Fight or Flight

So I learned this interesting thing about the Fight or Flight response.


Fight or flight is not just physically fighting or fleeing, but it has a much more diverse set of responses involved to perceived life-threatening events. 


Fighting (turning towards the threat)

1. Physical fighting (Protect yourself with force)

2. Non-physical aggression

– Criticism (e.g. Attacking personality or character)

– Contempt (e.g. Attacking sense of self-worth with sarcasm, shaming, insults, eye-rolling, and sneering)


Flight (turning away from danger)

1. Physical fleeing (e.g. Run/hide)

2. Non-physical withdrawal

– Defensiveness (e.g. Deflecting the attack with excuses, disagreement, counter-arguments, or blaming)

– Stonewalling (e.g. Conveying disapproval or disconnection, stop participating, change the subject, or giving the cold shoulder or silent treatment)


When you recognize that not all issues are life-threatening, then you can lower the intensity of the “Amygdala Hijack” in terms of fight or flight and instead work towards developing mutual understanding, trust, respect, and shared goals and solutions. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and attribution of content to Dr. Britt Andreatta)

Globs of Fat

 

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So I went to get my flu shot today in the office. 


Yes, it’s that time of year to start getting ready for Winter and all the germs that come with it. 


Anyway, while I was at the health center, they had this model of what body fat looks like. 


It was sort of just laying right on the table in the waiting room–yeah a big ick! 


It said:

“Globs of Fat

This glob represents the look and feel of 5 pounds of body fat.”


And this thing was enormous, bigger than someones hand, maybe even two hands. 


There was some text about another 1 pound piece of body fat, but I didn’t see that lying around anywhere (and frankly the 5 pound glob was enough to get the point without comparison). 


This fat demonstration would make practically anyone want to chuck the carbohydrates and forever.


Pizza, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, crackers, cookies, cakes–be gone!


Having recently done this myself, I can really appreciate how important this is and also how hard it can be. 


The food industry has us addicted to this crap and really it should be illegal. 


The high carb diet in America is truly of epidemic proportions and is potentially catastrophic to our health and longevity.


The only thing that glob of fat is good for is tossing it out the window and into the garbage dump. 


A high carb diet that makes people fat is death and we want to live! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Weakness Begets Terror

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A terror truck plows into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France killing at least 84–many of which are children!


How many terror attacks do we have to undergo before someone wakes up and does something?


I watched Judge Jeanine express outrage on Fox News video about what is going on with radical Islamist terrorism across the globe.


Moreover, there is spiraling inner-city violence here at home with presumed racial killings of black people and the murder of 5 police officers in Dallas, Texas and more warnings about a Day of Rage in 36 cities today. 


Things are out of control!


OMG, the list of terrorist attacks just this year alone in 2016 is so long that wikipedia had to break them up into separate lists by month.


Some still can’t get up the courage or leadership skills to identify the enemy.


Moreover, they vow not to put boots on the ground


Instead, they prefer platitudes and implications that Western civilization is at fault rather than the murdering terrorists. 


Choosing disengagement, withdrawal, and appeasement over defending our national security. 


Just this week again, Iranian attack boats swarmed a U.S. battleship in International Waters that had our 4 star general in charge of U.S. Central Command, and we do nothing but lift sanctions on them, release $100+ billion, and encourage the opening of finance and trade with them as they continue to chant “Death to America.”


Russia and China continue to buzz our planes and ships and extend their boundaries into Crimea and the South China Sea, respectively, while North Korea tests ballistic nuke missiles that may soon be able to reach our shores. 


Moreover, instead of making things better, we are continuing to make them worse, with our own military warning against the change in policy to a stated “no-first-use” weapons policy in an age of dangerous nuclear proliferation and resurgent and modernized adversaries. 


After 9/11, we overreacted with almost 10-years of war, lashing out at enemies real and imagined, and now for the last years, we have become disengaged and withdrawn–either too afraid, unwilling, or ridiculously “political correct” to defend our own national security. 


The pendulum has swung wild and reckless for too many years…it is time for a normal and balanced course of action to protect our people and country–can anyone say radical Islamists? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting “Unf*cked”

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So on July 4th, I wrote and did a short video about how messed (f*cked) up things are in the world today (of course, technology-aside), and I advocated for people being a good influence and for constructive change. 

On the positive side, I saw this neat bumper sticker to “Unf*ck The World,” and I checked out their website utwnow.org

It was impressive to see people advocating for, banding together, and engaging to do good things to help others such as assist the homelessness by giving them haircuts, doing laundry, providing “mobile hygiene,” and helping with a thrift shop and job opportunities.  

In contrast again, it was interesting in the Wall Street Journal today, there was an editorial on how Brexit (Britian leaving the EU) has nothing on Amexit (America’s disengagement from global affairs). 

Around the world, there is cause for not only pause, but great concern.

– From allowing Syria to cross the red line in using chemical weapons (on civilians!) to the recommendation to not charge the former First Lady, we are in moral and leadership retreat.

– Russia takes over Crimea and agitates in Eastern Ukraine and the Baltics, while China continues its island buildup in the strategic South China Sea.  

– ISIS continues to hold ground across the Middle East and Northern Africa and attacks targets literally everywhere in the world and routinely takes, enslaves, and sells women to the highest bidder on the Internet.

– North Korea and Iran test ballistic missiles, and nukes are a forgone conclusion for them. 

– South America and Europe are in economic and political turmoil with varying degrees of recessions, runaway inflation, shortages, impeachment proceedings, voter recalls, and fractioning. 

– The U.S. is struggling to maintain its leadership role as we fluctuate between recognizing the dire need and pulling back all around. 

In the election cycle, I think just about every single person I have heard from now says in near hopelessness something like, “If only there was another candidate that I could vote for.”

What we can do locally to help–and certainly there is a lot more to do there with poverty and homelessness–perhaps people can do nationally and globally in demanding more–not material things, but rather a real caring about others and not just ourselves, a genuine discourse on policy and not just punch lines for the next election or media soundbite, a solutions-oriented mindset rather than a gaming the system one, and a big vision to settle the stars, cure vicious diseases, pull everyone out of poverty, and resolve endless cycles of global conflicts.

Do you hear much of anything on this these days and is anyone taking the high ground or is it just who is more crooked and untrustworthy–this cannot be the answer. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is He A Man Or A Mouse?

Mouse on Man

Often at home, we’d look at what’s going on in the world, the sad state of affairs, when people act bad, and the lack of leadership, and my dad would say, “When there’s no man, you be the man.”


He was right!!!


These days, the question has morphed into, “Is he a man or a mouse?”


We are so chasing our tails out there.


Today after 4 1/2 years of civil war in Syria–hundreds of thousands dead, 14 million displaced, chemical weapons and barrel bombs dropped on civilians, crossed red lines and empty vows of “No boots on the ground“–and now we sending up to 50 special forces as a token force to “advise and assist” in Syria after the recent $500 million military training program for “4 or 5” moderate rebels in Iraq was a total bust!


Of course, we’re going to Syria not to actually engage the enemy, but more to dare Russia whose deployed there with planes, tanks, ships, artillery, and Spetsnaz special forces to hit us. 


Similarly, after Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, we conduct a training exercise with 3,000 troops in the Baltics and put together a NATO rapid reaction force in Europe and call it day, as if that will deter the “Great Bear.”


Oh, and don’t forget that we sent a single battle ship within 12 nautical miles of the South China Sea artificial islands–again, daring them to try something. 


Well what if one of these days Russia or China actually took up the dare?


Already this week, Russia flew two fighter jets within a mile of the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier–endangering the 6,000 personnel and all those valuable Navy assets. What did we do? We had 4 fighters escort them away–after what couldn’t been a significant attack on our Navy.


If we did that to Russia, what do you think they would’ve done–our fighters would’ve been shot down so fast, we wouldn’t have known what hit us–like when they did the Blitzkrieg into Ukraine and recently into Syria–we’re taken off guard again and again. 


Also recently, Russia maneuvered a military satellite between two of U.S. Intelsat satellites, 50 of which are used by our military for communications and drone missions. Moreover, Russian subs and ships are hovering around major global data cable lines posing a threat to the backbone of the Internet.


How about with Iran–we make a deal easing sanctions on them and releasing hundreds of billions of dollars–and what do they do? Conduct long-range ballistic missile test, convict a Washington Post reporter, arrest a U.S. business executive, and continue to threatens America and Israel


When we are afraid and our enemies are not–when they act with impunity–we are more mouse than man. 


We may get some cheese, but the mouse is dead rodent meat unless it gets with it.


This is not a game of cat and mouse–but the lives of hundreds of millions that hang in the geopolitical balance–and there is no mousey hole to hide in. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Living In The Dark Ages–Of Hate, Violence, and Endless Excuses

Palestinian Terrorists

Despite the enlightenment of everything technology has to offer, we are as a global society, in many senses, living back in the Dark Ages again.


Unbelievable terror and killings have become routine and yet we have become deaf and desensitized to it. 


– Using chemical weapons…what red line? 


– Dropping barrel bombs…heck, at least it’s not more chemical weapons. 


– Besieging of cities…how about a short truce to let in some much needed humanitarian aid?


– Beheadings on YouTube…already so cliche. 


– Burning people alive in cages or crucifying them…grotesque, but what were they doing there anyway? 


– Stoning women for being victims of rape or simply for some trumped up charges…sluts, they must’ve deserved it!


– Mass abductions, selling, enslavement, and gang rape of women and children…nice photo op for Bring Our Daughters Home.


– Raining missiles down on cities and digging terror tunnels under borders…well their aim isn’t so good and the tunnels took them a lot of hard work.


– Bombing and shooting up pizzerias, cafes, clubs, hotels, stores, buses, weddings, funerals, and houses of worship…what can you do–it’s a cycle of violence!


– Hacking off limbs, axing and stabbing attacks… of course, a legitimate airing of grievances.


– Flying airplanes into skyscrapers…it was a plot for the Crusaders to invade our lands.


– Building nukes and other weapons of mass destruction along with ballistic missiles, drones, and suitcase bombs to deliver the payload…well, you can’t put the knowledge back in the bottle!


More excuses from the political peanut gallery:


Are we just war-weary, being lazy, fearful, hiding out and putting our heads in the sand for a while, focused on other pressing domestic issues, pivoting east, in need of a better strategy, rooting for and helping the other (wrong/evil) side, a little delusional as to our own national and homeland security here, or perhaps, have some seriously gone off the (rational) deep end? 


Appeasement, disengagement, and withdrawal…vice leadership.


How do we explain this type of insane, immoral world to our children and is this really the type of sick and treacherous world we want to leave to them?


Oh yes, it’s so comfortable and cushy where we are–there is nothing for us to worry about–or is there? 😉


(Source Photo: Facebook)

Russia Outwits Us Again x 4

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You can’t build the world from the backseat. 


Either we’re in it or we’re not. 


Instead, Russia has jumped into the driver’s seat, and we’re not coming out looking too good on the world stage. 


– In 2013 they took in and continue to shelter Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who ran to Hong Kong after allegedly leaking oodles of NSA classified information.


– In 2014, Russia conducted a blitzkrieg and took Crimea from sovereign Ukraine (giving it a strategic port in the Black Sea), and are conducting a separatist war in the eastern part of the country. 


– In 2015, Russia enters the Syrian crisis and allies themselves with dictator, Bashar Al Assad (who has used chemical weapons on his own people), as well as with Iran and Iraq.


– Additionally, Russia is taking the lead role in the oil and mineral rich Arctic bolstering their presence and militarizing, including building new ice-breakers (while our Coast Guard has only one operational). 


Some people have said mockingly, “Well what should we do, start a war with Russia?”


And the answer is an unequivocal, no. 


But I assume they don’t want to start a war with the U.S. either. 


Rather, this is the Cold War Part II, where we are fighting by proxy in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Arctic.


If we want the world to be modeled on freedom, human rights, and democracy then we need to be able to stand up for those things that are important to us.


Yes, we have to care about what’s going on here at home too, but we don’t live in a bubble, although surrounded by oceans on the east and west coast, we can sometimes easily feel that way. 


It’s a big world–and it takes tremendous leadership to bring it along a good and noble path.


The leadership role will not stay vacant for long…it can be us if we want it, or else you might as well flip a coin on either Russia or China. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)