Author: Dr. John

Dr. John: Japan-How You Can Help

note from LK:  Dr. John, being a compulsively helpful sort, found this on CNN.com and rightly insisted that it be posted front and center.  If you’re going to spend time and money to help, you might as well do it in a way that, well, helps.

Japan earthquake: How you can help
Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, advises those ready to make donations to “wait and see how the situation develops and step forward when clear charitable needs arise.”

An immediate response is not necessarily best, he says. “It’s ok to get assessments on the situation and then send contributions.”
For those who intend to help victims of Friday’s 8.9-magnitude quake, experts advise following these guidelines in the days ahead:

Who to give to
Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, recommends giving to reputable aid organizations, like the Red Cross and Save the Children, because those organizations already have a presence in the impacted area and their response will likely be faster and more efficient than other organizations that are not on the ground. “They have the experience and infrastructure necessary to provide help,” he said.

What to give
“Give money, not food, water and clothes,” Rooney advised. “There’s a much higher shipping cost for supplies and it’s easier for disaster organizations to get cash and use it as they need to.”

CAUTION:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation advises donors not to respond to any unsolicited incoming emails, but rather go directly to recognized charities and aid organization’s websites, as opposed to following a link to another site.

Before donating, also verify the legitimacy of the nonprofit organizations as well as its nonprofit status.

And be leery of emails claiming to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, because those files can contain viruses, the FBI cautioned.

Thanks again to CNN, who will probably not take umbrage at having this info spread around.  LK

Dr. John: Changing Diapers While Waiting For A Factory Job

There was an article today which I’ve been waiting for. It deals with the increase of depression among men due to the recession. I say I have been waiting for it because besides all the other effects this recession has had on us, the psychological aspect has not been dealt with at any great length. Now, finally, a study has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggesting that due to the changing gender roles, men are at an increasingly higher risk of developing depression.

The complaints seem to be focused around marital conflict and employment, which makes sense. Stress about finances can put some heavy pressure on even the best of marriages. Couple that with feelings of guilt for not pulling your weight, and hypersensitivity to even the most innocent statement made by the wife, and let the head banging begin.

But this study has gone further than simple stress. The indicators are that men – who held 75% of manufacturing and labor-intensive jobs are being forced into what, for better or worse, has long been considered a woman’s role, and adapting to this role is for some very difficult and even depressing.

Now, since we guys have been led to believe that depression is a weakness, and that we should be able to simply snap out of it, I am thrilled about this new study and hope that more attention will be paid to this problem. Finding out that we are not alone, makes it a lot easier to ‘fess up about our misery. Kind of like hearing that a pro athlete has come forward about his depression. You can almost hear the male half of the Universe sigh in relief.

Besides getting proper treatment, there is one major thing I suggest we all take a look at. You see, many of us have trouble defining ourselves. We confuse what we do with who we are. It is the being in the world vs. being of the world conflict found in teachings from Jesus to the Buddha to the existentialist psychologist, Rollo May. I am a doctor. No. I am a man. I may work as a doctor, but that is not what I am. So you can see how easy it is to lose one’s identity if we lock that identity to something tangible, and therefore impermanent. For many of us, it is a classic mistake, fostered by the puritanical belief that our value is measured by our success or failure IN THE WORLD.

My advice – cut yourselves a break, men. Embrace your position as neither masculine nor feminine, but as you. The you who used to bang sheet metal is the exact you who is changing diapers. Take the same pride, energy, and happiness and use it to simply be a better you, despite what you are doing in the world, since, as we all have come to realize – the world is ever changing.

Dr. John “Adopt A Terrorist For Prayer”

note from LK: The Falcon, AKA Dr. John (the legend from Jersey, not the one from New Orleans) is a regular contributor to my nightly radio program on WOR710.com.  He’s one of the most creative and thoughtful human beings on the face of the planet, having sold hundreds of thousand of CD’s, records, and downloads, having had exhibitions of his paintings in prestigious galleries, while managing to squeeze in earning a PhD in psychology while doing battle in the intersection of art and commerce.

His musings that take place on the show are worth transcribing, and work, I think, as stand alone posts.  Here’s what he had to say on Friday, 2-25-11:

‘Adopt a terrorist for prayer,’ site urges.
Could you pray for people who planned bombings, carried out shootings and terrorized civilians? A movement in the U.S. is asking Christians to do just that.
At atfp.org, Christians are asked to “adopt a terrorist for prayer.” A quote from the Bible on the site urges visitors to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer (ATFP) spokesman Thomas Bruce tells CNN the site’s main goals are to teach people how to pray for their enemies and to spiritually reform the terrorists.

Now originally, when I read this, I did my usual snicker and figured this should be an easy slaughter for me… you know,  death by sarcasm.  I almost passed on it cause, like any Charlie Sheen, or Lindsay Lohan story, it was TOO easy of a target.  But then I read it again.


Besides the absurd model of the thing :  Just sign up, scroll through the list and choose which individual you’d like to pledge to transform through prayer.
And the silly numerical breakdown of which terrorist gets the most prayers:
Some terrorists have more sponsors than others. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been adopted by 13 people, while Detroit underwear bombing suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab has just eight, I found it fascinating for a few reasons.


First, it challenged my general take on humanity which is that we are too stupid and evil to be allowed to survive.  Here is a guy – or bunch of people, I guess, who truly believe in the power of prayer and forgiveness.  It was a refreshing and actually uplifting change from the ‘Kill ‘em all, and bomb ‘em back to Allah’ rhetoric that accompanies any terrorist headline.  Second, this is the first Christian group that at least  are actually attempting to practice true Christ doctrine. Not Christian doctrine, Christ doctrine.  You see, Christ taught that violent reaction to evil is unacceptable across the board.  So most Christians are not really Christians, since the church obviously has for centuries been just fine with war for so-called righteous causes.  And even these folks dance around that, as they state in the article that  “It’s really important to service personnel to do their service for their country without dehumanizing the people who are trying to hurt their country. Understandable, but hypocritical.  The other hypocrisy that stands out is that this ATFP group is focusing only on people with ties to Islam, insinuating that there are no Christian terrorists who may need prayers of forgiveness.
Now being a regular human myself, I would have to say that I could not follow the pure doctrine.  If a bad guy attacked my family my only prayers for him would be after I killed him, which makes me just part of the grub-worm mentality that most assuredly has gotten us in and is keeping us in this global mess.


But, what if we did evolve to that point?  What if every human treated each other with dignity, respect, and forgiveness? What if we evolved to a place where doing harm to our fellow man was such an alien concept that it was not even a consideration?


It is a beautiful dream.  It is as pure as the trees and the sky and the earth itself, and I wish it were so.  That said, I think I am going to try it.  I’m not going to join their club, but along with my meditation prayers for my family and friends, our soldiers, and my personal cry to God  for a Ferrari, I am going to pray for the terrorists.  Besides my egoist belief that I am right about everything, what could it hurt?

Dumbing Down Dumb

note from LK: today’s missive is from my comrade in arms The Falcon.  His no holds barred style combined with the acute insights that are at the root of his pieces make him one of the few guests who can’t outstay their welcome.

With all the rhetoric spewing about how America is bringing up the rear in the World academically, I was a tad perturbed today to learn that schools are falling like dominoes due to lack of funding.

So, we buy arms, supply God knows which insane countries with defense training, finance Blackwater and other secret Ops, keep the White House swimming pool filled and clean, and bail out…well, we all know all about bail outs!  Free cars, library, guards, gym privileges, parking in DC, etc., etc. for our so-called leaders.  And…a variety of wars that are proving to be un-winnable.

Add it up (if you can add).  Eventually, like in some frightening futuristic novel, America will be crawling with idiots.  But this may actually be good news, because everything will collapse and maybe then the lunatics who saw us as a lucrative Disneyworld, will take a look and say, “Na…let’s go after England instead.”

The Falcon, then, is supporting the closing down of all schools.  Shut em down!  Call in the militias to train our kids in AK47 breakdown and usage.  There will be no Wall Street, no TransUnion or other credit Nazis, no insurance companies, and no lawyers.  There will be no government to screw things up, since things will already be massively screwed.  We will be left to our own devices to survive.

Fire, water, and earth will become sacred, taking the place of the Lexus motorcar.  Basic shelter will override the Park Avenue penthouse, and country “getaways”.  Clans will surface according to ethnicity and common belief systems, and may well even support one another, as long as they don’t get in each other’s faces.  Then maybe, just maybe, a peaceful coexistence will ensue.

Paradise! That is, until someone decides we need religion.

NASCAR, The Luge, and Rollerball

from LK: here’s the second piece by The Falcon.

The cry goes out as we look for someone to blame for the horrible luge fatality in Vancouver.  Don’t look far.  It’s us.  We want faster, bigger, more dangerous in our sports and the huge cartels that run them are more than happy to oblige.  Nascar lifted a bunch of regulations this year, including opening the holes up in the restrictor plates so the cars can go even faster.  The latest numbers on restrictor plate racing at Daytona are a Vegas gambler’s wet dream.  10 out of the last 10 times the “big one” (Nascar’s pet name for huge crash) has occurred inside the final 8 laps of that race.  All cars are required to have this plate on the carburetor, thus making them equal.  Sounds fair, until you actually watch it and see the cars all bunched up the entire race- literally inches apart. The only way a car gets an advantage is if it has “help.”  Help means another driver gets behind and pushes.  Yes, pushes at 200mph…even around turns (see above regulations lift).

Interviews with drivers sound eerily similar to the Olympic athletes concerns about the brand new, bigger-than-Godzilla luge track in Vancouver.  Carefully worded criticisms because, you see, Nascar like the IOC, is all powerful.  Now haul in the major TV networks, and … you get the idea.  But, again, it aint their fault!  We want it like that! They are only doing business, and in business, you answer the desires of the consumer.  We love reality TV and the so-called mixed martial arts shows.  We love watching Trump dump on and fire people, Stern make fools of fools, and of course, Cowell smirking at the Idol “talent.” There is something about the ugly side of humankind that we are drawn to and today’s sports only gives legitimacy to our accident-chicken -hawking leering. We are living out what William Harrison dreamed up centuries ago… a Rollerball Nation.  How come?

My guess is that after we all realized that America was on as shaky ground as say, The Congo, our internal anger systems kicked in.  With anger being an offshoot of fear, and fear being an offshoot of helplessness, we’ve become wicked little boils on the neck of the Universe, ready to seep and pop. Luckily, there is also instilled in us  a modicum of adherence to law or else it would be guns ablazzin’ !  Instead, we feast on High Def slaughter and, like in Vancouver the other day, tragedy.

And so today, Sunday and opening day for the Daytona 500, I will be feasting.    Pizza, brew, Nascar, Flyers hockey, and if they are running the luge tonight, I’ll be there, baby.  Hey, I didn’t say I was any different than the rest of us… I’m was just sayin’.

The Greening of Toyota

from LK: with this piece I welcome The Falcon, a comrade in arms, except his have tattoos.  Some very nasty ink.  I’m needle phobic myself, and not the tatt type.  But I digress.   He sees the world through unique eyes, and expresses himself  with no holds barred, and no bowing to protocol or etiquette of any kind.  Enjoy.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hey, all you guys in Dockers, no smoking homes, oil-free food, sugar free kids, and veggie burgers…yeah, you guys.  Guess what?  Your girly cars blow! HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Gee, I never had my Dodge Hemi-under-glass do that.  Nor my Charger, Camero, Corvette, or even my 1999 Ram truck with cold air intake and gutted exhaust system.  They all just hummed along spewing happily, their clouds of carbon leaving my “footprint” for the next civilization to stare at in awe. Kind of like driving peanut butter sandwiches. HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Oh, that’s not me laughing, by the way, it’s the main guy from Toyota you are hearing chuckling from Japan – the world’s highest spewer  of all things bad,  emissions speaking.  You see, Mr. Akio Toyoda, like most people non-American, understands that we here in the USA feed – no – gobble fear like 7 year olds at a campfire eat up the Boogeyman.  All that safest, cleanest, most reliable bullshit worked for a while.  Actually,  so well that the Camry became the biggest selling car ever.  Little piece of crap that cost about 12 bucks to build, was found in like 4 out of 6 households.  Meanwhile, Akio ran around in a Mercedes. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  He almost made it until yesterday when the magical Prius – Japan’s strategically delayed answer to WWII, popped a gut. Seems like you can drive, or you can use your cell phone, but you can’t do both or a magnetic signal tells the Prius to “accelerate to Mach 5.”

And now for my favorite part.  Imagine taking your car to your mechanic and him telling you that your FLOOR MAT is causing your car to flee on it’s own!  I don’t know where you are from, but here in Philly we would just hit the guy in the neck!

Oh well. Another myth on saving the planet shattered.  It ain’t cars, or food, or even cigarettes that are doing us in.  It’s – in the immortal words of Charlton Heston  from the movie Soylent Green -
PEOPLE!  Until we as a species realize that we are all from the same seed,  no invention or intervention is going to save us from ourselves.  Oh, we will adapt.  I imagine my children being launched into a world of hot suits, cool suits, nuclear umbrellas, and 4d television.  Ice will be something that will be manufactured, since the polar ice cap will have become the new Texas, and Jerry Jones IV will have bought it all up.  Luckily, I am way too selfish and old to give a good crap.  Hey, I had to deal with the loss of vinyl records, so to my kids I say – GOOD LUCK!

The Falcon