Diabetes 101 - How to Win at Life and Life Insurance

A recent article from the Hilton Head Health Institute stated, "The evidence is growing that diabetes - especially "late onset" type 2 diabetes - is becoming an epidemic. American's well-known attachment to the "couch potato" lifestyle - fatty, high calorie foods and an aversion to exercise - may be the contributing factor to the spread of the disease. On the opposite side of the coin, the healthy lifestyle is believed to contribute to diabetes prevention and management." A January 9, 2006 New York Times article declared, "that the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 21 million Americans are currently diabetic while 41 million more are suffering from pre-diabetic symptoms, and many aren't even aware of it yet. Over the past decade, the rate of diabetes has increased 80% in the US. Yet most health officials still emphasize the threat of communicable diseases, which are far less deadly than chronic conditions such as diabetes."

Any life insurance agent that has been around for very long will attest to the statements made in that article. Diabetics now make up a large percentage of our client base and the number of people diagnosed as diabetic or pre or borderline diabetic on life insurance exams has sky rocketed. While most diabetics are insurable at fair rates, it is alarming to see how many diabetics have truly stayed somewhat uneducated about their condition and do not fully comprehend or care about the fact that diabetes can have a compounding effect on other health issues and ultimately be at least the root cause of a health decline that leads to an early death.

Those diabetics who do take the situation seriously, educating themselves, monitoring their diabetes and taking control of other risk factors such as hypertension and obesity, can ultimately lead a long, healthy life. Not surprising that this group is also rewarded with life insurance rates that reflect their concern with their own longevity. It should be no secret that life insurance companies reward those who have an interest in their own mortality.

Those that do not take care of themselves are usually still insurable, but will pay a premium that reflects the end of the risk pool they have chosen to swim in. Not understanding the disease, not monitoring your glucose on a regular basis, not changing your lifestyle and not being compliant with your physician's suggestions will all contribute to higher rates that you really have to pay if your concern factor was a bit higher.

Good quiz for a diabetic: Do you know what your hbA1C, or A1C level is? Do you even know what it is referring to? The A1C, a test done by your physician every time you have a checkup is a measure of how well you are controlling your diabetes. Blood glucose binds to the hemoglobin through a process called glycosylation. The higher the blood sugar the more the glucose binds to the hemoglobin. A blood test can measure the amount of glycosylation that has occurred revealing the average blood glucose levels for the previous three to four months before the test.

Do you understand why this is important to you? With a healthy A1C level of say, 6.5 or less, you know that your glucose is staying in check over long periods. Do not fool yourself into believing that the glucose reading you took before breakfast this morning is indicative of where your glucose is all the time. For instance, let us say you take your glucose at an optimal time, before breakfast, and the reading is 110. Then let us assume that your A1C is 7.5.

That would indicate that your average glucose over the last 3 months is around 165. So, if the average is 165 and the low end is 110, that means that there are many times when your glucose is well over 200, not a healthy level. What are the complications of type 2 diabetes? What really worries life insurance underwriters? This list came from the American Diabetes Association website. www.diabetes.org:

Heart Disease and Stroke 

People with diabetes have extra reason to be mindful of heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes carries an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and complications related to poor circulation.

Kidney Disease 

Diabetes can damage the kidneys, which not only can cause them to fail, but can also make them lose their ability to filter out waste products.

Eye Complications 

Diabetes can cause eye problems and may lead to blindness. People with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes. Early detection and treatment of eye problems can save your sight.

Diabetic Neuropathy and Nerve Damage

One of the most common complications of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy means damage to the nerves that run throughout the body, connecting the spinal cord to muscles, skin, blood vessels, and other organs.

Foot Complications

People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage in the feet or when blood flow is poor. Learn how to protect your feet by following some basic guidelines.

Skin Complications

 As many as one-third of people with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time in their lives. In fact, such problems are sometimes the first sign that a person has diabetes. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early.

Gastroparesis and Diabetes

Gastroparesis is a disorder that affects people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Depression 

Feeling down once in a while is normal. But some people feel a sadness that just won't go away. Life seems hopeless. Feeling this way most of the day for two weeks or more is a sign of serious depression.

Ultimately there is good news for type 2 diabetics working to acquire life insurance. With improvements in treatment and all of the available diabetic education, you can control your condition and to a great extent control your ability to get affordable life insurance. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes, often called juvenile diabetes, is different from type 2 diabetes but often has many of the same complications. While type 2 diabetes is occurs when a person has too little natural insulin or his or her body is not able to use the insulin `effectively, type 1 diabetes is the absence of insulin altogether. From www.ehealthmd.com we get this take on the cause of type 1 diabetes. "Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's defense system attacks some of the body's own cells. In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, and therefore they are no longer capable of making insulin.

We don't know exactly why this happens, but we do know that some people are born with a tendency to develop diabetes. Then something "triggers" the onset of the disease. It may be a virus that triggers the onset, or it may be something in the environment. There is nothing a person can do to prevent this from happening."

That having been said, a person with type 1 diabetes is left with two options. They can control their diabetes by persistently monitoring their glucose levels and being very committed and dogmatic about administering insulin as prescribed. There is an often-misunderstood relationship between diet and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic's website at www.mayoclinic.com suggests the following: "Contrary to popular perception, there is no diabetes diet. Furthermore, having diabetes doesn't mean you have to eat only bland, boring foods. Instead, it means you'll eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains - foods that are high in nutrition and low in fat and calories - and fewer animal products and sweets. Actually, it's the same eating plan everyone should follow." So, a healthy diet and persistent monitoring and treatment are the key.

The other option I suggested would be the option of not taking your diabetes seriously. A type 1 diabetic who only occasionally checks their glucose, is not horribly committed to a healthy lifestyle, and may not take insulin as prescribed, but more when they think they need it, is a person who is looking for a long-term health problem. The long-term affects of mismanaged type 1 diabetes are at best damaging and at worst deadly. It should be no wonder that life insurance underwriters pay special attention to the type of compliance you keep with your doctor and dietician and the type of control you have achieved and maintained with your glucose levels.Again, you will not impress a life insurance underwriter, or for that matter, a life insurance agent who is knowledgeable about diabetes by telling them your most recent glucose reading was 98. That may be control, but it might also be a well-timed glucose check. The real story comes from your regular lab work and the test that reveals all secrets, the hbA1C. This test will take both your 98 and 230 into account; the reading you did not want to discuss or possibly did not even take because you knew it was bad timing for a good reading.

Your doctor and the life insurance underwriter are preaching from the same book, and the sermon is CONTROL! CONTROL! CONTROL!The Mayo Clinic sums up the repercussions of not following that advice. "Long term complications include - Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease - Nerve damage (neuropathy) - Kidney damage (nephropathy) - Eye damage (diabetic retinopathy) - Osteoporosis and several skin conditions." "Short term complications such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and a high level of ketones in your urine (diabetic ketoacidosis), require immediate care. 

If left untreated, these conditions can cause seizures and loss of consciousness (coma)." In summation it seems clear that whether type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the conditions are something that simply has to be taken seriously or the results can be disastrous and deadly. This fact is not lost on the people who decide what rate you are going to pay for life insurance. Diabetes does not preclude getting life insurance at competitive and good rates. Poorly controlled diabetes, for abundantly obvious reasons, may very well make life insurance expensive and even unattainable.

A Second Life For Educators

An interview with Berry Beattie, a lecturer in Leadership and Organizational Behaviour who is exploring the potential of Second Life as a medium for educators.

We are sitting in Berry's "office", which consists of some loungers on a tropical beach. The sound of lapping waves and the cry of seagulls can be heard in the background. Berry is relaxed, dressed in his swimming trunks. He is in his early forties with a tall and bronzed body.

Q: How long have you been in Second Life, Berry, and how would you describe the experience 

Berry: I first entered SL in late February of 2007. I happened to read about it twice in one day: in a computer magazine and then in the magazine of the Institute of Directors. This made me think that there was something here to be explored, so I downloaded the software, entered SL and have been here ever since. It's been a fascinating journey so far in terms of the psychological and sociological aspects, as well as the creativity which can be seen all around. It's incredibly absorbing to form part of the creation of a new society, a new way of developing relationships.

Q: How many people are using SL now?

Berry: Since 2001 when it was originally launched, SL had grown steadily but relatively slowly, reaching nearly 1.1 million 'residents' at the end of October 2006. Then it began to be noticed by the serious press and since November 2006, growth has been explosive with approximately one million people a month signing in. As of today, there are approximately eleven million people who have logged in to SL. This means that it has now reached a critical mass and it will certainly continue to grow and evolve. In terms of the steady SL population, we are talking about one million people who use SL regularly (five hours or more per week), so this is still a small figure in comparison to other social networking platforms such as MySpace, LinkedIn, and YouTube. However, there are a number of critical differences between a Virtual World such as SL and these other social networking sites.

Q: Such as?

Berry: Well, a virtual world by definition is three-dimensional, which allows for a far wider range of creativity, since people can create three-D objects. But it goes beyond that: it allows for easy multi-person synchronous communication, immediate connectivity to external web sites, and since there are few 'rules', it allows people to easily explore and innovate. To give an educational example: NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a site devoted to demonstrating various meteorological phenomena in a way that is highly immersive, and goes much further than a web-based demonstration can go. Also, there is a real market economy between the residents, with more than two million USD changing hands every day.

Q: There have been many articles describing Second Life and its potential for education and business. How do you see these aspects developing?

Berry: Over the next five years, I'm sure that we will see a major shift away from the Web 2.0 platforms towards what I call the Web 3D or Virtual Environment platforms. This will accelerate hugely as the technology is now open source and eventually, an avatar will be able to move from one virtual world to another seamlessly, just as we can now move from one web site to another. At another level, people's expectations will change too: I'm working with a group of senior university managers on the potential uses of SL, and we have discovered something quite interesting: there is a group of 15 to 25 year olds who are more than comfortable with the Web 2.0 technologies, and who appear to have little interest in avatar-based virtual worlds. 

They use a range of different platforms regularly and are happy to jump from one to another. However, there is a growing group of under-12s that is using virtual world technology such as Club Penguin, and this group will not only be familiar with virtual worlds, but will expect to access their information and develop their relationships through Web 3D. In effect, this means that there is a five to seven year 'window' where organisations have an opportunity to develop their Web 3D presence. Just as happened with the internet, what is now perceived as a 'game' will become an essential part of the technological infrastructure, and within ten years, any organisation that does not have a Web 3D presence will be losing market share rapidly. 

So, whether organisations like it or not, they will be expected to have a virtual world presence. Those that are entering the field now have an opportunity to explore and build with slightly more leisure. One of the greatest difficulties organisations face is in deciding what kind of presence to have and how to use the technology to maximum benefit. In a couple of years' time, the costs of development will have increased significantly, the time-frame will be much shorter, and I expect to see many organisations throwing money at the technology in an attempt to catch up. And a lot of this money will be wasted, since not enough time has been devoted to thinking through how best to use it.

Q: How can SL be used for business education?

Berry: Ah, there's an interesting question! There are over 200 educational institutions, mostly American universities, with a presence in SL. The Educators List serv now has over 3,000 members, and all of them are seeking how best to use the technology for educational purposes. What is interesting to me is that the primary educational groups are in Health, Technology, the Arts and Social Sciences. Apart from Babson, INSEAD and Boconni, I am not aware of any business school with an established presence that use SL regularly. 

And yet the potential to use SL for business and management education is really major: here we have a global society with an average age of around 38, a real economy to experiment with, a wealth of real social relationships to establish, a technology which allows a cohort of students from around the world to interact synchronously, and an environment which itself fosters innovation and creativity. In addition, it provides a really cost-effective way to provide tutor-student interaction. So, the potential is enormous. But how best to use it? Well, one thing I'm sure of: the worst thing to do is to try and recreate a classroom in SL, and bring in a specific group of students and give them a lecture (Berry laughs). 

At the moment, I see two areas where business education could maximize effectiveness: the first area relates to 'serious games' or 'roleplay' or 'case studies'. At the moment, many courses rely on case studies and ask students to comment on them, or role play their way through them. There are also many computer-based simulations out there. But all of these have a degree of falsehood about them - either they are historical, or based on conceptual models or expect the participants to undertake roles and even characteristics which are not 'natural'. 

Using SL, one could get a group of students to actually develop a business, make products, market and sell them, analyze the issues involved and report back on them based on totally real interactions with the rest of the population. In terms of leadership, one of the issues that multi-nationals face is how to develop motivated virtual teams operating across the globe. What better environment could there be than SL for the development of such skills? Indeed, a number of companies are using SL for that purpose already. So SL provides a platform for developing leadership and management skills in a real context. The second area is the provision of tutorial and mentoring support. 

The use of avatars for interaction seems to have an effect that is far stronger than mere e-mail or even chat communications. As students' expectations rise, educational institutions will have to find ways of providing a 'mass-customized' service, and virtual world technologies provide a cost-effective way of providing individualized support in a superior way to the current Web 2.0 platforms such as Blackboard or Moodle. These will not disappear, of course. There are groups working on how to meld them into SL right now. But virtual world technology is more effective and attractive for this kind of interaction. Beyond these two areas, there are I am sure, many other potential educational tools and techniques which are yet to be created.

Q: What other uses are there for Second Life?

Berry: Primarily, I see SL as being a portal, from which one can then explore all the other IT-based platforms. There are many things that SL is not yet good at, and the other kinds of platform will be around for a long time to come. But SL does provide an interesting and fun way to link into other platforms. Beyond that, there is the whole area of modeling future scenarios, which I believe would be almost impossible to do with other kinds of technology. For example, many colleges spend fortunes on the design and construction of buildings, and yet it seems to me that very little progress has been made in terms of educational space design over the past century. We still see lecture theaters and seminar rooms in most institutions. 

Surely there are ways in which we could improve educational spaces? And how can one include the various stakeholders involved in the design of interior spaces? SL provides a way in which potential designs can be trialled and tested, with stakeholder groups invited to comment on and critically assess various options. The designs can be adapted virtually overnight to see what impact they might have on how the building will function once it is built. Not only would this save an enormous amount of time and money, but it would also help people to prepare for the changes to their work and life style, thus minimizing resistance to change. Another area is the ability to link in directly with live feeds from RL. So, a conference, a speech, an exhibition, a fashion show, a meeting - all of these can either have a direct live link or else be replicated within SL, thus allowing audiences to be far larger than they currently are, and allowing for a high degree of interaction between people in RL and avatars in SL. This is a major growth area within SL at the moment. And a third area where I believe virtual worlds out-perform other platforms is the whole issue of relationship-building. 

In SL, it is easy, quick and cheap to establish relationships. What has been fascinating for me is how quickly one becomes accustomed to making and breaking relationships on the basis of limited interactions. Although one is dealing superficially with an avatar, there is a real person behind it, and especially with the use of voice technology, the relationship-building within SL is absolutely critical. One's behaviour is judged quickly and quite harshly, but as long as you act appropriately, people within SL are extremely helpful and supportive. It has astounded me how much time and effort people are willing to invest in assisting others for no extrinsic reward. This means that one can meet people very easily and develop very strong ties with them across geographic and functional boundaries. In turn, this can lead to professional and educational opportunities which would otherwise never occur. Serendipity counts for a lot, and unlike blogs and wikis which tend to be group-specific, one never knows who one might come across within SL.

Q: What are the drawbacks and issues relating to SL?

Berry: There are still a number of these... firstly, there are the technological requirements. You have to have a computer that can cope with the graphics. Generally speaking any computer bought within the past 18 months can cope. In fact, I've used SL on a three-year old portable on a telephone connection. But there are still many institutions that have older hardware, and naturally, there is an investment cost there. And then there's the load on the ADSL lines, since it is highly demanding in terms of bandwidth. Interestingly, there's no real issue relating to firewalls, although many IT people are wary of that. Another aspect is the fact that SL is still liable to crashes and bugs. It has been developed 'on-the-fly' at a relatively low cost of approximately 20 million dollars. And the fact that there is surging demand, coupled with ever-increasing expectations tends to mean that the platform is more 'delicate' than other Web platforms. So I would not recommend it for any mission-critical task.

A second area that gives cause for concern is the fact that it is an open society with very few restrictions. Gambling has been banned, but the sex industry is thriving, and many newbies get sucked into this almost by default: when you enter SL, as it is natural to go to 'popular places', and most of us have ended up on nudist beaches with avatars seeking and providing sex services. In fact, it is actually rather problematic finding 'the real people' with serious interests. The best way is to be introduced by someone you already know who can show you how to join groups of mutual interest.

Q: What are the costs involved?

Berry: at the entry level, anyone can enter and stay in SL absolutely free. I have met a couple of business school people who are exploring SL, and this has no cost attached at all. To build a site you need to buy virtual land and develop it. Here the costs can be relatively low, in the region of 100 to 200 Euros, with a monthly rental of 30 euros. At the top end of the scale, a full island (in SL, it's called a 'sim') will cost around 1,500 Euros to buy with 120 Euros per month ongoing charge. The island then needs to be landscaped and developed, with buildings and facilities. A customized island build will cost anything between 5 and 20 thousand euros initial investment. This is still pretty cheap, about the same price a s developing a good website, and I expect the prices to rise over the coming years as more and more companies turn to virtual environments in an effort to reduce their overhead costs.

Q: What is your personal vision regarding Second Life?

Berry: I am lucky to now have a core group of high-quality contacts with a range of expertise within SL, and I am encouraging institutions to explore this world to see how best they can use it to maximise their learning processes. So I act sometimes act as an agent, providing advice and putting 'explorers' in touch with the best developers within SL, so as to minimize the costs and maximize the effectiveness of their presence. It saddens me to see how some institutions are literally throwing their money away without really knowing what it is they want to achieve. As with any good website, there are implications that go beyond the design such as how to present the organisational culture, how best to lead clients and students through the informational search process, how best to leverage the strengths of SL and so on.

Personally, I see virtual worlds as being the next generation technological tool, and whether people like it or not (and many are highly resistant to it at the moment), we will all have to become familiar with it if we want to remain abreast of developments. My own vision? A number of inter-connected virtual worlds, with avatars moving from one to another depending on what the person wants or needs to do. Each world will have its own rules, constraints and benefits, but there will be consistency in terms of the underlying infrastructure and scripting tools.

Let's go on a tour of some of the best sites here in SL, and I'll show you some of the creativity and potential that exists in this new world.

Berry changes into his professional outfit and disappears from sight. A couple of seconds later, a message appears on my screen: 'Join me in Scholar'. I click on the button and am teleported to a totally new location where Berry is waiting. And for the next hour, we visit different sims, flying above them, walking around buildings, exploring forests and mountains, taking rides in helicopters and airplanes, meeting residents as we proceed. Finally, we bid each other goodbye and quit SL. But I'll be back...
The Best Way To Make Money Out Of The Prince William And Kate Middleton Commemorative Coins

Is buying the Prince William and Kate Middleton commemorative coins a good investment? This is a questions many people will be asking. Do you just buy them and hand them down to the next generation the way that commemorative mugs were passed on, or is there more to it?

The investment market has changed, but so too have the second hand market. Thanks to the concept on online auction, we can now sell without leaving out home, and we can watch others sell and see what they get.

There used to be a bit of a mystery about the value of limited edition items, we used to head to an expert and see what they would give us. Now we look on line and see what people are paying for things.

So to make your sale look better you have to have something better. The Royal Mint are aware of this, and it is probably why they have also made the coin in solid gold; for those of you who want something which is truly limited edition.

Since a solid gold coin is beyond most of our budgets, what should the man on the Clapham omnibus do? My advice is to make it commemorate more than just a wedding. Perhaps buy all the news paper first edition on the same day that you buy the coin. Or think of something, which in years to come will add to the value of your coin.

Assuming that you have a limited budget, then this is definitely a situation which needs imagination. You need to supplement your Prince William and Kate Middleton coin with something. One its own it will have a value, but it will not be exceptional.

So the overall advice is that you should be investing in the future king and queen of England, their actions will affect your life. Prince William and Kate Middleton are potentially as important a part of history as any other previous king or queen; don't underestimate the power of the modern monarchy.
Plato, Aristotle, and Me on the Contemplative Life and Retirement

c As I approach my seventieth birthday, I look back in wonderment at my careers, defined in the broadest sense, as a student (to age 33!), then a physician and consultant, as well as a real estate developer, and more recently, as an author, publisher, and keynote speaker. Today in my "early retirement", I have been as busy as ever, jousting with challenges and opportunities, instead of simply lying on the beach, enjoying a life of leisure.

The key question may be: What is the ideal retirement life? How does one go about making wise choices as to how to spend one's time, energy, emotions, and money in the golden years? As a life long student of the sciences, religion, and philosophy, I decided to address and answer these Socratic questions by returning to some other ancient Greek philosophers for wisdom and advice.

Plato, the Greek philosopher (424 BC-348 BC) wrote in The Republic that the best life of all is the life of philosophy, of rational thinking and reasoning. The life he defined was one of contemplation and leisure, in Greek eudiamonia, best translated to modern English not just as happiness, but as flourishing. He did note that you did need to have assets (money) and a safe place in which to live to enjoy such a life.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC), a student of Plato for 20 years, agreed with his teacher as regards the basic concepts of the contemplative life, of seeking excellence and virtue (arĂȘte), in ones  life. However, he felt that it should not be a life of leisure, but one of action, of activity (ergon or function) in one's world. His position, clearly defined and supported in his Nicomachean Ethics, also indicated that in many other avenues of life beyond just philosophy, one can enjoy eudiamonia, translated literally as "good demons."

When I reached the age of 57, in 1995, I took early retirement because of some health concerns that might shorten my life. I had enjoyed decades as a student, with college degrees in Chemistry and Bible, an M.D. from Cornell University, pathology residency at the University of Vermont, and a stint as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC in Atlanta. Perhaps due to some clerical error, at the tender age of 33, I was selected as Chief of Pathology at a medical center in Maine and co-founded Dahl-Chase Pathology Associates. I survived, even thrived and succeeded "in-the-trenches" of group medical practice for 25 years, as well as in consulting, lecturing and a side career in commercial and industrial real estate. In this process I gained insights and even some expertise in the world of leadership and the most important leadership skill, strategic thinking and planning.

As I entered retirement, I soon realized that I had carried with me the baggage of too much education, too many interests, too many opportunities, and too much money to simply live a peaceful and blissful contemplative life ala Plato. The greater problem was the process of selecting which specific projects would take my time, energy, emotions, and money (my favorite acronym TEEM). But then again I was an accomplished strategic planner, so this project should be very easy, both short and long term, since I may live longer than I expected.

I easily jettisoned the practice of medicine completely, by giving up my medical license. Yes, I had spent a great deal of time and money gaining those skills, but I had been consumed by it for 25 years. I had never been sued for malpractice, so why press my luck? It was easy to leave the practice, which carried my name, for I had designed the enterprise as a flattened hierarchy, maximizing synergy, the equal sharing with all the associates in the group. I did, however, maintain my contacts with key medical societies, where I networked and shared my wisdom and folly with younger physicians. It was time to give back, to be a mentor to repay my debt as a mentee. That has been most enjoyable and satisfying.

With the medical career gone, my commercial/industrial real estate career surfaced, as did my ownership in a small construction company and the Overhead Door Co. distributorship for half of Maine. As with the medical group, I shared ownership with the key managers, so again, I could easily work my way out of these ventures. It was euphemistically sort of a slow "garage sale" to get rid of real estate.

The scholar had always been was given full access to workshops, mostly on writing, and courses on cassettes and CDs. After retirement I became an even more ardent workshop junkie and a steeped myself in philosophy, psychology, and religion, as a student and teacher. Having been banished to my parent's native land of Norway for the summer when I was 12-years old (to get me away from the "bad influence" of my friends), I have always had a Viking-style lust for travel, but without the classic raping and pillaging, of course. As a result, I merged my new world of scholarship and foreign travel, and added my life long pursuit of high-altitude mountaineering, sort of mountain madness with an element of class.

My life took an odd detour on October 23, 1999, when I just completed giving a workshop on Optimize Your Life! The One-page Strategic Planner in Portland, Maine and went up Mt. Washington, New Hampshire for a weekend to hike and enjoy the late fall foliage. Unfortunately, on Saturday morning there was a light rain and clouds hung oppressively in the valley and up over the mountains. My hiking buddies declined the joys of a day of hiking in the rain, so I went up to Tuckerman's Ravine solo and then up Lion Head Trail towards the Alpine Garden Trail on my way planned hike to the Auto Road and home.

As I climbed, the light rain turned into giant snowflakes. A veritable winter wonderland had replaced a dreary fall day. I was lured into a bright winter hike, and continued on for over an hour in spite of a marked increase in the wind. Then, "whiteout" conditions forced me to stop next to a huge cairn (a pile of rocks marking the trail) to wait out the storm. I climbed into my aluminized material bivvy sack and realized that I had my cell phone with me. I made a series of increasingly frustrating 911 calls, which left me wondering if my rescuers would come, let alone find my location.

As snow accumulated on my bivvy sack, I became concerned that my rescuers would not see me, so I slowly inched my up onto the surface of the snow and opened the end of my bivvy sack to evaluate my changing world. Unfortunately, gusts of wind filled my sack and, in spite of my efforts, tore it from my body. Now it me in a fall hiking outfit in an area known as "the home of the worst weather in the world" (April 12, 1934 wind speed: 231 miles per hour).

During that long night, with wind speeds up to 98 miles per hour, as I waited for rescue I had time to contemplate by past life. I made six promises that I would keep if I was rescued: to be insensitive criticism about my misadventure, to get rid of real estate, to make amends with my first wife and son, to get rid of excessive things, "stuff" in my life, to network with people from my past, and, above all, to simply my life. What would you be thinking, perhaps promising, as you faced imminent death?

Eventually, I gave up hope and simply waited for death. However, around midnight, my rescuers found me, took me off the mountain to a regional hospital for treatment of frost injuries, severe hypothermia, and rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of muscle tissue due to voluntary and involuntary muscle flexing in an attempt to prevent/treat hypothermia).

Soon after my discharge from the hospital, Husson College in Maine invited me to share my experience and what I had learned the hard way. My presentation was entitled:

"Lessons for Living from a Mt. Washington Misadventure" offered three admonitions, pieces of advice from near death:

1) Be prepared to die!

2) Have a plan to live!

3) Do it now!

This presentation was recorded and broadcast on National Public Radio in New England, and I was invited to share my story in a range of speaking venues. About a year later, The Learning Channel coaxed me into a reenactment on Mt. Washington, and as a result of worldwide broadcasts, my new speaking career skyrocketed, featuring the Lessons keynote. With support from Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, I am writing the accompanying "misadventure book" and have completed Optimize Your Life! a book that merges personal and organizational strategic planning. This book has become an international best-seller with a worldwide Spanish translation by Random House, the world's largest publisher.

One simple, but deadly hike had lured me into the dynamic world of keynote speaking, as well as publishing, both well outside the confines of my historic world of medicine in which I had so much formal education and experienece. This world of deadlines, promises, and challenges became as hectic and demanding as the practice medicine. What had become of my peaceful contemplative retirement?

As I work on all my six promises, I focus on the toughest, to simplify my life, I remember my days in Benares (Varanasi), India, on the Ganges, when I saw hundreds of older Indian men in that phase of life, so well defined in Hinduism, of an ascetic, the sadhu or the sannyasin. There is a rejection of ordinary life and all that it means, in exchange for a search to attain moksha, the release from the cycle of samsara, re-incarnation.  While a person may enter into this stage of life at any time, it is usually an older man that has raised his family, completed his business activities, and was fully retired. It may take an extreme form of the total rejection of household duties and responsibilities of the former stages of life. It may include the rejection of the religious beliefs, wherein ones even burns religious texts.

The sannyasins become wandering hermits, living life without any shelter or possessions. They eat when they can acquire food, but never enter into any work to acquire it; it must be given or found. They become holy men, seeking spiritual enlightenment and power, striving to achieve the true wisdom of the cosmos.  Wow! That is easy to define, but a bit extreme. However, all my other five promises would be simply eliminated.

A less dramatic approach might be that described by psychologist Abraham Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs, which describes a person's motivation and resultant behavior as being determined by ones' needs. I could focus on the highest level, self-actualization and go beyond the basics of life and simply find a single "calling" and heed it.

But what single calling? I have decided that I would get rid of real estate in an orderly manner and complete succession planning for my business ventures. However, I would maintain a family life and continue my writing, speaking, and traveling on a more limited basis. High-altitude mountaineering might be over, after all, I am approaching 70 years of age, far beyond the ideal age of such risk-taking.

As the author of a monthly newsletter, I included in my January 2008 New Year's edition a list of the "10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die" and realized that I had drifted far from Plato's ideal life of contemplation and leisure. I think I will cruise through this year enjoying an Aristotelian life of active contemplation, being fully aware of Buddha's advice against striving, but in favor of living in the moment.

As I close this essay, I am forced to remember and share several paradoxes, ironies, even absurdities:

At the end of his Nicomacean Ethics (Book 10, Chapters 6 through 8) Aristotle seems to reverse himself and support Plato completely, noting that the contemplative philosophical life of leisure is the best.

The Buddha, when addressing one's life before death, gave us a poem that suggests the value, the appropriateness, of striving in one's life:

Every day a birdie on my shoulder asks:

Is today the day?

Are you doing all the things you should be doing?

Are you being the person who you should be?

Plato stated that the purpose of philosophy is to prepare one for death.
Proficiency and Education - Looking at Our Roles With the Goal in Mind - As the old expression goes, "Plan your work and work your plan." This is true for education and life skills as well in the arena of business. We must actively be involved in educating our children for both academic and personal proficiency or we fail as parents. There is just too much that will be missed if we defer this responsibility to someone else, or squander the time we have with our children by focusing only on sports and playtime. While these things have their place, I suggest a bigger picture approach to education that begins by keeping the end in sight and letting that determine the choices that you make for your children while they are young.

If you think back on the adjustment you had to make from high school to college, there were probably several things for which you wish you had been better prepared. Some of them were academic skills and tools that you may have needed, and some of them may have been personal skills. Either way, you faced the passing from youth to young adult with fears and challenges if you were like the average American school child of today. This is largely a result of the expectations that we have that "someone else has that covered" when it comes to teaching adaptation skills, or instilling learning tools that will transfer to college level work. 

In reality, this is not an effective way to parent or educate our children. If we assume that someone else has covered this topic with our children, then we assume too much and set our children up for difficulties and perhaps even failure. Take into consideration the fact that the 4-year degree that you obtained is now taking an average of 5-6 years to achieve for today's "young adults." However, by taking steps in their youth, particularly in the areas of learning methods and life skills, we can prepare them for academic and personal excellence; we can give our children systems for success and learning that they have readily at their disposal even if encountering new and varied situations. If our children know how to access these tools and how to plan for their own futures, they will be far more likely to succeed at any task they undertake, academic or otherwise.

I challenge you to think about child-rearing in reverse. We often start when our children are babies and we think about this need or that need as the situation arises. We allow the immediate skills to "drive" our training. While much of that is necessary when teaching simple survival skills and hygiene, for instance, that cannot be the habit that we fall into as our children develop. Early into a child's formative years, we must move the "driver" of their training and education from immediate tools to long-range tools. The best question I have encountered that helps to move this focus is this one: 

"Who do you want walking out the door at age 18?" While the age may or may not be exact, the question is valid. If we think about the character and skills that our children need to have to function as adults, but we think about those skills while they are still youths, then we can spend the time necessary to both academically and personally prepare them to function as adults in an adult world when they enter it, rather than just as "old children." If your child struggles in math, then they will have difficulty managing their finances, and that will wreak havoc for their future. Likewise, if your child cannot comprehend his reading well, it is likely that the fine print on applications or important documents will be glossed over. It is critical that your child's basic learning foundation be strong on all core subject areas, but also that his or her learning systems include tools to apply what they read and study. Without the ability to apply their learning, there is little more than interesting trivia being presented to them.

Likewise, if you desire that your child be able to contribute to the community around them as adults, then they should be contributing to the family environment at home. Doing chores, having a job (as teenagers), contributing to the family discussions regarding insurance or tithing, etc. are all important parts of growing up. Far too often we allow our children to remain children for far too long and then we are surprised when they make poor adult decisions after they leave home. 

With no training in adult matters while at home, how could we expect anything less than that when we release them to the world at large? Whether you send your child to a public school, private school, or homeschool, there is much training to be done as a parent, and we cannot displace this role to someone else. The school years should be treated as an opportunity to uniquely gift our children with skill sets that will prepare them for adulthood. Any school program that is just about preparing a high-school graduate, rather than a young adult, is lacking in its overall goals.
Feedback and Education in Tai Chi and the Human Experience

As a child in a post war western society of the 50's feedback was a very hit and miss affair - sometimes literally - but rarely was there useful guidance - it is only in recent times that the growth and popularisation of western psychology has led to study of human behaviour in anything like scientific observational terms and availability of that knowledge on a widespread basis. Perhaps it was this lack of constructive feedback that led me and many like me in the 60's and 70's looking to the eastern Buddhists and Taoists - early "scientific" students of the natural world - for a knowledge based approach to the human experience.

What was previously a random series of experiences and poorly understood lessons was termed the "school of life" - in fact this was a complete misnomer - there was/is very little teaching and very little learning in life skills - in fact often simply a series of falling into and negotiating traps and tests set by others followed by a struggle to recover from them.   Fortunately the knowledge we have now has the potential to greatly enhance the life learning process both externally in our social behaviours and in our internal experiences.

Re-define "objective" in a relative world what does "objective" mean?

How can we be objective about personal reality when all feedback is subjective? When you seek to define the terms then the objectivity goes since the definitions become drawn from the very subjectivity - a bit like quantum physics - you can never measure ( be objective about ) everything - that does not stop quantum theory from being a very good descriptive model of real life. Relativity = western science?

Black box meets reductionism

Neuropsychology

Internal feeling - keeping an objective measure of this feedback - a good and objective memory - the role of the teacher - the role of others.

Feedback in our bodies - the feeling of being embodied and the feedback created by the feelings created in movement.

How we can develop this process in Tai Chi mode. Feeling as feedback - physically and emotionally - to understand the way we move and the influence of our mental, emotional and physical selves on the way we are in the world.

By feeling what is happening in our bodies moment by moment, and relating that to our emotional feelings, then we can adjust our body usage eg posture and movement in minute detail, to improve our comfort and emotional state - doing this on a long term basis can improve our health and temperament by creating new and more comfortable habits.

By practice of an activity such as Tai Chi we can set up repetitive actions which enable us to observe the resulting inner feelings and to observe at the same time the emotions that arise when either moving on our own, or in concert with another. Tai Chi and other soft/internal arts also have within them the specific goal of creating a completely new habit of movement called "internal power" - this is generally sought for reasons of martial arts study - but because it is a way of moving created by allowing the body-mind to find its optimal condition of movement it is also a very healthy state.

To achieve this we need to observe objectively, understand the relation of both internal and external feedback to action and to use this understanding to guide our development.

Feelings are often the only measure that we have - if we learn to understand the reality of our feelings - physical and emotional - and their interactions - then we can develop ourselves and our society.

The goal? - resilient strength in all our human experiences - wisdom - personally and as a society. The path - change, development.

Negative feedback - positive feedback - and the role of stability. Fear as a switch from one state to the other. Strangely the more frequently useful is termed "negative" - the role of positive feedback in disturbing/destroying the status quo and moving us on to another stage.

A common life cycle - eg global warming - self regulating systems with external influences - islands of stability with the capability for chaos and catastrophe.

The blame culture - this is not feedback!

Guilt - making ourselves feel bad - to feel good about ourselves

Blame - telling others to feel bad so we can feel good about ourselves

Child development - small course corrections - information and constructive feedback.

Criminal justice system. When there are no course corrections or they don't work Rehabilitation - behaviour change via feedback. Retribution is not feedback.

The next step - how can we use this knowledge?

The human path of life and development - fulfilment, harmony and happiness. Life stages. E.g. the 8 fold way.

A unified paradigm which enables us to make sense of reality and our being within it - the positive and negative in harmony - so that we can grow as human beings. A practical philosophy that aids us in our internal and external lives.

As every there are two sides to feedback - the transmission and the reception.

Feedback is often transmitted as blame ( with the intent to make the other feel bad ) - sometimes concealed in politeness - and often presented politely in the belief and fear that feedback is blaming or will be received as such - there is a fear of simply being honest.

Feedback is often received with reluctance - for fear that it is blame in disguise and there is generally an inability to handle the truth.

There is also a great reluctance to give generalised feedback or "advice" on a personal basis - although many of us seek out the popular psychology books and a huge amount of "sharing" magazines are consumed daily.

Simple mentoring stuff is missing e.g. tooth care - dentists will tell clients what they should do but not explain why - so there is no understanding and no motivation. There is poor feedback, really only instruction - no feedback of understanding only of conclusion.

Stuff like how to look after your body and how to understand the emotional rollercoaster that we encounter through life.

The role of counselling, life coaches, teachers, gurus etc in negotiating day to day life - interpreters of events which may provide feedback.

There are problems associated with feedback:

This is where the role of education comes in - by passing on the feedback experiences of others gathered over relatively long time periods we get to shortcut to process instead of having to re-invent everything from the ground up on our own. So education is a sort of feedback by proxy - unfortunately the lessons are not so direct and are often difficult to understand especially at an emotional level - such lessons can easily become purely intellectual and "dis-embodied".

Feedback in physiological structures is well documented e.g. development of the visual cortex depends on the experience of seeing - it is inhibited if the child is kept from seeing e.g. by being kept in the dark.

Bone density and size are affected by the habitual loading placed upon them - and can be seen to operate both in the short term and over archaeological time. Muscle of course responds to lack of use and to work done.

Tai Chi instructors feedback cycle:

By placing their body in the students posture and by copying their way of moving a Tai Chi instructor can compare with how they themselves stand and move and so understand what is required to move the student from their present state to that which is desired.

The teacher may then adjust the student's body with that in view and direct their movement to positive change.

Likewise the student can learn by studying the posture and movement of the teacher, by mirroring their movement and studying differences the student can direct their own change.

In addition by putting themselves in the student's posture and movement the teacher may gain some insight into underlying physical and emotional states i.e. if I stand like you and move like you then I will actually feel like you in some degree.

We talk about "knowing your own mind" - perhaps "knowing your own body" would be more useful - in that if we know in our mind what our body needs then we can seek to achieve it.
The 2nd and 10th Amendments: The Right and Power of States to Protect Life and Defend Liberty

It is extremely troubling to note the inappropriate, or just basically wrong, responses of, supposedly, knowledgeable federal and State government officers to ignorant U.S. citizens who act and speak irresponsibly as though they know nothing at all about the U.S. Constitution and its timely purpose in today's 21st Century society.

In the wake of mass murders committed by mentally deranged human beings using firearms, there are presently individuals, and groups of individuals, around the republic clamoring for the federal government to create laws, decrees, and orders that will alter and diminish the right of the sane, reasonable, and responsible citizens of the USA to keep and bear arms, meaning firearms under the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights. My friend, attorney Mark Levin, was totally correct when he recently stated that "no one, it seems, wants to meaningfully discuss the U.S. Constitution today in its correct context." Yet, that's exactly what I want to do in this essay article, regarding the sacred right to keep and bear arms.

The honored Framers of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, including James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams, with Thomas Jefferson advising from France, were not devoid of wisdom when they crafted, and the State legislatures ratified, the Bill of Rights, which were the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. A majority of that Convention refused to even discuss a constitution without assurance that a Bill of Rights would be included. Nine of the twenty-six provisions stated within the Bill of Rights were crafted from the articles of the great Magna Carta, or the Great Charter, drafted in 1215 by the Archbishop of Canterbury and signed by King John of England in June of that year, and the right to keep and bear arms was one of those articles. Of course, bows, arrows, spears, knives, and swords were the only weapons of war available at that time to the common Englishman, but as times changed, weapons, or arms, changed and improved in their lethal effectiveness. The U.S. 

Constitution was, as James Madison exclaimed in his "Federalist 44," to specifically limit the federal government in its power, and to generally empower the rights of the State governments, or the People. This principle of federalism was delineated very specifically in the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which very few of the literate citizens of the USA currently understand and comprehend. The 10th Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This 10th Amendment has been called by some the exclusive 10th Amendment police power of the States, or the People, because it provides for an open-ended opportunity for the States to craft their own laws in order to properly police and protect their People in accordance with the specific prohibitions concerning their powers within the Constitution. 

In other words, the States have the power to legislate any State laws to benefit their people which are not specifically denied to them by the U.S. Constitution. For instance, a State cannot conduct foreign affairs with a foreign power, such as Mexico or Japan. This is a power specifically delegated to the federal government's Executive branch in the Constitution. Yet, States have the power to create their own money as legal tender for payment of debts, providing that that money is in the form of gold or silver coins. This is what might be called a joint power with the federal government, since Article 1, Section 8 specifically states that the federal government has the only power to "print" federal paper money for use throughout the USA as legal tender for purchases and debts. The State of Utah is one of the States that has created its own gold currency through a State legislated law.

Now, what about the 2nd Amendment in regard to the 10th Amendment police power of the States? The 2nd Amendment simply affirms that, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This constraint applies to both the federal government and the State governments; yet, if considered properly, a very interesting application proceeds from it. The federal government "cannot" diminish to any degree, or infringe upon, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which it has illegally done by passing legislation to impose gun registration laws upon the States. Nonetheless, the States have the open-ended power to expand those laws, as does the federal government, extending greater rights to the People to keep and bear arms. For instance, the States have the right to allow their People to openly carry handguns, and to pass laws setting age restrictions for purchasing, owning, and carrying handguns; but for a State, or a federal district, to pass laws flatly denying its citizens the right to purchase, possess, and carry firearms is a blatant infringement of the 2nd Amendment. In other words, the federal government cannot denigrate, to any degree, by legislation, the right of the People to keep and bear arms. It can, however, promote the welfare of the States by promoting, or encouraging, the States to pass laws that will provide the greatest safety for the People through the purchasing, keeping, and bearing firearms.

At this juncture in this article, the practicable and utilitarian example of the State of Texas' use of their 10th Amendment police power has an important application to all of the fifty American States. The legendary Texas Rangers were a force to be reckoned-with during an early period of prevailing lawlessness on a Republic of Texas' frontier, and as a newly annexed State; and the Rangers continue to be a formidable means of effective law enforcement in the 21st Century. The old expression still applies as a basic truism in Texas, "one riot, one Texas Ranger," where the audacious, yet prudent, power and authority of a good stern person wielding a handgun for the sake of justice, law, and order is confirmed in the minds of the lawless. The States, all of the States, have an open-ended power to train and arm anyone it so chooses to protect their people. The federal government, on the other hand, has no Constitutional power, whatsoever, to place armed federal police, or military personnel, in the cities and towns of the States to enforce State or federal laws. When people from other States drive into a Texas town and see a sign in bold letters at the city-limits that says, "Beware murderers, bank robbers, thieves, and rapists... 

Our school teachers, store-owners, and most of our citizens are armed and know how to use their weapons very effectively. So, don't mess with us," it goes a long way in driving-home the reality that the people of that town are very serious about protecting their own. And they have a God-given right to do so. Any sign along a Texas highway boldly saying, "Don't Mess With Texas," goes way beyond the warning and penalties for littering. On the other hand, if you every see a sign in a city or town saying, "Beware, the FBI is on the job here," you are witnessing an expression of federal intimidation through the unconstitutional use of federal power. Federal law enforcement, the FBI, U.S. Marshalls, the Secret Service, etc. can never legally impose itself on State, county, and local law enforcement; that is, unless a federal crime has been committed, or if invited by a State to assist in an investigation.

So, when the crowds of ignorant and disingenuous people, both U.S. Citizens, legally visiting aliens, and illegal aliens, petition in front of the White House, the federal Capitol Building, and the U.S. Supreme Court for federal Executive orders, federal legislations, and U.S. Supreme Court activism to create unconstitutional laws restricting the right of the People, under the 2nd Amendment, to keep and bear arms, the reasonable and prudent People of the republic, and the news media in support of those reasonable citizens, should immediately decry such unconstitutional demonstrations and vociferously proclaim the Constitutional right of the States to police and protect their citizens under the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. All State school systems, by State legislation of laws, should very discriminately choose responsible and caring teachers, and guards, to be trained and armed with handguns to carry, and use when necessary, while on-duty in their schools, in order to protect the lives of the students and unarmed faculty from deranged murderers who steal onto their campuses. There is no doubt that, if responsible guards and teacher(s), both men and women, had been trained, armed, and present on the campuses, in the classrooms and hallways where mass-murders have been committed in the schools around the USA, the probability would have been very high that the deranged assailants would have been quickly neutralized before they would have done any lethal harm.

There are many other reasons for caring and responsible men and women to be effectively trained to carry and use handguns, as there are many good reasons for keeping rifles and handguns in the homes of law-abiding families, many more reasons than not keeping and bearing firearms. One very important truth should always be remembered when considering the importance of keeping and bearing firearms. If the good and decent citizens of the republic are restricted by unconstitutional government action from keeping and bearing arms in defense of their families, friends, communities, and the common law, the only people who will end-up possessing handguns, rifles, and shotguns will be those sinister people with criminal intents and purposes who will use the tens of millions of black-marketed firearms available to them for murderous and illegitimate purposes. It is good to also remember that the militia, as defined by the 2nd Amendment and by James Madison in his "Federalist 46," are the men, women, and adolescents of mature age, the People of the USA, who keep and bear arms in the republic.

Now we arrive at probably the most provocative element of the awful misuse of the 10th Amendment police power by the States. This has been the copycat effect of the States following federal action in imposing, over the decades of the 20th Century, unnecessary exorbitant taxation upon the People, and then woefully misusing it. This unlawful effect is inexorably prevalent in the 21st Century and has been so since 1913, when the sordid 16th Amendment was, supposedly, legally ratified by the State legislatures. For reasons contrary to the astute wisdom of the Framers, the federal government saw pragmatic purpose in making what was totally unconstitutional in 1912 apparently constitutional in 1913, that being un-apportioned taxation in the form of a federal income tax. As the proverbial apple does not, in most cases, fall far from its parent tree, the parent example of the federal government imposing un-apportioned taxation upon the States gave most of the States an incentive over time to do the same horrible thing to its own citizens. 

By the mid-20th Century, most the States had pragmatically legislated State income taxes upon their electorates, and by 1960, the States were taxing their hardworking People 2,000 percent more than King George III had unlawfully taxed the American colonists in 1775. Of course, King George III had taxed the colonists without their representation in the British Parliament, while the State legislatures pompously claimed that they were producing necessary taxation through a process based upon the proper representation of their citizens. This totally unsubstantiated claim of representation and support of the State electorates was, and still is, without merit, and was founded totally upon a false perception of what small wealthy minorities of overtaxed State electorates have claimed is being done with the exorbitant tax revenue obtained by forced collection. As it still stands since 1913, the popular desire of the great majority of the State electorates is the abrogation of all state and federal income tax through repeal of the 16th Amendment.

As the "security" of the "blessings of liberty and natural law" was the purposed end-result of the establishment of the American Constitution, as proclaimed in its often forgotten Preamble, the 10th Amendment police power was predicated upon the protection of those liberties and freedoms by the States. Moreover, the honorable Framer James Madison wrote extensively upon the sacredness of the money, the income, earned by citizens of the American republic, and the evil of a federal government effort to tax it. He fully delineated, in the "Federalist Papers" the reason why federal and State government should always seek to limit, instead of expanding, it's taxing authority upon the People.

Yet, while the States maddeningly pursue the unmitigated taxation of their People, their misuse of that exorbitant tax money in not providing for the protection of their people is, yet, another salient issue. Most of the State, county, and municipal governments use great amounts of tax money to maintain their law enforcement agencies. The standard expression used by most governors, county commissioners, mayors, and city managers, "let the police deal with violent crime that exists," and to a reasonable degree this is wise counsel, as far as the investigation, apprehension, and arrest of criminal perpetrators are concerned, after the commission of violent crimes. Yet, the 2nd Amendment was set in place as a preventive deterrent to crime, and as a protective means for the People, or the States, in order to ensure their safety and liberty; since the State, county, and municipal police cannot, in most cases, be on the scene all of the time to prevent all crimes (murders, burglaries, rapes) from happening.

While most of the States are, by far, following the unreasonable example of the federal government of legislating totally unnecessary and improper laws, their creation of their own superfluous laws and executive agencies for their execution illustrate what those State governments are not doing; that is, fully protecting their People. Since they, and they alone, have the Constitutional 10th Amendment power and responsibility to protect and serve the People, the passage of such laws by the State legislatures is essential. Most of the States are greatly over-taxing their citizens and then using that ill-gotten revenue for socialistic purposes while neglecting the need to protect their People. Those arcane 21st Century State, and federal, politicians who still stupidly insist that the honored Framers were, either, unable or unwilling to craft a meaningful U.S. Constitution for all the ages to come are doing great disservice to the republic through their blatant propaganda, which is sad evidence of their own ignorance of relevant history.

While, for example, the federal government is to, alone, provide for the common national defense by maintenance and use of the U.S. Military, the States, each and every one of them, are to, alone, provide for the maintenance of law enforcement and social order with them, through use of their open-ended police powers. In the same way that the Framers gave the States total control over the education of their People, civil rights, agriculture, abortion, and every other matter not specifically delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, those wise men (who were assuredly counseled and advised by their sagacious wives) essentially instructed the States through the explicit letter of the U.S. 

Constitution to do "whatever" was necessary, within their power, to protect their People from criminals and their criminally destructive ways. Nonetheless, as the States continue to flippantly and carelessly tax their people and build unnecessary government bureaucracies, funding them exorbitantly, the great majority of them are grossly deficient in producing legislation to adequately protect their citizens in an age of unbounding criminal conspiracies and social and political turmoil. The criminal upending of morality and the desecration of natural law by deliberate political design brings with it heinous consequences and their pernicious effect on the American family, the education of the youth of the States, and on the ultimate mission of the States to protect and perpetuate liberty.

Therefore, in the pure interest of preserving and protecting human life and for the perpetuation of liberty, the State governments should immediately cease their obeisance to, and deferential respect for, unconstitutional federal government Legislative, Executive, and Judicial actions and properly use the power bestowed by the U.S. Constitution's 10th Amendment upon them, or the People. There is nothing more grand and godly than the preservation of human life and liberty through the proper exercise and use of law; for, as the great John Adams so vehemently stated, "We are a nation of laws, and not of men."