Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

This sticky post was written the day we appeared on the internet in 2004.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

Update 8/11/07 - As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY has a solution that makes a lot of sense to me:

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous sufbsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Cayce on World War III

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80 Years Ago Edgar Cayce Predicted Putin’s Role in Stopping WW3

Bu Buck Rogers
Waking Times
October 16, 2015

Watching geo-political events unfold today is like watching a slow motion train wreck, especially if you’re informed by history and understand the connection between ”WORLD WARS” and the unseen influences behind international politics and global banking.

EDGAR CAYCE is one of the world’s most revered psychics, “the Sleeping Prophet,” as they called him, and many consider him to be the father of holistic medicine. Entering into trance-like states of consciousness at will, he could divine information from some extra-ordinary plane of existence on behalf of his patients or in response to specific queries from an audience. He was remarkably insightful and accurate, which is why his name is so familiar to so many.

Much of what he brought back from the “Source” of his inspired information pertained to specific medical issues, but in the staggering volumes of his readings and written works there is an abundance of insight and prophecy related to larger global political and social events.

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrows questions.” - Edgar Cayce

Many of Cayce’s psychic readings occurred in the early part of the 20th century during two World Wars and the Great Depression, but before his death in 1947 he had already seen many of his predictions come true, including FORETELLING OF THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929, foreseeing events related to BOTH WORLD WARS, and even the warning of the untimely deaths of two American presidents.

In a series of what he called “World Affairs Readings,” Cayce made many remarkable statements about the future of world finance, world leadership, collective spirituality, and interestingly the role that somehow Russia was to play as a force of right in the coming global turmoil that we see unfolding before our eyes today.

The Thorn in the Side of Europe

Cayce foresaw that future world crises would hinge on finance, and he pointed to Russia as being the thorn in the side of the financial powers that were organizing themselves against the good of humanity in a post WWII world.

When asked in 1932 about political and economic trends in Europe Cayce ZEROED INin on Russia:

Europe is as a house broken up. Some years ago there was the experience of a mighty peoples being overridden for the gratification and satisfaction of a few, irrespective of any other mans right. That peoples are going through the experience of being born again, and is the thorn in the flesh to many a political and financial nation in Europe, in the world. Q. What is the name of that nation referred to? A. Russia! (3976-8)

70 years after the defeat of the Axis powers, Russia has been reborn, but the rest of the world is now largely under the thumb of the Western globalist banking cartel. This cartel is organized as the IMF, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, and the global network of central banks, reserve banks, development banks, and investment banks that hold the world’s elected governments in perpetual receivership and the worlds people in bondage to mathematically impossible to pay debt.

Present Day on the Edge of the Knife

In 2013 the US was ATTEMPTING TO INVADE SYRIA under obviously false pretenses. Putin prevented US involvement by threatening to intervene militarily in a conflict that at that time had not yet devolved unto the horrid conditions we see today.

With the deliberate destruction of Ukraine by the GEORGE SOROS FUNDED COLOR-REVOLUTION destabilization team then the advances of the IMF to debt-conquer Ukraine with TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FORCED DEVELOPMENT LOANS, Putin’s Russia emerged as the singular force capable of checking the banking cabals global advance, and is refusing to allow Ukraine and Crimea to fall into the hands of Western backed forces.

The GRAND CHESSBOARD that is the Middle East is ablaze, and the world is on a razor’s edge, caught between the very real possibility of escalation to third world war and the seemingly distant hope of world leaders suddenly finding sanity and de-escalating the situation.

Cayce spoke of Russia’s role as being the “hope of the world” in a coming time such as this:

“In Russia there comes the hope of the world, not as that sometimes termed of the communistic, or Bolshevik, no; but freedom, freedom! That each man will live for his fellow man! The principle has been born. It will take years for it to be crystallised, but out of Russia comes again the hope of the world.” (Edgar Cayce, 1944, No. 3976-29)

As events in Syria and Iraq have become more convoluted and devastating for people in the region, the Islamic State (ISIS) has been on a campaign of shock and awe, reigning bloody terror on Christians, Syrians, Kurds, moderate Muslims, Shia Muslims, and anyone in between. ISIS, as everyone apparently knows, is funded and supplied weaponry by the US and Israel as a means of indirectly toppling the Assad regime in Syria.

As the US and its allies pretend like they are not responsible for ISIS and act like they are powerless to stop ISIS, Putin has calmly told the world in no uncertain terms the truth about the WestӔs support for ISIS and the other mercenary factions which have completely destroyed Syria, already killed hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, and forcing the engineered refugee crisis on Europe, expanding the crisis now into Macedonia.

In this video Vladimir Putin cogently explains the Syria situation with striking clarity:

Russia has quickly been able to stop ISIS in its tracks by destroying ammunition dumps and supply lines, a rather basic military accomplishment that the US has not been willing to achieve in years of bombing ISIS. Even US Democrat Congresswoman Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has asked the president why Russia bombing ISIS is a bad thing?

The Spiritual Development and Leadership of Russia

Even before WWII, Cayce appears to have foreseen the need for Russia to evolve spiritually in some manner so that it would be able to rise in opposition to the decaying moral values of the capitalist West and play its part as the great hope of the world.

CAYCE WAS ASKED, “What should be the attitude of so called capitalist nations toward Russia?”

On Russia’s religious development will come the greater hope of the world. Then that one, or group, that is the closer in its relationships, may fare the better in the gradual changes and final settlement of conditions as to the rule of the world. (3976-10)

Six months later, additional information was presented which helped to clarify this earlier prediction.

“Out of Russia, you see, there may come that which may be the basis of a more world wide religious thought or trend."(3976-12)

When Hugh Lynn Cayce asked about the Russian situation in June 1938, he was told:

A new understanding has and will come to a troubled people. Here, because of the yoke of oppression, because of the self indulgences, has arisen another extreme. Only when there is freedom of speech, the right to worship according to the dictates of the conscience until these come about, still turmoils will be within. (3976-19)

Essentially Cayce appears to be referring to Russia after the trials under Soviet rule and the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as the need for the world to return to humanistic values in order to free itself from the oppression of the Zionist cartels which have been organizing against the human race for centuries.

Cayce is saying that some sort of much needed spiritual leadership will come from Russia in this time, some kind of attitude that will make it possible for a transition of this calibre to occur without having to experience the guaranteed destruction of any World War III.

Putin is at best no saint, and there is no underestimating the potential for deception by any nationalistic organization, but in a survey of the major players on the field at the moment, when the human race is teetering on a razor sharp knife’s edge, Putin appears to be bringing something to the table that other world leaders arent weildingҒ common sense.

And what would spiritual leadership look like in a world gone mad, anyhow? At first it would appear as common sense. Of course.

Aristotle even goes as far as to say that common sense is where consciousness originates. So if a society is lacking in common sense, and there’s little to no conscience, morality, empathy, consciousness, creativity, taste, discernment or love, how does one propose to govern such a population? [SOURCE]

Putin’s actions in Syria makes the most common sense, among the available options. Already he has likely PREVENTED THE INVASION OF SYRIA BY TURKEY, checking President Erdogan at the border, and he has severely disrupted the operations of ISIS. Both are wins for the cause of common sense in an arena of treachery.

Did Edgar Cayce somehow know that Russia would take the common sense gap between spiritual leadership and the guaranteed destruction of World War III which is being engineered by the West?

Speaking on the current state of US and Russia relations at a recent summit, Putin said, regarding America:

You must rise above the endless desire to dominate. You must stop acting out of imperialistic ambitions. Do not poison the minds of millions of people; like there can be no other way but imperialistic politics.ғ Vladimir Putin

Putin is directing our attention to the 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one else seems willing to talk about: America and the West no longer have any moral superiority in the world.

Cayce also made comments about America’s future moral decay:

In the final World Affairs reading given on June 22, 1944, less than six months before Edgar’s death, he addresses the spirit and “the sin” of America.

What is the spirit of America? Most individuals proudly boast “freedom.” Freedom of what? When ye bind men’s hearts and minds through various ways and manners, does it give them freedom of speech? Freedom of worship? Freedom from want? In the application of these principles… America may boast, but rather is that principle being forgotten and that is the sin of America. (3976-29) Reading 3975-15, given on January

Conclusion

Did Edgar Cayce foresee Putin’s interfering role in the Western cabals plan to overtake the world through financial domination, political destabilization, and all out world war, order out of chaos?

Cayce also predicted the possibility of a THIRD World War. He spoke of “strifes arising” in Libya, and in Egypt, in Ankara, and in Syria; through the straits around those areas above the Persian Gulf. [SOURCE]

Whether or not you believe in the power of the human mind to connect with Source and withdraw information about the future, things are lining up in such a way that Cayce’s prophecies regarding Russia are proving quite prescient now, giving us a clue that at least we shouldn’t hold on too tightly to any preconceived notions about what will happen in coming years.

And in a vacuum of any common sense or humanistic leadership from the present powers that be, why not look to a revered psychic for direction? In the end, though, all we have from Cayce is really just the inspiration to action we get from looking into his past for clues and hope about our future. If you’re concerned about the direction things are taking, let Cayce’s words rouse you to action.

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Posted by Elvis on 04/23/18 •
Section Revelations
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Evictions

image: no job no house

First-Ever Evictions Database Shows: ‘We’re In the Middle Of A Housing Crisis’

By Terry Gross
NPR
April 12, 2018

For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 a rate of four every minute.

“Eviction isn’t just a condition of poverty; it’s a cause of poverty,” Desmond says. “Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, school instability [and] community instability.”

Desmond won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. His latest project is THE EVICTION LAB, a team of researchers and students at Princeton University dedicated to amassing the nation’s first-ever database of eviction. To date, the Lab had collected 83 million records from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, and that means more and more people are giving more and more of their income to rent and utilities,” Desmond says. “Our hope is that we can take this problem that’s been in the dark and bring it into the light.”

Interview Highlights

On why eviction rates are so high

Incomes have remained flat for many Americans over the last two decades, but housing costs have soared. So between 1995 and today, median asking rents have increased by 70 percent, adjusting for inflation. So there’s a shrinking gap between what families are bringing [in] and what they have to pay for basic shelter.

And then we might ask ourselves: Wait a minute, where’s public housing here? Where’s housing vouchers? Doesn’t the government help? And the answer is, it does help, but only for a small percentage of families. Only about 1 in 4 families who qualify for housing assistance get anything. So when we picture the typical low income American today, we shouldn’t think of them living in public housing or getting any kind [of] housing assistance for the government, we should think of folks who are paying 60, 70, 80 percent of their income and living unassisted in the private rental market. That’s our typical case today.

On the effects of eviction

Eviction comes with a mark that goes on your record, and that can bar you from moving into a good house in a safe neighborhood, but could also prevent you from moving into public housing, because we often count that as a mark against your application. So we push families who get evicted into slum housing and dangerous neighborhoods.

We have studies that show that eviction is linked to job loss. ... It’s such a consuming, stressful event, it causes you to make mistakes at work, lose your footing there, and then there’s just the trauma of it the effect that eviction has on your dignity and your mental health and your physical health. We have a study for example that shows that moms who get evicted experience high rates of depression two years later.

On how landlords go about evicting tenants

It varies a lot from city to city. In some places you can evict someone for being a penny short and a day late and the process is very efficient and quick. In other cities it’s a lot longer and laborious and it’s much more work. We’re only also talking about formal evictions, too. These are evictions that go through the court and there are 101 ways for landlords to get a family out. Sometimes landlords pay a family to leave. Sometimes they change their locks or take their door off, as I witnessed one time in Milwaukee. So those evictions aren’t even captured in these numbers that we have ח which means the estimates that we have are stunning, but they’re also too low.

On the benefits of stabilizing families and decreasing evictions

The more I think about this issue, the more I think that we’ve really had a failure of our imagination and maybe it’s linked to a failure of our compassion. ... When we ask, What can be done if a tenant doesn’t pay rent? Doesn’t that tenant have to be evicted? A thousand things can be done. There’s so much better ways of dealing with this issue than we currently do. ...

Stabilizing a home has all sorts of positive benefits for a family. The kid gets to finish school. The neighborhood doesn’t lose a crucial neighbor. The family gets to root down and get to understand the value of a home and avoid homelessness. And for all of us, I think [we] have to recognize that we’re paying the cost of eviction because whatever our issue is, whatever keeps us up at night, the lack of affordable housing sits at the root of that issue. ...

Stabilizing a home has all sorts of positive benefits for a family.

Matthew Desmond

We know that neighborhoods that have more evictions have higher violent crime rates the following year. You can understand why ח it rips apart the fabric of a community. We pay for that. The top 5 percent of hospital users consume 50 percent of the health care costs. Guess who those people are? They’re the homeless and unstably housed. And so I think we can spend smart or we can spend stupid, and so I think addressing the affordable housing crisis is a win for families, for landlords and for the taxpayer.

Roberta Shorrock and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web.

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Posted by Elvis on 04/17/18 •
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Monday, April 16, 2018

What Not to Say To An Isolated Older Adult

unhappy old man

Well-intentioned comments can reinforce feelings of loneliness

By Michelle Seitzer
Next Avenue
April 16, 2018

When MaryKay Kubotas husband died unexpectedly at 49, she felt that the world kept going for everyone but her. Until that moment, the then 47-year-old mother of four, who had married at 19, managed their family’s fast-paced social life. “I didn’t have to think about what was next,” Kubota said. But after her husband’s death, even with two children still at home, “everything just stopped,” she recalled.

As her grief escalated, so did her feeling of abandonment.

“Nobody knew what to say in the situation, so they just left me alone,” said Kubota. Though they offered the standard “Let me know what you need,” Kubota, facing responsibilities she really couldn’t manage on her own, found it hard to ask for help.

Loss Upon Loss

Kubota’s siblings, afraid to upset her by talking about her husband, were not present or helpful when she needed them most. She felt disconnected at her job in commercial real estate. “I was in a fog for at least a year,” she said.

Realizing she lost more than just her husband (her normal, the support of her siblings, a direction in life) was an “aha moment” for Kubota, 68, who now resides in Seal Beach, Calif. But in those early days after his passing, when she was left alone to manage daily life and deal with her grief, Kubota was launched into a long-lasting cycle of isolation, depression and loneliness.

Isolation Doesn’t Stand Alone

Many older adults find themselves in this cycle of compounded loss, but it should never be considered the norm for this stage of life.

Loneliness and social isolation are now believed to be as dangerous to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and surpass the mortality risks of obesity. A 2017 SCAN survey of 1,000 older adults uncovered this compelling statistic: 82 percent of those 65 and up know at least one person who is lonely, yet 58 percent would be reluctant to admit it if they themselves felt isolated.

Even those who live with others can feel lonely.

At 51, Sandra Hallows of Burnaby, British Columbia, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Her husband, Jolyon, then 55, became her primary caregiver.

From losing her driver’s license to the friends who’d say “we’ll call later,” and never did, Sandra Hallows felt the sting of isolation immediately following her diagnosis. For Jolyon, the isolation happened over time: As his wife’s disease progressed, both were robbed of conversation and communication, and he was left to watch the woman he loved disappear over two decades. She died in early 2017.

Practical Tips for Breaking Through Isolation

The faces of grief and loneliness are individualized and complex. But for many, it’s a vicious cycle of feeling lonely and depressed which perpetuates isolation and grief that extends beyond the usual time, said Dr. Romilla Batra, chief medical officer for SCAN.

Recognizing that very real struggle - and the cyclical, non-linear aspect of it - is huge in terms of helping the individual, rather than pushing him or her further down isolation’s road.

Here are four things not to say to someone isolated, according to experts, and what to do instead:

1. What Not to Say: “Oh, that was so long ago”

A person needs to be able to grieve without feeling guilty, Kubota said. People can’t just “deal with it and move on.”

What to Do Instead: Give the person adequate time - perhaps even a lifetime - to grieve.

Two weeks after her husband died, Kubota remembers all contact from loved ones dropped off. “Keep the cards coming. Keep visiting. Keep asking how we’re doing, even when we’re not good company,” recommended Kubota.

When friends and family asked questions like “How are you doing?” with the intention of truly listening, the empathy and VALIDATION was invaluable to Jolyon - Hallows, he said.

2. What Not to Say: “Let me know how I can help”

Unless you plan to deliver on your promise, this usually well-intended phrase only serves to push an already isolated individual further into isolation. “I would make up stories in my mind as to why they couldn’t help,” Kubota said. And in doing so, she began taking the blame for her loneliness.

What to Do Instead: Hallows appreciated the FRIENDS who would bring dessert when he invited them over for dinner. “Fattening and thoughtful,” he said.

3. What Not to Say: “You must be doing better since”

Even after Kubota moved to a more active community and started a job that required intense social interaction, isolation was a daily struggle, one which she had to intentionally overcome. “You can do what you love, but you still come home alone,” she said.

What to Do Instead: Being socially involved or active doesn’t erase the risk or pain of isolation. Even the telephone and TV did not interest or comfort Kubota when she was at her loneliest. But, she said, that doesn’t mean you shouldnt call, adding: “We still need to talk to someone.”

4. What Not to Say: You should go out and enjoy yourself more often”

Large group activities or entertainment shouldn’t be the only solution for LONELINESS, said Paul Falkowski, founder and executive director of Omaha-based Community 360, a nonprofit that recruits and trains trusted volunteers to visit older adults in nursing homes.

“The deep-seated need to feel that someone cares about them cannot be met in those [large-group] activities,” he said. An older woman living in a nursing home once said to me, “I have a lot of people around me, but there is no one here just for me.”

What to Do Instead: Encourage creativity, self-discovery and new traditions. When Kubota rediscovered her identity, she found a better way out of isolation. “I had to remember who I was and what I loved before I was a wife and mother,” she said. Since then, she’s started painting again and participates in a fitness boot camp where she’s at least 20 years older than most in her class.

Ultimately, letting go of the “used to” or “can’t do” was huge for Kubota. Her life was not over. By sharing her story, she hopes others in isolation will know they’re not alone and will find the people, places and purposeful activities to help them engage again.

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Posted by Elvis on 04/16/18 •
Section Personal
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Sunday, April 08, 2018

Why the World is Being Decivilized

image: sucker

What it Means to be a Civilized Society
Why the World is Being Decivilized

By Umair Haque
Eudamonia
April 5, 2018

Here’s a question that’s been on my mind lately. What does it mean to be a civilized society - or even a person? Why doesn’t America seem to be one anymore? What does that portend for the world?

Money is no guarantee that a person or place is civilized (exhibit one, the White House). You might say it means power - but that’s false, too. Nero was powerful, but he wasn’t civilized. He was a barbarian wearing a crown. What made him one?

To the barbarian, violence is the answer. The first, last, and best one. To what? To everything: to all social, political, economic, or personal problems. But to the civilized person, violence isn’t the answer - it is the problem. Violence is a kind of ignorance. So it is the opposite of ignorance that a civilized mind seeks, values, prizes - whether we call it education, wisdom, intellgience, or knowledge.

But isn’t that - violence as the solution to all a society’s problems - exactly what resurgent, macho, strongman extremists propose across the globe today? Whether its in the form of bullying, bluster, domination, discipline, or punishment? We’ll come to that. Whatever you suppose that being “civilized” means, I wonder if you don’t agree at least in a tiny way with my simple answer. So let’s apply it.

Is America a civilized country - really? What went wrong with it? Does it pass the test above? Kids are SHOOTING one another at schools. Answer? Arming teachers. People are overdosing on opioids. Answer? Not Narcan-jail. There aren’t enough decent jobs to go around. Answer? Let employers treat people like worthless commodities. PEOPLE FIND IT impossible to make ENDS MEET, even when they’re OLD. Answer? Let them work three jobs. The sick DIE young from a lack of HEALTHCARE - or even basic medicine. Answer? So what? If they CAN’T AFFORD, they DON’T DESERVE it. Do you see the common thread?

Too often in America, VIOLENCE emerges as the first and last answer to all problems. That violence might be explicit and extreme - as in arming teachers. Or it might be hidden violence, violence by omission, like letting people die for a lack of insulin. But it is violence all the same - harm, not gentleness, transformation, and growth.

Let me sharpen that. Recently the Atlantic hired - and then fired - a columnist who proposed that women who’d had abortions should be (wait for it) hanged. Do you see what I mean by violence as the first and last answer? The issue isn’t just a columnist - it is that is that violence marks the boundaries of acceptable discourse, ideas, thought, in America. Whatever the issue is, if a solution is violent, it is treated seriously, and chins are stroked. Punish people more. Treat them with even more badly. Hurt them a little more. Then they will learn. (Hence, America is always declaring war - wars on drugs, wars on poverty, and so on, but the problem is that when you are fighting a war - even a noble one - brutality quickly becomes normality.)

But if a solution is nonviolent, like for example public healthcare, basic incomes and assets, better safety nets, or working retirement systems, it is quickly deemed impossible. It seems impossible in America to propose nonviolent solutions to social, human, or economic problems. Only more and more crazily deranged, bizarrely violent ones, to the point of surreal absurdity, like arming teachers, or hanging women.

Hence, the rest of the world finds it difficult to see America as a civilized country anymore. When kids are shooting each other at schools - something that happens nowhere else in the world - perhaps that isn’t so surprising. But it cuts to the heart of the distinction between civilization and barbarism. Violence and nonviolence. Harm and healing. Punishment and gentleness.

But the inconvient truth is that the same forces that have decivilized America are also threatening to decivilize the world. Neo-Nazis in the Bundestag, remember? What are those forces? We call them “inequality” and “stagnation” and “austerity” but we speak too technically, missing the human point. The force that decivilizes people in the end is a lack of dignity. Where there is no dignity, there will soon enough be extremism, tribalism, and authoritarianism - rule by mob, mafia, a thugocracy, the rise of the predatory. What in an earlier time we would have simply called barbarism.

Dignity is what people have lost as a result of decades of aggressive, single-minded neoliberalism, in which only how much money a society or a person makes matters - not belonging, trust, meaning, purpose, intelligence, empathy, or wisdom. How did we expect civilization to survive that kind of assault, anyways? Neoliberalism, capitalism, these ideologies see it as beneficial and noble things to take a persons dignity away - or even a whole society’s. Who needs dignity? It’s made of troublesome things like rights, norms, values, which cost money. But the truth is that when we take people’s dignity away, we set a kind of nuclear chain reaction in motion that ends in decivilization.

When a person loses their dignity, they have lost what matters most - the sense that they count, have inherent worth, meaning, can amount to something. If you are worthless, why not lash out at the world that made you that way? But the truth is that violence has already been done to such a person, by dehumanizing and abusing them. In that way, stripping people of dignity sets off a chain reaction of violence. Violence is ultimately the loss of dignity.

Civilization, then, because it is the opposite of violence, is also the project of creating dignity. Of endowing it. Bestowing it. Sharing it. And celebrating it. And what has gone wrong in America today is that that process, that project of civilization as the creation of dignity failed catastrophically. Not by accident, but by design. In taking peoples dignity away, American also decivilized itself. And now it is a place where the most violent and harmful rule over the weak and meek. But that is the place that countries who allow this chain reaction of indignity and violence to ignite will end up, too: decivilized.

So. How do we give people dignity? Ah, that is the simplest - but hardest thing. Dignity comes from rights. Dignity comes from norms. It comes from values and responsibilities. Ultimately, dignity comes from each other. It is the measure of how much we can see in one another. How gently we can hold each other. And how high we can lift each other up - not simply pull each other down, which is what violence, the absence of civilization, really is.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 04/08/18 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
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