"daddy gave me a name
and then he walked away"
Everclear 1999

Where was/is this society (that means you) for the millions of unwanted children?

   Coming from a family of poverty and short lives (never knowing my grandparents) was transformative for me.  This emphasized my need to live fully while young, yet healthfully as possible, and instructed me on how to do that while poor.  Ordinary life of working until retirement was out of the question.

    After "serving" as cannon fodder in that dirty little war in Vietnam I came to realize I would have to struggle to formulate a new life out of nothing.  Working on the McGovern campaign in 1972 was a front row seat seeing how US citizens can drift into mass idiocy that I had to protect myself against. Because health is the essence of life I was drawn to learning about that.  Over the years I progressed through learning the vitamins, yoga, getting out of the city and into nature, gardening and herbs.

   Eventually, at age 40, I started as a freshman, to learn the formal science of how herbs relate to human physiology at a chemistry level, making me one of a small number of PhD pharmacognosists.  I was then able to contribute by establishing herbmed.org, revising major sections of MeSH organization of Medline, and was science advisor for Botanical Safety Handbook. The result is that I’ve had a good life and retain pretty good health, even compared with my peers who had better genes and upbringing, not to mention outliving my deadbeat relatives.

    As teachers of health, I believe we must be good examples of overall holistic lifestyles, going beyond the use or sales of supplements. This note is meant in the spirit of respecting you and your values and your accomplishments. In that spirit of respect I would like to share with you a concern I have about establishing a working relationship with you. I see some high-risk factors for health concerns in your life  which could cause an abrupt interruption in our partnership. Naturally, nothing is guaranteed. But I would like to see some of that risk of untoward event be reduced. I know that it is usually the case that we already know more than what we’re acting on. Certainly it is a continuing effort in my life. I believe that if we’re going to be in the information sciences then we also ought to be good role models of actual use of that information. Otherwise we run the risk of being weak in motivating customers to do just that, as well. Expanding the market to the newly converted is far greater than satisfying the already converted. I know this is an unusual request, so I won’t go any further in defining it and just hope that this opens a constructive dialogue.

  "Downsizing government" and "get the bums off welfare" have been popular phrases of late, but it was government handouts which made any success in my life possible. I grew up on hand-me-downs, got through school on aid, and wrote my first book while scrimping on food stamps. While trying to forget the humiliation, shame, envy and hopelessness of my poverty, I recognize my situation was common, as many children are still facing right now in city slums. As hopeless as the welfare system may seem to be, you may be encouraged to know that welfare saved my ass.

Rather than whine about taxes, how about reaching a hand out to a child in need? Please!

Now, if you'd like to see the accomplishments that my years of living off the token level of support of 'government welfare' led to you may visit my resume page