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Archive for July, 2011

The latest  research shows that one of the earliest ancestors of humans descended from trees and walked upright. A foot bone, some 3 million years old was found that indicates this ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, had feet similar to modern human beings. The bone was discovered in Ethiopia, and even predates Lucy, her footprint and bones showing that our early ancestors came down from the trees and walked upright. No foot bones were found with Lucy’s fossils though, which left a gaping hole in the history of walking and how it defined humanness. Now scientists know that Lucy and her ancestors “were fully humanlike and committed to life on the ground,” said Carol Ward, a professor of integrative anatomy at the University of Missouri, who was part of the team that discovered the fossil. The foot bone shows their feet were arched distinguishing them from apes whose feet are flexible to be able to live in trees.”Now that we know Lucy and her relatives had arches in their feet, this affects much of what we know about them, from where they lived to what they ate and how they avoided predators.” The development of arched feet, Dr. Ward continued in an interview with the Associated Press, “was a fundamental shift toward the human condition, because it gives you the ability to use the big toe for grasping branches, signaling that our ancestors had finally abandoned life in the trees in favor of life on the ground.”

Walking then was the first characteristic to define what it means to be human, something you may want to (more…)

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So, if we need jobs and people don’t have the money to buy things or services, then why would a company, restaurant, computer firm , create jobs? If the demand is not there, then there is no incentive to create jobs. Now the government needs money to create jobs, fix bridges, build roads, protect it’s citizens, so it makes sense to raise some taxes to pay for these things. But the people are like adolescents saying  I want this and that, and Oh, don’t take away that, no not that, but don’t want to pay for that and this that they can’t do without. So the Tea Party people say cut, cut, and cut some more, until we have no basic protections ala police and fire, social security and Medicare, homeland security, regulatory agencies to protect us against E coli and smokestacks and stuff. They don’t even want crazy subsidies or loopholes cut for fear it’ll look like a tax increase even though it brings in much needed income to government coffers from people or companies who can afford it. Even Warren Buffett said his income tax rate is less than his secretary’s! They want “small” government to leave them alone until they want or need something like FEMA, for example, and then want government to come in and fix it without any resources or manpower to do so. Are you following me so far?

Now as a mental health professional for the past 40 years, I would diagnose this as a country suffering from borderline personality disorder.  It’s teetering on the borderline of psychosis and neurosis, and can be a real pain in the ass at times. Manipulative. Contrary. Demanding. Irrational. Even suicidal, but only to get attention. Hard to have a conversation with because some of us know they’re right even though they know their ideas have been wrong in the past, like small government and trickle down economics that didn’t work in the 20th century and are more wrong in the 21st.

The answer then, as the economy continues to feebly recover, is for everyone to share the burden and raise one of the lowest tax rates in the world to a level that will help us increase production and create jobs to do so. It’s the only reason a business will take the chance and create jobs: to increase production to meet increased demand. It’s not that difficult. We can do this, but only if we agree to increased taxes and fees in this time of economic world war. And not to worry: It’s not permanent. When the engines of industry get rolling again and jobs are abundant, taxes and fees can be lowered to more palatable rates. Or a whole new tax code can be developed, much fairer and efficient than the current one. Retired Republican Senator Alan Simpson, from conservative Wyoming, said just this the other day.

So let’s grow up, America. We’ve bitten the bullet before and we need to it again. Shame on Tea Party legislators for their adolescent (almost unpatriotic) ways.

And what about the environment? Are we facing reality? Have we acknowledged that the planet, our home planet, is on the verge of collapse? Can we not see the polar ice cap melting? Can we not see Antarctica ice shelves cracking and raising sea levels around the world? Can we not see the disappearance of food fish, other marine life, and the trashing of our life-giving oceans? Can we not see glaciers disappearing in a matter of 50 years? Can we not see the effects of using fossil fuels? And what are we doing about these and other threats to Planet Earth? How about spending millions on NASA’s Killer Asteroid Project? Sorry, but we’re already killing the planet with our addictive ways and ignorant decisions. Other more advanced civilizations light years away must be shocked by our primitive approach to living on this precious planet.

Again, grow up, America, and do what needs to be done. With guts and brains and heart and soul, we can be an shining example for the rest of the world, as perhaps our Founders intended. Happy Fourth!

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