Category Archives: Thinking/Considering

Out Of Africa: Human DNA

dna_rgbDid anyone watch “The Human Family Tree” recently on the National Geographic channel? One of the most fascinating facts found out, after checking the DNA of 350,000 human beings from every corner of the planet, is we all come from the same area of Africa.

200,000 – 150,000 years ago: The genetic journey of everyone alive today began with one woman — “Scientific Eve” — who lived in Africa and passed along her DNA through special cell structures called mitochondria, which only women pass down to further generations. What that means is, we are all related: Black, White, Yellow, Brown . . . we’re all the same. Our DNA varies by 1/10 of 1%, and that small percentage is what gives us our individual identities.

The color of a humans skin comes not from DNA, but where our ancestors migrated to. European ancestors lived in cold climates, so skin pigmentation lightened over generations. Those living in warmer or hotter climates retained the darker characteristics. It makes it interesting, then, how much race (which actually doesn’t exist) plays the role it does in society.  I wonder how racists would actually feel if they knew they were hating their brothers and cousins?  My guess is they would not believe the evidence when presented to them. All one has to do is look to people like Linda Jenkins, Bill O’Reilly and their ilk to understand facts have little meaning to them.

So, readers, how do we change the minds of people bent on destroying race relations, when the evidence of DNA points to the non-existence of race? Is it even possible?

jammer5

7 Comments

Filed under Celebration, Diversity, Evolution, hate groups, History, Life Lessons, racism, Research, Thinking/Considering

What is my job as a citizen?

I’m struggling.

I want to toss some thoughts out because I’m not sure what a citizen’s role really is in the US anymore. I’m curious what people here think.

Until recently, I thought that my primary role in the running of our country was to communicate and understand what my elected officials were doing. Those who communicated effectively with me and who made decisions I either agreed with (or at least understood the logic behind) were to be rewarded with my vote. Those who were less effective in those tasks I’d vote to replace. That’s what I understood in my civics class back at Oxon Hill High School.

Maybe high school civics from the 70’s doesn’t really apply anymore.

A few years back, I resolved never to speak again on two things – faith and politics. It seemed to me that there was no longer the convention that folks could talk about these things, disagree, and move on as if they’d spoken about nothing of more consequence than the weather.

All the same, I slip up on that resolution sometimes.

Whats the point? Were not changing each others minds

What's the point? We're not changing each others minds

It has come to the point that when people discuss those topics, the goal is very often to bring the other person to the opposite side, or berate them as a fool, or worse. Continue reading

39 Comments

Filed under Thinking/Considering, Uncategorized

Hemispheric Asymmetries and Political Positions

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard brain scientist writes of her stroke that she had when she was 37 years of age.  Her stroke resulted from a brain hemorrhage that damaged the left side of her brain.  She’s a neuroanatomist by training.  Prior to describing her stroke and recovery she provides a chapter on brain “hemispheric asymmetries”.

Just as a cautionary note, we all use both sides of our brains.  The right and left hemisheres should be thought of as complimentary halves of a whole and not as seperate brains.  They do have differing specializations, however.

The right side of the brain allows us to:  remember isolated moments with uncanny clarity; recognize faces; the present moment is the only time period that is recognized; there is no defined rules about the correct way of doing things; intuition and empathy are processed on the right side of the brain. From the book: “The present moment is a time when everything and everyone are connected together as one.  As a result, our right mind perceives each of us as equal members of the human family” (p. 30).

Our left hemisphere  is organized around language Language is understood and produced in the left hemisphere. The left side of our brain thrives on facts and details.  There is a constant flow of brain chatter that comes from the left mind.  The left side defines our sense of self.  Time is organized and sequential.  Academic skills are processed on the left side our brains.

After reading the book, and I highly recommend it, I had thoughts that perhaps conservatives have some degree of right hemispheric dysfunction.  Not having empathy, not seeing interinconnections amongst us all, etc. would be clues to this possiblity.

What do you bloggers think of this latter “insight”?  Is it delusion or possibility?

iggy donnelly

12 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Creativity, Diversity, Political Reform, Populists, Republicans, Thinking/Considering

Broken People

compassionWho do you think of when you read the words ‘broken people’?  Do your thoughts ever include yourself?  Do you feel empathy, sympathy, compassion, disgust, aversion?  I would like to discuss the unique variants of brokenness, and how we as people and society as a whole react.

Did you think of addicts, homeless people, maybe those with some definitions of mental instability as broken people?  I did.  And my emotional reactions were all across the spectrum, some I’m not at all proud of feeling!  I even went to the dictionary and looked up definitions for words like addict, empathy, sympathy, compassion…  I realized I don’t live in a dictionary and every definition fit someplace within my perceptions, but not others.  So I would like to know what you think, I would like to turn this issue over in my mind, take it out to examine it and see if I can grow in understanding.

Addict.  It’s one of the thoughts that came into my mind when I wondered about ‘broken people.’  Is this person addicted to alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or maybe coffee?  Should it make a difference?  If I am approached on the street by a homeless woman asking if I can help, how do I react?  Do I automatically start putting restrictions on what help I might offer, or my ability to be compassionate?  Do I wonder if this homeless person is an addict, if giving money will help her continue her addiction?  And haven’t I already decided what the word ‘addict’ means to me!?  Yes, and it had nothing to do with coffee.  I feel differently depending on what choices another person has made, I react differently.  I want to learn how to not do that!

Maybe I need to examine how I define the word compassion.  After much thought I’ve decided compassion is accepting each person for who they are.  This is totally different than empathy which is responding to a person’s emotions and opinions with similar emotions and opinions.  It’s also totally different than sympathy which means feeling sorry or regretful for another’s suffering.

If I am acting out of compassion I won’t sit in judgment of this homeless woman, but will accept her for who she is. Whether she spends money I might give her on McDonald’s, drugs, or the medical bills that may be the reason she is homeless, doesn’t really matter.  Is it not her right as a human being to make her own choices?  For sure I won’t be accountable for her choices, but she will be.  I don’t get to decide what is a poor choice or what would be a better choice for her — not if I accept her for who she is, accept the fact that she has the right to her own choices, and agree to honor that right for everyone.

I think the person I want to be would be compassionate to all who suffer, and try to cultivate a loving attitude to everyone else—even those who don’t.  I am not the person I want to be!

How do I cultivate compassion for privileged people who remain oblivious to the consequences their self-centeredness visits upon others?  How on earth do I offer compassion to someone who regards him/herself as superior and who feels no discomfort on account of being oblivious?  I’m personally going to have the hardest time with those unable to recognize happenstance may be the only difference between them and anyone else, particularly someone less fortunate.

Aren’t we all “broken” to some degree or other (certainly, myself!) And I need to try harder to interact with others with compassion for their unique variant of brokenness.  I have found that many people’s “addiction” is to a state of denial that they are broken at all.  This addiction is no less vicious than alcoholism or drug addiction, and, like those addictions, is rarely willingly abandoned. Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Life Lessons, Psychological Disorders, Psychology Ramblings..., Thinking/Considering

A Banned Clown: Makes Ya Feel Sorry For Him

The one blogger we banned, has less than positive opinions about us – imagine that!  This dude makes Nathan P. from the other place look like a master debater or a masturbator – well, maybe, they both share that honor.

He still links to us.  We’ve forgotten about him, the reverse direction, maybe not.

iggy donnelly

23 Comments

Filed under hate groups, Humor, Other blogs, Political Reform, Psychological Disorders, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Thinking/Considering, Wingnuts!

OK LETS GO OFF THE DEEP END AND BEYOND THE EVERYDAY!

Have you ever seen a ghost, maybe a monster? Something that you don’t talk about to others that you don’t trust? BUT you know you saw something that is not the everyday even though you have to question if indeed you did see it? Don’t be afraid, as you are not alone.  Most sightings of ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot do not get reported and maybe not even mentioned to close friends.

Now have you ever wondered what a call for assistance would sound like after seeing a Bigfoot?  What would you say to a dispatcher after seeing a 7 foot tall, hair covered ape/man in the front yard?  You want their help but don’t want to sound like a crackpot, like someone they would dismiss and not send the police. The following is such a call from the Northwest.  Listen to the confusion and the attempt to dance around exactly what he was seeing and what it could be.  Here is what has come to be called the “911 call”.

BTW, yes, I have seen something strange.  It was back in the middle seventies, and no, I’m not saying it was Bigfoot.  I saw it in Kansas while hunting.  At the time I’d never  heard of Bigfoot and didn’t even tell my best friends, the ones who know more about me then my wife does. It took over a decade and only after I encountered someone else who had seen it did I ever say anything.

And would you like to know what I saw? Here is a link with pictures that somewhat resemble what I saw in the Big Ditch outside of Wichita. I say “somewhat,” as the hair was more form fitting and the body was better defined.  No, I am not crazy and wasn’t drunk at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. I was hunting rabbits and saw doves flying down to the water to drink. Not having any luck with the rabbits I went and sat in the tall weeds along the bank. When I heard water splashing down stream I leaned out and saw it.  Not a bear, not a dog, not a guy wearing a wetsuit or a naked black man bathing. Now I have established what it was not. I just can not establish what it was.

Enjoy and share, you will be in good company!

tosmarttobegop

15 Comments

Filed under Thinking/Considering, Weird news

THE MORNING AFTER PILL, in a different view.

I wrote some years ago about a pill being developed that reverses everything done within the last twenty four hours. The main character would take winos home and bed them, she killed an annoying delivery person right in front of her door. Then when the Police were about to arrest her she took the pill.

Now the question is to you, if you could take a pill and reverse everything that you would have done in the last twenty four hours. What would you do, how would you act and what decisions would you make?

tosmarttobegop

4 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Thinking/Considering