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Cultural Preservation is Our Right

With no say in preserving your local and national culture what is the point of being a U.S. citizen?

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The presumption that anyone who seeks to control immigration, and to maintain the key facets of their culture, is automatically racist or xenophobic is beyond absurd. In 2015, Europe received one million migrants on top of a massive influx that had already arrived.

The 500 million population of Europe can, perhaps, absorb such waves but many communities are unduly impacted. One long-standing community in Germany, totaling 102 people, braced for 750 asylum seekers.

This bureaucratic blunder represented nothing less than the desecration of that town’s mini-culture. As the New York Times reported, “The influx is testing the limits of tolerance and hospitality.” In essence, those who don’t have the background, language, or customs of the long-standing villagers, or even any empathy for them, de facto were granted the capability to overrun the town.

‘Progressive’ Cultural Destruction

What terms are there for such cultural destruction? Who said that wanting to keep things relatively the same is an evil human characteristic? Do the Japanese not wish to maintain their culture? Or Thais, Finns, or Ethiopians?

Going back three generations, Turkish immigrants invited to Germany as workers have not assimilated, and if anything, have grown more apart from the surrounding host culture. Did Germany seek this? In massive enclaves both in North America and throughout Europe, particularly Denmark, Sweden, England, and France, little assimilation is occurring. Many immigrants make meager or no effort to learn the host language. Many do not adhere to the quintessential values of the existing culture.

In the United States, was it reasonable to go from 9.1 million Hispanics in 1970, to 35.3 million in 2000, to 61.0 million today (of which 15.7 million are illegal)? Suppose they’re all good people and productive citizens who make a solid contribution to society: Their sheer numbers contort society and we never had the chance to vote on the issue.

With refugees flooding Maine, did the state’s citizens choose to have a mini-culture of Somalis? In limited numbers, such immigrants certainly can add character and flavor to communities. In overwhelming numbers, they swamp the culture, often in undesirable ways, leading to cramped schools, higher crime, and bursting budgets.

Assimilation, Fast and Slow

One could make the argument as Arthur C. Clarke did in Childhood’s End, a science fiction book no less, that in the future all countries would be hosts to all types of immigrant populations because assimilation around the earth was inevitable. When such assimilation occurs over 200 years, existing norms and structures can endure. When it happens within a matter of weeks or months, and even years, it has proven to be too fast, depending on the numbers.

In California, where Hispanics now outnumber Caucasians, income and education levels have not significantly risen in decades. Hispanics do not populate the honor rolls of integrated high schools and do not go on to top colleges on par with their Caucasian classmates. Disparity still exists. One can offer a variety of assertions about socioeconomic status and so on, but after many years, the results speak for themselves. While California was not flooded overnight, the larger culture has nevertheless been irrevocably altered.

Off-the-mark Bromides

What society does not have the right to protect its culture, and to bar those who would not assimilate or respect the laws? The zeal with which some people support unbounded, uncontrolled immigration prompts others to think that they are insane.

The immigration zealots issue off-the-mark bromides about “melting pots” and “nation of immigrants,” but they do not understand the short as well as long-term ramifications of flooding societies with people from different cultures who, in many cases, will never assimilate. This is cultural suicide and the phenomenon confounds those to the right of center.

Some people, left and right, regard unfettered immigration as pure madness. As a U.S. citizen, if you do not have any say in preserving your local culture, as well as American culture in general, what is the point of being a citizen?

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Multitasking Renders You Less Productive

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is how you must proceed to stay competitive and succeed

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Dividing your attention to complete multiple activities at once can make you less effective at everything you’re doing.

From CEOs to newbie hires, everyone has numerous tasks to manage throughout the course of a day, week, month, and year. The multitude of responsibilities on your plate requires the capacity for self-management, time management, and the effective allocation of your resources. However, don’t confuse legitimate workplace skills with the contemporary, ill-advised phenomenon called multitasking.

A False Promise

Multitasking might appear to be a reliable way to tackle many issues that compete for your time and attention. It seems intuitive that if you can juggle both A and B concurrently, you’re achieving a productivity gain and saving significant time. But the fallacy in that argument is surmising that the human brain can double-up or triple-up on tasks with no loss of attention, focus, or effectiveness.

A plethora of psychological studies have shown that the human brain can only give “sharp attention” in one direction at a time. Seeking to give this level of attention in multiple directions yields a reverberating type of attention allotted to each activity and predictably results in a loss of mental acuity and productivity.

A clear example of multitasking is when you’re driving along the highway and speaking on a smartphone. Even if you switch to the hands-free speaker phone feature, both activities compete for your brain’s vital sharp attention. So you execute neither activity as effectively as you could by undertaking one activity at a time. It’s also prudent to point out that driving while talking on the phone-hands-free or not-contributes to distracted driving and an elevated rate of vehicular accidents.

Multitasking Coexists Best With Routine

Certainly, it’s okay to multitask while completing some repetitive and familiar work activities. You can run a print job while you work with a file on your screen, for example. As long as the printer has adequate toner and the paper feeds through as designed, there is no deficit in multitasking in this manner.

Nevertheless, for whatever task you are attempting to handle, the fact that you are running a print job at the same time is likely to diminish your overall effectiveness.

The loss in mental acuity will be relatively minor, and you might not even be aware of it. The real risk of workplace multitasking, however, is that you never quite retreat to that mental space where you can offer concerted concentration and, hence, your best work. But if you trace your actions over time, you’ll likely see that for the larger tasks you executed effectively, you stopped multitasking and focused on the task at hand.

Sending the Wrong Message

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is the way you have to proceed to stay competitive and succeed. When multitasking becomes ingrained in your psyche, you’re telling yourself deep down that you can’t make it in real estate any other way. You end up missing the benefits derived from practicing the art of “doing one thing at a time.”

Multitaskers have trouble “seeing the forest for the trees” and often fail to focus on the most critical components of their day-to-day operations, abandoning less palatable tasks because they require creativity, concentration, and analysis.

As an everyday practice, repeated often, multitasking separates those who continually scramble to keep pace from those who rise to the top.

Avoid the Bind

Since we all face multiple priorities on the job, it’s easy to equate managing multiple priorities with multitasking. The larger and more vital the task, the more essential to focus on it intently. Practice doing one thing at a time. When you’ve finished a project or have taken it as far as you can, only then should you switch focus to your second most important task, and so on.

As your day and work unfold, mastering the art of doing one thing at a time is the best way to proceed. You may, however, multitask on issues that represent the routine or familiar and that carry few consequences for lost time on the trail. In general, though, your best strategy for high productivity is to forsake multitasking and its false promise as you handle the multiple priorities that you face.

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Business

Culture Jamming, by Kalle Lasn

America has been subverted by corporate agendas and its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office

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Here are excerpts from the culture-shaking book, Culture Jamming by Kalle Lasn, published by  William Morrow in 1999, which rings truer now than ever!

A Multitrillion-dollar Brand

America is no longer a country. It’s a multitrillion-dollar brand…. essentially no different from McDonald’s, Marlboro or General Motors. It’s an image “sold” not only to the citizens of the U.S., but to consumers worldwide. The American brand is associated with catch-words such as “democracy;’ “opportunity” and “freedom.” But like cigarettes that are sold as symbols of vitality and youthful rebellion, the American reality is very different from its brand image.

America has been subverted by corporate agendas. Its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office. A collective sense of powerlessness and disillusionment has set in. A deeply felt sense of betrayal is brewing.

By The People?

American culture is no longer created by the people. Our stories, once passed from one generation to the next by parents, neighbors and teachers, are now told by corporations with “something to sell as well as to tell.” Brands, products, fashions, celebrities, entertainments, the very spectacles that surround the production of culture, are now our culture.

Our role is mostly to listen and watch-and then, based on what we have heard and seen, to buy.

A free, authentic life is not possible in America today. We are being manipulated in the most insidious way. Our emotions, personalities and core values are under siege from media and cultural forces too complex to decode. A continuous product message has woven itself into the very fabric of our existence.

Most North Americans now live designer lives: sleep, eat, sit in car, work, shop, watch TV, sleep again. I doubt there’s more than a handful of free, spontaneous minutes anywhere in that cycle.

Smile Button Culture

The human spirit of prideful contrariness and fierce independence has been oddly tamed. We have evolved into a smile-button culture. We wear the trendiest fashions, drive the best cars industry can produce and project an image of incredible aff1uence-cool people living life to the hilt.

Behind that happy mask is a face so ugly it invariably shocks the hell out of my friends from developing countries who come to visit, expecting the giddy Americana depicted on TV and finding instead a horror show of disconnection and anomie.

Our mass media dispense a kind of Huxleyan “soma.” The most powerful narcotic in the world is the promise of belonging. And belonging is best achieved by conforming to the prescriptions of America™. In this way a perverted sense of cool takes hold of the imaginations of our children. And thus a heavily manipulative corporate ethos drives our culture.

The Facade of Cool

Cool is indispensable, and readily, endlessly dispensed. You can get it on every corner (for the right price), though it’s highly addictive and its effects are short-lived. If you’re here for cool today, you’ll almost certainly be back for more tomorrow.

American cool is a global pandemic. Communities, traditions, cultural heritages, sovereignty, whole histories are being replaced by a barren American monoculture.

Living in Japan during its period of sharpest transition to a western way of life, I was astonished by the speed and force with which the American brand took hold. I saw a culture with thousands of years of tradition behind it vanquished in two generations. Suddenly, high school girls were selling themselves after class for $150 a trick so they’d have cash to buy American jeans and handbags.

The Earth cannot support the lifestyle of the cool hunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we’re about to pay.

Killing the Planet

Economic “progress” is killing the planet. This did not fully hit home for me until nightmarish environmental stories suddenly appeared on the news: acid rain, dying seals in the North Sea, medical waste washing up on New York beaches, garbage barges turned away from port after port, and the discovery that the milk in American mothers’ breasts had four times the amount of DDT permitted in cow’s milk.

To people like me, for whom time had always seemed like a constant, eternally moving train which people got on and, seventy years later, got off, it was the end of innocence. The premonition of ecocide — planetary death — became real and it terrified me. It still does.

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