Monthly Archives: June 2021

Blogs are Hard

I have written over 70 blogs that I never finished. Most were thoughts that I really wanted to share, but I couldn’t because of my day job. Mind you, I never disagreed with the requirements of my day job, but I will soon retire and no longer be quite so constrained.

Ask any writer if writing is a challenge. If they tell you it’s not, they’re either lying or Stephen King. (Great first name, Mr. King.)

Having over 70 good ideas that I couldn’t publish says something. That’s as many sidelined blogs as years I will celebrate in September. However, soon, I will be able to be more honest.

I hope you don’t hate me if I am honest.

History Rhymes

Maybe you’ve noticed, or perhaps you haven’t, that I am behind in my blogging. I could blame it on Post-Covid Syndrome, which is still wreaking havoc with me. However, the truth is, it’s difficult to write in an environment that is just so nasty.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m seeking wisdom, one source to which I turn includes American Musicals. Even though Tom Lehrer has called them a dead art form that is suitable for academic treatment, I find that they often provide hope.

West Side Story, for example, provides drama, humor, romance, and the inevitable tragic end—after all, it’s a 20th century take on Romeo and Juliet. In the original version, the two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets are squaring off for a fight, but instead of beating the snot out of one another, they break into song and dance, and all to Leonard Bernstein’s music.

But today, I turn to 1776, the musical based on the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The first musical number introduces John Adams by the rest of the delegates singing, “Sit down, John! [For God’s sake John, sit down!].

John leaves, and sings a plea to the Almighty. The words may be as applicable today as they would have been during the Revolution.

I do believe you’ve laid a curse on
North America
A curse that we here now rehearse in
Philadelphia

A second flood, a simple famine
Plagues of locusts everywhere
Or a cataclysmic earthquake
I’d accept with some despair

But no, you sent us Congress
Good God, sir, was that fair?

Oh, yeah!?!!

We have become a divided and divisive society. No matter what the topic, it seems that at least one side takes their viewpoint as a religious crusade or jihad. The other side, they seem to opine are all degenerate idiots who engage in pagan rituals at the dinner table.

Here’s an example, based on the question “Is Drinking Non-Homogenized Milk Healthier Than Drinking Homogenized Milk?” from Brittanica Procon.org.

Pro – Robert Cohen, Executive Director of the Dairy Education Board, wrote in his article “Homogenized Milk: Rocket Fuel for Cancer,” accessed Nov. 28, 2007 on the Health 101 website:    “Homogenization is the worst thing that dairymen did to milk. Simple proteins rarely survive digestion in a balanced world. . . .”

Con – Laura Paajanen, Division of Nutrition at the University of Helsinki, and Tuula Tuure, Researcher at Vailo Ltd., et al., wrote in their 2003 article, “No Difference in Symptoms During Challenges with Homogenized and Unhomogenized Cow’s Milk in Subjects with Subjective Hypersensitivity to Homogenized Milk,” published in the Journal of Dairy Research.

The term “Rocket Fuel for Cancer” is, of course, a well-known scientific term. It is believed to have been first used in 1676 by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the scientist who discovered bacteria. Van Leeuwenhoek spent the rest of his life desperately trying to find what “rocket fuel” was.  His search was unsuccessful and he died in debtors’ prison, having spent every penny (or was it pfennig?) on the search

I say, if you want to fight, find something that strikes at the heart. For example, did you know every day of the week is named after a pagan god?

Sunday – Named after Sol, the Roman and Norse god of the sun

Monday – Named in honor of Mani, Norse goddess of the moon

Tuesday – Tiw, the Incan god of single combat

Wednesday – Wodin, also known as Odin, Norse god and father of Thor.

Thursday – Like father like son, Thor, the God of thunder, lighting, and strength

Friday – Frige’s day—Frige was the Norse goddess of love and SEX!!! Did you hear me, SEX! She was known in Rome as Venus.

Saturday – Saturnus, Roman god of plenty, wealth, and agriculture

And just to add fuel to the fire, guess which kind of milk they all preferred????????

Does This Look Odd?

Donald Trump et al. standing in front of a crowd

The Interior Department Inspector General decided that the US Park Police acted appropriately last year when they cleared protesters from Lafayette Park. They cleared the area just before the president was photographed, holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.

Here’s the link to the article [LINK].

Whether you agree or disagree, there’s one thing I find confusing about the picture from the article (reproduced above). Notice all armed, uniformed police officers, some wearing riot gear. Did you spot it?

Standard procedure for providing protective services is to always face in the direction of possible threats. If there’s a crowd, face toward the crowd. If the VIP is boarding the plane, don’t watch the VIP go up the stairs–look for threats. In order to head off danger, they must always watch the directions from which a threat may come.

Makes sense.

So why are all of the police facing Trump?

Only Following Orders

See the source image
Clawmarks in the walls of Auschwitz gas chamber.

The State of Arizona is once again proving that nothing in this day and age is out of bounds.

In their efforts to resume capital punishment, Arizona is planning on using cyanide gas to execute those under the sentence of death. The most famous use of cyanide gas was by the Nazis in their effort to eliminate Jews, Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, the handicapped, and anyone else. This was more efficient than the guillotine, starvation or individual gunshots to the head.

The Nazi system was simple. After stealing people’s valuables and stripping them naked, force them into the gas chamber, and drop in the Zyklon B. Ignore the screams and the fingernail marks on the walls as they desperately tried to escape.

The last use of cyanide for an execution in Arizona was similarly gruesome. The condemned took 18 minutes to die, struggling, gagging, and coughing the entire time.

Don’t worry, though, if you are called upon to witness an execution in Arizona. Since the gas chamber hasn’t been used in over twenty years, they checked the seals and even held a candle near them to look for leaks. Nineteenth century safety checks for a 20th century process.

If you want to read more, Newsweek has an article, “Arizona Prepares to Use Auschwitz Gas Zyklon B on Death Row Inmates.” https://www.newsweek.com/auschwitz-gas-zyklon-b-arizona-death-row-inmates-1596402

Pants On Fire

Huey Long ends epic Senate filibuster, June 13, 1935 ...
Huey P. Long—Master Politician

Among the many old jokes I recall is this one:

Q: How do you know when politicians are lying?
A: Their lips are moving.

When I was a child, I remember my father asking–usually during election season–“Why would anyone spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to be elected to a job that pays far less than that?” Good question. Unfortunately, the only logical answers are based on the idea that there is remuneration in other ways.

We’ve long accepted that politicians will say or do anything to further their ambitions. And why do they do this? For power and money. In fairness, power and money are inherently attractive to most human beings. However, some lack the opportunity. Some are unwilling to sacrifice their morals and ethics. Some go into politics.

Demagogues make it clear which is the most attractive. Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin, and Adolph Hitler did not worry about money. None of them whipped out their wallet when they wanted something–they just told their lackeys to get it and armies marched in to take it. Like energy and matter being converted from one to another, the same is true of money and power. Money buys power. Power controls money.

There is a lesson from about 100 years ago. Someone asked notorious gangster Willy Sutton why he robbed banks. Willy’s replied, “That’s where the money is!” Today the money and power is in politics and the modern day Willies know it.

Random Thoughts

Or, as George Carlin called them, brain droppings.

If someone steals my identity, wouldn’t it be easier for all concerned for me to start over with a clean slate, create a new identity, and just nullify the old one? All my bank accounts could be forwarded, just like they do with mail when you move to a new address. But if the thief tried to open an account in my name, they’d be told, sorry, that person doesn’t exist.

Wouldn’t it be great if, when we’re old enough to retire, our mind could purge all the crap we had to learn for work so we’d have enough brainpower available to remember where we left the car keys?

When e-mail and cell phones were new, they were almost sexy. Now they’re merely repositories for spam with the occasional important message buried somewhere in the mess.

Wouldn’t it be great if all of us normal people could barrage the spammers with OUR uninvited messages and offers? Somebody knows how to do this and they’d have no trouble finding volunteers.

If “celebrities” only want people to see photographs of them that are taken from the right angle, perfectly lighted, and then Photo-shopped, how would we even recognize them in real-life. Don’t forget, this means cellulite and all.

If, as I’ve read in the news, there’s a shortage of workers for lower paying jobs–like fast food, etc. Maybe we could convince people from poorer countries into moving here and taking those jobs.