods, and deliver these foods to your child so that they can sit in hard chairs and stare at blackboards invented in the 11th century...
And learn the U.S. government's version of history, which is often in direct opposition to factual record.
Hate going to the DMV and begging for permission to travel or let the government know that you own a vehicle?
Well thank God for fascism, because AAA, a private company in the USSA, let's you go to the DMV without going to the DMV! As AAA states on their website,
"Fast and Easy DMV Services. Can't make it to the DMV to renew your vehicle registration? Now you can take care of select DMV tasks at an AAA branch near you."
How nice! Now instead of waiting for an entire day at the DMV for tasks you could easily complete online in just a few minutes...
You can walk into a nice air conditioned AAA office and pay your tickets, your annual registration and other stuff.
In this way, private companies work with the government to not only help fatten up the kids at school -
But also take their cut of money that has been extorted (taxed) from the public - all while giving them a good down-home style indoctrination.
Out on the streets, no, it's not just police keeping the streets "safe" from people going five miles over the speed limit, or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.
Companies like Redflex and American Traffic Solutions are there day-in and day-out to serve your ticketing needs.
E-Gov link is a company that helps many small towns earn good, honest income into the millions of dollars every year... by serving people with everything from speeding to parking tickets.
E-Gov link wants to make paying your fines so simple that it even allows towns to accept Bitcoin.
That's, after all, what makes America the greatest country on Earth. Fascism!
You see, it's not so hard accepting that you might be a little bit of a fascist.
Once you accept this you can start embracing your love of fascism when you walk into your bank, watch the news, join the military, fill up your gas tank, smoke some opium...
Now straight from the CIA and the troops securing Afghanistan for more than a decade - or do any of the countless fascistic things Americans do everyday.
Even enjoying your sports is a stomach-turning fascist experience, unless you love fascism, which you might...
Has your city recently received a new sports stadium?
If so, it is more than likely that stadium was funded by money taken from your friends, even if they don't like sports or are hermits.
It's for the greater good!
As you'll notice, most times when you walk into that stadium, you'll be implored to sing to a patriotic flag and stand and cheer.
Or public funded police departments, promoting LGBT events?
Or private mercenary armies to fight right along side the good ol' troops in the eternal War of Terror...
After all, those Middle Eastern, African and old Soviet bloc countries aren't just going to bomb themselves!
And, of course, the height of fascism in the U.S. and the source of all it's power - is the private Federal Reserve banking cartel.
I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said something along the lines of, "Without a communist style private central bank there will never be true freedom and prosperity in America".
Or maybe I heard him wrong?
Some people think Thomas Jefferson had this to say on central banks...
"The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution.
I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin.
If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them...
Will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."
Well, who knows, that happened years ago, who can say.
But as you can see... if it weren't for everyday fascism there would not be the America you know today. If you live in the U.S., and you like it, then you are a fascist.
Stand tall, be proud.
After all, Hitler was also a fascist and he was probably the least evil of all the main powers involved in WWII.
Stalin killed far more in his gulags, after all. Stalin, that bastard commie.
You can now enjoy $17 trillion bailouts, monumental quantitative easing programs that put money in the backpockets of crony-capitalists...
And parasitical regulators who regulate the individual to death guilt-free.
Nowadays when you get stopped at a constitution-free zone checkpoint and get asked to show your papers, please, those protecting the Homeland look like this...
I think it's time that Americans who like their system... come right out and say it proudly, "I'm a fascist and proud of it"!
They should stop hiding behind vagaries and call things what they really are. Neo-cons... call them what they really are. Neo-Nazis.
Sure, you don't have to go back to the old brown-shirts and jackboots look.
After all, that was nearly a hundred years ago. Fashion changes. Technology has advanced.
Be proud, when all is said and done, the history books will remember the United State as having perfected fascism.
The USA, number one, yet again! Don't be ashamed of your fascism, be proud! No one has ever done it better.
This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government & political mischief
Seven examples of the government squandering your money... according to Senator Coburn's 2014 "Wastebook"
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Wednesday released his 2014 Wastebook, an annual list of 100 ways the federal government supposedly frittered away taxpayer dollars.
The 2014 edition will be the fifth and final version of the book...
As Coburn, battling a recurrence of prostate cancer, has made plans to step down after the current session of Congress ends in January.
This year, the senator claims to have identified $25 billion in waste. Some of the costs occurred because the government sometimes struggles to do its job, such as when it fails to prevent tax fraud.
Others relate to pet projects from lawmakers and federal agencies.
“Only someone with too much of someone else’s money - and not enough accountability for how it was being spent - could come up with some of the zany projects the government paid for this year,” Coburn said in the report.
Many Wastebook projects sound ridiculous on the surface but could hold real value for the American people. Others are just plain ridiculous.
Below are seven noteworthy examples of alleged waste that Coburn cited in this year’s edition:
1) Swedish massages for rabbits ($387,000): The National Institutes of Health paid for a two-year study that involved giving rabbits daily post-exercise rub downs from a “mechanical device that simulates the long, flowing strokes used in Swedish massages.”
The goal was to measure the impact on recovery from workouts?
2) A stoner musical (part of $15,000): The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which received $14,000 last year from the National Endowment for the Arts, hosted a marijuana-themed musical titled “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.”
One advertisement encouraged potential patrons to “Smoke up and fill your belly with Manna’s spiced pork, Sesame Seed Teriyaki Chicken, & Filipino Empanadas.”
Even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, pot dealers were not allowed to sell product inside the shows.
3) U.S. Coast Guard party patrols (at least $100,000): The Coast Guard provided free waterway security for private parties on some of the most exclusive real estate in the nation...
“Just as it does for public fireworks displays such as the Macy’s Fourth of July celebration in New York City,” according to an Associated Press report cited in the Wastebook.
Some of the Coast Guard boats used for the events are worth $1,500 an hour, and taxpayers picked up the tab for their use.
4) A “Tower to Nowhere” forced upon NASA ($350 million to date): Lawmakers from Mississippi successfully pushed through an earmark requiring the National Aeronautic and Space Administration to complete work on a 300-foot tower that the agency has no use for.
The structure, located at a space center in Mississippi, is designed to test rocket engines that were part of a George W. Bush-era space program that President Obama canceled in 2010.
NASA doesn’t plan to develop any new rockets that could be tested in the “Tower of Pork” or “Tower to Nowhere,” as the structure is known. It seems Obama forgot to cancel this tower, for some reason?
5) A new bridge demolished for using Canadian steel ($45,000): The Federal Highway Administration helped fund a $144,000 bridge in Morrison, Colo., that had to be demolished because the American-cast steel in the structure was rolled into beams in Canada.
U.S. “Buy American” provisions limit the amount of foreign steel that can be used in federally funded construction projects.
Morrison Mayor Sean Forey, said the value of the Canadian portion of the project - exceeded a $2,500 minimum in the grant contract - by $771.64.
6) Postal Service grocery shipments to remote Alaska ($77 million): The U.S. Postal Service has shipped consumer items to remote villages in Alaska since 1972 at a cost of $2.5 billion since 1972, including $77 million annually in recent years.
The “Alaska Bypass” program, which was detailed in a Washington Post report this summer, amounts to a giant subsidy for retailers who receive the goods...
As they pay the agency about half of what it would cost them to ship the products commercially.
7) Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys ($307,500): Three federal agencies supported a study measuring the swirl created by the collective movements of sea monkeys, a tiny variety of brine shrimp.
The researchers found that the creatures, along with other swimming plankton, could “potentially influence the circulation of water in oceans.”
The National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation contributed $307,524 to the project, but sea-monkey kits can be purchased online for as little as $12.
Obama supplying enemy ISIS with more U.S. weapons... another botched weapons drop
BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group fighters seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces - that were meant to supply Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday.
The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a media group loyal to the Islamic State group.
The video appeared authentic and corresponded to The Associated Press' reporting of the event.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which bases its information on a network of activists on the ground, said the militants had seized at least one cache.
On Tuesday, IS loyalists on social media posted sarcastic thank you notes to the United States, including one image that said "Team USA."
This lost weapons drop now being reported, was just more of Obama's failures and embarrassments - again managing to help the enemy...
The Islamic State militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in a sudden sweep in June.
The old military jargon (SNAFU) describes this perfectly. Sadly we repeat our mistakes rather frequently -
Leaving major weaponry behind in IRAQ was a serious mistake that armed ISIS initially... and fighting like we don't really want to win.