Here are a few standard definitions of reality -

New Oxford American Dictionary: the real world, real life, actuality; truth; physical existence. [Antonym (opposite): fantasy.]

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary: the quality or state of being real; a real event, entity, or state of affairs; the totality of real things and events; something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.

Wikipedia: Reality, in everyday usage, means "the state of things as they actually exist."

Here's something interesting by...

Plato: Only the intelligence that comes from the deepest understanding of reality should preside over human affairs, while all the other criteria of legitimacy applied by human societies must yield to it.

I put these quotes out there because, in a very real way, what is most missing from the problematic discourse in the public square, from the problematic discourse between individuals and from the problematic discourse inside of our own minds is a connection to reality.

The first developmental task of every human infant is to become "grounded in reality." Kind of like how a plant needs to take root in order to grow, a young child needs to become psychologically rooted in the world as it is in order to grow. Little children at first find this task very frustrating. Delaying gratification, developing frustration tolerance, facing the deconstruction of infantile narcissism and grandiosity, and accomplishing the monumental job of separation and individuation - these are the hallmarks of healthy childhood development, and they are no small feats considerating the slings and arrows of having un-actualized parents in an un-actualized world.

We are all wounded to varying degrees in these areas, no exceptions, and so we are all given to using fantasy as an escape to varying degrees. The good news, potentially, is that upon attaining adulthood, we can seek out help to heal our wounds from early childhood, and then let go of fantasy as a staple of comforting ourselves and find our full connection to reality.

I often say to people I work with, when talking about reality versus fantasy, that it's not that reality is the best thing, it's that it is the only thing. There is no viable alternative to reality. Trying to live full-time in fantasy is called psychosis... which brings me to what I write about so frequently on this blog.

Whether it is believing that President Obama wants to kill your grandparents or thinking that by getting rid of the Good Humor man, you can get your child to stop having sugar-lust tantrums, you are on a continuum of craziness. I have written many blog postings about the need to call crazy "crazy," and the need to identify certain behaviors and attitudes, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., as psychiatric disorders. I have also said often that except in matters of taste - Chinese food versus Italian, the Black Eyed Peas versus Miley Cyrus - where there is no empirical test to demonstrate that one is inherently better than the other, there are rarely two legitimate sides to the serious issues relating to the well-being of our society and of individuals.

That is the big problem we face. Wounded childish egos want to be right. Healthy adults want to find the truth. Wounded childish egos want power over others, want to win by defeating opponents, real or otherwise. Healthy adults lead by example, are in touch with their oneness with others, and seek to collaborate. Wounded childish egos feel devastated about being wrong. Healthy adults learn from mistakes and grow. And so on.

President Obama is discovering that whenever he attempts to give legitimacy, even if just in words, to the tantrums being thrown by the wounded childish egos of the far right lunatic fringe, they do not suddenly become collaborative, mature adults. They actually get worse, because if someone is delusional, you can't help them by patronizing them or enabling them. Just as you need to do when your 3-year-old is having a tantrum over ice cream, limit-setting and staying the course of reality are the only things that will help. That is why Plato is... PLATO! "Only the intelligence that comes from the deepest understanding of reality should preside over human affairs, while all the other criteria of legitimacy applied by human societies must yield to it."

Reality doesn't suck, or bite, folks! Anything good that you have ever actually experienced in your life... was real! Remember that.


Okay, I have to share this because it's simultaneously pathetic, hilarious, tragic and ultimately, dangerous. A regular reader of this blog forwarded me an e-mail circulating around the internet about why we must stop gun control measures from being enacted. The gist of it is because without guns in the hands of citizens, we won't be able to stop a government take-over. I'm not kidding. They're serious!

So, try and imagine, if you can, the scenario: our government decides to send in the CIA or the Navy SEALS, or worse yet, BLACKWATER, not accountable to anyone, to take over your neighborhood. You and your friends and Joe the Plumber, armed with pistols, shotguns, even assault rifles, maybe a few wrenches, are somehow going to stand in armed combat against their helicopters, tanks, Humvees and whatever else the latest technology can offer. What do you think? Good plan? Yeah, you and your silly friends are going to shoot those suckers and scare them off, huh?! Like... what are you, living in the 18th Century?!

Why, I asked these folks, do you think that the Bush-Cheney administration, one of the worst perpetrators of violating our civil rights and laws in modern times, allowed us to keep our guns without gun control? Because it's a childish illusion that you're safe with your guns from these violations. These rights are undermined through subverting our laws. They leave you with your pacifiers, so you'll behave yourself and shut-up, and for the last eight years, you did shut-up while our Constitution and economy was dismantled.

This isn't playing army or cowboys and Indians, folks, like when you were eight years old. How old are you?!!? You have to grow up and enlighten yourself and stop hiding behind your A-Team fantasies, and start saying no to violating our Constitution and laws by awakening to reality.

Whew!! What happened to you folks?!


"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
Henry Van Dyke


Here's a must read, a review of what is being called an era-defining book: "THE DEATH OF CONSERVATISM", by Sam Tanenhaus.

For Tanenhaus, the conservatives have abandoned their core values of respect for tradition combined with at least an acceptance of the necessity of change—of pragmatic, principled adaptability—for a rigid absolutism that expresses itself in a politics of destruction and mechanical negativity.

Tanenhaus: "These conservatives today are heartless. They are really heartless.”



Here's Rick:

The first thing that came to mind was the French Revolution when trying to come up with the right/left definitions. Well done here PL. People don't really care what government they have as long as they feel safe, can be productive and can provide for their families. History proves this. The French Monarchy failed on all counts and that is why the revolt occurred.

Because the French set up in two extreme camps, as you mentioned, nothing that came out of the far right vs far left was lasting. Another revolution 4 years later, establishment of a republic, The Reign of Terror, Napoleonic Empires twice, interrupted by an invasion, and then a bunch more republics.

My point is that an extreme right or left is never lasting. Is it institutional or just bad people? There have been very successful monarchies/dictatorships that failed because of the change of leaders + then how the people were treated. Communist states flourished initially but couldn't succeed because of the greed + power that corrupted those leaders too.

Were does that leave America? A democratic republic, as PL rightly labeled our form of government. It is the longest lasting form of government in the world today. Does it have flaws? Yes. But what makes this government lasting is that the middle always rules. Yes we do have presidents who are right + left of center, but really center nonetheless. When one party goes too far in one direction BAM! we get the opposite leader to pull us back to the middle. FDR, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II and Obama all benefited as candidates because the incumbents pulled us too far in one direction and the middle reacted.

So onto the challenge. I would argue that all of these men took this country to places that it had to go, toward the center. Some of these very men also pulled us too far right or left during their last term in office. If Obama's policies are true to the center, you will not see him seriously challenged in 2012 as there will be no need to "pull" us. If he go too far, conservative challengers will gain momentum to bring us back to the center.

Do you think England, France, Italy, Germany or any other "progressive" European nation would ever elect a black person as president? Any Asian country? Not a chance. Would an African nation, whose black majority can vote, elect a white leader? Doubt it. Yes they hail Obama's election but would never think of pulling the lever for a man of minority color in the voter's booth.

I'll take our system, with its flaws, as there is always the real opportunity for many sides to significantly influence the debate.

Here's PL:

Very interesting, Rick, and I do agree with much of what you're saying here. Progress, individually or collectively, is never a straight line up, and the pendulum swings - what I think of as the periods of expansion, contraction and rest - are all part of the equation of our evolution.

In terms of our own country, I would say that I, too, am optimistic about our potential for continued growth, and that the foundations laid down in our founding documents are an excellent guide for our development. But we have to be careful. We have not yet lived up to much of what is in those great contracts with ourselves, even after two hundred-plus years. As a relatively young nation, kind of in our maturational adolescence, our hubris could and does severely trip us up. Too many immature, self-proclaimed "real" Americans don't get that continually saying that we're "better" than other countries or peoples is asking for the hard lessons that must lead to humility and oneness.

Truly great nations don't need to continually say they're great.

Only insecure people or nations need to remind you of how great they are on a regular basis, and they tend to rely more on hype rather than deeds. Leaders lead by example. It is childish that the likes of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney think it's a sign of weakness that Obama has acknowledged America's mistakes and apologized for them. It reminds me of the Fonz on "Happy Days," whose desperate need to appear cool made it impossible for him to say he was "wrrr... wrrrrr..." wrong!

A mature, confident person, or country, not only can admit their mistakes, but in so doing can learn and grow from them. If we can't admit mistakes, then we must assume we're done growing, right? This is the greatest pitfall or today's far right, and why their energy has become so stagnant. They are putrefying from their own resistance to change.

Okay, thanks for the ongoing dialogue, Rick. Thoughtful and stimulating and very worth having!


"We are a very crippled giant suffering from self-inflicted wounds that if we do not treat and heal, will in fact bring us to our knees and ultimately to our doom."
Bill Moyers


Here's Rick:

I apologize if anything in my statement referred to the Emancipation Proclamation as being right wing. I would ask others if they read it as such. Keep hitting me with the stupid stick if I made that connection, I deserve it. And yes you would be right that my argument would have no point.

However, as President, and as we have seen many politicians do today, Lincoln had to put his personal beliefs aside and make choices.

These quotes are both from PBS's "Africans in America"

..."In his inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861, Lincoln proclaimed that it was his duty to maintain the Union. He also declared that he had no intention of ending slavery where it existed, or of repealing the Fugitive Slave Law -- a position that horrified African Americans and their white allies...."

..."Though "contraband" slaves had been declared free, Lincoln continued to insist that this was a war to save the Union, not to free slaves. But by 1862, Lincoln was considering emancipation as a necessary step toward winning the war. The South was using enslaved people to aid the war effort...."

It is well documented that he would not have ended slavery but for the fact that it would save the Union. I could go on extensively proving this. It is also true that he personally despised slavery. That explains when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped and brought this country to a better place forever, a true liberal by your definition.

You accurately wrote that the Republicans sold out to the far right. I would also contend the Democrats sold out to the far left. Gore, Kerry + H. Clinton all were endorsed by the Democratic establishment but lost. (Obama was not the "establishment's" choice and that's why he was electable in November. He isn't a far left liberal and his policies are proving that)

It is too bad we have prolonged primaries where these extremists matter.

Here's PL:

You are right, Rick. "Politics," and what that has come to mean, is a double-edged sword that can, on the one hand, force a politician to transcend his limited personal beliefs or betray his greater, higher self in service of his ambition. This is always worth remembering. Thanks for reminding us!


"We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us. What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings."
President Barack Obama (excerpt from his eulogy for Ted Kennedy today)


First Anonymous quotes PL - "attempting to redefine what the far right is" - and then, Anonymous asks: "Define what form of Government is the most 'far right' form of Government?"

Here's PL:

I answered the question in a post below to Auntlori and Rick - The phrase "right-wing" was coined during the French Revolution, when right-wing referred to seating arrangements in parliament; those who sat on the right supported the monarchy, the aristocracy and the established church. Today, the term "the Right" is primarily used to refer to political groups, including conservatives, reactionaries, monarchists, aristocrats, religious fundamentalists, and some nationalists. The Right also encompasses views supporting free markets and making the right of owning private property the paramount right. Interestingly enough, traditional Republicanism, by most definitions, is almost the opposite of right wing ideology. A "republic," technically, is the rule by many and by laws and is anti-monarchial.

I know from the link you sent, Anon, that you want to purport that right wing governance means the least amount of government, but that is simply not correct. Libertarians desire the least amount of government.

Our country is generally referred to as a "democratic republic" with conservative and liberal leanings at different times. Conservatives want a government that maintains the prevailing social order and puts the needs of capitalists first, whereas Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals. True Republicans desire a strict adherence to the rule of law, while a true democrat desires government that places democracy - majority rule - in the highest place.

The far right wing, on the other hand, is neither Republican or Democratic, and not truly Conservative or Liberal, either.

A far right winger desires that there be a strict hierarchy and class system in society, based on wealth, race, gender and religion, rigidly enforced by a lone ruler, who is elevated above the rest of the masses. That is why it was so acceptable to the far right that Bush broke our laws and defiled our constitution and got his mandate to start a war not from the people or the rule of law, but from "God." The far right was also fine with the Bush policies that greatly enhanced the abundance of the richest among us, while abusing, neglecting and exploiting the general working classes, because that is the kind of aristocracy right wingers admire, even at the expense of themselves and most other people in the country.

The Republican Party, by embracing the right wing in order to capture the votes of racists in the deep south (See the Southern Strategy), and by embracing deregulation of corporations in order to rake in big cash, sold itself out and is now paying the price. There is a lesson here.

Anon, might I suggest you stop looking for an idealized big daddy out there who's going to use and abuse you "for your own good" because he and God know best?

How can I say this more succinctly? Get your head out of your ass?!


Well, three days ago, I asked for anyone to share who their "hero on the far right is." So far, the two examples given in response by readers of this blog have been Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower.

So, not only did the respondents need to reach back 50 and 150 years to find a hero, but they are actually attempting to redefine what the "far right" is in order to co-opt a hero.

Here's what Lincoln had to say, for example:

"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless."

Here's Ike:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

I'd say that's pretty extreme right-wing stuff, huh?! YEEAAHHH... THAT'S THE TICKET!


Here's Auntlori:

"Without entering into 'the challenge,' as I do not disagree with the question you are posing, my question to you, PL, is this: Is there anyone on the 'far right' that is not republican or is democratic? Your manipulation of word choice seems a little slippery to me."

Here's Rick:

"Go Pete! If you're on something, legal or not, 'natural' or not, keep taking it as it gives you great passion and energy.
If you're not on something, maybe you need to start taking something. Shame on you for making the leap from kidnapper, rapist, insane nut job to those who carry firearms and protest things. We've been down this road before and I think we all can agree that no matter the walk of life, or group of people, bad people exist. I already wrote about occupations you questioned about whether it was the institution or the people within them that made them problematic. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, therapists, priests were some of them. Bad people who made selfish decisions abound. The professions were not.

Let me take momma's little helper, gulp. I will become a gun carrier next week (not really) and immediately, I will be overcome with the urge to kidnap young girls and hide them in my yard for years while exacting all kinds of abuse. You are consistently intellectually dishonest, so I guess keep beating that drum in hopes you'll wear people out. I'm tired but not dumb. I will say this, you certainly provide comic relief if not head scratching to these issues.

I have a few requests so I can honestly face this 'challenge' as opposed to walking into the trap you craftily set. (Nice work by the way)
1. Define 'far-right wingers'
2. Qualify/provide examples of what 'further our country + humanity at large' means
3. Distinguish between a conservative/far-right winger and someone who would embrace 'This is where we've been that we must hold onto and not change.'
Lincoln's only goal of the Civil War was to hold onto that which we had. Isn't that, by your definition, a conservative or far right winger? Hopefully, the aforementioned requests will flush all of this out.

Once I get this information, I'll be better equipped to try and entertain your 'challenge.'

Your move counselor."

Here's PL:

Okay, Auntlori and Rick...

Thank you for pursuing this topic to a greater depth.

Let's start with a working definition of right wing, as most often described by those who identify themselves as such, and according to the various political dictionaries and encyclopedias on the web.

The phrase "right-wing" was coined during the French Revolution, when right-wing referred to seating arrangements in parliament; those who sat on the right supported the monarchy, the aristocracy and the established church. Today, the term "the Right" is primarily used to refer to political groups, including conservatives, reactionaries, monarchists, aristocrats, religious fundamentalists, and some nationalists. The Right also encompasses views supporting free markets and making the right of owning private property the paramount right. Interestingly enough, traditional Republicanism, by most definitions, is almost the opposite of right wing ideology. A "republic," technically, is the rule by many and by laws and is anti-monarchial.

Over the last forty years, after a long reign by the Democratic Party from 1932 to 1968 (the moderate Eisenhower interrupting the dominance), the Republican Party sold out to the far right in order to win votes, leading to success for that stretch from 1968 to 2008, on the one hand, but destroying the party ultimately. Are there any far right Democrats? I don't know of any, but I'd be interested if anyone does. Personally, I think the Democrats have many faults, many indeed, but generally, being retrogressive is not one of them.

As to your other comments/questions, Rick, well, this is our old banter, I guess, so I'll try to find a creative way to yet again repeat myself.

I can't subscribe to the "one bad apple" mentality about corruption, when corruption is systemic, as it is in all the professions you mention, including my own. As a "good" therapist, I consider myself an exception, just as I consider good cops, priests, doctors and politicians exceptions. Institutionalizing practices in the pursuit of money and power corrupts absolutely. Likewise, normalizing - or marginalizing - insane behavior, or hiding it behind legality, doesn't change it's inherent insanity.

In terms of what it means to "move our country and humanity forward," first and foremost, I would start with self-awareness and self-examination, and just as important, a connection to the oneness between all people. Exceptionalism, nationalism, racism, sexism, jingoism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc., are hallmarks of the far right in our time, certainly not self-reflective and most certainly not about oneness. The opposite of oneness, wouldn't you say?

And Lincoln, Rick? Really?! The Emancipation Proclamation is what? A right wing manifesto?! That's a beauty! I must admit, I've never heard anyone until now claim that refusing to allow the part of our union that wanted to maintain a feudal system which included slavery to secede was simply an effort to maintain the status quo!

Whew! I guess, then, following that logic, the folks in Texas who want to secede from the Union, you know the ones who want their guns and Hooters left alone, must be real far left liberals?

I repeat... Whew!

You may be scratching your head, but I'm starting to think you're arguing with me just for the sake of arguing.


The horrific story breaking this week is of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 in 1991 when she was kidnapped. Snatched from her school bus stop, and then locked away from the outside world behind a series of fences, sheds and tents in the back of a suburban home, her abductor, investigators say, raped her and fathered two children with her, the first when Jaycee was about 14. Those children, both girls now 11 and 15, also were kept hidden away in the backyard compound.

No one in our society today would consider this type of behavior sane, let alone suggest it should be legal, but there was a time when such actions were allowed, as was customary in some sects of Mormonism, and as enslaving human beings for profit was once legal here, as well. Indeed, there are places today where enslaving children for sexual exploitation is legal, where stoning a woman to death for adultery is legal, where forced child labor is legal, where mutilation of a woman's genitals is legal, etc.

In our country, the United States of America, it is legal to carry a loaded assault rifle to a town hall meeting on health care! In the U.S., it is legal for banks and credit card companies to charge 33% interest on borrowed money. In America, it is legal to give toddlers speed and other psychotropic medication. Here in our country, everything that was done by the banks and hedge funds that caused the collapse of our economy was legal.

Do a search on my blog for the word "insane" and you will find many postings where I plead with people to call crazy what it is. We hide behind a word - "legal" - far too often. Legal does not mean sane. Sane means sane. Behavior can be legal and yet be insane. That's why the spirit of the law in many cases overrules the letter of the law, and that is why having judges with compassion and wisdom is important, because the law sometimes is insane. In our grandparents' lifetimes, women and African-Americans weren't allowed to vote, remember?

So, when you decry in horror the story of Jaycee Lee Dugard and her two children, don't forget the gun-toting birthers and tea-baggers. And look at yourself and your relatives and friends. As I've written here many times, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia... and practically the entire practice of mainstream medicine and law enforcement... these are all psychiatric disorders!


Here's a perfect follow-up to my post: "GIVING TO GET OR DOING IT FOR LOVE." It's by Jason Mannino and it's entitled: "HOW DOING WHAT YOU LOVE SERVES HUMANITY."

I've been on this subject a lot lately, and over the years, the subject of giving, and how it's not about "doing good deeds" or "self-sacrifice," but about genuinely doing what you love to do, what your particular gifts are about. So, come on folks, no more excuses. If you've got a talent, or a passion, give it up. The world could use you!

Here's a delicious taste from the piece by Mannino:

"When you are living in your center in connection with your true self, you are also directly connected to the part of you that knows the gifts and talents you were born to share in this lifetime. This is your life's calling. More often than not it is also your dream, the thing that you love to do, and the thing that makes you feel alive, inspired, and jump out of bed in the morning. The great news is that what you are born to do in this life is how you serve humanity."


BREAKING: Washington - President Richard Nixon considered Ted Kennedy such a threat that he tried to catch Kennedy cheating on his wife, even ordering aides to recruit Secret Service agents to spill secrets on the senator's behavior.

"Do you have anybody in the Secret Service that you can get to?" Nixon asked his aide John Ehrlichman in a stark series of Oval Office conversations about Kennedy before the 1972 election. "Yeah, yeah," Ehrlichman replied.

"Plant one," Nixon said. "Plant two guys on him. This could be very useful."

Nixon made clear that the Secret Service protection afforded Kennedy before the 1972 election would be rescinded after. Then, said the president, "If he gets shot, it's too damn bad!" His aides disdainfully referred to Kennedy supporters as "super swinger jet set types."

Here's a poster from a potential Twilight Zone episode for you!!


"Fear and greed are potent motivators. When both of these forces push in the same direction, virtually no human being can resist. And doctors -- despite many expectations to the contrary -- are human beings."

A worthy read by Dr. Andrew Weil HERE


"Anonymous" offers up Ron Paul as an example, but again, PL asks: Who considers Ron Paul a right winger?



"What is your point? That only the democrats are doing any good for this country. I can't believe that you really think that."


No, my point is that the right wing has become a group of obstructionist, "Just say no" to everything, paranoid, wingnuts who have apparently decided not to even try to do anything constructive in a number of years. And by the way, I don't consider Eisenhower or Lincoln to be right wing. You're talking Republicans, Dadloff, but I'm talking about the far right. Right?

No matter how many times some people try to get me to make this a Democratic versus Republican fight, I'm not buying into it. What I'm into is a sane versus insane, constructive versus destructive expose of reality, get it? It's not my doing that the far right wing, which happens to mostly identify themselves as Republicans, have shown themselves to be predominantly borderline psychotic and sociopathic. It's just the observable truth.


So far, there have been two - one response cited Lincoln and Eisenhower, the other just Lincoln.

Exactly my point!!


Ted Kennedy is dead. He was certainly a warrior of what some would call the "liberal cause" in politics.

Here's my challenge:

ANYONE, anyone at all, and I mean it, tell me who your hero on the far right is. Tell me one person, just one, who you would identify as right wing, who you look up to for something they have done to further the evolution of our country and humanity at large, someone who has said "This is the next place we must go to," rather than "This is where we've been that we must hold onto and not change."

Simple challenge. Any takers?



"Before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill."
Rush Limbaugh


"Whether it's loveless sex or loveless spaghetti and meatballs, if you've prepared the feast and are consuming it without love, you're missing the most extraordinary part of the experience."
Neale Donald Walsch ("Conversations With God")


In his Op-ed today, "ALL THE PRESIDENT'S ZOMBIES," in most cogent and clear language, understandable, hopefully, even to the toothless, pickle-barrel set, the Nobel-winning economist, Paul Krugman, lays out how Reaganomics, above all else, is destroying our economy, a point I made a while ago in two of my pieces entitled "FROM RAMBO TO McCAIN: THE END OF THE REAGAN REVOLUTION" and "THE GIPPER VERSUS FULL PERMISSION LIVING."

Unfortunately, Krugman's editorial is a testament to how really stupid many people are (and you know who you are, or you should), and he is not very optimistic, but I remain so, nonetheless.

Really important reading, folks.


BREAKING: Study Shows Massive Rise In ADHD Drug Abuse Among Teens Which also parallels the 86 percent rise in ADHD medicine prescriptions for kids aged 10 to 19, from about 4 million to nearly 8 million during that time.



Like, no way, those doctors were really trying to heal him. Really.


Frank Rich has an Op-Ed in today's NY Times, entitled "THE GUNS OF AUGUST," which focuses mainly on the growing dangers of the festering lunatic right wing brandishing firearms at political rallies, including those where President Obama is actually present. Hard to believe, but you see it in the news everyday. And there are actually some real loonytunes in the far right media and elsewhere, people hiding their doughy white bodies and big hair in pickle barrels, while supporting the right to play cowboys and "Injuns" in the public square with deadly weapons.

So, I left a comment (expounded on below) to Rich's piece, not arguing against the right to own a firearm, but rather questioning the sanity of owning one.

Your comments are welcome, of course.

Here's mine:

Two years ago, I was ambushed and brutally assaulted by two thugs in front of my own home in a residential area of Brooklyn. I was brought bleeding and unconscious to the hospital. If I had a gun on me at the moment of the attack, I surely would have used it to protect myself and my family, and as long as said gun was legally owned by me, I'm sure no charges would have been brought against me. So, why didn't I have a gun, and more importantly, why don't I own one now?

It's really simple - because owning a gun is basically insane.

If you own a gun, you will eventually shoot something that is alive, most likely killing it. I choose not to enhance the odds of my having that opportunity, because killing is the highest violation of the essence of my humanity.

I still eat meat, so one might argue that an animal is killed by someone else on my behalf. How hypocritical is that, PL? Well, to a certain degree, I agree, and I am heading, sooner rather than later, towards vegetarian living. But still, killing for sport, which is what hunting is, is different. It is killing for "fun," not for necessity or nourishment, and finding entertainment in the act of ending life is... insane. It just is.

One might argue that cops and soldiers carry firearms to protect the common good. (And I would actually argue against that notion.) But is that insane? Well, it's socially acceptable and collectively encouraged by our society to use deadly force as a cop or soldier, true, but nonetheless, for an individual to choose a profession in which killing is part of the job description is a sign of serious psychological disturbance. Sorry. It just is. We want to believe it's a sign of bravery or patriotism, but killing someone with a weapon that could blow up a whole neighborhood is hardly courageous.

Facing your enemies with honesty, directness and love is truly courageous, but few are as genuinely heroic as a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King or a Jesus.

Our current level of evolution as a species is such that there are those that would kill to further the dictates of their greed, xenophobic fears or lust for power over others, so many feel that an armed police force and military is the only way to protect ourselves and survive. I understand that mentality, but it still represents the thinking of a low-level of consciousness which, for now, is a discussion for another blog entry.

To be continued...


Here's "RL":

Ok, PL, I'll take the bait. Your conclusion please? Enjoying your blog as always!
p.s. The reason I ask, aside from gobbling anything Madoff-related and enjoying your clinical take on such that I once had an affair with a similar 'case': not a thief, but a mythomaniac, a tinily endowed master seducer-liar. In retrospect, I couldn't avoid making a connection between his micropenis and his narcissistic manipulativeness: he was basically all sizzle and no steak! But the sizzle was very compelling. for awhile. (alas, for anyone who got involved with him). cheers!

Here's PL:

OK, RL, thanks for asking. Here it is - "Phallic Narcissism," which is very prevalent in the Psychopathic Character Structure, though not exclusive to it, derives from the "phallic stage" of development, around 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old, that time when little boys love to run around showing off their newly charged up penises. Said boys are very proud of their genitalia at that age, and aggressively in love with themselves sexually (thus the "narcissism" label). It's a time when masturbation is usually discovered, opening up a whole new world to the child.

What's supposed to happen, however, is that after the phallic stage passes, the little boy begins turning his need to love to the outside world, towards others. However, if enough wounding has occurred emotionally to the child during the phallic stage, in essence, he will never stop being obsessed with his own penis and potency. Such a child, growing into a man, will obsessively need to overcompensate for any feelings of inadequacy by being extraordinarily aggressive or dominating or acquisitive to a degree that can become sociopathic, as in Madoff's case. The fact that he actually had a small penis, according to Sheryl Weinstein, would exacerbate the problem, but it isn't the cause of it. As I've heard many times over the years from female patients in therapy, size rarely matters to the woman as much as it matters to a man, since we all have a little bit of phallic narcissism left over from those days.

So, that's the skinny on the "sizzle without the steak," RL. Take care... and don't forget the A1.


Here's LOFF56:

I generally don't find Barney Frank to be a particularly good role model for diplomacy, decency or character, but I do believe he illustrates a good point here. And kudos to him for blatantly explaining it. Yes, the First Amendment is there to protect your freedom of speech, all of it, from tame to disgusting. There's no disputing that. But no where in the First Amendment does it say that you can't be held accountable for the words you say!! Barney Frank is basically saying, "Fine, you're allowed to say those things, but based on the insane nature of what you're saying, you're forfeiting your PRIVILEGE to have a voice in a democracy that values rationality and decorum, among other things."

This is related to your previous post about Glenn Beck too. Clearly his "free speech" did have actual, monetary consequences. Nobody said that he couldn't say that Obama's a racist. But he said it at his own peril and lost a boat-load of advertisers.

I think people forget that about free speech and the First Amendment. In the same way that in the Second Amendment you're allowed to carry a gun, but when you actually fire it, you're responsible for what you hit.

So go ahead and speak your mind, but don't expect any mercy when you say something that makes you sound like you're from Neptune


BREAKING: Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, admitted that he was pressured into raising the terror alert on the eve of the 2004 election to help President Bush's re-election. Furthermore, Ridge says he was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was "blindsided" by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster being ignored; and he was pushed to raise the security alert, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.



Here's LOFF56:

"It's entirely possible that she's just lying. Not that the billion-dollar-over-compensation-for-small-penis theory doesn't warrant serious consideration. But maybe she's just playing the 3rd grader you-have-a-small-penis card."


Wow! That's one tough third grade, L56! I don't remember that kind of slur until Junior High!


Here's Auntlori:

"While I am not a fan of always avoiding the sources of toddler tantrums, I also don't see the big deal in letting your kid have an ice cream at the playground during the summer! I have very fond memories of the ice cream truck during the summer months from my own childhood. Believe it or not, I did not end up obese, diabetic, or with an eating disorder. Perhaps that is because I actually did have boundaries, had to negotiate my way through frustration and disappointment, and learned to appreciate the relaxation that was summer! I say to the parents in Park Slope: 'Parent your kids, and have an ice cream with them at the playground!"


Nice one! Makes me want to have a "Toasted Almond" right about now!


“Bernie had a very small penis. Not only was it on the short side, it was small in circumference. It clearly caused him great angst."

Sheryl Weinstein, former chief financial officer of Hadassah, in her memoir of her affair with Bernie Madoff.

(If someone asks, I will share my conclusion.)


On what planet do you spend most of your time? It is a tribute to the First Amendment that such vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated. Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table."
Congressman Barney Frank, responding to a crazy woman at a town hall asking why he supports President Obama's "Nazi" health care reform plan



Here's Dadloff:

"When I wrote to you once before when you were complaining about SUV strollers in book stores and coffee shops, I advised you to move out of Park Slope. Now you are complaining once again about how bad Park Slope is. I advise you once again, if you are not happy there, you should move to a more suitable place that meets your requirements for Full Permission Living."

PL: I'm working on finding that place, DL!


This is a local story, but pretty hard to believe, so I had to comment on it: Park Slope parents want ice cream trucks banned from playgrounds because they can't stand the meltdowns their kids have when they say no. Yep. I didn't make this up. It's on the ONLY THE BLOG KNOWS BROOKLYN blog.

I mean - Wow! I haven't commented much on the narcissism breeding ground that is Park Slope in a while - been busy with Obama's election and now, health care and the crazy right wing backlash - but this is a whopper that I can't ignore. This is such a horrific story about parental abandonment of children and abdication by the very worst kind of adults. That a parent would rather attempt to ban ice cream trucks from the playground than set limits on their child's sugar cravings and tantrums is extraordinarily disturbed and tragic. I thought I'd heard it all when the Stepford Parents here were mounting a protest to allow their toddlers in strollers into bars, but clearly, the hits keep on coming out here in parental Loonyville. Park Slope is really a bad place to raise children, isn't it? I mean, here is a conglomerate of vicariously acting out deprived adult parents gutting their children of the strengths needed to function in the world - frustration tolerance, delayed gratification, self-regulation... Whew!



Hey PL,

Yeah, it doesn't quite answer the question I'm asking in the way that I'm looking for, but... let me digress a bit. I've been doing a little research on the subject and came to realize that the debate we're having is summarized pretty well in Plato's (Socrate's) "Allegory of the Cave":

It describes in a good way the practical problem of "enlightenment". Once enlightened, what next? As the problem in the allegory suggests, once you've become enlightened to the outside world, you appear completely crazy to the people still living in the cave.

It seems that there are a couple of different takes on this "allegory". One, and I believe this is probably yours, is that it's the true calling, even the duty, of the philosopher to keep trying to inform people in the cave of the existence of the outside world. The second is that the whole thing is meant as a sort of satirical paradox in that the philosopher can know the outside world but perhaps because of that very knowledge, can't possibly himself actually enlighten anyone in the shadow world, and would drive himself mad trying to do so.

I've managed to find a few arguments for both. But I guess that's the true crux of the debate. And in essence another way of looking at my question, "why poke the angry bear?"

I believe as Greek philosophers are concerned, my instinct is that you're probably most interested in Socrates and Plato and their search for the pure truth. But also perhaps for their criticism and their contempt of the Sophists who use argument, and discourse as a tool for gaining the upper hand.

I can't dispute the value of Socrates and Plato for their pure philosophy and pure truth seeking. But I also feel that Aristotle in his "Rhetoric" makes a very good argument that although Plato and Socrates work was theoretically important, it was only a piece of the puzzle. He picked up where Plato left off, when Plato finally recognized the importance of rhetoric in "winning the soul through discourse", Aristotle, took that and ran with it in his "Rhetoric".

And there's no doubt as you'll find in just the index of this book (I admit I have only barely thumbed through the text - it's very long!), that there is definitely a lot said in it about proper discourse and language and lol - "avoiding meanness" (Book 3, Chapter 2).

Anyway, I'm not trying to continually condemn your tactics, (I know it may appear that way), but I hope you recognize that what I'm saying about practical discourse over, (or in addition to at least) pure truth does hold a valid point of view, and I would hope that you'll recognize that this is not me thinking "dualistically" in any way. It does have significant historical context and an important place in the national debate. And if Aristotle is right, then it's a completely essential element to the national debate.



There is indeed a place for both approaches - seeking the "higher" big picture Truth, and simultaneously, living, communicating, teaching and operating in the world as it currently is, the "small picture" truths. I have tried in my career, my personal life and on this blog to combine the approaches of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. In fact, when I taught my 3-year training institute classes, my model for teaching and learning was that of the ancient Greeks, operating in a democratic forum, exploring the nature of reality together.

Many of my students and patients, upon attaining a certain level of enlightenment, have asked me - "What do I do now? Everyone around me seems crazy, and I seem crazy to everyone else!" Ha! That's enlightenment!

My answer is - "Just be yourself, live your life and trust the rest to the greater Universe around you. Then, you cannot help being a light for others. That is the only real way to effect change, and yes, it does involve discourse, but not trying to convince. Just exposing, demonstrating and shining a light on things, even if it is a light that some may find harsh."

There's an excellent book on this subject called, "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" by Jack Kornfield.

The idea is not to end up living alone in a monastery or on a mountain top after attaining enlightenment, but rather to set about doing the work you came here to do, whatever that may be.

Very gratifying having these dialogues, isn't it, especially when they actually lead somewhere?!

Rock on, L56!!


BREAKING: OWEGO, N.Y. (AP) -- Police say a 6-foot-2, 220-pound upstate New York man has been charged with using a BB gun, golf club, tire iron and glass bottle during attacks against a developmentally disabled man, who was a Special Olympian.

(P.S. If someone asks, I'll give you my conclusion.)


BREAKING: GOP Must Repudiate Limbaugh or Be Defined by Him

Here's part of the article by Menachem Z. Rosensaft, Adjunct Professor of Law at the Cornell University Law School, where he teaches a seminar on World War II war crimes trials, and the Founding Chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors:

One stark difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats appear to be far more willing to confront and publicly denounce bigots and extremists in their own fold. This has been highlighted by the GOP leadership's failure to condemn Rush Limbaugh's divisive, race-baiting diatribes.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama unambiguously rejected and repudiated Louis Farrakhan, calling the Nation of Islam leader's anti-Israel and anti-Jewish tirades "unacceptable and reprehensible." Despite a very real concern that distancing himself from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright risked alienating a significant part of the Democratic base, Obama also condemned as "ridiculous" and "divisive" what he described as his former pastor's "rants that aren't grounded in truth."

Similarly, in a June 1992 speech to the Rainbow Coalition, presidential candidate Bill Clinton denounced the incendiary anti-white rhetoric of the hip-hop rap artist, Sister Souljah, thereby incurring the Rev. Jesse Jackson's wrath.

In sharp contrast and with rare exceptions, the Republican leadership consistently refuses to even address, let alone condemn, Limbaugh's inflammatory, offensive and vitriol-laced radio broadcasts, either because they condone his sentiments or because they are terrified of losing the votes of his millions of faithful listeners.

Most recently, Limbaugh not only listed "the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany," but compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Here's what Limbaugh told his nationwide audience: "Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook"; "Obama is asking citizens to rat each other out like Hitler did"; the president "is sending out his brownshirts to head up opposition to genuine American citizens who want no part of what Barack Obama stands for and is trying to stuff down our throats"; and "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate."

Limbaugh has a long history of inciting the far-right grass-roots against any political figures who do not reflect his white, fundamentalist Christian, conservative, anti-minority, anti-pluralistic, anti-egalitarian view of the world.

He considers feminists to be "feminazis," dismissed Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a "hack" and a "reverse racist," and was outraged when President Obama declared in his April address to the Turkish Parliament that one of the "great strengths of the United States" is that although "we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

Limbaugh further appealed to his followers' most xenophobic instincts by telling them that that it is "really uncool to be a white male today," and that U.S. Rep. David Scott or one of his supporters, rather than a Ku Klux Klan wannabe, most probably had painted a large swastika on a sign outside the African-American congressman's Georgia district office.

For Holocaust survivors and their families in particular, Limbaugh's demagogic screeds have ominous overtones with which we are all too familiar.

One would have expected Republican Party leaders who purport to be in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt to speak out against Limbaugh's hate mongering. Instead, Colin Powell has been one of the very few prominent Republicans with the integrity to take on Limbaugh.


A man in Phoenix, Arizona, who decided not to give his name, walking around a pro-health care reform rally, with a pistol on his hip and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault weapon) on a strap over his shoulder, perfectly legal in that enlightened state.


BREAKING: Phoenix - About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday - the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president. Gun-rights advocates say they're exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen. Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday's event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn't need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

You see, it's ultimately so easy to manipulate dumb people, isn't it? It's been done by psychopaths throughout history, for thousands of years. In this case, the psychopaths tell the mental children in grown-up bodies that if they support the robber barons' rights to live without regulation while they rob the country blind, the Deliverance kids will get to play with guns and wear funny costumes, and not have to brush their teeth. YAAAYYYY!!!


BREAKING: Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, and GMAC are among eight major advertisers that have confirmed pulling their advertising from Fox News' "Glenn Beck" program in light of his comments that President Obama is a racist. SEE YA!!


Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time approx 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk. 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 10 minutes: A 3 years old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on. 45 minutes: The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while.About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ......
How many other things are we missing?


This week, we had a 19-year old young woman from Italy, visiting the U.S. for the first time, staying at our home. She is very interested in politics, and hopes to major in international relations to perhaps become a diplomat one day. Over dinner last night, and then a walk across the Brooklyn Promenade, we discussed the perception of U.S. politics in her home country.

She said that the election of Barack Obama was a very happy and big event for Italians, and for many Europeans. In some ways, she said, Obama's election had comparable impact on Italians and Europeans as did the events of 9/11/01. (Our guest did visit the Ground Zero Memorial yesterday, as well, and was very moved.) "What about Bush?," I asked. Her face grew dark, and she just shook her head.

What did it mean, I wondered, that the election of an American president could be a cause for celebration in other western countries?

Of course, the Deliverance crowd would say that it means Obama is selling our country out, that if other countries like us, even our own allies, instead of fear and loathe us, we must be doing something wrong. Peace and international cooperation after all, is for pussies and elites with college degrees. Real Americans, with Bazooka Bubble Gum jokes for an education, don't want the United States to be appreciated by the rest of the free world. That's wimpy shit! You know, it should be, like... "Speak loudly to hide your little stick!"

Anyway, it was very gratifying to hear from our Italian friend that America can still be a light for the world.

Avere un grande giorno!


This is a great piece from the "SAVE THE CAT" author, BLAKE SNYDER, from his blog on screenwriting. This piece is relevant not just to writing a screenplay, but as equally relevant to how to live! (I often ask my patients to think of their life as a screenplay and ask themselves about any event in their life - "Now why did I write that scene in here, this way with these characters at this time?")

Here's Blake:

"Doing a review of Slumdog Millionaire earlier this year, I discovered something fascinating.

We all know the movie, and the sweep of the Academy Awards that followed its release.

But I wonder if the movie would have had the same impact if filmmakers went with the ending the original script suggested?

In that dramatic finale, the hero played by Dev Patel “storms the castle” to get to the set of the Millionaire show and answer the final question that will make him rich. His last lifeline call goes out and by gosh SHE answers, the girl of his dreams, and the only one who can help him.

In the original script, she did! And there on the air, gave him the final answer that would solve all his problems, unite them in love… and good fortune… forever. Wow! What a happy ending!

But that’s not how it went. In the movie, Dev connects to the girl of his dreams, but she doesn’t know the answer. And now it’s just Dev and the depth of his experience we’ve seen him live through where he must search for the answer. As the clock ticks, and the pressure mounts, he does.


I’d say. But why?

In my opinion, it’s because that moment now delivered on a key part of what I call the 'Five Point Finale,' in which the hero must 'Dig Deep Down to find the answer to any problem he faces.

It’s the 'touched by the divine' part. And I think it made all the difference in making the ending of Slumdog Millionaire a success. It’s that part of the story where the hero, having died at All Is Lost, now knows he is not alone. A steely pro, a hero with true — not blind — faith, he knows that if he reaches out into the darkness, someone will take his hand. Someone not necessarily human.

If you are trying to figure out that last little piece in your finale, think of the difference between being given the answer, and digging deep down to find it. This 'Use the Force, Luke!' beat is why we go to the movies. When we find it, it will guide our storytelling and give it supernatural power."



I've been wondering how vitamin D, best obtained from the sun, and mental health are related. There's some interesting research out there that shows that vitamin D does, indeed, play a role in mental health. It's something that I have felt intuitively all of my life. Being outdoors on warm, sun-drenched days, with little or no clothing on, has always made me feel indescribably open, expansive and vibrant physically, and in a good mood emotionally, with optimistic, grounded, positive feelings and thoughts. In contrast, during the short, grayer days of the winter, I am, as many S.A.D. people are, more inclined to grumpiness and fatigued.

Here's an excerpt from the Vitamin D Council's website:

"Epidemiological evidence shows an association between reduced sun exposure and mental illness.
Mental illness is associated with low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels.
Mental illness shows a significant comorbidity with illnesses thought to be associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Theoretical models (in vitro or animal evidence) exist to explain how vitamin D deficiency may play a causative role in mental illness.
Studies indicate vitamin D improves mental illness.
Mental illness has increased as humans have migrated out of the sun.
Depression has significant co-morbidity with illnesses associated with hypovitaminosis D such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin D has a significant biochemistry in the brain. Nuclear receptors for vitamin D exist in the brain and vitamin D is involved in the biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors, synthesis of nitric oxide synthase, and increased glutathione levels - all suggesting an important role for vitamin D in brain function."



BREAKING: "G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier as War Evolves"

"Before 2001, America’s military women had rarely seen ground combat. Their jobs kept them mostly away from enemy lines, as military policy dictates. But the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have changed that."

Well, I have two questions: Is this a good thing? And can war "evolve?!"



Wow! What a difference a day makes! You certainly have achieved your objective of rattling the cage and firing people up. That, sprinkled with some actual thoughts + conclusions that are worthy of noting. I guess I , along with others thought it would be the other way around. Not gonna happen! I get that too but it is still fun to hold up a mirror and determine if the reflection can be seen.

My main point, which is very clear, is to refute your claim that anyone, dems or repubs or even the previous administration are not allowed to, "now claim they were betrayed by the Fake Cowboy and Darth Vadar". Based on the info, you can't fault them for supporting the war, just as you can't credit others who opposed the war because of the informations which was thought to be true at the time.

I know there are some people who will support any war for any reason and the same can be said of those who would oppose it for any reason. Take those out of the equation because the information didn't matter, they were never betrayed.

I get that only direct harsh words spill from the frustration of 28 years of, "...nefarious and/or incompetent leadership in the White House..." and, people "needed to be awakened to the clarion call of consciousness that a new day was upon us". I get that point. Where I and others on this blog differ is the approach and the level of integrity of your words and approach.

Another great disarming tactic,
"And crying that the democrats have fucked up, too, isn't really a position, is it kids? No. It's just what kids say when they've been caught being mean, selfish or stupid."
When you only lambaste one group or side, without recognizing the obvious culpability on the other side, and then dismissing anyone who might point it out, well, isn't that childish too? Isn't that like school girls + boys sticking their fingers in their ears and making noise with their tongues flopping around as to not hear any other words? Right "kids". (Yet another dismissive tactic used to not have to explain a hypocritical position. I will give you this, you are relentless in your use of these tactics I just I hope I don't tire and give up and allow you to get away with it.)

I do read these blogs and for you to try another dismissive tactic instead of just responding to the merit, or lack thereof, of the post, well, I throw the BS flag too, (I am running out though LOL!) Telling me to read your posts? BS As you often trumpet yourself, don't give me the one example of the time you chastised indiscriminately. That, according to your calculus doesn't make it so. (I disagree with it, but I am trying to use a logic you set to find some clarity here)

I will again use the same tactic you frequently use.
Here are the excerpts from the blog I did actually read + the only one to which I responded.

1. "as if being a Republican was their patriotic calling card"
2. "So, these new "former Republicans"
3. "And crying that the democrats have fucked up, too"

Sooo, if you these are not indicative of your biased opinion on this post. Help me understand your point.

You could just say ok "Sonny Boy" ( I was told to include that one) and pat me on my head without ever having to explain yourself and continue with the reckless conclusions often found throughout the blog that I do read.


Okay, Rick (I can't bring myself to say "Sonny Boy!") - I don't want to repeat myself but I can only repeat myself. In this set of blog entries over the last two years since Obama started running for president and actually became able to win, and now since he's been president, there has been an uprising of the worst and lowest levels of consciousness in our society, from those who fear change.

It is obvious to the visitor we had here for the last week from another country, observing it from the outside, that Obama represents something new and hopeful to the country and the world at large. Many can easily see this. But those who are riddled with fear of that which is unfamiliar, those who operate from a primitive mindset that requires sameness (not to be confused with oneness) in order to feel safe, they are making a great deal of non-productive, even destructive noise. So, I am delivering an antidote - exposure.

Why you keep trying to make this about Democrats versus Republicans, I can only assume, is because that is familiar territory for you.

It is the Republicans making the loudest noise and creating the most maniacal type of disruptions right now of the progress that the rest of our society is supporting, so, again, repeating myself, I am doing my part to contribute to the exposure.

Finally, and again, what you call my "bias," I call the observations resulting from seeking the truth and reporting what's there for anyone to see... if they want to.

La fortuna buona di notte e buona!


Here's LOFF56:

Nice try, PL. But I'm not letting you off the hook with a "Nice finale". Answer the question. You've admitted to not being able to change them. So I ask once again, why poke the angry bear?


I thought I answered it, L56, but I'll try again - the purpose of provoking the "angry bear," as you call them (clearly, I prefer more colorful metaphors) is to get them to expose themselves for the sake of our collective evolution through their dissolution by that exposure.

Let me know if that's not enough.



In case you are not aware of it, there are local elections every year, state elections next year and congressional elections next year. duhhhhhhhhhhhh. And yes, presidential elections 3 and one half years from now, and I was not even reffering to that election. It is nice to see that there are others who object to some of your remarks.


OK, DL, so you're saying it is possible that 3 1/2 years from now, you might be willing to vote for Obama if our country is in good shape? Glad to hear it!

Yes, clearly, there are others who object to my remarks. I accept and expect that. It comes with the territory. Glad you're hanging tough on this blog! It's stimulating for all!


Here's LOFF56:

Well, OK...
If I can dare to speak on behalf of "the choir", your choir to be more specific, WE'RE AWAKE ALREADY, and we're trying to shut the damn alarm clock off so we can f*#$ing get to work!!!!
And for those people who are not in the choir whom you claim will never change, I ask yet again, then what's the point of poking the angry bear???


Here's LOFF56:

First of all, Kudos to you for the presidential fly swatter reference. I didn't see that one coming. LOL

Second: "Preaching to the choir"

I have two problems with this. First, if you are in fact intentionally "preaching to the choir" then I ask the obvious question that is bound up in that very adage, "what's the point"? The very phrase itself means that one is tied up in a futile exercise in teaching people something they already know. So, very simply: What's the point?

Second: I'm calling out your BS on this one anyway because I don't believe you actually are "preaching to the choir". Numerous times in your postings you've very adamantly asked people (directly and indirectly) to disagree with you or you've spoken directly to a group of people outside "the choir". There's a June 1st posting that's actually called, "PL's Challenge!"

Here's a quote from a relatively recent post that suggests that you're attempting to reach people way outside "the choir":

PL: I've already written and posted and reposted my article entitled "SAY IT: RACISM IS A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER!" so many times that I will only link to it this time. But now I would like to get even more offensive to the baby souls who blindly love blind authority and live with intense fear of the Other: "SAY IT: BEING A COP IS A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER!"

This is not "preaching to the choir" at all, this is directly engaging the "baby souls" as you call them. (And I'm not gonna' buy the argument that the directive, "SAY IT" is intended for us, "the choir". If it is, then you need to start paying serious attention to the syntax and clarity of your writing. In the context of what you've written here, you're asking the "baby souls" to "SAY IT!")

So again, I'm calling you out, you're not in fact "preaching to the choir" at all. Which I'm totally fine with! In fact, I think that's fantastic. From Luke Chapter 15: "...there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." So...

That brings me to my original point. Since you are (at least I believe you are) attempting to change people's minds and you agree that Obama is a great leader, why don't you act like him, and leave words like, "...retrogressive, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, greedy, needy, prescription drug-filled, numbskull Deliverance hypocrites..." at the door?

To tie this in with anons comments as well. I have no problem with vigorously defending the truth. I think this is a major difference between the Obama administration and the Clinton administration, Obama has been much better at dispelling rumor, lies and what not than Clinton ever was. But discourse does matter. Two wrongs don't make a right. Words when strung together like this, "...retrogressive, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, greedy, needy, prescription drug-filled, numbskull Deliverance hypocrites..." have a meaning that's larger than the individual definitions of all the parts. Even if individually all of it happens to be true, there is a definite insult that's synthesized by the collection of the out-of-context adjectives which is really just as un-helpful to the public discourse as the lies that these politicians spew in the first place.

And for those of us on the side of progress, leading by example is not a weakness or a fault. I believe it's an absolute necessity. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." How will we ever break the dreadful partisan cycle until one side decides to hold back their punches?

Defend the truth: YES, YES, YES!!!
Swat the actual lie: YES, YES, YES!!!
Destroy the liars: NO! NO! NO! Convert them!

Here's PL:

Okay, L56, I know you think my approach is counterproductive at times, even if you agree with some of the content of what I'm saying, but a few things in response to you here on this matter...

The purpose of preaching to the choir is to wake the choir up. After 28 years of nefarious and/or incompetent leadership in the White House, many people had fallen asleep or given up on government at that level, and needed to be awakened to the clarion call of consciousness that a new day was upon us. The outpouring in the 2008 election represented that awakening, but it is still so that the choir needs to be reminded of the resistance that still exists in screeching force against progressive change, so they don't fall back to sleep.

Likewise, I assure you that the people I'm referring to as "the Deliverance crowd" didn't and never will support a Barack Obama for the very reasons they themselves espouse through their riotous rhetoric, because they are not at all capable of embracing the kind of change his election represented. (Just ask some that you might know who all of a sudden have decided that they will never again vote for an incumbent! Hmm... who exactly would that incumbent be that they've actually decided 3 1/2 years in advance they will never vote for?!)

As far as my challenges to those immovable folks on this blog, I do admit to provoking that crowd, yes, but for the purposes of exposing their hypocrisy and Flintstonian thinking. I have no illusions whatsoever that they might change. Those that imprisoned Galileo because he supported Copernicus' discovery that the Earth revolved around the sun never changed their minds. Those who burned woman as witches never realized they were psychotic misogynists. And those who think Obama isn't American and might even be the anti-Christ aren't open to a new way.

We are undoubtedly evolving collectively, L56, and that is the source of my ultimate optimism. But some of that evolution is in the hands of time and takes place through attrition. As the (sorry) retrogressive, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, greedy, needy, prescription drug-filled, numbskull Deliverance hypocrites die out - and they are already shrinking dramatically in numbers - our evolution will proceed as it always has.

As always, thanks for your thoughtful comments!


"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
The Dalai Lama


"Obamacare is about the government's coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development. Do you want government agents coming into your home and telling you how to parent your children?"
Chuck Norris, noted scholar, health care expert and B karate movie actor


BREAKING: Top Five Health Care Reform Lies!

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of "death panels" and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in health care bill." What's the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans. If you'd like to read the actual section of the legislation that spawned these outrageous claims, READ Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 for yourself. It's pretty boring stuff, which is why the accusations that it creates "death panels" is so absurd. But don't take my word for it, read it yourself!

"Oh, wait, then I'd actually have to read, and Daddy told me reading is for French, gay, intellectual elites!"

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down. If you're happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can't afford health care now.

"But Daddy like's it that I have to work two jobs to pay for the medical bills not covered by my 33% interest-rate credit cards."

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that. Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage.

"Oh, but I like being abused by Daddy; it means he really loves me!"

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens' Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care—in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.

"Oh, but then how is Daddy going to pay for the $50,000 ice sculpture for his secret daughter's sweet sixteen party?!"

Lie #5: Obama's health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy. Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care. The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade—and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses. Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama's reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.




This is an excerpt from a NY Times op-ed written by the president yesterday. You can read the entire piece HERE: "Why We Need Health Care Reform" by Barack Obama.

Heres Obama:

"Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Most important, we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups, preventive care and screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end. It makes sense, it saves lives and it can also save money.

This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

The long and vigorous debate about health care that’s been taking place over the past few months is a good thing. It’s what America’s all about. But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed.

I am confident that when all is said and done, we can forge the consensus we need to achieve this goal. We are already closer to achieving health-insurance reform than we have ever been. We have the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association on board, because our nation’s nurses and doctors know firsthand how badly we need reform. We have broad agreement in Congress on about 80 percent of what we’re trying to do. And we have an agreement from the drug companies to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. The AARP supports this policy, and agrees with us that reform must happen this year.

In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America.

In the end, this isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives and livelihoods. This is about people’s businesses. This is about America’s future, and whether we will be able to look back years from now and say that this was the moment when we made the changes we needed, and gave our children a better life. I believe we can, and I believe we will."


Here's Rick:

Easy now O great one. Are you proclaiming to know "what's really going on in the halls of power in our country"? Or are you saying only those opposing the democrats don't know? Or are you suggesting only those supporting the democrats "really know".

You stated to being on the political sidelines for over 30 years until a candidate, who resembled (Class is in session -I'm using a default phrase commonly used on this blog to baselessly reject an otherwise sound argument. Class dismissed.) idealized adults from your childhood, emerged. Or are you just pissed off that you realized other idealized adults let you down so that gives you motivation to demonize, ridicule and hate anyone who may resemble those people?

Your commentary on certain issues clearly demonstrates the need to be in the game a bit more openly to fully comprehend how similar the Dems + the Repubs really are.

Surprising as this is, dadloff stating he would not vote for any incumbent, and coupling Rush Limbaugh with "similar" hard lined opinionated democratic talking heads, gives us insight into this.

3 of the 5 current reps who currently hold the TOP leadership positions in the House, plus Speaker Pelosi's right hand man, Van Hollen, all supported the war in Iraq.
4 of the 5 current senators who currently hold the TOP leadership positions in the Senate did the same.

29 Dems for and 21 against in the Senate including power brokers Hilary Clinton + John Kerry
81 Dems for and 126 against in the House.

"...these mortified and mortifying hypocrites now claim they were betrayed by the Fake Cowboy and Darth Vadar ...."

I'm seeking clarity. Are you intellectually honest enough to accuse the dems who supported the war as hypocrites too?
If so, these "hypocrites" actually patrol those very halls of power of which you claim to have insight. Why would people, democrats or republicans believe those in power? "I voted for it before I voted against it". Remember that? You can't have it both ways.

Yeah. That's the ticket!

Based on the information we all had, yes weapons of mass destructions were in Iraq (See 13 UN resolutions that call for Iraq to give these up starting in the early 90's) why not?. The people who supported the war wisely believed this to be true. Why wouldn't they? The proof was there. However, Obama, who promised to have the troops phased out was against it all the time. Whichl proved to be a major factor in getting the nomination. I would have voted against it too. Not because I am against all of the solid reasons to go into war or not because I am in favor of all of the solid reasons to avert war, or to gain political speed, but because of history.

If you look at the regions of the middle east and Iraq particularly, the thousands of years of old struggles between different tribes, clans, peoples, religions + states prove that even total + complete victory by the US would not make for lasting peace. Unless, of course, only one group was left standing to govern themselves. Like the Mafia of old, eliminate the children of those you killed lest they avenge those deaths + the cycle continues.

Also, look at Vietnam. You don't stick your big toe in the water and call it swimming. If the US is not prepared to use every bit of its power + military to quickly and absolutely destroy the enemy, why bother? It was clear the US wouldn't do that in Iraq. Vietnam was about a 20 year war beginning with Eisenhower, amped up by Kennedy, recklessly fought by LBJ, Nixon and Congress at the time. Politically correct? Pacify certain groups? No torture? Play political paddy-cake with other countries? That is ridiculous. You either go in or you don't. Look at it this way, if you have to get into a fight and there's no way of getting out of it, regardless of who is right or wrong, wouldn't you rather end it with one punch and minimize the damage to both parties?

Knowing the US wouldn't enter the war absolutely, it was guaranteed of unnecessarily high casualties, huge expenses + eventually resentment.

Stay tuned for the health care "war" all in or just a big toe?
All we are give reason a chance!


Well, Rick, if I've said it once, I've said it twenty times, if you're going to comment on my postings, you should actually read them!

Do a search for the word Democrats on this blog and you will not only not find one post of mine praising them, you will find some seriously criticizing them, even calling them "two-faced wimps" HERE, and here's one of several praising a real Republican.

Some are desperate to make this an "us or them/me versus you/my opinion or party versus yours" schoolyard throw-down, but that's not what I'm about on this blog. This blog is about seeking out the truth, however inconvenient it might be at times for whatever group is making the most inane noise, and as I've said before to the chagrin of some, there aren't two sides to the truth of a situation.

Oh, wait, what? I have to be "in the game" to realize how politicians are all the same? LOL! I've been saying that since before you were old enough to vote, Rick! I didn't vote for a president for 28 years consciously, because I was paying attention. Close attention.

People who think that because I supported and voted for Barack Obama that I must be liberal or a Democrat don't understand that leadership isn't a game, and I'm not so easily pigeon-holed into being a "team member" as if it were. This isn't a sport; this is a fight for the evolution of the consciousness of our society, and there is a very retrogressive, resistant force that right now has found a home in the right wing of the Republican Party, which seems to be all that's left of the GOP. So, I hit them hard because they're being the more blatant assholes right now, not because I support the Democratic Party. I'll reiterate again, I voted for Obama because he is an adult, albeit a politician, but nonetheless, he is an emotionally mature, rational, practical leader, and we haven't had one of those either since you've been old enough to vote!

And Dadloff's sudden "libertarian" conversion is as laughable as the people receiving Medicare, Medicaid, disability, veteran's benefits or social security saying they want the government to be hands off when it comes to health insurance! HELLO?! They're just humiliated now, and singing a new, false tune because their good 'ole boys turned out to be hall of fame crooks and liars.

I'll finish with an anecdote, a true story. I was on the subway one day, during the height of the Bush-Cheney years, and I heard two guys talking about President Bush. This is a beauty! Really. Stay with me. One guy says to the other of President Bush: "He lies. He's a liar. That's all. He's just a liar. But... ninety-five percent of the time, he's a good president!"

Enough said about people in the game?

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