Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Family" Values? Who Holds Them Here, Exactly? Not 37 Million Married, Apparently

In an era erratic enough to suppress surprise and shock, it was
nevertheless astounding to learn about the approximately 37
million married in the USA who want to cheat on their spouses,
according to the now-hacked site, Ashley Madison.  This is a
breathtaking, sobering statistic in view of our total population
of some 317 million, not all of whom are sexually active, many of
whom are in the too young or too old portion of the demographic.
Bear in mind that those who beat their breasts the loudest,
exclaiming the importance of family values, exhorting audiences
to live a wholesome life,  including now-disgraced pastors and
politicians, are adulterers, all too often.

The related websites, Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and
Established Men  are all under the umbrella of Canada's
Avid Life Media (--Sigh, if only most were "avid" to be
informed....). Our neighbors to the North are not much
more blemish-free than we are, I suspect, as I see,
recently toting up the various egregious doings there.
(--Yet their great expanse of land vs. their vastly smaller
population continues to sedulously appeal.)

Hypocrisy is the order of the day, today, tomorrow,
yesterday. Of course there are many faithful couples,
married happily here at home. But family values as
presented in churches and on media outlets, well...
who holds them, exactly? --Not those many millions
trolling for others to "hook up" with.

Kinsey, who blew the lid on America's sexual ways and
morays many decades ago, is, sadly, still right, even if he
too was later proven to be a satyr and a sex addict,
encouraging even his own female relatives to copulate
with any and all comers. (This included his wife and
daughters...ugh!)

When will this culture settle down and spend significant
time and effort on serious matters, focus less on how
sexy everyone is/is not, etc. ? I despair, knowing it won't
be anytime soon.

But thanks to the hackers, hypocrisy won't be going
down quite as easily as before.  This is a rare instance
where they have performed a valuable service. It
may not be pleasant, but it's important to see
just what and who is behind the curtain.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Unconditional Love: Wishing Won't Make it So

I've grown weary of all the untutored, online woman-to woman
exhortations about self-love, unconditional love, ad nauseam,
ad libidinum, etc.  In particular,  teaching people to love
themselves unconditionally is a really bad idea; I'm certain
criminals, the always entitled, gigolos and gold diggers think
they deserve all the riches life and other people can afford them
without their having to produce anything of value themselves.

OF COURSE there must be conditions and expectations,
except if one is helpless, very young or very old. All the
rest of us must pull our weight, one way or another. We
really must be decent to each other, not make messes for
others, not lie, cheat, kill, etc. ...or else what are the Ten
Commandments all about, those rules that all of Western
"Civilization" is based on?? That same "civilization" imitated
eagerly, shamelessly all around the world? (-Even while
juxtaposing Western economics to antithetical political
systems....)

My ire increased, waxed, watching a young single
mother pole dancing with her infant secured to her
body in an online video today. What is she trying to
 prove? --That she's sexy? The accompanying article
claims she is demonstrating unconditional self love,
that  mothers can be sexy.--Yow!

I DO have conditions for myself AND others,
you bet. I DO possess a healthy conscience
and a sense of guilt, shame and remorse, and
attempt to make amends when I have erred.
Arrogantly as well, I strongly suggest the rest
of the planet better acquire such strictures
against bringing harm to others or we will
not last, period.

Sure, we all yearn to love ourselves and others.
But respect, admiration, fondness must be
earned, can't be realistically, automatically
handed out...

Unconditional love: wishing won't make
it so.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 4th, 2015: Our Founding Fathers Would Be Ashamed About Our Society's Lack of Civility

No one, it seems, utters that now unusual word "please" when
placing orders for food, whether at McDonald's or Dunkin'
Donuts. Then there was the person who insulted the baked
goods, saying, "Those donuts are from this morning? They're
no good." I was ashamed of my fellow American, and
instantly decided to be especially kind and sensitive to
the staff and other customers. I asked three of them,
"Are you in a hurry?" When they nodded, I let all
three check out ahead of me, even though I had  ice
cream waiting.

What would our Founders make of our uncivil society
in 2015? Very likely they would be chagrined and
ashamed, especially George Washington, whose
manners, by all accounts, were without peer. If you
read books about any of our principal Founders,
read works written by them.  Ben Franklin, George
Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton,
John Adams and others were products of the
Enlightenment, acted and wrote accordingly.
Of course they erred now and then--who hasn't?
But their commitment to higher standards for one's
own behavior clearly produced excellence in these
men--and gave us a country.

I look forward to a revolution in manners, civility,
humane treatment of others, and acting with no
malice of forethought. Will I see that day?--No,
I doubt it. but I have some hopes for/of the
younger ones.

Monday, June 29, 2015

WHAT "Post Racial" Society?

The euphoria many of us enjoyed at the election Barack
Obama in 2008 (--and the happy tears!) never destroyed
racism here or anywhere...have we progressed from bad
old days? Yes, because lynching is a hate crime now, and
many other atrocious anti-Black crimes formerly allowed/
ignored are taken seriously in all ethnic communities and
are legally prosecuted.

This past year, though, has been an alarming retrenchment
highly reminiscent of those bad old days: several churches
being set on fire, white cop killings of young unarmed
African American males, the mass murder of Black
church goers in South Carolina by a violently deranged
white youth, and other, if less traumatic incidents too
numerous to list here--What a tragic disgrace!

I have often attended services as one of only two
"white" persons at an AME denomination church.
The kindness and welcoming there can't be beat.
The musical energy and joy the regulars and the
choir exhibit are without  parallel--the musicians
are terrific, inspiring as well. Only one motivated
by the Prince of Darkness would intrude upon
such a setting.

I'm asking America:  WHAT "post racial" Society?
Where is it to be found? It exists in no nation, not
ours, or others, I'm certain. The dark, tribal-primitive
survivalist emotions of the human "family" going back
six million years is still very much part of our psyche.

But in those six million years of evolution, we HAVE
developed our pre-frontal cortex (that highest center
right behind one's forehead), the brain's capacity for
rational thought, studying the arts and sciences, will
power, controlling/modifying our behavior, etc.  By
actively focusing from this most important of all our
bodies' systems, we are better humans, less prone
to evil or thoughtless hurtful harm against others.

Meanwhile, in my alter ego as the Safety Monitor,
I strongly suggest Black churches install metal
detectors in their entrances and exits. Doesn't God
help those who help themselves?



The Month That Was: June 2015, Ugly and Beautiful

What a month this has been! We had horrors of
violent, murderous racism (-the ugly) and decisions
by the Supreme Court to be proud of, passing
Marriage Equality, and re-confirming the ACA  as
federal health insurance law (-the beautiful). It will
be hard to forget June, 2015.  The contrasts are the
yin and yang of our society.

The last week of June will bring more momentous
rulings by SCOTUS, so stay tuned.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nine Mudered While in Church: Blasting Back to a Bad Past--Again

If any reader rejected my frequent, earlier contentions, namely,
that we've been entering into a new Dark Age, seeing evil events
many of us had hoped were safely cast onto the dustbin of
history--you were resoundingly proven wrong yesterday:

Remember the four little girls killed in a southern state's church
years ago? A hauntingly similar scenario occurred Wednesday,
June 17th, when a young white lunatic entered a church in South
Carolina, fired his gun, killing nine people. (It's as if he read
American History and decided to recreate the horror, going
one better.) There is a clear photo of him, as yet unidentified.

When I add all the retrenchment from humane and sane
policies enacted in the twentieth century together, the
appalling, terrifying conclusion is inescapable--we have,
bit by bit, returned to bad old days. But this disastrous trend
is in its infancy, so we still have time to unite, gird ourselves
for the fight. --So let's fight! Let's organize, not as Occupy
did by having a giant, messy party, without any sustained,
legislative follow-through; instead, let's get serious.

Isn't it high time?

******************************************

UPDATE:  Per CBS Radio, 21 year old Dylan Roof, the
alleged perpetrator has been caught, found in North Carolina
by Debbie Dills, a woman driving near him who took down
his license plate number, then called 911. Our nation owes her
our admiration and gratitude for her quick thinking, her
public-spirited actions.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why Is the World Crazier Than Ever? Lead with Lead for an Answer

While visiting the University of Chicago recently
with my alum daughter, I picked up a free
publication put out six times a year by the U of C.
The University of Chicago Magazine is a serious,
scientific and cultural institution for, by and about
students and alums of this great school boasting
more Nobel Laureates than many entire nations.

The May/June 2015 issue of  the magazine includes
a must-read article entitled "Immeasurable" in their
regular Legacy column. U of C alum geochemist
Claire C. Patterson was instrumental in waging war
against lead pollution. Without his research and
concomitant fearless grit, cars would still spew
out this tragically dangerous neurotoxin into our air.

Lead pollution is still, sadly, being produced by
utilities, factories, mines and smelters.  As Newton
Second Law theorist chemist Henry Bent has pointed
out, there is no "away". Whatever we have created
on this planet remains here, even if in a different form
...So what are the results of exposure to lead, whether
through the respiratory ingestion pathway or through
the G.I. tract?

(1) Because lead is toxic to every organ system in the
human body, particularly childrens', extra exposure is
to be avoided at all costs. The brain's prefrontal cortex
and the brain as a whole are primarily vulnerable. The
damage includes deficits to learning, judgement and
behavior.

(2) Now for my supposition:  All this lead accumulating
in our brains (-along with all the other assorted poisons we
routinely ingest) MAY WELL account for all the increase
in insanity/violence we observe on the news and in person.
How can anyone escape this horrifying conclusion?

Our ourselves and our world: more poisoned than ever,
crazier than ever.

P.S.: my sources: The University of Chicago Magazine,
May/June 2015; the National Institutes of Health,
Neurotoxic Effects and Biomarkers of Lead Exposure,
January 2009; The EPA, "Learn about Lead".