Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
In the book African Genesis the author puts forth the concept of “Blessed Anger.” Blessed Anger is what an animal in the wild exhibits when the minimal amount of space it needs to survive is encroached upon. Animals have an instinct to “stake out” conceptually where that line of safety is in relation to their location. If another animal approaches, there will be no action taken unless the approaching animal crosses that invisible line. Should that occur, the resting animal will go on offense and attack the incoming foe.
I think its reasonable to assume that such Blessed Anger would be exhibited, and justifiable, by any parent in regard to their child. Anyone who has ever had a child knows the instinctive, protective feeling of rising to meet any person or force that poses a threat to your child’s safety and well being. With that in mind, meet Joe Pelletier.
Joe Pelletier has today been charged with Contempt of Court for violating a gag Order imposed by a judge in Massachusetts. Mr. Pelletier is, in fact, in violation of that Order. He knowingly and willfully chose to speak out publicly about the kidnapping and medical malpractice that his teenage daughter, Justina, is now the victim of as perpetuated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Mr. Pelletier’s decision to violate that Order was made in an effort to save his daughter’s life. Justina suffers from mitochondrial disease, a medical condition diagnosed by Tufts Hospital in Connecticut and for which treating physicians there performed abdominal surgery, where, among other procedures, an elimination tube was inserted in her torso. Yet subsequently and without basis, Boston Children’s Hospital has found that Justina has no medical conditions but rather a psychiatric condition whereby she imagines all of her symptoms, one of which is continual pain. Therefore, the hospital has denied her ALL medical treatment and forces her to attend psychiatric sessions. Further, with Justina now in a wheelchair as her physical condition deteriorates, Boston Children’s Hospital has transferred her to a facility that houses only non-medical, short-term recovering psychiatric and drug rehab patients.
As a former lawyer who practiced Family Law for 13 years and had my share of custody cases involving the state and agenicies such as DCF, I can assure you that the abuses perpetrated by both the Courts and state child protective service agencies can far exceed the conditions from which the child has been removed under the legal standard of “in the best interest of the child.”
Justina Pelletier is my child and your child. She is everyone’s child. And this is every parent’s nightmare. Justina is running out of time. The Pelletier family is mentally, physically and emotionally devastated. They have been financially ruined.
We are the reserves and the reinforcements. Each person reading this must choose one of the below listed methods to be heard and immediately do something about it. Every minute you hesitate is another minute you now know the Pelletier family is suffering. Ever minute you hesitate Justina Pelletier is deteriorating and denied medical attention.
You now have knowing. You now have personal responsibility. We are all connected. You have the right to Blessed Anger.
Allow it to move you.
Governor Duval Patrick
Phone: 617.725.4005 (out of state)
888.870.7770 (in state)
Olga Roche, DCF Commissioner / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Boston Children’s Hospital
I am not in favor of anyone who is ill being unable to get medical care. I can’t imagine any rational, compassionate person who would be. But perfection is hard to come by, even in healthcare, and so for quite some time now we in the United States have been the beneficiaries of an imperfect healthcare system…albeit the best in the world.
So, in full disclosure, I was never in favor of Obamacare. From Obamacare’s inception until today, I believe the free market to be the best arena in which good ideas can be born and maintained within a free society. Government runs very little, if anything, efficiently. The prospect of it successfully overseeing the creation and “enforcement” of healthcare for 317,000,000 citizens seemed almost laughable.
As far back as 2003 during his days as a U.S. Senator, President Obama was an advocate of a “single-payer” system whereby the private insurance industry would be eliminated and replaced by the federal government. Single-payer is what is also referred to as nationalized or socialized medicine. The government that would run Obama’s single-payer system is the same government that cannot seem to efficiently run the U.S. Postal Service or effectively manage immigration.
Now, with the fiasco that has become known as Obamacare, President Obama may be on the road to getting his wish. The progressive state of Vermont is attempting to implement single-payer healthcare to circumvent the seemingly endless challenges and foibles that are Obamacare.
It’s been a long, circuitous, and deceptive route getting to where we are but it may yet payoff for those who, like New Yorkers with the recent election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor, think that Socialism and Communism are inherently more efficient and just systems than the Constitutional Republic under which we in the United States have lived since our inception. This, of course, will come as a shock to the hundreds of millions of people slaughtered by tyrannical or fascistic leaders in countries that have tried both alternative systems.
Economic equality is not equal opportunity. Economic equality among a populace is sought, but never achieved, by way of redistribution of wealth…which always ends with a few having achieved their wealth, literally, upon the bodies of those who bought the fiction that a government can and will give you all things for nothing. There is, in such cases, always a price paid in blood. On the other hand, equal opportunity is the right of every individual living in a free society to pursue their dreams unobstructed by specifically targeted governmental restraints .
Obamacare was the wrong solution. Vermont is on the wrong track. Free market health care, with purchase rights across state lines and accountability for insurers and providers alike, with provisions for preexisting conditions and those truly unable to secure health insurance is the answer.
But the slope from freedom to bondage is a slippery one. Vermont’s efforts are the latest indication that we are on the down slope.
It didn’t work in Detroit when the progressive “Model City” plan was implemented. It didn’t work when U.S. banks stopped requiring credit thresholds before issuing new mortgages. It didn’t work when Congress rammed through the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) and it will not work as The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now tries to cure diversity “shortfalls” in our neighborhoods by imposing mandatory diversity regulations.
The “Model City” plan in Detroit bankrupted the city and brought the 4th largest city in the United States in 1970 to its knees by 2013. By turning on the spigots of home loans absent verified credit, banks brought the housing market to its knees and precipitated the stock market crash of 2008. Obamacare, promised not to be a tax then upheld by the Supreme Court as a tax now seems to be underfunded, impossible to implement and creating more problems across the economy that it could ever have solved. It may bring the economy of the nation to its knees. HUD will, if it has its way, be a significant nail in the coffin of Liberty by regulating who gets to live where based upon subjective and arbitrary rules and regulations rather than effort and achievement.
Social engineering and redistribution of wealth and services are the cornerstones of this Administration. They are the tools of transformation by which Progressives in both political parties seek to ever-enlarge a centralized government while simultaneously diminishing the individual.
If you think you can do nothing you are wrong. Find like-minded people and join together to voice, in whatever ways are peaceful and law abiding, your refusal to go quietly into the night.
Robert F. Kennedy said: “Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
A house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia. A fourth grade teacher in Florida having students print that they would “give up some of [their] constitutional rights in order to be safe or more secure.” A New York high school teacher who assigned his class to “argue Jews are evil” while blaming them for the problems of Nazi Germany.
I am less troubled by who we have become than by the question, “Why don’t we care who we’ve become?” Have these collective offenses to the Divine in each of us been reduced, at best, to passing stories on the nightly news? Why do we not care about education that is agenda based, deceitful and perverse? Why are we so apathetic or hardened to the systematic slaughter of the unborn that we allow it to continue in the name of a woman’s right to choose?
I am a woman and I chose. When my ex-husband and I could not have a child we chose to go to China and adopt our daughter. She is a beauty both inside and out. In light of the gruesome story out of Philadelphia, I look at her and am pained by the thought that she, too, could have been brutally “terminated” but for the courage of her birth mother, the existence of an orphanage and her own sheer will to survive. What right do we have, we who are the beneficiaries of the gift of life, to take it from the innocence of others? Why do we think we can escape the inevitable slippery slope of turning a blind eye to the total disregard and devaluation of human life? If you know your Purim story and Mordechai’s admonition to Queen Esther, then you know the wisdom teaching that if you try and deny your responsibility towards saving humanity, you too will perish.
As for the stories out of Florida and New York, they are “the canaries in the gold mine” of education. We are, through “Common Core” and our indifference to the personal responsibility for educating our children, abandoning and enslaving this and future generations to the distortions and perversions of evil. So as the power players bombard us with news and arguments in favor of gun control, they are simultaneously and systematically seeking to selectively control the population and mold minds through abortion and curriculum, respectively.
What they seek to accomplish can only be attained by our accompanying indifference and cooperation. What we think will not happen here is based upon the false premise that it can never happen here because it has never happened here.
The premise is false on two counts.
First, at the end of the Civil War, the nation embarked upon Reconstruction and by way of Black Codes, prohibited gun ownership from freedmen, slaves and African-Americans. The result? A flourishing Ku Klux Klan. We have, in our own history, sought to control birth, education and self-defense of an entire people. It was a shameful time, a blight upon the National saga, with repercussions still felt today. Secondly, an enlightened and civilized society, Europe of the early twentieth century, was the breeding ground for Adolph Hitler.
Evil can and will exist anywhere humanity allows it to germinate and grow through indifference and cooperation. The good news is that each of us has total control over how indifferent or cooperative we choose to be. Pick your cause. This is the time to be heard. This is the time to stand. Find the indignation within and, with focused intention, speak truth to power. This is your moment.
There is only One of Us. In no more concise a fashion can this be stated than it was by Rabbi Hillel, the 1st century Jewish sage and scholar who said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
Have the presence of mind to ask yourself “When?” Then have the courage of heart to hear the response. “Now.”
There are are two stories out today that defy logic and call into question our humanity.
The first is about Iraqi interpreters who worked for the U.S. military. Now that we are gone, the lives of those brave men, and their families, are in peril. They have been marked for death. Yet, that’s not the shocking part of the story. The real shock is that bureaucrats at the U.S. Embassy, in processing applications from these individuals seeking U.S. visas (hoping to save their lives) have been dragging their feet at best… and been downright arrogant and rude at worst.
In the second, unrelated story (unless you consider the lack of humanity in both stories as common ground) farmers in Pennsylvania have been using human feces as fertilizer to grow crops. While local residents have done everything they can to stop this public health hazard (waste in their drinking water for starters), what they have been told by their local government is that it’s a Federal issue as permits for such use are issued by the EPA.
Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want the EPA to be my first, or last, line of defense against harm. Did you see “Norma Rae” or “Erin Brockovich?”
Common sense…that’s what’s lacking. Common sense and respect for all living Beings. If you’re still asleep and thinking that the Federal government, or even your state government, isn’t too big or too busy to protect your wellbeing…think again. As for how we treat our friends, look no further than these Iraqi translators…or Britain…or Israel, for that matter.
If there’s one takeaway from both of these stories it’s that we must rely upon ourselves, have compassion and concern for life wherever we find it and wake up to the fact the bureaucracies are helpful to a point…beyond which they become a breeding ground for inhumanity.
Now that we get it, let’s start curing this disease by voting out every incumbent in 2012 and starting over. In the meantime, call you Congressional Representatives, and the U.S. State Department, and advocate for those Iraqi translators.
I don’t know how to even begin to cure the EPA. So, for now, I guess we pray for those people in Pennsylvania.
It astonishes me how many people remain asleep…unconscious…unaware. And how many others are living in a world of denial. I understand the tendency to bury one’s head in the sand, so to speak, in the face of so much bad news and uncertainty. Admittedly, these are trying times.
But denial never gets you anything other than delayed truth. It doesn’t obliterate it.
Here’s my latest take on fear. It’s been the tool of choice for controlling the majority of people on earth for, at least, the last 5000 years. I think it’s time we stopped buying into the illusion that energy is scarce and costly, that remedies for illness are limited to choices predetermined by a few and sanctioned by government, that politicians need be corrupt and we need to accept this as a given, and that corporations and banks need to be insatiable entities satisfying their endless hunger for money and control at the expense of those who reply upon their services and trust in their good intentions.
Energy is free. It’s in the air…the “space” all around us and extracting it has gotten everyone discredited who ever proved that to be true. Buddhism, and even physics, assert that out of “no-thing-ness,” or the void, came everything. Well, if there is nothing in the void, then it’s devoid of light, also. So light is not the Source of all that is… darkness is. And darkness is not a bad thing. Its no-thing and holds the potential from which every-thing manifests.
For these past 5000 plus years we have been living under the fear-based illusion that to break the rules gets you cast into hell (the abyss), or prison, or just plain outcast from mainstream society. As if the abyss is bad. I would ask you consider that the very thing we have been told to fear… the dark, the unknown, the “other”… is, in fact, the Source of true power. And those who have known this truth, in both religions and governments worldwide, have used that illusion to manipulate us with fear-based thinking for most of human history.
Wake up! Now! Fear is a tool to control you. That’s why there is so much “bad” news. That’s why economies are collapsing. The insatiable individuals and companies that have run our reality by fear are panicked. They are desperate and the only way they can hang on to their power is to make certain you are more frightened than you’ve ever been in your entire life.
It’s a game. Its not real. Refuse to play. Step outside the box. Follow your own inner guidance. Link up with like-minded people and stay the course. We are on the threshold of a brave new world and it’s not one ruled by one world government. It’s a world imagined by billions of individual, creative, compassionate souls who have awakened to say:
Nature has a way of balancing things out and making quick friends of entrenched adversaries. When tsunamis, earthquakes or any type of natural disaster strike a nation, it is instructive to see how the peoples of the world come together to offer aid. New Orleans, Haiti, India, Chile… these were but a few of the geographic regions that experienced natural disasters where our differences were transcended by our humanity. Or, as I prefer to think of it, our Oneness.
Let’s pray that Turkey can move beyond its political and religious agendas to rethink its decline today of the medical and humanitarian assistance Israel has offered following the devastating earthquake just suffered there. It is hard for me to believe that anyone, or any nation’s leaders, would deny themselves some of the nearest and best medical, military and technological aid on political or religious grounds. In fact I would have to question the politics or the religion of any group of people who would allow their own to suffer and die rather than accept the outstretched hand of a neighbor whose intentions are heartfelt.
Perhaps Turkey and the world in general, should consider that what we have failed to do of our own Free Will may now be imposed upon us in a most distasteful way by the Earth itself. When we accept that we are powerless to oppose the full force of Nature unleashed… and that our only hope during such moments and their aftermath is our support of one another…perhaps we will rethink the wisdom of so much division and hatred and contemplate a new strategy whereby we pull together rather than apart.
If not, like children, we may have to learn the hard way. Turkey certainly is.
“Alone Together” written by MIT professor Sherry Turkle is big news because in it she lays out the case that the various means of social networking, via technological advances, have actually diminished our ability to communicate not enhanced it.
Well, forgive me for I told you so, but I came to that conclusion years ago… writing and speaking about it ever since. While I had no scientific data to back up my conclusion, I had eyes, ears and common sense. Admittedly, pre-technological apparatus… but quite useful none-the-less.
My observation was that when social-spiritual development is outpaced by technological development the result is alienation, dependency and in extreme cases addiction to the technology.
Why? Well, for two reasons.
First, because we are going to be slaves to something in our lives. Now before you get all huffy about that statement, allow me to explain. When I say “slave” I mean that we humans will spend our lives in service to something. We will each select goals, or ends, and means by which to achieve them. Without core ethical and moral underpinnings that support us in discerning positive means and ends from negative ones, we are easily seduced by the most expeditious route to where we want to go… however, not necessarily the most life-affirming route. Core ethical and moral values are best developed over time, observing people who exemplify them by their behavior.
Technology applied to social networking lacks these necessary characteristics. In fact, it stands in direct opposition to them: 1) Its rapid, not allowing for a natural unfolding or development. 2) The human element is sublimated to the technology. 3) The physical distance combined with anonymity negates the behavioral aspect completely.
Simply put, social networking is a misnomer. Its social alienating.
But back to slavery.
In Egypt, Pharaoh knew what he was doing. In mystical Judaism it is taught that the Jews were slaves not because they were physically imprisoned, but because they were socially and spiritually dependent and thereby imprisoned. It wasn’t their bodies Pharaoh took claim to it was their consciousness and their laziness (a/k/a wanting to get things the easy way). The Jews traded freedom of thought for comfort and ease. It is further taught that it’s a “story” in which Pharaoh represents the reliance upon materiality and physical enslavement represents unconsciousness (a/k/a) relinquishment of human consciousness.
I remember many years ago, pre-WORD, when I was working in DOS. As my computer was booting up the hard drive, I saw the words “master drive ” and “slave drive” flash across the screen. It gave me pause. I actually thought it was a joke, albeit a dangerous one, originating in some programmer’s mind who then saw the potential inherent in the medium.
I am many things, but first and foremost I am the mother of a seventeen year-old daughter. Anyone with a teenager knows the distance, detachment and danger inherent in the unbridled access and use of social networking. The big worry isn’t carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritic thumbs. It’s inhumanity.
So, many thanks to Professor Turkle for providing data for all those who need it. As for me, I just looked around at the kids and saw the future. It’s a time-tested method for discerning where we’re headed.
As for possible solutions: Reprioritize your life. Slow it down. Be able to look into the eyes of the people from whom you are learning life’s lessons. Be willing to do things the hard way. Breathe. Laugh. Love.
If you’re going to be slave, choose a Master with a heart.
Jewish or Christian, it’s the season of miracles. Since I had one this week I thought I‘d share it. It begins with back pain.
I’m a swimmer. I love to do laps. I swim outside in the summer months and in the winter I join a health club with an indoor pool. My love of the sport is new since, until about 15 years ago, I was uncomfortable in the water and couldn’t really swim. Having surmounted my fears, I taught myself to swim and have been dedicated ever since.
However, within the last 6 months, I have been having severe upper back pain and so when the pool closed in September I decided it was too painful to swim. I didn’t join the club. Recently, I’ve seen several doctors who have ordered x-rays, ultrasounds, thermography and an MRI… all in an effort to diagnose the pain… which happens to be in the area of my rotator cuff and under the scapula as well.
Last week, a friend of mine who didn’t know of the pain, suggested I join the health club as I have for the past couple of years since it was her thought that I am “just plain happier when I am swimming… so why not?” Thinking over her suggestion, I decided “why not” as well and joined.
Somewhere in my thought process was the hope that, at this point, exercising the muscles by swimming might help.
Enter the miracle.
Yesterday was my second night swimming. Midway through my regimen of laps, a man asked me if he could share my lane. Swim protocol and courtesy says the answer to that question is always “Yes.” After he did a lap or two, with beautiful form, he waited for me to end my lap and asked me if I’d mind if he gave me some constructive advice. “Not at all, please do” I replied.
“When your left arm comes up out of the water and goes back in its crossing over your plane. It’s crossing all the way to your right side. You are going to hurt your rotator cuff and upper back.” (my emphasis not his)!
Can you imagine my shock? I could hardly believe it. I had just had an x-ray earlier that day.
Here he had “showed up” (a tri-athlete I might add) to tell me exactly the cause of my back pain. No disease. Nothing mysterious. Doctors need apply. I am swimming incorrectly and reinjuring myself every time I do.
But here’s the thing.
When you are “in the flow” (no pun intended) the Universe gives you what you need. Exactly what you need. Not always what you want, but definitely what you need.
So, I got a diagnosis, a solution, and a free swimming lesson from a tri-athlete because I was open to 1) my spiritual friend’s suggestion that I rejoin the health club and 2) I was trying to do the best I could for myself.
It’s the stuff of miracles.
But that’s not a surprise because… ‘tis the season.
As a survivor of attempted suicide, I have been a writer and inspirational speaker on depression and suicide for several years. Since both subjects continue to have stigma attached to them they don’t get the public attention they need. However, whenever there is a suicide by a public or media worthy person, it presents an opportunity.
Such is the case today with the suicide of convicted financier Bernard Madoff’s eldest son, Mark.
There will be broad conjecture on the “why” of it. Some will suspect an unrevealed personal embarrassment, or will find perverse satisfaction in Mr. Madoff’s tragic loss and suffering, or, will conclude it’s the “sins of the father” visited upon the son.
I leave those judgmental meanderings to others.
For me, it’s about the two things depression and suicide are always about. The abandonment of trust in one’s ability to handle life’s challenges and the temporary misplacement of hope.
Depression is rooted in the fear that somehow “I am not good enough, capable enough or lovable enough” to live a joyful and productive life. Its weapon of choice is fear… dense, sluggish energy that manifests as immobility. A depressed person lacks motivation, initiative, passion and staying power. They become weighted down by inertia.
When one is depressed, it often follows that feelings of hopelessness accompany feelings of inadequacy resulting in an irrational, but seemingly logical, conclusion that things will never change. The thought of living an unchanging, inert life becomes unbearable. Unable to stand the pain, ending one’s life seems a viable option and a “constructive” step to take.
What I share when I speak about depression and suicide is that the only constant in life is change. For we humans, change is frequently challenging and often uncomfortable. It’s not so much about learning to overcome feelings of inadequacy and inertia as it is about learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Then everyday can be seen for what it is: an endless opportunity to create, anew, the life we imagine.
There are two steps I am certain move depression in a positive direction and mitigate the likelihood that it will lead, unaddressed, to attempted suicide.
Giving: Feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness simply dissipate, or disappear, the moment we step outside ourselves and provide assistance to another in need. When you’re depressed volunteer, or just reach out within your immediate environment, and provide some form of help or caring for a family member, friend, neighbor or even animal. The warmth that flows through your system in realizing you are needed and appreciated thaws the freeze of inertia.
Doing something you love: Every cell in your body stores memory as well as the emotion attached to it. So, when you’re depressed and force yourself to do something you love to do… cycling… planting… painting… walking in Nature… whatever… even though you may start out depressed, the sheer act of having your cells call up the emotion stored in them, along with the memory of that thing you love, causes a crack in the door to the place where the darkness of depression sulks. Once that crack occurs, the frequency of Light energy bound to that pleasant memory begins to enter the darkness. The Light energy, seeping in, will elevate and brighten your outlook. Literally.
Mark Madoff left a suicide note. It may not be a literal note, on a physical piece of paper, but it’s no less instructive or important. The note said: “I was lost in doubt and hopelessness. I thought I was not good enough. I didn’t see a way out. I could not bear the pain.” I know that’s what his note said because anyone who has ever been depressed, attempted or committed suicide would leave the same note.
Treating a suicide as “newsworthy” is to make a distinction without a difference. All suicides are newsworthy as they represent the loss of the infinite potential each of us is born with to create a better world. I hope we can shine a bright light on this topic and, by so doing, illuminate the way for all of those who may be temporarily lost in darkness.