LOHAN--A FREE WOMAN!
After a year of probation for her theft of a
necklace, as well as other legal issues over the years, Lindsay
Lohan is officially a free woman! She will remain on informal
probation until 2014 and barely dodged more legal trouble just
weeks ago when she drove her Porsche and bumped it into someone but
no charges were filed. While Ms. Lohan has been the butt of many
jokes and has been the latest poster-child for spoiled and
disrespectful stars, I hope she gets her life together. There but
for the grace go I.
WHEN TEACHERS ARE CHEATERS
In mid-2011, USA Today reported widespread cheating
throughout the greater Atlanta, Georgia school districts--not by
students but by teachers who were erasing wrong answers on
standardized tests and correcting them with right answers to
achieve benchmark scores which bore on their teaching jobs
Well, just a month ago, it was discovered that
teacher cheating has been more widespread. Preliminary analyses of
test scores have shown suspicious results in districts
throughout the U.S., including Washington, D.C.
Many blame the rash of cheating on unrealistic
governmental pressures on teachers and districts from No
Child Left Behind to Race to The Top programs. Others note
that not every teacher or district cheats so it's (more than) a few
bad apples who are covering for their lack of hard work or
teaching abilities or simply are placing too much pressure on
themselves to avoid failure and save face. The irony, of
course, is that those teachers caught cheating find their
reputations more impugned from cheating than just failing the tests
and their jobs in further jeopardy from their own rule
Aside from the debate about whether to do away with
the heavy emphasis on testing, there's a debate about how to
actually prevent or deter teachers from continuing to cheat.
Further, we need to ask how all this bad press is
affecting students who must, in general, feel confused and
disheartened. What are we teaching today's youth?
See Huffington Post article at:
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my
first Psychotherapy Networker conference in Washington, D.C.
It was the 35th Annual Conference and the cherry blossom trees
were in full-bloom early due to unseasonably warm weather. As
a mater of fact, it was the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of
the cherry blossom trees to the area back in 1912.
I brought my wife, Tina, the Creative Director of
The Shulman Center, with me. She primarily toured the town
while I joined several thousand therapists and healers from
across the nation for four days of various and cutting-edge workshops
on creativity, health, and relationships. Dr. Andrew Weil, the
noted author and proponent of Integrative Medicine (body,
mind, and spirit) was a keynote speaker. He touted the
importance of exercise, proper nutrition, and Omega 3 fish oils not
only for physical but also for mental health. He cited a
recent study that the country of Iceland has one of the
lowest depression rates despite its cold, sun-deprived
environment. His theory: their diet which is heavy on fish
and, thus fish oil, must play a role. He also warned about our
increasing exposure and reliance on technology as both speeding up
our sense of time and also leading to less simple and genuine
I attended workshops on trauma, narcissism, couples
and pornography, forgiveness, and integrating money issues in
therapy. There was ample time for networking, conference
sponsored fun such as dance, music and stand-up comedy, and
spaces to walk around the beautiful neighborhood which was
abuzz with ethnic restaurants and embassies from across the
globe. My wife and I also visited The National Cathedral and
The National Zoo. We live in a remarkable country and our
nation's capital is rich with culture, architecture, and community.
By the time we arrived back in Detroit late Sunday
night, we were pretty tired and hit the hay. I was--and
remain--very grateful to be able to travel, meet
fellow spiritual travelers, and find my own place in the
scheme of things.
KINDE DURKEE TO PLEAD GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT
Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee is
expected to plead guilty to stealing millions from the
accounts she controlled for her California political clients,
according to two sources close to the case.
The news came as the U.S. Attorneys Office filed
fresh charges against the veteran Democratic treasurer, who
was arrested last fall. The 17-page complaint, filed
Tuesday in the United State District Court for the Eastern District
of California, details fraud and embezzlement stretching back
more than a decade, accusing Durkee of "routinely
misappropriating" funds from clients' accounts and filing
false reports with the Secretary of State and the Federal
The document says at least 50 victims lost a
combined $7 million-plus due to her actions. The money, which
was transferred between accounts and to her firm, Durkee
& Associates, without client authorization, was used to pay
personal expenses, including a mortgage and credit card bills,
and payroll and other business expenses.
In one 2010 transaction listed, Durkee allegedly
used $23,000 intended for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's federal
campaign account to help pay a $30,000 American Express tab that
included charges from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Amazon.com,
Disneyland and Trader Joe's grocery store. Other payments made
with client money went to health insurance companies and
residential services for her elderly mother. In some cases,
she allegedly transferred money or diverted deposits to cover
for previous unauthorized withdraws from clients' accounts.
Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio, a Durkee client who
prosecutors say lost more than $600,000 in the hands of his
former treasurer, praised the news of the plea deal in a
statement.The Santa Ana Democrat said he urged
investigators to "be aggressive in making sure Durkee
serves as many years as possible in prison. In finalizing
a long sentence term, I'm hoping the FBI and courts send
a message to treasurers, accountants and book keepers around
the country that defrauding their clients is a serious matter,"
Politico first reported Tuesday evening that Durkee
could enter the guilty plea as soon as Friday. Prosecutors
will seek a sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison as part of
the agreement, according to Politico. Despite a history of
violations and fines from the state Fair Political Practices
Commission, Durkee had amassed a client list that included some of
the biggest names in California Democratic politics and many
Feinstein, who says millions are missing from her
re-election account, wrote a $5 million check to her campaign
account to make up for the losses. The senior senator is one
of several politicians who have filed lawsuits to recoup some of
the allegedly stolen money. The lawsuit also names the
California bank Durkee used for her business, arguing that the
number of money transfers between accounts
and overdrafts Durkee allegedly used to cover her
embezzlement scheme should have raised a red flag for the institution.
DROWNING IN E-MAIL, PHOTOS, FILES? HOARDING GOES
by Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal Tuesday March
Mark Carter concedes that he's a digital hoarder.
He estimates he has 24,000 MP3 files, 4,000 digital
books, 2,000 CDs, 3,000 family photos saved on DVDs and
at least 1,300 saved emails, including some from 20 years ago.
"They're great memory aids," says the 42-year-old
inventory manager at the Wal-Mart in Bloomington, Ill.
It's not as messy or dangerous as hoarding clothing,
rotten food or live animals, but "digital hoarding"
may have some of the same psychological roots. "I save
these things mainly because I worry they may vanish from the Net or
that I'll want them sometime when I'm away from my Internet
connection," he says.
The definition of hoarding is accumulating items
beyond the point of usefulness, and it typically applies to
things like clothing or cats. But it can also pertain
to digital files, a practice that is more hidden than physical
"Digital clutter doesn't beget mice or
interfere with walking around the house," says Kit
Anderson, past president of the Institute for Challenging
Disorganization, a nonprofit in St. Louis, that studies
hoarding behaviors. "But it's more insidious because no
one else is going to insist that you get help."
Nobody knows how many Americans have
digital-hoarding issues (an estimated 5% are physical
hoarders), but the proliferation of devices, the explosion of
info, and the abundance of cheap storage have made it all too
tempting for some people to amass emails, text messages,
Word documents, Web pages, digital photos, computer games,
music files, movies, home videos and entire TV seasons
than they can ever use or keep track of.
"Digital hoarding is a huge problem. There is
so much available storage, we don't have to make decisions
anymore," says David D. Nowell, a
neuropsychologist specializing in attention issues in
Worcester, Mass. "The problem isn't that it slows down your
computer-it slows down your brain," he warns, since each
of those photos, links and folders demands some mental energy.
Digital hoarding can stem from the same
psychological issues as other kinds of hoarding, experts say.
"It comes down to fear and indecision," says
Katherine Trezise, current president of the Institute for
Challenging Disorganization. "I see people who have
hundreds of icons on their screen because they're afraid
they can't find them again."
Hoarding is officially considered a form of
obsessive-compulsive disorder, but some hoarders also suffer
from attention-deficit-hyperactive disorder. Some digital
hoarders are driven perfectionists who don't know when to
stop researching or collecting.
When a Busy Inbox Signals a Problem
There are no official criteria for 'digital
hoarding' but there are some tell-tale signs:
* You've exceeded your 7 gigabytes of free space in
Gmail and have to buy more.
* Deleting anything makes you anxious-even things
you can't remember why you saved.
* You spend more time searching for a file than it
would take to download it again.
* You have dozens of icons on your desktop and don't
know what they're for.
* You can't remember all your email or social-media
accounts or how to access them.
* You have flash drives scattered in drawers,
pockets and purses and no idea what's on them.
* Of your thousands of digital photos, the vast
majority are duds.
* You have entire seasons of bad TV shows you have
no intention of watching.
Professional organizers who specialize in technology
issues offer these tips for conquering digital hoarding:
*Practice 'zero email.' Discipline yourself to clean
out your inbox completely every day, answering, filing or deleting
* Declare 'email bankruptcy.' Delete every unread
email in your inbox and alert your 10 best friends and colleagues
that if they have sent something crucial, they should send it
* Unsubscribe to every newsletter and mailing list
you don't need or want immediately.
* Set your spam filter to block any regular emails
you don't want to receive.
* Don't check your inbox continuously, and disable
the 'dinger' alerts. Set specified times to read and answer email
* Don't copy and save documents; save Internet
addresses where you can find them later, if necessary.
* Remember, people typically use only about 20% of
what they save.
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of the article
WHAT WOULD YOU
DO WITH $540 MILLION?
you bought your Mega Millions lottery ticket(s) yet? Today marks an
historic event: the world's largest lottery pot: $540 Million (US).
I have to admit, I bought a ticket earlier this week and plan on
buying one today. I'm not a big gambler by nature but, I figure, a
dollar here or there won't hurt me if I lose it.. But would it hurt
me if I actually won it? Most of us have heard the cautionary tales
of lottery winners who go through their money quicker than they
thought and end up being miserable for a number of
reasons--including the stress it surprisingly causes, the life
changes, the family and friends who come out of the woodwork, etc.
while I don't know for sure what I'd do differently if I did
win--whether $540 million or some smaller portion of this (taxes
usually take about 1/3 and most jackpots are much smaller). Most
people interviewed say that if they won the lottery they'd quit
their job, buy a new home, go on vacation, etc... I honestly don't
know if I'd quit my job--at least not right away. I think I'd get
bored. I don't know if I'd buy another house--maybe--but I'm not
into big houses. I probably would travel--there's many places I'd
like to visit with my wife and maybe a few family members and
friends. I don't know if I'd really buy much stuff. I think I'd pay
off my mortgage, invest a lot of the money, start a foundation of
sorts, and hire a trusted financial advisor to help me make
decisions about if, when and how to distribute any money to family,
friends, and others. If I could help someone, though, I think I'd
get more pleasure out of spending my money that way than on myself.
don't expect to win but it's kind of fun to dream. I'll be all
right if all things remain the same. While I still like getting
something for nothing (or relatively little), there's nothing like
earning one's own money.
would you do if you won?