Privacy Policy

Last updated: December 17, 2020

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your information when You use the Service and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Interpretation and Definitions

Interpretation

The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

  • Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or parts of our Service.

  • Business, for the purpose of the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), refers to the Company as the legal entity that collects Consumers’ personal information and determines the purposes and means of the processing of Consumers’ personal information, or on behalf of which such information is collected and that alone, or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of consumers’ personal information, that does business in the State of California.

  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Agreement) refers to Total Computer Solutions, INC, 13 Navigation Ct 70131.

  • Consumer, for the purpose of the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), means a natural person who is a California resident. A resident, as defined in the law, includes (1) every individual who is in the USA for other than a temporary or transitory purpose, and (2) every individual who is domiciled in the USA who is outside the USA for a temporary or transitory purpose.

  • Cookies are small files that are placed on Your computer, mobile device or any other device by a website, containing the details of Your browsing history on that website among its many uses.

  • Country refers to: Louisiana, United States

  • Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a cellphone or a digital tablet.

  • Personal Data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.

    For the purposes of the CCPA, Personal Data means any information that identifies, relates to, describes or is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with You.

  • Sale, for the purpose of the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), means selling, renting, releasing, disclosing, disseminating, making available, transferring, or otherwise communicating orally, in writing, or by electronic or other means, a Consumer’s personal information to another business or a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration.

  • Service refers to the Website.

  • Service Provider means any natural or legal person who processes the data on behalf of the Company. It refers to third-party companies or individuals employed by the Company to facilitate the Service, to provide the Service on behalf of the Company, to perform services related to the Service or to assist the Company in analyzing how the Service is used.

  • Third-party Social Media Service refers to any website or any social network website through which a User can log in or create an account to use the Service.

  • Usage Data refers to data collected automatically, either generated by the use of the Service or from the Service infrastructure itself (for example, the duration of a page visit).

  • Website refers to Think504, accessible from https://www.blacksourcemedia.com

  • You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Data

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify You. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address

  • First name and last name

  • Phone number

  • Usage Data

Usage Data

Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

Usage Data may include information such as Your Device’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that You visit, the time and date of Your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device You use, Your mobile device unique ID, the IP address of Your mobile device, Your mobile operating system, the type of mobile Internet browser You use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our Service or when You access the Service by or through a mobile device.

Information from Third-Party Social Media Services

The Company allows You to create an account and log in to use the Service through the following Third-party Social Media Services:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

If You decide to register through or otherwise grant us access to a Third-Party Social Media Service, We may collect Personal data that is already associated with Your Third-Party Social Media Service’s account, such as Your name, Your email address, Your activities or Your contact list associated with that account.

You may also have the option of sharing additional information with the Company through Your Third-Party Social Media Service’s account. If You choose to provide such information and Personal Data, during registration or otherwise, You are giving the Company permission to use, share, and store it in a manner consistent with this Privacy Policy.

Tracking Technologies and Cookies

We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our Service and store certain information. Tracking technologies used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze Our Service. The technologies We use may include:

  • Cookies or Browser Cookies. A cookie is a small file placed on Your Device. You can instruct Your browser to refuse all Cookies or to indicate when a Cookie is being sent. However, if You do not accept Cookies, You may not be able to use some parts of our Service. Unless you have adjusted Your browser setting so that it will refuse Cookies, our Service may use Cookies.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Service may use local stored objects (or Flash Cookies) to collect and store information about Your preferences or Your activity on our Service. Flash Cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as those used for Browser Cookies. For more information on how You can delete Flash Cookies, please read “Where can I change the settings for disabling, or deleting local shared objects?” available at https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-local-shared-objects-flash.html#main_Where_can_I_change_the_settings_for_disabling__or_deleting_local_shared_objects_
  • Web Beacons. Certain sections of our Service and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of a certain section and verifying system and server integrity).

Cookies can be “Persistent” or “Session” Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on Your personal computer or mobile device when You go offline, while Session Cookies are deleted as soon as You close Your web browser. You can learn more about cookies here: All About Cookies by TermsFeed.

We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

  • Necessary / Essential Cookies

    Type: Session Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies are essential to provide You with services available through the Website and to enable You to use some of its features. They help to authenticate users and prevent fraudulent use of user accounts. Without these Cookies, the services that You have asked for cannot be provided, and We only use these Cookies to provide You with those services.

  • Cookies Policy / Notice Acceptance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies identify if users have accepted the use of cookies on the Website.

  • Functionality Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies allow us to remember choices You make when You use the Website, such as remembering your login details or language preference. The purpose of these Cookies is to provide You with a more personal experience and to avoid You having to re-enter your preferences every time You use the Website.

  • Tracking and Performance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Third-Parties

    Purpose: These Cookies are used to track information about traffic to the Website and how users use the Website. The information gathered via these Cookies may directly or indirectly identify you as an individual visitor. This is because the information collected is typically linked to a pseudonymous identifier associated with the device you use to access the Website. We may also use these Cookies to test new pages, features or new functionality of the Website to see how our users react to them.

For more information about the cookies we use and your choices regarding cookies, please visit our Cookies Policy or the Cookies section of our Privacy Policy.

Use of Your Personal Data

The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • To provide and maintain our Service, including to monitor the usage of our Service.

  • To manage Your Account: to manage Your registration as a user of the Service. The Personal Data You provide can give You access to different functionalities of the Service that are available to You as a registered user.

  • For the performance of a contract: the development, compliance and undertaking of the purchase contract for the products, items or services You have purchased or of any other contract with Us through the Service.

  • To contact You: To contact You by email, telephone calls, SMS, or other equivalent forms of electronic communication, such as a mobile application’s push notifications regarding updates or informative communications related to the functionalities, products or contracted services, including the security updates, when necessary or reasonable for their implementation.

  • To provide You with news, special offers and general information about other goods, services and events which we offer that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about unless You have opted not to receive such information.

  • To manage Your requests: To attend and manage Your requests to Us.

  • For business transfers: We may use Your information to evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of Our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which Personal Data held by Us about our Service users is among the assets transferred.

  • For other purposes: We may use Your information for other purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Service, products, services, marketing and your experience.

We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

  • With Service Providers: We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to contact You.
  • For business transfers: We may share or transfer Your personal information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of Company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of Our business to another company.
  • With Affiliates: We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us.
  • With business partners: We may share Your information with Our business partners to offer You certain products, services or promotions.
  • With other users: when You share personal information or otherwise interact in the public areas with other users, such information may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside. If You interact with other users or register through a Third-Party Social Media Service, Your contacts on the Third-Party Social Media Service may see Your name, profile, pictures and description of Your activity. Similarly, other users will be able to view descriptions of Your activity, communicate with You and view Your profile.
  • With Your consent: We may disclose Your personal information for any other purpose with Your consent.

Retention of Your Personal Data

The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company’s operating offices and in any other places where the parties involved in the processing are located. It means that this information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of Your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such information represents Your agreement to that transfer.

The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data

Business Transactions

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
  • Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
  • Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Detailed Information on the Processing of Your Personal Data

The Service Providers We use may have access to Your Personal Data. These third-party vendors collect, store, use, process and transfer information about Your activity on Our Service in accordance with their Privacy Policies.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service.

  • Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.

    You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.

    For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page: https://policies.google.com/privacy

Email Marketing

We may use Your Personal Data to contact You with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to You. You may opt-out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from Us by following the unsubscribe link or instructions provided in any email We send or by contacting Us.

We may use Email Marketing Service Providers to manage and send emails to You.

  • AWeber

    AWeber is an email marketing sending service provided by AWeber Communications.

    For more information on the privacy practices of AWeber, please visit their Privacy policy: https://www.aweber.com/privacy.htm

CCPA Privacy

This privacy notice section for California residents supplements the information contained in Our Privacy Policy and it applies solely to all visitors, users, and others who reside in the State of California.

Categories of Personal Information Collected

We collect information that identifies, relates to, describes, references, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular Consumer or Device. The following is a list of categories of personal information which we may collect or may have been collected from California residents within the last twelve (12) months.

Please note that the categories and examples provided in the list below are those defined in the CCPA. This does not mean that all examples of that category of personal information were in fact collected by Us, but reflects our good faith belief to the best of our knowledge that some of that information from the applicable category may be and may have been collected. For example, certain categories of personal information would only be collected if You provided such personal information directly to Us.

  • Category A: Identifiers.

    Examples: A real name, alias, postal address, unique personal identifier, online identifier, Internet Protocol address, email address, account name, driver’s license number, passport number, or other similar identifiers.

    Collected: Yes.

  • Category B: Personal information categories listed in the California Customer Records statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e)).

    Examples: A name, signature, Social Security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, passport number, driver’s license or state identification card number, insurance policy number, education, employment, employment history, bank account number, credit card number, debit card number, or any other financial information, medical information, or health insurance information. Some personal information included in this category may overlap with other categories.

    Collected: Yes.

  • Category C: Protected classification characteristics under California or federal law.

    Examples: Age (40 years or older), race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, religion or creed, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy or childbirth and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, veteran or military status, genetic information (including familial genetic information).

    Collected: No.

  • Category D: Commercial information.

    Examples: Records and history of products or services purchased or considered.

    Collected: No.

  • Category E: Biometric information.

    Examples: Genetic, physiological, behavioral, and biological characteristics, or activity patterns used to extract a template or other identifier or identifying information, such as, fingerprints, faceprints, and voiceprints, iris or retina scans, keystroke, gait, or other physical patterns, and sleep, health, or exercise data.

    Collected: No.

  • Category F: Internet or other similar network activity.

    Examples: Interaction with our Service or advertisement.

    Collected: Yes.

  • Category G: Geolocation data.

    Examples: Approximate physical location.

    Collected: No.

  • Category H: Sensory data.

    Examples: Audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information.

    Collected: No.

  • Category I: Professional or employment-related information.

    Examples: Current or past job history or performance evaluations.

    Collected: No.

  • Category J: Non-public education information (per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g, 34 C.F.R. Part 99)).

    Examples: Education records directly related to a student maintained by an educational institution or party acting on its behalf, such as grades, transcripts, class lists, student schedules, student identification codes, student financial information, or student disciplinary records.

    Collected: No.

  • Category K: Inferences drawn from other personal information.

    Examples: Profile reflecting a person’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes.

    Collected: No.

Under CCPA, personal information does not include:

  • Publicly available information from government records
  • Deidentified or aggregated consumer information
  • Information excluded from the CCPA’s scope, such as:
    • Health or medical information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) or clinical trial data
    • Personal Information covered by certain sector-specific privacy laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or California Financial Information Privacy Act (FIPA), and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994

Sources of Personal Information

We obtain the categories of personal information listed above from the following categories of sources:

  • Directly from You. For example, from the forms You complete on our Service, preferences You express or provide through our Service.
  • Indirectly from You. For example, from observing Your activity on our Service.
  • Automatically from You. For example, through cookies We or our Service Providers set on Your Device as You navigate through our Service.
  • From Service Providers. For example, third-party vendors to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, or other third-party vendors that We use to provide the Service to You.

Use of Personal Information for Business Purposes or Commercial Purposes

We may use or disclose personal information We collect for “business purposes” or “commercial purposes” (as defined under the CCPA), which may include the following examples:

  • To operate our Service and provide You with our Service.
  • To provide You with support and to respond to Your inquiries, including to investigate and address Your concerns and monitor and improve our Service.
  • To fulfill or meet the reason You provided the information. For example, if You share Your contact information to ask a question about our Service, We will use that personal information to respond to Your inquiry.
  • To respond to law enforcement requests and as required by applicable law, court order, or governmental regulations.
  • As described to You when collecting Your personal information or as otherwise set forth in the CCPA.
  • For internal administrative and auditing purposes.
  • To detect security incidents and protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent or illegal activity, including, when necessary, to prosecute those responsible for such activities.

Please note that the examples provided above are illustrative and not intended to be exhaustive. For more details on how we use this information, please refer to the “Use of Your Personal Data” section.

If We decide to collect additional categories of personal information or use the personal information We collected for materially different, unrelated, or incompatible purposes We will update this Privacy Policy.

Disclosure of Personal Information for Business Purposes or Commercial Purposes

We may use or disclose and may have used or disclosed in the last twelve (12) months the following categories of personal information for business or commercial purposes:

  • Category A: Identifiers

  • Category B: Personal information categories listed in the California Customer Records statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e))

  • Category F: Internet or other similar network activity

Please note that the categories listed above are those defined in the CCPA. This does not mean that all examples of that category of personal information were in fact disclosed, but reflects our good faith belief to the best of our knowledge that some of that information from the applicable category may be and may have been disclosed.

When We disclose personal information for a business purpose or a commercial purpose, We enter a contract that describes the purpose and requires the recipient to both keep that personal information confidential and not use it for any purpose except performing the contract.

Sale of Personal Information

As defined in the CCPA, “sell” and “sale” mean selling, renting, releasing, disclosing, disseminating, making available, transferring, or otherwise communicating orally, in writing, or by electronic or other means, a consumer’s personal information by the business to a third party for valuable consideration. This means that We may have received some kind of benefit in return for sharing personal Iinformation, but not necessarily a monetary benefit.

Please note that the categories listed below are those defined in the CCPA. This does not mean that all examples of that category of personal information were in fact sold, but reflects our good faith belief to the best of our knowledge that some of that information from the applicable category may be and may have been shared for value in return.

We may sell and may have sold in the last twelve (12) months the following categories of personal information:

  • Category A: Identifiers

  • Category B: Personal information categories listed in the California Customer Records statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80(e))

  • Category F: Internet or other similar network activity

Share of Personal Information

We may share Your personal information identified in the above categories with the following categories of third parties:

  • Service Providers

  • Our affiliates

  • Our business partners

  • Third party vendors to whom You or Your agents authorize Us to disclose Your personal information in connection with products or services We provide to You

Sale of Personal Information of Minors Under 16 Years of Age

We do not sell the personal information of Consumers We actually know are less than 16 years of age, unless We receive affirmative authorization (the “right to opt-in”) from either the Consumer who is between 13 and 16 years of age, or the parent or guardian of a Consumer less than 13 years of age. Consumers who opt-in to the sale of personal information may opt-out of future sales at any time. To exercise the right to opt-out, You (or Your authorized representative) may submit a request to Us by contacting Us.

If You have reason to believe that a child under the age of 13 (or 16) has provided Us with personal information, please contact Us with sufficient detail to enable Us to delete that information.

Your Rights under the CCPA

The CCPA provides California residents with specific rights regarding their personal information. If You are a resident of California, You have the following rights:

  • The right to notice. You have the right to be notified which categories of Personal Data are being collected and the purposes for which the Personal Data is being used.
  • The right to request. Under CCPA, You have the right to request that We disclose information to You about Our collection, use, sale, disclosure for business purposes and share of personal information. Once We receive and confirm Your request, We will disclose to You:
    • The categories of personal information We collected about You
    • The categories of sources for the personal information We collected about You
    • Our business or commercial purpose for collecting or selling that personal information
    • The categories of third parties with whom We share that personal information
    • The specific pieces of personal information We collected about You
    • If we sold Your personal information or disclosed Your personal information for a business purpose, We will disclose to You:
      • The categories of personal information categories sold
      • The categories of personal information categories disclosed
  • The right to say no to the sale of Personal Data (opt-out). You have the right to direct Us to not sell Your personal information. To submit an opt-out request please contact Us.
  • The right to delete Personal Data. You have the right to request the deletion of Your Personal Data, subject to certain exceptions. Once We receive and confirm Your request, We will delete (and direct Our Service Providers to delete) Your personal information from our records, unless an exception applies. We may deny Your deletion request if retaining the information is necessary for Us or Our Service Providers to:
    • Complete the transaction for which We collected the personal information, provide a good or service that You requested, take actions reasonably anticipated within the context of our ongoing business relationship with You, or otherwise perform our contract with You.
    • Detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or prosecute those responsible for such activities.
    • Debug products to identify and repair errors that impair existing intended functionality.
    • Exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise their free speech rights, or exercise another right provided for by law.
    • Comply with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal. Penal Code § 1546 et. seq.).
    • Engage in public or peer-reviewed scientific, historical, or statistical research in the public interest that adheres to all other applicable ethics and privacy laws, when the information’s deletion may likely render impossible or seriously impair the research’s achievement, if You previously provided informed consent.
    • Enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with consumer expectations based on Your relationship with Us.
    • Comply with a legal obligation.
    • Make other internal and lawful uses of that information that are compatible with the context in which You provided it.
  • The right not to be discriminated against. You have the right not to be discriminated against for exercising any of Your consumer’s rights, including by:
    • Denying goods or services to You
    • Charging different prices or rates for goods or services, including the use of discounts or other benefits or imposing penalties
    • Providing a different level or quality of goods or services to You
    • Suggesting that You will receive a different price or rate for goods or services or a different level or quality of goods or services

Exercising Your CCPA Data Protection Rights

In order to exercise any of Your rights under the CCPA, and if You are a California resident, You can contact Us:

  • By email: jeff@think504.com

Only You, or a person registered with the California Secretary of State that You authorize to act on Your behalf, may make a verifiable request related to Your personal information.

Your request to Us must:

  • Provide sufficient information that allows Us to reasonably verify You are the person about whom We collected personal information or an authorized representative
  • Describe Your request with sufficient detail that allows Us to properly understand, evaluate, and respond to it

We cannot respond to Your request or provide You with the required information if We cannot:

  • Verify Your identity or authority to make the request
  • And confirm that the personal information relates to You

We will disclose and deliver the required information free of charge within 45 days of receiving Your verifiable request. The time period to provide the required information may be extended once by an additional 45 days when reasonable necessary and with prior notice.

Any disclosures We provide will only cover the 12-month period preceding the verifiable request’s receipt.

For data portability requests, We will select a format to provide Your personal information that is readily useable and should allow You to transmit the information from one entity to another entity without hindrance.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

You have the right to opt-out of the sale of Your personal information. Once We receive and confirm a verifiable consumer request from You, we will stop selling Your personal information. To exercise Your right to opt-out, please contact Us.

The Service Providers we partner with (for example, our analytics or advertising partners) may use technology on the Service that sells personal information as defined by the CCPA law. If you wish to opt out of the use of Your personal information for interest-based advertising purposes and these potential sales as defined under CCPA law, you may do so by following the instructions below.

Please note that any opt out is specific to the browser You use. You may need to opt out on every browser that You use.

Website

You can opt out of receiving ads that are personalized as served by our Service Providers by following our instructions presented on the Service:

The opt out will place a cookie on Your computer that is unique to the browser You use to opt out. If you change browsers or delete the cookies saved by your browser, You will need to opt out again.

Mobile Devices

Your mobile device may give You the ability to opt out of the use of information about the apps You use in order to serve You ads that are targeted to Your interests:

  • “Opt out of Interest-Based Ads” or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” on Android devices
  • “Limit Ad Tracking” on iOS devices

You can also stop the collection of location information from Your mobile device by changing the preferences on Your mobile device.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us. If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “Last updated” date at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

  • By email: jeff@think504.com

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by Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

Authenticity offers emotional protection and supports satisfying relationships.

There are a lot of axioms about being genuine, being who you are, and living an authentic life. People who present themselves accurately to others and behave in ways that are congruent with their identities actually do reap important relationship benefits.

Being true to yourself is encouraged by pop psychology, the media, our friends, and our parents. The expectation today is that everyone should embrace their unique identity and forego trying to be like everyone else. “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” This slogan can be found on posters, T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs. When a friend is interviewing for a new job, you probably remind them about the value of “being yourself.” Research proves that employees who are supported in their authenticity are more productive and happier than those who are less authentic in the workplace.

Feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin takes a lot less effort than play-acting someone else’s idea, or your idea, of who you “should be.” It’s kind of like advice about lying: it’s harder to keep a story straight when it’s not based on the truth. We spin our wheels trying to remember the various details that we artfully inserted into a fabricated story and end up crashing into traps of our own creation. Learning to be authentic is more about unlearning the habit of trying to be someone you’re not.

Hallmarks of Authenticity

  1. Awareness of how you feel inside about the world and the people in it. It’s okay to be unhappy or angry about what you see happening, but lying about it to yourself isn’t the best choice if authenticity is what you’re aiming for.
  2. Ability to take in and process information about yourself with an unbiased perspective. Most everyone thinks the best of oneself and wants to focus on their strengths, but being able to acknowledge and accept shortcomings and areas for growth will provide a foundation for growth that “rose-colored glasses” won’t allow.
  3. Behaving in ways that are congruent with your aims and beliefs. We lose respect for people who “say one thing but do another.” Don’t be that person.
  4. Engaging with others with no intention to deceive or exploit anyone. Lying to get what you want suggests that what you want isn’t yours to request.

Authenticity Minimizes the Pain of Rejection

One of the powers of authenticity is that we don’t worry so much about the people who don’t like who we are. When we’re not trying to be someone else, we can accept that not everyone will appreciate who we are and what we stand for. We don’t feel as bothered by exclusion from social groups when we choose to live in congruence with our beliefs, aims, and values (Gino & Kouchaki, 2020). Authenticity is connected to self-esteem and if we’re okay with ourselves, we’re okay with others being “not okay” with who we are. We also don’t feel as threatened by novel situations when we’re being true to ourselves. If you can be comfortable in your own skin, you will be more comfortable anywhere you show up.

Authenticity Is Good for Life and Good for Love

With the ability to self-present any way we want on social media and dating or hook-up sites, it can be tempting to create an “aspirational profile” or a downright bogus profile that is shared with potential matches. However, the research indicates that being unapologetically yourself can pay off in the long run if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. article continues after advertisement

The higher our levels of self-reported authenticity, the less anxious we tend to be about trusting our partners and the more we focus on the positive aspects of our relationship (Wickman, 2013). And when we are with a partner who we believe to be authentic, we feel more satisfied in the relationship. We enjoy more trust in our pattern and experience higher levels of commitment to the relationship. In addition, authenticity has been shown to be positively connected to emotional intelligence and more pleasing outcomes in romantic relationships (Josephs et al., 2019). When we’re with someone who supports our own authenticity and is equally “real” with us, we enjoy greater security in the relationship, which is integral to each partner’s ability to relax with one another and to be true to themselves.

Conclusion

It’s not “putting on an act” or showing “false bravado” or an inflated sense of self-esteem that offers us “rejection protection,” but the practice of living an authentic life. When “you do you,” it gives those around you the opportunity to be themselves, as well. This honesty and genuineness form the foundation on which satisfying and dynamic romantic relationships, friendships, careers, and futures can be built.

Him Loving You Ain’t One of Them

The Love Dr Is Back!

They say if you love something let it go and if it comes back it must be meant for you. Let me just say that the lie detector test has determined that is a lie. Just because something or somebody returns to you doesn’t mean that it is meant for you, or good for you. In fact sometimes what keeps coming back is what is holding up what’s meant for you.

This is something we see a lot in relationships. Oftentimes I hear women saying he came back so he must love something about her. That is a fact. The problem is he can love something about being there and still not love her. Not knowing the difference between the two is why so many women are still dealing with the back and forth.

Usually when I say this to a woman her immediate response is, “well why is he here then”? There are a few reasons that he keeps coming back, but let me assure you none of them have anything to do with love. How do I know you ask? Because if he truly loved you he wouldn’t have left in the first place, and you can’t debate me on that.

1st Reason

The first reason he keeps coming back is because of the benefits. Even though he may not want you, he can still want what you’re giving. The fact that he can get love, affection, sex, attention, and whatever else from you and still do whatever he wants is what a keeping him coming back. The minute you put provisions and expectations on what you’re giving him, the chances of him trying to come back will be slim and none.

2nd Reason

The second reason is he is selfish. He might know that he is not ready for the woman you are, but keeps coming back so nobody else can get there. As long as he keeps coming back you stay emotionally connected and if he is who you really want you won’t give anyone else a chance. Every time he shows up again, you have hope that one day he might be the man you need him to be. The truth is he is only blocking the man that is already who you need them to be.

3rd Reason

And lastly, and the one that will hurt the most, you keep letting him come back. The truth is if he valued you there wouldn’t be all the back and forth. At the same time if you loved yourself more there wouldn’t be the back and forth. Reopening that door every time he comes back is only proving to him that you don’t even believe you deserve better than him. Also, it shows him you can’t find better than him, because if you could then you wouldn’t keep taking him back.

The truth is a man can see the value in what you do and not see the value in you. It’s up to you to stop them from walking in and out of your life on a regular basis. Remember you teach people how to treat you. Every time you take him back you’re telling that it’s okay to treat you how he treats you. You’re saying there is nothing wrong with the things he is doing to you. And most importantly you’re saying you would rather have him than the better man you deserve.  Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/?.src=iOS

Whenever we finally have the next election in Louisiana, there will be constitutional amendments on the ballot.  Didn’t know?  Aware but not sure of the details?  We got you.  Read on for a concise and easy to understand breakdown of the 4 amendments you will see.

Amendment 1

Authorizes streamlined electronic filing, remittance, and collection of sales and use tax 

 “Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to provide for the streamlined electronic filing, electronic remittance, and the collection of sales and use taxes levied within the state by the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission and to provide for the funding, duties, and responsibilities of the commission?”

YES VOTE  Creates a new statewide tax commission that would collect all sales taxes handle all electronic tax filings and create new policy for all state and local sales taxes. The appointed commission would replace all current tax commissions and take away any and all local control of sales tax collections.

NO VOTE Leaves things as they currently are. 

Shallow Dive into the Issues

Most states have a central collection agency that passes money back to the local municipalities.  Big businesses would view the state more favorably.  The current system has every parish and even cities in parishes collecting their own taxes. This is unfair complex and oppressive. Supreme court rulings probably make the system unconstitutional.  But taking away local control means outsiders control not only collection but policies, rules and regulations. 

Amendment 2

Lowers maximum allowed rate of income tax and allows providing a deduction for federal income taxes

 “Do you support an amendment to lower the maximum allowable rate of individual income tax and to authorize the legislature to provide by law for a deduction for federal income taxes paid?”

YES VOTE Reforms and updates Louisiana’s tax code

NO VOTE Maintains Louisiana’s current tax code that dates to 2003.

Shallow Dive into the Issues

The current system is at odds with the federal tax system.  When federal taxes get lowered, then individual Louisiana state taxes are actually increased.  And when federal taxes are raised, then individual Louisiana state taxes are reduced but state revenue is also reduced.  If you are interested in tax reform for Louisiana then a vote yes will implement a cascade of tax reform.

Amendment 3

Allows certain levee districts to levy an annual tax for certain purposes

 “Do you support an amendment to allow levee districts created after January 1, 2006, and before October 9, 2021, whose electors approve the amendment to levy an annual tax not to exceed five mills for the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection, and hurricane flood protection?”  

YES VOTE Allows  5 levee districts created after 2006 to raise property taxes without a voter approval.

NO VOTE Requires the 5 Levee districts to get voter approval before raising taxes

Shallow Dive into the Issues

Older districts can raise taxes by 3 mils without voter approval.  But these 5

  • Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority (Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vermilion Parishes)
  • Iberia Parish Levee, Hurricane and Conservation District (Iberia Parish)  
  • Squirrel Run Levee and Drainage District (Iberia Parish)  
  •  St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District (St. Tammany)
  •  Tangipahoa Levee District (Tangipahoa Parish)

Must get voter approval.  The whole state votes. The districts and the state must approve the change for it to go into effect.

Amendment 4

Increases amount of allowed reduction to certain dedicated funds when a budget deficit is projected

“Do you support an amendment to increase the amount of allowable deficit reductions to statutory dedications and constitutionally protected funds from five percent to ten percent?

YES VOTE Lets the governor transfer more dedicated funds to fix a budget deficit.

NO VOTE Keeps the current 5% cap on use of dedicated funds

Shallow Dive into the Issues

The state’s budget must be balanced. When there is a deficit, the governor can take raid dedicated funds to the tune of 5%.  This change increases that to 10%.   

Now you know! #Geaux Vote

The NFL is about a 1/4 of the way through the season. The Saints have battled through displacement, injuries, inconsistency, and an adjustment period. Here’s a statistically based assessment of where they stand.

Offense:

The offense has been terrible this year, one of the worst of Sean Payton’s career. They’re down in almost every statistical category – points per game, total yards per game, passing yards per game, rushing yards per game. 5 games into the season, the offense has just struggled to move the ball, especially through the air.

At quarterback, Jameis Winston is only completing 60% of his passes for 178 yards a game. That’s near the bottom of the league statistically. His overall QB rating is skewed by the fact that he has 12 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. But 4 of those came in one game where he threw goal line touchdowns after the Saints ran the ball down the field. 4 others have come on big plays. Simply put, the Saints have had few sustained drives through the air. In a quarterback driven league, there’s no way you can consider yourself a SuperBowl contender with stats like that.

Part of it can be chalked up to the Saints missing both starting wide receivers. And part of it can be chalked up to Winston just not reading the coverages, or bad play calling on Sean Payton’s part. Whatever the reason, the Saints have got to get the passing game together in order to make the playoffs for the 5th consecutive year.

Saints All Pro Receiver Michael Thomas

Reason to be optimistic: Michael Thomas is coming back. There’s no getting around it. The Saints’ season hinges on Michael Thomas. On paper, he’s not only the best player on the team, but he’s one of the best in the league. The last time we saw a healthy Can’t Guard Mike he was the 2019 Offensive Player of The Year, leading the league in yards and receptions. That year he caught 80% of the balls thrown to him for an average of 9 receptions and a 107 yards per game. To put that in perspective, Jameis Winston barely threw for over 107 yards in each of the first 3 games this season.

Thomas’ presence should open up the offense. With less attention thrown his way, Marquez Calloway should shine as a 2nd option. Alvin Kamara should see more favorable matches coming out the backfield. And in pressure situations, Thomas should serve as a security blanket for Winston when no one else is open or he has trouble reading coverages down the field.

Reason to be concerned: Who knows which Michael Thomas will return. His consistency on the field has been matched by his inconsistency off of it. The last 2 years, his tweets have risen to Antonio Brown levels. Last season, he was suspended for fighting. And this year, he stubbornly waited until training camp neared to have ankle surgery, which is why he’s not on the field now.

Defense:

The defense has been carrying the team. And if you had to pick a MVP so far, it would have to be defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Since 2017 all Allen has done is scheme up the best defense the Saints have had since the Dome Patrol.

Reason to be optimistic: The defense is actually slightly better this year. They’re only giving up 18 points per game, 3 points less than the 21 they gave up last year. They’re also only allowing 79 yards rushing. That’s down from 93 last year. And despite going up against 3 of the best running backs in the league – Aaron Jones of the Packers, Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers, and Saquon Barkley of the Giants, they have yet to give up 100 yards to a single back.

This means that opposing offenses have been forced to be one dimensional. And even with teams resorting to throwing the ball more, the Saints D hasn’t been giving up big plays down the field consistently. They also rank 3rd in creating turnovers, up a spot from last year.

Reason to be concerned: They’re not sacking the quarterback. The Saints rank 29th in sacks so for this year. Last year they were 8th. They loss an elite pass rusher in Trey Hendrickson. And no one has stepped up to replace him. Cameron Jordan is in year 2 of a late career slide. Marcus Davenport is inconsistent when he does manage to stay on the field. Carl Granderson and Tanoh Kpassagnon have shown flashes. But this lack of a pass rush is partly why the Saints failed to close out the Giants game. This may become a big problem when they step up in QB class later in the season.

Special Teams:

Punter – Blake Gillikin has made us forget all about Thomas Morrestead.

Kicker – absolute disaster. The Saints are now on their 3rd kicker – 5 games into the season.

Reason to be optimistic: Wil Lutz will eventually come back.

Tidbits:

*  Alvin Kamara is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, down from 5.0 last year, but he’s a much better runner now.

*  Malcolm Jenkins is actually playing good football. He’s projected to finish with 86 solo tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 pass defenses, and 10 tackles for a loss.

*  11/14 – 12/2. @ Tennessee, @ Philly, then home against the Bills, and Cowboys. Those 4 weeks will tell you all you need to know about this team.

Prediction:

This team most likely has a ceiling of 11-6. But they’re a disgruntled Michael Thomas or an injury away from being 9-8 or 8-9. In the meantime, sharpen your teeth. Because this should turn out to be a nail biter of a season.

Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

What you learned to do isn’t working. 6 ways to begin to turn your life around.

KEY POINTS

  • We often struggle because our old coping styles no longer work.
  • Knowing your old dysfunctional patterns helps you know how to begin to run your life better.
  • Discover what you can’t do and experiment with acting differently.

Life can deliver its share of troubles and we step up and handle them as best we can. But, for some, their struggles seem never to end. While they, too, are doing their best, what often fuels their difficulties is how they are running their lives. They seem to repeatedly fall into the same potholes, replicate the same dysfunctional patterns, and react to problems in old ways that no longer work.

If this seems to be true for you, maybe it’s time to step back, stop doing what isn’t working, and begin replacing this outdated psychological software with upgraded versions. Here are some of the most common potholes and patterns to stop alongside their new-and-improved replacements. See which resonate most with you:

Stop being a victim

You’re upset because your partner always brings up that incident at Christmas that he knows makes you angry. You’re tired all the time because you’re always going a hundred miles an hour juggling work, kids’ demands, and everyday life. The core problem here is that you see yourself as a victim of others and their reactions, a victim of the life that you have created.

What to start doing: Yes, you can’t control your partner; you feel trapped in a lifestyle that drains you. But most of all you’re not taking responsibility—for your emotions and your reactions, for the choices you make even when you feel like you are not making choices.

Stop being emotionally driven

Being emotionally driven easily overlaps with feeling like a victim. What we’re talking about here is you running your everyday life based on how you feel. You’re tired, so you don’t mow the lawn or do your taxes; you’re overwhelmed about the new project at work, so put off tackling it; it’s already 2:00 pm, the day is shot, and so you mentally kick back and coast—you’ll tackle it tomorrow.

Folks who have high anxiety or who have AD/HD are often emotionally driven: They do what they do based on how they feel. The problem with this is that you understandably avoid what you don’t want to do, what is uncomfortable, and don’t follow through when the going gets tough.

What to start doing: The underlying problem is that your emotional brain is driving your life rather than your rational brain. It’s time to stop your rational brain from being a passenger and to allow it to become the driver: time to learn to act despite how you feel; time to develop some perseverance, some discipline so your feelings aren’t constantly derailing you from success.

Stop being passive

It’s okay; that’s fine; no problem; whatever. If you find yourself saying these often, you probably get kudos for being laid back and accommodating, and as an extra bonus, you avoid a lot of conflict and confrontation. But it comes at a cost: by going along and essentially letting others make choices for you, you are living the life of a child rather than an adult who shapes his life by making his own decisions. Periodically, you may find yourself feeling resentful; you may flare up and be self-destructive. Rather than living a life that reflects your unique purpose, the moral of your life is to not make waves, not get into trouble.

What to start doing: While those who are emotionally driven pay too much attention to their emotions, those who are passive tend to not pay enough attention to them. If you feel like it’s time to stop being passive, you have two skills to develop: One is listening to your gut, paying attention to what you don’t like, don’t want to; two is doing something with it.

Speak up, be assertive, tell others how you feel and think. Even if it takes three days to figure out how you feel, that’s fine; it’s okay to take baby steps. All you have to do is act. Not perfectly, not because you expect some magical outcome, not because it will make someone else happy. Simply speak up and act rather than leaning back and doing nothing.

Stop being a martyr

You volunteer for every committee; you’re always doing for others. That’s fine if that is part of your values, your vision of a good life. But all too often, it’s about anxiety, walking on eggshells. While the story you tell yourself is that you are just being a good person, you’re being over-responsible and being good so others like you, to avoid the conflict that may come from saying no. You can tell when you are losing control of your life when you get burned out, or, like those who are passive, you periodically feel resentful that others aren’t appreciating what you’re doing or are not pulling their weight. If this happens to you, your life is out of balance; you’re being a martyr.

What to start doing: Like the others, realize and acknowledge when this is happening. Next, do what you struggle to do. Keep your hand down when they call for volunteers; learn to say no. Change your expectations about what you expect from others in return. Use your burnout as a wake-up call to tell you that you are not living your life.

Stop settling

The vacation your partner planned was “okay.” The salary increase wasn’t what you expected but “understandable.” Good for you for not overreacting and being critical. But…if you are doing this a lot, if your life is an endless series of compromises and watered-down experiences, if you are always settling, eventually it’s going to back up on you. Yes, it is good enough, but like that poor woman who in old age regretted eating too many beans and not enough ice cream, do you too need to learn to slow down on the beans and try going for more ice cream?

What to start doing: Speak up and try not to rationalize that what you get is good enough, or that it’s probably what you should only expect. You deserve more than you think; you can get more than you believe you can. And you have to believe it and try living it to find out.

Stop cutting and running

The relationship isn’t working out—you ghost him. Your supervisor is awful, and you quit. Your mother makes some nasty comments about your partner, and you decide you’re done and never want to talk to her again.

This is about coping with hurtful situations by cutting them off—the situation, the pain, the person. The problem here is your anxiety and your coping style works so you keep doing it. But the downside is that your life becomes a series of emotional cutoffs and unresolved problems; the hurt isn’t ever really resolved. You never learn the lessons that life can teach you. You stay the victim; your life is an accumulation of problems swept under the rug.

What to start doing: Don’t run; talk. Don’t run; tackle the problem. Your supervisor may still be a monster, your mother sticks to her nasty ways, but you’ve pushed back. You’ve been that adult rather than the scared, angry 10-year-old who runs away. At some point, what you say will be heard and the problem will be fixed.

The theme here is clear: Figure out what you can’t do, where you settle, resign, go on auto-pilot, or avoid what is hard. Stop doing it. Try doing the opposite.

The NOLA Project theatre company is getting a new leading artistic

voice.

Ensemble member Brittany N. Williams (HARRY AND THE THIEF, SPARE MISSION 1) has

been tabbed as TNP’s first-ever Co-Artistic Director. She will assume the role in January of

2022.

Brittany N. Williams

“I’m thrilled to be joining The NOLA Project team as Co-Artistic Director,” Williams said.

“Working with this brilliant group of artists as an ensemble member has been wonderful and I’m

excited to help us grow and evolve as a company and as part of the greater New Orleans

community.”

Williams, is an actor, singer and writer. You last saw her on stage in TNP’s last in-person production,

HARRY AND THE THIEF (Vivian), at the Contemporary Arts Center in 2020. During the

pandemic, she penned one of the company’s four original PodPlays as well as provided her

voice for it and two others. Outside of TNP, Williams’ credits include Stage Door Songbook: Cole

Porter (Susan), Mary Full of Gray (Mary/writer) and she was the The National World War II

Museum’s 2019 Stage Door Idol winner.

Williams will share Artistic Director duties with current AD A.J. Allegra.

“I couldn’t be happier to announce the addition of Brittany N. Williams to our new shared

leadership model at The NOLA Project,” Allegra said. “She is a passionate, smart, and creative

theatre artist with an incredible depth of knowledge and experience. The pandemic-forced

pause in our work allowed our ensemble to look inward at ways in which we could strengthen

and improve our organization. And, I am so pleased that in the tradition of NOLA Project, and the

spirit of ensemble, we selected one of our own to co-lead the next era of The NOLA Project.”

Originally from Baltimore, MD, Williams performed across three continents – including a year

spent as a principal vocalist at Hong Kong Disneyland – and several US states prior to

relocating to New Orleans in 2017. Some favorite out-of-town credits include Universal Robots

(Helena), Margaret I (Joan of Arc), Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (Nansi – Helen Hayes Award

nom.), Antony and Cleopatra (Soothsayer/Clown), and Lear (Cordelia/Fight Captain). Williams

holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Howard University and an MA in Classical Acting from the

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.

Last time we saw her

Williams’ latest work will be on display this fall when The NOLA Project and the New Orleans

Museum of Art present her new play, TELL IT TO ME SWEET, in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

For more information on the original outdoor production, running October 29-November 14, please visit

NOLAProject.com. PRESS CONTACT: kclaverie@nolaproject.com | 504.913.5057

 In an unprecedented move, two opponents endorse each other during an election

District “C” Councilmember Kristin Palmer and District “D” Councilmember Jared Brossett announced that they are taking the unprecedented step of endorsing each other for the Council At-Large before the November 13th Primary. Palmer and Brossett are running against each other in a four-way race for the Division 2 Council At-Large seat that includes former State Senator JP Morrell. Typically opponents in the same race do not endorse the other until after one loses.

Why would they do this?

The opponents see an opportunity to move voters away from their primary opponent JP Morrell.  Polling shows Morrell making the runoff with either of them.  For Palmer this is a political calculation.  In addition to politics, the personal dispute between Brossett and Morrell just got revved up significantly. 

Brossett and Palmer have worked together on the Council on multiple issues, including the $15 an hour minimum wage for city employees. They worked on the growing Airbnb problem. But this unforeseen action is not only shocking but politically risky for each of them.  

We will see how or if this unprecedented move affects the primary.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

Wait, the party out of power was complaining about the party in power trying to raise the debt ceiling? What year is it? I feel like we’ve been here before. Some would call this deja vu. Others would call it a glitch in the Matrix. But this is the debt ceiling debacle.

This episode played out predictably. I had trouble deciphering if it was a new one or just a re-run. At the heart of it all was the funding of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget.

Democrats, the party in power, we’re trying to rally two holdouts in the Senate. And Republicans were running around talking about how the budget would usher in the total ruination of the country. This all made for high drama.

Senators Sinema and Manchin contribute to the Debt Ceiling Debate

HOLDOUTS 1 & 2

Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, also known as holdout #1, got jacked up in a bathroom by some citizens who still actually take national politics seriously. Not like literally jacked up, but you know, confronted, politely questioned in public about why she’s stalling President Biden’s budget.

Holdout #2, Senator Joe Manchin, a Republican who identifies as a Democrat, did what he usually does in highly partisan showdown. He got squeamish when Democrats started asking how he’ll be voting. Manchin subjected his fellow Democrats to a lot of public foot stomping over the green energy policies included in the budget. This shouldn’t be surprising. He’s a Democrat from West Virginia, a coal mining state that has voted Republican in every presidential election since 2000.

Meanwhile, Republicans were dealing with their own internal drama. In one breath, it wouldn’t make proper partisan sense to be seen voting with the Democrats. But in another, it also wouldn’t make much political sense to sit back and watch the Democrats nuke the filibuster.

The filibuster is the only weapon a minority party in the Senate has to influence legislation. It takes 60 votes to break one, which is something no party in recent memory has had. So, a compromise is forced. Naturally, the threat of losing the filibuster scared the bee gee bees out of Mitch McConnell. So, he did the unthinkable: he rallied votes on behalf of the Democrats.

In the end, McConnell betrayed his party (their words) and did just enough to throw Democrats some cover fire until December. Instead of actually voting to raise the debt ceiling to cover the budget, Republicans and Democrats agreed to raise it just enough to cover the bills until December. The price – $480 billion.

People who try to make sense of this ask: why when they vote to spend money we don’t have, they just don’t also raise the debt ceiling to cover it?

The answer: because there’d be no incentive to curb spending. Imagine if every time you were about to max out your credit card, the bank just increased your credit limit. You know all the trouble you’d get into?

Right now, the federal government is in $28 trillion of trouble, mainly because it has just that – unlimited credit. The debt that incurs is usually only a problem to the party that’s not in control of spending.

Over the years, the rhetoric surrounding the budget and federal spending has degenerated to stomp speeches and red meat for constituents. You can look for this to intensify until one party, probably Republicans, actually do something crazy like block the other party from raising the ceiling. Then all catastrophes will break loose.

But the good people in Washington made sure that is something we won’t have to worry about until Christmas. Think of it as a premature lump of coal in your stocking. In a month and a half, we’ll actually see if they will take all the merry out of Christmas.

By TiOnka Writez

On September 9, 2021,  President Biden signed the executive order to mandate the vaccination of all federal employees and employees operating with one hundred people within the private sector by 12/08/2021. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidelines. Unvaccinated employees are to submit a negative COVID-19 test result every 72 hours before reporting for duty. In true American fashion, the edge of a life-altering event stirs dissent. We understand the need to stop the virus. But the plan of tampering with the working classes’ lively hood is a bit extreme.

The three most common vaccine questions are:

1) Are you vaccinated?

2) When will you get vaccinated?

3) Why won’t you get vaccinated?

Depending on who is asking, you may need to ere on the side of caution when preparing to answer. The decision to vaccinate or not is causing a rift in home and work environments worldwide. The unvaccinated now face hostility. How did we, as a “united” nation, get here?

Now, I know what you are thinking. This COVID-19 virus is no joke. Humans have never faced this before. And you cannot fathom why anyone would object to a scientifically formulated and tested solution. However, The unvaccinated have real issues to consider. Initially there was confusing and mixed messaging. For instance, medical professionals advise patients to take the “shot” to save lives. But a liability waiver is necessary to proceed with vaccine administering. And multiple contracting cases and deaths by COVID-19 are on record in vaccinated individuals. Warnings of use labels, of course, are available on all over-the-counter and prescribed medications. But the difference here is choice and the ability to proceed with informed consent.

The first amendment (“Freedom of Speech”) means freedom of expression. If individuals express their desire not to receive the vaccination, accept their decision. Amidst the debt ceiling debate, now is not the ideal time to threaten Americans’ job security. Stifling employee wage-earning potential and restricting medical coverage for COVID-19 testing is counterproductive to replenishing a depleted economy.

We should develop a solution that considers the position of all parties involved. The most relevant question here is, who or what constitutes a valuable person?” The answer is simple; every living person holds value. And their opinion matters. Don’t bully or shame people for staying strong in their conviction. Placing restrictions on employment is not the best create trust and cooperation with the citizens you are attempting to save.

To vaccinate more people, appeal to what matters to them. Implement a solution to address daily issues like the unstable workforce or unjustly inflated insurance rates in certain areas. Address their concerns without gaslighting them, overlooking how they perceive your message or threatening them with excessive force.

RELATED: For some lack of access is the issue

         

            In my recent pandemic rant, I railed against adults, who, for no good reason, refused to get vaccinated. I argued that it constitutes reckless endangerment of our children. As I write this, yesterday (August 25), a baby and a 14-year-old football player died in Louisiana of COVID.

            My daughter Rebecca, who is a physician and has a nine-year-old, thought my rant was spot on. My son, Jonathan, also a physician and whose 8-year-old just recovered from COVID, could relate to my frustration, but he thought I should be more understanding of the unvaccinated. And my unvaccinated friend V called me up to say I can’t just call her a baby killer. I didn’t, and yet . . . what do the facts say?

            I know V extremely well and love her. But I can’t for the life of me see how she reaches her anti-vax conclusion. She’s not stupid. In fact, she is brilliant. She doesn’t buy conspiracy theories. She’s never been betrayed by doctors or the medical establishment. She’s generous and community oriented. But she’s not a Republican. And yet she’s one of those people I referenced in my rant that you can’t reason with.

            I have to grant, therefore, that my son’s approach may be more useful. He had a patient last week, an elderly woman with underlying conditions, who refused to get the shot because she was sure that the Lord would take care of her. He affirmed her strong faith and said he wanted to tell her a story/joke. You know, the one about a person in dire straits who refuses three rescue offers because she believes God will save her. She dies and then takes God to task for not answering her prayers. And God says, but I sent you X, Y, and Z.

            Jonathan, being a homeboy, gave it the New Orleans spin of a woman on a rooftop after Katrina. Boats and a helicopter came to the rescue, and she waved them away. His patient laughed uproariously and said she’d think about it. He had occasion to call her several times as a follow-up to their appointment asking various questions about her medical history. On the fourth call, she said she had some surprising news. She got the shot.

            “Great!” he said. “What made you decide?” She said she shared the hilarious story with a friend. When Jonathan called, she said that was God’s second message to her. When he called again – that was God’s third message. “I got in my car,” she told him, “To drive to the Walgreens. And if nothing happens on the way, I’ll know that God wants me to get the shot.”

            Jonathan is 1 for 0 on convincing people. I am 0 for 0. So I have to admit, as good and righteous as my rant felt – yes, his approach is proving more effective.