Sitting on my summer deck
Jerry plays, hot in the sun
I reach out with myself
to commune with nature
The very same one
I tamed with power tools
irony hangs thick on the air
Sitting on my summer deck
Jerry plays, hot in the sun
I reach out with myself
to commune with nature
The very same one
I tamed with power tools
irony hangs thick on the air
not to blossom, merely bud
thoughts, its poison feast
This is a repost. But since it’s 2019 and we’re dealing with a fucking measles outbreak in the United States, I think it needs to be said again!
There have always been those who feel that it’s best to allow our natural immune system to grow stronger by exposure to diseases and the like.
I agree. Kind of…
In fact that’s exactly how we ended up developing the concept of vaccinations. It was really based on the idea that limited exposure to the most virulent and deadly of human diseases could help the body build resistance to something so that when it was exposed to a full blown attack, it would now have sufficient defenses built up.
So far, so good. Right?
In fact it worked so well that within a number of decades many of the most dangerous and deadly diseases became controllable and some were even wiped out of natural existence. Ethics aside about the rights of the life forms themselves, it was a clearly a huge win for the science of vaccinations.
Then in the late 1990’s a fraud of a researcher named Andrew Wakefield released the results of a study that showed a direct link between vaccinations and autism. Since then his work has been completely discredited, but the false link between vaccinations and autism that he completely fabricated lives on in a lively group of followers, affectionately named “Anti-Vaxxers”.
Anti-Vaxxers believe in going back to the roots of our natural strength against disease, our amazing immune system. And in some cases, smaller and less lethal cases, they have a strong point. There is ample evidence that the more substances we are exposed to in our daily lives, the less allergies we develop. The more we live indoors breathing canned air, the less we tolerate those little bits of nature that irritate and bother us.
So what’s my point to all of this?
Chicken pox, mumps, etc. These are all things we dealt with in my childhood. There’s no doubt they made some people very sick, and were even deadly in some cases. But on the scale of virulent human diseases they were on the lower end of the scale, nothing like polio or even small pox.
I’m writing all of this because today I was visited by the memory of a man I knew when I was a kid. His name was Richard (Dick) Chaput. Dick was an author of the motivational/religious variety. He touched a lot of people’s lives, and was a bright light in a dark tunnel for many people who were suffering. He died many years ago, but even today there is a small blessing he wrote that stands outside of the little chapel at Storyland Amusement Park in Glenn, NH.
Why was he able to help so many who suffered? Well you see Dick was a victim of polio, a disease that we no longer see, quite simply because of vaccinations. He was confined to something called an Iron Lung, and spent his life without the use of his body, locked in this ancient machine that gave him the breath of life.
My friends and I used to love to go visit him and take him on a walk around the facilities he lived in. Since he could only be outside the Iron Lung for short periods, the nurses would load him on to a gurney and away we would go for a quick trip in the sunshine. He spoke constantly about God on these walks, and about God’s love. Dick saw God’s beauty in everything around him. I don’t care what your religious leanings, you can’t spend time around a person like that and not be inspired, even just a little.
And then there were the bells. He had a huge collection of bells all over his room, on shelves, in cabinets, just everywhere. He loved the sounds they made. I’m sure at some point he told me what they signified, and I could make a guess what it was, and I might even be right. But in the end he found joy in them. Simple joy in simple bells. To this day we have a strip of reindeer bells that hang on our door during the Christmas season that was originally meant as a gift for Dick, now it is a regular reminder of him for me.
But here’s the real point: Below is a picture of a man in an Iron Lung (it’s not Dick, I wish I had one of him). This is how I saw Dick every time I stopped by to visit. This is what polio did to him. Polio is now a preventable disease because of vaccinations. But it may not remain so. Just because something says “natural” or “organic” on it doesn’t mean that it’s superior. While there are a great many benefits to natural and organic things, science is not a fad. Vaccinations have done wonders for humans.
People used to have to live like Dick, locked in an iron prison in order to live. As time has passed less and less people remember these images, and the lack of memory somehow makes the history less real. But the diseases are real, and they can come back, and if they do they will kill.
There’s a limited amount of people like Dick out there, those who inspire. There are far more who prefer to profit from fear, who insinuate connections and conspiracies, and prey on our doubts. People like Wakefield.
So here is what I’d like: Just take a minute to look at the picture below. Does a vaccination with no proven link to autism really scare you more than living in a metal tube like this? Do you remember the real history of mortality in America only a generation or two ago?
It would be nice if Dick could somehow inspire people just once more. Even if it’s just to bring their kids in to get their shots so they won’t get themselves, and especially others, sick.
*The following is multi-part series on the rise of cannabis as a medicine, how it affects alcoholics and addicts in recovery, and how to go about changing the information we have in our minds.
On June 10, 1935 the modern recovery movement was born when Alcoholics Anonymous came into being. And with it came an entirely new way for society to view alcoholism. While this isn’t the only method for people to recover, it’s going to be my primary starting point for now.
AA presented alcoholism as a disease, and one with no known cure. They also offered an ongoing “treatment” for alcoholism that would help the sufferer keep their illness in remission. It soon became very well respected, primarily for the recoveries that it had helped foster. Rather than branching out into other problem areas in society, it instead offered up its 12-step formula to other organizations, to adapt as they saw fit to help other populations with different needs. AA also offered its help to the world of science and health, helping to catapult much of the medical research on alcoholism and addiction that we now benefit from. They firmly put themselves in a position to only help, and never to engage in opinions one way or another. AA also tried very hard to foresee the future in order to avoid falling prey to medical fads, or fickle politics. In doing so, it necessarily took a step back, offering no opinions or endorsements. It’s that kind of foresight that has allowed the program to help as many people as it has over the years. It also gave the mistaken impression to many that the organization itself was mired in the past, advocating faith-healing over science, and allowing people to blame their problems on a disease instead of taking responsibility.
On August 2, 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Act, setting in motion an eighty-year assault on plant that had previously been cultivated for a variety of uses by Americans up until that point. The bill itself was drafted by Harry Anslinger, who served (not at all coincidentally) as the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. There is more than enough evidence indicating that cannabis was already under assault on different fronts prior to this point, but history has also shown that Anslinger played a pivotal role in cannabis prohibition. And, like many of the other substances that were being regulated, and prohibited during this particularly active period of American puritanism, cannabis went from being a plant of many uses, to a fast and efficient way to ruins your life just from the penalties alone.
So, for 80 years those two worlds existed on parallel planes, rarely interacting. As the 12-step world grew and expanded to include organizations like Narcotics Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous, the idea of members using any sort of medicine that alters consciousness became taboo in church basements around the world.
It’s here where I need to step and explain something. I have and will use the terms organization, program, members, and culture to describe things like AA, and that isn’t accidental. It also needs to be pointed out that they aren’t synonymous with each other, something that becomes important as this narrative continues.
The organization of Alcoholics Anonymous is just that, the parent organization that exists to serve the groups, and individual members with information to aid in their recovery. This is the same type of organization that I mentioned had “firmly put themselves in a position to only help, and never to engage in opinions one way or another”. Unlike most organizations, they never set rules or requirements for their members to follow, at most they will offer suggestions. Not everyone at the organization is a member, let alone an alcoholic or addict. If asked about their position on different forms of cannabis being legally prescribed as medicine, or about recreational legalization, they would very likely say that they have no opinion on those kinds of issues.
The program of Alcoholics Anonymous are those 12-step things you hear mentioned in TV and movies all of the time. If you actually use these twelve things to help you in life, you are following the program. You don’t need to be a member, or even an alcoholic or drug addict to use them. They were designed to be “open source” long before that was a term of use.
The members of Alcoholics Anonymous are just that, the people in the seats. Someone becomes a member when they say they are, that’s all there is to it. Of course, because the membership is made up of people who get to decide if they are members, or even if they are alcoholics at all, it is as flawed as and varied as people are in general. And while that means no one person is in charge, it also means that anyone who thinks they are, will try to be. I invite you to someday attend an AA meeting someday, and then randomly suggest they move their coffee pot across the room. Watch to see how many people think they are in charge. This will become is a crucial point in this narrative, because they are people with lots of opinions, who talk to each other all the time.
Finally, there is the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is where most misunderstandings and conflicts arise within the world of recovery. And it’s here where opinions become dogma, regardless of evidence.
To be continued…
barraging your ego
slow crust build
that candy shell
there you are
didn’t want to be
years of practice
appears to shrink
loss begets begin
same size again
Before my normal rant, I wanted to update you. I have heard the comments, and I agree. So, I should have hopefully done away with the annoying ads. I feel as though the small amount of revenue accrued from ads is never worth it if it’s too annoying for the readers to bother returning next time. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Now, on with the righteous indignation!
— • — • — • — • —
When I heard that a special counsel was being appointed to investigate the *presidents 2016 for collusion with the Russians, I thought, “Man, he’s going to be off the freakin’ wall. Between his ego and any shiny object that come along, well be lucky to keep his attention for half a day at a time!”
Then as word began to leak out about people cooperating with Robert Mueller, I figured he’d snap.
And when his personal lawyer and fixer flipped on him I figured he’d lose his shit.
And surely the idea of mole circumventing his authority right under his nose must be the snapping point.
And then Barack Obama finally spoke out, breaking the tradition of no personal criticism presidents used to honor between each other, directly attacking the current *president’s morals and methods. He bashed him, and made fun of him. That’s right, The one person he hates even more than Hillary, just openly bashed him, and publicly made fun of him. His archenemy and predecessor, the man who really had a huge inauguration, and is a demonstrably better President, just made fun of him.
And worst of all, Obama just got more headlines.
Keep your eye on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
At the moment, I think the most glaring resentment I have against the *president is that he has single-handedly remind me of the fact that Jeff Sessions is human, and deserving of compassion.
I may not like the AG’s politics, or his views on race, or a whole bunch of other crap the man espouses, but he is still human. And more than most, he needs compassion. It’s clear how much he does!
He has embraced racism his whole life. And anyone who can sit in judgement of another person, solely because based on their culture or the color of their skin, is a person who lives in hell. A man who dwells in a never ending labyrinth of nameless fears.
And in his own way, Sessions has decided that his job is to remain between the most autocratic *president the country has ever had, and the investigation that will most undoubtedly bring him down. And yet, Sessions is there, protecting Americans by blocking the *president, even if just for a little while.
A few days ago the *president blasted his AG again. But this time it was for enforcing the law. You’d never have believed it even a couple of years ago, but the reason the *president attacked his Attorney General is because he did not protect a couple of loyal henchmen, ultimately allowing them to be charged with crimes.
Worse yet, there appears to be no evidence that the *president actually understands the finer points of guilt and innocence. He only sees friends and enemies. Period. And Sessions just allowed two friends to be locked away.
Despite everything I know about the Attorney General, and everything I know he fights for, he is still a person. And each person is worthy of compassion. Maybe it will make him think twice about the impunity with which the *president tossed him away. And even more about the sudden support he’s getting from the resistance. You never know…
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a shower.
I have been swamped during my busy time at work, so keeping up on the news is tough, and writing is even tougher.
See, I think he could tell someone out there wasn’t paying attention to him. So he took it upon himself to go above and beyond the call of duty, and he came up with such a batshit crazy news story that I couldn’t help but get drawn in out of pure entertainment value alone. I’m touched he cared enough to reach out to me like that.
The story is generous on so many levels, it’s really hard to pick my favorite!
Did Donald Trump finally learn how to Google himself? And if so, is this a psychotic break from the emotional weight from the shock of finding out just how loathed he is… worldwide even!
Maybe he really is a master at manipulating the press and making the tail wag the dog. So, maybe he is trying to keep the press chasing anything he can think of that isn’t related to Mueller, or felonies. And maybe the idea that all of the world’s search engines (I know, he doesn’t get that part, bear with me) have somehow conspired to manipulate the information as we know it… just to make him look bad. Aside from the sheer size of his cluelessness in general, and this little polyp in particular, Trump may actually believe this juuuuust enough to convince the only people he’s saying this for anyway. It’s raw, fresh, bloody meat for his base.
Or, it’s quite simply the beginning of what will be a very unattractive, profoundly messy, and unbearably slow decline of the President’s mental faculties as the loose threads of his various crimes, and whacked out conspiracy theories, finally all merge into one overwhelming psychotic meltdown.
With daily coverage, live from the White House.
Welp! We’ve been tippy-toeing around all of this 1984 crap for a while now… Can we just call it at this point? Are we there yet?
“This is going to become a bad meme,” Chuck Todd predicts during a dictionary-defying exchange.
— Read on www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/giuliani-truth-todd-trump-788161
The little red-faced man yelled as he slid down the hill
He yelled, and he lied
He said it was just an act
Except when it wasn’t
Like when he uses the grief of the parents of the dead children
It’s not when he scares his followers into keeping weapons handy
Always hiding behind the word of the law, he sacrifices its spirit like a roach under his boot
And as he slides down the hill, his face gets redder and he gets more desperate