Category Archives: Blog

THE SURGE OF BOLLYWOOD, K-POP AND TURKISH TV

Adeel Hassan of the N.Y. Times reported on an interview with a Middle East journalist who explains how the biggest migration in human history is helping to fuel the erosion of American cultural dominance.

“The Bold and the Beautiful,” a staple of American daytime television for more than 30 years, peaked in its worldwide viewership at 26.2 million in 2008. A few years later, “Magnificent Century,” a Turkish drama, was broadcast to 200 million people. That wide gulf in audience is one of the focuses of the book “New Kings of the World,” about how American soft power is being eclipsed around the globe.

The author, Fatima Bhutto, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, raised in Damascus, Syria, and educated in New York and London. She now works as a novelist and journalist in Karachi, Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto racked up tens of thousands of frequent-flier miles while exploring popular culture emerging from the East.
During a recent visit to the New York Times newsroom, she gave us a different perspective on race and culture. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Share with us what tour cultural diet was like.

Growing up in Damascus in the 1980s, my father would get James Bond films on VHS, we’d have Motown music playing in the car, and I’d watch half an hour of nonverbal cartoons that state TV would show in the evenings.

I am very much a child of American culture but at the same time, I also had access to plenty of non-American culture products. As a teenager in Pakistan, I listened to Snoop Dogg and American hip-hop, but also to the Pakistani bands Junoon and Strings, as well as Rai music from Algeria and Egyptian pop.

American culture was always the glitziest, but it wasn’t always the most thoughtful.

The lure of American soft power—Coca-Cola, jazz, jeans, rock ‘n’ roll and, of course, Hollywood—has historically been strong and backed by the government. How did American military supremacy help export this cultural power?

The American military is the most widely deployed in history, and it maintains a massive infrastructure outside its borders with bases across all continents and an enormous machinery to support its presence.

At its height, in 1968, more than one million American troops were deployed in 54 countries. They brought their cultures with them, their films, their music, their tastes and their products. And they also were a huge presence that required entertainment, so they became places where musicians and artists would find welcome ground.

Today, just under 20,000 personnel are overseas, marking the lowest American troop deployment in six decades. One might argue that as troop numbers decrease, so too does American culture dominance.

When did the pivot away from Hollywood begin to occur? Why was there a backlash?

There isn’t one moment we can point to, rather it’s a perfect storm of factors including plummeting American prestige, the belated rediscovery that local cultures are valuable in and of themselves, and the rise of classes with different tastes and backgrounds emerging out of the turbulence of globalization, migration and urbanization.

Describe the effect of those trends.

In 2015, over one billion people left their homes in search of a better life. Only a small percentage, 244 million, migrated abroad. The majority, some 763 million, moved from rural to urban areas within their own countries. Between 1.5 million and 3 million people move to cities every week. The psychological disorientation caused by these shifts is profound.

People leaving their families and villages are unmoored in the big, soulless city. It is a geography without anchors, full of sexual and material deprivations, injustices and inequalities. Add to that the betrayal of globalization’s promise: that the world would be lifted on a tide of wealth, opportunity and access.

But hundreds of millions of people who uprooted their life in order to become captains of this new world have found no wealth, no opportunity and no access. Rather, the opposite.

How does Hollywood speak to the world’s unmoored and displaced? What does “Hustlers” say to a woman who has left her family’s village in El Salvador to move to the turbulent, violent city? What does “Avengers: Endgame” say to Afghan refugees, fighting to survive, in this new world? Nothing. It doesn’t speak to them at all.

What makes an Indian film, a Turkish television drama or a Korean pop song have more universal appeal than a piece of American work?

They look modern and appealing in the same way that American film, TV or music looks. But uniquely, these are all cultural products set firmly in the realm of values. They are not concerned with which billionaire son inherits his father’s empire, but rather focus on ordinary people struggling to live lives of dignity with the force of the world against them.

They are concerned with principles, with how one defeats temptation, greed, and avoids dishonor. So for the most part, there is less violence; there’s no nudity; romantic relations are portrayed very chastely; and there’s no swearing.

You can listen to a K-pop song with your grandmother in the room, no lyrics have to be beeped out. You can watch a Turkish drama, or dizi as they’re called, with your entire family.

Are all these cultural movements tied to their government and plays at soft power as well?

These industries have been producing culture for decades and, yes, they are all weapons of soft power, some more than others. K-pop is born out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. South Korea was badly hit, and couldn’t rebuild their economy by relying on the heavy industries of Samsung and Hyundai as they had done in the past. President Kim Dae-jung decided to focus on pop culture. It required no organizational infrastructure—only talent, time, and training.

K-pop is a $5 billion-dollar-a-year industry. In 2016, K-pop music videos were watched 24 billion times on YouTube, with 80 percent of the views coming from outside South Korea. In YouTube’s top ten list of videos with the largest number of views in 24 hours, six belong to K-pop bands. YouTube didn’t even know videos could be watched over one billion times until Psy’s “Gangman Style” famously broke their counter.

What is the glocalization you write about?

“Glocalization” is the ultimate bait and switch. It’s the secret sauce of K-pop, which relies on taking established Western pop music and tempos and then “localizing” it by speeding it up. That elevated speed is what makes K-pop music do dance-y and so infectious. K-pop is an industry with its eye finely tuned to the market. It’s not concerned with authenticity. But what it does is take an established pop formula and do something frantic and innovative with it that is distinctly Korean.

You went to see where all this culture was produced, and also where it was consumed around the world. What are the most surprising places these movements have conquered?

By far, the most surprising discovery was to find an entire subculture of Bollywood fans in Peru. They are all indigenous Peruvians, people who migrated into Lima from the highlands, and they don’t speak English but know all the Hindu/Urbu lyrics to Bollywood songs and are immersed in the culture of the films.

Campo de Marte is a park in downtown Lima that is filled with people every Sunday dancing to Bollywood music. Women turn shawls into saris and stick sequins on their foreheads as bindis. It’s a cinema that makes them feel seen; they see their struggles and their dreams mirrored in the story lines.

You’ve spent hundreds of hours on “research.” Give those of us who know little about these genres your best recommendations.

It’d had to say “Cukur” is definitely the dizi to watch; it’s “The Godfather,” but set in an Istanbul ghetto. “Gully Boy” is the best Bollywood film I’ve seen in years because it recalls the best of old Bollywood—turning the gaze to those on the periphery of society. I have a K-pop playlist of top hits I created, which I’m happy to share but probably shouldn’t.

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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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GATEWAY TO A NATION

It has been over 130 years since sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi gave form to one of the world’s greatest symbols of freedom.

The Statue of Liberty stands today as an inspiration to all. She is at once a reminder of our nation’s history and of our enduring vision of freedom, hope, and opportunity for the future.

But before she towered over New York Harbor, welcoming voyagers with the embrace of possibility and sharing her legacy with over four million visitors a year, she was, simply, an idea…

…a vision of a powerful way to motivate the world over, not just with the story of liberty in the United States, but also with its hope and possibility around the globe.

Today, an exciting new vision to build on this great legacy and share the message of liberty with millions more people stands before us the Statue of Liberty Museum.

With the museum now open, it is the most monumental addition to Liberty Island since the Statue herself arrived. More than that, it allows millions more visitors to enjoy the Statue of Liberty experience and be inspired by her legacy and message of freedom and opportunity.

From Idea to Icon: Building the Statue of Liberty

You already know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States. But did you know that her construction was made possible, in large part, by people like you and me?

Indeed, her construction was a remarkable feat of engineering in its time, but also a triumph of generosity on the part of ordinary citizens, each giving to their own ability, to realize the dream of the Statue.

From the time Bertholdi imagined “Liberty Enlightening the World,” it took ten years for French and American citizens to bring Lady Liberty to life. Finally, in 1885, the last pennies and nickels needed to complete the pedestal in the United States poured in. And on October 28, 1886, in a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland, the Statue was unveiled to the world.

The museum shows the massive negative molds necessary to create the Statue’s final form. Artifacts from her development and exhibits on her message in the context of world events will further illuminate her story.

An Inspiration Gallery. Finally, in this awe-inspiring space, people are invited to document their visit by adding their names and photos to an ever-growing Liberty Mosaic. The tour culminates with an up-close view of Liberty’s most iconic symbol—her original torch—which Lady Liberty held high for nearly 100 years. Rescued from the elements and replaced in 1986, the torch is the most powerful artifact visitors encounter as they reach the end of their museum experience, a touchstone of the light she continues to shine from generation to generation.

The Statue of Liberty Museum is a world-class museum to engage visitors in the history and future of liberty through thought-provoking experiences including:

An Immersive Theater. Weaving through this soaring theater space, museum-goers learn the rich story of the Statue’s origins. Progressing through this visual presentation, they are captivated by a virtual experience of ascending the Statue, recreating the views and sounds from within her interior. Visitors are also be invited to contemplate liberty today and its measures around the world, such as access to education, free elections, and free press.

An Engagement Gallery. Here, visitors are able to explore what took place in the warehouse where Bartholdi built the Statue. In a series of interactive, multimedia displays evoking the feeling of being in the sculptor’s studio, they see the step-by-step process of her construction, from small plaster model to the pounding of copper sheets on the new colossus.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land, here at our sea-washed, sunset gates stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your stoned pomp!” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

In 1883, New York native Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” for an auction to raise funds for construction of the pedestal. In 1903, words from this iconic poem were engraved on the Statue’s base so that all visitors can read the words that celebrate Lady Liberty’s promise to the disenfranchised people of the world.

My father and mother both immigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island. I have visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island twice and it is a very touching memory for me. There is a large plaque with my parents’ names on it.

If you would like to join me in making a donation to this gateway to America, you can write to Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, 17 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004.

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THIS N’ THAT

I was tired of the whole fantasy impeachment folly by the second day so, let’s turn to more important things.

Follow Up to a Blog

A few blogs ago, in September, I posted a piece on the “Epidemic of Adult Children Divorcing Their Parents.” As a member of that diverse group, I was interested in writing the blog, but a little disappointed in not finding any answers on how to resolve my dilemma.

A week or so following that blog, I had lunch with a good friend who has a wealth of experience dealing with life’s vicissitudes as a college basketball coach, as a personal trainer, and as a life coach.

In the course of our discussion, she told me “If you can make a connection with a lost child, the contact is to try to find out what the problem was,” but that’s a mistake.

What you need to communicate is, “I miss you in my life,” “I love you,” and “I’m sorry for whatever happened.” If someone can’t respond to that, they’re really lost in the wilderness of immaturity.

Not Everyone Loves L.A.

Last year, 98,608 people moved out of Los Angeles County than moved in—the most of any of the nation’s big counties.

Understanding Kabbalah – A Beginning

This is not a written text or an official explanation of Kabbalah. These are the observations of your blogger about Kabbalah, what it is not and what it seems to be.

Kabbalah is not a cult, a secret society, nor a restrictive club. It is a community of people trying to understand and deal with the vicissitudes of life.

It has many roots in Jewish heritage, but it is not a separate religion.

The people who attend Kabbalah classes, sermons, services are not more than 50% of Jewish heritage. It is appealing to people of all religious faiths who want to better understand how to change themselves to deal more effectively with the challenges of personal lives, family and the world they live in.

Winston Churchill said: “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

Where L.A. Started

El Pueblo de Los Angeles is often called the birthplace of the city. The much- celebrated historic district in downtown, today, is brought to life by all the Spanish-language music.

The vibrant colors of Olvera Street marketplace assure you: We celebrate our Mexican past.

But La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, the Mexican-American museum and community center nearby, asks its visitors to also interrogate some of the darker aspects of Los Angeles’ story.

The museum’s audience has nearly doubled in the last five years to about 111,000 visitors in 2018, according to a spokesman for La Plaza. He believes recent criticism of people of Mexican descent has given members of the community a sense of urgency to learn more about their history.

Visitors can look at an exhibit that explained the annexation of California by the U.S. in 1846 following the Mexican-American war. The annexation came just decades after Mexico had won independence from Spain in 1821.

The Sanctuary Movement Has Spread Like Wildfire

The following statistics and info has come from the Southeastern Legal Foundation, an activist public legal firm who has decided to take legal action against this movement.

Sanctuary cities are a large—and growing—threat to the safety and integrity of our country. There are nearly 300 state and local governments with laws, rules or policies having some form of sanctuary designed to thwart federal immigration enforcement.

In fact, California passed a law in 2017 declaring that the entire state was a sanctuary jurisdiction!

These sanctuary cities willfully shield dangerous illegal aliens from deportation by interfering with federal immigration efforts targeted at illegal aliens in the custody of local officials for other crimes. By definition, these are the most dangerous and lawbreaking segment of illegal aliens.

The costs of these sanctuary cities have been immense.

• Illegal aliens account for over 30% of the murders in some states, such as California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York. And a mind-boggling 21% of the population of federal prisoners are foreign-born, nearly all of whom are illegal aliens.

• Sanctuary cities cost taxpayers billions of dollars in public services for illegal aliens, overwhelming hospitals, schools, and local social services.

• And sanctuary cities have played a key role in the spread of the opioid epidemic that now kills more Americans every year than breast cancer or auto accidents.

Busing May Be Coming Back

Nestled in the scenic hills across the bay from San Francisco, the heavily white enclave of Sausalito is home to a thriving, racially and economically integrated charter school. And about a mile away, in the more diverse community of Marin City, is an overwhelming black and Hispanic public school.

This division within the Sausalito Marin City School District was intentional, the state Justice Department found after a two-year investigation, concluding that the district had “knowingly and intentionally maintained and exacerbated” racial segregation.

In a settlement with the state, Sausalito Marin City agreed last month to desegregate after the Justice Department found that the arrangement violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution.

What is it About October?

We’re not the biggest believer in seasonal patterns in the stock market. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see the patterns.

May through October has historically lower returns and higher volatility than November to April. The numbers are there, it’s just that this information isn’t usually investable.

While market crashes have been found in disproportionately high numbers in September and October any given year, stocks can, and often do, perform fantastically well during those months. For example, the S&P 500 was up 8.3% in October of 2015.

Well, this isn’t shaping up to be one of those months.

For the second year in a row, October is looking to be rough. I don’t know that the S&P 500 will drop 7% like it did last year. Only time will tell. But it’s obvious that investors are scared. There aren’t a lot of buyers right now.

The potential for a presidential impeachment has people on edge. Whether you like the man or hate him, a lengthy impeachment process isn’t good for anyone. It means the government will grind to a halt for months and no meaningful legislation will be passed.

It also brings added uncertainty to the 2020 election.

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