D-Day, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and today for you, I weep

Shortly after the 9/11/2001 attack, I traveled to London for a visit and a bit of tourism. I was met with compassion, kind condolences from cab drivers, store clerks, and restauranteurs. The comfort I felt was warm, deep and reassuring. Thank you for that.

Part of my visit included a walk through the extraordinary St. Paul’s Cathedral.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty and history of this magnificent space.  And then, beyond the High Altar, at the east end of the cathedral, I came to the American Memorial Chapel, a space rebuilt after having been destroyed in the Blitz.  These words plainly seen: To The American Dead of the Second World War from the People of Britain. 

I wept uncontrollably at the power of these words inlaid on the marble floor . Even as I write about the experience, my throat tightens and my eyes tear up.

My recently deceased father fought in WWII. He suffered horrible war memories until the day he died. I will forever honor the twenty-eight thousand men who died at Normandy. They will never have born children… children like me whose fathers’ only lasting memories were of his daughter and the horrors of that war.

Londoners, all of U.K., Europe, are hurting right now. I want you to know my heart  weeps for you and your loss. I want you to know that your resilience is an inspiration and that we love you.

Today, on the anniversary of D-Day, I cannot abide the behavior of a U.S. executive branch that dishonors itself with insensitive tweets.


Freedom Rights Social Contract Democracy

Two philosophical parts to the governing body of the American democratic republic:

 A. Protect individual freedoms and individuals’ right to pursue their own interests.
Small governing body whose primary function is to handle national security.

B. Protect rights of everyone equally.
Governing body ensures equality of freedoms and provide for national security.

Part A is taken by conservatives; Part B is adopted by liberals. Both parts are necessary.

The constant tugging from each side is good and wholesome.  Like the game “tug of war,” when balanced, keeps ideology in the middle.  Each side gives a bit and gains a bit. That is compromise.

If one philosophical side takes control it becomes totalitarianism.  Here’s to keeping the balance, respectfully.

Yellowstone 2009

Yellowstone 2009



Global Warming – Not our Biggest Problem

I believe in the human spirit.  If the planet warms up, ice caps melt, floods capture coastlines, the human race will find a way to survive.  Oh sure, many will be destroyed, but enough will survive to build floating cities, wherever our creativity takes us… That is, if another problem doesn’t kill us off first.

I’m talking about really bad habits that are ruining our reproductive capabilities.  We are neutralizing ourselves as-we-speak. Instead of using dominion over the world in a way that preserves our own habitat, we behave like a cancer, devouring energy resources willy nilly.

I’m talking about the burning of fossil fuel which pumps carcinogens into the air we breath, yes, and also xenoestrogens: estrogen-like compounds that attach themselves to hormone receptors, female AND male.

These estrogen-like compounds are the same compounds we were outraged to have found in plastics years ago – horrified that our babies were guzzling plastic leaching chemicals with their juice bottle.

Will we all turn into girls?  Uhm, maybe. I don’t know.  But it doesn’t sound good to me.

Have you wondered what happens when these estrogen-like compounds attach themselves to our very own hormone receptors? Some estrogen is good.  More estrogen is not better.

Estrogen dominance causes these symptoms in women: moods swings,  painful cycles, ovulation pain, infertility, no menstrual cycle or too many cycles and cystic breasts, breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cervical dysplasia.

Estrogen dominance in men: Prostate problems, low sperm production, low testicular weight, rise in testicular cancer, undescended testicles and malformed reproductive organs. Xenoestrogens are also responsible for gynecomastia (man boobs).

It appears to me that we are systematically neutralizing our species. The planet will be rid of us. Earth doesn’t care one way or the other.  If anything, we are heating up the planet like a fever, an ailment; behaving like a cancer that devours.

We fight wars over ownership of fossil fuels; it drives entire economies.  We now can claim that burning fossil fuels has expedited a global warming trend.  And while we may be able, as a species, to overcome rising sea levels and mega-storm weather, we may have lost the survival instinct to replace our consumption of fossil fuels with something that is, shall we say, less disruptive to our own endurance.

Of course, the industry of medicine seems to be stepping up.  Pharmaceuticals fix in us what oil hurts.  For example, in the United States, rates for new thyroid cancer cases have been rising on average 5.5% each year over the last 10 years. Deaths rates from this cancer have not increased but remain at a steady .5% of those who were diagnosed with the disease –  translation: more cures an/or management of the illness.

What happens if we clear the air of this menace?  Oil industry collapses, health care industry modified, pharmaceutical use decreases dramatically…. financials crash.  Oh-oh. I hit a nerve.  Money. “These things must be handled delicately,” quoth the Wicked Witch of the West. (I think it sucks that we are allowed to get sick from one industry and then cured or managed by another in order to keep the economy alive.)

Are we resourceful enough to find better ways to do this without disrupting our economy? Can we invest in new types of jobs, train existing laborers in new fields of energy, develop smart new energy resources, create healthier populations?  Are we smart enough, evolved enough, to do this?

Instead of denying climate change and lamenting lost mining or oil-related jobs, wouldn’t it be smarter to get the most brilliant economists, engineers, and scientists together in a think-tank of some sort to come up with a plan to transition energy use and production from fossil fuels to renewables?

So, I’m just asking the question: Why are we still burning this stuff? I’m dying here.