Why we are the way we are.

The Daily Democrat and the Starting Line are great publications and I feel privileged that they publish my musings, usually about something political, but not today.

Of late, I have been absorbed in a more philosophical issue, examining in my own mind, why people –human beings- act the way they do which is many times in contravention of their own moral imperatives. Every day when I read the paper, there is some nasty event caused by a human or humans. Sometimes, it is so tragic one must hold ones head and pray that it was not correct. The article a few days ago about the young woman who starved to death because her adoptive parents would not feed her and locked her in a room, while they went to Disney World with their biological children, was such an event.




After a very harried week of pipe bombs being sent to current and former high-ranking government officials, it looks like a suspect has been apprehended. Law enforcement agencies including the Secret Service Protective Detail, the ATF, the US Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and many other state and local law enforcement departments were working full time to stop this home grown terrorism. On Friday morning, Oct.26 Cesar Sayoc was arrested in south Florida as the prime suspect. At the time, he was driving a van covered in political statements supporting the President and other posters in opposition to various Democrats. The 56-year-old white male had a criminal record, which included felony theft, drug and fraud charges.

The Trump administration would have you believe that the folks that slip over the boarder are murders, rapists and generally bad people. What statistics really show is that, only a vey few meet that criteria, and by percentage, dramatically less then our own citizenry. A very large number are families with children who are looking for a better life and are afraid of the violent gangs in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, known as the Northern Triangle. A program started under President Obama called the Alliance for Prosperity was designed to improve the economy of the region and thereby slow the migration from those countries into the US. Although well meaning, it lost its initiative once the current administration came into power. In addition, from what I could read into the documents, the plan did not do nearly enough to stem the growth of gangs. Interestingly, a number of gang members got their training participating in California gang activity and returned to their home countries to practice what they learned about gang culture and criminal opportunity, especially in the drug trade. To give one an idea about how bad the countries in question are, USA Today recently noted that the murder rate in El Salvador was 104 per 100,000,the highest in the world. Further, the homicide rate was higher then any country in the world under armed conflict except Syria.

Thursday Sept.27 saw one of the most contentious Committee hearings, in many years, occurring in Congress. Luckily, it was followed by a day in which a semblance of bipartisanship showed it’s beautiful head. It was the work of Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and his friend on the other side of the isle Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware. Both Senators have been concerned for some time about the partisan bickering over the process to confirm a new justice to the US Supreme Court. Although both Senators are diametrically on different sides and have different philosophies, the thing they agree on is the process must be fair and work needs to be done to get to the truth of the allegations, which have come forth in the hearings.

   American Foreign Policy Destruction by the President

Although I am very much aware that most Americans do not have as their highest priority American’s Foreign Policy Agenda, instead focus on issues such as the economy, health care and other factors which impact them personally. However, Americans do need to understand that for over 70 years we have lived in a more secure world then anytime in history because of Americas role in world affairs since World War Two. Given our recent wars, and continued problems in the Middle East and elsewhere, that may be hard to grasp, but it is true.

For some time my spouse has attempted to convince me that the President’s crazy positions, comments, tweets and other irrational behaviors are, in large part, based upon a form of dementia.

A little context as to why I believe her is needed. In 2014 a Mayo Clinic Neurologist in Rochester Minnesota, diagnosed me with Vascular Dementia. A few years later, another Neurologist mentioned “Mild Cognitive Impairment” and finally a third confirmed Alzheimer’s. My spouse has been living with my disease as well and has followed the impact it has had on my life. Until a few years ago I was a corporate executive running my own company. This disease has progressed and I have changed relatively dramatically over the past 4 ½ years since the diagnosis.

For the past year and a half I thought I was in Stage 1 of ALZ. Over the past week or so I have felt I really have declined and am certain I have moved to the next stage. I went on the internet and found web sites that will tell me there are 3 stages of ALZ, another says 5 stages and even another says 7 stages. At this point I’m just confused, exactly what I don’t need as my AlZ progresses.

First lets deal with the underlying question of what do I feel like now. From the perspective of one who has it to anyone else who has it –you already know what I mean. Yesterday was not as good as the day before and today is worse. I am certainly more tired, can’t remember names I knew yesterday, math has decided to leave, maybe permanently. Funny thing is a year or so ago I was pretty good at math –it’s gone. The tiredness is new. I slept well last night and even so took 3 naps today. I never napped!

First, I am not a Neurologist or other doctor who looks at this disease from a clinical perspective. I am one who looks directly in the abyss because I live with it not only every day, but also every moment of my life, because I have it.

I knew years ago that my memory was slowly but inextricably going south. Finally, two years ago a Mayo Clinic Neurologist diagnosed me with Vascular Dementia. That was followed by another diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment. With the knowledge that this disease is constantly moving, I was finally diagnosed with a combination of Stage 1 Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia.

With all that said the question many ask is “how are you doing” my answer is “pretty well.” Here are eight suggestions, which I believe if you incorporate them into your life, you can answer “pretty well”, as well. They are not in any specific order and all are important for different reasons, so here is my list.

                                        Working Effectively With Your Care Partner


Tonight my wife and I are going to an Alzheimer’s support group meeting at the Gloria Dei Lutheran church in Urbandale IA. After hearing from a speaker the group then breaks down into sub groups. A couple of the sub groups are made up of care partners and other subgroups are made up of folks like me who have some form of the disease. How many groups there are depends upon attendance.

On Saturday, April 15 I attended a program sponsored by the Rwandan Community in Iowa along with Iowa Friends of Rwanda. Although I have been a number of places on this planet I have never been to Africa much less the country of Rwanda. I do, however have a good friend who has been there many times and has shared stories about the country and it’s past trials and tribulations. In addition he has brought a number of students over to attend Iowa colleges.