Monthly Archives: November 2019

THE PLIGHT OF OUR NATIVE AMERICANS

Today’s blog is a letter I received from Lovena Lee, Chairperson of The Southwest Reservation Aid organization

Dear Mr. Schwartz:

You and I may have a different understanding of particular events in America’s history. You see, I’m a member of the Diné—or “The People”—what you may call the Navajo tribe of Native Americans.

I grew up in the Sweetwater area of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, but my ancestors came to what is now the United States over a thousand years ago. At an early age, I learned our Navajo traditions, culture and history as told in stories passed from one generation to the next.

As a teenager, I left the reservation to attend boarding school and then college. There, not everyone shared my thoughts on how historical events—particularly those surrounding America’s western expansion—created the framework for the prejudice, poverty and despair Native Americans continue to endure today.
3-Minute American History Quiz

The “3-Minute American History Quiz” illustrates how policies made over 185 years ago still affect the everyday lives of Native Americans.

Question 1: Why did the United States government establish Indian reservations?

Answer: The government’s objective was to rid the country of its “Indian problem” and open land for white settlers.

Beginning in 1830 with the Indian Removal Act, the official policy of the United States was to forcibly remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands and relocate us to far-away regions “reserved” for Indians. For the Cherokee and other tribes, this is often remembered as the “Trail of Tears.” But it didn’t end there. During the Navajo Long Walk beginning in 1863, thousands of Navajo were also removed from their homelands.

Question 2: How did the government decide where to locate the reservations?

Answer: Typically, the government put reservations in areas it regarded as being unfit for white settlers—isolated and arid places unsuitable for agriculture and far from towns, transportation and the growing economy.

However, as the nation’s population expanded westward, the government took back most of these lands and forced Native Americans to relocate again—this time to even less-desirable lands. Today, the land reserved for Native Americans has shrunk to just 2.3 percent of the land originally promised.

Question 3: If I were to visit, what should I expect to see on an Indian reservation today?

Answer: You would see a proud people—strong in tradition and values—living in near third-world conditions. Poverty is extreme. Drive around the reservation and you’ll see many people living in run down houses and trailers, many of which are without electricity, telephone, running water or a sewage system.

Today, Native Americans are the poorest population in the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Question 4: How can these conditions exist in the richest and most powerful country in the world?

Answer: Between 35-85% of the Native Americans who live on the reservations are unemployed. To find work, many must most away from the reservation and leave their families behind. (Many children living on reservations are being raised by their grandparents.)

Even the most basic services—healthcare, stores and schools—are often an hour or more away and families are forced to choose between using the little money they have to buy gasoline for the car or food for the children.

Question 5: What is being done to resolve the problem?

Answer: Thankfully, the Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) program is helping us build strong, self-sufficient Native American communities. But we recognize that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to focus on building a stronger community—much less return to the reservation—unless they know there will be food for their family. Accordingly, SWRA’s most urgent goal is to get food to the people on the reservations who need it most.

To fulfill this need, the SWRA program is distributing staples such as beans, rice, flour, soup and canned goods to Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Apache and other reservations. Last year along, SWRA provided enough food for over 22,000 meals for Native American Elders, families and children.

Question 6: How can I help?

Answer: The most urgent need is for food. Today, one in four Native Americans who live on reservations don’t have enough to eat—or know where their next meal will come from. Feeding people is SWRA’s number one priority but we need your help to do it.

You can help with a tax-deductible contribution which will help us buy rice, vegetables, beans, cheese, oatmeal, potatoes and the other foods that people on the reservations need to survive.

Remarkably, SWRA can provide a full serving of food for only 11 cents! This means we can feed 910 Native Americans—who would otherwise not have anything to eat—for only $100. With just $150, we can feed 1,364 people.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Lovena B. Lee, Chairperson

You can support the Southwest Reservation Aid program by sending a check to: 1310 East Riverside Drive, Phoenix, Arizona 85034.

A Joyous and Happy Thanksgiving for all!

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HOW DID ISLAM GET SO MUCH INFLUENCE?

Did you know that radical Islam (only 1% of our population) is being taught at taxpayer expense in your children and grandchildren’s schools? If this outrages you, it should!

At Riverheads High School in Virginia, a mandatory assignment had students practice calligraphy by copying the Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no God but Allah.” And female students were invited to wear the traditional hijab, or head scarf, to teach them the value of the “modesty” of Muslin women!

While leftists have thrown the Holy bible out of our schools and banned the Pledge of Allegiance, public school teachers are indoctrinating your children and grandchildren with Islamic teachings.

And right now, our government is ignoring an Islamic propaganda campaign on your children and grandchildren that’s taking place right in our own backyards!

Your children and grandchildren’s textbooks are designed to whitewash radical Islam’s anti-American agenda. The radical left has ripped God out of our schools…while adding pro-Islamic lessons.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a massive increase in pro-Islamic lessons, along with an all-out assault on God and our Judeo-Christian values. Just look at what’s happening:

• In a Florida school, students had to design and create Muslim prayer rugs…while a Federal judge prohibited public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony—and even banned the words “prayer” and “amen.”
• In Maryland, students had to write out the Shahada, which states “There is not god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”…while in Texas a seventh-grade assignment taught kids that God was a myth and not a fact.
• Countless schools around the country force children to learn and recite the five pillars of Islam…while in New Jersey the ACLU forced a school to cover up all religious symbols during a graduation ceremony.

Do you think what’s happening in classrooms around the country is good for America? If that’s not bad enough—even more disturbing is that some of these pro-Islamic lessons are paid for with your tax dollars!

As I write this blog, New York is promoting an “educational” video for teachers to use called “Dying to be a Martyr.” The video interviews Islamic terrorists who tell students why their attacks are justified.

Your children and grandchildren are being taught that Paul Revere was a “real terrorist” but the 9-11 hijackers were just “freedom fighters”!

These aren’t mistakes, my friend. This is all part of the left’s deliberate effort to rewrite history.

Anti-Christian and anti-Israel bias is found in books distributed to your children and grandchildren at public schools in all 50 states.

• An elementary Social Studies text titled The World by Scott Foresman described Jesus Christ as “a young Palestinian.”
• A teachers’ guide called the Arab World Studies Notebook, published by the Middle East Policy Council, claims that Muslim explorers discovered America before Christopher Columbus.
• And major textbook publishers allow the powerful Council on Islamic Education to review and even censor material before publication.

The books your children read in college are even more anti-American. For instance, too many students are forced to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X by the radical “Nation of Islam” leader than books about our founding fathers!

As a result, impressionable students are being filled with a hatred for America.

Consider American pre-med student Abdisalan Hussein Ali from the University of Minnesota. He died as a terrorist suicide bomber in Somalia. And he was the third young American student to do so!

And then consider that three teenage girls from Denver ran away from home to join ISIS! Too many young people today are learning to HATE America and despise liberty and patriotism.

Unfortunately, many students learn this from leftists in academia, where biased professors control what your children and grandchildren read in our taxpayer-funded schools!

And so they’re eliminated history lessons…exalted the work of anti-American jihadists…and expanded courses on radical Islam and other movements that advance their extreme agenda.

Meanwhile, polls show our children are learning very little about real American history.

The leftist indoctrination of our young students is a full-out attack on our freedoms.

Enough rewriting history. Enough of this “blame-America-first” liberalism. And enough manipulating of your children and grandchildren’s textbooks to scorn patriotism and praise Jihadists!

Your children and grandchildren are forced to adopt diversity, multi-culturalism, and a white-washed view of Islam all in the name of “political correctness” and “tolerance.”

Tragically, the serious study of our Founding Fathers, our veterans, and their battles has all but disappeared from our schools.

Polls today reveal most students don’t even know who America fought against in World War II. However, because they’re read the new, politically-correct textbooks, today’s students believe America is mostly a “racist” country.

In one popular high school textbook, American Odyssey, there are five pages of “expert” quotations about the U.S. dropping the atomic bomb, and every single quotation is critical of America.

There is no mention of World War II’s great leaders or liberators, but there’s an entire chapter on “The War and Civil Rights.”

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HOW WHITE DEMOCRATS MOVED LEFT

An interesting analysis by David Brooks, opinion columnist for the N.Y. Times.

“People are always changing their minds, day to day. But over the past 20-odd years one group has shifted to an astounding degree: highly educated white Democrats. I’m not sure I understand why this group has undergone such a transformation, but it has, and the effects are reshaping our politics.

“The easiest way to describe the shift is to say that educated Democrats have moved steadily to the left. In 1994, only about a sixth of Democrats who had gone to graduate school said they were consistently liberal. In 2015, more than 50 percent did. In 1994, only 12 percent of Democrats with college degrees said they were consistently liberal. Eleven years later, 47 percent did, according to the Pew Research Center.

“One of the results is that, as my colleague Thomas B. Edsall put it this week, there are now three Democratic parties. The most moderate faction is the most nonwhite and focuses on pocketbook issues like jobs and taxes. The most left-wing segment is the most populated by whites. It focuses on issues like abortion, global warming, immigration and race and gender equality.

“To say that white educated Democrats have moved left is true, but it’s not the essential truth. The bigger truth is that this segment is now more likely to see politics through a racial lens. Racial equality has become the prism through which many in this group see a range of other issues.

“For example, immigration is now seen through the lens of race, in a way that simply wasn’t true two decades ago. As Zach Goldberg noted in an essay in Tablet Magazine, between 1965 and 2000, the percentage of white liberals who wanted higher immigration levels never deviated far from 10 percent. During the Obama administration, the number rose to the range of 20 to 30 percent. Now, more than 50 percent of white progressives want to see higher immigration levels.

“Many progressives see barriers to immigration as akin to unjust racial barriers. Many want to dismantle the border enforcement agencies and eliminate criminal sanctions against undocumented crossings precisely because they are seen as structures of oppression that white people impose on brown people.

“The racial lens also affects views on foreign policy topics. For most of the 20th century, for example, white liberals consistently sympathized with Israel more than with the Palestinians. But that has reversed. White progressives are much more critical of Israel than ever before. What had once been seen as an intractable regional conflict between a democracy and a series of authoritarian regimes trying to destroy it is now seen as a conflict between a white colonialist power and the brown people it oppresses.

“In this new dispensation, the concept of white privilege is on everybody’s lips. As Goldberg points out, in 1996 and 2010 about a quarter of white liberals thought racial discrimination was a very serious problem. By 2016, 58 percent did. White liberals have warmer attitudes toward other races than they do toward their own.

“In this dispensation, more white progressives view society as basically unjust. In last year’s Hidden Tribes survey, for example, 86 percent of progressive activists said that people’s life outcomes are outside their individual control.

“This shift in outlook has yielded several paradoxes. As many researchers have pointed out, white progressives are now farther left on immigration and race and diversity issues than the typical Hispanic or African-American voter.

“Second, two of the great marks of privilege in our society are skin color and education levels, and yet in the Democratic Party it’s the highly educated whites who express the greatest alienation with the system that benefits them so directly.

“Third, the progressive framework is egalitarian, but the shift has opened up wider opinion and cultural gaps between this highly educated elite and less educated groups.

“Why have white progressives moved so far so fast? There are several theories.

“The most direct theory is that America is a land of systemic racism. Highly educated white progressives have woken up to this fact and are out in front of other groups. This is, after all, the nation that elected Donald Trump and that puts children in cages at the border.

“The more cynical take starts with the observation that the creed of wokeness is mostly centered to the super-prestigious universities and the affluent progressive enclaves along the coasts. In this take, if you’re a rich white child of privilege you have to go to extraordinary lengths to prove you’re one of the good children of privilege and not one of the bad ones. In this take, white progressives don noble clothing to make themselves feel good without really dismantling the structures that keep them in lifestyle bubbles, and on top.

“For me, it’s a good idea to assume that people adopt their positions for honest, well-intentioned reasons. The crucial question them becomes: When is the racial lens (with its implied charge of racism against those who disagree) the right lens to use and when is it not? When does it illuminate an issue and when does it conceal?”

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JACK MCCORMICK’S HOLIDAY TRAINING TIPS

Simple squat solutions

Squatting is one of the fundamental movement patterns the human body should be able to complete. The interesting thing is that this pattern often deteriorates over time due to a loss of stability and mobility in the proper joints.

If you ever want to see a perfect squat, just drop a toy in front of a toddler and have him or her pick it up. Babies are born with perfect mobility and earn their stability over time. If we think about the major milestones that we are excited for babies to accomplish, this makes sense: first they learn to control their neck and look around, then roll over, then creep and crawl, then standup, and finally walk.

Once they are walking, we are often treated to perfect demonstrations of squatting and deadlifting because they possess the proper mobility in the appropriate joints (ankles, hips, thoracic spine) and have earned their stability through natural motor learning.

As we get older and begin to spend more time sitting and typing and doing other sedentary activities, we tend to lose our mobility and our body begins to alter its functional movement patterns like squatting and deadlifting that we once knew without any coaching. All that said, helping clients achieve a good squatting pattern is something I try to focus on.

Goblet squat technique:

1. Initiate the movement by sitting tight into your hips.
2. Try to keep your torso upright as you squat down.
3. Try to keep your knees aligned over the middle of your toes (i.e., do not let _ them cave in as you squat down)
4. When standing on the ground, keep your heels flat and do not let them come up and shift your weight to your toes
5. Try to squat to achieve thighs parallel to the floor as long as this does not cause pain or joint discomfort
6. Use a heel lift or counterbalance help technique if necessary

Anti-rotation for a stronger core

Core training is a topic that many people are typically very interested in learning about. The “core” is a bit of an ambiguous term, but for practical purposes we can think of it as the groups of muscles that connect our extremities (i.e., from “pits” to “hips”). One way that we can think about effective core training is to think of our core musculature as force transmitters (i.e., transfer force from our lower body through a stable trunk to our arms).

Picking up a toddler and carrying grocery bags at our sides are a couple of examples of how our core muscles need to be able to activate and stabilize our spine both to accomplish a task and to avoid injury. Core exercises that focus on resisting motion through the different patterns our spine can move are a great way to train our core for long-term health, limit exposure to injury, and also enhance performance.

The major patterns that help train our core through the resisting of motion are: anti-extension (resist bending backwards), anti-flexion (resist bending forward), anti-rotation (resisting rotations of the spine) and anti-lateral flexion (resist side-bending of the spine). The exercise demonstration in this blog tip shows a way for us to train anti-rotation of the spine.

Technique pointers for the tall-kneeling anti-rotation pressout

1. Adjust the cable column so that, when you are kneeling down, it is aligned with your chest muscles.
2. Position yourself so that the cable/pulley is lined up to your side.
3. Begin with a fairly light weight.
4. In a kneeling position, “make yourself tall” by staying tight in your glutes, abdominals, and “reaching your head for the ceiling.”
5. Bring the handle of the able to your chest with some tension on the cable, and then press straight out in front of you, then return to your chest.
6. Press out and back while keeping your core engaged as if you are stiffening your core for a “punch.”
7. Perform 8-10 repetitions, and then turn around and repeat to resist rotation to both your right and left sides.

A simple relaxation technique to help with sleep

It’s no secret that sleep is important. The full benefits of sleep could fill an entire book and far surpass the scope of a weekly training tip. However, sleep is commonly one of the most overlooked recovery tools available, and it also one of the most powerful. We also can’t forget that it’s free! Sleep loss can result in an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone, with one study showing as much as a 45% increase the day after subjects slept for only 4 hours. In addition, sleep can impact focus and performance in physical skills.

A research study at Stanford University found that when players on the men’s basketball team extended their sleep to 10 hours per night, they improved their sprint times significantly and improved their free throw and 3-point shooting percentages by 9% each. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep for 7-9 hours each night. With busy work schedules, making time for the gym, and other personal commitments, it can be a challenge to get the amount of sleep we need for recovery.

One challenge can be when we have a difficult time falling asleep. A tool that can help shift our bodies into a state of relaxation and parasympathetic dominance in our nervous system (the state encouraging “rest and digest”) is slow breathing. This could be a helpful took in feeling relaxed and having an easier time falling asleep.

Slow relaxed breathing

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the floor. Your neck and spine should be neutral and comfortable.
2. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your lower abdomen.
3. Take three seconds to slowly breathe through your nose.
4. Try to make the hand on your lower abdomen rise up with your inhalation minimize the rising of the hand on your chest.
5. Allow for a brief pause.
6. Exhale slowly through your mouth for two to three seconds.
7. Pause again for 2-3 seconds.
8. Begin next breath cycle.
9. Aim for 5 full breath cycles.

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