15 Dec 2017 Dreams, A Need Versus A Want, The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV) and Emotional Intelligence (Dalai Lama)

11 Dec 2017 – Everything has become a need versus what most things are a want. We need food and water for example – squirrel. (After I wrote this our neighborhood squirrel came and got a drink of water from the bowl I try to keep full for them).

Hello to you.  I wasn’t sure I was going to post anything after the FCC net neutrality repeal yesterday (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/fcc-reverses-landmark-rules-aimed-at-free-and-open-internet/ar-BBGJMoz?OCID=ansmsnnews11).  I prayed and meditated about it like I always do when it comes to things of this nature and now we wait.  Kyle and I had some pretty choice words about this yesterday but I am not going to dwell on it.  It’s like drinking poison and expecting a cure.

Last night’s dreams were interesting.  The two I remember kind of go together.  The first one was of watching a plane almost crash over the house and then going from that and watching the plane go into the ocean and become self automated like AI (a mech or robot) but no passengers.  It was looking at me but had empty chairs behind glass for eyes.  The other dream was about watching a bunch of Asian people sitting around a white table with boxes beside them like microphones to amplify their voices.  They were playing some sort of word game.

A topic that has come up many times for me through the years as I’ve tried to navigate my way through living in this world has been knowing the difference between a want and a need.  It seems to me that in our world we have lost the ability to discern the difference.  For example we need food and water.  Most everything else above and beyond what it takes for us to survive is a want.  What drives wants and all the labels that come with those wants (infidelity and many other life traps)?  The human propensity for boredom.  The color green goes from green to teal, to olive, to sea foam green.  The gratitude that comes from just having a car to drive goes to I want one with these features, this color, these rims on the tires.  I want to be special.  I want to be unique.  I want to be different from everyone else.  I want people to notice me.  The irony in all this is the mess we’ve created our of ourselves and this planet in our quest for alleviation of boredom and individuality.

Is what you are about to buy or what you are about to do going to bring you lasting fulfillment, joy, happiness, make your life better or is it just a an attempt to put a mask on something else?  There is no person, place or thing that can fill the void of spirit within all of us – the place that animates us in this existence.    It is important to learn what you need to live a fulfilling life and let go of what you don’t.  Learn the difference, for yourself, what you need and what it is you simply  a want and ask yourself why you want it. 

This came to my mind this morning.  There is a lot about the internet that is good.  My being able to be here doing this right now is pretty amazing.  There is a lot about the internet that has become very destructive.  A child being able to broadcast their suicide livestream on Facebook for example is not a good thing (https://nypost.com/2017/01/25/teen-broadcasts-her-suicide-on-facebook-live/).

The word Babble and it’s definition is how the Internet seems to be to me most times.  A bunch of people talking, screaming and yelling to be heard but who is actually listening?  Go back to the dreams I shared with you.  What if this chaos we’ve created in a “box”  was unleashed into an AI form.  Something to think about.

https://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/facebook-bots-create-language/2017/08/01/id/805126/ – Facebook Bots Create Language Amongst Themselves

bab·ble
[ˈbabəl]

VERB
babbles (third person present) · babbled (past tense) · babbled (past participle) · babbling (present participle)
  1. talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way:
    “he would babble on in his gringo Spanish”
    • utter something rapidly and incoherently:
      “I gasped and stared and babbled, “Look at this!”” ·

      [more]
      “he began to babble an apology”
    • reveal something secret or confidential by talking impulsively or carelessly:
      “he babbled to another convict while he was in jail” ·

      [more]
      “my father babbled out the truth”
    • (babbling)
      (of a stream) make the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones:
      “a gently babbling brook”
      synonyms: burble · murmur · gurgle · tinkle · plash
NOUN
  1. the sound of people talking quickly and in a way that is difficult or impossible to understand:
    “a babble of protest”
    • foolish, excited, or confused talk:
      “her soft voice stopped his babble”
      synonyms: prattle · chatter · jabber · prating · rambling · blather · gab ·

      [more]
    • the continuous murmuring sound of water flowing over stones in a stream:
      “the babble of a brook”
    • background disturbance caused by interference from conversations on other telephone lines.
ORIGIN
Middle English: from Middle Low German babbelen, or an independent English formation, as a frequentative based on the repeated syllable ba, typical of a child’s early speech.
-babble
COMBININGFORM
  1. forming nouns denoting confusing or pretentious jargon characteristic of a specified field or group:
    “psychobabble” ·

    [more]
    “technobabble”
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Italian
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Latvian
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Norwegian
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Portuguese
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11%3A1-9&version=NIV

Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:2 Or from the east; or in the east
  2. Genesis 11:2 That is, Babylonia
  3. Genesis 11:9 That is, Babylon; Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

 

What the Dalai Lama Taught Daniel Goleman About Emotional Intelligence

May 04, 2015
MAY15_04_dalai_lama

Two decades before Daniel Goleman first wrote about emotional intelligence in the pages of HBR, he met his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Amherst College, who mentioned to the young science journalist for the New York Times that he was interested in meeting with scientists. Thus began a long, rich friendship as Goleman became involved over the years in arranging a series of what he calls “extended dialogues” between the Buddhist spiritual leader and researchers in fields ranging from ecology to neuroscience. Over the next 30 years, as Goleman has pursued his own work as a psychologist and business thinker, he has come to see the Dalai Lama as a highly uncommon leader. And so he was understandably delighted when, on the occasion of his friend’s 80th birthday, he was asked to write a book describing the Dalai Lama’s compassionate approach to addressing the world’s most intractable problems. Due out in June, Force for Good, which draws both on Goleman’s background in cognitive science and his long relationship with the Dalai Lama, is both an exploration of the science and the power of compassion and a call to action.  Curious about the book and about how the Dalai Lama’s views on compassion informed Goleman’s thinking on emotional intelligence, I caught up with Goleman over the phone. What follows are edited excerpts from our conversation.

HBR. Let’s start with some definitions here. What is compassion, as you are describing it? It sounds a lot like empathy, one of the major components of emotional intelligence. Is there a difference?

Goleman: Yes, an important difference. As I’ve written about recently in HBR, three kinds of empathy are important to emotional intelligence: cognitive empathy – the ability to understand another person’s point of view; emotional empathy – the ability to feel what someone else feels; and empathic concern – the ability to sense what another person needs from you.  Cultivating all three kinds of empathy, which originate in different parts of the brain, is important for building social relationships.

But compassion takes empathy a step further. When you feel compassion, you feel distress when you witness someone else in distress — and because of that you want to help that person.

Why draw this distinction?

Simply put, compassion makes the difference between understanding and caring. It’s the kind of love that a parent has for a child. Cultivating it more broadly means extending that to the other people in our lives and to people we encounter.

I think that in the workplace, that attitude has a hugely positive effect, whether it’s in how we relate to our peers or how we are as a leader, or how we relate to clients and customers. A positive disposition toward another person creates the kind of resonance that builds trust and loyalty and makes interactions harmonious. And the opposite of that — when you do nothing to show that you care — creates distrust, disharmony, and causes huge dysfunction at home and in business.

When you put it that way, it’s hard to disagree that if you treat people well things would go better than if don’t or that if you cared about them they would care a lot more about you. So why do you think that just doesn’t happen naturally? Is this a cultural thing? Or a misplaced confusion about when competition is appropriate?

I think too often there’s a muddle in people’s thinking that if I’m nice to another person or if I have their interests at heart it means that I don’t have my own interests at heart. The pathology of that is, “Well, I’ll just care about me and not the other person.” And that, of course, is the kind of attitude that leads to lots of problems in the business realm and in the personal realm. But compassion also includes yourself. If we see that if we protect ourselves and make sure we’re okay — and also be sure the other person is okay — that creates a different framework for working with other people and for cooperating with other people.

Could you give me an example of how that might work in the business world?

There’s research that was done on star salespeople and on client managers, which found that the lowest level of performance was a kind of “I’m going to get the best deal I can now, and I don’t care how this affects the other person” attitude, which means that you might make the sale but that you lose the relationship.  But at the top end, the stars were typified by the attitude, “I am working for the client as well as myself. I’m going to be completely straight with them, and I’m going to act as their advisor. If the deal I have is not the best deal they can get I’m going to let them know because that’s going to strengthen the relationship, even though I might lose this specific sale.” And I think that captures the difference between the “me first” and the “let’s all do well” attitude that I’m getting at.

How would we cultivate compassion if we’re just not feeling it?

Neuroscientists have been studying compassion recently, and places like Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, among others, have been testing methodologies for increasing compassion. Right now there’s a kind of a trend toward incorporating mindfulness into the workplace, and it turns out there’s data from the Max Planck Institute showing that enhancing mindfulness does have an effect in brain function, but that the circuitry that’s affected is not the circuitry for concern or compassion.  In other words, there’s no automatic boost in compassion from mindfulness alone.

Still, in the traditional methods of meditation that mindfulness in the workplace is based on, the two were always linked, so that you would practice mindfulness in a context in which you also cultivate compassion.

You and Your Team

Emotional Intelligence

Feelings matter at work

Stanford, for example, has developed a program incorporating secularized versions of methods that have originally come from religious practices. It involves a meditation in which you cultivate an attitude of loving kindness, or of concern, or of compassion, toward people. First you do this for yourself. Then for people you love. And then for people you just know. And finally for everyone. And this has the effect of priming the circuitry responsible for compassion within the brain, so that you are more inclined to act that way when the opportunity arises.

You’ve remarked that the Dalai Lama is a very distinctive kind of leader. Is there something we could learn from his unique form of leadership, as leaders ourselves?

Observing him over the years, and then doing this book for which I interviewed him extensively, and of course being immersed in leadership literature myself, three things struck me.

One is that he’s not beholden to any organization at all. He’s not in any business. He’s not a party leader. He’s a citizen of the world at large. And this has freed him to tackle the largest problems we face. I think that to the extent that a leader is beholden to a particular organization or outcome, that creates a kind of myopia of what’s possible and what matters; focus narrows to the next quarter’s results or the next election. He’s way beyond that. He thinks in terms of generations and of what’s best for humanity as a whole. Because his vision is so expansive, he can take on the largest challenges, rather than small, narrowly defined ones.

So I think there’s a lesson here for all of us, which is to ask ourselves if there is something that limits our vision — that limits our capacity to care? And is there a way to enlarge it?

The second is that he gathers information from everywhere.  He meets with heads of state and he meets with beggars. He’s getting information from people at every level of society worldwide. This casting a large net lets him understand situations in a very deep way, and he can analyze them in many different ways and come up with solutions that aren’t confined by anyone. And I think that’s another lesson everyday leaders can take from him.

And the third would be the scope of his compassion, which I think is an ideal that we could strive for: it’s pretty unlimited— he seems to care about everybody, and the world at large.

You’ve called the book a call to action. What do you hope people will do after reading it?

The book is a call to action, but it is a very reasoned call to action. The Dalai Lama is a great believer in a deep analysis of problems and letting solutions come from that analysis. And then he is also passionate about people acting now. Not feeling passive, not feeling helpless, not feeling, “What’s the point; I won’t live to see the benefit” but rather to start changes now even if the change won’t come to fruition until future generations.

And so my hope, as is his, is to help people understand what they can do in the face of problems that are so vast— creating a more inclusive economy; making work meaningful; doing good and not just well; cleaning up injustice and unfairness, corruption and collusion in society, whether in business, politics or religion; helping the environment heal; the hope that one day conflict will be settled by dialogue rather than war.

These are very big issues. But everyone can do something to move things in the right direction, even if it’s just reaching across the divide and becoming friendly with someone who belongs to some other group. That actually has a very powerful end result: that is, if you have two groups somewhere in the world that have deep enmity toward each other, and yet a few people in each group like each other it turns out that’s because they’ve had personal contact — they have a friend in that other group. So something as simple as reaching out across a divide is actually a profound thing.

In each of these areas, with whatever leverage we have, the point is to use it, not just to stand back.

 

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13 Dec 2017 Random Sharpies and Women with wings (dream)

Hello to you.  It’s Wednesday.  There is the sound of rapid gun-fire somewhere in town just now – sounds like it’s just down the street by the man-made pond where they just built a bunch of new houses.  Living where I do that isn’t  uncommon to hear people target practicing or hunting but not at 6:55 am on a school day!  Kind of weird.   With all the mass shootings in this country now it’s unsettling to hear gun fire like that because it’s hard to know if people are hunting animals or other people!   We live right near an Jr. High School and an Elementary school.

23 July 2016 the process today — getting fancy!

Yesterday afternoon I decided to revisit making music with my lap harp (https://saymber.com/2016/07/23/22-july-2016-my-first-light-song-using-my-music-maker-lap-harp-to-help-me-a-possible-new-way-to-make-music-practicing-the-exercise-of-following-through-for-people-with-adhd-aka-monkey-mind/).  The pendant I was using before lost all the color coating on it so I can’t really use it and it’s difficult to use.  So I came up with an idea to toss my collection of colored Sharpie markers and that actually worked lol!  I definitely need to refine this idea.  It’s fun to be creative and explore new ways of making music.

It all started with this pendant I got for like a $1 at a neighbors garage sale last year

This is the combination that came up.  I had to laugh when I actually played it on my harp because it sounded horrible, dissonant just like this world looks and sounds to me right now:

So – Blue, Do – Pink, La – Indigo, G – Teal, Fa – Green, Ti, Violet, Do – Red, Re – Orange, Fa – Lime Green, B – Pink, Fa – Green, Mi – Yellow, D – Brown, Do- Red, Ti –  Violet, B – Pink, Ti – Violet, C# – orange, La – Indigo, Fa – Green, Re- Orange, B- Fuchsia, Ti – Violet, Re – Orange

When I had the markers laid out, a large fly landed specifically on an orange marker and flew away.  Colors can “mean” many things.  Lately orange for me has been about our President.  This time the colors orange, green, black and brown brought to mind the Irish slave trade: https://saymber.com/2016/09/24/24-sept-2016-london-town-2016-film-starring-jonathan-rhys-meyers-and-inconvenient-truths-of-our-past-the-irish-slave-trade/.

This phrase, “Slavery is not a color problem it is a human problem” came to mind looking at these colors put together.  In this very day and age we have human beings being trafficked, bought and sold into slavery  (Lybia:  http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/horrified-by-libya-slave-trade-rwanda-offers-refuge-african-migrants-wishing-leave-country-1648518).  Sometimes the slavery is consensual but it is slavery nonetheless.

The dream I had last night/this morning (time doesn’t exist in the dream world of course) was about being in a place where women had wings.  I had wings too but we didn’t use them, we hid them until one day when “Grandma” was gone.  I can remember flying over water were other women with wings were.  Then she was coming back unannounced and we had to hurry and clean up before we got caught using our wings.

This dream is resonant to what I am seeing in the headlines ever day about sexual misconduct.  Women want to soar next to the men and make this world a better place without shame for being who they are…without the four letter word FEAR clipping their wings.  People just want to be who they have been put on this earth to be.  They just keep getting obstructed!  If you notice, babies are talking and becoming aware faster and faster than I’ve ever seen before.  I wonder if this is an indication of the state of emergency we are in?

12 Dec 2017 – I was thinking the spiral on the tips of our fingers is a reminder of our connection to God and the Universe.

The way I’ve been feeling lately – on a bridge walking to the unknown.

12 Dec 2017 The year 1981, Corporations becoming People and ‘Father Of The Internet’ Skewers FCC: ‘You Don’t Understand How The Internet Works’ (Huffington Post, Dominique Mosbergen)

Hello to you.  I have been doing a lot of active meditation with the God of my understanding via my chalkboard etc. the past couple of days.  Since I don’t have much picture space here even after starting to cull pictures, I’m unable to share pictures of everything  with you but it has been interesting!  Something that came up with my meditations was a penny from 1981.  The date felt significant to me so I used the internet to look up what was significant about that year.   On my mind was Ronald Reagan and my feeling it was about then corporations started to truly infiltrate government activities.

https://www.npr.org/2014/07/28/335288388/when-did-companies-become-people-excavating-the-legal-evolution

Law

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

Enlarge this image

Volunteers at the Lincoln Memorial help roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the Constitution during an October 2010 demonstration against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

Volunteers at the Lincoln Memorial help roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the Constitution during an October 2010 demonstration against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes. And in the past four years, the high court has dramatically expanded corporate rights.

It ruled that corporations have the right to spend money in candidate elections, and that some for-profit corporations may, on religious grounds, refuse to comply with a federal mandate to cover birth control in their employee health plans.

These are personal rights accorded to corporations. To many, the concept of corporations as people seems odd, to say the least. But it is not new.

The dictionary defines “corporation” as “a number of persons united in one body for a purpose.” Corporate entities date back to medieval times, observes Columbia law professor John Coffee, an authority on corporate law. “You could think of the Catholic Church as probably the first entity that could buy and sell property in its own name,” he says.

Indeed, having an artificial legal persona was especially important to churches, says Elizabeth Pollman, an associate professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

“Having a corporation would allow people to put property into a collective ownership that could be held with perpetual existence,” she says. “So it wouldn’t be tied to any one person’s lifespan, or subject necessarily to laws regarding inheriting property.”

By the 1800s, the process of incorporating became relatively simple. But corporations aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, leaving the courts to determine what rights corporations have — and which corporations have them. After all, Coca-Cola is a corporation, but so are the NAACP and the National Rifle Association, and so are small churches and local nonprofits.

“All these truly different types of organizations might come under the label ‘corporation,’ ” Pollman observes. “And so the real difficulty is figuring out how to treat these different things under the Constitution.”

In the early years of the republic, the only right given to corporations was the right to have their contracts respected by the government, according to legal historian Eben Moglen.

The great industrialization of the United States in the 1800s, however, intensified companies’ need to raise money.

“With the invention of the railroad, you needed a great deal of capital to exploit its purpose, ” Columbia professor Coffee says, “and only the corporate form offered limited liability, easy transferability of shares, and continued, perpetual existence.”

In addition, the end of the Civil War and the adoption of the 14th Amendment provided an opportunity for corporations to seek further legal protection, says Moglen, also a Columbia University professor.

“From the moment the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, lawyers for corporations — particularly railroad companies — wanted to use that 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection to make sure that the states didn’t unequally treat corporations,” Moglen says.

Nobody was talking about extending to corporations the right of free speech back then. What the railroads sought was equal treatment under state tax laws and things like that.

The Supreme Court extended that protection to corporations, and over time also extended some — but not all — of the rights guaranteed to individuals in the Bill of Rights. The court ruled that corporations don’t have a right against self-incrimination, for instance, but are protected by the ban on warrantless search and seizure.

Otherwise, as the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro puts it, “the police could storm down the doors of some company and take all their computers and their files.”

But for 100 years, corporations were not given any constitutional right of political speech; in fact, quite the contrary. In 1907, following a corporate corruption scandal involving prior presidential campaigns, Congress passed a law banning corporate involvement in federal election campaigns. That wall held firm for 70 years.

The first crack came in a case that involved neither candidate elections nor federal law. In 1978 a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled for the first time that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend money on state ballot initiatives.

Still, for decades, candidate elections remained free of direct corporate influence under federal law. Only money from individuals and groups of individuals — political action committees — were permitted in federal elections.

Then came Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 First Amendment decision in 2010 that extended to corporations for the first time full rights to spend money as they wish in candidate elections — federal, state and local. The decision reversed a century of legal understanding, unleashed a flood of campaign cash and created a crescendo of controversy that continues to build today.

It thrilled many in the business community, horrified campaign reformers, and provoked considerable mockery in the comedian classes.

“If only there were some way to prove that corporations were not people,” lamented the Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart. Maybe, he mused, we could show “their inability to love.”

Fellow Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert tried unsuccessfully to get the question of corporate personhood on the South Carolina ballot, and also formed a superPAC, which asked whether voters would be comfortable letting Mitt Romney date their daughters’ corporations.

But there are serious people on both sides of this issue.

Cato’s Shapiro sees all corporations, when they spend on political campaigns, as merely associations of like-minded people.

“Nobody is saying that corporations are living, breathing entities, or that they have souls or anything like that,” he says. “This is about protecting the rights of the individuals that associate in this way.”

Countering that argument are those who note that individuals are perfectly free to give money to candidates with whom they agree, and to spend unlimited amounts independently supporting those candidates. They shouldn’t need a corporation to express themselves, the argument goes.

Some critics, like Pollman, see a difference between for-profit and nonprofit corporations. A nonprofit corporation formed to advance particular political views is one thing, she says. A large for-profit corporation is something else entirely.

“There’s no reason to believe that the people involved — shareholders, employees, even the directors or managers — have come together for an expressive purpose related to anything other than really what the business is doing,” she argues.

And shareholders and employees, Pollman observes, have no real recourse if they disagree with how corporate money is spent in campaigns.

And then there is the money-is-not-speech argument. The problem for First Amendment believers, Moglen says, arises not because they think corporations shouldn’t have rights so much as they think money isn’t equal to speech.

“And we are now winding up using constitutional rules to concentrate corporate power in a way that’s dangerous to democracy,” he says.

That, of course, is not how the Supreme Court majority sees its decision. The court has said that because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, the First Amendment forbids discrimination against any class of speaker.

It matters not, the court said just this year, that some speakers, because of the money they spend on elections, may have undue influence on public policy; what is important is that the First Amendment protects both speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.


When I looked it up yesterday, this is what came up:  January 19 – United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months captivity.  Jan 20- Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter as the 40th President of the United States. 

10 Dec 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor meditation about our worlds progression to today Alvarado TX DSC_0005

11 Dec 2017 – My blackboard meditation in exploring numbers and letters.

For this morning, perfectly in alignment with the subject of the pending FCC Net Neutrality ruling on my mind this morning:

1981 Many notable technological advances happened in 1981 one of the most exciting was the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. This was also the first year that the Word Internet was mentioned and MS-DOS was released by Microsoft along with the first IBM PC.

I hope the FCC tables this decision until it is more well informed and takes into account the country and it’s people this decision will adversely impact:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/internet-pioneers-fcc-net-neutrality_us_5a2f48a9e4b046175432ca2c

BUSINESS

12/12/2017 12:16 am ET Updated 3 hours ago

‘Father Of The Internet’ Skewers FCC: ‘You Don’t Understand How The Internet Works’

More than 20 tech luminaries, including Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Wozniak, have urged the FCC to stop its plan to repeal net neutrality.

By Dominique Mosbergen

Internet luminaries, including “father of the internet” Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, have a blistering message for the Federal Communications Commission as its vote on net neutrality looms: “You don’t understand how the internet works.”

In an open letter published Monday, more than 20 industry leaders and pioneers skewered the FCC over its plan to repeal net neutrality rules, which require internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all content equally.

“It is important to understand that the FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology,” the letter, addressed to lawmakers with oversight of the FCC, reads. “These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017. Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings.”

The comment referred to in the letter detailed numerous technical mistakes in the FCC’s proposed order, including a flawed understanding of the differences between ISPs and edge providers (content companies like Netflix), and how firewalls function (described in the document as “a stunning lack of technical knowledge”).

The engineers and experts who penned the comment warned that repealing net neutrality could have “dangerous consequences, including stifling future innovation and depressing future investment in the wealth of Internet services that drive such a large part of the U.S. economy.”

(Since I’m low on picture room,  I remembered I had this drawing and it looks a lot like Mr. Cerf!)

20 Nov 2017 – This man showed up in the chalks. He kind of looks like the Architect from the Matrix to me.

KENZO TRIBOUILLARD via Getty Images Vint Cerf, Google’s vice president and “father of the internet,” was one of more than 20 tech luminaries who wrote a letter to lawmakers this week urging them to push the FCC to cancel its vote on net neutrality.

This sentiment was echoed in Monday’s letter, whose signatories included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mozilla Foundation Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker and Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle.

The letter detailed how the FCC has not just ignored experts’ warnings but also the millions of public comments that have been submitted on the issue. The FCC, the letter noted, has also not “held a single open public meeting to hear from citizens and experts about the proposed Order” ― a break from “established practice.”

The letter’s authors urged lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to push FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to “cancel the FCC’s vote,” scheduled for Thursday.

“The FCC’s rushed and technically incorrect proposed Order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create. It should be stopped,” the letter concluded.

http://www.heraldextra.com/business/fcc-head-ajit-pai-goes-after-hollywood-tech-companies/article_940ef1da-8343-59c0-8640-690246d2cd5b.html

Interesting:

He called out Twitter specifically, contending that it takes action — such as suspending accounts or removing their “verified” status — against conservatives more frequently than liberals. He didn’t specify who he was talking about, but Twitter this month “unverified” the account of white nationalist Richard Spencer .

Final thought on this matter: 

When you have people as addicted to such a substance such as the Internet and all it’s gadgets and you threaten to throttle, control or restrict access….you are going to have a big problem on your hands.  Does America need a “withdrawal” or an “intervention” measure like this?  Is this potential ruling a humanitarian gesture on the part of the United States government or something else entirely?  Is this the infiltration of Fascism by taking out our many ways to communicate freely to each other?  We shall see. 

6 Dec 2017 Pete Davidson (SNL) Survivor of 9/11

For the past couple of days I have been trying to soothe Kyle and I with our recent loss by turning to one of the greatest medicines on earth – laughter through comedy.  Yesterday afternoon and this morning we’ve been watching Saturday Night Live skits on You Tube.  In particular we love the videos with Pete Davidson and his portrayal of a character named Chad.  The first time we were introduced to Pete and this character was when one of my favorite actors, Benedict Cumberbatch, was hosting the show.

This is the video where we first met Pete and his hilarious character Chad:

Office Hours – SNL
Published on Feb 21, 2017

A professor’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) chats with a student (Pete Davidson) help him realize something about himself.

Get more SNL: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live
Full Episodes: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-liv…

I was surprised to find this video this morning:

Weekend Update: Pete Davidson on Mental Health – SNL
Published on Oct 7, 2017

Pete Davidson explains how SNL could help ease his depression.

#SNL #SNL43

After watching this, I wasn’t sure if it was entirely fact or just another skit and decided to see if there was any information and found this Rolling Stone article:

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/snls-pete-davidson-i-have-borderline-personality-disorder-w505489

‘Saturday Night Live’ Star Pete Davidson: I Have Borderline Personality Disorder

Comedian explains he originally thought his mental breakdowns were caused by weed

and then I found this US Magazine article.  When I put it all together, this helps me understand why Pete might be having problems with depression!  He lost his Dad, Scott Davidson, a fire fighter to 9/11! Pete’s mental, spiritual and physical reaction to this horrific experience and loss makes perfect sense to me.

https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/pete-davidson-dad-died-911-reacts-steve-rannazzisi-lies-2015169/

Celebrity News

Pete Davidson, Who Lost His Dad in Terrorist Attack, Responds to Steve Rannazzisi’s 9/11 Lies

By Rachel McRady
September 16, 2015

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi’s lies hit a little too close to home for Saturday Night Live newbie Pete Davidson. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, after Rannazzisi, 37, released a public statement saying he’d lied about being in the World Trade Center on 9/11, Davidson took to Twitter to give The League star a piece of his mind.

“It’s ok @SteveRannazzisi people make mistakes … Can’t wait to meet my dad for lunch later,” the SNL actor, 21, tweeted.

Davidson’s father, Scott Davidson, was a firefighter who died after rushing to the scene on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rannazzisi missed Davidson’s dark humor, tweeting, “thank you pete. i really appreciate it,” which the SNL star retweeted, writing, “I think you missed the point…” Rannazzisi later deleted his tweet.

Davidson later tweeted, “All kidding aside this @SteveRannazzisi story sucks because he’s actually a funny comic and I love The League. It’s f—ked up.”

Fortunately, Rannazzisi attempted to right his wrong, and Davidson gave an update to his 175,000-plus followers.

“Take it easy on @SteveRannazzisi … He reached out to me and is truly sorry,” he tweeted. “We all sometimes lie and exaggerate a story to seem cooler …Unfortunately this is a very touchy topic n very near n dear 2 peoples hearts.Its years later but he apologized n owned up 2 it like a man.”

This young man is a classic example of what such things do to people, to families, to countries….to an entire world.  It eviscerates our very souls.  Pete is an example of not giving up, asking for help when you need it and trying to give back as you heal yourself.   I think his Dad would be proud of him – he is a survivor!

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

Borderline Personality Disorder

Overview

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days.

Some people with BPD also have high rates of co-occurring mental disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, along with substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal thinking and behaviors, and suicide.

While mental health experts now generally agree that the label “borderline personality disorder” is very misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.

Signs and Symptoms

People with borderline personality disorder may experience extreme mood swings and can display uncertainty about who they are. As a result, their interests and values can change rapidly.

Other symptoms include:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
  • Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

Seemingly ordinary events may trigger symptoms. For example, people with borderline personality disorder may feel angry and distressed over minor separations—such as vacations, business trips, or sudden changes of plans—from people to whom they feel close. Studies show that people with this disorder may see anger in an emotionally neutral face and have a stronger reaction to words with negative meanings than people who do not have the disorder.

Some of these signs and symptoms may be experienced by people with other mental health problems—and even by people without mental illness—and do not necessarily mean that they have borderline personality disorder. It is important that a qualified and licensed mental health professional conduct a thorough assessment to determine whether a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or other mental disorder is warranted, and to help guide treatment options when appropriate.

Tests and Diagnosis

Unfortunately, borderline personality disorder is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. A licensed mental health professional experienced in diagnosing and treating mental disorders—such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker—can diagnose borderline personality disorder based on a thorough interview and a comprehensive medical exam, which can help rule out other possible causes of symptoms.

The licensed mental health professional may ask about symptoms and personal and family medical histories, including any history of mental illnesses. This information can help the mental health professional decide on the best treatment. In some cases, co-occurring mental illnesses may have symptoms that overlap with borderline personality disorder, making it difficult to distinguish borderline personality disorder from other mental illnesses. For example, a person may describe feelings of depression but may not bring other symptoms to the mental health professional’s attention.

Research funded by NIMH is underway to look for ways to improve diagnosis of and treatments for borderline personality disorder, and to understand the various components of borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders such as impulsivity, relationship problems, and emotional instability.

Risk Factors

The causes of BPD are not yet clear, but research suggests that genetic, brain, environmental and social factors are likely to be involved.

  • Genetics. BPD is about five times more likely to occur if a person has a close family member (first-degree biological relatives) with the disorder.
  • Environmental and Social Factors. Many people with BPD report experiencing traumatic life events, such as abuse or abandonment during childhood. Others may have been exposed to unstable relationships and hostile conflicts. However, some people with BPD do not have a history of trauma. And, many people with a history of traumatic life events do not have BPD.
  • Brain Factors. Studies show that people with BPD have structural and functional changes in the brain, especially in the areas that control impulses and emotional regulation. However, some people with similar changes in the brain do not have BPD. More research is needed to understand the relationship between brain structure and function and BPD.

Research on BPD is focused on examining biological and environmental risk factors, with special attention on whether early symptoms may emerge at a younger age than previously thought. Scientists are also studying ways to identify the disorder earlier in adolescents.

Treatments and Therapies

BPD has historically been viewed as difficult to treat. However, with newer and proper treatment, many people with BPD experience fewer or less severe symptoms and an improved quality of life. Many factors affect the length of time it takes for symptoms to improve once treatment begins, so it is important for people with BPD and their loved ones to be patient and to receive appropriate support during treatment. People with BPD can recover.

If you think you have BPD, it is important to seek treatment.

NIMH-funded studies indicate that BPD patients who never recovered may be more likely to develop other chronic medical conditions and are less likely to make healthy lifestyle choices. BPD is also associated with a high rate of self-harm and suicidal behavior.

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away. Call your licensed mental health professional if you are already working with one. If you are not already working with a licensed mental health professional, call your personal physician or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

If a loved one is considering suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get your loved one to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Remove any access he or she may have to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including medications, sharp edges such as knives, ropes, or belts.

If you or a loved one are in crisis: Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

The treatments described below are just some of the options that may be available to a person with BPD. However, the research on treatments is still in very early stages. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these treatments, who may benefit the most, and how best to deliver treatments.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy (or “talk therapy”) is the main treatment for people with BPD. Current research suggests psychotherapy can relieve some symptoms, but further studies are needed to better understand how well psychotherapy works.

Psychotherapy can be provided one-on-one between the therapist and the patient or in a group setting. Therapist-led group sessions may help teach people with BPD how to interact with others and how to express themselves effectively. It is important that people in therapy get along with and trust their therapist. The very nature of BPD can make it difficult for people with this disorder to maintain a comfortable and trusting bond with their therapist.

Types of psychotherapy used to treat BPD include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help people with BPD identify and change core beliefs and/or behaviors that underlie inaccurate perceptions of themselves and others and problems interacting with others. CBT may help reduce a range of mood and anxiety symptoms and reduce the number of suicidal or self-harming behaviors.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This type of therapy utilizes the concept of mindfulness, or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and moods. DBT also teaches skills to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve relationships. DBT differs from CBT in that it integrates traditional CBT elements with mindfulness, acceptance, and techniques to improve a person’s ability to tolerate stress and control his or her emotions. DBT recognizes the dialectical tension between the need for acceptance and the need for change.
  • Schema-Focused Therapy: This type of therapy combines elements of CBT with other forms of psychotherapy that focus on reframing schemas, or the ways people view themselves. This approach is based on the idea that BPD stems from a dysfunctional self-image—possibly brought on by negative childhood experiences—that affects how people react to their environment, interact with others, and cope with problems or stress.
  • Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) is a type of group therapy that aims to educate family members, significant others, and health care professionals about BPD and gives them guidance on how to interact consistently with the person with the disorder using the STEPPS approach and terminology. STEPPS is designed to supplement other treatments the patient may be receiving, such as medication or individual psychotherapy.

Families of people with BPD may also benefit from therapy. The challenges of dealing with a loved one with BPD on a daily basis can be very stressful, and family members may unknowingly act in ways that worsen their relative’s symptoms. Some therapies include family members in treatment sessions. These types of programs help families develop skills to better understand and support a relative with BPD. Other therapies focus on the needs of family members and help them understand the obstacles and strategies for caring for a loved one with BPD. Although more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of family therapy in BPD, studies on other mental disorders suggest that including family members can help in a person’s treatment.

Other types of psychotherapy may be helpful for some people with BPD. Therapists often adapt psychotherapy to better meet a person’s needs. Therapists may also switch from one type of psychotherapy to another, mix techniques from different therapies, or use a combination of psychotherapies. For more information, please see the NIMH webpage on Psychotherapies.

Medications

Medications should not be used as the primary treatment for BPD as the benefits are unclear. However, in some cases, a mental health professional may recommend medications to treat specific symptoms, such as mood swings, depression, or other disorders that may occur with BPD. Treatment with medications may require care from more than one medical professional.

Because of the high risk of suicide among people with BPD, health care providers should exercise caution when prescribing medications that may be lethal in the event of an overdose.

Certain medications can cause different side effects in different people. Talk to your doctor about what to expect from a particular medication.

Other Treatments

Some people with BPD experience severe symptoms and require intensive, often inpatient, care. Others may use some outpatient treatments but never need hospitalization or emergency care. Although in rare cases, some people who develop this disorder may improve without any treatment, most people benefit from and improve their quality of life by seeking treatment.

Finding Help

More information about finding a health care provider or treatment for mental disorders in general is available on our Finding Help for Mental Illness webpage. You may also find additional information through the NIMH Outreach Partners or the NIMH National Partners.

How can I help a friend or relative who has BPD?

If you know someone who has BPD, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do is help your friend or relative get the right diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make an appointment and go with your friend or relative to see the doctor. Encourage him or her to stay in treatment or to seek different treatment if symptoms do not appear to improve with the current treatment.

To help a friend or relative you can:

  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement—change can be difficult and frightening to people with BPD, but it is possible for them to get better over time.
  • Learn about mental disorders, including BPD, so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing.
  • With written permission from your friend or loved one, talk with his or her therapist to learn about therapies that may involve family members. Alternatively, you can encourage your loved one who is in treatment for BPD to ask about family therapy.
  • Seek counseling from your own therapist about helping a loved one with BPD. It should not be the same therapist that your loved one with BPD is seeing.

Never ignore comments about someone’s intent or plan to harm himself or herself or someone else. Report such comments to the person’s therapist or doctor. In urgent or potentially life-threatening situations, you may need to call the police or dial 911.

How can I help myself if I have BPD?

Although it may take some time, you can get better with treatment. To help yourself:

  • Talk to your doctor about treatment options and stick with treatment.
  • Try to maintain a stable schedule of meals and sleep times.
  • Engage in mild activity or exercise to help reduce stress.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can, as you can.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or family member.
  • Tell others about events or situations that may trigger symptoms.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually over time, not immediately. Be patient.
  • Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people.
  • Continue to educate yourself about this disorder.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or use illicit drugs – they will likely make things worse

Clinical Trials

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions, including BPD. During clinical trials, treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individual participants may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

Research on BPD treatment is focused on the development and evaluation of psychotherapy and pharmacological interventions to prevent self-harming and suicidal behaviors, which occur at a higher rate among people with BPD.

Please note: Decisions about whether to participate in a clinical trial and which trial may be best suited for you should be made in collaboration with your licensed health professional.

How do I find Clinical Trials at NIMH/NIH on Borderline Personality Disorder?

Scientists at the NIH campus conduct research on numerous areas of study, including cognition, genetics, epidemiology, and psychiatry. The studies take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and require regular visits. After the initial phone interview, you will come to an appointment at the clinic and meet with one of our clinicians. Find NIH-funded studies currently recruiting participants with BPD by using ClinicalTrials.gov (search: BPD). NIH also supports clinical trials nationwide and in other countries.

How Do I Find a Clinical Trial Near Me?

To search for a clinical trial near you, you can visit ClinicalTrials.gov. This is a searchable registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. ClinicalTrials.gov gives you information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health professionals.

Learn More

Federal Resources

Related NIMH Booklets and Brochures

  • Eating Disorders: About More Than Food: A brochure about the common eating disorders anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, and various approaches to treatment.
  • Depression: What You Need to Know: This booklet contains information on depression including signs and symptoms, treatment and support options, and a listing of additional resources.

Last Revised: August 2016

Unless otherwise specified, NIMH information and publications are in the public domain and available for use free of charge. Citation of the NIMH is appreciated. Please see our Citing NIMH Information and Publications page for more information.

 

5 Dec 2017 Addressing gun violence – retired military commanders urge Congress to address “gun violence crisis” (Washington Post, Katie Zezima)

Just popping in while I have this on my mind…AGAIN!  Ever since I first saw this article I’ve had it on my heart to acknowledge it.  I am pleased these folks are trying to do something about this issue.  In the wake of our own personal events, this was set aside.  I hope these folks are successful in trying to influence sensible gun control measures in this country.  My question to all those who said after the shootings in Sutherland Texas and Las Vegas that “now isn’t the time to talk about this” – how about now?!   I hope this issue won’t get tossed aside.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-nevada/reno-gunman-fired-from-building-connected-to-las-vegas-shooter/Reno gunman fired from building connected to Las Vegas shooter

(use link for entire article)

Updated November 29, 2017 – 8:19 pm
Police respond to an active shooter at a high-rise building of luxury condominiums in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.  (Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

Police respond to an active shooter at a high-rise building of luxury condominiums in Reno, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

RENO — A gunman who took a hostage and rained gunshots on a downtown Reno street Tuesday night fired from a luxury high-rise where Las Vegas festival gunman Stephen Paddock apparently once owned a condominium.

The Reno gunman died when SWAT team officers shot him in the eighth-floor Montage unit where he had barricaded himself, Reno police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson told reporters.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/after-mass-shootings-retired-military-commanders-urge-congress-to-address-gun-violence-crisis/ar-BBG2X1c?OCID=ansmsnnews11

After mass shootings, retired military commanders urge Congress to address ‘gun violence crisis’

The Washington Post

2 Dec 2017

Katie Zezima

Sixteen of the nation’s top retired military commanders are urging Congress to pass gun control legislation, arguing that there are many steps that can be taken to curb gun deaths that do not violate the Second Amendment.

In a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders, the retired commanders, including Army Gens. Wesley Clark and Michael V. Hayden, Navy Admiral Eric T. Olson, Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman R. Seip and Marine Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney, argue that Congress is “no longer speaking or voting for the majority of Americans, including gun owners” when it comes to the issue of firearms.

“There is no acceptable excuse for our elected leaders to avoid addressing this as a national crisis,” they write.

The group is part of the veterans coalition of a gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. They laid out their arguments in a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders.

The retired military men and women said that, as military leaders, they defended the Constitution and have considerable firearms training. As Americans, they said, they find the level of gun violence across the country unacceptable, calling the shootings that killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October and 26 in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in November “but the latest instances of shocking horror” that the nation has experienced in recent years.

“Thoughts and prayers will not bring solutions,” they write.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of gun deaths rose for the second straight year in 2016, to 12 per 100,000 people.

The letter comes as a House panel this week voted to advance a measure that would expand the ability to carry concealed firearms across state lines. Under the bill, known as concealed carry reciprocity, a person with a concealed-carry permit and a photo identification would be able to have a concealed weapon in any state that allows them. The gun owner would still have to follow state and local laws regarding where and what type of weapons can be carried. The National Rifle Association has called the bill its “highest legislative priority in Congress.”

The legislation is scheduled for a House vote next week. Its sponsor, Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) said in a statement that the bill is extremely popular and “momentum, common sense, and the facts are on our side.”

Giffords said the bill weakens public safety, and Retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal said he agrees.

“In the aftermath of two of the country’s worst mass shootings, it’s an affront to both our safety as a nation and the common sense of its citizens that Congress would consider actually weakening our gun laws,” McChrystal said. “Untrained and potentially dangerous people have no business carrying guns in our communities, but the concealed carry bill in the House would allow exactly that.”

Wesley Clark standing in front of a flag: Then-presidential candidate Wesley Clark holds a U.S. flag as he speaks to delegates at the Florida Democratic Party convention in this file photo from December 2003. He and several other retired military commanders are urging action on gun violence.© Scott Martin/AP Then-presidential candidate Wesley Clark holds a U.S. flag as he speaks to delegates at the Florida Democratic Party convention in this file photo from December 2003. He and several other retired military commanders are…

A memorial stands in the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church one week after 26 people were killed there in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)© Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post A memorial stands in the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church one week after 26 people were killed there in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The…

The retired commanders argue that it is imperative that Congress tackle the issue because inaction will lead to more deaths. They argue that closing background check loopholes, barring extremely lethal guns and accessories and working toward preventing gun suicides can be addressed within “every reasonable interpretation” of the Second Amendment.

“We do not pretend that addressing our nation’s gun violence crisis will be quick or easy, but we know for certain that it is your duty,” the letter says.

They also said that the failure of the Defense Department to report domestic violence convictions so people with those convictions can’t purchase firearms, is “unacceptable” and must be fixed. The Air Force failed to tell federal authorities about the domestic violence convictions of Devin Kelley, the Sutherland Springs shooter, who purchased several guns after his release from jail and discharge from the military.

Giffords’ husband, Kelly, a retired Navy captain, said veterans understand firearms — and the damage they can inflict when they end up in the wrong hands.

“These are people who have also defended the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment, with their lives. And they understand that common sense gun laws to protect communities from gun violence are not an infringement on the Second Amendment,” he said. “They know this shouldn’t be a political issue.”

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said he believes it’s time for both sides of the polarized debate to sit down and talk about the problem of gun violence.

“Let’s have a discussion,” he said. “I think we need to have reasonable people come to the table and have a discussion and need to understand that they have a responsibility to carry this conversation forward so we can deal with the risk that’s currently in our society.”

5 Dec 2017 – This strange drawing came about thinking about things going on currently in Washington. The phrase “Poker Face” is apt….he is a casino owner and a gambler right? He’s been at the games a long time and hard to read for certain. We shall see what happens with all this.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tim-scott-urges-trump-not-to-pardon-michael-flynn/article/2642400

Tim Scott urges Trump not to pardon Michael Flynn

 

3 Dec 2017 Our Sacred House (drawing), Trevince House (My Beautiful Things) and A Prayer When I Feel Lonely (Rachel Wojo)

Hello to you.  How are you?  It’s Sunday morning here and I am slowly waking up.  It’s one of those mornings where it was warmer in bed but my lower back was starting to hurt and I couldn’t go back to sleep so I knew it was time to get up!  My goal today is to continue working on writing up notes in Christmas cards so I can more of them in the mail tomorrow.   I was going to do a Christmas letter and decided against it.  Kyle was joking that I should write “Have a nice summer” in the cards.   I told him that wasn’t very  nice LOL!  Remember the school yearbooks?  Getting that written in your book was kind of like them saying, “I don’t know who you are but hey, have a nice summer!”    I won’t be writing that in my notes to people lol!

So I was looking at posts of folks I follow here on WordPress and got a nice synchronicity sort of thing.  My friend Sally from My Beautiful Things had shared some pictures from their visit to Trevince House and in looking at the second picture she shared, I realized it looked a lot like a drawing I did yesterday afternoon!

2 Dec 2017 240 pm Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing our sacred house Alvarado TX

When I drew this all sorts of thoughts were going through my head!  The title I came up with, “Our Sacred House” coincides very well with Sally’s picture I think!

My Beautiful Things

Paddling, Trevince House and Canapés 

Photo #2 From My Beautiful Things blog post about Sally’s visiting Trevince House. (Trevince sits proudly atop a hill overlooking St Wennappa’s Church in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall)

I was curious about where she was talking about and found the official web site for Trevince House:

http://www.trevince.co.uk/
Trevince sits proudly atop a hill overlooking St Wennappa’s Church in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall. With roots in the 13th century, Trevince has experienced many architectural changes, from a lost medieval house, to a modest Elizabethan country farmhouse, to a grand redevelopment by the famed Cornish architect Piers St. Aubyn in 1865.

Set in two hundred and seventy acres of farm and woodland, Trevince is adjacent to the renowned ‘richest square mile in the world’, a term coined in the nineteenth century when the area was rich in copper. The importance of Trevince as part of the social history of copper mining led to it being included in the World Heritage Site.

With its granite ashlar and pink killas stone, and classical portico entrance, Trevince has a beauty of its own. It has been in the same family since before 1281, and had never been open to the public until it hosted its first event at Christmas 2016; A COUNTRY HOUSE CHRISTMAS was a unique retail event and pop-up café to which thousands of shoppers eager for a new experience visited during the double-week end event.

The Trevince Team has now announced the dates for the 2017 event. So please join us on 24, 25, 26 November and 1, 2, 3 December for an exquisite Christmas shopping experience. Keep an eye on our news pages for more information.


I hope this finds you well and if not, I hope you know you are not alone in this world.  No one is ever truly alone.  It may seem like it sometimes but just because there isn’t another person around, that doesn’t mean no one is there.   The holiday season isn’t always so jolly for many people.   I was looking for a message to share to help anyone who might need help with this feeling of being alone today and found Rachel Wojo’s message.   I would ask you to get beyond this being a prayer, the words Father and Jesus, if Christianity offends you.  Try to read this prayer with your heart and not with your head.

http://rachelwojo.com/a-prayer-when-i-feel-lonely/

A Prayer When I Feel Lonely

Yesterday on the Facebook page, we took prayer requests. One of our precious readers, Joeann, lost her husband two years ago and she is feeling so lonely.  There have been times in my life when I felt deep feelings of loneliness and my heart aches for Joeann. I was thinking about her during my run today. We’re all praying for you, Joeann! May this prayer provide comfort to her and to you.

A Prayer When I Feel Lonely

Thank you for listening to my heart;

Your patience with me is to be praised.

Today I had that feeling again-

The one where I feel so alone.

It seems that no one understands…

Even my family and friends don’t “get” me at times.

Though I can be in a room full of people,

I feel lonely…

And I feel alone.

I know You said You would never leave me.

 Your Word promises this and it’s true.

These feelings are but signs of my human form.

Would You reveal Yourself to me

In a way far beyond my imagination?

Thank you for the peace beyond my comprehension

That can only be provided by You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

 

when you feel lonely

Be blessed!

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7&version=NIVthis Chapter is resonate with my thoughts this morning and for most of this year.  We will never heal as a nation or as a world if we continue to take joy in others sufferings.  

Matthew 7New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Dec 2017 Morning Meditation

Hello to you. How are you doing in your present moment as you visit here? I hope you are less conflicted inside than I am! I am excited about seeing Lindsey Stirling tonight and sad with the news that our neighbors sister died yesterday after not recovering from complications due to an automobile accident! Rhonda was apt to remind me there are pills for my being happy and sad at the same time. I reminded her I’m taking some of those and it’s not helping with my predicament today!

There are more than a few things just popping some pill or another won’t provide any sort of consolation for. Coping with mixed emotions is an inside job to tackle with the God of your understanding if you have one or spending time in prayer, meditation, a long walk….for some to even smoke some weed! It’s important to allow ourselves to feel emotions and not just use people, places and things to obstruct or mask the experience. We are human beings and having feelings is part of being human!

Had an early morning wake up, like 1:38 am or so. It was like someone was standing right next to my side of the bed with a cup of prepared coffee! The mystery kind of got solved when I let the dogs out later and smelled the same sort of smell outside. Must have got into the house via our HVAC system or something.

So this morning’s meditation included my cards and a map of the United States I got from the Sierra Club many years ago. The messages spoke to me but also seemed to speak to what I see is happening these days in our country…in our world. I want to stress cards of any kind and there are millions of different types people use, are just tools. Sometimes I feel like my chalk drawings are too ambiguous and vague. Adding the cards lately is helping things get more specific.

It’s important to not read too much into such things..the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” comes to mind. There is always a fork in the road and we can choose, at any moment, which road to take.

1 Dec 2017 – overall reading

1 Dec 2017 – closer look at the cards ad their positions. The direction, facing up or down, changes the overall meaning.

8 of Cups face up- Tells you you will get what you’ve hoped for, but you may be being over-cautious

8 of Swords face down – Warns of unexpected calamities

Knight of Cups face up- Most often represents a lover, or the messenger of true love

8 of Wands face up – This is a time to take action, to be hopeful, to plan your next moves.

2 of Wands face down – Portends something unexpected will happen or enter the picture, or loss or failure in your new enterprise

Ace of Swords face up – Represents triumph by force

3 of Wands face up – Problems can be resolved if the person remains calm, dignified, intelligent

The World face down – Symbolizes complete mastery and understanding of your own inner nature and of the forces surrounding you

3 of Swords face up – Indicates the disintegration of alliances

6 of Swords face down – Indicates a journey, or visitor or message

Special: 5 of Wands face up – Signifies Greed, competition for financial gain, hardship

1 Dec 2017 – the “special” card today speaks directly to America.

The drawings that came up, especially the one with Vladimir Putin dressed in the colors of our flag, political parties and surrounded in “Cheeto Orange” comes with messages that resonated with me with the recent indictment of Michael Flynn. The messages, “They all play in this game” and “Takes many sheep to make a lamb” were what came forth after the poor drawing of Putin. In my perception, it’s not fair to just go after one person when so many are probably involved with this whole thing.  I think it’s important for transparency in this whole issue and to focus on how to make these wrongs right instead of just tearing more people and this country apart.   Sometimes looking at or hearing the news headlines in this country seems like what it may have been for the Romans in their Colosseums!  Just watching people being shredded alive!  Only in our day an age it isn’t flesh being ripped apart by lions, it’s their characters…their very souls. 

1 Dec 2017 – this poor rendering of Vladimir Putin dressed in red white blue and surrounded by Cheeto orange and the messages that came are about how it seems a lamb is chosen to take the fall for everyone and no one ultimately benefits from this. Everyone involved should be held in account!

1 Dec 2017 – my dream has always been a unified earth. Enemies we all share Greed Hate and Fear, Fear being the worst in my feeling. This is me ruminating about the plethora of sexual misconduct allegations we are seeing that are destroying people’s lives. We have to be careful about this tactic.

The other messages pertains to what is going on with people, mostly men, being ripped apart and their legacies laid waste with sexual misconduct allegations. It came to me, as someone who has experienced sexual misconduct many times in my life, that bringing such things to light out of a heartspace of spite does no one any good. It’s just pouring more gasoline on a fire. We don’t heal as a nation and a people by attacking each other out of spite and vengeance.

http://variety.com/2017/politics/news/michael-flynn-guilty-charged-russia-probe-1202627430/ – use link for complete article

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI in Russia Probe

WASHINGTON — Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, plead guilty to one count to lying to the FBI as part of an agreement reached with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller charged Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

 

I told Kyle this morning that in a way, despite how ugly this whole year has been in this country, I am becoming almost grateful for it.  I am seeing it has been the sort of humbling experience this country has needed for a very long time.  We can learn from what is happening in this literal and figurative dismantling of America.  We can come together as a nation and instead of rebuilding other countries as we’ve done in the past after wars….begin to rebuild ours in peaceful cooperation with the rest of this world.   

 

1 Dec 2017 – this was the last drawing and looking at it after talking to our neighbor about the tragic loss of his sister makes me wonder if this was for her.

30 Nov 2017 The Star

Hello to you. How are you doing in this moment? Hopefully well. Today has been good here. Beautiful weather and surprises. My friend Rhonda called me this afternoon with news she had bought two tickets to see Lindsey Stirling and wanted me to go with her. At first I was flustered and joked with her, “Damn you for popping me out of my comfort zone! Kyle and I always talk each other out of doing stuff like this!” She says, “It’s my job!” Rhonda is the kind of friend that is about pushing you out of your comfy zone and I love her for it. She’s the one who convinced Kyle and I we should just say fuck it and buy the tickets for the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds Concert last year. So glad we did!

So she plans to dress up in her best Steampunk attire and I will put something together so I’m presentable lol.

12-nov-2016-rhonda-martin-and-jackie-wygant-at-steampunk-november-venus-tx

We had seen Lindsey on America’s Got Talent and kind of forgot about her. Then Kyle’s brother Drew reintroduced us to her, loudly in his car with this song Crystallize. So if you have never heard of Lindsey Stirling, check this out!

Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling (Dubstep Violin Original Song)

Elements (Orchestral Version) – Lindsey Stirling – Dracula

What’s fun about all this is earlier in the day, when I did my outside stuff, the special card was “The Star.”

30 Nov 2017 1006 am Jackie Wygant outdoor meditation The Star card later Rhonda Martin invite me to see Lindsey Sterling Alvarado TX

30 Nov 2017 243pm Picture of my hand-drawn Star Tarot card.

Upright Star Tarot Card Meanings. The Star Tarot card brings renewed hope and faith and a sense that you are truly blessed by the Universe at this time. Courage, fulfilment, and inspiration are in your life. … The Star card is therefore an important card for personal transformation.

Star Tarot Card Meanings | Biddy Tarot

https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/star/

This evening we tried to watch the Season 5 premiere of Vikings online via the History Channel. About 28 minutes in, our internet started to run even crappier than normal to include the loss of sound!  This meant restarting the entire episode because I don’t have a profile with the History Channel and that meant wading through a whole bunch more commercials and I just didn’t have the patience for it.  I was disappointed as I had been waiting to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Bishop Heahmund and from what I saw of this episode, he did a fantastic job!  So we will back-burner watching the show until I can get a more enjoyable, stable way to watch it!

7-jan-2017-jonathan-rhys-meyers-as-heahmund-saxon-saxon-bishop-the-history-channel-show-vikings

http://www.history.com/shows/vikings

Our internet provider, AT&T, has been running horrible ever since we had the new neighborhood built and people have moved in. We’ve noticed a change in our online gaming (FFXIV), You Tube videos and a bunch of other things we normally were able to watch with few problems are starting to run like crap. Lots of lag and excess time for loading. Guess this is the new age of the internet for people like us who live in small towns with fewer internet provider choices.  We have been able to, until recently, keep up with things without cable or other “micro-transaction” media services. Entertainment is so overly fragmented now….all these same companies all vying for the same “pie” and our most precious commodity – not money, but time.   I’m not going to pay for cable and I’m not paying for individual channels just so I can watch particular shows. This may ultimately mean that Kyle and I miss a lot of things….it is what it is.

When, not if, Net Neutrality is repealed (which will ultimately be regretted by all involved) we fully expect to be even more fucked out of things. Hopefully I’ll still have enough bandwidth to pay my bills online!

In my opinion, the internet should be categorized and regulated like any other utility. To me the internet is like paying for electricity, access to city water, sewage and garbage services. In our day and age, going without the internet is not really an option.

27 Nov 2017 “Come and See Me” (dreams)

Hello to you.  How are you doing in your present?  It’s 7:52 am on this Monday morning as I begin to write to you.  Can’t spend too much time here as we have chores today….tree trimming…yeah….can you hear my enthusiasm lol?

So lots of dreams this morning, starting about 1:42 am on.  I can tell that I recently spent time with children and yesterday during my adventures in FFXIV my character Aurora flew with a lost character Minfilia (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Minfilia_Warde):

17 Nov 2017 – my FFXIV avatar Aurora in new duds!

Final Fantasy XIV: HeavenswardEdit

FFXIV Minfilia Returns<img src=”https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/finalfantasy/images/c/cb/FFXIV_Minfilia_Returns.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20160212102614″ alt=”FFXIV Minfilia Returns” class=”thumbimage ” data-image-key=”FFXIV_Minfilia_Returns.png” data-image-name=”FFXIV Minfilia Returns.png” width=”180″ height=”101″ >

Minfilia’s body being used by Hydaelyn.

We speak now with one Voice. One Will. One Word. Unto thee we bequeath the most precious of gifts: the truth which lieth at the heart of this world.

—The Word of the Mother to the adventurer

After the adventurer defeats Archbishop Thordan VII and reunites with Y’shtola and Thancred, the Scions are joined by Minfilia’s close friend, Krile. With her help, the Scions discover the truth of Minfilia’s fate in Ul’dah, and attempt to find her with whatever knowledge of the Aetherial Sea they can obtain from the Antitower.

The adventurer is transported to the Mother Crystal’s realm and learns of Minfilia’s new existence as “The Word of the Mother.” She reveals the existence of Zodiark and urges the adventurer to stop the Ascians. Seemingly using the remainder of her strength in the encounter, Minfilia dissipates before returning the adventurer to Eorzea.

FFXIV Minfilia's Death<img src=”https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/finalfantasy/images/e/e8/FFXIV_Minfilia%27s_Death.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20160819064005″ alt=”FFXIV Minfilia's Death” class=”thumbimage ” data-image-key=”FFXIV_Minfilia%27s_Death.png” data-image-name=”FFXIV Minfilia's Death.png” width=”180″ height=”101″ >

Minfilia, moments before dissipating into the aether.

Though disheartened to learn of Minfilia’s apparent demise, the Scions promise to fulfill her wishes and defeat the Ascians once and for all. They choose to keep the truth of Minfilia’s fate a secret known to only the leadership of the Scions, telling the remainder of their allies, including F’lhaminn, merely that their efforts to locate her have reached a dead end.

Some time later, Urianger manipulates both the Warriors of Darkness and the Scions into a confrontation. During the conflict, the power of the crystals held by the Warriors of Darkness combines with that of the Adventurer, transporting everyone present into the Mother Crystal’s realm, and reconstituting Minfilia. Urianger reveals that this was his goal, and apologizes for his apparent betrayal. Minfilia agrees to travel to the Warriors of Darkness’ world as Hydaelyn’s avatar in order to save it from the flood of light that threatens to destroy it, despite knowing that she will likely never be able to return to Eorzea. She bids farewell to her friends, and thanks F’lhaminn for everything she did for her, before leaving with the Warriors of Darkness.

The dreams:

1:42 am

Very clear message in dream — blue background with white letters that said, “Come and see me”  But who would I be going to see?!  Very unclear that part!

3:30 am

Children trapped in the stairwell of a school.  I can remember the railing was like a lime green color.  I helped them find a way out but going the opposite direction from where they were standing with a man who seemed to be trying to figure out how to help.  One child was “featured” in this dream kind of like one might be in a newspaper.  He had short blonde hair and blue eyes and was expressing gratitude about life.

4:59 am

This dream was about being able to fly, it was a snowy place.  I met family there who could too but then I was in a place, like a nursing home or children’s home or something – a place for sick people.  I remember trying to write down last wishes but then it was “time to go” and I left without saying good-bye.  I remember sneaking out of this place and turning a white painted door knob.  The world was green and alive and I was flying again.  I got to a clearing in a grassy field with tall grass and then I woke up.

6:32 am

In this last dream there was a little boy showing me a bookshelf and a chair that could be moved to make a place to read.  There were blankets stacked on a small couch and before I woke up from this dream, he was on the floor hugging a small purple teddy bear that seemed familiar.  I remember saying something about sneaking it back home, like I had donated it to where the boy was.

Drawings from yesterday:

19 Nov 2017 Drawings and In Shadow (Lubomir Arsov animated film, Flowart station)

Hello to you.  Just a quick post.  Sharing a couple of drawings and a link for a short film Flowart Station (here on WordPress) also shared called In Shadow.  They had it on You tube also, so sharing it from there.  It’s not an easy film to watch but sometimes we can gain insight from watching such things.  My husband and I really like the animated film genre, so this resonated with us on many levels.  If you aren’t into animated films, this might be the introduction you need to explore the genre.

– Link to Flowart Station Magazine post to view it on Vimeo:

IN-SHADOW – This impressive short film is a violent criticism against capitalism

Published on Nov 13, 2017

Embark on a visionary journey through the fragmented unconscious of the west, and with courage face the Shadow. From Shadow into Light.

“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
-C.G. Jung

Written, Directed & Produced by Lubomir Arsov
Original Soundtrack “Age of Wake” by Starward Projections
Composited by Sheldon Lisoy
Additional Compositing by Hiram Gifford
Art Directed & Edited by Lubomir Arsov
___

Gallery quality ART PRINTS available here: https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/inshadow/

Film Website: https://www.inshadow.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inshadowmovie/
Music Composers: https://www.starwardprojections.com/
Contact: light@inshadow.net

© Lubomir Arsov 2017

IN-SHADOW – This impressive short film is a violent criticism against capitalism