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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.

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 1

It started on April 1, 1929 in Barberton, Ohio, on the first day, when Glenn Edward Bo Schembechler Jr. arrived during the Great Depression. On the second day, he learned about competition, rivalry, fighting, not giving up when having to out- fox his two older sisters over the one family bicycle. He also learned about unfulfilled dreams, of not pitching in game seven of the World Series and not playing football for Notre Dame. On day three, he learned from such notables as Sid Gilman and Woody Hayes about the art of warfare as it pertains to football. On day four, he inherited the reins to a tradition of football excellence with a group of racially mixed, insecure athletes who initially despised, resented and hated him. On day five, November 22, 1969, with his group of young athletes, they defeated archrival Ohio State, the Goliaths of college football at the time. On day six, these racially mixed athletes achieved All-American, professional football status; admired and loved him in the process. On day seven, with Bo Schembechler’s imprint, laid the stepping stones to all Pro, Hall of Fame , head football coaching , athletic director leadership and community championship careers which continues to resonate today as result of his leadership role and influence .His commitment, integrity and loyalty to the University of Michigan was surpassed by none.. This is a story about Bo and his many warriors, which resulted in them becoming champions and him becoming a legend. Bo’s father was a blue-collar worker and his stay at home, Episcopalian mom Betty was a dynamo, a force who clearly spoke her mind. She took her children to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball. She took Bo to the family doctor as a result of his football injury. She was a major significant force in his life.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Real Terrorist Part 2

When an individual sets out to murder another and then expects to be killed in the process {murder- suicide}, this suggests there is something pathologically wrong In the necrophilia character and emotional state of that individual regardless of culture, religious ideology, political party, sex, age, race, or economic philosophy. The individual is likely depressed with a variety of symptoms such as but not limited to increased physical activity; being more talkative; having racing thoughts; inflated self-esteem; decreased need for sleep; distractibility; excessive involvement in activities with a high potential for painful consequences. The depressed individual further feels inadequate, hopeless, and not able to look to the future, with delusions, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation. Of course one does not have to have all of the above in order to be depressed. However, associate a depressed necrophilia character structure individual with a like-minded gang of killer’s and that equals trouble. It’s difficult to do a firsthand psychiatric diagnosis of a deceased individual. One can go back and look at emails, Google searches, talk to so-called friends and family for clues as to the mental state of these individuals. None of these necrophilia characters were in treatment prior to their hideous acts. It’s clear that they despised growth, productivity, love of others or even had creative and artistic values. Some, hatefully abandoned their family or their child or children to be reared by others. Yes, they had momentary significance thanks to the media, but were unable to witness it for themselves. Let’s call these individuals correctly as being mentally pathologically sick. They are not heroes, liberators or freedom fighters. Apparently, many of them looked at porn, took drugs and treated others inhumanely. The media spends too much time talking about them in nonsense ways. Characterize them as they are-sick and swiftly move on and research the stories of the victims for a more worthwhile endeavor.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Real Terrorist Part 1

In the past few years there has been much in the media about Isis, black lives matter, racism, terror, etc. We’ve heard about the terrorist tragedies in England, France, Belgium, Turkey, and so forth. And in our country we’ve had terrible homicides in Massachusetts, California and Florida. On top of that, we’ve had more recently, the killings of police officers in Texas and Louisiana. Not to be forgotten, were other homicides In Connecticut, Colorado, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, and California, of white and black citizens. The media spends an enormous amount of time with their so-called experts primarily talking about religious ideology as the cause for a terrorist attack by these individuals in question. They also talk about a racism ideology as an explanation for the killing of blacks. The media even touched on xenophobia for the Orlando shootings. These explanations are certainly simplified and appear to gloss over true dynamics for explanations and/or motivations. It’s as if radical Muslim ideology is the only bad religion in today’s world. We don’t hear about radical Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or others under the guise of religion committing these terrible atrocities. Could it be that only Mohammed and the Koran are the messengers of hate? It’s not simply about religion as anyone can oversimplify, rationalize, deny and shout out reasons for their behavior. The media has once again overlooked the deadly causes. In my opinion, we’ve been served pablum that’s called breaking news by the media. Terrorism is simply not just about religion or religious ideology. Let’s talk about an individual or individuals that exhibit murdering others, and then are killed or blown to bits in the process or murder-suicide. In addition to having an deadly ideology [thinking-reasoning], man also perceives, senses, feels and acts or exhibits behavior. In Freud’s model, he postulated two biological drives libido and a “death instinct.” Others have hypothesized basic needs in man such as food, water and sex and acquired needs, such as the need for aggression and abasement. One could argue, whether or not these needs- drives are biologically innate or acquired. One cannot argue that these components are not part of man’s nature. One cannot argue that man has feelings or affect and that they are not powerful motivators for driving behavior.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blaming the Victim

Did you ever wonder why some people tend to blame the victim [In a victim- perpetrator conflict] while others blame the perpetrator? If not, think about it for a moment. Two psychologists also wondered why some feel less sympathy for the victim, using a woman raped at a party as an example. Their findings have been recently published In the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. While controlling dependent variables for political affiliation, gender or nature of the crime, the researchers discovered that there was a more powerful predictor of attributing blame-a particular set of moral values. For instance, in regards to moral values, some people privilege, favor, or are more influenced in their perception and thinking - loyalty, obedience and purity, while others seem to privilege or favor care and fairness in their perception and thinking. The researchers labeled for those favoring loyalty, obedience, purity and tending to be more politically conservative, “binding values.” Individuals with binding values tend to blame the victim. In contrast, those individuals favoring caring and fairness are less likely to blame the victim and they are called “individualizing values.” Researchers Niemi and Liane, in a subsequent study, set out to determine if the subjects of the studies perceptions regarding victims and perpetrators could be changed. 994 subjects overall were employed. The researchers had their subjects rate both the victim and the perpetrator measuring the responsibility for the outcome of the crime and how much a different response by the victim and perpetrator in their actions could have changed outcomes in cases of rape and robbery. Binding value subjects more strongly attributed blame and responsibility to victims. They also perceived behavior of the victim as significantly influencing the outcome. However, those subjects with individualizing values, perceived it differently and for them the reverse was true-the more the perpetrator was at fault. Niemi and Liane simply changed the position of the perpetrator or victim as a variable in their research to determine if one’s perception were influenced. If the sentence read, in a sexual assault description, “Dan forced Lisa”, the binding value subjects reduced blaming of the victim, the victim’s responsibility, along with the victim’s actions. In essence, more blame was placed on the perpetrator and less fault with the victim. The researchers concluded that victim blaming appears to be a function of one’s core moral values. They also suggested that subtle changes in language might influence perception and thinking. Assigning blame comes to mind with the recent killings of blacks and police. Moral [binding or individualizing] values might explain the actions of many, as far as attributing blame and responsibility. Research employing racism and prejudice as an independent variable might shed more light on the dynamics as far as the ability to empathize with a black that’s killed or a policeman that’s murdered. Certainly listening to the so-called experts in the media does not shed any light or insight into the problem. The media tends to perpetuate mythology and is likely more concerned with their ratings. Journalism takes a second seat to entertainment and sensationalism. So, let’s turn to science to understand more about victims and perpetrators.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thinking Differently

A June 19, 2016 article in the New York Times had to do with how to experience life to the fullest. This neuroscientist postulated that we all fail to experience life more fully, because our minds are generally too occupied and filled with various thoughts. More than likely our random and obsessional thoughts tend to interfere so at times we really don’t hear while even when listening or interacting with another. He tested his hunch with two research studies. One study, for example, measured saying or giving free associations under two test conditions to determine if taxing one’s mental capacity resulted in significant differences. One group of subjects had to keep in mind a string of seven digits while the other participants had to remember just two digits while giving their free associations. He found that under the high mental load condition’s [7 digits], these subjects gave less original and creative responses. However, under the 2 digit condition, these participants gave more varied and less typical responses. In the second experiment, the researchers found that longer response times with a high mental load were correlated with less diverse responses. He concluded that a cluttered mind required more time to generate even conventional thought. This researcher added that he believed the mind’s natural tendency is to explore and favor novelty. He called this” exploration”- when we are curious to learn. And other times, he stated we use” exploitation”- when we rely on things we already know and basically lean on our expectations in predicting. That neuroscientist cleared his mind by spending a week in silence at a Vipassana meditation retreat. He stated that he was able to really taste a tomato; didn’t mind physical discomforts as much; and gazed on a single flower for 45 minutes. My technique for mind clearing is vastly different. I go for a trail run to think better. With a shorter trail run, about 10 miles or so, I am able to think more clearly while being surrounded by nature without man-made distractions or voices. I often can come up with ways to figure out a problem area; or even begin outlining what I am going to post. It seems, that I am primarily focusing on the trail, as opposed to having random thoughts. As result, my thinking and thoughts are more organized. However, on longer trail runs, my focus turns to the here and now. Often, I experience either- tiredness, heavy breathing or some other physical discomfort. I then continue to focus in the here and now and that seems to assist me during those runs. Of course, I may think about how many miles I have completed, how many miles to go or even about some reward at the end of my trail run experience. I believe that clearing my mind is part of the story of being able to live life more fully. The other part seems to relate to enjoying being out in nature, pushing myself while working up a sweat. It’s true that I’m not running faster and it is also true that I’m not training to become faster. But what I am doing is running a personal best each day.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Character Counts

Let’s postulate that in our nature, we all have to confront the dilemma of our existence and deal with our aloneness and isolation within the Milky Way galaxy. In essence, we are simply a speck of dust in comparison to the big picture. So how can we deal with this dilemma in our abstraction and alienation society? For one, it’s important to be liked and popular. One has said that he destroyed 16 others during the presidential primaries, and he is the last one standing. One has said, look at my poll numbers aren’t they great. He continues to say that he’s met so many great people along the way. And, replied more recently, how I can be behind in the current polls when there are thousands of people coming to my rallies -I don’t understand. [I want to be liked and thought I was]. In fact, many more people arrive at these rallies than can be seated [more tickets are distributed than there are seats]. He stated that he can’t understand those poll numbers because of his high popularity. Another character aspect is about acquisition, consumption and being marketable. There becomes a need to acquire and consume whether it be things or abstractions. The expression “he who has the biggest toys wins or he who has the most toys” fits here [a clever marketing ploy.] Acquiring comes in many forms, including buildings, casinos, airplanes, models or even selling one’s name to be put on a building. Unfortunately, consumption alone does not fill the void in his ego. It certainly does not result in his happiness. For example, Bill Gates, according to recent statistics, is the wealthiest man in the world. I would wager that he is not the happiest person in the world. The act of acquiring or consuming leads to a superficial status within our society, but does not lead to a meaningful human existence. One can never fully satisfy the void through consumption alone. Some might call it greed. Acquiring, consuming can never be an end in itself as it’s like repeatedly filling a hole with sand or water that has with no bottom. Simply put, one never has enough. A more meaningful human experience is about production, producing or artistic creation. Even prehistoric man in his quest for survival found and expressed man’s nature with his cave drawings of concrete objects within his existence. We admire individuals in our past history come to mind like Plato, Socrates, Epictetus, Kepler, Galileo, Michelangelo, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Espinosa, Beethoven, Bach, Rousseau, Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Darwin, Smith, Jefferson, Hamilton, Roosevelt, Currie, Salk, Marx, Edison, Freud, Fromm, Pavlov, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Pollock, Hemingway, Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Miller, Jobs, and Gates to name just a few for what they produced or created and not for what they consumed or acquired. It’s extremely important for this selfless one to be marketable. He has to become a saleable commodity. He has to use his negotiating skills get the best deal for his selfless self regardless of the consequences. It doesn’t matter if known or unknown others are taken advantage of, paid less or lost their savings or wealth in the process. It’s simply about winning at all costs and the heck with the other. It’s not about fair play, integrity or human respect. It’s about being on top and the ends justify the means. For this individual, there’s a need to exchange. Adam Smith believed that the need to exchange is a basic need in human nature in that it’s common for all men. However, this need to exchange does not always serve any real or practical purpose. It’s about exchange and selling one’s personality on the market in order to receive the best value in the exchange. For this individual, the striving to exchange his social position in order to attain the “better” deal and also to be the boss in order to control those around him with “you’re fired.” Of course, exchanging wives, buildings, casinos, campaign managers, and delegates does not result in fulfilling the dilemma of human existence. Being liked, acquiring, consuming, being marketable and exchanging are character characteristics of this presidential candidate that result in need, drive or behavior. These various behaviors may temporarily diminish his feelings of anxiety and feelings of inferiority. However, these behaviors can’t fulfill or solve the human condition of aloneness, or isolation. This individual has superficial relationships at best -just ask his ex-wives for starters. More than likely, this individual is not fully aware of self and will continue like a speeding train going downhill without breaks, smashing and destroying things in the process. Heaven help us if he gets elected.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Love or Hate Part 2

It’s us versus them. We’re good, and they are bad. We are right and they are wrong, dangerous and despicable. Because they are unequal, let’s do anything we can to keep us separate and above them. Let’s keep them beneath us. Maybe we need to build a fence to keep them out, restrict them from coming into our country and even profile those “others” that are already here. Remember they are inhuman, dangerous, our immortality is at stake and we can’t trust them. . Sometimes nationalism gets confused with patriotism. Religious prophets have based their teachings on rational insight and humanism. They said many things like to honor another and do to them what you’d like them to do to you. There’s even talk about loving the enemy etc.. Instead of following these religious teachings, we are currently hearing buying a gun, protecting ourselves and family. Do not forget it’s guaranteed as a Second Amendment right. This propaganda and profit motive in our capitalistic system is exploiting irrational fears and distorting reality. Remember, in capitalism, the profit motive is supreme. Also, do not forget the abstraction “Make America Great Again” is about making you rich. Making money is about the abstraction, of that $10 billion man. This is another central theme expressed by that abstraction in today’s presidential election process. Seems to me, that the mental health of our country will probably not change in my lifetime. There was a glimpse of hope during the primaries, when one candidate talked about changing the cost of college education, more universal healthcare, taking the big money out of politics and putting more regulation on Wall Street. I’m all supportive of that “radical” kind of movement. With a more level playing field, perhaps more people would like each other. There is certainly enough fear, anger and hate and any significant reduction would be beneficial for all. Perhaps, if we can change the valence and motivation for profit, exploitation of the worker and the powerless component; develop a sense of teamwork among us on this one planet; develop a sense of trust; diminish class differences and alienation; sexual orientation; and develop a sense of production and brotherhood, then we might be off to a good start in changing the mental health ills in our country. It all starts with proper parenting and imparting these values. Of course that means the character of the parents require change. If not, then man’s nature, will continue to influence negatively our culture.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love or Hate?

Some might argue that there is something wrong with our mental health in our contemporary society. Could it be that it’s really about the nature of man or could the dynamics of the socioeconomic and political society be the issue, or some combination of the two be the blame? Let’s look at a few facts. The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world, along with the highest per capita rate of fire arm related murders of all the developed countries [88.8 guns per 100 people, or 270 million civilian guns]. According to the World Health Organization, the US ranks 14th in teenage suicide and 20 out of 27 in ranked nations in that category [10.2 per 100,000 people]. Further, the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs overall total more than 700 billion annually in costs related to crime [Tobacco, 295 billion, alcohol 224 billion and illicit drugs 193 billion]. As far as discretionary spending, [1.1 1 trillion} was spent in the fiscal year 2015 or about 55% of the budget going to our military. On the other hand, only 69.9 8 billion or 6.28% was spent on education. And, a whopping 82% of students graduated from high school during the 2013-2014 year. Certainly, our values seem clear. We are the military giants and police force of the world. It seems, in my lifetime, that we have always been at war or told we were threatened by the possibility of it. One positive value, previously, was the fact that we were the first country to provide free universal education from K to 12. We did damn well under that condition. And now, some are discussing free college education. That does not sound radical or socialistic to me- just smart. Some might argue like Rousseau, Darwin and Hobbs previously that man’s nature-competitiveness aggression antagonism toward others, restriction of sexual impulses or instincts by society are explanations for our countries mental health ills. Certainly, primitive man fits some of that description. Others might argue that some individuals, as society has evolved, have not developed significant reasoning capacity along with an ability to love and ability to relate to others in humane ways because of a regression into an artificial rootedness in state or race. Currently, we have a fairly significant progressive movement [nationalism] based on blood and soil as an individual orientation. This means that things like blood, religion, political party, race, social class, country, sexual orientation or home team relate to identity and result in separateness between people. This separateness becomes associated with hate, stereotyping and prejudice. This development significantly interferes with the development and capacity for brotherhood, love, and good interpersonal relationships among peoples. To be continued

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Donald Trump's Words

The past 9 months or so of the Republican presidential race have been like a James Bond or John Wayne feature film. Donald Trump emerged as the protagonist. He came on the scene in order to make America great, because of its economic and trade shortcomings; immigration threats; and all the bad guy terrorists. However, don’t forget Hillary Clinton and the Democrats as they are antagonists too. The Donald has said many things while most are contradictory. His contradictions don’t in any way affect his popularity with his supporters. This does not mean that words don’t matter. He talked about building a wall and having” them” pay for it. This appeals to his power or control, as well as prejudice of keeping undesirables away from us and in their own place. He talked about unfair trade deals and creating more jobs. This appeals to his power and smartness, as well as to economic insecurity, job loss, etc. He talked about building the best military possible and defeating Isis. This appeals to his power, control, ability, individual insignificance, fear and powerlessness. Trump’s words over and over again convey that he’s strong, smart, economically successful, and he can do things that others can’t like a James Bond or John Wayne. However, in his film, Trump provides us with many contradictions. The “experts”, those giving another opinion about his “polices” are discounted. It might be a New York Times article regarding his treatment of women. In that example, it’s the media that was unfair and has it all wrong. If it’s Republican Party, it’s the rigged and unfair system. Trump doesn’t take any responsibility, and simply blames the opposition or the enemy. Since he is a protagonist and the others are antagonists in the eyes of his supporters- he wins. Trump when confronted with his previous statements called them false and untrue. Someone is lying and his followers, pick out the words or statements that they want thus discounting truth or reality. They make his lies true. Because of the power of the media-TV, twitter, etc. falsehoods become true in the minds of followers. Trump can do nothing wrong as the end justify the means, just like in a James Bond or John Wayne movie. In November, we will know if there’s going to be a sequel.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Are There Aging Secrets? Part 2

On NPR, the oldest woman in the United States was interviewed. She lived in New York and a few years ago, said that she ate” bacon every morning for breakfast.” However, bacon was not eaten for breakfast every day of her life. Nor do we know how much bacon she consumed every morning. She did say that family was her secret. That idea fits with Howard’s findings: “stay socially connected.” I would conclude that if anyone is asked about their secret regarding anything, their answer is just subjective or their opinion . In the May 8th edition of The New York Times, the writer wrote about learning something new and getting better at something .That’s his secret. This man in his 50s, took up tennis and improved his life [tennis also].He is now in his 60s. In my book “It Has Nothing to Do with Age,” I identified seven male and female individuals [some were friends] that were at least 65 years of age and still competed in extraordinary sports. I told their personal story and the internal dynamics behind their success. Unfortunately, two of the men passed away at age 85-Dr. Jim Steere, and Jack Sholl. My book does not guarantee how much length, you can add to your life, but it does give suggestions as to how to have a healthy lifespan. Even though I eat” healthy”, run and walk about 50 trail miles per week, run competitive 50 K’s, this does not guarantee immortality. However, my health span is excellent and I expect to run with my Border collie while Linda rides her equine as well as run with my friend Tony and his Border collie, until I can’t. There are no secrets to aging as plenty of information is available nor is there a Fountain of Youth. Make your decisions and rationalize your behavior if you must. Remember, there are no do overs. You will eventually have to deal with the consequences of your decisions. PS Yesterday, Tony and I competed in a 10 mile trail run competition for juvenile diabetes research. When I crossed the finish line, the announcer introduced me as a legend and I was presented my first-place finish in my age group. Just a fact.Ed Budde, a friend, played in the NFL for 14 years, told me” Keep moving.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Are There Aging Secrets?

There are many ideas regarding successful aging. One researcher hypothesized that aging is related to having a unique gene configuration. According to him, certain people who have this configuration live longer than others who do not. Perhaps, the question as to why there is significant gene and age variability within a family has been addressed. Is it simply that one sibling has been blessed while another not? Other ideas have been proposed by Drs. Robert Goldman and Ronald Klatz. They build on the idea that exercise is good and have studies associating the benefits of exercise and health. One can look to other studies and follow their recommendations. One study suggested that walking was superior to extreme exercise. Of course, all variables have not been accounted for in any study regarding exercise since the word has different interpretations. And of course were using statistical computations to prove a point. However, these statistics do not measure cause-and-effect. Goldman and Klatz also identified various supplements [vitamins and minerals] that are associated with health even though there’s no government regulation regarding this industry. There have been lawsuits that have determined that what supplements that are in the bottle are not the same as the ingredients posted on the bottle. Goldman and Klatz addressed the benefits of certain foods. Once again, we know that all foods are not the same statistically regarding our health. Organic-based foods are popular, even though these foods are treated with government approved chemicals. Even though one reads the label on our food, unless you are a chemist, you might not be perfectly sure what you’re putting in your mouth. These authors also evaluated various hormones [DHEA, hGH etc.] and their relationship to disease. It’s not uncommon for certain men to take additional testosterone supplements as they age. They want more muscle and endurance. Dr. Michael Howard studied the lifestyle characteristics of the “oldest” people in the world. A few of the 16 healthy lifestyle habits that he uncovered included: low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low weight, eating the vegetarian Mediterranean diet, vitamins, exercising regularly, challenge your mind, etc. To Be Continued

Friday, April 1, 2016

Politics

In the March 16, 2016 edition of The New York Times, there was an article about a retired kindergarten teacher running for the State Board of Education in Texas that got my attention. This woman has utilized the social media in describing her social, political, racist and paranoid views. She has a good chance of being elected. What’s disturbing, if elected, is that this 15 member board, does the following: 1. Sets curriculum standards. 2. Reviews and adopts textbooks. 3. Establishes graduation requirements in Texas public schools. The selection of textbooks for all Texas state schools apparently can influence subject content, even in nationwide textbooks. My friend, the late Jack Sholl, a Son of the American Revolution, Son of the Civil War, World War II veteran, and a volunteer for the National Park Service in Philadelphia. In his talks around the country, Jack was concerned about what history textbooks were omitting regarding the founding of our country. A history buff, he was frequently asked while giving talks, presenting information about the American Revolutionary War, etc., where he taught college. Further, this patriot is one of rowing’s most respected and revered legends. I had the pleasure of meeting Jack while interviewing him for my book, “It Has Nothing to Do with Age.” Jack’s family goes back to William Penn, the founder of the province of Pennsylvania. Jack’s family was also involved in the Underground, Railroad as well. He was a rower for the University of Washington from 1948- 1953. One of his sons was a rower for the University of Washington and the other for the University of California at Berkeley. Back to textbooks and the racist attitude of this Texas woman. For example, she has written things like: 1. Pres. Obama as a youth worked as a gay prostitute in order to pay for his drugs. 2. The United States should ban Islam. 3. The Democratic Party was responsible for JF Kennedy’s assassination. 4. United Nations hatched a plot to depopulate the world. 5. Mr. Obama “Ahab the Arab.” 6. Pres. Obama hates all white people, and all wealthy people because to him wealthy means white. 7. The KKK started as citizens who were trying to fight back against the corrupt government when there were corrupt officials or no officials at all to keep law and order in rural areas. This kindergarten teacher in an interview, said newspapers were not interested in doing anything nice to her, so she said she would not give them ammunition they can twist, and use against her. She reportedly added that she didn’t know why she’s received so much attention. Scary to think that his woman was an “educator.” It’s hard to believe this woman didn’t teach hate to those young children. It’s hard to believe that fellow teachers were unaware of her attitude; it is hard to believe that the school administration, were blind and deaf to her political and social views. It’s also hard to believe that her community supported these radical distortions of reality. If racist, prejudiced, misinformed individuals like this can teach our children, it’s no wonder we continue to have racial, ethnic, and political divide in our country. Moral of the story is find out what your teachers are teaching your kids.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Donald Trump and Friends Part 2

As a result of his personality development, and that man is not a rational thinking individual, his aloneness and powerlessness propels him to identify and admire the famous or powerful; a political party; religion; country or some institution in order to defend against being isolated, alone. As history repeats itself, an individual like celebrity billionaire Donald Trump has tremendous appeal because he’s going to a make America great again. And if America becomes great again-powerful, defeating enemies; creating great jobs; building walls; restricting the “others” from coming to this country; negotiating better trade deals, etc., then on a conscious level, the individual buys what Trump is “selling.” However, because man is driven unconsciously, he is easily fooled by rhetoric. This worship-identification phenomenon happens over and over again. We have been unable to learn to change the reality of this factor because of our unconscious, primitive emotional and faulty thinking structure. Donald Trump expresses much insincerity as his so-called positions or ideology frequently change or flip-flop. The middle class in America was doing well in the 50s and people were thinking among many things especially living in that dream home. That has changed as the middle class is shrinking along with the exportation of many jobs. Mr. Trump talks about making America great by restricting Muslims and Mexicans from entering the United States; defeating Isis; unleashing America’s military weapons; negotiating better trade deals-and tearing up The Affordable Care Act, trade agreements and the recent Iranian nuclear agreement. I have heard little from Donald Trump neither about education, improving or creating technology, nor bringing in worldwide educational talent. In this case, he’s missing the boat as far as our diminished ranking in the educational world. College is much too expensive and we need more than Trump University if we are to improve social mobility and status for the younger generations. Our educational system in the past has allowed individuals of all races to significantly improve their socioeconomic status and has been the benchmark and envy for all to copy. Make yourself heard for 2016.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Donald Trump and Friends

Among some, Donald Trump is the current great White Hope. He has arrived on the political scene in a country that faces many significant issues. Some of these significant issues in no particular order are as follows: 1. The middle class status has shrunk. 2. There has been loss of manufacturing jobs, coupled with stagnant wages 3. The top 1% continues do exceptionally well economically 4. A few at the top contribute much political money with super PACs to keep safe their economic interests 5. Savings and other investments have been hit hard and contribute to the economic woes of many. Some of the social values, in our country, have changed also: 1. Abortion 2. Same-sex marriage 3. Rising cost of college. 4. Loss of parental wealth, being unable to provide financial support to children. 5. Children, with their inflated self-esteem, advocate they know more and rely less on parental knowledge and advice. 6. Election of a black president and current female front runner in the presidential race 7. Our country being at war since 2001, with radical Islamic terrorists. 8. Rising influx and political influence of people of color. How have these socio economic conditions affected our citizenry? It can be postulated that man is born with anxiety, need, or drive structure, separate and alone within a family complex that affect his early personality and character development. And, because of rapidly changing culture conditions within a capitalistic economy, along with a chaotic world, common man has become more increasingly insignificant, powerlessness, isolated, anxious, fearful coupled with hatred as far as his feelings are concerned. His resentfulness are for a number of reasons. Some include: 1. Creditors, and being unable to get out of debt. 2. Loss of social prestige 3. Loss of “superiority” toward other groups 4 Less political influence. 4. Being a nobody, irrelevant and unable to make a difference. To Be Continued

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Donald Trump and His Supporters Part 3

Briefly, Donald Trump presents a person that is powerful per his billions. Trump also says that he says no to the super PACs for the elections and that has no difficulty being politically incorrect. He is saying that he is bigger than the traditional Republican establishment. He offers simple solutions such as building a wall and having someone else pay for it. He also projects his anger and taps into the anger of others by vilifying that he wants to keep out the Syrian refuges” until we figure it out,” “make better trade deals” etc. In his speeches, he likes generalizations like “amazing,” “ love,” making America great,” “unbelievable”, “fantastic, and talks incessantly about his lead in the polls.” He also has no difficulty putting down his opposition in one sentence, and then later rationalizes saying how much he likes them, and how great they are. Don’t forget about his use of an inordinate amount of angry rhetoric, there will be riots at the convention if he’s not the nominee; wanting to punch somebody in the nose etc. He not only takes no responsibility for his inflammatory speech, he and his puppets denies the implications of his messages. Trump blames others employing scapegoating techniques saying they are stupid, negotiating bad deals, causing trouble and are the blame for the violence at his rallies etc. He seeks attention and is in the news daily. His personality characteristics are most certainly authoritarian and narcissistically based. Further, his supporters, many of which have authoritarian traits with excessive amounts of passive aggressiveness, and have identified with his hollow boisterous self-serving rhetoric. Either he is psychologically unaware of his blind spots in his use of defense mechanisms or he is just a master manipulator and knowledgeable regarding playing to anxiety and fears. A few words about narcissism follow. Briefly, the myth portrays a young, handsome lad, after seeing his reflection in a pool, falls in love with himself. The theory states that a narcissistic individual is more concerned with himself than with others. This means that his person, his body, his needs, his feelings, his thoughts, his property, or everything that pertains to him, his experiences are simply perceived by him as his own reality. Psychologically speaking, his unconscious sense of security is achieved by his “perfection -I’ll be the greatest president,” “his superiority over others-I’m the best negotiator, everyone else is stupid,” “his extraordinary qualities or achievement-I’ve made billions.” One’s identity and self-image are based on these illusions. If slighted or if criticized, the individual’s usual response is anger. However, the individual may or may not be aware of it. Does this description remind you of anybody? Now ask yourself, even though you might be dissatisfied and disillusioned with the local and Washington political establishment, are ready to follow this man? And, can you, for a moment, sever your identification with that political party? If this was a rational decision, and man was a rational animal, the decision and act would be easier to accomplish. However, because of our emotions, underlying dynamics, our drives and needs, the decision-making, thinking and change of behavior can be and is very conflictual. Likely, even reading this material is more than likely uncomfortable.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Donald Trump and His Supporters Part 2

Lippitt and White’s studies attempted to develop techniques for describing the social atmosphere within children clubs. They showed how group leadership atmosphere affected individual behavior within the groups. They compared an authoritarian, democratic and a laissez-faire led group. Their findings on the individual boys in the authoritarian or autocracy led groups were that boys exhibited: 1. Much more hostility 2. More demands for attention. 3. More destruction of property 4. More scapegoating 5. A significant discontent that did not appear on the surface-a repression that was eventually released 6. More dependence and less individuality. More recently, there are attempts to understand the Donald Trump phenomena in today’s politics or run for the White House. Professor Jonathan Weiler, a co-author has written about today’s political shenanigans. He wrote about the authoritarian personality and their need for social order in today’s world around them; not liking others who are different; and they exhibited a desire for clear simplistic solutions to today’s problems. He quoted research in which four questions were asked that measured their attitude toward parenting styles and the attributes that they wanted children to incorporate and be like. The four research asked were: 1. Independence or respecting elders. 2. Obedience or self-reliance. 3 Curiosity or good manners. 4. Considerate or well behaved. The findings of this data were that the more the authoritarian attitude and that this variable was simply the best predictor of adult support for Trump. This predictor was more powerful and more accurate than gender, income, education, etc. in other words, an unemployed worker low on the authoritarian scale was not a Trump supporter .This finding does not mean that there are no other significant or other variables to consider. The college educated adult high on the authoritarian scale was a Trump supporter. These findings do not mean that there are no other significant or other variables to consider. To Be Contnued