Money Over Humanity

Happy Friday, All!

I’m feeling rather grateful this morning just because …  So, I’ll do the “TGIF” for ALL of us!!  Chime in your own way … just be grateful for the ability to be aware!  It’s a tremendous gift that the average person ignores and doesn’t even develop!!  Kind of like “sheeple” …  “If you don’t stand for something hopefully good for humanity, you will fall for anything.”

It’s becoming more and more obvious that “world leaders” are more concerned with amassing more and more wealth rather than being concerned with The Planet and its inhabitants as global warming and pollution wreck the planet!!  Money over morals is a deep rabbit hole that most people can’t crawl out of …  Whether we’re re-living the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, or … the ignorance of leaders and their supporters surrounding “global warming” and the destruction of planet Earth, we are facing a bigger problem than we’re ready to admit!  Number 45 said, “There were fine people on both sides!!”  But only one side was chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” and only ONE side drove a car into the crowd of peaceful protestors killing one woman and injuring several more people!  Were those the good people on the other side!??  I get tired of hearing this “side” crap as an excuse to be savage and inhumane.  Did Chauvin have the right to kill someone over a counterfeit $20.00 bill??  Didn’t Mr. Floyd deserve a fair trial?  Did you know that in Minnesota, you can NOT be arrested for a counterfeit $20 bill?  You are supposed to receive a fine and/or be given a court appearance. Obviously, a jury of white women, African American women, and a few African American men, and a few white men disagreed unanimously with Derek Chauvin and found him guilty of ALL charges!

The panel included six men and nine women; nine of the jurors are white, four are Black, and two are multiracial!!  

As a social scientist and a social activist not to mention an “anti-racist”, I seek to educate those people who are drawn into these rabbit holes out of fear and ignorance … and greed!!  It’s a tough job but SOMEONE (else) has to do it because the so-called leaders are lying to the people, especially those who are ignorant about issues like “white supremacy” and the evils of racism!!  Half of those racists don’t even know American history or the law and allow their fears and ignorance to lead them … into the rabbit hole!!  Educate yourselves people and stop letting liars ruin our country (our Earth!) through your ignorance and threaten democracy.  Democracy means rule by the people through trustworthy elected officials who represent “we, the people”  ALL of the people, not greedy power-hungry disinformation specialists.  Look it up, don’t spread disinformation.

As I often contemplate, the average person may not know the damage caused by treating a fellow human being as inferior because of their skin color (or anything else, gender, religion, and sexual preference included!).  It not only illustrates the FACT that the “racist” already has low self-esteem and may be worried that someone of another race will “take” something from “them” (a job, a house …), it gives them a false sense of entitlement or superiority that the racist tries to impose on its victim.  It also causes a tremendous amount of stress, fear, and discomfort, or insecurity that wears heavily on the person(s) that is victimized.  This treatment may cause a weaker person who is already demoralized to use drugs or become violent in order to temporarily escape the discomfort and/or retaliate.  Not an excuse, just an observation.  In the USA, it has already been proven for 8 years that an African American man (or woman) can lead a democratic country as well as a person of any other color, including so-called whites or Caucasians.  It is really acute ignorance that allows a person to use the color of someone’s skin as a measure of their humanity … intelligence or leadership.

In closing, I would like to reiterate that we are ONE human family whose interdependence is required for our human existence and survival on this planet … believe it … or not!  Learn to accept each other based on the content of our character while simultaneously NOT creating divisions that will doom humanity.  Now, if a person doesn’t care about that, we are doomed. Some humans are more concerned with their imaginary wealth rather than saving humanity!  Mark my words, watch and see.  Love and respect for each other are the unifying factors.


John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!!

“Let Go . . .”

Happy Friday, All!

Last week on Friday, I was traveling from San Jose International Airport, Juan Santamaria in Alajuela to Ft. Lauderdale, so I didn’t have time to put a proper message or blog post together and send it before leaving!  I was saving it for today.  But first, let’s do the TGIF thing right quick!!  TGIF … BOOM!  Thank you kindly!

So much stuff happened over the past weekend.  I had to change my plans several times …  There was one event after another!  I learned so much about being flexible when traveling and trying to be courteous and de-escalating difficult situations when they popped up!  There is a song by a recording artist named Frou Frou called “Let Go!”  It’s a driving tune, alternative near punk music.  A former yoga instructor, Maria, introduced our class to some of Frou Frou’s music as we listened during our practices at LA Fitness … Maria passed away due to epilepsy and respiratory challenges several years ago (RIP) …  So, I put into practice the concept of letting go.  It made the “problematic” things become just challenges that could be resolved.  I worked through the flight’s late arrival at our gate for Spirit Airlines at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale.  Then once I finally got a shuttle (not the correct one), the rental car office where I had made and paid for a reservation was closed!  So, I walked into the office of “Nexxt: Rental Car” where the shuttle/van driver had left me, and soon discovered that I was at the wrong rental car office and would have to return the next day.  Things weren’t looking too bright!  I called my best friend there in Ft. Lauderdale who told me that they were at “The Elbow Room” on Ft. Lauderdale Beach!  The kind rental agent called a taxi for me which arrived after two tries and took me to the beach!!  Can you say “Let Go!”?

So, I arrived at the bar on the beach with my laptop, my carry on and my walking cane from Spain!  The security guard at the door of The Elbow Room looked me up and down carefully.  Then he said, “You can’t bring all that stuff in here!!”  I had to chuckle as I complied and explained that I was looking for a friend.  He told me to look from outside of the bar.  I finally saw Johnny.  He came out, asked security to put my bags in a closet which he did.  It was especially funny when he said, “I’ll put the cane in here for you, too!”  “Welcome back to Ft. Lauderdale!”, I thought to myself.  And the letting go continued.  I hung out at The Elbow Room for a few more hours until they called an Uber back to Johnny’s home.  I was glad to lay down somewhere since I had left my place in Costa Rica at 2:45 am that morning!  I was going on 24 hours of traveling!

The next morning, after preparing an “all-day” omelet and coffee, Candy took me to the Green Motion rental car office where I discovered that I didn’t have enough money on my credit card to cover the deposit … which I had forgotten about since I hadn’t rented a car in a while!!  Still … letting go.  But it was cool.  When I contacted my daughter to let her know that I wouldn’t make it to the resort in Orlando for my grandson Caleb’s birthday celebration, she was cool, too!  I felt better.  We did a video call Tuesday eve and I got to wish him a happy birthday!  Thanks, Ayanna!  So, Candy who had waited patiently while I was reminded of the security deposit drove me back to my buddy’s.  Later, we watched “Unhinged” starring Russell Crowe!!  I had never seen it!!! OMG!!  Sometimes, we can be courteous especially since we don’t want to push an “unhinged person” …

So, I am taking this opportunity to remind us that international travel is a bit tough for a “jet-set grandpa” … at least this one!  My plan was to get another chance to see my daughter and grandson, Covid test and vaccinations included as well as the new travel requirements from one country to another called a “Travel Pass”.  I’ve learned to be cool when things don’t go as I had hoped and keep moving forward!  “Let go … this too shall pass!”

I got a chance to see two members of the Zachary Family (RIP, Peter) whom I have known since being bussed to an elementary school as part of a program to integrate the previously segregated schools in White Plains, NY.  It was great to see Lisa at a club in Boca Raton where Johnny’s band played Saturday night.  She passed by to say hi and we hugged incessantly.  The next night, Christy Zachary came and picked me up and we went to her place on Hollywood Beach, FL to catch up.  Later, she treated me to a lovely seafood dinner … and then drove me back to Johnny’s home where I spent the last night of my stay on his couch!  Early the next morning, Candy popped by on her way to work near the airport to drop me off in time for my flight!  So … there was “peace in the letting go” as well as other options.  I continue to live and learn something new or different each day!

Thanks for reading!


John I. Cook, Director

Over and Over … Until …

Happy Friday, Y’all!

Give it up for our Creator!!  TGIF, then!

It’s been another week of international drama, so, how are you all holding up?  Pretty well, I’m hoping.  So, the USA is once again “toying” with the debt ceiling and all of the well-off Congressional representatives get to decide what “we .. the people” deserve in some of the most challenging times the world has ever witnessed!  Do “we” really want to see or hear “Mushmouth” Mitch McConnell offer some alternatives for “the people” to consider as the deadline for raising the debt ceiling approaches?!?

Some of you may remember how I challenge people to consider racism as a mental illness … self-induced, at that.  I know some folks think that people should stop complaining about racism and its negative influences on human beings.  I think NOT …  Maybe “people” should cut that insane crap out.  Can anyone believe that a contractor can wake up every morning and go to a job where racial slurs are written on the restroom stalls and walls, where hideous drawings of black children are scrawled in plain sight!?  What is the reason for this type of behavior … IN the workplace, not to mention outside?  Perhaps then in the next breath, the culprit may utter a common stereotype that “… they are ALL lazy and don’t want to work anyway …”!?!  Are you crazy?!?  Not only did it take 4 years for Mr. Owen Diaz and his relentless attorney to close the case in which a jury awarded him $137 million for nearly a year in hell at Tesla’s work environment in California, but the word on the street is that MORE suits are being filed for the EXACT SAME REASON!!  The Tesla employees who engage(d) in this type of behavior are crazy if they think this crap is cool!!

As I watched some programs highlighting the slow down in the commercial supply chain showing the many containers in ports as well as the cue of cargo/freight ships streaming from international ports out into the planet’s seas and oceans, I felt pretty helpless.  Maybe we need to change the way “we” do things on the planet.  With additional earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, what do we think will happen next?!?  Or, can we think that far in advance?  Maybe a few more oil spills to cover more wildlife and contaminate the planet’s oceans might catch our attention.  Or maybe as some of the world’s most corrupt leaders say, “There’s nothing to see here!”

Keep in mind. please, we each can make up our minds, should there be such a thing anymore.  Are we going to be held accountable and responsible for our actions?  Or will we continue to demonstrate only greed and disrespect as we claw our way to the imaginary top?!  What about Mark Zuckerburg and Big Tech’s responsibility to the mental health of their customers  … or do we allow the greed to overshadow their responsibility?  Try telling that to parents of teens suffering from anorexia or those parents whose children committed suicide due to cyberbullying!  Trust me I know there’s a tough world out there, but if we help to remedy these ills, our grandchildren may inhabit a better planet …

Okay, so now that I’ve attempted to clarify how for me, racism is a mental illness employed by greedy, selfish, irresponsible low self-esteemed people let’s take a look at the position that the Pope is in regarding centuries of child abuse by some of the Church’s leadership and affiliates!!  Oh no … that’s a whole ‘nother topic in itself!!  Yet, let’s not forget what Asian Americans, not to mention Native Americans, have experienced at the relentless claws of racism.  I think the young people get it, but the outgoing generation has problems releasing the world leadership to them!!  It’s almost like the outgoing crew doesn’t want to let go of their imaginary power!!  Let’s hope that they do still care!!  Young people, ask your parents and grandparents what kind of planet they want to leave for you.  Hold them accountable … NOW!


John I. Cook, Director

Roll With It . . . Sometimes!

Happy Friday, TGIF, it’s Friday and … “all that is good on Friday”!  Especially us!!

Okay, so … I know I talk a lot about a lot of stuff … yeah … “that’s what I do” … I try to write down the thoughts in my head as I’m traveling.  I try to record what I see and feel into words.  If I want to comment, I usually try to make it positive.  If not and I point out something in myself and/or “the world” we live in … something maybe not so nice, I also try to offer up a bit of motivation – take it or not – to make us healthier spiritually, perhaps.  Maybe even suggest some options.  Now, I see in today’s politics worldwide, so-called leaders point their bloody fingers at each other.  They simultaneously gorge themselves on their drug of choice – power – and seek to hurt anyone or thing that gets in the way of their acquisition of this drug for them.  They forget that they are supposed to be working for the good of humanity as these same leaders juggle different political systems to their advantage! 

I can’t sit and watch.  So I dig a trench somewhere safe and peaceful nowadays and offer tidbits of strength, hope, and love.  Is that bad?!  It helps me remain enlightened and positive. Maybe unnecessary for some.  The choice is each individual’s option, I respect and cherish that for myself, too!  Maybe you can find something good in it because I am NOT trying to demoralize anyone!  Please don’t forget that.  I’ve been hurt before like most “unentitled” individuals, disrespected, taken advantage of for various reasons (including being stupid or ignorant, if you will), and talked about by people worse than me.  I admit the errors of my ways, offer apologies when necessary, stand tall in my beliefs and get on to the next part of my journey!

This is one of those “That’s what I do!” messages a la Kevin Hart.  I don’t belong to a gang or anything, I don’t capitalize from low-level/energy activities … I worked ALL MY LIFE for a living!  In other words, I was raised by two morally sound people who worked every day for themselves, our family, the community and city they lived in … and also to the world with their positive energy and humble hearts.  Now, I am not looking for any handouts … Yet, I don’t plan to be thwarted or “eff-ed with” while I carry on with my life’s goals and dreams and balanced ambitions.  I come from a work-based background and seek to live that way helping others when I can!  So while I roll with some things, I don’t tolerate ANY disrespect nor “bs”.  A person should know where I am coming from if they find themselves with me at any point in their interactions.  Of course, I know that comes with familiarity with each other.

I am sure we have ALL had moments when we had been pushing so hard to achieve a goal, and, no matter what we tried could not make much if any progress.  It’s at points like these when we may need to re-evaluate our goals and determine if it (the goal) is something important and integral to our lives!  I don’t have the answers for anyone.  Yet, I do believe that if we EACH employ a very humble task of getting to know ourselves aka “Know Thyself”, we will find our own answers.  So as a humanitarian with an educational background in social science as well as an acute interest in making our world and existence a better place to be, I come to you!

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

ps. Get the books, please! You might enjoy them or know someone who will! (From the Projects to Princeton, Three Strikes, You’re Out! and Cooking With Life; Cookbooks I, II & III, respectively!)

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