Lauren Adley

To what extent can we really work on improving ourselves? Are there better versions of ourselves which we haven’t discovered? What answer is your mind providing to these questions?

You probably think you are already the best you can be. But there is always that best version of ourselves hidden somewhere right within us. Only a few people are aware of this and not so many people become that best version of themselves.

How to become your best self

If you have been trying to become your best self, then this guide is going to be very helpful for you in discovering and bringing out the best in you. Let’s consider some ways through which we can make this happen and have our lives better shaped.

1. Think bigger

Great minds think very big. Begin with the pattern of your thinking. Think the way great minds think.

The thoughts that go on in your mind will go a long way in determining what you do practically and what view of yourself you have afterward. Think positively and every time, you should know assuredly in your mind that you can achieve anything you want.

By registering positive things in your mind, your whole being will work towards becoming that great person who you picture yourself to be.

Think Bigger for becoming your best self

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2. Motivate yourself

You will realize that motivation has a great influence on you. Even when things don’t go as you expect, motivation keeps you going and it helps you maintain your stand until you reach your goals.

You can motivate yourself by repeatedly reading out aloud some motivational quotes. You can also listen to great motivational speakers. Attend seminars that will motivate you for greatness in life.

Motivate yourself for becoming your best self

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3. Believe in yourself

Believing in yourself is very important. Believe you can be that great person. Look at yourself and see a successful individual. Do things that demonstrate your better self. Attempt entirely new things and believe that you will do them well.

Don’t go around with low self-esteem, thinking that you are a failure or a person of a low standard. Be sure that you have all it takes to be whoever you want to be.

4. Set goals for yourself

Tie every single thing you do to a goal. It helps you to be naturally more focused and determined. Write down the things you want to achieve within any certain period of time. Stick to your goals and work towards achieving them before the time you stated. Goals will definitely make you a better individual and make you more focused.

5. Spend your time wisely

How you spend your time is very important. Do not spend your time on trivial activities. Spend more time on activities that will mold you into being a better individual.

Learn to delegate your tasks when you have too much to handle. Seek assignment help when necessary and make the best use of technology to accomplish your tasks faster. Time management skills are essential to bringing out the best in you, and even after the best in you starts to manifest itself.

Spend your time wisely for becoming your best self

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6. Take up new challenges

Opportunities lie in challenges. Never be afraid of failure, so that you then fail to take up new challenges. Instead, you should be ready to explore other options and expand your comfort zone. Don’t run away from the herculean task because these tasks will mold you into a better person. Be daring in your attitude, by doing things that appear difficult.

7. Let go of past failures

Past failures will hold you down if you don’t let go of them. You only need to learn from your mistakes by making better decisions in the future. All the great people you know have also encountered failure at one time or another.

8. Take time to discover your strengths

In an attempt to become your best self, you have to discover your strengths and use them. Pay attention to yourself to see where your strengths lie. The starting point for the emergence of the best version of yourself is at the level of self-discovery. Whatever your strengths are, capitalize on them, as you gradually become your best self.

Some troubles you might face in the process and how to overcome them

Roads that lead to amazing places are not always smooth and you may encounter some problems while trying to be your best self. Here are some of the common troubles people face in the process and the possible solution to each of the problems:

1. Finding it difficult to believe in yourself

You have probably pictured yourself as being a nobody for so long, and now you wish to suddenly change that mental image of yourself and start believing in yourself. You may find it difficult to achieve this in a day, but you only need to give it a little bit of time. During this time, make a list of your abilities and go through it. You will discover you aren’t doing the wrong thing to believe in yourself.

2. Your courage is failing you

Your courage may fail you and you may feel like giving up the quest of becoming your best self. The change in your way of doing things is the root cause. Try to identify what new thing makes you feel like giving up and devise a way of performing well at it. If for instance, it is one of the new and daring tasks which you have adopted that is making you feel uncomfortable, consider training on how to perform the task in a way that requires less effort.

3. Fear coming to your mind

Fear is a foe and you must learn to overcome it. Fear can come into your mind and then you start to imagine unhelpful outcomes. Fear may suggest to you that you will soon give up the whole process or reduce your commitment to it. Fear is nothing but a waste of time. Try to identify the cause of the fear and address it from its origin. If you still sense the fear after many attempts to subdue the fear, seek counsel from your friends, family or from an expert.

4. Finding it difficult to discover your strengths

Your strengths appear to be completely hidden or perhaps you think you don’t have any at all. Maybe you aren’t using the right method to discover it. You may not be too sensitive to yourself and that is making you think you lack special strengths within you. In such situations, your friends and your family can be of great help. It’s possible they have identified your strengths. Seek their opinion and take note of what they have to say about your strengths.

5. Having problems noticing changes between the old you and the new you

If after some weeks of carefully following the guide, you haven’t noticed any change, your mind begins to have some queries and you begin to wonder why? I strongly believe that changes should be clearly visible after about two weeks of rigorously working towards becoming your best self. If you, therefore, haven’t noticed any change, then I suggest highlighting your recent success, or development, and carefully compare it with the development you used to have in the past. I’m sure you will notice an improvement.

Wrapping up

You will definitely have more success, achievement and fulfillment to record, the moment you become your best self. You only have a few things to follow and a few steps to take per day, in order to achieve this. Be determined to bring out the best in you today.

6 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Best Self”
  1. High Pappa Lora vs Low Pappa Hira? Sometimes, it just may not be you?

    LBRC- The current NOLA Council? Huey Long 101 for Negroes who require at least  2hrs. to watch 60 min., Low Pappa Hira vs High Pappa Lora?

    1. Huey explained it like this- Low Pappa Hira and High Pappa Lora were at a Bar- B- Q.

    2. High Pappa Lora always takes everything from “The Middle Up”, speaking Hog!

    3. Low Pappa Hira always takes everything from “The Middle Down”.

    4. A Barbequed Hog was laying on the table looking nice and tasty.

    5. High Pappa Lora Never stays around long, just like your Politicos and Celebrity Apostate Preachers, your frequent flyer ilk, just long enough to stroke some low self esteems, egos and Sycophants. Time to depart and…- High Pappa Lora takes their share of ‘Dat Hog from “The Top Up”/ Hog Head Cheese et al (Probably What Really Set off Low Pappa Hira The Negro), which leaves “The Middle Down” for everybody else! What happens next?

    a. Low Pappa Hira says, “Come back ‘hea High Pappa Lora and put ‘sum ‘ah ‘Dat Bar- B- Q back on ‘Dat Table! After all, what we ‘Sposed to eat, Party and Buck Dance with”?

    b. High Pappa Lora appeared indignant initially, then reluctantly complied! 

    6. NOLA Politicos pretend to commensurate Low Pappa Hira’s Caste. Yet, they vote themselves 100% raises, from “The Middle Up”! Low Pappa Hiras have short memories! Look at how easily Kira Orange won election with key endorsements from Coons! Then Low Pappa Hira wonders how 10k (And Growing) so- called “Opportunity Youth” ends up on I- 10 doing “Cart Wheels” on “Stolen” ATV’S at High Noon. After The RSD fired approx. 7k Certified Black Teachers and “Support Staff”, Low Pappa Hira had no choice but to except RSD “Choice” meaning a “Failing D or C” Public School! 99,999% of High Pappa Lora’s kids attend an A or B Public School or De Facto “Private Charter” with public “Vouchers”, generally in Caucasion centered areas, Commercial or otherwise. Most Negro RSD Schools? Guess!!! Nearly all are D and F! You can’t make this up!!!

    7. If it takes you at least 2 hrs. to watch 60 min., you’re still clueless! Therefore, your favorite hobby is probably sitting on your ‘Glute complaining! Where are your kids,  I- 10 or in “The Quarter”? How fast are “Radio Waves”, 1,100 ft. Per sec., sound? Does  NOPD have Radios, other strategies? Just can’t catch ’em, pun intended?

    a. In The Movie, “Planet of The Apes”, it only took 1 so- called Low Pappa Hira to say,  “No”! 

    b. NOLA Politicos are really Low Pappa Hira, except High Pappa Lora tells them, “You’re different”! Yeah right!

    c. What happened in Puerto Rico 2019? The same should happen in NOLA 2019! Politicos have bid you out and are planning more pain! Whether Gentrification, Taxes, Fees, More City Park Driving Ranges plus Debt Assumptions? More “Pumping to The River” weakeniing Levees and “Increasing Water Levels (Duh?) and yada…, 

    d. There is a pending “Economic Crisis” on The Horizon and Low Pappa Hira’s Service Industry Salaries ain’t ‘gonna cut it! Uh oh! Caucasions “and” Blacks are preparing for an SHTF Event! It’ll be a little different than the movies! ‘Dats for The Criminally inclined ilk! 

    Recommendation? Tell High Pappa Lora, generally not NOLA. proper, especially Metairie, to bring back sum ‘ah ‘Dat Bar- B- Q back, then fill your faces now! When “The Crisis” hit, at least you’ll start out with a Full Tank! Wished we could say the same about what’s inside some heads, for their kid’s sake! 

    Peace Out…

  2. You might perceive this insensitive?

    LBRC- Where You Are is Your IQ Norm! You might perceive this insensitive!?  

    MA/ CA x 100 = IQ (Einstein comprehended at 166, lots comprehend at 66)! Haters? 

    1. Without intentionally trying to insult others, IQ is a relevant aspect of “Quality of Life issues”!!! Problematic is- A “Low” IQ is hardly competent to comprehend what is beyond its ability to do so! How do you convince a 66 Quality of Life, ‘Dat 166 is better and Healthier? A Doberman less tolerant of abuse? Why? Of all dogs, a Doberman ranks High in Dog IQ! 

    2. What does ignorance (Do not know or incapable of learning) do when in conflict with knowledge, facts and/or data?

    a. Pretend to be infallible

    b. Threaten

    c. Seek safety in numbers aka “Genius is Rare” and “Ignorance has Legions”!!!

    3. Have you ever heard it said- “He or she has the mind of a child”? Well…, IQ is a relative description of those who fail to meet or exceede abilities keeping in pace with those of similiar age groupings (Thievies?). For example, if you’re 18 yrs. of age, and the majority of your age grouping is living on their own and providing fundamental necessities for family legally, and you can’t? Your IQ is whacked (Ebonics) in terms of what others in your age grouping are capable aka “Chronological Age”!  Where you are “Mentally” aka your “Mental Age” establishes your place! An individual with a Chronological Age of 18 and a Mental Age of 8 is hardly interested in seeking employment which provides food on the table for others, legally or via work, including family and/or siblings. Those who can, legally, have an “Exceptional” or high IQ with respect to  “Mental Age” abilities! Further, kids who analyze and capable of solving problems at “Collegiate” levels, being adolescents or yet at ages below what is considered average college age, are considered Gifted, Genius, Above Aberage and/or high IQ! 

    4. IQ generally, does not exceed 15 Points from Birth to Death in range, + or – Ranges. 

    5. What High IQ is not, generally? Rote, Polite, Memorization, Conformist, ‘Stuntun, Reputation, Sloggard, Non Evidence, Non Productive, Copy Cat and yada… 

    (Disclaimer about Facts: If you say 1 + 1= 2 (Base 10), it is a “Fact” this is what you said! Facts do not make truth! Verification tends to Truth, tends to What is comprehended via “Time and Space” or “Relativity”! Sorry for ‘Dat!!! Stay tunned…

    6. What High IQ is, generally? “Non Conformist, Productive, Perceived Arrogance, Non Rote, Impolite, Active, Unnecessarily and incessantly probing, analytical beyond average, purpose driven, Peer Groupings immune- even among Genius, ostracised, often “Isolated” and yada…

    6. While not absolutely immune to “Manchurian Candidate- ism”, High IQ Ranges are not easily accessible or “Propaganda” influenced with respect to vulnerablability! Low IQ Ranges are (They operate in belief minus investigation, little to no acedemic experiences)! 

    7. “Never equate intelligence with education”! They’re related with little to no high  “Correlation Co- Efficients!  The Skinny- 

    a. Lots of College Educated Fools nearly equivalent to Drop Outs and/or Street Wise Scholars aka “Non Certified”! 

    b. The Pied Pipper Theory of Genius? The Genius of Influence drove Mental Ages (Adolescents) over The Cliff! The Genius of Mental Age warned Peers and told the Pipper “No”! “Others tell them too and they do”! “A Few say ‘whoa and say no”! Think Noah? Of 8 Million, only 8 got saved (Noah/Wife, Shem/Wife, Ham/Wife, Japheth/Wife- Is ‘Dis ‘Thang on!!! What’s different in 2019? 

    Peace Out…

  3. Overcomming Some Other Obstacles?
    LBRC- Negro Schools Teach? DARPA manufactures?  A Negro Criminal is, besides Slave- at- Large? By design? However and equally dangerous is the common Negro Fool and attention seeking “Loud Mouth” (Some at Average Decibels), evidence immune, by design! Promulgating Stupidity and advocating “Knowledge” and Thinking,  esoecially 504, boring and arduous?  

    Beware of “Robo Negro” and The Designer 2019 Coon”! DARPA views Fool an Algorithim, assisted via ChemTrails, Radio Frequences, Nano plus yada… (Lots of Yada…)! DNA can be “Re- Programmed” via Solfeggio Scales, already accomplished in labs (Easy Research)! Fantasy Island? Avoid The Fool(s) (The Most High Also Says So/Proverbs)!!! 

    Lots is common knowledge and there are lots more, about what Eisenhower said and fostered! “The Global Useless Class”? According to Kissenger (Committee on Foreign Relations), “The Useless Eater”/Google it)! Evidence? 

    Building Data? Start here>>>

    Annie Jacabsen: Inside DARPA: The Pentagon’s Brain>>>

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6eS17F7nuTM

    Urban Warfare (Welcome to 5G, HAARP, AI, Weaponized Fools and House of Alice at CERN! “The Global Useless Class”? Now who’s Dat? Got a mirror? Next Part of Many>>>

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZot1YANL4 

    (Lagnippe) How Thomas Friedman (NY Times) and The Special “Genius” of Yuval Noah Harari Think About The Future of Humanity (Must See in Entirety) >>>

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5chp-PRYq-w

    You Decide!- Peace Out…

  4. What you sowed in grounds you are reaping! And will…, some “Eternal”!
    LBRC- Why Do Negro Politicos and Apostate Preachers, others believe impunity for Abusing,  Deceiving you? Why do “You” Acquience so easily, worship with your votes, other akin to “Barabus voters” and seek their “Favor”?

    1. Read, “Comprehend”, Satanic Operations like “Operation Paper Clip”, questions?  

    2. Now? Was “The Most High” kidding when He said, “What you do to The Least of Thee, you do unto Me”? You delude “Yourself” and lie again to claim The Most High! 

    3. True, False? “A Man sat across “A Great Gulf Fixed” and begged for a chance to warn others. For any destined there as well, it’s too late to repent for “Enternity” once convicted! What “sane” mind takes ‘Dat chance? Yet? Deceitful, lying Negroe Politicos and Apostate Preachers, ubiquitous, do everyday (Judgement will begin with “you”)! By design and “Training”, “De Facto” you worship, run with or desire too- serve ‘Massa, no less a 2019 Plantation Overseer! Question? What happened when Judas realized he lost his “Soul” for “Eternity”? Ans. “He threw his 32 pieces into the street”!!! ‘Dat should scare the “Hell” out of any being or “Entitity”, to include but not limited to a chair, auto, dirt, whore/hoe, stick, fly..- Certainly a lying, deceiving, filthy, ‘stuntun Council Person, Representative, Apostate Preacher, Frequent Flyer/Jet Owner supported by ‘Po Souls (The Median Net Worth of Negroes in America is less than what it takes to purchase “A Box Spring and Mattress” cash to rest their beat down Souls)! Believe this- Negro Apostate Preachers and Politicans delude themselves, thinking they won’t end up doing what Judas did with “his” Filthy Lucree!!! Trust ‘Dis (Our Best Ebonics!)- When these lying, worldly ambitious, deceitful, Negro beat down taxing guru artist (At The Behest of  Satanic Entities) and yada…, before a Nano Sec., when you realize your betrayal has “Fixed” your “Eternal” doom, too late to repent! “What does it profit to gain a filthy world and lose your soul” for Eternity! 

    4. NEWSFLASH!- You’ve fooled “Most” with your deceit and lies! “Most” is not “All”,  certainly not “The 1″, ‘Dat matters” who’ll “Judge” Eternal!!! Negroes are easy targets, right! Adam, Lillith, Eve, Lost Tribes, proved it (Even Evil Concedes, “Original” man and woman were “Dominant”, not “Recessive” DNA!!! Only “Ignorance” says otherwise!

    5. The Book of Enoch describes the “Physical” appearence of Evil Agents and “Fallen Angels”, why it was removed and banned! No clue? The Most High endorses  “Ignorance”? “Your” Ignorance is what dooms you and most certainly will for “Eternity”! You think impunity? Yeah rught! Gravity is everywhere, even deep in Space! Physics says- Escape Velocity (Where you are), not escape Gravity! Eternity in Hell has no Escape Velocity!!! Is ‘Dis ‘Thang on? 

    6. Good News? Those who subject themselves to “Beat Downs” advocating for “The Least of Thee” aka The Most High Who is Thee? At the point where these Santanic Agents and their “Complicit” Negroes and others cast their silver into Filthy streets in  America and/or any other world, a New Jerusalem will…? No clue aka “Ignorant”? Uh oh…

    7. Ends draw even closer, this Dispensation!!! No Gold? “Count it all blessings”!!! btw- “His” has now and always will, not ‘Dat we are worthy! He “Never” failed to prepare “Clean” Tables for us “In The Midst of Enemies”, no fear! Strong enemies are our witness!!! Evil has and is already lost! Why save us? “He” Chooses Who “He” Will!!! Abba Father, “THANK YOU”!!!

    Peace…

  5. Your Bank? Who’s Following?

    LBRC- There is a “Financial Crisis” at The Door/Hurricane to Follow! Uh oh!!! In comming weeks, you will hear talk about “War”, Currency Devaluations, Failure at Bond Auctions aka nobody is buying USA Debt (Bonds). “The Inverted Yield Curve”?  “Negative Interest Rates”? Stop Buck Dancing for a sec.! Diversions?  

    A Skinny, sort of-

    1. #45 is a “Stooge”! So- called Elites “Puppet” him! Meaning-

    a. Deregulate “Everything” (Business, Banking, Environmental (Poison The Useless Eaters and Takers who never give or contribute)! Dodd/ Frank is a sham, whereby executives “Certifiy Books” to investors. Corporations are Zombies and have already transferred “Risk” to investors via “Buy Backs”! 

    2. Risk for losses have now been transferred sufficiently! IRA Accounts aka “Your Pensions (Who invest in Mutual Funds) will vanish aka Stolen! TARP never ended! Who follows or understands their “Mutual Fund” transactions? Too busy Buck Dancing? Mustual Funds are controlled by “Non Fidiciaries”, those who seldom follow the advice they give you. 

    3. Here’s what’s “Critical” for everybody, to include but not limited to Sect. 8, WIC, Criminals, The Honest and The Poor/’Po, ignorant/’Ignant, Middle Class/’Stuntun…

    *Negative Interest Rates*? What’s Dat? Think?

    1. I ask you for a loan of $10 (Money in a Bank is Loaning The Bank. A Grade K- 12 “Kissinger so- called Useless Eating Thief never learned this”!). Then I tell you, I’ll give you $5 back in 5yrs., then consider the Loan Paid in Full! Is ‘Dat a good deal for you? 

    2. When you hear Banks talking about a “Cashless Society” and “Negative Interest Rates”, here’s what you’re hearing-

    a. Banks will begin draining cash from your Savings and Checking Accounts until depleted. How? Minimum Balance Standards and/or steep “Service Charges”, increased Over Draft Charges which when your Checking Balance goes $0, your Savings will be debited automatically without your consent and increased fees will follow until your savings balances read zero. All done “Digitally” because your cash will be!!!

    b. Cash will inevitability be banned! Why? Lots of reasons including cashless transactions can be tracked efficiently, the rich aren’t tracked! Also, taxes to fund cities in crisis can easily be deducted via a “Button Push” without your consent! Cashless  transactions limit your ability to purchase “Metal Currencies” and personal items (5G Big Brother) aka fewer “Real Tangible Assets” for “Retards”, sorry? “Private Transactions”? Digital is easily manipulated and  “Hacked”! Banks, others, LLC limit liabilities! Yada…

    3. Experts are predicting a “Greatest Depression” all time within 3 yrs., weeks, hrs.! When you hear “Reset”, it’s time! Maybe tomorrow!

    4. You’ve voted poorly and the Politicos you worship serve their ambitions, donors and family. Afterwards, they get jobs with ‘Massa after their Political Careers end! They kiss the ‘Glutes of powerful corporations and “Blow Smoke Up Your ‘Glute, then stroke your poor self esteem and ego with BS!

    5. You’re so dumbed down, you praise these ‘shisters who easily dupe! Never Brilliance, just a ton of BS which Baffle ‘Simps! They urinate on you and you think its rain! Sorry…? You never demanded accountability or deliverables from Politicians or Preachers! Caucasion Preachers deliver on “Supremacy”, why you worship their “Hypocracy” and Spaces (Willie Lynch!)! Everybody tells you, “I’m looking into it! Yeah right! Prepare!!!  Peace Out…

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New Orleans Must Improve the Lives of ALL African Americans

By Jeff Thomas

Many people often say I’m too focused on race. But look around our city. Most of the big social problems are in the African American community. Murder. Car jackings. Poverty. Covid hospitalizations. Drug abuse. Unemployment. The list goes on and on and on. Fixing these problems in that part of the African American community that struggles makes the city great for EVERYBODY. So if you are black or white or Asian or Hispanic and doing pretty good want to live in a safer cleaner city, let’s fix the problems in the ailing parts of our city. Helping poor black people benefits everybody.

Good news is we can do it. And it is not that hard. New Orleans should be a sanctuary city for the poor and struggling African Americans.  Every policy and regulation possible should support this notion.  And given the egregiously regressive and burdensome past, city government should fast track all current, available solutions.   Even a cursory glance at   the plight of  hard-working African Americans  in the city provides ample evidence of the urgent need for change.

Broken Paradigm

Our current paradigm has created and sustains the crime-plagued, underperforming city. Low-performing schools contribute to the highest dropout rates in the country.  Gentrification and low-paying jobs force many into the rental market in our city.  And people who own their homes are nearly 90% less likely to commit crimes compared to those who rent. Though the murder rate is once again the highest in the country per capita.  African Americans in NOLA die at alarmingly high rates. Especially when it comes to young people.  We must fix serious and deeply-entrenched problems here quickly.  It can be done with surprising ease if a coordinated attempt is employed.

THE SANCTUARY CITY MODEL

Characteristics of the sanctuary should include

Combined, these targets will dramatically reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for all our citizens.  With access to good-paying jobs and pathways to home ownership, crime will drop precipitously.  Working men, who earn living wages, will fatten city coffers via property and sales tax payments.  Needing fewer police officers, more money could then be shifted into job training programs. These programs prepare young people to enter the workforce and become taxpayers.

SWB JOBS PROGRAM

The Sewerage and Water Board can be the greatest jobs program in city history.  Billions of FEMA dollars are scheduled to be spent repairing crumbling infrastructure. The board must hire, train and demand excellence from its repair people.  Our ability to pump water is our lifeline. We must invest in training our people to protect our property. The SWB is more important than the NOPD.  SWB must pay enough to enable employees to purchase homes. 

HOME OWNERSHIP

Eighty five percent of people who commit crimes do not own their homes. Neighborhoods where people own their homes are cleaner, safer. And they provide ancillary activities (kids sports programs, block parties, etc.) that promote healthier living.  Living wages help people qualify for mortgages.  City-sanctioned home ownership classes would motivate and inspire people to save for down payments and improve their credit scores.  The soft second mortgage programs should also be expanded.

NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS

Working families need close and convenient good schools for their children.  Our experiment with charter schools must shift to emphasize local school excellence.  Good neighborhood schools reduce stress, increase participation and reduce dropout rates, which in turn strengthen families.  Parent-school partnerships are easier when parents are able to access school personnel close to home.  Friendly rivalries centered around athletic and academic achievement will transform educational achievement[  in The Bowl.  Businesses could offer cash prizes to the students who perform best and the schools which achieve great successes.

COMMUNITY POLICING

Police Chief Shaun Ferguson rose through the ranks. And he is a man from our streets who now leads the men and women who patrol our streets.  He says, “The community and police must form a partnership.”  He is correct when he says the NOPD needs citizen support.  Right now, our NOPD is dangerously understaffed. Shifting to 12 hour shifts increases presence on the streets. Good move Chief. Also moving more desk and clerical jobs from police to citizen staffing will enable more officers to get out. And top brass should patrol our neighborhoods. They are our best and brightest. They have the experience and authority to effectively decipher complex situations. Is a shouting match serious?

We know arresting and jailing people for minor crimes, even for short periods of time, has dramatic and real effects. And ironically results in yet more crime.  Instead, community policing operates in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect.  Too often, police have operated with rigidity and oppressiveness. That stifles the community support it needs, desires, and deserves. 

For too long, New Orleans and other municipalities have focused on fines and fees to finance government.  Police decide who gets pulled over and issued a ticket.  Furthermore, rigid rules and immediate late fees from municipal utilities create undue stress in an already overburdened populace. 

In the 21st century, our cities must uplift the lives of all the citizens who make these places home.

It happens everyday in America!

By Jeff Thomas

Black men kill each other at alarming rates all across America every day. Nearly every city’s daily news casts reports, “Today in our city three (or thirty depending on the size of your city) men were shot and killed in three (or thirty) separate shootings.  Police have no suspects in any of the cases.”  And immediately and innately you know that the people killed were black and the killers were black.  This has been going on for the last 30-40 years and no end is in sight.  New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates nationally.  Why do black men kill each other?

First Let’s Dispel a Racist Myth

First thing you have to know is that 99.999% of black men do not commit murder ever in their lives.  That is a fact!  This is not a black man issue.  There is nothing genetically or intrinsically wrong with black men. But the fact remains that daily hundreds of black men across this country are murdered everyday by another black man.  Why does this happen with this subset?

Common factors to Black men murdering other black men

RACE

The first thing about murder is that people usually kill people who are similar to them in many ways, particularly race.  White men normally murder other white men and black men normally murder other black men. 

PROXIMITY

In the black community, these killings are normally city events.  Rarely do you hear of a drive by in the country.  Most of these daily killings occur on the city streets.  People kill others who they interact with.

AGE

Young men engage in risky and violent behavior.  Most of the men dying on our streets are between the ages of 17-35. 

EDUCATION

Nearly 95% have not graduated from college and 65% have not completed high school.   

Socioeconomic Status

100% were not upper class in America. The links between poverty and crime are well documented.  And black men have lived in depression level economic conditions for the last 50 years.

But these are often cited, unsurprising factors.  More salient is what goes into the psyche of a guy who can look into the eyes of another man and pull the trigger at close range or jab a knife with the intent to murder another man?  What are the other factors that contribute to becoming a murderer? Why do Black men kill each other

Habitually Hostile Men

The guy who ain’t never scared and always looking to escalate a situation.  Down for whatever.  Nothing to live for and anticipating the day he will either kill or be killed.  This mindset is cultivated in a limited option, few chances, success deprived life.  This guy has had a number of arguments and fist fights throughout his life.  He hates authority and frequently feels angry or resentful towards people.  He often seeks to overcome a feeling of powerlessness.  This guy is a walking heap of rage.  He is always nothing but a gun and an argument away from murder.

The Disrespected Man

A man who feels like everybody but him gets respect.

For this guy, respect is everything and options to express anger or refutation are often limited.   He often seeks to overcome a feeling of impotence. If another who seems unworthy of disseminating criticism or scorn or generally crosses the line of imagined respect, then a high level of response will be meted out.

The Wannabe

When challenged by a non-believing skeptic, this man often acts in unnecessarily violent ways in unnecessarily violent situations.  Often seeks to overcome a feeling of powerlessness.

Self-Hate

The daily feeling of isolation, powerlessness and impotence is like being a prisoner of war.  One reason black men grab their genitals is to stress their vitality.  Men who have been literally stripped of the ability to display their manhood – great jobs, big houses, educational attainment and all the other accoutrements of modern society- are literally killing to express their power in life.  Twisted but true.

Jeff Somers 

There’s little doubt that there’s a huge wealth gap in the U.S. along racial lines. As noted by Bloomberg, Black Americans have, on average, one-sixth of the wealth held by their white counterparts. And the racial wealth gap is getting wider every year. 

As noted by the Harvard Gazette, this disparity is the result of nearly 160 years of systematic racism in the wake of the end of the Civil War. After General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Special Field Order Number 15 gave freed slaves acreage of their own, there was a moment of hope that the newly-freed Black Americans would be given the resources to build wealth and achieve true equality — but after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the ascent of Andrew Johnson to the presidency, those efforts were reversed — and more than a century of Jim Crow laws and other racist policies essentially made it nearly impossible for most Black Americans to accumulate wealth. 

Nearly impossible — but not totally impossible. A remarkable handful of brilliant Black Americans managed to become incredibly wealthy and successful despite these organized efforts to hold them down. Their stories are remarkable considering that Black Americans still face innumerable barriers to gaining wealth even in the modern day. (Of the 2,755 billionaires in the world as of 2022, only 15 are Black — and of the 724 billionaires in America, only nine are Black.) Here are America’s first Black millionaires.

William Alexander Leidesdorff

Portrait of William Alexander Leidesdorff© Wikimedia Commons

As The Washington Post reports, America’s first Black millionaire was William Alexander Leidesdorff — a man Afro News notes is considered one of the founders of what would eventually be known as San Francisco. In 1845, President James Polk named him American Vice Consul to a Mexican outpost in California, making him the first Black American diplomat as well.

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According to The Daily Beast, Leidesorff was mixed-race and claimed to have been born on St. Croix in the Danish West Indies — though there’s some speculation he might have been born in Hungary. Whatever the truth of his early life, Leidesdorff was incredibly successful. He worked in imports and made a tidy fortune, then moved to San Francisco and became one of its leading citizens, launching a general store, building ships, and running the city’s first hotel. When he died, the city flew its flags at half-mast. His estate was worth about $1.4 million at the time — or close to $60 million today

One of the most remarkable aspects of Leidesdorff’s life is the fact that he lived openly as a biracial man in Antebellum America, which was not a time known for its racial tolerance. Legally, anyone with Black ethnicity in their background was considered Black, and as therefore subjected to racist policies and laws, even outside of the Southern states.

Mary Ellen Pleasant

Photo of Mary Ellen Pleasant© Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times reports that Mary Ellen Pleasant was born into slavery in 1814. In the 1820s, she moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts — and according to Investopedia, worked to assist the Underground Railroad, which helped those fleeing enslavement find their way to safe areas in the North of the country. She married a man named James Smith, and when he died, she inherited a small fortune. 

In 1849, she moved to San Francisco, possibly due to the blowback she received for her work on the Underground Railroad. There she found work as a cook — and eavesdropped on her wealthy employers for investment tips. She soon became the richest woman in the city through a combination of smart loans and businesses, including a chain of boarding houses in a booming city. She was known as “Mammy Pleasant,” and designed and built a fine mansion in the city.

Despite the change of location and her growing fortune, Pleasant remained committed to the abolitionist cause, and secretly donated money — an incredible $30,000, nearly a million dollars in today’s money — to John Brown, whose raid on Harper’s Ferry was intended to spark an uprising and is a key moment in the lead-up to the American Civil War. When Brown was hanged, the authorities found a note in his pocket from Pleasant promising more money — but no one suspected she was the note’s author.

Robert Reed Church

Photo of Robert Reed Church© Wikimedia Commons

According to BlackPast, Robert Reed Church was born in 1839 to steamboat captain Charles B. Church, who was white, and a woman named Emmeline, who was enslaved by Charles. His father never legitimized Robert, but he trained him and hired him as a steward on his boat — the highest position a Black man could hold at the time.

Investopedia reports that Robert Church was forced to serve as a steward on board the steamboat Victona during the Civil War, but was emancipated after the war ended. He moved to Memphis, where he began to invest in real estate, quickly amassing a fortune and a business empire that included hotels and a bar, and co-founded the Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company.

Church’s fortune rested on his personal resolve and bravery. During the 1866 race riots, Church was shot in his own bar and left for dead. Yet he refused to leave his adopted home. When Yellow Fever swept through the city, property values plummeted — and Church began buying land. By the time of his death, The Washington Post notes that Church was one of the largest landowners in all of Tennessee — possibly the largest. In 1879, Church was so rich that he led the charge in buying municipal bonds when the city of Memphis teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, helping to save the city, and in 1908 he personally paid the debts of the historic Beale Street Baptist Church to prevent its creditors from seizing the property.

Hannah Elias

The© Detroit Publishing Co./Wikimedia Commons

According to Afro News, Hannah Elias was born in Philadelphia in 1865. Twenty years later, author Angus McLaren reports in his book “Sexual Blackmail,” she met the wealthy and highly respectable John R. Platt while working as a “courtesan” in San Francisco. Twelve years later, Platt met Elias again on the East Coast when she was working in a massage parlor — and the two began a relationship.

Platt helped Elias start a boardinghouse business in New York City, but the relationship soon soured, and Platt eventually accused Elias of extorting nearly $700,000 from him, threatening to reveal their sordid relationship to the world. Platt paid the blackmail for years, but in 1904 he’d finally had enough and had Elias charged. When the police arrived at her Central Park West home, she barricaded herself inside. Morbidly, her home then became a stop for early tour buses (pictured) for several days as she held the police at bay.

As noted by Investopedia, Platt’s lawsuit was eventually dismissed. Elias used the money she received from Platt and from her businesses to buy up real estate in Harlem, New York — quickly becoming one of the richest Black women in America at the time. The Atlanta Black Star reports her wealth at $1 million at its height. As noted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Elias is credited with helping to establish Harlem as an iconic Black neighborhood in New York City. She vanished in 1915; although rumored to have traveled to Europe, no one knows her final fate.

Annie Turnbo-Malone

Recipe for hair pressing oil from Poro College© Heritage Images/Getty Images

As noted by Vox, Annie Turnbo-Malone is an often overlooked figure in Black American history, but her achievements as one of the first Black American millionaires deserve more attention.

According to authors Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps in their book “Hair Story,” Turnbo-Malone was born in 1869 in Metropolis, Illinois, and was orphaned as a young child. Raised by her sister, Turnbo-Malone became interested in chemistry, specifically seeking solutions to the common hair problems Black women face, typically — even today — without much help from mainstream beauty companies. Self-taught in chemistry, she initially created a product called Wonderful Hair Grower and began going door to door in her hometown to sell it. It was an immediate success.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Turnbo-Malone later hit upon the idea of using lanolin ointment on damaged hair. She debuted her treatment at the 1904 World’s Fair, and by the end of World War I in 1918, she had a net worth of at least a million dollars, thanks to her Poro label of beauty products. The name “Poro” is a Mende (West African) word for “devotional society.” Turnbo-Malone soon had an international business that empowered other Black women, who could be trained to sell Poro products and even open their own hair salons under the Poro brand. The business was strong enough to withstand the Great Depression and was still going strong in the 1950s when Turnbo-Malone passed away.

Madam C. J. Walker

Photo of Madam C.J. Walker in a car with friends© Wikimedia Commons

Often (incorrectly) called the first Black American millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker was mentored by another Black millionaire — beauty products legend Annie Turnbo-Malone. Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 to parents who had once been enslaved, Walker was the first person in her family to be born free. History reports that Walker became an orphan at the age of seven, was married at age 14 — and a widow at age 20.

She became interested in hair care after experiencing the trauma of hair loss. According to Vox, the treatments marketed to women suffering her condition were known to actually make things worse — something Walker learned from beauty legend Annie Turnbo-Malone when the two met in the early 1900s as Turnbo-Malone was getting her Poro beauty product empire off the ground. Walker followed Turnbo-Malone’s advice, and soon her hair was healthy and growing again — inspiring her to launch her own beauty and haircare business, modeled very closely on Poro.

As noted by authors Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps in their book “Hair Story,” Walker introduced the “Walker System” for straightening hair, which became the foundation of the Black beautician industry. By the time of her early death in 1919, at just 51 years of age, she was not only incredibly wealthy, but she had also eclipsed her mentor in terms of fame and cultural impact.

O. W. Gurley

According to Forbes, Ottowa W. Gurley was born in 1868 in Arkansas, where he dreamed of a future far away from the Jim Crow laws of the South. In 1893, when Gurley was 25, that dream took him to the Cherokee Outlet Opening, a land run that gave away acres of land on a first-come, first-serve basis in Oklahoma. According to Inc., Gurley lived there until 1905, when the discovery of oil near Tulsa lured Gurley and his family there.

Investopedia reports that Gurley bought 40 acres of land and built a grocery store. Over the next decade and a half, Gurley was instrumental in developing the area into what would become the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa — which was also known as Black Wall Street, an incredible success story for Black Americans during a period of hateful racial oppression elsewhere in the country. The residents of Greenwood were prosperous and lived comfortably, seemingly in community with their white neighbors. Gurley thrived as well, and at its peak, his net worth was about $150,000 — about $5 million in today’s money.

As noted by History, Black Wall Street was destroyed on May 30, 1921, when a race riot of incredibly violent proportions broke out in Tulsa. Black families were murdered, buildings were burned, and within days the whole neighborhood had been wiped off the map. Gurley left Tulsa and moved to Los Angeles, where he died in apparent poverty 14 years later in 1935.

James Forten

Portrait of James Forten© Wikimedia Commons

OZY reports James Forten was born in Philadelphia in 1766 as a free man. He was strongly affected by the rhetoric of the American Revolution; despite the racial oppression that existed at the time, Forten didn’t hesitate to enlist to fight against the British Empire. Having worked in a sail loft since the age of eight, it made sense that Forten served in the nascent American Navy.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Forten was captured by the British while serving on board an American ship. The British captain had his own son on board, and paired Forten with him to act as a companion. When it came time for the ship to return to England, he offered to take Forten with him — but Forten would not betray his country, and refused the offer, winding up living on a prison ship for several months.

As reported by BlackPast, Forten was released in Philadelphia, where he resumed his job. After the war, Forten returned to sailmaking, and eventually took over the business from his employer. Forten grew incredibly wealthy — by 1832, his net worth was estimated at $100,000, which would be close to $3.5 million today. He remained both a patriot and an anti-slavery activist. When he passed away in 1842, his funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Philadelphia — and the crowd was decidedly multi-racial, as every aspect of society came out to pay their respects to a man who never betrayed his values.

John Stanly

Photo of John Stanly© WITN-TV/Youtube

According to author Loren Schweninger in the book “Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915,” John Stanly was born into slavery as the son of a merchant named John Wright Stanly and an Ebo woman born in Africa who had been transported to America by Wright. History Collection reports that Stanly was eventually enslaved by Alex and Lydia Carruthers, who allowed him to train as a barber. This, in turn, let Stanly earn enough money to purchase his freedom when he was 21 years old, and to purchase the freedom of his wife and two children a few years later.

Stanly’s business as a barber thrived, and he soon enslaved two Black men himself. He began purchasing property in North Carolina — and enslaving even more Black people. Despite knowing firsthand what it was like to be considered property, at the peak of his business empire, it’s estimated Stanly enslaved 163 people — according to Investopedia, Stanly was one of the richest men in his county at the time. At the same time, NCpedia notes that Stanly also helped many enslaved persons in North Carolina gain their emancipation, personally purchasing and freeing at least a dozen people.

In 1830, Stanly co-signed a loan for his half-brother, who promptly defaulted, forcing Stanly to mortgage all of his holdings — including those he held in bondage. By 1843, he’d sold off most of his property in order to pay his debts.

Jeremiah Hamilton

According to The Atlantic, when Jeremiah Hamilton died in 1875, he was the richest non-white man in America, with a net worth of about $2 million — more than $250 million in today’s money. Yet Hamilton is remembered as no one’s hero. In fact, BlackPast reports that Hamilton was known as “The Prince of Darkness.”

The first mention of Hamilton — which probably wasn’t his real name — comes when a counterfeiting scheme in Haiti fell apart, forcing Hamilton to flee to the United States. He became involved in Wall Street and padded his income by committing serious insurance fraud that involved buying ships, insuring them, and then purposefully sinking them in order to collect settlements. He lost his fortune at least once, but clawed his way back and eventually created what some believe was the prototypical hedge fund, pooling money from investors so he could borrow aggressively and dominate the market.

Hamilton was not well-liked, but in New York, respect for his financial acumen defied racism, and white New Yorkers happily sent him gifts and begged for his favor — in fact, Cornelius Vanderbilt (pictured), another man legendary for his ruthless approach to business, reportedly admitted that he respected Hamilton after the two tangled in court over control over a company.

Sarah Rector

Photo of Sarah Rector© Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Rector is one of the most unlikely millionaires, period, full stop. According to BlackPast, she was born in 1902 on Muscogee Creek land to a family that had been enslaved by the Creek Indians decades before. As reported by The Telegraph, an 1866 treaty granted all the former Creek slaves 160 acres of land, but by the time Rector’s family made their claim, there wasn’t much left, and according to The Washington Post, the land allotted specifically to Sarah was considered virtually worthless.

But the taxes had to be paid, so Sarah Rector’s father leased the land to the Devonian Oil Company — and in 1913, a miracle happened: The company struck oil on Sarah’s land. A lot of oil. In a matter of months, 10-year-old Sarah Rector was receiving roughly $300 a day from her oil lease — close to $9,000 today, or somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million per year in today’s money.

The reaction of the white establishment was, of course, virulently racist. She was described as “an orphan, crude, Black and uneducated” in a local paper, and was often referred to using racial epithets. Rumors that Sarah was being mistreated by her federally-appointed guardian and her family began to circulate — but the truth was Sarah went to school and had control over her wealth. By the time she was 18, Sarah was officially a millionaire. She lived well until 1967, when she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away.

Charlie Brown

One of America’s first Black millionaires was also a driving force behind one of its most emotionally powerful holidays: Juneteenth, the day that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the U.S. According to Forbes, a man named Charlie Brown was born into enslavement in Virginia and moved to Texas around 1865. It’s uncertain when Brown attained his freedom, but it’s known that he helped organize the first Juneteenth celebration in 1866.

As noted by the Houston Chronicle, despite his time in bondage and subsequent illiteracy, Brown was a shrewd businessman. Brown purchased land — including the plantation where he and his wife were once enslaved — and often saw opportunities no one else did. One of his first purchases was a plot of land no one saw much value in, but Brown cleared the land of trees and sold the lumber to a furniture company at a great profit. He quickly became one of the richest men in the country, dying a millionaire in 1920.

What makes Brown’s achievements more remarkable is the fact that Texas was not a friendly place for freedmen at that time. Very few emancipated Black people managed any sort of success, much less attaining incredible wealth, and Brown was himself kidnapped and beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on several occasions. The fact that Brown died one of the first Black millionaires in the U.S. despite all that hatred and racial violence is incredible.

by Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW

What are the keys to a great sex life?

When sex therapists and researchers discuss what makes for a truly great sex life, their lists are mainly composed of emotional or psychological factors, not physical ones. Communication is vital to a satisfying sex life, as are being intimate, vulnerable, and transparent with a partner; allowing oneself to be open to new experiences, and to fun; being in sync with each other, emotionally and sexually; and an ability to be in the moment and to be open to transcendent feelings

Do people enjoy sex less now than they used to?

Some researchers believe that the pace of contemporary life, as well as distractions like cellphones, are leading couples to derive less pleasure from their sexual encounters. Therapists suggest that individuals and couples spend more time becoming open and attuned to their bodies, and to their bodies’ signals of arousal and pleasure before, during, and after sex, to restore higher levels of satisfaction

Is foreplay equally important to women and to men?

Contrary to the stereotype that men are primarily interested in rushing into intercourse and climax, research shows that men desire an average of 18 minutes of foreplay, very close to the average of 19 minutes sought by women. Women, however, significantly underestimate how much foreplay their male partners wanted. Other research has found that longer foreplay leads to greater relationship satisfaction for men and women.

How important is kissing before sex?

For women, kissing can be very important. Much more than men, women report finding it important to kiss a partner before sex, and they are more likely to report using kissing as a way to evaluate their interest in a new partner when considering having sex with them or not.

Are makeup and breakup sex really better?

They may be. The theory of arousal transfer suggests that powerful stimuli in one area can be transferred to another. Anger, for example, is an arousing emotion. In relationships, that high arousal state may be transferred to a high arousal state during makeup sex after a fight is resolved. Similarly, a couple breaking up may transfer the painful emotions of deciding to separate into intense sex as they say goodbye. Couples report intense lovemaking at these times, but there is a downside if, say, a couple rushes to makeup sex without truly resolving their conflict, or if a couple extends the life of a failing relationship because of great breakup sex.

Should couples schedule sex?

According to many sex therapists, they should. Different levels of sexual desire challenge many couples, but for others with high levels of desire for each other, the calendar becomes the enemy of satisfying sex because of conflicting work schedules, child care, or other commitments. Scheduling sex even days ahead of time can help a couple restore sexual goodwill, block out time for greater affectionate touch during sex, and, after the fact, elevated relationship satisfaction.

What is simmering?

For any couple, but especially one that has been experiencing challenges with sexual arousal, sex therapists recommend a practice known as simmering. It involves a couple scheduling sex and then taking moments throughout the course of the selected day fantasizing or daydreaming about sexual or erotic encounters to maintain a low “simmer” of arousal before going to bed together.

Orgasm

What is orgasm?

An orgasm, or climax, is the intense and usually pleasurable release of sexual tension after sexual arousal and stimulation. During orgasm, one’s heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing becomes faster and heavier, and involuntary muscle contractions occur, not only in the genitals but often in the hips, chest, head, and limbs. In men, orgasm typically involves the ejaculation of semen, though not always. In some women, orgasm also leads to the release of ejaculate.

How often do people achieve orgasm?

Research suggests that only about one in four women regularly reach orgasm during vaginal sex, while more than three quarters of men do. For males and females alike, orgasm occurs faster and more reliably through masturbation. There are distinct health benefits in orgasm, including higher levels of oxytocin, which promotes bonding between partners, and increased blood flow to the brain.

For between 10 and 40 percent of women, reaching orgasm is difficult or rare. Causes include stress or anxiety, especially relationship anxiety; a lack of arousal or sexual stimulation or not enough time to reach orgasm during sex with a partner; poor body image; and pain during intercourse. PTSD, or reactions to certain medications, can also lead to struggles with orgasm. Many of these issues can be addressed in therapy that addresses emotional issues around sex, relationships, and self-esteem.   Why might women not have orgasms?

What Happens After Sex

What is sexual afterglow?

Some researchers believe that the most important part of sex occurs after climax. The term sexual afterglow refers to the positive feelings that follow pleasurable sexual experiences, and some research suggests that it, and not the sex itself, determines how positively people feel about their sexual partners. Cuddling, kissing, and other expressions of intimacy after sex can increase afterglow, boost satisfaction, and extend the positive effects of sex on a relationship.

What do couples talk about after sex?

Research on “pillow talk” following sex has debunked the myth that men fall asleep first after sex: There’s no evidence of a gender difference. Also, women who reach orgasm during sex tend to talk more intimately after sex, revealing more about themselves. The release of the hormone oxytocin during sex, which promotes bonding, may foster this effect. Men with higher levels of testosterone after sex, however, appear to talk less, limiting bonding.

How long do partners feel good about each other following sex?

About 48 hours. Research on post-coital sexual and relationship satisfaction has found that partners experience elevated positive feelings about each other, and about their connection, for an average of two days following sex.

Is it more important for men or women to experience great sex?

Women. Research into relationship satisfaction finds that a woman’s sexual desire for her partner is more closely linked to relationship satisfaction than a man’s. Women’s levels of satisfaction with a relationship are also much more variable than men’s, which tend to remain at a consistent high level.

So now you know!

Hey, remember when Brett Favre sent that Jets sideline reporter a picture of his penis?*
No? Ok.

Well remember when Brett Favre sent the Saints to the Super Bowl after throwing that horrible interception towards the end of the NFC Championship game? **
Yes? Cool.

Well the gun/dick slinger is back in the news again. Once known for playing fast and loose with the football, Favre is now doing the same with Mississippi’s welfare money.

Quick question: What do Brett Favre and people on welfare have in common? Quick answer: Nothing. Favre is world renown athlete who also happens to be a retired millionaire. Most welfare recipients are people just trying to make a living.***

Yet, the Mississippi Department of Human Services has decided that Favre is the person more in need. Actually, Human Services has determined that Favre needs run so deep that it directed $8 million his way to fulfill them.

Brett Favre’s Daughter

Brett Favre is a Welfare Queen

While mere mortals on welfare depend on Human Services for basic stuff like – I don’t know – food, Favre faces a greater existential dilemma. Like whether Human Services can direct $5 million towards a new volleyball stadium for his alma mater and daughter. Or whether Human Services can direct $1 million his way for speeches he’ll never give. Or whether Human Services can direct $2 million to a pharmaceutical company he’s invested in.

John Davis, the then director of Human Services, was like, of course we can. And just to make sure that a prideful man like Brett Favre wasn’t ever put on the spot, it was agreed that this “aid” should be discreetly laundered through fees for those speeches he never gave. Favre even once asked, “if you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?”  The reply was, of course not. Now, John Davis and others are facing criminal charges.

Ever since the federal government, via TANF, started giving states block grants for welfare causes, some states have played fast and loose with what constitutes a welfare cause. Now, instead of distributing money directly to the people who need it, states can throw the money to some non-profit and claim its fighting welfare and poverty on a different front, like through a Brett Favre speech.****

Mississippi, because of Favre, has become the poster child for welfare fraud. But the case expands beyond him. It expands to the director’s nephews, in-laws, and other athletes. A state auditor has found almost $77 million in fraud over a 3-year span. Who knows what fraud is waiting to be unearthed nation-wide.

The pharmaceutical company Favre stole money for is into concussion research. That makes sense considering Favre once confessed to being knocked senseless at least 1,000 times in his career.  

Speaking of concussions, that raises a question: does the sports media have one? Does it have some type of CTE post-Favre infatuation syndrome that has left it unable to do what the media normally does with stories like this, which is make a proper spectacle out of it. Right now, we know more about Tom Brady’s marriage than we know about Favre defrauding $8 million from needy families and the federal government.

Brett Favre is a Welfare Queen

Let’s be clear though: Brett Favre is a welfare queen. Instead of prancing through the grocery store in slippers and a robe dumping filet mignon in his basket, he’s assumed a more nefarious stereotype – the hypocritical white man in a business suit. He’s the republican talking about hard work and bootstraps. He’s the white man claiming black people on welfare are moochers bringing down the moral fabric of this country. But clearly, he’s not worried about boot straps or morality.  He’s just worried about getting his. Well hopefully the next time he hears a ringing in his ears and sees lights flashing before his eyes, it’s coming not from a concussion but from a squad car pulling up to his door signifying he’s about to get just that.

*clear indication that he lacks good judgment and character (he was married at the time).  
**that horrible pass was also a clear indication that he lacks good judgment. I’d be surprised if any self respecting Minnesotan has ever spoken to him again.

****maybe his words are nutritious 🤷🏿‍♂️?

Betsy’s Pancake House Blames Crime for Business Drop

Betsy’s Pancake House has been serving breakfast and lunch in New Orleans for 35 years.  But now Betsy’s pancake house business is suffering.  And Betsy’s Pancake House blames crime in New Orleans. This is a real problem.  If local businesses can’t attract customers because of crime, then New Orleans has a survivability problem.  Small businesses create 2/3’s of new jobs nationally and nearly 90% of new jobs in New Orleans.  If crime kills small businesses in New Orleans, then we can pack it up. 

Betsy’s daughter, Mary Murdock, now runs the restaurant. She said customers “are afraid to come and park their cars because of the carjackings and the break-ins,” Murdock said. “It’s not only us, it’s any place in the city that you go to.”  She also adds that hiring employees is difficult because of crime.  “We cannot get employees because people are afraid to come to work. We open at 5:30 in the morning and our girls and our guys in the kitchen have to be here at 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning.”

New Orleans has a major crime problem.  And according to Betsy’s, crime is the reason for everything.  You get the idea.  If you let Betsy’s tell it, then their dry thin greasy bacon is because of crime.  The sticky old, cracked tablecloths in Betsy’s – crime.  The horrible smell just outside the door of the restaurant kitchen -crime.  The dirty cups and bent old silverware – you guessed it crime in New Orleans.  And let’s not forget that shiny clean new 24 hour Waffle House restaurant on the next corner.  Its always crowded and has a smooth new parking lot.  But the reason Betsy’s business is declining- that horrible crime in New Orleans.

Awning at Betsy’s Pancake House

The Betsy’s crime claim is a calamity.  You can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.  Betsy’s blaming their business failing on crime is as bad as their dry oatmeal.  We need business leaders to offer good paying jobs with clean working conditions.  Calling the grown women who work in their kitchen “girls” is emblematic. Respect your employees and pay them a good wage.  Waffle House is less than 200 feet away and is fully staffed 24 hours a day.  The brand new hospitals with thousands of employees is easy walking distance.  Maybe market to those people?

There’s an old pancake joke that goes, “Did you hear what happened to the angry flapjack?  It totally flipped.”  Betsy’s flipped.  Instead of looking in the mirror, they are blaming the community that could support them.  And ironically they now beg for some community welfare.  Their dog whistle for customers as they threaten to move to Metairie is as appalling as the dangerous, slippery and greasy sidewalk by their side entrance.

Yea crime is bad.  But Betsy’s business is failing for about 20 other more significant reasons than crime.  No, these aren’t the first people to mess up their inheritance.  But them blaming crime is shameful. Listening to them whine flop around is like a short stack of pancakes without the syrup.

It really is that simple to make yourself a little happier.

by Alison DeNisco Rayome

Here’s a sad statistic: 45% of people say they haven’t felt true happiness for more than two years, according to a June Oracle report that surveyed more than 12,000 people. Perhaps worse, 25% say they don’t know, or have forgotten, what it means to feel truly happy.

While money can’t buy happiness (though it does help), spending just a few minutes of your day on one thing actually can make you happier right now, and into the future. And no, it doesn’t involve a meditation app or buying anything. 

A common misconception about happiness is that it’s fixed and we can’t change it. In reality, at least part of it is within your control. Sure, your circumstances (your job and your material possessions) matter, but not as much as you may think. Several science-backed methods can help you boost your own feelings of contentment. (If you have clinical anxiety or depression, these aren’t a replacement for professional help, though research suggests they can be a beneficial supplement.) 

Here’s one of the easiest ways to make yourself happier in just a few minutes a day. 

Write down 3 things you’re grateful for 

It’s that easy. 

Writing down three good things that happened to you — and why those things happened — at the end of each day leads to long-term increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms, according to a 2005 study from Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The things you write down can be major, simple or somewhere in the middle — whether you got a job promotion or just saw a cute dog on your walk. You can write them on a piece of paper, in a note-taking app, in a journal or wherever you like. 

Your list might look something like this: “Finished a project at work, because I worked hard on it. Had a nice conversation on the phone with a friend, because she called me. Went for a walk and saw some beautiful flowers, because it was a nice day.” 

In the 2005 study, participants who were assigned to write down three good things and their causes each night started to see beneficial effects quickly. After one month, they reported feeling happier and less depressed than when they started, and they stayed that way through follow-ups at three months and six months, when the study concluded. 

The point is to train your mind to think about the parts of your life that are good, instead of focusing on the parts that are stressful or annoying, Emiliana Simon-Thomas told me back in 2020. Simon-Thomas co-teaches the course The Science of Happiness at the University of California, Berkeley, and is also the science director of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center

So take time to count those blessings, large and small. Science says it could have a real impact on your well-being. 

by Dave Smallen Ph.D.

Studies show that responsiveness benefits relationships and personal well-being.

KEY POINTS

In the world of relationship science, a growing trove of studies shows how a specific kind of experience between two people is crucial for satisfying relationships and individual moments of human connection. Researchers refer to this experience as responsiveness.

Consider the following scenario related to me by a recent study participant:

I have been struggling and have had many hard times emotionally due to my anxiety the last few weeks…The other night [my husband] called me on his way home from work and I just broke down in tears and explained how I needed him more than ever right now…He listened to everything I was saying. He validated my feelings and told me he understood. He made me feel like he got it. It brought me comfort just knowing he was hearing my feelings…

She describes a near textbook example of responsiveness. When you feel understoodvalidated, and cared for by another person–especially when you have disclosed something personal and emotional–psychologists would say you experienced this person as responsive.

Responsiveness Gets Results

Study after study shows that treating each other with responsiveness keeps our social lives healthy. Researchers have examined responsiveness between romantic partnersroommatesstrangers, and parents and teens, among others, and find that experiencing understanding, validation, and care in most kinds of relationships has measurable benefits–for the relationship itself and the two individuals who make it up.

Responsiveness especially helps us to cultivate the closeness and trust of intimacy by responding with understanding, validation, and care when others open up and share vulnerable thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Responding to one another’s vulnerability responsively creates a shared culture between two people of emotional safety and openness. This is imperative to quality long-term relationships and personal mental health.

Even more striking, people who feel their romantic partners are highly responsive across the arc of a relationship even experience better long-term physical health. This is likely because a generally responsive partner helps us manage stress, whereas perceiving our partner as unresponsive keeps us stressed. Throughout a long relationship, chronic stress can take a toll on a person’s body–for example, a lack of responsiveness may be related to poorer sleep, which adds up night after night.

Let’s call it a layer of complexity instead: Despite our best intentions, it is not always easy or straightforward to be perceived as responsive when we try to show up for another person.

All communications between two people must cross multiple thresholds: In my attempt to be responsive to you, I first must mold my thoughts and feelings into verbal or physical expressions; then, you must hear, see, or feel those expressions, and finally, make your interpretation of the meaning of my expression. This happens quickly and often automatically, yet in each stage, some of my original intended meaning is likely to be lost or misconstrued.

So, it is not enough for me to genuinely understand you and care for you; I must successfully communicate that understanding and care so that you interpret me as responsive. Only then do you feel that subsequent openness, closeness, trust, and comfort. This is why studies generally focus on perceived responsiveness–measuring people’s subjective experience of how responsive others are.

How we perceive another person’s engagement with us depends on many things, such as our feelings in that moment or our hopes for the interaction. If we are experiencing a stretch of loneliness, we also are more likely to interpret people with skepticism as to the sincerity of their care, making it more challenging to take to heart their attempts at responsiveness.

Because each of us has a different personality and past, our individual preferences for what feels responsive will be different: Some people feel cared for when they get a big hug, others prefer care served up with a dose of humor, and some appreciate the time to verbally process. We also differ in how we tend to display care to others, so it may be easier or more challenging to be responsive depending on who we are with.

How to Communicate Responsiveness

We can do things to ensure better that our understanding, validation, and care get across to another person. For example, a recent set of studies explores what the researchers call high-quality listening, showing how listening well to others promotes perceived responsiveness.

High-quality listening first involves paying attention, which is key to understanding someone. Attentive listening also demonstrates validation–that you respect the thoughts and feelings someone is sharing (whether or not you can relate), especially when you show your attention by avoiding interruptions, directing eye contact and posture in their direction, and practicing what psychologists call back-channeling: nodding and “mhm-ing” to show you are still there with them.

The effort we take to understand each other also matters to high-quality listening. Seeing that another person is motivated to understand you shows that they value you. Asking non-judgmental, open-ended questions and gently asking people to elaborate to help you understand also shows you care about them feeling seen and heard.

Practice, Not Perfect

We should neither expect to give nor receive responsiveness perfectly. Even if two people have an easy time conveying mutual understanding, validation, and care, they will still miss the mark much of the time.

Human connection is an ever-evolving practice in each of our relationships, not a puzzle with a perfect solution. What matters is our honest attempts to show up for each other day after day, developing a unique and imperfect shared culture of care.

The RTA is changing bus routes. In less than a week, more than 30,000 riders will see some changes to their bus route. It’s part of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s major overhaul of its bus network to accommodate areas with higher transit-dependent populations. Areas impacted include New Orleans East and Algiers. The new bus routes will start on Sunday, September 25. RTA will provide riders with shorter trips, reduced wait times, and increased access to jobs, grocery stores, healthcare, and other essential services.

Free Bus Rides

The RTA is offering a four-day free fare promotion to allow riders to adjust to their new routes without having to pay for their trips. Beginning Sunday, September 25 through Wednesday, September 28, riders can board – without payment – all RTA buses, streetcars, and Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry.

The bus route changes are the first significant effort since the agency recovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans has changed a lot since then, including where people live and where they need to go. And these new routes allow the RTA to serve our community better today.

The new bus routes were developed through a two-year study. RTA partnered with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. This study, known as New Links, reviewed travel patterns, community preferences, and ways to better connect transit throughout the region.

The upcoming changes reflect the extensive feedback collected during the New Links study.  The study had input from over 3,000 riders through surveys, meetings, and ride-alongs.

Bus Service Improvements in Gentilly, New Orleans East, and Algiers 

RTA says the agency’s existing network does not meet riders’ current transit needs. This is especially true in communities that are furthest from downtown. The agency has limited existing resources, including a budget and the number of buses and operators. So the agency redistributed the City’s bus service to areas where riders need them most. These route changes  provide better overall travel times, access and flexibility. Here are some bus service improvements riders in Gentilly, New Orleans East, and Algiers can expect:

The RTA is changing bus routes. The RTA kicked off an awareness campaign in early August with transit ambassadors talking to riders at some of the busiest bus stops. The transit ambassadors are meeting riders where they are – at the bus stops –across the city almost every day of the week ahead of September 25. Learn more about the new routes by visiting RTA’s website at www.norta.com/september25, calling RIDELINE at 504-248-3900 or texting “RTA Updates” to 41411.

In last week’s version of wild and misleading headlines, one stuck out. You may have come across it, something about New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and A.G. Jeff Landry joining forces to end the NOPD’s consent decree.

The headlines many have conjured an image of the Mayor and A.G. kicked back on a first-class fight, high-fiving, and toasting to the eventual downfall of the federal government’s intrusion into the city’s police department and politics.

But of course, that’s not what’s happening. The two won’t be clinking glasses anytime soon. For her part, the mayor is trying to resurrect her struggling 2nd term. She wants to tackle crime – one of the city’s most glaring problems. And Landry, Landry is just doing Landry, latching onto an issue for political purposes. Lately, it seems New Orleans has been the eye of his infatuation.

Previously on Pandering for Political Purposes, Landry tried to withhold funds for a S&WB plant because of the City Council’s and D.A.’s stances on abortion. If you’re wondering what the city’s sewerage and abortion have to do with each other, the answer is nothing. If you’re wondering what the city’s sewerage and abortion have to do with Landry lining up support for his run for Governor, the answer is everything.

The same applies in this situation. To his credit, Landry does have a New Orleans contingent in his ear – the self proclaimed Bayou Mama Bears. Yes, that is the name of a group of women who demand you take them seriously.

The Mama Bears came to fame by teaming up with Landry to oppose COVID vaccines and masks mandates during the pandemic and to heckle Mayor Cantrell over crime in the city. Like Landry they’ve now deemed themselves experts on the NOPD and consent decrees. Mostly by just talking about it.

This contrasts the heavy lifting Mayor Cantrell has done. Agree with her or not, the Mayor has put in an honest effort of going to Washington to state her case for ending the decree with members of the Justice Department. Landry’s stance, on the other hand, has basically been the equivalent of standing in a corner, shouting, “Yeah, what she said.”

Both are miffed with federal judge Susie Morgan for moonwalking away from her earlier vow to put the NOPD on a transition path. Judge Morgan had previously praised the NOPD for making progress towards its liberation. But that was before the department’s numbers started tanking towards crisis proportions.

Mayor Cantrell And A.G. Landry Aren’t Joining Forces Yet

Since then, neither Cantrell nor Landry have countered Morgan’s new concern – that the NOPD no longer has the staff on hand to continually enforce the tenets of the decree. As of this writing, there are barely 1000 members.

Surely, if Landry were asked his thoughts on this, he’d utter platitudes about federalism and the cost of federal monitors. Mayor Cantrell, for her part, would do what she has come to do recently when the media questions her – utter something infuriating.

Going forward, It’ll be interesting if the city has to turn to the same federal government it’s trying to free itself from for help in paying for new officers and retaining present ones. When those headlines come out, we’ll be back to write about the wild and misleading spectacle that’s made of that.

You read that right. High school football player attacked a referee. Fights occasionally happen in football games. But at the high school level, discipline is the number one lesson. So fights are harshly dealt with. Students are suspended or disqualified. Rules are strict and clear when a fight erupts. Players are to be immediately ejected. But never do players hit referees. But last week, a player attacked and tackled a referee.

Two of the states elite football programs squared off last week.  Number 1 ranked Zachary High School hosted the perennial powerhouse John Curtis Patriots.  While Curtis is a traditional power, Zachary has only recently become one of the state’s football powers.  Zachary dominated the game from the start, partly due to several Curtis turnovers.

But the domination of Zachary over Curtis is overshadowed by a situation which is becoming a scandal.

The game was marred by a terrible brawl.  Curtis is not used to being blown out and their frustration boiled over late in the game.  An ugly fight was topped off by a Curtis player ramming and spearing a referee.  The targeting of a ref by a high school player was violent and brutal. 

What is most shocking is that no media coverage of this terrible fight exists.  Due a Google search of Zachary/Curtis fight and nothing comes up.  Is the media protecting JT Curtis?  Clearly the Curtis players started and escalated the savage fight.  Numerous Curtis players swung and punched Zachary players who simply protected themselves.

High school football is no place for such criminal behavior.  In fact, the undisciplined corner brawling tactics used by the John Curtis players is not only shocking but deeply concerning.  Schools like Curtis recruit African American players to their campus.  They claim to uplift the lives of these kids.  But the nasty display of street corner conduct shows a disconnect.  At least five (5) Curtis players threw punches.  Yet there has been no public statement from the school.  Many claim that these schools only use these players for their athletic gifts. And in this case the silence is deafening.

Does Curtis Follow the Rules?

Will any punishment occur?  Is the LHSAA involved?  A referee was physically tackled.  Running at full speed Curtis player 23 knocks the grown man to the ground.  Was he hurt?  JT Curtis goes on TV every Friday night to discuss high school football.  His entire tone and tenure is about doing things the right way all the time.  But when his kids break every rule and physically assault a referee, we hear nothing.  In fact during the broadcast Curtis never even mentioned the melee.

This is unacceptable.  Our children deserve better.  Especially when these schools attract kids from outside their typical service area with promises of better.  This is not better.  This is worse.

And the media coverup is shameful.  No Baton Rouge station carried the fight.  No New Orleans media outlet mentioned it until this article.  Is JT Curtis so powerful that he can do no wrong?  It really begs the question. 

What else is JT Curtis hiding? We know a high school football player attacked a referee and nothing happened. Is he helping young black kids improve their lives?  Or is he simply profiting for personal gain?  We all deserve better.

High school football player attacked a referee.

Not only should the players be disqualified, but the school must also face punishment.  The legendary JT Curtis is older and might be out of touch.  Curtis is certainly no longer the dominant program it once was.  But JT Curtis seems to think he can sweep this terrible display of cowardice by his players and staff under the rug. 

To See Curtis Player Hammer the referee Click Below

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Discover science-based tips to start believing in yourself.

When we believe in ourselves, it can help us achieve our goals, manifest our dreams, and increase our well-being. But the flip side is also true. Lack of belief in ourselves means we are less likely to act, to change, or to push to make things better. In fact, when we expect we will fail, we are actually more likely to fail (Bénabou & Tirole, 2002).

That means that believing in ourselves is kind of like the key that turns the ignition and starts the car. We can’t really go anywhere without it. Try as we might to push ourselves forward, we’re blocked because our thoughts, attitudes, and actions aren’t in alignment with our goals. So, we either don’t do what we need to do or we sabotage ourselves along the way, sometimes in obvious ways and sometimes in unconscious ways.

So, how do you believe in yourself?

Believing in yourself includes things like self-worthself-confidence, self-trust, autonomy, and environmental mastery.

These are some of the key components involved in believing in yourself. Maybe you struggle with just one of them or maybe you struggle with all of them. By understanding where your struggles lie, it’ll be easier to start shifting your attitudes about yourself.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Ask yourself these questions to better understand if there are things that are getting in the way of you believing in yourself:

If you answered “no” or were leaning towards “no” to any of these questions, those are likely the areas that thwart your ability to believe in yourself. Spend some time thinking more about how you might shift these self-beliefs to believe in yourself more.

How to Believe in Yourself

Change your self-talk

Once you’ve identified your unsupportive self-beliefs, question these beliefs by talking back to your inner voice. If you feel like you have no value, tell yourself, “You are a valuable, amazing, person who deserves to live a good life.” Or, if you don’t feel confident, remind yourself of your positive qualities and skills.

Positive self-talk like this has been shown to improve our performance (Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011). By saying positive things to ourselves, we can start to rewrite our internal scripts. We can slowly but surely start to develop new scripts in our minds that are a bit more like cheerleaders and a bit less like jerks. And this helps us shift our beliefs.

Build self-trust

We often think of trust as something we have for others. But we can also have trust in ourselves. Having (or not having) this trust in ourselves has similar implications as having (or not having) trust in others. For example, when we trust someone, we’re honest with them, we can count on them, and we are confident in them doing what’s best for us.

So what might it mean when we don’t trust ourselves? Well, maybe we don’t want to be honest with ourselves because we’re not sure what we’ll do with that information. Maybe we can’t count on ourselves to do the things we tell ourselves we’ll do. Or, maybe we’re afraid that we’ll do things to harm ourselves instead of help ourselves.

It may sound odd when spelled out like this, but many of us do indeed have self-trust issues. For example, maybe we’ve told ourselves a thousand times that we are going to start exercising… but we never do it. So how likely is it that we’d trust ourselves to start a new exercise program? Not very likely.

Here are some tips to start building trust within yourself:

In Sum

Believing in ourselves involves a bit more than just forcing ourselves to develop self-love and start pursuing our goals. It’s more a matter of seeing where we’re stuck and compassionately exploring how to get unstuck. Hopefully, these were some useful tips to get started.