Seven Years Ago this Month

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October 24, 2017--Seven years ago this month, I had returned to work, as a psychiatrist for one of the state's public psychiatric hospitals.  This to get my house out of foreclosure, after I retired medical licenses and stopped paying medical school debt.


I had also obtained 13 chicks that, unbeknownst to me, had been genetically manipulated for short, meaty lives, to be sacrificed to McDonald's McChicken sandwiches at six weeks.  Why did these 13 escape the fate of their 25,000 bretheren? and become my pampered pets?  My guys lived and died in their own ways, in their own times.  My job was to pay attention. 



The seven-year cycle is important in cosmic time, otherwise known as astrology.  The planet Saturn orbits the sun every 29 years, plus or minus a few months.  Seven years represents a quarter of the Saturn cycle and has to do with the recurrent nature of events and issues.  Supposedly, the body renews itself every seven years.  The "Saturn returns" in an individual's life occur around ages 29 and 58, and are marked by significant changes.



            Friday, October 1, 2010—I was a linguist in a previous life.  There is, somewhere in my past, a gift for foreign languages, although I’ve felt blocked there in this life.  I speak English like a foreigner, Romey said.  Yes, and it’s backwards, too, but I absorbed that from the environment.  Speaking backwards, in negatives, is foreign to me.

            I strive to reverse the polarity and to dispense altogether with the idea of poles.  The polarity of consciousness is illusion, unless you speak of the moment’s polarity, as is my want.  Or wont.  Note the contradiction of “wont” and “won’t,” when “want” indicates desire.

            This is cultural, but it is not mine to carry.  Want is, for me, consistent with wont or desire, open, direct, and free.

            This is the moment’s decision, as language, a time-based phenomenon, chooses each moment what word to string in sequence.  Want becomes wont which becomes won’t which obstructs progress, sets up resistance to the desire.

            Is desire to be so feared?  Alas, this is the curse of original sin preachers, the fire and brimstone of self-inflicted hell.

            Nor is this mine to carry.



            Friday, October 1, 2010—I sprang for my own copies of two magazines at B&N the other day, and relished a long neglected dive into deeper reporting than newspapers offer.  Also, the smorgasbord of current events taught me.

            Empire, a new movie based on a history of “Nucky” Atlantic City treasurer in 1920.  Prohibition was about to begin on Wally’s birthday, January 16, 1920.  Interesting coincidence, is it not, DD?  Kate must have been aware of that.  Maybe that’s why Wally was a teetotaler.          

          The movie features Nucky, about to make a fortune on Prohibition because he keeps Atlantic City wet.

            Yup.  My point exactly.  Drug and alcohol laws have controlled taxpayers since this country began.  They are guaranteed to funnel money into the hands of the few, at great cost to many, because drugs, alcohol and tobacco are consumable commodities that are easy to produce—the natural drugs, anyway—relatively inexpensive, and have guaranteed markets.  The ultimate free market capitalist commodities, in other words.

            No wonder government wants to control them.  However, government cannot claim to deserve the taxes it imposes on free market commodities.

            Government and capitalism are opposites.   Sneaky socialists have claimed capitalism in others’ names, bringing shame to the genuine free market capitalist, otherwise known as the individual.

            The genuine capitalist spurns government help and regulation and feels free to fire any government employee who costs more than he is worth. 

“You’re fired.”

            There, I just gave myself a tax cut.  Let’s see where else I can cut taxes. 

            That includes the president.



            Saturday, October 2, 2010—I finished an interesting Cuba travelogue in Harper’s.  The author tried to live on an average Cuban’s salary, about $20/month.  It became all about finding enough food to get by.  He even cheated a little, because his room was paid for.  The government owns everything so the real economy is the black market, underground one.  My guess is Castro’s government knows very well that everyone is a thief, but it looks the other way as people develop survival skills technology.

            Raul recently, within the last couple of weeks, announced 90% of people work for the government, and 500,000 of them will have to find jobs in the private sector by next year.  The government will issue business licenses for hundreds of entrepreneurial operations, from barbers to cake decorating, or some such.  Previously, the government controlled all professions except some things like restaurants, I believe.

            This article wasn’t about that.  It was more about how the author learned to work the underground economy, by buying food rations from the back doors of the state-controlled ration stores.   As a tourist, he wasn’t eligible for rationed food at any price, but the storekeepers then sold out the back door for a profit.

            While everyone is a thief, the author didn’t say much about violence.  The thievery sounds innocent enough, in what people are quick to help each other out with a meal or--in the author’s case—a length of hose when he wanted to make moonshine.

            Castro’s Cuba sounds like a gentle culture, for all its thievery.  Perhaps Castro understands the commodity money idea better than anyone.  By design or accident, Cubans seem to be learning how to survive without government, and in spite of government.

            All Raul is saying is that Castro has kept them from starving by promising an ideal, but they cooperated to make it work 50 years.  Only a truly benevolent dictator can last that long, especially when the entire island goes hungry and risks famine.  That Castro survived that test gives me utmost respect for him.



            Saturday, October 2, 2010—I’m reading in Personal Reality about seeding he past with memories imagined.  What an inspiring idea, as previous lives then don’t seem so grim.  I practiced lots of yoga in the dungeon life, and meditation, too.  In my Russian foot soldier life, with a wounded foot left to freeze by Stalin’s army, I was rescued by a peasant girl who took me home, where she lived with her alcoholic father, and nursed me back to health.  I became quite useful managing her father’s tirades, and doing leather and wood work. I brought money in, and the girl adored me.  So what if her father was a drunk who took pride in embarrassing me.

            I figure lame men can’t run away, so there’s survival advantage if the rest of him works alright.

            Chiron, the wounded healer.

            In my burned at the stake witch life, I cackled my way to the haunting dimension and spooked all my undead enemies every chance I got.

            “You still glad you burned me, Assholes?  You can’t reach me anymore, but I can reach you.  How’s about spilling some red wine on your holy heart?  The church bells sounding in the witching hour for no good reason?  The church suddenly being struck by lightening?

            “I like it up here.  Please, please, don’t make me get born again.  I’m having too much fun.”

            But alas, all hell raising parties must end sometime, so I must return to repair the damage I have wrought in my wrath.



            Monday, October 4, 2010—Seth says physical and emotional disability are identical, at least that’s how I read it, because it is what I believe.  In my birdies’ care, the disability began before they were conceived, by distorted human emotion.  They are the result of gene manipulation, the modification of the physical form to suit exploitive purposes.

            I’m playing these consequences out, because this brought the Roscoe/pecking order mindset, the testosterone poisoning so typical of today’s man and his alter ego rooster.



Wick Burner Added Oct 24, 2017 - 6:16am
Nice one Katharine,
The places you can take people in just a few journal days...
"Government and capitalism are opposites." - got me thinking.  They indeed are not really supposed to be blended with each other, one is for management of a given society as a whole, the other is the ideologies and mechanisms of trade and transactions.
Should there not be a separation of economy and state?  Imagine, lobbyists everywhere, lining up for their unemployment cheques...
(I know full well the government is just a subsidiary of a conglomerate, but we all know that's not how it's meant to be.)
Dino Manalis Added Oct 24, 2017 - 8:40am
Congratulations!  Life is hard and we need money!  Take care of yourself and stay happy and healthy!
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 24, 2017 - 9:39am
Katharine - I love the varied topics. Was this from entries made at the time shown, or is this a current entry?  Also, I'd love to know what species are shown in your avatar.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 24, 2017 - 6:12pm
Katherine Otto sez: I speak English like a foreigner, Romey said.  Yes, and it’s backwards, too,-You are just fine, KO, and wrote a nice article. Romey likes to be critical of others without much cause, so his "you write like a foreigner" isn't a surprise from the king of doing nothing.-AND Is desire to be so feared? -Yup, to many it is...a desire to eat, drink clean water and breath clean air, for examples, instead of just putting up with what their "gawd" puts in front of's gawd's will, of course, to decide who becomes president, in their "minds."
George N Romey Added Oct 24, 2017 - 6:52pm
Katharine raise your chickens, grow your garden and live in peace. We’re all headed towards bad then much simpler times. Sure we will still have WiFi, FB, and smartphones. But we’re live in smaller houses, have fewer possessions and go back to more self sustained living. The great debt fueled consumer economy experiment failed.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 7:51pm
Separation of economy and state?  Nice idea.  I believe the state should serve the individuals who pay its way, in terms of useful services.  Not by making laws, or handing out checks and government contracts.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 7:52pm
Thanks for the encouragement.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 7:56pm
The thoughts here are from those days' journal entries, but several are recurring themes.
If you're referring to my ID photo, those are my chromosomes, done during medical school.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 7:59pm
I wasn't referring to the George Romey here.  I knew another Romey, real name Jerome, who made the referenced comment.
The George Romey here has been most supportive.
Isn't it strange that so many people are afraid of desire and think pleasure is sinful?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 8:02pm
We ain't dead yet, and the experiment is still going on.  I do find that our human intelligence leads us to overthink and worry more than necessary.  That's why animals make such excellent gurus.
Michael B. Added Oct 25, 2017 - 12:43am
Hilarious! Good job!
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 25, 2017 - 8:43am
If Saturn revolves around the sun every 29 Earth years, what does that have to do with 7 Earth years?  Seven doesn’t even divide evenly into 29. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 25, 2017 - 9:10pm
The dates are approximate, but about every seven years, Saturn makes a square (90 degree angle), then an opposition (180 degree angle) and then another square to its birth position before returning to a conjunction (0 degree angle) with its natal position around age 29.  In astrology, the hard angles (square and oppositions) indicate challenges to be overcome.  The Saturn return almost always brings major life changes:  marriage, divorce, first child, parental death, job or career change, for instance. 
Jeff Michka Added Oct 25, 2017 - 9:17pm
KO sez: Isn't it strange that so many people are afraid of desire and think pleasure is sinful?-Yup.  Seems the religious will suggest if you enjoy yourself or experience pleasure, you won't want to get up early on Sunday mornings, crowd into a space with a bunch of folks and be told by someone you're "bad and unclean," or won't care you are.  Wasn't it the Greeks insisting that medicine taste bad so people would know it works?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 26, 2017 - 11:52am
I didn't know that about the Greeks.  It seems religion would have more adherents if we celebrated what we do right.  Testament to God's glory, and all that . . . if you believe in a monotheistic god.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 26, 2017 - 6:19pm
KO asks: Testament to God's glory, and all that . . . if you believe in a monotheistic god. -Which I don't.  I see organized faiths as a blight on human history, excusing the worst as a "glory to gawd.  Someone can certainly believe if they choose, but if it becomes "you must believe," then they can go have sex with themselves.  I quit believing in gawd when I was told I'd be damned for not believing the world was 6000 years old.  Really?  So how did that explain the fossils I'D found (Salish sea fossils) the UW people said were 2.5 million years old.  It didn't, of course, so it was a matter literally, of just saying "F.O & D" to religion. People, OTOH, can jolly well believe what they want...
Katharine Otto Added Oct 26, 2017 - 8:57pm
Whatever.  I'm of the "everything has consciousness" persuasion, myself.   I also believe time and space are illusions, so we are--for all practical purposes--immortal.  That gives us lots of "time" to work things out.
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 27, 2017 - 8:30am
All I’m saying is that 7 does not equal 29.  29 isn’t even divisible by 7.  To be sure, every 7 years lots of things change.  More things change every 29 years.  You can go back any amount of time, read the headlines of that era and find similarly interesting stories to those you’ve decided to highlight in this article. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 27, 2017 - 12:08pm
You're right.  On my WordPress blog, I used journal entries from October, 2007, ten years ago.  Seven is an arbitrary number.  The issues I chose to highlight have less to do with the time than with themes that interest me and are ongoing.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 27, 2017 - 7:00pm
KO sez: I'm of the "everything has consciousness" persuasion, myself.-A small part of me is from people that believe gawd is in everything.  Seems a wide belief basis for many native peoples, but still...the Xtains want to impose "their morals" on others, and have done so for centuries.  I reject that sort of thing, in general.  Adding Gawds to that mix is not helpful.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 28, 2017 - 1:48pm
You don't have to be religious to impose your morals on everyone.  Look at governments.  Look at your neighbors.  Judging others by one's own standards seems to be a universal tendency, but most don't seem to practice what they preach.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 28, 2017 - 5:02pm
KO notes: Judging others by one's own standards seems to be a universal tendency, but most don't seem to practice what they preach.- Why I said: "Adding Gawds to that mix is not helpful."  Then it becomes an excuse.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 29, 2017 - 7:25pm
It does seem people excuse a lot of behavior by blaming God or the devil.  Or the other guy,  I used to think I had answers, but no more.  It would be nice to believe in something.
George N Romey Added Oct 30, 2017 - 8:49am
Katharine when you begin to see both our private and public leaders are nothing more than crooks and scam artists you can only believe in yourself and those around you that respect and trust. Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Jamie Dimon, George Bush (W), Dick Fuld, Stan O’Neill, Lloyd Blankfein all should be sharing a prison with Bernie Madoff.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 30, 2017 - 12:36pm
Unfortunately the system itself is designed to make taxpayer/citizens economic slaves to the government and its friends.  If you read the Constitution as an economic document, you will see that the federal government has all the power, and the individual has none.
We have been taught otherwise, but the reality is becoming clearer as the game plays itself out.  There's an enormous sense of betrayal going on, but there's no specific time or person we can point out as the primary culprit.  Rather, the seeds were planted centuries ago, even before the Constitution, when the Europeans discovered vast reaches of relatively virgin land and resources ripe for plunder.  
Like you, I see implosion coming but don't know how or when.  I'm hoping for a "soft landing," as individuals realize they are responsible for their own fate.  I hope this process is maturing us, as individuals and as a nation.
I'm trying to imagine a society I would want to live in.  The people may be the same, but more mature, cooperative rather than competitive, and desirous of living in harmony with each other and the planet as a whole.
George N Romey Added Oct 30, 2017 - 3:07pm
I seek the same society in which he all understand and carry out our own responsibility to make the aggregate strong.  We also care for the less fortunate (the infirmed, aged, handicapped, etc.) in a dignified manner. The problem seems to be that human nature has this non ending capacity for more.  $100 million isn't enough, one needs $200 million to keep up and is prepared to destroy society to get it.
The biggest fallacy is that we have big government due to the welfare state.  Not correct.  We have big government because of big business.  If our feckless shrills had actually followed the intent of the 1890 Sherman Anti Trust Act all these years we would not have the economic woes we currently have.
Big corrupts.  Big commands too much power.  We need much smaller.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 1, 2017 - 9:34pm
KO sez: I used to think I had answers, but no more.  It would be nice to believe in something. -You may have more answers than you think, and it's more than nice to believe in Yourself!!
Katharine Otto Added Nov 2, 2017 - 11:50am
Thanks for the encouragement.  As far as answers are concerned, I'm not so sure there are answers.  Not only that, I'm not sure anymore what the questions are.
As far as believing in myself, "Cogito, ergo sum."  I believe I exist.  Whether my existence does any good (presuming I want to "do good") depends on what mood I'm in.  One of the reasons I retired as a prescription-writing machine is I began to believe I was doing more harm than good.  The next step will be to communicate this to others in a way that does not sound bitter and cynical.  I've sort of passed that stage, and have become more detached.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 2, 2017 - 6:28pm
If you don't mind a treacherous, evil, and murderous, nazi troll saying so, you do not sound bitter or cynical in any way.  And nothing wrong with being detached.  detachment is functionally necessary at times.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 2, 2017 - 9:20pm
Thanks for saying so.  I've come a long way from the despair I felt over having my illusions shattered.  By the way, even treacherous, evil and murderous, nazi trolls have their good points.
There's a fine line between detachment and apathy.  It would be easier if I didn't care.  But if I feel betrayed, others probably do, too.  I figure only by acknowledging it can we move on.

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