What Does Labour Have to Lose From a Left Turn?

by James Kelly

Why the British Labour Party abandoned its traditional socialist policies, and the lessons that can be applied to the party’s current predicament.

When the British Labour Party abandoned much of its socialist ideology in the 1990s, it did so for one reason – the pursuit of popularity, and by extension the pursuit of power. It had been in opposition for almost two decades, lost four general elections in a row, and the question that was being posed more and more volubly was “what”s the point of having the most wonderful policies in the world if you never have the power to put them into practice?’ The moment that came to symbolise this dilemma more than any other was the 1983 election, when Labour was led by its most left-wing leader since pre-war times, Michael Foot, and had a manifesto that made radical party activists purr with pleasure. The party went on to suffer its most crushing defeat since the 1930s, and came perilously close to slipping into third place in the popular vote. Perhaps not unreasonably, the lesson drawn by the “modernisers” in the party – including the young Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – was that Labour’s electoral woes were directly correlated to the party’s ideological distance from the centre of gravity in the country as a whole.

“June 9th, 1983, never again!” was the new leader Neil Kinnock’s battle-cry as he embarked on the slow and painful process of moving Labour onto the centre-ground of politics where it was felt it could achieve electability. The most dramatic indication of the sacrifices the party was prepared to make came when Kinnock himself shifted on one of his most passionately-held personal beliefs, and agreed to support the retention of the UK’s nuclear weapons. In an interview days before the 1992 general election, he even suggested that as Prime Minister he might be prepared in some circumstances to launch a nuclear attack – an extraordinary position for a man who had devoted much of his political life to the cause of unilateral disarmament.

But Labour still lost the 1992 election, its fourth defeat in succession. Did this give the true believers in the “1983 maxim” some pause for thought? Quite the reverse. The fact that the Conservatives’ parliamentary majority had been slashed to 21 was cited as proof that Labour’s ideological repositioning had gained some traction with the electorate. The fact that the Conservatives remained in power simply proved that the process hadn’t gone far enough yet. So “New Labour” was born, and in Tony Blair the party suddenly had a leader who was probably further to the right than many “conservative” political leaders in continental Europe. Yet so hungry were the party faithful for power, and so completely had they bought into the modernizers’ analysis of what was required to achieve that goal, they accepted every move Blair made as being necessary. It was sometimes mischievously suggested that if Blair had wanted to reintroduce capital punishment, the party rank-and-file would have let it through on the nod.

And in 1997, the Labour party did not merely return to power, but recorded the most comprehensive victory by any side in a British general election since the 1930s. Some pointed out there was considerable evidence that if John Smith, Blair’s immediate predecessor as Labour leader, had not died in office, he would still have been able to lead the party back to power from a more traditional centre-left position. But not by anything like the same margin, the modernisers retorted. It did indeed seem to be the final, irrefutable proof that Labour’s level of support went up in direct proportion to how far it had moved to the right.

But fast forward to the present day. Gordon Brown has persisted with the Blairite strategy of tacking to the right, and yet the latest opinion polls show Labour at its lowest level of support since records began, and thus by definition lower than at the party’s 1983 nadir. Gordon Brown is a less popular leader than Michael Foot. New Labour was founded on the principle that if you are shedding votes, you must ruthlessly shed your current ideology to win those votes back. As it is the more traditional Labour voters who have been deserting the party in droves – witness the Scottish parliament election last year – the obvious conclusion to draw is that the party must shift back to the left to regain some degree of support.

The objection to this analysis might be that Labour cannot hope to win the next election with its traditional supporters alone – it needs the entire New Labour coalition of 1997. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that this coalition is long gone, and the next election is almost certainly already lost. To adapt the question that was asked in the long years of opposition to fit present-day circumstances – “if you”re going to lose anyway, what’s the point of having power for the next two years if you’re not going to use it to achieve the things your party is supposed to believe in?’

10 Things Women Do Better Than Men

by MindIt

I am not a feminist, but I am amazed at the number of studies that have found women better than men in various skills. Here is a list of 10 skills where women seem to be doing better than men.

 

  1. Women drive better than men.

    Well this reverses a social myth – that women are bad drivers. Carnegie Mellon University researchers found after analyzing a lot of traffic data in 2007 that men are 77% more likely to die in a car accident than women, keeping the miles driven constant. So next time when your husband asks you to hand over the car keys, just give him this article.

  2. Women remember appearances better than men.

    Some would say, “Why not? Don’t women pay all their attention to appearances?” Well, say what you may, but only a loser complains about somebody for being better than him! Terrence Horgan, research fellow in psychology at Ohio State University, and her co-researchers found in a study that women are more accurate in describing appearances after seeing people once. The study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

  3. Women cooperate better than men.

    We can see this everywhere, but still if you want a citation, here it is. A study by Rolf Kuemmerli and other researchers at Edinburgh and Lausanne universities indicated that women cooperate better than men. In the research, based on games played by 100 Swiss students, women cooperated with others almost twice as much as men did.

  4. Women eat better than men.

    This is probably not so obvious, for rarely do we notice gender differences in eating habits. A survey involving 14000 Americans, conducted by University of Minnesota, revealed that men are more likely to eat frozen pizza and meat, whereas women are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.

  5. Women perform better than men in timed tests.

    So if time is precious, women are better at preserving it than men. A study by Vanderbilt University researchers in 2006 found that women score better in timed intelligence tests than men. The study, published in the May-June issue of the journal Intelligence, didn’t find much difference in un-timed tests, which meant women had a quicker mind.

  6. Women perceive their relationships better than men.

    Talk about relationships and most men will frown. Now you know why – they know so little about their relationships! A Hebrew University of Jerusalem study, after surveying 97 couples in the United States, found that women are more perceptive than men in describing their relationships. The study, published in ScienceDaily, reported that women were much more accurate in describing the perception of their partners than men.

  7. Women communicate better than men.

    This is now scientifically proven and acknowledged. Louann Brizendine, neuro-pyschiatrist at the University of California at San Francisco, found in a study that women can process 20000 words a day compared to men’s 7000 words (Louann Brizendine,The Female Brain, Morgan Road Books). This difference, as per Brizendine’s study, is more biological than social, which starts as early as the fetal stage.

  8. Women learn better than men.

    That is why girls get better grades in school on an average than boys in many parts of the world. Dr Simone Kruger of Edge Hill University, UK, found in her research based on remote learners that women learners were more successful in sharing ideas and experiences with each other, and hence learnt more efficiently than men.

  9. Women invest better than men.

    You don’t believe it, do you? We all know fewer women invest in stocks than men do, but the few women who invest in shares do better than their male counterparts. A study by the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) for the University of California found that women earn on an average 1.4% more than men in their share portfolios.

  10. Women cope with stress better than men.

    A study at the University of California, Los Angeles, published in the July 2000 issue of Psychological Review, found some biological and behavioral differences in the ways men and women cope with stress. It found that women tend to seek contact with others and social support when they are under stress, which is a psychologically much better way of coping with stress than the “fight-or-flight” approach of men.

Of course, there are other studies which indicate men are better than women in various skills. The point I want to make is not that women are better than men in everything, but that men should stop underestimating women after being proven wrong time and again.

Words About Life

Spiritual understanding of existence, karma, the difference between soulful life and ego-orientated life.

Indeed the universal implications must be known in order to have a controlled life. Indeed when such thoughts arise in the mind, feelings of insanity might arise as well. The universe works in sequences, rhythms, patterns and cycles. It could be frustrating realizing this concept, watching everything repeat itself could get annoying, especially when the ones around you don’t realize that humanity and the rest of the world are part of an endless cycle. The benefit of knowing this concept outweighs the negative aspect of it. Instead of complaining about the cycle, realize you start the motions. You can either start a negative or positive motion; the power lies in your hands.

If you start a negative motion it will repeat itself until you realize it and stop it, or else it will just spin and spin. Realize that you are a soul and not a body. The body is just the soul’s instrument, and when the instrument becomes old and rusty, doesn’t work as it used to, the soul discards the body and gets another one. There is no such thing as “death” really. It is only a moment in one’s life when the body becomes too weak to work anymore and is not a benefit for the soul any longer. One could say it is also a time when the soul’s mission is complete, however only for that period of time because it will return and have a new objective. Nevertheless, there is one general objective the all souls must strive to carry out, that is spirituality, to be connected to the supreme soul while having its presence on earth. However, through many births this objective in majority of cases has been neglected and forgotten.

Through many births the soul consciousness has been replaced by body consciousness, this means that the body rather than the soul governs actions. This means that majority of people will do things if there is a benefit for them. This means that anger, jealousy, egotism, arrogance, selfishness, ignorance, attachment to physical objects, thirst for power, lust, become apparent in one’s life. Those who live by soul consciousness would never live by such negative aspects. A soul sees everyone as a brother or a sister; the soul sees everyone as one. The soul sees everyone pure as crystal water. The soul will never fully attach itself to a physical object, knowing that physical objects sooner or later will crumble to nothingness.

It knows that by seeking happiness in physical objects, that happiness will last as long as that physical object or as long as one has an attachment towards it. It knows that happiness through materialism is temporal; through soul consciousness happiness is eternal. It is logical to consider the fact that when one is dependent on an external factor, the fulfillment will not last due to the fact that nothing is permanent. Therefore, if one is merely dependent on one’s internal nature, which is everlasting, the fulfillment is eternal. In order for this to occur, one needs to reach a certain spiritual plateau from which this internal fulfillment will arouse. By living with a body consciousness, a person will be living in an a illusion believing it is reality. The mental perspective of the world itself is an illusion.

The world you live in is the world that lives within your mind. Your perspective is only due to your state of mind, each mind equals a different world. However, by going back to soul consciousness, one awakes from their illusionary dream and sees the world with clarity and truth. By living a righteousness life and meditating and by reading spiritual material one can gain such clarity. Soul and body consciousness are of the same essence, tails and heads of a coin. Spirituality is not a religion, it is not a way of life, it is life, true essence of life. There are no rituals, no customs, no worship; all that is required is to live with a soul consciousness, to be righteous and to be aware of the universal laws. Spirituality is the core of religions, it is the core and the religions are the seeds, which have grown to be what they are due to their environment and time. In essence they are pretty much the same.

The problem is that they have been interpreted wrongly and manipulated; one must look upon without attaching oneself to it and with an open mind to see the meaning with a wider perspective. It is mostly written metaphorically and the meaning lies deeper, it is important not to take it literally. Most of the stories, which are taken literally have a certain meaning but lose their true meaning. For example, many will disagree with this but many will agree, it depends on the state of mind. The main figurehead other than God, of the Bible is Jesus. He has been portrayed as a son of God, as a messiah who came down to earth, he was indeed.

However, Jesus said that he is the son of God indicating that everyone else is a son or daughter of God. He didn’t say it to indicate that he is all powerful and that everyone must obey him. He also said that everyone could be him if they wanted. Furthermore, anyone who comes here, earth, to elevate humanity and to preach peace and love is a messiah. He came down to play his role; everyone has their role to play. This is an example of manipulation; the Christian scholars, the apostles got people to worship a man, like an idol, which is against their law. Yes he had spiritual powers but everyone can achieve them if they tried hard enough, perhaps to a lesser degree, that was one of the things Jesus preached about. Muhammad is very similar to Jesus, pretty much preached the same words. However, Muhammad said he is no God and must not be worshipped, that he is only a man. One does not need to seek out to find a meaning to life or to seek out to find truth, does not need a God to worship but only acknowledged, truth and meaning lies within oneself. There is a whole world waiting to be discovered within you. The purpose of life is to give it a purpose, the truth of life is hidden within you. Meditating is not a religious aspect, nor a Buddhist or Hindu practice.

It is a universal aspect; it is a natural method and a very powerful method of transforming the mind. It is not used to empower breath control or just to relax, even though they are part of it, but the main point is to enlighten the soul by connecting it to a higher source. Just close your eyes and watch how it brightens your soul and how the light envelops your mind. The absence of spiritual light leads to darkness, the negativity and sorrow in one’s life. While being internally dark, the words you speak and the actions you perform will release the darkness, resulting in more sorrow for yourself and the people around you. The outer world will be only a reflection of the inner darkness; things might seem meaningless and distressful. However, when the inner light is shinning the opposite occurs, being that darkness and light are complete opposites, one’s eyes glitter exposing the inner peace.

One’s actions and words are performed with care and love. By sharing the light with others and seeing people benefit from it and become happier results in more happiness inside. Due to the inner light, the outer world in result shines as well. One should realize that one’s actions are judged and are returned to him, this is the law of Karma. The family that you have, the friends, everyone you meet, the situation that you are in, the hard times you have the good times you have, everything in your life, it might sound unfair but they are all fruits of your creation. The seeds you plant are the flowers that you will get. There is no one to blame but yourself. It is more logical to blame yourself rather than God, after all He did give you free will, the way you use it is your choice. To blame God is to say that He is cruel and loves hurting people, that He is blood thirsty and loves to see people suffer This perhaps answers the question, why do innocent suffer; well perhaps they are not innocent after all.

This is due to their past life or actions that they did in the past, the actions that they carried in their past life or what they did in the past have returned to them. This doesn’t mean that one has to suffer due to his actions forever; any negative situation is a sign that something needs to be changed. By changing your actions you change your present state, which changes your future. Nothing is coincidental, there is no luck or miracles, everything happens for a reason and everything has a meaning.

By going deep inside yourself you will find the real self. You will find your role and your purpose in life. Good things don’t come easy but bad things do, the harder you try the better the feeling when you get the result. It is a hard journey but the most important journey.

Limited Effects Theory

Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, an Austrian sociologist, influential methodologists, and one of the pioneers in mass communications, is recognized for his scientific investigations on the effects of media in the society and for employing surveys and experiments to gather empirical observations and generalizations.

In 1925, Lazarfeld obtained his doctorate’s degree in philosophy major in applied mathematics at the University of Vienna, where he founded a research institute for applied social psychology four years later. In 1933, he went to the United States and served as the Director of the Office of Radio Research at the Princeton University after receiving a research grant in psychology from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1940, his project was transferred at the Columbia University where his office was renamed the Bureau of Applied Social Research.

With Hadly Cantril and Frank Stanton, Lazarsfeld is remembered for his detailed investigation of the radio habits of the American listening public. This investigation led to the famous radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” in 1938. Orson Welles borrowed freely from H. G. Welles’s novel and created a radio drama that resemble to news stories. One out of six listeners believed that aliens had invaded the universe and eventually panicked. The invasion from Mars panic was seen by elite observers as a definitive proof of mass society theory, that is, if a radio program could induce such wide-spread panic, obvious and concerted propaganda messages could do much worse.

Lazarsfeld affirmed that many listeners acted hastily and that simulated news stories were trusted without question, especially the eyewitness reports and the interviews with phony experts. He also concluded that media audiences have one or more psychological traits that made them especially susceptible to media influence: fatalism, phobic personality, emotional insecurity, and lack of self-confidence.

At the Princeton University, Stanton, Cantril, and Lazarsfeld were part of a vanguard of social scientists who slowly formulated new views of how media influence society. They argued that media were no longer feared as instruments of political oppression and manipulation because the public itself was viewed as very resistant to persuasion and extremist manipulation. They believe that most people were influenced by others rather than by media; opinion leaders in every community, who, at every level of society, were responsible for guiding and stabilizing politics. Media were conceptualized as relatively powerless in shaping public opinion in the face of more potent intervening variables like people’s individual differences and group memberships.

Lazarsfeld pioneered the use of surveys and experiments to measure media influence, which, in turn, provided evidence that media rarely and indirectly influence individuals. He assumed that media effects were quite limited because in the more micro, or in the individual level, only a limited number of listeners were directly affected.

It should be noted, however, that Lazarsfeld and his colleagues, like Carl Hovland, were not theorists; they were methodologists. Unlike mass society theorists who assumed that media were quite powerful, they employed empirical social research methods like surveys and experiments to gather empirical observations and generalizations. They argued that media influence can be measured, observed, understood, controlled, and utilized for the benefit of the human race. They also argued that if the physical sciences permit people to control the physical world, the social sciences can also permit people to control the social world.

Lazarsfeld and his colleagues, while conducting their full-scale investigation of the effects of political mass communications in Eríe County, Ohio and in Elmira, New York during the 1940 and the 1948 presidential elections, respectively, found out that media were not as powerful as mass society theory assumed and that media influence over public opinion or attitudes was hard to locate. They also found out that people had numerous ways of resisting media influence and were influenced by many competing factors and that media influences were typically less important than social status, group membership, educational attainment, religious or political party affiliations, among others. These findings eventually led to the formulation or construction of the limited effects theory, also known as the indirect effects theory.

A paradigm, also called framework, provides a useful guide in research as long as its basic assumptions are accepted. Though a paradigm exercises great influence over the course of a research, a shift inevitably occur because no paradigm can provide adequate explanations for all observations. Also called theoretical innovation, a paradigm shift occurs when there are efforts to account theoretical limitations and when a new theory is formulated or constructed over and above a dominant theory. It is at this context that the limited effects theory is considered the paradigm shift of the mass society theory.

Formulated from “disciplined” data collections and data interpretations, the limited effects theory was gradually constructed using the inductive approach to theory construction. It assumed that media lacked or have limited power to instantly convert average people from strongly held beliefs, and that it negates, if not totally contradict, the mass society theory assumption that media have the power to reach out and directly influence the minds of the average people.

The limited effects theory gained popularity because it provided answers to the questions of troubled elites in the 1930s. When the propaganda theory threatened to challenge freedom and democracy, the limited effects theory argued that most people could not be directly influenced by typical propaganda messages.

However, the limited effects theory actually placed little faith in the rationality of the individual or in his ability to evaluate propaganda messages. During the 1950s and the 1960s, studies found out that most people are politically ignorant or apathetic and that only some people are politically active or involve because their collective wisdom and political knowledge were concentrated in the opinion leaders who are the mainstay of any political system and who play an important role in shaping or reconstructing the voting systems of the electorate.

Factors

  1. The refinement and broad acceptance of empirical social research methods was an essential factor in the development of the limited effects theory. This was so, because empirical social research methods were promoted effectively as the only “scientific” way of dealing and measuring social phenomena.
  2. People who advocated mass society theories were branded by empirical social researchers as “unscientific.” Mass society theorists were considered as doomsayers, political ideologues, biased against media, or fuzzy-mined humanists.
  3. Social researchers exploited the commercial potential of empirical social research method and gained the support of private industries.
  4. The development of empirical social research method was strongly backed by various private and government foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Science Foundation.
  5. After empirical social research methods showed that media were not as powerful and threatening as assumed by mass society theories, media companies were encouraged to finance more empirical social researches.
  6. Empirical social researchers were successful in introducing their approaches within the various social research disciplines – history, sociology, economics, political science, and social psychology – that shaped the development of communication research. Empirical social research was widely accepted as the most scientific way to study communication even though it proved difficult to find conclusive evidence of media influence.

Assumptions

  1. Media rarely have any direct influence upon individuals. Most people are sheltered from direct manipulation and that they do not believe everything they read, hear, or watch. This assumption negates, if not totally contradicts the assumption of mass society theory that people are isolated and vulnerable from direction manipulation.
  2. There is a two-step flow of media influence. Media could not influence people if the opinion leaders who guide them are not influenced by its messages.
  3. By the time most people become adults they have developed strong group commitments like political party or religious affiliations that media messages are powerless to overcome. These commitments make people to reject media messages although other group members are not present to help them.
  4. When media effects occur, they are modest and isolated. Large number of people will not change their votes although they are flooded with various media messages everyday.

Limitations

  1. Surveys can not measure how people actually use media on a day-to-day basis because they can only record how people report their media experiences.
  2. Surveys are very expensive and cumbersome way to study people’s use of specific media content like their reading of certain news stories or their viewing of specific television programs.
  3. The research design and data analysis procedures are inherently conservative in assessing the power of media.
  4. Subsequent research on the two-step flow has produced highly contradictory finding
  5. Although surveys can be useful for studying changes over time, they are a relatively crude technique.
  6. Surveys omit many potentially important variables by focusing only on what can be easily or reliably measured using existing techniques.

The FAA

Boys and girls, we should be glad the FAA is looking out for us. Yes, it is s shame that some of their employees got too friendly with some of the airlines. However, adults do not “demonstrate acting reasonably” when trying to punish (the bad guy) – airline or the FAA inspectors by (going after the entire group) forcing the entire commercial system with “do it now” inspections! We have all seen the TV newsreels of mechanics measuring distances between tie (knots), to see if they are 1/4 of an inch off. Many on one plane are. Wow. As Charles Gibson asked one expert, is all this trouble reasonable for 1/4 of an inch? NO. Pure and simple. Is it true that commercial planes have had fuel line breaks that have caused catastrophic failures?

Yes. Is it also true that airplanes carry miles of lines of this or that? Yes. Maybe we need to go back a few decades. What must head mechanics and their charter or scheduled airlines do to become licensed-permitted, to fly under the protective wing of the FAA? “They must put together [the airlines] a description of their planes and their intended fight maintenance program and it must minimally match that of the manufacturer of the airplane to at least not violate the warranty and for safety, keep the plane in its best possible condition. Are these manufacturer rules or guidelines critical? They can be. Engine temperatures, weight distribution, amount of fuel capable of being carried, top safe speed, …the list goes on.

Can these minimums or maximums be challenged? You bet. They are guidelines since there cannot be an exact science regarding metal failure unless it is a proven fact that all metal such as steel, fails to keep its shape after y temperature. Or the engine is shown to put out no more than x amount of thrust regardless the amount of fuel given to it. When the thickness of a windshield is discussed, or wire width, or materials, it is all best guesses. Computers calibrate the components in a plane that crashed and the reason for the crash confirmed. It is a hypothesis as to what causes a crash. And usually the hypothesis is a good one; too much weight from ice, no fuel and controls refusing to work, etc. So, the FAA and the manufacturer have to guess “best guesses.” I want that. What I don’t want is to have a best guess become a rule and that rule, if violated, to disrupt the entire nation. The FAA has fall guys and the airlines have fall guys. No one wants to take the responsibility for errors.

Or, the error of one group like now and here, is assumed to be the error of many groups [airlines] as in a syllogism. If an FAA officer found a plane with inadequate inspections, the officer can stand by and inspect a plane. I agree with that. That is logical and not harmful to anyone. To, however, make the hypothesis that “if this plane is not current on its inspections, then all the planes are technically unsafe.” That is an absurd conclusion. Why is that so? An example; when many airplanes are sold, the sales comes with a caveat; this plane is past its inspection time. This means that it cannot be used for commercial purposes or to safely take trips without going through a specific level of inspection. It is safe and when the new buyer gets it to home base, it is to be put through inspection. For safety sake. The plane does not know there are no passengers. The no passenger rule is an FAA rule. Does this mean that airlines should ignore maintenance time frames and pull planes out of service regardless of their need in flight schedules? NO. What is more logical is to take a doubt situation, like wires, and direct the airline to remove one or two planes from “available to fly status”, get them inspected and while that goes on, let the rest of the fleet fly. When the one or two are inspected, direct the next 2 planes to be inspected. NOT take out a fleet or ½ of a fleet to inspect them all at one time. And here is why: a. The plane is automatically inspected by the pilot before each flight. B . The airplane has its senior mechanics and inspectors available prior to each start-up and can examine the plane to see if it has any worry components or levels of operations that are suspect. A cracked engine or fuselage is a dangerous thing and a plane with those ailments would not be on the tarmac with passengers. A broken wire tie has no meaning

A mis-distanced tie has no meaning. Remember, there are guides because every component has to have a time of maintenance and a rule created by which it must be judged. With many airplane components, these rules are arbitrary. Some rule must be created since FAA flies on rules. A component cannot have “no review needed.” Every component must be inspected. In fact, some components must be replaced even though they are working fine; this is because, via computer models, a component might begin to get weak and perform under 80% efficiency and the airplane might require 90% efficiency for all components all the time. Now we just have to tell the components that. The FAA needs to become alert to the idea that it is a guide body and if the flying public is so mad they choose to drive or take the train, the FAA will no longer have a purpose for being. So, FAA; common sense, please!

Four Steps to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

by Rana Sinha, Apr 7, 2008

Negative thoughts are a thousand times more addictive than drugs. A four step proven approach to help get rid of negative thoughts is presented here. Using this technique you can get rid of negative thoughts and make yourself a happier person.

Negative thoughts are a thousand times more addictive than drugs. Over time they become you so that you cannot distinguish a thought as being separate from you.

Many mental health professionals and psychiatrists like Professor Aaron Beck of the University of Pennsylvania, who invented the Beck Hopelessness Scale, believe that depression is due to negative views towards the self, world, and especially the future. In his lifelong experience of working with depressed patients, Professor Beck found that they experienced streams of negative thoughts that habitually pop up spontaneously out of nowhere. Our thoughts, emotions and our behaviour all affect each other. By changing how we view them we can make significant changes to improve our lives. By identifying and evaluating our thoughts we can think more realistically. This makes us feel better and then we do indeed behave more functionally. This improves everyone’s lives.

You can get rid of anything but negative thoughts, they say.

There is hope as this is not true. There is a priceless and proven technique, which has helped lots of people get rid of negative thoughts that plague the mind. When you learn to get rid of negative thoughts you become a more positive person, who is happier. All the advice you get about “Think positive”, just doesn’t work if you can’t get rid of negative thoughts first. Using this method you can get rid of much negativity in your life.

So, here’s the method, step by step.

Become Aware

This is the first step. You have to recognise that you’re having a negative thought. The sure sign of a negative thought is that it lowers your energy level. Then it can also make you feel gloomy and bitter so that you can’t see any good in anything.

Label It

I’m experiencing a negative thought now. Tell yourself like this. If you have come this far, you’ll notice that suddenly you’ll begin to feel your energy level stop sinking and the inner gloom stop getting gloomier. Fantastic progress until now so congratulate yourself and then on to the next stage.

Exaggerate It

Explore the negative thought and play with it. Stretch it and make it absolutely ridiculous. If you have a thought such as “I can’t go and tell my bank that I’d need to lower my monthly mortgage amount. They’d think I’m a loser”. Visualize the people at the bank laughing out aloud so they roll on the floor pointing at you. Some of them manage to rush into the street and stop passers-by or get on the phone and call their friends and say out aloud “Can you imagine, we have a customer here who wants to lower her monthly mortgage!” Then everyone joins in to ridicule you, the traffic stops, TV cameras appear and they make a breaking-news alert, the president cancels his foreign trip. As you go on doing this thought stretching, you realize the absurdity of your negative thoughts. They begin to appear bizarre and lose their glue-like grip on you. Congratulations, you have now reached breakthrough point. The miracle has started taking place. You’ve started freeing your mind.

Be Thankful

Notice that all your exaggerations did not actually take place. Things could have been far worse for you if they had. This is a reason to be thankful. The moment you start being thankful, a new ray of life enters and your inner gloom lights up. Things start happening to you that never happened before. Where there were only walls for you to bang your head, doors and windows appear. An end of the world disaster turns out to be an opportunity, a new beginning that you’d never have imagined. Now just relax and experience how new things come into your life in place of the old negative thoughts. You don’t need to make extra efforts to plant positive thoughts. By removing negative barriers, you allow positive things to start happening to you. This is what is meant by “Thy will be done” in prayer. You recognize that your personal ego is rather tiny in the big picture. If you try to run everything with this tiny ego, you limit all possibilities to only those your tiny ego can imagine. Life contains infinitely more possibilities than you can imagine.

When you’ve been going through these steps for some time, you’ll notice that life does seem better. Your energy level picks up. New purposes emerge in place of cheerless despair and people start appreciating the new you and your self-confidence starts to build up again. A star is born.

Racism

Racism stop it!  

You hear that a lot don’t you? In schools, on TV even in your own house, but do any of you really understand the true meaning? Or is it just a word that keeps repeating in your head. I bet that most of the students here have made a racist remark or maybe did something that was racist in their life. You might have noticed it, but you did.

Racism what is it? What does it mean? Well, racism means attitudes practices and other factors that disadvantage people because of their skin race or ethnicity. Racism can be directed in any one of those suggestions.

Racism is sometimes very obvious, examples such as graffiti or physical violence can be seen easily. Racial and ethnic jokes are widely spread. For instance the other day when I had a pizza, some kid asked nicely if he could have a piece because he asked nicely I gave him a piece, then he’s like give me another piece, so I said no, lastly he said why are you being a Jew and left. That was criticizing and racist. The guy had no right to call me names, in fact he had no right to criticize the Jews. How are Jews mean? They give you stuff, they lend you stuff, only if your nice to them. Same goes to the other religions.

Racism exists at three main levels, which are institutional, cultural and individual racism. Institutional racism takes the form of the practices, customs, rules and standards of organizations including governments that disadvantage people because of their race, color, or ethnicity. An example of this is back in the day when Martin Luther King Jr. a black man stood up for his people because the American government were cheating the black people from sitting on the bus – the rules were if the seats on the bus were full any black person sitting on a seat has to automatically get off the seat and give it to a white person.

Cultural racism is the cultural values that disadvantage people because of their race, color or ethnicity. An example of this is a when a beautiful, women walks by a man thinks she’s also trustworthy. It shouldn’t be how a person looks like to know if their trustworthy, it should be their personality.

Lastly individual racism, an example of individual racism are the beliefs of racial stereotypes, meaning that people actually believe that some races are better than others and even the belief that people can be classified according to their race. Like if you see a black person, you would automatically think that they’re good at playing basketball, or about Asians people give them the stereotype of being smart, even geniuses. Lastly what about Arabs when somebody sees an Arab walking by they point them out as a terrorist.

RACISM – STOP IT!

10 Top Websites for Brain Training

You have probably seen media reports about the emerging understanding of the benefits that mental exercise brings. Studies have shown that a routine of mental activities can increase your alertness, agility of thought and creativity. Your brain’s health is an important contributor to your quality of life as you age and there appears to be a correlation between your level of mental stimulation and your risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s in later life.

Brain training video games intended to help you keep your brain fit, such as Nintendo’s Brain Age, which offers to train your brain in 10 minutes a day, have sold millions of copies. However you don’t need to splash out for an expensive games console and software. There are plenty of free online and interactive resources to help you get the benefits of training your brain. Below is a round-up of ten of the best:

  1. Brain Metrix

    A website dedicated to brain training with a collection of brain training games and exercises

  2. Sharp Brains

    Lots of brain fitness resources, including exercises.

  3. Braingle

    Braingle claims to have the largest collection of brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes and mind puzzles on the internet with over 12,000 items which have been ranked by the site’s users.

  4. Queendom

    Games and exercises to get your mind into shape.

  5. Games for the brain

    Quiz, memory and brain games to train your thinking.

  6. Brain Gym® Exercises

    Some simple physical exercises which boost the brain, based on the work of Paul E. Dennison, PhD.

  7. Matica Brain Gym

    Flash based Brain Gym.

Brain Work-outs

In the past, researchers believed that our genes were the main determinants of brain development. Now an increasing number or studies shows that conditions in our suroundings can influence our internal brain plan during early life and in later years. Researchers say the evidence could not only initiate personal behavioral changes, but also could launch new behavioral therapies and medications that repair or expand the brain.

If your physical activity centers on typing, then your leg muscles will never rival Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. Likewise, if your mental exercise is radically low, then your brain will probably be on the scrawny side, according to a new view of brain development.

For years, researchers underestimated the role that worldly experience played in brain formation. In the same way a person is genetically pre-destined to have blue eyes, the brain, they assumed, was internally programmed to bloom into a precise shape that held a specific map of nerve cells or neurons. This mission, they thought, was completed within the first few years after birth.

But now a spate of studies shows that mental exercise can have profound effects on mental capacity.

Environments that offer exposure to complex experiences boost the components that process information in the brain. Brain cell survival increases, the neural appendages that receive communication signals grow and the connections between cells multiply. Some of these changes occur not only during the brain’s early growth stage, but also in later years. A severe lack of mental exercise and even stressful experiences, however, limit the brain plan. The new research is leading to:

The identification of the most malleable brain areas and an understanding of the roles of age, gender and stress.

  • The discovery of brain chemicals that execute the changes.
  • Behavioral techniques and medications that could improve normal brain development as well as repair damaged brains.

The first hint that mental stimulation was needed to bolster brain development surfaced in the 1960s. Researchers found that animals reared in an environment filled with interactive stimuli, including toys, grew a thicker and heavier cerebral cortex than those raised in an empty laboratory cage.

Evidence began to snowball. For example, young male rats that frolicked in cages resembling playgrounds acquired more branches on their neurons and interconnections than rats that were sealed in isolated cages. Some of these brain differences also arose when the experiment was performed on middle-aged rats.

Recently another study revealed for the first time that experience can increase neuron survival. Young female mice spent several months in an environment filled with tunnels, toys and running wheels. The mice developed more neurons in a brain area that is important for memory and performed a learning and memory task better than did isolated mice. Currently, the researchers are testing whether the change also occurs in older mice and monkeys as well as in other brain areas and the spinal cord.

Other studies are revealing factors that can alter or counter the positive influences of a stimulating environment. For example, research shows that in some brain areas, such as the hippocampus and visual cortex, gender can affect the level of cell changes. Other studies on monkeys show that stress has the ability to stop new neuron development.

While researchers continue to interpret how all the pieces fit together, some scientists also are beginning to test a stimulating environment’s ability to repair brain damage. In one case, researchers found that children raised in severely isolated conditions, where they were rarely touched or spoken to, had alterations in their brains and deficits in brain function. But submerging the children in intensely stimulating environments appeared to bring back some functions.

In animal studies, other scientists discovered that an extremely stimulating environment could not only increase the number of connections in the brains of normal rats but could also repair some of the damage rats received when they were exposed to alcohol during the developmental period corresponding to the third trimester of pregnancy in humans. The environment required the rats to travel over rope, narrow beams and linked chains to reach food.

Scientists believe that the research will lead to new behavioral and molecular therapies for brain disorders — as well as provide ammunition for your parents’argument that you should stop slacking off and mentally challenge yourself. While you’re at it, get to the gym.


The images above reveal the brain activity of a normal child (left) and an institutionaiized romanian orphan who was negiected in infancy (right). The blue and black tones show that brain areas such as the temporal lobes, which oversee emotion among other functions, are practically inactive in the romanian child compared to the healthy child.
Image from Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Reprinted from the website of:
Society for Neuroscience
1121 14th Street, Suite 1010
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 962-4000.

10 Ancient Gods of Beer

These are the world’s ten known Ancient Gods of beer:

  1. Silenus


    In Ancient Greek mythology, Silenus is the God of beer and a drinking companion. He is usually associated with his buddy, Dionysus. He is often featured as a bald and fat man, with a big beer belly. He is normally drunk and it is said that he had to be carried either by donkeys or satyrs (in Greek mythology, satyrs are wood-dwelling creatures with the head and body of a man and the ears, horns, and legs of a goat).

  2. Dionysus


    Dionysus is famously known for being the Ancient Greek God of intoxicating drinks like wine and beer. He is also known as the Liberator as he liberates oneself with the intoxicating power of alcoholic drinks. He is the son of Zeus and considered Silenus his tutor.

  3. Ninkasi


    The picture here is from a beer ad named after the Sumerian Goddess.

    Ninkasi is the Ancient Sumerian Goddess of beer and brewing. It is said that she provides the world with the secret to make beer. In Sumerian culture, she is also known for her power to satisfy human desire.

  4. Osiris


    In Ancient Egyptian culture, Osiris is the God of agriculture. He is also known as the God of beer. A Greek historian from the time of Julius Caesar once wrote that, “Osiris taught the people how to brew the beverage which is made of barley, which is not greatly inferior to wine in odor and potency.”

  5. Aegir


    In Norse mythology, Aegir is actually the God of the sea. It is believed that he has the control of the storms and turbulent seas. He is also known as the God of beer and brewing.

  6. Tezcatzontecatl


    In the Aztec tradition, Tezcatzontecatl is the God of pulque (a traditional alcoholic beverage made of fermented juice of the century plant, and similar to beer). He is also associated with drunkenness and fertility. A monument built like a pyramid was built on top of the Tepozteco Mountain for the worshiper and now, this place has become a well known archaeological site.

  7. Mbaba Mwana Waresa


    In Zulu mythology, Mbaba Mwana Waresa is the Goddess of beer because it is believed that she created the first beer for human comsumption. She is also known as the Goddess of rain and the rainbow. She is celebrated for her search of true love.

  8. Yasigi

     

    In certain African cultures, Yasigi is the Goddess of beer, dance and masks. Her statue portrays her as large-breasted female holding a beer ladle while dancing.

  9. Radegast


    In the Czech mythology, Radegast is the God of hospitality and mutuality. According to the legend, he is credited for the creation of beer.

  10. Raugupatis and Ragutiene


    In Ancient Baltic and Slavic mythology, Raugupatis is known as the God of fermentation. Raugutiene is Raugupatis partner and she is known as the Goddess of beer.

Signs, Symbols & Synchronicity

Learning to look and interpret the signs that are all around us and inspire us in our everyday life.

All around us are messages, hints and clues that help us reach every milestone along the path of life. If our role on planet earth is to evolve, to follow our own pathway to enlightenment then I believe we are given plenty of help along the way. This short article is part of an e-book available soon. Here, I just tickle the surface of following signs, symbols and synchronicity and show you how to participate in living magically.

You can use anything to help you in finding answers to life – dreams, divination cards, random extracts from books, a single word that reappears in different ways, people, animals and birds, even traffic lights. Signs can appear in any form, something you hear in a conversation, a book that falls open at a certain page, signs on a passing van, patterns in the shadows or the clouds…be open to the possibilities.

We receive messages all the time, but in the form of symbols and these need to be interpreted. The most important thing to remember is that the answer lies in what that symbol means to YOU individually: my interpretation of a tree may be completely different to yours. On the other hand there are many useful books and charts that can give you a heads up start – so use them, just be discerning, not everything that appears in print is “gospel”. If you read something and it just doesn’t “feel” right then trust yourself. Try looking at it in another way until you “recognize” the truth that is relevant to YOU. Always remember we are each perfectly unique – that’s part of the magic.

So, where do the messages come from? For me there are two possible explanations.

That your Universe sends you help. You don’t even need to ask but it does help. Unfortunately the universe is unable to communicate to you in clear language, so everything arrives in the form of images, signs and symbols. The trick is deciding what it means.

That the messages come from within yourself, from your inner self. We certainly have much more wisdom than we give ourselves credit for and perhaps this is simply your inner self cutting through the barriers we all erect.

Scientific stuff: The human brain consists of two sides, the left and right hemispheres. The left side is the logical side, the one that is the loudest, that thinks it does all the work. It is logical, rational, and linear. The right side of the brain is the intuitive, creative side. If you prefer it, is the “Eureka” side that supplies the answers in huge leaps without any indication of the path that led to the answer. Apparently we use only about 10% of our brain capacity which opens up the exciting possibility of how we can use the other 90%. I like to think of it as the magical side, full of wonderment and retaining some of that innocence we had as children.

To me it is the right side of the brain that we access once we decide we want to acknowledge the signs, symbols and synchronicities that are possible, once we decide we want to hear the messages that help along the journey.

Here too, the messages arrive in symbols since the right side of the brain cannot communicate in clear language, remember it is the left brain that is verbal. Ultimately, it is conceivable that the right side of your brain can answer any question you have, you simply have to access it. If you learn to listen really well you are listening to what you really want or to what is best for you in this life.

For me, it is the combination of both of these, I think we are totally and completely inter-changeable with the Universe, we are the Universe, part of it and it is part of us – I don’t know how to separate from it.

What is synchronicity? Synchronicity is that wonderful state when everything comes together and you can clearly see the pattern, when answers emerge without any conscious effort. Examples are everywhere. It is all part of the pattern of life talking to you. There is a saying in metaphysics, that if you listen to the whispers, life doesn’t have to shout at you. Like the day the council raised the rates on my shop in Perth by £2000 and this was the same day a shop in Crail became vacant which was where I wanted to be anyway. Or the day I was despairing of where my future lay and I walked into a tiny crystals shop tucked down an obscure alley and met Chris who introduced me to crystals.

Synchronicity is when you are trying to decide whether to move house or not and an advert for an estate agent appears on your doorstep: synchronicity is where a book falls off the shelf in front of you at the bookstore; synchronicity is where someone tells you about a course she has done that you have been thinking of. Synchronicity is being sent the same poem by ten different people within days of each other. Yes life definitely talks to you.

Simply deciding to open yourself to the possibility of life talking to you – you open yourself to the magic of life. You are playing a part in extending your awareness, of taking control of your life and in utilizing all the power at your command.

Just to give you an idea, what crossed your path today?

Did you get stuck behind a line of slow moving traffic? The important thing in interpreting this sign is how you felt. If you were frustrated or angry, perhaps something is holding you back in your life and you need to take time, slow down and really look at the problem. On the other hand if you felt OK about it, quite relaxed and unflustered, maybe life is telling you it is okay to take things easy once in a while.

Life is throwing a wee pebble in your path, a “whisper”. Ignoring such hint to slow down might lead to a bout of diarrhoea or a sprained ankle that keeps you off work – instead of a pebble a wee brick in fact, life talking slightly louder to get your attention. If that doesn’t work life will ask what will – a major illness? a car crash? – life can and will throw a whole wall at you as it shouts to get your attention. In my own experience it took two minor car crashes both leading away from Crail to get me to understand that it was possible to make a living in a tiny village on the edge of the sea – which was what I wanted to do all the time anyway but let myself “Intellectualize” myself out of it in the first place.

Watch out for animals and birds bringing you messages. I am lucky enough to live where I can see wildlife daily but if you are locked in a city that doesn’t mean they won’t appear for you. You may well see an animal or bird on an advertising board, in the pattern of the clouds or the condensation on your window, in a song on the radio or in a conversation at work. As part of the universe our natural world is bound to be richly related to messages and answers. Take a little time to write down what various animals mean to you personally.

The possibilities are endless AND endlessly fascinating.

Did you think of someone you haven’t seen for ages and she phoned you. Does this mean you called her to you, or did you “pick up” on the vibrational energy of her intention? It can be either or both at work and is called extended awareness. I am always aware if the telephone or the doorbell has rung while I was out. I sense it immediately I enter the house. Is it the change in vibrational energy within the house? Maybe it is simply some form of change in molecular structure. But even so, isn’t it an exciting piece of evidence of my extended awareness at work? I prefer to think of it as the magic of life and allow it to bring me joy.

It definitely seems that once you make the decision to live with this form of awareness, the synchronicities and the messages come thick and fast.

You can always ask directly for something then wait for the message. The universe will send you something or someone to guide you.

You must remember though it is you who is in control of your life so all and every decision should be yours.

Every time I see a hawk or a fox I pay attention and I seem to be constantly surrounded by crows who remind me “to walk my talk” not just preach about it as I do here – a tendency I am still working on – well , I’m just walking the path like everyone else.

If you open yourself to the magic of living positively by watching for the signs, everything takes on a brighter hue, you really do add an element of magic into your life.

by Ann Miller

White Supremacy in America: The Ku Klux Klan

Throughout its 150-year history, the KKK has managed to remain a violent, homegrown terrorist group whole sole purpose was terrorization of classes of people that scared them: African-Americans, Catholics, Jews and all immigrants.  They attempted to justify murder, kidnapping, and intimidation by claiming white supremacy.

Their entire purpose was to propagate violence and intimidation among minorities, catholics and jews, and had no problem with expressing their ideas publicly.

There were three different periods of time in which the Klan was at large; they died out and then restarted themselves many times.  The first Klan was started by a man named Nathan Bedford Forrest and a group of Confederate soldier veterans (Ingalls 389). They were based in Pulaski, Tennessee and formed the KKK in 1865. In its early stages the Ku Klux Klan was very secretive. Because it was so secretive, it was very disorganized. It had no ranks or means of secret communication.

Until it gained more power and was more recognizable, no one knew who was behind the Klan’s attacks. The attacks were mostly directed towards disarming freed slaves who received firearms due to the Civil War. In one Florida county Klansmen killed over 150 blacks. The first Klan fell when Congress passed the Force Bill, or “Bloody Bill”, in 1871, which allowed the President to use the federal militia against the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK disappeared soon afterwards (Ingalls 389, 390).

The second Klan was founded by William J. Simmons in Atlanta, 1915 (Ingalls 389, 890). Simmons had served in the Spanish-American War and started the Klan with a group of men, all either from the former Klan or were young white supremacists. By the mid-1920s the Ku Klux Klan had reached six million members and had members as far north as Canada . In some areas 40% of white males were involved in the Klan. For a while the Klan was lead by David Ernest Duke, a state representative of Louisiana.

Klansmen hung a Jewish man from a tree because he was accused of the rape-murder of a young girl. Many lawsuits were filed against the Klan because of this . The Klan began to fall in the 1930s because of bankruptcy and a scandal involving the Grand Dragon of Indiana, D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson raped a young girl on a train. The girl did not die but suffered severe bite wounds all over her body. One spectator said that it looked like she “…Had been attacked by a group of vicious dogs.” By 1944 the Klan had died out completely (Ingalls 390).

The third Klan was restarted in Atlanta, in 1946. This time it was founded by Samuel Green. After Green died in 1949 the Klan split into independent groups. In the 1960s violence from the Ku Klux Klan increased due to the civil rights movement. In 1965 the FBI designed project COINTELPRO to take down the Klan. Klansmen became frightened and the Klan lost membership. Klansmen hung Michael Donald, a black man, due to accusations of sexual assault. Again, the Klan was slammed with lawsuits. The Klan lost even more membership.

The Klan is still active today at about three thousand Klansmen .Most Klans are now in the South. Some notable Klan groups are the Bayou Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Church of American Knights of the KKK, the Imperial Klans of America, Knights of White Kamelia, and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Although the Klan still has remained a white supremacist group despite the fact that they died out many times, they hardly ever practice their beliefs and have midnight conventions as it would be extremely illegal. Today the Klan is regarded with fear, and for good reason. They killed thousands of innocent people.

Key points to remember about the Ku Klux Klan are that there was three times the Klan was active and they were a very violent organization. The Force Bill had a huge impact on the KKK and if it was not for that bill then the Klan would still be very large and dangerous, and the Klan was mostly based in the South.

Chinese Immigration Research Project

Who were the hardest workers on the Transcontinental Railroad? The Irish? The former slaves? No, it was the Chinese immigrants. Without Chinese Immigration, It would have taken many more years to complete. Although at first hated, Chinese immigrants grew to be respected by their many contributions to American society. The Chinese endured a hard voyage from China only to find backbreaking work. The immigrants started coming in the mid 1800’s and were treated horribly until the 1940’s. Even though they experienced anything from racist laws to anti-Chinese riots, the Chinese immigrants still managed to accomplish astonishing feats.

In China, There were two types of people: the very wealthy and the very poor. Rich people owned big houses. They had many servants, maids, and butlers. They practiced many beauty methods. The most painful was the binding of little girls’ feet. Small feet, called “lily feet”, were considered a mark of feminine beauty. It literally turned the girls into cripples. The poor people had nothing close to the life of a rich person. Many were rice farmers. At least they had something to eat. Those even poorer went hungry for days and had to resort to stealing from the farmers. The poor made up the majority of the Chinese population. Those people brought their hopes and dreams to America.

Beliefs made up an enormous part of life in China. The three main religions were Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Buddhism originated in India. Many people didn’t worship Confucianism, but still acknowledged it. The majority of the people worshiped Confucianism. These beliefs were started by Kong Fu Zi, who is better known by his Latin name, Confucius. Family honor also played an enormous role in China. Parents believed that children owed a debt to the parents for raising them. This “debt” could be repaid in many ways. One way would be to take care of their parents when they grew old. Another way was to send money to their parents, which many immigrants did. This was an essential part of Chinese lifestyle.

All men in China had to wear the same hairstyle. They shaved their forehead, and wore a long braid on the back of the head. The braids were called a queue. All men were required to wear them from the 1600’s to 1911. In the 1600’s, the Manchu Empire captured China. Queues symbolized loyalty to the Manchu rulers. Those who didn’t comply were committing treason and either imprisoned or executed. Without their queues, Chinese immigrants could not return to China. If it was cut off, they would have to grow a new one, which could take many years. After the overthrow of the Manchu government, in 1911, many Chinese people, in both China and America, cut off their queues in celebration of freedom.

The Opium Wars were a crucial element in immigration from China. China wanted to stop importing opium to China. The opium was turning many people in to mindless wanderers. When the British refused, the Chinese attacked merchant ships. The British retaliated by sending an armada. China was defeated and opium trade continued. China was no longer a closed nation. People could immigrate to other countries. Chinese immigrants flooded into California and the West Coast.

The immigration station most Chinese immigrants went to was Angel Island. It was like Ellis Island for the West Coast. However, immigrants could be detained for years. To express their sadness, immigrants carved poetry onto the walls. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, the poems were dismissed as graffiti. The conditions were much worse than Ellis Island. Angel Island is no longer an immigration station and is now a national monument.

There were not many jobs available to Chinese immigrants that came in the mid 1800’s. The immigrants either became miners, laundrymen, or opened restaurants. Most of the miners came because the Gold Rush of 1949. They heard rumors of “Gold Mountain”, a land where gold could be picked up off the ground. Most of the miners lived in San Francisco. Unlike the white miners, the Chinese miners didn’t argue and fight. They were cooperative and pooled their money together to buy new mines. Miners lived in conditions that were usually very dirty. Being a laundryman was worse than being a miner in some ways. Laundrymen worked over 14 hours a day. It was comparable to being a slave. Laundries popped up all over the west coast. Miners and laundrymen needed food, so immigrants opened restaurants. The Asian food is still eaten today.

In America, Chinese immigrants settled in areas that became known as Chinatowns. The biggest one was in San Francisco. It attracted every Chinese person in California. New immigrants could often meet relatives or friend in Chinatowns. People went there because it was like their old life. People spoke Chinese, wore Chinese clothes, kept Chinese customs, and ate the same food. The food was much healthier than the American food. It consisted of many fruits and vegetables. They boiled their tea (killing any germs in the water). Many parts of the Chinatown were filthy. People crammed in rooms to save money. The conditions were like this until the Earthquake of 1906. It destroyed the San Francisco Chinatown. This played a crucial role in Chinese immigration. Not only did the new Chinatown was much more hygienic, but also the immigration records were destroyed. Chinese immigrants claimed they were born here. This might not seem important, but it played a part in Chinese immigration.

Anyone born in this country is a citizen. The law states that any citizen of the U.S. can bring their offspring into the U.S. Many of the new “citizens” brought “paper sons” to America. Paper sons were usually the son of the immigrant’s friend. The paper sons had to be interrogated about their “father”. The immigrant and the paper son agreed on answers. The interrogation could last for hours. If he failed the test, he would be deported and sent back the China. Many Chinese boys came to America this way. “Hoping to catch a paper son in a lie, immigration officers asked specific questions, like `how many steps were in your father’s house?’.” The only reason for all the deceit is only because of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. It was the first time an immigration limitation was passed on a certain group. It was signed by President Chester Arthur. It was ended in 1942, when China and the U.S. were allies in WWII. The wife of a Chinese general came to the U.S. She promoted the war. She also asked for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act and it was repealed.

Many Americans hated the Chinese immigrants. There were many reasons why Americans hated them. Some hated the Chinese because they were more successful than some Americans. On the other hand, others hated the Chinese because they looked so different. Some participated in anti-Chinese riots. Many Chinese immigrants were lynched. Others were severely injured. The worst riot lasted three days. The National Guard was called in, but even that wasn’t enough. Eventually, the Navy was called in, and the riot was broken up. These weren’t the only bigoted acts. Racist laws were passed to give the Chinese a hard time. The Sidewalk Ordinance prevented people from carrying poles with baskets on the ends. It was deliberately aimed at the Chinese. The Cubic Air Ordinance required every adult in San Francisco to have 500 cubic feet of living space. In addition, the Foreign Miners Act taxed all foreign miners if they owned gold mines. This deterred some miners from buying mines. Perhaps the most ruthless law was the Scott Act. It added to the Chinese Exclusion Act. It announced that all Chinese immigrants outside of the U.S. couldn’t come back in. At this time, about 20,000 immigrants were in China visiting their family.

Many people changed their attitudes towards the Chinese during WWII. WWII united China and the U.S; they had a common enemy: Japan. Many Chinese-Americans joined the military. Because at first they experienced racial prejudice, most of the Chinese-Americans were cooks. The few that actually fought were respected in the Army. Some even made it to be the Squad Leader. Because the Chinese were allies with the U.S. and the Japanese were its enemies, many stereotypical thoughts emerged. Chinese faces were said to be “kindly and honest”, and Japanese faces were said to be “cruel and arrogant”. This began an era of equality to the Chinese.

Chinese-Americans achieved great accomplishments. There were many important people. Michael Chang is a former professional tennis player. He was the youngest person to win a Grand Slam. He was also the first American to win the French Open in 34 years. Another important Chinese-American is Yo Yo Ma. He is a exceptional cellist who went to Juilliard School of Music. In addition, another Chinese-American is I. M. Pei. He is a renowned architect. He has designed the glass pyramid in from of the Louvre museum in Paris. Other buildings designed by him include the National Gallery of Art and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Furthermore, Jerry Yang founded Yahoo!. It is now a leading Internet brand. There are countless more significant people, but it is too many to list on paper.

Chinese Americans have made an enormous impact on American society. Like many of the immigrants from other countries, the Chinese immigrants were mostly poor. However when they got here, many were detained fro years at Angel Island. Those who did manage to get to the mainland received hate and prejudice from Americans. When the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, Chinese immigration was restricted. Some Chinese immigrants lied to the government, and said they were born in the U.S. That way, they brought their children or “paper sons” here. Even so, the children had to pass a difficult interrogation. The Chinese finally proved themselves in WWII, when they fought with the U.S. Life would be very different without the impact of Chinese-Americans.