17Sep

Why Do We Have to be Strong A.L.L. the Time?

It is as if, there is shame in weakness.  Worse yet, illness is a condemnable offense.  I don’t understand this, because as mothers, we realize that there are good days and bad days.  As mothers, we don’t hesitate to provide love and care to our family members no matter who and what they are, or how they behave.

My challenge is this: why aren’t we women defining society?  We understand, we acknowledge the different faces of the human condition.  As women, we should be defining the societal structures of being human in America.  It’s ok to be weak, it’s ok to be sick, it’s ok to be ignorant, why add insult to injury and shame those less capable than the strong?

This strength thing has become its own illness, in the sense that lots of people say and think, “I don’t need anyone and I don’t need anything.”  This can go past the point of wisdom and could even cause self harm.  Look at those who die after refusing medical help, or women who are murdered by a husband or boyfriend because they refuse to go to the police?

This norm of strength is fostered by our society.  Perhaps it is the pushback from the way people are treated when they are in economic need.  Our society is not very nice to the poverty stricken, but again that is because we all believe in this notion that strength is enough to overcome anything.

Needy people are normally put down, made fun of, ostracized and of course, they are deprived of very real and very normal opportunities.  This can become a hamster wheel of frustration along with denial that keeps those in need – in need.

How do we balance all of this out?  Strength and weakness, need and satisfaction?  How do we ensure equality in spite of the fact that not all humans are strong?  Those that are strong, what price do they pay to exhibit that strength?

Mother and Son, modern life

26Aug

The Pressing Need to be Better Than

This universal pressure here in America permeates everything, in almost every way.  People have a need to be better than someone, almost any one will do.  Most of the time, this need manifests itself blatantly.  Men who buy the biggest truck, they may have no need for a truck, but they must display the largest truck.  Women who spend an entire paycheck at the spa, getting manicures and pedicures, as if to say, I don’t have to work, look at my manicure: perfect.  In these situations, for the most part, it is a matter of successful marketing and is harmless, except perhaps to the wallet.

However, there is nothing harmless about the crushing need that certain sectors of our society have to be better than entire races and cultures.  This “being better” ideology allows a belief system to justify harsh and hate filled judgment of others.  This harsh judgment separates humans from each other and consequently allows cruelty to proliferate.

What I don’t understand is where does it come from?  In almost every conversation, particularly in business and social settings I see the conversations slipping into comparisons of wealth, status, intelligence, to say nothing of displays of wealth and privilege.

Not all societies have this need, and certainly there are gradients to the need.  This need is causing more destruction than can be counted.  One-up-man ship is a relationship killer, so we can readily acknowledge what it is doing to the melting pot of America.  Throughout our short history we have punished and denigrated all new cultures, indeed, beginning with the genocide of the American Indian.

Long term world peace is a real goal.  The attainment of such peace must begin with the individual who is willing to be equal in rights and privileges to all other individuals.   That can be a scary thought, as we can’t seem to imagine the abundance that is enough for everyone.  We want our own wealth and an assurance of survival.

As long as America grants person status to corporations and idolizes wealth and the wealthy, we will struggle with equality.  That is shameful for a nation founded on the tenets of equality and emancipation.

18Aug

Disturbing and Worse, it Continues

I think John Kasich said it best, when asked why no one is taking action against Trump “Well he’s the president.”  Under that simple statement lies a plethora of beliefs, some of them American and some of them Feudalistic.

I watch the news, I read the news, I hate it, but I do.  There seems to be universal agreement that we have made a mistake electing Trump and allowing him to stay in place.  Yet, there is no one to step forward and do something about this travesty.  We listen to Klan members telling us why it was justified to kill a 32 year old woman.  We listen to Trump justify the actions and the words and yet, here we sit.

The clinical side (and thousands of therapists have banned together to make these statements), is that Trump is a narcissistic man, with a disregard for humanity and a never ending interest in self aggrandizement.  The “duty to warn” case law is very clear, if a therapist can realistically predict harm, then the therapist must act to warn those who are in danger.  America, we are in danger.

For whatever reason, we allow this monster to proceed down a path where human life is inconsequential and his own comfort and pleasure are monumental.  Two things, our capitalist culture  values wealth above human life and admires wealth as if it is meaningful in some way.  This is part of the reason Trump’s dynasty has continued.  Trump is seen as a Demi-God, after all, he is wealthy.  Of course the fact that he is president stops us from taking action against him, and we must.

Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a selfish, antagonistic childish man who does not deserve American respect.  He does not deserve admiration for his wealth, he is neither responsible for it, nor responsible with it.  He is a sexist, power hungry, nasty little boy and he needs to be removed from office.  This is America people, not North Korea, we have the right to require that our leader be humane and compassionate.

17Jul

Dishonesty

Unknown author

Unknown author

For the first time since I started this blog, I am materially aware that I have an audience.  It has stopped me from writing.  I have been through a painful experience which made me leave my job.  I have been grappling with such issues as self control, my ability to modify my environment and the effects that another person can have on me.  In some ways my experience has been at odds with my belief system, which has caused a cognitive dissonance.  As you can imagine, I have been struggling.  This does not cause me to write less.  Indeed if you know me, it actually causes me to write more.

What has caused me to write less, is this awareness of my audience and the fear that my life would be negatively effected by my work here on the blog.  There is nothing more anxiety producing than losing one’s income.  I am not willing to be a starving artist, I have too much going on in my life to stop the train for the sake of my own written word.  Trust me, I have saved the words.

Some things that have caused me concern is the idea that my old boss, who is vindictive and mean spirited, would work hard to block my efforts to find new employment.  Another concern is that, a person interviewing me (with hiring authority) would turn out to be a Trump lover.  Based on experience, I know that these things can be real and I want to avoid the effect of someone’s negative feelings on my future.

Today, I read some research about why we want to believe that the universe is just and that things happen to people because they deserve it.  It’s far easier for us to believe that the universe will treat us right if we act right.  We can then believe that we have some control over life.  We can believe that people get what they deserve, even when there is an injustice.  I have known that this is not true for many years.  The universe is full of injustice and apathy and even evil.  We humans do not have control over the universe.  We are subject to life.

Which is why, in order to thrive, we must sometimes resort to dishonesty.  I have dishonestly withheld my truth from this blog, in order to create a transition as painless as possible.  My feelings had endured enough pain and I would not be my own perpetrator.

I have been dishonest with my blog, and I hope you will forgive the lapse.  It was intentional and it is over.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

26Dec

Daughter Please Come Home

I have to admit that my ardent desire has come to naught.  I can hardly believe that I have to let this go.

As you know, my daughter moved to Norfolk in 2009 with her 3 month old son, my grandson.  It was supposed to be temporary.  It was not supposed to last.  It was not supposed to be permanent.

My family lives in Florida, and they always come back.  Even my brother, who lived away for over a decade, came back.  The issue is that his children were raised somewhere else and so they stayed there.  My brother came back, but his adult children stayed behind.

And that’s the point, people stay where they are raised.  It feels like home and for most people it is.

So I am angry with my daughter, who met another man and had another child.  That man is an angry unhappy man who believes (because his father told him) that women are bad.  My daughter is trapped by a court system that enjoys a good fight.  Norfolk is a Military town and unfortunately considers a man so much more than a woman, when circumstances are considered.  Circumstances are rarely considered.  My daughter is a single woman who has spent that last four years spending every spare dime on attorney’s fees and begging her case in a court room that is not interested in hearing her.  My daughter is trapped surely and resolutely, she has surrendered to this court system that does not consider her, nor her children’s needs.

I am so angry.  Why did she surrender?  I know she fights, but she also says that she will make her life in Norfolk.  No!  Why?  Are you kidding me?

I will be deprived of my grandsons, probably for my entire life.  She will be deprived of loving support throughout my grandsons young life.  How can this be an acceptable reality?  I don’t see it, and I can’t see it.

When my sons went into the service, I could bear being separated from them because of the promise of their return.  I knew they would be back and that made separation bearable.  But now, my daughter is alone, without support, and she has no hope of coming home.  She is not a rebel like her mother.  She does not see a way to get home.  I, of course, would run away.  My daughter was not born in the days of bra burning and open rebellion against “the man”.  She grew up in the 90s with young and compliant people starring in every TV show.  And so, the decision is made by her, to be compliant.

I live without my daughter, the person I have spent the last 34 years being concerned with and about.  I crazy love her, like a thousand boyfriends, I crazy love her.  I want her back.  I cannot bear the idea of living the next 15 years without her and without my grandsons.  It’s an awful thought and a hard way to live.  Every single day I hurt.  Every single day I need and I cannot have what I need.  My grandsons do not get to hear me or understand me; they will miss all of the easy good days of summer in Florida.

I want them all back.  I am angry with a court system that allows this untenable situation to go on for 4 years.  This is a court system that does not consider the family at all.  This has been a roller coaster ride from the beginning.  Why is it possible for this to happen in this America?  This is the court system?  This is what is legal?  My daughter and grandsons are kept in a place 800 miles away from her family because of a psychopathic liar who happens to be the father of her youngest child and have a wealthy father?  Ugh.

Daughter, please come home.

04Dec

Heya; Misunderstanding, This is Supposed to be Healthcare

I have never felt more misunderstood about my views on public health care than I do today.  I had a very interesting conversation last night with an RN and a risk manager.

The RN’s current heartache is this feeling that lots of the ER patients “have no skin in the game” and he doesn’t mean this literally, he really means it figuratively.  What he is referring to is folks who have no money and who are on public health care .  He feels that this is the reason that healthcare is so expensive.  If we “the taxpayers” didn’t have to pay, then healthcare could be cheaper.  I tried to explain to him that we are in a capitalistic society that values profit more than human life.  Because of this, our society allows doctors to make twice as much as Canadian doctors, and hospitals are all about shareholders, not about patients.  Healthcare needs to be for sick people, not for the profit that it brings.  Capitalism has perverted healthcare almost beyond redemption.  When we get treatment, we only get the treatment that will bring the physician the most profit.  Why?  Because this is America.  I may benefit from surgery, I may benefit from a simple procedure, but the physician who is in control of my care will choose based on his/her pocketbook.  All will believe that the physician is indeed smart and successful.  In the meantime, me the patient, will receive mediocre care that may or may not resolve my complaint.  Cortisone shots instead of surgery says the doctor who does not perform surgery; carpal tunnel surgery says the surgeon who owns a surgery center.  This is America, capitalism is applied to everything and in every way possible.

The RN insists that America has the best health care in the world.  Of course, that is not the truth.  I throw out the statistics on infant mortality rates in America.  If you are non-white and in poverty, the infant mortality rate is so high in America, that it is comparable to third world country mortality rates.  Someone on my left chimes in with, “well that’s the mother’s fault, they are always doing drugs and that is what kills the infant.”  Oh my, what a sad thing to say and, so incredibly uninformed.  I look at both of these individuals and we are having a great discussion, however, I suddenly see that their perceptions are limited only to what they do and see.

That is another American trait and it is horrible.  We all believe that the truth is our truth, because no other reality exists, except the one that we live in.

14Nov

Cash, Guns and Food

Justice is a human construct and therefore only exists if humans make it so.  I often tell people, “do not expect justice, it doesn’t exist on its own.”

I know this and I preach this.  The wishes for karma, the wish for a vengeful God, the wish for the rich to be rejected from heaven, are all just that: wishful thinking.  Religion is a structure that gives the peasant, the working masses; reasons to keep going from day to day.

America gives a chance to live beyond a survival mode and an opportunity to actually experience life.  It is an epic growth opportunity, but it requires choice.  What I mean by this is that, you must be consciously willing to go past the ego’s survival to another consciousness that includes more than just the self.  It is a conscious choice and cannot be made by an unconscious ego that concerns itself with only self, and is in survival.  This living, which is a step up on Maslow’s hierarchy, requires the self to be concerned with others, to think of others and ultimately to have compassion for others.
maslow

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is all in the background of my mind and so affects how I view how the presidential election played itself out.  I am deeply ashamed by what we have done here in America (and of course, we have done worse).  I am embarrassed that people I love actually support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.  I understand that justice does not exist, so I do not fight the idea that the electoral college “trumps” the popular vote.  The majority of America prefers Hillary Clinton, but…too bad, so sad.  Bruce and I each have a young nephew that supports Trump, one posting on Facebook “I’m not racist or bigoted, I just like Trump.”  The other posting on Snapchat “I am a deplorable.”  There is a thought by these young people that Trump will change Washington ~ and I am sure he will.  I don’t know if they noticed that the same old republican senators are following Trump around.  Capitalism will continue to reign supreme in this country.  It will not be beneficial to the working person, not at all.  Capitalism in America is just like Trump, concerned with self and with no other.

In the back of my mind is the thought that this is a white man’s war against anyone and everyone who challenges the authority of the white man.  It’s been a comfortable position for the white man here in America, and who would give that up willingly?  Capitalism has been the white man’s weapon and they have used it well to repress all others.  White men owned Madison Avenue and spun their own stories of reality.  It is almost unbelievable how many Americans keep falling for the fairy tales that Madison Avenue keeps spinning.  From the cigarette industry to the current mortgage catastrophe, advertising companies have sold Americans a bill of goods that Americans keep buying.

No wonder the uneducated working class white male voted for Trump, and their women, who voted the same!  The problem identification is so wrong.  Working people will not have their life improved by an emphasis on capitalism, witness the last 10 years, capitalism has almost wiped us out.  Capitalism has decreased the middle class by more than 15% – all of those people are now poor.  The loss of homes still proceeds at an epic rate.

I am more scared than I have ever been, even when Bush was president.  I believe that egos are in control and egos are always about survival and self.  This is bad news for each and every other person.  The person in power will always chose self when the ego is in control.

Cash, guns and food ~ Bruce and I have decided to launch a defensive campaign, just in case.  We are putting together a reserve of cash, guns and food.  But make no mistake; we are able to do this.  There are millions who cannot.  Twenty percent of Americans live below the poverty level.  For those in poverty, there is no such thing as a reserve.  We are looking towards some very bad times here in America, and I am scared, not just for me, but for everyone.