Posted on 11 Comments

Time to drop the F-Bomb?

And by F-Bomb I mean the other nasty F-word…

Fascist.

And by fascist, I’m sure you know to whom I am referring it shall be dropped upon.

Yeah, Trump, of course.

Now, if you think like I do – and heaven help you if you do – but if you think like me then you probably have been regarding Trump as a fascist for a long, long time.

At least to me 2015 seems like a long, long time ago.

But according to the political scientist who wrote this Atlantic article, regarding Trump as a fascist for so long has been far too premature.

His thesis being, words matter and by its literal definition, Trump has not in the past qualified as a true fascist.

He offers several reasons why, some of them being that he is basically too dumb and irrational and immature to be one.

He didn’t mention anything about his hands being too small but you can kind of find it in there if you read between the lines.

Maybe not.

Real fascists, according to the author, are very serious thinkers and politically astute.

So yeah, by his standards the less than astute Trump does not meet them.

At least, perhaps, until recently when, during a speech honoring our country’s veterans no less, he began referring to just about everyone who oppose him as “vermin.”

Which makes for a rather hefty list…

We will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, Marxists, fascists. We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country … On Veterans Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, that lie and steal and cheat on elections and will do anything possible … legally or illegally to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.

Here’s the too-dumb-to-be-a-legitimate-fascist-but-still-dangerous-nonetheless’ full speech for context. If you can stomach it..

And as Mussolini’s ghost was recently quoted as saying:

Trump, I attempted to take over the world with Adolf Hitler. I knew Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was a friend of mine. Trump, you idiot, you are no Adolf Hitler!

Perhaps that quote was taken a bit out of context, but fortunately for us and the rest of the free world, most of Trump’s cultist tools are even more intellectually challenged than their tool of a cult leader so they won’t know the difference…

Not sure if that makes them any less dangerous, but they sure are fun to laugh at.

At least for now…

Yeah…

Posted on 9 Comments

Bad

I became a widow at age 57, after 38 years of marriage to my husband, a good man I loved dearly and miss every day. He was a hard worker, employed in the logging industry for over 20 years until he was in an accident on the job. He was prescribed OxyContin, which at the time was being touted as a miracle drug with a low risk of dependency.

My husband was so functional and so discreet that I didn’t know for years he had moved on to heroin. 

When OxyContin Came to Our Valley, New York Times, November 15, 2023

I used to smoke cigarettes and drink a lot of alcohol when I was younger. Had to maintain that infamous drunken sailor image that the navy worked so long and hard to develop.

I quit smoking in 1990. I still miss cigarettes.

I quit drinking in 2009. The day I learned I had leukemia.

And after I developed severe graft versus host disease in my lungs and eyes as a side effect from my bone marrow transplant, I was placed on a high dosage of prednisone for many years. When it was finally decided it was safe to take me off the steroid immunosuppressant, it took over six months to wean me from it, such is the power of its addiction and the danger of its withdrawal.

So, unfortunately, I have some idea the overwhelming helplessness one feels when addicted to a life consuming habit that cannot be denied…

When it comes to pain killers, I also have quite the history with them. Fortunately, I am allergic to them. They make me itch madly.

I learned about the allergy after I had shoulder surgery at Portsmouth Naval Hospital a long time ago.

After the surgery I was placed in an open bay ward – there must have been maybe 30 post-op sailors in there with me. I was hooked up to a morphine drip and given a button I could press to activate it.

It wasn’t until much later when a nurse saw me pressing the button like crazy that I learned that the drip was on a five-minute timer.

I scratched and scratched for two days straight because of the opium.

I scratched so much, I had everyone in the ward unconsciously scratching themselves at phantom itches along with me. They begged the nurses to get me out of the ward.

So much for the good stuff.

But what I hate most about pain killers is the constipation… sadly we learned after Matthew Perry’s death that his addiction was so bad that at one point his colon erupted.

Yeah…

But, occasionally, I was still placed on pain killers for various cancer treatment reasons until finally I put it in my health record that I wanted nothing stronger than non-opioid pain killers.

Apparently per my request, after my bone marrow transplant in 2010 I was given a synthetic opioid pain killer I had never heard of before.

It was called fentanyl.

I don’t remember giving my consent to being given the drug. I’m not saying I didn’t give it, just if I did, I don’t remember. I don’t remember much post-transplant.

This drug was so strong, I essentially was in a medically induced coma for three days before my wife, afraid I was dying, finally went ballistic and forced them to take me off the drug.

The irony is, even in my zombie state, the drug made me itch so badly my under garments were torn and bloody from scratching so much. All without anyone realizing it until after I finally came to.

I did a lot of research on the drug for my novel The Good Kill.

It was gut wrenching.

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines about children dying just for accidentally touching the residue of their addicted parents’ stash.

Some seriously deadly bad juju fentanyl is.

My heart breaks thinking about all the damage it and other addictive pain killers have done and are doing to so many addicts throughout my addicted country.

Yeah…

Xi Jinping is in town.

It is expected that Biden will confront him about China’s culpability in the illegal fentanyl production and trade.

I hope so.

If you have any doubt that it is China’s unwritten policy to get and keep our country addicted to the drug, you need to read this Propublica article.

It’s unbelievable.

It reads like an implausible movie treatment for an outlandish Hollywood action spy thriller…

David Fincher would be my choice to direct it.

If only it all were make believe…


#prayfortheaddicted
#andeveryonetryingtohelpthem


Featured image courtesy of the New York Times

Posted on 2 Comments

The Sad Colossus

An unprecedented number of undocumented Indian immigrants are crossing U.S. borders on foot, according to new data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. What has been a years-long increase in migration has now developed into a dramatic spike.

From October 2022 to this September, the 2023 fiscal year, there were 96,917 Indians encountered — apprehended, expelled or denied entry — having entered the U.S. without papers. It marks a fivefold increase from the same period from 2019 to 2020, when there were just 19,883.

What’s behind the rise in undocumented Indian immigrants crossing U.S. borders on foot, NBC News, November 14, 2023

Maybe it’s my First World (Are we still allowed to show regard for numbered worlds? Correct me if I’m wrong, but First World used to identify the United States and countries aligned with it, Second World identified the Soviet Union and countries aligned with it, and Third World identified countries not aligned with either the United States and the USSR. Of course, with the demise of the USSR, there was a Second World no more, and with ideological alignment no longer a factor as it once was, the Third World came to be a term that referred to non-industrialized, poverty-stricken countries; consequently, First World came to refer to the opposite. So… I guess writing it out like that has helped me to answer my own question: In this stressful day and age where sensibilities are quite frayed and sensitive, I would have to say the answer is… I guess the answer depends on the audience. I guess some would say hell no numbered worlds can no longer be regarded, you unwoke ogre! And I guess others would say hell yes they can, you fragile little snowflake! Anyway… call me what you will, be it an unwoke ogre or a fragile snowflake, just don’t call me late to dinner.) privilege, or just plain ignorance of the global plight of others (I haven’t been to a so-called Third World country since the Nineties), but it amazes me that so many people from around the world are still risking their lives to immigrate to these less than United States…

With all its division and dysfunction…

With all its mass killings and all the other forms of unimaginable violence that one could imagine…

With all its rascist, homophobic, anti-intellect trumper cultists frothing at the mouth to turn it into their narcissistic megolomaniacal cult leader’s autocratic utopia of hateful sweeping raids, giant camps and mass deportations.

I mean, how bad must it be in a country for someone to risk their and their family’s lives to emigrate from it by any means necessary to live in another country where more and more each day everyone’s life who lives here, be they here naturally born, naturalized, documented, undocumented, is at risk just by living here.

It seems no where is safe from the hate and violence.

Sheesh, just look at today’s news with the threat of violence in the Senate and an actual physical altercation in the House…

I mean, W.T.F., over.

I use to be proud of how many all over the globe wanted to come to this country to pursue the American Dream…

Americans by choice, not by chance…

Now I’m only saddened by it.

THE NEW COLOSSUS

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- Emma Lazarus

#icomplainbecauseicare
#godblessamerica
#andeverywhereelse

Posted on 4 Comments

Disenranted

pexels-photo-62376.jpeg

It used to be fun, and, quite frankly, quite therapeutic to release a rant or two around here back in the good ol’ days.

Any guesses to as when I’m referring to the “good ol’ days?”

Yeah… exactly.

BCET

Before the Catastrophic Era of Trump

But now, in these far less than good ol’ days…

One rants at one’s own risk.

Literally…

Continue reading Disenranted
Posted on 3 Comments

A Sunday Song to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance

Okay, I’m a week or so late for this, but…

Happy 90th birthday, Yoko Ono!

You may not appreciate Ms. Ono’s avant-garde melodies and artwork as much as her many devoted fans around the globe do, but you must surely appreciate her lifelong boundless spirit and passionate love of humanity, so, please wish her well and take a moment of reflection or say a prayer for peace in her honor.

Continue reading A Sunday Song to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance
Posted on Leave a comment

The Pandemic of/and Poverty

Americans felt the effects of this kind of spending* during the coronavirus pandemic, when the government extended unemployment benefits and sent close to $1 trillion in direct stimulus payments to about 85 percent of households. This temporary expansion of the social safety net caused poverty to drop to the lowest levels on record in the United States (underlining emphasis mine).

Extreme Poverty Has Been Sharply Cut. What Has Changed?, New York Times, December 2, 2021

Now seems like a good time to deeply consider implementing a national universal basic income initiative, no?

If I were king** for a day of these less than United States, I would mandate UBI and the only requirements to receive it for those subjects of mine so impoverished would be for the entire household to receive regular health checkups and for all school-age children within the household to stay in school, similar to succeeding initiatives to end extreme poverty in other countries… such as Mexico as discussed in the referenced NYT article.

But what do I know, I’m just a caveman**…


*social initiatives to end extreme poverty, defined by the United Nations as a household having to survive on less than $1.90 a day

**non-gender specific

/////

PSA: I have a new newsletter initiative coming online soon. My old newsletter, Newsletter Love, one hosted through the clunky Mailchimp service which made it hard for me to get motivated to attend to it properly, is being superseded by a new newsletter hosted by SUBSTACK, a super smooth provider.

The newsletter is called HumanZen: one man’s attempt to discover the Zen of being human…

Each new edition will be delivered weekly on Sundays. All new subscribers will still receive a copy of my short story collection LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter.

To learn more about the newsletter and subscribe, venture forth to here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hope Apple’s new car comes with a fully armored option

 The company has apparently decided to pursue a vehicle that would not feature steering wheels or pedals in what sounds like the most futuristic automotive project we’ll have ever seen. Moreover, Apple reportedly plans to launch its first-generation autonomous car as early as 2025.

Apple plans to launch a fully autonomous car as soon as 2025, BGR, November 18, 2021

Because now that our blind (and tone deaf) judicial system has found Rittenhouse not guilty, all the newly empowered gunslingers are going to be aggressively looking for trouble so that they can aggressively stand their ground and aggressively let the bullets fly…

Hence, we’ll need all the armored protection we can get.