Thursday, April 14, 2016

Let Go of Your Hate– Grow Weeds and Find Freedom

I knew I had to let it go, but I never realized the depth of my anger and the cost of its toll. So many years, so much energy and so much grief. Who knows the progress I could’ve made, the skills I could’ve acquired, and the successes that because of it, have escaped me.
But, I think I finally have done it. The weights that have fallen from my shoulders, the scales from my eyes and the burgeoning of my love has been unimaginable. Yes, I have finally came to terms with it all and think that it is finally all behind me.

You should do the same.

So should we as a community and nation. We should apply the same to our businesses, our religious institutions, and our governments. The freedom of spirit, the un-shackling of our creativity, let alone the millions of dollars we will save that can better be spent to more highly compensate our teachers, our artists, and our caretakers will be revolutionary.
So give it up, come to terms with your hatred of weeds and your libertine love of mown monocultural grasses that drain your rivers and streams, require the sweat and blood of your labor force, and drain your governmental coffers and leave you with budget deficits.
Don’t hate weeds; love weeds, embrace weeds, and while you should trim them and manage their encroachment upon your vegetable gardens, let them take over your lawns-- those last and enduring remnants of the Cold War and its plot to enslave capitalists into fighting a never ending and unwinnable war to maintain little square patches, long strips, and sprinkler riddled pitches of selfish, boring, monotonous acres upon acres of unrelenting Kentucky bluegrass and various other burdensome varieties of grass.

If God had wanted men to have miles of mown, monocultural turf fields, he would have planted it on their heads and the planes of the United States, the pampas of South America’s flatlands, the savannas of the African, the steppes of Asia, and the pastures of Europe would have been covered with green artificial turfs with fairways, greens, sand traps, bunkers, and benign water hazards in which conquests and migrations would have been accomplished via driving and putting competitions instead of wars and imperialism.

Wait you say, won’t all those weed-riddled “lawns” look distasteful, drag down property values, and take jobs from herbicide, fertilizer, insecticide and landscaping companies? No and yes. After a few years our eyes will grow accustomed to and find more beautiful the “weed” riddled lawns or xeriscapes that take less maintenance, no water, no herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides and are more beautiful and we will come to think that the grass lawns are ugly.

And yes, we will lose jobs, but given that humans are enterprising and resourceful, we will have money for other services and people will train for and be hired for those new jobs.
So come to terms with your hatred of weeds. Let whatever grows on those flat areas that you have not xeriscaped and do not need for soccer fields to grow whatever your climate and ecosystem allows, pay only enough to trim it and take up a new hobby, one that does not include spending hours on creating the perfect monocultural lawn that should not be the envy of our existence.

If I could trade in all of the hours that I have spent in my life, mowing and taking care of lawns and instead have spent them enriching my life and mind, that would’ve been more praiseworthy, virtuous, lovely, and of good report than having the mowing skills. Don’t teach your kids how to mow, teach them how to play guitar instead. Don’t use water for your lawn, leave it in the creek and river and teacher kids how to fish. Don’t spend tax dollars maintaining acres of Kentucky bluegrass, spend it on teachers and artists. That will make your world more beautiful than all the patches of lawn in all the world. Now breathe, do a sun salutation, and exhale your anger against weeds.

Loren M Lambert, April 10, 2016©

Storms of Charity

Perfection is such an unforgiving task master, let alone just passable mediocrity. Can I just have that?

And what a beautiful storm. I love it when the sky works itself all up into this dark visible basin as substantial as a Roman bath until it empties its deluge.

And while it did, one story on NPR held up hope that there are those who provide for the less fortunate while the next story on another station revealed that we just don't like and look down upon the same less fortunate with we're suppose to serve when they access that charity.
Its not charity without guilt, its charity without a purpose. To make matters worse, the priest talking about charity says people are inspired to serve because they love God and want to serve him and so to serve God you serve your fellow brothers and sisters.
Can't we just love our brothers and sisters to begin with? But maybe that's too much like perfection, too difficult so we have to settle for mediocrity by having to put Gods face on everything in order to love and respect it.

I guess then and only then the storms of charity can pour forth. Bring on those clouds.

Loren M Lambert © April 12, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Saturday’s Warrior, Refugees, Legalized Abortion, Zero Population And Religious Propaganda + Something to Make Everyone Unhappy

I went to see the new rendition of the LDS oriented film, Saturday’s Warrior. As is often my place in life, whereas I wish I could say something nice or not say anything at all, I am going to instead say something that makes people on both sides of the spectrum mad at me. What is that? I both loved and was uncomfortable with Saturday’s Warrior. It struck an emotional cord and made me cry and it also made me cringe--just a little bit.

Saturday’s Warrior had all the elements of a powerful and engaging musical: the hook, familial love and commitment, the mystical romance in which we all seem to feel that there is that one special person for each of us, good acting, teenage rebellion against tradition and a loving family, the conflict between the “us and them”and between independence and conformity the power of love to bring the rebellious teen back home to all that is good and pure, and last but not least, incredible vocal performances and a well-written score.

Saturday’s Warrior also had all the elements of a superficial and propagandistic morality play: stark, unsophisticated and stereotypical depictions of good and evil; the fantasy of the mystical romance; the depiction that teenage rebellion invariably leads to addiction and heartache; the puerile depiction of “bad people,” who have opposing ideas and “good people” who conform to convention;” the depiction that true love always means complying with the expectations of others; good acting; and last but not least, incredible vocal performances.

My ambivalent feelings about Saturday’s Warrior are similar to my view on abortion. On rational and moral grounds, I personally oppose abortion and wouldn’t want anyone that I love and care about to have an abortion. Yet at the same time, just as many conservatives have an issue with undocumented immigrants and refugees coming to inhabit our country, I have an affinity for and understand a woman who through rape, incest and other similar compelling circumstances do not want to have an “uninvited” conception and burgeoning child come to inhabit their bodies for nine months. What I wish for is that religions, societies, and institutions create dynamics in which abortions, through the exercise of agency and individual responsibility, are a rare thing. Yet I think they still should be legal and the decision to have one needs to be made, not by the government, but by the individuals involved and their physicians.

Saturday’s Warrior also creates an interesting springboard for discussions about population growth. The film appears to advocate that families (or maybe just Mormon families) should have as many children as they can regardless of circumstances. It appeared to propagandize that those opposed to such a position simply advocate for “zero population.” This is a false dichotomy. While I agree with the proposition stated by the late, and sometimes maligned, Mormon leader Boyd K. Packard that our position on family planning is that we plan to have them and we plan to take care of them, there has never been a position stated by the LDS church that a certain-sized family is the appropriate one. Therefore, how big should families be?

In that regard, the film also presents an interesting cognitive dissonance among many Americans who, on the one hand view themselves as religious and advocate that to be a true God-fearing American we must bear as many children as possible and there is no issue regarding resources for them, while at the same time they argue that there are not enough resources for us to invite immigrants and other refugees to our country. In fact, they suggest that we are so short on room and resources, we need to deport the 11 million undocumented families that currently live in the United States.

Again the fact is that it is not either one or the other. It is a complex and difficult problem. Our own policies, practices and humanity require that we have some flexibility in our treatment of immigrants and refugees. Yet our economic, geographical and cultural reality and our security require that we are cautious about the number of refugees and immigrants and the specific persons we permit to come and reside in our country and that we be equally judicious about the rate of our population growth. This is because while some of our resources are enhanced by population growth and its concomitant human ingenuity and enterprise, most of our resources and certainly our geographical square miles are finite and limited. Also, population growth and immigration bring with them an unavoidable degradation of our environment and an unsustainable depletion of our food sources.

Just as it is intellectually dishonest to believe and think that unlimited immigration will not have adverse consequences, it is equally intellectually dishonest to believe that our quality of life will remain the same regardless of the number of human beings that populate our country or our earth.

So, plan to have a family if that is your desire, but also plan to take care of it. And when, due to circumstances both specific to you and generally to your world, having more and sometimes any children would be selfish, unwise and harmful to you and your perceived family, be circumspect in your ultimate choice--sometimes the right choice may be to have few or even no children. Loren M Lambert, April 4, 2016 ©

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton --

Smart, Wise, Knowledgeable, Dignified, Measured, and Well Spoken.

And while she is far from perfect, and has made mistakes in her life as we all do, on the whole, she is unfairly maligned and defamed.

I know most of you may think otherwise, but those of you who really believe in seeing the best in others, that all are innocent until shown to be guilty, that it is often easy to tarnish the prominent with false or exaggerated claims, just take a little time to listen to some of the extended interviews of Hillary and to do so without preconceived judgment.

If you do, you may find yourself agreeing with me.

If not, I respect you for trying.

Lorebn M. Lambert, March 30 2016  ©

None Are Above the Law, Nor Beyond its Protection

Never forget that in every society there are those who riddle its structure, from the lowliest laborer, to the highest military, judicial or political office, who, given the opportunity, will use force to gain and keep power.

A good window into their hearts, are their statements about how they would treat those who they deem less deserving of respect, civil rights and protection because of their "other," "impoverished," "uneducated," "foreign," "undocumented," or "alien," status.

It is only the collective resolve and vigilance of those who understand that none are above the law and none are beyond its protection that keeps them in check. Vote wisely.

Loren M. Lambert, March 29, 2016 ©

Another Reason Why Bernie Has Resonance

Another Reason Why Bernie Has Resonance

Today I had a client consult me on a call he received from the police. His private disability provider reported him for insurance fraud. He had suffered a pretty horrific accident on a snowmobile that left him with some serious back and digestive track impairments. The issue was not that he had those conditions but his level of activity while trying to see if he could return to work. He lasted about a month. He couldn't. The insurance company would film him going to work and leaving. They didn't film him when he had to take breaks.

Another client came in today after PEHP denied his claim for disability benefits. He has the most compelling case I have ever seen for benefits. PEHP (Utah's Public Employee's Health Plan) has the very worst system for a fair hearing. He has severe arthritis, has had both knees, shoulders and hips replaced. He has had his ankles fused and needs back surgery. He's 48 and has worked in heavy jobs his whole life. He has the body of a 75 year old. Usually joint replacements can restore function but with severe arthritis its just a stop gap measure.

Now, I know individuals commit insurance fraud. I know sometimes people have more functionality than they think. But how many insurance company executives, insurance doctors or insurance adjusters are criminally charged for intentionally lying about a file, or intentionally losing documents to hide dishonest practices or maliciously stretching the limits of medical science to deny a claim?

Probably 0. Does it happen? Yes. Do you care? Probably not, but you should. It works both ways. Both parties should be held accountable and have an equal ability to prove their case. You will care when it happens to you and the longer the inequity lasts they more likely it will affect you or someone you love.

Loren M. Lambert, March 29, 2016  ©

No Right to a Specific Job

Generally, there is not any legal, ethical, or moral right that a person has to a specific job, whether it’s a job as a type writer maker, an elephant hunter, a steel worker, an old forest logger, a personal injury attorney, an insurance defense medical physician evaluator or an orthodontist, etc.

On the other hand, a person who can work and who honestly and diligently seeks work, should live within a society that, in every way possible and practicable, facilitates that person’s attainment of employment sufficient to meet his or her needs. This is much different than guaranteeing a specific job doing a specific thing or in a specific industry. Necessarily within this general principle, I further believe that such a society must provide a safety net (and not a hammock as conservatives metaphorically state) when economic, physical, and other hazards cause adjustments in our job markets.

Regardless of the availability of specific types of jobs or a society’s determination that certain types of jobs no longer provide a sufficient benefit for that society, either through market pressures or legislation, the most enterprising, healthy, resourceful, educated, and intelligent of a society will usually attain a higher level of economic success than others. Again, this is regardless of the market forces and legislative effects upon the existence of specific jobs.

Yet, because power, influence and resources tend to be unfairly amassed and allocated to an ever increasing fewer number of persons with in a society or nation, societies must organize and legislate so that it is truly the most enterprising, resourceful, and intelligent that rise based upon merit and not upon privilege. Any time privilege is championed within a society at the expense of merit either through force or acquiescence, that society will suffer economically and will stagnate.

Still yet further, a society or nation that does not ensure that it can independently provide all necessary resources to sustain its basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and military security, will be at risk to the whims of other societies or nation states either by force or cultural or economic annexation.

So a balance must be reached. This balance cannot be achieved either through a purely capitalist system or a purely socialist system of government. It is only through the balancing of the principles of both systems that healthiest societies or nations are created. Moreover, it is simply a misconception that aspects of socialism cannot be implemented without depriving individuals of agency or of relieving individuals of personal responsibility. It is likewise simply an exaggeration that principles of capitalism cannot be employed without impoverishing the masses or depleting a society or nations’ resources. It is only in their extremes that such things occur.

And why did I go down this road? I want to talk about a few specific jobs in my next post.

Loren M. Lambert, March 27, 2016 ©