The Taking Of America 1 2 3

THE GIFT OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS FOR PEOPLE NOT CORPORATIONS. 

We have all heard a story that begins like this: “When they came for the Jews, I stood silent, When they came for the Gypsy’s, I said nothing, Now their coming for me; who will stand up for me?”

In very few words this historical reminder of Germany’s greatest failure, reminds us of a similar experience and one of the reasons our founding fathers formed America. Our nation was to be a cohesive nation made strong, not weak, by our differences! We would respect the minorities and treat them as equals. We chose to do this for selfish reasons as well as idealistic ones. One of these selfish being our own protection, as the German story reminds us. Of course we, in our great experiment with democracy, have learned of many more reasons to be diverse.

In the poem, “I hear America Singing,” by Walt Whitman, we discover some of the magic that professional diversity affords us. Each industrious worker is seen doing his job. As Americans we should remember the different nations that joined us each bringing their unique skill. This is the key to our longevity and what has made us greater than any other nation on Earth!

Since I was a little kid, I heard stories of the Mohawks who helped build skyscrapers. In 1886, a Canadian company, building a bridge over the St. Lawrence river discovered the Mohawk’s fearless nature, when they hired them to help build the bridge. The Mohawks climbed steel like it was second nature. When a span collapsed killing 30 of their tribesmen, they came in greater numbers seeing it as a challenge not a failure.

About half of the 19th century Italian immigrants were laborers, compared to 1/3 of the Irish and Germans. Contracted out by professional labor brokers known as “Padrones” they dug tunnels, built bridges, laid tracks and helped build skyscrapers. In Chicago over 90% of the steel workers were Italians.

Each nation brought its skills and the blessings of its unique gene pool and culture. The Jews became lawyers, doctors and business owners. The Irish made our cities safe as, policemen, firemen and other city workers. The list goes on and on…

But back to the story of “When they came for the Jews…” President Eisenhower warned us to beware of the “Military Industrial Complex.” He was warning us of the dangerous political influence that corporate America had discovered was within its grasp. He was warning us that we needed to stay true to our principles by keeping the values of our founding fathers, our Judeo-Christian values.

Now nearly a quarter of a century back, corporate America was noting that it could not balance its books, when it kept its contractual obligations to its employees. For example, GM had promised to be the healthcare “god” to its workers and this expenditure was now causing them to pass along too much of this financial burden to car buyers. Many corporations were guilty of this as well, as in promising retirement plans they could not afford later. Our Government was one of the very worst of those in promising both to its employees and then passing along this unearned expense to taxpayers.

In the Clinton era, an unholy alliance was forming. Corporate money for elections, if you take the burden off the corporate books and put it on the taxpayers! Hillary could now smell election victory as the first female president; all she needed was healthcare reform.

Government should be about doing the right thing for the people but, it has become about getting re-elected and serving whatever master has the most money. This it turns out, is the corporate alliance that Ike warned us about. As a result, the medical profession, then made of loosely knit organizations of individual entrepreneurs became their target. The real issues of health care reform and efficiency were never tackled because it dealt with death and dying. Death and dying means dealing with religious values as well as philosophical ones, which are hard to face and too easy to skirt. A huge majority of healthcare expenses comes from what we call “heroic” efforts to keep the sick, dying, very old alive. This effort often ends in their suffering a degrading death at the hands of too many technicians and doctors. Witness to this is in the form of the ever growing number of Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate Agreements and Health Care Proxys.

The doctors of America were the ideal target for corporate savings; they were small business owners and had no unions to defend them.. Over the next quarter century doctors were then bled into bankruptcy. As a result, individual doctors, practicing privately, are now a rarity. Doctor’s incomes have dropped so significantly, thanks to corporate run managed care, that the majority of doctors are part time mom’s or foreigners from impoverished nations such as India (not to say the Indians are not excellent doctors).

In every song we need a refrain that repeats, so here it comes again. “When they came for the Jews…” Are you beginning to see that pattern of history?

The corporations next discovered that they could make more money if they hired foreigners from third world nations and yet still claimed to be American companies. They claimed to be American companies to keep all the benefits of your paying for their defense with your life should they be threatened. Of course your life would not matter as they fired you and hired the workers overseas. Oh yes, they would bribe you with the short sighted benefit of low cost Chinese products,  until your bank account ran out. Soon you and your neighbors lost their jobs and were forced into low paying service jobs at Home Depot or Walmart to sell the foreign products that were putting you out of work.

More recently the government has decided that the taxpayers should pay for corporate failures by being obligated to pay for corporate financial losses and fraud.

Lets try the refrain again with a little update, “When they came for the Doctors, I stood silent, When they came for the blue collar workers, I said nothing, Now they are coming for me; who will stand up for me?”

When you laugh at the disorganized rag tag protestors of “Wall Street.” Remember you are part of America and their concerns are in many ways yours. If you are an aging Hippy or a proud Viet Nam era vet note that you are not dead yet. America is not dead yet. America gains its power from diversity not homogeneity. Before they take America, take it back! Overcome the illusions of disagreement and remember that we are all in this together and for Each Other. Corporations and Governments are soul-less institutions that have taken over the rights of God’s children.  Trump promised to bring business back to America to employ Americans and he promised to keep the influence of government for the people, by the people and of the people (not corporate bribes to congressmen).  Let’s see that Trump keeps his promises and not let the media divide Americans.

I believe our founding fathers would organize against the corporatocracy that has taken over America, what about you?  Hold Trump to his promises and stay united for all.

…Janr Ssor

 

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An Inspiration For Living Lonely Moments In Paradise!

When the plane landed in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the pilot announced “Welcome To fishing-518775_640Paradise!”  I was excited about the pilot’s vision, which seemed at first to be mine; but, concerned about what I was running away from,  what I was losing and how empty it might feel to be without contact with everyone I had known for so long!

I had sold my practice, my home, and nearly everything I owned to move to Florida. I had given up a handful of treasured friendships, a huge number of fun acquaintances and over 12,000 patients, many of whom I knew by name and personal history for nearly 40 years.

I flashed on visions of the forest of friendships I had just willfully been transplanted away from. bamboo-142635_640For moments these thoughts made me imagine images of being a space traveler marooned on a distant, beautiful but alien unpopulated planet, perhaps Mars.

As we drove to our new home using a navigator to guide us along unfamiliar roads,  I thought that I felt for moments like the character in the story “The Martian” must have felt. Had he felt lost, lonely and wondering what tomorrow would be like as I did now? There was a big difference, of course,  from the situation of that of “The Martian” in that we were surrounded by people and a safe environment but what about my soul’s environment?   Like the Martian I had lost all that makes living life meaningful such as the relationships, trust, respect and common history. I had lost what had grown up over many years as a forest of “friendships” with different degrees of nomenclature like casual, personal or family.  More than that I had given up my relationship with my community, my practice of Holistic Eye Care, something I had invented, nurtured and grown into a giant tree.  One so strong that it had survived the financial  storms of 3 major recessions over nearly half a century.

It made me wonder what forces had created such momentum that I had been willing to leave the beautiful creation of a lifetime that had for some reason now become toxic? Something I occasionally viewed as a wasteland of destruction. oradour-sur-glane-1635802_640There was a lot to think about.  There is also no simple answer.  Some have tried such as the book “Who Stole My Cheese?”  But I was not looking for a description of change I was looking for socio-economic forces that had reshaped and redefined my world. Seven months later I think I have found it. I am a sci-fi writer because I am always searching for answers to question such as:  what is it that creates or destroys civilizations?  Why destruction and creation are so intimately intertwined? And finally does it have to be so? My own experience was now helping better define these questions and paint images of possible answers.

I think that the catalyst of the torrentuous socio-economic forces, that I had experienced so recently, might be described as the loss of responsibility and connection between the people that hand-1917895_640make up a civilization.  I thought back on 40 years ago, when I first moved to Brewster in upstate NY, where my office had been.  I recalled a farmer who had walked 3 miles to my office for his eye exam because he said, “It did not warrant starting his truck just to drive 3 miles.”  Times were different then. It was not that he walked so far so casually and so unpressured by time, that was just a description of what had changed since then. That was just a flavor of the essence of the ethos of that era that you could easily taste.  What was so different was that this farmer would soon know me by name as he did hundreds of the other people whose lives he touched every day!  Keep in mind the phrase “whose lives he touched.

40 years ago as I started my practice, I became enamored with the people  I served quite quickly. Apparently they with me too.  Six months after opening my doors to what I expected to be a weekend, part time practice, I was working full time.  I had to give up my other two part time offices. The force that made this change was the large families of  Irish and Italian heritage Americans who were soon to become my extended family.  They got to know me personally, like me and trust me. With that relationship, the whole family had to come see me and eventually most of the town.  We were all in this life together!

What changed 40 years later to make me move and give it all up for a promise of paradise but a loss of family?  In my opinion, the essential force is the loss of connection between people and the loss of responsibility for your actions or inactions.  From the viewpoint of my profession,  we saw the destruction of the doctor patient relationship created by the third party payors.  When people came to me 40 years ago, the service was thorough, affordable and easily paid for in cash.  When I left, the service was more mechanized, far less personal and no longer affordable in cash.  In fact is is the biggest disaster of American health care history.

I believe in the system of free enterprise and capitalism (with some caveats).  It has certainly worked for me for a long time. I believe that the strength of any economy is small business and entrepreneurship. Why?   Because I believe that it is the knowing of your outsource-1345109_640clients and responsibility to your community that keeps you on the straight and narrow path.  The path that for many American’s is defined on Sunday Mornings under the multicolored shafts of light falling through stained glass windows. Take away this connection and it is easy for Chinese factory owners to adulterate milk or put dangerous materials in sheet rock.  It is easy for Monsanto to create toxic herbicide that will likely soon be proven to have caused cancer in millions of people while rationalizing that they are the Horn Of Plenty that feeds civilization.  It is easy for congressmen to take millions of dollars of bribes while the Wall Street rich devour the lifeblood of America’s workers with carnivorous creations called derivatives (otherwise known as gambling).

Where there is no personal responsibility, there is no community. There is nothing to lose but the smell of fresh minted money and what temporary pleasures it might buy.  IBM, in some ways started this revolution and they became named for it.  IBM stood for “I’ve Been Moved” as in from my family, my home and my community for money’s promise.  We were willing to give up what makes life meaningful for the casino of promises that were  never fulfilled.

Somehow there has to be a way of connecting people to people and make business, its owners and its workers intimately responsible to the communities of people they serve. We must recognize that each of us holds the lives for our country’s citizens in each others hands. Not because it was so warm and fuzzy to be in the community I helped grow with me 40 years ago (though that is a good enough reason) but because otherwise the landscape of vitamins-2002561_640life becomes so toxic that the best of us will leave.  The vast majority of us do not work for money, we work for personal satisfaction, respect and a feeling of self worth, personal value. The majority of employees leave a job not because of money but because they are not treated with respect, listened to and praised for their achievement.

My experience, is that with the creation of self respect by serving a community of people we know, enough money always follows. You also get to share the wealth around if you don’t live in fear of a lack of money to cover expected personal economic crisis.  America has proven this for over 200 years.  “Too big to fail” is not an option, it is a symptom of the bribery and corruption of our government (mostly our representatives) on all levels that allows for a lack of responsibility.   It is enough to make a person run away from their home and seek a new start almost anywhere else. It is something to write about, for me.

I believe in what Walt Disney said years ago, “It is better to entertain with the hopes of educating, then educating with the hopes of entertaining.”   This is my dream and what I hope to inspire in others I get to form a community with.

Janr Ssor

How To Choose The Next President!

TheDevilThe Devil you know or the Black Door?  

There is a story of an executioner who offered his condemned prisoners a special option! He was required, by law, to feed a condemned man a great breakfast after giving him a comfortable night on a good bed, the day before he was to die.

After breakfast the man was taken to a room where the executioner sat behind a large formidable desk as the man stood in front of him. On left side of the desk was an open door through which the condemned man could clearly see the armed soldiers ready to shoot him dead.  On the right side was a black door with a heavy metal bolt.

bolted.door.jpgThe executioner told the man that he had two choices. One was to stand before the firing squad and die quickly or two to go through the black door which would be bolted behind him and never opened again for him, no matter what.

All the condemned men chose to die at the hands of the firing squad.  In reality, behind the bolted door was the street and total freedom, that none ever lived to see!  However, people would always choose the devil they did know rather than the future they were unsure of.

In the coming election there are two real candidates, as Bernie is too old and too socialistic to make it,  even though he likely means well.

Between Hillary and Trump stand the two doors.  Hillary is obviously a Washington insider who has played and knows the ropes.  Hillary is a corrupt as the rest of our congressmen. Hillary has been paid huge sums by corporate America to speak for them and is in their pocket financially.  This is the same for all the wealthy politicians who are equally on the “take.”  Hillary has a record of disrespect for the law, as do many lawyers who feel it is only for us commoners. Hillary is a power broker who has connections and the inevitable entanglements it requires. Hillary is the known outcome we are familiar with. She has the power to get things done in a way we expect (but do we still want the same?).

Trump is an unknown.  Trump will obviously shake up the establishment.  He promises change and potentially freedom from an era of the Corporatocracy, that has taken over America.  He promises term limits that scares the hell out of congressmen, who have never had another job.  He promises change that we cannot predict and his style itself is unpredictable.

Hillary is the known evil we fear, but think we can live with. Trump is the black door that is so unknown it scares people who want a predictable life, even if it means their death.  Trump freedomdoes not scare me, Hillary does!

If you are a communist,  you want someone to “take care of you” from cradle to grave. If you are an American with pride, you are willing to take a challenge and overcome obstacles that an exciting future might offer!   Why chose death over life?  It’s taking a challenge that made America Great! We can do it again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smashwords: Amazon Lowers Kindle Unlimited Payouts

As an eye doctor who has been financially devalued by the corporatocracy that has taken control of America, I warned authors years ago that joining Amazon’s Kindle Prime (KDP).  The concept was used to destroy medical care in

knife stabbing book with black blood --- Image by © Images.com/Corbis

knife stabbing book with black blood — Image by © Images.com/Corbis

America.  Over the last 10 years most medical doctors were put out of business and made into employees of big corporate medicine.  This is the goal of e-book publishers, Amazon and others that would like to emulate them by using the KDP concept. Read the story in the URL link below as shared by Mark Coker, of Smashwords.

Source: Smashwords: Amazon Lowers Kindle Unlimited Payouts

An Opportunity For Prosperity Through Indian Eyes!

100 yeas ago, when America’s dreams were that of bunch of diverse foreigners seeking a future,  opportunity stood at every door.  When today’s corporate giants, created a  Corporatocracy they slew the dragons defending freedom and personal opportunity. In so doing they also cut down the tree of dreams and its fruit of success! Look at one fledgling growing nation, India, to see how it is struggling to overcome the same challenges we face! Corporations temporarily prosper on slave labor and beating square pegs into round holes, but all stale ideas grow mold and die like week old bread.   See the opportunity for prosperity through Indian Eyes! (English subtitles for our possible third world nation).