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

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BlockChain….. will change the world!?

BlockChain is touted as the force that will democratize business and empower entrepreneurial creation.  It does sound exciting however, I do recall the same promise for the InterNet….. and guess who owns all the profit centers?  Is it you?  Not likely!  However,  why miss what may be the opportunity of your lifetime? Learn more here!

 

Guest Post: Is There No Shame? | ZeroHedge

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Is There No Shame?

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth. ” –William Faulkner

I wish I could believe William Faulkner’s advice was possible in the world we live in today. But sadly, I am losing hope in our civilization. We seem to have entered a death spiral with little likelihood of pulling out. Our society has become so degraded and our populace so apathetic and willfully ignorant, that I think we are too far gone to recover. Honesty, truth and compassion have been soundly defeated by injustice, lying and greed. Our technologically advanced society has become a stinking cesspool, devoid of humanity, common sense and morality. Those with the power and wealth who control our country do not concern themselves with quaint concepts like good and evil, right and wrong, or moral and immoral. Sociopaths see no obligation to society, humanity, or posterity. They only care about themselves, their wealth, their status, their reputation, and their control of others. They are incapable of feeling shame or remorse. They blindly march forward towards their own and society’s self-destruction.

Joe Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees on Wednesday night as head football coach of Penn State. It was the first good decision that has been made in the last two decades by the leaders of Penn State. The man was told that his Defensive coordinator was seen in the locker room shower raping a 10 year old boy in 2002. He did not call the police and report this crime. He and the other top officials at Penn State brushed this crime under the rug, allowing at least seven more young boys to be raped by this monster. The 28 year old graduate assistant not only did nothing to stop the crime he witnessed, but he accepted a position as an assistant coach, knowing that Paterno and the Athletic Director never did anything to hold Sandusky accountable for his crime. Sandusky was still on campus working out as of last week. The actions of all the players in this disgusting example of how far our society has degenerated are enough to make someone lose all hope for humanity:

  • Jerry Sandusky creates a charitable organization so he can gain access to little boys. Multiple incidents are witnessed on campus from 1994 through 2002. A mother reports Sandusky to the Penn State police in 1998 and nothing is done by the men in the Administration. The investigation is dropped, but Tim Curley forces Sandusky to retire in 1999. It is clear that everyone in the top echelon of Penn State knew Sandusky was a deviant pedophile. But letting it become public would have been a black mark on the football program and could have reduced the huge profits generated by Paterno’s kingdom.
  • After his forced retirement he is still given access to the campus and locker room facilities. He is caught having anal sex with a 10 year old boy in the locker room shower by a 28 year old man, who chooses not to intervene and save the boy. Joe Paterno does the absolute minimum when informed of this horrific crime. After this crime is covered up by all the key men running the show at Penn State, it just becomes business as usual for Joe and his cronies.
  • Sandusky continues to rape little boys for the next eight years because of the cowardice and complete lack of morality exhibited by the men in high places at Penn State.
  • With the issuance of the grand jury report last week, the psychotic nature of these men was on display for the world to witness. In a stunning display of arrogance and hubris, Paterno and the President of Penn State announced their full support for the Athletic Director and VP of Finance who were arrested. These men did not think they did anything wrong. They clung to the fact that they adhered to the laws created by other men. In a despicable display, Joe Paterno led a cheer at a pep rally in front of his house with his arms raised in victory. At least eight boys had their lives ruined and Joe Paterno leads a cheer.
  • The Board of Trustees summoned the courage to fire Paterno and the President last night. In another display that makes me wonder about the future of our country, thousands of students rioted in support of Joe Paterno, breaking windows, turning over news vans, and starting fires. Are these young people incapable of critical thinking and are just driven by emotion and mindless rage? Can’t they distinguish between facts and lies? Do they care more about football than innocent children being raped?

I have been blind with rage for the last week as I’ve watched the powerful men of Penn State attempt to retain their power and reputations at the expense of truth, honesty, and accepting responsibility for their actions and willful inaction. As I’ve watched this tragedy unfold I was struck by the thought process of rich men in positions of power. They have huge egos and believe they are above the law. They think so highly of themselves they believe they can make the rules and ignore the laws which the little people must follow. They have no moral compass whatsoever. They cannot be shamed. The most despicable behavior by prominent men has been willfully overlooked because these men generate $50 million of profit per year for the university. Their sociopathic desire to protect their reputations and power has led to a scandal of such epic proportions that it will haunt Penn State forever and has permanently damaged the institution.

This is an institutional cancer that eats away at the fabric of our society. It is not isolated to Penn State. It is a societal sickness that threatens to overwhelm every facet of our lives. There is a constant thread that runs through every incident that comes to light. In 99% of the cases it is men protecting men. Money and greed always trump morality and truth. The exact circumstances can be observed in the priest abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in the last five years. Pedophile priests have existed within the Catholic Church for decades. The Penn State situation shows that pedophiles exist everywhere in our society. The bottom line is that they are sick men and need to be locked up and kept away from little boys. There is no more heinous criminal act than a grown man raping a little boy. Anyone who does this is pure evil and must be punished.

The Catholic Church’s wealth is almost beyond measurement. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. The pope is one of the most powerful men on earth. Cardinals and bishops throughout the world wield tremendous influence over their flocks. As young Catholic boys you are taught that priests represent Jesus Christ on earth. They are treated with reverence and fear by little Catholic boys. Little Catholic boys would never question the motives of a priest. They are taught to obey, because a priest is the same as Jesus Christ. These beliefs allowed pedophile priests to prey on thousands of little boys around the world for decades with little or no backlash. Those crimes were horrific enough by themselves, but the actions of the bishops, cardinals and even the popes who have known about these crimes make it ten times worse. Again, powerful men will ignore rules, regulations, laws and simple human decency in order to protect their wealth, power, and reputations. Cardinals and bishops knew that priests were raping little boys and their solution was to transfer them to another parish where they could find fresh meat. The thought never entered their minds to turn these perverts in to the police. Their only concern was how a scandal would impact their beloved institution. Little boys were sacrificed at the altar of the Catholic Church by evil men.

The cover-up continues to this day. The Catholic Church uses the statute of limitations as their defense against the continuous stream of cases that continue to mount. They secretly pay out hundreds of millions to the victims as long as they promise to keep quiet. They use bankruptcy laws to close down parishes and avoid paying civil penalties for the crimes committed by its hierarchy. They hire public relations firms to create false and misleading stories designed to obscure the truth about the biggest criminal conspiracy in history. The powerful sociopathic men who were supposed to represent Christian teachings have destroyed the lives of thousands of boys in order to protect their institution. The end result is that in addition to the thousands of lives destroyed by the pedophile priests, hundreds of thousands of Catholics have lost faith in the leadership and have abandoned the church. The wealth these sociopaths attempted to protect has been eroded as donations have dried up and lawsuit payouts have mounted.

Not only have our educational and religious institutions failed us, but our financial and political institutions have spectacularly self-destructed over the last decade. Shockingly, these institutions have been run predominantly by men. At one time banks were stodgy institutions that abhorred risk and methodically made profits year after year by lending to people and businesses capable of paying them back. Investment firms were partnerships. If any one partner was to take an excessive risk, they could wipe out the personal wealth of the other partners. Therefore, they never took excessive risks or used excessive leverage. Their boring business model generated modest profits year after year. The officers of banks and investment houses were well compensated, but not excessively so. The leaders of these firms were children of the Great Depression. They understood bad times.

During the 1990’s they were displaced by a new generation of leaders. This has not turned out well for our country. These psychopathic CEOs were given the green light by their fellow psychopaths in Congress and at the Federal Reserve to loot and pillage to their heart’s delight. This conspiracy of thieves broke down the barriers between traditional banking and gambling using excessive leverage. They captured the regulatory agencies that were supposed to police them and leveraged their bets 30 to 1. They created fraudulent mortgage instruments designed to lure the stupid and crooked. They marketed debt to anyone with a breath and ability to scratch an X on a piece of paper. They designed derivatives so complex that even their own Harvard MBAs couldn’t figure out how they worked. They bribed rating agencies into stamping a AAA credit rating on crap so toxic that they joked about the idiots they were selling it to. They shorted the very same derivatives they were selling to their clients. These psychopaths raked in hundreds of billions in fees, salaries and bonuses, while detonating a nuclear bomb on the worldwide financial system.

When their bets came up craps, they had the gall to hold the American people hostage for trillions in bailouts. Their fellow psychopaths in Congress gladly forked over the money. Rather than mend their ways, these evil men have returned to their excessive risk taking and continue to pay themselves billions in compensation, while the American middle class is smothered to death under mountains of debt. These evil Wall Street geniuses have shown no remorse as seven million people have lost their jobs and millions more have lost their homes due to the greed and avarice displayed on an epic scale.

Wall Street bankers exhibit the epitome of psychopathic behavior, showing lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others. Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as average individuals by feigning emotions. These Wall Street bankers will never willingly accept responsibility for their actions. They continue to use their wealth and power to control the politicians in Washington DC and the misinformation propagated by the corporate media they control. They own and control the Federal Reserve and will print money until the whole system collapses in a spectacular implosion that destroys our financial system. They only care about their own wealth, influence and status. They have no shame.

When I consider all that is wrong in our society, I become despondent, angry and despairing for the future of our country. It seems that everyone in positions of power across the spectrum of education, religion, finance, and politics are psychopaths, bent upon self-destruction no matter the cost to society or unborn generations. Our nation has degenerated into an egocentric, self-loathing, vain, shallow excuse for a civilization. There is anger flaring up, but it is just as likely to be misdirected and misinformed. The lack of critical thinking skills and the overwhelming effects of media propaganda has so degraded the intelligence of the populace that when the system breaks down in the next few years, the masses will clamor for a savior rather than seeking truthful answers and willingly making the sacrifices required to get our nation back on track. This country will get what it deserves – a despotic ruler and a brutish civilization governed on the basest of principles. This is what happens when a society rewards lying and greed over honesty and compassion. There are consequences to actions and inactions alike. We’ve made our choice.

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.” Adolf Hitler