21May

If You Are Uninformed/Ignorant, Stay Out of the Conversation

If you don’t care enough to look past the PR campaign and search out the truth, you are irresponsible.  That’s important and I’ll tell you why.  We are living with a crazy president, we are not buying soap.  Your ignorance is causing my life problems and that is unacceptable to me.

PR is okay for purchasing cereal, it’s not okay for running a country.  Just so we are clear here, PR is ‘public relations’ and is most usually associated with lies and fairy tales.

We have a responsibility as human beings to know the truth about the people that we trust with our lives.  If the leader of our country is making billions of dollars by cooperating with a foreign government on oil deals and other commercial enterprises not available to a private citizen, that is criminal.  It is also a way to sell Americans for the evil of “the love of money”.

We Americans are unhappy and we have every right to be.  We live in systems that take advantage of us.  No matter how much we work hard and earn, there are mechanisms in place to break us: minimum wage, the price of healthcare, racism, sexism, bigotry, and the big one, greed.  Greed creates political systems that steal from us, Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.   Another recent example includes fighting in wars that protect oil wells instead of human beings.  These governmental activities cost money and we forget, that we pay those bills.

As Americans we need to know when politicians legislate for their own personal profit.  We need to know when our trust is betrayed.  This requires work and information.  As Americans, we must sacrifice our ignorance to a greater good.  That good is to know when we must act, and that time, the time to act, is now.

14May

On Missing My Mother

I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mom died, it was awful.  Going through the big retailers in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day was very painful.  The balloons and flowers were reminders that I no longer had any reason to buy a Mother’s Day gift.  It seemed as if there was a huge absence within my essence.  It was an absence that would never get better.

Every time my friends talked about how challenging their own mother was, it sparked anger in me. I said “at least you have a mother”.  I was angry.  How could she leave us so soon and at such an important time?

Over the years (21) the struggle lessened.  I became less angry and my pain less acute.  There are some days, like today, when randomly the hurt becomes acute again.  I don’t know why or wherefore that the hurt just bubbles up within me.

I wish that there was a comforting thought or prayer to make it go away, but there is not.  It just is.

08May

The Truth

Why is it so hard to convince people that the truth is rare and certainly doesn’t exist in their heads?  So many people believe that they know “the truth”.  Not so.

It is “a truth” that some police officers are violent with innocent people.  It is not “the truth” that policemen are arbitrarily violent with innocents.

It is also true that if a person repeatedly shows violence, that person is violent.  Nothing that we think can change that.

As humans, we want our own truth to be “the” truth.  No, specificity is the only real truth.  Generalizations do no justice to anyone or even to our own selves.

Isn’t that why freedom is so important in this world?  Not just here in America, but everywhere.  We don’t want to be generalized, we want our own individual chance to demonstrate our choices.  And yet there are those who will close their mind to the possibility of goodness in others.  It is not okay to be this, it is not okay to do this.

23Apr

It’s Not About Religion versus 🔬 Science

It’s really about a group of people who want to spin reality according to their own benefit.  Religion allows us to tell great falsehoods because there is no standard for the truth.  All one must have to be in this exclusive club is faith.  Those with no faith are found to be lacking and therefore denigrated into silence.

The issue with science is that, it asks for evidence of a stated truth.  With science you cannot get away with opinion.  This is really the cruxt of the problem with our current presidential administration.  It is an old problem, one that has been argued for many thousands of years.

Do we believe the ministers of faith about the way of the world, or do we ask for a more objective truth?  The objective truth stands on its own, however, it is often unkind.

We humans have made a fine art out of self deception.  We want to believe in a good father, we want to believe that we are beautiful, we want to believe that everything is going to be alright.

When a man preaches that he will take care of it all, it is difficult to ignore.  We are hard wired to listen to old men.  We go to old women with our problems, but listen to old men for our truths.

As humans, our old behavior does not serve us well.  But before we even begin to ask questions, we must ask ourselves how important is the truth?  For most of the humans that I know, truth is an unwelcome reality.  Most people don’t want to know the truth, they’d rather not know how bad off they are, how much they have been tricked, or how much they have lost.

Most don’t even want to know the small details, such as “I am overweight” or “I am angry” or “I have a drinking problem”.  Indeed, many diseases of the modern world are built upon the very fine art of denial, heart disease, obesity and some types of diabetes are diseases that are completely avoidable.  How do you justify drinking a 350 calorie coffee drink and a 1,000 calorie bowl of soup?  What untruth do you tell your body in order to have that bit of body destruction?

This whole religion vs science isn’t really the question.  The question is, how much truth can we stand?

Why can’t we just relax and let the nice man take care of everything?  The truth is that the nice man is a liar.

 

09Apr

Not the Best Grandmother

The one who was born on 10/07

The ones who were born on 10/07

I always give all of myself to whatever it is that I am doing.  It is who I am.  I make my choices very carefully, after all I cannot give myself wholly to what I do not care for?

There is this misunderstanding in my family, well actually, a couple of misunderstandings.  One is that my kids believe that my agenda for their kids should be the same as it was for themselves.  Not even close.  My agenda for my kids was an intense laser focus that is not duplicated with grandchildren.  With my grandchildren, I am completely in love and the best way to describe this love is relaxed.  Gone is the need to impose perfection.  Gone is the need to demand performance.  Gone is my own ego.  By this time in my life: I am not feeling responsible for anyone.  I realize that my child’s life is not my fault, therefore my need for the child to make me proud is gone.

My grandchildren are people who like to play (much more fun than their parents).  My grandchildren are beautiful to me.  I don’t care who agrees.

My definition of human success has changed dramatically.  I once thought that my kids all had to have formal education and high paying jobs, I no longer define success in that way.

Success:  the ability to form meaningful relationships, the ability to maintain those relationships without using money as a weapon of control.  A deep and abiding concern for another human being, the ability to be introspective, the ability to care, nurture and love one’s self; these are definitions of success.

So it is, that in this sense, I cannot be the grandmother that my kids want me to be.  I am however, the grandmother that I want to be.

 

27Mar

So Now, He is Dead and Gone

They met in the mid 90s when it was still cool to be a hippy.  The classical bohemian vibe meant intelligence and caring.  They met at the midtown methadone clinic that she managed, crumbling and falling, you could hear the rats running through the eaves and the attic.

He was pushing 50 and she was barely 35, always married with kids.  He was in the association that helped addicts access treatment for heroin addiction.  His passion for his cause was palpable.  He wanted to open a clinic in Ft. Myers and carried around pictures of people suffering because of their addiction.  He talked her into going to meetings.  They met monthly somewhere in the state and helped to make clear decisions that were empathetic and caring.  He didn’t like the for-profit treatment centers (his organization was non-profit) because he thought that they “sucked” money from their patients only to give it to shareholders without concern for “real” treatment.

They had friends in the state legislature and were able to get things done.  In 1999, she moved away and that was that.

About a year later, she decided to return to the work of addiction medicine.  It was a hard decision, but she realized it was still her purpose, even though she had walked away once.  She applied and applied and applied for work.  One day over the intercom at her job, she was being paged to the phone.  She rushed to pick up the phone and there he was saying, “I have this job, right down the street from your new home.”  She could hardly believe it.

For a long time, they were able to get things done.  His power (brawn) and her brain, along with his trust in her, made their work unstoppable and progressively successful.  He loved systems engineering and so did she.  No task was too small to be acknowledged.

But, Later;

Him “You have to own that.”

Her  “No I don’t, you put me in an untenable situation with a personality disordered nursing supervisor.  No matter what super-human effort I made, it was going to fail under those circumstances.”

Later;

Him “I think I made the mistake of my life, I should have asked you to marry me.  Is it too late?”

Her  “Yes, you’re drunk again, goodbye.”

Later;

Him “You made the biggest mistake, you should have gone on that fishing trip with us.”

Her “Ugh.”

Later;

Him “Go see him, Marc needs you, let him know that you care.”

Her “Ok.”

Later;

Him “I’ll promote you later, when there has been more time.”

Her “Ugh.”

Later;

Him “I have to fire her, look what she did!”

Her “She did nothing wrong, but if you want to fire her, go ahead, you have the power, so use it, but I won’t agree with you, she did nothing wrong.”

Later;

Him “I wish I could talk with you before you leave.  I want to say good-by and let you know how much you have meant to me.”

Her “Ugh. Liar”

Still, she cries.

All through the “scared years” he was there.  Ugly and mean, but he was there.

25Mar

Stop Telling Me How and What to Eat

I don’t know everything about food and nutrition.  But there is no way that you know more than I do. I am 58 years old, I am fairly intelligent and I love good food.  I have spent my entire life in the kitchen, that is 50, count them, fifty years.  I am also engaged.  I listen, I read.  I know enough to know that gluten free is a fad unless you have celiacs disease, do you?   How old are you, 24?  You have not been alive as long as I have been cooking.  You are presumptuous, you are ignorant enough to think you have the answer, even though you have asked no questions of me?  You know nothing of me.

Who are you to tell me that cauliflower is better for me than potato, you put butter on them and they become the same?

The fact of the matter is that women my age need 400 less calories per DAY, not week, not month, but day, every day.  That’s right, because older women need less calories, we often gain weight.  Do you know why women my age need less calories?  Because for the last million years older women have sacrificed their own needs for others eventually responding to “survival of the fittest” we made our bodies work on less.  We just don’t need as much as men or as the young.  We get by, we thrive, we live on less.

Now, in this day and this age, women my age don’t need to eat less, because there is more food in this world.  We just need more patience to put up with people who give advice without knowledge.

06Mar

Lying, Truth and Covert Activity

Flexible lying, alternative truth, these terms are laughable. Philosophy is arguable, but the concept of truth is not. Your truth may be different from mine in matters of thinking and in matters of the heart, but “the” truth is universal.
I don’t speak of philosophy here. I speak of the objective observable universe that surrounds us.
In the “breaking news” parlance, a wiretap is a wiretap, an earthquake is an earthquake and the ocean current moves in an easterly direction, not a westerly direction. Five inches of snow is not one inch of snow and rain falls to the ground.
If you do not “like” something ~ that is your truth, it is not “the” truth. People in power have used their power to force others to adopt their own truth. So it is; if a person in power does not “like” something or someone, that person will also insist that all people who are subordinate to them adopt the same version of their own truth.
Forcing others to adopt your truth does not make a concept into “the” truth. Too often, managers and controllers do not understand this fact. Indeed, corporate culture is evidence to this. Anyone who does not buy into the boss’s idea of reality (personal truth) soon finds themselves without employment.
The next logical step is covert activity. When those in power insist that, we agree with them, our choices can be limited. Often team members will keep their own truth to themselves because of the power position of other team members.
However, the most common use of covertness is to trick others and use this trickery to take their choices away from them. The point of cheating on your spouse is to take your spouse’s choice away. If your spouse does not know that you have cheated, then they will not file for a divorce.
Such is the way of briberies to elected officials. Congressmen and women do not want anyone to know who is paying bribes to them. These bribes are paid in order to control the congressional votes. Congress put a law into effect allowing slush funds (PACs) so that they could legally collect bribes and do the work of the wealthy. An example of this is that the average American does not know that wealthy business owners have paid millions and millions in bribes to keep the minimum wage artificially low. We are not informed about which millionaires paid the bribes, nor do we know which congress-people voted against living wages for full time work. (We can draw this clear line with information available, but have not.) This is covertness at its best. Americans don’t know who to be angry with, they just know that they are being cheated in many and varied different ways.
Americans know that health care is ridiculously expensive and cannot be provided to anyone without insurance, but whom should we be angry with? Congress-people who have allowed drug companies to rape the American economy and Medicare? On the other hand, do they blame doctors for charging ridiculous fees for very simple procedures? Should Americans blame insurance companies, who cherry-pick the healthy, leaving the aged and poor to taxpayers for healthcare?
Covert activities that hide the truth: take our ability to choose, away from us in a very big way.
The internet has given us powerful tools to fight against economic oppression. The most useful tool to combat oppression is truth and transparency. With truth, we know who to communicate with, we know who is at fault and we know what to choose. Our reactions can be specific and guided. This is the kind of America that I want to be a part of: I want to live in a place where if others are doing bad things (lying, stealing and cheating) that there is a way to discover the truth, then act on the truth, and do so in a reliable and honest way. I do not want to be part of a culture that encourages lying and cheating because of wealth and money. I do not want to be part of a culture that keeps harsh secrets that benefit the few, but not you. I do not want to be part of a culture that condemns truth, just because that truth is damning.

02Mar

Psychopath

There is so much on the internet about the sociopath and/or psychopath.  Yesterday, I read another article about how to manage psychopathic behavior in your life.  This article was about “Psychopathic bosses”, how to recognize them as psychopathic and then how to manage the behavior.  The more I read the description of behavior, the more I think that it is “spoiled brat” behavior.  I don’t want to generalize; I just want to point something out to make some distinctions.  Selfish “me-focused” behavior is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture.

People who are only concerned with themselves and who will take negative action against others in order to have personal gain are more and more common in our culture.  It is our own doing, because we have clearly aggrandized the successfully greedy.  We have made people who do nothing and yet earn millions the most popular and “followed” celebrities.  It is clear in our admiration that we will follow those with money, even if they are greedy and mean, victimizing people in order to put money in their own pockets.

For the most part, we won’t even find out what kind of person we are admiring.  Papa John, who makes pizza, lives in a 40,000 square foot house, but pays his staff $8.00 per hour.  He is a thief of human well-being and uses capitalism as defense for his crimes.  Papa John is followed for his business acumen, but his formula is very easy.  Use your superior position to take advantage of others, as much and as long as you can.  Use your money to legislate in your favor, pay senators and congressmen to ensure that minimum wage is not increased.  Make it impossible for people to get health care, it is very expensive and as an American business man you will pay for nothing that is not for yourself or your own family.

On a therapist’s sofa the American business man would be diagnosed as sociopaths who engage in psychopathic behavior.

It is no surprise that spoiled brats run amuck in our culture.  Our role models are incredibly horrible examples of humanity.

 

01Mar

Dear Mr. Trump

I’ve been writing this blog for eight years and I have never repeated myself, but this article bears repeating:

11/3/14

If, indeed, our purpose is to find ways to live together productively and peacefully then I am sure that my job is to write.  I am positive that I have the right way to attain a productive and peaceful coexistence with anyone and everyone.  I am also sure that I can articulate it.

We must realize that hierarchical social systems are the antithesis of egalitarian living.  Some argue that hierarchical social systems are necessary because of the number of humans on the planet.  I do not agree with this argument.  I also do not believe that leaders should be static.  Situational leadership demands that either the situation changes to fit the leader, or the leadership must change to fit the situation.

Our various hierarchical societies are a punishing way to construct humanity.  The current construct demands that those on the top of hierarchies be greedy, anti-social or both.  This is not to say that each and all wealthy and/or powerful humans are greedy, it is to say that the structure of hierarchy breeds greed.  Often, in order to get to the top of the hierarchy, one must engage in behavior that is antithetical to humanity.  Pushing to the “top” is sometimes a terrible game of cruelty that leaves many victimized and demoralized.

The American culture which began so full of hope for equality for all humans, came to idolize wealth instead of humanitarian ideals and thus lost the initial impetus for effective social change for equality and an egalitarian way of life for humans of the Earth.

This is unfortunate, as it is a delay that has cost us many years and many lives.  The American culture encourages elitism and champions those who fight to the “top” of our various social systems and cultures.  We have therefore bred a group of leaders who proudly look only to their own good, who overtly attempt control of different social systems and who hoard money in any way possible in order to further their own ends.  This group of leaders feels that it is their right, by virtue of the fact that they sit on top of the elite social structure, to have more and better just for them and no one else.  As the governor’s campaign says “Power for the few, but not for you.”

How do we change this?  How do we make it better, different, important, once again, as a human ideal?  First we must acknowledge that equality is a value that we wish to place above other qualities.  We must also acknowledge that on the slippery slope of making money, we forgot that human beings and their lives are more important than any amount of money.  As others have said “You cannot have a war, if no one comes.”  If we want our sons and daughters to live into old age, we will not send them into battlefields where American millionaires find more and more ways to keep money that they have not earned.  If we were sincere about this, we would reverse the legislation of the Reagans and Bushes and make it illegal (immoral, of course) to make money from a war – no matter the cause of the war.

3.1.17

It is hard to believe, that once again, we beg our politicians to stop making war and to stop treating humans like refuse.  Why is this even a thing?  Why aren’t we beyond war and greed as a way of life?