Many of our heroic Veterans survived war zones to return to America and die without connection. For keeping us safe, we promised to care for them. We failed; we lied; we simply turned our backs and ignored too many of these honorable men and women.
My U.S. Congresswoman from Hawai’i, Tulsi Gabbard, served in war zones. She developed a streak of gray in her hair from the stress (below right). Tulsi doesn’t hide this. Doesn’t want to forget “All gave some; and some gave all” to defend our way of life. Most of us take so much for granted. When Tulsi’s father Mike arrived in Hawai’i from Samoa, he wasn’t allowed to use common drinking fountains.
Arguably, the most privileged person in the Aloha state is Hawaiian Electric CEO & President, Constance Hee Lau (above left). Her family immigrated from China. They battled discrimination and hardship to send their daughter to prestigious Punahou School. Yale University president, Kingman Brewster, opened doors for her as an undergraduate woman. Our nation supported her advanced education at UC Hastings College of Law and Stanford Business school.
“All of these guys, I’ve spent time with them, Musk, Zuck, all of them; they all exhibit tendencies of total and complete pathological sociopathy. They don’t at their core give a flying fuck about you or me as individuals.”
She’s the highest paid employee in the state. Takes the average worker 100 years to make what she does in one. Most recent annual income reported at $4,902,900.00. What’s in your wallet?
Writing in Vanity Fair, Nick Bilton said about these modern titans of industry, “All of these guys, I’ve spent time with them, Musk, Zuck, all of them; they all exhibit tendencies of total and complete pathological sociopathy. They don’t at their core give a flying fuck about you or me as individuals.”
Bilton likely has never spent time with CEO Lau, but observing her behavior in Hawai’i, I can honestly report Constance Hee Lau is a Piece of Shit who doesn’t give a “flying fuck about you or me as individuals.”
Drug Addiction and Overdose Deaths
In 2009 the University of New Mexico School of Medicine recruited me to become a warrior in the national effort to battle the opioid epidemic. Connie Lau and her team fired me in 2019 for my efforts to end opioid use, addiction and overdose death. I’ve asked followers to please pray for this poorly-educated and cruel corporate executive.
Our nation panics today as nearly 250,000 Americans have lost the fight against C19. Yet some 500,000+ citizens have fallen to opioid addiction and overdose death. Tens of thousands more have died due to other BigPhRMA drug interactions. Many leading experts — based on scientific and evidence-based medical research — recommend cannabis as a more safe alternative.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”
Not Constance Hee Lau. In this area, she appears to be a pathological sociopath. Connie was pampered and privileged. Yet she doesn’t give a flying fuck about you or me as individuals. Didn’t give me a chance. Her team fired me on the spot. Embarrassed me in front of trusted and respected colleagues. Marred my professional reputation. Blacklisted my career. Isolated me from the world.
What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? How can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way.
Rat Park and Connection
Best thing I’ve read in ages: “Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.”
“More than 20 percent of Veterans with PTSD also suffer from an addiction or dependence on drugs or alcohol.”
Bruce Alexander comes along in the ’70s and said, “Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.” So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water.
But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. There’s a really interesting human example I’ll tell you about in a minute, but what Bruce says shows that both the right-wing and left-wing theories of addiction are wrong.
So the right-wing theory is it’s a moral failing, you’re a hedonist, you party too hard. The left-wing theory is it takes you over, your brain is hijacked. Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.
We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need.
“Many Veterans suffering from an addiction have co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Once referred to as “shellshock” and later “battle fatigue,” PTSD can be caused by witnessing warfare or other significantly tragic or startling events.
Although most cases of PTSD are caused by combat, Veterans may also develop the disorder after sexual abuse — about 23 percent of female Veterans have reported being sexually assaulted during their time in the military.”
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things not people. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff — in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that.
~ Johann Hari
Veterans with PTSD have lost their connection to society. They are often prescribed anxiety medications, most of which are highly addictive. Even Veterans without PTSD can become addicted to painkillers prescribed for combat-related injuries. In 2009, military doctors wrote approximately 3.8 million prescriptions for painkillers. Many of these medications were opioids. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes:
- More than 2 of 10 Veterans with PTSD also have Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
- Almost 1 out of every 3 Veterans seeking treatment for SUD also has PTSD.
- The number of Veterans who smoke (nicotine) is almost double for those with PTSD (about 6 of 10) versus those without a PTSD diagnosis (3 of 10).
- In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 1 in 10 returning Veterans seen in VA have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.
CEO Connie Lau has a beautiful family. She ensures they are connected in society. Sadly, she doesn’t appear to give “flying fuck about our Veterans as individuals.” She denies employment and connection to some 30,000 patients in Hawai’i — many are Veterans.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”
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