Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tougher Gun Laws: Students to march on State Capitol

First Amendment Rights at work here: Student Protest

Save The Earth: Earth Song by Michael Jackson

If we don't act to save our mother, who will? Let us not be likened to the famous line in Avator "They killed their Earth Mother"

Monday, February 19, 2018

Stop The Three Headed Monster and Make America Stronger

Sara Niles

How I Know

I have survived the most dysfunctional type of early beginning as a small child, and after a short hiatus spent with elderly relatives, I was once again thrown into even worse dysfunction as a teenager. In short, fifty of my sixty years have been spent as either as a victim of violence and abuse or as a survivor in a lifelong state of reconnaissance.  I am a Domestic Violence War Veteran, and as such, I know far too much about abuse firsthand. I know that once the primary abuser is eliminated from the earthquake of a family dynamic, the after shocks of dysfunction linger  from within the family unit for generations; more often than not. The collateral damage  that began when the family was young, grew as it steadily chipped away at the foundations of the family, by slowly destroying its members. Like water on stone, little by little, the rot of domestic violence took its toll.
I married a very intelligent, troubled, and violent man, whose intelligence enabled him to mask his true self by exuding a sweet and charming presentation to the public, while his evil self lurked in the shadows. I had five children with Thomas Niles before I was forced to flee from him over thirty years ago, when I was still a young woman of 29. I expected that my escape with my five children, had ended the abusive cycle of destruction, suffering and sorrow; however, the children already had damaged sense of selves and the world, eroded senses of trust, or total lack of it, and they carried the mold of domestic dysfunction with them. In addition to the dysfunction of domestic violence, my children were forced to do battle with what I call the Three Headed Monster: Domestic Abuse, Mental Illness and Addiction. Each of the 'Monster' heads took a victim: one by suicide, another by mental illness, and the third became a monster himself, absorbing all the ugliness of evil.  Only two of my five children survived on the positive side of life.  

Abuse and Dysfunction as a Nation

The casualties in the United States that are directly related to the  Three Headed Monster, are in the hundreds of thousands each year: according to the CDC over 100,000 deaths a year are attributed to alcohol alone, and over 50,000 from drug overdose, over 40,000 from suicides and close to 2000 domestic violence homicides are reported each year (many are not labeled as such), this does not include the thousands of children abused, neglected, or murdered each year. The prisons are full of domestic violence victims, usually as children, and often as adults in the case of female inmates. The broad reaching power and range of the Three Headed Monster, extends into every public sector, including the White House of the United States of America; Including the film industry, the sports arena, and every place you find people, you will find both former victims and sometimes active perpetrators of abuse. Abuse of power, and misuse of control, leads to a an unstable and unbalanced society at its worst, unstable and unbalanced individuals and families at the least. The result is a loosening of the Three Headed Monster, chaos and dysfunction, suffering, and catastrophe.
The saying about Rome was that it fell in a day, which is not literally true, however, while the process of Rome's fall was ongoing, the conquest of Rome was declared abruptly. Rome abused power, festered corruption and exploitation, and allowed the imbalance of chaos and dysfunction to take over the empire and the government, much like a large dysfunctional and abusive family. There are similarities between the Roman decline and Trump's control of the GOP and the government, as the abuse of power through catering to the groups in power while abusing those without, has lead to an unbalanced state of affairs.  The relationship between domestic violence and abuse in the homes of world leaders when they were themselves children, is obvious in the case of President Donald Trump: his childhood based insecurities still drives his ego, and his need to create his own reality through lies, threats and manipulation, are all vestiges of the Three Headed Monster. The imbalance within Trump, created in his own childhood is the reason for the imbalance in the upper echelon of government. This is a paramount example of how far reaching childhood abuse and/or dysfunction is; and more importantly, how society is directly and indirectly affected by dysfunction.
The recent school shooting by Nikolas Cruz, is another example of how the larger society suffers as a whole when even the mental and emotional health of one member is damaged, and under-treated or ignored. It is evident that the most dangerous part of the school shooting was the easy access to a deadly assault weapon, and mental illness was a secondary factor, and both of these factors are part of a dysfunctional society. When society acts as a dysfunctional unit, important issues are neglected and society's children and their needs are not met. When the most powerful faction of society, the governing faction, misuses power and ignores the rights and needs of the people, society as a whole suffers.

Treat the Three Headed Monster

The Three Headed Monster: Mental Illness, Family Dysfunction (Abuse, Violence & Neglect), and Addiction, will wage war against us, if we don't wage war on it first. In order to restore balance in the United States as a Nation Family, we must recognize the needs of the people. In real life terms, funding cuts  to Mental Health programs, Substance Abuse and Addiction programs, and Family Violence programs that deal with sexual assault and abuse, domestic abuse and violence and family health, all amount to Neglect, and Abuse of Power in the name of Greed. The needs of the people require annual expansion of funding and services (and I don't mean 1% as in the recent VAWA renewal) that aid in the prevention and intervention of domestic violence and abuse, mental health treatment, both prevention and treatment, and all substance abuse and addiction services.

Balance the Top-Balance the Bottom

Before the top level of government can reclaim balance, the bottom tier where the people live, needs attention. The creation of legislation that will demand immediate intervention in the case of the mentally ill in need of treatment, as well as secondary responses when treatment is rejected, will not only make society safer, it will offer hope for saving the hopeless individuals who commit atrocities like the one that was perpetrated at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Valentine's Day of 2018. Reclaiming balance means taking back the power that has been loosely given to any person capable of buying and Assault-grade weapon like an AR-15, that enabled Nikolas Cruz to effortlessly kill so many so fast.
America is already Great, but its strength is in its people: stop abuse and dysfunction, from the government down, and America will be stronger.

Sara Niles

Thursday, February 15, 2018

No More Dead Kids: Gun Control Now, if not now, When?
The Wrong Side of History  Gun Violence  Its Time To Talk About It

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

#Valentines Love Story: The Story of Love

What is Love? Is it a connived passionate embrace as seen in the movies, based upon looks and chemistry, or is it more complicated than that?

Love is a powerful force, whether it is used for good or bad purposes, that is beyond denial, but what is the difference between love of God, family and country, and Romantic Love?

The Greeks were onto this idea because they had six words for Love, each word presented a different concept of love that clarifies the overall meaning of the English generic, one word definition that is simply called ‘Love’.  The six words are: Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, and Pragma.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we will begin with Eros, which defines fiery, sexual passion and desire. The Greeks were aware that even erotic love could be dangerous or wonderful, that the feeling could possess you, taking you to heights of ecstasy or, it could ruin you.  A person fully in the throes of Eros often loss control of their faculties, even becoming so obsessed as to be ‘love sick’ to the point of not being able to sleep. In such as state only the good side of the love object matters, even red flags that would normally cause hesitation are often ignored. A person in this state of obsession has virtually lost his or her mind; at least, temporarily.

Who has not heard of Philadelphia, the city of ‘brotherly love’? The name was taken from the Greek world Philia, which means a deep friendship and sense of loyal camaraderie much as what is common with brothers. This noble love is portrayed in Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, depicting the bond between friends as a loyal and unbreakable oath.
Ludis is the Greek version of playful love that is part of child play, or adult flirtatious play. It could be said this love is more of a possible precursor to a stronger bond, although not a strong bond in itself.
Agape is the great love based upon principle, the love of what is right, the love extended to all humans, even strangers. Agape based upon strong beliefs can precipitate a devotion that extends even beyond all other loves in order for a person to do what is best for mankind. Not all people are principled, not all have a core that values what is right over what is best for them; therefore the level of Agape love a person possesses depends upon the values of that person.  A truly altruistic individual would possess strong Agape love that extends to all humans.

Pragma, or love based on pragmatic decisions and ideals, is a reasoned love, with a strong cognitive component.  Pragma, is a love that forms commitments based upon reason, and may endure for long periods of time. Who has not heard of relationships in the 1950’s in which two partners who had fallen out of erotic love, but remained in the relationship for ‘the children’, or because it was a more reasonable alternative to divorce. In some cases, Pragma love was acceptable to both parties for different reasons: comfort, safety, familiarity.

Philautia is the Greek word for love of self; and as we all know, one can have too little or too much love of self. Love of self can become a problem of negative or positive proportions. Low self-esteem is an underlying cause of much suffering, just as self-conceit and outright narcissism can also cause pain and suffering.  The expression of a person’s love for others is relative to how he or she feels about themselves; therefore, health self-love, or Philautia, is essential for healthy love of others. The core of the love process begins with the individual.  In order for an individual to extend healthy love, they have to possess it for themselves first.

So what would healthy love at its best look like?

The person extending love would have strong core concepts and values based upon morality, truth and justice: Their own Philautia, or love of self would be a balanced love that respected the rights and boundaries of others, valued all humanity, based upon Agape love, and would be able to form strong friendships (Philia), engage in play without feeling threatened or being threatening (Ludis), form strong family ties (Storge), and sustain pragmatic relationship based upon logical ties and rules of fairplay. This person would have all six loves in play when in a partner relationship, and all five in a family relationship.

A healthy person can love, and be rejected without feeling threatened to the core. A healthy person can love without needed to control the love object: they can trust, be betrayed and trust again; without allowing themselves to be exploited. A healthy person will respect the boundaries and rights of others and well as their own. A healthy person extends healthy love and expects healthy love in return.

What would an unhealthy love look like?

The core values of the person would be diminished in one or more areas, which would be reflected in how they love themselves (too little or too much); a person with narcissistic traits would see the world through ego-centric eyes. A person on the narcissistic side of Philautia, would constantly be in the act of creating narcissistic supply, taking from others what he or she needs to feel good about themselves in lieu of good self-worth with a focus on self first, others last. Superficial charm would be used to pull the wool over other’s eyes. Agape love would be missing either wholly or partially, and all bonds formed by such a person would lack the deep connection needed to be called healthy love. The extreme malignant narcissist would not have health versions of any of the six Greek Loves; each would be tainted. Exploitation and Abuse would dominate close relationships while the world would see the ‘mask’ of charm.

The negative version of Philautia would also include those with extremely low self-value behaviors that present them as ready victims of exploitation, and in some, create self-abusing and sabotaging behaviors. Each of the six Greek Loves would be out of balance: love others too much, or too little, without a strong core needed to sustain a healthy, autonomous love construct.  In short, unhealthy people, usually project unhealthy love on others as a reflection of an unhealthy self.  The best Valentine’s Day gift for such a person is to seek emotional health for themselves: Put oneself first in order to put others first.

Happy, Healthy, Valentines Day
Sara Niles

Thursday, June 8, 2017

History in the Making: James Comey Testimony

James Comey Testimony

Monday, March 6, 2017

KickStarter: Author on a Mission