Closing Thought–27Dec19

It has been a busy week but now it is at an end…..I hope everyone had a good Christmas….lots of fun, family and food……

Speaking of food….the New Year brings about all sorts of  “resolutions”….one of the the more popular are those that deal with our diet… this ism a good story to end one year and wait for the new….

The idea of intermittent fasting is gaining popularity, and newly published research will please advocates. A review of existing studies in the New England Journal of Medicine finds evidence that fasting can lead to a range of health benefits, from decreased stress to lower blood pressure to improved cognition and blood sugar regulation, reports CNN and USA Today. Lead author Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins, explains that intermittent fasting generally applies to two different methods: eating only during a six- or eight-hour window each day, or the 5:2 approach, referring to five days of regular eating interspersed with two days of limited calories, usually 500 max. One of the studies cited in the review notes that three men with type 2 diabetes were able to stop taking insulin after dropping weight thanks to fasting.

“We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise,” says Mattson in a news release. The big caveat: Successfully following such a diet is much easier said than done in a society with a strong three-meals-a-day culture. And USA Today talks to a doctor not involved in the study who cautions that it’s not for everyone. For example, older patients who fast might wind up with hypoglycemia, which can cause falls. Mattson’s study maintains that our forebears fasted out of necessity in times of food scarcity. He suggests our modern bodies can benefit from reverting to the practice thanks to “metabolic switching,” in which our cells begin converting fat into energy in a slower process

Just something to think about as we approach that time when we make idle gestures that make yourselves feel better about our lives…..

Enjoy your weekend……

Be well, be safe

“lego ergo scribo”

Where Have All The ____ Gone?

As a young man just returned from service in Vietnam I found myself protesting for an end to that war and all wars.

For me war is an obscene show of force….”mine is bigger than yours” sort of thing. There is nothing romantic or heroic about the destruction of life and limb.

After several trips to the local jail for defying a police order and the life caught up with me and I became a father and had tom get a “real job” and slowly my activism got less important but the feelings about war stayed with me and I wrote about them whenever I got the chance.

Somewhere in the absence from the movement and it died….and now all our wars, endless, senseless wars, go on and on unchallenged…..a sad thing indeed for the US had a proud history of pacifism and protests…..

Resistance to war is as old as war itself. The first recorded instance was a Christian, Maximilian, who was executed in the 3rd century AD for refusing to join the Roman army. There have been many other individuals who have refused to serve in war throughout history. But for the beginnings of a coherent peace movement, rather than individual resistance, we have to look to the 19th century.

In America, the first pamphlets calling for an organised anti-war movement were distributed in 1814, and the first meeting of the New York Peace Society followed a year afterwards. Soon there were chapters all over America, and similar societies in Europe too. The American Peace Society was officially founded in 1828.

During World War I, a large number of men resisted conscription on the grounds of conscientious objection to war. Some were made to pay fines, and many others were sent to prison. The No-Conscription Fellowship was formed in 1914, and grew into a substantial movement once conscription was introduced in 1916. Some of these objectors went on to found War Resisters’ International in the aftermath of the war. The War Resisters’ League, its American branch, was set up a couple of years later in 1923, and both groups are still actively campaigning today.

It wasn’t until the Vietnam War, however, that the anti-war movement began to really take hold in the public imagination. Opposition to the war became less individual and, inspired by the Civil Rights movement, took the form of widespread, large-scale demonstrations attended by people from all walks of life. Starting with small demonstrations on university campuses around the United States in 1964 the movement grew quickly, with several marches of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the USA and in Europe over the following years. In 1969, the November 15th Moratorium March in Washington, D.C. was attended by over half a million people.

So I asked….what happened to the antiwar movement?

Years ago, most Americans decided that the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. That judgment helped elect Barack Obama president in 2008. Last year, for the first time, a majority of those polled said it had been a mistake to send forces into Afghanistan as well. Support for both wars has been steadily declining since Obama first took office.

So why, given the unpopularity of American involvement, is there not and has there never been a sizable movement to demand that the U.S. military withdraw from either nation? This absence is an extraordinary phenomenon: two of the longest wars in American history entirely lack the kind of organized, sustained opposition that emerged during nearly every other major armed conflict the United States has fought over the past two centuries.

Why Is There No Antiwar Movement?

There are other theories and articles to why there is no substantial antiwar movement anymore in this country…

We need a strong antiwar movement to keep the power brokers honest (as honest as they can ever be)…..we have had enough wars and far way too long…..

Just a musical interlude after a somber post…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Ghost Of Henry Cabot Lodge


US foreign policy nerds know the name…..a GOP senator from Massachusetts….over 100 years ago……but that is not the topic here regardless the title.

This is actually about the days after WW1 when Wilson offered up his 14 points to include the League of Nations…..

Summary of the Fourteen Points

  1. No more secret agreements between countries. Diplomacy shall be open to the world.
  2. International seas shall be free to navigate during peace and war.
  3. There shall be free trade between the countries who accept the peace.
  4. There shall be a worldwide reduction in weapons and armies by all countries.
  5. Colonial claims over land and regions will be fair.
  6. Russia will be allowed to determine its own form of government. All German troops will leave Russian soil.
  7. German troops will evacuate Belgium and Belgium will be an independent country.
  8. France will regain all territory including the disputed land of Alsace-Lorraine.
  9. The borders of Italy will be established such that all Italians will be within the country of Italy.
  10. Austria-Hungary will be allowed to continue to be an independent country.
  11. The Central Powers will evacuate Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania leaving them as independent countries.
  12. The Turkish people of the Ottoman Empire will have their own country. Other nationalities under the Ottoman rule will also have security.
  13. Poland shall be an independent country.
  14. A League of Nations will be formed that protects the independence of all countries no matter how big or small.

This is where Lodge enters the picture…..Republican Congressman from MassachusettsHenry Cabot Lodge led a battle against the treaty. Lodge believed both the treaty and the League undercut U.S. autonomy in international matters.

The idea of a League of Nations that could head off any chances of another world war…..Congress did not ratify the treaty, and the United States refused to take part in the League of Nations.

All that background leads to the guts of the post…..

The world that Pres. Wilson envisioned is coming to a close…..

Liberal internationalists insist that American engagement abroad be on liberal or Wilsonian terms. But the Wilsonian internationalist vision, especially in its post–Cold War iteration, contains some very serious flaws that helped lead to Donald Trump’s election in the first place.

The first U.S. liberal internationalist wave developed during and immediately after World War !. Woodrow Wilson’s vision was that U.S. entry into war against the Kaiser’s Germany would usher in a new world order characterized by global democratic government, economic interdependence, mutual disarmament, and collective security. This last feature, in particular, was to be secured through a new League of Nations, in which every member state would promise to protect the independence of every other state by force if necessary.

I guess I can be said to hold Wilsonian beliefs in international relations…..Americans have generally seen the principles and objectives proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson during the First World War as having continued relevance for United States foreign policy. However, they have often differed over their application to specific situations, particularly because there is likely to be a tension between a drive to establish democratic values across the globe and commitment to a universal system of collective security. Rather than seeking a pure, abstract definition of ‘Wilsonianism’, it is more illuminating to examine its origins and evolution in relation to the development of American foreign policy over the years. Tracing this historical process reveals that Wilson committed himself to a postwar league of nations during the period of American neutrality, but it was only as the United States became a belligerent that the spread of democratic government became a policy objective, and then only in a partial and qualified way. A similar pattern has been discernible in subsequent decades. It has been during conflicts, or the run-up to them, that the more ideological and revisionist aspects of Wilsonian principles have come to the fore, whereas it has been in the aftermath of conflicts that there has been the greatest interest in the potentialities of a universal collective security organization. There has also been a broad shift of emphasis over time. As confidence in America’s power position has grown, the core of Wilson’s legacy has more often come to be seen as the promotion of democracy rather than the strengthening of international institutions. The persistence of both themes may be seen as reflecting basic and enduring elements of the policy-making context—on the one hand, the interests of the United States as a status quo power, and on the other, the demands of domestic American opinion.

I still firmly believe that world problems can be solved with diplomacy and mediation……wars should be the last resort not the first thought.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Blame Privatization

It is absolutely NO mistake about it…I think the idea of privatization is and was a colossus brain fart.

In case anyone doubts my words of condemnation of the idea of privatization…..

Now that I have filled in a few blanks…..a little personal history…..

in 2005 after Katrina I fell off a ladder a broke my right leg in 4 places—two surgeries and 13 screws and I had my leg back….not mas good as it was but I could walk with a limp…..I was prescribed 2 opioids to help with the pain…morphine and oxycodone… I have an interest in the whole opioid abuse thingy that the president and the country is so involved in these days.

Let me say here….Blame Privatization!

The opioid abuse epidemic is one of the worst public-health crises in American history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2017, almost 400,000 people died in the U.S. from an overdose of either prescription or illicit opioids. In 2017 alone, opioids, more than one-third involving prescriptions, killed more than 47,000 individuals. And today, on average 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses.

The root cause of most cases of opioid addiction, particularly prescription-initiated addiction, is pain, a devastating but sometimes overlooked symptom. As a recent American Industrial Hygiene Association paper argues, “the opioid crisis should be seen primarily as a pain crisis, much of which is related to work.” Addressing that crisis precipitated another: treatment regimes that relied heavily on opioids. Today there’s little awareness that almost two decades ago, conservative members of Congress, in a burst of anti-regulatory zeal, championed the fight to eliminate the very ergonomics standard that was designed to reduce the high incidence of a number of common workplace injuries.

Let us be honest!

Privatization and deregulation has caused more problems than it has cured…….and yet the GOP and some Dems keep pushing the for more of both

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”