December 2006 Notebook Entries
Notebook Entries December 2006
December 31, 2006
It's the last day of 2006. Happy New Year -- everyone out there. I hope that 2007 brings us to a stage in our human development where we understand our role as a species. Hopefully, we will come to understand that we are a complicated social species that is involved in "group conflicts" that involves resource attainments and retentions. Hopefully, we will come to understand that approximately 60% of our human behavior is related to this social intercourse, but that 40% is still tied to our biological origins found within evolutionary psychology. (Of course, those numbers are merely a broad brushstoke and vary with local enviornments found on our planet).
Case in Point: In a GUEST COLUMNIST article in The New York Times, professor of sociology at Harvard, Orlando Patterson, filling in for Maureen Dowd wrote "The Last Race Problem," dated yesterday. In the article, he cites black history, Jewish anti-Semitism, and current events to give the complicated. and to him, the unanswer to the problem of today's persistant segregation. He gives us this question from our past and 2007: So why does segregation persist?
It's because he has not gotten the message that it's about the "big picture" of resources and not the color of skin. Yes, of course, color of skin does affect one's resources, but that is just the convenient marker that the dominants of our species use to "label" and categorize the "others" (subordinates) that may threaten their pile of resources, egad!....perhaps they may even sleep in their neighborhoods!
In light of the time that it takes of human understanding to passage across time, the above professor's lack of evolutionary underpinning of the evolutionary perspective and the Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression by Felicia Pratto and Jim Sidanius is understandable. It will just merely be a flash before we come to fulfillment. But as a human, I am frustrated that the knowledge to answer his question of "why does segregation persist" is here now, but that those in powerful academic and governmental positions have not gotten the message.
December 25, 2006. Christmas Day in America. I send my fodest wishes to all on the planet. Good Will & Peach Towards All. Some day soon, we will discover the path to peace for all. It is a difficult path to take, but we will attain it.
My step-daughter's hard work in overcoming her stroke has impressed the folks at Easter Seals so much that they have made her the "Poster-Person" to promote their Stroke Recovery Porgrams.
She has been on the local 9news TV for a short, two minute report, and now is featured in the "entertainment" section of the Denver Post. I have posted the article here.
Mom rises above stroke of fate
By Jenny Deam
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:12/24/2006 09:56:20 PM MST
The magnificent journey of Emily Lester from last Christmas to today is one of new life and near death, happiness and horror, stubborn determination and, ultimately, triumph.
And like the very first Christmas story, it began with the birth of a son.
On Dec. 25, 2005, Ewan Robert Lester arrived at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge three weeks ahead of schedule. It was a year when, for the first time in half a century, Christmas and Hanukkah fell on the same day. An amazing coincidence, considering the baby's mother, Emily Lester, is Jewish, and his father, Craig Lester, is Christian.
Things could not have been more perfect for the young couple. Normal pregnancy. Uneventful delivery.
The next day, they took their newborn son home to the Lakewood duplex they shared with Emily's mother and stepfather.
Around 4 a.m. on Dec. 27, Emily awoke with a splintering headache.
Her husband wanted to call the doctor but she told him not to be silly. She took some Tylenol and went back to bed. Two hours later, when she tried to get out of bed, she fell to the floor, unable to move.
For reasons still not entirely understood, the 32-year-old woman in the best health of her life had suffered a catastrophic stroke. It is believed the stress of pregnancy and delivery, coupled with a previously undetected blood-clotting disorder, triggered the stroke.
Doctors worked for three hours to stop the swelling and bleeding in her brain. Eighty percent of people in her condition die. But from the very first moments, she was determined to live.
Three days after emergency surgery, she awoke to find her husband seated next to her hospital bed. "I just wanted her to know I would not leave her," he remembers.
She was baffled by the sadness in the room. Why was everyone so upset? A doctor came in. "Where's your left arm?
She patted all around the bed. She couldn't feel it. She couldn't feel anything at all on her left side. She had lost all sensation, control and movement of her left side as well as parts of her vision and speech.
Then she remembered something. "Where's the baby?"
It is her son who has propelled her through rehabilitation. Her doctors say her recovery has been astounding.
"I know my daughter," Emily's mother says. "I know how strong she is. In the beginning Craig was in such despair, and I kept telling him she was going to get better."
Within days of her stroke, Emily set her first goal: She wanted to hold her baby again.
Emily Suslak and Craig Lester met in 2000 on the Internet. He was six years older than her, living in England. She was in Lakewood. He was searching for a book he feared was out of print; she worked in a bookstore.
Before long they began trans-Atlantic phone calls. Once, after having a particularly bad first day on a new job, she sent him an e-mail about it. The next day, flowers appeared.
"She was so genuine, so nice," Lester says of his cyberspace courtship. "I had no intention of getting married. The first time I visited, I was pretty sure she was the one."
Emily was more hesitant, but missed him when he returned to England. He came back, and they married on July 19, 2002.
After his wife's stroke, Lester's family arrived from England to help take care of the newborn.
Lester was numb. How could he raise a child alone? What if his wife died? In early January, Emily was transferred to Craig Hospital, a rehabilitative facility in Englewood.
She soon began a rigorous physical therapy schedule. Her first breakthrough came in February, when she moved her left leg a few inches. On St. Patrick's Day, she went home in a wheelchair. By summer, she was starting to take a few steps. She told her growing son: "You can't walk until Mommy does."
She has come to a physical and occupational therapy session at the Easter Seals Colorado offices. When the Lesters' insurance coverage ran out a few months ago, she began coming here for weekly sessions at a reduced cost. Without the subsidized program, she would not be able to afford any treatment.
Recently, she picked a calendar date to abandon the wheelchair altogether. "February?" Emily suggested.
"I like January. It's a good month to walk," replied Jeff Prince, her physical therapist.
It is not known how much recovery Lester will ultimately accomplish. Her higher-level understanding of complicated issues and problem-solving are still not 100 percent.
She hopes someday to return to work. In the meantime, her husband has been working as much overtime as he can.
Another tension for the family is trying to negotiate exactly who is raising Ewan.
The baby spends three nights a week with Emily's mother next door, and three nights a week with her father and his wife. Emily is still unable to completely care for him.
"I don't feel so much like a Mommy," she says wistfully. "I feel like his favorite toy."
As her first year of motherhood comes to a close, she can mark the passage of this last year with goals set, met and new ones created.
Lately, she's telling everyone she plans to walk her son to his first day of school.
"I tell myself if I am getting better every day," she says, "then this is my best day so far."
Notebook entry, December 23rd, 2006
If you live in cave somewhere then you did not know that the Denver area was visited by a blizzard on Wednesday the 20th and Thursday the 21st. What a mess. They had to close the airport for 45 hours and over 4,000 people got stranded overnight at the airport. That was the bad news. The good news was that on Mon., the 18th, my supervisor, Sheri, gave me bereavement sick time until I return to work on the 26th. Thus the news that letter carriers were working 20 hour days on Friday and today did not include yours truly. All I can say is that was the nicest Christmas present that my dear departed Dad every gave me. Thanks Dad. May you find Katie on your new voyage in the afterlife.
On a lively note, I found this article online at Huffington Post which came from MSNBC.com It appears the article came from Fobes and was dated Dec. 19th, 2006. Its title: SEX DOES THE BODY GOOD. Regular Romps Can Provide a Host of Physiological Benefits.
The article cites the...
"Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged
men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare people of
similar age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical
Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed
a death rate half that of the laggards."
Amongst the benefits listed:
> Improved sense of smell:
>Reduced risk of heart disease:
. Pain relief:
>Less frequent colds and flu:
>A happier prostate?
and my favorite -- which I will quote in full -- Better Teeth:
"Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to hinder tooth decay. Since this is a family web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system. Suffice it to say that it could be a far richer, more complex and more satisfying experience than squeezing a tube of Crest --"
It seems that the study did no include one of the most beneficial offshoots: REDUCED AGGRESSION IN MALES. Let's face it folks. Women have picked men for their pile of resources to aid in giving their progeny a boost over some other poor female's brats. And the bigger the pile of resources that a man has, the more likely he will be picked by the female of his dreams. But, once a male gets to dip his "seminal delivery system device" into a biologically wet, and warm receptacle, he's generally done for the day or night. So now, besides the cry of "make love and not war, " we also have these physical benefits to add to the list.
So why is it that de-evolved, knuckle-crawling conservatives don't want us unwashed little people to have sex again? Because it takes sex off of the market and "drives up the price" making men do stupid things to gain access for sex. Like join armies to gain money which helps to buy "stuff" (resources) to attract females.
Notebook entry, December 18th, 2006
During my bereavment leave I'm trying to play catch-up with my evolutionary feminist section of the website. Today I placed this important piece, that everyone in the evolutionary community should take note over. It concerns the fact that in America, the female is now graduating in larger numbers then males. This is important because if the trend continues over the next 20 years, then females will be entering local, state, and national policitics in majority numbers. It will change America and the world forever, as it will place more emphasis on matters of compassion, survival, and non-aggressive behaviors. Here is the cut version of the post. Please visit Updated References for Feminists all the entries. They are listed by date. By my estimates, I have about 100 more backlogged entries to catch up with before I start on the next batch that is starting to accumulate.
July 9, 2006, The New York Times, THE NEW GENDER DIVIDE, by Tamar Lewin, "At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust."
If you print this article out, it comes to 12 pages, but it can be boiled down to a dozen or so paragraphs. Some of which I have placed below. It's an important observational piece, and I feel that it should be part of your citation references.
"…men now make up only 42 percent of the nation's college students.
And with sex discrimination fading and their job opportunities widening, women
are coming on much stronger, often leapfrogging the men to the academic finish.
"The boys are about where they were 30 years ago, but the girls are just on a tear, doing much, much better," said Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington.
"Over all, the differences between blacks and whites, rich and poor, dwarf the differences between men and women within any particular group," says Jacqueline King, a researcher for the American Council on Education's Center for Policy Analysis and the author of the forthcoming report.
"At Harvard, 55 percent of the women graduated with honors this spring, compared with barely half the men. And at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, a public university, women made up 64 percent of this year's graduates, and they got 75 percent of the honors degrees and 79 percent of the highest honors, summa cum laude.
"People keep asking me why this is such a hot topic…It suggested that the heightened concern might in part reflect some people's nervousness about women's achievement…The idea that girls could be ahead is so shocking that they think it must be a crisis for boys, " Ms. Mead said. "I'm troubled by this tone of crisis. Even if you control for the field they're in, boys right out of college make more money than girls, so at the end of the day, is it grades and honors that matter, or something else the boys may be doing?"
Notebook entry, December 17th, 2006
A very rare second entry today. Sometimes it is like that….I can go weeks without making an entry, but then the passion hits all over again before a family matter draws me away (usually, I'm editing family movies that require many hours to put together). But this one was too good to pass up. I read it after returning from my father's funeral.
Time magazine has a VIEWPOINT by James C. Dobson, of Focus on the Family & Colorado Springs fame. This one is commenting on: Two Mommies Is One Too Many: Mary Cheney is starting a family. Let's hope she doesn't start a trend, in Time magazine issue, December 18, 2006, p. 123.
He argues that two mommies can not supply the missing element of the father. That "maleness is taught (through culture and nurture) and that boys are not born with this "maleness." He points by citing "30 years of social-science evidence" that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised my a mother and father. He cites specifically, Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale Medical School in his book Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child.
"Pruett says dads are critically important simply because "fathers do not mother. Psychology today explained in 1996 that "fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with hugh consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children…According to educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, mother tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty. Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences.
Mr. Dobson ends his essay with the statement:
"The traditional family, supported by more that 5,000 years of human experience,
is still the foundation on which the well-being of future generations depends."
I suppose, I should be thankful that Mr. Dobson goes back 5,000 years. Of course, my good man, God's wisdom has placed the evolutionary mechanisms in motion for over 100,000 years now, (and I could argue many millions more), and 90% of the evolutionary community agrees that the "manly" acts of protecting the newly discovered concept of staying in one place to live off the resources of domestic animals and plants goes back to around 10,000. It wasn't until that "maleness" helped to accumulate resources in which to attract the female and to insure that the female would pick him when we see the evolution of "traditional families."
What Mr. Dobson, (and the de-evolved, knuckle-crawling conservative females that support him) are really selling is that the male is on top with the female being submissive to the male's every wish. This is the foundation upon with Evangelical Christianity is built; Mr. Dobson is forgetting to insert that into his essay because it's a "given" to the faithful and not to the unwashed masses. . It's not "that birth and adoption are the purview of married heterosexual couples" or that when this "Divine Plan" of God's is in place, that children "have the best opportunity to thrive," it's when the male rules, and the female submits" that Mr. Dobson is selling in his essay. That is what he means by "traditional marriage." Unfettered female choice is not the goal as it is in evolutionary feminism.
Mr. Dobson needs a quick lesson in evolutionary thought: "It's not -- "the survival of the fittest" that most Evangelical Christians hold dear to their hearts, it's "WHO LEAVES BEHIND THE MOST CHILDREN," Mr. Dobson. That happens when Christian "do-gooders" keep their hands and eyes out of the individual's bedroom and all females have unfettered choice.
Notebook entry, December 17th, 2006
I'm still in a bereavement mode over the loss of my father. I can't seem to face the courage to return to work as of this day. I know that I will have to, but with all things around me at an emotional low, I just can't.
In the meantime, I'll try to take a few days off and try to catch up with my notebook. *****
David Brook, the de-evolved, knuckle-crawling, "I want to be a macho-man" conservative writer with The New York Times, had a piece today about the general angst of magazine articles found in 2006. In one of the articles he mentioned, he listed this article of particular interest to me: "Are You There God? It's Me, Monica," How nice girls go so casual about oral sex, by Caitlin Flanagan, in the January/February 2006, The Atlantic Online edition. Basically, Ms. Flanagan is recording a cultural shift in the sexual mores of young females in American society today (All without any empirical evidence, I might add). But if proven true, I find it most interesting. Here are a few notable quotes:
"Nowadays girls don't consider oral sex in the least exotic -- nor do
they even consider it to be sex. It's just "something to do." A friend
who attended a leadership conference for girls from some of the country's top
schools told me, "Friendships haven't changed a bit since our day. But
Sex has changed a lot." One of the teachers, from an eastern boarding school,
told the students that when she was young, in the 1960s, oral sex was considered
far more intimate than intercourse. The kids hooted at the notion. "It's
like licking a lollipop," one pretty girl from a prestigious girls' school
said, flipping her hair in the ancient gesture of teenage certainty. "It's
no big deal."
"Never bring a boy to your bedroom," (my mother0 told me afterward. "Why not?"..There was a fumbling for words, and then an answer: "Because he might go to school and tell other boys what your comforter looks like." But even in my teenage snit I understood what she was talking about: not the comforter but my reputation (emphasis mine). Not the boy himself (who was a very nice person -- anyone could tell it just from meeting him) but the immutable truth about boys: They want most what we keep private. When it's known, it's lessened."(emphasis mine again).
This is really important people. If you read the darkened highlights of my emphasis, it leads us to a crossroad in inter-group conflict regarding sexual transmissions of genes. It is at this point that a group decides for woman who is a Madonna or Whore, Saint or Slut. The basis, of course, is that if sexual access is given away, then it "lessens" the value of the sexual access, thus reducing the value of a male's commitment. It puts a dent in the "good" girl's return on her parental investment. She has to "put out" more in order to make the male committed. Or at least, that is the "group consensus" at this time in history, and location on the planet. It's the cultural norms, stupid. And they "must be obeyed."
"We've made a world for our girls in which the pornography industry has
become increasingly mainstream, in which Planned Parenthood's response to the
oral-sex craze has been to set up a help line, in which the forces of feminism
have worked relentlessly to erode the patriarchy -- which, despite its manifold
evils, held that providing for the sexual safety of young girls was among its
primary reasons for existence. And there are America's girls: experienced beyond
their modesty, adrift in one of the most explicitly sexualized cultures in the
history of the world. Here are America's girls: on their knees."
Well, that's a bit of a dramatic ending to the essay, but all that it gives us is anecdotal evidence to a cultural shift taking place. My personal belief is that because of the internet, and it "show everything that is happening between humans" in the privacy of their bedrooms, it is creating this shift. Somehow, observing other humans "doing it," is not "dirty" anymore, but, as Jarod Diamond's book tell's us" "It's fun." And perhaps, because of this, we are turning our back on our aggressive, chimpanzee connections and preferring to "make love, and not war," as the bonodos demonstrate.
Notebook entry, December 15th, 2006
And so it came to pass that my farther died on Sat. December 9th at 1100am Eastern time. I received the word via voice mail on my cell phone. It was turned off because I was going through security at the airport. Both my sisters were present when he passed. We arranged for a Mass to be said for him on Tuesday Dec. 12th. It was really a nice Mass and the priest was very nice. I returned home on Thursday, Dec. 14th. I still am too filled with emptiness to return to work. I'll attempt to return on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
Notebook entry, December 9th, 2006 -- 5:00 am
This has been a hectic week. I received phone calls from my sisters that my farther is in his final stages of his life. He has taken to bed and he is on oxygen and morphine. Cancer is eating his body and pain has taken over his mind. But weep not. I am happy for him. He will be in a better place soon and he was a good man. He will leave behind 3 children, many grandchildren and a few great-grand children. He worked hard all his life and never hurt a soul. It was 95 three days ago. I leave for New Jersey this morning at 10:20am. I don't know when I will return, but I would like to be back for Wan's 1st birthday.