The internet has taken it on the chin over the past few months.
The alt-right. Pizza gate. Tomi Lahren’s continued popularity.
But sometimes, some profound thoughts can come from this primordial stew too often fouled by propaganda and porn.
This is one of those times.
An imgur post from last year is starting to make the rounds because of its profound yet simple message regarding the importance of tolerance in our society.
The post came on Christmas Eve of 2015 by a user named dodo156.
The headline is simple, “A nativity scene without Jews, Arabs, Africans or refugees.”
Here’s the photo that ran with that headline:
Makes you think a little doesn’t it?
In this age of hate and division, perhaps we could all stand to be a bit more tolerant of our fellow-man.
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Here Are 7 Tips Your Dog Is Trying To Teach You About Living BetterBy Contributor
By Douglas Green
How would you like you like to spend 2016 as contented and centered as your dog?
As a psychotherapist, I spend a lot of time dealing with people and our big-brained problems. On most issues, like how to create a telephone that uses 3D touch to show birds catapulting into pigs, we are just brilliant. But we leave a lot to be desired in such areas as how to deal with each other, and how to live…those “human” quandaries!
So a few years back, I started watching my dog, Shirelle, to see how she avoids these problems. And I’ve tried to pass on what I’ve learned.
Now, many people have this idea, that you should only improve your lives once a year, when the calendar changes. A dog would say that’s crazy. If Shirelle found an imperfection in her squirrel-chasing technique in March, she wouldn’t wait ten months to adjust it – but oh well, that’s what makes us human.
Below, I’ve shared some key life lessons for us sapiens as we embark on 2016. Not to improve you so much, as to just make you happier – which, of course, is what dogs crave to their cores.
1. A few more times a day, forget that you have a past and a future.
Wise people will tell you to “live in the moment.” Pooches do that all the time; that’s why no dog ever needed a yoga class. But let’s face it – our jumbo-tron brains are too powerful not to constantly refocus on tomorrow, next summer, and yesterday.
However, we can pause that time-traveling, for moments. Try checking in right now. Treat this second as the only point that exists. What do you have, what do you need (right now, not for dinner or your retirement), what feels good, what hurts? And once you’re done, go back to your regular mind.
Try this a few times a day. If you already do it, add a few more and just see how it resets you.
2. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, more.
Even the least selfish person often has trouble relating to others. How many of us sing about brotherhood, but the second we click onto our beloved social media, rant that anyone who disagrees with us about a tax rate is uglier than a naked mole rat?
When you’re positive someone else’s point of view is evil and insane, try to admit, instead, that we all have similar brains and figure out what led them there. Once you do, you can still disagree with them, but you’ll have lost the unhealthy prejudice.
After all, dogs mostly find us folks incomprehensible, but they still love us and try to follow our thinking.
After all, dogs mostly find us folks incomprehensible, but they still love us and try to follow our thinking. If you can do this same for others, your humility might make you as lovable as…okay, not quite as lovable as Marley, but closer than you are now.
3. Pollute and poison less.
All animals pollute, but humans are the only ones brilliant enough to create materials that don’t serve the earth at all. When you throw a plastic bag out, or dump millions of gallons of toxins into an ocean, you can’t just kick some dirt over it and make your mess okay, the way mutts can.
A dog would suggest, and request, that you simply improve. If you’re a lazy slob, and you just start recycling your beer bottles, that will help things a bit. And if you already re-use paper, save your shower water, and drive an electric car charged by the sun, maybe you could also buy more locally-grown food? Every bit helps!
And just to clarify, animals don’t really notice which individual humans or corporations do the polluting. As far as they’re concerned, all us humans left that trash there, and all us humans haven’t cleaned it up.
So please, go a little out of your pathway and pick up that can, or try to help a river not turn to poison. It’ll make you feel good. And the stray pup out on the street would do it too if he could. Just for the feeling.
4. Find more moments to enjoy and find more to enjoy about more moments.
When you open your front door in the morning, what’s going though your head? Lateness? Upcoming traffic? Some argument you had over breakfast?
You know what goes through a dog’s? The smells! The hit of fresh air with an unexpected temperature! Hundreds of sounds suddenly so clear! And even though her eyes are nowhere near as powerful as yours, millions of things to see!
Do you take in the sky? Do you count the stalks of grass? Do you check to see if there are any squirrels or ants or bees or lizards or even cats in sight?
And that’s only one moment. Each day has 86,400 seconds in it. Do you spend even one just rolling in what is? Or do you rush to media, to hear some pundit tell you whether the day was worth living or not?
Right now, pick a leaf off an interesting tree, look it over carefully, sniff it, run your fingers over it with your eyes closed, and chew it. Feels like being a kid, doesn’t it? Back when you did such things by instinct – the way a pup does all the time.
5. Give yourself just a bit more sleep.
Scientists estimate that dogs sleep twelve to fourteen hours a day on average, which means some snooze a lot more.
I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, but one reason dogs tend to be so healthy and active is that they grab z’s whenever they can. What if you found a way to go to bed just a half hour earlier tonight? Or to take a nap this afternoon?
Maybe record that TV show, curl up, count sheep, and see what happens to your mood, your skin, your work skills, and even how others treat you.
6. Be silly more – silly for you.
People say dogs are clowns, for the way they act when they see a leash, or the signs of oncoming dinner. But what’s wrong with that?
Silliness isn’t just a part of life; it’s a core of it, a celebration of it. Now, if you’re great at telling naughty jokes at dinner parties, that’s fine. But when’s the last time you ran around in a sprinkler on a hot day? Sang so loud you hurt your vocal cords? Or barked in conversation with a dog?
Here’s my definition of silliness: Any action, the doing of which would normally make you blush in embarrassment. Every silly act actually helps you overcome your fear and shame. Every dog lives it, and any good doctor would prescribe it often.
7. Tell and show those you love that you’re crazy about them more.
Here’s where canines most excel. When you come home at the end of a long day, do you tell your family how happy you are to see them, and that they even exist? What about at your job – do you find ways to express your feelings about your coworkers?
The most common deathbed regrets humans report are not having spent more time with those they love, and not having let them know it. And that’s dumb, because nothing is easier! Just let it out!
Jump on a friend and kiss the top of their head. Yell across a business networking confab, “I have the best assistant in the world!” And call your mother and tell her you’re grateful.
No one can control what the world does to them, but these tools all help making living whatever hand you’re dealt more enjoyable. And, in all my years of watching dogs, if there’s a way to do too much of any of these, I haven’t seen it.
So try them, and good luck. May this be the year your tail learns how to wag!
Douglas Green is a psychotherapist, specializing in helping kids and teens build lives they can be proud of. He is also the creator and writer for AskShirelle.com, which helps kids, teens, parents, and others around the world with advice from the point of view of a friendly dog, and is the author of The Teachings of Shirelle – Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead. You can learn more about Green at www.CavalleriaPress.com, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
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North Miami Residents Fume Over Trash Pickup Company’s “Garbage Job”
What’s New With This Story:
-Large numbers of North Miami residents are sick of Waste Pro, the private company that has served as the city’s garbage collector for over six years.
-Some residents are willing to pay more in taxes in order for the trash pickup to go back to city management. Trash pickup services were privatized in 2011.
-North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin organized an event in early September for residents to vent their frustrations with the company. The regional VP for Waste Pro, Russell Mackie showed up to the event as well.
-Mackie said that Waste Pro has contracts with 21 South Florida municipalities and that the company has never lost a contract due to poor service. Instead he blames the problems on a poorly designed contract that North Miami has been slow to amend.
In North Miami, residents say that the garbage trucks are still rolling on the streets as late at 10:30 PM some nights.
Trash pickup can be spotty according to others and a lack of quality service has put a bad taste in the mouths of many.
The situation has become so bad that there are residents willing to do something truly drastic- pay more in taxes to fix the problem.
Judy Brown, the president of the Sunkist Grove Homeowners Association said that she would be willing to do just that.
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She has lived in North Miami for 38 years and has seen the quality of trash pickup over the decades first hand.
“As soon as it became privatized, I noticed a difference and I started getting complaints,” Brown said. “Because, I’m the homeowner president, they would call me and complain about the trash not being collected.”
Brown said that the real problems started around 2013 when the bulk pickup stopped getting picked up.
She said things were better when the city was in charge of trash pickup.
“They took pride in what they were doing,” Brown said of the city workers who used to operate the service.
She said they would be done by 7 AM. With Waste Pro, she’s heard of trucks still picking up trash at 10:30 PM.
Michael McDearmaid has lived in NoMi for 50 years.
“When it was a city service, there was much more service,” McDearmaid said. “A lot of that had to do with the fact that they were employees of the city. A lot of them lived in the city.”
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He said that the workers would look out for residents, even calling the police if they felt that certain things were amiss.
“Ultimately in a city of this size, service is everything,” McDearmaid said.
He said that if Waste Pro came up with the best offer, then they should be given another chance and that privatization efforts around the country have been a “mixed bag”.
According to city manager Larry Spring, it would cost roughly $20 to $25 million to restart a city trash program.
City Councilman Scott Galvin said that he doesn’t think its likely for the city to do trash service in house again but he might be willing to support such an effort.
So why are things not working out with Waste Pro?
It all comes down to the contract that was signed in 2011.
“What they need to understand is it’s not an unhappiness with Waste Pro,” Russell Mackie the Regional Vice President for Waste Pro Florida said. “Waste Pro sort of by default gets blamed for that. But there’s a deficiency in the contract.”
Under the original contract, Waste Pro was only supposed to collect bulk pick up once per month.
But after residents complained, the company agreed to do it once per week according to Mackie.
But Mackie said that the company wasn’t paid extra for the additional service.
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In addition to that, the amount of trash picked up at the curb has increased 30% and the landfill has raised its prices 15%.
The contract officially ended in May but service was continued under an overtime provision until August.
Waste Pro continues to service North Miami basically without a contract in a bonus time arrangement.
An opening biding process for a new contract will be sent out to all interested companies.
Waste Pro intends to apply again.
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New Numbers Show Why Bernie Sanders Really Could Swing The Election To TrumpBy James Kardys
Back in May, I posted an article here on RISE NEWS discussing whether or nor Bernie Sanders could spoil the election for Hillary Clinton.
But things have changed from May to now.
In the May article, I stated the following:
“According to a poll jointly conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News that was published on Tuesday, 31% of Sanders supporters say they may not or will not support Clinton in the general election. 64.5% of that 31% (or 20% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Trump.
When you take into account that 43.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 13.5% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, and 8.7% of all Democrats voting for Trump.
And remember, this poll was taken before the convention, whose outcome is now going to be determined by superdelegates, because of how close the race has been.”
The above information was posted prior to a series of developments that have since taken place, and are likely to make Clinton’s problems with Sanders supporters worse, despite the fact that all the primaries are finished and Sanders is reportedly expected to endorse Clinton prior to the convention despite being within range of clinching the nomination through superdelegates.
There are three developments in particular that stand out for me.
The first is the leak of a memo from the servers of the Democratic National Committee by a hacker called “Gufficer 2.0,” which points to the idea that the DNC had been secretly backing Clinton all along, as Sanders has previously claimed.
Since this leak took place, Clinton’s standing among Sanders supporters have only worsened.
As of June 22, the percentage of Sanders supporters that may not or will not support Clinton has shot up from 31% to 45%. 48.9% of that 45% (or 22% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Donald Trump.
40% of that 45% (or 18% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
When you take into account that 41.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 18.6% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, 9.1% of all Democrats voting for Trump, and 7.5% of all Democrats voting for Johnson.
The second development is the recent decisions by the FBI and the Department of Justice to not indict Hillary Clinton over her alleged mishandling of government emails while serving as Secretary of State.
Given that the announcements were made just after former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, accusations of a rigged system have increased.
Notable and influential Sanders supporters such as Rosario Dawson, Shaun King, and Mark Ruffalo have openly denounced the outcome of the FBI’s investigation of Clinton on Twitter, and I have seen friends of mine do the same on social media.
This development actually took place after the most recent poll on Sanders supporters was released, so expect the percentage of supporters who are disillusioned to go up further.
The third development is the alleged report that presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein is considering allowing Sanders to take her place and continuing his run after the Democratic National Convention.
Although it is not yet known how much such a move (Sanders still hasn’t endorsed Clinton yet, so anything can still happen until he does) would affect Clinton’s presidential chances, it would be wise for Clinton to make sure she doesn’t find out, especially given other recent events.
At the end of my May article, I stated that an opportunity awaits for both Clinton and Trump to make something out of a scenario that could make or break them. I reaffirm that belief, and say that it is now more apparent than ever.
If you are politically active, I suggest that you work to make sure the best is made out of this situation for your candidate.
After all, good candidates listen to their bases!
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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