PACs United States experiment unity divisiveness

Independent political action committees, called PACs, spend huge amounts of money to elected officials. Politics means business. PACs generate thousands to millions of dollars. They maneuver the government away from basic governance to new flavors. Not necessarily better.

For years, people running for elected offices have been deriding independent Political Action Committees or PACs. It never seems to happen. As awful as PACs may be seen, they coexist behind the impressive democracy and republic that makes USA unique and a destination.

It’s all about group dynamics. PACs address how groups in the USA (and elsewhere) impact our daily lives. They rarely agree. Outcome and values are always at odds making unity a constant challenge. Here is a list of top-20 PAC contributions to candidates 2017 to 2018. Are they working for or against you?

Radio and TV are wonderful. Through the 20th century and into the 21st, one channel became thousands of channels for entertainment, news, and lifestyle enhancers. Yet many of us stick to our favorites. One’s favored channel list may be five or 10 channels. My list may be different than yours. Channels are the many pre-paved paths we follow and help us create our own. In societies where freedom of choice exist, reality defies tradition and values over dictatorial guidance. Yet these societies still flourish. Often people still have few choices and freedom comes at costs. Influence and power to choose is expensive. Do many seek influence by one or many? When it comes to group dynamics, any group, PACs guide unity and diversity. Independent United States secretly is an experiment how diversity remains unified. Are PACs vital values?

The old testament claims that a God created the Earth. Then came people. Surviving as groups of people. Some claim goddesses preceded gods and others believed that idols represented the divine aspects of god. Few believed in an abstract invisible one god. Other’s believe that God needed a son. Before liberals and conservatives, no group really was in agreement. It was a game of thrones. PACs (Political Action Committees) are to democracies what advisers are to monarchic royalty and dictators. They wield power as invisibilities and very divisible outside of traditional government structures. When thinking about lifestyles and living, PACs exert huge degrees of power behind the scenes.

The president, judicial system, congress, and senate have other people of many different interests that want to influence decisions. There are over 4,600 active, registered PACs are “connected PACs” established by businesses, labor unions, trade groups, or health organizations. Then there are almost unmeasurable PACs that are not connected. A non connected committee does not have a “connected organization”—that is, no corporation or labor organization establishes, administers or raises money for a non-connected committee. (An SSF, by definition, always has a sponsoring corporation or labor organization.) SSF are even more ominous PACs. A separate segregated fund (SSF) is a political organization that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 527. It may be a Traditional Federal PAC, State PAC, or a 527 organization that does not report to the Federal Election Commission. This may include religions, racial, and many others. All of these PACs work to influence our government.

Did you know that the Ku-Klux Klan (KKK) flourished as an influential PAC during Prohibition. The Klan’s main targets were immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, especially Catholic ones. It was clear that the KKK hated the Jews and Blacks. Prohibition, white Anglo-saxon protestant Americans advocated, would escalate drinking and criminality among the immigrants of the 1920’s. Prohibition was tied up in anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic bias, a clear KKK position that supported the Republican USA government. KKK revived after a major silent film, Birth of a Nation (1915) glorified the KKK. By 1921, membership in the Ku Klux Klan was rapidly spreading throughout America and an active chapter had been formed in Tulsa. On August 8, 1925 over 50,000 KKK members rallied and marched in Washington, DC. At another large KKK rally, in Queens, NYC, President Trump’s father (Fred Trump) was arrested. The KKK was a political power influencing politicians through the 1920’s. Fred Trump’s role in the riot is unclear. It is unclear how pervasive the KKK is today. According to Anti-Defammation League, KKK membership appears to be declining. An Alabama-based law center reported a sharp increase in neo-Nazi groups, from 99 in 2016 to 121 last year. And it counted a total of 954 active “hate groups” in 2017, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year. Do these have SSF PACs?

Then there are millions of writers, commentators, celebrities, and pundits that put-in their 2-cents that make-up the media. Within the tossed salad of the United States, via the internet, divisiveness lives and truths or facts become even more abstract. With 2020 elections coming, the voting public has much to discern before casting votes. Few go beyond Twitter to learn about other views.

Divisiveness and differences of opinions reflect free societies. Any person can express opinions and social media platforms are easy venues. Yet, public figures are under critical scrutiny by everyone. PACs work behinds those scenes. PACs can sidestep rules and regulations by creating as many as the prime organizations want over different classes of PACs.

PACs are neither good nor bad, depending on perspective. They do exert influence to elected officials and their staff. PACs have probably been around since the dawn of groups and politics. Just about any interest group you can think of has a presence in Washington-and spends money to maintain that presence. They do and can affect your life. PACs lobby elected officials with constancy.

Professional advocates make big bucks to lobby members of Congress and government officials on the issues their clients care about. But the money that industries, companies, unions and issue groups spend on lobbying is often just a drop in the bucket compared to what they can reap in return if their lobbyists are successful. Here you can see who spends what on federal lobbying and where they focus their resources. When you join religious organizations, AARP, ASPCA, even fraternal organizations, these and others have lobbies resourced through PACs.

Of course PACs have been very creative. Many thwart efforts of campaign finance reform.

For the longest time, campaign ads were almost exclusively produced by candidates and political parties, but in recent years outside issue groups have been getting in on the action. They often operate as so-called 527 committees (taking their name from the relevant section of the IRS tax code). Sometimes mysteriously named, these advocacy groups frequently have ties to labor, big business and super-wealthy individuals. Unlike political committees, they can accept unlimited contributions from just about anyone, and they deploy that money in various ways to influence elections.

Beyond international hacking, these 527 PACs operate within Cities, States, and Washington.

The Koch brothers, owners of Koch industries is a big business that works under 527 tax codes. Koch owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Molex, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals, Matador Cattle Company, and Guardian Industries. The firm employs 120,000 people in 60 countries, with about half of its business in the United States. In 2012, the Kochs’ network spent just under $400 million, an astonishing sum at the time. The $889 million spending goal for 2016 would put it on track to spend nearly as much as the campaigns of each party’s presidential nominee.

Koch supported Tea Party candidates and are against the Affordable Care Act. Most likely you are supporting Koch by buying one of their home paper products. Here are a list of companies and industries in which the Koch brothers own a stake: Paper Products: Angelsoft, Brawny, Dixie, Mardi Gras, Quilted Northern, Soft n Gentle, Sparkle, Vanity Fair. Another Koch company is Georgia-Pacific (largest plywood manufacturer in US. The Koch brothers support the Libertarian Party. Koch supports abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools. They favor and support candidates that agree.

So, when President Trump doesn’t want to share tax returns, it isn’t necessarily due to collusion with foreign entities. It can be more sinister. He might have strong bonds with 527-code PACs.

USA citizens seek peace, unity, economic security, education, comforts, and more. But who gets to share?

Over 310 Religions and Denominations are found in the United States. They do not coexist as a melting pot of values and traditions. They are more like a tossed salad. There are about 21 Christian religions in the United States. 75% of polled American adults identify themselves as Christian in 2015. Religion in the United States (2016) are polled as Protestantism (48.9%) Roman Catholicism (23.0%) Mormonism (1.8%) No religion (18.2%) Judaism (2.1%) Islam (0.8%). Each of these has a PAC.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently over 1,000 hate groups throughout the United States. National Public Radio (NPR) posted that hate groups in the USA have increased 30% since 2015 and 7% in 2018 alone. An American Values Super PAC has been trying to form over past year as a Republican/Conservative PAC.

Let’s face it! Without fear of being punished, freedom breeds divisiveness. About 2-1/2 centuries since the first USA congress, this experiment of a free society has endured many conflicts with divisive perspectives. As people, we seem to relish in being divisive and unified. War has been part of civilization for over thousands of years.

Throughout history, individuals, states, or political factions have gained sovereignty over regions through the use of war. The history of one of the earliest civilizations in the world, that of Mesopotamia, is a chronicle of nearly constant strife. Even after Sargon the Great of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE) unified the region under the Akkadian Empire, war was still waged in putting down rebellions or fending off invaders. In those days, they fought for resources and slave labor. Today, war is economically sound.

Besides guns and bullets, our soldiers need many things. Companies, like those controlled by Koch brothers, compete for what toilet paper and napkins are bought for use, clothes and shoes, foods, accessories, and other necessities of survival from home.

All competitors have PACs influencing military branches and representatives for contracts. So if Koch PACs are contributing a billion dollars toward political leaders that are aligned with extreme conservative views, they gain on sales to resolve conflicts militarily. Influence gains profit. Military PACs don’t care about resources and slaves. They seek money and government on their side.

Political influence, power, money have been very influential in building Unites States’ vast infrastructure from railroads to highways to tunnels and bridges. Though these were the basis of how PACs began, many members of State and Federal representatives were profiting from certain projects.

In a way, divisiveness in 2019 aren’t that much different than the temperance and hate dynamics from after the Civil War 1865 to 1919 Prohibition. Different PACs, similar divisiveness.

Religious PACs are burning about abortion, political correctness, upward shifting roles of women, non-white races, and waves of immigration. They have been seeking leadership and strong support since the 1950’s but especially since the end of segregation in the 1970’s. Intolerance to these have risen. Liberalism has been added as a scapegoat. Their leader is President Donald Trump. About 45% (give or take 9%) population sympathetic within these PACs hope Trump will be their god. Ironically, this takes Lincoln’s famous words, “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” toward a division that the USA has witnessed more than once. We are aware of the influence business behind PACs. Will they shift the country to what they believe are traditional values? Will church and state take precedence again?

The First Amendment which ratified in 1791 states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, the phrase “separation of church and state” itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion. By 1833, all states had disestablished religion from government, providing protections for religious liberty in state constitutions. American Value PACs do realize that governing by Church and State are unclear in the US Constitution. Religion in the United States is remarkable in its high adherence level compared to other developed countries. So…are American Values integrated as the white protestants of past 300 years?

Given many alternative views, PACs represent the voices and needs of the many groups of these United States – from people to the environment. They help our elected representatives remember diverse priorities. Of course, wealthy PACs bear more weight than small ones. When it comes to business, these PACs have many interests.

Throughout it all, even with social media politics, PACs remain in (backyard) control. There’s an apathy in the USA about voting, viewing debates, and reading candidate websites. Getting everyone to vote is even harder. Most people already have an idea what party they’ll choose. No one is demonstrating. There are no protests. Few write their representatives via e-mail. Through all the bickering, 2020 is really hanging on a lottery draw. Behind all the media, PACs may control the outcome as invisible motivators behind the scenes.

Growing after dormancy of 100 years, are Progressive PACs and GOP-Lite (mid-road PACs). They struggle to recreate a cohesive identity. It’s a very big struggle as huge PACs feed the extremes. Over 100 years ago, Progressive meant pro-Unions – indivisible PACs. In the 1960’s, with the Vietnam war and military draft affecting the young, civil rights (etc) the “New Left” was the name loosely associated with liberal, radical, Marxist political movements that took place during the 1960’s, primarily among college students. These fizzled since then. Transitioning to more left PACs takes time. It takes greater identity and willingness to demonstrate like the 1900’s and the 1960’s.

Virtually any cause is somehow represented by a PAC seeking exposure and influence.

By the people and for the people has, in some ways, been taken over by PACs. Trump relies on his 43% base of followers almost as a PAC than a President. The other 57% need a voice. PACs try to bring back their perceptual views of facts and reasoning to the USA.

Within a global economy, to realize the dream that Abraham Lincoln intoned: By the people, of the people, and for the people. When we say “We the people”, we are us. We must remember that no elected official is greater. PACs do not have to be instigators into divisiveness. Divisiveness results when interests are in sharp oppositions. The right to vote for your candidate is priceless. Study their possible link to PACs. Politics is and always has been business, your business and lifestyle.

Mobile disability travel challenges

One would favor how many countries seem to be somewhat more conscious about tourists with mobile disabilities. They treat them as invalids – not valid. But they try. Overcoming mobile disability travel challenges are difficult both in the USA and internationally. It is virtually impossible for those without disabilities to conceive all the details people with wheels, crutches, and canes require to smoothly go from point-a to point-b. Current statistics show about 10% of the world’s population (650 million) have some form of disability.

Part of the statistical problem is that most people who need mobility aids don’t want to use them. It took me years to realize I needed a cane to walk better. Another 6 months that I needed AFO braces. Based on data from the 2002 US Census Bureau, 96 percent of people who live with an illness live with an invisible one, and 73 percent of people who live with a severe disability do not use devices like a wheelchair. So, counting invisible mobile disability and mental disability, about 15 percent of the world’s population — some 785 million people — has a significant physical or mental disability, including about 5 percent of children, based on the World Health Organization in 2011.

Mobility handicaps meant no challenges if you sat comfortably on the inside looking out. For most of history that seemed fine. Mobile disability travel challenges happen when you want to go somewhere. Devices and scooters help you move. Traveling between points and having the comforts and necessities you need require considerable study. Yes, when going to supermarkets to parks or on vacations, even visiting friends and relatives, mobile disabilities uncover some hidden travel challenges.

It can be very disconcerting for those with mobile disabilities to navigate into certain stores, houses of worship, and other public spaces. There are disability travel challenges whether you are young and old. United States, over the past 30 years, has been implementing standards to help enable those that require mobility aid. Passed by Congress in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Of course many buildings, subways, and other areas built prior to 1990 still have poor access for disability travel.

I use AFO braces as a mobile compromise for walking. To others I am walking relatively well, albeit slowly. What many do not know is, while I can walk on smoothly paved paths, I really can’t walk stairs, on grass, on sand, cobblestones, and rough surfaces. Somehow, when it comes to mobile disability travel challenges, manufacturers are designing more mobility scooters for travel.

Thinking of accessibility, parts of New York City are working towards removal of 19th-century cobblestones so that disability travel on those streets could be more accessible. This is causing many debates from travelers and local residents who see the removal as damage to historic infrastructures. In countries all around the world, different cobblestones have remained for centuries. Some countries replace old cobblestones with new ones.

For people using AFO braces, canes, and walkers, these surfaces may be impossible to travel. For those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, this can be a very bumpy ride, even a dangerous ride if the scooter isn’t stable. For tourists, these rough surfaces make public plazas and churches historically attractive. After all, when these were built, disabled people weren’t supposed to travel anywhere.

Many of these countries barely have accessible accessories (high toilets with bars or shower bars) available in hotel rooms. There aren’t any ADA standards there. They barely have sidewalks and most still maintain bricked streets.

Rough and rugged US National Parks also provide facilities for wheelchairs and some trails that accept human-pushed wheelchairs. They are not accommodating for powered mobility scooters and virtually impossible for AFO-brace users.

First introduced in the 1960’s, Mobility scooters offer freedom and independence, leading to improved quality of life for a growing number of people. Manufacturers are continually investing in research and development to enhance existing products and introduce new models and features. Even electric car research has trickled to mobility scooters by introducing longer-lasting and lighter lithium-ion batteries to extend power and range abilities. More companies are introducing folding scooters that may be stored in the boot of many cars. Some of these are called travel scooters. But are they easy to fold and unfold?

What’s Required to Transport a Typical Travel Mobility Scooter:

Remove the seat by lifting it off of the scooter
Remove the battery pack by lifting it off of the scooter
Undo the retaining clips that connect the front and rear halves of the scooter, separating the frame into 2 compact pieces
Fold the tiller (steering column)
Place the scooter component into vehicle

Basically, any person with the need for convenient disability travel would require a competent aid. There are new design revolutions that simplify the processes, if you aren’t very tall or big.

Yet the largest challenges that disability travel encounter are the many roads, hotels, dining areas, and recreation areas that define accessible within narrow definitions. For example, Disney parks are accessible – bathrooms and paths. The rides and shows are probably not. Some restaurants there may have some stairs.

I have spoken to people using mobility scooters and their realities are they wish they could use AFO or K-AFO instead. Ultimately, all these disability travel accessories are compromises and out-of-the-box compromises. They allow mobility challenged individuals some control to move around environments.

Many technologies are being explored to allow people with mobility challenges more independence. Some scooters have elevating seats so you can have eye-contact with people. There are also more heavy-duty models with solid suspensions to tackle rough and rugged terrains, while remaining comfortable and easy to maneuver. Advances in battery technology mean you can now cover substantial distances on a single charge too, offering greater freedom. In deed, greater hope exists for overcoming disability travel challenges. The world wasn’t really designed for us.

Among all the challenges that people with motion disabilities encounter is that handicap accessible usually does not follow ADA standards. People without these challenges, as in many things, can only view things through their constructions of reality. After accidents, they might be sharing your perspectives. They get better but you don’t. Thankfully physiatrists, orthodists, and manufacturers strive for better mobility devices to give those with disability travel challenges better solutions that promote movement.

As far as international traveling, much care and attention is still required. On an AFO, I found it impossible. Some people with scooters find it challenging. We, unfortunately, can’t expect the world to adapt to our conditions. Thankfully, in the USA, the Congress passed the ADA act. Since passing that act, people with all forms of disabilities may get accessibility options that were never considered before.

In the aging baby-boomer generation, deeper studies isolate issues of disability as a stigma. Having a disability is seen as socially inferior. There is a sense of discrimination toward those with physical or mental disabilities. Some disabled people try to adapt to the world around them, if they can. As one of the most overlooked minorities of the world, disabilities are by ways of genetics and environment. No one wants a disability.

When travelling to other countries, the stigma is probably unintentional. Mobile disability travel challenges are to try to overcome the many staircases, cobblestones, and other features that make areas tourist destinations. From bathrooms, hotel rooms, and many public spaces, one actually sees those features that are not adaptable.

For fear of falling or injury, while physically disabled people do attempt to adapt toward experiencing many of the world’s wonders, those remain from a chair staring at images on a tablet or computer. Mobile disability travel challenges will likely remain one of those perilous things that require extensive research for superior disability awareness.

Nxivm slavery empowerment thru faith and reason

Nxivm is a recently emerging cult group facing federal prosecution for constructing a secret society of dominants over submissives. The Nxivm group mostly operated from the west coast of the United States but the leader is facing trial at a Brooklyn Federal Court. Keith Raniere faces sex trafficking and forced labor charges along with actress Allison Mack ( who played one of Superman’s flames, in the TV series Smallville). They are listed as co-founders of Nxivm.

Self-proclaimed guru Keith Raniere is the head of Nxivm. Apart from being co-founder of Nxivm, Allison Mack is his direct slave and master of all the slave members. In this age of self-help and trend psychology, Nxivm targeted women who felt lonely and powerless. Here is a promo video of Raniere and Mack:

The strange thing is that, in this conversation, Raniere and Mack don’t quite appear to be leaders of a master and slave community. They are having a conversation of authenticity within the human condition. These, according to allegations and interviews with members, make Nxivm seem, like many cults, a well designed mask.

We have heard sayings such as, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and have enjoyed masquerade fashion and parties. Within relationships and human interactions – at home, at work, with family, with friends, with adversaries – that people have many layers. Primarily, each individual person is a person and persona. And these two realities are constantly in conflict. Based on this interview many might hit on the viewpoints that Raniere spoke about are absolute facts, not theories or falsehoods. If you are in need of help, this person seemed likely. Would you have imagined it might be persona?

Thousands of years ago, human extension and survival depended on attachment to groups for food, clothing, shelter, and protection. These are the foundations of group dynamics and how people are attracted and persevere through time. When we think of western religions, we think of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and Mohammed. Before these became real facts of faith, they were considered cults. Within this world, many cults exist while few become newsworthy. They do not invite masses. They reach out to selected, small numbers – believers in ideas. In a sense, what we define as cults may seem like new religions

Among some of the cults over past two generations are EST and Scientology. Ehrhardt Seminars Training (EST) is a costly group of meetings focusing on human potentials NOW. They have aggressive recruiting and make it difficult to leave the group. Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes. Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe toward true spiritual enlightenment. Actor Tom Cruise is an ardent member and contributor to Scientology and has invited other actors to join.

Of course, Nxivm was formed under an umbrella group called ESP – Executive Success Programs. Nxivm was the secret organization beneath it. No association with EST.

Nxivm also-has many former actresses and wealthy women as believers and contributors. According to allegations, they procure and train new members – in master/slave relationships. Mentioned actors are Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0) and Allison Mack. Also mentioned are the Seagram heiresses. Those that did not become sponsors are at the lowest tier – slaves.

Members were required to provide nude pictures of themselves, all sorts of personal information, and allow branding. They were to follow diets with severe calorie restrictions. Although they are free to pursue their lives independently, they were always on 24/7 call. While this consensual dominance over submission is a complex dynamic, some women struggling with loneliness and emptiness were drawn to the magnetism of Raniere.

A good question is were the women who joined ESP or Nxivm aware of what they were signing into? Are we learning not to read the print before signing documents on paper or online? This case is bound to raise many more questions within the context of contract agreements.

Groucho Marx once said, “I won’t join any club that’ll have me as a member.” The sad states of affairs is that everyone wants to feel connected, especially an active part of group dynamics to feel more whole. It is discussed in Gestalt Psychology. Gestalt psychologists argued that these principles exist because the mind has an innate disposition to perceive patterns in the stimulus based on certain rules. These principles are organized into five categories: Proximity, Similarity, Continuity, Closure, and Connectedness. Connectiveness can be emotional, physical, cognitive, supportive. Stanford University of Medicine demonstrated how Connectedness promotes good health.

The importance of Connectedness or being part of a group has been key to survival. Excommunication and exile were the most severe punishment on crimes against a group. Yet, within an age of reason and science, we haven’t as yet found great ways to cope with feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Some of these are susceptible to anyone who gives attention to them. Brainwashed? I don’t know. Just reaching for a new reality. They haven’t learned yet that the helper may just have a slippery hand beneath his glove.

I am curious how the case against Nxivm will go. Within a society with hard-fought histories for pursuing liberty and happiness, consenting to being someone’s slave for Connectedness is not an answer. Loneliness and depression may be chronic pains like hunger, there are more choices to find help than some guru or healer.

Raniere has had several enterprises over decades where his mild persona was used to capture investors or victims. With Nxivm, he became Vanguard to his supporters and members who willingly became slaves before the secrets were revealed to the public. While slavery exists and has existed for most of human civilization, many enjoy being led willingly . In the biblical book of Isaiah (53:7) there is a saying “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth.” Many people willingly accept being victimized at levels as sacrifices for their own self benefit and empowerment. Volunteering as a slave in a society that cherishes free opportunities may not be smart. Under Raniere’s darkness beneath his persona, his talents brought him several followers. And he got them to sign on the dotted line. Does that signature remove the victims responsibility as a follower? Did Raniere control a slave ring with human trafficking? There are some heavy questions and implications to be garnered in this legal war pitting free will against slavery.

No matter how sad or bitter you are, freedom of choice and opportunity are rights and virtues not to be surrendered lightly. Without bail, or with high restrictions, I hope this Nxivm case demonstrates that your senses of living have other options.

In the dilution of gods, reason plays more responsibilities on selves to extend their human potentials and “spirits”. Perhaps in a world where gods are diminished where more explanations for the unexplainable are available, reason seems more attractive. The Human Potential Movement, created by the Esalen Institute, has played a role in spawning these strange cult religions. For the most part, they do not offer profound explanations. Should anybody really take these new religions seriously? It appears they do. There are still teachers and many willing students. Do they replace divinity?

The Human Potential Movement discusses that we only use about 10% of our brain power, based on observations of earlier psychologists. There are many that are attracted to increasing their potential beyond 10% to achieve happiness and contentment. It’s attractive but there are many ways people try to achieve this. Some attribute stress as a possibility and unhappiness is a stressor. And there are exercises that help. Does giving yourself to a master help realize that potential?

In the 55 years of this Human Potential Movement, we have witnessed many crooks and, ironically, many supporters. Keith Raniere and Allison Mack will stand trial. They will be viewed microscopically by the press. Some ex-followers will testify against them. Will it have any suppressing effect on the Human Potential Movement? Doubtful. Stressing individualism and uniqueness and sought dreams of identities, small groups – cults or new religions – will always remain silently at the fringes. Exposing Nxivm was a good find. Yet, like the TV show, The Following, there will be the leaders and followers seeking to find human potential in extremely strange ways. Here is where faith and reason meet the apocalyptic battles that forge the future of our planet.

Micro-cheating relationship betrayal or polyamory

Nearly all dramas are filled with secret lies and betrayals. They sell books and make movies popular. An Australian psychologist coined a term micro-cheating as any relationship that may be mildly flirtatious or even as sending a romantic emoji or gif to someone online.

Melanie Schilling, an Australian psychologist, claims this type of behavior isn’t as innocent as you may think. It might be akin to emotional betrayal. The term “micro-cheating” is supposed to serve as an umbrella term for all of the little ways both emotionally and/or physically that you can be unfaithful to your partner.

As a psychologist, Schilling also considers herself a dating expert. In her perspective and view micro-cheating is defined as a series of small actions and/or thoughts that indicate a person’s interest or focus outside their prime relationship.

If micro-cheating made it to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual or some social or legal venue, micro-cheating has a list of symptoms:

1. Lying about your relationship status to attractive-looking strangers.

2. ‘Liking’ Instagram photos of attractive people way too often.

3. Casually flirting with colleagues at work.

4. Never refusing anyone who offers to buy you a drink.

5. Keeping regular touch with exes and frequently meeting them for drinks.

6. Making jokes about dating/hooking-up with someone.

In a “me too” era where dozens of influential people lose jobs and status from allegations of forms of negative behavior in work or off-work relationships. These allegations depict a variety of behaviors.

Yet, the media is filled with stories about twisted relationships, affairs, and betrayals. In literature, it goes back a few hundred years. Thousands of years if you include the pld testament of the Bible. That “You shall not commit adultery” managed to make it into the 10 commandments sends hints that relationship cheating and betrayals might have been pervasive problems.

In contrast, there are those that favor polyamory. Polyamory is a philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. In a polyamorous relationship each partner kind of knows that one or the other may have other partners with no prime commitments. All partners do this consensually so betrayal is not an issue.

The difficulties that discussing an anecdotal term like micro-cheating is that casual or friendships or acquaintances are now questionable. Maintaining close relationships is often difficult. The courts, jails, and psychotherapy couches are active and filled with effects of disaffection within a relationship.

Spread by the media, and with open-access to social media, micro-cheating is entering jargon and thoughts of a young generation trying to establish roots. It is yet another delicate tight-string to provoke thoughts of cheating and betrayal in otherwise stable, loving relationships.

It is sad that romantic and pure love is meeting needless tensions. As sexuality types of all situations are finding voice and equality, adding micro-cheating as a pseudo-psychology term is just another waste of time and emotion.

I can only think of a Tina Turner lyric:
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

And the introduction of micro-cheating may make heart breaks easier. Is micro-cheating okay? Will it just be a passing fad?

Dark Mystery of salad dressing

Any new year means new goals to achieve. Many resolutions scatter and fade like dust in a wind. Top of the list, for many, is to shed the gained weight from the previous year(s). The simplest thing might be to cut the cakes and transition to salad. There are many vices that lurk atop and within a salad. Sometimes the key suspects may not be in the salad but in the salad dressing. Exploring and enjoying salads is an adaptation that is easy to adopt as a lifestyle. There are hundreds of salad types, with or without salad dressing, for any season.

According to the 2018 US News World Report Diet list, the Mediterranean Diet is, again, rated #1. This diet incorporates fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and advises a strict limit of limit unhealthy saturated fats. The most prominent salad dressing and food additive is olive oil. Tied with Mediterranean on the list is the DASH diet. Both are easy to do but, of these the better is the Mediterranean Diet.

The quick way to benefit the Mediterranean lifestyle for weight loss is to reduce breads and limit servings of pasta. Breads and pasta are tasty but were perfect if you were active all day, working the fields and vineyards. In a general sedentary lifestyle, reducing those carbohydrates is helped by eating salads and using olive oil as a primary dressing.
Those top-tier fashion models eat servings of salads and snack yogurt as part of their daily regimen. Bread and pasta might be measured by bites instead of servings. That helps them maintain top-tier status, earning demand from advertisers.

Yet, beyond the Mediterranean, salads are a significant part of a meal.

The main complaint about salads in the United States is that they aren’t filling or they don’t taste like anything. That’s because, in the USA, salads consist of lettuces, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Yes, far less appetizing than a hero from Subway or a Pizza shop. Of course, a hero has about 400 calories in bread and around 80 grams of carbohydrates. dry. Salads don’t necessarily require lettuce and can be very filling, satisfying, and nutritious.

In the Mediterranean region, for example, salads are eaten with fish or chunks of cheese and chunks of meat. They also add mushrooms, onions, peppers, and olives. Those salads are meals. Some add ground herbs and a little salt. The dressing? Olive Oil and (sometimes) vinegar. The royalty of vinegar is Balsamic, made from grapes. There are fundamentally no other salad dressings. A flavored salad dressing from a bottle might be for tourists.

Apart from the fact that Olives are plentiful in the Mediterranean region, olive oil is considered a much healthier fat than butter or other fats. Olive oil has one of the highest level of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of all oils. Olive oil is also a reasonable source of fat-soluble vitamin K and vitamin E, among other micronutrients. A 1 tablespoon serving of olive oil has no cholesterol and:

Calories 120
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 10 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Total Carbohydrates 0 g

While a fat source, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are considered extremely healthy by the American Heart Association.

Vinegar has also many supportive but non-scientific substantiated benefits as a partner for olive oil. It contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acetic acid in it prevents germ growth, which could contribute to nasal congestion. Apple Cider vinegar has been purported to play a role at controlling:

Diabetes. Some preliminary research suggests that consuming vinegar or apple cider vinegar might reduce blood sugar levels after a meal.

Slow digestion (gastroparesis).

Weight loss.

Leg cramps and pain.

Unsettled stomach.

Sore throats.

Sinus problems.

High blood pressure.

Among the Mediterranean region, the somewhat costlier Balsamic vinegar, with its slightly sweet flavor, lends a romance with olive oil to transform any salad from dull to tasty.

Balsamic vinegar contains polyphenols, antioxidants that can protect the body from heart disease and cancer.

Balsamic vinegar also is purported to help support immunity. The grapes that are used to make balsamic vinegar contain antioxidants that may fight against cell damage, improve the body’s immune system and make blood platelets more flexible.

A tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar add calories as a salad dressing. Olive oil delivers 120 calories (mostly from healthy MUFA and PUFA) per tablespoon. Balsamic Vinegar adds 14 calories per tablespoon, mostly from natural grape carbohydrates. For an entree salad, 3 or 4 tablespoons are recommended. A USA tablespoon is about a 1/2-ounce. Four tablespoons are 2 ounces. Basically, a 1:1 combination (2 tablespoons each) yields about 268 calories. You can reduce calories by using 1 tablespoon olive oil to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, that would subtract about 100 calories to the salad dressing mix. Usually, after mixing salad contents, much of the liquid remains at the bottom of the bowl.

USA supermarket shelves have at least 6 dozen different salad dressings from about 4 manufacturers, not including small gourmet varieties. Some of these dressings seem healthy and appetizing but aren’t as clear and simple as they seem. Are they healthy or just convenient?

Let’s take Newman’s Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette. It sounds great! Healthy organic blend of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Then you read the ingredients:

Organic Vegetable Oil (Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Water, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Cane Sugar, Salt, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Organic Garlic Puree, Organic Spices, Organic Red Bell Pepper*, Organic Onion*, Organic Gum Acacia, Xanthan Gum.
*Dried.

They reveal that Olive Oil is one of many oils and that Balsamic Vinegar is diluted with ordinary distilled vinegar. Now here is the ingredient that is quite confusing. Organic Cane Sugar. In my view, whether it’s processed sugar or raw sugar, it is still sugar. As a principle ingredient, there are no sugar warnings for people on special diets. Why the added sugar?

The answer may be found in the minute amount of actual balsamic vinegar in the Newman dressing mix. True Balsamic Vinegar comes from Modena, Italy. The main ingredient is White Trebbiano grape juice. True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes, not as wine like other vinegar, but as juice through an aging fermentation process. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar contains 14 calories and zero grams of fat and protein that create a healthy bond as a tasty salad dressing when mixed with olive oil.

There are about 360 calories in a 4 tablespoon salad dressing of Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette and an undisclosed amount of MUFA/PUFA distribution. There are about 600mg of salt and 2 grams of sugar. While similar nutritionally to Balsamic and Olive oil mix, Newman’s salad dressing is saltier and spicier.

About Salad Toppings

Using a small base of mixed greens, there are a wide variety of toppings that can make your salad healthier, more flavorful, and filling. Here are a few: When using mixed greens as a base, packaged salads are usually better. These packaged salad greens usually go through a thorough washing process to remove any insects and surface pathogens that may be lodged at the base. I prefer not to use them at all. Make your mix using these:

*Vegetables. Asparagus, Beets, Artichoke hearts, Cucumbers, Peppers, Carrots, Broccoli, Edamame, and Legumes (beans)
*Eggs. Hard-boiled, Poached, Soft-boiled.
*Whole Grains. Couscous, Farro, Quinoa, Barley, Rice, Whole grain pasta serving
*Seeds. Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds
*Nuts. Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts
*Dried Fruit. Raisins, Cranberries, Chopped figs/dates
+Vegetarian Protein. Tofu, Seitan
*Seafood. Canned (or fresh prepared) Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, Clams, Oysters
*Meat. Cold cuts, Chicken, Beef, Ham
*Cheese. Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella, Swiss, Feta, Blue Cheese, Nanchego
*Condiments: Olives, Garlic, Dill, Parsley, Chopped crackers, Croutons

Of course, any additive will add caloric values from carbohydrates or fat to your overall salad mix. Don’t think calories at first. Learn to be filled with salad. In the USA, salad is a learning experience. Food filled salads and hearty salad dressing should help replace snack foods filled with excess carbohydrates.

The general idea is to use salads to provide nutrition, energy, and fullness. Eat salad as much as possible. Beyond recipes I have shown, simplicity could be a 6-ounce can of salmon, a can of beans, some shredded carrots, broccoli, a spoon of grated cheese and edamame. Make an easy salad dressing for flavor and you have a great meal – large enough for snacking it between meals. Salad recipes may be diversified and lettuces aren’t always necessary.

Bottled salad dressing may be a tasty shortcut. Be aware that those flavors may not be what you might think they are. Realize that a balsamic vinaigrette may have very little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A blue cheese dressing may have little or no blue cheese. An Italian salad dressing may have no resemblance to the salad dressing a typical Italian might eat. When you make your own salad dressing, you know what you are getting.

Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals. They may have been naturally designed for its survival and they may have minute properties that might help remove cholesterol, certain body fats, and regulate over all body balnce at cellular and blood levels. Many fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are not considered nutrients that are essential for life, like carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Among the benefits of phytonutrients are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. These nutrients have only recently been studied as co-factors that the body needs and dark berries, fruits and vegetables are believed to contain many of these. Phytonutrient index, or PI, refers to the amount of colorful plant pigments and compounds in a food that help prevent disease and promote health. Some of these phytonutrients ma come from different regional soils and environments.

Would cooked fruits, vegetables, and herbs promote or eliminate nutrient or phytonutient properties? Some phytonutrient-rich foods may unleash additional bioactve properties after they have been heated. These include green, leafy vegetables and tomatoes. In salad creation for health, these are healthy options. Cooking some ingredients properly may be healthier.

The US News and World diet report did rate medically-proven ketosis and intermittent-fasting lifestyles at the bottom of their lists. These are radical approaches that virtually eliminate sugars as glucose as glycogen from your diet. The result is that your body uses available body fat. Your liver, brain, and kidneys will create whatever glycogen it needs. You can eat a diet with fat and protein, but almost no sugar. In the USA diet, this takes a great deal of discipline. USA foods highly regard sugars and starches. Going without them is almost as impossible as fighting opioid and nicotine addictions. Maintenance of body ketosis will help you drop body-fat weight rapidly and keep it off.

In considering a Mediterranean diet, Obesity among aging Italians has become a focus of European research as part of an approach to study body weight in the Mediterranean regions. The Mediterranean Diet may not be helping those currently living by the Mediterranean.

Salads are the good thing of the Mediterranean diet lifestyle but, where most people become sedentary consumers instead of active agrarians, this easy diet may not yield tremendous weight reduction results.

Considering all your salad options, keep pasta and grain additions low. Do not eat more than a slice of bread with your salad serving. Use herbs with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for added flavor enhancement.

Weight loss resolutions often die horrible deaths at gyms or at diet centers, if they even realize in the first place.
Winter is a tough time to establish a weight loss regimen with lower levels of light and colder temperatures. The ideas of weight and weight loss may be associated with depressing moods that confound your goals. Because of the multitude of possible salads, following a regimen is easier as you make a transition toward a reasonable goal.

For those of you who are frightened from using lettuce in a salad because of the latest E-Coli association with romaine lettuce, Eat This Not That offers a list of 20 salads you can make easily with health and weight loss in mind. For those seeking an entree-size salad with Mediterranean flare, try this Italian Lentil Salad:

What you need:

1 lb(s) green lentils – canned

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup halved seedless green grapes

1 cup halved seedless red grapes

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

½ cup coarsely chopped, skinned and toasted hazelnuts

2 tsp lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

Vinaigrette
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directtons:
Heat canned lentils and cook or steam, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes. Place lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

For the salad dressing, I’d recommend this alternative:
Juice 2 fresh lemons
Stir in olive oil (about 1/4-cup)
Add a little salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

This recipe provides 3 satisfying servings filled with protein, fiber, and phytonutrients. Variations might include add-on canned sardines, canned tuna, canned salmon, or no more than 4 ounces of fresh seafood or meat.

There are literally thousands of salad recipes on the Food Network that do not require veganism or vegetarianism. When you kill some of the commercial salad dressing options, you keep control of your tastes. There’s no mystery. Just lots of food to help you target resolve at slowly attaining a weight management resolution.

Adapting a healthy weight management lifestyle means adopting a holistic lifestyle approach you can live with for a long time. Salads are very much whole food eating. Commercial salad dressing is convenient and tasty. Taking time to make your own salad dressing helps brings you at one with your salad for an appreciative lifestyle. Solve the dark mystery of salad dressing.

The clues to the mystery is what you choose to place in your salad and how to add the right condiments. Squeezes of lemon, drops of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are the culinary rewards. You would be Amazed how many salad dressings are available from FOOD NETWORK online.

Are you getting the nutrition you need? Choose a fine vitamin supplement. Centrum might be a choice.

Eating homemade salads as a major part of your diet is a way to help trigger a lifestyle regimen of weight management and wellness. It may be a resolution you can stick with.

Halal ketogenic kosher vegan dieting

Everyone, at one time or another, thinks about dieting.There are so many diets to choose from. There are at least 38 different diets that deem some worthiness. There are actually hundreds of dietary methods. Dieting and choosing a diet often seems punitive and often require lifestyle discipline. For most, the menu is confusing. For many, it has been coded by deities. Is one better than the other?

There are many faiths and religions covering billions of people that faithfully follow divine diets. People seem to follow diets based on godliness than health and wellness. Are they healthy in today’s times? Were they ever designed for the healthy lifestyles we seek?

Indeed, virtually all diets require enduring faith. For many people, religions have established blueprints with no second-guessing. But do those diets deliver health benefits or were they designed to counter pantheist and pagan cultures that lived concurrently? Diets often tend to fail but, with help of gods, faith is often more esteemed than will.

Diet is considered a four-letter word. Diet isn’t one of those words .For many people in western civilization, to follow a diet as a healthy lifestyle, is considered a torrid road to Inferno. Historically, dietary lifestyles were bound by divinity, evolution of tools (i.e. veganism), and science (i.e. ketogenic). The latter trail behind lifestyle followers of those that have divine origins. We will be discussing Islamic Halal, Jewish Kosher, Garden of Eden’s Vegan, and scientific Ketogenic.

Over 1-1/2 billion people follow halal and kosher dietary rules that have come from divine origin. There are also special dietary laws for Buddhism, and Hinduism. Christianity did not develop elaborate dietary rules and customs. This probably grew out of the controversy between the Judaic and Greek Christians and the Roman church during the earliest years of Christianity. It is believed that Jesus and Mary followed kosher laws and vegetarian diets.

When it comes to ritually slaughtering meat and the prohibition of pig meat, halal and kosher follow very specific and similar laws. Halal adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Quranran. Virtually all vegetarian cuisine is halal if it does not contain alcohol. The most common example of non-halal (or haram) food is pork (pig meat products). While pork is the only meat that categorically may not be consumed by Muslims (the Quran forbids it Sura 16:115), other foods not in a state of purity are also considered haram (not halal).

Kosher follows specific laws throughout several passages of the Torah or Five Books of Moses.. A kosher species must be slaughtered by a Shochet, a ritual slaughterer. Since Jewish Law prohibits causing any pain to animals, the slaughtering has to be effected in such a way that unconsciousness is instantaneous and death occurs almost instantaneously. In kusher, animals must chew their cud and have a split hoof. Poultry (birds) and fish also have specific rules. All ritually slaughtered must not be from a predator species. In addition, meat and milk must not be consumed together.

The key elements are that health is not subscribed to either halal or kosher, other than the animal must be a healthy one. These rules are found in the scriptures of divine origins. That means fat and cholesterol issues of today, were not included. Nor were mortality statistics or current diseases.

Yet, most Jews and Islamic people have followed these rules for thousands of years, without question. These have been deeply integrated into their lifestyles through setting up homes and abstaining from certain foods. means abstaining from the use of alcohol (Islam) and pork or from things which contain the by-products of those. This accounts to over 1-1/2 billion people following the precepts set a long time ago through divine scriptures.

The divine scriptures have also places a focus on the vegan diet. It begins at the creation of the world. “And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” —Genesis 1:30. It was really afterwards that the Lord starting granting compromises about meat. Vegans, as individuals, usually don’t think about the Genesis quote but following a vegan diet does require some religious fervor.

Vegans have many different motives for choosing an all vegetable, fruit, and grain diet. For those seeking weight loss, some vegans actually gain weight. There is considerable debate whether being vegan is healthy or not. A good vegan diet is still based on calories, nutrition, and activity. Unlike Halal and Kosher, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are.

Many vegan wannabes make a mistake about vegetarianism and veganism. Like kosher or halal being a vegan follows a strict type of vegetarianism that excludes meat and all animal products. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or any foods containing them. A vegan diet relies on plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Seeds, as in nuts, are great sources of dietary fats, protein, nutrients that include magnesium. Like kosher and halal, vegans don’t necessarily mimic other non-vegan foods, they create many of their own. Yes, dark chocolate is vegan!

While considered healthy, the Vegan Coach does suggest that vegans choosing weight loss as a goal simple carbs (such as white rice or white pasta) and instead reach for whole grains (like brown rice or whole grain pasta) for lasting energy and to encourage weight loss. DO cut back on your sugar intake. Sugar is bad news and the more you eat the harder it will be to lose weight.

The Vegan Coach notes that some vegans tend to get fat and that is due to consumption of excess carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Everything (other than most dairy, all meat, poultry, and fish) naturally contain carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruits and, especially, grains. Basically all core foods vegan eat. That isn’t necessarily bad.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day. Primary foods with the highest carbohydrates are:
Fruit. Whole fruit and fruit juice.
Grains. Bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, crackers, and cereal.
Legumes. Beans and other plant-based proteins.
Starchy Vegetables. Potatoes and corn.
Sugar – Processed or Raw table sugar as sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, and maltose.

Excess carbohydrates convert to body fat as storage. If you exceed your calories from carbohydrates, and don’t move, you gain weight over time. Even as a vegan.

Adopting a ketogenic lifestyle turns the vegan diet backwards. Meat, dairy, fish, poultry are staples. Few vegetables, fruits, and grains are consumed. Depriving your body of carbohydrates will be naturally compensated by your body AFTER it uses natural fat storage.

Ketogenic is more of a science based diet that originally was used to curb epilepsy symptoms. The side effect was weight loss and long-term management. Like kosher, halal, and (somewhat) vegan, ketogenic is a lifestyle that doesn’t have any ties to divine commandments. A ketogenic diet is a personal choice and, like vegan, kosher, and halal, must be followed as a lifestyle.

While there are many variables in low-carbohydrate dieting, ketogenic diets work best when you place your body in ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diet.

What happens when stored fats are used? The liver, kidney, and brain produce just enough of natural body energy sources called ketones that keep your body functioning. Getting your body to do this means reaching consistent ketosis. the daily intake of net carbs required to enter ketosis could vary from 20 to 100 grams per day. Most people, who have experienced ketosis, claim to have reached that state at about 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. It varies per person. 50 grams is equivalent to a cup of coffee with milk and 2 spoons of sugar OR 1 bagel dry.

A net-carbohydrate is calculated by subtracting the food’s fiber content from the total carbohydrates. Suppose you have a can of beans (that strangely yields about 3 servings). Each serving has 20 grams total carbohydrates. There are 8 grams of fiber per serving. The net-carb (total minus fiber) is 12 grams per serving. One of the popular low-carb diet strategies, Atkins Diet, conjured up this net-carb formula. This way you might enjoy bread while following your ketogenic goals.

Typically, a slice of whole-wheat bread has 20 grams total minus 5 grams of fiber, to deliver 30 grams net carbs per 2 slice sandwich. Low-carb bread alternatives might be some wrap-like pita or flat breads, delivering a 1-bread sandwich. A low-carb bread might have a 10 gram total, 5 gram fiber, yielding a 5 gram net carb. Net-carb is a neat trick to help you enjoy a sandwich.

Adopting a ketogenic diet means a long-term lifestyle choice. While not divinely commanded, the ketogenic diet lifestyle helps keep you trim and helps reduce weight at a recommended level in order to avoid weight related diseases, such as diabetes, chronic obesity, arthritis, and others. Some say that a combination of ketosis and exercise might even help memory by stimulating a certain neurotrophic factor in your mid brain.

Since its discovery almost about 30 years ago, neuroscientists and neurologists have studied that the secreted neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been firmly implicated in the differentiation and survival of neurons of the central nervous system. The BDNF role has also been emerging as an important regulator of synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the adult central nervous system. A ketogenic diet and moderate exercise has demonstrated strong links with BDNF production in the hippocampus region of the brain. The hippocampus is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory.

There is much to be said about those diets long foretold through the Old Testament and the Koran. They illustrate respect and cleanliness of animals and other foods. This respect may allow for an above average mortality rate than others not following kosher or halal rules.

According to a recent book, Jesus and Mary were kosher abiding vegetarians (not totally vegan). This lifestyle also extended to the original Aramaic Christians that lived within adjacent environments. Devout Jews and Islamic follow kosher and halal as strict dietary laws. Food is an important part of religious observance for many different faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Health-wise, those laws, customs and guidelines are more faith than science.

The ketogenic diet has been academically and scientifically examined for nearly 100 years. Ketogenic results are based on studies ranging from diet, metabolism, and a wide range of sciences. While low-carb ketogenic lifestyles have grown in popularity over the past 30 years (as opposed to thousands), many nutritionists cite science studies that suggest that the ketogenic lifestyle may be attributed to healthy longevity. The ketogenic adoption to fat and protein over natural fruits and vegetables appear to astonish and irritate old ideas.

Apart from religious lifestyle diets, there are hundreds of dietary lifestyles competing to be top-of-the-list. Dieting or maintaining good dietary health by choice is more of a failing game of thrones. According to the New York Times (1999) “95% Regain Lost Weight. Or Do They? It is a depressing article of faith among the overweight and those who treat them that 95 percent of people who lose weight regain it — and sometimes more — within a few months or years”. Psychology Today claims, given many human instincts and habits, this dietary struggle is so constant that dieting isn’t worth it.

For religions, devout followers adopt dietary laws as integrated through many generations. Vegans might have a couple generations but usually volunteer to the lifestyle for varied reasons. Ketogenic dieting is difficult, especially within a world that heavily markets carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s rules are simple but adoption takes endurance for months through years. Once ketosis is disrupted, you become a carb animal again.

While a ketogenic diet may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improve memory, calm bi-polar symptoms and episodic epilepsy, the big obstacle is adopting a ketogenic lifestyle as a habit – with minor changes as you reach your goals.

The wrath of gods may not smite you for disobeying dietary laws. At least for this life, ketogenic dieting offers many positives if you faithfully follow it. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that theoretically lowers blood sugar and insulin levels (in normal individuals). Ketosis shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat, protein, and ketone production. As you reach targeted weight goals, you may add carbohydrates when exercising.

HealthLine lists four of several variations of ketogenic dietary modes:

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs (1).

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.

High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

I employ a different one that stays away from saturated fats and focuses more on mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. It’s a more difficult variation that relies mostly on nuts, soy, wheat gluten, and fish. Works for me but I don’t recommend this for most.

There are differences when we discuss low-carb and ketogenic. Low-carb can be any reduction of carbohydrates. Ketogenic means limiting your carbohydrates to 40 to 60 grams per day. Some say 20 grams is better. I’d say anything averaging below 60 grams per day will ignite the liver and brain to create ketones for weight loss and energy.

I may believe in god but humans have to find their way toward healthier, happier and longer lives. There’s an often debated phrase that God helps those that help themselves. The low-carb ketogenic approach might seem to work fast in helping to drop inches. Yet, like kosher, halal, and veganism, ketogenic requires a long, religious effort to make those choices that reap healthy dietary rewards.

The realdoll dolls gadgets and people who love them

For most, dolls were our first companions. Dolls give comfort, security, support, and more. Eventually, dolls have different meaning as we grow up. Simple robotics are adding unimaginable feats for dolls we hold dear. In this digital age, smartphones and apps are like personal robots. Robotic arms replace some humans on assembly line manufacturing. Some manufacturers are exploring driver-less cars. For a few adults, robots are emerging that fulfill social roles. Can these functionally human-like dolls further change western civilization as we know it? What are the benefits and consequences?

Dolls may have begun in pagan times as symbols and objects bound with ancient gods. Human-shaped dolls probably stretch back through thousands of years. Many young children grow to cherish their dolls as they grow up. Dolls evolved to possess many human features, such as crying, wetting, and burping. They are expensive ions of fashion; sometimes competing in value than children’s clothes. We loved and still love our dolls.

Now…some people are discussing the possibilities that marriage between humans and dolls might be feasible by 2050. There was a report that such a marriage has already happened! This is way beyond Pygmalion and the fantasy may not at all be new. Can dolls and humans live in harmony?

For the past 20 years or so, dolls designed for adults have grown. Using robotic technologies, these dolls are ever-advancing and growing more popular. Are they replacing human relationships as we know them? Consider this the Westworld fantasy. But now it’s possible in your world.

Robots are more than fantasy. Robotic dolls are an increasing facet of the reality we live. BOTZ is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that lists major manufacturers that develop robots. Whether robotic tools or robotic sex dolls, the interests in AI and robots yield high potentials.

Within the nerdy, geeky minds of computing geniuses, one of the driving forces behind tech development might just have been the attainment of sexual strengths. When virtual reality was evolving in the 1970’s, virtual sex in the form of teledildonics was a living fantasy. Doll tech development seems to be following that trend. Well…there appears to be a 20-million pound race for the developer who conjures up the first AI sex doll. Could this be the next biggest reality changer than Apple’s development of the iPhone? Can sex dolls help reduce the use of anti-depressants and even opioids?

Inflatable sex dolls offered a serious purpose in World War II. It was reported that Hitler issued soldiers sex dolls to combat syphilis in lieu of standard methods of contraction.

Early 19th-century psychology focused much on female hysteria, a problem from earlier centuries. Histories of fornicatory dolls involved a constant obsession with creating an idealized, silent female sexual object. 2000 years ago, Ovid wrote of a myth involving a woman sculpted from ivory by Pygmalion. Her name was Galatea and he became so obsessed with her, bathing her feeding her and of course sleeping with her. A walk through major historical museums show that dolls of ancient goddesses were found in excavations. At least, we know and validate man’s obsession for a sexual love object goes back even before Eve negated the Lord in the garden of Eden.

In 1997, a USA manufacturer named RealDoll revolutionized the adult doll industry. They sculpted female dolls with a skin-textured silicone along with natural-like lips, breasts, and vaginas. It’s latest set of dolls have improved skeletal integrity. These dolls also feature advanced weight reduction without sacrificing the feel of the doll, two patented styles of interchangeable faces (Magnetic face and full head style FaceX systems), 7″ deep removable mouth inserts, optional removable vagina inserts for ease of hygiene and maintenance, and an ever expanding line of faces and bodies continually added to the collection to expand your future options. Even more fascinating, these dolls can be ordered with a selection of measurements for ergonomics. Who says there is no future for products made in the USA?

As far as equal opportunities, RealDoll offers a male collection of dolls, with similar features. Unlike children’s dolls, these adult dolls run upwards from $4500 each. A USA success story!

Yet these dolls are merely Pygmalion-types, more anatomically functional. Undaunted, RealDoll introduced Harmony in April 2017, the first doll with artificial intelligence. Harmony speaks and interacts. At $15,000, Harmony has the integrated software to be your 24/7 companion.

The folks at Engadget, a website that focuses on new technologies, gave Harmony a thorough exam and found this doll to be the virtual woman that Aphrodite gave Pygmalion. Even more fascinating is that Harmony is a product developed by the engineers at the University of Texas in Austin. The epitome of American ingenuity. Inventing the girl that can’t say no.

According to Realbotix, there are expected app upgrades to the software at a price of $20 per year.

Thanks to the proliferation of mobile technology and social media networks, much of what passes for human relationships already depends on the transfer of electronic data. In many ways, there are many subtle, nefarious ways where friends and lovers are becoming more abstract. Developing “intelligent” sex robots seems to be cracking the foundations of all traditions we have cherished. Is it possible that people may love dolls over human partners. While robots like Harmony have sales by the hundreds, the tech is still in its infancy. Can you remember a world without PC, Mac, or smartphones? In senses, predictions of positives and negatives are hard to consider. Are the evolution of sex and chore robots inevitable?

Perhaps love dolls might help solidify human relationships that are failing. According to the American Psychological Association data, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Infidelity and adultery statistics in the USA, 2 of the ten Mosaic commandments, inconclusively (by survey) indicate happen in about 1 of 5 relationships. Men and women do it. People enjoy watching and reading stories where “cheating” occurs. If a household had a sex robot, would sex be noted as infidelity?

Then there is the commandment of being “fruitful and multiplying.” Robots can’t do that! Studies show that, with basic human ingredients, babies can be born without traditional definitions of intercourse.

Developers, marketers and company spokes-people do indicate that these adult dolls are still cost prohibitive and sell only hundreds of models per year. Most of the profit is targeted toward manufacturing better processors and structural integrity. Even Harmony still appears unnatural. The consumers tend to be people who have lost a spouse or are lonely for other reasons.

Robotics has been influential as orthoses – replacing hands, legs, and feet for those that are physically handicapped. A once highly improbable concept has grown into a major life aid. Yet, technologies employed are hardly known or addressed by most mobility practitioners dealing with chronic mobility challenges. Robot assisted therapy is also used to help rehabilitate stroke patients.

When it comes to all the beneficial prospects robotics might do, the media seems to focus on robotic sex dolls with artificial intelligence. It is a significant topic. People do love and are crazy about their dolls. Is there a market for adult robotic sex dolls? Would you buy one?

Reading deeper issues regarding ethics. morality, religion, and so many other societal facets don’t apply as yet. Prices are very high. Robotic sex dolls are a microcosmic and rare market. So were android smartphones during the before iPhone days. More tech advances might make these dolls more competitive and popular. At this point in time, robot sex dolls is a minor concept. It is, however, researched internationally and finding a market.

Yet, robotic dolls are rapidly expanding into society. United States doesn’t have exclusivity in developing robotic dolls. The Asian market uses robotic dolls to interact with the public. There is a small hotel staffed by about 70% robots. The hotel, near Nagasaki, is a pilot project targeted for use by 3-star hotels in Japan. There are still quite a few tweaks to work through but the novelty has drawn media from around the globe.

Developing artificial intelligence is a growing investment market on stock exchanges. Goldman-Sachs believes silicon-valley investing might be one of the big money makers in a portfolio.

Artificial intelligence lacks emotion, ideas, uniquenesses, personalities, and drives. Humans are teased by artificial intelligence and often compete against AI programs in games like chess and cards. AI is what seems to drive the future of the robotic market.

While United States places more restrictions against immigrants, are robots manufactured in the USA citizens? Are they eligible? These might be one of many issues worthy of consideration over the next decades as we move toward the 22nd century. Like global weather extreme changes, AI robotic dolls may have beneficial and consequential impact generations from now. Thinkers believe that 2050 might demonstrate social and economic impact on human society. Many questions will be raised and many implications will be weighed.

Our fascination with robots has given birth to many top-ranking movies with successful sequences, such as Terminator. Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. Sarah is targeted because a cyborg manufacturer if the future, Skynet, knows that her unborn son will lead the fight against them. With the virtually unstoppable Terminator in hot pursuit, she attempts to escape. Advanced robotics might have severe consequences in the fabric of humanity – much like social media and telecommunications have had over the last decade.

Will humanity survive to witness robotic dolls? They already exist. We are entering the Twilight Zone as we expand toward the Outer Limits. Bad or good? Time and gods can determine happy afters.

BDNF BDSM bring healthy heart brain memory

A few years ago, the bestselling 50 Shades of Grey novels unleashed the acceptance of healthy foreplay (using light BDSM) in the bedroom or elsewhere. AARP and other online sources indicated that active foreplay calorie use and improved heart rate, anecdotal from use of a fit-bit.

BDNF(Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) are processes that are are a family of biomolecules – nearly all of which are peptides or small proteins – that support the growth, survival, and differentiation of both developing and mature neurons. Within the brain, BDNF is released by either a nerve cell and binds to a receptor on a nearby nerve cell. The associative process prompts the increased production of proteins associated with nerve cell survival and function. Basically, BDNF is an active neurotrophin that helps build cognition and memory. BDNF production is one theory that helps prevent onset of Alzheimer’s. Is it fully automatic?

According to neurologist and author Dr. David Perlmutter, activity and a ketogenic-type diet may help initiate BDNF activity to improve brain health longevity.

BDNF is like a neuron growth hormone. As a normal progression of aging, many hormone production levels decrease. Studies are exploring the possible roles reduced BDNF might have with developing memory decline. The study’s conclusion was a little unclear of what lifestyle changes might need changing if BDNF regulation is, indeed, a factor of Alzheimer’s Disease development.

Dr. Perlmutter believes that low-carbohydrate diets, in addition to aid BDNF constancy also may reduce body inflammation that might influence heart and brain health. Perlmutter further breaks down what carbohydrates are better than those you’re eating now.

It’s a shared belief between Perlmutter and other neurologists that walking, running, or any aerobic exercise helps release BDNF that helps develop synaptic growth in the mid-brain. The area is the hippocampus that is often associated with moods and memory. One existential psychology theorist had a pretty cute explanation about this area. He believed the hippocampus was a picture book of our memories – what we like or dislike.

Of course, discussing routine, lifestyle dieting and doing it are two different realities.

Of course, one possible way to boost memory is coffee. We love our coffee. The caveat is no sugar or milk. The key ingredient is caffeine. Johns Hopkins study showed that caffeine helped retain long-term memory. There was no correlation whether BDNF was part of the coffee test results. Coffee, as the most consumed beverage, also has been studied to show other benefits.

Doctors and theorists seem to agree that modified ketogenic diets coupled with exercise or any consistent aerobic activity offer many healthy benefits. The BDNF hypothesis is helped along by ketogenic dieting and activity offering a package of body and brain benefits.

Consensual, intimate BDSM (dominant/submissive) might be a physical, calorie burning activity that might promote a good heart rate and possible BDNF through creativity and challenges. It is not deemed normal by many. It’s kinky. Yet it evokes much interest.

In BDSM alternative lifestyle role-play, the leader demands obedience from the following partner. Done well, the challenges might really tax thinking and BDNF production. Role-play is an activity and can be challenging and fun. It does require healthy communication in the game. Using BDSM as foreplay (along with a diet) might be an alternative to walking rapidly for 45-minutes. Even Italian researchers associate sexiness with BDNF. The thorough research was admittedly from a small sample of subjects. For BDNF, that’s amore.

Health also evokes much interest and the thousands of bestselling books (i.e. David Perlmutter’s Grain Brain book), response to content often resounds with a giant thud.

That may be due to the sugar that has been added to package foods is like a deadly drug and artificial sweeteners that we love and can’t change our addiction with. We are slaves of sugar! We are the subjects of a planned system that sugars are good. It is difficult to disobey. Any alternative is an acquired taste or seen as punishment.

Then there are the 0 calorie artificial sweeteners!!

Still want to sweeten your coffee?

In light of longevity, or general health, the potential benefits of leaner bodies and robust memories face insurmountable challenges from the lifestyles we’ve adopted. Modifying those perceptions are akin to being a masochist – and as socially inappropriate. Yet it takes little work if motivated.

Recently, several BDNF testing procedures have begun. There are also studies of BDNF saliva tests. BDNF neuroscience and cognitive researchers, over the past few years, have not accurately assessed quantities and qualities required to assure BDNF optimal ranges for possible memory retention and reduction of dementia symptoms. Neurologists, however, agree that ketogenic diets and aerobic physical activity together stimulate BDNF production in the brain.

If someone proved that BDNF was really a great way to preserve memory, would you follow a ketogenic diet and exercise?

Vitamin B1 Thiamine natural anti mosquito bite

Summer is about passion, beauty, and vacations. Yet benefits have consequences. Summer also has mosquitoes. Those insects love biting human skin. Often this results in annoying, itchy lesions that splotch all the skin surfaces yearning to breathe free. There are small studies and anecdotal opinions that somewhat reveal that higher doses of Thiamine (or vitamin B-1) may shoo that ornery mosquito away. It makes it less likely to get a mosquito bite. Remember what Mommy says, “Get your B vitamins!” It sounds simple but it’s only one of many scientifically unproven theories and dreams.

While there are many variants as to what attracts and repels mosquitoes to examine the frequent mosquito bite, research has yet to validate the old remedy of Thiamine’s effectiveness of guarding you against a mosquito bite. The 2005 science study used a small sample of people and only one (of the many) species of mosquitoes. Their results could not reach conclusions that Thiamine or any other B vitamin can support this hypothesis.

There are many common-sense (sounding) solutions of preventing and treating a mosquito bite. Few are seriously scientific.

Some people also believe that spreading garlic or bananas on skin as mosquito bite preventatives. That sounds very impractical. Those might attract more bugs and repel most people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved lemon-eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent. It has been in use since the 1940’s. It is among 10 popular natural solutions being recommended to consumers.

The myth associated with using Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) is that a significant dose helps develop a pheromone that may repel mosquitoes. You are less likely to get a mosquito bite from one family of mosquitoes.

The tragic results of being bitten a few times results in discomfort from itching and skin marks from bites that have opened. In the cosmetic marketplace, mosquito bite make-up and topical treatments account for millions of dollars in sales.

Only in Europe, scientific studies are exploring alternatives to impair mosquito olfaction. These are attempts to help minimize mosquito attraction.

Mosquito bites throughout a region may result in serious epidemics of assorted illness, with possible expansion to other regions. A mosquito bite is a natural phenomenon and everyone is likely to be bitten more than once in those ideal temperature areas. Be it treatments or cover-up, there is really NO NATURAL PRODUCT that you can scientifically count on.

The clamor and competition to find a natural, dependable repellent is challenging. The most used chemical ingredient used is DEET. According to the environment protection agency (EPA) and the CDC, use of DEET repellent products as directed pose virtually no health danger.

There are those who experience hypersensitivity to mosquito bites. Hopefully, these conditions are monitored and administered by physicians, as part of a seasonal health plan.

Vitamin B complex supplements offer many significant health benefits. Use of Thiamine (B-1) against the possibility of getting a mosquito bite, is not conclusively one of them. Prevention of a mosquito bite is both a health and cosmetic issue. There are many products to choose from but beware of claims. They may be myths.

Stealthing is new dangerous friendly sex trend

Stealth is often admirable. Patti Smith once was quoted as In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. A new behavioral trend called Stealthing redefines and corrupts the more common meaning of stealth.

The design and use of condoms originated around 13,000 years ago. Over the last two centuries, the condom use during sex has helped control sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and reduced unwanted pregnancies. A new trend emerges from a generation after the dark decade of AIDS is something called stealthing, when a man secretly removes a condom in the middle of sex. This trend seems to cover both straight and gay sexual relationships. It is a new form of rape as a non-consensual act might integrate into a consensual act in a relationship.

Does stealthing involve loving or close sexual relationships? Not at all. The term “stealthing” has the obvious benefit of rolling off the tongue faster than “non-consensual” removal of a condom during a sex act. This act can allow transmission of an STD or lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Non-consensual sex is equivalent to “No” and should be defined as rape. But, in the USA, this emerging trend among teens and young adults is very difficult to prosecute. In Florida, Tampa Defense Attorney Hunter Chamberlain indicated that prosecuting for stealthing in the U.S. is difficult. Among litigating legality is that there are very few stealthing cases brought to court.

Courts are just beginning to view Rape cases as being non-consensual. Is stealthing rape? In our puritan perspective, if both partners consent to perform a sex act together, it is no longer viewed as rape. Stealthing is more defined as a secretive part of the sex act NOT SHARED WITH OTHER PARTNER. It might be viewed as an assault – after the fact. Better protection under the law is required to legally prosecute those who practice stealthing.

Stealthing isn’t merely a woman’s dilemma. It appears as a trend among gay men. While there are no risk of unwanted pregnancies, young gay men may not recall the serious AIDS epidemic that infectiously killed several hundred thousands gay men in the 1980’s or 1990’s. AIDS proved to be far more deadly to the gay community than standard sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

Removing the condom during sex, stealthing increases the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Affected sexual partners are turned into victims and may experience emotional and psychological distress, especially those who have experienced sexual violence in the past.

Stealthing as a rising trend is gross irresponsibility gone wild. So before you give your consent for a sexual tryst, consider stealthing and the trust you have with your consensual partner.

In global environments where polyamory and LGBTQ coexist, consent and trust must be mutual. Otherwise I’d suggest restraining the male using the condom during sex. Though somewhat kinky, it poses fewer dangers than the possibilities of what stealthing delivers. Like rape, stealthing should be a punishable offense.

Stealthing is an unfriendly practice among lovers and friends.