Internet Post From a Friend in Florida

Published January 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel
I am past the point of begging. So here goes, I have been sick for a while and was in bed. Finally I became so sick I could not take anymore pain. I had to call 911 to come to hospital as I could not walk without fear of falling by or injury. It’s the worst I have felt in years. I did have a COVID test confirmed before I came to hospital. The ambulance tried to talk me out of coming saying the hospital could not do anymore for me ath the hospital then what I could do at home!!! Which was so far from the truth. He told my family you will probably need to pick her up in a couple hours. Well guess what it’s been about a week now. I have never been through something so horrible ever. Please if u have not got your vaccine please do so it could save your life. They claim there is a 3rd one coming out by the end of the year which people will need too. I was too slow on getting a vaccine and now I’m paying the price. Please I’m begging say some prayers for me I am desperate!!!! Thank you all so much!!!!

NOTE; THIS IS NOT ME!

DO YOU GROW OUT OF IT?

Published January 10, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Are you kidding?

(I know–I’ve been 86 for two years now.  Still have trouble counting.)

Since there may still be some disagreement between the definition of victims and survivors, and how enduring the effects of poor parenting are–including incest–I thought I’d speak on the topic from my vantage point.  After years of excellent therapy–and becoming a therapist myself–I can testify that all the fertilizer in the world can never make a tree that’s bent in youth absolutely straight again.  (I’m speaking metaphorically here).

All children seek validation for their value as an individual–that their humanity is respected, and that their thoughts and feelings matter.  Lacking this, they too often accept the valuation of their earliest caregivers, known as parents.  When this is followed by manipulation of the child’s body for a parent’s  own gratification, the child too often accepts his or her value as only a commodity in life, to placate others.  Strangely, only the child feels guilt, since her body  responds without understanding,  not the adult abusers.

Feelings of having basic worth and value–and likeability–are  shaped early in life.  All attempts in later life to feel essentially valuable in oneself  are doomed.  But  there are many possibilities to lessen the effects and to make the best of a harmful childhood including psychotherapy, support groups, readings, excelling at something, etc.  One of humanity’s psychological defenses is “Undoing,”  defined in the  DSM IV-TR  by the American  Psychiatric Association as “dealing with emotional conflict or internal or external stressors by words or behavior designed to negate or make amends symbolically for unacceptable thoughts, feelings or actions.”

I won’t list all my other defense mechanisms, except my more functional one:  Humor–The individual deals with emotional conflict or external  stressors by emphasizing the amusing or ironic aspects of the conflict or stressor.

WE STILL LIKE ANIMALS, THO

Published January 9, 2022 by Nan Mykel
A wildlife bridge to be built across Highway 101, shown in an artist's rendition.
Do wildlife bridges work?
Over the past few decades, wildlife crossings—which include land bridges and underpasses—have proven effective in connecting migration routes, avoiding collisions and saving animal and human lives.Dec 19, 2019–Google
(P.S. Unsure about turtle underpasses, however)

and…

SAN DIEGO — A sea lion made its way onto a San Diego highway Friday morning, and drivers stopped to help before a SeaWorld rescue crew arrived to bring it to safety. The unusual sighting was reported at 9:40 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of state Route 94, just west of Interstate 805 near the Mount Hope neighborhood, according to a news release from California Highway Patrol.  Fox News [!]

WHO WAS ERIC BLAIR?

Published January 8, 2022 by Nan Mykel

ANSWER: George Orwell, according to the copy of his novel 1984 which I just lifted from my library’s free shelf.  The 1961 Harcourt Signet Classics edition contains  an Afterword by Erich Fromm, in which Fromm writes that the novel expresses a mood of “near despair about the future of man, and the warning that unless the course of history changes, men [and women also?] all over the world will lose their most human qualities, will become soulless automatons, and will not even be aware of it. ”

Although Orwell envisioned his scenario as occuring by 1984,  we might reflect on the current inroads against democracy as well as the spectre of climate change and military unrest during the worst and yet continuing pandemic in history.  Neither Fromm nor Orwell/Blair become concerned about the military uses of  outer space.  About Orwell’s concerns regarding war, Fromm observes that: “He shows the economic significance of continuous arms production, without which the economic system cannot function”….”and gives an impressive picture of how a society must develop which is constantly preparing for war, constantly afraid of being attacked, and preparing to find the means of complete annihilation of  its opponents.”

Shifting to 2022: Harper’s’ November cover story is the “Coming Battle Over Space,” by Rachel Riderer.  In it, Riderer quotes Laura Grego, a technical  expert for the Woomera, an independent team of scholars, government officials, and other space and legal experts from around the world that is drafting a rule book for military conduct in space, including for times of war.  “The risk comes at a time when civilian dependence on satellites–for intenet services, cell signals, weather monitoring, geo-location–is higher than ever, and and American military reliance on satellites is near total.  The military’s space-based systems underpin everything: communications, surveillance, guided munitions, nuclear command and control, and more,” Grego says.

[Back to Basics:  At its root, the name of the new rule book — Woomera–is after an aboriginal  word for the hooked rod used to propel a spear.  The more things change the more they stay the same?]

In her Harper’s article Riderer reports that the orbital belts surrounding Earth are  a crowded highway of around seven thousand satellites, moving at speeds of up to seventeen thousand miles an hour, many for civilian and military purposes.

Professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College Joan Johnson-Freesea has written a new book, Space Warfare in the 21st Century, and is quoted as saying that “If things were bad…and there’s a major conflict, I think it’s no-holds-barred. Because the U.S. has the most to lose.”

General John W. “Jay” Reynolds  is Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, which was established in late December, 2019 and is under the Departmen of the Air Force. In September, 2019, 300  airmen were transferred to the Space Force.  According to General Reynolds, the world’s new “war-fighting architecture” demands a new design.  Among goals of the new militay design are to “destroy, nullify, or reduce” adversarial menaces in space, especially by deterrence through the flexing of enormous military muscle.”

A bone of contention on the horizon may be the fact that although a ruling by the Outer Space Treaty body mandates that celestial bodies “are not subject to national appropriation in any way,”  the United States’ position is that the extraction and use of of resources on the moon and other celestial bodies does not violate that nonappropriation principle.”  The United States’ position appears to be that pieces of the moon, for instance–should not be treated as the property of the whole international community.

Is it any wonder that two U.S. billionaire industrialists  have already left footprints in space–Jeff Besos and Elon Musk?  A third, Sir Richard Branson, apparently an Englishman, may cause a wrinkle unless he becomes a U.S. citizen?  [My own wild guess]

Kamala Harris’s Words

Published January 8, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Our vice president’s words via Daily Kos:

January 6th reflects the dual nature of democracy—its fragility and its strength. You see, the strength of democracy is the rule of law. The strength of democracy is the principle that everyone should be treated equally, that elections should be free and fair, that corruption should be given no quarter. The strength of democracy is that it empowers the people. And the fragility of democracy is this: that if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand; it will falter and fail.

The American spirit is being tested. The answer to whether we will meet that test resides where it always has resided in our country—with you, the people.

Here, in this very building, a decision will be made about whether we uphold the right to vote and ensure free and fair elections. Let’s be clear: We must pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate, and the American people must also do something more.

We cannot sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defense of our democracy in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our prosperity and posterity.

 

Go. There. Now.

Published January 6, 2022 by Nan Mykel
  1. TODAY ….

    1.  dianeravitch posted on Diane Ravitch’s blogTrump Advisor: How Steve Bannon and I Planned to Overturn the 2020 Election
    Peter Navarro was Trump’s Trade Advisor. He recently published a book about his time in…
    2.  NEW VIDEOS OF THE CAPITOL INVASION
    dianeravitch posted on Diane Ravitch’s blogThis Is What Happened on January 6, 2021
    Since there is now a deep partisan divide over what happened on January 6, it’s…

    (I’m going to look out for the video I saw that day of Trump and staff watching the invasion on tv–unfortunately without the sound).

REALITY — What’s Your Take?

Published January 4, 2022 by Nan Mykel

“A little dab will do ya” —  refrain from some song…or commercial?   Commercial, I think.  If you know, share.   A search on Google reveals that Fact Checker reports the former president made 30,573 “false or misleading claims” during his presidency, averaging about twenty a day.                     LYING – Lying can become a habit and is contagious, with the believers repeating the lies, as a result of a number of cognitive biases, as discussed by Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman explained  in the  2017 New York Times  article,  “Why We Believe Obvious Untruths.”

Commenting on this neurological quirk, Aia Raden observed that almost everything we know someone else told us.  We don’t need to understand or confirm every fact or idea  because we have an honesty bias to  believe what we are told as being true. This enables humans to have a collective intelligence, necessary for civilization. (The Truth About Lies, St. Martin’s Press, 2021)

Another factor contributing to the tenacity of false beliefs is called confirmation bias, involving unconscious selective perception in which once we decide something is true, we  begin to see support for our belief everywhere.

Authority bias is another factor in our tendency to believe and trust our “betters”.

“A lie that makes you feel something intensely…is simply more addictive and compelling  than any other kind of lie. The intensity of feeling it induces in the listener creates a strong need to hear more–and to tell someone else.” (ibid)

And of course, lies that feed into our beliefs are especially  welcome.

All of which causes me to reflect on my earlier openness to the 9-11 conspiracy theories as well as the JFK  murder theories, and I have to admit I’m not one hundred percent sure there’s no “truth” in some of the rumors, as well as who was behind JFK’s murder.  (The latest I heard was that it was Fidel Castro.)  And the source of flying saucers?  When I read that Trump believed in their extraterrestrial source I almost quit believing in them.

When I Worked at the Prison…

Published December 31, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Happy New Year’s Eve….When I worked at the state prison 22 years ago I learned something about the men in prison that I find applies to me now.  They were “protected” from depressing events back home, and were frustrated about knowing really what was going on with their family and friends.

They couldn’t be sure whether family members had died, whether family had sprung divorces,  gone bankrupt, etc.   While in my case that’s a little extreme,  I’m still “protected” from  potentially troubling news.  As a result, I feel a little disempowered as a person.

Horror of horrors, I find myself with a tendency to “protect”  elderly friends– who have moved away– from the obituaries and other news of the passing of  mutual friends.  I have to remember that although everyone ages, at least some of us would still like to be trusted with facts.  To be treated otherwise is to feel discounted and truly disempowered. Remember how they used to keep the news– that oneself was terminal or in fact dying– from patients?

The truth conveys respect.  And no, I haven’t been shafted.  I just recalled a memory of 22 years ago. Read the rest of this entry →

QUICK! Hide the truth!

Published December 25, 2021 by Nan Mykel

 

A Black principal near Dallas has already been forced to resign in the anti-CRT panic, for writing a public letter after George Floyd’s death that declared, “Education is the key to stomping out ignorance, hate, and systemic racism.”

In another part of the state, a district-level executive director of curriculum has recommended teaching “other perspectives” on the Holocaust to meet the bill’s mandates. Teachers and administrators are not the only ones targeted by the bill and its supporters. “One minute they’re talking critical race theory,” says middle school librarian Carrie Damon. “Suddenly I’m hearing librarians are indoctrinating students. One library in Llano County, about 80 miles northwest of Austin, shut down for three days for a “thorough review” of every children’s book. At the statewide level, Texas Republican State Representative Matt Krause launched an anti-CRT witch-hunt, in advance of a run for State Attorney General, by emailing a list 850 books to state superintendents, asking if any of them appeared in their libraries.

These times are so painful…

 

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Published December 16, 2021 by Nan Mykel

The Week magazine for Dec. 3 contains the following from Stockholm:

Democracy in  retreat:  The U.S. has been added for the first time to a list of “backsliding democracies” by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.  America has fallen vicim to “authoritaian tendencies,” the respected think tank said in its Global  State of Democracy 2021 report, and so was “knocked down a significant number steps on the democatic scale.”  The report, issued this week, cited former President Donald Trump’s  baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 election and his efforts to pressure state election officials into changing vote totals, as well as the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.  Trump’s tactics had “spillover effects,” the report added, providing an anti-democtatic model that was followed by political actors in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar, Peru, and elsewhere.

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