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Domestic Terrorists, Serial Killers, Mass Murders, and Dieters…

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

What gets you going in the morning?

What makes you want to keep going when you know other people would give up?

What makes you wake up one morning and just do something that forever changes your life?

What motivates people to take action?

I live in South Eastern Wisconsin.  Central Wisconsin had long been the location for one of the state’s most notorious serial killers, Ed Gein.  Between 1987 and 1991, Milwaukee played host to our most prolific serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer.  In the city of Delavan earlier this summer Ambrosio Analco shot and killed his girlfriend, two of their children (a third was shot in the chest but didn’t die), his girlfriend’s sister and a friend before killing himself, making him the latest mass murder in South Eastern Wisconsin.  And Just yesterday morning Wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh temple in Oak Creek and killed five people, including one police officer, before he was shot and killed, making him Wisconsin’s first recognized domestic terrorist.

This has gotten me wondering.  What is it that makes a person wake up one day and decide to do something?  To dramatically change their lives?  What is the motivation?

The broadest definition of motivation is a desire to do something.  That’s pretty broad and doesn’t really explain why people will seemingly one day just up and do something.  Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still widely used to explain why people do things.  I don’t think it adequately explains why people just suddenly one day decide that today is the day.  Then again, I’m not a psychologist so I could be wrong.

Let us leave the dramatic behind though.  Murder, sometimes just can’t be explained.  Some people are broken and for them it must seem, at least in the moment, that they are making perfectly rational, logical decisions.  No, let’s talk about something perhaps more positive.

Dieters.  More specifically the person who after a lifetime of being fat suddenly one day just changes everything about their life  so that they can become the thin person people never thought they could be.  You know, the fat girl in high school who when she shows up at the 5 or 10 year reunion looks like a super model out of the pages of Vogue.  Or the fat, dumpy, nerdy guy who drops a hundred pounds, goes to the gym and gets in fantastic shape.  When asked they usually give an answer like, “One day I just woke up and decided I needed to do something about the way I looked and felt.  It was all for me.”

Was it really?

Is that what truly motivated them?

Or was there somewhere back in their mind, hidden behind all the altruism and positive self-help platitudes, a seething desire to just show the people who tormented , ignored, or belittled them that they were wrong.  And really is that such a bad motivator?

Really, isn’t it OK at times to say, “Screw You!  You didn’t think I was good enough for you when I was fat.  And now that I’ve shown you I’m not defined by my weight, now you want to be my friend?  Well screw you, we’re not friends.”  Isn’t that a valid motivational reason?

I myself am fat.  I’m working on changing that, but I’ve been thinking about what is my real motivation.  Yes, yes, health, longevity, better able to deal with moving around and all that, but is that my REAL reason?  A little history I suppose is in order.

I was a thin youth.  I mean really thin, and I suppose at that age one might have expected me to be a very attractive man as I grew older.  I had some traumatic events happen in my youth though that I guess subconsciously made me want to hide and withdraw from the world.  Well as a youth in elementary, middle, and high schools, you really can’t withdraw.  You’re going to have contact with people no matter what.  As a result though, I started to eat poorly, gain weight, and kind of let myself go.  It was never too bad, because I was still active and therefore didn’t really get to be too huge.  I was big enough though as a teen for my father, who could be verbally very cruel, tell me he was going to have to have me fitted for a bra.

I would have to say that this is one of my first “Screw You” motivators.  I have a higher fat content in my chest because I was put on an estrogen precursor in my teens as a way to deal with my eczema.  Something that I should have been on and monitored for about 3 months I was on for 4 years completely unmonitored.  Is there any wonder I looked like I was developing feminine breasts, though they really weren’t that big, I also have thick pectoral muscles under the fat because I was a wrestler and Olympic  power lifter, which can make them look much bigger than they really are.

To say I was self-conscious would be an understatement.  With the trauma that motivated me to withdraw, and my father’s less than kind and inspirational attitude toward me, I wasn’t very outgoing.  I went to college, met a girl, quit school and moved out and got a job that didn’t leave me much time for anything other than work.  Somewhere in there I decided to start working out again, just like when I was younger.  I got pretty darn buff and was even considering becoming a body builder.  Then I went back to school to finish my degree.  At first it was part-time, which meant I had to cut back on my workouts.  Then the food pyramid started to be pushed as the ultimate way to eat right by all the body building magazines, if I may say a huge fucking mistake, and I decided to go to school full-time while still working full-time.  Bad eating, little sleep, deep mental scars that hadn’t been fully explored, and lots of stress lead to giving up me gaining weight.  And I gained it quickly.  Even though I was still trying to workout at least 3 days a week I gained a hundred pounds in less than a year.  By time I finished my degree, I had stopped working out all together and my weight was over 350 pounds.

Getting my degree eased the stress somewhat and my weight gain slowed.  It didn’t stop, but it slowed.  Six years later when we were getting ready to adopt our daughter, I was closing in on 400 pounds and I wasn’t happy.  My weight stayed steady for several years, I guess the stress was easing, or I had hit the point where my body just wouldn’t let me gain any more.  In those years though I got some I guess I have to say odd information directed at me.

We had a friend visit us.  I don’t know what she was expecting.  I’m not sure at that point and especially at this point in my life I really care what she expected.  But at some point in the week she confided in my wife (the very cute girl who somehow took a shine to me in college) that I wasn’t the kind of guy she was looking for.  That’s OK, I wasn’t even thinking along those lines anyway, but nice to know.

A few years later at a party, I was talking to a female friend and her then boyfriend, now fiance, soon to be husband, and she said something very similar.  She added that it was specifically because of my weight.  Once again, nice to know, but I wasn’t really interested in her that way either.

It’s now a couple of years later.  I’ve since lost about 70 pounds, but I’m still just over 300 and finding it hard to stay motivated to do the right things.  My major downfalls right now are working out and getting enough sleep.  I do eat much better.  No longer do I bother indulging in fast food, and I use to adore Burger King.  I’ve given up wheat and breads pretty much completely except for our once a week pizza night.  I had gone gluten-free for a while, but I really didn’t like the substitutes.  So six days a week I’m completely paleo and Friday night we have pizza.  For over a year I’ve been struggling with breaking that 300 mark so we’ve joined a gym and are now trying to get  back into the habit of working out at least 3 days a week.  We haven’t made a full week of it yet, but we will.

Anyway, this all leads me back to my main point.  Motivation.  Is Screw You a good motivator?  I think in my world it just might be.  Yes I know all the reasons why I should lose weight and get in shape.  But when it comes right down to it I really want to tell (metaphorically) those people who put me where I am or told me I wasn’t good enough for them the way I am, “Screw You!”

Viral Video… Another Killer Chemical We Haven’t Been Told About

July 21, 2011 3 comments

Where do I start?

Cute little kid who’s so obviously being used and scripted by an organic convert parent or grandparent?

Or killer chemical we’ve all ingested and have never been told about?

Ok, let’s start with the video.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is.

If you didn’t watch it, the idea of the video is this little girl and her grandmother did an experiment on how long it took  a sweet potato to sprout and grow vines.  First they bought a sweet potato at the grocery store and nothing happened.  Went back to the store and replaced the potato, again nothing.  Went back and talked to the produce guy who told them that the potato they buy in the store won’t sprout.  Its sprayed with a chemical with a trade name of Bud Nip that prevents sprouting.  He suggested one of their organic sweet potatoes.  They did and got some small scrawny sprouts.  Then they went to a real organic grocery store and got a truly organic potato.  Which sprouted in a week and when the video was shot the vines were 2 to 3 feet long. Then she talks about the Bud Nip and how bad it is for you.

First off, I applaud the child and grandmother doing experiments.  I’m all for that sort of thing.

Second, PARENTS how dare you exploit your child like that.  Shame on you and/or the grandparents for using your kid as a shill for your political agenda.  Listen, its a good message, but let your kid be a kid, not some sort of pawn in your game.  We all know that this little girl didn’t come up with this on her own.

So, done with the cute.

Bud Nip, or as its known in scientific circles, chlorpropham.  Using the fewest words, this is a preemergence growth inhibitor.  In simple terms, it keeps plants from sprouting.  If you spray it on your lawn in the spring just after the grass turns green, it will keep the weeds from sprouting and growing.  Spray it on a farm field a few weeks before planting and the weeds don’t come up but the seeds you plant will.  The reason you can plant shortly after using it is because its VERY soluble in water.  So when it rains, it washes through the soil and into the water table (problem number one).

That’s how its suppose to be used.  Unfortunately someone always finds a new use for those wonderful chemicals that make our modern lives livable.  Dupont’s tag line was, “Better living through chemistry.”  When they used it people thought it was a real positive thing.  Chemicals were going to make the world a better place.

Yeah…

So how are they using chlorpropham?  Well, like the little girl says, they’re spraying it on sweet potatoes.  They actually spray it on all root vegetables.  Those carrots, beets and potatoes have a nasty habit of sprouting and using all their stored energy and nutrients to make roots, stems and leaves.  Its not just root vegetables though.  Most of the produce we eat, especially fruits, legumes,  and seeds get treated with it too.  Because just like their root vegetable brethren seeds live to sprout.  About the only thing in the produce section that isn’t sprayed with this stuff are leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, and they have their own chemical dependency issues.

If they’re spraying it on, how can it be so bad?  This doesn’t just sit on the surface, no it soaks into the vegetable, permeating the cell walls all the way to the heart of the vegetable or fruit.  Remember, I said its highly water soluble, and fruits and vegetables have a lot of water in them.  So, it can’t be washed off (problem number two).

Ok, let’s get specific here.  This is a toxic substance.  Acute toxicity has been shown to cause permanent degenerative changes in the liver and kidneys of laboratory animals.  Not to mention deadly congestion of the brain, lungs, and other organs.  There’s a disease that kills thousands of people every year called congestive heart failure, its where the area around the heart fills with liquid and basically prevents the heart from beating fully if at all (problem number three).  This is the kind of congestion they’re talking about.  Acute toxicity is a case where you are exposed to a large dose of it all at once.  Unless you live or work on a farm where this stuff is being used acute exposure isn’t very likely.

So, if acute exposure isn’t likely then what does it matter.  Another side of the toxicity issue is chronic toxicity.  That’s where it builds up in your system over time, much like lead, mercury, or arsenic.  The chronic effects range from retarded growth to death.  The reproductive issues are just as bad with this chemical having the ability to cross the mother’s placenta to be introduced into the developing fetus.   Long term exposure has also been shown to cause cancer.  This stuff builds up in our food supply and therefor in us (problem number four).

Why then do they use this stuff?  Simple, economics.  If they spray this stuff on the vegetables, they don’t have to be as careful in temperature control.  It also means that the vegetables will keep longer in the store.  That means less waste that store has to write off, which means more profit for the stores.  Of course the flip side of that is that since the store won’t have to write off as much, they’ll lower the price of produce.

Yeah…

I had to try to write that last one a few times.  I couldn’t keep from laughing.  Yeah, the grocery store is going to lower its produce prices because they don’t have to throw as much away.

So farmers use it because if their products don’t sprout they look better for the buyers.  The buyers like it because it means they don’t have to be as careful getting it to the distributors.  The distributors like it because they don’t have to rush it to the markets and it can sit in warehouses longer.  Stores like it because produce lasts longer on the shelf.  All around, they all like it because it increases their profits.

Even at the expense of the health of the population…

Oh, and no one wants to talk about it because it taints the image of the good, wholesome produce section.  They are poisoning our food and water supply, as well as the dirt we grow our food in.  This is major corporations and our government waging a war on the public…

This is true terrorism.

It needs to be exposed.

Memories of 9/11…

September 11, 2010 1 comment

I have no anger toward the people of the Middle East.  Nor do I hold ill will toward those people who follow the Muslim faith.  I don’t know the people who planned and carried out the attacks, so I can’t really say I hate any of them.  The actions were appalling and I hate such waste.

On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was at work.  Someone announced that there was a report on the radio that the World Trade Center was on fire.  Being a telecommunications company this could possibly have impacted us so we wheeled the tv out of the conference room and try and get reception to watch the news.  When we got fuzzy reception, in the middle of a live feed from New York, we witnessed a second plane crashing into the towers.  It was devastating, the United States was under attack.  Working in a central office, the building went into immediate lock down.  We were required to wear our corporate id at chest level so that it could be easily seen by anyone passing by.  Interior and exterior doors were locked and were to remain locked.  Contractors were ordered out of the buildings, and we employees were responsible for confronting anyone who we couldn’t identify right away.  The company also was allowing anyone who was too overwhelmed by the events the opportunity to go home.  Some people did, I didn’t.  Here in the Midwest we’re to far removed from it all.  To me, and many, it was news on the radio and tv, but nothing that effected us.

So my memory of that day is that I worked.  What else could I do?   The most prominent memory actually comes from a few days later.

My wife, daughter, and I were at the local mall, shopping and getting a little exercise.  We were walking down the mall when I spotted this little girl, about a year older than my own, standing in the crowd, lost and sobbing.  She was a tan skinned girl with long, dark, brown, hair, and enormous brown eyes.   She had become separated from her family by the crowd and being so small had no way to see her mother only a few feet away.  I could see her though as we walked in that direction.  Her mother had turned around with the panic in her eyes of a mother who has lost track of one of her children.  Also of a woman knowing that the majority of the people around you would do you harm if they thought they could get away with it.

As we approached the little girl, I crouched down to be on eye level with her.  Maybe let her feel that I wasn’t going to hurt her.  I kept my eye on the parents, the father who had also turned to look for his child looked angrily around.  The mother frozen in fear, I can imagine what was going through her mind, as she spotted this big, white man with a shaved head, dressed in black head to toe, bending down to talk to her baby.

I said “Hi” to the little girl and pointed toward her mother, “There’s your mom.”

The little girl choked back her last tear, smiled, turned and ran back to her mother.

I stood up and nodded at her parents.  There was no reason to say anything.  Their expression went quickly from panic to relief, from anger and confrontation to gratitude.  They knew that I only wanted to return a lost little girl to her parents.  These people who braved the bigotry and fear of the  masses to show everyone that they weren’t the same as those others.  They were just normal people wanting to live normal American lives.   They were in fact very much like my own family, and I couldn’t hold any ill will toward them.  They turned and walked away.  My wife, daughter, and I continued our stroll through the mall.  The only difference between those people and us was that they came from the Middle East and worshiped god through their Muslim faith.  That doesn’t make them bad people.   It doesn’t make them terrorists.  It just make them people.

Finally, to anyone who might have a say in the building that replaces the WTC.  On the ground floor of the building, at street level, devote a space for all religions.  Either one large area emblazoned with the symbols for each or an individual space for each and every major religion with a common lobby, so that people from every faith can meet and get to know each other as people and not as opposing view points.