We Need A Hero

It is undeniable that James Comey made a lot of bad choices, however, firing James Comey while investing Russian involvement in the US elections raises some questions.

Why fire FBI Director James Comey now?

Does the white house understand the meaning of conflict of interest?

Is this an admission that the investigation is getting too close to the truth?

We need a hero that can lead the American people.

Stop the madness.

Five Reasons We Need to Take Action to Stop Global Warming

Earth is a living entity, and like all living organisms, Earth requires care to sustain a healthy existence, balance, and longevity.

Change in the weather is the #1 reason; it triggers all the others

As the climate changes, a warming of the oceans and seas creates thermal expansion; this is where warmer water takes up more space than cold water, resulting in increasing the oceans and seas’ surface levels. According to National Geographic, Thermal expansion has already raised the oceans’ height by 4 to 8 inches.

Regularly melting glacial ice also significantly adds to the rising water surface level. Many current sea-level inhabitants and facilities will be under threat of eradication should the sea levels continue to rise. An increase of just a single meter (a little over 3 feet) would submerge substantial sections of the U.S. eastern seaboard, while one-sixth of Bangladesh could be lost permanently by a rise of 1.5 m (a little under 5 feet), to name just two examples.

Flooding represents one of the most dangerous hazards to human communities and is one of the most potentially consequential global warming impacts.

Although some areas of Earth will struggle with flooding due to warming climates, other regions will endure devastating droughts and heatwaves. Africa will suffer the severest of it, with more harsh droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a perilously limited resource in Africa; according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will exacerbate the conditions.

As the Earth’s temperature continues to climb, dry areas already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and devastating incidents. In 2007, more than 3,000 fires destroyed parts of Southeastern Europe thanks to a long summer that created dry conditions – a situation that would become standard due to the greenhouse effect.

What’s more, the carbon dioxide and black carbon (very fine soot) created by these large-scale fires in conjunction with deforestation intensify the problem of air pollution. The greenhouse effect supplements the gasses that help to create, and only less mature trees survive to draw CO2 from the atmosphere.

With ocean temperature being a principal factor for hurricanes, the consequences of global warming will inevitably include the increased formation of storms and hurricanes with greater strength and frequency. The destructive power of hurricanes has increased by some 50% in the last 30 years, a number connected with the ocean’s rising temperature. Warmer water also leads to greater evaporation, which helps increase the coalescence of hurricanes and cyclones and maintain their vigor once existing. Simply put, warmer oceans make for more extreme weather, including devastating storms.

A consequence of the more significant amounts of humid air generated by global warming is that more severe weather will result. Research of the connection between climate change and storm intensity and frequency indicates that by the end of the century, the incidence of significant thunderstorms could rise by over 100% in some places. Not only that, but this increase would occur during the current stormy seasons and not at times when such storms might provide significant rainfall to arid areas. Thunderstorms are also a common way of starting devastating wildfires.

Disease Epidemics

As temperatures in northern countries rise, disease-carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them. Some scientists claim, thanks to global warming, malaria has not been entirely eradicated.

Climate greatly influences some of the most deadly and widespread diseases currently affecting millions worldwide—insects carrying diseases such as mosquitoes capable of multiplying in huge numbers due to small temperature increases. Global warming looks set to facilitate the spread of deadly pandemics like West Nile Virus, Malaria, and Dengue Fever to areas of the planet typically untouched. The Zika Virus, carried by the same mosquito as Dengue Fever, spread globally, including in the United States. The expanded number of infected people could overwhelm public health services, especially in less prosperous or unsuspecting nations.

Scientists have identified multiple epidemics likely to spread due to global warming. According to the CDC, these diseases include Avian’ Flu, Cholera, Plague, Ebola, and Tuberculosis. When the Ebola outbreak of 2014 – 2016 made its way to the United States. Governor Chris Christie quarantined a nurse even after she tested negative. When COVID-19 made its way to the United States, leadership did not follow obvious safety protocol, and hundreds of thousands of Americans needlessly succumbed to the disease. The entire country shut down until President Biden addressed the virus with aggressive vaccine distribution and effective leadership. Exacerbating the potential for disease epidemics are the effects of pollution and the release of CFCs that harm the ozone layer, intensifying other sources of serious illnesses.

Migration, conflict, and wars

Future decades could see increased struggles between governments and ethnic groups as dwindling resources lead to migration and conflict. Nations and factions would seek to control valuable, dwindling resources and provide safety and shelter for their people, perhaps at others’ cost. Simultaneously, previously densely populated areas would become uninhabitable due to heat or other factors, displacing millions. Semi-permanent camps may become longtime holding areas, or refugees may even suffer at the hands of frightened newly nationalized countries. Relocations are already taking place. Mumbai’s population is estimated to increase by 7 million people by 2050 as global warming renders villages uninhabitable or useless, either through flooding or drought. Land contamination would be an inevitable consequence of these changes in inhabitation and the availability of resources.

Animal attacks

Animals driven from their natural habitats or usual migration routes by environmental factors could quickly contact villages, leading to many deaths among humans and already endangered animals. During the severe, recent droughts that hit Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, hungry lions ventured out of the park to find prey, resulting in attacks on the already decimated local herds and even confining some people in their homes.

Tiger attacks are on the rise as climate change affects the forests in India’s Sundarban region. Likewise, sharks move into new areas to find stable food sources, and people densely populate some of these. Experts claim there are now more sharks in the waters of Florida and California than ever before.

Additionally, loss of habitat for polar ice edge territories such as polar bears may be the single most apparent consequence of a warmer climate. The result will be a loss of biodiversity and animal extinction. Animals entirely dependent on cold environments will retreat to more northern locations as the planet heats up, leading to encroachment upon other ecosystems and displacing various animals from their natural habitat. There is already a strong connection between oceanic warming, declines in reproduction, and increases in mortality rates among seabirds, seals, and sea lions.

The world’s oceans consume roughly 30% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide that seeps into the atmosphere. As we burn more fossil fuels, ocean life will continue to suffer the adverse consequences of global warming, increasing sea life death. One of the most critical developments brought about by rising global temperatures is the ongoing decline of phytoplankton. These small plants are an integral food source for ocean life and affect half of the world’s photosynthetic activity. They support the oceanic food chain, so reducing their numbers creates a chain reaction that ripples up the entire food chain, essentially affecting the predators at the top.

Additionally, ocean acidification and warmer surface temperatures increase the dangers to many aquatic animals, mainly crustaceans, mollusks, and coral reefs. The slightest change can devastate coral reefs that are very sensitive to temperature change, with many of them already observed to have bleached and died thanks to climate change. Most notably, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Economic consequences

Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be good. And these results spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic implications. Hurricanes can cost billions in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control, and national conflicts exacerbate all of these.

Relocating power stations, refineries, hospitals, homes, and vital infrastructure may become a costly priority. Countries that retain good food and water resources might be unwilling to part with these essential commodities or likely dramatically increase exports.

Is the Ivanka Trump Nordstrom Scandal a Big Deal?

Before taking the oath of office, Trump brushed aside questions concerning conflicts of interest surfacing from his family business. It took less than a month in office for Trump to confirm; he has no intention to respect or honor ethics laws associated with his personal finances and the presidency of the United States.

Although the recent tiff between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom department stores may not appear significant, it has raised the question of whether Trump cares about anything other than his financial gain.

When the White House witch doctor, Kellyanne Conway, plugged the Ivanka line, apparently breaking ethics laws, the result was a thank you from Trump and a statement from Sean Spicer that Kellyanne was “counseled.” Ultimately, there were no legal repercussions.

It is just a pattern of illegal behavior, clearly indicating that our illegitimate president is incapable of psychologically detaching himself from his family’s brand-driven financial interests. Trump maintains he has no interest in relinquishing his controlling interest in the Trump Organization while his adult sons, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump “supposedly” head it.

Furthermore, staff members are willing to believe it is their jobs, as paid agents of Trump, to defend his personal and his family’s private business interests rather than the interests benefitting the American people.

Does Trump understand that he is the ultimate hypocrite? Do the voters that elected Trump, realize that, Trump could care less about them and their prosperity? Trump is out for his enrichment. The sad thing is that he made a deal with the devil, President Vladimir Putin, to steal an election so that he could gain more personal wealth. The same way Putin works in Russia.

The Nordstrom scandal only took a week. Nordstrom stated it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump brand products, based on poor performance. There was a call to boycott companies that sold Trump products at the time, but Nordstrom denies dropping Ivanka was based on that protest. Days later, Trump used his personal Twitter account to blame the Nordstrom decision on his politics, without any proof.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person ― always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he tweeted. The official, government-owned @POTUS Twitter account re-tweeted it.

During the next daily press briefing, the White House communications director, Sean Spicer, attacked Nordstrom in his official capacity as a government spokesman. Similar to Trump, Spicer, without evidence, insisted Nordstrom ceased to carry the Ivanka product line because “they have a problem with policies.” Spicer, like Trump, ignored the store’s explanation.

Then came Kellyanne. Kellyanne told viewers during a morning interview on “Fox & Friends,” to go out and buy the Ivanka line, going as far as claiming she was going to give the line a free plug. Kellyanne’s lack of restraint is predictable when the villain at the top, has a willful disregard of conflicts of interest and ethical standards. Trump set the standard when he failed to separate himself from his businesses entirely. Similarly, his eldest daughter had not separated herself from her line; despite saying she would when her spouse, Jared Kushner, took a position as a White House adviser.

Trump’s defiance that he “can’t have a conflict of interest” has made its way to members of his staff, who treat Trump’s business interests as if they were the interests of the American people. Sean Spicer seems not to understand that there is a difference between the federal government and Trump.

Trump’s comments about Nordstrom and the Ivanka lifestyle brand are just a piece of this outlandish conflict of interests. The retains much larger holdings that could present greater conflicts, and have more significant consequences than the Nordstrom fiasco. An individual may decline to engage in a business venture. Local businesses could cancel their contracts with a Trump business, or a foreign nation could interfere with Trump’s overseas business holdings. Will there be political, Twitter of financial retribution or ramifications? If Nordstrom is any indicator, the answer is, yes.

Trump, Sean Spicer, and Kellyanne Conway are indicating that the family business interests are an extension of Trump’s elected position. As a result, it sets the tone that individuals, businesses, and other countries better not, if they want to remain in good favor, mess with Trump Inc.

Trump seriously needs to consider if wants this job. If he cannot separate himself from his family and friend’s investments, we the people will end up paying the price. His actions are just another unnecessary distraction that will cost taxpayer dollars.

The real fear that Trump plans to use his new job to enrich himself and his family business and not to pursue policy goals came true right before our eyes. Federal ethics laws prohibit executive branch employees, including Kellyanne, from promoting any private companies or commercial products. Even Representative Jason Chaffetz admitted Conway’s plug was a violation.

This violation does not concern Trump, although he claims he wants to represent the people of the United States, he willingly chose not to pay United States federal taxes for years. That does not make him smart. It reveals he has a disdain for any person, business, or country that opposes his agenda and that he is excessive, dishonest, and greedy.

Alternative Facts

Mr. Trump’s White House counselor Kellyanne Conway created a new term to explain White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s statements the day after Mr. Trump’s swearing into office. Apparently, size matters because Sean Spicer was instructed to lie about the numbers in the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Rather than admitting to lying, Kellyanne Conway asserted, Sean Spicer told us “alternative facts.”

The reality is Mr. Trump has a distant relationship with the truth. It appears Mr. Trump believes if he repeats his lies, then they become real. Unfortunately, that is not how it works, and ultimately the truth reveals itself.

Mr. Trump can continue to insult and accuse the press of being dishonest. Still, for anyone paying attention, it is apparent Mr. Trump lies continuously to win elections and protect his inflated ego. Mr. Trump can apparently fool some people all of the time, but eventually, his lies and deception will catch up with him. Mr. Trump will never admit it, but eventually, he will get caught, and he will not be able to lie his way out.

I feel sorry for the people who believe in Mr. Trump. It is remarkable how Mr. Trump claims he is holding the press accountable. We, the people, have to hold Mr. Trump responsible for his lack of professionalism and endless deception.

How will the truth reveal itself? I do not know, but there is precedence; President Nixon played a similar game, and the truth revealed itself, and President Nixon resigned long before we learned most of the ugly truth.

Does The Truth Matter?

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory and recent inauguration will force the people of the United States to address a series of unprecedented predicaments over private debts, nepotism, anonymous loans, hidden tax returns, a questionable financial history, several criminal investigations, and a frenzied desire to attack anyone who criticizes anything about him. All these issues and more will be ongoing while Mr. Trump is serving in the highest public office.

Additionally, setting aside the fact that Mr. Trump doesn’t understand the definition of “Fake News,” he continues to accuse our intelligence leaders of leaking “Fake News” that embarrasses his fragile ego. Until recently, Mr. Trump refused to acknowledge Vladimir Putin’s meddling in the United States election that undoubtedly swayed the results in his favor. Even in his admission, he denies the selected leaking of hacked and doctored information, which he chose to repeat during his campaign daily, affecting the results.

Why should the people of the United States have to manage up to a disrespectful, insecure, hypocritical egotist who refuses the long-standing presidential tradition of yielding his holdings to an independent manager? As an alternative, he prefers to fuel doubts of conflicts of interests over his businesses’ many financial and foreign ties by pretending he is giving control to his sons.

Even if Mr. Trump’s divisive demeanor tempers and he rises to the role of president of the United States, the people of the United States will still have a lot to consider.

Can Mr. Trump function with a Republican majority congress that knows he is unstable?

Mr. Trump lacks patience for anyone with opposing views. In the debates and on Twitter, he attacks, insults, and demeans his opponents. How will that play with Congress? Will he attempt to intimidate through policy decisions when Congress opposes him?

Will the Republican establishment attempt to undermine Mr. Trump?

While many Americans voted for and appreciated that Mr. Trump is not part of the establishment, the fact is, getting things done will be contingent on the already established infrastructure of his party. Mr. Trump will probably be the first president in recent history that will have significant opposition from both sides. Democrats will oppose him on issues that are irresponsible or socially dividing. Republicans may want to send a message that they will never allow any attempt to steamroll their party again.

Can Mr. Trump negotiate with other world leaders?

Mr. Trump seems to think alpha leaders like Russian President Putin will respect another alpha leader like himself. Mr. Trump either forgot or did not know that Russian President Putin had a personal vendetta against Secretary of State Hilary Clinton because she stood up to him and called him out for meddling in the Russian elections. Given the opportunity, President Putin, who apparently succeeded, would have helped anyone win the election over Hilary Clinton. Mr. Trump does not seem to understand that his ego makes him susceptible to all types of psychological attacks, ultimately becoming an easier target than Russian President Putin dreamed. Mr. Trump’s leadership style will likely antagonize allies and foes.  Unfortunately, foreign policy has consequences, and Mr. Trump’s inability to show leadership, show any inclination toward diplomacy, or properly vet cabinet selections is troublesome.

Can Mr. Trump mend relationships with minority groups, and where will Mr. Trump’s evolving view on immigration reform lead?

Mr. Trump played to American’s fears of diversity, emboldening hate groups, and relished in demeaning minority groups. As a result, Mr. Trump is often called a hate-filled racist, homophobic, xenophobe that wants to ban the media from exposing his hypocrisy. The media finally realized the ratings Mr. Trump brought with his controversial tweets and his eagerness to appear on every cable show are no longer worth the ratings. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump continues to admonish protesters and belittle the press. As a result, he will have to endure civil unrest in many cities across America and around the world. Regarding immigration, Mr. Trump gave us whiplash pivoting from a hardline approach to a more refined tempered stance. The question remains, can Mr. Trump overcome this stigma and work in close collaboration and more efficiently with all Americans, especially communities he bitterly insulted on his way to the oval office?

Will Mr. Trump cause irreparable damage to the environment?

Mr. Trump campaigned, calling climate change “a hoax,” and is attempting to fill his cabinet with representatives of fossil fuel industries. Mr. Trump promises to boost jobs by abandoning President Obama’s clean energy plans. Mr. Trump previously pledged to pull the US out of the Paris climate deal. Once again, however, concealing his true intentions, Mr. Trump has toned down his view, claiming he now has an “open mind” on US participation in the deal.

What are the real intentions of Mr. Trump? Does Mr. Trump want to be President of the United States, or does he want to achieve megastar status? He does not have the charisma to be a celebrity based on talent or artistic achievement. Is Mr. Trump just seeking approval by conning the disenfranchised to blindly following? It is clear he cares more about personal perception than anything else, and Mr. Trump will most likely use the office of President of the United States to belittle his imaginary enemies and attempt to make as much money as he can regardless of his disenfranchised followers. The problem is the people who voted for him thought he would represent them.

Unfortunately for the citizens of the United States, Mr. Trump only represents Mr. Trump. He had an opportunity to help by paying his fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump chose not to pay taxes for fifteen years. Why would he change now, because he is President of the United States?  I don’t think that is enough to turn this charlatan into a humanitarian.

How Can We Keep Our Resolutions?

Wellness and fitness resolutions are often fads, and a smooth response when put on the spot. What are your resolutions for the New Year? We say them, we intend on following through, but they rarely last or in some cases even start.

An effective way to set and achieve resolutions is to simplify.

Try these ten ways to streamline and keeping your resolutions.

Be Smart

Make resolutions Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-oriented. For example, participating in a marathon, fitness competition, or charity walk.

Be a Gainer

Focus on the results from your resolutions instead of focusing on what you want to lose. “I want to lose 10 pounds” is less inspiring than “I want to improve body tone.”

Take Your Time

Release the idea of going from zero to 100; initiate one exercise or variation over the course of a couple of weeks. Once you are confident you have that one incorporated, add another one.

Do It Right

The most successful exercises aren’t the hardest or fastest, rather the activities performed with perfect form. Make technique your priority.

Reward Yourself

When you achieve a goal, do something fabulous for yourself. For example, if you want to run a 5K in under a one-half hour, your reward could be a Porsche 911 Turbo S or the running shoes you have been eyeing.

Have Fun

Working out should be fun; however, you define “fun.” Jump on a trampoline, sign up for a dance class or walk your dog.

Do It With Your Crew

A little help from friends is not a competitive thing, but they can keep you accountable and encourage you. I did not think group participation was significant until a friend asked me to share my Apple Watch activity. It works. Pick friends who will focus on positive reinforcement.

Visualize It

Visualizing goals sounds cliché, but it works. Regardless, if you are in the gym, in a studio, on a trail or just trying to muster up the motivation to workout, visualize it; see and feel yourself doing it. It works.

Get More Sleep

Sleep is a fitness goal. Quality sleep keeps you energized so you can excel at your workouts, and recover from them.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

You will miss workouts, and there will be days when you don’t perform as well. Don’t let that discourage you. Accept it and move on. Progress takes time. Be patient and trust.

Do Your Clothes Fit?

Regardless if you are going for sophisticated and confident, comfortable and casual, or disheveled and youthful, your look, your appearance, your individual style is ultimately dependent on fit. If embarking on a shopping spree without a trusted friend, salesperson or a personal stylist, a full-length mirror and a discerning eye can be just as valuable. The upside is that it doesn’t take a supernatural talent, a particular style gene, or a superhero power. All it takes is investing some quality time with your clothes and paying attention to the details. It is not hard to become proficient once you understand the basics.

It is important to note clothes best flatter a fit body. Let’s be honest, when it comes to your appearance, apparel is only part of the equation. It is essential to exercise, eat appropriately, drink plenty of water, and drink alcohol in moderation. We are not all models, but six-pack abs help. Clothes look better on fit people; however, losing weight isn’t the only thing that matters. It has been quoted, “You can never be too rich or too thin,” but that is not entirely accurate. A well-proportioned physic makes selecting clothes a lot easier. These days, however, many retailers size their lines for all body shapes and sizes and thank goodness, made-to-measure is making a comeback. Fast fashion and disposable clothes are very last decade. Shop quality, and you will feel confident freely grabbing anything from your closet. If you know your size, body type and what works and what doesn’t, you will always be ready for an unplanned shopping spree at the store, and you will be duly prepared to shop confidently online when you receive an email or mobile notification of a flash sale.

Concentrating on finding better fitting clothes, we will begin with dress shirts. The collar should just touch your neck without restriction. If turning your head results in your collar to move as well, the collar is too snug. Two fingers placed comfortably inside your buttoned collar should not pull your collar to the point where you can no longer breathe.

The shoulder seam should meet the edge of your shoulder bone, the part of your shoulder that is the furthest distance away from your sternum. The body should be slim enough that your shirt does not pull more than two to three inches of fabric when you pull the shirt lightly away from your chest or your stomach. If, however, the buttons on the front placket are pulling the shirt that is a warning sign the shirt is too tight.

Sleeve length is critical; cuffs should meet the point where your palm meets your wrist, one inch below your wrist bone. The base of your thumbs should stop the cuff from moving up your hand. The cuff should be a bit looser than a properly fitting watch and never pull farther up your wrist than your watch. When bending your arm, your cuff should not move more than an inch up your wrist.

The upper arm of the shirt should be snug, but not be too tight revealing the definition of you arms, despite all the hours of training in the gym. Correspondingly, armholes should not be tight around the shoulder. A billowing sleeve or an oversized armhole is worse and will give the appearance that you have stick-thin arms, despite all the hours of lifting in the gym.

The shirt length should be long enough so that natural motion will not untuck the shirt. Dress shirts designed to tuck into your pants will have shirttails, more casual shirts designed to be untucked have flat or curved bottoms. If wearing a tucked shirt, it should remain tucked if you fold your hands behind your head. If this is not the case, the shirt is too short, or the armholes may be too large. The untucked shirt should be long enough that normal motion does not reveal your skin or undershirt. Untucked shirts should not hang lower than the bottom of your pant zipper.

When wearing a tie, it should sit under your collar, and should never be so tight to constrict your collar. The knot should vary depending on your type of collar. A wider collar, such as a spread, would call for a larger knot like as a Full Windsor. A Half Windsor knot goes better with a straight collar. Experiment to see what looks good to you. Personally, I like a Half Windsor; the Full Windsor looks dated and that you are trying too hard. While standing straight, the bottom tip of your tie should reach the top of your belt.

Blazers and suit jackets should reveal about one inch of the shirt collar. Similar to a properly fitted dress shirt, the shoulder seam on a jacket or blazer should meet the edge of the shoulder. The objective is to reduce the bunching; there should be no visible wrinkles while the arms rest easily at the sides. The sleeves should cover the wrist bone. Armholes must be sufficiently high, but not be cutting into your armpit. The arm sleeves should flow independently of the jacket with natural movement. Pulling across the chest when buttoned is a sure sign the jacket is too tight. Similarly, in the back, a jacket should not pull across the shoulders or upper back when folding your arms.

Lapel widths and style change the look; a notched lapel is less formal, but less gangster. A peak lapel looks great on a tuxedo jacket or a double-breasted jacket but can make a less formal jacket look clownish. The number of buttons is also relevant. Three button jackets are better for taller slimmer torsos, two-button or even one-button jackets are better for shorter torsos. The lower button should sit above your belly button. If the button falls below your belly button, it is too low. If a jacket waist is too tight, it will cause the bottom to flare out. The suit jacket length should cover your butt.

As for outerwear, most rules are the same as suit jackets; shoulder seams should lie on your shoulders. Do not forget; you will be wearing something under your coat, so size matters. Outerwear should be fitted and lie close to your body accentuating your shape. The sleeve should sit about an inch up your hand from your wrist, to guarantee you are not showing any sleeve from a shirt or jacket under your coat. Like a blazer, if outerwear waist doesn’t fit right the bottom could swing out like a bell.

Working our way down the body, we arrive at the pants. The first rule, no pants, shorts, jeans, or trousers should require a belt to stay on your hips. The second rule is to avoid pleats. Pleated pants make you look heavier than flat front pants, and they give the appearance, you are carrying extra weight around your stomach. Regardless if it is a casual or dress pant, a flat front pant provides the cleanest look. Casual pants can be tight, but do not overdo it; save it for the skinny jeans. Reversely, oversized casual pants should never billow; they should fit comfortably close without restricting movement. When wearing a dress or casual pant you want a single break. A break is a crease at the bottom of the pant leg created when the hem falls on the top of the shoe. If you are not wearing socks with slim chinos, then you do not want a break. Dress pants also should not be too tight or billowing but lie comfortably close to the thigh without resistance, note they will naturally drape more. A slim dress pant works well if you are slim, but be careful they do not restrict your movement; a split seam will stop you from moving anywhere except home to change. Again, when selecting a dress pant, avoid pleats; they make you look heavier. Trousers should have a single defined crease down the center of each pant leg. Dress pants look best with a break, but a smaller break. Cuffed pants can help assure you have the right size break.

Jeans are in an entirely different category. Regarding cut, jeans should be slim in the thigh and straight or tapered from the knee down. Avoid boot cut, bell-bottom or oversized baggy jeans, unless you are going to a costume party, as these are all very last century. Denim sizes can vary dramatically depending on the designer or label. There are a lot of tools to help; most stores provide denim fit guides. A sound methodology is to find a pair of jeans you like and use them as a base when comparing other choices. It is best to start with your waist size and stick with straight leg or slimmer. In the not so distant past, we use to have to select one size down for a slimmer fit and hope the jeans will stretch. Nowadays you can just choose a slimmer fit; the last thing you want is not to be able to fasten your jeans. When it comes to breaks, it is a matter of style, and depending on the style, treatment, color and feel of the denim, you can get away with a lot. Jeans are very versatile and can fit with numerous styles. Length can also vary, and the cuff can change the entire look. Cuffs can range from one to five inches depending on your style.

Last, but hardly least, shoes. Shoes say a lot, but the fit is more for comfort. The style of shoe will either make or break your look, but comfort is important too, or you will never be able to wear your shoes. When your shoes are on, you should not be able to slide a finger behind your heel into the shoe; this is not a steadfast rule, but your shoes should not be too large. You should be able to touch the front of the shoe with your toes. A closed shoe should not press on your toes. There should be no stiffness on the sides of your feet. Walking should be comfortable with little effort.

The occasion will determine the type of shoe, but a casual shoe with a suit, or dress shoe with jeans can add another dimension to your look ultimately altering the break in your pants and the style and fit of your shirt and jacket.

Clear and Present Danger

We all witnessed a cause for excessive sorrow this past week, seeing incident after incident across our nation; children fear being sent away or not belonging in this country because of disabilities, race, or religion. Middle school and high school students use derogatory language, and college students create repulsive websites depicting African-Americans’ lynchings.

Children watched and listened to presidential candidates engage in offensive, childish name-calling and learned to accept this as the new normal. The alarming number of violent, discriminatory incidences after the election results has caused many schools to declare their values of inclusion and commitment to the safety and concern of minorities, immigrants, and refugees.

Regardless of how we voted, and whatever the reason, we must not ignore that a result of this election is the permission it granted racism, sexism, xenophobia, and bigotry to emerge from the darkest recesses and surface openly in our communities.

Post-election, we need to put aside political differences and past bitterness toward previously elected officials and come together as families, friends, communities, and as a nation to address the numerous issues before us. We must unite in preventing and banishing hate speech and actions. We must join in being advocates for inclusion. The attacked are our fellow citizens, immigrants, refugees, our fellow humans, and our children.

If we don’t unite in addressing this clear and present danger, it will rip our country apart.

This past week, I felt sorrow, hope, and anger. I do not believe I am alone. Sorrow will lessen with time, but it does nothing at the moment except paralyze. Hope should sustain and grow, but hope, while necessary, in itself is not a strategy. Anger about the occurrences of the past week is a wake-up call to everyone, especially our newly elected leaders, that we cannot be complacent.

Racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and hate, are born of and sustained by ignorance, fear, and despair. We must contain our sorrow, hope, and anger, and we should channel it into fighting for inclusion and fighting against ignorance, fear, despair, and hate.

Our future, our economic viability, and our national security depend on it.

Throw It Away

On Election Day, 2016, before the polls closed on the East Coast, a friend told me that she was extremely proud of her two daughters; they voted for Gary Johnson. Struck by the pointlessness knowing they are both attending colleges in swing states, I asked her, “Was voting for a third-party candidate the equivalent to throwing their votes away?”

After an onslaught of disparaging remarks about Hilary Clinton, I asked, “How could any woman support Donald Trump; he campaigned with a blatant bigoted, misogynistic message?” My question ignited another barrage of derogatory remarks regarding Hilary Clinton.

The next assault surprised me, not by the tone, but this time I was being reprimanded for suggesting her daughters could support Donald Trump, a revolting and condescending individual, a vengeful, mean-spirited man; ignorant of national and global policies and anything to do with women’s issues. A narcissist who would do nothing but take the country backward, a candidate that had no concern for her daughters and would ultimately strip them of their civil liberties and potentially the ability to make choices about their bodies. Instead, they chose to cast their votes for Gary Johnson as an alternative because they could not bring themselves to vote for Hilary Clinton or Donald J. Trump. Surprised at this point in the conversation, I had not been physically assaulted; I respectfully asked again, “Was voting for a third-party candidate in the United States, a two-party political system, essentially the same as not voting at all?”

My friend “accidentally” threw coffee on me.

While wiping the coffee from my shirt, I offered a response to my leading question.

“I do not think voting for a third-party candidate is the equivalent of not voting at all or throwing their vote away. First, they voted, and it does make a protest statement. Second, there are other candidates in other races and important issues on the ballot.”

While their protest statement may seem like an excellent idea, this probably was not the right election. Granted, we had to choose between an inept, racist bigot and a woman with an email problem, but choosing to vote for a third-party candidate ultimately eliminated their selection of the next United States president.

Now they get to live with the results.

How Could We?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who built his campaign on hate, racism, sexism, and division?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who thinks NATO is an apartment building where the tenants are not paying enough rent?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who does not know enough about critical policies to finish a one-minute answer on any issue without insults and repetition?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who was briefed on U.S. intelligence but will not admit he knows the cyber attacks came without question from Russia?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who does not understand or admit climate change is real?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who boasts that he tries to pay zero federal taxes but then complains that our airports and roads are falling apart and there is not enough money for our veterans?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who promises change but thinks people who pay taxes are stupid?