by Kenneth Cooper

I’m worse at what I do best / And for this gift, I feel blessed!” So sang Kurt Cobain way back in 1992. 17 years later, Louisiana, in its own declaration of irony, has inverted those lyrics. For the 3rd year in a row, our beloved state is best at what it does worst – mainly education, economic opportunity, locking citizens up, infrastructure, providing non-toxic air quality, or just generally functioning as a state. According to U.S. News World Report’s annual state rankings, we citizens, denizens of the perpetually worst state in the nation, should definitely not feel blessed, as the headlines read: Louisiana ranked worst state in the nation for the 3rd year in a row. How does something like this happen? Let’s delve into the deplorableness.

U.S. News ranks states based on 8 categories. Here’s how Louisiana breaks down in those 8:  health care #45, infrastructure #48, education #48, economy #49, opportunity #50, fiscal stability #43, crime & corrections #50, and natural environment #50. As you can see, the state ranks last in 3 of the 8 categories, 2nd to last in one, and 3rd to last in two others. Even with last year’s budget surplus, it still only ranks 43rd when it comes to fiscal stability. Of these 8 rankings, 3 should be the most concerning.

Education

It all begins with education. Typically, when a school system is in bad shape, it ripples across most other metrics. Louisiana was ranked 48th overall in education. Surprisingly, the state was 10th overall in preschool enrollment, but only 45th and 42nd in the high school graduation rate and college readiness. Translation: even though parents are putting their kids in school earlier, they’re not seeing the results. Apparently, the only thing worse than enrolling your child in one of the state’s k-12 schools is enrolling them in one of its colleges. Despite being ranked 26th in tuition, and 20th in student loan debt, Louisiana is 49th in the 4-year graduation rate, and 44th in education attainment. This means that even though the state is doing a decent job of making sure students can afford to go to college, it’s not doing enough with them once they get there.

Opportunity

Even if students do manage to make it out of college, they don’t find much opportunity once they graduate. Louisiana was ranked dead last when it comes to opportunity. This lack of opportunity translates into an average household income of $46,145 (47th in the country), which translates into a poverty rate of 19.7% (2nd worst in the country), which translates into a high crime rate. Speaking of crime…

Crime & Corrections

No surprise here. Louisiana ranked 50th when it comes to Crime & Corrections. Equipped with low education and limited opportunities, citizens here too often turn to crime. Louisiana ranked 47th in property crime, and 48th in violent crime, which resulted in the highest incarceration rate in the country.

Louisiana has ranked not only last overall but last or near last in these 3 areas for 3 years in a row. That is…spectacular. You know how hard it is to do something spectacular 3 times in a row. Beethoven, for all his greatness, never wrote 3 great symphonies in a row. Miles Davis, for all his great quintets, never put out 3 great jazz albums in a row, and the Patriots, despite all their dominance, have never won 3 Super Bowls in a row. That type of rare air is reserved for Michael Jordan’s NBA championships, Ishmael Reed’s first 3 novels, Donald Barthelme’s first 3 short story collections, and of course Louisiana when it comes to being the worst of the worst. Side note: notice that I didn’t type “worst of the worse.” Why? “Worse” is a comparative adjective, which means it only describes the relationship between 2 things; whereas “worst” is a superlative one, meaning it describes the relationship between 3 or more things, and since there are more than two states in this country…yes, I’m from Louisiana, but I self educated. Judging from the Head Start the state provides our children, maybe it’s something we all should consider doing.

9 thoughts on “This State Is Rank”
  1. New Orleans used to be a wonderful place to live. When the focus wasn’t on education for all people and especially our youth crime and the corruption of the elected officials,police corruption and until this is cleaned up in this city Nola will always be last. The working class will remain at mimium wages except for the people in charge their families and associates will remain at the top of the city.

  2. Jeff, I don’t know if your long term solution will work but I can tell you the short term one Doesn’t. I represent a large community in Eastern New Orleans. We make it a priority to remind our community to follow your short term solution. That has stopped no one. The cars not in garages were broken into by blocks. These criminal don’t waste time looking inside cars to see if anything is in there. They check if the car is open and if it isn’t, they break the window. My short term solution, make the parents pay for these car damages that their under age children damage. Theses parents MUST know that these young people are up to no good when their children are not home at 2 a.m. They must take responsibility for their children’s action. They made them and raised them.; now be responsible for them.

  3. Thank You Jesus,,, !!!
    We are so proud of our successes of implementing demorat ideas! Just a few more and Louisiana will may win the award for lower than worse!
    For 50 years I have heard everything under the sun blamed for the continual decrease in what is alleged leads to this.
    Trillions spent, but failure still exits, quality in human competence reveals much.
    Society lowered standards, common core and others keep people in delusions, college educated installed new education methods, college ed adults relaxed the laws, cities and courts relaxed justice, and mocked the past, and so much more!
    SO, the results are in !!!
    LOSERS have been running the asylum and it has been successful!
    We hate Gods ways, we hate truth, we hate laws and discipline, we hate morality,
    we hate justice and accountability, we hate ethics, we hate virtue, and above all we hate those that tell us the truth, especially our Creator!
    Ohh,, but we love and for our children, continue to promote all the Idols of this world that harm us, hurt us, and make us follow illusions, delusions, and produce decades of confusion.
    Wow! And we wrap all that up and flaunt it, portray it and herald it before children and show them how to worship, Hedonism, drunkenness, debauchery, sorcery, witchcraft, envy, greed, covetousness, lust, adultery, fornication, murder, malice, gossip, and thus children are then educated (mind washed) to the lowest expectations and lowest achievements of scores and Tada, now, we have a State composed of humans who are blind and deaf to what really is hurting them.
    AND then they go out and vote for more of the same allusions because the mind washing from the King of Darkness who leads them slowly to their own eternal barbecue.
    Louisiana people lover their Idols, and Loathe their creator!
    2019, May 20.

  4. This article needs to be mailed in bold black colors to the Governor, Parish Presidents, and Mayors and require an answer or response for all the money that was poured into this state from various sources for the recovery because of Katrina. I often wonder about all the corruption and mismanagement and expect and hope the constituency will revolt and make a stance to vote these people out of office. Where is the energy for change? Like the old adage says, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. What is keeping newly elected and appointed officials from standing on their own morals and not being influenced by outside big and old money?

  5. The Infinity Loop of Incompetence? Sometimes it has to be called what it is!
    LBRC- Incompetence is an “Infinity Loop”! Here’s 1 Political Algorithym-

    1. Poor Public Education = A Low Info Voter = Poor Results + Commensurate Politicians = More Rhetoric – Results Manifested aka Efficacy = More of The Same = De Facto Insanity!

    2. What Government Does?

    a. Tax “You” then Spend (The Park where you live is utterly Ghetto, but you Tax yourself to provide a “Quasi” one for? You flood each rain and the Politicos who appointed the Board Members to fix problems says more money on top of what’s been wasted is necessary aka What did The Temps say- “Politicians say more taxes will solve everything”, and ‘Simps agree! How easy is it to spend and not appreciate what others have earned? What’s the difference between “A Government Entitlement” and a “Government/ Politicos who feel entitled to and btw- Generally speaking on Politicos who feel entitled, add Hefty Pension and Medical Plans to include family members, then remember their “Retirement Plans” are generally 10X to 20X what average constutients earn. Ironically, Politicos turn around and boast about what they did with “Your” money. Years later and in due season, the poor dupes called “The Constuientcy” learn- oops…, some never do, otherwise they wouldn’t be electing the same ‘ole- same ‘ole over and over! De Facto Insanity!

    b. Fundamental types of Governments to include but not limited to- Democracy and  Parlimentary (Great for Brexit! Terresa is vulnerable before General Elections and she knows it! Not so for Trump, he can “Hawk” his circus until his whole term in office is over and Neither Parties will veer from “House” aka Game Rules aka “We’re the same bird with 2 Wings and lots of “Feathers” (‘Simps and The Pseudo Intellectuals will never Get it! Sorry…?). Forget about Impeachment! Impeachment only means to “Charge”! Remember? Nixon resigned and then was “Pardoned”! How many U.S. Presidents in the history ofnthe country, have actually been “Removed”? Jeporady music please…

    c. Totalitarian governments and Autocrats think and do for citizens what they will!  “Propaganda” aka “Fake News” rule! ***Get this- Didn’t Trump tell you U.S. Media is “Fake News” aka Propaganda? True/False? How Democracatic or Totalitarian is The U.S., especially when Corporations are called people and “Citizens” matter in negligable terms aka “Neglected”! Corporations are “Gangs” and ‘Gangsta, why Politicos fear ‘Dem not you! Duh…?  Uh oh…

    3. Grandma said- “if given the choice between dealing with a “Whole Fool” not “Foods”,  or a 1/2 Fool, pick The Whole Fool! Why? Because the 1/2 Fool knows just enough to believe they are more brilliant than most aka “Self Deceived” the worst deception of all! 

    *Warning- Never allow a Fool or Sycophant access to a microphone before comprehending who and what they are, and never be surprised how quickly their ranks can multiply! Why? What do Lemmings do? Ans. Follow their leader right over the cliff! Some with Buck Dancing and Minstrel Smiles!

    Peace Out…

  6. LBRC- Mainstream Media is an illiterate Talking Head! Learn the Truth here! Most never research, just believe! How many times have you heard from people who should know better and who tell you what to think- Branches of government are “CoEqual”? What does Federalist Paper #47 say about “CoEqual” Branches of Government? Ans. Nothing! Though you failed Civics “De Facto”, here’s what’s really Educational! Don’t be Status Quo Louisiana, Illiterate and Aoorgant!! A Great Poet said-!”There is no such thing as Free Thought when your writings and thoughts must conform to somebody else’s standards”! Free means “Unobstructed”!

    James Madisin says- Branches “Must be Separate and Balanced”! Proof? Let’s get Educated…

    Federalist Paper #47

    James Madison begins this paper by telling his readers that he is going to examine a specific principle of republican government: “separation of powers.” One of the principal objections to the constitution is that it violates this important principle. Its opponents claim that the three branches of government are not sufficiently separate and independent and that power is too unevenly distributed. It is feared that the new government will collapse, and that liberty will be threatened.

    Madison agrees with those who place great importance on the separation of powers, especially on the point that an unequal division of power could result in the loss of liberty. If one branch has too much power, it does not matter how many men govern or how they obtain office. Too much power in one branch of government “is the very definition of tyranny.” If these claims were true, Madison says that no other arguments would need oppose it. He, however, is convinced that this charge cannot be supported. How separate should each branch of government be?

    Montesquieu, the French political writer, formulated this principle of government. He took the British constitution as his model, which he called “the mirror of political liberty.” However, the most casual glance at that constitution reveals that the branches of the British government are far from totally separate or distinct. For example, the English king acts in a legislative capacity when he enters into treaties with foreign sovereigns: once treaties are signed they have the force of legislative acts. The English king not only appoints and removes judges; he frequently consults them. The judicial branch, then, acts in an advisory capacity to the executive branch. The legislative branch advises the king on constitutional matters and, in cases of impeachment, the Houses of Lords assumes judicial power. From these few facts, Madison infers that Montesquieu, when he wrote that “there can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person . . . or, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers,” did not mean that the powers should remain absolutely separate or that each branch should not have any control over the other branches.

    Madison continues that if one looks at the state constitutions, there is no state in which the branches of government are absolutely separate and distinct. The state constitutions do not violate the separation of power doctrine set forth by Montesquieu, Madison concludes, and neither does the United States Constitution.

    Analysis

    In this essay, Madison clearly delineates his philosophy concerning separation of powers. Calling the accumulation of legislative, executive, and judicial power in the same hands – whether of one, of a few, or of many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective – the very definition of tyranny, Madison considers their separation essential to the preservation of liberty. He points out that when the legislative and executive powers are united there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws to execute them in a tyrannical manner. Furthermore, “were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subjects would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the violence of an oppressor.”

    This was not the only time that Madison had talked about the separation of powers. Before the first Congress, Madison said on June 17, 1789, that the principle of the separation of powers “is to be found in the political writings of the most celebrated civilians and is everywhere held as essential to the preservation of liberty . . . ; and if in any case they are blended, it is in order to admit a partial qualification, in order more effectually to guard against an entire consolidation.”

    The authors of the Federalist took a rather cautious attitude toward legislative supremacy. In their desire to secure free government, they were in favor of a system of government under which the legislature would not be more important than the other branches of government. This led them to follow the classic exponent of the separation of powers, Montesquieu. The Frenchman provided the additional machinery that was necessary to make a reality of the ideal of a government of laws and not of men, combined with the Lockeian concept of free government and the sacrosancity of property.

    Peace out…

  7. Paper Bag Negroes and NYT? NYT ought to be ashamed?

    LBRC- Shame on You NY Times!…

    1. If your writers are “Free” thinkers- Then why what they submit is “Edited”?

    2. 1 of your so- called “Chief” Editors is a “Negro” from NOLA who claims “French” aka “Creole” Dominant DNA? Ipso facto, what aligns this “Negro” with “Black Sensitivities” when we know in NOLA these Negroes are “Paper Bag” proponents! Ask this,Negro to elaborate components!

    3. Don’t insult us NYT! Your “Preferrred” Negro has led astray who?

    Peace Out… 

  8. NOLA is still a La. Sharecropper! We urge The Mayor to stay Strong!

    LBRC- NOLA Schools and The RSD have “Legislated” and enforced “Bills of Attainder”! The U.S. Constitution says, Bills of Attainder are “Unconstitutional”! btw- Friends internationally have asked about crazy Bills passed by The Louisiana Legislature. 4 Words- Last Place Education Ranking! Also a Red Racist State and lots of Negro Coons, Apostates and Sell- out Politicos!

    1. What are Bills of Attainder? Attainders are about creating classes of citizens and determining “who” deserves full protection of law, so “Laws” are legislated to fit the “Conviction of Whole Classes”! 

    The U.S. Constitution says-

    *Definition: Bill of Attainder. Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group (Like What Happened to Black Schools in NOLA During Katrina. Black Teachers were fired en masse, only in NOLA/Majority Black! Also Black Support Staff!) for punishment without a trial. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”*

    2. A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a “legislature” declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted person’s civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself. Bills of attainder passed in Parliament by Henry Vlll on 29 January 1542 resulted in the executions of a number of notable historical figures.

    The use of these bills by Parliament eventually fell into disfavour due to the obvious potential for abuse and the violation of several legal principles, most importantly the right to due process, the precept that a law should address a particular form of behaviour rather than a specific individual or group, and the separation of powers.

    3. The Right of “Women”/Citizen Class (Pro Choice) is nullified by ignorance and Attainder by which their Civil Right to determine “Medical Issues” has been legislated away! Vice Versa for Gays, Blacks et al! NOLA is a De Facto La. Sharecropper still! Lots of timid Negro Politicos and Coons! In majority Negro Districts, they worship and elect known obviously Caucasion Racist and 1st Generation Immigrants! What did The Hon. Harriet Tubman say- “Most don’t know they’re slaves”! She carried a pistol to keep Coons from sabotaging missions to freedom! What’s different in 2019? 

    4. The ignorant Louisiana Legislature voided the rights of Black NOLA when they fired “All” the Black Teachers in NOLA, but no where else, especially not in “Majority Caucasion Controlled School Districts”! Afterwards and after protest of Racism and Discrimination against Majority Black NOLA, the RSD was created elsewhere, but consequences like what happened in NOLA to Black Professionals are “Non Existant”! Negro Coons complicit in these moves have been “Re- Elected” over and over again! What explains this ignorance Stupidity? No need for reduce! 

    Peace Out…

    Langmippe: Federalist Paper #44-“No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility. (*NOLA Teacher Contracts, Retirement and Medical Benefits were voided for Black School employees en masse as a “Class” in NOLA “During Hurricane Katrina”, without public hearings or debate! 

    ***Madison called Bills of Attainder a “Monster” whereby members of a body guide the Brain-

    “In the third place, as the constitutions of the States differ much from each other, it might happen that a treaty or national law, of great and equal importance to the States, would interfere with some and not with other constitutions, and would consequently be valid in some of the States, at the same time that it would have no effect in others. In fine, the world would have seen, for the first time, a system of government founded on an inversion of the fundamental principles of all government; it would have seen the authority of the whole society every where subordinate to the authority of the parts; it would have seen a monster, in which the head was under the direction of the  members.”//end quote//

  9. This might be painful?
    LBRC- We Just ‘Sayin? ‘Sum ’em is wrong with ‘Dis ‘Pitcha! Why is it…

    1. You see throngs od Negroes “Endorsing” Caucasion Attorneys on The Idiot Tube, lots  of whom are “Ghetto Fabolous”. Some want their 15min. of Fame or Infamy, right? But conversely, where are the throngs of Caucasions endorsing Negro Attorneys?

    2. Next political contest, watch how Caucasion Candidates flood majority Negro Districts with Lawn Signs and Push Cards to “Ubiquitous Levels”! Conversely, when and if ever have Negro Candidates had their signs appear anywhere near “Negligable Numbers” in majority Caucasion Districts? 

    3. Why are Negro Media Types and ilk, so over accomodating in the “Physical” presence  of Caucasions in 2019, many times throwing “Soft Ball” inquires, hardly probing when an  “Honest Examination” is warranted? Some go so far as to confess, “I will protect”! Courtesy is not a vice, however, “Actual Dscourtesy” warrants intervention, not an anticipated or irrational “Apprehension! it’s “Sacriligous” to criticize or cause discomfort to ‘Massa? Never heard a Caucasion Media Outlet admonish their audience in similiar fashion. What does this say- Negroes need reminding about “Common Manners”? No edit 3 Sec. delay buttons? Hmmm… 

    4. Once elected, why do Negro Politicos easily ignore their constuitency with perceived impunity? Suddenly, most are bottom dwellers with respect to “The Political Caste”? They get sprinkled with The Fairy Dust of “Arrogance”! Wish it was “Genius” Dust!

    5. Church Apostates, non elected, generally stay in charge for life! Rape Allegations, Homosexual or other, Stealing Church Funds, Adultery and yada…, like their hymn says- “I shall not be moved”! What’s the difference with Negro Politicos? In fact, most only get impeached or moved via “Indictments”, Fereral Authorities, Federal Courts et al! Most can be re- elected! Conversely, what happens when a Caucasion Politico betrays the “Public Trust” of his office? Isn’t there a “New” Coroner in St. Tammany? Not only ‘Dat, new rules governing his office have been legislated!

    6. Question: What is a “High Standard” and who imposes it? A “High Standard” is indicative of “High Expectations”! A Healthy Self- Esteem is no more comfortable with “Low Outcomes”, than is a Fish with a Condo in The Sahara Desert!

    7. In 2019, “Self- Esteem” and Poverty is so crippling and deep in the “Psyche” (Conscious and Unconscious) of so many Negroes-

    a. They still  “Revere” and will defend ‘Massa in anticipation of his/her discomfort, in ways rivaling “Manchurian Candidates”! Maybe why they spend money with and support ‘Massa’s Economics against their own better interest? When ‘Massa, any ‘Massa, gives them a play, he/her is “Over Accomodated”? Why? Hmmm…

    b. Many Negroes crave to “Endorse” ‘Massa! A commercial in which they can express how “Great” ‘Massa is, “appear” to drive their Epinefferin Levels off charts! Lots will endorse ‘Massa  for “Free”! For accomplishing? Conversely, other than “Media Created High Profile Manufactured Negroes” for “Negroes”, where and what other Negroes “Float ‘Massa’s ‘Boat”? We missed their “Commercials”? We just ‘askin…

    Sum ’em is wrong with ‘Dis ‘Pitcha!

    Peace Out…

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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.

Breakthrough infections are to be expected, but it doesn’t mean the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t working.

by Linda Geddes

As a growing number of people in wealthy countries get fully vaccinated, questions are being asked about why some of them are still becoming infected with coronavirus, in some cases even being hospitalised with COVID-19. Such “breakthrough infections” are to be expected, but just how common are they, and what should you expect if you test positive for SARS-CoV-2 having been fully vaccinated?

Vaccine efficacy

No vaccine is 100% effective. Even the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine – one of the most powerful disease prevention tools we have – is only 96% effective against measles after two doses, while the seasonal flu vaccine is only 45% effective. Still, it is estimated to prevent 130,000 flu deaths in the US alone each year.

COVID-19 vaccines can and do protect the majority of people from hospitalisation and death, which is why as many doses need to administered around the world as rapidly, and equitably, as possible.

Clinical trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines found them to be 94-95% effective against all symptomatic COVID-19 disease after the second dose. This doesn’t mean that we’d expect 5-6 in every 100 people to develop COVID-19, but that there was a 94-95% reduction in new cases of the disease among people who had been vaccinated, compared to unvaccinated individuals. China’s Sinopharm vaccine was 78% effective and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 67% effective in clinical trials. Protection against hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 was even higher.

With large numbers of people being vaccinated, and as almost all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in some countries, it is inevitable that a small proportion of fully vaccinated individuals will become infected. An even smaller proportion will become seriously ill and die. What’s important is that the risk of a serious outcome is vastly lower for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to those who have received no vaccine doses.

Breakthrough infections

In the US, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has been quantifying the number of breakthrough infections, which it defines as cases in which SARS-CoV-2 is detected in a respiratory specimen 14 days or more after an individual has completed all recommended vaccine doses. Between 1 January and 30 April, 2021, 10,262 breakthrough infections were reported from 46 US states. At that time, 101 million people in the US had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For comparison, there were 11.8 million COVID-19 infections recorded during the same period – so these vaccine breakthrough infections represented only a tiny fraction of the total number. Also importantly, not all of these individuals reported feeling ill – 27% of those experiencing a breakthrough infection were asymptomatic.

Since 1 May, the CDC has only been identifying and investigating those breakthrough cases in which the individual was hospitalised or died due to any cause (i.e. not just as a result of COVID-19). As of August 2, 2021, more than 164 million people in the US had been fully vaccinated. In that time-span, the CDC identified 7,525 patients with a breakthrough infection who were hospitalised or died.

Shorter milder illness

Another recent analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, analysed breakthrough infections among almost 4000 essential and frontline workers in Arizona, USA, vaccinated with either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Of the 205 coronavirus infections identified, the majority occurred among unvaccinated workers – with only five fully and eleven partially vaccinated individuals testing positive between mid-December 2020 and mid-April 2021. Those who had received at least one vaccine dose had a 40% lower viral load (the amount of live virus a person carries) on average, a 66% reduced chance of testing positive for COVID-19 for more than a week on a PCR test, and a 58% lower risk of experiencing fever, compared to unvaccinated individuals. Their other symptoms also subsided about six days earlier and they spent two days fewer ill in bed, on average.

“The mechanisms by which vaccination attenuates COVID-19 are largely unknown, but the effect is probably due to recall of immunologic memory responses that reduce viral replication and accelerate the elimination of virally infected cells,” the researchers wrote.

Delta variant

The initial clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines were conducted before the emergence and spread of new variants, such as Delta, which are able to overcome the immunity afforded by COVID-19 vaccines to some degree.

In a recent study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research explored the possible reason for an increased number of breakthrough infections reported across the country. They collected nose and throat swabs from 677 individuals who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after receiving one or two doses or India’s Covaxin vaccine, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, or the Sinopharm vaccine. Genetic analysis revealed that in 86% of cases, the breakthrough infection was triggered by the Delta variant – although this could simply be a reflection of the variant’s prevalence at that time.

Other research also indicates that the vaccines may be less effective at preventing coronavirus infections in the face of the Delta variant. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were 88% effective at preventing symptomatic infections, whereas the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 67% effective. A single dose of either vaccine was only 37% effective, underscoring the importance of receiving both doses.

However, COVID-19 vaccines still appear to be highly effective at preventing hospitalisation and deaths from the disease. Data from Public Health England, where the Delta variant now accounts for most COVID-19 cases, suggested that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 96% effective against hospitalisation with Delta after 2 doses, while the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 92% effective after 2 doses.

Living with the virus

Most experts agree that COVID-19 is now effectively endemic, meaning it will continue to circulate in pockets of the global population and trigger outbreaks, although it may pose less a danger over time. Many had hoped that once a certain proportion of the population had been infected, or vaccinated against the disease, herd immunity would kick in, meaning those who hadn’t encountered the virus would be buffered from infection by those who were already immune to it. The spread of Delta, and other variants that can partially escape the immunity provided by vaccination or previous infection has raised the threshold for herd immunity, with some even questioning whether it can be achieved at all. However, COVID-19 vaccines can and do protect the majority of people from hospitalisation and death, which is why as many doses need to administered around the world as rapidly, and equitably, as possible.

Could New Public Board Do a Better Job?

In New Orleans, the city council regulates the power company.  This is a unique occurrence.  Everywhere else across the state, the state-run Public Service Commission regulates the power companies for local municipalities.  The commission regulates insures that every district has safe and reliable power at reasonable rates.  Utility regulation is complex and important.  Utility commissions make life changing decisions.  Should the city council regulate Entergy?

The state’s Public Service Commission has  five commissioners that represent different parts of the state. In New Orleans, while the entire council must approve any regulation, the utility committee interacts directly with the power company.  This unique authority provides citizens direct access to all of the regulators.  That council members are the regulatory body, a heightened sense of politicization affects the policy decisions. 

Is this the best solution? 

The notion of local control seems great.  Now, council members have direct management of the power company with access to the company executives circumvents excessive bureaucracy.  And for the company, New Orleans officials directly hear their concerns.  Win-win right?

The complexity of utility regulation is significantly high.  Even the state’s commission hires advisors and experts to help it understand their choices.  And the New Orleans City Council annually spends over a million dollars on utility consultants and attorneys.  Finding the sweet spot – a financially strong and profitable power company that provides safe, reliable and affordable electricity – is an extreme challenge.  Add in climate change and the stakes get higher.  Our Hurricane Ida experience exposes our vulnerability.  100% of the metro was out of power. 

Role of the City Council

The council is the legislative and partly administrative branch of city government.  New laws, potholes, marijuana laws, city budget, crime, internet and cable TV, housing, water and land use are some of the important work done by the council.  Our members serve four-year terms.  The approve the city budget.  The council has several subcommittees that meet regularly in addition to the normal every other Thursday regular meeting.

Entergy New Orleans(ENO) is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, the city’s only Fortune 500 company.  ENO has been the power company in New Orleans for 99 years.  And ENO is guaranteed a reasonable profit. They must provide always on electricity and gas to homes and businesses. Additionally, the company must maintain the power grid for the city.  ENO attempts to maximize its’ profit through efficiency and minimizing expenses while continuing to provide high quality service.

Justice and Beyond Meeting Headed by Pat Bryant and Dr. Dwight Webster

Relationship Issues

The very nature of this business partnership requires informed and committed regulation.  Business intends to make the most profit possible providing desired service or products.  In the case of Entergy, cutting costs to increase profits might result in potential calamity.  Some have claimed the tower that collapsed during the storm is a prime example. They say the rusted and twisted metal indicates lack of proper maintenance.  Though not a part of ENO, this example provides insight into the difficulty regulators face.  How to oversee the wide and complex power grid.

But the New Orleans City Council is much more than just a regulatory body.  The city council must provide public policy, laws, budgets, and a host of other responsibilities. And the complexity of utility regulation is immense.  Even our state commission hires consultants and law firms.  Furthermore, none of the current council members is a utility expert.  The field is a specialty that requires specific skills and knowledge. We ask too much of council members. They are already burdened with everyday city stuff to oversee a powerful company.  Combine term limits to this equation and it’s no wonder that the same questions come up year after year.

Entergy is able to monetize our city government structure.  Council members cycle off every eight years.  New council members usually have no knowledge of the utility committee’s actions. Sometimes the new members’ campaigns were supported by ENO. Their ability to regulate may not be compromised. However, they may have more information about Entergy’s desires than the city’s position.

Therefore a diverse new board comprised not only of City Council members, but also citizens, independent industry experts, Entergy representatives, the New Orleans representative on the Public Service Commission, and university representatives should serve staggered 8-year terms.  This board should only regulate ENO.  This relieves burdened and inexperienced council members.  This new board will ensure that the threats of climate change are mitigated.  In other words, if we can not keep the lights on, then we no longer exist. 

The new power and gas board of New Orleans means we have a strong city for another 100 years.

               

                I’d like to speak to upper management. I don’t think the City Council’s Utilities Committee is making a big enough mess of its relationship with Entergy. Yes, I know, both sides have been throwing around the D word lately. But this is shaping up to be more of a public tantrum than a full-on split. I feel that any day now their beef will be settled behind closed doors with both sides vowing to never ever take each other for granted again. Public displays of affection will soon follow. And before we know it, the two will be back to old times. As responsible citizens we can’t allow this to happen. Can the city council be trusted to regulate Entergy?

                The Committee is an abusive relationship with Entergy. It may or may not know this. But one thing remains clear: it is powerless to do anything about it. Entergy lies to the Committee at will. It subjects it to rounds of emotional and intellectual abuse. There was even a widely publicized bout of infidelity where it paid for a public display of affection.

                Each time that this happens Entergy is either able to woo itself back into the Committee’s heart with words or money. Twice lately it has thrown a couple of million at the Committee, slapped it on the ass, and told it to go buy itself something nice. Afterwards, the cycle of abuse just starts all over again.

                Clearly, the Committee is too compromised at the moment to be effective regulators of Entergy. As a result, we all to often find our homes reduced to dark, powerless caves, making it clear that we citizens are the ones caught in the middle. No more. But what are our solutions?

                We can suggest the two seek counseling. An intermediary board can act as a go between, a regulator of the regulators. But then it’d become clear that the Committee’s role would be redundant. And the only logical thing to do at that point would be for the Committee and Entergy to split. That’s not going to happen. The Committee will never voluntarily breakup with Entergy. And despite all the hee-hawing and foot stomping, Entergy is never going to voluntarily breakup with the Committee either.

                Maybe we can have a vote, some type of City Charter or City Council amendment to force a legal separation. Yes, the Committee would be hurt, and left feeling betrayed. But at this point, it may be the best thing for both parties. The Committee can disband, and the individual members can devote their time to areas they actually have expertise in. And we can find Entergy a new partner, an equal that will force it to be the best energy provider it can be. It’s a long shot, but who knows.

                Meanwhile, a few suggestions for the Committee going forward:

  • If somebody tells you they can build a plant that’ll do this or that, as a regulator you should be able to look at the specs and determine if that’s the case beforehand. Yelling WTF afterwards is just not acceptable.
  • When hurricane season approaches, maybe, just maybe you should demand some type of state of the power grid report to identify any weak points that may need to be addressed. Otherwise, what exactly is being regulated?
  • Just do better. Somehow, someway. If Sean Payton can squeeze 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions out of Jameis Winston, surely you can squeeze some type of consistent respect and energy out of your relationship with Entergy.

                Hopefully, this makes its way to upper management. You know we citizens can be emotional too. And we tend to let that emotion out during elections. Don’t take that as a threat. Well…maybe you should. Or maybe you shouldn’t. I don’t know. Just find a way to keep the lights on.

H20 might be the fat-loss tool you’re not using.

BY ISADORA BAUM

No one has to to tell you that drinking water is great for you.

You’ve likely heard this your entire life: Drinking water is one of the building blocks of good health. And, on a deeper level, proper hydration helps your brain stay alert, your cells function as they should, and your exercise performance operating at top gear.

And you know the dangers of dehydration: brain fog, feeling tired and/or dizzy, and that foul-smelling discolored nature of your urine—just to name a few.

But there’s another benefit to water, too, and it’s not one you might think of: weight loss.

Dietitians tend to recommend drinking water as one of the building blocks of a lifestyle that can lead to healthy weight maintenance. That said, the effective mechanism isn’t just water in, fat out.

“Oftentimes water is pushed to those seeking weight loss because there is a belief that water can ‘fill you up’ leading to eating less often or less volume come meal time,” says Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D.

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So because you’re filling up on water, the theory goes, you’ll be less likely to snack and can better control your hunger. Plus, when you are hydrated and eating foods that have high water content, you are more likely to have better hydration overall throughout the day to help manage weight.

“Poor hydration can mean that your body continues to seek out fluid through the foods you are eating though, which is why sometimes people feel as if they may eat less when they have water before or at a meal,” Jones says.

There’s some truth behind the claim that water can help you lose weight. That said, some so-called “experts” make it seem like H20 is an instant fat burner. Like, if you’re not carrying around a jug of water and drinking it at all times, weight loss is going to be a long, hard road for you.

Not true.

Think of water more as a maintenance tool, not a magic bullet, for weight loss.

Rather than trying to use water to mask your hunger, sip water regularly throughout the day in an attempt to prevent feelings of thirst (a sign you’re already dehydrated) and then you may have a more regular appetite regulation throughout the day.

“Along with well balanced meals and snacks, adequate hydration may help you better listen to your hunger and fullness cues, helping your body reach the weight it is meant to be over time,” Jones says.

Still, though, beyond weight management, can water help you drop weight when you’re looking to slim down?

Can drinking water help you lose weight?

You’ve heard the old adage: “If you’re hungry, you might actually be thirsty.”

This is only sort of partially true.

Drinking water may help you curb your hunger in the short-term, but not so much long-term. “While volume of food and liquids puts pressure on the nerve cells in your digestive tract, sending some signals to your brain that you may be full, it doesn’t last for very long,” Jones says.

a senior african american man enjoying refreshing water after a workout

ADAMKAZ

Jones continues:”Without intake of protein, fat, and fiber, proper satiety signals will not be released and if it doesn’t catch up to you very soon after once the water has left your stomach, it often will later in the day, leading to extreme hunger and potentially ease in overeating,” she adds.

So, in short, water can fill you up in a pinch, but only for a pinch.

How much water should you drink daily to help with weight loss?

On top of your baseline needs, experts recommend that you drink an additional 16 to 24 ounces of fluid starting around 3 hours before exercise, up to 1 liter an hour during exercise, and between 13 to 27 ounces per hour depending on conditions of your workout, says Jones.

dude chugging h20 on an empty stretch of street by the mountains

JACOBS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

After your workout, you should replace whatever fluids you lost. By weighing yourself before and after your training session, you can calculate this need. “For every pound lost while moving, drink an additional 16 to 20 ounces on top of your baseline needs. Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration status and fluid needs,” Jones says.

Can you drink too much water?

It is possible.

this guy is just going to town on water drinking

MIKE KEMP

“You drink more water than your kidneys can remove in your urine. This can cause too much water to collect in your bloodstream and an imbalance of fluids,” says Maggie Michalczyk, MS.., R.D.

While more risky for women than men, men can still over-do it with water, which can be life threatening.

“Excessive fluid intake occurs when the body has so much fluid that minerals such as sodium are diluted in the blood, leading to fluid imbalances in and out of cells,” Jones says.

“Known as hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, creates symptoms from nausea and fatigue to brain damage and death,” she says.

This is isn’t something to worry too much about—but it is a risk associated with excess water intake.

What about “water weight?” Can’t water make you weigh more?

Water weight is when the body retains fluids that would normally get filtered by the kidneys. “It’s usually temporary and doesn’t mean that you’ve gained weight, however can be discouraging for someone trying to lose weight,” says Michalczyk.

buff man dining with a glass of water for weight loss

WESTEND61

It might happen for a few reasons. “An increase in salt in the diet, and sitting for long periods of time (like on a long flight) can all be reasons why people gain water weight,” Michalczyk says.

Yet, you can help manage it. “Avoiding salty foods (like processed foods that usually contain a lot of salt), drinking enough water and exercising are all ways to prevent water weight and get it to go away,” Michalczyk says.

Carbs can also have an impact on fluid retention, because glycogen (storage form of carbohydrates) pulls in water.

“This explains why people on a crash diet with very little carbs lose weight right away but then tend to gain right back when they resume their normal,” Michalczyk says. It’s water weight that is being lost from the stored glycogen in our muscles—just another reason why slow, sustained weight loss is the way to go.

Do I have to drink water to lose weight?

Well, yes, everyone has to drink water, but we know what you’re getting at: Can’t you drink other things that aren’t water because water tastes so, well, boring?

Sure, but keep in mind that fluids that aren’t water (sports drinks, vitamin waters, flavored waters) often contain empty calories—the enemy of healthy diets.

One good non-water option is seltzer, which is usually no-calorie and extremely flavorful. That said, pounding seltzer after seltzer, might leave you feeling a little … bloated?

The Bottom Line

Overall, water can help you lose weight as a healthy lifestyle habit where you may control appetite better and go for less sugary drinks to quench your thirst, but pure water alone won’t really tip the scale for long-term changes.