How PC and Partisanship Are Destroying Us

This week, Carol Costello, a CNN anchor provided the latest and perhaps one of the saddest commentaries on how far some people remain from an understanding of our connectedness to one another. Prefacing an audio clip of Sara Palin’s daughter, Bristol, describing with distress a recent assault she experienced, Costello said, this is “quite possibly the best minute-and-a-half of audio we’ve ever come across – well, come across in a long time anyway.” She then suggested her viewers “just sit back and enjoy it.”

EpidemicCostello has since apologized in writing for her comments but only because she received so much public backlash. It is much more telling that Costello made the comments to begin with absent her own conscience and compassion. Particularly compassion since following the recent Ray Rice video showing him brutally assaulting his fiancé in an elevator, Costello wrote eloquently of her own experience being assaulted.

So it begs the question how does a woman who experienced her own assault find glee in listening to a description of someone else’s? The answer, I am sorry to say, is political correctness and partisanship.

CNN is an apologist for the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party. Sarah Palin (and by extension her family) have long been targets of both. Therefore, what took precedent in Carol Costello’s mind (and apparently heart) was not her commonality with Bristol Palin in both being females who had been victimized and assaulted, but rather her disdain and professional bias for and against Sarah Palin and her family.

Political Correctness and partisanship are diseases that, given room to spread, will infect your consciousness and devour your humanity. Witness Carol Costello. I think we would be wise to be less concerned with containing Ebola and more concerned with this other epidemic.

Carole

Hillary Clinton’s War On Women

Personally, I don’t think there was ever a deliberate “war” on women but I do think one is now underway. Be prepared. It’s going to be the mantra of the Hillary in 2016 campaign because it’s a model that has proven successful in the past.

HillaryAllow me to state the obvious. Our system of governance is not perfect. But this Constitutional Republic has come farther toward that end as any system that preceded it. Even in a perfect system, human error and human nature will always be mitigating factors in seeking perfection.

For some reason I have yet to identify, a significant percentage of the American voting public is susceptible to being manipulated by two words: “prejudice” and “minority.” This, a nation that was founded in search of religious and civil liberties. This, a nation with a justifiable right to be proud of its 238-year-old experiment in unprecedented individual freedoms. This, a nation that has done more than any other society on the planet to afford individuals the opportunity to advance socially and economically. Yet, despite these accomplishments, we harbor some deep seated belief that just because an individual is of a minority segment of the population they deserve some sort of pass or leg up in advancement and recognition.

Therefore, like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, we respond like Pavlov’s dogs when we hear the words “prejudice” or “minority.” When we hear them together we are exponentially moved to offer up a “get out of jail free card” and present them with not only the $200 for passing “Go” but also “Boardwalk” and “Park Place” at no cost! (Hopefully you’ve played “Monopoly”).

It’s how Barack Obama became President and it’s how Hillary Clinton will ride the same wave towards the same end.

Voters did not care what Obama’s experience, qualifications or political agenda were. He was from a minority segment of the population that had experienced prejudice. We owed him Boardwalk and Park Place for free. We stopped thinking and allowed ourselves to be swept up in an irrational wave of emotional, guilt-ridden manipulation.

Enter Hillary Clinton.

She is from a minority segment of the population (as it pertains to career access and advancement) that has experienced prejudice. So, as with the “first black President” we are being primed to elect the “first woman President” in total disregard for what we do know of her. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, our error will be more egregious because, unlike Barack Obama, we know a great deal about her experience, her accomplishments, her values, her morals, her principles and, most importantly, her failures. Yet, we will turn the same blind eye and deaf ear to award her Boardwalk and Park Place (a/k/a The White House and The Presidency).

The fault lies not in the hubris and ravenous egos of these two individuals but in those of us who remain so easily manipulated by a false narrative. If there is a war on women to be confronted…that “war” is about to be marketed by a woman who would prefer you focus on her gender rather than the truth of who she is and for what she stands.

Carole

 

Time to Move On

In 2010 I left a top investment bank to start a new venture at a smaller firm and I failed miserably. Everything that had worked in the past did not work for me at the new firm. I couldn’t open any of my old accounts while some of my past relationships that I had counted on for the new venture were unable, or unwilling, to help. The fact is the market had changed and my new firm did not have the ability to stay ahead of the current market conditions and profit from them.

failureSo, I moved to Texas and started a new company in a totally different industry with brand new clients. We started out great but within 6 months our largest client left us.

We started another new project, signed up a new large client and gave him an idea where he could make a lot more money for his business. On the day we were suppose to go live, he pulled out of the deal saying he had negotiated a better rate than what we could give him. We had given him a brand new way of thinking and growing his business and he loved us for showing him to do it. Then, greed got the better of him and he moved on without us.

The move to Texas cost me a ton of friends. They were upset that I had left, upset I had not told them about my plans, and upset I would no longer be around. Sadly, I rarely talk to any of them. For some reason, their reaction to the hurt was to cut me off completely. So within a year, I had lost a lot of my friends and many of my business ideas were not working out as I anticipated.

While each of those professional dead-ends and personal betrayals hurts and is painful, I realize that in life none of us are immune.

In our youth, we go to school and are given guidelines on how to be successful. If we do our homework and study the materials we can have a successful academic career. But in the real world of life and business, success is more complicated. There are no easy answers. In life, people grow, obstacles emerge, we evolve, change and get hurt. In business, success can be ephemeral and fleeting as well.

The techno-giant Apple almost went bankrupt at one point. Yet ,the founder of The Pet Rock sold and made millions selling rocks in a box.  Many millionaires such as Henry Ford and Walt Disney went bankrupt before hitting it big. Kathleen King, solely built a multi-million dollar cookie business only to have it stolen from her by late coming, ill-intentioned business partners. She rebuilt it on her own, again from scratch, and today sells $1.7M  in cookies a week. The point is… in real life there are no easy solutions just challenges and detours that we are tasked with trying to rise above and for which we are asked to find alternative routes.

Seth Godin, business author, wrote a book a few years ago called The Big Dip“, which plays around with the notions of quitting, perseverance and business failures. With young people, he explores the notion about how our culture reinforces and preaches the ability to stick things out and persevere. Yet in the reality of the business world, this quality of sticking through things can bring you financial ruin. The ability to know when to stick and when to let go, in business as in life, separates the winners from the losers. Godin drives this point home when he argues that “failure” (as he terms it) is a bad thing only when you can’t alter your course and move on to the next opportunity where you can then take the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to create a successful outcome.

There is always another day and another way to move forward in life. However, if you can’t acknowledge and recognize when there is no longer any growth potential and admit it is time to create anew, you can linger way too long in a stagnant or even self-destructive enterprise.

Every day, have the courage to take a little time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Then, move on from what is not and devote all your creative energy to what is…or perhaps… what still lies waiting to be birthed within your imagination.

Steve Clark

 

Ebola and The Wizard of Oz

There’s so much fear and negativity concerning Ebola that I think it’s time we identify and seize the good in this turn of events. If there were any remaining doubts that the federal government is corrupted and collapsed, it’s beyond question given its shameful response to handling Ebola in the U.S. Remaining doubts can now be buried once and for all. So where does that leave us and how can there possibly be good in the arrival and potential spreading of a pandemic? It leaves us exactly where we need be to restore this Nation to the greatness that is its potential.

WizardIts leaves us local.

No competent governance or viable solutions can be forthcoming from a corrupted, collapsed and bloated federal system. The federal government’s negligence in its response to Hurricane Katrina was the warning bell that many people heard. Too many, however, missed the calling. It was a regional problem and FEMA’s incompetence and misguidance posed no national threat so many chalked it up to a transient error and moved on. Not so with Ebola and the CDC.

The CDC’s criminal negligence in allowing a nurse who treated the Dallas man who died of the disease, to board a flight knowing she had a fever and thereby put 127 people at risk is inexcusable and actionable. The expenditures by the CDC over the past few years of public funds allocated to the CDC to study and prevent disease have been criminally negligent. Studies of monkey poop, innovative condoms and national bike trails not to mention “mood rooms” and flat screen televisions took fiscal precedent over laboratory needs and pandemic preparedness.

Any and all actions that will begin to turn the country around, provide safety and preserve individual liberties must now come first from ourselves, then from our communities, and finally from the States. This is the good news. Ebola’s arrival, and the subsequent failure of the federal government to act competently or responsibly in response, is like the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal the great and powerful Oz as nothing more than the deceptive illusion of mechanical bells and whistles operated by an all too fallible human.

The federal government has been broken for quite some time. Long before Barack Obama took office. He too, has been a gift…for his total inability to lead and govern has made it possible for the curtain to finally reveal the deception and the illusion. He is the Wizard and his Administration’s bells and whistles are out of steam.

So, now it’s up to us…you and me. It’s our turn, and our time, to reject the politics of deception and division and take back personal responsibility for our lives. To gather in our resources at the most local levels and organize realistic, effective and positive solutions to immediate concerns. It’s time to demand of our Governors that they take full responsibility for their state’s well-being by bypassing the constraints, and intimidation, of the federal government and do what is necessary to protect and defend the safety of their citizens.

If we are finally ready to do the heavy lifting, we can turn the fear of Ebola into the blessing of Ebola, and, like Dorothy, leave the illusion behind and go home to all that is good and real…and true.

Carole

Exactly Which Drug Fixes This?

New York City shut down on Sundays up until the 1950’s.  Not unlike many other cities across the country, it was commonplace to walk around NY on a Sunday and see nothing but closed stores. Society at large instinctively knew it was good to take a break from the stresses and pace of daily commercial life.  In fact, even today you can still find a few businesses ( like Chick Fil A), as well as some cities, that still have laws in place prohibiting business from operating on Sunday.

prayersufferingInstead of commerce, people would go to church to commune with God and their particular spiritual advisor. They got their problems off their chest and shared their dilemmas. At a minimum, they left feeling as if someone was listening to their concerns. Yet, by the 1960’s this tradition had died out and the church was replaced by the New Age movement and the rise of reliance upon psychotherapy to cure our emotional ills.

Although both the church and the psychiatrist’s couch offered people a place to talk about their problems, the differences between the two were profound. The church offered its services for free while psychiatry came with a hefty price tag… at best only partially covered by insurance. So, while the affluent still had a place to go for counsel, those with less financial resources were not so fortunate. Moreover, while the church perceives most problems as spiritual in origin and approaches them on that plane, psychiatry treats most problems on the psychological plane. Psychiatrists attempt to explore the inner workings of the conscious and subconscious minds and, failing resolution, prescribe medication.

Undoubtedly, life is hard as author Scott Peck writes in his book “The Road Less Traveled.”  The shift in approach, and the withdrawal from turning to spiritual sources that occurred in the 1950’s, changed how we dealt with issues such as stress and neurosis. Today, the solution is prescription drugs.  The FDA, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and pharmacies are the new, sanctioned drug dealers. Insiders at the D.E.A put drug usage for both prescription and non-prescription drugs at a whopping 70% of the population!

We use drugs because we have become so alienated from God and one another that we no longer have anyone to talk to or with. With churches now empty and psychiatry only for the rich… where do the rest of us go for honest and heartfelt counsel?

For men, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that we are taught to be “tough” and “silent.”  If not silent, then certainly not expressive of the stress we surely endure in a fast-paced, highly technological society as we daily race to provide for ourselves and our families. For example, if I were to talk to a male friend about the issues I face, I run the risk that he will not only think me weak, but also tell his wife… who may tell a friend. Eventually, my sincere attempt to gain perspective, and perhaps guidance, may be what ultimately harms my reputation and, therefore, my business reputation. I have personally witnessed people under financial pressure who were forced to  borrow money in what they believed to be a confidential transaction, only to see the news of their situation spread like wildfire resulting in stress that far outweighed their stress of needing to borrow in the first place!  Other men see this happen and, so, they suffer in silence enduring the pressures of day-to-day life with no healthy outlet. Too often this leads to tragic ends such as divorce, alcoholism, drugs, job loss or saddest of all, suicide.

We each have our own challenges. Regardless of gender, there is no substitute for the willing ear (and sometimes shoulder) of a true friend or spiritual advisor. No drug can come close to delivering the compassion and closeness we all seek. Let’s look around and reach out to one another knowing that not one of us gets through life escaping the built-in need to reach down and share our humanity…or periodically ask for Divine guidance.

Steve Clark

 

New Rules for The Game of Lilfe

What happens if you try to play Scrabble with the rule book from Monopoly? Not so much luck, huh?

GodLifeWell, the game has changed and so have the rules but so many of us are

still trying to play by the old rules…and the results are stagnation and frustration.

You can’t shirk personal responsibility, or force outcomes, or intend to manipulate the facts or the truth for personal gain. You can’t even “work” the way you used to because nothing “works” the same in this new world in which we find ourselves.

Yes. It looks the same, but trust me, it doesn’t operate the same.

Different game board. Different rules. So what are they?

To move around this new board…you need to follow three simple rules.

1, Allow what is brought into your life (and stop trying to make something else happen).

2. Joyfully experience and express gratitude for all that is right in your life.

3. Hold Love in your heart for everyone and everything.

Allowing. Joy. Love. Get those down and watch how effortlessly you zip about this board.

Sign up here for Carole’s FREE Gold Post It Weekly Inspirational Message here.

Get Happy With Dopamine

Dopamine is one of the hormones and neurotransmitters produced by our brains which give us the feeling of pleasure. When sufficient levels of dopamine are not present, people turn to caffeine, chocolate, or addictive mood enhancing drugs to simulate the lost feeling. Not an earth-shattering revelation. However, there is a revelation that will change the quality of your life as it relates to dopamine and feelings of happiness.

HappyConflict.

We are, by design, creatures that seek to know “why.” We are confronted daily with paradox and the urge to resolve discrepancy. We are also bombarded with conflict on a regular basis whether they be internal conflicts or, literally, conflicts with others. The stress created by unresolved discrepancies or ongoing conflicts not only wears us down but also reduces our brain’s ability to produce one of several “feel good” hormones, dopamine.

Here comes the revelation. When we solve a discrepancy (and get our “why”) and when we resolve conflict, guess what happens? Right! Our brain produces dopamine.

Conflict appears to be a “regulating factor” in experiencing reward. In the recently released book “Ha!” by Scott Weems, the cognitive neuroscientist states that “without conflict there would be no way to regulate reward, and so everything would give us equal amounts of pleasure. And, as the saying goes, if everything makes us happy, then nothing does.”

So, am I advocating for conflict? Absolutely not! I traded in the practice of Law for the practice of Mediation…also known as conflict resolution. What I am advocating for is aggressively seeking and creating resolution for the conflicts in your life on a regular basis… if you want to produce dopamine and, quite literally, get happy.

If we can all agree that both needing to know “why” and conflict are inherent aspects of our lives, and that both 1) answers and 2) resolution produce dopamine and, therefore, happiness…then I would suggest that you never stop seeking answers to life’s paradoxes and you resolve each and every conflict you encounter.

Not to worry. There will always be another paradox and another conflict to tackle. Such is life. But so, happily, is dopamine…your reward from Creator for stepping up and taking personal responsibility.

Carole

CLICK HERE for a FREE download of my ebook “Too Many Secrets.”

 

The Wisdom of Kung Fu Panda

220px-KungfupandaIn 2008 the movie Kung Fu Panda came out. The animated movie was about an overweight panda named Po who wanted to be a Kung Fu master. Po would spend hours in his room visualizing and role playing all the ways he could improve his Kung Fu. In reality, however, he was grossly out of shape and had no real physical ability at all for the martial art.

Then, Fate intervenes and Po gets his chance to train with all of his Kung Fu idols. During a yearly festival that the Kung Fu monastery put on, Po attends the festival as a food vendor but is unable to get into the square to see the demonstrations. Through a series of mishaps and accidents he is finally able to get into the square. Yet, in doing so he ruins the show for everyone else. Intrigued by the panda’s tenacity the head of the monastery, Master Kim, selects Po to train with the Master’s elite band of Kung Fu warriors.

Abused and taunted by the head trainer as well as all of the other Kung Fu practitioners, a dejected and demoralized Po wants to quit. While attempting to leave, Master Kim intervenes and successfully persuades Po to stay and continue to train as the Master sees greatness in the little fellow.

Master Kim has a motive behind his desire to keep Po in training. A former student, Tai Lung, was extraordinarily gifted at Kung Fu but had a violent streak. He sought vengeance upon the monestary and its inhabitants for a wrong he believed was unfairly perpetrated upon him which led to his expulsion. Because it was tradition that the best practitioner of Kung Fu be given access to the Dragon Scroll, which contained the deepest secrets of Kung Fu, Tai Lung’s quest was to get his hands on the scroll…at all costs.

By the end of the movie Po becomes quite adept at Kung Fu. In order to save the monastery from the impending attack by Tai Lung, Po is given access to the scroll. To his shock he finds the scroll’s paper blank. Not one single word! Perplexed yet determined to prevail, Po proceeds to do battle anyway. During the confrontation, Tai Lung gets his hands on the scroll and becomes enraged by what he does not see. There is no secret! While Po has embraced this truth Tai Lung becomes even more furious. Its Tai Lung’s fury that defeats him, allowing Po and his faith to be victorious.

In the movie, as in life, there is no secret. There is only practice. Po was able to defeat Tai Lung because he realized it was his spirit, as well as his ability, that was his strength. Po’s guidance was internal. Even though Tai Lung was more powerful, his misuse of the energy was misguided and led to his defeat.

We are always being pitched the secret to success in the hope of making money. We are told if you do the following, success will follow:

  • Go to college
  • Get a job
  • Get married
  • Buy a house
  • Get this license
  • Take this course

But the reality is all of these things are missteps unless we don’t go into them with the right intent and the right energy. Being educated is now more important than ever. However, there are many ways to educate yourself. Colleges now charge over 40k a year because they say they have the secret to the job market. Society, via colleges, sell the illusion that you can’t find a job without a college degree. The unspoken corollary is that if you do go to college, you may stay enslaved your entire life to school loans you can never pay off. Debt strangles the life out of you.

There is no secret. Only you have the key. That key is available and accessible within. Think for yourself and follow your heart.

P.S. CLICK HERE and scroll down to download a free ebook by Carole titled “Too Many Secrets.”

Steve Clark

 

Political Correctness or Sanity?

I believe that all Americans have a right to be concerned about efforts being made to limit citizen exposure to Ebola.
headlights

I believe that our government is taking a passive role, for whatever politically correct reason, in failing to take reasonable and prudent steps to protect our citizens.

I believe we have the power as individuals to unite in a way that sends a message to this Administration that we want definitive and expeditious action taken to close our borders to unnecessary risk.

I believe that this thinking is neither racist nor nationalistic but rather a commonsense response to an unreasonable and deadly risk.

If you too believe that preventing additional potentially infected and sick individuals from entering this country is an obligation of this President and his Administration DRIVE WITH YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON until our numbers are great enough that they have no choice but to stop flights in and out of West Africa and seal off any other known access points for the entry of communicable disease.

There are more of us than there are of them.

Carole

Political Correctness and The Death Of Authenticity

On our podcast all this week, Steve Clark and I have been addressing “authenticity.” Authenticity is the opposite of political correctness. We have killed authenticity in this country by allowing political correctness to govern how we express ourselves. Political correctness is the muzzle that gags the First Amendment of the United States Constitution’s right to free speech. Nowhere can the chilling and deadly effects of political correctness be more clearly demonstrated than in the past month as it pertains to two diverse issues the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the spread of Ebola.

DeathofAuth

Israel probably has the most advanced national security system in place of any country in the world. It has to because its citizens live daily with an imminent threat of death by acts of terror. Consequently, no airline is safer than El Al and no airport safer than Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv. Yet, during the recent conflict, the United States government by way of our State Department, shut down all flights to Israel on the erroneous presumption that a missile from Gaze might take down an incoming aircraft. This despite the fact that, even if this preposterous assumption were true, El Al was totally avoiding Gaza airspace during the conflict by circling incoming and outgoing aircraft to the West rather than the usual eastern flight path. I know this to be true because one month ago, during the war, I flew into and out of Ben Gurion.

But the truth has no place in the world of political correctness.

Now, Ebola, the disease which we were assured could not come to our shores, has arrived in Dallas by way of an infected Liberian traveler visiting family. Logic and common sense both dictate that all flights in and out of West Africa be suspended until this disease is under control or we have in place functional and effective means of prohibiting infected persons from entering the country.

But logic and common sense have no place in an environment of political correctness.

The same terrorists that commit global acts of jihad, slaughtering and beheading in the name of their God, are free to enter the United States through an open border with Mexico, the same open border that infected persons with tuberculosis and even Ebola are free to enter. Prioritizing safety measures that would secure the border and prevent both terrorists and sickness from entering our country would be the sane thing to do.

But there is no room or call for sanity in a politically correct culture.

It won’t take an EMP or pandemic to annihilate us. All we need do is continue to deny the demands of reality, worry more about not offending Muslims and foreigners than securing our nation, and live in fear of being authentic in expressing truth to power.

It’s that simple.

Carole