LAURA RESPONDS TO "HOW DO I BECOME AN ADULT?" A GREAT DIALOGUE!"

Here's Laura:

On the cusp of 27, I must admit I strongly identify with this young man.

Somewhere between college and “true adulthood,” the road map is snatched away. The road map that plots out 21+ years of life to coast upon our parents’ and societies’ expectations, as if life could be laid out as neatly as the clothes our mother left folded on the bed. That is to say, how can the tiger sneak up on us when we’re coddled by our parents for ever-increasing periods of time? “Tiger? What tiger?”

The “helicopter parents” I’m always reading about may have the best intensions, but simulations of adulthood and self-dependence (ex. college) don’t necessarily equate to the real thing. Even our early entry into, “the real world,” rewards us with help from our parents. (30, as they say, is the new 20.) And, I’m not arguing that in our modern age this isn’t a necessity. With college tuition on the rise, post-college debt is significantly higher than it was for our parent’s generation. And, the job market is nowhere near as generous. Also, we’ve had twenty-some years to daydream, enjoy our parent’s hard work, wealth, and conveniences. Adulthood, then, is more than just a mental shift; it’s a very real physical change, a lifestyle change. Some embrace this freedom while others strive to maintain the lifestyle they’ve always had, and this requires assistance and perhaps, a well-crafted delusion of adulthood.

In my personal journey, I think I’ve only just woken up and, I tell you, it’s a hungry-looking tiger…


Here's PL:

Carry on, Laura! At 27, you are very early in your journey and yet, it is clear that you are a tiger-hunter, one who is not just being "stalked" by adulthood, but rather, one who is seeking out its rewards, rights and privileges, along with its responsibilities. You are on a great journey indeed! I do believe that you've got the "eye of the tiger!"
Thanks for writing!!

"HOW DO I BECOME AN ADULT?" A GREAT DIALOGUE!

In his "SINCE YOU ASKED" column at Salon.com, Cary Tennis responds to a young man who asks:

"HOW DO I BECOME AN ADULT?: I missed the memo on how to grow up."

Here's the young man:

"I feel ashamed of myself because I know I could contribute good things to the world, but right now I'm not, and in fact, I feel like I'm on the path to becoming a detractor. Instead of putting things out into the world I let myself succumb to the seduction of my imagination, where everything is better and easier and more comfortable and yet more thrilling at the same time. I know I need to work harder on the thing that I'm passionate about but I feel like all this BS is clouding my ability to."

Here's an excerpt from Cary's response:

"Your distress is the memo. Adulthood - or your fate, shall we say - is staring you in the face, like a tiger that has crept up on you in the night. It is looking at you, wondering, When should I devour this child? Is it time? You open your eyes in terror. The tiger looks at its watch. Being devoured by the tiger that is adulthood is not so bad. The tiger eats you, digests you and drops you on the forest floor, not as a turd but as a cocoon. When you awaken and find the strength to break your shell, you emerge, eventually, as an adult and an apprentice. You are transformed in the belly of the tiger. You are remade.

Quoting the author Bill Plotkin, Cary goes on:

"The process of becoming a true adult is the process of coming to know one's ultimate place as an individual."

And finally, Cary concludes:

"To sum up: You know what time it is. The tiger knows what time it is, too. It is time for you to become an adult. But you do not know how to do it. Of course you don't know how to do it! You are not really supposed to know how to do it. The way you learn how to do it is by wandering. But you also need to find a guide."

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"True adulthood, or psychological maturity, has become an uncommon achievement in Western and Westernized societies, and genuine elderhood nearly nonexistent. Interwoven with arrested personal development, and perhaps inseparable from it, our everyday lives have drifted vast distances from our species’ original intimacy with the natural world."
Bill Plotkin

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism."
Sigmund Freud

FOLLOW-UP BY LOFF56 ON THE WEB CRAZIES!

I can't definitively disagree with anything you're saying here, L56. Let's see how it evolves.
PL

Here's LOFF56:

I hear what you're saying about the Three Stooges, but I think it's comparing apples to oranges. If you were to "act out" on things you picked up from The Three Stooges, you would have to do it in real life. But television is not interactive like the internet and the blogosphere is. Putting a wrench to somebody's face in the real world would have obvious consequences. The problem is that putting a virtual wrench to the face of an anonymous person in a virtual reality as of yet doesn't have any obvious consequences. (Well, at least not obvious to a lot of people still.) I'm not suggesting that they're right for being a-holes in virtual reality, I'm just saying that since the medium is so new people have only grown up with a general idea of how to behave in real life, nobody has ever been taught how to behave in virtual reality. There is a mental disconnect between the virtual people that they're slinging mud at on the internet and the actual real life people who are on the other side of the computer screen.

Also, anonymity in large groups is well understood to have ill effects. Mob mentality is exactly that. Individuals do things in the midsts of a large crowd that they normally would never do at any other moment. In chaotic events such as huge blackouts where lots of uncontrolled people take to the streets almost always there's a rash of vandalism, looting etc. Anonymity is exactly what "allows" people to perform immoral acts while avoiding personal responsibility. The KKK is a perfect example, generally speaking it's a large group of men covering their faces with white hoods. Deep down in the bowels of their being they must have known that hanging black people was wrong, (and the laws even said it was so), but they were able to justify to themselves doing it for so long partially because they were avoiding individual personal responsibility through anonymity provided by mob mentality and white hoods.

I'm not defending the way these mean bloggers behave, I'm just suggesting that they are all unchecked children in a candy store for the first time who haven't yet recognized the problem with gorging themselves with as much candy as possible. But as you've correctly recognized after a while you get a really bad tummy ache and you'll eventually come to the realization that it's the candy that's making you sick. But as we know not everyone learns at the same speed, some people never do. But hopefully as time progresses, more people than not will learn.

It's an interesting idea that the virtual rage could be a sort of siphon for actual rage. At first it seems logical, and maybe that's really all it is, and it's everyone else taking it all so seriously that's giving unexpected and unwarranted stock to their in-human argumentative tactics. Although interestingly, these recent Town Halls that have been so problematic from a decorum standpoint also suggest that the virtual rage is actually starting to translate into real rage - a scary prospect that seems counterintuitive to this idea.

Well, it is an interesting discussion indeed, and probably way under-researched, poorly understood and definitely not talked about enough.

LONG RESPONSE FROM LOFF56 TO PL'S FORAY INTO THE CRAZY UNDERWORLD OF THE INTERNET!

It's long, but it is below in its entirety. I sort of disagree with only one premise put forth by L56 - that somehow the anonymity of the internet allows people to be more hostile and volatile than they would be if they had to deal face to face. I don't think media changes personalities or, ultimately, actions. For all those episodes of The Three Stooges I watched when I was a kid, I never felt inclined to take a pipe wrench to anybody's nose (although I did once stage a pie fight with a cousin of mine!). And who knows, maybe the ranting and raving on sites like craigslist actually siphons off some of the unsocialized rage that these fringers carry around, rage that they would otherwise act out physically. Interesting. Anyway...

Here's LOFF56:

Oh man, I thought you knew...

This post got me thinking again about something that I've often thought about on and off over the last, oh, decade or so. That is: the other side of the double edged sword that is the internet.

I remember reading a while back when instant messaging first came on the scene, oh it must have been '98 or so, about the serious problems with instant message communications. Really it's pretty simple, it was about a lack of facial expression and tonal inflection that's obviously so important to good face to face communication. Obviously things are very easily taken the wrong way when you're just typing words without your eyes or your hands or your voice to give the subtleties and the subtext behind the words. Irony, sarcasm and emotion are totally lost if you're not completely specific with your words. (Emoticons were developed in an ad hoc manner to combat this, although their usefulness is still pretty limited.) :-)

As a matter of course, I did myself fall victim to that very problem. I attempted to get a problematic relationship off the ground through instant messaging, probably because I wasn't getting any where in real life and Instant Messaging was there, and it was the latest craze, so why not? Needless to say the attempted relationship ended in a stupid, disastrous mess. It was a pretty quick lesson in the limitations of the social aspects of the internet.

That's just Instant Messaging which is really about person to person communications. More recently with the advent of the Blog, MySpace, then Facebook and finally Twitter, that impersonality has extended not only to person to person but also to very large virtual rooms of sometimes thousands and thousands of people. Think about it, impersonal, practically anonymous communication combined with virtual mob mentality, how could the result be anything but what you're experiencing?

The virtual anonymous nature of blogging (well more to the point, the people that respond to the blogs) is particularly problematic. My sense is that if you were to round up all these people that say these unbelievably horrific things and put them in a world with no internet, no TV, no nothing for a year, they'd ultimately have to revert back to the morality and sensibility that most of them learned from living in the real world before the internet. I don't think these people would be that mean if the opposing point of view was presented by someone in real life - like their brother, their friend or even a random guy they met on the street. Take away the face, the identity and the responsibility and of course it's gonna' get ugly.

The word blogosphere was introduced around 2002, around the time that blogs really started to take off. That's only 7 years ago. These people that are saying these things are older than 7, in fact, most of them are probably between 25 and 45. A 40 year old for example would have been alive for 33 years before he'd even have an opportunity to read a blog. 33 years of living an un-anonymous life where the human filter that filters out all the unbelievably ridiculous things that we all think, but never say out loud because we're... human and appreciate human contact has been well honed. I doubt a 40 year old walked around for 33 years saying that kind of stuff and got away with it. They didn't get away with it, but the anonymous nature of the internet gives them a sudden unfettered medium to say the things that are in the most backward places of their minds without having to pay the consequences.

In a sense the blogosphere is a 7 year old child with some untold millions of parents that feed it, live through it, spoil it but never discipline it. As a psychologist you know exactly what that child would be like.

Anyway, what's interesting to think of is the political implications of all of this. Again, the internet is barely 15 years old, blogging - at the level it's at now - probably 5, I don't think that our political structure has really caught up. (I would add that the 24 hour news cycle is definitely part of this same problem). There's a lot of weird crap going on in relation to all this stuff. The anonymous nature of it is reverting us back to days where we didn't have that social filter that we've worked so hard to develop which is creating a feedback loop, where people are starting to act out in real life the primal urges that they're experiencing online which is fueling more anonymous primal urges online.

Politicians can't figure out how much of the blogosphere is legit. I mean, how many of these "mean bloggers" (for a lack of a better term) actually vote? Clearly they're living in a fantasy world, why would we think that they have the initiative to actually get out from behind their computer screens and get to a voting booth? But also, the 24 hour media is eating this blogosphere feedback loop up and are reporting a lot of this as if it were sort of ad hoc polling which in turn influences the people who do watch the news and who do actually vote. It's very probable that our politicians are making a lot of decisions based on information that's gleaned from unreliable sources. The actual messages from the blogosphere are probably no where near the REAL feelings of those same people that have been sucked into this ridiculous vapid void.

In some sense I agree with Frank Schaeffer in that we need to sort of move around these poor people who've gotten sucked into this literal virtual reality. I mean in the least we certainly can't ask the people that have been rendered insane to help make decisions for the sane. At the same time I think it's also our responsibility to keep helping those who've been sucked in to get out. I mean I guess maybe it's like a drug addiction, in reality they're gonna' have to learn on their own; nothing we can do or say will stop them from doing what they're doing. But we should be there to support them and realize that most of them are legitimately decent people who just got caught in a stupid game.

It's definitely a weird time right now, but I have a bit of faith that once we as a society learn how to better tame this enormous beast which is the internet I think we'll eventually see a return to some decency and normalcy and we'll look back at this era as sort of a great battle we had with this technology. (It actually reminds me of a show that was on the History Channel recently that was talking about the invention of the x-ray. When it was invented we had no idea about the health problems associated with over exposure and were willy nilly using it on everything. Shoe salesmen had a device that provided a live x-ray picture of your feet so you can see how snugly your shoes fit.) Of course I just have no idea when we'll collectively realize the social health risks of anonymous internet postings. When Obama leaves office (I'm optimistically assuming he'll get re-elected) blogs will literately be more than twice as old as they are now, the Internet - roughly 50% older. Obviously with the development of anything, the early years are the most productive (and volatile). Think about the difference between a 7 year old and a 15 year old. Or a 15 year old and a 23 year old. I would hope that just as quickly this has gotten to where it's gotten, perhaps in just as much time, it will get to a place much better than where it is now.

Anyway, I'm glad that you've broken out of your "fugue", and I look forward to future postings with your new found perspective.

THE VILLAGE IDIOT: PART TWO!

I'm back from a foray into the wilds of unfiltered lunacy on the internet. It feels like I've been in a kind of fugue state, really.

Here's how it happened:

When I first started this blog, I used to post the title of my latest blog entries for free on one of three craigslist areas - "Rants and Raves," "Politics," and/or "Therapeutic Services," depending on what the subject matter was. Given the nature of my primary field of interest, I posted on the Therapeutic Services area most often. I rarely wrote on the cl posting beyond just the title and a link to my blog, and to be honest, I rarely read what other people were saying on craigslist. I was just trying to bring people to my blog.

Then, about two months ago, craigslist started charging a fee to post on the therapeutic site. Since I write and post so often, it didn't seem worthwhile to start paying for the privilege, so I just posted on the Rants site or the politics site when I had something to say that was relevant to the area. After a while, I started paying attention to what others were writing about on cl, especially on the politics site. It was an eye-opener!

For whatever reason, the cl politics site has become a gathering place for the most hateful, vile, racist and all around ignorant segments of our population. I mean, this place is the far right of the far right. Obama is the anti-Christ here for sure. They casually refer to the president as "boy," and frequently talk about his wife's "fat ass." Some of the regular posters regularly call him a socialist, a communist, a liar, a traitor, certainly not an American, and most definitely plotting to turn the United States into a dictatorship! On and on it goes. Oh, and liberals? Forget about it! They are just "Commie Fucks," "pussies," and cry-babies" because they don't want to settle their differences by having a fist fight! For real!

Anyway, those of you who regularly read my blog know that I frequently say that you can only preach to the choir, and that some people cannot change in this lifetime. And just the other day, I posted an excellent interview with one Frank Schaeffer, a conservative Christian and former Republican who said this about the religious far right: "You don‘t work to move them off this position. You move past them. Look, a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot. It‘s as simple as that. And we have to understand, we have a village idiot in this country, it‘s called 'Fundamentalist Christianity.”

Well, I lost my way for a bit. I started getting so angry at what I was hearing on the cl site that I let myself get drawn into the fray. Yep. I started bantering at first, then out-right mud-slinging with some of the worst of the haters there... until the other day. I stopped myself, shook my head and posted this on the cl politics site:

"AN OPEN APEAL TO ALL POSTERS HERE" -

"This is a very challenging and potentially exciting time for our country. It's a new century and we're all here participating in it. Throwing hate-filled verbal assaults at each other is not only out of synch with the opportunities that this moment in history is providing to us, it is an indication that we're letting our fears of change and our most base and primitive impulses rule us. We're all passionate about having our voices in the ongoing dialogue heard or else we wouldn't be posting here. It only discredits our contribution when we trash others as if they were traitorous losers because they see something differently than we do.
Let's stop.
This isn't a contest, my team against your team. We're all Americans, liberal-conservative, Republican-Democrat, and America is a democratic republic, founded on the principles that all are created equal with equal rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And our government and Constitution were established to protect the well-being and freedom of all citizens. You're no more of a patriot if you marched for or against health care, for or against the Iraq War, etc. If you honestly care about the general well-being of your fellow Americans, then you're a patriot. If you think a particular point of view is wrong, say so, go for it, make your case as articulately as you can, but if you make personal attacks, you're surrendering credibility and lowering the level of discourse for everyone. I am guilty. I have gotten very angry at those who I see as "wrong," and so, I have become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. I am stopping. Let's all stop and listen. There are no saints out here, and there are no devils.
Let's stop."

Well, I have said you can only preach to the choir, right? Here's the only response I got:

"The Constitution was designed to give us freedoms and to protect us from Government. It is our right to protest. Protesting is not unpatriotic, it is our Constitutional right. And so is speaking out. So go blow, you ignoramus!"

The Village Idiot lives!

"WHY WE SHOULD WRITE" ON THE LOVE WE MAKE!

Very good piece on The Love We Make blog entitled: "WHY WE SHOULD WRITE."

For many years I have told many people that writing is a very important adjunct to therapy and to one's growth process. Mary Cavataio describes her own process in grappling with the writing experience in her piece beautifully. Definitely worth reading.

Here's an excerpt:

"We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to our higher and deeper level of inner guidance. We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul."

OUCH! NEW RULE FROM BILL MAHER ON HEALTH CARE!!

Here's Bill:

"New Rule: You can't complain about health care reform if you're not willing to reform your own health. Unlike most liberals, I'm glad all those teabaggers marched on Washington last week, because judging from the photos, it's the first exercise they've gotten in years, not counting, of course, all the Rascal scooters there, most of which aren't even for the disabled. They're just Americans who turned 60 and said, 'Screw it, I'm done walking.' These people are furious at the high cost of health care, so they blame illegals, who don't even get health care. News flash, Glenn Beck fans: the reason health care is so expensive is because you're all so unhealthy. Yes, it was fun this week to watch the teabaggers complain how the media underestimated the size of their march, 'How can you say there were only 60,000 of us? We filled the entire mall!' Yes, because you're fat. One whale fills the tank at Sea World, that doesn't make it a crowd."What?

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION HEADLINES!

BREAKING: 75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name the First President of the U.S. (Oklahoma consistently votes Republican in national elections.)

BREAKING: Teen birth rates highest in most religious states (Most religious states consistently vote Republican.)

REPOST: GUIDE LECTURE ON SEXUALITY - SOME WORTHY READING!

HERE'S AN EXCERPT:

The Spiritual Symbolism And Significance Of Sexuality

By The Pathwork Guide

"Every human manifestation has a deep spiritual significance. It does not matter whether this manifestation is natural, instinctual, or whether it is man-made, as it were. No matter what the human experience, it is always symbolic of a wider, deeper, and fuller meaning. Sexuality manifests differently in every human being
according to the development of each human being. We shall discuss the
principle of sexuality in the totally self-realized individual, in the
average person, and, down the scale, in those who are perhaps still on a
very low level of spiritual development, and therefore severely blocked and
split. Even the most advanced psychology is oblivious of the fact that in the way sexuality manifests the whole character, all attitudes, all personality and ego trends, all problems and impurities, are revealed."

READ THE ENTIRE LECTURE HERE.

"OLD MAN LOFFREDO?!" HEY!

Well, this is pretty funny! Apparently my critique of the narcissistic stroller set in Park Slope ruining the dining experience of adults is garnering some attention. Here's a link to a piece in the GOTHAMIST, written by one Jen Carlson, entitled "Are Park Slope Parents Killing the Romance?" in which I am referred to as "Old Man Loffredo!"

Now, what's up with that, Jen?!

WE ARE ALL CASTER SEMENYA!

"Our history suggests that we haven't always imagined that humans come in only two sexes, and that things far removed from what we might call facts have played major roles in determining our thoughts about sex. Even today, several human societies believe in more than two sexes. In truth, humans come in an amazing number of forms, because human development, including human sexual development, is not an either/or proposition. Instead, between 'either' and 'or' there is an entire spectrum of possibilities."

Thus begins a new book by Gerald N. Callahan, Ph. D. called: "BETWEEN XX AND YY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes."

This book is particularly timely considering the controversy raging right now over Caster Semenya, track star from South Africa, who gender tests have revealed has both male and female organs.

Nine years ago, in preparation for a class I was teaching on sexuality and the variations of sexual identity, I was quite startled to find in my research that large numbers of infants were born hermaphroditic, with both male and female genitals. Even more shocking, however, was the fact that as a matter of course, doctors would decide, sometimes with, sometimes without parental knowledge, which gender the child "should" be, and would surgically alter the child to fit the mold of one gender or another.

I won't go into here the scandalous, downright and utter evil of such an action on the part of medical practitioners, literally altering our evolution. Ugh! The list of crimes by doctors just keeps growing exponentially, but that's not what this entry is about.

The question that was raised for me back in 2000, when I taught that class, was if hermaphroditism is a common variation in gender make-up, genetically and anatomically, then where are we heading in our evolution as human beings?

"Oneness" is understood in most spiritual practices as the place towards which we are heading in our spiritual evolution. And it is likewise understood that oneness with all others must first begin with oneness with ourselves, that all aspects of ourselves must ultimately become integrated, like the Yin and the Yang. Wouldn't it follow then, since the physical always follows the spiritual, that in an ultimate state of physical oneness, we would be neither male nor female, but male and female. In other words, might we be evolving towards a kind of hermaphroditic unity as a species?

Imagine the shifts that would occur if we all could know what it truly feels like to be both man and woman, if we could all experience the masculine outward "thrusting" energy and the feminine "receptive" energy, simultaneously, within ourselves. Imagine if we could all bear children and experience motherhood and fatherhood!

Anyway, just thought I'd throw something provocative out there to think about on a sleepy Saturday morning to get your juices flowing.

IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, AND YOU SHOULD FEEL FINE! (PART TWO)

Last June, I wrote a piece entitled: "IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, AND YOU SHOULD FEEL FINE!" It was mainly a piece about how things might hopefully never be the same in our financial system as a result of the collapse caused by all the greedy malfeasance of the last 30 years.

Interestingly, from a completely different perspective, the Republican leader, John Boehner, recently said: “People are scared to death that the country that they grew up in is not going to be the country that their kids and grandkids grew up in.”

Well, let's hope so, John. Unless I am such a frightened child hiding in an adult body, mentally and emotionally frozen in time, why would I want my kids to grow up in the same world I grew up in? You mean the good old days when blacks and women "knew their place?" Or when doctors accepted big money to be in cigarette commercials? Or when Pop Tarts and Cool Whip was considered food?

Yeah, I do miss those days!

I can't believe that today, my kids have black friends and don't think twice about it, or that my daughter imagines she could have any job she wants when she grows up, and that we refuse immune-system destroying antibiotics or toxic vaccines from doctors that insist our kids need them, or that we eat mostly organic, pesticide and hormone-free food in our house. It's just a terrible loss, isn't it?

Yeah, in fact, I was reminded of the good old days recently when a relative of mine forwarded to me what was supposed to be a nostalgic look back at life in an Italian family once upon a time. The person who initiated the chain e-mail even said "it brought tears to my eyes." In talking about the enormous amounts of meat we consumed in one meal back then, the writer said: "We are Italians; we don't care about cholesterol." On the appropriate way to sadistically make sure no one in the family ever gets too articulate, the writer said: "If anyone EVER says ES-CAROLE, slap 'em in the face -- it's SHCAROLE!" On the roles of men and women, when things were being done right, he says: "The kids go play...the men go to lay down. They slept so soundly you could do brain surgery on them without anesthesia... the women clean the kitchen."

Yeah, I do miss those days.

TODAY'S "THIS SAYS IT ALL" PICTURE!

LOLOL!!!

NICE FOLLOW-UP TO THE HERMAPHRODITE QUESTION!

HERE'S AN EXCERPT from a good piece - "Yin/Yang: An Intersexed South African Runner As Symbol Of The Universal" - by Suzie Heumann, Founder of www.tantra.com (worth reading!):

"There are people in the world who are intersexed and transgendered - it isn't that uncommon. In some cultures, over the millennia, inter-sexed people have even been revered as shamans and holy people - they are closer to the ideal of a balanced, universal soul. Think of the Yin/Yang symbol. We all know it. It means 'balance' - male/female balance. It is actually an ideal way of being that is sought after by those who would attain enlightenment."

HERE'S A LITTLE LOL - A PIECE BY PL WRITTEN UP IN NY MAG'S "GRUB STREET!"

HERE'S THE GRUB STREET PIECE ENTITLED: Provini Is Infiltrated by ‘Needy, Greedy Narcissists’ With Kids

"Holistic psychotherapist Peter Loffredo seems like a chill and New Agey guy on his website, but don’t get him started about kids in restaurants. He laments that Provini, the new one from the owners of Bar Tano, has been infiltrated by what he calls the "You'll never get to be an adult in Park Slope without tolerating my kids" crowd.
"He goes on to say: 'Provini deliberately doesn't have high chairs, I was secretly told by a waitress, and there certainly isn't any room for strollers, but the exquisite wine list alone should keep kids out, don't you think? Not in Park Slope, where pathetic parents don't want to live with the choices they've made, so they crash everyone else's party. CRASH?! Yep. Everyone turned around to see the glass breaking on the floor at the table with the toddlers.'
"Hmmm, is it time to add Provini to the list of restaurants to avoid if you can't stand kids? And what’s more annoying, kids in fancy restaurants or Sex and the City types at Mars Bar?"
Peter Loffredo: Provini Infiltrated by the Parents With Kids Crowd [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]"

TODAY'S "YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP" QUOTE!

"Joe, who's the nut that hollered out, 'you lie'?'"
Roxanne Wilson, Congressman Joe Wilson's wife (She admits she spoke with her husband after President Obama's speech and asked him that question!)

HOW ABOUT IF WE JUST USE THE FACTS TO BURY THE RIGHT WING ONCE AND FOR ALL - WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME?!

BREAKING:

"Thursday's annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau's principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush. It's not a record many Republicans are likely to point to with pride. On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the ONLY president in recent history to preside over an income decline through TWO presidential terms."


"Oh, wait, uhh... the Census Bureau must be part of the vast liberal conspiracy... and... uhh... I'm not a Republican anymore... I'm an independent. Yeah! That's the ticket! Right!

TODAY'S BONUS QUOTE!

"The most exquisite paradox: As soon as you give it all up you can have it all."
Ram Das

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Now, I know that right now, I'm supposed to be all re-injected with yes-we-can fever after the big health care speech, and it was a great speech - But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the 70% of Americans who aren't crazy."
BILL MAHER

"LESS IS MORE" ON "THE LOVE WE MAKE!"

Nice piece on the "MANIFESTO OF THE IDLE PARENT" on THE LOVE WE MAKE BLOG called "LESS IS MORE."

HERE'S AN EXCERPT:

"It is taking me years to learn this, but doing less and being more is not just important, it's vital. I know in my heart that there is so much truth to this. I see it all around me, everywhere I go, especially when it comes to kids, less is truly more.
The more involved parents get in their children's leisure time, the more anxious the child and the more harried the parent."

MUST READ ALERT!

THE END OF THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF STUPIDITY AT LAST?!

This is an excerpt from Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" last night on Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, who apparently had an attack of Tourettes during President Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday night... or maybe it wasn't Tourettes, but rather, as Keith points out, the result of many years of institutionalized and revered stupidity on the right.

Here's Keith:

"Town Halls, Death Panels, Oligarhys, a multi-racial president who is accused of hating half his own ancestry [white people], neuroses about communist artwork, the idea that fascism and socialism aren't mutually exclusive [they are], grass-roots protests bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations, scared seniors terrified [and brain addled] enough to turn to insurance companies for protection against reformers, reformers who want to increase their coverage and cut their rates, birchers, birthers, deathers, the voices in Michele Bachmann's head, the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States given by a guy who thought he could become 'Lord Boustany' by paying a couple of English con men!

And now to top off this pile of stupidity: Congressman Wrong-Way Wilson, who — when a President publicly, and ostentatiously, gave credit for part of his health care reform proposal to the very Republican he swamped in the election last year — Wrong-Way Wilson followed that bi-partisan gesture, by shouting 'you lie' as soon as he heard the truth.

It is this week, evident that the greatest threat to the nation is not terrorism nor the economy nor H1N1 nor even bad health care. It is rank, willful stupidity. [PL on this blog has made of point of explaining that when someone is identified here as "stupid," a key ingredient is the deliberateness of the ignorance and the pride in being unthinking.]

When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education?

How many Republicans believe in Death Panels and Brownies and Elves? When did we start to elect the impregnably dense? (I was almost too fearful of using the word 'impregnably' because of the prospect that Governor Palin would go after me the way she went after Letterman.)

The time has come to rise up and take this country back, to again make it safe for people who actually completed the seventh grade. The crime of Wrong-Way Wilson was not reflected in his emotions, nor his disagreement, nor his inappropriate conduct, nor in his incivility. It was in his prideful wrong-ness!

I defend Congressman Wilson's right to incivility. A little incivility six years ago might have stopped the Iraq war. He can shout anything he wants, at anybody he wants, in any circumstances he wants. Providing that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his actions, I am willing to suffer him. This nation can survive a president being disrespected by some nickel-dime congressman from Beaufort; the shame falls onto the shouter and not the one shouted at.

But this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization… of stupidity!

I think if Mr. Lincoln were alive he might re-cast his most famous imagery in the light of the truest of our present crises: A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half smart, and half stupid!"

Amen, Keith! Read the whole comment HERE.

"BUT KNOW THIS..."

"I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it. I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out! And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now!
President Barack Obama

(P.S. This is exactly what each of us needs to say to the forces of resistance within ourselves that prevent us from achieving whatever our heart desires.)

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION QUOTE & PICTURE!


"I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility."

CRIMES AGAINST THE SOUL OF AMERICA!

Caroline Myss, author and educator in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition wrote this gripping and pointed piece about the desperate state of our country's soul. This is essential reading.

Here's an excerpt:

"There is such a thing as a crime against the soul of a nation. A person or a political party can deliberately incite actions that diminish the strength, the integrity, and the overall well-being of a nation's inner core. America's soul is in a fragile state. It has suffered severe violations over the course of this past decade and to lesser degrees, in previous decades. Through the years, the essential integrity of America has been eroded for various reasons but never was it so violated as during the Bush administration. Of all the crimes covertly and overtly committed by the Bush administration against the soul of America, none is as vile as the deliberate efforts they poured into turning American against American. We see that in the near hatred between the Republicans and Democrats, between liberals and conservatives, between free-thinkers and evangelicals that continues to fester. This crime was a strategic one, a well thought out plan to fragment the people of this nation in a type of contemporary replay of the Civil War. And sadly, the Republicans succeeded."

Read the whole piece HERE.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD GREAT SEX WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND THEN GONE OUT TO POISON CHILDREN?!

I have written many blog pieces on how sexual repression in human beings leads to untold damage and destruction to ourselves, our children and our society. The combined forces of love, Eros and sex, when felt fully and expressed freely can heal any illness, uplift any heart and inspire beauty and constructiveness in what we might think of as miraculous ways.

Conversely, when those forces are repressed and suppressed, a tsunami of vile, life-wrecking, hateful and self-annihilating behavior ensues.

What brought me to this subject this morning was a news item in the NY Times about how tobacco companies are trying to evade tough new restrictions on their ability to market to young people.

I read the piece, then looked over at the woman that I'm in love with, and our two children having breakfast nearby, all on a serene holiday weekend morning, and I tried to imagine what state one would have to be in to decide to try and figure out a way to get kids to smoke cigarettes. I realized immediately that whoever that guy is, he couldn't possibly be having great love, Eros and sex with someone he is in love with.

Impossible. Just take a moment and try to envision it.

If you have been there, flush with passion and gratitude after a soul-quenching love-making experience, basking in the afterglow, knowing that the Universe is a magnificent place if it's possible to feel this way, you know that it's unthinkable that you would get up out of bed and start scheming about how to poison kids or our air and water supply, or start a war, or steal someone's pension. Impossible. Nor could you plan to bomb a clinic or kill a doctor or spout racist screeds on television or at town hall meetings on health care. Not a chance.

People who really make love, people who know what that means (and obviously, I'm not just talking about fucking or getting your rocks off), people who come together in loving, sensual, erotic union just don't ever follow that up by destroying things! Just doesn't happen.

The people I attempt to expose on this blog, whether they are the psychopathic, corrupt, greedy politicians or captains of industry, the sadistic, self-aggrandizing lawyers, cops and doctors, the lazy or perverted priests and teachers, or the moronic tea-baggers, birthers and other flat-earthers DO NOT HAVE GREAT LOVE, EROS OR SEX WITH SOMEONE THEY LOVE!

A few months ago I issued this challenge: "SHOW ME SOMEONE WHO IS ANTI-CHOICE, PRO-GUN, PRO-TORTURE, PRO-EXECUTION, PRO-ABSTINENCE-ONLY, AND WHO SUPPORTED THE IRAQ WAR, BUT WHO IS ALSO REALLY SENSUAL, PASSIONATE AND UNINHIBITED SEXUALLY... AND I WILL RECANT EVERYTHING I'VE EVER SAID ON THIS BLOG!!"

I'm still waiting.

LOFF56 ON PL'S "HAVE YOU EVER HAD GREAT SEX WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND THEN GONE OUT TO POISON CHILDREN?!" PL RESPONDS!

Here's LOFF56:

Hmmm.... I don't have quite what you're asking for, But.... I read recently that Isaac Newton was a virgin until the day he died. I suppose it's entirely plausible - (I mean seriously, what a geek!). But it points to the possibility that forward thinking, productive people may in fact exist without having great sex, or any in this case!

Here's PL:

Thanks for the response, L56. Here's the thing - It is certainly possible that one can not have a great sex life and not end up wreaking havoc on other peoples lives, though, it is not possible that one can ruin the lives of others while having a great sex life. It is also possible that one can make great contributions through whatever window is open in one's soul, regardless of the fact that another window is closed.

But... you can't have the sexual window closed throughout a lifetime and do an end run around the effects of that life force being bottled up. In Isaac Newton's case, we do know that as he suffered from gout, bladder stones and hemorrhoids, and as he got older, his health began to seriously deteriorate, eventually leading to incontinence.

In other words, for all of his great discoveries, Newton nonetheless would have been better off if he'd had some love, Eros and sex after that apple fell on his head!

"RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN?" NOT ON THE RIGHT!!

Below is an Op-Ed piece from this morning's NY Times on the inane and obscene, even nauseating efforts of racist, demented right wingers who don't want President Obama acknowledged as president. "Socialist" has now become the secret code-word for "BLACK!" Be honest, folks! As much as some people detested the psychopathic, ignorant, faux cowboy who was President George W. Bush, people didn't attempt to stop school-children from hearing what he had to say (See the picture below from 9/11/01!). In fact, in my household, when our children would say things like "George Bush is a bad man because he likes war," I would correct them and say that because we didn't agree with him on things doesn't mean he's a bad man. What do you think? Do you think that parents on the brain-addled right are offering that kind of opportunity for their children to learn things in an open-minded way? (P.S. - at age 8 and 11, my kids don't read my blog.)

Here's the Times piece:

"The American right has directed many silly and offensive attacks at President Obama. But so far nothing compares with the news that right-wing demagogues on talk radio and the Web, along with Republican Party officials, are trying to stop children from hearing the president urge them to stay in school — because, they say, that is socialist propaganda.

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise after a summer in which town hall meetings on health care have been turned into mindless shouting matches, where protesters parade guns and are cheered on by elected officials. Not only Sarah Palin, but people who know better — like Senator Charles Grassley — have been tossing around the fiction that Mr. Obama is planning to institute “death panels” to speed the infirm elderly to their ends.

Still, it was startling to read in Friday’s Times about the overheated and bizarre response to Mr. Obama’s plan to give a speech in a Virginia school next week that schools around the country also can show.

The White House says Mr. Obama will talk about the importance of education — hardly, we hope, a controversial topic. But the article said that in a growing number of school districts, especially in Texas, parents, talk-show hosts and some Republican officials are demanding that schools either refuse to show it or allow parents to keep their children home. The common refrain is that Mr. Obama will offer a socialist message — although nobody said what they meant by that.

There is, of course, nothing socialist in any of Mr. Obama’s policies, as anyone with a passing knowledge of socialism and its evil history knows. But in this country, unlike actual socialist countries, nobody can be compelled to listen to the president. What is most disturbing about all this is what it says about the parents — and the fact that they have such little regard for their children’s intelligence and ability to think." Anyone remember this?!

LOFF56 COMMENTS ON PL'S "RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN? NOT ON THE RIGHT!"

Here's LOFF56:

Interestingly, when I first heard of the "controversy" a few days ago, my first thought was, "I think I remember Reagan doing this once when I was in school", and sure enough after a 30 second Google search there it was: a speech by Ronald Reagan on November 14th, 1988! Google it, there were more too, one by Bush Sr. and Jr.
It's infuriating that these people who are calling for parents to withhold their kids from school during the Obama speech are conveniently leaving out the historical context. Some of them saying that it's the first time in history that a President will address school children. I can't imagine that their memories are just faulty. I'm not even a politician, I was ten years old when it happened, and I remembered that Reagan did it!!!
This one's pretty plain and simple - these guys are literately banking on the stupid, sheepish nature of the people that listen to them to believe something that a 30 second Google search will prove is completely false.
And to the parents that will actually follow through on this, (and you know there will be plenty), e-mail me; I've got a bridge to sell in Brooklyn!!!

PL:

You know, L56, it's probably easier to understand the psychopathy of the crooks and liars who want to destroy Obama for fear that anything they want to do might actually get regulated a bit, though so far that doesn't seem to be much of a threat coming out of this White House. But what is harder, perhaps, to understand is the level of primal fear of The Other that so riddles the childish, brain-dysfunctional set that follows the instructions and dictates of the psychopaths. I don't think they could do a 30-second Google search, L56. They're frozen. Terrified. A NEGRO is president, see? How did that happen?! It's the end of the world as they know it, and they don't feel fine. So, they can believe without any evidence that the duly-elected President of the United States is secretly not an American,but that he's a Communist, and he's going to kill their grandmothers and brainwash their children. This is some scary cartoon or B movie they saw when they were kids where the Body Snatchers take their life and families away.

This is beyond gullibility.

The Brooklyn Bridge? That's in Sodom as far as these folks are concerned. What these people are being sold is that Texas could be a country!!!????????!

HAS AMERICA GOTTEN CRAZIER?!

My first short answer: of course not.

Once, we here in America thought it was God's will that we burn women to death as witches, and that it was our "manifest destiny" to slaughter the native people that lived here before us, and then forcibly pen them in on patches of barren land. We thought human beings of a different color were not truly human beings at all, and so it was blessed for us to enslave them for our financial gain. And so on.

My second short answer: read the news. Maybe we are not just still crazy after all these years, but even crazier! I mean, we still kill, steal, rape, maim, lie and otherwise violate each other and our environment as we always have. But now, we cause much more extensive damage to life on Earth, and massive damage to the earth itself, than we ever have. As our technological advances have allowed, our methods for destruction have become more ubiquitous and monumentally more apocalyptic, and as our intellects have grown, while our emotional intelligence apparently has not, the rationalizations we make have become more and more elaborate, albeit still just as inane. (Are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, gun-toting, tea bagging, "birthers" more or less idiotic than the witch-burning flat-earthers once were? Is Reaganomics any more or less preposterous and self-serving of the greedy than Manifest Destiny was?)

Yet... yes, there is a yet... maybe there's a perception issue here, and perhaps one's individual growth process can be instructive.

When one of my patients breaks out of the shell of their character structure (see my blog post called: "ARE YOU READY TO HATCH? FEAR NOT!"), one of the common early reactions is typically expressed something like this: "Oh my God! Everybody looks different to me now. Everybody looks crazy! And I fear that everyone is going to look at me like I'm crazy! How am I going to live in the world seeing all this?" And indeed, some people who become enlightened give in to the urge to remove themselves from life among the masses and retreat to a monastery or a mountain top somewhere.

But in my approach to self-work, I see this retreat as not completing the task of an older soul, which is to learn to live not apart from the sea of young soul madness, but to live with it, albeit without participating in the madness.

The final phase of every soul's incarnational cycle is to become a teacher. And you can't teach if you are hiding. The first challenge, however, is to accept what you are a witness to, attempt to understand it rather than feel battered by it, and then offer whatever wisdom you've acquired to those who seek it ("PREACHING TO THE CHOIR," as I've called it.)

So, back to my original question as to whether America has gotten crazier or not, one must consider that the one asking the question, in this case -me! - but also those who've broken out of their cocoon, may simply be seeing craziness more clearly than they used to, so it may only appear that the country has devolved. As regular readers of my blog know, I believe that evolution is inevitable, that we are all in that same river taking us "up" to our higher selves and "back" to a connection with our oneness with All That Is. And perhaps, as well, while the insane rabble has gotten louder in its death throws, the choir has also gotten bigger.

It is in this regard that reading the material on Soul Ages is so useful. A 3-year old child can't be expected to master the tasks of a 40-year old adult. Likewise, a baby soul can't be expected to understand the deeper Truth and depths of reality that an old soul can. If we mistakenly assume that we are all of the same soul age, it will be not only disorienting, but potentially just as disastrous as giving your toddler the keys to the car.

Plato once said: "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."

The fact that we are not yet living thusly, because we are still a young soul planet, there are indeed many 3-year olds driving around our cars. So, we are having many tragic and deadly incidents, mishaps and disasters to contend with, and like the emotional state of a 3-year old, we are still faced with many primitive, superstitious and violent impulses running rampant amongst our populations. We are in a kind of Lord of the Flies moment right now, in other words.

So, if you are an older soul, you will hear what I am saying. Read the Soul Age material. Don't retreat into hiding and fear not that you will end up alone. Surrender to the river's current taking you downstream and you will discover that it is a beautiful ride. And read this as a reminder:

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

XANDER ON PL'S NEED TO LINK MORE!

Here's Xander:

Peter, I've been enjoying your blog for a few months now, but I have to mention one of my pet peeves: you post wonderful quotes from many sources, but you never link to them. It's not a question of your credibility as far as I am concerned, although it is on other sites, it's really a matter of follow up for your readers. Sometimes I want more, or just want to see the source of the quote or article. For example the various personality types were a great read, but what was the source? As a therapist and coach, it would be great to link to some of the things you write, but since there is no source for quotes and articles, I would be more inclined to find them and pass them on.

Best regards!

PL:

Thanks for reading, Xander!
I do usually try to link to whatever the source of an article or idea is for something on my blog, if there is an article I'm directly referencing from, but sometimes, I am referencing an entire body of a person's work. The character structure charts don't really have a link because the ones on my blog are my version of them. There would be more than one link to their origins. Character analysis began with Wilhem Reich, then was further developed by Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, Barbara Brennan and others, including my own teacher, Dora Gomez, the last three of whom added a spiritual element to the understanding of character structures.
That being said, I will try to be more diligent in the linking/referencing process.
Thanks again for reading.
Oh, and the link for the NY Times "RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN" piece is HERE.
PL

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION PICTURE!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why."
William Barclay

REPOST: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY


Remember the ending to Queen's classic operatic rock song, "Bohemian Rhapsody?" Freddie Mercury sounds almost relieved when he sings the final lyrics: "Nothing really matters, anyone can see,
nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me."
The interesting thing is that one can relate to those words as a manifestation of depression, or as an expression of Buddhist-like non-attachment. In the case of depression, the expression is one of resignation and defeat, a place of giving up; in the case of non-attachment, the words describe an enlightened state of mind, a place of letting go. This led me to having a very powerful discussion this morning with someone about why we struggle with the things we do, and why things "matter" so much, and why do we get stuck when things matter too much?
Well, think about this - the first definition of matter in the Oxford dictionary is: "physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit."
Physical as distinct from mind and spirit. Right. Matter is the heavy stuff that stuff is made of. Matter is the super slow vibration of energy that gives things "weight."
Here's another definition of matter from the dictionary: "the reason for distress or a problem."
Ha! Okay, so put the two definitions together and we have an insight here: Matter is "a physical, non-spiritual substance that causes distress and problems."
Now, translate the common question "What's the matter?" into "What's the non-spiritual substance causing me (you) distress?"
Hmm... Is it money, your house or apartment, your body? What are you attached to in a way that matters so much to you that you are becoming "heavy" in the truest sense of the word? And in that heaviness, making you less able to move and evolve your life in more flexible, creative ways.
Back to Queen and Freddie Mercury - "Nothing really matters?" Your job, your love partner, your kids, your cellulite? Doesn't matter? None of it? Doesn't matter? Can that be so? Can anyone live in such a way and still function and be responsible? Well, now we're back to Full Permission Living and the movement towards discovering that you can trust your first nature, embodied in your five senses and your intuition. This is how animals in the wild live, following their inner guidance without projections into the future or ruminations on the past. They are exquisitely in the Now, fully in the present moment. Human beings tend to only experience that blissful place where nothing matters when they're in the throws of a powerful orgasm, or in deep mediation or sleep, or in the "zone" during a creative moment. And unfortunately, how often do we allow ourselves to be in those places?
Perhaps an valuable exercise to conduct would be to examine your life and ask yourself what you would be doing if nothing mattered. Pretend you just found out that you only had a certain number of months to live. What would you do differently than you are now? Write it down. This is a good exercise because it puts you in touch with how precious a gift your life is. So... would you be living where you're living now? Working where you're working? Would you love your loved ones more openly? Have more fun? More sex? Go ahead - write it down, and then... ask yourself why you're not doing those things now? Really. And what would happen - really - if you did do those things now? Let me know. I'd love to hear what you discover.
PL

TODAY'S DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION HEADLINES!

BREAKING:Low-Wage Workers Are Often Cheated, Study Says

Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

BREAKING: Pay For Execs At Bailed Out Banks 40% Higher Than Peers

The heads of the 20 banks that have received the biggest government bailouts were paid nearly 40 percent more last year than other CEOs, a study released today shows. "Average CEO pay was 430 times larger than for typical workers" and at nine of those 20 banks the value of stock options has soared $90 million this year, based on the study's examination of corporate proxy statements.

THE FICKLE FINGER OF FEALTY!

[fealty: allegiance or faithfulness, as in the fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord.]


Here's why it came to mind this morning.

David Brooks, the oft times confused "conservative" pundit, who half-supported Obama against Hillary and McCain, wrote an Op-Ed this morning in the NY Times, called "THE OBAMA SLIDE."

In the piece, Brooks starts out with this:

"Two tides swept over American politics last winter. The first was the Obama tide. Barack Obama came into office with an impressive 70 percent approval rating. The second was the independent tide. Over the first months of this year, the number of people who called themselves either Democrats or Republicans declined, while the number who called themselves independents surged ahead."

Here's what I think, David, and perhaps some on the ground contact and communication with the new "independents" in question would help you, not to mention examining where the numbers you mentioned are actually taking place demographically and geographically.

I actually know some people personally who were staunch Republicans for decades, who supported G.W. Bush throughout his reign of ignorance and terror, who didn't support Obama in '08, and now are claiming they're independents.

It's a pathetic joke! Really!

The Republican Party has so debased itself and painted itself into the cartoon images of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, John Boenher, etc., etc., that the humiliation factor is off the scale, even for folks who don't mind hanging tea bags from their hats or assault weapons from their shoulders or who think dinosaurs and human beings lived side-by-side a mere 6,000 years ago or who imagine that The Republic of Texas could actually thrive as a country for more than a month. Plus, these folks, addled by the prescription drugs they take, paid for by the socialist programs of Medicare or Medicaid, by the way, know that the Republicans don't even stand a remote chance of winning anything back in 2010 or 2012.

So, these losers think they're going to find some dignity by re-enacting the Alamo or Custer's last stand, "Only this time..!" Well, you get it.

Are there Democrats in this crowd, David Brooks? You betcha! Who do you think the infamous Southern Strategy was directed against? Southern poor and working class Democrats, who knew they were better off with a Democrat in office for decades until Nixon and Pat Buchanan figured out that they were more fearful of empowered "Negros" than they were of staying poor.

Listen... Obama is not and never was a liberal. The liberals who are pissed at him, now, were seeing what they wanted to see in him during the election. He never espoused liberal philosophy, then, and he's not now. He's given more money to banks and big business than to social programs. He's said no to gay marriage and yes to military intervention in Afghanistan. Hardly a liberal!

Obama won so convincingly in '08 because he's a centrist, because true independents, as in people who actually think independently, not "birthers" who follow the dictates of any bellicose psychopath who will promise them things don't have to change, voted en masse for him.

And they will again.

But I can guarantee you this, David, by the time the election of 2012 rolls around, if not even 2010, these psuedo-independents will be voting for Joe Scarborough, or even Sarah Palin again, with the same fealty of any medieval vassal.
 

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