(CNN) — Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.


Sometimes, it's hard to choose isn't it?

I mean, you know on any given day, would you prefer filet mignon OR a Quarter Pounder with cheese for dinner? A nice Shiraz with that or some Boone's Farm Fuzzy Navel? A day at the beach or a day at the car wash? Making passionate love with the one you love or jerking off to Barely Legal?

I guess that's how the voters euphemistically referred to as "UNDECIDED" must feel in trying to decide between Barack Obama and John McCain for president. I mean, one man is intelligent and open-minded, emotionally balanced and grounded, energized and energizing, a truly unifying force in both his presence and intentions. The other man is... well, John McCain ("Big Mac?").

Yep. It must be hard for those Undecideds. End the war in Iraq in a responsible way or stay for a hundred years? Cut taxes for the middle class or cut taxes for the wealthiest top 1 percent? Respect the rights of women to make choices about their own "health" (McCain's air quotes) or dictate a rigid morality to women even at the risk of their own lives. Teach evolution or watch The Flintstones in science class?

Hmmm. What a difficult and confusing choice, huh?

Okay, let's get real, then. Who are these people - The Undecided? Are they figments of the media's imagination, a media desperately trying to keep a horse race going for ratings' sake, even though the McCain-Palin ticket is going the way of the dinosaurs 6,000 years ago?! Are they lazy, apathetic, inert people, so addicted to eating Dorito's and watching Lost and American Idol that they only recently, like five minutes ago, started tuning into the campaigns to see who's running? Are they narcissistic attention-seekers, playing hard-to-get, hoping to fill an empty space in their lives with their fifteen minutes of "Joe-The-Plumber" fame?

Well, for any of the above reasons, and maybe even some other, more nefarious ones perhaps, I have decided from here on in to refer to them not as Undecided, but Unforgiven. It's your choice.


The Washington Post calls McCain's latest attacks on Barack Obama "vile."


A former Republican Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, one of John McCain's most prominent supporters, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise: "Of course, she's not ready, not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office."

Today's Quote

"There are a lot of things to ridicule about Sarah Palin's incomprehensible speaking style, her pathological dishonesty and her backwards, simplistic views on the issues. But it's her politics of fear and division that must be wholly rejected on Tuesday because it's too terrible to imagine waking up one week from today in an America that rewards the awfulness and fear which she and her subterranean allies require in order to politically exist. So before we arrive at the end of the Bush dark ride, let's make sure the Sarah Palin dark ride comes to a complete stop on Tuesday."
Bob Cesca


I've said it before and I'll say it again: most parents, not a few, MOST are not qualified for the job. You need a license to drive a car or to be a plumber, you need a college degree to be a teacher or an accountant, but to be a parent, all you need to do is fuck somebody, and that's exactly what's happening to the kids in question.


My sister who lives near Boston sent me this early this morning:

"WESTFIELD, Mass. – An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.
The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, Police Lt. Lawrence Valliere said.
The boy was with a certified instructor and "was shooting the weapon down range when the force of the weapon made it travel up and back toward his head, where he suffered the injury," a police statement said. Police called it a "self-inflicted accidental shooting."
The victim was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he died. His name was not released.
Although the death appears to be an accident, police and the Hampden district attorney's office were investigating, officials said.
The club said on its Web site that the event, run in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training, is "all legal and fun." People will be allowed to fire weapons at vehicles, pumpkins and other targets, it said.
Officials with the private club and the firearms group could not be reached for comment. A message left on a club answering machine was not returned. The C.O.P. group's machine clicked off without taking a message.
The sportsman's club was founded in 1949 and describes itself on its Web site as an organization that promotes "the interest of legal sport with rod, gun, and bow and arrow, both directly and through training."
It has eight firing ranges as well as archery and fishing facilities located on 375 acres in Westfield, about 100 miles west of Boston."

Here's McCain on the subject:

"I know how to use guns; but I don't own one." (Nov 2007)
"Prosecute criminals, not citizens for gun ownership." (Sep 2007)
"Don't hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes." (Sep 2007)
"Guns are a problem, but so are violent web sites & videos." (Aug 1999)

In 2007, McCain opposed restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition types.
In 1999, McCain voted against the Brady Bill & an assault weapons ban.

Like I said recently, people don't just change with the passage of time.



Todays Quote: Buddha Responds to the Placebo Effect

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”


Here's just one sizzling excerpt from his piece entitled, "Sarah Palin's War on Science - The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledge and learning," on the SLATE website:

"This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just 'people of faith' but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity."


Las week, I posted a piece about the placebo effect and how it's very existence turns the tenants of western medicine on their corrupt, cash-driven heads. Well, here's a true story from my early days as a clinical social worker.

It was the late 1970's, and I was assigned the case of "Erina," a 6-year old girl living in the foster home of a very lovely, elderly couple. Erina had been diagnosed as epileptic and "mildly retarded," not a politically incorrect label at the time. She was being prescribed Dilantin on a daily basis for her epileptic seizures, and was enrolled in a special elementary school for children with what they called "minimal brain dysfunction" back then. Erina's medication dosage was due to be increased because she was still having seizures.

Shortly after I got the case, I made a home visit, and witnessed one of Erina's "seizures." Something wasn't right. I'd seen epileptic seizures before, and by comparison, Erina's looked very controlled, almost contrived. I asked the foster parents if Erina had ever bitten her tongue or banged her head, etc., while in the throws of the seizures. "No," was their unqualified response.

I did a little research, digging up the older case record from the city agency that referred Erina to our foster care agency. (The old file was literally in the basement of the agency's building.) What I read was a horrific story of severe child abuse during Erina's infancy and toddler years - burns, laceration in her vagina... enough said. My wheels were turning. What if Erina was suffering from emotional and mental trauma, not epilepsy and retardation.

Fortunately, I had a very open-minded supervisor at the time, and when I asked him if we could conduct an experiment, based on my intuition and the findings in the old case file, he agreed to advocate for me. We somehow managed to convince the skeptical consulting psychiatrist on Erina's case to substitute a placebo for the Dilantin, and to allow me to do play therapy with the girl for a while.

Cut to the end of the story - within a year's time, Erina was no longer having "seizures," and she was performing quite well in a mainstream public elementary school, her diagnoses of retardation and epilepsy ultimately removed.

Three decades later, I still think of Erina every time I hear or read something about the placebo effect. It's odd how that phrase makes it seem so much like an odd occurrence, an anomaly, but it's not. We create our reality, including our health, from our beliefs. "Patients" respond to their own inner beliefs and the beliefs of their guardians and authority figures - i.e. - parents, doctors and teachers. In Erina's case, a belief in her illness was replaced by a belief in her health, and so, she healed.

End of story.

Today's Quote

"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."
Eleanor Roosevelt


"Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain."
From The Anchorage Daily News

Today's Quote

"As we saw first in the Democratic primary results and see now in the widespread revulsion at the McCain-Palin tactics, white Americans are not remotely the bigots the G.O.P. would have us believe. Just because a campaign trades in racism doesn’t mean that the country is racist."
Frank Rich
(Read the rest of the post HERE:


Saw the movie yesterday. It wasn't outstanding dramatically, though some of the performances were quite good. (I can't believe that Richard Dreyfuss pulled off Dick Cheney, but he did!) It was not suspenseful or gripping, nor poignant or sentimental. Most of the events and a lot of the dialogue were familiar. Oliver Stone didn't take very much creative license, so it almost seemed like a documentary at times. But here's the surprising thing - when it was over, I cried.


It took me a few moments to come to an understanding of my emotional reaction to a pretty unemotional film. What moved me to tears was the release of the kind of cry that comes out when a trauma is finally over. It reminded me of when my mother died of cancer so many years ago. She'd been sick and deteriorating for almost two years, and so, when she finally died, all of the pain I'd held in throughout her illness could finally come out. That's how I felt yesterday.

I don't think I could have seen this movie prior to this weekend. Now that it looks fairly certain that Obama will be our next president, I can exhale all of the sadness and disgust caused by what I've witnessed on the national scene for the last 8 years, and honestly, for the last 28 years! Beginning with Ronald Reagan, and including Bill Clinton, my Democratic friends, we have descended into the lower levels of our consciousness with each successive president until finally hitting bottom with W.

As I watched the ensemble cast portraying Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove, wantonly dismantling our constitution, I couldn't help but think of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin working to create it. I wasn't depressed, mind you. As is well known in my profession, and in 12-step programs, hitting bottom is often a necessary stage before advancing to a newer, higher level of consciousness or healthier living.

In fact, not only was I not depressed, I was grateful. I was glad that we had Bush & Co. for 8 years, because America had fallen asleep while our house was burning down and many people's lives were being wrecked. Some of us during these years were in a drunken stupor, high on greed and paranoid jingoism, and some of us were enablers, making excuses for the sociopathic behavior of our abusive parents. But I've seen the enemy and it was us.

So, thank you George W. Bush. Thank you Oliver Stone. Thank you for holding up a mirror that was painful but necessary to look into. I feel pretty optimistic on this Sunday morning, 9 days out from an historic Election Day. The truth always sets us free, doesn't it?

Strong Responses IN FAVOR OF Spanking!

One Reader writes:

"Light spanking is not considered child abuse in this country. That's great that you were able to raise your children without ever giving a spanking, but not everyone's children respond to the same thing. Its also horribly ignorant to suggest that any adult spanking a child has lost control, not to mention that many cultures consider light spanking a norm for child discipline. I am not saying that I spank my kids, which I don't, but as much as you hate republicans you should try not to be like them by spewing out ignorance."

Another writes:

"Spanking is, in fact, not child abuse. Go look it up."

PL's Response:

There are many things that are legally allowed or socially accepted in our culture and others, as preventing women and African-Americans from voting once was here, but that doesn't make them sane and healthy responses. Spanking is hitting and hitting is physical violence and it is nothing more than a demonstration to a child that brute force is a reasonable way to try and control another human being, especially one who is powerless to stop you. Maybe your angry response is a reflection of your own guilt, folks.

Finally, as far as my needing to "Go look it up," I always do. I never speak about these topics in a vacuum. Perhaps you might want to look up this short article on the subject, "To Spank or Not to Spank?" by Elizabeth Pantley, a Parenting Educator and author on the subject.


"It takes a heroic act of unconsciousness not to notice so profound a thing as drug addiction in one's partner."

THE ABOVE QUOTE is from a very interesting, I would say MUST READ, article entitled, "Relationship Politics: Body Language Of The McCain Marriage," by Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, authors of numerous books, including "CONSCIOUS LOVING."

As an expert on the language of the body, I have been saying throughout this election campaign that Barack Obama is my presidential candidate of choice because of what I see in his consistently grounded, confident, yet flexible and supple body language, coupled with a keen intelligence, both intellectual and emotional, visible in his eyes. I've also written about the great value, unique in political marriages, of the obvious Eros between Senator Obama and his wife, Michelle.

Meanwhile, in the McCain marriage, there is a painfully obvious absence of any genuine attraction or heart-to-heart connection, and in the senator's body language, there is festering rage, paranoia and rigidity. This is a recipe for disaster in a leader.

Here are the Hendricks on the McCains:

"After the last presidential debate we had many requests to give our interpretation of the awkward "hug moment" at the end. From a body language perspective, the moment revealed a great deal about the McCain marriage. Take note of the perfunctory hug, stiffness and lack of contact between the McCains, and compare those bits of body-talk with the way Michelle and Barack Obama greeted each other with smiles and a long hug. They were still hugging when John McCain tried awkwardly to connect with Mrs. Obama. The McCain hug looked as stiff as a puppet show, while the Obama hug looked as natural and graceful as a ballet."

Check out the rest of the article here:

You can reference my article, "A VOTE FOR EROS," in which I said this: "For me and my wife, it's going to be easy, ultimately, because we have one foolproof method for assessing the best potential candidate to lead this nation. We're voting for the one who looks like they're having the healthiest sex life! Yep. We watch every debate, and a lot of news programs, and if you look carefully, you can see who is experiencing Eros on a regular basis, and I can assure you, that person will not precipitously get us into a war, or belligerently alienate the rest of the world or allow vast portions of our citizenry to live in poverty or without a decent, living wage or home environment or a meaningful education. Think about it. No one who has ever had a mind-blowing, soul-quenching orgasm with someone they're in love with has ever followed that up with an impulse to invade a country or steal someone's pension fund or dump some toxic waste in a nearby river. Right? Freud said it a century ago, and many enlightened spiritual teachers said it before him, and some have said it since - the greatest cause of most social ills in the world is sexual repression."


THIS IS A REPOST - I thought it worth repeating.

Well, certainly, Republicans seem to be getting a good spanking in this election cycle, but a very interesting study I surfed into on SLATE.COM found that Republicans are far more likely to spank their children than Democrats.

Wow! I love that kind of statistic because it can tell us more about people than typical polls.

The biggest "spanking states," not surprisingly are: Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Montana, Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, and Indiana, basically what remains of Bush-McCain-Palin territory. A stat like this is so good because it doesn't leave room for any spin, you know.

Right wingers hit their kids.

Say it again.

Right wingers hit their kids.

Under the guise of child-rearing, of course, but make no mistake, spanking is child abuse, and totally not necessary. As any of you who know me or read my blog know, I am a big advocate for setting appropriate limits on children's behavior. Limits help children feel safe and also helps them work out of the normal levels of primary narcissism from early childhood. But an adult's authority rests solely in the adult's status as... an adult! Children innately, genetically are prone to respect an adult's authority. I've raised three kids and never had to use any kind of physical force to enforce limits. Why would I? I'm an adult. I'm comfortably, and lovingly, in charge. And that's how the kids want it.
"Spanking" - let's call it what it is: physical violence - is what happens when an adult loses control, not what is required when a child is out of control.

Anyway, I thought this was a beauty.

And by the way, speaking of spanking, why do you think so many of the boys on the right are hot for this lady?!



Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.

This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

Tonight's SEE YA! Quote

"If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."
John Moody, executive vice president at FOX NEWS, commenting on the hoax perpetrated by Ashley Todd moments before she admitted to police that her injuries were self-inflicted, not, as she initially pretended, inflicted by Obama supporters.


"This is a kind of deliberate, vicious, dishonest, total distortion of who Governor Palin is, including, by the way, the Saturday Night Live skits, some of which I think were slander and worthy of a lawsuit. I think the America people should realize that the elite media on the left is so desperate to elect Barack Obama that the view they're giving you of Sarah Palin is fundamentally a falsehood."
Newt Gingrich

My sides are splitting, Newt! You are still the best!! You old, horny right wingers are just so hot for Wilma, aren't you?

Today's Quote

"This country needs sensible leadership, compassionate leadership, honest leadership and strong leadership. Barack Obama has shown that he has all of those qualities."
The NY Times Editorial Board in its endorsement today of Barack Obama for President


About half of American doctors in a new survey in the British Medical Journal say they regularly give patients placebo treatments - usually drugs or vitamins that won't really help their condition. And many of these doctors are not honest with their patients about what they are doing, the survey found. Scientists have long known of the "placebo effect," in which patients given a fake or ineffective treatment often improve anyway, simply because they expected to get better.

Okay, stop, breath and listen to it again: patients given a fake or ineffective treatment often improve anyway, simply because they expected to get better.

I taught about the placebo effect in my classes on creating reality and on health. This is one of those things, you see, where if it's true at all (and it's been a known medical fact for decades), it changes everything. It's your beliefs that determine your health. It's not the application of any particular treatments by a doctor, but rather your belief in the treatments that heals you. The medical establishment has been making billions of dollars doing things that only work if you believe they will. This is not New Age mumbo jumbo - every medical doctor knows this. It's been taught in medical schools since the 1950's! GET IT?! Modern western medicine is an elaborate hoax, mainly offering useless or toxic drugs and procedures that cost a fortune, when it is in fact nothing more than hypnotic suggestions that actually make you well.

Here's an excerpt from an amazing MUST READ BOOK by Jane Roberts (channeling "SETH"), called, "THE WAY TOWARDS HEALTH:"

“Your health is an extension of your creativity. Your body is an artistic creation, formed and constantly maintained at unconscious levels, but quite in line with your beliefs about what and who you are. The miraculous constant translation of spirit into flesh is carried on with inexhaustible energy by the inner portions of being, but in all cases the inner self looks to the conscious mind for its assessment of the body’s condition and reality, and forms the image in line with the conscious mind’s beliefs. So - once more - you form reality through your beliefs, and your most intimate production is your physical body."

Perhaps you might want to think about what you believe in before you shell out more money for your high blood pressure meds or Viagra?



Today's WHAT????????!! Quote

"Let me give you three things that I think drives them crazy: That's she's very attractive. That she's very competent or that she's very happy."
Bill Bennett (on why Sarah Palin drives "liberal feminists" crazy)

Right, Bill, not that she's rabidly against a women's right to choose under any circumstances, or that she kills animals for sport or that she believes that dinosaurs and humans lived on the earth at the same time. Right.

She is hot, though, isn't she, Bill?


The article is entitled, "BLOCK THE VOTE," written by ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST, and it's in the current issue of ROLLING STONE.

"Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?"

Check it out HERE:


Well, certainly, Republicans seem to be getting a good spanking in this election cycle, but a very interesting study I surfed into today, on SLATE.COM, found that Republicans are far more likely to spank their children than Democrats.

Wow! I love that kind of statistic because it can tell us more about people than typical polls.

The biggest "spanking states," not surprisingly are: Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Montana, Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, and Indiana, basically what remains of Bush-McCain-Palin territory. A stat like this is so good because it doesn't leave room for any spin, you know.

Right wingers hit their kids.

Say it again.

Right wingers hit their kids.

Under the guise of child-rearing, of course, but make no mistake, spanking is child abuse, and totally not necessary. As any of you who know me or read my blog know, I am a big advocate for setting appropriate limits on children's behavior. Limits help children feel safe and also helps them work out of the normal levels of primary narcissism from early childhood. But an adult's authority rests solely in the adult's status as... an adult! Children innately, genetically are prone to respect an adult's authority. I've raised three kids and never had to use any kind of physical force to enforce limits. Why would I? I'm an adult. I'm comfortably, and lovingly, in charge. And that's how the kids want it.
"Spanking" - let's call it what it is: physical violence - is what happens when an adult loses control, not what is required when a child is out of control.

Anyway, I thought this was a beauty.

And by the way, speaking of spanking, why do you think so many of the boys on the right are hot for this lady?!


I'm invigorated. And exhausted. And I look forward to writing more about subjects not related to this election in a few weeks. But have no doubt, this election process, and my writing so much about it, was not about politics for me. As I've said many times before, I am apolitical, and I identify with no political party, not the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, not even the Independent Party. I have carefully watched the goings on in government for my entire adult life, however, as a student of sociology and economics, and so I've not been an oblivious bystander. Not at all. But since 1980, I have abstained from voting in the general elections for president because I have not found any true leadership qualities in any of the candidates. As moronic and insipid as George W. Bush was/is, and as close to truly evil as Dick Cheney was/is, I found no inspiration in Al Gore or John Kerry, although I know that they were at least intelligent men.

This year is different, different than anything I have witnessed since I became aware of public service in the 1960's. Back then, I was truly inspired by what some leaders were saying about the great possibilities for enlightenment and unity in America and the world. That's how I ended up ultimately becoming a social worker, instead of an economist.
But then came the assassinations of 1963 and 1968, and in the 1970's, the shootings at Kent State, and finally Watergate, and worse than Watergate: Gerald Ford's cynical pardoning of Nixon afterwards. By 1980, and the election of Ronald Reagan, I was committed to doing what I could to elevate consciousness on an individual basis, one person at a time, starting with myself. Only Mario Cuomo in the late 80's could have brought me back into national politics, but he passed. (I did get to play softball against him in Central Park, however.)

Now, there's Barack Obama. In spite of the rabid attacks of the dinosaurs and Flintstones who are quickly becoming extinct, Obama is neither white nor black, red nor blue, left nor right, capitalist nor socialist in his heart, mind or soul. He is - like me - a conscious man, intent on doing whatever works to bring people to a higher place of awareness, cooperativeness and togetherness.

This is not political for him. This is a calling. And I understand that.

With his top-of-his-class, Harvard credentials, Senator Obama could have been a wealthy partner in a law firm heading for a nice golden parachute by now. Instead, he became a community organizer on the working class streets of Chicago. When I was majoring in economics and accounting, with a straight A record, I knew I had a spot waiting for me at Coopers & Lybrand's accounting firm where my rich godfather, "Uncle Vinny," was a partner. But instead, I became a social worker and worked with the abandoned street kids in Times Square.

It's very hard for the greedy, power-hungry, cynical, win-at-all-costs politicians, and for their narrow-minded, fearful, love-Eros-and-sex-deprived constituents to understand what it is to have a calling, so they don't believe Barack Obama. They wonder what he's "really" up to. He must have some sinister motive.

But I know what Barack is up to. He wants humanity to evolve, and he is called to facilitate. I understand. I love that.

Today's Quote

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices."
William James


Here's John McCain in the recent past talking about Colin Powell, who McCain considered for his vice-presidential nominee only last spring:

"Colin Powell is a man who I admire as much as any man in the world, any person in the world. He is a man of proven ability, of abiding patriotism, and superior character. I am as proud to call Colin Powell a Republican as I have always been to call him my friend. His is a sterling record of service, and his detractors should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to dissuade a Powell candidacy by attacking his good name. I would like to think that there is more room in the Republican Party for Colin Powell than there is for those who substitute character assassination for political debate."

Here's the McCain campaign today:

"Look, I doubt if Colin Powell is equipped to do a whole lot of political prognostication. What his views are on the political scene are completely up to him."

Today's NOBEL PRIZE Quote

"I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan, but Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, while Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit. But that’s the point. Whatever today’s G.O.P. is, it isn’t the party of working Americans."
Paul Krugman (Winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics)


The McCain-Palin campaign today announced the endorsement of Mexican-American actress Katie Barberi, currently on Telemundo's "DONA BARBARA." Serious!

Tonight's Biblical Quote

"He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart."
Book of Proverbs 11:29


Remember when Spencer Tracy's "Henry Drummond," defending the teacher, B.T. Cates, who was arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, was confronted by his old, right wing friend, "Matthew Harrison Brady," played by Fredric March, who was prosecuting Cates? March's character asks Tracy's why he abandoned their friendship of so many years.
Spencer Tracy's memorable response was elegant and profound, and quite applicable today as a message to the few remaining hold-outs on the extreme conservative side of our current cultural evolution, who even now, are trying to say that Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama was racially motivated.

Listen up, Rush:

"Perhaps," Drummond says, "it was you who moved away from me, simply by standing still."


Here's an excerpt from Colin Powell's interview on "Meet The Press" this morning indicting the McCain campaign and the Republican Party, of which Powell is a member:

"Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions."


"I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities - and you have to take that into account - as well as his substance -- he has both style and substance. He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."
Colin Powell


An article in this morning's NY Times, entitled, "Among Rock-Ribbed Fans of Palin, Dudes Rule," is an appropriate follow-up to my post from yesterday about how the hate being spewed by Palin's male followers is rooted in their insecure sexual identities.

Here's an excerpt from the Times piece:

"Palin’s stoutest defenders are often the Joe Sixpacks in her crowds, who shrug off her critics, ridiculers and perceived adversaries in the news media. It is not unusual for fans of Sarah Palin to shout out to the Alaska governor in the midst of her stump speeches. It is noteworthy, however, that the crowds are heavily male. When Sarah Palin makes a campaign appearance, as she did last month in Carson City, Nev., the men in the crowd often respond with particular enthusiasm. 'You rock me out, Sarah,' yelled one man, wearing a red-checked hunting jacket as Ms. Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, strode into an airplane hangar here on Thursday. He held a homemade 'Dudes for Sarah' sign and wore a National Rifle Association hat. Kenny Loggins’s 'Danger Zone' blared over the loudspeakers, and the man even danced a little — yes, a guy in an N.R.A. hat dancing in a hangar, kind of a Sarah Palin rally thing."

Gee, these guys aren't desperately fighting off their horny fantasies of joining the Rockettes or maybe... the Village People, are they?!


"More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency."
The Salt Lake Tribune (which supported George W. Bush in 2004)

Geez! Who is for McCain-Palin at this point?

Tonight's Quote for the Righteous Right

“You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Anne Lamotte


Not exactly, Annie Lennox. But hate is a reaction to an aspect of love, specifically the “feminine” expression of it.

Let me be as direct and hard-hitting as I can about this, because we are seeing a destructive and dangerous rash of hatred coming out of the lower-functioning end of the far right since it has become apparent that Barack Obama is heading towards a landslide victory two weeks from now.

There is no rational explanation related to policy positions or political philosophy for the vile and vicious tenor of the attacks by what’s left of the right wing in this country. This is way beyond debate or heated discourse. This is becoming violent and out of control. Now that every thinking conservative has either outright declared support for Senator Obama, or at the least, decried the current crop of prehistoric primates being led by Sarah “Wilma Flintstone” Palin as moronic and beyond the pale, only a bestial group of paranoid, hate-mongers remains.

But what is fueling their terror and hatred really? Since this is clearly not about politics, and it certainly isn’t about “love of country” or patriotism, what is it about?

Folks, here I go again - it’s about love and sex, and sexual identity.

Over a hundred years ago, Freud postulated that the root cause of paranoia in men was extreme “homosexual anxiety.” So fearful are some men about the feminine side of their emotional/sexual life, so tortured are they by their identifications with their mothers, rather than their fathers, that these men adopt a hyper-masculine (macho) persona to disguise the deeper tendencies which they fear would destroy their fragile egos and gutted sense of self (The childrearing causes of this dysfunction are a discussion for another day.). The terror in response to their own “softer” feelings in this extreme male personality is inevitably projected outwards, so any other men who show signs of the feminine – cooperativeness instead of competitiveness, receptiveness instead of aggressiveness, openness and communicativeness instead of bullishness and control – threaten to upset the house of cards of their own sexual identity. Other men who are comfortable with both their masculine and feminine sides, like Barack Obama, must, therefore, be destroyed at all costs.

Okay. And what about the women? Well, just take a look at the nearly psychotic Republican congresswoman, Michelle Bachman, who called all liberals traitors yesterday, or the already psychotic Ann Coulter, who called John Edwards a “faggot.” With bone-hard features on their chiseled faces, and blazing, penetrating eyes, these women have thoroughly eradicated their feminine sides. It has long been understood that while the women of the far right are so opposed to abortion and birth control, women like Michelle, Ann and Sarah Palin, they are not in practice “pro-life.” In fact, these hyper-masculine women are as gleeful about executions and war (and killing doctors who respect a woman’s right to choose) as any crazed neo-con men. These women, overly identified with their fathers, and in deep conflict about it, are in the same paranoid quandary as their homophobic male counterparts. (Oh, and why doesn't anyone find it surprising anymore when yet another right wing politician or religious fundamentalist is discovered having closeted gay sex?)

But this is not about being gay. This is about sexuality. And love. And sex. Real sex. Loving, soul-quenching, gut-wrenching, bliss-inducing sex (Not sex as conquest or sex for ego inflation.) As I’ve said and written many times before, nobody who is having mind-blowing orgasms with someone they love ever feels inspired to go out and kill someone or throw toxic waste into a river or steal someone’s life savings... or call another person a traitor or a faggot. Only sexually dysfunctional, homophobic, emotionally distorted rage-aholics do those things.

This is a potentially wondrous time we are living in. The shift in consciousness that Barack Obama represents can be a real pendulum swing towards a cooperative, inclusive, open society, the kind once envisioned by the founders of our country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident...”


Tonight's Quote - Another Well-Known Conservative Comes Out for Obama

"John McCain is an honorable man who has served his country well. But he will not get my vote. Even though I may have been an appointee in the George H.W. Bush administration, and master of ceremonies for George W. Bush in 2004, for the first time since registering as a Republican 28 years ago, I'm voting for a Democrat for president."
Michael Smerconish

This Doesn't Compute, Mike!

Mike Barnacle is a veteran print and broadcast journalist, who has written nearly 4,000 columns collectively for New York Daily News, Boston Herald, Newsweek, and The Boston Globe, where he rose to prominence with his biting, satirical, and at times, heart-wrenching columns that closely followed the triumphs, travails and ambitions of Boston’s working and middle classes.

In a piece entitled, "McCAIN AT SUNSET," on the Huffington Post, Barnacle bemoans what he believes has happened to John McCain, clearly a man Mike once admired.

Here's Mike Barnacle:

"It is a sad story: a proud and independent man permits a handful of advisers to take his hard-earned reputation and alter it to such an extent that the original is now hard to recognize, nearly invisible behind a curtain of cynical ads and the preposterous pronouncements of a woman whose candidacy is an insult to intelligence."

What you're saying doesn't make sense, Mike, it doesn't compute. As a sociologist and psychotherapist for 30 years, I can tell you that a "proud and independent man" doesn't somehow morph into a petty, snarling opportunist, regardless of the influence of handlers or the level of misguided ambition. What does happen, especially when you get older, is that the facade, the mask, the "persona," as Carl Jung called it, breaks down, and the raw, unhealed parts of yourself become visible. This is who John McCain always was underneath, festering, seething and self-righteous. The "Maverick" was a fascinating cover that we all liked, but it was not real.

James Garner played "Maverick" once, too, Mike, but it was only a TV show.

Oh, and by the way, Morning Joe, you can trickle this, too...

In a stunning report released by the United States Government Accountability Office in July 2008, Americans learned that two-thirds of the corporations doing business in the U.S. paid no taxes from 1998-2005, while collectively reporting $2.5 trillion dollars in sales.
Man, those taxes are killing our businesses, aren't they, Joe?


I don't know what "Morning Joe" was smelling this morning, but it wasn't the coffee. He was espousing the same old discredited "trickle down economics" con game that has wrecked our economy, not to mention many people's lives, while obscenely enriching some of the most nefarious members of our society.
This time Scarborough was shilling for John McCain and the ubiquitous "Joe the Plumber," the invisible star of last night's final presidential debate. (Hallelujah!)
JTB, it seems, feels really pissed that if he started a business and it made a profit of a quarter of million dollars or more, he'd have to pay taxes. HELLO?! The story goes that Joe would rather fire all of his employees, or close down his business, or move it offshore, than pay those damn taxes.
Hmm... what does this remind you of? The kid in the schoolyard who when you explain the rules of fair play to him, says that he's quitting and taking his ball home with him? Or maybe the Mafia coming to your neighborhood and forcing you to pay them for protection. Protection from who? Them!
Listen, as I've mentioned, before I became a psychotherapist, I was a 4.00 (straight A) undergraduate student with a double major in Economics and Accounting. Yep. It's true. I studied macro and micro economic theory, and was into it. Here's the scoop: Trickle-down economic theory states that increases in the wealth of the rich are good for the middle class and poor because some of such additional wealth will eventually "trickle down" to the middle class and to the poor. The theory states that if the top income earners make even more, they'll invest more into business, equity markets and infrastructure (How are the roads and school in your area, by the way?), which will in turn lead to more jobs for middle class and poor individuals as well as better goods and services at lower prices for the same middle and poor classes. Thus, according to this theory, regulation of the wealth of the wealthy is counterproductive because the enhancement of the lives of the benevolent wealthy will lead to the betterment of all.
In the face of the rampant corruption and scandalous pilfering and back-and-bank-breaking financial crisis we're in due to deregulation (as per the trickle down shell gamers), is anyone, besides Joe the Plumber, Morning Joe and John "Gollum" McCain still naive enough to believe that the greedy and ego-driven blowfish of the world would suddenly become benevolent if just given their way? I'm sorry, but didn't we just try that? How'd it go? More jobs? Yeah, for illegal laborers and kids in China. In the U.S., the unemployment rate is at a 4-year high. Cheap prices? The Consumer Price Index just went up again by close to 10 percent, while real wages have declined. Better goods? How did your kid like the lead-painted toys from China?
C'mon Joe, Joe and John! Get real! Like another John once said: "Just gimme some truth!"


That's right, in line at my bank (yes, it's still open), recently. I overheard two white, working-class types, a man and a women, talking about the election. You know, these are the folks the pundits once were relentlessly saying Obama was having trouble with. The guy was wearing a plumber's uniform and had a classic Brooklyn accent to go along with his thick neck. The woman, sporting excessive make-up and very big hair, spoke with the same accent, though she had a reasonable neck. The point is, in simple terms, they were commiserating about why they were voting for Obama. My thought at that moment? "Landslide. It's going to be a landslide! I may have to apologize to my readers, after all, for my 'How Stupid Are We?' series."

Tonight's Pre-Debate "WHAT?!!?" Quote

"I like being here, because it seems like here and in our last rally too - other parts around this great Northwest - here in New Hampshire you just get it."
Sarah Palin (in New Hampshire - the GREAT NORTHWEST?!)


Who's left on the right for McCain? William F. Buckley's Son Endorses Obama... AND THEN GETS FIRED!!

Christopher Buckley... ...conservative writer and son of famed conservative, William F. Buckly, recently said that he has known McCain since 1982 and once wrote a speech for him, but that the senator has changed, airing "mean-spirited and pointless" attack ads and -- "What on earth can he have been thinking?" -- picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. While the result was "genuinely saddening" and even "tragic" for the country, Buckley wrote, he had concluded that Obama has a "first-class temperament and a first-class intellect" and could be a great president. In his embrace of Obama, Buckley quoted his father as saying, "You know, I've spent my entire lifetime separating the Right from the kooks."

Christopher was asked to resign from the National Review for saying these things! SO... as of today, George Will, William Kristol, Christopher Buckley, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, Christopher Hitchens and Matthew Dowd, all very conservative writers and thinkers have all turned on John McCain and Sarah Palin. There's also an entire other list of Republican politicians who've turned on the ticket.
Is John McCain a closet liberal Democrat? Or is he just such an emotionally disturbed, prevaricating opportunist of limited intellectual capacities that no one except the rabid "He's a terrorist!" "He's an Arab!" "Kill him!" crowd is still willing to be associated with him?


I just love this so much, I had to repost it, so once again...

Kahlil Gibran on Raising Children:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."

Today's Quotes from the LYING LIARS

During President Bush’s press conference on 8/9/07, The Washington Post’s Peter Baker asked him if he “had read” a highly confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that “has found an interrogation program in CIA detention facilities, that used interrogation techniques that were ‘tantamount to torture.”

President Bush responded:

“Haven’t seen it; we don’t torture,” before moving on to another question.

Now, in this morning's Washington Post, is this headline: "CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos - Waterboarding Got White House Nod."

From the piece:

"The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding."



Well, that's probably a title for a post you never thought you'd see on my blog, but... now that it looks like we're at the end of an era - what conservative Republicans loved to call "The Reagan Revolution" - it seems that the Universe had a message for me to share.
I surfed into the movie, "FIRST BLOOD," late the other night, and found myself glued to it. Originally on the big screen in 1982, the film portrays a very disturbed Viet Nam veteran, played by Sylvester Stallone, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, who goes on a rampage against the local authorities in a small town. Stallone's Rambo breaks down at the end of the movie, flashbacks and all, in a way that reminded me of the Viet Nam vets I worked with as a social worker at the Brooklyn V.A. Hospital in 1984. (I was a therapist in the drug-rehab unit, and man, were these guys broken.)
What was so striking to me today was remembering how the movie was hyped at the time, back in the beginning of the Reagan years. Just as Reagan co-opted Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA" (a song actually protesting the war) as if it were some kind of jingoistic jingle, "First Blood" was renamed "Rambo: First Blood," and the tragic lead character somehow morphed into an action hero. Nice slight of hand by the Reagan acolytes in Hollywood at the time.
It made me think about the fact that PTSD today is barely ever talked about, just as the caskets of the dead soldiers are never shown, even though after six years of mind-numbing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there must be thousands of vets crippled by their experience in the same way as those Viet Nam era young guys were.
There's no need for me to give a lecture here on why the death and emotional destruction of a war would need to be hidden, if the war was in fact just. That is obvious.
The good news is, the Reagan Revolution is over. 28 years of unbridled, deregulated greed and excess, coupled with xenophobic nationalism masquerading as patriotism, are crashing down around us today. It appears likely now that the Reaganites and neo-conservatives will be driven from the halls of Congress and from the White House in a few weeks by a tidal wave of awakened consciousness.
All I can say is I'm glad to be alive right now.


This is funny, and sad, in it's attempt to portray any real economic logic, but someone sent it to me yesterday, and so I'm putting it out there to show how naive so-called "conservatives" can be. I've since found out that this beer-drinking analogy (Why does every way of explaining things political and economic with this crop of conservatives always include beer?!) has been circulating around the internet. Not surprisingly, the college professor who is supposed to be the author, one David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia, says he never wrote it.

Anyway, here's the anecdote, and then my response:

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers", he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20". Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier."

Here's PL's response:

Here's the thing about the absurd guys-in-the-bar analogy, and you have to be drinking a lot of beer to fall for that bit of 3-card Monty, huh? In real life capitalism, not the imaginary capitalism where everyone is good and moral, the rich guy would have bought the bar, watered down the beer, lowered the salaries of the bartender and waiters, or hired illegal Mexicans off the books, and raised the prices of the brewskies and never sat at that bar again. No, he'd be drinking Johnny Walker Gold at the Four Seasons, laughing his ass off at his old chumps. Wake up and smell the greed, boys and girls!

Here's a repost of a piece that I wrote a few weeks ago on my blog on the subject of "Trickle Down Economics":


A lot of people don't know this about me, but before I became a social worker and psychotherapist, I was a 4.00 (straight A) undergraduate student with a double major in Economics and Accounting. (How I came to be who I am today is a long story, but...) Although I now mostly work with the inner lives of people who are seeking self-actualization, my fascination with observing the macro-systems of our society has always remained. In fact, combining the two fields of study offers me a particular - and I like to think - interesting perspective.

Here's what I see, in the face of the historic collapse of Wall Street, the housing market and the mortgage industry now wrecking our economy as I write this - and this relates to why I've been posting my series, "HOW STUPID ARE WE?"

There are still a number of people out there, enough of them left in the United States to be enabling the disasters befalling our country at every level, who actually still believe in the theory of "trickle-down economics."

Just to clarify, the "trickle-down" economic theory states that increases in the wealth of the rich are good for the middle class and poor because some of such additional wealth will eventually trickle down to the middle class and to the poor. The theory states that if the top income earners make even more, they'll invest more into business, infrastructure and equity markets, which will in turn lead to more jobs for middle class and poor individuals as well as better goods and services at lower prices for the same middle and poor classes. Thus, according to this theory, regulation of the wealth of the wealthy is counterproductive because the enhancement of the lives of the benevolent wealthy will lead to the betterment of all.

Now, I know, on the face of it, most of my readers wouldn't believe that anyone could possibly be so naive or gullible enough to buy into such an obvious con, but let me tell you something, folks - there are many, many people out there who are still desperately seeking an idealized good parent, one who will happily share their wealth and power and look out for the "little ones" that so many of us unfortunately still want to be. These imaginary good parents, of course, don't have a greedy, narcissistic, psychopathic bone in their bodies, nor any nefarious intentions towards others whatsoever. They are, in other words, what are real parents were not.

You would think that believing such a thing is incredible in the face of the scandals and rip-offs perpetrated by so many of the wealthy and powerful in the last few decades, right? Ha! I can tell you, believers are everywhere, and the political arms of the nefarious and greedy (those who've co-opted and falsely named their psychopathic intentions a "conservative movement") have learned exactly how to fool them and win the "kids" over - with fear of The Other and the wrath of moral judgments that have their roots in our childhood sexual conflicts.

My own working-class father, now living in rural upstate New York, has voted for these characters over and over, in spite of the toll their policies have taken on him economically. But Ronald Reagan seemed like an amiable father, and George W. seems like a righteous guy you'd - UGH! - want to have a beer with. John McCain seems like the grumpy but brave grandfather we wished we'd had, and Sarah Palin, the clear-eyed, firm, baby-making machine we fantasized our mothers were. Yes, that makes people like my father feel secure... even as they're filling out their bankruptcy papers and paying taxes through the nose.

Give up on your parents, folks. Because holding onto the need for imaginary good parents means that you have to stay a child, which ultimately means you end up in a nursing home, broke and alone, but getting all of your needs totally taken care of by someone else.


"The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: 'What does he take me for?"
Christopher Hitchens

Here's some excerpts from the rest of the essay in SLATE magazine by Hitchens:

"Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin by John McCain. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her — her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations — were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses. Sen. John McCain looks to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience. McCain occasionally remembers to stress matters like honor and to disown innuendoes and slanders, but this only makes him look both more senile and more cynical, since it cannot (can it?) be other than his wish and design that he has engaged a deputy who does the innuendoes and slanders for him."

And here's yet another response from "Mind Body Shop"...

... to my Stages of Healing series.


"Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own."

Well, okay then...


Interesting piece I came across today on the “” website, called, “The Stigma Of The Never-Married Man,” by Kate Hahn. In a way, it’s kind of a related follow-up to the posts I’ve made about open marriage.

Hahn claims that while the “confirmed bachelor” once used to be envied by many men, he is now looked down upon as “weird,” which is weird since the number of never-married men in their forties has doubled since 1980, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

So, what gives?

Playboy, loser, commitment-phobic, too fussy... latently gay? These are often the suggestions bandied about by the married among us. But Carl Weisman, author of the book, “So Why Have You Never Been Married?” suggests that maybe some men know themselves too well to ever commit to a strollers and “banana-pancake lifestyle.” "And," Weisman says, “maybe they don't deserve to be subjected to judgmental looks, because the kind of honesty that prevents them from entering a relationship just for the sake of it is the unmarried fortysomething's saving grace.”

Weisman believes that instead of looking askance at the perennially unmarried man, society should applaud him—even the cad. "The only thing worse than a playboy who refuses to commit is a playboy who gets married," he says.

Of course, as is so often the case in these kinds of phenomena, the answer is some mixture of both and neither... or all of the above, but with a third factor.

Yes, for sure, some men are unable/unwilling to engage in a long-term monogamous relationship because they have unresolved issues around intimacy and negative transferences to women. But just as surely, many men who get married have serious dependency issues and idealized transferences to women - just as bad as the negative ones in their effects, by the way. Both are recipes for the disaster of an unfulfilled life, but as a therapist and sociologist, if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, I'd say that at least the unmarried guy isn't screwing up any children by demonstrating what an unfortunate compromise "love" and married life can be.

On the flip side, a man might never get married because he wants to live outside of the institutional box, and avoid all the concomitant expectations of friends and family and corporations in that box. This radical man, however, will more than likely have experienced being deeply in-love and most likely, even cohabitation, even monogamy. He just rejects the contract part of it. Likewise, a man can be married in the legal, normative way, but still have vibrant love-Eros-and-sex and open, honest communication with his partner, without becoming deadeningly co-dependent.

But then there's the question raised by the fact that the number of never-married men has doubled in the last few decades. That fact goes along with other statistics that show that fewer people are getting married in general, and at later ages, and having less children. I've written about this before, with a definite sense of optimism about its meaning. This is the "third factor."

As we human beings are evolving mentally, emotionally and spiritually, as we are moving from younger soul ages to older soul ages, we are becoming less and less dependent on rigid social constructs and controls to rule our day-to-day lives, and more and more able to follow our own individual inner guidance for direction. FULL PERMISSION LIVING! To quote myself: "Full Permission Living rests on the foundation of truth that all people are entitled to live pleasure-filled, spontaneous, lives without guilt, shame or oppressive inner rules and prohibitions. Indeed, we are meant to live with full inner permission to follow our natural inner guidance and our inborn pleasure instinct to seek out gratification in all of our actions and endeavors, and that such a way of living always benefits those around us and those that we love."

So, don't judge those single guys approaching middle age. Get to know them, you married folks, lest they hit you back with Eric Clapton's old lyrics: "Fore you 'cuse me, take a look at yourself."

Today's EXTRA Bonus Quote: Tina Fey on Sarah Palin

"If she wins, I'm done. I can't do that for four years. And by 'I'm done,' I mean I'm leaving Earth."

Today's BONUS Quote

"My friends, we've got them just where we want them."


In case you missed it, this Rolling Stone article is a must-read. Find it here:


A 106-year-old American nun living in a convent in Rome could well be one of the oldest voters to cast a ballot in the 2008 US Presidential election. Sister Cecilia Gaudette, who last voted for President Eisenhower in 1952, has registered to vote and says she will vote for Democrat Barack Obama. Read the article here. (

Today's Quote

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

Comment on PL's "A VOTE FOR EROS"

"Anonymous" shares her reaction to my "A VOTE FOR EROS" post:

"Hi Peter,

I don't have anything much to add to this, but to say I thought this was brilliant! I find it amazing in this day and age that we still don't understand the importance of "eros" in our lives. So much so that we can't tell the difference between real marriages (like the Obamas) and the political partnerships posing as marriages (like the Clintons, the Bushes - all of them). Then we're "shocked" when we learn of their extramarital activities. Thanks for this post.

Tonight's Quote

"America will once again rise from the ashes of the Bushes."
Hillary Clinton


I saw Bill Maher’s documentary, “RELIGULOUS,” yesterday. It’s Maher’s very unvarnished and unabashed critique of religion, all religion, which he sees as both unfathomably infantile in its beliefs and dangerously destructive in its effects. The documentary ends with an ominous depiction of the “End Times,” the destruction of the Earth predicted and so cravenly desired by most religious fundamentalists in one way or another. Bill’s last spoken line of the film is: “There it is - grow-up or die!” He was not trying to be funny.
Indeed. It is pretty easy to demonstrate the horrible, ravaging effects organized religions have had on humanity throughout history, what with vicious crusades, witch burnings and Inquisitions, exclusion and bigotry of all varieties, rampant sexual abuses, many, many “holy wars,” and their worst crime of all – the promulgation of guilt for feeling normal human desire.
Organized religions, almost by definition, invariably distort the teachings of the spiritual teachers they were founded upon, and as part of the bastardization process, religions pretend that all of the great masters of spirituality weren’t in fact saying the exact same things. But of course they all were. And how could it be otherwise? The Truth must be the Truth or it’s not the Truth. And if it’s the Truth, it will eventually appeal to all. But in Zen-like fashion, these leaders of the soul make it clear that if you have to trumpet your truth and force others to abide by it, it can’t be the truth because, as Jesus said, Truth is Love. If your message is being delivered hatefully, or with attempts at control, no matter what the words, it’s not the truth. Truth does not set people or nations against each other. Only egos can do that because egos seek to separate and discriminate. The Truth unites.
One thing I was reminded of, and that was very clear to me while watching Religulous, is that religious people always fall into two categories: the followers and the leaders. And those two groups can be easily be understood by their "character structures" or "soul ages."
Most fervent devotees of any religious leader are “Baby Souls” with deeply entrenched “Oral Character Structures.” In other words - and words are important - these emotionally arrested folks want to be... saved. Yep. Saved. That’s what every single oral character, without exception, wants – to be saved by an idealized parent or parent-substitute. And it’s what all fanatically religious believers hope for - salvation.
And who is all too willing to take on that aggrandized role? You got it (I hope, if you’ve been reading my blog!) – the adolescent “Young Soul” with a full-blown “Psychopathic Character Structure.” Yeah, you know, your Go-To Guy! The pompous, heavily decked-out, snake-oil charlatan with all the answers and a trunk full of promises. The one whose ego is so outsized that he needs hundreds of thousands of devoted acolytes (and dollars!) to make him feel even remotely whole.
So, all of this being said, here’s where Bill Maher’s Religulous falls flat. While Bill rightly nails the destructive absurdity of religion, he demonstrates no genuinely spiritual perspective at all. And so his critique comes off as sarcastic, curmudgeonly and hostile, and therefore less credible. Real spirituality isn’t superstitious - it’s quantum physics, it’s non-dualistic reasoning. It’s understanding what Carl Jung called “meaningful coincidences,” which pointed to a “collective consciousness” at work in the universe. I would go so far as to say that Bill’s premise that any belief in the unseen is ridiculous, if not “religulous,” is potentially as destructive as religion itself. (Believing that statistically impossible synchronistic events are merely coincidence is as superstitious as believing that a parental god-figure is dictating everything.)
Here is what I’ve found to be true through my experiences of self-exploration and through the exploration of the inner lives of many people, and through the observation of humanity’s journey through history and through the study of various sciences over the years. It’s very simple, but profound. There are three Truths, and when we all arrive to a place of knowing these truths, there cannot be greed and need, war and hate, separation and isolation.
I hold these Truths to be self-evident:
Love is the essence of All That Is.
We create our own reality.
We are all one.

That's it.
Happy Sunday.

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