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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ultrarunning

Congratulations for 20 years of serious running. Back in 1997, when 57, I was introduced, firsthand, to a Ride and Tie event, when I competed in a limited distance endurance ride of 25 miles at Mount Hamilton in San Jose, California. Parked next to me, at the campsite, were partners Tony Brickel and Jeff Windenhausen. They had just completed the Mustang Classic Ride and Tie event. One thing led to another and I too soon started competing in the Ride and Tie events. For those of you that do not know what is a Ride and Tie, I’ll tell you. Ride and tie is composed of a team. The team consisted of two individuals, and a horse. One person rode while the teammate runs. They take turns alternately running and riding. The team began the race together and then completed the race together over distances that ranged from 25 to 100 miles of mountain trails. Thus, serious running began. Since that momentous time, I completed over 1800 trail miles of ride and tie. Within the 1800 miles, I also completed a 75 mile event and was victorious in a 100 mile event with partner Jonathan Jordan and with my equine Gypsy. Further, I began competing and running in trail events that ranged from 5K’s to 100 miles. However, many of those events have been 50 K’s. In fact, this coming Saturday, the 25th, Tony, Jonathan and I are running the Salmon Falls 50 K. Jonathan, Georgia born, is a defense attorney practicing in the San Diego area. He has been running 50 K’s in my neck of the woods for the past 12 years or so. Tony, assisted me on my first Tevis endurance ride. This was also a 100 mile one day event. Tony and his wife, Debbie, were there at the vet check in Forest Hill, on that day, some 60 miles into the ride and again at the finish in Auburn, California. Tony, also met me at Robie Point some 97 miles, give or take, when I completed the Western States 100 mile endurance run. Since his retirement, we’ve been running together roughly 3 times a week and have competed in many events together. Tony my technical support friend; a co-producer on our TV show; had created a video that accompanied book signings and presentations for my first book “It Has Nothing To Do with Age.” He has also provided a multitude of assistance in many numerous venues. Many things have been stated on the trail that stay on the trail. Some might question compulsive running, averaging 50 miles per week since 2001. I am simply running away from illness, and running toward health. If you doubt my simplicity, take a good look at me, view pictures of others my age, consult with Dan Merck my physician, read “It Has Nothing To Do with Age,” or accompany me on a trail run. Then we can seriously talk. Those that still have doubts, about running toward health, consider reading the article, “Keep It Moving, in the 12-11-16 edition of the New York Times. This article evaluated male volunteers. They were active four days in a row and then had four sedentary days in a row. When active, these individuals walked as often as they could. In contrast, when sedentary, they sat for about 14 hours a day. On the evening of the fourth day, the men ran for an hour. The next morning they ate a high-fat sugary breakfast. The men were then evaluated for the amount of triglycerides, which are the fats associated with heart disease that enter the bloodstream after meals. In summary, the researchers found that the men who sat for 14 hours a day and even though they ran the next morning, their triglycerides level in their blood remained high. Too much sitting seemed to have made their bodies resistant to the benefits of exercise. In essence, keep moving, so that you can have more of an opportunity for healthy triglyceride reduction in your bloodstream. PS In writing this post, I wrote this brief testimonial with my computer, which lies raised on a platform so that I stand. I continue to talk the talk and walk the walk. No one, to my knowledge, said doing what’s good for your mind and body was easy, because it’s not.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Brady's Drive Part 3

Brady has accomplished, in his football career, what others dream about. He’s mastered his position as a quarterback. He was once 6th string and a sixth round NFL draft choice. Now he’s being talked about as being the greatest. He has overcome obstacles, attained a high standard and surpassed others playing at his position. His Achievement is unsurpassed at the moment. Tom Is currently playing at the highest standard possible. Brady’s competitiveness {Aggression} was also expressed by his strong desire to win. For him, the opposition was like the enemy that one has to oppose. He used all his skills in a forceful manner. When he threw the ball for a completion, he did it with high velocity. In that overtime victory in the Super Bowl, Brady was on the attack and was played aggressively. Although in control, his passes hit their target repeatedly. Briefly, I have inferred the existence of a few of Tom Brady’s secondary needs .This was based on his overt behavior, which typically expressed itself in motor activity. I have linked these needs primarily to his current employment. However, Tom’s secondary needs are not limited to playing football. His need structure was largely determined and came from within, as opposed to being a reaction from the environment. Brady’s needs lead to a desired state in which there was gratification or the fulfillment of feelings or emotions. These need structures drove his behavior and those strivings gave his life meaning. Being a Patriot quarterback, is Tom’s identity. That’s Tom Brady! Some speculated that with that Super Bowl LI victory, he could retire because now he has nothing more to prove. Setting records was not his primary motivational drive. Instead, he has to meet needs of abasement, achievement, affiliation, and aggression through game performance. If so, he shall continue to compete in this brutal game of professional football. If these secondary needs can’t be met through outstanding play as a result of injury or a significant decrease in skill set, then he is likely to retire. Reality is not always possible as in our dreams .Tom Brady is mortal and although his mind with its defense mechanisms may say yes, his body may say no. Our body doesn’t lie. It will speak to him and tell him when it’s the end. Go Blue!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Brady's Drive Part 2

It’s believed that the preceding 10 facts regarding Tom Brady suggest the following. We know that he possessed mental and physical toughness {Abasement}. Tom Brady knew that he has put his brain and body in harm’s way every time he received the ball from center. Something hurtful can happen like being stepped on by his own player; having a finger jammed or dislocated like Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders; or being thrown to the ground by some 300 pound giant. Further, an overused injury can be sustained while working out or conditioning himself. And, he maintained a strict diet with a personal trainer in order to further his career in the brutal game called football. Being the quarterback, Tom accepted the criticism or blame of the press when plays don’t go as planned. He was accused and punished by the NFL for being associated with deflating of footballs in order to win a playoff game two years ago. He fought the charges in court, but did not wine about the situation. Asked, by the press, if revenge played a part in his motivation to succeed this year. Coach Belichick, to his defense, called that question nonsense and insulting. Did Brady accept all the praise and glory in his team’s Super Bowl victories? No, he praised his teammates, coaches and the organization {Affiliation} for their success. He reciprocated, remained loyal and applied it to the concept that this was a team game. He learned about the importance of the team playing for the Wolverines. Coach Carr was part of Michigan legend Schembechler’s coaching tree. Beginning in 1969, Scembechler’s players incorporated the concept that players win as a team and lose as a team. It’s nothing more, nothing less. Records and victories can’t be accomplished if everyone doesn’t do their part or do their job. To Be Continued

Friday, February 10, 2017

Brady's Drive

With the historic New England Patriot’s comeback win in Super Bowl LI, many called quarterback Tom Brady the greatest quarterback ever. If the criteria was based on number of Super Bowl victories, the number of Super Bowl MVPs, Tom Brady would be the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. If other criteria were used, then we are not measuring apples to apples. One cannot fairly compare a player from one era to a player from another era. For example, Ed Budde was a number one draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, and played in the first Super Bowl. He played for 14 seasons with the Chiefs. He also had two sons that played football. His oldest was also the number one draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. His youngest son had a tryout with the Chicago Bears, but didn’t make the team. In private conversation, Ed told me that his youngest son was bigger, faster and stronger than him. The physical characteristics of players, and the skill level then and now are significantly different. Let’s asses Brady’s behavior, football related statistics, TV interviews , personal communication with a former University of Michigan Wolverine and current radio announcer for both the Wolverines and the Detroit Lions. These components provided insight into Tom Brady’s motivational dynamics. Ideas employed are based on Henry A. Murray’s personology theory. 1. Tom started out as a 6th string quarterback for the University of Michigan. He was also a sixth round draft pick by the New England Patriots. 2. Tom, in TV interviews, talked about his teammates Mental Toughness. 3. Even though Tom was awarded the MVP in Super Bowl LI, he said the award should’ve gone to teammate James White. 4. Tom didn’t play in the Patriots first four games this season because of a league suspension. With very limited team practice time, he started as quarterback in the Patriots fifth season game .In that victory, he attained over 300 passing yards. 5. Tom talked about his teammates favorably after games and stressed their importance in their victories. He also talked about himself playing better. 6. After a New England Patriot and Detroit Lions exhibition game, he warmly greeted the Detroit Lions radio announcer, Jim Brandstatter a former Wolverine. Fellow Wolverines are bonded 7. At the start of the past Michigan Wolverine football season, Tom attended the game, was made honorary captain and was seen throwing a football to his son on the Big House field as well as playing catch with football head Coach Jim Harbaugh. 8. Jim Harbaugh called Tom Brady, the greatest football player ever; said Brady could coach his Wolverines; and Jim would be his quarterback coach. 9. Patriot head coach Bill Belichick said that the season was difficult for Tom. He didn’t believe that Brady’s four-game suspension, motivated him. In fact, Belichick said. “I think it’s really inappropriate to suggest that in Tom’s career, he’s been anything other than a great teammate, a great worker and he has given us every single ounce of effort, blood, sweat and tears that he has in him. To insinuate that somehow this year was different, that this season, he competed harder or did anything to higher degree than he did in the past is insulting. I think to the tremendous effort and leadership and competitiveness that he’s shown for the 17 years that I’ve coached him. ….Tom Brady gives us his best every time he steps onto the field.” 10. At the University of Michigan and with the New England Patriots, Brady employed a personal trainer. To Be Continued

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Attachment Part 2

Two other examples of anxiety and safety seem parallel and are associated with the infant’s attachment level to adults. The first is called Stranger Anxiety. This anxiety response is to a strange face and is generally seen in American children about six months of age, and then gradually disappeared by the time the child is 12 to 15 months. It takes longer for the fear to disappear generally with Infants reared in isolated rural areas and with infants with retarded cognitive development. Separation Anxiety, a second example, appeared in American infants at about 10 to 12 months of age and begins to disappear at about 20 to 24 months of age. A number of studies, have been implemented, studying this dynamic. A glaring example was with the institutionalized infant, when reared in a monotonous and impersonal environment. These infants are often cognitively and emotionally deficient; and have difficulty in reaction to human beings in a socialized way compared to a family reared children or those reared in responsive institutions. However, even a one-year-old child who may have been a victim of neglect seemed to possess a substantial capacity for recovery. Importantly, the environment after that first year loss, must provide the freedom for him to explore his world and establish positive relations with adults and children. Four different attachment classifications have been hypothesized for children based on early caregiving experience. 1. Secure attachment 2. Anxious-ambivalent attachment 3. Anxious-avoidant attachment 4.Disorganized/disoriented attachment. More recent research incorporated the attachment styles for children and developed new categories for adults. The categories include: 1. Secure 2. Anxious-preoccupied. 3. Dismissive-avoidant 4. Fearful- avoidant. The interaction between mother and infant has consequences throughout the lifespan. There are “many” complex variables at work during parenting. Unfortunately, models of parenting are often based upon one’s own upbringing. It may also be incorrectly interpreted. The high divorce rate, the vast number of unsatisfactory marriages, numerous poor interpersonal relationships and work related issues with the supervisor suggest impaired caretaking, beginning with the age of the infant. Individual therapy, family therapy, couples therapy with presenting problems of interpersonal difficulty keep therapists busy as issues. Critical difficulties with relationships beginning with the infant and child become replayed over and over again with different players throughout one’s lifetime.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Attachment

For additional insight into your relationship style, consult the article “Yes, It’s Your Parents’ Fault” in the January 8, 2017 New York Times as it dealt with the “ Attachment Theory” based on the work of Drs. John Bowlby and Mary S. Ainsworth. Their findings may trigger your curiosity. This theory dealt with the complex interactions between the infant and the caretaker. The result of their research, provide clues into the psychological development-attachment style of the child, adolescent and adult. This interaction between caretaker and child focused on infant behaviors such as crying, sucking, smiling, clinging, and the responses that followed between the dyad. The mother’s psychological condition obviously affected her ability to respond to her child appropriately and by the same token, the newborns temperament and cognitive development affected his ability to respond-looking, vocalizing, smiling, and distress. Some other clues to the child’s emotional adjustment is depicted by its ability to feed well, sleep well and ease of its bowel movements. It’s the idea that the caretaker not only talks and stimulates the baby to babble, etc. but the mother also alleviated the child’s hunger, cold, and pain while performing caretaking acts as well. The quality and the ability of the mother to meet the infant’s needs and become a positive reinforcement value is a must for healthy development. Hopefully, the mother doesn’t become associated as a negative reinforcement value. Research by Dr. Harry Harlow provided some insight into the feeding dynamic between mother and infant. This dynamic was associated with the infant’s ability to develop trust and well-being during the process. Dr. Harlow conducted a series of studies that employed “mother” monkeys that were constructed with wire mesh to other mother monkeys that were covered by Terry cloth. Both “mother” monkeys had a bottle attached to their chest. Briefly, and in a variety of experiments, these infant monkeys characteristically chose the terry cloth mother, and spent more time, clinging to her than to the plain wire mesh mother. Even when a fear provoking stimulus was placed in the cage, the infant monkeys ran to the terry cloth mother rather than to the wire mesh mother. The terry cloth mother was also more effective in reducing the monkeys fear compared with the wire mesh mother. These experiments suggested the importance of closely holding the infant near while feeding instead of being preoccupied or by propping a bottle during feeding. A sense of safety for the infant is paramount. To Be Continued

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mental Toughness Revisited Part 3

What about the average athletic individual? This individual might be overweight, or might be a couch potato. The individual might be older .The weather conditions might include rain, snow or triple digits. The individual might have awakened late and felt tired and sluggish. This individual might have remembered that on previous workouts, he experienced soreness, tired legs, oxygen deprivation, high heart rate, pain in the side etc. Mental toughness for these individuals is putting on workout clothes and beginning to exercise. For me, it’s not uncommon to feel lousy in the morning within the comfort of my home. However, when I initiate my trail run, I feel better and am happy that I did start. I know about physical and psychological pain because I ran and was a division winner In the 100 Mile Western States trail run at age 62. I also experienced physical and psychological pain, when I completed with my horse and partner the 100 mile one day Swanton Pacific Ride and Tie. We won that race when I was 68, at the time. More recently, at age 76, in 2016, I experienced discomfort when I ran 20 miles or more. After completing the 50 K “Way Too Cool,” I was evaluated by my physician and he referred me to the surgeon and he surgically repaired my two hernias. It’s clear that there are a myriad of ways to inflict pain upon oneself. I plan to continue with my running. What enables me to get off the couch in the morning is that I have set up a future goal. That goal is related to some competitive running event. I know that if I don’t condition myself properly, I might not complete the event or might even hurt or stress myself even more. If I didn’t have a future event to look forward to, it might be more difficult for me to be as compulsive as I am about my running. In conclusion, Mental Toughness, per Psychological Principle 12 is the acknowledgment and acceptance of Murray’s n Abasement- to accept injury, punishment; to seek and enjoy pain or discomfort. We know, and we accept what can happen when we lace up our running shoes and go for a run. We also know that we are driven by more than this one particular need and further, that we will be fulfilling additional needs that have a multitude of benefits. Moreover, mental toughness is one component within the big picture of the Abasement need and helps explain the motivation of inflicting discomfort directed toward oneself. Obviously, some go to greater extremes than others.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mental Toughness Revisited Part 2

The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run is an ultra-marathon that takes place on trails in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. Runners run up a cumulative total of over 18,000 feet and descend a total close to 23,000 feet, before reaching the finish in Auburn, California. The Swanton Pacific 100 mile Ride and Tie with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and magnificent redwood forest, is an event that has teams consisting of one equine and 2 runners. The entire team begins at the start line together. One teammate rides a certain distance, dismounts and ties the horses’ reins to a tree and then continues running. The initial runner locates the horse on the trail, unties the horse’s reins, mounts and rides toward the direction of the other runner. The teammates, leapfrogs, so to speak, and continue this process for 100 miles. To finish, the entire team has to cross the finish line together for a completion within a 24 hour day. The Barkley Marathon is an ultramarathon trail race held near Wartburg, Tennessee. The race distance is approximate and limited to a 60 hour time limit. This event is limited to 40 runners who pay $1.60 application fee. The entry application is a secret. No details and the entrant must complete an essay of “Why I Should Be Allowed to run in the Barkley?” This race has five full loops {24 miles + or -per loop} and this event been completed 17 times by only 14 runners, all of whom are male. One woman has run as far as 66 miles. Not only that, this quirky run has as a bugler that plays Taps for those runners unable to finish. The Quintuple Anvil Triathlon held in Spotsylvania, Virginia covers over 703 miles and is essentially five Ironman length races over a five day period. This is a full triathlon of swimming, biking and running. One finisher said “I know this is not good for my body, but it is good for my soul.” These four events in no way exhaust the limits or number of amateur events that are examples of inflicting punishment on oneself or what is called mental toughness. To Be Continued

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mental Toughness Revisited

Mental Toughness is a term frequently applied to athletes. I previously had written about this term and postulated 11 psychological principles, that enhanced an individual’s ability to withstand pain and suffering while training. An article titled, in the December 6, 2016 edition of the New York Times, “How Much Suffering Can You Take?” spurred additional thought about this phenomena. Mental Toughness is one aspect of man’s behavior or motivation that causes him to inflict pain and discomfort upon himself. Freud, influenced by World War I, hypothesized a second drive called the death instinct to explain man’s aggressive nature toward man. Within this framework, the term sadism and masochism, explained man motivation for inflicting pain on self and toward others. Later, Dr. Henry Murray, within his Personology Theory identified a need that helped to explain man’s hurtful behavior. Murray called this n Abasement. Abasement he briefly defined as: to accept injury, blame, criticism, punishment. To admit inferiority, error, wrongdoing or defeat. To blame, belittle or mutilate the self. To seek and enjoy pain, punishment, illness and misfortune. We can now see that mental toughness includes both mental, and physical within this human need. The idea of inflicting pain, although not always conscious, toward oneself is universal and part of the human condition [not eating properly, excessive prescription and nonprescription drug use, excessive alcohol use, excessive smoking, lack of exercise, etc.]. I speculate that there are degrees of mental toughness. Further, male-female, young-old, and socioeconomic status may also play a part, as far as differences are concerned. A professional athlete; a college athlete; an Olympic athlete; a Navy seal are examples of individuals that have possessed and have exhibited mental toughness. Other primary and secondary motivations, needs and/or requirements operate as well. Some examples of these include economic benefits, affiliation, dominance, aggression, fame, glory etc. that are variables that pertain and associated with behavior. Man being complex is more than fulfilling just one variable at a time. However, let’s not eliminate all man’s needs, but hold the economic advantages constant. We can do that by focusing on extreme amateur sports that do not have a major economic value. The 100 mile Western States, a one day running event; the 100 mile Swanton Pacific Ride and Tie, one day event; the Barkley Marathon and the Quintuple Anvil Triathlon come to mind. To Be Continued

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Run For Your Brain Part 2

In this study, lab rodents were used as subjects. The researchers made three groups 1.The running group allowed the rodents to run at will on their running wheels.2. Resistant training group involved having them climb a wall with tiny weights attached to their tails. 3. High intensity interval training group had the animals sprint on a treadmill with a rapid and strenuous pace for three minutes, followed by two minutes at a slower pace. This entire sequence was repeated twice more, for a total of 15 minutes of running. Each group was subjected to over seven weeks in the experiment. Then the researchers examined the brain tissue in the hippocampus for each group. The findings showed that distance running, stimulated more release of B. D. N. F. than the other two groups. The resistance or weight training group however, demonstrated more muscular health benefits. One can argue about the research methodology in each of these studies. Remember, using animals for research has been long-standing. Thank you, Charles Darwin. What struck me was the fact that nutrition, vitamins, and supplements were not variables at all. The one variable that got my attention was movement or exercise. For these studies, we still don’t know or have clear definitions of vigorous or strenuous exercise per age or age group. At this juncture, each individual must create their own regimen of movement and/or physical exercise program. These research findings suggested that physical exercise is a significant key for memory, attention and hippocampus growth. I would be surprised if I developed Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. Since my late 50s, or for the past 20 years or so, I have been, on average, running at least 50 miles per week. Also included have been some form of free weight training and/or doing chin-ups and push-ups. To know if my regime is working, I need to be tested for memory and attention, and my level of neurogenesis growth in my hippocampus. There might or might not be appropriate norms to compare me with others. For example, in my most recent competitive 10 mile trail run, there were only 4 other participants in my age group. That suggests that there are many non-trail runners in my age group. In signing off, remember this motto “keep moving.”

Friday, January 20, 2017

Run for Your Brain

Two articles in the January 1, 2017 edition of the New York Times pertained to healthy aging. The first article, “How to Become a Superager” was a study that compared, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the brains of 17 superagers to those brains of similarly aged people. The superager is one whose memory and attention is above average for their age. Their brain compared favorably to the brain of a healthy active 25-year-old. These researchers found that the regions of the cortex that are associated with memory and attention were in fact thicker for the superagers. In other words, there was less age-related atrophy in the brains of the -superager’s. And of course the superager’s had better performance scores on tests of memory and attention. These researchers hypothesized that one can keep these cortex regions of the brain healthy through vigorous exercise and strenuous mental effort. Although physical exercise wasn’t clearly defined, they pointed to discomfort as a result of exertion, which means building muscle and discipline by using a Marine Corps motto “pain is weakness leaving the body.” They added that deciphering puzzles like Sudoku and other brain games are not enough to strengthen those cortex regions in the brain. The second article, “For a Happy Hippocampus, Keep Running” focused on the relationship of physical exercise on the development of new neurons found in the hippocampus. The primary function of the hippocampus is learning and memory formation. This study measured brain- derived neurotrophic factor B. D. N. F .production. To Be Continued

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Harbaugh and Schembechler Part 3

Under coach Harbaugh, the Wolverines attained a 20-6 overall record; a 13-4 Big Ten conference record; and a 1-1 postseason with a win in the Citrus Bowl; and loss in the Orange Bowl. The University of Michigan was ranked numbers 11 and 10 in the AP polls, respectively. Coach Schembechler achieved in his first two years, a 17-4 overall record; a 12-2 Big Ten conference record; and a loss in the Rose Bowl. His Wolverines were ranked number 9 in the AP poll for both 1969 and 1970. Bo didn’t find the cupboard bare when he inherited Bump Elliott’s team. In fact, many of Bumps recruits were college all Americans; and drafted into the pros. All Pro Dan Dierdorf was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame; All Pro Thom Darden, was elected into the Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame, and All Pro, Reggie McKenzie was inducted into the Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame. Thus, Bo had a solid foundation from which to begin his quest, starting in his first season in 1969. Likewise, Jim Harbaugh’s cupboard wasn’t strictly bare of talent either. Jake Ryan is having a stellar season with the playoff bound Green Bay Packers. All-Americans, Jabrill Peppers, Jake Butt, and Jourdan Lewis are likely to have solid careers at the next level. However, in Bo’s third year, his Wolverines attained an 11-1 overall record; an 8-0 Big Ten conference, and a loss in the Rose Bowl. Also, he beat the Buckeyes, two out of three games they played. Let’s see what Harbaugh’s Wolverines can muster in the 2017 season? He’s going to lose a significant number of his seniors in 2016, so 2017 will be a good test. Jim Harbaugh has a long way to go. He’s already lost twice to the Buckeyes-42-13 in 2015 and 27-24 in 2016. Don’t forget that Bump was fired, when he lost to Ohio State 50 to 14. So much for the numbers and statistics as there is more that goes in the definition of what makes a great coach. What about the coach’s significant impact on his players lives and their psychological development? Bo Schembechler’s, greatest teaching, amid the racial divide in the 60s, was when he taught his young athletes about the meaning of “the team.” His players learned not to lose their identity, but to hold their narcissism in check even with unorthodox conditioning and brutal practice conditions. They learned they could accomplish the unfathomable by coalescing as “one” with a seemingly unbreakable bond. They came together in 1969 like a non-severed Gordian knot. In fact, the bond between these men still remain. In this process, Bo taught them, and he in turn learned from them, creating a unity of brotherhood along with a sense of integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and love. They never forgot him and he never forgot them. Good luck, Coach Harbaugh because now it’s your turn- Go Blue

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Harbaugh and Schembechler Part 2

First year Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh has a more comprehensive and impressive resume than his mentor Bo. For example, the All-American and Heisman candidate Harbaugh was Bo’s quarterback. Quarterback Harbaugh’s was a first round NFL draft pick in 1987, and played 14 years in the NFL. He was also an assistant football coach at Western Kentucky and an assistant NFL coach with the Oakland Raiders. He then became head coach at the University of San Diego; Stanford; and the San Francisco 49ers. Unlike Schembechler, Jim Harbaugh was in high demand by the NFL before he accepted the U of M coaching position by interim athletic director, Jim Hackett. The Michigan Wolverines did not fare well after head coach Lloyd Carr’s retirement. Head coaches Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke did not stop the beatings by Ohio State; nor was Michigan a football powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination. The attendance was still good at the Big House, but Bo Schembechler was turning over in his grave because of the less than stellar football, played during those years. Wolverine football was at its crossroads hoping for the Messiah. Then, coach Harbaugh became available and was immediately hired; given an enormous salary; with the keys to the Big House. Although, it’s much too early to give the crown to Jim Harbaugh, we can compare his first few years in Ann Arbor to his mentor.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Harbaugh and Schembechler

Jim Harbaugh, the current University of Michigan football coach, arrived in Ann Arbor on December of 2014, at age 51, with tremendous enthusiasm by all. Can he become the greatest football coach in the “ modern era” in Wolverine history? Currently, that title belongs to none other than Bo Schembechler. Bo Schembechler, age 39, was seen in Ann Arbor in December over 49 years ago, in 1968. He was not greeted with an overabundance of adoring enthusiasm. In fact, the new athletic director Don Canham fired All American, Rose Bowl player and Rose Bowl winning coach Bump Elliott, beloved by all. This icon, in fact, led the Wolverines to an 8-2 won loss record in 1968. However, the mortal wound that led to his dismissal was the unmerciful beating by Woody Hayes and his Ohio State Buckeyes that season by a score of 50 to 14 in Columbus. Other factors that played a part in Bump’s dismissal, was the lack of interest in Michigan Football. There were many diversions for the students and alumni during those tumultuous years - political assassinations, race riots, Vietnam War and changes in social and sexual mores. That 1969 football season didn’t start off well for coach Schembechler, as Bumps, former players severely didn’t like Bo. They were neither buying into his coaching nor conditioning methods nor his offensive and defensive football philosophy. The team, that season, was struggling with a 3-2 record during their first five games, and were behind in the first half of their sixth game against the University of Minnesota. Bo, with a soft-spoken voice, told the warriors at halftime “We are the better team and do not to waste this opportunity.” Bo’s players united as they became “the team.” They then demolished the Gophers, followed by thrashing Illinois and Iowa, in that order. They were now ready for the revenge and showdown against Woody’s Buckeyes on that wintry November 22, 1969 game in front of 103,588 fans. Thus, Bo Schembechler, on that infamous Saturday, in Ann Arbor, began his quest, his identity and eventually he became the legend. Bo led his Wolverines for the next 21 years, with sellouts in the Big House; 234 victories and 65 losses and eight ties; winning or sharing 13 Big Ten conference titles during his realm. While leading the Wolverines during this glorious time, he was the winningest football coach in the nation. And he alone has a statue in front of Schembechler Hall. To Be Continued

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mass Killings

We have many acts of violence, mass killings in our country! The American College Dictionary, defines violence as “rough or injurious action or treatment.” The following are a few brief examples of influences that contribute, correlate with the personality and character development of individuals that commit acts of hate. 1. Implicit bias is rooted and a human tendency-maybe in the DNA that divide and discriminate against others in our social world. In other words, “It’s us versus them.” Early on, we differentiate acceptance of others like us versus fear or threat of others not like us. Groups are often divided among race, religion, sex, socioeconomic status, political parties, etc. Even a football team has its own followers and haters- the enemy. We perceive, have feelings for and treat our own groups, significantly differently from “the other.” 2. Our culture, dating back to the Monroe doctrine of 1823 and the idea of Manifest Destiny, followed by two centuries of American exceptionalism painted a picture of glorified acts of violence. There was justified killing of Native Americans by settlers and soldiers in taming the West. Our movies and TV Westerns were about the good guys and the Indians as the bad villains. Even today, theater and home audiences clap, cheer in delight when a bad hombre gets killed. 3. Our video games are mostly about violence. For example, the Grand Theft Auto series of videos has resulted in more than $2.5 billion in sales. Is there a difference between killing in the video and killing in our communities? Do we become numb and desensitized to images of death? 4. The media and their daily news cycles tend to give lots of information about the perpetrator, compared to the victims. We see their names and faces along with their history. We may even hear from their mother, father and the neighbor in the process. The killer is covered with a 24-7 blitz. The murderers have instant notoriety during that exuberance of TV coverage. If one wants a claim to fame, - go destroy a group of unprotected, unarmed and peaceful civilians. Back in the day, we had trusted and trustworthy journalists like Walter Cronkite and Edward R Murrow. They objectively, without regard to political party, reported the news. Today, we are not presented with TV or radio, rational-objective news. Instead, we are presented with cable, personalities and social media sites that provide us with noise, entertainment, misinformation, glorification and countless interviews with repeated talking points. TV and the Internet have changed our world-in some ways for the detriment of all. 5. Child abuse, maltreatment and other restrictive and negative parenting practices also contribute to the development of the violent personality. These factors affect the highly suggestible, who have not developed a firm sense of self. Further, many are paranoid and blame others for what they see as disappointments in their life time of failures. It’s easy to blame injustice on others, and then distort and justify one’s acts. They have developed a sadomasochistic character style. They do not place a high value on life. They simply treat others inhumanely. There also depressed, socially isolated, and are unable to perceive an optimistic future. There being, is about taking life, not giving it. Sources: The National Psychologist, September/October 2016 and the New York Times, December 11, 2016.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Aunt Eva Part 2

It was very clear that I bought into the capitalistic system of earning more, so I could purchase that “dream house;” procure big boy toys; and go on those dream vacations all over the world. I erroneously believed that I was fulfilling my competitive need structure, while attaining nirvana. So many of us believed that economic success results in happiness as in the many various commercials. After all, those actors are smiling when they’re driving the latest car or having attained the latest gadget. Then of course, research studies found that making over $75,000 a year does not bring more happiness and that time off from work is more desired, than job and more earnings. Balboa searched for the fountain of youth, thinking that that was going to bring him happiness. Unfortunately, happiness is a feeling. Feelings are fleeting, meaning they come and go. So to chase something for a feeling is unproductive and stupid. How long does one remain happy when they get that “special job;” dream house; the latest electronic tool; and other goods and services continually pitched to us by good-looking actors, celebrities and other stars? We should all know by now, that one’s feelings are transitory and constantly change. The only certainty here is that feelings change. There are many products that tell you they can make you look younger and more attractive. There many strategies, diets, programs, etc. that claim that weight loss is under your control. One can marry, divorce and remarry a younger object. One can also eat and drink that magic potion or take that magic supplement to facilitate youth. If that doesn’t work, one can even find a surgical procedure to quicken the process. What I’ve learned is that it’s not about money, youth, but about health. The main goal for me is my health span while developing a sense of well-being. That takes precedent and that is my priority. It’s important for me to attain and continue my mental health, as well as my physical health. I haven’t found a magic pill; a magic exercise device; or magic medical procedure that will enhances my sense of well-being. For a sense of wellbeing, I have to become cognizant of my unconscious drives and needs and constantly challenge my motives as well as my thinking. As you know, we can convince ourselves and engage in many irrational and self-defeating behaviors. Just watch the commercials – they know the best marketing strategies. Thank you Aunt Eva, you were right. PS I turned 77 this past year. On January 1, Tony and I have entered a 10 mile trail run titled the Resolution Run. I also entered the Jed Smith 50 K held the first Saturday in February -Tony and Chris will join me in some capacity. At the end of February , Tony, Jonathan and his son, and I have entered the Salmon Falls 50 K trail run. Keep moving, it’s good for you.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Aunt Eva

Aunt Eva was right when she said to me many years ago, likely when I was at latency age, that health was most important. I didn’t get it until I was in my late 50s, in the late 1990s, contemplating divorce. It was at that juncture, that I made changes physically by eating more prudently and by competing in Ride & Tie- a running and equine competition. A friend also presented me with the book called “Stopping the Clock.” This read dealt with antiaging and rejuvenation techniques. I then got it and these two elements {health and exercise} became my mantra. When I was younger as an elementary, junior high and senior high student, I bought into our capitalist economic motto. I was told by my father to work with my head and not my back. I was told by many that college was the path to economic success. Those that attended college earned more money. And back then, college was affordable, not at all like it is today. My passion back then was playing sports. Receiving a football scholarship facilitated my entry into higher education. Freud’s “drives” as in libido and the notion of the unconscious, along with Murray’s “needs” such as abasement, achievement, affiliation, aggression, play, infavoidance, etc. fueled my behavior. My father was a government employee, while most of my extended family seemed to be better off economically. I was able to compare, superficially, although unaware, family members who had a larger home, newer clothes, and attended summer resorts to my parents standard of living. Having more seemed better as I felt embarrassed having less. My father being a juvenile diabetic injected insulin daily, which colored, and played a significant role, along with his going in and out of the hospital for some medical condition. I was driven to accumulate money as the main goal. I married in my junior year at Wayne State University; switched from a business major to an education major; earned my bachelor’s degree; and took a position as a teacher with the Detroit Public Schools. In order to make more money, I attained a master’s degree from the University of Michigan with the idea that I would go into school administration. I had an opportunity to earn more money by taking a part-time teaching position at a community college. Once again, economics was the driving force. Shortly, I was hired as an assistant professor at Oakland Community College. I even decided to pursue a PhD to enhance my earning potential. After completing my PhD, at Wayne State University, I relocated in California, and was an Assistant Professor at California State San Bernardino. After a few years, I entered private practice as a licensed psychologist. To Be Continued

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wild Horses

I recently read about a new problem facing our federal government in the October 16, 2016 edition of the New York Times” Roundup of Wild Horses a Success, Spoiled by Cost of Storing Them” was the title. A few facts: 1. 60 private ranches, corrals and feedlots store 46,000 wild horses. 2. Currently this cost is $49 million per year. 3. One rancher in Oklahoma maintains a little over 4,000 horses and receives two dollars a day per horse. His monetary gross is approximately $3 million per year .4. This Bureau of Land Management Equine Program accounts for 60% of its federal budget. 5. The Bureau is predicting that its horse protection program could reach $1 billion, soon. 6. In 1971, Congress passed a law protecting wild horses that roam free on patches of public land in 10 Western states 7. Fertility control drugs for the horses, and natural predators like wolves have been considered to reduce this population. 8. Animal-rights groups oppose any killing of horses .9. Thousands of acres have been damaged by overgrazing. A lot of land is under extreme stress. 10. The Bureau of Land, Management can now barely afford helicopters to roundup wild horses .11. Each year we can expect an increase of at least 15,000 horses. In a nutshell, there has been pressure not to kill any wild horses, regardless of the social, economic and natural consequences. I would argue that we consider a few other facts 1. It’s a shame that we contain these horses in a neglectful manner. 2. Anyone with over 4000 horses cannot care for them in any proper way. Natural diseases, infighting between horses result in damage to horses. There are many injuries that happen to groups of horses. 3. Think of the pain and no treatment to these equines that result from these injuries. 4. Think of the damage to the natural environment destroying the echo system. 5. Think of the homeless and hungry people in our country. 6. $1 billion is a lot of money to spend without a prudent solution. The problem will just become larger and larger, with no end in sight. I propose that we devise a program to kill a number of wild horses [don’t have a number in mind] in order to feed, clothes and procure other products by using their hides etc. This would increase employment and new jobs. Morally, I would place the needs of people and make humans a priority over the wild, neglected equine. Yes, there’s going to be some outrage. Outrage is not unusual as we have freedom of speech. No one has come up with a better solution. By the way, my wife rides her Mustang religiously. Patch our wild horse gets fed regularly, gets wormed properly, receives necessary shots, and gets groomed and ridden a lot. Patch has a life, a job, and is part of the family. He’s not neglected like the 46,000 others.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Why Exercise?

Do you believe that exercise can enhance learning? If so, then exercise should play a significant part of the school curriculum. When I attended elementary, junior high and secondary school, physical education was included and was a significant part in the curriculum. For instance, in elementary school, special classes, which included physical education, music, art, science, etc. were held in either the morning or afternoon while the 3Rs were taught in homeroom separate from the other part of the school day. From what I’ve heard, that is no longer the arrangement in schools. A recent article in the July 31, 2016 New York Times titled Muscle Mnemonics received my attention. Researchers at Radboud University and the University of Edinburgh hypothesized that there is a relationship between learning and remembering new material and exercise. Briefly, 72 healthy adult men and women were tested on a visual and spatial learning task [Observed pictures on a computer screen and then asked to remember their locations]. That test was followed by having them watch nature documentaries. Immediately after this test, 48 of these men and women subjects then participated in interval training on exercise bicycles for 35 minutes. The remaining 24 subjects did the same exercise work out, but only 4 hours after the visual and spatial learning test. Two days later, all the subjects repeated the original test while an MRI machine scanned their brains for activity. Which group learned and recalled the most coupled with an increase or a more consistent release of a biochemical [biochemical related to mental function]? Those of you [my wife and friend Tony were asked the question too] that predicted exercising immediately after the test were incorrect [Unless you are a rodent]. The winner were those that predicted exercising, 4 hours after the test. These subjects learned and remembered more. Experimenters admitted, at this point, “we don’t know why?” Could it be, the Detroit Public Schools knew about the relationship between exercise, memory and learning back in my day? They separated the time between reading, writing and arithmetic from playing baseball, basketball, volleyball and track. Why not learn something, have lunch with friends and then perform physical exercise. Often, for me, many of my ideas seem to generate and become clarified while trail running. Putting my ideas to paper become clearer. I recommend that those that want to learn and remember, incorporate exercise in your daily life, even if it’s not four hours later. No one can argue that learning and memory are not good for your soul. The more we learn and remember, the healthier we are. Just ask an old folk.

Friday, November 18, 2016

David Letterman's Questions Part 2

In dealing with this upcoming psychosocial crisis, letterman in this past year, traveled to India for 11 days, learning about India, and Climate Change. That was the subject of a documentary recently aired at the end of October titled “Years of Living Dangerously.” During that trip, he realized that India was very different from anything experienced in America. And that “India makes New York City look like naptime.” Letterman spent more time talking to people than anybody alive, said the television producer who accompanied him. Let’s face it, applause and adulation from a TV audience is pseudo-intimacy, compared to interacting with the people in the flesh. At least he learned that important detail In the article, letterman talked about his 12-year-old son, Harry and letterman’s insecurity about parenting, his son in the correct way. He doesn’t know how strong or how lenient he should be with Harry in Harry’s development. Letterman wondered that if he tried to steer and influence Harry in some direction that Harry would then rebel instead. He also added, “You really don’t want a carbon copy of yourself running around.” With that statement, letterman colors his innermost feelings of self. This stage in Erickson’s model is called Generativity vs. Stagnation. The primary psychosocial concern for the individual is related to teaching and learning, with the “dependence” of the older generation on the younger one. Simply put, the task is establishing and guiding the next generation-- one’s own offspring or others. Erikson added that mature man needs to be needed. Letterman certainly takes this psychosocial stage seriously and wants to teach and take care of and guide his offspring. He joked when he said “I will just say that all the negative qualities, I think, are from his mother’s side. All the positive uplifting qualities seem to come from the letterman’s side. And I don’t mean that as an insult, no.” Starting a family late in life in his late 50s, letterman is confronted with two psychological stages-first, his progeny and then dealing with the dignity of his own lifecycle. It’s important that he remains physically and psychologically healthy. It’s imperative that he continues to be productive, in ideas, giving back to others while keeping the future and focus. It’s important that he continues to teach and learn as there are no do overs. It’s clear that letterman’s talk show host career did not provide significant meaning for him. It’s important that his life task continues to be on the productive side and creative in order to have a life that he alone can define with integrity, so not be left with emotional despair.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

David Letterman's Questions

The article “He Shops at Target These Days” found in the New York Times, October 23, 2016 referred to former talk show host David letterman. Erik H Erickson’s Childhood and Society published by WW Norton and Company, Inc. provided insights into some of letterman’s current psychological issues .He had been with CBS’s “Late Show” for 33 years. Erikson postulated that the human personality unfolds according to predetermined psychosocial crises found in one’s life cycle. The emphasis here is about and limited to the psychosocial, while the task is about the ability or potential to acquire human strength. In May 2015, David Letterman, age 69, left the television world. For the past year and a half, he had been living a relatively normal life - even shopping at Target. He commented that he had grown a beard and that for him “A beard is a good reminder to me that that was a different life. I’m hopeful that I will either find something else, or something else will be presented to me.” Some might say that letterman is in retirement, and now what? Some might say that he had influenced prior generations. Some might say that he has vitality left, and is not yet ready to pull the plug. Letterman went on to say that he doesn’t miss late night television “I’m a little embarrassed that for 33 years it was the laser focus of my life.” He added that he was in combat with his one-time friend Jay Leno over succeeding Johnny Carson and that “it took a lot of energy and it probably would have been better expended elsewhere. Now it just seems like really, that’s what you did?” Further, the knowledge that he was not passive in the competition, and that there must be something wrong with him. Not only that, he said. “Maybe life is the hard way, I don’t know. When the show is great, it was never as enjoyable as the misery of the show being bad. Is that human nature?” Even with super ratings; surpassing Jay Leno; experiencing an enormous amount of applause and adulation; working five days a week; being a celebrity; living an upper-class lifestyle, his TV career did not provide him with enough significant emotional or intellectual meaning or supplies. Sad but true. Currently, he is dealing with what Erickson called approaching the stage of Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Briefly in this stage, Erickson described despair as the overriding expression and the feeling that the time is now short, too short for the attempt to start another life. Letterman is not there yet. He still has time to act and to be. It’s important that he use this time of its life prudently.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Identity Gone Wrong Part 2

Narcissism is another danger that is self-directed throughout life. For instance, there can be a healthy or normal narcissist. On the other hand, unhealthy narcissism interferes with the ability to have appropriate and meaningful interpersonal relationships. This is because there is persistent behavior with excessive preoccupation with oneself and one’s concerns. Unfortunately, this psychological impairment persists in behaviors that seek pleasure and/or gratification from others. There is simply little concern about the needs, safety or welfare of the other. It’s about me, me, me, and only me in that order. Having a sense of my personal space and the personal space of another is another important psychological quality. Personal space is made up of thoughts, ideas, impulses, fantasies, and constraints or limits on attitude, actions or behavior. Likewise, the personal space of another is made up of the same. Mature individuals take into account the respect for the other. Without respecting the other, leads to aggressive, insensitive and sadistic interpersonal interactions. Certainly groping, kissing, grinding talking disparagingly about another is simply rule and sadistic. With impairment in developing trust, a healthy amount of narcissism, along with boundary limits affects the development of identity or self. Without a clear sense of identity development, the danger is the development of role confusion. This means there is the danger of over dedication of heroes, reality TV stars, celebrities, and other power figures. There is a tendency to become part of the moment by becoming part of a cliques, and then part of mob vitriol. How can one fall in love, let alone develop a sense of intimacy or fidelity, without having a sense of mature identity? Imperative, without a secure sense of identity development, leads to the exclusion of others that are different, such as in skin color, cultural background, etc. The stereotypes, loyalties, morality, ideology and appropriate behavior gets lost with a series of rationalizations, distortions and irrational thinking. This pathology leads to treating others of the opposite sex inappropriately. We require more than a discussion of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. It is simply nonsense to believe that these sadistic behaviors in males are part of being normal. It’s not normal nor is it typical in healthy psychological development. To consider these behaviors normal, speaks to the unhealthy view of that voice and that voice alone. For me, the issue is the development of a healthy identity leads to healthy male behavior. PS For Trump, a main drive is the exploitation of another. Remember, vocal or physical expression- behavior, is about making choices. Exploitation or choice can be expressed in the arena of achieving power; making money; or attaining sex.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Identity Gone Wrong Part 1

The title “How to Be a Man in the Age of Trump” in the October 16, 2016 edition of the New York Times concluded, “ it provided the beginning of a challenging discussion of what it should mean to be a man, and that it has inspired a bipartisan feminist movement.” In the article, the author identified a number of revelations about Trump like barging into the dressing room of the Miss Teen USA pageant; kissing a former Apprentice contestant during a meeting; grabbing the rear of a woman who was visiting his home in Palm Beach; jamming his tongue down the throat of a People magazine reporter, etc. the author also identified a number of high profile incidents of alleged harassment or sexual assaults that included: Clarence Thomas; William Kennedy Smith; Mike Tyson; Bill Cosby; Ray Rice; Roger Ailes, etc. The writer pointed out that such behavior is not representative men by a long shot, but can be found in high schools and college campuses. She gave an example of a situation were in a middle school dance when a male classmate slid behind a girl student on the dance floor , grabbed her by the waist and then grinded against her rear; and at college, when drunken party boys felt free to kiss, touch, and rub up against women as well. There has also been a defense that for Donald Trump, his sexist comments have simply been nothing more than locker room talk. I attended high school, university and played competitive sports and spent time in locker rooms. I was also in a college fraternity and I do not remember participating, witnessing or even hearing what I heard during this presidential election cycle. Further, I don’t have any baseline data to support my contention, but it appears that these behaviors are more plentiful than in the past. One way of viewing these sexist behaviors is the notion of identity formation. In forming an identity, important notions of developing trust, developing appropriate narcissism, establishing appropriate boundary limits are some of the psychological tasks required. For instance, a sense of trust, suggests a sense of being all right, of being oneself and becoming what other people trust one will become. However, the inability to develop a firm sense of secure trust leads to significantly impaired interpersonal relationships, as well as an immature and troubling personality. The dynamics of the ability to trust results in the following dynamics: an external goodness can become an internal certainty. By the same token, having a pathological distrust or anxious state, one simply experiences unpleasant inner or fearful harm as an outer one. This means that we tend to perceive people with evil or fear them, but this dynamic actually emanates within us. To Be Continued

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Economic Inequality, Cognitive Dissonance, and RQ Part 2

The facts of income inequality are not likely to change someone’s mind if they do not view the subject simply on moral or religious grounds. Facts don’t unify since we tend to believe certain things, regardless of information presented. Instead, we are stuck on a specific or certain “ideology or preference.” One way of viewing the polarization that divides us is seen regarding beliefs about religion and/or politics. Did you ever win an argument with an opponent related to religion or to politics? Insight might help with an understanding of Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance [a tension state that is motivational in character]. It is believed that cognitive elements are information or bits of knowledge that may be related to oneself, to others, or to the nonsocial environment. Further, these cognitive elements exist in relation to one another and that they arise in the presence of one element. The element can be present or implied. Not only that, some cognitions are relevant to one another. Other cognitive dissonance factors include: the importance of the elements; the ratio of dissonance to consonance cognitions; attractiveness or negativeness; ones self-esteem, and even the more negative information a person receives about the discrepant situation. In other words, scientific facts or opinion by authorities do not necessarily change one’s attitude. To simplify, individuals are willing to take in materials or information consonant with their belief or viewpoint, and simply deny, distort, and tune out materials or information that’s dissonant with their belief or viewpoint. And, that some individual’s, even though they abhor Socialism, favor for example receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits, which are socialistic in reality. Further, these unknowledgeable individuals are either not aware or distort their “cognitive dissonance - contradiction discrepancy. Yes, prejudice {economic inequality} is difficult to overcome, but maybe not impossible. Yes, government should be in the forefront. Let’s call “some” of our decision-making irrational, which means that we tend to evaluate evidence in a manner that’s consistent with our prior beliefs and prejudices. Can we train people, or teach people to step back from their own irrational thinking and decision making and correct and/or change their faulty tendencies? Currently, there is research that is measuring what’s called a rationality quotient called R. Q. This research has demonstrated that, yes it is possible to train people to decrease their irrationality in the decision-making process so there’s a greater propensity for reflective thought [the New York Times, September 18, 2016]. Added to this excitement is the finding that intelligence or IQ does not correlate well with RQ. In other words, there’s hope for all of us.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Economic inequality, Cognitive Dissonance, and RQ Part 1

A Yale economist wrote an article in the New York Times, August 28, 2016. The article was titled “Inequality Today, and Catastrophe Tomorrow.” It was pointed out that the extreme gaps In Income and wealth are only going to become worse. Causes included innovations such as robotics and artificial intelligence [driverless cars may result in driverless trucks]; environmental disasters that affect ability to live in certain areas; future wars; and populistic political changes that can affect ability to find work for the less privileged. Prof. Robert Shiller pointed out that presidential campaigns have not looked at long-term solutions only addressing those currently likely to be affected by low wages. He reported that 20 countries were studied over the last two centuries, looking to see how these countries dealt with the less fortunate. Primary findings suggested that taxing the rich was not a main solution to generate equality. Instead, taxes tended to rise primarily as a result of warfare. Economic research has concluded that most people do not vote based strictly on their narrow self-interests. Moreover, individuals do not consequently act to tax the rich even if they don’t possess property. In one study, of people in the United States, were asked” What marginal tax rate would you most like to see on family incomes of $375,000.” 30% was their median answer. Note, the federal marginal tax rate for that income group is 33%. In another study, New Yorkers and individuals from Moscow were asked “What inheritance tax rate for really wealthy people do you think we should have?” The findings were people from New York, said 37% while people from Moscow, said 39%. The article also pointed to a study of four devastating famines in four different parts of the world. Even though there was enough food to keep people alive, food was not shared adequately. It seemed that systems of privilege and entitlement permitted the hoarding of food by people of status and it was not uncommon to see dead bodies on the street. Does economic inequality have a moral component; is it simply economics or is it about political orientation? One definition of “moral” In the American College Dictionary, “Pertaining to or concerned with right conduct or the distinction between right or wrong.” Further, another question, is it the government’s responsibility to fix income inequality? By now it should be clear that voters don’t always vote in their best self-interests, and that there is plenty of division when it comes to so-called entitlements, regardless of religion, or moral concerns. For example, food stamps, or raising the minimum wage can be a no, no, yet paying farmers not to grow certain crops can be just fine, depending upon your political orientation. The belief that a corporation can be good or bad, or that a union can be good or bad is another example of a non-moral or religious belief.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hate and Prejudice Part 2

Since 9/11, we have a new group to discriminate against, and that being individuals of the Muslim faith. I will make two points regarding this problem. One can easily hold, in their head, negative or detesting attitudes or sentiments toward members of groups perceived different than them. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said “nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Ellis wrote about man as a thinking, perceiving, feeling and doing animal. And therefore believed our feelings are influenced by how we think and what we think. If we hold a negative attitude or sentiment about someone; that’s related to our perception, thinking and thought process. Can our thinking be influenced by rhetoric or teachings? Of course, we can be taught and learn irrational, prejudicial and hateful messages. A political campaign attempts to change attitudes or sentiments about their nominee and/or about their opposition. Neurologically, we are wired to perceive differences or danger within the first year of life {survival}. Babies respond” fearfully” in the Amygdala of their brain to differences, strangers etc. Psychologically, Erikson, in his psychosocial model, theorized about the first task of the infant, which is the ability to develop Basic Trust. If unsuccessful, then the groundwork for Basic Mistrust {fear} is developed. Erickson provides clinical insight about the ease of feeding, the depth of sleep and the relaxation of the infant’s bowels as being able to demonstrate the development of social trust or social mistrust. This dynamic is the ground work for future interpersonal relationships, the many subsequent meetings of significant people within the infant’s life space. Does the individual experience an inner comfort or discomfort when confronted with “different” people in various situations during one’s lifetime? These ideas suggest that a mistrustful or fearful individual are more vulnerable and more likely to develop prejudicial or hateful attitudes and sentiments. And if this is so, then these individuals tend to be more likely to be influenced by negative, hateful, despicable rhetoric. So if we teach hate and prejudice, we learn it and then, we are more likely to experience such in our communities, culture, and life space.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hate and Prejudice Part 1

Statistics[ The New York Times, September 18, 2016} gathered from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino were that Hate Crimes against US Muslims are at its highest level since after 9/11. Explanations given include recent terrorist attacks in Europe and in the United States and the political vitriol from Donald Trump as causes. One can argue that there are certainly statistical correlations between these events, but correlations do not prove cause-and-effect. One hate attacker [former Marine in a drunken rampage fired a high-powered rifle, four times into the mosque next door of his Connecticut home] reportedly said “I hate Islam.” Another [she poured liquid on a Muslim woman after berating Islam] said,” I am going to vote for Mr. Trump, so he can send you all back where you came from.” These are just two examples that support the two explanations given for the increase in Hate Crimes. Webster’s dictionary defines hate as “to regard with a strong or passionate dislike; detest.” Synonym’s include loathe; despise; abhor; etc. Turning to A Dictionary of Psychology. “Hate is a sentiment or emotional attitude involving, according to Shand, the whole gamut of primary emotions, but with anger and often fear predominating.” There has been much research, beginning in the 1920s, in psychology, studying personal biases like prejudice. And A Dictionary of Psychology defines prejudice “an attitude, usually with an emotional colouring, hostile to, or in favor of actions or objects of a certain kind, certain persons, and certain doctrines.” Initially, the research on prejudice, looked at American and European race theories that attempted to prove White Superiority. Articles concluded that studies taken altogether seemed to indicate the mental superiority of the white race. The research perspectives changed in the 30s and 40s with progress in civil rights, challenges to colonialism and a growing concern about anti-Semitism .Those early theories were clearly debunked by subsequent research. Today, discrimination still exists in our country based on racial disparities in healthcare and higher death rates among minorities from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and HIV infection; Hispanics and blacks spend an average of over $3000 more than whites to locate and buy the same house and often receive harsher criminal sentences than whites for the same offense; women earn an average of $.76 for every male dollar and; the US Justice Department study found that handicap access provisions for disabled people were violated in 98% of the housing developments investigated.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Finding a Good Life

An article in the September 18, 2016 New York Times resulted in the following. The title was “Good Lives without Good Jobs.” This article was written from an economic point of view, an important view, but limited in scope. The author defined” a good job”- “solid wages, regular hours,,,,, and generous employer provided benefits.” Although a good life wasn’t defined clearly it was suggested that it pertained to access to basic goods and services in a modern society. This article pointed out that currently in the 21st century, many jobs and most employers no longer have a paternal attitude that provides good wages, good retirement packages, health insurance, etc. compared to the 20th century job market. In fact, a socialized government has taken over some of the responsibility formally held by the employers, by providing unemployment insurance, earned income tax credits, minimum wages, state-sponsored retirement systems, interest loan programs like student loans, tax credits, federal grants in aid, tax breaks for healthcare, retirement and housing, etc. An important question raised “Can the 21st century politicians restore or bring back something similar to the occupational –economic structure of the 20th century, when many Americans had good paying jobs and good benefits providing for their retirement phase?” I’m not going to answer that question. Instead, I’m going to widen the topic and include a missing psychological component to the current problem of lives and jobs. First of all, the notion of happiness is not necessarily correlated with one’s job or wages. We know it’s not correlated with making more than roughly $75,000 of income per year. I wrote about this in a post last week titled “Time or Money?” Happiness pertains to being inspired, having meaning, a rich emotional life, finding passion, and enjoying a great health span. Of course, a certain amount of wealth is necessary as well. Psychologically, Erikson postulated that one’s life is developmentally determined. This means that we go through different psychological stages based on chronological age. For instance, the newborn first deals with developing “basic trust”, the adolescent with developing” identity.” These stages do not pertain to lives and jobs. The stage in which employment, meaningful interpersonal relationships, perhaps starting a family, or as Erikson points out is the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation is called “Generativity.” This psycho-social stage also pertains to productivity and creativity. In other words, a good life or state of happiness is based on much more than a good job. In this sage there are concerns about developing educational and technical skills; interpersonal relationships, and beginning a family. These tasks take a massive amount of psychological energy. The individual may not know his best fit or career choice in the world of work, let alone a personal definition of personal happiness. Examples of job changes and divorce rate in this developmental stage support this fact. And according to Erikson, Freud, Marx and many others, ones happiness or psychological growth has been influenced by parental upbringing, socioeconomic class, educational attainment, and culture as well as government policies. Even if the government through its socialistic policies assist with wages, health insurance, and retirement, that will not necessarily translate into a good life. I’m not suggesting that the government stop or slow down the policies that have been put in place since the 1970s. But, when the politicians say they’re going to bring back good jobs that alone is not going to result in happiness. For me, the variables that resulted in happiness were educational attainment, athletic achievement, health status, writing books, circle of friends, meaningful marital relationship, passion, and finding meaning, while looking to the future. Yes, my profession provided me with an opportunity for status and wealth, but that did neither provide nor result alone in my happiness or well-being. Yes,

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Time or Money?

More Time or Money? Your Choice the title of an article in the September 11, 2016 edition of the New York Times got my attention. The article starts with “Given the choice between more time or more money, which would you pick?” Two professors, for a research project, put this question to more than 4000 Americans of different ages, income levels, occupations, and marital and parental status. Initially, they found that most people valued money more than time with 64% of 4415 people surveyed. Further, they asked those respondents to report their level of happiness and life satisfaction based on money or time. Their findings were that the people who chose time more on average, were statistically happier and more satisfied with life, than with people who chose money. They also asked these respondents to report their annual household income along with the number of hours they worked each week to measure really how much free time they had available. The researchers reported that even when money and leisure time were held constant, the respondents that chose time over money were still happier. They concluded that taking two people who were otherwise the same, the one who chose time over money would be happier than the one who chose money over time. This research supported a decision that I made in the late 90s regarding having more time for my interests versus continuing to make money? I chose time over money and moved to the Sierra foothills. I was then able to continue competing in Ride and Tie [an equestrian, and running event held in the mountains] and ultra-endurance running. I now had the time to pursue my passions and did. I completed numerous ultra-events such as the 100 mile, one day Tevis Cup endurance ride; the 100 mile one day Western states endurance run; and the 100 mile one day Swanton Pacific Ride and Tie. I also wrote two books -It Has Nothing to Do With Age and Bo’s Warriors published by Winter Goose and Triumph Books, respectively. The first book had to do with men and women 65 years of age and older who were still competing athletically in various ultra-physical events. Some were friends that I met while competing . In my second book, I interviewed mentally tough University of Michigan football players who transformed Michigan football, along with their legendary coach legend Bo Schembechler. In fact, my wife and I just returned from Ann Arbor where we attended tailgating with the players before the University of Michigan- Penn State game now coached by Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. Without a doubt, I am happier now compared to when I was working as a practicing psychologist. Moreover, in my books and in my competitive running ultra-events, I continued to utilize various psychological principles. In my first book, I prescribed seven principles to lengthen one’s life and health span. Making money was not one of my seven principles. Such things as attitude, behavioral decisions, and finding your passion were paramount. In fact, a healthier lifestyle leads to happiness while money does not. Further, creating a state of happiness is much more than time or money. As far as time goes, it is what the individual does with available time. I agree that time is just one of the ingredients in the pursuit of happiness.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 7

Thom Darden bonded with Reggie McKenzie and other African-Americans from his recruitment class. Others recruited were Mike Keller, Jim Brandstatter, Frank Gusich, Bruce Elliott, and Leon Hart Junior among others. At the beginning, the athletic and competitive Thom thought “I’m scared to death. How can I compete with these guys? I’m from a small community, not the big city.” Soon after arriving at that first practice, the players were in T-shirts, shorts and helmets. They started doing drills. Soon, Thom played on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and in the defensive backfield. It became crystal clear to him that in the drills, he was able to keep up with all his teammates. Not only that, he could become a leader, his hands were good and he had solid football knowledge. His football fundamentals were good and he began to feel more at ease. Before long, he gained his self-confidence. Sometime later on, his freshman squad scrimmaged against the second team varsity. And they held their own. In fact, one time, Thom, as a defensive back, stuffed the running back at the line of scrimmage-and it was on that one play that Thom, began to believe, I belong.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 6

Coach Bo Schembechler told the discouraged Reggie McKenzie from Highland Park, Michigan, things like “I should kick your ass off the team and son of a bitch, you can do better.” Reggie was having difficulty cutting it because of the onslaught of verbal abuse from Bo. He was embarrassed. He just knew Schembechler didn’t like him. He started questioning his own football abilities. He was confused, unable to think clearly. He considered quitting the team. He talked to his mother and sister JoAnn about leaving the program. It was his big sister JoAnn that shot back, in no uncertain terms, “McKenzie men don’t quit.” An Invaluable insight occurred for Reggie. For some reason, the team were short of tail backs for their spring practice. As such, Preston Henry had to serve as tailback on every play for both the first and second team offenses during that fateful practice. Reggie remembered Henry being as tough as they come. He was not only street tough, but he was football tough, and mentally tough as well. Most of all, the players identified with Henry and felt very sorry for him. It was a grueling day for Henry, who ran upwards of 130 plays in that scrimmage. At the end of practice, coach Schembechler had everyone line up on the sideline to run wind sprints- even the workhouse Preston Henry. Preston Henry said “I’m not going to let him beat me.” With that, Reggie incorporated that attitude into his thinking as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In Our Society Part 2

Economically our capitalistic system has resulted in increased production and consumption compared to yesterday. We have seen the rise of large corporations and other oligarchies that set the standard for wages and slave labor, except for the CEO and other officers. In this system, man becomes a cog in the technological process. The workers are no longer at the center. He or she produces very little of the entire product. The implications of this are great. There are increased monetary differences, material poverty and inequality between the top 1% and the rest- 99%. The worker’s work or job becomes more and more repetitious. As a result of this unsatisfactory arrangement within the economic system, we see more examples of work disability, workmen’s comp, boredom, mind wandering, fantasy, illness and alienation. We experience more and more meaningless work as result of automation, and the technological revolution. In addition to alienation, anger, resentment and powerlessness, we see more and more escape mechanisms in play. Modern man is very skilled of the use of repression in order to escape reality, as he turns to fantasy. As a result, we see a tremendous rise in video games, record attendance figures at sporting events, great TV ratings for various programs, blockbuster movies, Internet use, and record number of books published and read. Escape is easy but we cannot escape boredom. The economists in the New York Times, September 4, 2016 state that over history, the poor have really gained more than the rich. They say the masses are eating better, they have better products and services, have increased wages, and have received many nonwage benefits. They make a point, but not the answer to being disadvantaged. Studies, the New York Times, August 28, 2016 suggest that educationally poor and disadvantaged are closing the gap with the privileged on a measure of school readiness. This is according to studies, since the late 90s. Statistically, this improvement appears to persist at least until the fourth grade. At the moment, this is good, and maybe it’ll become a trend. However, it doesn’t solve the educational gaps of inequality. We know that going to college, becoming one’s own boss, finding meaningful employment does not generally happen to those with a limited high school education. However, the above trends, paint a panel of many who are not doing so well, to put it mildly. Many individuals are left behind without much personal control over the lives and are easily alienated. Psychologically, individuals with these problems tend to look for solutions outside themselves. It’s not what you can do for yourself, but what others can do for you. Historically, at various times, individuals look for leaders, celebrities and idols to diminish the unconscious fear and anxiety that drive them. Unfortunately, various leaders that present themselves are filled with human flaws, such as greed, drive to exploit, narcissism, with the need for material gain, power and enhancement of personal prestige. These authoritarian, bigoted, and myopic have time in timeout been great disappointments and have simply made matters worse. A political solution does not solve economic inequities, impaired social relations, educational gaps, psychogenic illness such as high blood pressure, ulcers, insomnia, nervous tension, fatigue, and obesity nor flawed psychological character development. Modern man still searches for happiness, well-being, and a sense of meaning. Politics is not the answer for the human condition, but it can contribute to the problem of existence.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Our Society Part 1

In our society, we find our current affairs troubling. For example, politically, we are divided and have very minor input into that process as well. Voting every couple of years for known named or little known individuals does not enable us to have much control, influence or confidence in the process. Does our vote really count considering that we don’t create the individuals on the ballot? An individual having an R or D beside their name tends to influence our vote. Other than that, we know very little about the politician’s character, moral development, political philosophy or stands on many issues, nor who that individual is beholden to. And now with the various big-money and corporations contributing heavily creates more distance, separation and lack of hands-on involvement between them and us in the political process. Further, political figures and others have used derogatory language in an attempt to invalidate the presidential office; create an impression of voting irregularities; cast doubt on freedom of the press; and to disrespect the government. Stretching the truth, lying and other falsifications have become the norm. Truth no longer seems to matter. A question posed to one political participant in the media quickly invokes a non-response to the question, but a reply about their opponent’s flaws. That dynamic goes on and on. Socially, the trend of racism continues. Prejudice is expressed both explicitly and implicitly. Sometimes racism and or stereotypes are denied despite a dictionary definition of racism. The individual accused of racism and or bigotry distorts reality and gives excuses or explanations that he or she is not always racist, so therefore is not racist at all. Interpersonal relations and intimacy in relationships are changing for the worse. There is more social media vitriol and nastiness expressed rampantly by known and anonymous individuals. Social media is about the anonymous .The divorce rate continues to climb along with the decrease in marital unions. Murder, suicide, belonging to Cults, hate groups, terrorist groups and martyrdom also seems to be on the rise. Organized religion, and the commandment” love thy neighbor” seems to be negated by many, even though they likely deny the harsh reality of brotherhood. Regarding mental health, the disorders on the rise range from depression to suicide; anxiety; narcissism; personality disorders; ADHD and PTSD to name a few. Even with more available psychotherapy, an increase in psychotropic medication, the mental health in this country is not getting better. Also suffering, is the superego or moral development. Lying seems to be more prevalent with less guilt. Nor is physical health flourishing or prospering. We have obesity on the rise, diabetes, cancer, cardiology, respiratory and other health problems that affect longevity despite, as were told, the best health system of the world.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 5

Jim Brandstatter was from East Lansing, Michigan. It wasn’t until his junior year, that Jim realized he was actually making a significant contribution. Up to that point, he worked very hard but still had doubts about his ability. The Wolverines were playing the University of Arizona and Michigan’s starting tackle Jack Harpring was injured so, Jim took the field. The game was close, and the outcome still in doubt. In the huddle, a screen pass was called. For Jim, this meant that he had to perform and pretend to block the defensive man in front of him. Quickly, he then had to get out in front of running back Billy Taylor, the pass target. The Wildcat cornerback came up to make the play, to tackle Taylor, but Jim was in a good position and knocked that Wildcat player to the side and out-of-the-way. Taylor scored, the crowd roared and Michigan won the game. Then, Jim confessed that he realized, perhaps for the first time, that he could get the job done with the game on the line. He could play at this level. And the coaches had confidence and trust in him. He could make a significant contribution, and he belonged on this team. This play certainly built his confidence. He now knew that he can do this. As a freshman from Aurora, Ohio, Tom Curtis, doubted his ability to play quarterback at this level. The other quarterbacks on the practice field were Healy, Vidmer, and Dennis Brown among others. This 18-year-old wondered, am I good enough? Then, the three recruited quarterbacks started throwing the ball around. Tom began to evaluate them. In comparison, his self-appraisal changed from, am I good enough to I can throw, just as well as them. As a sophomore, playing on the defensive side of the ball, the night before the first season game, Curtis’ position coach told him that he was going to be the starting left safety. At first, the insecure, Tom was bothered by the good news/bad news that he was starting at left safety. Without having practiced that position, how could he be successful? He believed that he needed practice learning the nuances of a specific position in order to play well. He didn’t dare confess or tell his position coach, but kept his insecurity to himself. Despite not practicing at left safety, Tom intercepted a pass in his first outing. That performance earned him a starting position at left safety for the following game.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 4

Back to Bo Schembechler. Bo’s first love was playing baseball. Being a left-handed pitcher, Bo was summoned to the mound in an important state semifinal baseball game as a senior in high school. The opposing team in the last and final inning had the bases-loaded with none out in a scoreless game. Would Bo put out the fire? The battle was between him and the batter at the plate. The better won by looping a single past the first baseman and down the right-field line in fair territory. All three of the runners Bo inherited, scored, making the score 3-0 dashing Bo’s chance to be the hero. He was the goat. Bo also played high school football and that turned out to be some ways, a significant failure also. In this particular important hard-fought game, Bo’s team lost, 7-0. After the game, Bo was found in the locker room, crying. He later said that football is an emotional game and that crying is okay regarding winning and losing. However, it’s not okay to cry if one is injured. Bo wanted to play football for Notre Dame. His disappointment surfaced when he was not recruited by the fighting Irish. Mike Keller was a big fish in a little pond, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and then he became a little fish in a big pond. It wasn’t until recruiting letters came in that his thinking changed to “maybe I can play football “even though he thought that basketball was his best sport. He committed to the University of Michigan, in large part, because he perceived himself as a student first and a football player second. He knew Michigan had a good academic reputation, and believed he would receive a solid education. That degree would place him in a good position for the rest of his life. He would be close to home, might even attend law school, and become an attorney. And on top of that, there was also a possibility of going to the Rose Bowl as a student or player.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Politics 2016

It’s obvious that each new presidential election lasts longer and becomes more expensive to run. This means, in part, greater importance as each party attempts to sell their product to the consumer. It used to be the job of Madison Avenue, but now with television in and in the forefront, it’s becomes the sophistication and expertise of Hollywood talents to sell and to persuade. Don’t forget the important role of radio, newspapers, and now social media in our democratic political process. The GOP more dominant on the local level has brilliantly chosen a television personality as its leader. Name recognition, the personification of wealth, power, and strength fit here. This candidate as compared to his opponent has spent little so far. His name and things that he has said have dominated the news cycle at every level. Not only that, the media gives us so-called experts that explain his policies, what he thinks, what he believes and his motivations. It’s only their paid and prejudiced opinion and nothing more .The candidates don’t even have to show up because the media easily finds people to talk about them in both positive and negative ways. So let’s take the voter. The percentage of eligible voters that vote in a local or national election is disappointing but understandable. Locally, we may get a glossy mailer that provides little information about the candidate. We can no longer tell by the endorsement whether the person supposedly leans left or leans right. However, sometimes the party or some other insignificant word influences our vote. Does this person represent our opinion, our values, our beliefs and/or wishes? Who knows! By the time we get to vote for the governor, more information is provided about the candidate. But once again, does the person we are voting for really represent us on a personal level? In our democracy, this representative is supposed to represent us, but in reality, are we really rational and knowledgeable about the politics and policies of the day? In voting for the president, we’re likely more in the dark and uneducated about global economics, foreign-policy, immigration, domestic policy, etc. even though we get bits and pieces about each. Policies that may turn out good for California, may turn out bad for Mississippi and so forth. In essence, it’s easy to understand why a voter is alienated and may not turn out to vote because does that vote really matter? For sure, it matters to someone or to some Party. For those that do vote, it seems that they don’t always vote for their best interests. Generally, voters don’t expend massive amounts of energy in the analysis of subjects and issues with their limited expertise or knowledge. The issues may be too complicated to begin with, and the voter lacking the volition to put in the necessary energy. Then we have a psychological dynamic, called cognitive dissonance. Essentially, we tend to be more receptive to the things we believe and less receptive to things we don’t. We likely don’t spend an equal amount of time listening, viewing or reading opposing sides of the issues. Even if we did, television, radio etc. cannot provide all the in-depth answers to the issues. Even if we watched the debates, how much depth can there be in a minute or two response to a question? In essence, our vote becomes less rational and not always based on fact. In part because the candidates do not always objectively present the facts. Not only that, we are alienated in the political process. And some might say, it doesn’t matter whom gets elected. You can’t believe that because corporations and wealthy donors give readily. Their contributions are not based on altruistic ideas, but instead on self-serving economic realities. Yes, Bernie Sanders, people gave an average of $27 for his nomination. Some might argue that he came close, but not close enough. Money greatly matters today. Even though we have a unique and unlimited capacity for thinking and having contradictory thoughts and ideas, without even making minimal attempts to become aware of the contradictions; can anyone vote smart?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Some of Trump' s Supporters

One of the presidential candidates expresses sadistic and hateful rhetoric and ideas towards others; appears clueless and has contradictory ideas regarding many fundamental issues; has a history of exploiting others; has multiple wives; fails to release his tax returns; spends all hours of the night on social media; employs clichés, slogans and generalities; has tremendously high unfavorable ratings; and has mental health criteria associated with a narcissistic personality disorder. Regardless of these notions, there is a group of white high school educated males that support him. How can this be? The notion of work has had a long history and an extremely important component of the Protestant ethic. Work is a virtue and laziness is not. Productivity, saving, and providing for one’s family has been a religious cornerstone. Centuries ago, the artisan was admired because of his productivity, creativity and the way he spent his working hours. Physical labor was valued. With the rise of capitalism, the notion of work changed. For some, long hours of physical labor was enslavement. In fact, the South required the use of slaves for their agrarian economy. With the development of services, professions, banking, technological advances, etc. In an expanding and global market, using one’s brain instead of one’s back became more valuable. In other words, education, education, education became one extremely important vehicle for market success. Generally, more education resulted in potentially greater employment and possibly in a work environment that was not only creative but resulted in meaningfulness and self-satisfaction pursuits. On a side note, although monetary rewards was desired that did not always lead to happiness. On the other hand, expending physical energy, long hours, or slave labor to put food on the table does not necessarily lead to a sense of success and/or personal satisfaction. Often, drugs, alcohol, boredom and/or alienation became the ending result, along with a dysfunctional sense of hopelessness. Another resulting factor for this group is laziness, passivity, and an unconscious hostility toward self and toward others. If one has limited education, one is likely to be left far behind in our capitalistic economic system. It’s fairly easy to externalize, rationalize and project blame onto others for misfortune .This is our democratic election process.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 3

Winter-spring conditioning drills, substantiated his craziness and that added to his unlikable, negative, disgusting, disrespectful, authoritarian persona. Reggie McKenzie remembered the slap and stomp drill. This unusual drill took place in a boxing ring with two players pitted against each other. The object of the drill was to stomp on your opponent’s feet, while slapping him at the same time. A big burly defensive end named Cecil Pryor was in the ring with one of his teammates. Pryor, might’ve been hit in the face because normally a jokester, he not only got angry but with such great force hit his opponent with his left hand knocking him clearly out of the boxing ring with crashing sound. Immediately, coach Schembechler, jumped into that ring, facing Cecil ,in a moment of silence, said aggressively to Cecil Pryor,” if you want to fight someone, fight me.” Smart Cecil chose not to fight the coach. Reggie said he knew right then and there that Bo was tough, he was in charge, and he was the boss. Frank Gusich remembered the toughest conditioning program of his life that spring. He said that each of the four workout stations had a different physical activity, and was hosted by the various position coaches. He admitted that he was quickly mentally and physically spent and exhausted after that first Slap and Stomp station. Then he had to run to the Yost Fieldhouse for running drills. He ran anywhere from 40 yards to 100 yards; to a quarter-mile to a mile in that station. The third station consisted of agility training. In the fourth station, there was a drill that was similar to universal weight machine. He said it was all exhausting, brutal and physical work. He remembered running from the intramural building to the Yost Fieldhouse, sweating in his workout gear. He couldn’t understand how being sweaty, smelly and running in the snow was good for him. Those experiences were etched in his brain and he realized much later that maybe that’s what Schembechler intended all along.

Friday, August 19, 2016

He Bo Schembechler Story Part 2

Bo initially learned his football from Sid Gilman and Woody Hayes two of the best football minds at the time. He was awarded the prestigious head-coaching job at the winningest football college of all time. Historically, the University of Michigan began defeating their opponents in 1879. This illustrious institution of higher learning even had an All-American center that became the 38 th. President of the United States. It took a genius first year, All-American, athletic director Don Canham, all of 15 minutes to hire Bo a diamond in the rough. At Bo’s initial team meeting with players, recruited by previous head coach Bump Elliott, he said to them In so many words “you players have the reputation of being spoiled country clubbers. I heard that you’re supposed to be good athletes but I also heard that you’re a bunch of pussies. Smart enough, but not tough enough. I’m going to show you what tough is and it will be my way or the highway. You have the greatest college stadium in the world and believe me when I get through with you, every team is going to know they played Michigan. And no one and I mean no one will ever outhit, out work or outplay a Michigan team that I coach.” Two players Thom Darden and Billy Taylor remembered meeting Bo, when they were recruited by him while he was the head coach at Miami of Ohio. Another, quarterback Jim Betts declined a recruiting invitation because of rumors of his nasty reputation. When Darden and Taylor met with Bo, Bo had them put on their workout clothes and perform running and agility drills for him. Darden expected better or special treatment like getting a steak to eat. After their workout, Darden said, let’s get the hell out of here, the guy’s nuts. Yes, Bo already had the negative reputation and his first team presentation, reinforced the notion of the change that was taking place. The perception was that he was not going to be a permissive, unconditional loving father figure. He was there with a single-minded purpose- to dominate, to win.