Rhetorical Staff Meetings

Rhetorical Staff Meetings

Power of Gossip

10 Ways to Positive Gossip

Compliment their accomplishments: Discussing someone's accomplishments or achievements in a positive way can be a great way to gossip about them without being negative.

Share their good deeds: Gossiping about someone's good deeds or kind actions can show others how they can make a positive impact on the world.

Talk about their talents: Sharing stories of someone's talents, whether it be in sports, music, or other hobbies, can be a way to celebrate their strengths.

Highlight their positive personality traits: Gossiping about someone's kind and caring personality traits can help others to see the best in people.

Share a funny or heartwarming story about them: Gossiping about a humorous or uplifting experience that you had with someone can be a great way to spread joy and positivity.

Discuss their personal growth: Talking about someone's personal growth and how they have overcome challenges can be a source of inspiration for others.

Share their good news: Gossiping about someone's positive news, such as a new job, engagement, or pregnancy, can spread joy and positivity.

Discuss their community involvement: Gossiping about someone's involvement in the community, such as volunteering or charity work, can inspire others to get involved.

Highlight their skills and expertise: Gossiping about someone's skills and expertise can be a way to recognize their hard work and dedication to their craft.

Celebrate their successes: Gossiping about someone's success and how proud you are of them can be a way to spread positivity and build others up.

10 Ways to Bad Gossip

Damages Reputations: Gossip can spread untrue or unverified information that can damage a person's reputation, even if it is not based on facts or evidence.

Hurts Feelings: Gossip can be hurtful and offensive, causing people to feel angry, sad, embarrassed, or humiliated.

Creates Tension: Gossip can create tension and conflict between people, leading to broken relationships and damaged trust.

Spreads Misinformation: Gossip often lacks factual accuracy, leading to the spread of misinformation and confusion.

Divides Communities: Gossip can create division and conflict within communities, causing people to take sides and leading to further tensions and problems.

Damages Self-Esteem: Gossip can negatively impact a person's self-esteem, causing them to doubt themselves or feel like they are being judged by others.

Encourages Bullying: Gossip can be used as a tool for bullying, with individuals targeting specific people and spreading rumors to harm them.

Destroys Careers: Gossip can harm professional reputations and cause people to lose jobs or miss out on career opportunities.

Alienates People: Gossip can alienate people, making them feel excluded or left out of important social groups and events.

Breeds Negativity: Gossip can create an overall atmosphere of negativity, leading to a lack of trust, respect, and communication between people.

Makers of the Flag

Makers of the Flag 

Delivered on Flag Day, 1914, before the Employees of the Department of the Interior, Washington D.C. by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior. This morning, as I passed into the Land Office, The Flag dropped me a most cordial salutation, and from its rippling folds I heard it say: “Good morning, Mr. Flag Maker.” “I beg your pardon, Old Glory,” I said, “aren’t you mistaken? I am not the President of the United States, nor a member of congress, nor even a general in the army, I am only a government clerk.” “I greet you again, Mr. Flag Maker,” replied the gay voice, “I know you well. You are the man who worked in the swelter of yesterday straitening out the tangle of that farmer’s homestead in Idaho, or perhaps you found the mistake in that Indian contract in Oklahoma, or helped to clear that patent for the hopeful inventor in New York, or pushed the opening of that new ditch in Colorado, or made that mine in Illinois more safe, or brought relief to the old soldier in Wyoming. No matter; whichever one these beneficent individuals you may happen to be, I give you greeting, Mr. Flag Maker.” I was about to pass on, when The Flag stopped me with thee words: “Yesterday the President spoke a word that made happier the future of 10,000,000 pesos in Mexico; but that act looms no longer on the flag than the struggle which the boy in Georgia is making to win the Corn Club prize this summer. “Yesterday the Congress spoke a word which will open the door of Alaska; but a mother in Michigan worked from sunrise until far into the night, to give her boy an education. She, Too, is making the flag. “Yesterday we made a new law to prevent financial panics, and yesterday, maybe, a school teacher in Ohio taught his first letters to a boy who will one day write a song that will give cheer to the millions of our race. We are all making the flag.” “But,” I said impatiently, “these people were only working!”Then came a great shout from The Flag: “The work that we do is the making of the flag. I am not the flag; not at all. I am but its shadow. I am whoever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what People may become.“I live a changing life, a life of moods and passions, of heart-breaks and tired muscles. “Sometimes I am strong with pride, when men do an honest work, fitting the rails together truly.“Sometimes I droop, for then purpose has gone from me, and cynically I play the coward. “Sometimes I am loud, garish, and full of that ego that blasts judgement. But always, I am all that you hope to be, and have the courage to try for. “I am song and fear. Struggle and panic, and ennobling hope. I am the day’s work of the weakest man, and the largest dream of the most daring. “I am the constitution and the courts, statutes and the statute makers, soldier and dreadnought, drayman and street sweep, cook, counselor, and clerk.“I am the battle of yesterday, and the mistake of tomorrow. I am the master of the men who do without knowing why. I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution.“I am no more than what you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. “I am what you make me, nothing more.“I swing before your eyes as bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing that makes this nation. My Stars and Stripes are your dream and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your hearts. For you are the makers of the flag and it is well that you glory in the making.” Putnam’s ready Speech Maker.

Pilgrims and America has gotten into the habit of walking

Back in 2016 or so I read a book by the positive psychologist Martin Seligman “Flourish” where he suggested walking 10,000 steps everyday for your health. I read it and began a habit of walking. One that has become a lifelong habit and today i still her my steps in even after 7 years since first reading about walking 10,000 steps.

So then when the pandemic began everybody sort of got into doing the things I’ve been doing for a while like walking and gardening. But these traditions are not new, they’ve been around forever even if people have only recently began getting into these things.

So here is a California thing you as elected leaders should be aware of. Pilgrims and doing a pilgrimage to a church and living “the way of the pilgrim” is a major tradition in Europe. Non Catholics and Catholics alike have enjoyed going on 500+ km walks over multiple weeks as a life changing accomplishment and personal growth. In America we learn about 2 guys named Lewis and Clark who went on a journey, but hardly any American over the last 150 years or so has had the need to walk from St. Louis to Astoria. The Oregon Trail and Santa Fe trail has become a where in the world is Carmen San Diego video game trivia question. My point being is that us Americans don’t do these long walks from our history. But Europeans do them to learn their history.

Now California is somewhat an anomaly in the USA when it comes to pilgrimages. Especially since one guy about 10 years ago got together with some friends and decided to walk from San Diego to Sonoma visiting every Spanish mission which took them about 90 days. Also they were probably the first people to have walked to every mission in a hundred years. But since the pandemic these long treks are becoming more popular.

The point is that California is kind of the one spot in the USA where an actual “El Camino” exists. They were built about 30 miles apart from each other which is about how long it takes for someone to go from place to place on horseback.

I saw on the news recently that Sacramento Unified School District is changing some names of their schools including Kit Carson and John Sutter. The logic is because according to some people and professors in CA they were part of the genocide of Native Americans in CA. One of the new names of the schools is Miwok.

But if CA were to apply that logic to every name in CA you would have to change the name of almost everything in CA. California would need a new name because it comes from a best selling book in Spain about an island ruled by women who murdered every man who tried to get on the island by feeding them to their puma cats they kept as pets. It was a fictional tale kind of like Wonder Woman’s island popular among explorers. When Spanish explorers discovered the peninsula in northern Mexico they named it Baja California, when the arrived on land in San Diego they named the land “California”.

A couple hundred years later they began building missions along the coast to convert natives to Christianity.

This is kind of a problem with the name of Sacramento, as far as I know there is no legend of bones of a saint or something who is buried in Sacramento. And San Francisco is not Tuscany or anywhere near Assisi in Italy.

But there is an odd name thing that is going on in the political correct world.

Why Europeans go on pilgrimages in part is to escape city life and learn humbleness and history, and get a sense of connectedness to their fellow humans and shared history.

There’s no reason CA can’t do that via roads. We have disconnected and connected roads with names all over the place. All are signs to help point us in a better direction. And road trips are pretty much as American as  pie and football on Sundays.

The best route for CA is obvious, it points to San Francisco and Lincoln Park where there is an art museum and memorials. Along the way are smaller towns like Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun, Benicia, Martinez, Richmond, each with backroads and city streets to get to know the towns a little better by getting off the interstate. You can even take Mission Street in SF to Mission Delores and all the way to Santa Clara where it ends at another Spanish Mission.

It could also be kind of fun for Southern Californians to go from a Spanish mission to another Spanish mission but do it in a way that avoids the interstate and freeways.

It would be like doing s European thing but in a better and more improved and quicker American Way.

Pilgrims in Europe

Title: Embracing the Sacred Journey: The Importance of Making a Pilgrimage in Europe


In the heart of Europe lies a rich tapestry of sacred destinations, each holding profound historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. Pilgrimages have been an integral part of European tradition for centuries, offering individuals a transformative experience that transcends mere travel. Whether driven by religious devotion, personal reflection, or a desire to explore the depths of one's soul, embarking on a pilgrimage in Europe can be a truly life-changing endeavor.

1. Connecting with History:

Europe's soil is imbued with stories from time immemorial, tales of saints, sages, and ordinary individuals who embarked on extraordinary journeys. From the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain to the mystical isle of Iona in Scotland, pilgrimages in Europe offer an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of ancient travelers and connect with the vibrant tapestry of human history. The sacred sites, churches, and monasteries encountered along the way become living witnesses to the faith, devotion, and struggles of those who came before us.

2. Spiritual Awakening:

A pilgrimage is not merely a physical journey but a profound inner quest for spiritual enlightenment. It allows individuals to detach from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, fostering introspection and contemplation. The serene beauty of nature, the sacred silence within holy places, and the camaraderie of fellow pilgrims create an environment conducive to spiritual growth and self-discovery. The transformative power of a pilgrimage lies in its ability to ignite a spiritual awakening, offering solace, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose.

3. Cultural Immersion:

European pilgrimages provide an extraordinary opportunity to immerse oneself in diverse cultures, customs, and traditions. Whether it's the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Vatican City, the ethereal beauty of Mont Saint-Michel in France, or the mystical folklore of Ireland's Croagh Patrick, each pilgrimage route is a gateway to experiencing the unique blend of art, architecture, music, and cuisine that define Europe's rich heritage. Engaging with local communities, partaking in rituals, and witnessing centuries-old traditions help foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of European cultural diversity.

4. Personal Reflection and Healing:

Pilgrimages have long been associated with healing, both physical and emotional. The act of embarking on a pilgrimage can be a catalyst for personal reflection, allowing individuals to confront inner struggles, seek solace, and find emotional healing. The physical challenges encountered along the journey often mirror the obstacles faced in life, encouraging pilgrims to persevere, build resilience, and emerge stronger. Whether seeking solace, seeking forgiveness, or seeking direction, the pilgrimage offers a sacred space for individuals to confront their own truths and embark on a path of personal transformation.

5. Community and Camaraderie:

One of the remarkable aspects of a European pilgrimage is the sense of community that emerges among fellow pilgrims. Shared experiences, common goals, and the camaraderie of the road create bonds that transcend nationality, age, and social backgrounds. Along the journey, pilgrims have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, share stories, and support one another. The pilgrim's path becomes a microcosm of society, reflecting the ideals of compassion, empathy, and interconnectedness that form the essence of the human experience.


Embarking on a pilgrimage in Europe is a journey that transcends physical boundaries and delves deep into the realms of spirituality, history, culture, and self-discovery. It offers a unique opportunity to forge a connection with the past, find solace and healing, and immerse oneself in the diverse tapestry of European heritage. The act of pilgrimage reminds us of our shared humanity, ignites a sense of wonder, and reminds

popular routes

1. Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), Spain: The Camino de Santiago is a network of routes that converge at the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. The most famous route is the Camino Francés, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port in France and spanning approximately 800 kilometers.

2. Via Francigena, Italy: The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches from Canterbury in England to Rome, Italy. It passes through picturesque landscapes, historic cities, and cultural sites, offering a profound journey of over 1,800 kilometers.

3. St. Olav's Way, Norway: St. Olav's Way, or Olavsleden, is a pilgrimage trail leading to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. This route follows the path taken by King Olav II in the 11th century and offers a scenic and spiritually significant journey.

4. St. Cuthbert's Way, England/Scotland: St. Cuthbert's Way is a 100-kilometer trail that crosses the border between England and Scotland, ending at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. It follows the footsteps of the 7th-century monk, St. Cuthbert, offering a tranquil and scenic pilgrimage experience.

5. The Holy Land, Israel and Palestine: The Holy Land is a significant pilgrimage destination for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. It encompasses sites such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee, offering pilgrims the opportunity to trace the footsteps of religious figures and connect with their faith.

6. Lough Derg, Ireland: Lough Derg is a remote island in County Donegal, Ireland, and is a popular site for Catholic pilgrimages. Pilgrims undertake a three-day pilgrimage known as the "Station Island Retreat," involving prayer, fasting, and contemplation.

7. Mont Saint-Michel, France: Mont Saint-Michel, located in Normandy, France, is a stunning island abbey and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It attracts both religious and non-religious pilgrims who come to admire its architectural beauty and experience its spiritual ambiance.

8. Rila Monastery, Bulgaria: The Rila Monastery, nestled in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria, is a revered Eastern Orthodox pilgrimage site. Pilgrims visit the monastery to pay homage to its founder, St. Ivan of Rila, and to seek spiritual solace amidst its picturesque surroundings.

These are just a few examples of the numerous pilgrim routes available across Europe. Each route carries its own unique history, spiritual significance, and cultural experiences, providing pilgrims with a diverse range of options to embark on a sacred journey.

Canada Day from Chat GPT

  • Confederation: On July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada was established through the passage of the British North America Act. This act united four provinces—Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia—into a single confederation, forming the foundation of modern Canada.
  • Dominion Status: In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire. It had its own parliament and could make decisions on domestic matters, while matters such as foreign affairs were still handled by Britain.
  • Autonomy and Expansion: Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Canada gained increased autonomy from Britain. It expanded its territory, adding new provinces and territories, including Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and others.
  • Statute of Westminster: In 1931, the British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster, granting full legal autonomy to Canada and other dominions. This statute recognized Canada's independence in matters of legislation and foreign affairs.
  • Adoption of the Maple Leaf Flag: On February 15, 1965, Canada adopted the current national flag, commonly known as the Maple Leaf flag. This new design replaced the previous flag, which featured the Union Jack and the Canadian coat of arms. The new flag prominently features a red maple leaf on a white background.
  • Adoption of "O Canada": On July 1, 1980, "O Canada" was officially adopted as the national anthem of Canada. The song, originally composed in 1880, gained popularity over the years and was used on various occasions before becoming the country's official anthem.
  • Patriation of the Constitution: In 1982, Canada achieved another milestone towards full independence by patriating its constitution from Britain. The Constitution Act, 1982, transferred the authority to amend the country's constitution to Canada, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Modern Canada: Today, Canada is a fully independent and sovereign nation. While it retains the British monarch as the symbolic head of state, Canada exercises complete control over its domestic and foreign affairs, making decisions through its own elected government.

Made Up Issues with Canada

My birthday just happens to fall on Canada Day. But as you can see Canada’s national day does not quite match with timeline. It is a Downton Abbey somewhat fictional birthday. They never declared war against Britain or fought off some European power to gain Independence like every other country in North and South America. Mexico not only kicked they Spanish out they also fought off the French. Canada has independence by Parliament passing laws and they maintain the monarch as the head of state.

Even after this coronation Canada has to issue new passports and change things to “King” instead of “Queen”. How “Independent” or “Sovereign” is the country if their head of state lives in another hemisphere and is known as “The Sovereign” with a divine right to rule. My point being is that Canada has a history and national identity problem that us Americans don’t have.

Now if we examine this timeline a little closer we can discover some odd things about Canada. This is just some personal annoyances because Canada happens to share a birthday with me

  1. Obviously back in 1867 Britain knew they lost the war of Independence to the USA . Even though Chat GPT says Canada was established that day, it wasn’t. The act which was negotiated with the help of the Earl who lived in the Downton Abbey Estate who introduced it to the House of Lords and Commons months earlier. The law was passed and signed off by the monarch in the Spring of 1867 but Britain decided that it would not go into effect until July 1. Britain picked that date on purpose to try to steal some of the USA 4th of July thunder, the British Parliament knew that the Continental Congress began their session on July 1 1776 and voted for Independence the next day and adopted the Declaration on the 4th. I don’t approve of this fake news birthday Canada celebrates.
    1. Even though they celebrate “Independence” from a date in 1867, it took another century for them to get the Union Jack off their flag and adopt a national symbol which they did in the 1960’s.
    2. The British Monarch picked Ottawa to be a Capital city in 1857. Even after they got “Independence” from Britain they didn’t bother moving their capital city. Also their Capital City is in the middle of a wooded area in part because it was a strategic location that would be difficult to attack by Americans if there was another hypothetical war between the Britain and the USA like there was in 1812. I find this to be a funny historical quirk of international relations and history.
    3. Even though the tune of the Star Spangled Banner is set to a British drinking song popularized by a social club who enjoyed drinking and singing in a pub. The song is about a war that was fought against the British and our flag triumphantly waving. Wheres Oh Canada is still set to the tune of the British National Anthem, God Save the King. Which is clearly not a song that celebrates the separation of Church and State because it doesn’t exist in Britain the head of state is also the head of their church.
    4. Americans like to say “We are a young nation” but we are nowhere near as young as Canada. America is either 90 years older than Canada (using the 1867 date) or 206 years (1982 date) older than Canada depending on who you are arguing about this with.
    5. Canada’s annoying Super Bowl Commercial highlights another annoyance about Canada. Even though I never really met any Canadians and have pretty much 0 real world experience of being in Canada other than being stuck on a tarmac in Montreal for 8 hours. I still find this passive aggressive stealing thunder from Americans thing that Canadians do highly annoying. That was 100% their Super Bowl Ad because they know that nobody in the USA has ever watched the Grey Cup.
      1. The guy who invented lithium batteries was born in Canada, but he lived most of his life in Ohio and worked for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, and made his invention in the USA while working for a USA company and he is buried in the USA. And everybody knows that it was Ben Franklin who discovered electricity and came up with the term “battery” as a storage device for electricity. So Canada claiming they invented “Batteries” during our Super Bowl is a passive aggressive attack on Ben Franklin. I don’t approve.
      2. See above for Naismith who invented the game of Basketball. Born in Canada yes, but used peach baskets as hoops during a YMCA game in Massachusetts and developed the game in Kansas. It’s an American game developed by an immigrant who left Canada for a better future in the USA.
      3. So then they list off all these other things like that, and at the end tell us to look up the invention of game of Football while chowing down on queso and wings and watching the Super Bowl and drowning in bud light…. The passive aggressive nature of that is bonkers. So I looked it up and here is what I found out.
        1. One school in Montreal played Harvard back when Canada was 6 years old in 1874 for a weekend and Harvard liked the rules of the game from Montreal. Back then many games had regional rules and it was difficult to figure out who did what first. Baseball is kind of like a version of cricket but not really and comes from city life of people hitting a ball with sticks and every town having different rules, until Alexander Cartwright began writing a rulebook in 1846. However, it is also somewhat possible that Japan invented the sport. Nobody really knows who was the first on first base. Football is kind of like this too.
        2. So then the next year Harvard began using some of the rules of the school from Montreal and then those rules became more popular and were adopted among colleges and normalized into what we know as American Football.
        3. Canadian football is not American Football and has different rules and play on a different field. But like I said no American really cares about who wins the Grey Cup. So Canadian Football is about as important as the WNBA or Cricket to 99.9999% of American Football Fans.
        4. So NO Canada did not invent Football. It was developed in the USA as a cross between Rugby and Football. One game played by a school in Montreal in 1874 against Harvard is not quite enough evidence to claim they invented the sport of Football in an ad during the Super Bowl. It took countless games between the colleges of the USA to grow the game of football into what it is today.
        5. But like I said it is a passive aggressive attitude that uses a half truth to try to steal some USA thunder that Canadians do that is seriously annoying.
        6. Also, California does this, we claim credit for things we have nothing to do with all the time. But then again we are a small part of land when compared to Canada, and we have a larger economy and the same amount of people. It’s acceptable for Californians to do this, we have Hollywood and Silicon Valley and we were settled by people wanting to be rob our land for gold and take advantage of suckers. Meaning there actually is a historical precedent for Californians to be like this, unlike Canada.

10 Mental Health Benefits from Learning History

  • Perspective and context: Learning about historical events provides a broader perspective on the world, helping individuals contextualize their own experiences and challenges. This broader understanding can reduce feelings of isolation and offer solace during difficult times.
  • Emotional resilience: Exploring the triumphs and tragedies of the past can foster emotional resilience by demonstrating how humanity has overcome adversity. Understanding historical resilience can inspire individuals to face their own challenges with greater strength and determination.
  • Empathy and compassion: Studying history allows us to learn about diverse cultures, experiences, and struggles. This knowledge promotes empathy and compassion, as we develop a deeper understanding of the human condition and appreciate the diversity of human experiences.
  • Identity formation: History helps individuals connect with their roots, heritage, and cultural identity. Understanding the historical context of one's community or ancestry can provide a sense of belonging and contribute to a stronger sense of self.
  • Critical thinking skills: History encourages critical thinking, analysis, and interpretation of complex information. Engaging in historical research and analysis can enhance cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and logical reasoning, which positively impact overall mental agility.
  • Perspective-taking: Exploring different historical eras and societies fosters the ability to step into others' shoes and understand diverse perspectives. This skill nurtures open-mindedness, reduces prejudice, and encourages tolerance, all of which contribute to better mental well-being.
  • Respecting diversity: History demonstrates the richness and significance of diverse cultures and identities. Studying history promotes an appreciation for diversity and inclusivity, supporting mental health by reducing discriminatory attitudes and fostering a more inclusive mindset.
  • Sense of continuity and purpose: Learning about the achievements and struggles of past generations can instill a sense of continuity and purpose. Understanding how we are part of an ongoing narrative can bring a sense of meaning and direction to individuals' lives, positively impacting mental well-being.
  • Mindfulness and reflection: Historical study often involves reflection and contemplation. Engaging in this practice encourages mindfulness, introspection, and self-reflection, which can promote mental clarity, stress reduction, and overall well-being.
  • Personal growth and resilience: Studying history can lead to personal growth by examining the mistakes and successes of the past. This examination allows individuals to learn from history, make informed decisions, and develop resilience in the face of challenges.

Remember that these benefits may vary for different individuals, and the manner in which history is studied can influence the mental health outcomes. It's essential to approach historical study with curiosity, open-mindedness, and a focus on personal well-being.

10 Mental Health Benefits from Political Correctness

  • Enhanced empathy: Being politically correct encourages understanding and empathy toward diverse perspectives, promoting a more compassionate mindset that can positively impact mental well-being.
  • Reduced stress: By using language and engaging in discussions that respect others' identities and experiences, individuals can experience reduced stress levels, as they avoid causing or exacerbating conflicts.
  • Improved self-awareness: Political correctness encourages self-reflection and self-awareness regarding our own biases and prejudices, fostering personal growth and mental well-being.
  • Strengthened relationships: By promoting inclusive and respectful communication, political correctness can help build stronger connections and relationships, leading to a greater sense of belonging and support.
  • Increased resilience: Practicing political correctness often involves dealing with challenging conversations and conflicts. Over time, this can cultivate resilience and better coping mechanisms, benefiting mental health.
  • Expanded perspective: Engaging with diverse viewpoints and practicing political correctness can broaden one's perspective, promoting intellectual growth and reducing the risk of cognitive rigidity or narrow-mindedness.
  • Heightened self-esteem: By treating others with respect and fairness, individuals can develop a stronger sense of self-worth and self-esteem, leading to improved mental well-being.
  • Reduced anxiety: Political correctness can help create a more inclusive and accepting environment, reducing anxiety for individuals who may otherwise fear discrimination or marginalization.
  • Greater psychological safety: When political correctness is valued, people feel safer expressing themselves authentically without fear of being ridiculed or invalidated. This sense of psychological safety supports mental health.
  • Sense of purpose: Engaging in politically correct actions can provide a sense of purpose and contribution to social progress, fostering a positive impact on mental well-being by aligning personal values with one's actions.

It's important to note that the mental health benefits can vary from person to person, and political correctness should be approached with genuine intention and respect for others.

10 Mental Health Benefits from Studying Art

  • Stress reduction: Immersing oneself in art can serve as a form of stress relief. The act of creating or appreciating art can provide a calming effect and help reduce anxiety and tension.
  • Self-expression and emotional release: Artistic endeavors allow individuals to express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a non-verbal and creative manner. This can lead to a cathartic release of emotions and contribute to emotional well-being.
  • Increased self-awareness: Engaging with art prompts introspection and self-reflection. It can help individuals gain a deeper understanding of their own feelings, beliefs, and experiences, leading to enhanced self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Boosted creativity: The study of art encourages creativity and divergent thinking. Exploring different artistic techniques and styles can inspire individuals to think outside the box, fostering innovation and problem-solving skills that extend beyond the artistic realm.
  • Enhanced cognitive abilities: Studying art can improve cognitive functions such as perception, memory, and attention to detail. Analyzing and interpreting art can sharpen critical thinking skills and promote mental agility.
  • Mindfulness and presence: Creating or engaging with art often requires focus and concentration, which can induce a state of mindfulness. This state of being fully present in the artistic process can promote relaxation and mental well-being.
  • Increased self-esteem: Mastering artistic techniques or creating something meaningful can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. The sense of accomplishment that comes from artistic pursuits can positively impact overall mental health.
  • Connection and social interaction: Art can serve as a bridge for connecting with others who share similar artistic interests. Engaging in art communities, workshops, or classes provides opportunities for social interaction and a sense of belonging, contributing to mental well-being.
  • Coping with trauma or adversity: Art therapy is recognized for its therapeutic benefits in helping individuals cope with trauma, grief, or difficult life experiences. The creative process can aid in processing emotions, facilitating healing, and promoting resilience.
  • Joy and appreciation: Engaging with art can bring joy, beauty, and a sense of wonder into one's life. Appreciating art in various forms—be it visual arts, music, dance, or literature—can uplift mood, inspire positive emotions, and contribute to overall mental well-being.

10 Mental Health Benefits from being a Conservative

  • Sense of security: Conservative ideologies often emphasize traditional values, stability, and order. This focus can provide individuals with a sense of security and predictability, contributing to reduced anxiety and stress.
  • Group cohesion: Political conservatism often emphasizes the importance of community, social cohesion, and shared values. Being part of a like-minded community can foster a sense of belonging and support, which can positively impact mental well-being.
  • Personal responsibility: Conservative ideologies often stress personal responsibility and self-reliance. Embracing these values can instill a sense of control over one's life, leading to increased self-confidence and resilience.
  • Moral clarity: Conservative beliefs typically prioritize moral absolutes and clear-cut values. Having a well-defined moral framework can provide individuals with a sense of moral clarity and purpose, contributing to mental well-being.
  • Stability and familiarity: Conservative ideologies generally emphasize the preservation of existing social structures and traditions. This emphasis on stability and familiarity can provide individuals with a sense of continuity and comfort, which can positively impact mental health.
  • Psychological well-being through order: A conservative worldview often values order, structure, and routine. These elements can contribute to a sense of psychological well-being and reduce feelings of chaos or uncertainty.
  • Reduced cognitive dissonance: Holding conservative beliefs can reduce cognitive dissonance for individuals who align with those beliefs. This alignment can lead to a sense of congruence and mental harmony, positively impacting overall well-being.
  • Resilience and adaptability: Conservative ideologies often emphasize self-reliance and personal responsibility, which can foster resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges or adversity.
  • Emotional stability: Conservative ideologies tend to prioritize stability and self-control, which can contribute to emotional stability and a decreased likelihood of impulsive behavior.
  • Purpose and meaning: Engaging with conservative political values can provide individuals with a sense of purpose, identity, and contribution to societal well-being, which can positively impact mental well-being.

American barbecue is a culinary tradition deeply rooted in the nation's history and culture, with regional styles that highlight the diverse flavors and techniques across different parts of the United States.

Historical Background of American BBQ:

The origins of American barbecue can be traced back to the indigenous Native American tribes, who practiced various methods of cooking meats over open fires. These techniques were later adopted and adapted by European settlers. However, the true transformation of barbecue in America took place during the 17th and 18th centuries when enslaved Africans brought their unique culinary traditions, including slow-cooking meats over wood fires, to the Southern states.

As the Southern United States became an agricultural powerhouse, barbecue became a staple of plantation culture. It was a communal activity where large quantities of meat were slow-cooked for hours, often in pits dug into the ground. Barbecue was not only a means of sustenance but also served as a social gathering, bringing together people from different backgrounds.

Regional Differences in American BBQ:

  • Carolina Barbecue: The Carolinas have two primary styles of barbecue. In Eastern Carolina, whole hogs are slow-roasted over oak or hickory wood, and the meat is typically chopped or pulled and served with a tangy vinegar-based sauce. Western Carolina, on the other hand, favors pork shoulder, which is smoked and mixed with a tomato and vinegar-based sauce.
  • Texas Barbecue: Texas is renowned for its beef-centric barbecue. There are several styles within the state, such as East Texas, which features slow-cooked beef over hickory wood with a sweet tomato-based sauce. Central Texas prefers a simple approach with salt and pepper rubs on brisket, smoked over oak wood. South Texas adds Mexican influences, incorporating spices and barbacoa-style cooking methods.
  • Kansas City Barbecue: Kansas City-style barbecue is known for its diverse offerings, ranging from pork ribs and beef brisket to chicken and sausage. The meats are slow-smoked with a variety of wood, typically oak, hickory, or fruitwoods, and coated with a thick, rich, tomato and molasses-based sauce. Kansas City barbecue also places a heavy emphasis on the "burnt ends" of brisket, which are flavorful, caramelized meat chunks.
  • Memphis Barbecue: Memphis-style barbecue is characterized by its emphasis on pork, particularly ribs. The ribs are slow-cooked, often using a dry rub of spices, and then typically served with a tangy tomato-based sauce on the side. Memphis barbecue also extends beyond ribs, with pulled pork and smoked sausage being popular choices.
  • California Barbecue: California embraces a diverse range of barbecue styles due to its multicultural influences. Santa Maria-style barbecue is one of the most famous in the state, featuring tri-tip beef seasoned with a simple rub of salt, pepper, and garlic, then grilled over red oak. In Southern California, Mexican influences are prominent, with techniques like "carne asada" where marinated beef is grilled and served with tortillas and salsa.
  • Alabama Barbecue: Alabama has its unique style, notably the white barbecue sauce, which sets it apart from other regions. This tangy sauce is mayonnaise-based with vinegar, horseradish, and spices, often used to complement smoked chicken or pork. Alabama barbecue also includes smoked sausages and sometimes features a distinctive smoked turkey.
  • Eastern Texas Barbecue: In addition to the well-known Central Texas style, Eastern Texas has its barbecue traditions. This style features slow-smoked meats like beef brisket, pork ribs, and sausage, often with a tomato-based sauce that has a slightly sweeter and tangier profile compared to Central Texas. Mesquite wood is commonly used for smoking, lending a distinct flavor to the meats.
  • South Carolina Barbecue: South Carolina offers a range of barbecue styles. In addition to the Eastern Carolina style mentioned earlier, South Carolina is also known for its mustard-based barbecue sauce found in the central part of the state. This golden sauce, often referred to as "Carolina Gold," combines mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices, and is used to dress slow-cooked pork.
  • Kentucky Barbecue: Kentucky boasts a unique barbecue style known as "mutton barbecue." Mutton, mature sheep meat, is slow-smoked and typically served with a vinegar-based sauce. This style is especially popular in western Kentucky, where annual barbecue festivals celebrate this regional specialty.
  • Florida Barbecue: Florida barbecue draws influences from various cultures, particularly Cuban and Caribbean traditions. The state's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea brings flavors like citrus, spices, and tropical fruits into the barbecue scene. Key West-style barbecue, for example, features a blend of Cuban and Caribbean flavors, often incorporating citrus marinades, tropical fruit salsas, and fresh seafood.
  • Hawaii Barbecue: Hawaii offers its unique take on barbecue, known as "Hawaiian barbecue" or "Huli-Huli." This style features the traditional method of cooking whole pigs in underground pits called "imu." The meat is seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, basted with a sweet and savory sauce typically made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar, and slow-roasted until tender.

These additional regional styles exemplify the diverse and rich tapestry of American barbecue, showcasing how different areas have developed their own unique flavors, cooking techniques, and sauces based on local traditions and ingredients.

Rhetorical Staff Meeting #1 5-19-23: It Takes Two!!

Problem: Trump in 2024 (a little foreshadowing, this is the only problem I’m ever going to address in these rhetorical weekly staff meetings until I get a job)

Word Problem: I don’t have enough words or mental energy to explain the problem with that much empathy or delicately, but that’s my personal problem to figure out.

But the essential problem is that the psychology of political correctness tends to not view reality as a series of never ending binary choices, as a psychology it is in the habit of turning everything into some kind of shade of grey or color of the rainbow or college lecture nobody really cares about.

Here are examples currently floating around:

Economy = debt ceiling, inflation, default; and endless yada yada yada about those five words.

Binary solution to this word problem

Economy = Individual people either do or do not have money to buy something because individual people either do or do not have a job that puts money either in or out of their bank account.

How is that a solution?

It’s a K-I-S-S to the average person that might work in a Union hall somewhere in 2024.

It works for other words too

  • Gender = sex, pride, transgender, identity, rights, society and a whole lot of yada yada yada problems. (And yes people have yada yada yada sex before, Seinfeld reference is done on purpose for those Gen Xers who enjoy pop culture references)

    Binary solution

    Gender = Sex People have that’s either good or bad or sometimes some other shade of grey. Or people don’t have sex. In other words people are either celibate or not celibate in a consensual way.

    People either don’t think that much and don’t say that much about what it means to be heterosexual or lgbtqia or they think and say a lot about it.

    People are either parents and had to go through a process of getting a birth certificate. Or they are not parents and have not gone through that kind of process.

    All of this are personal family decisions in which laws are passed or not passed.

    The rhetorical word problem of “Gender assigned at birth” is problematic. I am one of those non parents who have not gone through that process before, but I’m also fairly certain that those certificates are not like multiple choice options on a test of some kind or assigned seats in school. It’s not like a doctor walks in and goes “the calendar says its May 28th, but we can just fill out another date and time if you want to, we can make this baby’s birthday August 88th or something else if we want to.” (That’s a joke btw, but if something like that ever becomes something that happens I highly suggest having the next kid at a different hospital)

    My point is that some things can’t just be made up and there is nothing wrong with expressing some binary logic sometimes.

    Cars are either stick shift or automatic and have either two pedals or three. But the wheels on a car can only go in binary directions, forward or backward. A manual car with a clutch is either in a gear or in neutral it can’t be in two gears at once. Planes are either in the air and sky or on the ground. There are civilians and people serving in the armed forces.

    Voters will either vote for somebody or not vote for somebody. People will either Vote or not Vote. Campaigns either get donations or don’t get donations and an interest group either supports or doesn’t support a candidate. I admit there are many different shades of wins and losses in this game between the two political parties of Democrats and Republicans but the binary rhetoric of this paragraph still kind of works.

    Because a sports team either wins or loses and is either on offense or defense and either scores or does not score some kind of point. Gamblers will either win or lose money resulting in more or less money going in or out of their bank account.

    Get the Picture Solution

    The main problem is that political correctness makes it difficult to see the numbers of the election clearly. Percentages have a way of getting confusing and irritating in the world of politics because even though getting 90% of a subset of the population is fantastic, if that subset of a population is only 8% of the total population then its really only like getting 7 point something out of a 100.

But even though 38% and 44% is a lot less than 90%. That 38% and 44% represents a higher percentage of the total population 35% and 32% and results in more votes. Which makes that 44% of the white woman vote the equivalent of getting close to 400% (because 8 x 4=32) of the Black Woman vote which is a mathematical impossibility. (I think, well if that’s ever happens it would be a voter anomaly worth looking into.) My point being is that the white woman vote in the Democratic Party is roughly 4 times the size of the black woman vote.

California Landmark History #2

In honor of California's hometown of Sonoma California being founded by a man born on the fourth of July, and in honor of the statue of Mariano Vallejo in the townsquare holding a book that translates to "Lost Memories" I thought I would share excerpts from an old book I purchased earlier this year in Chico California at "The Bookstore"

California a Landmark History was published in 1941 by the Oakland Tribune and is written by Joseph R. Knowland who was chairman of the Historic Landmarks Committee, Native Sons of the Golden West since 1902. He also is a former chairman of the California State Parks Commission and was a Member of Congress from 1904 to 1915.

This book chronicles the preservation and markings of early day shrines of early California History. (I also supplement the knowledge in this book with facts I find on the internet)

In San Diego County in Pt. Loma stands a plaque and monument to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who first arrived on the shores of the Golden state on September 28th, 1542. The plaque reads as follows.

"Here at Point Loma Head on the Afternoon of September 28th 1542. Juan Rodriguez CABRILLO Distinguished Portuguese Navigator in the service of Spain commanding the flagship San Salvador Made his first Alta California Landfall and thus discovered what is now the state of California. Cabrillo with his companions came ashore on Point Loma at what is now Ballast Point and This port "closed and very good" which they named San Miguel. Cabrillo's Caraveles Assembled at Navidad Mexico under the orders of Don Antionio de Mendoza sailed from that port June 17, 1542."

A boulder on Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara contains an inscription "In Memory of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who discovered and explored Santa Barbara in 1542. Died in 1543, and was Buried on San Miguel Island."

In 1579 Sir Francis Drake landed in Marin County California and declared the land "New Albion" and claimed it for England.

This book (from 1941) makes the claim that they discovered a plaque Sir Francis Drake nailed to a post in the 1930's. Early examinations claim it was genuine, however other investigations in the 1970's and the early 2000's have concluded this brass plaque to be a hoax. It was a creation and a joke that went too far by local historians who were way too interested in history and they forged a plaque and a fascinating story. But I am sure it had a desired effect of getting normal people more interested in local history then they otherwise would have been.

(I've done the hike in Pt. Reyes to the small inland channel he landed on. To get there all you have to do is take Sir. Francis Drake Boulevard. It's a good hike and you can actually see wild deer and the coast.)

The Viceroy of New Spain in 1602 the 5th Count of Monterrey (Monterrey Mexico is named after his wife and was founded in 1596) sent the explorer Sebastian Viscaino north from Mexico. On this expedition the cities of Ensenada Mexico were founded, along with further explorations of the San Diego Bay, along with the naming and discovery of the Monterey Bay along the Central Coast of California, and the naming of Catalina Island.

Sebastian Viscaino landed in Monterey near the spot of the Military Reservation in Monterrey where a small creek entered the bay. Under an Oak Tree a mass was performed and a ceremony was held taking possession of the land in the name of Spain. When Junipero Serra arrived in 1770 he held mass under this very same tree. The tree stood until 1903, the trunk was dug up and placed in the rear of San Carlos Presidio Church within the city of Monterrey. A tablet was placed on the trunk thanks to the efforts of an R.M. Mestres and H.A. Green.

In 1904 following a fund-raising campaign launched by the San Francisco Examiner, and assisted by the California Historic Landmarks League the land was purchased and turned over to the State of California. On the site now (in 1941) stands a plain but impressive granite monument, erected through the generosity of James Murray of Monterey. Viscaino later sailed as far north as Cape Mendocino.

A century and half elapsed after Vicaino's exploration before the advent of the Franciscan Missionaries and the founding of the California Missions.

Big Tent Problem

This email is written on my phone late at night, so please forgive the mistakes that will arise.

I saw Governor Newsom on MSNBC the other day on Jen Psaki’s show. He was in Alabama talking about how not every democrat needs to agree with each other on everything. For a couple of days that’s been rattling around my head and I thought I would share a story.

In the summer of 2015 three major events happened in roughly the same week. One was Trump going down the escalator and calling Mexicans rapists while announcing he was running for President. The second event was the Supreme Court overturned California’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage thereby making Gay Marriage legal nationwide. And the third thing that week was that democrats decided that transgender rights were what the next fight would be. Somehow one week in mid June of 2015 set the stage for the next 8 years.

A few weeks later former Assemblymember Cristina Garcia treated her staff and intern (me) to Thai food. And we discussed the future and politics and stuff. Assemblymember Garcia said something like “I can see the politically correct world here begin asking people what their pronouns are which now is a not done normally but probably will become common. So what are your preferred pronouns Dylan?”

To which I replied “I support your freedom of speech to say whatever you need to feel good or better or something.”

Which is an answer. But she persisted after a little laugh and asked again after expressing empathy to a hypothetical transgender person.

To which I replied “so people actually care about how they are referred to by others when they are being talked about behind their back? And these people have preferred pronouns?”

To which the Assemblymember responded “yea something like that. So what are your preferred pronouns.”

To which I replied. “I. I is my preferred pronoun in this hypothetical.”

To which she responded “I is a pronoun but I is me. I can’t refer to you behind your back as I.”

And then I said “yea but I think “i” is a pronoun that people don’t use enough. Isn’t there a psychology around about I statements being a good communication trick? I think I remember reading that at some point. But I get your point, but didn’t How to Win Friends and Influence solve this already? Isn’t “the name is the sweatest sound someone could here” sort of cover referring to people in gossip. Can’t you just say Dylan?”

And then she said “yes, true, I think you’re right, but also no. Because Bob Dylan exists and he’s Dylan.”

So I responded with “I would actually say you can use my initials, but those are D.C. so that won’t work either. Frankly I don’t care you can call me whatever like I said I support your right to free speech”

The Thai food came soon afterward. But I’m sharing this here to make a small point.

The Democratic Party is a Big Tent Party with a whole bunch of different views. One problem is that some things that become normalized within the tent isn’t that normal to people outside of the tent. And sometimes these things just show up. People get exhausted trying to keep up so they just go with whatever flow is happening at the moment.

Here is something that exists.

Judges, Psychiatrists, Scientists have countless different kinds of politics within those groups, each individual has their own politics and there are millions of them. But those professions tend to share at least this one basic principle in common.

They make decisions based on a set criteria or conditions that must be met. Judges follow procedures and decide cases based on law that explain the criteria of right vs wrong. Psychiatrists observe patients behavior and logic to determine if they fit into a diagnosis described in a book, scientists like biologists define life based on a number of different criteria. These professions are a like an endless maze of binary decisions of right vs wrong, good vs bad, yes or no, but based on conditions and criteria established by their profession.

Political correctness sometimes forgets this reality. “Virtues Signaling” such as asking people for their pronouns is kind of like trying to fill a fictional social reputation bank of some kind. And it has with it an underlying acceptance of an unknown criteria fo sorts. For example not asking for someone’s pronouns can be problematic because it can be construed socially as a rejection of a growing social norm. But asking for someone else’s pronouns is as if you accept s social professional norm and meet s criteria of some sort that will hopefully advance your reputation which will result in better job prospects in the future.

That’s basically the psychology of it.

But the problem is that unlike Laws, the DSM, or science books there is no politically correct book of correct criteria. There is no book or author that says something like “If someone engages in the following behaviors in line with this set of political correctness they are to advance within this big tent this way.”

I’m not writing that book. But I think some politically correct person should form a committee to get whatever they want people to do down on paper. It’s like trying to play a sport with a group who is constantly moving the goal posts and changing the rules.

hypothetically let’s say normal voters and democrats show up expecting to watch American football on a hypothetical college campus. But instead they are met with a group of people who can’t get what sport they are supposed to be playing straight and needed to form something like 25 committees to figure out. One group thought it was soccer, but that’s also 3 or 4 soccer teams arguing about fair pay and males and females teams. Another group showed up wanting it to be played as flag football to avoid concussions, another group wants to remove the goal posts entirely and kick around a rugby ball and call it Gaelic football, ofcourse there’s also Aussie Rules Football, there’s probably a lone Canadian who showed up wanting to play Canadian Football.

Meanwhile the voters in the cheap seats are just scratching their heads looking at the mess that’s being played out on the field. It doesn’t take long before they decide to hit up the country music concert on the other side of campus for a change of scenery.

Somewhere in this late night email is a working metaphor for American Politics I think both sides could laugh at. At the end of the day if Democrats and Republicans can’t laugh together at least once over something they can’t really run a country together that well.

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