28 March 2017 The True Cost of Corporate Revenge (Corporate Coup d’état of the American Government) and Free Will

Hello to you, I hope you are doing well today. I was doing pretty well until I saw the latest horrors to come out of President Trump’s pen via yet another executive order regarding our shared Earth. When I see things like this coming from my government, I truly see one thing and that is….revenge.

Everything I have seen come out of this administration for the past three, almost four months now seems like a personal attack against all of us in America and around the world. I feel like we are now at the receiving end of 8 years of unbridled, pent-up corporate hate.

As I see it, our main defense has been, and continues to be how we spend our money. If we don’t buy it, they can’t sell it. If we don’t work for them, they can’t harvest and sell it.

What I am saying is the last card we have, and have always had, left to spend that cannot be taken, even by force and threat of death is: free will

If you choose to give away your “last card” by working for and or giving your money to the people and industries like are behind what President Trump is proposing to do, then you only have yourself to blame for what is coming.  A painful death from environmental pollution is indiscriminate and there is no place to hide, not even for those who think they will profit from this misery.

Profit from misery is a cardinal sin in my book.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/trump-executive-order-climate

Trump Just Released His Plan to Gut Obama’s Climate Policies. It’s Worse Than You Thought.

“A declaration of war.”

Rebecca LeberMar. 27, 2017 11:00 PM – see link for entire article

“The president will instruct agencies to rescind a moratorium on coal leasing on public lands; rewrite limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry; and ignore the EPA’s current calculation on the costs of carbon pollution. There are also broad directives reversing an Obama initiative requiring that federal departments consider climate mitigation strategy and the national security risks of global warming.

One of Trump’s more notable “Day One” promises is missing, however: The United States will remain in the landmark Paris climate accord for the time being—despite Trump’s pledge to “cancel” it.”

http://www.kyenvironmentalfoundation.org/coal-mining-health-risks.html

https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=92 – Methane

http://westernlaw.org/article/report-living-near-oil-gas-emissions-increases-cancer-risk

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/air-pollution-everything-you-need-know

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/20/naomi_klein_on_trump_election_thisNaomi Klein on Trump Election: “This is a Corporate Coup d’état” – Journalists Naomi Klein, author of “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate” and Lee Fang of The Intercept talk about the role of corporations inside the Trump administration and the inauguration

Don’t know why but on this train of thought Dr. Evil and his son Scott going to Group Therapy came to mind:

Austin Powers Group Therapy – Dr. Evil and Scott in group therapy

27 March 2017 What Would You Give (Poem) – taking time to appreciate the gifts of Nature

Hello to  you – I hope this finds you well.  Keeping it really simple today as I’m tired and adjusting to a morning without the sounds of my sweet Kyle’s voice and presence!  Today is his first day at work.  Much love and hugs to you reader(s) and I hope you will find a way, your special way, to make this World a better place.  Even if you can just manage a smile  and a heartfelt “hello” to a stranger – that’s a start!

26 March 2017 – the feeling outside was kind of “off” with the storms building and lurking about so I didn’t spend much time outside yesterday. We decided this looked like Mars lol.

Quotes that resonated from the Daily good today:

The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
William Shakespeare

Loneliness and the feeling of being uncared for and unwanted are the greatest poverty.
Mother Teresa

One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.
Dennis A. Peer

Today’s poem from my Grandma. To me, this Earth is more precious than money.

What Would You Give?

What would you give for a day in Spring,

With bright green grass and windy hills,

Sapphire skies and cotton clouds,

And the fairy gold of daffodils?

What would you give for a Summer day,

with your own rainbow overhead,

Butterflies and hummingbirds,

Hovering over each flower bed?

What would you give for an Autum day,

With leaves of orange and brown and gold,

The smell of wood smoke in the air,

And all of the love your heart could hold?

What would you give for a Winter day,

Whole landscapes glisten white with snow,

A blazing fire and af riend to share

Sweet memories of long ago?

Is there among us anyone,

With wealth enough to purchase all

This loveliness, no human hand

Can duplicate, however small?

What do you suppose the price

And value of such things would be?

No man who lives is rich enough,

….To buy what God gives us for free!

http://www.worldprayers.org/prayerwheel/index.html

Creator of heaven and earth,
You are me,
I am you.

prayer of a navajo girl – early 20th century

Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses….take a moment to appreciate the gifts of Nature going on all around us each and every day.

You have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!

 

The rose garden of Kayoichou Park, Japan – 4K garden rose extravaganza

26 March 2017 Drawings, Spring (photos), Advocates for Homeless Call for More Housing, Better Service Coordination (KERA, Christopher Connelly) and ‘Right to Work’ Laws Increase Poverty, Decrease Productivity (neatoday.org, Columbus State Community College)

Good morning to you.  I hope you are well today as you visit here.  I’m feeling kind of foggy-headed this morning….my thanks to all those in heaven and earth that make coffee a reality!

Today is the “day before” going back to work and Kyle has been nervous, anxious and excited all at once!  I told him last night it’s like that feeling you get on Sunday night before you have to go back to work on Monday but on steroids lol.  I’m sure everything will go just fine,  jitters are normal when it comes to these things!

Yesterday, because of the rains we had, the air was really good and just a lovely day to spend outside.  I have been crying a lot when I’m out there but for a good reason….it’s just so darn beautiful.  Seeing the array of life doing all that they do to make our world come to life is so humbling for me.  Last night I sat with Link watching the sun going down and just the way the light came through the fence and softly lit the trees….they were literally glowing.  I was going to go get my camera and try to capture it but realized there was no way my camera was going to see what Link and I were seeing at that moment.  It was just for us.

Some quotes from the Daily Good randomizer (http://www.dailygood.org/) that resonated with me today:

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.
Helen Keller

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S. Truman

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.
The Talmud

We have enough stuff in the world — it’s just not in the right places.
Becky Morrison

When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.
Dalai Lama

The  subjects that I’m sharing about today in the “cut and pastes” to follow now, especially the problems of poverty and homelessness, resonate with me because of the experiences I’ve had through the years working with and talking to homeless people.  The reasons people become homeless and or wanderers are varied but one reason common to most, is the inability to obtain and keep stable employment that generates liveable wages.  In a country that is increasingly becoming Right to Work, stable employment is difficult to come by.   We’ve experienced, as has our family members, what it’s like to live in a Right to Work State and it is a very insecure way to live knowing that for just about any reason you could have a job one day and not have one the next.  This concept seems like a very short-sighted way to operate anything!  I feel that one of the core issues we need to correct to get our economy back on track involves economic security that comes from stable employment that pays liveable wages.  Putting people in a daily situation of not being sure whether or not they will have a  job is hard on people and their families.  Changing jobs frequently makes for a very unstable home life especially for children.  With the frequent moves that come with the gaining and losing of a job, comes the changing of schools and the leaving of friends and support systems.  This can severely impact a child’s sense of security and self-esteem over time (http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Family-Moves-014.aspx).  There is much more to a job than just the money!

http://keranews.org/post/advocates-homeless-call-more-housing-better-service-coordination

Advocates For Homeless Call For More Housing, Better Service Coordination

By Christopher Connelly • Mar 23, 2017

A new report shows the number of people who are homeless in Tarrant and Parker Counties has not changed much over the past year. The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition released its annual homeless count on Thursday. It found 1,924 people living on the streets or in shelters, 14 fewer than last year.

“The number may not be significantly significant, but I assure you, escaping homelessness was significant for those 14 people, said Otis Thornton, who leads the coalition.

The count found fewer homeless veterans, and fewer women, who say domestic violence is the reason they became homeless. At the same time, there were more families on the streets, and one in five homeless people is under the age of 18.

Thornton told service providers and homeless people gathered at a community meeting at the Salvation Army’s Mabee Center that he wanted to to improve coordination between agencies so that people have an easier time navigating services and hear “yes” more often. He challenged aid organizations and their funders to focus their efforts on ending homelessness.

“Something has to change, or we’re going to find ourselves in the same situation year after year,” Thornton said.

The homeless count is basically a snapshot created by hundreds of volunteers fanning out across the two-county region on a single night to survey people staying in shelters or sleeping outside.

While the count found more than 1,900 people in its one-night snapshot, the coalition’s report estimated that more than 7,400 people in Tarrant and Parker Counties experienced homelessness at some point over the past year.

Some don’t make it into the annual census because they’re difficult to find.

Carol Klocek, who runs the Fort Worth-based Center for Transforming Lives, said many women and families aren’t in the shelters because there are too few family units, and they avoid the camps and vacant buildings where a lot of homeless people congregate and get counted.

“Moms with young children want to stay away from those places as much as they can because they’re not safe,” Klocek said. “Who wants their 3-year-old exposed to those kinds of harsh realities?”

Others are missed because they cycle in and out of homelessness over time. Klocek said many women earning low wages and providing for small children teeter back and forth on the edge of being homeless.

“One of the mothers we worked with had her hours cut right after one of her kids had the flu,” Klocek said. “Suddenly she didn’t have enough to pay rent so they lived in her car for a time until she could work enough and save enough to get back into her apartment.”

Low wages are especially problematic in a region that faces a severe shortage of affordable housing. Across Dallas-Fort Worth, there are only 19 affordable rental units for every 100 poor renters. Klocek said it would take a job making $19 an hour for a single mom to afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth.

In his presentation, Otis Thornton put it another way: A worker making minimum wage would have to work 76 hours a week to afford an apartment of their own at market rate in Tarrant County, he said.

Either way you put it, he said the math just doesn’t work out for a lot of people.

“Year after year, the data shows us nearly the same thing: That if they had stable employment, and they made enough to afford somewhere safe and decent to live, they would not be homeless,” Thornton said.

Thornton said adding affordable housing to reduce homelessness would save money in the long run. Homelessness, he said, is expensive.

“It costs about $10,000 per year when someone is stably housed,” he said. “In contrast, it costs about $30,000-$40,000 when somebody is homeless. It’s the cost of shelter, but it’s also the cost burden on our health care, criminal justice, and other systems that hit everybody’s pocketbook.”

Thornton estimates it would take around $650 million to fix the housing shortage in Tarrant County. Still, he said money alone won’t solve the problem. He said that until the greater community sees it as a priority to help their neighbors find safe, permanent homes, homelessness will be a continuing reality in Tarrant County.

http://www.nrtw.org/right-to-work-states – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, map showing Right to Work States:

http://neatoday.org/2012/08/14/right-to-work-laws-increase-poverty-decrease-productivity-2/ – I know this is an older article but with 29 States, Missouri and Kentucky just this year, becoming Right to Work, it’s relevant.

August 14, 2012 • 12:45PM

‘Right to Work’ Laws Increase Poverty, Decrease Productivity

By Columbus State Community College

On February 1, 2012, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels signed a “right-to-work” (RTW) provision in the state’s labor laws, making Indiana the twenty-third RTW state in the nation and the first in more than a decade to pass a law undermining the ability of unions to organize and represent their members. As I write this, efforts are under way in at least a half-dozen other states, including Ohio, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon, to follow the Indiana example and further limit the rights of unions nationwide.

In RTW states, unions are prohibited from including in their contracts “union security clauses,” which require all employees in the bargaining unit either to join the union or pay a portion of its dues. Worker-friendly states, on the other hand, allow provisions for the union to be the exclusive bargaining agent for those workers who are eligible for membership, and also require all eligible employees to pay at least a portion of the union dues.

Despite the eagerness to adopt these laws, the question of whether RTW laws actually benefit a state economically has remained largely unanswered. In this paper, using the most recent data available from public sources, I have analyzed a spectrum of seven measures for standard of living, including Gross Domestic Product GDP), poverty rates, life expectancy rates, and “income gap,” and determined whether there are differences in these measures between the 22 RTW states (not including Indiana, which joined them after this data was collected) and the 28 worker-friendly states.

The results clearly show the adverse consequences of RTW laws on people living in those states, and should inform the good efforts of union members and allies to quell the ongoing efforts to spread these laws nationally. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans as ‘right to work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining.” The evidence presented here shows that Dr. King was absolutely right.

An Analysis of the Data

The GDP, or the total amount of goods and services produced in a year, is probably the most accessible single measure of standard of living. A high GDP positively correlates with a high standard of living, and changes in living standards can be swiftly observed in corresponding changes in the GDP.

According to 2009 data, the GDP per capita for worker-friendly states collectively was $43,899, while the GDP per capita for the RTW states was $38,755 or 13.3 percent lower. It is worth emphasizing that GDP represents goods and services produced, and is not the same as per capita income. Thus, the initial analysis of this measure indicates that the worker-friendly states appear to be significantly “more productive” than the RTW states.

Poverty rates: Obviously a state with a high standard of living would be expected to have fewer residents living in poverty. Using U.S. Census income data, and applying it to the two groups of states, we find again that RTW states have a lower standard of living. Eleven of the 15 states with the highest poverty rates are RTW states, while nine of the 11 states with the lowest are worker-friendly. Furthermore, the percentage of the 2008 population living in poverty in RTW states was 14.4 percent, while the percentage in worker-friendly states was 12.4 percent. To put this difference in perspective, if the rate of poverty in RTW states was extended across the nation, an additional 3,670,000 American men, women, and children would be living in poverty today.

Health insurance: One would expect that a state with a high standard of living would have more of its citizens covered by basic health insurance, giving them access to preventive care and swift medical treatment. And, once again, the Census data show that the worker-friendly states have a higher standard of living. Fully 11 of the 13 states with the lowest uninsured rates are worker-friendly states, while 11 of the 15 states with the highest uninsured rates are RTW states. The median uninsured rate for worker-friendly states is 12.6 percent, while for RTW it is 15.7 percent. Again, to put this in perspective, if the rates of non-insured citizens in RTW states were spread across the country, then an additional 8,640,480 Americans would be uninsured and suffer a lack of access to affordable health care.

Life expectancy: While there may seem to be little reason for a correlation to exist between RTW laws and the life expectancy of citizens in those states, life expectancy data from the Harvard School of Public Health was included here because it is a very common measure of standard of living. And, as it turns out, the data reveal a surprising trend. Of the 13 states with the highest life expectancy rates, 10 are worker-friendly states. Conversely, of the 12 states with the lowest life-expectancy rates, only two are worker-friendly states. In worker-friendly states, citizens can expect to live 77.6 years (the median), while citizens in RTW states can expect to die at 76.7.

To read on (and to see the author’s state-by-state tables for each standard of living), visit www.nea.org/thoughtandaction.

What we noticed is a common practice in the industrial/manufacturing sector is to hire people just up until they make tenure and qualify for benefits and then they fire them.  The other factor is shareholders, especially in oil and gas.  Weir, when the prices of oil and gas were going down so much a couple of years ago now,  fired a significant portion of their labor force with little to no notice.  These are the kind of “jobs” that the Keystone and DAPL are and will continue to create btw – insecure and temporaryWhat also comes with oil and gas Boomtowns, much like happened with the gold rush, is crime. 

This was a thread I found on the subject of the Weir layoffs:

https://www.reddit.com/r/oilandgasworkers/comments/2tqh95/weir_oil_and_gas_layoffs/

Oil and Gas Workers

The goal of this sub is to be an information sharing location between those with experience and those just starting out in the industry. From field work to horror stories to interview questions, anything goes. We all have strong opinions, so lets try to respect that and keep everything civil.

This is an archived post. You won’t be able to vote or comment.

For content that does not contribute to any discussion.

Weir oil and gas layoffs self.oilandgasworkers

submitted 2 years ago * by akuj1k1

So I work for Weir in Fort Worth and they have already laid off around 1800 people a few weeks ago. Now I’m hearing today that they are going to lay off more tomorrow. Anyone know anything? I’m wondering how many more they will lay off.

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[–]BBQ4life • 5 points 2 years ago

Just got my pink slip today at Weatherford. Got 2 people at my shop of 16, and there is more lay offs coming. YaY oilfield!
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[–]llamadama • 2 points 2 years ago

I’m curious as well but like anywhere it’s completely up in the air. The market is shit right now and there are a ton of fleets built due to the last upswing.
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[–]BBQ4life • 2 points 2 years ago

Just found out that 2 days ago Weatherford laid off 150 people at their facilities down in corpus Christi, and yesterday afternoon they went to our facilities south of Houston (pearland) to lay off some people there. I think the way of the future will be to go with smaller companies with good investors that are ran by ex-big company folks that were canned as well. Example being Black Hawk, all ex-weatherford hands, engineers, the COO is a former VP. But yeah, 9-1/2 years with Weatherford, 2nd generation at the company. Between my pops and myself we had over 45 years with that company.
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http://www.egyptoil-gas.com/news/oil-prices-prompt-further-layoffs-at-weir-group/

Oil Prices Prompt Further Layoffs at Weir Group

Thursday, 30th April 2015

Weir Group is to cut a further 125 oil and gas jobs in North America as the FTSE 100 engineer continues to feel the pain from the slump in oil prices.

The Glasgow-based engineer, which manufactures valves and pumping equipment for miners and oil and gas companies, reported a 23% fall in orders for oil and gas in the first three months of the year and said it expects the decline to continue into the second quarter., Tanya Powley writes.

The group warned in February at its full-year results that the plummeting oil price will hit profitability this year, saying it expected a “significant reduction” in group revenues and lower operating margins in 2015. At the time, it announced plans to slash 22% of its North American workforce, taking total job cuts to 1,200.

On Wednesday, the engineer said it planned to make an additional 125 job cuts as well as the closure of a number of service centres because of challenging conditions in the market. This would result in a further £10m of cost savings, the company said.

Keith Cochrane, chief executive at Weir, said: “Trading conditions in oil and gas markets were challenging through the quarter with a steeper decline in the North American rig count than the market had anticipated.”

The company said it was facing pricing pressure from customers, with discounts ranging from between 5% and 20% across its product portfolio.

Source: Financial Times

What else comes with “rushes” like oil and gas:   

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/03/news/economy/oil-boom-crime/index.html

America’s Biggest Boomtown

Sex, drugs and murder in oil country
by Steve Hargreaves   @hargreavesCNN
February 3, 2015: 11:37 AM ET

A few years ago, the oil boom brought jobs, workers and money to Williston, N.D. But the influx of young men also brought a rise in crimes like prostitution, drug trafficking, theft, and even murder.

http://time.com/money/4712355/keystone-pipeline-donald-trump-job-creation/and here is the bottom line.

How Many Jobs Will the Keystone Pipeline Actually Create? It Could Be As Few as 35

Mar 24, 2017

“It’s a great day for American jobs, and a historic moment for North America,” Trump said from the Oval Office on Friday.

But “the majority of these jobs would be short-term in nature,” the State Department told MONEY.

In fact, when the construction on the pipeline is complete, there will only be 50 jobs available related to the pipeline — 35 permanent ones, and 15 ones for temporary contractors, the State Department said.

 

 

25 March 2017 American Health Care Act withdrawn, In the Woods (poem), supporting your local PBS tv and radio stations (KERA) and drawings

Good morning to you.  I hope this finds you well where and when you are as you visit me here.  Thank you for coming to visit!  It gets kind of lonely out here in cyberspace!

Well yesterday we found out that the American Health Care Act of 2017 bill was withdrawn after failing to gain sufficient support.  The reasons the Democrats didn’t support it made sense to me, the House Freedom Caucus not so much.  I don’t understand why they didn’t just work together to fix flaws in the existing program and call it a day but they didn’t.  The government of the United States is broken and having an identity crisis of epic proportions.  My prayers go out to each and all on this; this is painful I’m sure for all involved.

The truth is there can be no sides when it comes to the service of people and taking care of this beautiful earth.  If you don’t want to serve anyone besides yourself and your own(s) best interests, may be it’s time to get another profession or go back to the one you were in. 

American Health Care Act

The American Health Care Act of 2017 was a United States Congress bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was based on a plan first publicly released by House Republicans on March 6, 2017, and the first part of what its proponents claim was a 3-phase plan to repeal the bill. The AHCA would have repealed the parts of the Affordable Care Act within the scope of the federal budget, including provisions contained within the Internal Revenue Code such as the individual and employer mandates and various taxes, and also modifications to the federal Medicaid program. The House bill was withdrawn on March 24, 2017, after the Republicans failed to gain sufficient support to pass it.

Wikipedia

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/24/trump-blames-democrats-for-gop-health-care-bill-failure-says-obamacare-is-imploding.html – I think it was immature for the President to just blame the Democrats for this bill failing when it was the House Freedom Caucus and other Republicans who also did not give this bill their vote. 

Freedom Caucus

The Freedom Caucus, also known as the House Freedom Caucus, is a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the United States House of Representatives. It was formed by a group of Congressmen as a “smaller, more cohesive, more agile and more active” group of conservatives.

Freedom Caucus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Caucus

We become what we repeatedly do.
Sean Covey

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
Abraham Lincoln

Kyle chose the poem from my Grandma today:

Kyle’s choice for one of my Grandma’s newspaper clipping poems today.

In the Woods

I do not need a clock

in this green place,

God is my time

with His eternal face.

The trees are tall and strong,

The sweet birds sing

And silence seems to smile

on everything.

the sunlight fills my heart,

It leads the way,

Like the finger of God

This autumn day.

It’s a beautiful world

I make my own,

Walking with God

in the woods alone.


I don’t know how it is for you, but for us we don’t have cable television and rely heavily on streaming and free broadcasts like our local Public Television Station KERA.  It saddens me that our current administration is so out of touch with their constituents to even consider defunding this program and NPR which Kyle and I also listen to regularly.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/15/trumps-budget-will-likely-slash-public-media-but-the-biggest-losers-wont-be-pbs-and-npr/?utm_term=.0c87be039156 – use link for complete article which includes charts breaking out expenses.

“President Trump’s impending budget proposal is expected to include deep cuts to public media, among other things, which would surely delight Republicans who have been trying, on and off, to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for five decades.

In January, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) filed a bill (again) that would strip federal funding from an agency that receives $445 million per year. Lamborn said in a statement that “this is not about content,” but accusations of liberal bias have long been embedded in efforts to cut off the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

http://www.kera.org/ – once Kyle gets steady work we will be making donating to KERA (Public Television) a monthly commitment.  We are examples of people who live in a rural area, don’t pay for cable and rely on stations like KERA and NPR for news and information. 

http://keranews.org/post/15-amazing-things-you-should-know-about-texas-bluebonnets?_ga=1.64003943.911446977.1490449965 – if you love flowers like I do, this post will help make your day!

 

24 March 2017 Chalk Drawings, Fry Bread (recipe), The Evolution of Gratitude (The Daily Good), The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie’s song that is a cautionary tale), White Americans Are Dying From A Surge In ‘Deaths Of Despair’ (Ann Brenof, Huffington Post) and Types of Liars

Hello to you – hope this finds you well.  It’s Friday morning as I write to you.  For some reason the song by David Bowie, The Man Who Sold The World, has been coming up a lot for me lately.  The words just resonate with the vibe of our world these days.  It’s  not my favorite song he ever did, but for some reason it’s relevant right now.  I made some Fry Bread yesterday and couldn’t remember if I had shared the recipe with you before.  I probably have – call it blogitis – what happens after you’ve been blogging for awhile and start repeating yourself and don’t realize it lol.  We really enjoy it and what’s surprising for how simple it is, it ties us over for quite awhile after we eat it.  Kyle says it’s because of the Love I put into making it!  Anyhew.  Love from our house to yours.  Try to stay in your Heart space — choose Love not Hate.   

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/24/the-evolution-of-gratitude/

The Evolution of Gratitude

Mar 24, 2017— Malini Suchak, assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology, and conservation at Canisius College, researches gratitude, discovering that “Gratitude is one of the fundamentally important parts of human life.” But why is it “as much a part of our social relationships as gossip?” Darwin himself suggested that humans and other animals share the “same emotions, even the more complex ones such as jealousy, suspicion, emulation, gratitude, and magnanimity.” As for gratitude — her initial research among chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys suggests that Darwin might be right.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. –Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Man Who Sold The World “Live” – David Bowie Featuring Klaus Nomi /Joey Arias

The Man Who Sold the World

David Bowie

We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn’t there
He said I was his friend
Which came as some surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You’re face to face
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home
I searched for form and land
For years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazley stare
At all the millions here
We must have died alone
A long long time ago

Who knows
Not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the man who sold the world

Who knows
Not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the man who sold the world

Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE

© EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC

For non-commercial use only.

Data from: LyricFind

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2902

This song is about a man who no longer recognizes himself and feels awful about it. For years, Bowie struggled with his identity and expressed himself through his songs, often creating characters to perform them. On the album cover, Bowie is wearing a dress.

Some of the lyrics are based on a poem by Hugh Mearns called The Psychoed:

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who was not there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish that man would go away

Some lyrical analysis: “We passed upon the stair” is a figurative representation of a crossroads in Bowie’s life, where Ziggy Stardust catches a glimpse of his former self, (being David Bowie) which he thought had died a long time ago. Then he (the old David Bowie) says: “Oh no, not me. I never lost control.” This indicates that Bowie never really lost sight of who he was, but he Sold The World (made them believe) that he had become Ziggy, and he thought it was funny (I laughed and shook his hand). He goes on to state, “For years and years I roamed,” which could refer to touring. “Gaze a gazely stare at all the millions here” are the fans at concerts.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/deaths-of-despair-white-americans_us_58d3e14de4b0f838c6301604 – I suggest going to this link, video is included that summarizes this article very well.  Here is evidence of what is truly at stake when you make promises you never intended to keep. 

White Americans Are Dying From A Surge In ‘Deaths Of Despair’

This may help explain Trump, according to economists studying mortality.

03/23/2017 08:16 pm ET

By Ann Brenoff

Dwindling jobs for white, poorly educated, middle-age Americans is not only destroying their livelihoods and marriages, but also their lives, two Princeton University economists argue in a paper released Thursday.

The mortality rate for whites with no more than a high school degree was about 30 percent higher than for blacks in 2015, according to the report, to be presented at the Brookings Institution on Friday. That’s a huge increase from 1999, when the mortality rate for this group of whites was about 30 percent lower than for blacks.

“This is a story of the collapse of the white working class,” said Angus Deaton, who co-wrote the paper with Anne Case. “The labor market has very much turned against them,” he told The New York Times.

Case and Deaton first noted the increase in mortality among middle-aged whites with high school educations in 2015. Their new report found that the trend has not abated over the past two years, and there’s been no reduction in what they call “deaths of despair” ― including those caused by suicide, drugs and alcohol.

The authors wrote that increases in deaths of despair are accompanied by a measurable deterioration in the economic and social well-being of whites lacking college education.

“It’s not just their careers that have gone down the tubes, but their marriage prospects, their ability to raise children,” Deaton told the Times. “That’s the kind of thing that can lead people to despair.”

The new study found that the highest mortality rates from drugs, alcohol and suicide among whites ages 45 to 54 are no longer limited geographically. In 2000, these deaths were centered in the Southwest. By the mid-2000s, they had spread to Appalachia, Florida, and the West Coast. Today, they are nationwide.

The trend affects whites of both sexes. Education level is significant because people with a college degree report better health and greater happiness than those who never attended. And while the death rate for whites without a college degree is rising, the rate for whites who are college graduates has dropped, Case and Deaton found.

Less-educated white Americans who struggle in the job market in early adulthood are likely to experience a “cumulative disadvantage” over time, according to the study.

“Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high-school-educated working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline,” they concluded.

The research also speaks to the story of Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency. Trump won widespread support among whites with only a high school diploma, suggesting that this demographic saw him as a savior for their struggles.

Deaton pointed out to The Times that Trump’s first months as president have presented those supporters with a cruel twist, singling out the Republican health care legislation, which Trump supports.

“The policies that you see seem almost perfectly designed to hurt the very people who voted for him,” Deaton told the Times.

Reversing mortality trends that in many cases began in the 1970s could take years, the study said ― regardless of Trump’s policies. But some immediate steps could help. Deaton told the Times that routine prescriptions for opioids should be curbed, for example. More than 30,000 Americans died of opioid overuse in 2015

*I was curious about the difference in the types of liars when thinking about certain people in our headlines: 

https://www.truthaboutdeception.com/lying-and-deception/confronting-a-partner/compulsive-lying/types-of-liars.html

What is the Difference Between a Sociopath, a Compulsive, a Pathological, a Chronic, and a Habitual Liar?

A Sociopath

A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused—it is done to get one’s way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways (see lovefraud, for more on sociopaths).

Compulsive Liar

A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning (unlike sociopaths), rather they simply lie out of habit—an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship (see how to cope with a compulsive liar).

The terms Pathological Liar, Habitual Liar and Chronic Liar are often used to refer to a Compulsive Liar

Take a quick survey and see how your lying compares with others – compulsive lying quiz.

For recent research on the topic of lying, visit our blog.

Related Information:

Truth About Deception – back to our home page.

 

 

 

23 March 2017 Dream about my Uncle (trucker’s), A Place in My Heart (poem) and The Man Who Planted Trees (Daily Good)

Hello to you today. I hope as you visit me from wherever you are in your time and place that you are well. I’m recovering from watching the news this morning.   When I see all of what’s going on, I try to remember when you plant rotten seed, you’re going to get rotten fruit.  Seed, in this case, a metaphor for what outcomes we get in this world from counter-productive and often divisive teachings occurring in our homes, schools, government buildings, media rooms, amongst family and friends.  You reap what you sow.  So for my part, I will continue to try to plant good seeds in hopes that even if they don’t germinate in my lifetime, someday they could!  What kind of “garden” are you planning?  Mind your seeds!

Be the change you want to see – Mahatma Gandhi

This morning I woke up after a dream about my Uncle Ron. The dream about my Uncle was triggered by seeing an older truck driver get out of his cab after we had put gas in our car on Monday. I immediately thought of my Uncle when I saw this man. He looked so stiff and exhausted as he got out of his truck to go in to the Quick Trip off of I-35.

My Uncle Ron and his Mom and my Mom.

My Uncle Ron was a truck driver for many years of his life and died of lymphoma (form of cancer) way too young. He was one of my favorite Uncles! I mean you know your Uncle is awesome when he remembers you love Foreigner 4 and buys you a cassette of their music for your birthday! I have many special memories of him which include his taking the time on his travels to come and visit me even after I was in the military. I can remember one visit in particular of his wanting to meet with my ex and I at a truck stop. I think we were living in California at the time. I can remember us getting to the designated truck stop and going in there to look for my Uncle and just seeing all these lonely and tired men sitting there. Men like my Uncle just taking a break from their lonely travels. It was so sad! I’m so glad that more trucker’s have found way to incorporate companionship into their work by bringing along their family and or pets.  My prayers go out to the men, women…families…that are out there making this world and all it’s goods go.

(one of my all-time favorite Foreigner songs from the cassette Uncle Ron bought for me so many years ago for my birthday!)

Anyways. The dream was of such a meeting with my Uncle.  For some reason in the dream I was running beside his truck and talking to him at the same time. I told him I was afraid to knock on his maroon colored cab door because it might startle him and cause an accident! I am grateful for such a dream and opportunity to remember such a good man.

Poem from my Grandma Schmidt for today:

A Place in My Heart

There is a place deep down in my heart

Which has sheltered me many a year,

A stronghold of Faith that defies all the worst

That we’re bound to come up against here.

There is a place in my heart full of Hope,

Like a spring in the desert of living,

And its waters are cool and they nourish my soul,

With the joy of unselfish giving.

There is a place in my heart full of Love,

That warms through the coldest night,

Sustaining my always, in spite of my fears,

As I walk toward the tunnel of light.

For I am a child of the Lord, and I know

From the start of the day ’til its close,

That Faith, Hope and Love are dear to His heart,

….and He’s given me plenty of those.

Each day is a push and pull between our best and worst natures and I am always praying the best will win out in the end. Much Faith, Hope, Light and Love to you today. Just BREATHE!

From the Daily Good, The Man Who Planted Trees: A Conversation with David Milarch

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/23/the-man-who-planted-trees/

Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? Walt Whitman

The Man Who Planted Trees

Mar 23, 2017— Twenty some years ago David Milarch hovered above the bed, looking down at his motionless body. Years of alcoholism and hard living had booted him out of his life. A cosmic commandment would return him to it. His improbable charge? To clone the world’s champion trees – the giants that had survived millennia and would be unvanquished by climate change. Experts said it couldn’t be done. Fast-forward to today, and Milarch is now the keeper of a Noah’s Ark of sorts, filled with the genetics for repopulating the world’s most ancient trees. Founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive he is on a mission to restore the lungs of the planet — a mission that now reaches close to 300 million people each year. “Spend a couple of days in an old-growth forest, you’ll come out different from when you went in. Those trees affect our physical, mental and especially our spiritual bodies. Redwoods have been on this planet for 400 million years longer than humans. I believe that trees have a soul, they have a conscience. And I do believe that anyone, everyone can learn to communicate with them.” Milarch shares more in this fascinating in-depth interview.

22 March 2017 Poor air quality (North Texas), “Just Ask”, chalk squiggles and Anthony Chavez: Continuing a Legacy of Inspiration (Daily Good)

Good morning to you.  It’s Wednesday, 9:52 am as I start to write to you.  Hard to believe it’s already the middle of the week!  Hard to believe we are almost to the end of March already too!  If the next four years can go this fast that might be a good thing lol!

So yesterday I spent a little time outside but not too much.  The air quality here has been very poor for us allergy sufferers lately.  We live in an area with cement plants, methane from the many natural gas wells we have around and in town, other industrial operations, lots of traffic, surrounded by states on fire and on top of that Nature is trying to do their thing and that means lots of pollen.  Some days I actually wear a mask but it’s probably not strong enough to strain out everything!  This morning I walked out and nearly got sick it smelled so bad;  I actually felt nauseous.  Either a herd of skunks came through the area or something else.  I can remember when they fracked the natural gas well in the fields behind our house it smelled like that too.  I’m hoping it was just a skunk!  I waited later than normal to walk Spot and Link, but even then my lungs burned and I was coughing when I came in.  We are supposed to get some “weather” towards the end of the week, some of it possibly severe, so may be that will help clear the air for a bit.  Clean air is not something to take for granted.  I feel bad for the people around here who have kids with asthma, older folks with COPD, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/air-pollution/index.cfm – excerpt

“How is air pollution linked to climate change?

While climate change is a global process, it has very local impacts that can profoundly affect communities, not the least of which is air pollution.

Increasing temperatures are directly linked to poor air quality which, in turn, can affect the heart and exacerbate cardiovascular disease.  Examples of this may include a rise in pollen, due to increased plant growth, or a rise in molds, due to severe storms — both of which can worsen allergies and other lung diseases, such as asthma.

Scientists say an increasing rise in ozone levels are also a concern.”

Anyhew.  I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m whining or complaining.  I just like to spend a lot of my time outside and when this kind of stuff is going on I don’t want to be out there.  To me it’s the same sort of feeling someone might have if they couldn’t  go to their church building for whatever reason.  Nature is my church; it’s where I talk to the God of my understanding.  It frustrates me that we have people in our country, people who are positions that involve oversight and or preservation of our air, water, soil and natural resources that don’t seem to appreciate the gift that is this planet like so many of us do.  Because we actually spend time in Nature, we see that there is a plan for every single life on this planet….they are interconnected.  When you remove even a single part of the connection the entire component starts to fall apart.  We are each designed to play a part and this holds true for all lifeforms we share this planet with.

“I will not lose my hope in us and our ability to do not what’s easy, but what is right.  Doing the right thing is seldom easy but it is lasting. It is the stuff of visionaries. “

Kyle’s new word for today as he describes the two of us, we are “reasonaries.”  People who can see through bullshit lol.

Some quotes that resonated:

Compassion is our deepest nature. It arises from our interconnection with all things.
Jack Kornfield

Music is an immediate art; it’s always happening right now
Sam Andrew

One Touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
William Shakespeare – Troilus and Cressida

We’re all just walking each other home.
Ram Dass

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/22/anthony-chavez-continuing-a-legacy-of-inspiration/

Anthony Chavez: Continuing a Legacy of Inspiration

Mar 22, 2017— When Cesar Chavez died, 30,000 people showed up to march in his honor. He was the visionary force behind the United Farm Workers union and had led the Farm Workers Movement fighting for civil rights while promoting nonviolence. Anthony Chavez, seven-years-old at the time, knew him simply as –Grandpa. Today Anthony is a leader in his own right, he travels the country speaking on behalf of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, keeping his grandfather’s legacy alive, while advocating for service learning initiatives in the field of education. “I remind students what my grandfather said, ‘We don’t need perfect political systems, what we need is more perfect participation,'” Anthony says. His vibrant journey includes many years serving as travel assistant to Brother David Steindl-Rast, the world-renowned Benedictine monk, author and inter-religious pioneer.

21 March 2017 Share (poem), The days of complacent US citizenry are over and Become Your Own Greenspace (Daily Good)

Good morning to you – I hope this finds you well today.  I’m tired.  Link woke me up really early this morning fussing over how flea treatment feels on his skin – itching and burning.  So I went and gave him a bath to get him some relief.  We are going to have to find some other solution!  I don’t know what, but some other way of keeping Link and Spot safe from disease carrying insects besides pouring poison on them!  I’m going to have to research this.  If I find a good lead, I’ll be sure to share.  If you know of something, leave a comment!

The feature article for the Daily Good resonates with me because Greenspace is my favorite space!  It’s so important, in my opinion, to have a strong connection to Nature.  Every day I make a point to take off my shoes and socks and find a patch of earth to just connect with everything above, around and below me.  Even in a busy city, there are usually some patches of green with flowers and trees to reconnect with the Earth with.  Just got to take the time!

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/21/become-your-own-greenspace/

Mar 21, 2017— Studies reveal that contentment, interconnectedness and wellbeing levels all increase with exposure to the vibration of natural greenspaces. According to this article ‘you don’t need a rooftop garden or an acre of forest to create your own meditative biosphere. It can be wherever you are.’ When we tap into the vibration our our hearts, this magnetic strength beyond that of our brains, creates a calm tranquility for our entire being. When we move from our minds to the natural rhythm of our hearts, we become our own greenspace. Greenspaces take us from the tech-heavy, fast paced world into surrendering to the natural, open, slower state that is the vibration of nature. Janmarie Conner offers some real world tips on how to soothe your mind and settle your soul not just through a greener physical environment, but through the natural vibration of your own heart.

Links of interest:  These articles represent a landscape I see enveloping our country.  If there is one good thing that has happened since Donald Trump was elected President it is this – the days of complacent US citizenry are over!  I feel like “the sheep” are starting to grow canine teeth!  It seems the “wolves”, have taught them a few things! 

Sheep who got tired of being afraid.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephen-hawking-donald-trump_us_58d016cee4b00705db51828dPOLITICS

03/20/2017 06:35 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

Donald Trump’s Anti-Science Agenda Leaves Stephen Hawking Feeling Unwelcome In U.S.

The famed physicist urges the president to boot his climate-denying Environmental Protection Agency chief.

http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/cnhi_network/protesters-make-noise-outside-louisville-trump-rally/article_ed446687-50d8-5d0f-adcb-276d4b4fc39c.htmlProtesters make noise outside Louisville Trump rally (who is paying for these trips and rally’s – I venture to guess  that we are.)

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/philadelphia%E2%80%99s-cinco-de-mayo-festival-is-canceled-amid-fears-of-an-ice-raid/ar-BByo5lL?OCID=ansmsnnews11Philadelphia’s Cinco de Mayo festival is canceled amid fears of an ICE raid (this saddens me to see!)

http://www.stripes.com/news/report-calls-to-veterans-suicide-hotline-still-being-sent-to-backup-centers-1.459649#.WNEuveQ2yUlReport: Calls to veterans’ suicide hotline still being sent to backup centers (this is completely unacceptable!)

By NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 20, 2017

“”It’s unacceptable that the issues with the Veterans Crisis Line have still not been addressed,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said in a prepared statement. “I am extremely frustrated by the OIG’s findings and will continue to conduct oversight.”

This from the same person who is sponsoring legislation to return gun access to mentally incompetent Veterans:

http://www.newsweek.com/guns-america-bill-seeks-allow-gun-sales-mentally-ill-vets-568578

U.S. – Guns in America: House Passes Bill to Allow Gun Sales to Mentally Ill Vets

By Michele Gorman On 3/15/17 at 5:46 PM

“As it now works, veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” by the VA are placed on the list of individuals who could be denied weapons permits. Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who sponsored the bill and is chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, said Thursday on the chamber floor that the current practice “deprives veterans of their constitutional rights without due process of law.” He continued, “Veterans who fought to defend the Constitution should also be allowed the rights to protect it.””

http://www.longisland.com/news/03-21-17/statement-from-governor-andrew-m-cuomo-on-repeal-and-replacement-of-affordable-care-act.html – thinking of you  Margarita

Statement From Governor Andrew M. Cuomo On Repeal And Replacement Of Affordable Care Act

Local News, Health & Wellness, Politics

By Long Island News & PR Published: March 21 2017

New York Governor makes statement against the repeal of Obamacare, laments proposed cuts to federal aid to health care.

Print Email

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Photo by: Governor’s Press Office, via YouTube.

Albany, NY – March 21, 2017 – New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released the following statement regarding the proposed repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act and the Collins Amendment:

“The more we learn about the repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the sicker New York gets. The repeal and replacement is exactly what the Trump Administration promised that they would not do. It is the classic Republican program referred to during Reagan’s time as “passing the buck without passing the bucks.” Congressman Paul Ryan and the radical conservatives are having their way. Congressman Ryan brags about “cutting entitlements by billions of dollars.” That is precisely what he is trying to do to New York’s Medicaid program. The conservatives have long lamented that New York’s Medicaid program was “too generous.” They scoffed at our health care proposal that provided dental care and one conservative even said when questioned about the denial of dental benefits, “soup is good.”

“The Repeal and Replace Act would block grant money to the state in the name of local flexibility but at the same time it would dramatically cut that funding. Over four years New York State would lose $4.6 billion and lose at least $2.4 billion a year by fiscal year 2020. If this were not bad enough Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman John Faso have offered an amendment that would stop the counties from paying a share of Medicaid. Historically, the federal government paid 50 percent, the state paid 25 percent, and local governments – counties – paid 25 percent. The state has already absorbed much of that burden, but even so the reduction to the program from the loss of the counties’ share outside of New York City is $2.3 billion. The cut is so severe that the majority of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities located in Upstate New York and on Long Island would be devastated. How a county executive could believe their county could prosper while losing hundreds if not thousands of jobs and seeing the decimation of their health care system is beyond me.

“Congressmen Collins and Faso are calling their amendment a “tax savings plan for the county.” Really it’s a deathtrap as there is no way to make up the shortfall. The Upstate New York and Long Island economy will falter or collapse if the health sector is damaged.

“It would be nice if Congressmen Collins and Faso actually tried to help their districts rather than hurt them. These health care cuts are on top of a dizzying array of cuts to real New Yorkers. The Republican budget cuts housing assistance, food stamps, heating projects, community development funds – all at the expense of the middle class and working families – while they cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. They won’t get away with it. They can’t play New Yorkers as fools and New Yorkers will remember. The bill for Congressmen Collins and Faso’s rabid conservative zealotry will be paid by Upstate New York’s hard working families, and those families will know exactly who to thank.”

20 March 2017 The benefits of buying local (G & L Hardware Alvarado TX), revisiting my Grandma’s love for me and Meredith’s Joy Jars (Daily Good)

Hello to you this bright and sunny afternoon. I hope this finds you well today.

I wanted to share a little something that happened today. I have begun working on the repairs I can do in our house and needed some supplies. We were heading into Burleson anyway for pet stuff and decided to add Lowe’s to the trip. We went into Lowe’s looking for spackle for wall repairs and paint. There was a woman working in the paint section and was helping another customer. No problem. The problem was when Kyle was standing in front of her and she looked at him probably three or four times without even acknowledging him! This kind of treatment happens so often when we go into large box stores.

We both agreed that it was time to visit the newly reopened Hardware store in our town square and we are so glad we did! For starters everyone working there said hello when we came in and Clint, one of the store owners I think, came and talked to us and helped us find everything we needed. He even gave us advice on how to preserve the spackle if there was any left over. We told him what happened at Lowes and he said he used to work there and had the same experience happen to him….ignored by 7 different associates! Clint knows first hand the key element to a successful business is establishing a relationship with your customers and actually caring about them. When they get their paint mixer we will have even less reasons to go to Lowes. Thank you Clint!

Information for our new hardware store in the Alvarado TX town square.

https://www.facebook.com/GLGeneralStore/ – their FB page

Today’s Daily Good feature about Meredith’s Joy Jars reminded me of something my Grandma Irene Schmidt used to do for me to help me through hard times. In her letters she would include an inspirational poem or prayer she would clip out of the daily newspaper. I’m so grateful I kept these and I am going to start sharing them with you too. May be one or all of them will help you if you are in a rough patch.

20 March 2017 – old picture of Grandma and I when she was still physically here. I miss her nearly every day.

Take Time – from my Grandma Irene Schmidt, 1993

Life is so precious

Don’t waste a day!

Live life to the fullest

In small simple ways

Take time, smell the roses.

Hear the song of a bird.

Takie time, say “I love you,”

Three beautiful words!

Take time, watch the sunset

All pink, red and gold.

Take time and just stand still;

It’s a sight to behold.

Take time, watch the moon rise

And spread its soft light.

You can feel God’s sweet presence

In the still of the night.

Take time and just listen

And you’ll hear Him say,

“I love you, My child

And I’m with you each day.”

No more will we worry,

Our cares disappear

When we take time

And know God is near.

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/20/meredith-s-joy-jars/ – this is a great story and such a simple, but loving thing to do to help people.

All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin. Lord Byron

Meredith’s Joy Jars

Mar 20, 2017— “While having trouble transitioning to high school in 2011, my mom placed a big bowl of quotes on my desk to pick from every morning. I grudgingly agreed, but as time went on I realized what a gift this tool truly was. Taping the words of wisdom across my walls and carrying my favorites inside my phone case, I truly believed that each quote I picked was something that I was meant to hear. Later, when I was at costume crew, a friend opened the back of my phone case to see why it was so bulky, and hundreds of my little paper slips floated out. To my surprise, the reaction wasn’t confusion, but sincere interest! After seeing how many people were excited about these daily quotes, together my mom and I packaged a month’s worth into small jars. Requests came pouring in from friends, neighbors, and soon people all over the US.” In celebration of the International Day of Happiness watch this beautiful short video on Meredith’s Joy Jars.

19 March 2017 Active Hope (Daily Good, Joanna Macy) and the tragic story of Edward Daniel Dowd (Vet dies in detox center lobby – Greenfield MA)

Hello to you today. I hope this finds you well. I have been enjoying doing drawings of faces in chalk lately and have been meditating and praying a lot about things going on in our country and world at the moment. I hope something here will resonate with you. I am focusing on what I want in this world and having a clear understanding of the “why” of what I don’t.  Something else I’ve been doing is more lately is fact checking things I read – especially on Facebook.  It’s not always easy to fact check things, even the credibility of Snopes.com has come into question in recent years but it is still possible to do.  It is important that if you are going to form an opinion or belief about something that it is founded in as much truth as you can find!  Anyhew – much love to you!

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C.S. Lewis

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.
Mohsin Hamid

You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
Albert Einstein

The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.
Helen Keller

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/03/19/active-hope/

Mar 19, 2017— Shifting our world toward a life-sustaining society takes active hope. We need to counter the voices that say we’re not up to the task, that we’re not good enough, strong enough, or wise enough to make any difference. If we fear that the mess we’re in is too awful to look at or that we won’t be able to cope with the distress it brings up, we need to find a way through that fear. This piece, co-authored by Joanna Macy, describes three threads we can follow that help us stand tall and not shrink away when facing the immensity of what’s happening to our world.

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” George S. McGovern

*Update 5:21 pm

I looked and found this obituary for Mr. Dan Dowd this afternoon and felt I should share it.  He looked like a very kind person and I am sad his life ended the way it did!

http://hosting-6556.tributes.com/obituary/show/Dan-Dowd-104469282

Dan Dowd
November 17, 1953 – February 8, 2017
Greenfield, Massachusetts

REENFIELD: Daniel Dowd, 63, of Greenfield, MA, passed away February 8, 2017. He was born in Holyoke, MA and is the beloved son of the late James J. Dowd, Jr. and Mary Louise Teahan Dowd, and his step-mother Cynthia Clark Dowd Rowell. Dan graduated from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He was a disabled veteran who proudly served in the US Navy at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Dan was a lover of music, poetry and laughter. Always a musician, his passion for music was at the heart of his band – The Crybabies. www.thecrybabies.com. He is survived by his three brothers James J. Dowd, III (Dawn Chamberlain) of Conway, MA, David E. Dowd of Westbrook, CT and Timothy W. Dowd (Maggie Sullivan) of Orange, CT and his nieces and nephews James M. Dowd (Sheri) of Santa Monica, CA, Michael D. Dowd of Tampa, FL, Mark A. Nelson of Weare, NH, David J. Dowd (Gwen) of Webster, NY, Mary L. Dowd Stopka (Nicholas), Thomas J. Dowd, and Kathleen S. Dowd all of Orange, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, February 17, 2017, at 10:00 AM in the Chapel of St. Jerome Church, 169 Hampden St, Holyoke, MA. Friends and family are invited to call on Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton St, Holyoke, MA. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that a memorial contribution be made to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 160, 97 N. Hatfield Road, Hatfield, MA 01028 (www.foodbankwma.org), telephone (413)247-9738,

Sending men and women to fight in war is an expensive.  I believe when our Government sends soldiers to war they incur a life-long obligation to those soldiers, which includes men like Mr. Dowd.

Recorder Staff/Tom Relihan
The main entrance to Behavioral Health Network’s new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield.

http://www.recorder.com/Greenfield-vet-ends-life-in-detox-center-lobby-8074983

By DIANE BRONCACCIO Recorder Staff

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vet dies in detox center lobby

GREENFIELD — Police are investigating an apparent suicide involving a gun in the lobby of the Franklin Recovery Center.

Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh confirmed a report that Edward Daniel Dowd, a Greenfield man in his 60s, died of a late-night gunshot wound to the head inside the lobby of the drug treatment center at 298 Federal St.

“Everything is still under investigation,” Haigh said of the Feb. 8 shooting, which occurred around 11 p.m. He said the shooting occurred in the lobby and “appears to be self-inflicted.”

He said no one else was injured and that he couldn’t give any other details. He declined to say whether there were any witnesses.

Dowd is listed as a disabled veteran, according to the Greenfield Street List, and was born in 1953.

Katherine Wilson, chief executive officer of the Behavioral Health Network, which runs the Franklin Recovery Center, said the agency is “conducting an internal investigation of events leading up to the incident.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent incident at the Franklin Recovery Program site in Greenfield. We offer our condolences for the loss of a community member, as an organization and as individuals working in the field of recovery.”

Wilson said the agency has counselors who are assisting “those traumatized by this tragedy.”

She said all appropriate state authorities have been notified, but that health care privacy laws prevent Behavioral Health Network and its program staff from sharing any information or any details about the incident or care for the individual involved.

http://www.recorder.com/Franklin-Recovery-Center-suicide-case-comes-to-a-close-8166171

Suicide spotlights intersection between insurance and recovery


Recorder Staff

Friday, February 17, 2017

GREENFIELD — The 7-month-old Franklin Recovery Center got caught in the glare of social media this week following the suicide in its lobby of a distraught 63-year-old veteran, an alcoholic in crisis.

The longtime county resident, Daniel Dowd, who identified himself as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism, left behind an angry and anguished note, spread on Facebook. His core complaint focused on the center’s apparent inability or, in his mind, unwillingness to take him into its detoxification program.

Since the death a week ago, members of the recovery community in Greenfield, specifically members of the Behavioral Health Network, which oversees and runs the recovery center on Federal Street, have spoken out to address issues raised by the suicide, while declining to discuss specifics of this case citing federal confidentiality rules.

Police Chief Robert H. Haigh Jr. said the shooting death was in fact a suicide and that the detective on the case found a note on the body of Dowd that corroborated the authenticity of the “suicide note” that circulated online.

“When someone does something in this manner, in a very public manner, you certainly don’t want to ignore the situation,” Haigh said. “You don’t want to shortchange it.”

 In addition to the police investigation, a state Department of Public Health probe is underway. A state spokesman would only say, “We are aware and are actively investigating the circumstances of this tragic death, and cannot comment further until our review is complete.”

The Franklin Recovery Center has been licensed to provide detoxification services by DPH’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services since May 2016.

 Insurance

In light of the suicide, leaders at Behavioral Health Network, the Regional Opioid Task Force and The Recovery Project all noted the importance of finding immediate care for addicts who decide they want help. But finding that help with or without insurance has never been easy, one of the reasons that the state supported creation of the 64-bed recovery center in Greenfield. County residents seeking help in residential programs for themselves or others before last summer had to work the phones, scouring facilities in Springfield, Worcester or Boston to find a bed.

Within 48 hours of opening last summer, the Greenfield center was full — though with constant turnover. Currently there are 32 beds for the short-term detoxification and 32 beds for the second-step care, which if used, typically lasts the state-required 14 days.

“Some days I walk in and I’m like, ‘homeless shelter, psych unit, detox.’ That’s what we’re running,” Dr. Ruth Potee, medical director of the Franklin Recovery Center, said of her experience so far. “I didn’t know that’s what it was going to be like.”

Just how the center operates and who it can accept has been a prominent point of confusion following the suicide. It isn’t a state-funded facility but relies on private insurance and Medicaid money to keep its doors open.

If prospective patients have no insurance, they can be admitted to the Recovery Center, and the state covers the cost. If prospective patients have insurance that doesn’t contract with the Recovery Center, or are “underinsured,” commonly by Medicare, then they cannot be admitted to the center. Instead, the center staff tries to find other available options and if the prospective client desired, arrange to transport the person to somewhere with an available bed that takes the insurance or to a hospital emergency room or if the case is relevant, to the Northampton VA Medical Center.

“In fact, having zero insurance is better than having the wrong insurance,” Potee said. “But once you have insurance, you can’t pretend to have zero insurance. That’s fraud.”

Potee and the Senior Vice President of BHN, Candy Darcy, said fewer than 5 percent of their prospective patients have the “wrong” insurance, so that the inability to help is rare.

“We try to contract with every insurance provider out there,” Darcy said. “Some of them just won’t pay for detox services.”

Further, if a prospective patient is not able to walk or maintain their vital signs, the center cannot admit them.

“I’m not running a hospital,” Potee said. “I don’t have 20 nurses. It’s the level of care that is considered the state’s level of care, which is that people have to be functioning, walking, talking and not have such acute medical needs that they need an IV.”

Those patients are offered transport to the ER and a bed kept waiting for them for when they are stabilized, said Potee, who noted that they can’t force anyone to the ER or alternate programs. Hospital ERs are obligated to provide that care with or without insurance, often losing thousands of dollars in uncompensated care.

The VA hospital in Northampton will accept patients regardless of mental or physical circumstances, as long as they are eligible for VA care, Public Affairs Officer Andre Bowser said. Franklin Recovery Center would offer to transmit an eligible veteran there as long as beds were available.

Also, the Recovery Center sometimes has stretched its protocols. Most of its patients arrange admission by telephone, so that when they arrive, insurance issues have already been resolved. But if someone wants help and walked in at night or on the weekend when the center administrative staff isn’t available to check insurance and there happens to be an available bed, the person might be admitted temporarily. When the immediate treatment is concluded, if the insurance does not check out, then the center will refer that patient to somewhere that does take his or her insurance to continue the care.

The Recovery Center does not run a waiting list, but instead emphasizes immediate service.

Reaction from addiction communityMembers of the regional Opioid Task Force, which worked hard behind the scenes to establish the Recovery Center in Greenfield, say this incident points to the need for continual improvement in addiction programs and policies statewide.

“In some ways, we need to go back to our roots, ” said John Merrigan, task force co-chair, about the group’s education outreach objectives.

Sheriff Christopher Donelan, another task force co-founder, said he hopes to work with the task force to push state officials in Boston to consider changing rules.

“Let’s focus on the crisis first and the insurance second,” he said.

Local leaders in recovery have urged members of the community to refrain from particularly negative social media comments like those that swirled around the internet based on Dowd’s note, clearly written in a time of distress and anger, saying it doesn’t help.

“Finger-pointing or hashing out old stuff is not going to help at all. It’s going to take away the focus from this individual who was in a crisis moment,” said Michael Lewis, director of The RECOVER Project, a peer-to-peer participatory program for people in and seeking recovery from all forms of addiction.

Longtime friend Wid Perry said of Dowd, “I choose to remember him as an energetic and proud Shipmate Sailor who served his country well and made a positive difference in my career.”

Perry said Dowd was passionate and sometimes intense about his musical interests and national politics, “but I think for Dan it was our Navy connection that meant the most to him.”

Impact on staffPotee noted that it’s difficult for nurses and her staff at large to feel positively when vitriolic voices fill social media, especially if the comments aren’t necessarily based on facts.

She defended the facility’s staff as hard working professionals who care deeply about their work and their patients.

Since the suicide, the parking lot has had a security officer. The center will re-evaluate safety protocol, but Potee emphasized that this recent incident is a rare situation.

“We don’t consider our clients to be unsafe people,” Potee said. “I’m not running a jail, I’m not running a courthouse. This is a treatment facility. I don’t think that guns in a public setting are very common in this part of the world. I don’t live in fear and most of my staff doesn’t.”

She said her staff has experienced stress of late because of turnover by peers leaving for higher paying jobs at private clinics that have opened in the region lately.

“We’re hiring like mad right now, so that will de-stress the amount of stress my staff is under because they’re all working so hard right now.”

Instead of working eight-hour shifts, nurses have been pushed to closer to 12-hour shifts, Potee said.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:
jsolomon@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

Other Links:

http://www.disabledveterans.org/2017/01/04/veterans-affairs-ptsd-suicide-cover-morally-indefensible/Veterans Affairs PTSD, Suicide Cover-up ‘Morally Indefensible’

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1)

https://foac-pac.org/House-Passes-Bill-To-Restore-Gun-Rights-To-Veterans/News-Item/6391

http://www.quotegarden.com/war.html

These are just a fraction of the unfathomable amount of words used about the topic of War. Many of these I had never read before. Many, many messengers have lived and continue to live amongst us much like canaries taken into the coal mines.

A great war leaves the country with three armies an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves. ~German Proverb