News Sense

October 2017

In This Issue


BEST QUOTE during an acceptance speech

  "Be it labor, great and small, do it best, or not at all."
Melody Hobson, honoree at the 2016 Matrix Awards. 


That on the same day that Copenhagen announced it was on track to become the world's first carbon neutral city--by 2025--the Trump administration announced it would be scrapping the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which sought to limit the amount of heat-trapping gases released into the air. 
 The EPA Administrator, from Kentucky, who denies man-made climate change, says the regulations are too onerous for business, especially the fossil fuel industry. 10/9/2017 

Best Ad, as seen in British Vogue:

" I decided who I want to be, and that's who l am."

Gabrielle for Chanel 


...Bits from Barbara

Welcome to our Fall newsletter. This is the time of year for reflection and new beginnings.  
Our Original Essay, titled, " Rethinking Nice" focuses on the state of our public discourse--and how we can, and should, improve it. 

Also included are the usual assortment of sightings, inspirational sayings and impactful changes, as well as our BEST JOKE, which, I think we need now more than ever.
Barbara shot
Enjoy this issue of "News Sense." 

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good...and then gradually you get better at it.  

 That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
Author and McArthur Award Winner, Octavia E. Butler

Has everybody noticed how nasty people have become? When did "nice" become a relic of the past? When did vulgarity, and discourtesy, take over? 

One seminal moment was when a Congressman yelled out in the middle of former President Barack Obama's 2009 State of the Union speech, "You lie!" Rep. Joe Wilson disagreed with what the President said about his impending health care law, and he screamed out his disapproval. That unprecedented coarseness sent shockwaves throughout Congress, as well as through our civil landscape.

Although politics has always been a rough and tumble business, that disrespectful outburst was a new low. 
Others have blamed our discourtesy on talk radio, TV news and social media. They claim the crassness is caused by extremes on both left and right. 

In the 8 years since Wilson's outburst, things have only gotten worse. We seem to be living in an era of perpetual
argument. Once-thoughtful disagreements have now become raging rows. 

The nastiness has seeped into our family life, TV talk shows, social media--where cyber bullying has become epidemic--as well as our everyday conversations and casual meetings. It was recently reported that the unruliness has spread to fast food joints! We might never agree on why this civic nastiness has exploded, but we do know this: it's bad for our health.
On the other hand, there is scientific proof that niceness has positive health benefits. According to Dr. David Hamilton, author of "Why Kindness is Good for You," acting nice elevates levels of dopamine in the brain and creates a "natural high".  This emotional well-being can elevate blood flow to the heart--it's heart healthy!--and can slow the aging process.
When we are kind to each other, says Hamilton, we feel a connection, and new relationships are forged, and existing ones strengthened.
Perhaps best of all: it's contagious. One person's kind act can easily multiply: people LIKE it and WANT to be kind, too. 

I think niceness matters.
And so does tennis icon Roger Federer. I'm crazy about Roger! And not just because he's arguably the world's greatest tennis player ever. Besides winning 19 Grand Slams, he is the most marketable athlete in the world, is fluent in four languages, is a father of four, and at 36 years old, is playing tennis like a teenager.
And unlike many in the public eye, he's nice, and respectful, and never loses his cool, even when he loses a match. He's the epitome of class. In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, he was asked what it felt like to be so universally celebrated. He responded,  
"It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice."
How's that for an answer?! 
When you ask employees what makes a good boss, most will say a person who is kind, and treats them well. Studies have shown consistently that kindness brings out the best in workers - not threats or insults.
Just ask yourself: how do you feel when unexpected kindness hits you in the face?!
When someone is extra polite on the phone? When someone apologizes for bumping you in the street? When a driver lets you in as you stew in the middle of the intersection? When a bill collector waives a fee after you've protested a charge?  
You probably feel GREAT!!!! Small gifts of gratitude  go a long way toward making us feel happy. When people are polite and helpful, the joy is palpable.  Now imagine running your business 
on a platform of NICE. 
THAT can truly set you apart from others. 
We have holidays celebrating Moms, Dads, Religions, Christopher Columbus, Pizza, Golf, and kids ("Bring your kids to work!" day)...How about  instituting a National Holiday called 
" Let's be nice to each other day!"
If we can't practice it willingly, maybe we can legislate it?!
Or maybe, we CAN... Just Do It.


A 10-YEAR-OLD BOY stood before the judge who was to decide his fate. The judge was going to issue a court order over who should have custody over him. Mature and verbal, the boy, unfortunately, had a history of being mistreated by his parents. 

Initially, the judge had awarded custody to the boy's aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.
But the boy was back in court complaining about the judge's ruling. "Your honor", the boy began. "While I get that the court wants to keep families together, my aunt is no angel and is not much better than my parents were. She constantly yelled at me, and once, beat me.   I do not want to live with her."
The judge, running out of options, then suggested the boy live with his grandparents. But the boy retorted he hardly knew them and besides, they were too old and humorless. And once, he claimed, they threatened to beat him, too.  

After considering the remainder of the immediate family & learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.
After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the Judge granted the boy his wish: temporary custody will be given to the NFL's New York Giants, whom, after starting the season 0-5, the boy firmly believed is not capable of beating anyone.