Oh shit

I feel heartbroken and sick this morning, as I’m sure many of you do as well. How could this happen? I had a post ready to put up today or tomorrow…I was going to wait a day or two until the election fever died down. As it is, this fever isn’t going away any time soon. It’s mutated into a chronic infection. I can’t imagine getting past this sense of tragedy, failure, disgust…for quite some time.

All I can offer for now is an analysis/prognosis provided by Michael Moore a few months ago. Moore is one smart cookie. And here’s a recent blog post by Tim Urban. This one is really excellent for post-election malaise. I promise it will cheer you up.

When things feel overwhelmingly bad, one of the things we try to do is to explain and understand what happened. These two commentators help put it all in perspective.

Too many people with damaged lives in that country of yours — which feels in many ways like my country too. Never mind that most of the damage was extended and entrenched by Republican trumpfistpolicies over the last many years: opposition to raising the minimum wage, opposition to universal health care, guns for all, reduced taxation on the wealthy, training people to blame others for their misfortunes rather than look at the elephant (pun intended) in the room.

None of that seems to matter now. People with damaged lives will try anything to change the way they feel. They will take extreme measures to change reality, to wrench it, twist it, with whatever comes to hand, shootingdopesomething strong, powered by defiance. Consequences be damned. It’s sort of the ultimate “fuck you” directed at…well directed at the adults upstairs….Obama, Hillary….the adults who seem somehow to be responsible for whatever pain we’re feeling.

We know about that — better than most.

I don’t have much else to offer that might help with your despair (if that’s what you’re feeling). I hardly slept. I watched the election returns until about 5 am local time….then I started to give up hoping and fatigue got the better of me.

Maybe just two things to mention:

pendulumSometimes a sick system needs a chance to swing all the way wrong before the pendulum reverses its direction. Maybe with a Republican president and Congress, legislation, policy, the courts will have had a full run, their unfettered chance to make things as wrong as possible — and then things will swing back leftward. Because there won’t be anyone to blame and because the politics of selfishness and fear are unstable — they can’t last indefinitely.

The other thing is: I’ve been ranting to my kids about the election, what’s at stake, almost daily for a couple of months. My boys are just ten, so they’re not political pundits, but Julian would often ask me at breakfast if there was any more news about Trump in the newspaper. They knew who the good guys and bad guys were…at least from our perspective. So this morning I stumble into their room while they’re getting dressed and I tell them: Guys, the news is really bad. Trump won. At first they thought I was joking: I’ve been citing the polls to them daily — how could that be? But after a minute or two, they just went on with their day. They finished getting dressed, practised a bit of piano for their lesson this afternoon, had their cereal, and forgot about it. Life goes on for them, and I guess it does for all of us.

Shit happens. That we know. But we persevere and make the best of it. We try to look ahead and hopefully we notice the slant of the sun in the autumn leaves and the invigorating air that enters our bodies with each breath. And we try to be aware that everything is impermanent. Stuff just keeps changing. That doesn’t mean it’s the end.

We can learn a lot from kids. A little knowledge might be a dangerous thing, and just being here now is still the only place we’re ever going to be.


42 thoughts on “Oh shit

  1. Elise November 9, 2016 at 4:21 am #

    So sad. This trauma is real and will be felt by so many. I’m glad you’re not receding into helplessness, Marc. I hope this space can continue to be a place where people can support each other and find community, compassion and power to get through some undoubtedly tough times ahead.

    This could be a call for action, to keep lifting the veil of false comfort that has lulled some into believing that racism, sexism, xenophobia has really been conquered. This could remind those of us with privelage and power to protect and fight with and for those who could not raise their voices loud enough this time.

    Still in shock…

    • Marc November 9, 2016 at 4:47 am #

      Yeah, writing this post was therapeutic. Cathartic or something. At least a bit.

      You’re right that this is a hard slap of a reminder that the wrongs in our society are very much present and accounted for. And I hope you’re right that this will empower us to look more closely at what’s wrong and try harder to fix things.

  2. CM1 November 9, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.
    Courage to change the things I can.
    Wisdom to know the difference

  3. Mark November 9, 2016 at 5:09 am #

    My sister voted for Trump. Because I am intimately familiar with her early and adult trauma history, I have somewhat of a sense of what drives many of his supporters: “People with damaged lives will try anything to change the way they feel. They will take extreme measures to change reality, to wrench it, twist it, with whatever comes to hand, something strong, powered by defiance.” You nailed it.

    One difference between her and I is how the culture often implicitly (and in her case) unconsciously disempowers women. My sister has little awareness of how Donald Trump, in no ways serves her best interests. When I point out all the ways he is similar to so many of the people in her life that she has “fired,” she distorts and denies and points out all the ways that Clinton is worse in her eyes.

    From watching what unabated stress does to the neural networks of people with tenuous connections to begin with (I had a lawyer friend once murder a client who threatened to have him disbarred), I suspect these next four years are going to be remarkable for the pain and suffering that ensues. I’m praying for grace.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:27 am #

      Mark, thanks for this. I get your point of course, but someone recently told me another story. I can’t remember who, but the point was that the white, suburban (for example) women who supported Trump actually feel closer to what he stands for, himself, his family, his corny showmanship, etc, than they feel to the “elite woman” image projected by Hillary. That gave me pause. Okay, they shop at Walmart because they don’t have much money, and they belong to a culture that never really makes contact with Washington. So, why not Trump?

      No, I don’t think the Republicans are their friends. That’s for sure. But Trump isn’t a classic Republican — they don’t like each other much. So maybe…maybe that helps explain things and maybe there’s something valid behind what just happened.

      • Mark November 10, 2016 at 9:06 am #

        Another thought: a major driver of robust early brain development and secure attachment is … contingent communication. Powerful, accurate and timely feedback loops. Similar to what often drives addiction.

        Trump simply offered more and better contingent communication to a greater number of people than Clinton did. BTW, I think many people experience Obama, even those who don’t resonate with him, as someone who is at least willing to hear them, even while not agreeing with them. It’s hard to imagine Obama lumping anyone into a category called “deplorables.” That kind of labeling falls under the heading of non-contingent communication.

        • Marc November 24, 2016 at 5:13 am #

          Sorry for the late response, but I agree about HIlary’s lack of affective communication. Some people call it right-hemisphere, some call it “limbic”…..but not, it wasn’t her specialty. I recently read some columnist in the NYT saying she’s got the science of politics/campaigning….but not the art.

          Interesting about Obama. He was not “hearty” — but he felt very present to most people…so maybe that’s also a subtle but crucial communicative skill that resonates with what we used to call the right brain.

  4. Tom B November 9, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    Thank you CM1 for the Serenity Prayer.

    I tried last night to do health-giving things that were in my power like wash my clothes and dishes after a long surgery/relapse/bed-ridden/depression time, turn off the news and Twitter, make a co-worker’s favorite food as a surprise for her.

    Out of my control: grabbing the steering wheel of our whole society and somehow setting things right.

    I hope this event spawns as much progressive organizing as the Reagan years did. I participated in a lot of things then that inched us in the right direction. I really believe our community knows how, on a grass-roots level, to deflate the anger and helplessness you named, Marc, to help people work things out in a healthy way. We’ve engineered so many miracles.

  5. Annette November 9, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    I switched on my phone to read the news, 6am London time. As a Brit, I supported Remain in the EU Aand Hillary. But she represented the Global Elite , and I think 98% want and need to see an end to their power and indifference. ( Here in the UK, 10 years ago, Bill C gave a 30 min talk at a charity fundraiser, for which he charged £30k. That’s immoral.

    Who really knows what will happen? Still time to help those on the margins: the severely addicted and homeless, which I will continue to do. Change starts with us. Deal with reality and pick your battles, all.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:37 am #

      Great points. It’s too easy to whine because it didn’t go “our” way.

  6. Gina November 9, 2016 at 8:03 am #

    Oh shit is right. The 45th president of the U.S. is . . . P.T. Barnum (actually, worse). I read Michael Moore’s piece shortly after he wrote it and it resonated with me because I knew after the Brexit vote 6 months ago that it was entirely possible, likely even, that Trump could win. Nonetheless, I just woke up to this news (fell asleep before the results were in, hoping against hope) and I’m still trying to process what this will mean for the U.S. and indeed the world. I can’t thank you enough for this blog and your post expressing the shock and dismay that so many are feeling around the world. Beyond that, I’m still speechless.

  7. cheryl November 9, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    Thanks, I feel better knowing I am not alone in the sadness I feel.

  8. Denise November 9, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Oh shit is right… Thanks Marc for this post; it is an early sample of people starting to unite again? Unfortunately, with not only the presidency, but the congress and senate also swinging to the right, so much damage may happen in the coming years.

    The last time I felt anything like how I feel this morning is on this date in 2000. But then it was horror that the president-elect and his cronies could pull off a theft of the presidency. Today my horror is not with the president-elect, for he has just acted as himself, but with all the people in that vast sea of red states that make up the country I live in. And the surreptitiousness of them… the silent, hidden majority… too ashamed, perhaps, to show their faces.

    • Marc November 9, 2016 at 8:59 am #

      I feel the same, Denise. My depression started with the weeks of poll checking. Despite one headline after another, enumerating this man’s lies, fabrications, finger-pointing, misogynism, racism, blindness, and everything else, there was still this forty-something percent of supporters….they just kept on liking him. I couldn’t believe it. I knew very well that the problem was in the US, not in Trump per se.

      So in a way, nothing’s changed since yesterday.

      But remember: we survived the Reagan years…and ended up with a black president a couple of decades later. Things continue to move forward even with the setbacks.

  9. Gina November 9, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    If there is any bright side to this, it was a banner election for marijuana legalization of one stripe or another. Many states legalized it for medicinal use and MA and CA legalized it for recreational use. Although I’m thrilled about that, I have to wonder how meaningful those state-level changes are with the coming swing on the federal level to the hard right.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:39 am #

      Don’t despair, Gina. Progress flows along many channels. Setbacks on some of those channels don’t mean that everything will go backward now.

  10. Nicolas Ruf November 9, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    It doesn’t make me feel much better that I understand it. Just as Obama’s Presidency, instead of helping to heal racism, unmasked it, HRC’s candidacy unmasked the sexism, misogyny, and xenophobia. Moore’s right of course about the coalition that elected Trump: the scared, the pissed off, the alienated, the nut cases, the stay-at-home, but also those who recognize that the system is rigged and want to stick it to the Man, which is embodied by HRC.
    Marc, remember our discussions about system bias and kindling? Kindling is a form of dissociation (as is addiction, driving in a blackout, cult membership). Beliefs and behaviors can flake off and take on a life of their own, circle the wagons, and only admit that which confirms their belief. And since extremist belief systems are emotionally and not rationally based, to confront them provokes a SNS response of fight/fight.
    And it all starts so simply and innocently: we deal with the discomfort of cognitive dissonance (yes he’s a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, loathsome pig. . . BUT) and therein lies the little white lie that smoothes over the dissonance and makes us feel better. (By the way it also releases dopamine into the nucleus accumbens just as a drug does.) the thin edge of the wedge. I remember reading in disbelief about Nazis going home after a day of gassing Jewish women and children and weeping over a Wagner aria.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:47 am #

      Yikes, Nick, this is heavy stuff. I agree with just about everything you say. It is a kindling phenomenon isn’t it. The ingredients indeed include strong emotion, repetition, and events or associations that are highly salient and keep coming back and meaning more and more each time they do. And yes, it’s about fight/flight: I gotta do something right now or I’m in trouble.

      What you say about cognitive dissonance is darker, but I think it’s accurate, at least for many. I think of the women who said “well, that’s just locker room talk — no big deal” — and I can’t quite figure what to make of that. Yes it is a big deal?! Or, hey, maybe in your world it really isn’t a big deal and there are more immediate problems that need fixing.

  11. Julia November 9, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks Marc for your post, for making a space for sanity, serenity, intelligence, compassion and for motivation to do the hard work, on ourselves and in our communities, to keep speaking our truth, keep listening to those who are suffering.

    Just FYI, the link to the Moore article took me to some weird Outlook link. Here’s the direct link to the Moore article: http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/

    Julia in Baltimore, definitely deep in the Democratic bubble…

    • Marc November 9, 2016 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks a lot, Julia. I corrected the link. Yes, sharing the feelings on this blog is helping me and helping others. Community….nothing like it.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:40 am #

      Check out the new link I added to the post. Tim Urban. VERY helpful.

  12. John November 9, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Oh shit is right! My wife works in government–the Ontario government, but still, she’s stricken. I think my son got it right, though, He said that a lot of his friends didn’t take much interest in municipal politics until we go Tom Ford.
    The scary thing to me is that America had eight years led by a good man with good ideas. And the climate got worse, as did social injustice and economic disparity. So now America has shouted Fuck You! (that’s a quote from the Michael Moore article, and he is a smart cookie–kinda like Noam Chomsky for dummies). My point is that the planet probably couldn’t survive another eight years of a good man with good ideas–and not much result–so maybe now righteous indignation at the biggest finger since the Third Reich, or at least Berlusconi, will animate the grass-roots, where the real action is. For the sake of my grandchildren I sincerely hope so.

    • Marc November 24, 2016 at 5:43 am #

      John, I have exactly the same fears. I take comfort only in the idea that maybe US politics simply don’t matter so much. I’ve been told by smart people that tech evolution and accompanying profit will drive green energy far more forcefully than politics, and that THAT transition is past its tipping point. If so, hooray!

  13. matt November 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    2 slogan-esque observations:

    “Why whine and worry about the way you want it to be, when it’s right there in front of you being what it is.”

    “It’s easier to point a finger than to point the way.”

    The election is over. It’s time to deal. Not circle the wagons, hide in fear, shame and anxiety. It is time to act. Causes and conditions don’t change by caveat, false hope or inaction. We must bring all our skillful means to bear on effecting positive change. We don’t recover if we don’t act, neither will the nation.

    If we continue headlong down this emotional asymptote, we feed the misguided fervor that got us here to begin with. Things come together, things fall apart. It’s time for them and us to come together again.

    Let’s just hope nothing bad happens to the antichrist that puts Genghis Khan in the driver’s seat. 😉

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:54 am #

      Jeez, Matt, I thought you were done with intoxicants. Well it definitely is time to deal…but people just don’t know what to do. I’ve been flummoxed by the feedback loop between rich Republicans offering to help the little guy, while depriving his/her kids of an unaffordable education and health care, and then actually getting more hoorahs from the same people the next time around. I truly don’t get it.

      I give my extra dough to Avaaz. They seem to pinpoint issues that are generally clear cut (like, um, clear cutting?) Not sure what else to do except possibly reopen the War of 1812.

      • matt November 10, 2016 at 6:56 am #

        But we do know what to do. Maybe I should have been clearer about what I meant by “skillful means”. We all have a personal prowess that can be engaged and directed toward the greater good. Everybody has something they can do. The key is to share it with someone else. That is antithetical to the tone of this campaign, the hierarchical, top-down oppressiveness that got us to this confusing place. If you’re a musician, give someone a music lesson. If you’re a cook, feed someone who is hungry, etc.

        Getting flummoxed by the unfathomably complex knot of stupidity at the top of this loonypalooza gets us nowhere. It took a long while to get here and will take a long while to untangle. Keep it simple. Start where you are. Help another human. That is the antidote to the energy of “they can all go fuck themselves” that has dominated this election.

  14. Terry November 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

    the plus side is that a number of states voted to legalise cannabis – I hope they give some to the new president to calm him down

    • Gina November 9, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      I noted that, as well, but you have to wonder, given Trump’s current prohibitionist, “law and order” stance, coupled with complete Republican/conservative control of all three branches of government, how meaningful or lasting those state-level changes will ultimately prove to be. After all, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and the tremendous progress toward state-level legalization can be eviscerated with federal enforcement in pretty short order. I hope that doesn’t happen but I don’t have great confidence that it won’t.

    • Margot November 9, 2016 at 8:14 pm #


      • Marc November 11, 2016 at 5:37 am #

        Was that you or the sheep?

  15. Margot November 9, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    I just hope that pendulum swings back before irreparable damage is done … to world stability. We all watch with mouth agape. (from Australia)

  16. Lisa Martinovic November 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and comfort, Marc, and for making space for us to express our profound shock, grief, and fear. My Facebook feed is blowing up with lefties expressing vitriol towards people who voted third party instead of backing Hillary. This is soooo not a useful response. Nor is moving to Canada or New Zealand. As a citizen of the United States, and one who has benefited from that status, it’s my responsibility to stay here and do whatever I can to stem the tide of right-wing extremism.

    I’m a native San Franciscan, with all the privilege and prejudice that comes with that. But I spent most of the 90s in rural Arkansas — and what an education that was! I once went to a militia meeting with my boyfriend (a fifth generation hillbilly) to see what it was like. (Militias were big in the 90s.) It was there that I realized these people were (literally) up in arms because they were afraid, deeply afraid of the changes they were witnessing in their world. I felt compassion for them then as I do for many Trump supporters now. They are not “deplorables.” They are human beings suffering from culture shock and the endless ravages of an economy that’s hung them out to dry. I disagree completely with what they’re doing with their pain, but I think we start with understanding them and then finding common cause. Which is what Bernie Sanders was doing, and why he had a much better shot of taking on Trump than did Hillary.

    • Marc November 10, 2016 at 4:59 am #

      Right on, Lisa. I am learning a lot more about this giant red block….from this election and from knowledgeable others like those commentators I linked and people like you. I also recently read half of Hillbilly Elegy (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0166ISAS8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1) Helps a lot. And I heard the author on CNN this morning at 5:30 am. Still can’t sleep. This just has to sink in for a while.

      • Lisa Martinovic November 10, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

        Yes! It’s been on my list ever since I heard the author interviewed on Fresh Air. (You’d be a fantastic guest on that show, and get your message out an audience of millions.)

        In the meantime… I see your Hillbilly Elegy and raise you a Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Have you read it? An utterly riveting account of the strange confluence of social factors that created the opiate epidemic in the US—from a novel marketing approach developed by Mexican heroin traffickers to the role of the pharmaceutical companies in forcing oxycodone down the throats of doctors and patients en masse to the fertile ground for addiction found in the ashes of post-industrial America. A truly great book.


  17. Maria Sanchez November 10, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    Mark I’m disappointed you assume that all of those who read your blog and have read your books and agree with you on your addiction theory must be in full agreement with you politically. I’m sorry you could not contain yourself and had to voice such vitriolic nonsense about your political opposition. You are so wrapped up in your own narrow political world view that it’s impossible for you to see how you come across to others who don’t share your position. I assume you would not offend people’s religious views in this blog as you would not be so naive as to assume that all your readers have the same religious or non-religious beliefs as you. Politics and religion are closely held beliefs that people develop over their lifetime due to their particular experiences. Both are more emotional than purely logical. Decent people don’t attack other people’s religion and we must stop attacking other people’s politics as well. I expected a deeper understanding from you but you came across with such blind zealotry and disgust at those who don’t agree with you politically that I was shocked by your intolerance. I wish you would have left politics out of this. There’s enough hate out there already. I don’t recall the right wingers going out in droves, burning police cars and creating havoc in the streets when Obama won. Regarding hate, there’s been plenty coming from the left, the right and everything in between. I respect your knowledge on drug addiction but please don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you may be quite reasonable in one area of expertise that therefore your politics should also be agreeable to all of your readers.

    • Marc November 11, 2016 at 5:33 am #

      Maria, I take your point, at least in part, and no, I’m certainly no expert on politics. I’m not trying to be. But many many people, including half of Trump’s supporters have grave doubts about him as a person and as a leader. I think that I voiced my despair and disgust as being directed at HIM, not at his supporters.

      And yes, I do think many of my readers feel something similar. Blogs have demographics, and I’m pretty sure that most of my readers lean left rather than right. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to include and connect with those on the right. I try to read Fox News as well as HuffPost so that I can understand what people with alternative views are feeling and thinking.

      It’s no secret that Trump has said many hateful things that bring out the worst of right-wing ideology — the racist and xenophobic utterances for example. You’re not disputing that, are you? There are other conservatives I respect, like John McCain and Jeb Bush. I don’t respect Trump. And I feel it’s appropriate for me to speak my mind about an issue that’s on everyone’s mind.

      Perhaps you feel that it was hurtful for me to compare the motivations of Trump supporters with the defiant “fuck you” anger and desperation of addicts. But as you know, I don’t hate addicts. I don’t feel they are bad people. I try to understand addictive tendencies — thoughts and actions — in myself and in others — not to denigrate them. I was actually trying to be empathic (in my own way) toward the frustration and chronic anger of Americans who have been beaten down by the economic and political system. All the political pundits I’ve read talk about anger and defiance as having powered Trump’s victory. So I can’t be that far off.

      As for my other disparaging comments, I highlighted Republican policies that clearly hurt working people — e.g., opposition to raising the minimum wage (I mean, really?!) and opposition to universal health care (which people in all other Western countries take as a basic right). I’m aware that unfettered globalization and job loss have hit working and middle class people very hard, particularly in the Midwest, rust belt, etc. I hate the policies that have increased the divide between rich and poor in the US. And I blame a Republican-dominated congress for much of this disastrous situation (e.g., through support of tax loopholes for the wealthy, Trump being the epitome of that one) — though pro-Wall-Street Democrats are probably just as guilty. I don’t blame the people who are the victims.

      Anyway, I do recognize that I don’t speak for everyone. I’ve kept this blog personal, intimate, and honest. I write about how I see things and how I feel things. This is not an op-ed for a newspaper. This post was simply an outpouring of my own feelings and perspectives and an attempt to make sense of them in a broader context.

      • matt November 11, 2016 at 7:44 am #

        All true, Marc. But as a meeting facilitator, I see a lot of addicts. They are in shock like everyone else. In all my meetings since the election, everyone has collectively agreed not to discuss it during the meeting. It is just too volatile emotionally. People start raising their voices at each other, even while they are agreeing!! Blame gets us nowhere, and in early recovery it gets us into trouble. The same for divisive rhetoric which is Trump’s MO. It’s better not to waste that energy, and to re-harness it into positive change. Anger is for fighting, fleeing or freezing, not creative thinking about what to do next.

        We all have to check our intentions.

    • Dr. Ron November 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Thank you Maria for bringing some degree of wisdom to the discussion. From many who profess the profound tenets of the serenity prayer, I hear catastrophizing, hyperbolic hysteria, judgementalism and profound lack of empathy for those whose life experiences and resultant world view doesn’t exactly mirror their own..I was taught early on in recovery to not take the inventory of others but rather to first look inside myself because more than likely therein lies the problem and then only then can growth occur..For that matter, that is exactly how I found this exceptional blog, by not blindly digesting all of the 12 step kool aid(in this case the mainstream media) and looking for answers beyond what i thought I knew.

  18. Edward Thompson November 14, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Great synopsis on recent events. My niece is currently in recovery. At the moment, her world is a little insane. She laughed when I told her she is certainly not alone in that one! Yep, it’s a crazy world right now, but you are correct – stuff changes all the time. I told my niece this and she said she hoped that’s true. She’s being cared for very well by http://www.northpointwashington.com and I really hope and pray she comes out a happier, healthier young lady, as I also hope America will come out of this mess in a much better and more insightful position. Thanks for your articles.

  19. nik November 17, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Americans have been through this with Nixon (enemies lists); throw in a good dose
    of Harding (pro-business corruption) and you’ve got the present stew, I think. Moore’s first prediction is fulfilled; let’s hope that his second (impeachment) comes to fruition.

    Perhaps if enough Republicans get screwed they’ll use their majority to impeach. Guess it depends on how the spoils are divided and who’s on whose enemies list!

    As several have said, liberals mistakenly thought territory had been conquered by Obama and predecessors. Hence Hillary could move further, e.g on abortion. I don’t think the US was ready for a woman perceived to be in the wealthy elite.

  20. Mark November 19, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    The U.S. Surgeon General has published a 428 page report on addiction. Notably absent from the report are contributions by foreign authors and researchers.

  21. Mark November 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    P.S. Here’s a guy working with David Vago, a young neuroscientist at Harvard, exploring and experimenting in contemplative neuroscience, a field I have a lot of interest in:


    There are certain people who, when they write about such topics, it’s clear they are speaking authentically from longtime practice. Add in the neuroscience and scientific perspectives, and ten years of editing and revision, and I find this to be a work worth spending my increasingly limited time with.

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