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I read this morning about a doctor who went mad and shot people in a hospital. As a doctor myself, I know that docs have terrible stresses trying to deal with a corrupt medical-industrial system that impairs our ability to help people regain their health. Then I went to look at the NY times article, here: He's richly melanated, that is to say, he has lived a life of fear because of his skin color. I infer from his violence that he may have been guilty of the accusation--sexual misconduct. He was a man, and he was angry enough to shoot others and hopeless enough to set himself on fire and shoot himself. He did not see any way out. He knew he would not receive compassion.

What people forget when they demonize any group of humans is that they are human. Dark skinned people. Doctors. Men. Gun owners. Murderers. Whatever group. All humans share the same basic needs. When those needs are not met, we have the same basic emotions. Driven hard enough, any of us could become dangerous. Hitler had reasons. The Arabs that flew airplanes into buildings had reasons. No one is pure evil, we are simply human and if tortured we can lash out, or become cunning.

My hope that that everyone who reads this will take a deep breath or three and think about the kind of pain that drives a person to such horrors. My hope is that compassion will rise in spite of the poisonous atmosphere of shame and blame that dominates our political world. We all deserve an opportunity to be free from fear, long enough to find our centers and our hearts and reach out into the world from that place. It will take a lot of us finding compassion to heal these wounds.
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3 stages of interview
1) relationship building, find common ground, acknowledge difficulty, give choices, touch the patient to facilitate connection
2) info gathering, open ended questions
3) education, negotiation, dx and tx, prioritize, starting place, bite sized piece
notes on a wandering lecture )
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I keep noticing these frowns in the news. When the lips are turned in just a little bit, the person is only moderately bothered. When a person's lips are stretched wide and folded inward until you can't see the lips at all, they are extremely troubled and insecure. This tight grimace with no lip visible and the edges turned down is the ultimate sign of disgrace. These facial expressions are universal because they are controlled by the limbic system. Monkeys make the same faces for the same reasons.

note: too bad the pix don't stay up, huh? I just deleted some image links that were defunct but more will become so over time. June 2010

lots of images )
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In response to something I read on my FL (about a Canadian mother who put a swastika on her child's arm and lost custody of her children), I googled "neonazi", and then "swastika". I discovered the story "Swastika tops Google searches" from Sunday, July 13, 2008. When swastika searches are a "Hot Trend", you have to wonder what is going on. The google-watchers say that there was not a single big swastika-related news story or blog post that morning.
explorations in the news )
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I've started book #2 of the summer. It is a joy to read Ron Paul. He is so matter of fact about what has happened in our nation, how politics has become formulaic and false. His first chapter is about foreign policy, drawing a distinction between isolationism and noninterventionism. He is a good writer, a clear thinker. He quotes figures from an early American history book, and pulls together bits of history about our interactions in the world to paint a picture and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Part of the glory of America, for the first 130 years, was that we did not bother other nations. We were open and friendly, but we did not take anything that was not ours, and we did not position our military all over the world. We were glad to trade. Other nations respected America--our nation shone as a beacon of freedom and egalitarianism.
noninterventionism )
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On my walk today I met another German of the same name as the German that I met in Portland. Gunther. Gunther was pruning a young apple tree that had extended limbs into the sidewalk. He asked a lot of guilty questions when I approached. "Are you the neighbor" and "Do you know these people?" but I had no connection to the apple tree or its owners. He had been unable to get permission to prune the apple tree from the homeowner because they are never home. So he decided to take care of it, for the good of all. And I caught him in the act.
Sidewalk Tales )


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