Dr. Judy 24/7

Kenya Prime Minister Speaks to Diaspora: Cool Coalition but Snow Shock

With the General Assembly in session at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the leaders of countries around the world are in town. Besides high level GA meetings, the dignitaries also make speeches and host other events. I went to a reception for the Kenya Mission to the UN at the Helmsley Hotel, at the invitation of my Kenyan-born UN NGO intern, Wiarimu Kuguru. Many officials, including the Prime Minister, made speeches, talking humorously and honestly about the situation "back home" to the audience of appreciative Kenyans. The loudest cheer, when states were mentioned for the assembled diaspora, was for "New Jersey," though there were sprinkles of Kenyan New Yorkers and even DC'ers.

The speeches were certainly eye-opening about the situation in Kenya.

“We have drought and also floods,” one dignitary said.

Climate change is another serious problem, explained the Prime Minster of Kenya.  I was shocked to hear that there is “less snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro.”  My sister had just told me her dream of climbing that mountain.  I have climbed the Annapurna Range in Nepal, but said I would go with her to the Kenyan challenge, and was distressed to hear of its victimization by global warming.

Besides the snow, the forest is also disappearing: another shock.

Noting the bad economy, he told the diaspora, “We know you are sending less money home… I know because I see the figures.”  Some in the audience laughed in guilty recognition.

The P. M. also addressed the political situation. emphasizing the success of the coalition government, with a Prime Minister and a President sharing dual power as the first example of its kind in Africa. “The country went through a difficult time in 2007, but we are now working together,” he said, warning against believing media hype about the problems and political unrest in Kenya. 

Another dignitary noted that politicians in Kenya are telling the truth even at the risk of being unpopular. 

The Kenyan diaspora was clearly plesed to hear the review of their country, and proud of what they are doing besides how things are being handled “back home.”



The First Day of the Clinton Global Initiative: Commitments and Clean Water, Matt Damon and Obama

“This is the only conference you have ever been to where the gift bag is empty,” said former President Bill Clinton at the opening session of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative this afternoon.Laughter filled the audience, packed into the Sheraton Hotel ballroom, of presidents of countries, dignitaries, top executives and NGO representatives, who were either invited or paid thousands of dollars to participate in the annual networking event.  Clinton explained that the attendees have to fill the bag – with commitments of their time and talent to solve world problems like poverty, disease, energy and climate change disasters.

“That is your gift,” Clinton said.  I appreciated the psychological implications of the metaphoric use of the word “gift.” At many board meetings of non-profits, I have heard references to the 3 T’s:  our time, talent and treasure.   Those are the gifts we give to others, to enrich their lives.

So many in the world are in need, and the accomplishments of past CGIs have been impressive to meet those needs, with thousands of companies and individuals making “commitments" to work together to effect positive change, feed starving children, implement alternate energy sources, and purify dirty water.

Dirty water causes disease and death for millions of children under 5 years old, Clinton explained.

The first panel of the day included the female President of the Republic of Chile, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet.  In his true engaging style, Clinton highlighted how she was the first female defense minister in Latin America, proving that women are not always in “soft” positions in government. 

I was reminded of the celebration of womanhood in Chile I had been exposed to over 15 years ago, when I attended the wedding of a former Miss Universe from Chile, Cecilia Bolocco.  She had married my friend who was a fellow talk show host on CNBC-TV when it launched in 1989.  The event was like the wedding of Princess Diana, with loudspeakers transmitting the ceremony to the crowds lining the streets. 

Another panelist, the President and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, Muhtar Kent (whom Clinton pointed out as coming from Turkey) announced that the company has pledged money towards clean drinking water in Africa for every one of the typical dances done in celebration of every goal made at the World Cup.  The football sporting event is exceptionally popular around the world, equivalent to our soccer in the U.S. (and called by that name in the rest of the world… sometimes causing confusion).

Coca-Cola also plans to make their bottles out of recyclable sugar cane product.  New programs using less water, he explained, will free women up from carrying water on their heads, to be able to participate in entrepreneurial work.

The President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. described how his company has a new health care plan for its workers. He also posed his future program for consumer information, asking, “Wouldn’t it be great to know the footprint of every product you buy?”

 Both CEOs were received with appreciation by the crowd.

Clinton also endorsed the G20 – participation in world affairs by more countries than the present G8 – while acknowledging that it will be more complicated to hear more voices.  With 192 countries at the UN, he asked us to imagine the difficulties of 192 people sitting around a table making a decision. 

Relating his concern about clean energy, Clinton applauded Israel. “Israel will have 100,000 electric cars in one tiny country,” he noted, encouraging others to follow the lead. “It’s the debate in Washington and everywhere,” he said.  “Can we grow the economy by consuming energy in a different way?”

The two commitments celebrated during this opening session were by actor Matt Damon regarding clean water in Haiti.  This peeked my interested because of my recent trip to Haiti, witnessing extreme poverty and needs of the people. I went with a wonderful Haitian priest who is interning with my UN NGO organization, the International Association of Applied Psychology, and has presented about ways ot overcome poverty and violence in that country at conferences at the UN and also att he American Psychological Association. Father Wismick Jean Charles took me to the village where he was born and for whom he is “giving back” by building a community center to feed and educate the children and provide health care. 

The second CGI commitment example was a project in Kenya.  A past year’s CGI participant had entered three words in the CGI web connect: girls, education and empowerment, and gotten immediate response and funding.  Three of the girls who benefited from the project recited a story about their appreciation and growth, centered on the metaphor of having shoes. Another crowd-pleaser.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were spotted in the crowd.  The Demi and Ashton Foundation will be at the Thursday awards event when Alicia Keyes will sing.

Clinton covered for the few minutes of late arrival of the keynote speaker – President Obama – by describing that he President is a “Decider in Chief,” a phrase the former President Bush had used.  He described that others make many decisions the President just signs off on, but other difficult ones are left to him.  

Obama arrived to enthusiastic applause.  He amused the audience in his typical engaging speaking style, by describing how Clinton took him to lunch at an Italian restaurant and then peered from under his glasses, with his characteristic way of making you feel like you are the only person in the room (I experienced that same ability when I met Clinton in the Oval Office at one of his private Saturday meetings).  Obama complimented Clinton saying how he could retire and work on his golf score (which he said he heard was still not that great) but instead he is making such a difference in the world. Obama also complimented himself, saying that he knows the experience of government working with NGOs, as he was a community organizer, as his mother was a pioneer in civil society groups, and as Michelle left her law firm to work for an NGO.     


Garrido Sex Slave “freed”: How Can This Be?

As enslaved Jaycee Dugard emerges from her 18 years of captivity, raped and kept in squalor, accompanied by her two children (11 and 15 years old), the world wonders, How can this be? What will become of them?  I've given unique analysis questions below, and answer some pressing questions asked of me an a pre-interview for an on-air live interview with the talented anchor Don Lemon, aired on CNN this evening at 10:30 pm.

How could Jaycee have stayed for 18 years in captivity when she was in a backyard tent from which she could have escaped and from which she also emerged in public on several occasions with her abuser. 

I have my theory that I have not heard spoken of elsewhere:  Jaycee Lee Dugard was brainwashed, as were her kids. Philip Garrido had her in his cult and was practicing mind control, even through rape – along with her two daughters (which he fathered), and his legal wife. 

They constituted a “family,” so this protected her from death from which other young women might not have been spared (given accusations that he had murdered other women, including prostitutes).

Garrido claims he was transformed by having a child (by Jaycee); and it helped cure his sexual aggressiveness (from previous rape and assault behavior, for which he received a jail sentence).  He put this in his manifesto which he was enthusiastically wanting to release to the world and for which he expected a positive reception.

What is this man’s state of mind? Basically, Garrido is psychotic – a different variety from other major cases covered on the news, where abductors and killers – like the spa- shooter and the Holocaust museum shooter - were likely psychopaths.

This psychosis has classic signs: thought disorder indicated by his ramblings (on his blog), messianic delusions of grandeur (hearing angels, being a messenger of God), feeling as thought he has a message to save the world.

Garrido snared Jaycee into his cult.  He brainwashed her and the kids, and his wife – who was described as a robot )(not unlike other females who follow such a messianic maniac, like a Svengali).  Garrido may even have had some others coming and going, temporarily. One neighbor described others entering the place and other little girls. Garrido was caught because he emerged, ready to spread his word of being the saviour – to a college campus, with his daughters in tow, which raised suspicions of the female cops who called the parole board, which then brought his house of cards crashing down.

Garrido is like other psychotic messianic perverts.  Like Charlie Manson and David Koresh, he even had a shrine set up for him and was working on a manifesto about life the way he sees it and how it should be.  Like them, he corralled young impressionable, insecure and lost females to follow him; who look up to him as the messiah in fact, he was the only male in the household).   Like Manson, he was even a two-bit musician.  Jaycee was an impressionable, shy 11-year old who knew no better when she was kidnapped. 

Drugs added to the brainwashing and the forced devotion of others to his psychotic vision.

His blog reveals his psychotic character: rambling, disconnected, delusional, with biblical references about being close to angels and God. 

Garrido did his brainwashing well – he changed Jaycee’s identity – she was turned into “Alissa” and raped until she was fertile enough to give birth, so he would be her protector and “father” (e.g. God) figure as well as “lover” – which would all serve to make her devoted to him and confuse her even more.

Jaycee’s stepfather said she has developed a strong emotional bond to Garrido.  Of course, Garrido and his wife were the “family” she knew and grew comfortable with – no matter how dysfunctional. Garrido could have told he that she was meant to be whisked away, and that her parents were “bad” for letting her go, causing her to resent them. After a while, kids become used to dysfunctional parents, with severe psychiatric disorders.  Especially when the children were born, this band became a “family.”

There are assualtive and non-assualtive child abductors and pedophiles, and those who are childless and those who aim for a cult. Garrido is a mix, of being both assualtive and also non-assaultive, and also childless and aiming to establish a cult.

Jaycee cannot be just thrust into her past family circle and expect to be the same or adore them and re-integrated with her biological mother whom she hasn’t seen throughout her growing up period.  Consistent with this, her mother called her sister when Jaycee was brought “home” to her because she didn’t feel connected- even though she didn’t use the word “brainwashed,’ the sister thought she implied it. The experience is like being in a trance – like the captor’s rambling teachings and music .

Garrido’s father described his son as sick and reported he used LSD.  Cult leaders use drugs to fuel their own delusions of grandeur and also to brainwash their captives/followers.  Likely Jaycee was given mind altering drugs.

Her daughters – reportedly looking glassy eyed and distant (scary by some accounts) probably also had been given drugs, and also because they have not related to other people socially before so are really inept. . They appear odd because they cannot relate to society and should not be forced to do so, as they cannot adjust quickly, since all they know is the life they had. They are not socialized with other people or peers.  They cannot be shaken brutally from their assigned identity – under names like Starlot and Angel  -- and lifestyle.  That would be a secondary traumatization (no matter how joyous the public is that they have be saved or re-united.)

Everyone wants to say that it is great that they are re-united with their biological family (mother).  It is poltically incorrect to say otherwise, but such immediate reuniting is not the perfect solution. The biological parents have to be counseled to deal with this new turn of events and that their “daughter” is not free –and certainly not the same as the 11 year old daughter they “lost.”  Garrido and wife– as psycotic as they were  – were still the only family Jaycee and the girls knew.  They will undoubtedly be depressed about losing them; like a second traumatization after the abuse they first endured.  They will endlessly feel guilty about leaving Garrido, and even sympathetic since he claims he has changed; as happens with abused children who forgive their parents and blame themselves. 

Their life inside what we see as littered squalor had its own chaotic sense of home.  There was a welcome sign, lots of clothes, Barbie dolls, a pail, cartoon sheets, baskets of flowers, make-up containers, CDs (which are modern) and a book titled “Self-esteem: a family affair.” And there were indications of pets (every child’s desire) – an aquarium and a collection of cats (even if only dolls or procelain).  Other books were varied, for any educated children. The authos include suspense master Dean Koontz to romance writer Danielle Steele to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.  Of course, we’re missing the mathetics texts; and disturbingly, the link between these three books are that they are all about fantasy – not reality!  So, they are not helping the girls adjust to the outside world.

This story is very different from the Missiouri Monster who raped his daughter and kept her in a closet and killed the children and buried them in a water cooler.  These girls of Jaycee were out in fresh air, even if emerged from squalor tents.  They were not shackled, and they went outdoors with their captor. 

I have to say I have mixed reactions to his maifesto about his transformation from sexual rapist monster to man capable of intimacy.  Some parts make sense; others are still ramblings. But his effort deserves some credit. 

Garrido thought he had cured his sexual impulses that drove him to commit unspeakable acts of aggression: through spiritual transformation.  It is a noble mission, in my view, that he was seeing – and thought he found -- the cure for the things he did that caused pain to others including his wife and family “whom he had victimized (good that he acknowledged that and doing self reflection) by ‘examining the issues that cauesd pain in myself and in those who are victimized by those behaviors”. 

Garrido said he had this epiphany when having sex with his wife – the act had “changed” him. As repored in the NY Post, he wrote in his manifeesto, “One day when we were having intercourse and I ejacualited, I got up, and in great anger I realized I never needed to act or do the thing I thought were so great.’ “I began to weep, telling her, ‘I am so sorry for the things I did in the past.’ (Good that he is showing remorse). At that time a feeling of remorse came over me, one that I never knew or felt before or thought was possible.” “When I had intercourse with her, the feelings were so powerful and exciting that every time we have intercourse now, it is as though I just met her (this part sounds healthy and can be transformation of people who are into sado-masochism who suddenly discover intimacy).  He goes on, :”You know the kind of excitement we all find when we first meet someone, we keep thinking of them during the day and can hardly wait to be with them. You have no idea how rewarding it is especially for me, as I always wanted to get away from a woman after it was concluded, no longer needing or desiring to touch.”

In my view, this is the explanation that is consistent with a man who goes to prostitutes or murders prostitutes, and who mixed sex with aggression  – he cannot feel love or intimacy.  And this is an ephinany of a man who no longer needs to mix sex with aggression, who can FEEL something for the person he has sex with, without hurting himself or them out of anger or out of need to feel anything even if it is pain 

In his manifesto, some things are true, i.e. that “out of control behavior” is everywhere, in every walk of life, undermining the lives of many of its victims.” To know this, we only need to look at the staggering statistics of alcoholism, drug abuse, and sex abuse. 

However, in his manifesto, there is still rambling, but kernels of valid thoughts: As Garrido describes how to go from sexual deviant to model human he describes, ‘we need a quality means of understanding the internal controls of the human mind and body, and a way to supply people with a value system that is constructive…then a person can see and feel the effects of healthy thinking and the rewards that come along with it.”  It is the age-old struggle between right and wrong that is holding the human race back from discovering a freedom so capable that the renewing of ones mind become a simpler reality than anything we have believed. 

Another part is a little clearer, as it sounds like behavior therapy and thought control in a healthy way (not the mind control he was doing in an unhealthy way), outlining what exactly what you do when unacceptable impulses arise: ‘For example, every time I would see a woman who was attractive, I began to examine  my own thoughts directly, not allowing my eyes to turn aside to avoid those issues…Looking allowed my self-talk to provide pictures and words that dealt with reality, saying to myself that people are beautiful and attractive"..  (he is on the right track psychologically about the technique of self talk but he needs to continue the exercise, for thought stopping, to switch his attention to something else that is not related to his obsession about women). 

He continues, “as time went on, I gained contol over my body by taking the next step (controlling masturbation) as it is key in opening the mind up to more problematic developing.”  He is right to control his masturbatory thoughts and actions.

The general ideas are there- they are not clearly worked out, as a therapist would help him to do.

”I began to weep telling her I am so sorry for the things I did in the past.  All that time a feeling of remorse came over me, one that I never knew or felt before or ever dreamed was posssible.”  (this remorse is of course a positive emotions for such a perpetrator).

It futher seems to me that Garrido was wanting to give up.  He walked on the campus requesting he be heard with his maifesto, with his two daughters in clear view and being honest about them; this made the cops susipicious, who later set the wheels in motion to call his parole officer and the truth came out. 


Other answers to questions CNN asked me to prepare, for my 10 pm interview with anchor Don Lemon on August 30, 2009:

1. Can you explain how an individual can remain with her captors for so many years without any apparent physical threat?

The 11-year old child (Jaycee) was “brainwashed” and traumatized, to the point where the captors became her new “family” which she would not desert.  Essentially the little girl developed an emotional attachment over time to her captors, as they were the source of her survival.  This was all set in motion by changing her identity.  The process usually starts with physical threats and then includes some acts of kindness – just as Garrido himself said,  the story was “disgusting” at the beginning but “I turned my life around” (presumably when the first daughter was born.) The captor becomes the source of survival and the abducted child becomes dependent on the captor (like on a parent).  In this case, there was also a wife, who becomes the replaced mother-figure. Over time, Jaycee is inoculcated into his “cult” -- sealed by his altering her identity, indicated by changing her name to “Alissa”.   Garrido and his wife Nancy become the surrogate parents – the only parents she now knows.  They form a new “family” sealed by the (evil) stepfather fathering her children, making her even more dependent on them.  Then they start to live an abnormal (to us) “normal” life where Garrido runs a printing business and Jaycee apparently even becomes his assistant.  So she is not only the mother of his children but also his business partner. 

She may even have been given many drugs – since Garrido himself may have been on LSD (mind altering drugs).

Her dependency and succumbing to captivity can be explained by what is called the “Stockholm Syndrome” whereby hostages become loyal to their hostage-takers.  Jaycee’s “adjustment” to this dysfunction is remindful of the 11-year old boy kidnapped and held captive by a Missouri man, where the boy went out in public and did not tell anyone and also took on his captor’s last name.  Garrido’s psychotic behavior is similar to that of Charles Manson and his “family,” with Garrido hallucinating and thinking he is a messenger of God.  Family members get used to that bizarreness, and even excuse and follow him.  

2. What type of psychological and physical abuse does an individual endure in a situation like this?

First there is abuse and then after several years of such long captivity, the abuse can stop if the victim becomes compliant. Likely in the beginning, there was abuse on all THREE levels: physical, psychological and sexual – it’s a one-two-three punch assault and the resulting trauma is three-times as intense.  First likely came threats that she or loved ones would die if she told anyone or tried to escape. Then, she was likely physically beaten and also repeatedly sexually abused (clearly she was impregnated – when she was 13 and fertile, since she is 29 and her older daughter is 15).  For an 11- year-old, all this is massively confusing.  After a while, the young victim becomes numb to any abuse, as the abusers are the source of survival. 

3. Describe what will need to happen next as Jaycee is integrated/reunited with her family? 

I think she needs a “halfway house” and intensive therapy for re-establishing an identity, and get re-acquainted with her old “family.” While we have heard from Mr. Smart, this is a different case from Elizabeth Smart – who was only captive for less than a year.  Even Elizabeth Smart has said that “life will not resume; she may wonder about her captors.” This captivity was over so many years, and being parents and business partners, that Jaycee is now “Alissa” and a mother whose children are  a result of rape of her captor, who has become her surrogate “father,” a kind of  “husband.”  Her identity has been built on being “Alissa.”  She cannot just be expected to be torn from that environment and placed with her original biological family and be “normal” again, or happy to be reunited with them!!!  She will have CONFLICTED feelings!  Besides any relief people all expect her to have, she may resent being “freed” and also be unable to adjust to “normal” society (even buying groceries or talking to neighbors).  She will have to be prepared to face social scrutiny.  She definitely needs to be away from media attention.

Jaycee’s father says she feels “guilty” for developing an emotional attachment to her captors—but this can be what she thinks she HAS to say as it is politically incorrect for her to admit anything else.  Her “guilt” has to be absolved.

4. How important will it be for Jaycee and her family to receive counseling during this time?

CRUCIAL.  They ALL need counseling individually and then together, as they will ALL have conflicting and extreme emotions; not just relief but also anger (at each other and the system).  INDIVIDUALLY:  Jaycee’s mother and sister (the mother apparently has some cognitive disability) and her stepfather (who apparently lives separate from the mother) need counseling to learn how to deal with her and her children, and not to force her to love them as before.  The stepfather really needs therapy to get over his anger at all he went through (his marriage dissolving and being held as a suspect all these years, even though he is now absolved).  Jaycee needs counseling individually to express her feelings and process her experience and her CONFLICTING emotions about her captivity and her present life.  And THE CHILDREN (one a teenager) need counseling – they will be the most disturbed of all.  Then, much later they should have family counseling to monitor how they are adjusting to each other and accepting each other. 

The whole public needs healing sine the Garrido “family” lived among real people as neighbors, one of whom noted problems, and who notified authorities who did nothing.  Also, they did business with real people.

5. Now that Jaycee has children, how does this compounds this situation?  

The situation is tremendously compounded.  Now that Jaycee and her children are “freed,” it has to be decided where the best place would be for her and her children to live (not necessarily with the mother or the stepfather, whom the children have not ever known as “grandparents”).  The children are likely VERY dysfunctional and cannot be integrated into society right away.  They have been reported as staring blankly and disconnected.  They have been ripped from the family environment they have known all their lives, which must be acknowledged.  They can’t be immediately told that life was “sick” or made to feel wrong or bad. They do not know how to interact with others socially, other than with their immediate “family.”  They need to be in a very safe, still-somewhat protected and isolated home, where they can be gradually taught social skills and “de-programmed” from the cult-like life they have been living.  They are teenagers who likely have very arrested development; may also have been under the influence of drugs.  They also need “de-programming.”  The first daughter (15 year old ) will feel guilty and conflicted since her “father” (Garrido) claims that he turned his life around because of her!   

ADDENDUM: IN MY VIEW, the internet needs to be filtered for psychotic people and potential murderes and perpetrators!

Garrido kept a blog, that could presage some of his acts.

Once again, the internet has revealed signs of a potential disaster –  as in the gym-slayer, and the Holocaust Museum shooter.  This raises issues of potential filters or policing the internet – while others can criticize this approach on the basis of First Amendment rights. 

It was reported that “Ironically, more than a year ago Garrido referenced the potential for psychotic symptoms to cause violence against children. (he wrote that) A woman who drowned her 3 children in the San Francisco Bay was, "led by a powerful internal and external (hearing) process that places the human mind under a hypnotic siege that in time leads a person to build a delusional belief system that drives them to whatever course of action they take."

This case also shows serious failure of the legal system – evidenced by his being paroled after only 10 years of a 50-year rape sentence, and by his current parole officer knowing nothing of his life, and by the inept investigator who failed to enter the home after a neighbor’s complaint. 


Supersports star Succumbs to Murder-Suicide By Mistress

While star football player Steve McNair lay on the couch presumably asleep, his 20-year- old lover, Sahel Kazemi, shot him in the head and chest. She then unloaded a bullet into his temple again –and then into her own.

Why would she do it? Kazemi’s psychological state seems clear to me: she suspects the already-married man of having an affair with another woman and reneging on his promise to marry her, thereby deflating her dream of being rescued financially and emotionally. So, the distraught and threatened mistress decides, “If I can’t have him, no woman can.”

As she positions herself next to his dead body on the couch, and proceeds to shoot herself, she can assert, “You’re mine forever” and “We’re together happily ever ever.”

The Police Chief on the case – making quite a psychological analysis – said that Sahel Kazemi felt her life was “spinning out of control” in the face of mounting debts and the threat of rejection.

Indeed, psychologically the young waitress – having met the superstar sportsman only six months before – must have convinced herself that the father-of-four was going to leave his 12 year marriage for her.

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Looking back at superstar Michael Jackson's mental state

As millions of mourners lament the death of superstar MichaelJackson, the question has been pondered about the beleaguered yet also beloved pop icon.“What was his state of mind?” is the issue being asked on many media and in many minds.

No doubt he couldn’t sleep, as evidenced by revelations about the serious psychiatric prescription medications he had or sought. A sure sign of depression. Sure, he was on the road to a comeback, but that amounts to serious pressure for someone already under strain.

While one cannot sayJacksonwas suicidal now, he certainly has been in such a fragile mental state before. In that regard, I went into my files to see what I wrote years ago about MichaelJackson’s mental state history.

On March 21, 2005 I submitted this article about the emotional dangers facing MichaelJacksonin the midst of his trial about sexual abuse charges. While he emerged from one case paying monetary damages, and the other acquitted, and over four years have elapsed, the scars of such an ordeal can last. And while he unmasked his children to reveal their faces to the world – perhaps symbolic of his own facing reality -- fantasy and hiding from oneself and others can still remain.

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Tomaczek's 4th of July Birthday Party

Rita Cosby's boyfriend Tomaczek's birthday party in the Hampton's July 4th.

Celebrated July 4th with a July 4th baby-- great to be born on that day thats special for our country. Rita got him customized Frank Stella shirts, and I brought a copy of my "Complete Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex" book, and a beautiful Sake bottle - from myself and my bandmate Russell Daisey since we had just come back from our concert tour in Japan. Everyone joked about which page would be the best. And the jokes got more intense when Tom opened the next gift which was a very fancy corkscrew (since he likes wines)! Nice to be with good friends and family on a special day that signals our country's independence. I thought a lot about what independence means to us individually and for the world.And how people need to break free from any co-dependence - have talked a lot about that on the radio over so many years.

We talked about our country's wars-- I feel proud of our country and strongly patriotic, thinking of how my father fought in WWII (and hte Korean war).I have all his paraphrenalia and his helmet hangs on the wall by my desk. Ialso talked about the irony of how North Korea set off nuclear tests - so ironically just days after Russell and I were in Japan doing concerts about peace and anti-nuclear war!! Russell think they purposefully timed the tests to snubthe US on our independence day.Someonejoked that maybe they were aware of our concerts and symposium in Japan against nuclear war and decided toreact after that, since the tests proved they could reach Japan!

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Second Virgins and The New Celibacy in Vogue

"I used to have sex with almost every guy I dated just so he'd like me and ask me out again," 24 year old Karen told me, "but I was hurt so many times that I've given up sex.I'll wait for someone who loves me and consider he's the first!"

"Good for you," I told her.

I am getting more and more such calls from women and men of all ages choosing no sex!

No, sex is not dead in America. Promiscuity still prevails: statistics show the number of teen girls having sex with more than four partners more than doubled over the past two decades.

But a new wave of celibacy and virginity is increasingly in vogue!

Karen is an example of the new "second virgin":women who lost their virginity, but haven't had sex for some time (usually at least a year) and now want to consider they are a virgin again.

Second virgins can be single or married women who have no sex because they WANT to; there is no eligible or "right" man; or other circumstances, e.g. stress, overwork, illness, responsibilities with children, or problems in the relationship.Because their past experiences were painful (rejection, insecurity, fears), they want to wipe their slate clean.

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The 2009 Theatre Choice Awards

Pictures of the winners with Dr Judy.


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Women's Media Center Awards

The Women's Media Center gave its first annual awards tonight to honor women’s role in media and point out the sexism that still exists.The WMC was founded in 2005 by a triumvirate of female media powerhouses: Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan.

Gloria went to Smith – where I graduated from – so it is always nice to see her. She opened the evening honoring presentations by likeningstories in the media to a modern-day campfire, where stories are told and people express themselves.

"It is crucial that everyone's stories be told...the media is our campfire. And if we cannot tell our stories or have people listen to our stories, we feel alone,"she said.

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