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Cats Really Do Bond With Their Humans, Study Finds

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It’s a widely held assumption, even by some cat owners, that domestic felines don’t get much socially from being our pets. But a new study out Monday is the latest to suggest that many cats form healthy bonds with their humans, in much the same way as dogs and human babies do.

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yatesa01
22 days ago
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Andover, CT
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Thank God I could enjoy The Age of Mediocre White Men while it lasted

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You don’t truly appreciate something until it’s about to disappear. And, I confess, I didn’t fully grasp how absolutely wonderful it has been to be a mediocre white man, until I recently realized our time is coming to a close.

It’s been a pretty good ride so far. Arguably, being a white male has been the bee’s knees for about 2,000 years. We have been giving all the orders, taking all the credit, and pocketing all the money since Caesar told Cleopatra to pipe down. We wrote the history books and we built the empires (well, other people did the actual building, but we oversaw a lot of it from our sedan chairs). We drafted all the laws, and made sure to always stack the cards in our favour. And, for a truly impressive long time, we were able to keep all the fun to ourselves.

It has also been fairly good for me, personally. I’ve managed to cake walk my way from job to job, confidently pretending to know what I was doing, never hesitating to take on any new task—no matter how unqualified. I always put my hand up, never paused to think, inevitably failing upward, relentlessly sharing my opinion in the board room, bedroom and chat room. Hell, they even gave me a weekly column so I could explain from coast to coast how I am right and you are wrong.

All along the way, in every job I did, I was vaguely aware of colleagues who were smarter, faster or better than me. I’m pretty sure I was never the smartest guy in the room. I know I was never the last person in the office. Virtually every single woman I have ever worked with carried more weight than I did. And my immigrant colleagues have always hustled circles around me. But, when it came time for promotions, the mediocre white men above looked at me and saw a younger version of themselves: self-assured, privileged, someone who understood the value of the status quo and was willing to do the bare minimum to protect it—and rewarded me accordingly.

I say this in complete sincerity: Living in a world that was almost entirely designed, built and run specifically by people like you for people like you is even better than you realize. The movies are made for us, doctors are trained for us, the cops respect us and the courts protect us.

Honestly, if you haven’t lived as a mediocre white man, then it is difficult for me to properly explain what this sense of safety, entitlement, power and confidence feels like. Try to imagine all the human misery that has accumulated over centuries of sexism, racism, cronyism and violence. It’s like the exact opposite of that.

READ MORE: The face of women in the age of Donald Trump

Sadly, all good things (for us anyway), inevitably come to an end. But a multi-millennium run is nothing to thumb your nose at. And, what an ending it is turning out to be. In fact, the last chapter in The Age of the Mediocre White Man is proving to be the most spectacular one of all.

In Canada, with one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world and a female majority, the two whitest men you have ever seen are naturally the only contenders for Prime Minister. Their qualifications? One was the son of another Prime Minister. The other has literally no qualifications—he went straight from school to politics (because he understood the defining truth of the mediocre white man: experience be damned—we should be in charge).

Down south, an inept real estate swindler from Queens blustered his way right past one of the most accomplished women in American history and right into the White House, where he has proceeded to screw up literally every single thing even remotely related to the Presidency, all while managing to squeeze in 213 days of golf.

Across the water, the most bumbling, unethical and ill-prepared Prime Minister in the history of the United Kingdom was able to push aside his female predecessor, before swiftly destroying his own Conservative Party. And, parliament be damned, he is now intent on laying his clammy pink hands on the body of Lady Britannia herself, to yank her violently out of Europe before doing God knows what with her on his side of the Channel.

Ironically, these last two men, the whitest and most mediocre of us all, will likely be the very authors of our long-delayed demise. The global wreckage of their alliance-breaking, dictator-fondling, climate-denying antics has to be the last straw. After this, how could anyone think we should be in charge of anything anymore, or even allowed in the room? Assuming the women of the world have any sense (and it’s self-evident they have most of it) right now they must be debating if universal suffrage was really a wise move after all—the male franchise having proven such a very dangerous thing.

But that’s tomorrow. Today, I’m doing fine. Blessed with the unfaltering confidence of the mediocre white man, I’m sure I’ll land on my feet come what may. And, in the meantime, I take a great measure of pleasure knowing I was able to grab on to the very tail end of this age. It’s been wonderful.

MORE BY SCOTT GILMORE:

The post Thank God I could enjoy The Age of Mediocre White Men while it lasted appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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yatesa01
36 days ago
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Andover, CT
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A Boy's Extreme Picky Eating Left Him With Permanent Blindness

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A UK teenager’s diet of potato chips and other junk foods led to shocking health consequences, according to a new case report out this week. The boy’s doctors described how his disordered “fussy” eating led to chronic nutritional deficiencies that left him with a variety of symptoms, including permanent partial…

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yatesa01
42 days ago
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Andover, CT
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When the world stopped listening to America

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Presidential legacies are slippery things. Occupants of the Oval Office always try to frame their administration in the best light possible, hoping that history will remember their accomplishments and not their failures. History is a horrible gossip, however. We remember that William Howard Taft was so obese he needed a custom bathtub and not how he stood up to powerful monopolies. Likewise, Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress will still be talked long after we’ve forgotten Bill Clinton’s economic policies.

There is no doubt Donald Trump has high expectations for his legacy. He began to talk up his accomplishments almost before he had even moved in to the White House. By his own account Trump has done more than any previous president, and ranks himself as the best since Lincoln.

Public opinion currently disagrees. In spite of a growing economy, the majority of voters do not believe Trump has been doing a good job. In fact, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, less than 30 per cent of Americans would be happy if he was re-elected in 2020.

So, if the Trump presidency does come to an end next year, what will be his legacy? The president’s supporters would likely point to the booming economy. It is true the markets have never been higher, but they grew at a much faster rate under his predecessor. What’s more, the consensus among economists is the few interventions made by Trump (tariffs, tax cuts, and the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms) have hurt growth.

READ MORE: Latest Trump rape accusation implicates America

What about health care? Trump came in to office promising the repeal of Obamacare and the implementation of a new plan that would be “a lot less expensive” while providing “insurance for everybody”. However, in spite of controlling both houses of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court, the Republican Party under Trump was still unable to repeal Obamacare. And as for Trump’s promised replacement, no plan has ever been presented.

Will Trump be most remembered for The Wall? He has yet to build a single kilometre. Immigration? All of his visa restrictions will almost certainly be rolled back by the next administration. A renaissance for coal? Production continues to decline. Killing NAFTA? After two years of negotiations, it was basically just re-named.

He did promise and deliver a trade war with China, however. And ISIS was defeated on his watch—he may be remembered for that. Likewise, he tore up the Iran Deal, something that will likely have reverberations long in to the future. In fact, it is increasingly clear that America’s role in the world will figure prominently in Trump’s legacy.

The Greenland Affair, this week, made that obvious. When the president proposed buying the island, Denmark simply rolled its eyes, figuratively and literally. Even when the president called the Danish prime minister a “nasty woman”, no one really cared—illustrating a dramatic shift in America’s role in the world.

For 80 years, the United States has been the indispensable nation, the hub in the international system: allies focused on it, alliances depended on it, and rivals feared it.  That has all changed under Trump, and it is unlikely it will change back.

In terms of bilateral relations, America’s traditional allies have learned that the United States does not need to be treated with complete deference. If a previous American president had publicly derided the Danish PM as “nasty”, it would have sparked a political crisis in Copenhagen. But now, they have learned (along with Canada, France and Germany) that a furious American president, a hollowed-out State Department and an isolationist foreign policy, is not the end of the world.

Related to this, Washington allies have also consciously moved away from the hub and spoke system that characterized the “America Century”—all western initiatives began or ended in D.C. Now, Berlin is more likely to call Paris before it calls the White House. Likewise, Canada is consciously building stronger relations with Europe, knowing that the United States cannot always be relied upon.

Similarly, international alliances have adjusted to the American decline. The United Nations has figured out how to muddle along without Washington. And in so doing Chinese and Russian influence has increased in New York. This week, France is hosting the G7, which won’t bother issuing a group communiqué, as the member states have learned you don’t need the U.S. on board to act on climate change, Iran, or anything else.

America’s rivals have also been paying attention. They have learned that Washington’s power is far more constrained that originally feared. And, you can directly interfere in the American electoral system with impunity.

This decline in American influence can be seen within the context of a broader historical trend that dates back to 9/11. President George Bush strained the international system and the patience of its allies by launching an expensive and never-ending War on Terror. And President Barack Obama implemented a policy of “leading from behind” that accomplished little more than the erosion of Washington’s importance at the UN and elsewhere. All of this occurred while China, India and Europe’s international statures grew, creating a relative fall in American prominence.

But, under Trump this fall has accelerated dramatically, and the international system has been pushed into previously unexplored territory—where American power is not only absent, but evidently unneeded. It is unlikely anyone will unlearn this lesson.

Historians may find that Trump’s legacy was the definitive end of America’s role as the de facto “leader of the free world”. Or, true to gossipy form, history may simply remember him as the president who liked to “grab them by the p***y.”

MORE BY SCOTT GILMORE:

The post When the world stopped listening to America appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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yatesa01
50 days ago
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Andover, CT
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Scientists Have Created a Vaccine for Cat Allergies, but You Can't Have It Yet

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People unjustly kept away from feline companionship due to an allergy are rejoicing this week, after news resurfaced of a potential vaccine that makes cats less able to cause allergies. But while this research is promising, a finished product won’t be available any time soon.

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yatesa01
62 days ago
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Andover, CT
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Trump’s Photo-Op With the Orphaned El Paso Baby Was the Smallest Moment of His Presidency

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First lady Melania Trump holds a 2-month-old baby as she and President Donald Trump pose for photos and meet members of the Anchondo family.

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yatesa01
67 days ago
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Andover, CT
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