Succeed or Prosper

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Nobody wants to see you succeed or prosper as much as you do. Don’t rely on anyone other than yourself.

Found on twitter, Button@3utton

Economists Endorse Bernie Sanders

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Bernia endorsments                                                                                               If you’re wondering who has the best plan to protect the economy of the country, 170 of the world’s top economists say the answer to that question is Bernie Sanders.

In a letter endorsing Sanders, their reasons were clearly outlined:

In our view, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan for comprehensive financial reform is critical for avoiding another “too-big-to-fail” financial crisis. The Senator is correct that the biggest banks must be broken up and that a new 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking, must be enacted.
Wall Street’s largest banks are now far bigger than they were before the crisis, and they still have every incentive to take excessive risks. No major Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash, and fines imposed on the banks have been only a fraction of the banks’ potential gains. In addition, the banks and their lobbyists have succeeded in watering down the Dodd-Frank reform legislation, and the financial institutions that pose the greatest risk to our economy have still not devised sufficient “living wills” for winding down their operations in the event of another crisis.
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s more modest proposals do not go far enough. They call for a bit more oversight and a few new charges on shadow banking activity, but they leave intact the titanic financial conglomerates that practice most shadow banking. As a result, her plan does not adequately reduce the serious risks our financial system poses to the American economy and to individual Americans. Given the size and political power of Wall Street, her proposals would only invite more dilution and finagle.
The only way to contain Wall Street’s excesses is with reforms sufficiently bold and public they can’t be watered down. That’s why we support Senator Sanders’ plans for busting up the biggest banks and resurrecting a modernized version of Glass Steagall.”

The anger over the 2008 collapse is still a major issue with people on both sides of the political fence. The fact that the American people bailed out the banks that caused millions to lose their homes, their life savings and their jobs has not been forgotten. The anger that those banks have grown larger and have the potential to do even worse harm to the economy and, therefore, the lives of average Americans, is a place where Tea Party Republicans, Occupy protesters and the average American converge. The message Sanders delivers speaks to the desire to see the perpetrators punished and the excesses of Wall Street reined in with reforms that have been proven to work in the past. Despite protestations from those who are against reinstating a 21st century version of the law and are putting forth the argument that it would not have prevented the financial meltdown, Glass Steagall performed brilliantly for 60 years before being watered down by the Reagan administration and being abolished by the Clinton administration.

Below are the individuals who signed the letter:

Signers (Institutional listing for identification purposes only):

1. Robert Reich, University of California Berkeley
2. Robert Hockett, Cornell University
3. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas
4. Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research
5. Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
6. Jeff Connaughton, Former Chief of Staff, Senator Ted Kaufman
7. William Darity Jr., Duke University
8. Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research
9. Brad Miller, Former U.S. Congressman and Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
10. William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City
11. Lawrence Rufrano, Research, Federal Reserve Board, 2005-2015
12. Darrick Hamilton, New School for Social Research
13. Peter Eaton, University of Missouri-Kansas City
14. Eric Hake, Catawba College
15. Geoff Schneider, Bucknell University
16. Dell Champlin, Oregon State University
17. Antoine Godin, Kingston University, London, UK
18. John P. Watkins, Westminster College
19. Mayo C. Toruño, California State University, San Bernardino
20. Charles K. Wilber, Fellow, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
21. Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University
22. Flavia Dantas, Cortland State University
23. Mitchell Green, Binzgar Institute
24. Bruce Collier, Education Management Information Systems
25. Winston H. Griffith, Bucknell University
26. Zdravka Todorova, Wright State University
27. David Barkin, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco
28. Rick Wicks, Göteborg, Sverige (Sweden) & Anchorage, Alaska
29. Philip Arestis, University of Cambridge
30. Amitava Krishna Dutt, University of Notre Dame
31. John F. Henry, Levy Economics Institute
32. James G. Devine, Loyola Marymount University
33. John Davis, Marquette University
34. Gary Mongiovi, St. John’s University
35. Eric Tymoigne, Lewis & Clark College
36. Trevor Roycroft, Ohio University
37. James Sturgeon, University of Missouri-Kansas City
38. Spencer J. Pack, Connecticut College
39. Thomas Kemp, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
40. Ronnie Phillips, Colorado State University
41. John Dennis Chasse, SUNY at Brockport
42. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Bard College
43. Silvio Guaita, Institution, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
44. Glen Atkinson, University of Nevada, Reno
45. William Van Lear, Belmont Abbey College
46. James M. Cypher, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas
47. Philip Pilkington, Political Economy Research Group, Kingston University
48. Eric Hoyt, PhD candidate, UMass-Amherst
49. Jon D. Wisman, American University
50. James K. Boyce, University of Massachusetts Amherst
51. Hendrik Van den Berg, Professor Emeritus, Universities of Nebraska
52. Thomas E. Lambert, Northern Kentucky University
53. Michael Nuwer, SUNY Potsdam
54. Nikka Lemons, The University of Texas-Arlington
55. Scott T. Fullwiler, Wartburg College
56. Charles M A. Clark, St. John’s University
57. John T. Harvey, Texas Christian University
58. Daphne Greenwood, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
59. Gerald Epstein, University of Massachusetts Amherst
60. Mohammad Moeini-Feizabadi, PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts
61. Rebecca Todd Peters, Elon University
62. Andres F. Cantillo, University of Missouri-Kansas City
63. Michael Meeropol, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Western New England University
64. Robert H. Scott III, Monmouth University
65. Timothy A Wunder, Department of Economics University of Texas- Arlington
66. Mariano Torras, Adelphi University
67. Gennaro Zezza, Levy Economics Institute
68. Wolfram Elsner, University of Bremen
69. Larry Allen, Lamar University
70. John Miller, Wheaton College
71. Chris Tilly, UCLA
72. Sean Flaherty, Franklin and Marshall College
73. Clifford Poirot, Shawnee State University
74. Anita Dancs, Western New England University
75. Calvin Mudzingiri, University of the Free State
76. Roger Even Bove, West Chester University
77. Andrea Armeni, Transform Finance
78. Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research
79. Steven Pressman, Colorado State University
80. Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland, Carey School of Law
81. John Weeks, SOAS, University of London
82. Matías Vernengo, Bucknell University
83. Thomas Masterson, Levy Economics Institute
84. Antonio Callari, Franklin and Marshall College
85. Avraham Baranes, Rollins College

86. Janet Spitz, the College of Saint Rose
87. Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst
88. Jennifer Taub, Vermont Law School
89. Irene van Staveren, Erasmus University
90. Yavuz Yaşar, University of Denver
91. Scott McConnell, Eastern Oregon University
92. Don Goldstein, Allegheny College
93. J. Pérez Oya, Retired UN secretariat (Spain)
94. Elaine McCrate, University of Vermont
95. Thomas E. Weisskopf, University of Michigan
96. Jeffrey Zink, Morningside College
97. Scott Jeffrey, Monmouth University
98. Lourdes Benería, Cornell University
99. Frank Thompson, University of Michigan
100. Baban Hasnat, The College at Brockport, State University of New York
101. Ilene Grabel, University of Denver
102. Tara Natarajan, Saint Michael’s College
103. Leanne Ussher, Queens College, City University of New York
104. Kathleen McAfee, San Francisco State University
105. Victoria Chick, University College London
106. Steve Keen, Kingston University
107. Heidi Mandanis Schooner, The Catholic University of America
108. Louis-Philippe Rochon, Laurentian University
109. Jamee K. Moudud, Professor of Economics, Sarah Lawrence College
110. Timothy A. Canova, Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University
111. Karol Gil Vasquez, Nichols College
112. Mark Haggerty, University of Maine
113. Luis Brunstein University of California, Riverside
114. Cathleen Whiting, Willamette University
115. William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
116. Kade Finnoff, University of Massachuettes-Boston
117. Maarten de Kadt, Independent Economist
118. Timothy Koechlin, Vassar College
119. Ceren Soylu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
120. Dorene Isenberg, University of Redlands
121. Barbara Hopkins, Wright State University
122. Matthew Rice, University of Missouri-Kansas City
123. David Gold, The New School for Social Research
124. Cyrus Bina, University of Minnesota
125. Mark Paul, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
126. Xuan Pham, Rockhurst University
127. Erik Dean, Portland Community College
128. Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., George Washington University Law School
129. Rohan Grey, President, Modern Money Network
130. Tamar Diana Wilson, University of Missouri—St. Louis
131. Radhika Balakrishanan, Rutgers University
132. Alla Semenova, SUNY Potsdam
133. Yeva Nersisyan, Franklin and Marshall College
134. Linwood Tauheed, University of Missouri-Kansas City
135. Michael Perelman, California State University, Chico
136. Janet T. Knoedler, Bucknell University
137. David Laibman, Brooklyn College and Graduate School, City University of New York
138. Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics, London
139. Steve Schifferes, City University London
140. Al Campbell, University of Utah
141. Faith Stevelman, New York Law School
142. Kathleen C. Engel, Suffolk University Law School
143. Jack Wendland, University of Missouri-Kansas City
144. Ruxandra Pavelchievici, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
145. Zoe Sherman, Merrimack College
146. Donald St. Clair, CFP, Financial Planning Assoc. of Northern California
147. Carolyn McClanahan, CFP, Life Planning Partners, Inc.
148. Thomas Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
149. Saule T. Omarova, Cornell University
150. Josh Ryan-Collins, City University, London
151. June Zaccone, Hofstra University
152. Alex Binder, Franklin & Marshall College
153. Albena Azmanova, University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies
154. Hans G. Ehrbar, University of Utah
155. Devin T. Rafferty, St. Peter’s University
156. Reynold F. Nesiba, Augustana University
157. David Zalewski, Providence College
158. Claudia Chaufan, University of California-San Francisco
159. L. Randall Wray, Levy Economics Institute and Bard College
160. Richard B. Wagner, JD, CFP, WorthLiving LLC
161. Joseph Persky, University of Illinois-Chicago
162. Julie Matthaei, Wellesley College
163. Peter Spiegler, University of Massachuetts-Amherst
164. James Ronald Stanfield, Colorado State University
165. William D. Pitney, CFP, Director of Advocacy, FPA of Silicon Valley
166. Ora R. Citron, CFP, Oak Tree Wealth Management
167. Susan Webber, Former Associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
168. Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work and New School for Social Research
169. Mu-JeongKho, University College London
170. Kevin Furey, Chemeketa Community College                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things.
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web

View her work AnnWerner.info 

Educate the Mind and the Heart

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-Aristotle

Educating the mind without the heart is no education at all.

Being Tolerant

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wordsnquotes, By Viktor Frankl (via-psychology)

 

Being tolerant does not mean that I share another’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another’s right to believe, and obey his own conscience.

Health Molecular Biologist Explains How THC Completely Kills Cancer Cells

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weed plants                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, clearly explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant) completely kills cancer cells.

Not long ago, we published an article examining a case study recently published where doctors used cannabis to treat Leukemia, you can read more about that here. To read more articles and view studies about how cannabis is an effective treatment and cure for cancer, click here.

Cannabinoids refer to any group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. I think it’s also important to note that cannabis has been shown to treat cancer without any psychoactive effects.

Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. Although not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis. Contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis does not assist a great deal in treating disease within the body as therapeutic levels cannot be reached through smoking. Creating oil from the plant or eating the plant is the best way to go about getting the necessary ingredients, the cannabinoids.

The world has come a long way with regards to accepting this plant as a medicine rather than a harmful substance. It’s a plant that could benefit the planet in more ways than one. Cannabis is not something offered in the same regard as chemotherapy, but more people are becoming aware if it, which is why it’s so important to continue to spread information like this. Nobody can really deny the tremendous healing power of this plant.

To watch Dr. Cristina Sanchez’s Video, please click here

Credits: Collective Evolution

 

Live Your Life, Love Your life, a Daughter’s Journey

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0306152045

Written By Mark Kevin Smith

I was talking to my oldest daughter tonight and realized that she is at the age, that she is just beginning to live the best years of her life. This epiphany is only realized by memories of my own youth, and I must state, that I’m extremely happy at my age now, and would not go back for anything, but there is no denying it, that those certain years which are different for all of us, were just something special.
My daughter is 23, and is a fiercely independent, free, wild spirit, as I was at her age, only being a male made it a bit different. I told her, that at her age, she has about 15 of her best years ahead of her, give or take a few. I told her to enjoy every second of those years and stay safe. As I talked to her I had a freight train of emotions come rushing through my head all at once, remembering those years that she now will be experiencing. About those that will come in and out of her life, and the ones that will affect her forever, the loves, losses, joy, fulfillment, terror, heartache and unbelievable self worth, at not having to rely on anyone for anything, for what feels like the rest of your life.
I am very proud of my daughter, she makes a very good living, she will not judge others, and she will not accept being judged by others. She is everyone’s best friend or worst nightmare depending on how she is treated. She is walking, no running down the same path that I did when I was her age, it’s maybe not the best path, but I personally wouldn’t change a thing, it made me who I am today. Her best friend is fun, and living in the moment, although she has learned a certain amount of responsibility that is part of, coming of age.
My daughter will have my complete support as she goes through life, and a little advice when needed. Although if you know anyone that’s in their 20’s and already doesn’t know everything I would be surprised. I sure thought I did. Oh well, that’s another story, or are they the same it’s hard to tell at times. I love my daughter very deeply, and I must let her live her own journey through life, hell, that’s what makes it so scary and exciting at the sametime. If she falls I will pick her up, dust her off and send her back out there, after all I’m her father that’s what I’m supposed to do. Really all I can do is say prayers for her safety and well being. Her life is now entirely hers to live, and I shall continue to encourage her to live it to the fullest every single day, without regrets.



 

When Is A Man A Man

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Written by Mark Kevin Smith
When is a man a man. Is it when he works 60 or 70 hours a week. Is it when he has had sex with 40 or 50 women and believes he is a god in bed. Is it the car he drives. Is it the amount of weight he can lift. Is it because he can manipulate, intimidate, hurt people or be a tough guy. Is it because of the friends he uses and believes he gets away with it. Is it the amount of physical pain he can endure. Is it when he uses drugs and alcohol to feel superior. Is it when he abuses his mate and others. Is it the amount of wealth he can accumulate, and a big house to live in.
Or is a man a man, someone that can admit his faults and put other people’s feelings above his own. Is he a man if he only wants what’s best for his loved ones, or is hopelessly in love with one women, and all he wants is for her to be happy for the rest of her life. Is he less of a man for his failures and disappointments in life. Is he still a man if he has deep feelings and is not afraid to show them. Or is a man simply someone that has love, compassion, understanding and has done absolutely the best he can to live his life with dignity and honor.

Violence, Aggression and Video Games Part 2

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Video games that are considered first person shooters are a popular video game genre. I’ve played video games in many forms for the majority of my life; much of my recent playing is based on first person games. Due to controversial events like public / school shootings the topic of violence and video games continues to influence debate and psychological research.

Read Part 1 of our series.

Although my history of video game usage is anecdotal recent research has concluded that video games like first person shooters may have the potential to ,”increase skill, including potential lethal weapon use”. Participants who played a videogame with a pistol shaped controller were 33% more likely to shoot a mannequin with a real gun and 99% more likely to shoot the mannequin in the head (Gamboa, 2012). It seems behaviorism may come into play here as it could be stated the visual reinforcements that accompany lethal shots in game may condition similar behaviors in real life shooting scenarios. How many of you play video games where the sole objective is to fire or propel something into an object or person? Could games like Angry Birds really help in understanding physics? Could sports games on the Wii or Xbox Kinect increase skill in the actual sport?

A second article argues that first person shooter games are being used as training and recruitment. Some argue that first person shooters and flight simulators as training may be used as a type of manipulation or desensitization in preparation for killing another individual. The continued reward of the simulation may make the decision to enlist easier as well as influence behavior and decision making during a lethal event like war.

According to Richard Williams, Technical Director of the US Army’s Systems Integration Modeling and Simulation, “The game mechanics of First Person Shooters are now being implemented to create highly specific tutorials that allow recruits to better understand what they were doing, and who they were fighting” (Voakes, 2012). Recent research by Gackenbach, J., Ellerman, E., & Hall, C. (2011) surveyed 335 military personnel, both active and inactive, the research concluded that after filling out an Emotional Reactivity and Numbing Scale as well as Trauma Inventory it was shown that those who reported a high degree of video game play showed, “less threat and war content in their military dreams than the low-end group” (Gackenbach, 2011).

Both of these news articles could be considered a media psychology issue as they both are concerned with videos games and the potential influence on real world decision making, behavior, emotion and skill. I feel that these simulations may influence decision making and skills as the recruits are given visual rewards and points during the simulations for completing tasks. I think the second article is more directly a media psychology issue, it raises the question of how video games like first person shooters may be desensitizing or manipulating perceptions concerning killing another individual, or completing military tasks. The focus is not video game realism or content itself, and also not solely covering desensitization in the military. These articles are concerned with how the media may be influencing real life behaviors, perceptions, decision making and skill.

By Jim Crenshaw Dec. 12 2015

References

Gackenbach, J., Ellerman, E., & Hall, C. (2011). Video game play as nightmare protection: A preliminary inquiry with military gamers. Dreaming, 21(4), 221-245. doi:10.1037/a0024972
Gamboa, C. (2012, May 21). Violent video games turning gamers into deadly shooters. Retrieved from potential of video games to teach or increase skills, including potentially lethal weapon use.”
Voakes, G. (2012, June 30). How do video games and modern military influence each other?. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregvoakes/2012/05/30/how-do-video-games-and-modern-military-influence-each-other/

Violence, Aggression and Video Games Part 1

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As a lifelong “gamer” I know that my opinion about media violence influencing societal violence is somewhat biased. Although this may be true I find it very interesting that the majority of the peer-reviewed articles concerning the influence of media violence are correlational in nature. I’ve heard too many times in my educational career that a correlation does not imply causation, I think as critical thinkers we need to realize that there may be a bias behind the research concerning media violence. I am completely against the assertion that media violence causes violent behavior, much of the research I did find failed to report a conclusive operational definition of violence.

Read Part 2 of our research series.

I had a very hard time finding any articles that have been able to show that after manipulating independent and dependent variables media violence was a statistically significant factor in influencing violent behavior. According to Harris (2010) hundreds of studies have shown some negative psychological effects of media violence, much of these studies were tested in a laboratory and were short term studies. I feel this fact does not allow us to assert that media violence can influence real-world violent behavior, besides the measurements for these conclusions are based on attitudinal reports.

Studies from 1977 and 1984 are in no way related to changes in media we see today. The recent research in this chapter also points to research in 2003 but again it is correlational in nature, furthermore they obtained data on the violent TV they watched. Are we to assume that their definition of violence fully explains violent behavior in itself? Is tapping my pencil or typing on my keyboard too hard considered violence, I feel that virtually any behavior can be labeled violent. Even in my response to this discussion, my feelings about this topic could in some way be construed as violent. I have a very hard time thinking that we are all passive zombies to media, not every individual will be influenced by media or violent media in the same.

Although Harris (2009) states that violent media does have several negative behavioral and attitudinal effects, especially with modeling and desensitization he also states that the effects, “are not uniform and frequently are moderated by others variables” (Harris, 2009). Harris goes on to explain that, “no one but the most strident media bashers seriously argue that violence in media are to blame for all societal violence”. As a scholar practitioner I am more inclined to believe in peer-reviewed research and not rely on “media bashers” for conclusive evidence that media violence causes violent behavior. Research by Ferguson (2010) concluded that there was no link between violent video games and aggressive behavior, the results actually suggested that violent video games reduced depression and hostile feelings through mood management.

Recent research has argued that many of the negative effects of violent are exaggerated by the scientific community (Ferguson, 2010). I feel that we should not assume many of the claims concerning the effects violent media as being statistically significant, reliable or valid. Additional research by Ferguson (2010) has found that many studies are based on unpublished studies; this simple fact shows us that we should not assume every study about violent media is reliable or valid. I think it’s important to note that increases in the use of violent video games have actually been correlated with dramatic decreases in youth violence (r=-.95, an almost perfect correlation), I’m again aware that correlation does not imply causality but this relationship is far stronger than the reported r=.15 estimate of Anderson (2004) who reported that violent video games imply outward violent behavior. The meta-analysis by Anderson (2004) found only weak effects and much of their research overestimated and over interpreted the influence of violent video games on aggression.

Recent research by Ivory (2007) concluded that although violent video games,” increased players’ sense of presence, feelings of involvement, and arousal” they did not significantly affect aggressive thoughts or feelings. Additionally, longitudinal research by Williams (2005) examined changes in aggressive cognitions and behavior in individuals who played violent video games. The results of the study did not support the assertion that a violent game usage causes increases in real-world aggression. Lastly, research by Wei (2007) suggests that the link between aggression and exposure to violent video games was non-significant, concluding that that playing violent video games better explains attitudinal outcomes as opposed to overt violent behavior. I hope this has made you think critically about how media violence “causes” violent behavior.
By Jim Crenshaw

References

Anderson, C. (2004). An update on the effects of playing violent video
games. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 113–122.
Ferguson, C. J., & Rueda, S. M. (2010). The Hitman study: Violent video game exposure effects on
aggressive behavior, hostile feelings, and depression. European Psychologist, 15(2), 99-108.
doi:10.1027/1016-9040/a000010
Ferguson, C. J., & Kilburn, J. (2010). Much ado about nothing: The misestimation and overinterpretation
of violent video game effects in Eastern and Western nations: Comment on Anderson et al.
(2010). Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 174-178. doi:10.1037/a0018566
Ferguson, C. J. (2010). Blazing angels or resident evil? Can violent video games be a force for
good?. Review Of General Psychology,14(2), 68-81. doi:10.1037/a0018941
Harris, R.J. (2009). A cognitive psychology of mass communication (5th ed.). New York: Routledge.
Ivory, J. D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2007). The effects of technological advancement and violent content in
video games on players’ feelings of presence, involvement, physiological arousal, and
aggression. Journal Of Communication, 57(3), 532-555. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00356.x
Wei, R. (2007). Effects of playing violent videogames on Chinese adolescents’ pro-violence attitudes,
attitudes toward others, and aggressive behavior. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(3), 371-380.
doi:10.1089/cpb.2006.9942
Williams, D., & Skoric, M. (2005). Internet Fantasy Violence: A Test of Aggression in an Online
Game. Communication Monographs,72(2), 217-233. doi:10.1080/03637750500111781

Too Much Negativity

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All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry-all forms of fear-are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

By eekhart rolle

Eight to Eighteen

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Written By Mark Kevin Smith

The first time Ryan heard the word Vietnam, he was watching the nightly news, just as his mother was preparing dinner. He had never heard of that country before and asked his mother to look it up on the family globe. Vietnam is such a tiny country, he could not help to wonder why we were there. It was explained to him that the communist north were trying to impose there way of life on the south. America was fighting to keep the south free. All pretty confusing for an eight year old, but Ryan was old enough to know that it was wrong to force people to live a way they don’t want too.
After that, Ryan watched the news almost every night before dinner. He learned about the battle of la Drang Valley and the terms, central highlands, demilitarized zone, free fire zone and many others. Ryan, new the war wouldn’t last long, it is such a small country and we have never lost a war.
Walter Cronkite became kind of a friend to young Ryan, delivering the war news nightly, night after night, then year after year. As the war continued he was not disheartened, there was never any doubt as to the outcome of the war. He would give his mother updates on the war every week as to keep her informed. The president always gave positive reports about the war, so I knew that it would end soon, even though it had been years since Ryan first heard the word Vietnam. Ryan was now ten years old, he heard of the battle of Dak To, operation ark light and many more that year. Our president kept sending more and more troops. Ryan thought that with that many troops that we would have to win soon.
As Ryan graduated elementary school and moved to what then was called Jr. High, he was nervous moving to a new school and meeting new people, Ryan was starting to have a social life, distracting him from the war and other problems in his life. But the war hit hard again, on January 31, 1968 after he thought we had about won the war, the TET Offensive began.
So instead of thinking about a girl he would like to ask out, all his attention went back to Walter Cronkite and the vietnam war. This was the first time Ryan started to have doubts. He started thinking is it possible for this to last long enough that I might have to go. That made him a little scared. Ryan continued to go to school and socialize, while the war was never far from his thoughts.
Ryan is now fourteen and all set to go to his first day of high school, scared, nervous and with all the protests, the Kent State University killings still on his mind. Ryan had no idea what to expect. The first day went incident free. One of the advantages of living in a small town, there was very little political unrest there. Ryan liked to listen to music, and a lot of it was anti war. Even then Ryan still thought what we were doing in vietnam had to be done. By now he new everything there was to know about communism and he decided he would fight to stop it if needed.
Ryan found a passion that helped him think about something besides war, protests and the nightly death toll of US and NVA troops for that week, broadcast every night. Ryan found that he loved to race motorcycles. Every sunday he would leave with friends to go to the local race track. He continued this for fourteen years.
After the horrible Cronkite report on February 27, 1968 when he said the war was unwinnable Ryan never believed him. But in January 1973 the Paris Peace Accord was signed. They said peace with honor. Ryan wanted the war to end, but with a victory. Even with the accord signed, fighting continued and at that point in Ryan’s life all he wanted to do was graduate high school and go fight communism. Ryan graduated high school in 1975 at age eighteen. One month before he was to sign up for the draft, it was abolished.
It has taken decades of guilt, of not having his chance to prove himself a man worthy of being an American, to fight his war.
Now another generation of kids have grown up with a long protracted war, Iraq and Afghanistan. You Have Nothing to Prove.

The End

A Little More Politics, The Trump Tax Plan

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The Trump Tax Plan
Donald Trump’s tax plan would add trillions to the debt
csmonitor Latest News
Donald Trump’s tax plan is set to add trillions to the national debt. Those in the presidential candidate’s elite income class would receive an income boost of nearly 20 percent.
By Howard Gleckman, TaxVox DECEMBER 24, 2015
Donald Trump’s tax plan would add $9.5 trillion to the national debt from 2016 to 2026 and another $15 trillion in the following decade (before added interest), according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center. Nearly all households would get a tax cut under the plan, averaging about $5,100 in 2017. However, the benefits would be overwhelmingly skewed to the highest-income taxpayers, with those in the top 0.1 percent (who make $3.7 million or more) getting an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million.
Trump has said he’d pay higher taxes under this plan. Because the GOP presidential hopeful has not released his income tax returns, we don’t know how the proposal would affect him personally. However, it would boost after-tax incomes for those in his income class by nearly 20 percent.
By contrast, the lowest-income households would receive a tax cut of about $130, about one percent of their after-tax income, and middle income households would get an average tax cut of $2,700, or about five percent of their after-tax income. Overall, one-third of the benefits of Trump’s tax cuts would go to those in the top 1 percent (who make $737,000 or more), according to TPC.
When he introduced his plan, Trump promised it would raise the same amount of money as the current tax code. He’s also said he would “insist” on a balanced budget. However, TPC found that Trump’s plan would raise the federal deficit and national debt by amounts that far exceed any tax cut in history.
In 2017, it would add $545 billion to the deficit and more than double the projected annual budget shortfall. Over the next decade, his tax plan would add more than $9.5 trillion to the national debt, excluding added interest costs. In 2025 alone, it would increase the annual deficit by $1.1 trillion. To prevent his plan from adding to the deficit that year, Congress would need to cut all projected non-interest spending by one-fifth.
To meet this goal by cutting only discretionary programs, Congress would have to eliminate 80 percent of all defense and non-entitlement domestic spending. Alternatively, it could offset a tax cut of this magnitude by cutting Medicare and Social Security by 40 percent.
TPC’s analysis assumes that people and firms change behavior in response to tax changes, but does not attempt to calculate macroeconomic effects (dynamic scoring). Trump claims his tax cuts would lead to a substantial increase in the economy, and thus pay for themselves.
His plan includes provisions aimed at reducing the cost of capital and increasing after-tax returns to savers. These measures could boost the overall economy by increasing savings and investment. However, unless Trump’s enormous tax cuts are somehow offset with very large spending reductions, they’d substantially increase the national debt and drive up interest rates, thus neutralizing their economic benefits. So far, Trump has not described what spending he’d cut to pay for his tax plan.
Trump would collapse the current seven individual tax rates (with a top rate of 39.6 percent) to three brackets, 25-20-10. He’d repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax. He’d maintain the current personal exemption, but nearly quadruple the standard deduction from today’s $12,600 to $50,000 for married couples and from $6,300 to $25,000 for singles. Investors would pay a 20 percent rate on capital gains, in contrast to today’s top rate of 23.8 percent (including the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent surtax).
Trump also said he’d cap the value of itemized deductions, though he did not say how.
Trump would cut the tax rate on business income to 15 percent. Importantly, this rate would apply to all businesses, including both C corporations and pass-through firms such as partnerships, sole proprietorships, and S corporations.
He’d repeal the corporate AMT and eliminate most business tax preferences. U.S.-based multinational corporations would be taxed on foreign profits in the year they are earned, and lose the ability to defer tax on that income. Firms would be subject to a 10 percent tax (payable over 10 years) on existing unrepatriated foreign earnings.
Trump’s plan would result in major changes in the way people and firms file returns. For example, TPC estimates that nearly 90 percent of those who currently itemize would take the new standard deduction. At the same time, without strict rules to stop them, many high-income individuals would likely restructure their compensation from wages (which Trump would tax at a top rate of 25 percent) to business income (which he’d tax at 15 percent).
While Trump would eliminate the ability of hedge fund operators to categorize their income as “carried interest,” these investment managers would likely pay less tax on their compensation than they do today, since they’d be able to pay at a 15 percent rate, rather than the current 23.8 percent capital gains rate.
Trump did not specify many details of his plan. TPC asked his staff to clarify key specifics, but received no response. As a result, TPC made its own assumptions about important details. In most cases, TPC’s assumptions limited the revenue loss of his plan.
Even without knowing those precise details, the basic story is clear: Trump’s plan promises massive tax cuts that are heavily skewed to the highest-income households. And it would blow a hole of historic proportions in the national debt.
This article first appeared at TaxVox.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers’ own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs  To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger’s own site by clicking on taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org

Sobering Quote From Abraham Lincoln

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Here is a Sobering quote From Abraham Lincoln. Same today as it was then.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and cause me to tremble for safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed.

U. S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, (a letter to Col. William F. Elkins.)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia: The Spoken and Written Words of A. Lincoln Arranged for Ready Reference, Archer H. Shaw (NY,NY: Macmillan, 1950)

Just A Little Politics

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I am not voting for Bernie Sanders because I’m young and naive. I am voting for Bernie Sanders because the world that was left to us is one of rampant corporate corruption and greed. The only country my generation has ever known is a country where more attention is paid to the “planned parenthood exposed” video series, than is paid to the millions of jobs, our jobs, that have been shipped overseas.

I am not voting for Bernie Sanders because, as so many of you like to say, “I just want to be a rebel.” If you believe Bernie Sanders policies are “rebellious, outlandish, foolhardy, or impossible,” then I advise you to research the policies of several leading European countries.

I am not voting for Bernie Sanders because I hate capitalism. I am voting for Bernie Sanders because I believe that capitalism, like any other economic system, must be regulated in a reasonable manner in order to prevent the kind of catastrophe we saw in 2008.

I am not voting for Bernie Sanders because I want “free stuff.” I am voting for Bernie Sanders because I worked hard and put myself through college, all while maintaining a full time job, and believe that I deserve more for my effort than a collections notice for my student loan debt. My story is not the exception, it is a reality for millions of recent college graduates.

I am not voting for Bernie Sanders because I am envious of the upper class, nor because I believe that they should be punished for their success. I am voting for Bernie Sanders because I believe that my parents, two of the hardest working people I know, have the right to retire at a reasonable age. I believe that after a lifetime of hard work, work that began as a child when he earned extra money for his family by laboring in the fields as a picker, my father has earned a retirement free from constant financial worry. I believe that after dedicating her life to the betterment of her children, my mother deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing her prescriptions will not one day be unaffordable.

While referring to his opponents, former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “They say that those on relief are not merely jobless—that they are worthless. Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief—to purge the rolls by starvation. You and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side.”

We are voting for Bernie Sanders because he stands on the same side of the street that we stand on. Our side of the street is not paved with gold. It was not paid for by a Wall Street executive or a pharmaceutical lobbyist. Our side of the street was built by the people. It was laid brick by brick and through the sweat and hard work of people like my mother and father. The time has come for all of Washington to respect and remember those who built this great country, and that is why I am voting for Bernie Sanders.
Written By Brett Howell