Friday, November 25, 2016

The Alt-Right


Much has been said and written about the Alt-Right, little of it from the Alt-Right itself. I've been interested in and in a minor way participating in conversations with others in the Alt-Right for much of the year. Much of what is written about it focuses on a single issue to the exclusion of all else and often with a slant that ignores both the context and spirit. So, I will share what the Alt-Right has written and my comment about it.


1. The Alt Right is of the political right in both the American and the European sense of the term. Socialists are not Alt Right. Progressives are not Alt Right. Liberals are not Alt Right. Communists, Marxists, Marxians, cultural Marxists, and neocons are not Alt Right.

What is meant by "Political right"? In context it means a political view oriented towards individual liberty and limited government. It supports capitalism and in the United States, government constrained by our Constitution. In the past (actually, even now), Conservatives politically have been the political form of individual liberty and small government. But in the last twenty years, many have supported larger government that is more interventionist - both individually and geopolitically.

For much of the last 40 years we have discussed Conservatismm as a fusion of traditionalist and libertarian viewpoints. Gay marriage is an example: libertarian point of view is that people have the liberty to choose their mates while traditionalists point to historical precedent and social constructs. (They argue the social constructs are based in biology - but we are not animals bound by our biology...) Using government to impose one viewpoint on individuals where there is no Constitutional foundation creates tension. The other variation (popularized during Reagan years) is the three-legged stool: fiscal, social/traditional, and hawk/defense conservatives. The problem has been that the GOP has not shown fiscal restraint, we have over-reached militarily and our social mores have been broken (family destruction). The stool has no legs and fusion has fractured.


2.The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk's 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism.

The Alt-Right seeks to reassert the originalist point of view of individual liberty and limited government by not supporting global interventions militarily, limited government generally, fiscal restraint and established social norms. It does not support the free-wheeling libertarianism but is much more traditionalist.

It seeks to reassert societal norms established by historical precedent - such as national borders, limited immigration, individual racial groups, familia bonds and limited (to no) global intervention, either militarily or via trade yet to be both absolute and resolved not to compromise for any reason. To establish a strong but independent national identity.

(Additional note: I have my own issues with Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles and have written a response to them elsewhere)


3.The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.

Alt-Right does not seek to impose its views but rather is clear that history has been unrelenting in defining what works. When society departs from normative behavior (such as homosexuality), those societies fail from the inside and become weak in the face of outside forces. When diverse cultures are put into close proximity, it invariably leads to significant conflict as each culture attempts to maintain/attain superiority/dominance.

By pointing to historical precedent the Alt-Right does not need to establish an authority for its positions - those foundations are there for anyone to see. Its foundation is not in a belief system - though that exists - but rather in human nature. Rather than deny or dismiss it, Alt-Right embraces our human nature, what it argues is inevitable, human nature will always win no matter how long or how much damage is wrought trying to deny it.


4.The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.

Alt-Right looks to the last couple thousand years of human history and notes three factors have driven human progress to this point:
1. Establishment of the rule of law. Most of human history can be defined by "might makes right" or "rule by man". The strongest rule and everyone submits to their whim. But starting generally with the Greeks and eventually leading to our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, humans have sought the stability and progressive (as it means to embrace everyone) nature of the rule of law.
2. Concurrent with that process has been a dominance of European nations: Greece, Rome, Spain, France and Great Britian. Although China and Japan (and prior to the Greeks, Egypt) have dominated their regions, it was the European nations that spread out both economically and culturally well beyond their borders. The reach of the British Empire is evident even today as Canada and Australia continue to exist as part of Great Britain. Except for the nature of their American colonists, Britain today would span the globe. The European culture embraces (until relatively recently) the rule of law and traditional mores.
3. Christianity. It is hard to speak of European history and culture without recognizing the influence of Christianity - either as a foundation or formative influence, Christianity is part of the individual, rule of law, social normative foundations. To dismiss or diminish its role is to ignore history.

Combined, Alt-Right sees these foundation stones as having reached their pinnacle in the establishment of Western civilization in general and in the establishment of the United States particular.

Looking at history generally - African culture has existed for eight thousand years, Middle Eastern culture has existed for six thousand years, Oriental culture for four thousand years and Western culture for three thousand years. Where has human progress been most productive?


5.The Alt Right is openly and avowedly nationalist. It supports all nations and the right of all nations to exist, homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration.

Alt-Right explicitly states that nations have the right: to exist, to self determine, and to defend themselves. All nations. Not just those that are our friends or allies. It explicitly argues that each nation can establish its culture and enforce it however it chooses without interference (or violence) from others.


6.The Alt Right is anti-globalist. It opposes all groups who work for globalist ideals or globalist objectives.

It explicitly opposes globalism or one-worldism in whatever form - culture, economic, governmental or religious.

Both of these two positions are pretty self explanatory and clear. Nationalism is not for the powerful nations but for all nations.


7.The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.

All men were created equal is used incorrectly so often it all but signifies the idea that a big lie is easier to get people to believe. I was not born equal to Andre the Giant, Albert Einstein or Nadia Comaneci. While we were all born human, with the same need to breathe, eat, drink, sleep and shit, with the same biological functions and design (bi-pedal, tool using, genetic compatibility) we most certainly have different abilities, strengths and ambitions.

I do not expect to BE equal, I can't (or shouldn't) be treated equally in context (situationally). We have attempted to create a system where our institutions (specifically government) do try to address us all the same, ie equally. But even that recognizes that we are different. That is why our court system is one of equity not equality. We should recognize our differences and not seek to create a system by which you put in diversity and output conformity. Equality of outcome is not only a bastardization of "all men were created equally" it ignores every single gene of human nature. It defines the very nature of societal failure. We have seven billion unique individuals on this planet, to suggest we are all equal is "unicorns and leprechauns".


8.The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.

Alt-Right specifically embraces science. Not the science of consensus (political whim) but the results of the scientific method. A science that reflects humanity's growing and changing understanding of the Universe. It rejects "the science is settled" except in those places where the "laws of nature" are well defined and established.


That is the foundation of the Alt-Right. I doubt many Conservatives or anyone on the Right would have a problem with it. That said, there is an inherent bias - almost all of the Alt-Right is found in Western Society. From this foundation flows the interpretation and philosophies. There is division/dividing lines/differences in what this foundation means for a 'movement'. What follows is what I think is the dominant strain/element, the part that gives Alt-Right its heft, its substance.


9.The Alt Right believes identity begets culture begets politics.

Alt-Right believes identity establishes your community, your place, which establishes the culture you exist within, which guides your politics. That this is true for everyone, everywhere. This transcends race, religion or nationality. And yet because we are our human nature, race, gender, ethnicity, and nationality are all dominant features of our identity that are all but impossible to deny or escape. Us vs Them is inherent historically and maybe genetically. Even when we escape one "identity" we often establish another to be part of. Most commonly via immigration.

Actually moving from one country to another does not always mean changing identities. We see immigrants waving the flag of the country they or their family came from, establishing aspects of the culture they left behind only geographically but not emotionally. People live with those that identify with their past, not their new, culture/identity. Those that immigrate to change their identity, to establish themselves in a culture they want to embrace, not change, seek to become different. To change into something different, and assumingly, better. That has been the lure and promise of the United States. To become American.

Who you are is the most important thing you learn growing up. It seldom changes once it is established no matter how much you want it to - it can, it does, but its influence is permanent. That is human nature and it is the foundation of our community, our culture and our politics. It is also why massive immigration of people with different identities, culture and politics are so dangerous.


10.The Alt Right is opposed to the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means.

Alt-Right believes most new immigrants do not seek to assimilate, no not seek to change, but to retain their identity, their culture, their politics but for a time to take advantage of our system. They are not immigrants but invaders seeking to plunder without the warfare. And the Alt-Right seeks to exclude them from our society because that is what they choose - to be different, to be exempt. When so many already here are fighting to survive, why are we inviting so many with no desire to assimilate?

Further, why should we allow those that do not seek to assimilate to gain power and influence within our own borders? A simple example: we are a nation of English speakers yet there are communities in our country where no English is spoken.


11.The Alt Right understands that diversity + proximity = war.

Diverse communities are fractured, not cohesive, and prone to conflict as groups seek to establish dominance. The greater the diversity the greater/frequent the conflicts. When large communities/nations with divergent cultures meet it almost always ends in war.

Islam is at war within itself and at war with the larger non-Muslim world. Ignoring or dismissing this reality is giving that culture opportunities to enter and fracture existing non-Islamic communities. We are seeing it happen in many communities in the United States with vast numbers of illegal Latino immigrants.


12.The Alt Right doesn't care what you think of it.

For a long time now people that seek to establish/claim an identity that opposes 'diversity' have been singled out and attacked as racist, bigoted, phobic. So long and so often have the attacks gone on that almost everyone (other than those seeking power) has stopped being affected by the name calling. It has culminated in two ways that have broken its claim of hatred:
1. If you are white, you are racist
2. If you are white, you are privileged

These claims are absolute and the only acceptable response is to bow and beg forgiveness and to offer restitution. Whether it was the final straw or it just coincided with the discontent associated with the economic malaise I leave to others. At this point most, if not all of the Alt-Right doesn't care what others say or think about them. If their mere existence is an affront to a culture then that culture is nothing the Alt-Right cares about.


13.The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.

Personally, I support global trade - if for no other reason than we do not have everything I want or we need within our borders. However, the 'free trade plus open borders' crowd is a detriment to us and all countries. There are benefits to trading with other countries but not at the expense of our own population. A pan-nationalist approach might be more to their liking but it is an active argument on the Right across the board.


At this point I want to point out that NONE of what I have written about above is exclusive to the United States. Every country can (and should) accept the above. Generally, most people I know even if they have issues with a specific point, generally would agree with everything above. Yes, the Left would have problems with the diversity issue but history is a harsh reality.


I am going to skip this one for a moment to address the final two items and then I will come back to it.

14.The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.


15.The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.

Alt-Right does not believe in the supremacy of any race, nation or people (or human sub-species). Each is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses. I think that the Western culture is the best and I personally think the United States is exceptional (not just first among equals). But the Alt-Right does not distinguish one as supreme - neither nation nor race.

16.The Alt Right is a philosophy that values peace among the various nations of the world and opposes wars to impose the values of one nation upon another as well as efforts to exterminate individual nations through war, genocide, immigration, or genetic assimilation.

And it argues each nation is sovereign and should be free from outside interference.

Alt-Right also abhors war and explicitly notes one means to attain peace is to limit diversity and culture clashes. By limiting immigration and open borders, Alt-Right seeks to minimize war.


These two, like others above are pretty straight forward. However most readers with other bias' will read them and think "aw bullshit...no one thinks like that, it has to be a front, a false face." I would say, nope. I've read a lot and think that it is in fact true. There is no demand for diversity or conformity - be who you are, establish yourself in a community, support and defend that community. Avoid conflicts but don't shrink from attacks - attack back until the threat is permanently removed. Strength personally and within the community.

Number 14, the one the media and many others focus on to the exclusion of all else.

14.The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.

This is the culmination of the Democrat Party and Liberal politicians (here and in Europe). For decades the Left has promoted identity politics - each group supporting "it's own". Be it gays, Blacks or Latinos or women, your identity was your political badge. With the culmination of anti-White activists over the last two years, is it any wonder that a politician that explicitly argues for 15 of the 16 points of Alt-Right "principles" while ignoring every accusation of bigotry might win a general election among AMERICANS?

The largest identity in this country is white, as it is generally throughout the West. If you demand people vote their identity, don't be surprised if it works for the majority.

Identity politics only works for minorities when the majority can be cowed into supporting the minority demands, even when those demands are harmful to the community as a whole. This is a problem for the Alt-Right. When the minorities realize their hold is slipping (or gone) they have only two choices: submit to the dominant culture or violence. Undoing the decades of damage will be painful in many ways.

It can't be racist or bigoted for Blacks to demand Blacks conform/vote for Blacks, for women to conform/vote for women, for Latinos to conform/vote for Latinos and BE racist when whites conform/vote for whites. It just goes back to the 'being white is racist inherently'. People are both tired and disgusted that nothing they do or say makes a difference, only the color of their skin determines their social standing - exactly who are the racists here?



Here is where I break from the Alt-Right...and it might not be a break as much as a difference or divergent point of view. I am the first born of immigrants to this country. I was in lesbian relationship for 18 years. I have helped to raise an adopted baby girl from China. I am NOT demographically an Alt-Right. Yet, philosophically much of the foundation is something I can embrace.

It goes back to a difference I think only exists because the numbers NOW support it: immigrants to this country are not assimilating. Prior to the 60s or 70s it used to take everything and emotionally, intellectually abandoning the external components of your identity to immigrate. With very few exceptions, immigration was a one time, forever proposition. There was no ability to avoid assimilation, you had to in order to survive. Until recently those trips took days, weeks and even months to accomplish moving to another country. Yet, there were always enclaves of immigrants. Did that mean people didn't assimilate? On a case by case basis, probably. As a community, it tended to break down as generations grew up and moved out. It took time.

My parents didn't associate with similar immigrants - they fully embraced America and everything about it. They raised six American children. No hyphen.

For a significant portion of our history, immigration to the United States skimmed the best of almost every other country. Best in the sense that they WANTED the American identity AND were willing to assimilate and work damn hard for it. It has become easy for people to come here and keep one foot in their past. There is no desire to assimilate, only plunder/take advantage of the United States. And we have given them the ability to influence our country in ways that damage and are destroying our culture and identity.

I can see a uniquely American identity that is more than the Alt-Right.


Finally, there are variations within the Alt-Right that are both acknowledged and distanced by different individuals. I put them here to distinguish them from the broader Alt-Right that the media is trying to paint.


The Alt-White focuses on the future for the White Race to the general exclusion of others. A SMALL subset are those White Supremacists we see in the media. They have taken the opportunity that the media (and some politicians) has given them - unintentionally - to gain a platform/megaphone. We'd all be better off it they were ignored.

The Alt-West tends to downplay the race but focus on the European aspect.

Alt-Lite is newer and I've seen several different explanations including ignoring the religious aspect but also that ignore race as a factor.


Right now Alt-(whatever) is trying to piggyback on the attention Alt-Right is getting. We are talking about groups that MAYBE number in the hundreds but are more likely much much smaller.


There it is. Alt-Right is generally, white, male, Christian, of European descent, traditionalist, chauvinist, and decidedly independent. If you are inherently weak in your own identity, Alt-Right is scary. It isn't. Your fears is not it's features. It doesn't care about you. At all. Join it because it represents you, or not. I have not been made to feel unwelcome. Some disagree with my choices, but I've found more angst and anger from Conservatives and Liberals than I have from Alt-Right.

Be aware however, as a movement, the thought leaders are intelligent, well read, and strong personalities. If that scares you, the Alt-Right is not for you.







Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Health care

The fundamental problem with health care in the United States is NOT rising prices - those are the symptom.

It started 51 years ago. Medicare.

95% of all the medical costs you incur in your lifetime will happen in the last year of your life. An insurance study done decades ago and only since refined, but not altered in the conclusion. As we have increased the life span the percentage has gone done for the last year but increased for the last five years of your life - we live longer but at a cost. Still, quality and quantity have been improving.

If I told you that your car insurance was $1 a day for January though November, but $10 a day for December...you'd demand one of three things:
1. A quote from another company
2. That we spread the December amount over the whole year, or
3. You wouldn't bother with insurance in December (or conversely, for January through November)

When there is no other company - you MUST get your insurance through me - the only other options are what we have with Obamacare.

#3 is what people decide when they think they are very good drivers and they have a very good record of not getting into accidents.

#2 is what everyone gets when we take the most expensive costs and spread them out over the whole. But...you could go your entire life without getting into a car accident, but you will not get out of this life alive. And those final costs are, especially over an entire population, significant. So, we spread it out. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical care times millions of people every year.

Medicare shifted the cost of health care for the elderly onto everyone else. When the number of seniors was small and the number of workers large, the difference was pretty small. Now, the reverse is true.

In a nutshell:
A procedure cost $10,000. For a senior under Medicare, because of agreements with hospitals and doctors, the government only pays $6,400 and lets the senior pick up $2,000. What is the hospital supposed to do with the missing $1,600? Simple, it increases the cost to everyone else (not on Medicare) to $10,500. But insurance companies want some of the same deals that Medicare gets so, they pay $6,800 and leave their customers to pay $2,100. What happens to the other $1,600? Simple, the hospital charges the guy that pays for it out of pocket $11,500.

The cost is shifted from the senior to the insured to the uninsured (or self insured). Spread that out over thousands of procedures on millions of people and the numbers become staggering. Add in inflation and more expensive care as more people survive longer and the cost shifting becomes a game of who can shift the cost to someone else fastest. Government, seeing rapidly rising costs demands more shifting away from the growing number of people on medicare (and the state provided, medicare subsidized medi-programs), while insurance companies faced with their own escalating costs of complying with ever increasing documentation and regulation and inflation and rising medical costs, shift the cost to their clients in higher deductibles and more co-payments and demands for their own cost shifting. Dumping more people that can't afford it into the uninsured universe of the highest costs.

x 50 years.....

Obamacare takes the sickest of the uninsured and tells the insurance companies - insure them.

That is telling the car insurance company to insure someone sitting in an intersection with a crumpled front end and dripping fluids...

Insurance is about managing risk - there is a 100% risk to insure someone that just had an accident FOR that accident. Obamacare was not only destined to fail, it was designed to. So that the 'only solution' was government cutting insurers out of the system and just putting everyone on medicare.

Sounds good to people.....except to those people already on medicare who have watched their costs skyrocket over the last 5 years of Obamacare's initial efforts while care and service has dropped because there is a flood of new patients but no change in the numbers of nurses, doctors or hospital beds - and basic economics will tell you that increasing demand over a fixed supply means rising prices.

It is a vicious cycle that started....51 years ago. And all the people that sold Medicare, voted for Medicare, who benefited first from Medicare are long dead. We are left to live with the destruction they sowed. There are alternatives....I've considered two different options in the last dozen years....but something will change in the next two years, no matter who is elected....

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Two sides...


One side sees government as the tool to effect social change. To education, to heal, to eliminate poverty - to improve the human condition.

One side sees government as a tool to protect our rights to live and act freely - be that from others, from corporations or from foreign influence/action.

An argument can be made (and it is) that government can do both, but it is a failure to understand the means by which government can to the former - it must have the authority to take from some people to give it to others: It must pay teachers and fund schools, it must pay doctors and nurses and fund hospitals, it must pay for food and housing and it must prevent actions by individuals that hurt or harm others. That authority, once given, is seldom restricted or recalled. A phone tax intended to support efforts in World War One was finally repealed in the 1980s. If you demand government teach, you either specify exactly what it teaches or accept that it will teach what benefits the teachers. You lose control of the tool of change.

Easiest example: government controlled by one party tells teachers to tell students that gay marriage is ok. Then government is controlled by another party that tells teachers to tell students that gay marriage is bad.

We get students of different ages told different things - each objectionable by one side or the other. Both arguing about what was taught but neither arguing that the teachers shouldn't be teaching EITHER side.

You can not give government the power to impose "good" on people without fundamentally destroying both liberty and good government.

So, while one side sees effecting social change as a morally good thing, the other side sees it as morally corrupt liberty destroying.

One side is evil. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Trust

It is not common knowledge, but most economists will tell you that paper currency ABSOLUTELY relies upon people accepting that it has value. When you work, offer your labor, in return for a piece of paper that represents more pieces of paper so that you can exchange them for food, fuel, shelter, you support a currency based solely on that trust.

What happens when that trust disappears? If you bought a car or a house, how much actual cash did you use? Or was it all 'paper' electronically exchanges solely based on your signature?

What happens when the value of the car or house, based on your paper purchase price, is suddenly questioned? When the bank realizes that the $200,000 it gave the seller of the house you bought in return for a mortgage against that house, represents much more than the house is actually worth?

Our trust in our currency and in our financial system is the ONLY thing that allows it to continue. Remove that trust (as happened in 2008 among banks and the financial community), and things quickly begin to unravel.

But it is the same with our electoral process. We have to trust that the system is fair (and Democrats screamed for years that the Bush presidency was illegitimate), or it too begins to unravel.

If you are unaware of the videos and wikileaks that show conspiracy to subvert the electoral process, you get your news from sources part of that conspiracy. I hate to offer a 'conspiracy theory - though it is clear it is more than theory - but it goes back to trust, large parts of the electorate are beginning to question the process and once that happens in a majority way, like the financial system, our governance system will start to unravel.

Trust. Fundamental to all relationships, personal, financial, governmental. Lose it and it all comes apart. And the tears are bigger than you think...

Offended I tell ya, OFFENDED!

A hallmark of free speech is the ability to offend. As a matter of fact, it was specifically called upon to protect political speech that stopped short of slander and defamation, but left every person that heard it offended.

Now, I don't like to use the term 'offended' because like 'racist' it is overused to the point of meaninglessness. Yet, if speech DOESN'T offend you at some point you are living in a bubble you truly need to get out of more often.

Getting out of your comfort zone is a sign you are stretching - if you only get out of the comfort zone by someone's speech, then YOU have failed in a basic human endeavor: growth.

All of this doesn't mean that you should burn your ears with loud, obnoxious, vulgar, hateful (not speaking of some pathetic "hate speech" code), diarrhea of the mouth. My brother could string together grammatically correct swear words, which were more humorous than what he was aiming for... No, calling someone corrupt, or a liar in order to protect the sensitive ears is treating people like four year olds. While they might WANT to be treated like four year olds, we really have to raise the next generation of twenty somethings to take on the real world.

So, next time someone 'offends you' with something they say, take a second to really listen and see if the problem is not what you are hearing, but what you are thinking.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A quiet time...

Waiting for the movie to start I relaxed and thought of the time I spend just sitting. It is a lost art I think.

Whether you call it prayer, meditation, contemplation or navel gazing, time spent sitting and trying to NOT think about what you need to do next, or when you stand up again is getting to be almost impossible in our 24/7 connected lives.

Two plus years ago, sitting in the RCU (Recuperative Care Unit of the homeless shelter), I spent 16 hours a day sitting in a chair, sitting in a hallway four and a half feet wide staring at the wall. Then the floor. Back to the wall. Floor. Wall....and so on. I listened to the people walking back and forth in the hallway. I could hear the TV in the room at the end of the hallway with Judge Judy and Jerry Springer. But after a couple of days...well, not much to think about when there is NOTHING to do next when I stood up, not that standing up was something I was happy to be doing.

So. I just listened. Mostly I tried to ignore the barely audible brain destroying TV (I swear I could feel brain cells dying whenever I walked into that room). In the evening when people started coming back in for overnight...there were conversations but mostly, 16 hours of sitting.

A funny thing happened. I can't tell you WHAT it is, but I can tell you that I heard things. Not voices, not rumblings. I began to be aware that I knew things I had no particular way to know

I would start to say something and as I was getting ready to speak, I knew that it wasn't right...and the words died before passing out.

I would say something and knew it was right the second I said it. I said things to people that others had told them miles and hours earlier. I said what they needed to hear. I was just spouting my usual pretentious stuff...you know, the stuff I say HERE!

This is of course not turning out as sage as it sounded while I waited for the movie to start....guess that's what happens 7 hours later.

What I want you to do is to find a comfortable place (no, the RCU hallway was NOT comfortable!), relax. Turn off the phone, TV, radio, IPod, turn it ALL off. And listen. Take a shot at 10 minutes, work your way up to an hour over the next month. Try every day.

The Universe is trying to tell you a lot, but ya got to LISTEN.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Women's view?

Woman's advocate on the Left describes Ivanka Trump as a 'character'.

Melania Trump is being criticized for not being out stumping for her husband....as if that is the best use of her time - she does have a career of her own....

Trump is being criticized for 'picking on a woman' by calling her overweight - weight shaming her - when the premier issue of her position was IMAGE....you know, that thing women are always complaining about beauty pagents....so when her image 'slipped' and he was the owner of the pagent, complaining about her image was the JOB DESCRIPTION.
People are dismissing Trump's apparent coming attack on Bill's sexual predator attacks as 'old news' their bringing up Trumps words from 20 years ago as a private citizen is truly hypocritical and politically motivated. Hillary talked about believing women that accuse someone of sexual abuse, except when they accused Bill (and he later admitted to several of them). Hillary talks about Trump TALKING about women, while ignoring Bill's actual physical attacks. Hillary talks about respecting women while Bill abused a 21 yr old in the OVAL OFFICE. Right, abused. See, just 10 years previously, a famous senator lost his job because he had an affair with a woman 25 years his junior in his office BECAUSE women of the Left said he was using his POWER to overwhelm the young woman's judgment. What was Monica but a 21 yr old intern...

Sorry. Either the issue is important or it is not. Either judgment is important or it is not. Either the actions of elected officials in office is important or it is not.

Hillary Clinton had classified material on her private computer - that is a felony. Intent is not a factor. Scooter Libby was convicted under the same issue...you remember him, the Left was apoplectic about it.

I'm used to double standards...but the Left isn't even bothering with a standard at this point, one standard for everyone else, anything goes for Clinton.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, 2001, In memoriam: Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui

Posted annually on 9/11 since 2006 (I've missed a few, my apologies to Bobbi)

September 11, 2001, 7:59am, United Flight 11 leaves Boston's Logan airport.

In just a few short minutes, Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui, 38, of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts would be one of the first casualties of that day. Assigned to the First Class cabin, Bobbi and fellow attendant Karen Martin were attacked shortly after takeoff.


In less than 40 minutes, the rest of the crew and passengers of Flight 11 died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

There are no public posts from friends or family on Bobbi. Two stories were published about her and her boyfriend Wayne. From them, the information below is shared.


"The first thing I noticed, of course, was that she is absolutely beautiful," he said. "We had a nice talk, probably for about 15 minutes. I asked her if it would be possible to get her phone number."

She told him sternly: "No, I don't give out my home number."

Wayne shrugged his shoulders and walked away, thinking: I gave it my best shot. She stopped him with one word.

"But," she said.
He turned.
"I'll give it to you."

She was living in Washington, D.C., the middle of five girls from a California family with Spanish Basque roots. Two of the girls would join the tight-knit community of flight attendants.

Her typical schedule was three or four days on followed by three or four days home.

She turned their house into a cozy retreat with a garden out back. They made a habit of walking the cranberry bogs, picking blueberries and having breakfast at the Mills Restaurant. She loved to cook - she dreamed of attending culinary school.

Bobbi picked up three stray and abused cats: Olive, Bruiser and Pumpkin. She'd loved animals since she was a kid in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles.

"She was a gentle person, yet tough when she needed to be," said Rosie Arestegui, who gave her daughter Barbara the nickname Bobbi. "She knew her job so well. She could do two or three people's work, plus hers, and it would be done perfectly."

Colleagues of Bobbi repeated that praise when Wayne met them in Boston on Friday. He talked with more than 50 people who knew his girlfriend through work. They remembered her as energetic; a huge heart in a 5-foot-3-inch frame.

Bobbi was not scheduled to work Flight 11 that day. But she had accepted extra flights; she was saving up her earned vacation to take a trip with Wayne at the end of September.

She got up about 2:30 that morning and within a few hours was out the door.

"Usually she wakes me up when she leaves. She didn't wake me up this time," he said.

But she did keep another of their rituals: At 6:45 a.m., he got a phone call from the airport.

"She told me that she was just about to board. She was waiting for them to finish cleaning the plane," he said. "She was in a wonderful mood, better than normal."


To view other sites honoring those that died on 9/11

Links:
http://www.september11victims.com/september11Victims/VictimInfo.asp?ID=3
http://www.flightattendants.org/Memorials/AA_FA_Barbara_Arestegui.htm
http://www.inmemoriamonline.net/Profiles/Folders/A_Folder/Arestegui_Barbara-(AA11).html
http://www.capecodonline.com/special/terror/changessubtle11.htm

Someone who inspired you...

Two years ago I was asked to write about someone that inspired me. I did, and fortunately, shared it with her a couple of months later...
***********

Sometimes we find that in looking for inspiration that we have overlooked what was right before us all along. At the first mention of this project, I immediately thought of Sarah Palin. This woman, a wife and mother, had been raised in a tight-knit family, played sports and went to a small Christian college, obtaining her degree. She married and started a family with a husband that worked in his family's business and had separate jobs as the seasons changed. Palin became involved in her children's school PTA. Eventually running for Mayor of her town, and a small town it was. Everyone knew each other and when children departed from the way they were raised, a neighbor would intervene and return them to their parents - not so much that it took a village to raise a child, but that a village was there to support the parents in their job. She eventually was picked to chair a commission that accomplished in 3 years under her leadership what it had failed to do the previous 10 years - get multi-national oil companies to the table and completed an agreement that resulted in Alaskan citizens receiving substantial benefits from the depletion of the state's natural resources.

In doing so she went against her political party and rooted out corruption. Her run for Governor thereafter resulted in a huge margin of winning. Throughout it all, she was a wife and mother first. Her commitment to principled stands made her well worth the admiration she garnered. But I wondered if I had someone better to hold up? I sighed inwardly...of course I did.

This woman was born into a wealthy family. Her father had a national reputation in his field, but World War Two and an addiction to alcohol cost him his reputation, his business and eventually his respect. But his wife remained and the four daughters they raised made a transition to working class. This woman would work as an usherette in a theatre and her boyfriend ran the projector. After a couple years, instead of a proposal, the boyfriend dumped her.

Three years later he showed up on the doorstep of her mother and asked her to marry him and leave the country she called home. She said yes. Imagine the inner strength of that. Marriage, leaving your country all for a guy that dumped you. Yet she did, and the children came. Six children in 10 years. Two miscarriages marred the happiness, but together, this woman and her husband did something no one in their families had ever done - they bought a home. Fixed it up, sold it and bought another one. In 1964 they were the original real estate flippers. Her husband worked nights, went to school during the day and moved from sweeping buses to maintaining high voltage substations for the Chicago Transit system.

To this day, some 56 years later, my mother and I share a connection that miles and daily living can not break. I have lived in 8 states, and while that is not the same as leaving your homeland, my willingness to jump into the deep end and move forward is in my genes. My mother's commitment to raising children that were cared for and loved has found few positive comparisons. She maintains a log book with every birthday and Christmas present bought and it's cost. None of her children can say one was favored over another, one loved more. That sense of fairness has never wavered. I am reminded every time I see that book that it was never about the dollar and cents of my parents giving, it was knowing that in the future their children might mistakenly accuse them and they would have proof of their caring for each equally. That book now has spouses, grand children and great grand children and the commitment is still there. Steadfastness in the face of everything.

We were not raised to be religious, we were raised to be reverent. To be respectful and to be respectable. My sibs and I have led others in every task we have been charged with. Loyalty given has been loyalty earned. When my brother passed, the City of Chicago Council recognized him and his contribution to the community. That certificate sits next to my brother's ashes in the kitchen/dining area in my parents house - so that he will always know we remember him and keep him close. Love not til death do us part, but forever.

My parents received a normal education, my father apprenticed and earned his master's license before he left for the United States. He did it again here in a new field will working and raising a family. When I received my Bachelors, they simply nodded and said, good job. We didn't get extra praise for doing what was expected. Ask my mother today if she did anything special and she will deny it. She raised six children that have benefited and contributed to society. Today that merits special attention because of its rarity. She expected we would all work and live to our potential. I can't say that we have all done as well as we could, but that didn't change my mother's attitude towards us.

My mother, a wife, a plumber, a cook, a chauffeur, a seamstress, an electrician, a painter, a den mother, a friend, has no awards or certificates to celebrate her accomplishments - she will point to me and my sibs as her reward.

When my partner of 18+ years passed, my mother said my strength and my adherence to my principles moved her to tears. My partner's daughter was embraced as my parent's 15th grandchild. My mother and father never wavered in their acceptance and support of our life. When my illness forced me into a dependent state, they were there to support and encourage. My mother talked to me every day. I am 56 and I still listen to and am comforted by her wisdom and advice.

A wife, a mother, a woman that I am still trying to emulate because I have found no other woman in my life more worthy than her of my ambitions.

The one word, mom. No job, career or ambition is of higher regard.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

You will be assimilated....

From Jerry Pournelle "migration without assimilation is invasion"

We have made the idea of assimilation a bad thing in popular culture - it is too....BORG like. Except, the 'melting pot' is an important part of becoming American. If you leave your country, go to another country (ANY other country) you will be expected to learn the language, follow the laws and participate in their culture. That is how my parents were expected to act when they came to THIS country, and how they planned to act. Now, we not only don't expect them to follow our laws, we are going to bend our culture/society to their expectations!

The 'anti-appropriation movement' is a direct attack on the 'melting pot' assimilation process.

The first step in assimilation, in becoming American, is to lose the hyphen.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Disrespect or Patriotism?

The Colin Kaepernick stunt continues to produce minor ripples in the convosphere.

When I went to church with V and CJ, I stood when everyone else stood, I sat quietly, I didn't read a book or listen to music on headphones. I didn't share their beliefs, but I was respectful. THAT is the difference. You don't have to share the beliefs, but respect someone's house when you are in it - or don't GO THERE.

No one says America is perfect, but when a black can earn 19 million dollars, or be President, or Attorney General or Governor or CEO or any other damn thing we have in this country....well, it doesn't give them a pass to be disrespectful of the society that gave them that opportunity.

The breakdown of American Society is the coarsening of the way people think of it. When segments believe there is nothing redeemable about our society, that it is racist, or misogynist, or ablist or whatever claim people to make about our society to argue for their withholding their support - except for their daily participation and benefit of it - then outside influences have the opportunity to widen the cracks and further damage what they can not damage themselves.

It is said that strong cultures are not destroyed from without, but from within. And that is what is happening. We are fracturing ourselves by isolating smaller and smaller groups, segregation writ large and self imposed, and then withholding our support from the larger society when it faces external and existential threats. More and more people are embracing those ideas and ideals that are destructive, socialism being one of the largest. But also the demand that others not assimilate into our culture but retain their ancestral own within our borders. The argument that our culture is no better than any other is demonstrably false.

It is not disrespect of another culture to ask the people that come here to assimilate and participate in our culture - after all, if theirs had been superior, why would they have left it? The benefits of our culture are a function of its foundations which was created by the assimilation and participation of everyone that has been born or chose to move here.

I could attend that church, participate in it's community, share the foundations but only by being respectful of it. Holding yourself apart, being disrespectful of the culture that you live in and benefit from is not making things better, it is making it much worse than you think it is. The alternatives are out there to see, and it should scare the hell out of you.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Cognative dissonance

Let us compare:

Stop the Keystone pipeline - an infrastructure project that will create tens of thousands of jobs (hold that bold thought in your mind)

Create a trillion dollar program to build bridges, dams and other infrastructure projects to put millions of people to work (add that in there too)

Provide a free college education to everyone that wants one

Allow millions of uneducated, unskilled illegal immigrants to come to, stay in United States.


These are the ideas of Obama, Hillary and the Left. Let's consider them.

If we create those millions of jobs that require 8 hours of physical labor every day, five days a week, 280 days a year, who is going to work them? The 50 year olds that have been laid off from manufacturing jobs lost to overseas? Hundreds of thousands of college graduates?

Or the uneducated, unskilled illegal immigrants?

Do you think unions will welcome those illegal immigrants into their ranks? I do. And all those 50 yr old ex-labor union workers will be on the street...picking up their $150 a month union pension. (My father paid into his union pension fund for 37 years, got less than $100/mo upon retirement)

So. Remember that first project? It is not the actual project that benefits us, it is what flows in that pipeline that does - millions of barrels of oil. Necessary to run all that equipment building all those projects.

Oh, we have millions of uneducated, unskilled, unemployed workers now - the black community. Wonder who will be hurt most by people willing to do physically demanding work for $12/hr, 8 hours a day, five days a week?

It is not that the Left doesn't think, it is that they don't understand consequences.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Alt-right or Alternative Right

Lots has been written about the Alt-Right in the last couple of days with Hillary's speech on Thursday. Ignoring the slanderist rhetoric, it would make sense to at least understand her concerns - and she is right to be concerned. Not for us, or the United States, but for herself and her agenda.

Most of the issues raised were more projection than explanation.

Clinton attempted a "reset" with Russia while Secretary of State. Her State Department helped to establish a 'technology center' in Russia that virtually everyone acknowledges is a way for Russia to 'steal', co-opt American technology. She helped Russia gain access and control over America's uranium supplies. She and Obama called Romney's characterization of Russia as our geo-political enemy laughable and dangerous. Russia was our partner against Iran, then ISIS.

Now Russia is the bogey man. Projecting Putin into Trump's head and campaign. Trump said that Putin's focus on Russia First was something we could emulate. Putting America First, not some pan-globalist ideal. Putin's aggressive stance against anti-Russia elements within his boards was another. Again, not something to oppose.

But the underlying reason to hate both Trump and Putin is their focus on 'nationalism'. Somehow, being for your own nation is bad. No, of course not, they (Clinton and the sycophants) want you to believe that they are acting in our best interest but that populism, support for a grassroots political(democratic) movement combined with nationalism is the root of an American NAZI awakening. Bullshit. And they know that, so, they have to tie in the one other piece to make their picture complete:

White Supremacy.

Do you think Japan should be for Japanese?
Do you think China should be for Chinese?
Do you think Israel should be for Israelis?

Most of the Alt-right categorically denies any allegiance to white supremacy. Only white sovereignty. And while I don't disagree in principle with that - after all, don't you support Black Lives Matter? Don't white lives matter also?

But, the issue (that I have) with alt-right is the general principle that alt-right stands for a christian, european, rule of law culture that is dominantly white. And that this country, the United States is the embodiment of the pinnacle of such culture that has lead the world in democracy, capitalism and innovation for two centuries.

There is some support for their positions that have historical support:

John Jay, author of the Federalist Paper #2-5 and 62, wrote:

It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, widespreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.

My own agnosticism is tweeked by the idea that we need to be a Christian nation. If by that we mean that it is populated by a supermajority of Christians, then I am ok with that. If it means to be governed by Scripture, then obviously I have a problem. But in discussions, the majority seem inclined to the former rather than the later.

So, while there are those that cheer the Alt-Right that are assuredly poisonous, that is not in itself bad. After all, the Communist Party of the United States backs Hillary Clinton wholeheartedly!! No one is claiming Clinton is the party of Communists....socialists maybe...!!

Many of the policy arguments tend to be highly supportive of Trump: limited trade agreements, very limited immigration, and certainly not of those that can't stomach our secular, humane society where everyone is 'equal'. That means that those that don't subscribe to women's rights and gay's rights can hardly be quietly dumped into small communities with no tangible ties to the refugees. It means that we stay out of the affairs of other countries.

The other place I have a problem with alt-right...and also with a portion of the economic landscape I am generally supportive of....is their opposition to free-trade. Although I am thinking there is a difference of opinion as to what that means. To the alt-right it means the free movement of immigrants. And I don't think it necessarily means that. But I am also having issues with my support of unfettered free trade. More on that elsewhere.

The significant point that Clinton generally hinted at, but those opposed to Alt-right have hit upon is this:

We must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children

You are going to read that and think white supremacy. And Clinton wants you to. But let me change it and see what your opinion becomes:

We must secure the existence of black people and a future for black children
We must secure the existence of Jewish people and a future for Jewish children

Any change in character?

To the first one: Black adoptees speak out

To the second one: Evangelical support of Israel

Iraq and Egypt and Syria have seen the slaughter of Christians. Many countries in the Middle East will not allow Christian churches.
Why are many Middle Eastern refugees not Christian, but Moslem? Are there no Moslem countries in the Middle East not at war and with significant financial resources....like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia?

I don't oppose legal immigration - my parents are legal immigrants as is my daughter. I want those that see the United States as a place for children to grow up with unlimited opportunities - I fully support the culture, the european, christian, rule of law culture. For that reason, I support the alt-right in principle. I do have some issues, but then, I wouldn't be me if I didn't want to reserve my own sovereignty....

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Current research project

What is the foundation of law? Moral foundation? Then either it is a Christian based moral foundation or a natural law foundation. Natural law has a long history, but by 1250 it was strongly codified/explained by Thomas Aquinas as 'of God'. My current reading list: "A Line Through the Heart" and Written On The Heart", J. Budziszewski "Natural Law", Jacques Maritain "After the Natural Law", John Lawrence Hill "50 Questions on the Natural Law", Charles Rice "On Law, Morality and Politics" and "Summa Theologica", Thomas Aquinas "The Natural Law", Heinrich A. Rommen "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals", Immanuel Kant "Laws", Plato "Natural Law in the Spiritual World", Henry Drummond A Treatise of Human Nature", David Hume I'd actually be interested in a discussion on the following: Did a system of rights and morality exist prior to the religious foundations of Judism and Christianity? Is such a foundation applicable today?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

We feel your pain......not really, but you are going to make us, right?

A woman gets raped. Horrific and devastating. She reports it to police, man is arrested, trial, convicted, goes to prison for a long time. End of story....wellll, not really. See, the woman has to grapple with the trauma. Now first, (I am going to use 'we' because I am less interested in grammar than narrative), we have to focus on the events and circumstances leading up to the rape. We dress, we act, with the intent to feel nice about our appearance. It is not an invitation to assault, but first we ask: did we ask for this somehow. We are told we never ask for it - and on the fullest level, we didn't. But the thought does occur. If we can get past this and for many, they do, we then get to, could I have done more to prevent it. This one is harder because no matter how much you anticipate events, nothing is exactly as imagined. No matter how much you plan, no plan survives contact with the enemy. I've tried to tell people that it is not 'more' but 'different'. Could I have done something 'different'? The answer is yes, but the outcome might not have been any different.

If we can get past the second guessing about everything WE did or didn't do, we come to the 'what was he thinking' phase. This is futile. My experience with people that do horrific things is they weren't THINKING at all. It was some emotional ride their were on and it just 'got out of control'. Which is a bullshit excuse. They are not dogs/animals. The issue was 'they wanted and they were going to take what they wanted, period'. You can't spend time on 'what was he thinking' because it really had nothing to do with you.

We can sympathize with people going through this, some can empathize with them. But my problem begins when I am told I need to suffer along with them. And this is how that happens.

However or whatever way someone deals with a trauma - rape, or abuse, or anything that just kicks them hard, they need to deal with it in ways that address their issues. Let's say - it is a terrible (simplistic) example - that a woman was wearing a red dress when raped and the man was wearing a NY (sorry NY) Mets baseball cap. However she is approaching the issue, every time she sees a baseball cap her heart rate increases and she starts sweating. If it happens to be a NY cap, she begins to panic. Also, she got rid of the dress....as a matter of fact all her dresses and anything that was red....because every time she looked at 'red' in her closet, the same thing happened. She needs help dealing with these things and there is lots of help available.

But she doesn't go that way, she gets together with people supportive of her and gets them to agree not to wear red or baseball caps around her. So, after that she asks her employer to stop people from wearing red or wearing baseball caps. When turned down, she complains they were not being sympathetic to her situation. Pretty soon, she has friends and supporters protesting everywhere to ban red clothing and baseball caps. They do it in NY, at baseball games. Any suggestion or comment in opposition is immediately condemned as not being supportive.

Pretty soon the term 'trigger' is used and we all must consider our actions so that we don't inconsiderately trigger a panic attack.

We now must suffer along with the woman. We have to watch ourselves and others so as to not 'trigger' her response. A response that is understandable but not reasonable. The red dress and baseball cap had nothing to do with the rape.

I am not going to adjust my life to assuage your trauma. I will not be made to suffer as you do because you are dealing with suffering. I gave up a long time ago trying to second guess or rationalize things that are not rational. Shit happens, quit trying to smear me with it.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Ah yea, about that....

"Remember, the Benghazi protests were prompted by this film depicting the prophet Mohammed in not very flattering terms. The equation from the protesters at the US consulate in Benghazi: this film was produced by an American; we will hold America responsible for it.

The result: national foreign relations are seriously compromised by the irresponsible act of an individual. For structural and functional reasons, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the rationale behind the Neutrality and Logan Acts. A similar rationale undergirds the ouster of states from foreign relations — along the lines of Hamilton’s dictum in Federalist No. 80 that “the peace of the Whole should not be left to the disposal of the Part.”
This is the thinking of mindless idiots. This is what passes for brain rot so deep that fungus couldn't grow on it. This is the level of stupidity that passes for educated discourse in a society that has determined that the CONCEPT of educated discourse is equal to monkeys throwing shit at each other.

Watch:
"Remember, the shit throwing protests were prompted by the display of a woman in a bathing suit, not just ONE woman, but a whole STAGE of them. The equation from the shit throwing protesters is: this 'show of filthy, disgusting vile behavior was produced by an American; we will hold America responsible for it.

THEREFORE

National foreign relations are seriously compromised by women appearing HALF NAKED IN PUBLIC. For structural and functional reasons, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the rationale behind the Neutrality and Logan Acts. A similar rationale undergirds the ouster of states from foreign relations — along the lines of Hamilton’s dictum in Federalist No. 80 that “the peace of the Whole should not be left to the disposal of the Part.”


SEE? Our national standing and the ability to interact with other ADULTS is compromised by the SHIT THROWING MONKEYS that object to things they find offensive and therefore WE must function as if the SHIT THROWING MONKEYS are our equals or, because of our disgusting and vile behavior, OUR BETTERS.

F*K YOU. OUR culture is not better than theirs. To even MAKE the comparison is to suggest a steaming pile of shit should be or COULD be compared to prime steak. Their 'culture' barely qualifies as HUMAN. Oh, but it is HUMAN. Make no mistake, I'd NEVER equate the rational behavior of a society of monkeys with those marauding cesspits inhabiting the 'Islamic World'. To do so would be to insult MONKEYS.

Doctors know that the first step of curing an infection is to remove the SOURCE of the infection. That all attempts to cure or heal are wasted as long as the source of the infection remains. Further, if the infection threatens the host, doctors will CUT OFF the part of the body with the infection to save the whole.

Islam is an infection in the body of society and we either allow it to fester and eventually kill society or WE CUT IT OUT. Don't talk to me about liberty. The freedom to express is NOT the freedom to kill. If YOU want to treat rampaging murderers as MORALLY EQUIVALENT TO YOU, then it says more about the pathetic, mindless state YOU are in.

Barack Obama has proven that he agrees with the shit throwers and that THEY are OUR BETTERS. Further, he has clearly articulated that OUR future is not his concern, nor the focus of his EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY.

I was under the impression that there were enough ADULTS remaining in this country that we could tolerate our own shit throwing morons for a couple of years to allow the STENCH to reach a point where people would refuse to tolerate it anymore. But I was WRONG. Apparently a large MAJORITY of our population has decided that not only do they tolerate the shit throwing, they are willing to wallow in it.

DONE. I was wrong. To treat the spineless, mind rot of the left as something approaching HUMAN ADULTHOOD. If you are a woman and support 'cultural equivalency' of Islam with our culture you are not only STUPID, YOU ARE SUICIDALLY STUPID. If you are a male over the age of 18 that supports Obama, that thing hanging down there is as USELESS as the mindless rot between your ears and your position is DEFINITIVE PROOF of your INABILITY to reach maturity regardless of how long you live.

Finally. YOU are absolutely right that the REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS are both the same. They ARE because they have learned that OUR population of suicidal, mind rotting, infants WANT TO BE TREATED just they way they are. They ARE because YOU are.

The STENCH makes me want to gag. I WILL NOT tolerate it anymore.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting kicked out of your life...Part One

The last post was written seven months ago. A lot has happened since then. Among other things, it is interesting how little the world has changed in the intervening time. Many people, including me, were predicting economic implosion and yet here we are seven months later still chugging along. Yet, while the society at large has remained essentially unchanged, my little segment has changed dramatically.

On December 18th I left Poway with CJ and the dog to travel to Chicago, via our truck, for an extended Christmas vacation. I also wasn't feeling well that day. Twenty six days later we arrived home having traveled over 5,600 miles. I was somewhat more sick. A week later, despite believing I would get better at home, I was worse. I went to the Emergency Room. They did very little for my coughing and difficulty breathing, but they did find a fractured vertebra in my back. Surgery, orthascopically, to reenforce the bone with bone cement, was done and I was discharged a day later. That was Jan 22.

On February 5th, I went to an appointment with my general practitioner doctor that was a follow-up to my hospital stay in January. We covered the hospital stay and my persistent cough and difficulty breathing. (I was supposed to leave the hospital with a medicine prescription for my lungs. The prescription was written incorrectly by the discharging doctor at the hospital and I have never been able to get it fixed despite 10 days of trying.) As almost an aside, I mentioned that I had developed a numbness in my left leg that left me with a tingling sensation that had enlarged to include both legs and my abdomen to a point just below my breasts. The doctor, Dr. Tasher of Escondido, checked a few things, seeking to determine the extent of the numbness. What he did next surprised me.

He turned and picked up the phone and called the Emergency Room at the hospital in Escondido. (My January hospitalization had been in Poway.) Next, he asked to be connected to the on-call neurologist. After a brief time on hold, he retold the doctor of my symptoms. He acknowledged something and then hung up. He asked if I had been driven to our appointment or if I had drove myself. He said he was unsure which was better, getting an ambulance or letting me drive to save time getting to the ER. In the end he told me to drive directly to the ER. He said he was concerned with potential damage to my spinal cord.

I drove to the hospital and walked into the ER. Despite a very large reception area, the room was full of people waiting to be seen. For most of the two weeks since the January hospital stay I had been using Victoria's old walker. My back and ribs were so sore from coughing that I found it painful to walk upright. The walker helped. When I approached the nurses at the 'reception desk', they asked if I was Ms Coyle. When I said yes, a wheelchair was brought immediately for me to sit in. In less than 10 minutes I was wheeled to an exam room. A doctor and nurse arrived shortly and covered my general condition and asked some questions about the numbness and tingling. They said another doctor was on his way. About thirty minutes later the other doctor arrived. Dr. Andrew Nyugen was the on-call neuro-surgeon. He redid much of the same exam Dt. Tasher did and explained that the numbness and tingling were signs of neurological damage to the spinal cord. He said I was being admitted as soon as they could get a bed ready. That took almost 10 hours but they brought a bed down to the ER room. I asked if I could stay in the wheelchair as it had been the most comfortable seat I had sat in recently. Dr Nyugen said no, that he wanted as much pressure on my spine as possible removed as soon as possible.

I had entered the ER at 1:15pm. At 11:30pm, Dr Nyugen came into my hospital room and said that he was concerned that one or more bones of my spine had collapsed onto my spinal cord. Before he went into surgery, he wanted an MRI to see what he would be facing. Due to my weight, I needed to be taken to an Open MRI away from the hospital. There were issues with payment (I had no insurance). It would take until February 8th to get the MRI done. Each night between 11pm and Midnight, Dr, Nyugen would stop in to discuss tests that had been done and what was going to happen next.

He said he believed that an infection had settled into my spinal column and that bones were collapsing. Other bones were likely to be severely compromised making any repair difficult. He said that the odds of walking after the surgery were no better than 50/50 based on his best guess of the situation. He said that recovery was going to be long and difficult. But he was optimistic about me. He said he couldn't believe that I had walked into the ER in the first place. I decided not to tell him or anyone else that I had not driven directly from Dr Tasher's office but instead had driven 30 miles round-trip to friends (the Longs) to ask them to take care of our dog while I was in the hospital. I'm sure Dr Nyugen would have been upset, I knew that the 8 or 9 speed bumps I had to drive over were each potentially life threatening at the worst, at best likely to cost me my legs. Hindsight was cheap at that point.

In the hospital, I was started on massive doses of antibiotics and pain meds. Every bedpan, every movement grew increasingly painful. By Feb 8th I was finally scheduled for the MRI. I was to be transported to the facility, put into the MRI and returned to the hospital. Every bump, every action added to my discomfort. I had spent almost 2.5 hours on the gurney in an office building lobby while the MRI facility demanded immediate payment and the hospital demurred. Finally, something changed and I was positioned for my 80 minutes in the machine. Note that 'open MRI' only means you can see daylight if you can see out of your ears. I fell asleep at least twice.

Four and a half hours after being loaded onto a gurney I was returned to my hospital bed and a large dose of pain med. When I woke up next it was March 2nd or 3rd.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dear Gay People

I am not typical. Isn't THAT an understatement. Those that have known me for all or most of my life know that I have taken several roads seldom traveled. I like it that way. I am willing to look beyond what is accepted to what I believe to be right. Even when that goes against all or most of society. That said, I have a few principles that are in fact, principles.

I believe we have the right to live our life in ways that makes us happy. As long as the actions do not harm or interfere with the rights of others. That means I can choose who I want to spend my life with, live where I want to, have a vocation that fulfills my needs. It also means that everyone else has the same right and freedom.

It appears that many gays - especially those that claim to be liberal - would agree with all but the last statement above. How vile is that? People claim to be for freedom for themselves but not for others. And when pointed out, they claim, it's the law. Bullshit.

Bad law should be ignored and fought against. Even when the 'law' is simply a societal taboo, such as 'races should not mingle'. I am not suggesting everyone should break laws - there are costs associated with every choice and each person should weigh those costs to themselves and their families.

Forcing people to be your friend doesn't work. Forcing people to accept you for who you are doesn't work. It creates animosity, anger, loathing, and hatred. It results in exactly the opposite of the intention. Want to be accepted? Be accepting. Want to be friends? Be friendly.

If I am not liked, respected or accepted by someone, I can't imagine doing anything that would force that person to engage with me further. Why, it would be like forcing a woman raped by a man to marry him. It would be like forcing a homeowner to rent a room to the person that broke in to their home.

I want to be treated like an adult, so I act like an adult. I don't act like a 12 yr old whining to a teacher that no one will play with me....


I have opposed gay couples forcing bakers, photographers and printers to provide services when it is clear those proprietors don't want to. I have noted that the law requires those proprietors to in fact serve the gay couples. I oppose anti-discrimination laws - I think people should have the freedom to refuse service, refuse to associate with anyone they choose. However, failing to follow the law has consequences. Straight people that believe Christian businesspeople should have the freedom to refuse service should stand up against anti-discrimination laws. It works both ways....

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Term Limits

I have often been told that while opposing term limits is a principle of liberty - we should be able to vote for whomever we want and not be prevented by a law (I have a slightly different take on President) - the system is too corrupt to allow that principle to remain. Folks, a principle is not something that is useful only when it works in your favor. Even when it works against you, the foundation of PRINCIPLE is that it doesn't change to suit you. for all the hand-wringing about corruption and 97% re-election rates, I oppose term limits because I think people should be allowed to vote for whomever they want - and it is clear, corrupt and vile politicians are the preferred kind...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Anti-Religion

I have noticed in my writings that a little anti-religion has crept in and that I was spending more time arguing against religion than for something else. Not that I oppose religion on any grounds except for myself. I support people's faith and involvement in religion. What they do from that point on is their issue - unless it gets into my liberty. So, I've gone back into the current work and eliminated about 40% of the effort to make it more about my point of view and less about what others are doing. Hmmm...maybe if we did more of that in our personal lives...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Normal: any system or organism that functions without modification within the environment for which it was created.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tower of Babble

How many lies can be told before truth is no longer expected?

I'm baaaaaaack...

Wow...it's been almost 2 years since I posted anything. Well, no one pays attention, but I am going to post here every day (or almost everyday) instead of posting to facebook or anywhere else. My first purpose of this blog was to have a place to put mt writing/thoughts. I fell away with twitter, then with facebook, but really, neither satisfy - too much hoping for others to notice I think. So, I am going back to posting here, content that no one is going to notice, but that I will.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Economics

When I first was introduced to economics (Micro 101) in college, my basic understanding of the economy cause me no end of trouble in class. What the professor was discussing was so far from my experience I had to wonder if economics actually had anything to do with the economy. It took years for me to understand that in fact, the two had very little in common. Like a photographer evaluating the finest detail of a picture of an elephant, the economist sees only the surface appearance.

But the human brain is an amazing machine that can take just that appearance and determine a great deal about the 'elephant'. As long as you understand the limitations of the attempt, the economist can tell you a great deal about the economy. What they can NOT do is predict, 'what the elephant will do'.

The economy is made up of every actor that participates in it. My purchases, yours, our work, our choices, each create a part of the economy and drive it. Seven billion actors, each independently, and each as a group, from family to community, to state to nation, each a separate and independent actor combine minute by minute (in our digital age -billionth of a second by billionth of a second) to create the economy.

I once described the economy as the wind. You can measure it, you can determine it's direction, force and temperature. You can even, with those measurements, predict it's future direction. But you can not turn it, stop it, move it or entice it. Like light, the wind is both wave and particle. The economy is the wind, with trees and mountains, buildings and shade and water all impacting the flow. We can catch parts in cul-de-sacs or by opening a door and make precise measurements as it flows by, but the farther from a point of measurement, the less we know about it's behavior and future.

Take 100 people from very similar soc-economic situations (income, family, education, geographic location) and give each $5000 per month to spend on all expenses. Keep careful track of the expenditures over a year, Patterns will emerge, large scale consistencies. The edges will vary but the overall picture of those 100 economic units will be fairly clearly established. Now, take a new 100 people from the same soc-economic situation and predict how they will spend $4000 or $6000 over the next year. Many of the same broad categories will emerge, but 'centers of gravity' or 'attractors' will shift.

Further, if you take 1/3 of the group from a pool of people whose income the previous years was significantly less than $5000, 1/3 whose income was significantly more than $5000 and those that have earned $5000 over several years, the ranges within categories will vary broadly. Each person, each economic unit has a different starting point, a different center of gravity.

If it seems as if I am suggesting Chaos Theory, I am.

Many Economists hate to be lumped into social science departments - their attempt to mathematically model economic behavior (they say) is a hard science, steeped in the bowels of mathematics. However, each economic unit, each individual in the experiment above will NOT spend their $5000 each month exactly the same as the previous month. Use a mathematical equation to model their behavior and the error will be all over the map. The Economist will SAY, using math to prove it, that the error is distributed in a way that is measurable. Spending will fall into clear categories but the 'error' will be 'disposable income', a catchall that will encompass so much variety that attempts to minimize it will fail any real world explanation.

Economists will bring probabilities into the calculations. Of course an economic unit will be unable to purchase a jet plane and will probably not buy a single piece of gum so the range of potential purchases will be a probability problem. As a descriptor, it works well, but not as a predictor. This is the fallacy of economics: prediction of the behavior of an economic unit is NOT the sum of the probabilities.

"Adjusting one variable and keeping all the others the same" will predict one possible outcome out of an infinite range of possibilities. A useless result.

"Past experience is not a predictor of future behavior" is exactly the only possible result of economic analysis.

Does this mean we should toss our hands up and say, can't predict future economic behavior of economic units? No. There are some specific 'rules' that economists have been able to glean from their work. Like weathermen knowing that air flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, economic activity is greater in areas of higher monetary aggregates. Where abundance of resources exist, their value/cost is lower than in areas where the resources are scarce. Greater cost reduces usage. For our 100 people, increasing the income increases the range of possible purchases as reducing the income reduces the range of possible purchases.

These basic rules are often ignored by economists tasked with determining policies for government. What happens when economists ignore the rules and think they know how the wind blows?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A response to #occupy

Survey Reveals Occupiers’Values
by Joshua Sager


A recent survey found that Boston’s occupiers share a number of common values and support several major issues, despite having a lack of centralized demands. The “Occupy Boston Issue Survey” received responses from just over 260 occupiers. The survey posed sixty questions to determine the views of occupiers on a wide variety of issues, ranging from tax policy to defense, in order to determine the aggregate opinions of the occupiers. It reached participants via email lists, Google Groups, Facebook, and Twitter. A frequent criticism of the Occupy movement is that the occupiers have expressed no central set of demands. Some critics have concluded that the lack of defined demands signifies that the protesters are not protesting anything at all. However, the survey finds that ten issues and beliefs have near-universal support among occupiers. They are:

1. Revoke corporate personhood so that corporations have no ability to interfere in elections.

Agreed. Most people associated with the Tea Party and most Conservatives agree that corporations are ‘people’ with limited lifespans, or they are not. Can’t be both. However, as long as donations are transparent, corporations have the right to be involved in their governance also.

2. Remove the “revolving doors” that contribute to the corruption of the regulatory process.

Restrictions concerning jobs people may take after government services already exist. Further, arguments that the most experienced in private sector being banned from gov work deprives gov of the best minds. In general, the Tea Party and Conservatives agree on this - however, less government also results in less opportunity for regulatory manipulation.

3. Institute a progressive tax code which both removes loopholes as well as makes the rich and corporations pay their “fair share”.

A. We already have a progressive tax code; B. Corporations pass taxes onto consumers so increasing their taxes just increases how much consumers ‘contribute’ to gov via secondary and less transparent means. Also, define ‘fair share’. The top 1% pay 45% of all income taxes now - how much more should they pay? 50%, 70%, 99%? When a top tax payer has to pay 70 or 99% of every new dollar earned, why bother earning any more?

4. Re-institute the Glass-Steagall Act and place stricter regulations on capital leveraging.

Agreed. However leveraging is only part of the problem. Derivatives were/are used to ‘hedge’ risk and attempts to regulate them as insurance failed. Further attempts to do so have met with stiff opposition in Congress by DEMOCRATS. Although Republicans also prevented meaningful reform in this area.


5. Increase the transparency and accountability of the Federal Reserve.

Agreed. Candidate and Congressman Ron Paul has made several efforts in this regard and has been prevented by both parties.


6. Institute election reform so that money can no longer be used to buy elections.

Either corporations are people or they are not. If not, then there are other alternatives to preventing them from influencing elections - HOWEVER, the right to petition the gov for redress of grievances applies to all entities and people governed.

7. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraq is all but over and Afghanistan would resemble Cambodia’s killing fields if we left abruptly. Most conservatives are having a hard time continuing support for Afghanistan given how the effort is being mismanaged at this point by Washington. If the plan isn’t changed, bring them home.

8. Invest in clean energy development and increase environmental regulations.

The EPA now regulates our breathing. How far do you want it to go? Regulating our shit? Clean energy costs 5 to 10x the current cost. Without gov subsidies, ‘clean’ energy would be so uneconomical as to end virtually all economic growth. ‘Investments’ by gov have been corrupt and ‘ill-advised’ - at best.

9. End the drug war and institute rehabilitation programs for non-violent offenders.

Illegal behavior is illegal behavior. Punish the criminal. As for the drug war. Gov uses it now as a revenue source. You want bad behavior to stop, make it painful. The problem is that most people think taking ‘recreational drugs’ is ok. It’s as stupid as getting drunk, but individual rights are not ‘stupid’ safe. Do the first, screw the second.


10. Protect unions and increase worker safety protections.

Unions are parasites - if people want them, let them vote for them, without card check, with right to work laws. And public worker unions - forget about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What happened.....


For myself and CJ and everyone that knew and loved Victoria.


In December 2007, Victoria got a little pine needle from our Christmas tree stuck in her heel. She didn't notice (diabetic neuropathy) and neither did I for couple days. It spawned an infection that destroyed her left heel. (Details of that can be found here.) When the infection spread to the extent shown in the other blog, her physical and mental state began a very slow, shallow slide. As anyone with chronic illness knows (or knows someone with one), the constant battle is mentally, physically and emotionally draining. The heel caused Victoria to lose a significant amount of mobility which also contributed to her general state.

The months leading up to December 2007 had been somewhat occupied by eye doctors trying to arrest the slide of her eyesight. Again, diabetes was the main culprit here (glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy slowly rob eyesight even though numerous interventions can slow their progress). We went to a resort in the Dells for CJs birthday and that is when the warm, moist air seemed to relieve some of the pain Victoria had started feeling in her hands the previous winter. It was back with a vengeance in the winter of 2007/2008. Rheumatoid arthritis.

Throughout 2008 Victoria fought the heel infection and her declining eyesight. Yet, she continued with her Education for Ministry classes and working with clients in the office. For much of the Spring and early Summer, we were often on an emotional rollercoaster.

CJ was approaching teenager and was doing well in school, had lots of friends and was and is, a happy kid. We kept home as normal as possible.

Because of all the medical appointments and draining nature of the recovery, Victoria's practice suffered some. We didn't see as many clients and that added some stress.


In 2007 I started working for other attorneys to supplement our income. It wasn't much but it helped. As 2008 opened, I had a couple clients that were consistent in their business that helped ours.

2008 was the year of her last big case in the office. It was a custody case where the in the military father was being denied visitation by a mother that moved 20 times in 4 years and kept changing the schools of their ADHD son. Trial was a 2 day affair that meant 20 hour days leading upto, and during for both of us. Although it didn't end after 2 days, we were both exhausted. Sometime in the fall, she had a TIA (a mini-stroke). She recovered after a day or so, but it suggested that years of high blood pressure and diabetes were taking a toll not just on eyes but other things as well.

Let me give you a number: creatin is a measure of kidney function. Everyone loses some function as they get older, but when numbers fall below 40, doctors start getting concerned. Under 20 and they start planning for eventual failure. Victoria was about 21-22 in 2008 but that had fallen to about 18 by early 2009. She started being followed by nephrology (kidney docs) at a clinic we went to monthly.

2008 became 2009 and it was clear the heel was going to take much longer to heal than expected. We settled down into some routines but there was no plateau, no leveling off. Her health and business continued a very slow, but steady decline.

From February to June of 2009, my business income actually was about equal to the law office at it's average. It meant Victoria could retire. She was mentally and physically exhausted. She wanted to move to California where the warmer weather would be easier on her arthritis. I argued against it saying we couldn't just up and leave - her practice, the house, CJ just starting her freshman year in high school....we did get a realtor in and it was clear the housing bust had made it to Madison. We owed more than the house was worth. We tried to sell her practice but one deal after another fell through. Victoria was committed to moving to California and we all agreed to it come the summer. Neither I nor CJ was happy about moving during high school.

2009 saw some additional issues with Victoria's eyes and in October she had a victritomy (left eye): they take the fluid out of the eye and replace it with saline - this helps clear up a lot of debris that forms from the retinopathy. She was one of the 1% that had a bad reaction and the next couple days were very painful as they got the pressure in the eye balanced. If you have ever had a poke in the eye, think of that pain lasting for hours and hours.

Something new happened. CJ went with Sue on a camping trip. She had done so the previous year and they both enjoyed it. It was a really hot couple of days but they were going up to Devil's Lake and it would be a little cooler there. On the 2nd day they returned early because CJ had a severe allergic reaction to....the sun. CJ's carefree days in the sun were over. Even 30 minutes exposure led to hives on the exposed skin.

As we approached the 2nd anniversary of the pine needle, Victoria's emotional state was beginning to show the toll. She didn't like the constant medical appointments, the hobbling on the encased foot and she wanted to FEEL better. Business was off noticeably in part because I was not spending a lot of time marketing her practice. Between her care, and my business, I was tired. But my business was making up most of the difference. Most being the operative word. Little cracks were showing.

Into 2010: In February, Victoria was scheduled to have a victritomy in the right eye. After the issues with the first, we tried to minimize the chances of a repeat result...and failed. Although the correction was done within a day, she still experienced significant pain. In April, a new eye doctor on the scene would tell her that the damage to her optic nerves meant further surgeries to her eyes would not significantly improve her vision. She had cataracts removed and for the rest of her days, would use a high powered magnifying glass (8x, then 10x) to read basically one word at a time.

In April we took 6 days of CJs spring break and went to Califoria. CJ was terrified of being in a place where it was sunny 340 days of the year. But she had learned many precautions and was diligent about them. We left on Saturday but by Wednesday, CJ said that she loved California and she could deal with the sun issues. That Saturday we spent 3 hours on the Beach before returning home. We were all committed to moving.

We saw Victoria's team of doctors in May for final prescription refills, suggestions and tests. Victoria's creatin was 15, her eyes were stable and the heel wound, although still open was continuing to close. June was a nightmare between trying to pack, garage sales and trying to still sell the law practice. Our original plan was to leave June 30th, but that got pushed back til mid July. We met with a couple much like us, attorney and life partner that worked with him and agreed they would take over the office (but not buy). Getting them up to speed, working on my business (which was busy) and Victoria's care turned that 6 weeks of June into July into a hectic and crazy time. (I could write 100 pages of the things that were going on those few weeks and I might yet have to....)

We left on July 19th and drove down to my parents in Chicago. We left such a mess in Madison. Victoria had a bladder infection and we had to stop often and her mobility, an issue for the past couple years, started to haunt us. CJ and I had to empty the moving trailer and completely repack it at my parents house to get a better distribution. We left in the afternoon of the 20th but only averaged 90 minutes of driving before Victoria had to have a restroom break. That went on for the next 4 days as we traveled, every 90 minutes or so a bathroom break and every other stop we got gas. Fortunately, the AC worked as it was close to 100 degrees most days.

We arrived on Monday very early (Jul 26th) and slept until mid-day. We started looking for a place to live that afternoon. On Tuesday Victoria did not feel well and on Wednesday she didn't want to go out and slept most of the day. NOW, I know she had a stroke. And by Sunday, Aug 1, she was in the hospital. That story and the next 2 months can be read about here.

One of the things that started happening was Victoria's constipation (normal with people on pain meds) seemed to cause her stomach to not clear quickly. She could eat and stuff would still be in her stomach 24-36 hours later. She would usually be sick after 36 hours and it would repeat a couple weeks later. This was happening a lot during the fall and winter but had been tapering off as this year wore on.

In April, near the end of the month, Victoria was having trouble breathing and we called the paramedics. They saw a small abnormality on her EKG and took her to the trauma hospital instead of the local one near home. Tests determined she did not have a cardiac event, and that the abnormality was probably anxiety brought on by a little fluid in the lungs making it hard to breathe. She stayed in the hospital for a couple days and came home.

Throughout the last year, there were times when Victoria was very depressed. She did not like dialysis, she did not like how she had to live her life (not able to do much for herself - she hated the commode that sat next to her chair in the living room and she hated feeling sick so often). She often said she did not want to keep living her life like this. And it was hard for her, and CJ and I. Her health was a daily issue and while our expenses were lower here, my business has been slower this year than last also. It has been a struggle. Which made Victoria feel worse because she was not contributing but also costing us. We had good days and bad, but she always came back to "this is not how I want to live my life".


Friday, Sept 23rd.
Victoria was not feeling well so she did not want to go to dialysis. We didn't go.

Sunday, September 25th.
Quiet weekend, Badgers won on Saturday. Victoria developed a little cough...more like a clearing of the throat, but as the day went on, it got worse. One of her little vices was cough drops...she liked to suck on them. The doctor and pharmacist didn't see a problem as they had less sugar than hard candy. I asked if she was still using them, she said yes. By evening it was a full cough. By 11pm she said she was having trouble breathing. We tried some things (like inhaler for her asthma) but at about Midnight we called for the paramedics.

Monday, Sept 26th.
There was fluid in her lungs, not a lot, but she had a temp and doctors were concerned it might be pneumonia. But the other thing concerned them A LOT. Her potassium was 7.9 This is a dangerous, even lethal level. Potassium helps the body's electrical system/muscles operate. Too little, a serious problem also that she had last October, is bad, too much and the heart and other muscles can just stop without warning. They gave her meds to bring it down fast (which she threw up) and admitted her. Every doctor and nurse for the next two days yelled at both of us for her not doing dialysis on Friday. They did dialysis on Monday and her potassium got back down into normal range.

Tuesday, Sept 27.
Another dialysis treatment and no sign of pneumonia. Victoria wanted to go home, I wanted to take her. Doctors practically begged for her to stay one more day for another dialysis treatment. I agreed, Victoria resigned herself.

Wednesday, Sept 28.
They wanted to discharge her and have her go to the clinic for dialysis. We said no, do it in the hospital, that's what they wanted. They set dialysis for late in the evening, we said no, Victoria got discharged and we went home.

Friday, Sept 30.
At dialysis, Victoria's heart rate was around 50. This is significantly lower than usual (normally around 100). I noted it. The rest was uneventful. Badgers won on Saturday - she watched the whole game without falling asleep.

Monday, Oct 3.
Over the weekend, her heart rate stayed around 50 and again in dialysis it stayed there. Blood pressure did it's usual up/down/up/crash/up during dialysis. The crashes we tried to limit and generally they were not bad (a reading under 100/60).

Tuesday, Oct 4.
Appointment with podiatrist for the first time. He removed the callous and scab from Victoria's heel and for the first time in 3 yrs, 9 months, the heel was healed. The damage would be forever and she would need special shoe for it, but we had reached the end of that tunnel. I had CJ take pictures and emailed it to friends and family. Victoria was not happy, she wanted to be normal again.

Wednesday, Oct 5.
Dialysis. Heart rate now occasionally dipping into the 40s....48,49. I am concerned. After two years close to a 100 - and being worried about the stress that was causing, the reverse was happening and I liked it even less. Dialysis techs and nurses are also now concerned. She is scheduled to see her regular/primary doctor on Thursday, we'd bring it up with him.

Thursday, Oct 6.
Appointment with primary doctor. He listens to everything we tell him. He listens to Victoria's chest. He is concerned that she might have bacterial endocarditis. It is an infection of the heart caused by dental surgery. Yep. Victoria had two teeth pulled in July and it might have gotten into her bloodstream. The doctor wanted Victoria to have an echo-cardiogram done to check and he called a local cardiac clinic to get us in right away. We left to that appointment.

When we got there about 10 minutes later, we were told we'd have to wait about 2.5 hours. Victoria, hating every second she was in her wheelchair said no and said we were to go home. Which after a little argument from me, we did. I didn't push too much, I hoped at home she'd reconsider and I could get her in on Tuesday. Her heart rate was now consistently in the upper 40s, 46-48.

Friday, Oct 7.
Victoria woke up and said she wanted the echo. I called and the earliest they could get her in was Tuesday the 11th. She said no because we had a followup with the podiatrist on Thursday and she hated monday dialysis, tues doctor appt, wed dialysis, thur doctor appt, friday dialysis. So the echo was schedule for Oct 18th. Long delay. We went to dialysis and her nephrologist was there for his regular weekly visit. He listened to heart and said, after dialysis, he wanted her to go to the ER and have an EKG. The echo would be good, but he wanted to know what was going on in the heart. We finished dialysis and CJ was just getting out of school. So we picked her up and took her home, then went to the Urgent Care.

I thought urgent care instead of the ER because if it were just the bacterial infection, they could give her the antibiotics without all the push for doing it in-patient (getting admitted into the hospital...which of course she hates). Urgent care put her on the EKG and called for paramedics 15 seconds later. They took her next door to the hospital about 15 minutes later.

Lots of discussions, lots of sitting and waiting. Victoria wanted to go home. I said we need to wait til they decide about the pacemaker. The doctor at Urgent Care told me what they saw that concerned them:
It is called a third degree block. The top part of the heart was no longer talking to the bottom part. The two parts were running independently. The natural beat of the lower part of the heart is around 40bpm, this is why the heart was slowing down. The natural rhythm of the heart was 'disassociating', they were getting slowly out of sync. We are talking about milliseconds here. But at this point, it had apparently been over a week that the block was there. THAT was a problem. the correction was simple: a pacemaker. No open heart surgery, no general anesthesia.
Victoria was very scared of it all. I said, if there is an easy problem with the heart, this is it. Heart rate 45-47.

Saturday, Oct 8.

I got to the hospital early (8am) after leaving late(2am). Victoria said she didn't expect me til later. I said I was up and no reason not to come right away. We sat and talked about normal stuff. Couple jokes and smiles. Some seriousness when her anxiety would increase or she got quiet. Cardiologist came by and said that the pacemaker was necessary and that they were getting a team into the hospital - they didn't want to wait. The surgery would be much sooner than later. About an hour later they moved her to ICU for prep and closer monitoring. Heart rate was consistently 42-44.

ICU nurse Ed and Lisa. Ed was the primary. Nice guy. We continued much the same was as earlier. Banter, talking, holding each other's hand. It was a good day. About Noon the surgeon that was going to do the surgery came in. Okay guy. Nothing extra-ordinary. Basically gave us a rundown of what would happen. 1 1/2 to 2 hours, no complications expected except the catheter for dialysis is close to where the pacemaker will go...he didn't expect any problems. Off he went. More general talk. Ed said we made quite a pair. I said:
"We are a royal pain in the ass. She's the royal, and I'm the pain in the ass."
Victoria said, "Right, Queen Victoria."

She got a little quiet and again said she was scared. We talked for a minute and Ed interjected that the surgery would be no problem but that they had everything they needed if something went wrong. I said, "Wait a second...Victoria is a DNR."

He paused and looked at Victoria who said 'With qualifications'. That was not how they had her in the computer...they had her as full code. "Absolutely not." Victoria said.

He said he had to change it in the computer, but that he needed Victoria to talk to the doctor about it. He got the doctor on the phone and Victoria reiterated, no machines, no intubation. That is how I understood her wishes and she clearly stated them to the doctor. The conversation ended and the changes were made in the computer. About 20 minutes later, they took us to the OR. (just across the hall from the ICU. The waiting area is at the front of a long hall (50') that ends at the OR. After giving her a kiss and saying I'd be waiting, she said she wanted me to be the first person she saw after. I said I would and she was wheeled down the hall. I took a nap shortly after that.

Sometime later...don't know how long, the doctor and Lisa came out to say the surgery went well, pretty much as expected. A slight issue with one lead being near the dialysis cat but he didn't think it would be a problem long term. That she was starting to come off the local and she was anxious and upset. I said we had not had a chance to give her Xanax before surgery so he said he'd give her something to help and that they would be done in 15-20 minutes and she'd be brought out to ICU then. He and Lisa walked back down the hall.

Not 30 seconds later, over the hospital PA, "Code Blue, OR Colorado. Code Blue, OR Colorado. All teams, Code Blue" Within a minute people started coming in at a run and down the hall to the OR. About two minutes later Lisa came out of the OR at a run, with the cardiologist 10 ft behind running. As she came up I asked if it was Victoria and she just nodded. The doctor arrived and said:
"We need to intubate her now or she dies."

......

I don't want to make this decision. Please no I don't want to make it.

......

"I can't. I can't do that to her. No."
"you've got to understand we have to"
"no."
"I'll go put her on a bag and give you a minute or two, but we need to..." as he ran back down the hall, Lisa right behind.

A minute later (could have been 2 or 3) another nurse came out and said that she was not stabilizing and that I could come in if I wanted. I said yes and walked down with her to the OR.

There were like 20 people in the room and about 5 or so around her head working. The cardiologist came back to me and said he didn't know what went wrong, everything seemed to be ok, but as soon as he got back she stopped breathing. Respiratory was working with a mask and bag and trying to get air into her lungs which unexpectedly were full of fluid. They had not been at the beginning of surgery as they had a chest xray from right as they started and they were clean. Dialysis had been called and were on their way to try and get some fluid off. She had started breathing again, but she was struggling. The heart was beating (duh...it had a mechanical stimulator planted in her chest to make SURE it was beating). The cardiologist again said she needed to be on the ventilator and again, I said no. Clearly enough that everyone heard. The look they exchanged was clear, this wasn't going to work. They continued as I got on the phone and called CJ. I told her to get a ride immediately to the hospital, come to the ER and I'd get someone to meet her and bring her to the OR.

I went back into the OR and they all stopped and looked at me. The cardiologist said, "we have to put her on the machine, nothing else is going to work".
I said no.
They went back to work.

.......

I was not matter of fact. I was crying. I was beyond upset. I was offered tissue, water, consolation I took none of it. I repeated several...a lot of times, that I could not do it to her, that was not what she wanted, that I couldn't. For most of what follows, I spent crying at some level....

.......

She was breathing but they were supporting her. They were trying to rouse her. I came to her side and while they continued their efforts while I tried to talk to her. Her sats (oxygen in the blood) were fluctuating widely. Blood pressure was ok but they couldn't get enough oxygen in. They wanted to move her back to ICU and as they were getting her moved I said 'Open your eyes and look at me you bitch' to which she opened her eye and moved her head towards me. A little 'yea' from a couple people and I said 'we are going back to the room'

We got back to her room in the ICU and they put a C-PAP mask on her face to force air into her lungs. She was more aware and trying to talk. I tried to understand, but 'hurt' came through. The mask was on tight and she tried to take it off twice, I told her it was 'not a machine', it was just a mask and she had to leave it on. She said no and I ignored it. She asked why her arm wouldn't move and I said it was tied down so she didn't lift it up and disturb the pacemaker, she said no it hurt and I tried to move her a little off that side to give it a little room. At this point CJ had arrived and I told Victoria I was going to bring her in, she said no, but I ignored that too. I went out to meet her and talk to her. We talked and I said it was bad and that a lot of things were going on but that I wanted her in there. That she could stay out if she wanted, she said no and we went back in.

By this time the 'head respiratory critical care doctor dude' came in and wanted to know 'her history', why she was at the hospital.

.....

Yea, I got time for this, I need to tell you whats going on? what the hell you got these 20 OTHER PEOPLE doing???

......

I started the story with low heart rate and friday. The cardiologist chimed in with 'we don't know what caused her to crash and that surgery had gone well....'

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Yep, by this time I was getting tired of said cardiologist with his protestations the surgery went well but the patient DIED shit....

......

I got back next to Victoria who had settled down some but was trying say something. She said 'hurts' and tried to point to her chest(?) or shoulder and said where was she, I said in the hospital room and that they were trying to get oxygen into her; she said hurt again and then she threw up. I got my arm under her and lifted her to a sitting position with my right arm while ripping the C-PAP mask off with my left. She threw up all over the pacemaker wound dressings and arm with IV connections. It was green and smelly and it had a couple peas in it. Peas? She hates peas. How could she have peas? I let her lean back and the 'head dude' said he wanted to talk to me outside the room. I had CJ come stand next to Victoria and I walked out.

He said the throwing up was confirmation of what he thought happened:

Victoria spent the entire surgery flat on her back. As they were finishing, she threw up but because of her position, instead of out, it went into her lungs. The peas said the stomach was full of Thursday and Friday. It was the most acidic, vile, rotting crap you could imagine, poured right down into her lungs. Battery acid or bleach would have done less damage. The lungs were full not of fluid but bile and stomach crap and it would have been destroying tissue from the second it got in there. She need the ventilator now but he couldn't say that even that would delay things more than a day or so. And even if they could get her stabilized, it would be months and months of hard recovery, all the time on the ventilator. Otherwise, all they could do would be to make her comfortable.

I said no. Make her comfortable. I went back into the room. I talked to her and she said 'not my life', which I understood to mean this was not the life she wanted to live. I said it was ok. No more fighting. No more fighting. It's ok. We're done. You're done, you don't have to fight anymore. No more pain. Just go to sleep and it'll be ok. She said ok, sleep and her face relaxed and she leaned back and closed her eyes.

They put a regular air mask on and everyone else left the room. CJ and I stood with her and I told her she was going to leave soon. Her breathing got slower and harder. After about 5-10(?) minutes, Victoria stopped breathing for about a minute and a half...her lips went white and I opened an eye and it didn't move or change. She started breathing again, very labored, for about 2 minutes, then stopped again. I said to CJ she was gone and we kissed her and went and sat at the foot of the bed in a large chair. Ed continued to hold her arm and said she still had a pulse. She didn't breathe but once or twice again and after about 10 minutes, he asked the dialysis tech to check for a pulse. There was none. It was about 6:40pm.

.......

Not so much then, but later...how could it have been so late. It seemed like less than an hour passed from the Code Blue to the end...

......

They let us stay. We left after about 10 minutes after I asked if CJ wanted to stay or go somewhere to just talk or be with each other. She said, the beach? We left and made it to the beach, Torrey Pines - a favorite of Victoria's that she and I had been to just a month or so ago to watch the sunset- to watch the sunset. We stayed and talked a little for about 30 minutes then went back to the hospital so I could collect Victoria's things and say goodbye.

One of the OR nurses (who kept trying to give me tissue or water) caught me in the hall - it was clear SHE'D been crying. She said they wanted to say thank you to me for standing up for Victoria. For respecting her wishes when everyone and everything demanded otherwise. I said "sometimes doing the right thing, hurts a lot...thank you" and I left.

We went home, CJ ate a little something, and then we both went to bed.

God I miss her. I have said "it was the wrong decision for CJ, it was the wrong decision for me, but it was the right decision for Victoria" and in the end, I told her it would always be her choice.

I don't second guess. Victoria made thousands, millions of decisions over many years that led up to that point on Saturday. I only made sure that the last one was listened to...by everyone...including me.

She is the love of my life. The mother to our daughter. I love her. And, I know she loved me and CJ. The pain and suffering of the last year are done and she doesn't have to face more. That is my comfort.


One day, one hour at a time....