Saturday, November 12, 2022

Coming to a Theatre Near You Soon: MAGA World Godzilla vs King Ghidorah Fight for Control of GOP

In this corner we have Trump aka Godzilla versus DeSantis aka King Ghidorah in the other corner.

The Republican party is in chaos right now after the Democrats kicked their asses in the recent election. The last thing they want to see is their two bigly leaders Trump and DeSantis waging war.

The gigantic grudge between the two hard-right heavies has already begun. Trump is jealous of DeSantis's popularity with the party, especially after his historic win in Florida. Worse yet, he won't kiss the ring and endorse Trump for re-election. The name calling has begun.

Movie opens.

Scene One - Godzilla lumbers into Florida and confronts King Ghidorah who is holding a victory rally at The Villages.

Total panic! Seniors jumping out of their wheelchairs and running like they were teenagers in every direction as the two monster's clash.

The titanic struggle destroys homes and squashes Republican supporters like ants. Finally, Godzilla gets a nosebleed and backs off the battle and lumbers off to Mar-a-Lago with his tail between his legs.

Scene Two - The Republican National Party is in a panic. Members are divided between who they should support. Godzilla was their monster for six years but King Ghidorah, who by the way has three-heads, might be their future.

Movie stops here with a message, "Stay tuned for next installment."

Lights come on.

So, what do you think? Who's going to win?

You're right. It's way too early to tell. The fun has just begun. I love all monster movies. Do you love monster movies that are drenched in toxic politics? 

As it stands, I think we're all in for a treat! Get your popcorn ready and take a seat.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Are You Ready for National Happy Hour Day?

Be ready to lift your glasses of booze on November 12th to toast National Happy Hour Day. What a great idea you say!

Some Background.

You may be surprised to know that the holiday has quite the history dating back to 1900s when there were "Happy Hour" social clubs in some major cities.

The Happy Hour, as we know it today, got started in the early 1900s during the Mexican American war. 

Bored reporters covering the war were desperate for copy. That was obvious when you read an article in the "Washington Times" on May 1, 1914, that had this lead,

"The Happy Hour aboard ship makes U.S. Tars (short for "tar heels" a slang for sailors from North Carolina) contented. After a busy day, happy hours boosted moral with boxing matches, dancing, and drinking."

After WW II came to an end Happy Hours were the thing. The relaxing practice had spread throughout the U.S. Navy. 

It wasn't long before Happy Hours were a staple at bars across the country.

I'm sorry to report that I couldn't discover who actually gets credit for this alcoholic celebration. I'm guessing one of those Tar Heels was the creator of this salubrious holiday.

As it stands, at the end of the day lets meet at a bar, say around 6:00 p.m. virtually? Name the bar. I'll be there. Cheers! Sante! Skal! Salute! L'chaim! Chok dee!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Veterans with PTSD Being Treated with Magic Mushrooms: Do They Really Help?

Veterans in Oregon who have PTSD can now participate in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinical trial that uses MDMA and psilocybin as treatments.

The two hallucinogenic drugs are also being used to treat addiction and other serious mental health issues.

Before going any further I'm going to turn the clock back to the 1970s when both of those drugs were readily available in California where I lived at the time.

I know it sounds cliche, but it seemed like everyone was using them and other great psychedelics like LSD. I certainly had my share of magic mushrooms, LSD, peyote, and other mind-addling drugs. None of them cured my yet to be diagnosed PTSD.

Back to the present.

I'm a Vietnam veteran (1970). When I got out of the Army I went in search of sanity and serenity. I took psychedelic drugs hoping for deliverance every day at 3:00, but it never came to me.

The VA's newfound interest in hallucinogenic therapies seems funny to me. When I was going through an in-house counseling program for PTSD at Ft. Miley in San Francisco I had to go through a drug rehab segment because I smoked marijuana. Drugs were a Bozo no-no back in 1992.

How things change.

There are now at least five studies to gain more insight into the now promising drugs, according to a report in The New York Times. 

Research has shown therapeutic benefits, particularly for serious mental health conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2020.

I suspect this new willingness to allow research has led to a push to study psychedelics as medicine for the nation's military veterans, whose challenges with mental illness has led to a suicide rate among vets that's higher than that of civilians.

I'm not endorsing the new treatments. But the hippie in me is like "Cool man!" I'm sharing this new approach with the hope it does help the men and women out there who need it.

As it stands, that marijuana they didn't want me to smoke back at Ft. Miley is now a permanent part of my PTSD treatment program. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Are You Looking Forward to the Holidays?

     That time of year is nearly upon us.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and all the religious holidays in December, it's time to consider your game plan for these festive events.

Or not. Take me for instance. I have no plans, nor do I intend on making any. You may call me a Grinch (or something worse) but I could care less. I quit holidays years ago after my kids and grandchildren grew up.

Holidays can be hell. The fact is more people get depressed around the country during the holidays than any other time of the year. So much for good cheer.

For years I felt like a hostage to toy, and digital device manufactures getting richer during the holidays, but there was no choice. The kids all expected presents. I couldn't disappoint them no matter what I thought about holidays being a rip-off.

I'm still convinced holiday gift-giving is a practice promoted by big corporations from Day One. I don't like the feeling of having to do anything (who does?) because of some cultural traditions promoted by greedy bastards laughing all the way to the bank.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Indeed.

To be clear, I like giving gifts to loved ones and friends randomly. It's fun, especially if you surprise someone. 

Honestly, I don't care about holidays at this point in my life. I acknowledge them up to a point, so I don't look like a complete asshole, but I could do without them very easily.

Are you looking forward to the holidays?

I suspect most people do. That's okay. I'm not interested in converting people to be a grumpy old man like me! As a matter of fact, I hope your holiday season is wonderful.

As it stands, Like Popeye use to say, "I yam who I yam!"

Monday, November 7, 2022

Waiting to Exhale: Election Chaos is Almost Over. But Then the Real Battle Begins

Like millions of other Americans, I'm exhausted with the midterms steady flow of lies and misinformation that has been polluting nearly every media source in the country.

Well, some relief is on the way.

Election day. No more polls. No more guessing and worrying about the results. No more talking heads predicting results. We should know the results tomorrow (in some cases it could be longer).

Republicans will whine and refuse to acknowledge the contests where they lose, and they'll gloat where they win. That's just the way it is. There are no adults running for office on the GOP side. Just Trump cult members.

I'd like to believe that tensions in the country will subside when the last vote is counted, but I know better. 

There will be numerous frivolous challenges spewing from the election deniers who already said they won't accept the results unless they win. So what? Let them.

Go ahead and exhale anyway. You're going to need all of your intestinal fortitude for the next two years.

That's because we're going to face the most contentious presidential election in history, making the 2020 election look like a cakewalk!

There's little doubt that Trump is going to declare his intention to run for re-election. The country is going to be engulfed in more violence if Trump is indicted for all, or any, of the criminal cases lined up against him.

Trump's minions will get even more extreme as they watch their beloved leader facing convictions and possible jail time. 

With 2020 as a blueprint for insurrection Republicans will have election deniers in various parts of our electoral system willing and ready to cheat the vote in 2024.

It's the potential for increased violence that troubles me. The midterms showed us that motivated Trump cult members are getting more violent, like attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband while searching for her in their own home.

I'm not in the business of predicting the future but certain things are more likely based upon research and common knowledge. I really hope my concerns for this country subside enough for me to enjoy life more.

The water glass is either half full, or empty. It depends on how you look at the world around you. 

As it stands, recognizing challenges doesn't mean we have to be in a constant state of worry. Forewarned is forearmed.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

'Tis the Season for Indictments

When the contentious midterms are over the real political firestorm will begin.

By all accounts Trump and many of his top minions are going to be indicted for their crimes this fall. By the time winter sets in the battle for democracy will be in full swing.

The Department of Justice has been patiently waiting to make any major moves in their dual cases against Trump before the midterms. That restriction will be gone with the wind and the shit will be ready to hit the fan.

Fulton County, Georgia AG Fani Willis and her investigation team having been putting all of the Trump ducks in a row and are ready to rock and roll! Political pundits believe that this case will be Trump's first criminal indictment but not his last.

A cautious Merrick Garland hasn't given any indication on when he intends to charge Trump and co-conspirators for their multiple crimes. The word around Washington is that criminal indictments might not come until early next year.

Then again, Garland may surprise everyone and give the country a Christmas present by indicting him before the end of December.

As the country uneasily moves from fall to winter it'll be the perfect season for indictments. Two years of investigations are coming to a close as accountability threatens Trump and his fascist acolytes.

The wheels of justice have been moving painfully slow because the courts have been flooded with frivolous appeal's designed to slow the whole process down.

As it stands, there's a time - or season - for everything. And we're entering that season with hope for justice and the preservation of our democracy.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

How To Create Your Own Country

Are you disgusted by the hate and lies circulating in America today?

Would you like to get away from it all?

Take heart my friend. I've got an alternate choice for you; create your own country! But how you wonder?

Let me explain. There's a precedent for this wild alternative - some imaginative Frenchman (@gaspardooo) recently came up with it.

He created a fictional country and called it Listenbourg on his Twitter feed. It's gone viral since.

Now Listenbourg has a rich history, a national flag and an anthem. 

Some people are already saying it's a real country.

 One Twitter user shared a made-up flag and historical moments and images of former leaders of the nation. 

The fictional country's popularity is growing daily with some users wanting to join in the fun and creating Twitter accounts for not just Listenbourg but also a fictional airline, Listen Air Lines, the country's Minister of Commerce, and a women's football team.

After going viral, the craze spread to TikTok where the hashtag "#Listenbourg" has more than 75 million views and countless videos dedicated to the made-up land.

Right about now I bet your thinking, "My own world sounds like a good idea."

Think about the possibilities. In your own world corrupt bastards like Trump can be held accountable and put in prison for life. Truth would overcome all the lies and misinformation. 

You could have detox centers for Trump cult members because they all finally saw the light and abandoned the former Grifter-In-Chief.

Everyone would be equal in all things. Peace would rule in your new world. Can you say Amen?

As it stands, sounds a little like heaven, doesn't it? It may be the closest many of us ever get to that mythical sphere where religions promise a perfect afterlife.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Caregivers are Unsung Heroes in Our Society

I just discovered that Americans are living longer than ever before.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the average life expectancy globally now stands at 75 years for women and 70 for men.

Here in America the average age for men is 76.1, and 81.1 for women. This rise in life expectancy is poising a new challenge. Taking care of our aging population.

An eye-opening recent study shows that more than half of Americans aged 50 and up are helping an older adult manage tasks ranging from household chores to care for medical conditions.

The researchers' findings showed what a critical role everyday people are playing in the lives of older family members, friends, and neighbors. 

To be clear, not everyone considers themselves a caregiver, according to Courtney Polenick, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan Medicine who worked with the research team.

That could include people who help a relative, friend or neighbor with tasks like household repairs, yard work, shopping or finances. 

Still those tasks are important because they help older adults remain independent and living in the community, Polenick emphasized.

It's distinct from helping with care for medical conditions, going to the doctor appointments, or assisting with personal care, like dressing and bathing.

The survey pointed out that in close to half the cases, people were helping a parent.

Researchers noted that people caring for an older adult with dementia often had an especially hard time. They routinely had to deal with helping with five or more tasks daily. Many of those caregivers reported that responsibilities were harder than expected.

There is no Hall of Caregiver fame to aspire too. These unsung heroes reported positive experiences for the study, like feeling a sense of purpose and growing closer to family or friends. They're not interested in getting some form of recognition for what they do. It's done with love.

Full disclosure: My wife (66 years-old) and I (72 years-old) are taking care of my 94-year-old father who has dementia. 

As it stands, my wife and I never planned on being caregivers. Most people don't. Like other people we do our best to provide a quality of life for someone we love.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Latest Scientific Classifications for Politicians and Animals Announced

I love science.

Do you love science?

Let's talk science.

Scientists like to classify things and share them with us unscientific types. In turn we feel good knowing there's an order to the universe. Well, most of us do. The flat-earthers will never go away.

I think my favorite classification category is Politicians and Animals. Understanding the close relationships between the two goes a long way in explaining our polarized politics.

Like any list, or classification, there's always new input to add to its validity. Scientists have been zealous about keeping track of new developments this year and just announced the following changes.

Update on Vertebrates (back bones) and Invertebrates (no back bones) of Politicians and Animals:

New Additions Under Vertebrates

Cassidy Hutchinson

Liz Cheney

Adam Kinzinger 

New Additions Under Invertebrates

GOP Leadership is now listed between worms and crustacea.

Some special additions under Mollusca:

Mitch McConnell 

Dr. Oz

Hershel Walker

Some special additions under Crustacea:

Lindsey Graham

Ron DeSantis

Rick Scott

One special addition under Worms:

Donald Trump

Isn't it nice to know there's scientific categories that help us with our daily lives - like who to vote for?

As it stands, now if only scientists could come up with a cure for Trumpism! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Our First Amendment: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

The Good News 

The First Amendment guarantees our right to free speech and right to assemble in peaceful protests, among other things. Not a lot of countries can say that.

One of the least known First Amendment freedoms is nevertheless crucial to our democratic republic's form of government. It's the right to petition the government at any level to right a wrong or correct a problem.

Among the new ideas to the world the First Amendment stated that government must not impose a state religion on the public, or place undue restrictions on religious practice, but must recognize the right of people to believe and worship, or not, as their conscience dictates.

The First Amendment also established the freedom of the press allowing "debate on public issues to be uninhibited, robust, and wide open." 

For more information on your First Amendment rights go here.

The Bad News

We still haven't decided what limitations the First Amendment should have when it comes to the press (all forms of public and private media platforms). The goal posts keep moving.

Once it was a crime to shout out "Fire!" in a crowded movie theatre (when there was none). Try convicting someone today of that crime. Our court system has been so corrupted by the Trump presidency years that true justice (right up to the Supreme Court) is a hit and miss prospect right now.

At present there is no way to stop "hate speech" loosely defined as lies, misinformation tainted with racism, misogynism, homophobia, and fascism. 

Congress has been particularly pathetic in its attempts to legislate and combat the overwhelming verbal sewage spreading across every media platform in the nation.

The result has contributed to the constitutional crisis we're experiencing today with a rogue former president trying to dismantle our freedoms while planning a second coup attempt in 2024.

Some media platforms make feeble attempts at monitoring the blatant lies and misinformation but most of them are more concerned about making money first before any civic responsibility.

The Ugly

Few controversies about the First Amendment are louder or more visible today than the attention to the role and credibility of the entire news media. 

With a former president who introduced the "fake news" rallying cry to angry and confused people it was supercharged into the public discourse and has polluted it since.

As a result, the line between lies and truth have been blurred by toxic politics that get more violent every day. 

White Christain Nationalists are pouring millions of dollars into efforts to infiltrate our state and federal laws with draconian religious edicts effectively disenfranchising millions of Americans despite the fact the First Amendment expressly prohibits it under the religion clause.

As it stands, we love our freedoms but the widening gap between the scope and meanings of the First Amendment has opened a chasm in this country that may never be closed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Day a Truth Bomb Exploded Across the Nation

No one saw it coming.

One moment America was engulfed in lies... and the next a truth bomb was dropped, transforming the country forever.

Historians carefully documented what happened in the course of the three fateful days that restored the United States of America.

Day One

The most obvious effect was on Trump and his cult followers. They could be seen gagging in the corridors of Congress and hurling on the streets. Millions of right-wing politicians and activists across the country found themselves at loss for words and weak from serial vomiting.

Historians observed that right-wingers were easy to spot with their bulging eyes and the projectile vomiting every time they tried to lie. Many were found lying on the ground, exhausted but unrepentant. From the first day it was the Tower of Babble amongst conservative crazies who were unable to speak because of their lying lips.

Day Two

Big changes. Because the right-wing tainted Supreme Court justices were liars and unable to speak, they had to step down and allow new justices who believed in the Constitution and women's rights to replace them.

The federal courts, state courts, and county courts experienced a purge of liars leading to judges that believed in the oaths they took. Justice was restored to the land.

From the White House to every government administration the effects of the truth bomb were evident as thousands of new job openings were created.

Day Three

The great political purge. No one knows for sure how many Republican politicians were struck speechless because they couldn't utter one sentence without lying. Historians estimate three-fourths of the Republican party found themselves without a job.

There were Democrats too who lost their voices because they were blatant liars. And Independents. The purge's effect was to not only restore sanity to our politics, but it also paved the way for the Golden Age in America that we are experiencing now in 2024.

As it stands, it turns out that historians were not sure who dropped the bomb? But they really didn't care.

Spring Songs: Political Loons Are Tweeting Fresh Lies

As spring unfolds across the country making flowers bloom and right-wingers tweet gloom, we take the good with the bad. A recent book rele...