Archive for the ‘Introspection’ Category

Sadly all of us human beings have a dangerous propensity to reject data that is inconsistent with our beliefs, even if it were to help us expand our horizons or have better foundations for knowledge.  This study showed how White Nationalists found ways to lie to themselves when they found their DNA tests showed their heritage included ethnicities they reject.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/us/white-nationalists-dna-tests.html

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Published under Introspection Aug 12, 2019

This weekend, a friend told me he met a family who was helping out a woman to “see the beach one last time”. The story  highlighted how every day we have the power to make peoples’ lives better off in untold and unmeasurable ways, at times not realizing the positive impact we may be having. As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”.

I wanted to share the heartwarming story and you can view the full post here.

                                                                                                                                                                                        


Hi Len,
I would love to share Kathie’s story with you.
We went to the beach on Thursday for some special family time because last week Kathie diagnosed with Stage 4 metastasized Stomach Cancer. She has been given just weeks (not months) to live and wanted to see the beach just one more time with the people closest to her.
She was released from the hospital on Sunday and is now on Hospice. Her three daughters came immediately. One from Alberta Canada, one from Anchorage Alaska, and one from Palm Springs, and her 4 granddaughters (age 7-33) were all at the beach with my husband (who you spoke too) and I.
Her name is Katherine Henderson. She lives in Healdsburg. Her husband of 52 years died 3 1/2 years ago. She has experienced some health issues this past 14 months (a fall resulting in a broken arm, a heart attack, etc.) and has required some help to live independently.
Her oldest daughter Pauline (from Canada) and I have been best friends since meeting in band in Jr. High. I am actually a Senior Care Manager so when her Kathie fell last year and was hospitalized Pauline called me immediately and asked me if I could help find out what was happening and help her Mom. I was of course honored to help as I have known her since I was a child.
For the past year I have been helping Kathie by going to her house 3 or 4 times a week and taking her to the store or to the doctor, bringing her meals, doing whatever she needs help with. My husband Bob has been helping take care of her house and do the upkeep and chores that come.
I was the one with her when we got the bad news that she was so ill. I had to explain it to her and help her understand it and call her girls.
Kathie is an extremely talented woman. She is an accomplished musician, playing the Violin for many years and played with the Santa Rosa Symphony for over 10 years. She is an amazing seamstress and among many other things has made well over 100 absolutely stunning quilts and has gifted them to so many people. She is incredibly loving and our lives are just better with her in this world.
The reason we had the KIND Bars with us is because I am obsessed with them. I eat them often for breakfast or a snack. I have been buying them for Kathie because they are so clean and the perfect thing for her eat for breakfast or snack. (She has been losing weight so I have been trying to bring her healthy snacks.) My absolute favorite thing to eat right now is the KIND Blueberry Vanilla and Cashew bar. We also love the Blueberry and Almond Breakfast Bar and the Oats and Honey, all of them.
When we planned this quick beach trip we were trying to figure out a snack to bring that everyone could eat because a few of people are Gluten Free, and one is GMO Free , etc. I of course said I will grab some “KIND Bars”. I stopped and bought the only boxes left at CVS.
Please thank your friend for creating these wonderful healthy bars. Every time I have one now I will remember our day at the beach and all the love shared that day.

Thanks again for being part of this special day!
Vicky

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By Michael J. Koplow

 

David Frum wrote a thought-provoking and challenging piece in the Atlantic last week titled “What If They’re Not Coming for the Jews This Time?” in which he grapples with the paradox of President Trump’s targeting of nearly all minority groups save the Jews. Frum notes that the Trump White House has put Jews in a special category exempt from the attacks on other religious, ethnic, and racial minorities that have become so routine, and points out that this exemption “poses a moral quandary for communally concerned Jews quite unlike anything in our collective experience.” Because American Jewish communal life and institutions are built around fighting bigotry of all sorts on the theory that attacks on other minorities will always eventually spread to Jewish targets, a conviction that Trump is an unwavering ally of Jews and Israel creates a new type of dilemma.

American Judaism is startlingly non-parochial given the particularism inherent to Judaism. Part of that instinct to move beyond the confines of our own narrow interests is a conviction that Judaism stands for something larger and that Jews should be a light unto the nations in setting an example of ethics and morality. But part of that instinct is also about self-preservation and embedding ourselves in the larger fabric of American minorities because there is always greater safety in numbers and in having the support of allies. Frum sums up the Trumpian message to Jews as follows: “These attacks on the other are not aimed at you. You can be part of us. We’d like you to be part of us. All you have to do is stop worrying about them. And after all, they don’t worry about you!

Frum’s observation is a smart one. This dynamic is indeed taking place, and Frum shrewdly anticipates the ways in which Trump’s tactics of separating Jews from the pack will also separate Jews from each other, as some will choose to revel in this new privileged status while others will sense a danger in upending the dynamic that has reigned for a century. But Frum’s analytical framework has one important flaw that throws the larger theory into question. In assessing the question that American Jews now face and calling attention to the challenges that Trump presents for the American Jewish community, Frum’s point of departure is that Trump’s ugly sectarianism has spared and will continue to spare American Jews. The flaw in this is not that Frum is necessarily wrong about Trump; as the title of his piece implies, Trump is not coming for us. But Trumpism certainly is, and that is why the response to the test that American Jews face should be crystal clear.

We can debate all day about whether Trump is an anti-Semite or not (I don’t think he is), the best friend Israel has ever had or someone who is leaving Israel in a dangerous geostrategic position (I think unquestionably the latter). But while there may be some who believe that Trump will at some point explicitly target Jews as a group, I find it difficult to envision. That he has a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren does not automatically render him free of anti-Semitism, but it does likely mean that he will tread more carefully about tarring Jews. And to be fair, while he absolutely has said unseemly things about Jews, both as individuals and as a group – recall the infamous December 2015 Republican Jewish Coalition meeting where Trump declared that the group wouldn’t support him because he didn’t want their money and they like to control their politicians – there is scant, if any, evidence that Trump harbors hatred toward Jews.

This is not, however, the same as evidence that Jews can or should relax in the face of Trump. What Trump represents is far bigger than the man himself, and on that front, Trumpism has already brought with it an ill wind that is beyond Trump’s direct control. When a xenophobic terrorist who has been stirred by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric kills eleven Jews sitting in shul on Shabbat morning because he associates Jews with pro-immigrant sentiment, Trump is not coming for the Jews but Trumpism is. When self declared Trump-supporting neo-Nazis and white supremacists feel bold enough to march through a college town holding torches and roaring, “Jews will not replace us,” Trump is not coming for the Jews but Trumpism is. When Trump’s political rise not coincidentally coincides with a rise in anti-Semitic vitriol targeting Jewish journalists and public figures on social media, Trump is not coming for the Jews but Trumpism is. What Trump says and does is critical to the evaluation, but without widening the aperture, the complete picture is obscured.

Frum correctly teases out Trump’s message to Jews. But the movement that Trump inspires and to which he provides succor has a different message, and it is not that Jews can be part of “us” if we stop worrying about everyone else. I believe that Trump wants Jews in his group, but his group feels differently. Viewed in this context, the choice for American Jews is less difficult than what Frum lays out. It isn’t weighing the value of feeling free of anti-Semitism in a Trumpian world against the value of fighting bigotry in every form irrespective of whether it is targeting Jews. It is weighing that universalism against an illusory safety, where both that safety and its inherent illusory nature share the same Trumpian roots.

None of this should be read to imply that it is only the right that may be coming for the Jews, or that equally dangerous anti-Semitism does not exist on the left as well. People who come for the Jews unfortunately tend to come from all directions, and while the variant that comes from one direction may be deadlier than the variant from another, they ultimately converge at the same point. What makes Trump such a unique figure is that he is pumping the bellows that are providing the oxygen to more anti-Semitism, yet many American Jews view him as a historically philo-Semitic president.

Trump has already left American Jews far more divided than when he took office. The question remaining is whether he will also leave us far less safe. Trump is not coming for us, but what he has stoked, inspired, encouraged, and enabled almost certainly will.

Dr. Michael J. Koplow is Israel Policy Forum’s Policy Director, based in Washington, DC. To contact Michael, please email him at mkoplow@ipforum.org.

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Personalized Nutrition?

Published under Introspection Jul 29, 2019

 

I have been reading a lot lately about the promise of “personalized nutrition.” I reached out to Dr. David Katz to get more perspective, as he tends to always be thoughtful, informed and eschewing hype or fads.  He pointed me to this very good article he wrote on the topic – which I strongly recommend!

 

 

 

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Amazing range from this guy

Published under Introspection Jul 23, 2019

Dimas Kudaıbergen is a Kazakh singer known for his wide vocal range of 6 octaves from the bottom of the bass range beyond the top of the soprano range.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimash_Kudaibergen

Listen here

 

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Published under Introspection Jul 16, 2019

What a simple and beautiful and heartwarming story. Worth reading.

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Yedioth Ahronoth– June 25, 2019

Making a Mockery of All of Us

By Limor Livnat, former minister, Likud Party

  • Way up on high, on a planet of his own, lives a cynical, alienated leader whose remarks, speeches and fervently-made promises have no bearing at all on what he actually does in practice—in the dark, behind the backs of his supporters, his voters and subjects. But Binyamin Netanyahu doesn’t act alone. Several ministers and MKs help him with alacrity—at least until they find themselves snubbed. Just ask Ayoub Kara, who has now resigned his ministerial post, or anyone else whom Netanyahu thought might pose a threat to his continued rule, such as Moshe Kahlon, Gideon Saar and others.
  • Ever since the results were in from the elections, which he moved up to serve his own personal needs, Netanyahu has balked at nothing in his attempt to form a coalition government. At any price. A government, which he wants so badly to form, would be able to pass into legislation the immunity bills and an expanded override clause, just when he wanted to extricate himself from a hearing and possibly from an indictment as well. So what if he promised over a lengthy period of time that he was eager to be given a hearing, where he would be able to prove that “there isn’t anything because there wasn’t anything?” So he said. After the elections he tried every trick in the book to refrain from picking up the investigation material. Yes, he still enjoys the presumption of innocence. But in order to prove his innocence, one would have thought that he would do everything, literally everything, to capitalize on that opportunity and not to try to avoid this on the pretext that his lawyers weren’t paid and other excuses. 
  • When he realized that Lieberman wasn’t going to join the coalition and had left him without a majority in the Knesset, and after he tried every means possible to persuade MKs from Blue and White to defect, Netanyahu violated the Likud constitution and had Kahlon and his Kulanu Party merged into the Likud by means of a vote in the Likud Secretariat, even though the party constitution stipulates that a decision of that kind can only be made by the Likud Central Committee. Well, if the new, temporary and fawning justice minister said that we don’t have to comply with High Court of Justice rulings (though he did walk back that statement subsequently, and it’s good that he did), why should we uphold the Likud constitution? Who is bound by it? The Likud’s supreme court ruled in a majority opinion vote that that was a legitimate decision, while citing arguments that it was imperative to prevent a left-wing government from being formed. Menachem Begin would never have bought that. 
  • Then Netanyahu and his closest advisers applied themselves to intensive coalition negotiations. They offered the world to the Labor Party. Senior ministerial portfolios for Avi Gabbay, Tal Rousso, Shelly Yachimovich and Stav Shaffir—while conceding every Likud principle. Negotiations to form a unity government were held with Benny Gantz and his aides. Apparently, that proposal wasn’t rejected outright and was only scuttled on account of Yair Lapid’s opposition. And in his desperate attempts to prevent the president from tasking anyone else with the job of forming the next government, Netanyahu even reportedly held negotiations with the Arab MKs. Lord have mercy. The very man who charged that Gantz would work with the Arab MKs went and stuck a dirty deal with them behind closed doors twice: first to ensure a majority to dissolve the Knesset; then in the election of the new state comptroller. 
  • So is it either Bibi or Tibi? It turns out that it’s Bibi and Tibi. And now, the peak from Netanyahu and crew: they are now looking into ways to cancel the elections that are scheduled to be held on September 17. Because who needs elections? Why waste all that money? Just yesterday the cabinet voted in favor of a “small” 1.4 billion shekel across-the-board budget cut—NIS 80 million of which is from the education budget.
  • The depth of that disdainful disrespect for the rules and tools of democracy long ago crossed every boundary. Netanyahu plays with the tools that he has been given as Likud chairman and prime minister as if they were his personal toys, and he invokes the names of his spiritual fathers in vain. An election was held. Another one was called. Then they decided to cancel it. Or maybe they will hold it after all. June 2019 has been a hot month. They’re making a mockery of the law and of us.
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It was an honor for me and KIND to support Dr. Katz and the scientific and nutrition community leaders at the True Health Initiative in the launch of a campaign they are driving to improve policies and education on how we see protein. Under today’s regulations, plant based proteins are viewed less favorably than protein from meat, even from processed meats that may contain artificial ingredients and nitrates. That is because the current way protein digestibility is analyzed measures solely the total content of amino acids in a protein source, rather than also evaluating the impact on our health such as potential coronary disease from over-consumption of meat or potential heart health benefits from consumption of protein from tree nuts, not to mention the impact to our environment. Dr. Katz and his colleagues worked really hard to come up with an algorithm that would balance things out and consider the overall quality of the food rather than the quantity of the particular amino acids. This makes sense particularly given that in the United States our problems are primarily related to over-consumption rather than under-consumption. THI is onto something very important for the health of our communities. 

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This Kid is amazing!

Published under Introspection Jun 26, 2019

VIDEO-2019-06-24-08-54-09

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