• MILLENNIALS GENERALLY “VIEW AND EMBRACE SOCIALISM MORE POSITIVELY THAN CAPITALISM, their faith undermined in our economic system… Much of the blame goes to ‘crony capitalism’ – which is when government provides special favors to some people or businesses, and picks winners or losers in the marketplace… From tax breaks to no-bid contracts, crony deals wreak havoc on markets and capitalism both ethically and economically, creating an uneven playing field and benefiting the few over the many.” That nearly four in ten Americans believe hard work & determination are not even a reasonable guarantee of success is a sad indicator of the Nation’s direction. [CNBC.COM – Jan 27, 16]
  • OUR BRAINS FUNCTION ON TWO SYSTEMS: DELIBERATE, which “powers constant reasoning and helps manage emotions, forward-thinking & planning,” and AUTOMATIC, which “filters out much of what’s going on around us (to prevent the Deliberate system from being overwhelmed) and affects our perception of reality.” Since the brain first focuses on what we notice – either positive or negative impressions which reinforce our mood at the time – one’s ‘attitude’ when beginning a task, discussion or meeting is critical to shaping next perceptions. So, if feeling negative, a technique to “reset intentions” can be as simple as pausing to ask yourself and clarify: ‘what is my goal or objective of this next endeavor?’ and then just “looking for anything that makes you smile or feel good, which allows the Automatic system to focus on more positive things… Behavioral science contends we can shape our own reality if we understand the shortcuts that our brains take.” [CGMA MAGAZINE – Jan 19, 16]
  • ‘CONSPIRACY’ THEORIES OF ONE FORM OR ANOTHER are entertained by up to 9 out of 10 people, based on numerous surveys. These people are “not inherently delusional… Given a handful of dots, our pattern-seeking brains cannot resist trying to connect them.” Over a third of registered voters say they think global warming is a hoax, and half still believe there was a conspiracy behind JFK’s assassination. But “dismissing all conspiracy theorists as crazy is just as intellectually lazy as credulously accepting every wild allegation… and sometimes the dots really are connected”:  a burglary at the Watergate Hotel did indeed turn out to be a White House plot to illegally spy on political competition; the CIA did really secretly test LSD on American citizens, and purchase guns to support an illegal war with profits from illegal drug dealing. So “the tricky part is figuring out what’s reasonable and what’s ridiculous, by honestly scrutinizing why we believe what we believe, once confirmation bias kicks in… From a perspective of psychology, conspiracy theorists aren’t so strange.”   [LOS ANGELES TIMES – Jan 19,16] 
  • HOWEVER, AS TWO GENERATIONS HAVE YET TO WITNESS OUR COUNTRY “SEEMING TO BE ON THE RIGHT TRACK…America feels like it’s unraveling… Popular trust in virtually every institution – from businesses & governments to churches & media – keeps falling to new lows. Public debts soar, the middle class shrinks, welfare dependencies deepen, and cultural arguments worsen by the year… Middle-agers and Seniors look at their thin savings accounts and slim-to-none pensions, scoff at an illusory Social Security Trust Fund, and try not to dwell on what a burden their old age could become… Wherever we’re headed, America is evolving in ways most of us don’t like or understand. Individually focused yet collectively adrift, we wonder if we’re headed for a waterfall.” [THE FOURTH TURNING – Strauss & Howe, published 1997]
  • WANT TO KNOW WHICH CANDIDATE’S (PURPORTED) VIEWS ARE CLOSEST TO YOUR OWN? Try this short quiz which is very well done.   http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz?from=VDZtMDkVR    On its Webpage, the Democratic National Committee lists 18 different affinity groups you can affiliate with – according to race, ethnicity, disability, gender, and gender choice. The Webpage of the Republican National Committee lists 7. Libertarians list none.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Islamic politics “advocates the world’s greatest double standard: if you come to our country, we won’t let you worship the way you want, we won’t let you say what you want to say… However, we have come to your country, therefore we have the right to do whatever we want to do, including kill you if you make us mad.” – Former US President Bill Clinton

  The shameful Benghazi political call and cover-up just keeps growing worse:  http://fullmeasure.news/news/politics/rescue-interrupted