Friday, August 25, 2017

Relationships and Abuse

  I have come to believe that there is a parallel between the Trump presidency and the pattern seen in abusive relationships.  In abusive relationships the victim begins the relationship with high hopes.  The victim looks toward a rosy future and feels great passion and joy at what they believe the future holds.  The abuser, on the other hand, begins the relationship with a manipulative agenda…  one that seeks to fulfill a need for control and dominance.  That difference encompasses a stark reality….  one that eventually diminishes the victims self esteem turning the relationship into a codependent nightmare of emotional blackmail…  psychological torture…. financial abuse and oftentimes physical harm.

The relationship may begin with a magnetic personality drawing the victim in close with lavish praise, expense gifts, excessive attention, grandiose plans and promises of an idyllic life together.  The victim gently is encouraged to move away from their own personal values to enhance the relationship, toward the values of the abuser… which initially do not seem that far off from the victim's current position.

 Over time, the victim is continually encouraged to move further and further from their own values toward the values of the abuser until their values are no longer represented.  This may occur in many areas…. emotional… psychological... financial… and physical.  One day, the victim no longer recognizes themselves when they look in the mirror.  They have lost their moral center and their self-esteem has been decimated.

Since our current president (and his administration) have been involved in the political arena…. first as a birther…. now as a politician… we have watched our country become a tangled morass of fringe elements that seek to separate us, the American people, and break apart our democracy.   We have always been a nation of differing opinions… however, we have in the past, been able to disagree with one another without devolving into name calling, racial and religious profiling and disrespect.

Normalizing the type of destructive rhetoric and hate speech we have seen over the past two years from our president… the fringes of the media… and in social media… has brought our democracy to a new low.

We have forgotten how to express our disagreements without becoming disagreeable…
We have forgotten our manners…
We have forgotten how to share information so that others can hear us without becoming defensive….
We have forgotten how to compromise…

 I suggest that  Americans  are currently involved in an abusive relationship with the current president.  We have been drawn in by a magnetic personality who has courted us with lavish praise… excessive attention… grandiose plans…. . and promises of an idyllic life together under his guidance.

Instead of experiencing any kind of idyllic life we, the American people, have been subjected to moral outrage…. social upheaval…. name calling and bullying…. racial and religious profiling… and disrespect.  We, the American people, have been demoralized by this administration.  Social media and fringe media outlets have deluded us, attempting to normalize hate and bigotry.  We have seen the respect for America around the world diminished in countless ways through presidential bullying of foreign diplomats…. disrespectful behaviors at summits…. and a general failure to acknowledge the equality of other heads of state.

I propose that we, the American people, break off our relationship with this abusive president before we are subjected to further demoralization.  Thus far our self esteem is still partially intact…. we can still look in the mirror and recognize ourselves.  We must end this destructive path we have erroneously taken by recognizing that we have been duped into believing we were entering into a relationship for our benefit when it has become appallingly apparent that we are being violated and abused emotionally… psychologically… financially… and physically.

Deciding to end an abusive relationship is fraught with difficulties.  The abuser will often times blame the victim for the failure of the relationship… as well as for any damage the victim has suffered at the hands of the abuser.  The possibility of this outcome should not frightened or deter us from our goal.  We are strong and can recover from whatever abuse we have endured.  We must resolve to restore our self esteem through self care…. beginning with ending the cycle of abuse and the relationship that fosters it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


After the voting is over and all the counting has been completed, what will it take for America to heal from the great chasm of angst that has been brought to the surface during this election cycle?

The deep anger and frustration that has been revealed during the run up of the last eighteen months must be addressed.

WE THE PEOPLE are angry...
We feel betrayed by our government...
We feel that our representatives in both Congress and the Senate have ignored us...
For their own benefit...
To line their pockets...
To cast their votes according to the will of donors...  both private and corporate...
Donors who don't have the future of WE THE PEOPLE as their concern...
WE THE PEOPLE are drained...  tired...
We don't want to listen to the litany of nonsense any longer...
The emails...
The sexual affronts...
The shaming and blaming...
WE THE PEOPLE feel like we are watching our great democracy nose dive into the toilet...
and WE have had ENOUGH!!

If you politicians in Washington don't begin to work for US...
WE THE PEOPLE will vote you out!!
We are ANGRY...
We have had ENOUGH!!

...and you have been warned...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Keeping Blood Sugar Under Control

Diabetes in America has become an epidemic... 

Please have your blood glucose levels checked by your MD at your annual physical... additionally if you are on your way to becoming diabetic and have insulin resistance please have your A1C levels checked yearly as well. 
Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet (…/in-depth/mediterra…/art-20047801) is the healthiest option for anyone who has diabetes or is on their way with insulin resistance. In addition several supplements can greatly assist in the body's metabolism of sugars... 
cinnamon & chromium... both available in capsules...
The most important factor is controlling blood glucose is proper diet and daily exercise... (walking is free and one of the best)  An easy way to remember how to manage food is to visualize the dinner plate as follows:  half filled with fresh salad... one quarter filled with low fat protein choices...  one eighth filled with a starch (potato, corn, pasta, whole grain) and the final eighth filled with cooked vegetables.  
Two keys for diabetics is to remember 1. always combine eating a protein, fat and carbohydrate together to keep blood glucose levels steady  2. try to eat smaller meals every three hours to avoid becoming too hungry or allowing blood glucose levels to drop.
Great snacks...  peanut butter on celery sticks...  part skim mozzarella sticks wrapped with low salt turkey breast...  Granny Smith apple...  blackberries, raspberries or strawberries and plain Faye Greek yogurt... a handful of almonds or walnuts...  Atkins bars... unsalted roasted pumpkin or sunflowers seeds (in the shell)...
Have good healthy snacks available to stave off hunger and keep your glucose levels steady.
Remember... blood sugar also controls mood so taking care of your diabetes is also a great way to increase your positive mood!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cold & Flu Healing Tea

Once again, as cold and flu season comes with the falling leaves...
I am posting my recipe for a healing tea...

As the cold and flu season approaches... catch it early...

Cold and flu remedy
To one quart of water add: 12 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 whole organic lemon quartered skin and all, 2" ginger root peeled and chunked and a 2" chunk of peeled burdock root if you can get it ( H-Mart has it ). Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Strain the solids out and drink in divided doses over the course of one day.

Cloves: expectorant, increases productivity of coughing
Cinnamon: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial
Lemon: anti-infective, fever reducer, contains vitamin C, immune system strengthener, Stomach cleanse, blood purifier (alternative), lowers body temperature
Ginger root: antiviral, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial
Echinacea root: immune system strengthener
Burdock root: alternative, blood cleanser

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Lost Folks of Rural America

I have done a great deal of traveling throughout the USA during my life.  Rural areas tend to revolve around church, family and small town living.  I recall many small town folk I met being astounded that I could actually like living in NYC.  To them it was unthinkable to live in such a crowded place with so much noise and so many different people...scary they said.

It's also true that for many of these folks small town life has disappeared with the collapse of manufacturing in the US.  In order to be competitive, many manufacturers have moved jobs to Indonesia, Vietnam, China or other areas where labor is cheap.  That leaves our small town areas without hope.

At the same time some stores, like Walmart, have done a great job of destroying Mom & Pop shops in virtually every town where they open.  They even encourage their workers to apply for SNAP.  Many of their products are also made exclusively outside the US.   Their lack of full time positions and low wages keep workers poor.

It's understandable that these folks are infuriated...they feel forgotten...and they're right.  They have been forgotten.  These men have lost their ability to provide for their families... their very manhood is threatened by these changes.  Their women are angry, feeling their men have been lost in the shuffle. They see a hero in Donald Trump.

BUT...we know that Donald doesn't actually plan to do a thing for these folks... it's just an electioneering fraud on his part that will only make these folks poorer because Donald has built his business on the backs of the poor...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Can I Call You Mr. Trump???

Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me.
Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.
We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.
We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.
We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.
We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.
Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us… we can be bitches.
Gone are the days where we question our power or our influence. We are strong. Smart. We know our worth and it doesn’t reside in the size of our bras or our skinny jeans. We build each other up. We have our sister’s backs. And our brother’s. So when you took on the former Ms. Universe, you took on all of us.
And right now you’ve got a lot of angry women to contend with. And let me remind you, Mr. Trump… hell hath no fury like a pissed off woman who’s tired of this sexist bullshit.
We heard you when you said we should  “look for another place to work” if we experience workplace sexual harassment. Your non-solution illustrates either your lack of understanding or lack of concern. Or both. Your attitude and ignorance on this is stunning. Your response, pathetic. We see you, and we see someone who’s in over their head.
We watched you interrupt a woman 51 times during a 90 minute debate. While the better qualified, more knowledgeable woman was talking, you attempted to bulldoze right over her. We all know this game. It’s called male privilege. And it doesn’t look good on you, Mr. Trump. It makes you look weak. We see you, and we see a man who is so threatened by a woman speaking that you can’t even bear to let her finish. Sad.
And we see it rampant throughout your campaign and your proposed policies. It’s in your paltry maternity leave proposal that leaves out fathers and LGBTQ and adoptive parents. And when you say that women who seek abortions should be punished. And when you refuse to consider supporting equal pay for women.
Your latest ad, in which your daughter, beaming with privilege and pride, says “being a mother is the most important job a woman can have.” didn’t go over so well with us, Mr. Trump.
We are different, us women. We are not a homogenous army of fem-bots. We have different interests, goals and lives. There is more to us than motherhood. Some of us revel in motherhood. Some of us don’t want to have children. And some of us can’t have children. Our status as mothers has nothing to do with our worth. This ad, coupled with your policies show that you are tone deaf to the reality that women face and point to an antiquated attitude. One that keeps women as the caregivers and leaves men out of that equation.
We see you. And we see a man who has no business representing our interests in the Oval Office.
We heard you say no one would vote for Carly Fiorina “because of her face.”
We remember you calling women “a beautiful piece of ass” in Esquire Magazine.
We watch you say one thing, then say the opposite. Then refuse to admit any of it happened. Problem is, we can spot gas lighting from a mile away.
We recall the bit about all women being gold diggers in your memoir.
We cringe and hold our daughters a little closer when we are reminded that you said you’d date your daughter. If only she weren’t your daughter.
We remember when you called a lawyer “disgusting” for requesting a break during a trial to breastfeed.
We roll our eyes when we saw you try to dismiss Megyn Kelly after she had the nerve to ask you questions. At a debate. “Blood coming out of her wherever” was not lost on us. Most of us remember hearing such comments in Middle School.
We are horrified when we learn that you sent a journalist a picture of herselfwith the word “Dog” scrawled across it.
We seethe with anger when we read your tweet blaming military sexual assaulton the fact that women are in the military.
We haven’t forgotten your lurid tweet about Hillary Clinton not being able to “satisfy” her husband.
Not only do you not understand women, you seem to have an awful lot of contempt for them. This is not fitting for a man who wants to be President in the 21st Century.
Which leads me to this:
Make America Great Again.
We know exactly what you meant when you branded yourself with this slogan. It’s not-so-coded language for a time gone by. Your “great” America wasn’t so great for women and minorities and gay people.
We won’t go back.
We won’t be relegated to the kitchen.
We won’t be locked into a life where we have no choice over our bodies or whether we have babies.
We won’t accept your patronizing response to sexual harassment.
We won’t be silenced or demeaned any more.
We won’t be ridiculed for our weight or judged by our appearance.
We won’t be shamed for owning our sexuality.
We have come a long way since your days of when America was “great.”
We have busted our asses to get here and we’re not going back.
We are raising strong daughters who fight back against sexist school dress codes.
We are raising strong sons who aren’t afraid of their feelings and aren’t afraid of strong girls.
We are shutting down catcalling.
We are no longer letting ourselves be interrupted and drowned out in the board room.
We are locking arms with our sisters in solidarity when rapists are given a slap on the wrist.
We are shouting about every day sexism.
We are calling you out, Mr. Trump.
We will not go quietly into any good night. We are loud. We are in your face. And we don’t put up with the kind of bullshit you’re selling.
So maybe this isn’t your time, Mr. Trump. Maybe your time has passed.
Maybe you would have been more suited to the early 1900’s when women did not yet have the right to vote.
When marital rape was still legal.
Or the 1950’s when women largely stayed home and produced children and McCarthyism and blacklisting were acceptable.
Or perhaps 1930’s Germany would have been a better fit for you.
But now? Now is not your time.
We’re moving forward. All of us, smart men and women, have had enough of the tired gender roles. We’ve had enough of you and other weak, fearful men trying to stop progress.
We see you, Mr. Trump.
We see your sexism and your bigotry and your racism. We see right through you.
Remember. We can be bitches.
And bitches get shit done.
Bitches Vote.
See you on November 8, Mr. Trump.
Written by. Gretchen Kelly

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

VOTE... dammit!!

To the non-enthusiastic millennial voters

I get it, you're just not jazzed up about voting, because you're not feeling it. You believe a vote should be of value, and therefore if you're not enamored with the choices, why bother.

Simple: People died for your right to vote.

Look, we were all younger once, and felt that way, hell, even Billy Joel wrote a song (Angry Young Man) a generation before even mine that included the lines:

I once believed in causes too
I had my pointless point of view
And life went on no matter who was wrong or right

We were all you, we get it.

But here's the thing. It matters. Your vote matters. Every vote matters. If you're not impassioned by either candidate, well, honestly, suck it up.

Life isn't here to please you at every single moment in time. It's not here to serve you based on your needs. Get out of your own self and vote, because it's critical to the future, to my future, to your future, and to the future generations.

Voting is a right, and you benefit (and suffer) from the outcome of the votes of others. So choosing not to do it is allowing others to control your life. Now, we all know, you don't like how that sounds, do you.

Vote out of respect, vote out of disgust, vote out of anger or disenfranchisement. But vote. Because you can.

You're likely closer to the college years than I am, so it's reasonable to expect that you're pretty fresh when it comes to math. Use it. Do it. See if voting for a third party will make a difference. If you're choosing to do that because you want a vote, ok, I understand that, but that distaste and disgust you're trying to avoid by not voting for the candidate you hate but also not voting for the one you just don't trust or like.... try math. It means you're voting for the one you hate.

And that makes you just as responsible for the outcome as if you had voted for the one you hate.

And lets just be clear here for a minute: There isn't a choice of equals in the two main party candidates. There just isn't. It's not an opinion, it's facts.

Don't go tit for tat, that's not how mature adults act. I know, it's confusing, because it's what you see on all the news channels, but they're all just afraid of being sued, and focused on getting ratings.

But lies aren't truths, and opinions aren't facts. You know this, you just learned this in school.

Don't forget it. What you learned in school matters. Shit, look how much you paid for that knowledge, so don't just throw it away. Recycle your knowledge, and apply it, reuse it. DIY-it, and don't just trust the sound bytes, use your critical thinking skills.

Look, I'm gonna be honest with you. I'm with Her. I've always been with Her. Since I voted for her husband, and especially since that time back then when she said she's not the type of woman to stay home and bake cookies and have tea parties.

But I'm not with Her because she's a her, I'm with her because she's amazing. She's accomplished, and collaborative, and is human, and gets shit done. She's living history, and she's already changed your millennial lives without you even knowing the impact she's had on it.

Look at who she is, what's she's done, what she's accomplished in her life. See the threads of what she fights for, and what she stands for. It's not about pneumonia, it's not about transparency. It's about decency and competence.

So if you're not enthused, so what. I've voted for the lesser of two evils many times, that's part of life. I've had to make choices that don't suit my immediate needs, that in the long run pay out. So do it.

Life isn't about appeasing you, it's about you making the right choices, that extend beyond just you. Your vote can affect millions of people, billions, potentially, across the globe, as you vote for the leader of the free world. It's not about you being pissed off about Bernie, or testosterone levels, or not telling you about pneumonia because you think you had a right to know to make an informed decision.

You didn't. Just as you don't have a right to know how long it takes one to take a piss (to ostensibly gauge the risk of an enlarged prostate).

So vote, vote on what matters, but look it up, on multiple sources, like you did in college, because we don't have journalists anymore, we have pundits, and that means they don't have to be objective, and THEY aren't held to the standards of truth and transparency that they whine about.

Use your insanely expensive college knowledge and skills to learn and educate yourself, because the answers that are handed to you are someone else's gains, not yours.

Make the effort. Vote. People died so you could...
Laurissa Doonan