Friday, December 31, 2010

Natural Envy Spotlights

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Stop Bullying Now

From the time she started school through sixth grade, Trish McClune was bullied. Kids called her "Tissue" and wiped their noses on her clothes. Once, her best friend punched her. Even her cousins and sister got in on the game, forming "WHEAT" - the "We Hate Everything About Trish Club."
"There were times when I'd just sit outside by myself at recess," McClune, now 31 and a communications associate in Lancaster, Pa., told LiveScience. "Just sit outside and pick the grass, because I felt like the world hated me."
Despite the torment, McClune didn't tell her mother or any other adults about the full extent of the bullying she endured. She didn't think it would do any good.
"It was like, 'What's the point?'" McClune said.
McClune's reaction isn't unusual. Studies have shown that nondisclosure is a common choice among bullying victims. Recent research has pointed to racial and cultural concerns influencing whether kids choose to tell; school structure matters, too. Often kids think telling won't do any good, or that the bully will retaliate if they tattle, said Susan Swearer, a professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
And sometimes they're right, Swearer told LiveScience.
"Kids will tell us, 'I told what was going on and nothing happened,' or 'I told what was going on and it got worse.'" Swearer said. "So adult reaction to the bullying that's taking place is really critical."
Secret bullies
The number of kids who tell someone about bullying differs based on when and where studies are done. One 1995 study published in the journal Education Canada found that among Canadian schoolchildren, about one-third of bully victims never told an adult. A 2005 study of Dutch elementary school students found that nearly half of bullying victims didn't tell their teachers about the bullying. Among Dutch children who were frequent victims, 25 percent kept their experiences from adults, the researchers reported in the journal Health Education Research.
Finally, in a 2009 survey of middle and high school students conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, 62.4 percent of bullied gay and lesbian teens did not report the harassment to school officials. Just over one-third of those who had reported the bullying said that the school staff did nothing in response.
Reasons for secrecy tend to fall into one of seven categories, according to a 2005 review of research by University of Toronto social workers. The categories, reported in the journal Children & Schools, were:

  • The cloak of secrecy: Bullying often happens out of adults' sight, in settings such as hallways and school lunchrooms. Thus, bullying stays between the victim, the bully and peer bystanders.
  • Power: Bullying is marked by one participant - the bully - possessing more power than the other, whether that power is real or perceived. Children learn to gain power by aggression and to accept when others wield aggressive power. So a "weak" victim is not likely to tattle.
  • Self-blame: Victims may feel shame and blame themselves for their situation. One girl told the researchers she was at fault for her victimization, because she was "a little chubby."
  • Retaliation: To some kids, the logic is simple: Tell an adult and make the bully madder.
  • Vulnerability: Kids who are bullied are often less accepted by their peers and may struggle with social skills. They may yearn for acceptance from the very people who torment them.
  • Fear of losing a friendship: Sometimes the relationship between bullies and victims isn't so straightforward. If the victim counts the bully as a friend (or wants to be his or her friend), telling may not seem like an option.
  • Fear adults will do nothing: Kids may be skeptical that adults can, or will, take steps to stop a bully.
Complicating factors
On top of those reasons, the child's own characteristics may play a role. Reporting harassment may put a child in the position of having to highlight his or her own differences. For example, children of transracial adoption are often loathe to discuss racial harassment with their white parents, said Sara Docan-Morgan, a professor of communication studies at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.
Docan-Morgan's research, reported online Oct. 27 in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, finds that Korean adult adoptees with white parents often faced race-related bullying as children, but many never told their parents. Many felt their parents would never understand, being white and thus not subject to similar taunts. Others said just bringing up the bullying was painful.
"They really wanted to blend in and fit in," Docan-Morgan said. "So bringing up this topic of 'I'm being teased about my race' obviously makes them stand out and highlights the fact that they don't blend in with their families and their community."
Similar stumbling blocks could stand in the way of bullied gay and lesbian kids, said Ritch Savin-Williams, a Cornell University expert on adolescent development and sexual minority youth. Whether gay or straight, kids tend to get teased for failing to conform to gender norms, Savin-Williams said. Since the issue is fraught with homophobia, reporting this type of teasing may be especially tough for kids.
"The association is gayness," Savin-Williams said. "So a boy is probably not as likely to come up to a teacher or parent and say, 'Everyone is saying I'm a f** or I'm gay'... That's not something a straight kid or any kid who's not comfortable with identity really wants to broadcast."
Culture may also play a role: American victims tend to keep bullying secret to protect themselves, said Masaki Matsunaga, a professor of communications at Waseda University in Tokyo. They fear other people will reject or blame them. On the other hand, Japanese bully victims keep secrets to protect others, Matsunaga has found. They worry that this disclosure would cause stress for the person they're telling.
Either way, Matsunaga said, the method of drawing bullying victims out remains the same.
"The best approach to support victims, both in the U.S. and Japan, and to encourage them to open up, is to show empathy and ask about their feelings in a caring tone, rather than giving advice and suggestions about what to do," Matsunaga wrote in an e-mail to LiveScience.
Changing the system
Parents should make a point of asking their children open-ended questions about their days and listening to the responses, said the University of Nebraska's Swearer. If a kid reports bullying, Swearer said, parents should focus on solving the problem, not exacting revenge. [Read Bullies on Bullying: Why We Do It]
"Where I see things going south fast is when parents march into the school and they're irate," she said. "It really ends up not helping anybody."
Swearer sees a positive trend in the United States of schools and states enacting anti-bullying rules and laws. Still, she said, "at the individual school level, there is quite a lot of variability" in how seriously bullying is taken.
The best schools have explicit anti-bullying policies, open communication and a confidential system of reporting bullying for students, Swearer said. Given the popularity - and relative invisibility - of cyberbullying, she said, adults need to stay on top of what's happening with kids.
"It would be nice if we could move to a system where the adults and kids are talking in a way that is solution-oriented," Swearer said. "If we could be smarter at the front end about how we're dealing with this, we'd obviously be better off."
For some, however, the conviction that adults turn a blind eye to bullying is hard to shake. McClune didn't tell her mother about what happened to her until recently.
"She said, 'If I would have known it was that bad, I would have done something about it,'" McClune said. "I don't think she would have known what to do."

Fasting for Weight loss: Intermittent Fasting And Why Does It Work?

As we are approaching January many of us will be going on Annual fasts to hear God speak to us about the coming New Year, usually a corporate fast with your church.  I will start posting more info about fasting spiritually and medically why it is necessary and works- Kitty

There are 3 things we all need to stay alive. Oxygen, water and food. Of the 3, food is the least important and even though we can go weeks without food we cannot go more than day without water or even a couple of minutes without oxygen.
The reason why most people re overweight is very simple. We eat more than we should. Losing weight is an equally simple formula: eat les calories than you burn. This is what conventional diets all try without much success. They try to limit your calorie intake slowly and gradually BUT this is also where it FAILS.
In his exhaustive study on the possibilities of fasting to lose weight, Brad Pilon researched how and when the body burns calories. After you eat you body uses that food for fuel. Only when that fuel is used up will it start burning excess calories (stored as fat). The problem Brad found was that most people never reach that level where their bodies start burning excess fat.
This is where fasting comes in. The principal is very simple. By fasting for short periods of time, you allow you body to reach this fat burning stage. Because you are only fasting for short periods of time you never really experience any real hunger or expose yourself to the dangers of long term fasting.
One of the main reasons why weight loss fasting works is because it actually stimulates the fat burning hormones that most diets never trigger. If done in a controlled way and by following a very calculated plan you can lose weight quickly without going on a diet at all. You are simply using your body’s natural ability to burn fat. Its safe, its healthy and most of all it works.

articlesWeight Loss With Fasting – What You Need To Know

With all the TV shows and magazines stuffing the latest FAD diets down our throats its refreshing to find something that actually works. Fasting is by no means a “miracle cure” for losing weight quickly, but it is a method that’s been proven to work.
FAD diets are incredibly unhealthy. They deprive your body from vital vitamins and nutrients and usually those who do lose weight with it eventually fall back to their old ways – only to gain even more weight back.
Fasting is not at all what you think it is. Its originally a spiritual practice and many religions promote fasting as a way to purify the body. By purifying the body, the mind and the spirit gets cleansed. What many dedicated spiritual students noticed hundreds of years ago was the immense health benefits of fasting and that losing weight was a side effect.
You don’t need to buy into any of the spiritual benefits to use fasting to lose weight. Its not about giving up on food and starving yourself until you are thin and slim.
This is what most people think it is and that’s often why they don’t even attempt it.
The correct term for it should be intermitted fasting. We are only fasting for short periods of time. But why does this work? Well, there are several reasons. The first being that you actually give your body and your digestive system a break and in the process it gets a chance to “catch up” and actually cleanse your body properly. Often people lose a couple of pounds of pure gunk that’s been building up inside.
Secondly, fasting to lose weight is based on the most fundamental principal of weight loss. You have to burn more calories than you consume. It is the ONLY way to lose weight and during a fast you do just that.
Apart from different time-frames for your fast, there’s also different types of fasting. A water fast is basically a fasting period where you would only drink water while a juice fast will focus on different juices to help you during the fast. A juice fast can be extremely powerful as certain juice combination can help speed up the elimination of fat and the cleansing of your body.
Fasting is an easy way to lose weight quickly. You only have to do it once or twice a week and it really does not take all that much will power. Its also a healthy dieting option and will leave you feeling great. No annoying (and weird) foods to prepare and no strenuous exercise regimes. Just a proven method that is hundreds of years old.

Intermittent fasting to lose weight really can’t be beat and if you eat low carbs in between fasts you will turn in to a fat burning machine. . . literally! Quit playing around with the fad diets and magic pills. Try intermittent fasting and get that hot body that you had back when you were younger. Your guy or girl will love you for it!
iStock 000010693592XSmall Top 3 Reasons Why Fasting to Lose Weight is so Effective.[I'm not saying that fasting will get you the guy or girl of your dreams, but don't we all feel better when we are in shape and confident, regardless of what we have on? This hot couple don't look like they are self conscious about their bodies, isn't it your turn now?]
There are many reasons why intermittent fasting works so well, below is a list of my top 3 reasons.

Top 3 Reasons Intermittent Fasting Works

1) By doing an intermittent 24 hour fast, you will cut your calories significantly, while still being able to eat each day. Obviously cutting your calories is key to losing weight and keeping it off. Remember there are two key components to losing weight, eat less and exercise more. Intermittent fasting takes care of the eat less part of the equation.
2) Fasting is effective because when done in the Eat-Stop-Eat way, it is incredibly easy to stick to, which is the biggest knock on most diets. If you don’t stick with a diet, it’s not going to work long term, regardless of what you are eating. Most diets are incredibly hard to do more than a few weeks or a month at most, and most people don’t last longer than a week! They soon quit and are off to find the next biggest fad diet, only to do the same thing over and over again.
3) In between fasts, you can eat whatever you normally would. Of course, the better that you eat, the more weight you will lose and the healthier that you will be. That being said, if you change nothing about your diet and just fast two times a week, you are going to lose body fat. It’s that simple. You will lose weight and still be able to eat the way that you like to eat.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chilly Reception For Susana: Bone Chilling Inaugural Day Weather, Plus: Reflections On Governor Bill Richardson; Larger Than Life Leader Ends Run

The Richardson years crawl to a close in these final days of 2010 and a very chilly reception--at least weather wise--awaits New Mexico's next Governor.

Susana Martinez has opted to have her public oath-taking held outdoors on the Santa Fe Plaza at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The temperature at that hour is forecast to be a bone chilling 15 degrees. The wind is predicted at only 5 mph, but with those kind of temps even a very light breeze is going to mean added discomfort. The extreme weather conditions will also keep the very young and very old from attending the event. (Other Guvs have taken to the great outdoors for their swearing in only to regret it later).

If any politician had a reason to keep her inaugural speech short, Susana Martinez has it. And it will be so cold even if she shows up in a politically incorrect fur coat, it won't be held against her.

Martinez will actually be officially sworn in as our next Governor at midnight Jan 1. That ceremony will take place indoors in much cozier surroundings.

Meantime, the state Democratic Party is doing all it can to keep the political weather cool for Susana, even before she assumes power. Party Chairman Javier Gonzales gave Susana a party-pooper of an inaugural gift via this op-ed piece:

Martinez came in promising bold change, and before she's even taken the oath of office, she's backed out on promises, given plum assignments to heavy-hitting donors and flubbed her first real chance to increase transparency and accountability. Bold change indeed.

New GOP chairman Monty Newman fired back in this op-ed.

Not that Javier doesn't have some points. But we're still old school and believe the pre-inaugural party critique needs to be tempered. How about also wishing her well and offering to work with her on matters of mutual agreement?

There will be plenty of time to go to the mattresses. But for this weekend the state can unite--for however briefly--in wishing the new Governor good luck and Godspeed.


Big Bill has been a class act when it comes to holding off criticizing his successor, but he could not resist a little zinger as his last hours ticked away:

She needs to stop using campaign rhetoric and realize that she's now governor and has to govern," he said. "You know, the state jet business and the exempts and the budget stuff. This is time to govern, to learn about the budget and to pick good people.


The inauguration festivities get underway this evening in Susana's hometown of Las Cruces where she will host a send off gala at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

About 1,200 people are expected to greet Martinez, who'll be dressed in a black formal evening gown, at Thursday's event. They'll dance to DJ music and chow down on treats that will include beef tenderloin, roast pork, green chile mashed potatoes and carrots with champagne sauce, event planners report.

No fish on that menu? Well, we've been told we are in for a "red meat" administration.


This Wednesday e-mail from Gilbert Gallegos, deputy chief of staff for communications for Big Bill, tells all you need to know about what is happening in Santa Fe:

It was a pleasure working with everyone during the past eight years. As of this evening, all e-mail accounts and cell phones in the Governor’s Office will be shut down. In the future, I can be reached at my personal e-mail address...

Peace Out!

And this is one of the last days you will see this web site--Big Bill's. The singing of Auld Lang Syne is permitted while perusing the content--soon to be dispatched to the state archives.

And here's what Gilbert's boss was telling the Los Angeles Times this week as he prepared to give up power:

Richardson, however, said he expected his legacy to survive because Democrats still controlled the Legislature. He ticked off a list of achievements, including sometimes quixotic efforts to revive the perennially impoverished state — a muscular film program, a light-rail line linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe, a state-funded spaceport to launch tourists into orbit.

"Was I hyperactive?" Richardson said. "Yes. Did I try to do too much? No. There was a lot to do."


The Governor sent out his final communication to state employees via this letter. He said the administration "transformed New Mexico."


You can thrown a rock at your computer screen or shake your head in bemusement, but we want to thank Governor Bill Richardson (2003-'10) for his service to New Mexico.

We didn't coin the nickname "Big Bill" back in 2003 for nothing. He earned it. His first term may well be remembered as the best in the state's 100 year history.

You can't take that away from him.

If Richardson had left after those four years he would arguably have become the first Governor to wear the moniker of "great." Alas, there was the second term with its foolishness and miscalculations of Shakespearean proportion.

Did Bill Richardson really believe in anything other than his own personal advancement? Were all decisions filtered through a narrow lens of selfishness? Or was there a set of core beliefs that guided him? After 30 years of observing him and nearly eight years of blogging--the answer for us remains an enigma. We do find that he likes people and he likes to help them, no matter the motivation.

Ultimately it is what a political leader does--not why he does it--that matters. On the large questions of our time--of any time--Richardson stands tall. His unfailing support of human and civil rights for all New Mexicans (and the world) tops the list. His ability and desire to work with people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds stands out. It serves as an example for all future governors.

Richardson's legislative accomplishments in his first term cemented him as a larger than life figure. His failures in the second, brought about in large measure because of his larger than life appetites, reinforced that image negatively. The economic collapse, coming as it did in tandem with the pay to play investigations, also magnified his flaws. It saw him redefined as a corpulent and unsympathetic character.

The duality of Richardson is what makes certitude so elusive in rendering a final opinion on his years. There is much for the historians and future bloggers to ponder. He was important.

While it is indeed time for Bill Richardson to go, we doubt that there will soon be a time when he is forgotten.

Hasta luego, Bill.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

Thanks to you and our advertisers for all the support this year.

Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

Happy New Year!

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Natural Envy Spotlights

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