Notebook Entries January 2007

Notebook Entries, January 2007

Notebook entry, January 28th, 2007
On a personal note, my physical exam 2nd opinion requirement from the USPS on January 16rh was upheld. To quote the official Post Office letter:

"The 2nd opinion doctor concurs with the original certification submitted by the employee. Therefore, the employee is FMLA approved from 11/15/06 forward with the guidelines of 12-30 days every 3-6 months, lifelong."

I presented the doctor two x-rays from 2001 and 2006:

"He Presents today with his radiographs from 2001, as well as that from 2006. On evaluation of these radiographs, it is clear that he has grand 1 retrolisthesis of L3 on L4 with degenerative spondylosis at multiple levels, most severe at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1. Of significant note is that from 2001 to 2006 it has significantly progressed, with narrowing that is obvious on the most recent films indicating ongoing progressive osteroarthrosis of the low back with degenerative disc disease, which is progressive in nature."

"On physical examination he is neurovascularly intact. He has slightly limited motion in his low back. He has no evidence of spasm on examination. His height by measure on a scale is 5' 4 1/4," consistent with degenerative disc disease that has progressed over the past few years."
I have a feeling that from the examination and notes from the doctor, that my time in the Postal Service may now be limited. As of today I am not quite sure about what to do other than I have to begin to plan my exit strategy. I think I will start planning a physical therapy plan that requires me to miss days off the Post Office. I will have to discuss the options with my immediate supervisors and the local postmaster at my unit.
In the new climate of "screw the worker" that is coming down the chain from corporate America today, I have a feeling that they will not be happy with what I present to them.
Notebook entry, January 17th, 2007
Here's some encouraging news from the evolutionary feminist front.
January 16, 2007, The New York Times, "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse," by Sam Roberts.

"For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

"In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

"Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits.

"William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, a research group in Washington, described the shift as a "a clear tipping point, reflecting the culmination of post-1960 trends associated with greater independence and more flexible lifestyles for women."

"For better or worse, women are less dependent on men or the institution of marriage,: Dr. Frey said. 'Younger women understand this better, and are preparing to live longer parts of their lives alone or with nonmarried partners. For many older boomer and senior women, the institution of marriage did not hold the promise they might have hoped for, growing up in an 'Ozzie and Harriet era.'"

The female dependence continues to diminish here in America as elsewhere around the planet in the industrialized nations. The planet can only benefit from the "nurturers" taking control of their lives and the destiny of their progeny. The only enemy that this trend has is the de-evolved, knuckle-crawling males and the females who support them. These females want to remain where they are because they realize that having a "man provide everything" for them is the greatest thing since sliced-bread.

Notebook entry, January 7, 2007-01-07
Comment on: The New York Times, January 6, 2007, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "Monkey on a Tiger," by Maureen Dowd.
My almost favorite feminist writer, Maureen Dowd, spins her magical words and laments the recent events about the Democrats taking over Congress this week. She swoons that the Democrats that preached bipartisan comity are reverting to the same old mean Republicans that were just replaced, and:

"…Democrats should have shown more class, letting the whiny minority party offer some stupid amendments that would lose."

And then, my almost favorite feminist writer - as she likes to do - and I highly applaud - dips in the biological of human nature:

"Perhaps the Democrats' power-shift into overdrive is a neurological disorder, or neuropolitical disorder."

"If free will is an illusion - if we are, as one philosopher put it, 'nothing more than sophisticated meat machines,' doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over - that would explain a lot about the latest trend in which everyone is reverting to type.

"William James wrote in 1890 that the whole 'sting and excitement' of life comes from 'our sense that in it things are really being decided from one moment to another, and that it is not the dull rattling off of a chain that was forged innumerable ages ago.

"But in Science Times this week, Dennis Overbye advised Dr. James to 'get over it,' observing that a 'a bevy of experiments in recent years suggest that the conscious mind is like a monkey riding a tiger of subconscious decisions and actions in progress, frantically making up stories about being in control.

"As Mark Hallett of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke told Mr. Overbye, 'Free will does exist, but it's a perception, not a power or a driving force..The more you scrutinize it, the more you realize you don't have it.'"

At this point, Ms. Dowd, after "framing" this free will business before us, then goes in her usual rant against the current de-evolved, knuckle-crawling occupants of the White House by writing:

"…Is this just the baked-in stubbornness of one man, or is W.'s behavior evidence that he has no free will? ….taking instructions from his genetic and political coding, fearing that if he admits what a foul hash he's made of Iraq, he'll be labeled a wimp, as his dad was?"

Dear Ms. Dowd: Your observations are mostly correct: there is a biological "evelator shaft" down into our "primal lower subconscious" but that it is approximately only about 40% of our foundation. We humans are social creatures where 60% of our behaviors are done to "fit into our present circumstances." -- That means, "local environments," in evolutionary-speak. And yes, that includes W's avoidance of appearing "feminine," or "wimpy." It is a display of "manliness" that belongs in our species' past. Thus, W's behavior is doomed to fail in the long term.
January 03, 2007
The Times of London, online edition, Jan 3, 2007: "Birds do it, bees do it..." by Marin Fletcher. "Our correspondent reports from Oslo on a new exhibition that appears to debunk the theory that homosexuality is an exclusively human preference."
It's taken a few years -- as any idea that attempts to reveal the truth that confronts falsehoods that develop in culture - but the bold move by biologist, Bruce Bagemihl of the University of Wisconsin, published his book, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity is finally starting to take off.
I know that his book was a major factor in the striking down of the Texas anti-sodomy laws a few years back, and then was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, but this latest spin-off is the first that I have heard about being presented before the public. Or, as Mr. Fletcher would tell us:

"It is not what you would expect to see when you take your children on a Sunday outing to the natural history museum: a giant photograph of one male giraffe humping another or two whales sparring with giant penises." This however, is Norway, where - for better or worse - the normal rules do not apply."

"But the Natural History Museum in Oslo, The Naturhistoisk Museum - is stepping squarely into the heart of a controversy that dates back to at least AD1120 when the Chruch Council of Nablus described homosexuality as a "sin against nature."

"It is staging a government-financed exhibition in its august halls that shows that homosexuality - far from being unnatural - is actually rampant in the animal world. Against Nature? Is the first exhibition in the world dedicated to gay animals, claims Petter Bockman, its bearded and pony-tailed scientific adviser…"
"The facts have been staring scientists in the face for years; Bockman says…The problem, he contends, is that when researchers are confronted by such behaviour, they choose to ignore it. They claim it is irrelevant to their work, or fear ridicule of the loss of their grants if they draw attention to it. They prefer to describe two animals of the same sex frolicking with each other as "competition, a form of greeting, ritualized combat, things like that - even where we are talking full anal intercourse with ejaculation."

I noticed this "reluctance" and perhaps, overt "distortion of truth" when I read, Frans de Waal's 1982, 1989 book, Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes, when I read this passage on page 131:

"When Nikkie began to display Yeroen usually went and stood close behind him, wrapped his arms around his waist, pressed his lower belly against Nikkie's bottom and hooted gently along with him. This gesture is called 'mounting' and it certainly originates from a sexual act. In this context, however, it had no sexual significance; it was meant as a demonstration of unity. Nikkie and Yeroen literally formed a closed front."

Here's another entry by de Waal on page 138:

"Luit takes hold of Kikkie's hand and allows him to fondle his scrotum (a normal form of reassurance among male chimpanzees)".

In comparison, here is what Bagehihl wrote in his book, Biological Exuberance, about the COMMON CHIMPANZEE, Pan troglodytes on page 277.

"Frequency: The prevalence of same-sex activities between male Common Chimpanzees is highly variable. Mounting between males constitutes anywhere from 1-2 percent to one-third or one-half of the behaviors involved in reassurance, enlistment of support, and other activities during or following conflicts…Other homosexual activities such as bumprump and oral or manual stimulation of genitals have so far been observed largely in captivity, where they may be fairly common."

See any difference? I really respect and honor Mr. de Waal for his contributions to primate science, but one can truely see the "bending the observation" of what is really happening in his 1982 book.