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Be careful what you ask for…

“When you’re suddenly told that you have a condition that is considered terminal,” she said on the podcast the Human Guinea Pig Project in 2019, “the one thing you desperately need is psychological support, and it’s not there.”

Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive type of brain tumor that seems to defy treatment. It is what killed President Biden’s son Beau in 2015 and Senator John McCain in 2017.

“Median survival, the point by which half of those with glioblastoma have died, is usually put at 14 months,” Ms. Morris wrote in the essay. “Only one in 20 people survive five years.” 2016 – 2021, Jessica did better than the median. What’s brutally unusual is knowing the date with death averages 14 months. Knowing is a blessing and a curse.

Cause Celebre? The NYT article hit right where I live. There’s history here:

I started neurosurgery in the 70’s. The big discovery was RT – radiation therapy – worked. It worked so well that the clinical trials ended early because it made such a dramatic difference. The median survival was 12 months with RT. Chemo added a couple months. Let’s see. I’m retired. Nearly 50 years later the numbers are about the same. We didn’t get far? We didn’t try hard? We ignored the disease?

There are always exceptions: Susan D survived more than 10 years after my initial treatment of her. I would shake my head in wonder each time she waltzed into my office past the secretaries and Ginny, my nurse, to plop down behind my desk and greet me, “How’s it going doc?” One day at the beach she reclaimed her wig (that resembled a “drowned rat”) from group of startled kids, when the wig washed from her head in a wave. Susan had the wherewithal to laugh at herself and make us laugh.

14 months? It is the median – the peak of the Bell curve. There are those who survive longer and those who succumb in less than a year.

Add Senator Ted Kennedy to the list. At the time of his diagnosis he convened a group of prominent neurosurgeons from around the US. One confided he did not want the honor of Kennedy’s surgery because his death soon after would be a negative impact on his reputation. We expected to hear, and, Ted got, the very best in neurosurgical state of the art treatment. Ted lasted about 18 months. He lived to make a speech at the DNC. Ted was not all there when he made that speech.

We have computer guided neurosurgery that will remove all visible tumor seen on the scan. The problem is that tumor cells lurk in the borders, too small to see or resect. The tumor genome is multi-ploidy. Therein lies our failure. We cannot simply resect brain without consequences.

There’s much promising research. We will cure this disease. We just haven’t made much progress in about 50 year. And, we have – made progress. Sorry, chemo, RT, and surgery, that’s it? Immunotherpy, gene therapy… all promising. Hope?!

Support? Yes, we do. I did. I prepared the family in advance. For the patient, hope. Always provide hope. This brain cancer takes away your ability to realize or care that you are dying. So, comfort is the word. As the patient, you will slowly lose track and be unaware you are dying. Your family will know. It will be particularly hard to watch mom become not mom. Therein lies the truth in telling the facts and letting family adjust to the inevitable. It is profoundly sad to lose a loved one no matter the circumstances. Support? Yes, I provided a lot.

There is not a single patient death that you ever shrug off. Knowing is a burden. Every single patient I ever lost was a defeat. Like a relief pitcher in baseball – full count, two outs in the 9th with the bases loaded – you don’t dwell on the home run you pitched last night. Compassion is something every physician must master. If your patient does not have hope, you need to rethink your approach. There is no compassion in telling your patient they are doomed outright. In this case, hope is lying. We (neurosurgeons) all know this.

The choices are not cookie cutter. Against the backdrop of the facts, Jessica sought hope. I never lied. If you ask, I’ll tell you. But… always, hope. Circular thinkng, but, if you ask for the truth….


Expected

Boring. The news is redundant. What did you expect? The Afghans would make a stand – like the Alamo?

Another day, another mass shooting. This past weekend there were multiple mass shootings. I did not see any reported. There is a level of death count and heinous standard that must be met before it is in the news? Like a scorecard I scan for the “death count.” It seems the shooter also must be among the dead. And, shhhh! All the neighbors knew he would do it one day!

Food? All these recipes and nothing to eat. Boring. Not a thing is appetizing tantalizingly making me hungry. It’s a mish mash of ingredients pushed together a la Food Channel. Colorful “throw-up? Nope, not for me.

Congress, as usual, is in stalemate. Finger wagging and tut tut amounts to stagnation once more. “Filibuster” this filibuster that!

45? He’s still alive? Relevant? There was nothing on the grand jury in the NYT. Some intrepid NYT reporter was not first with the scoop, so, the WaPo runs with the story and MSNBC has hour after hour of gossip speculation on “IT!”

“We (will) know a trial is close when the courtroom sketch artist goes to Michaels and says, ‘Give me all the orange crayons you have.’” — JIMMY FALLON


Really?!

Seriously? I mean, really seriously?! Let’s go for gladiators too! Bring back the guillotine too, please. It’s something Steven Colbert or Trevor Noah might suggest tongue in cheek. I suppose they will sell tickets.


I can’t resist

How do you like 45 with just his head showing? My Republican buddy defended herself. She’s not Repbulican; she’s conservative. Then, why is Liz Cheney toast? Deniers of the big lie? rejoice! I know what. All you republicans should quit and boycott Facebook. Let’s see what happens. Wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment? Do it! I dare you. I double dog dare you! Banned! All you (45) did was foment insurrection of the US government foremost among your many crimes.


Coast to coast

We have shootings from coast to coast. The NRA rules! And Mitch McConnell has denied the will of the people in favor of the Republican agenda which is “No!” Republicans have long since stopped saying, “thoughts and prayers.” Air freshener hanging from your rear view mirror is illegal and punishable by death. The execution of citizens in the street is justifiable police action as long as the officer says he was “afraid for his own life.” Assault weapons are so numerous that we have no hope of ever removing their danger to unarmed civilians. We got a problem. Right after the headline of another mass shooting, I look for the body count. Biden, the most powerful man in the world said, “It’s a national embarrassment, what’s going on?” He’s a pretty powerless figure right now. The will of the people has been denied. Who’s to blame? There is no religion or philosophy that advocates mass murder. Why must I read about another tragedy that will soon follow in the days to come?


Pardon me

I am still upset about another shooting of an unarmed young black man, the father of a two-year old son. “It was a mistake” rings true on so many levels. Apology or excuse? Lives have been changed – forever. So true, so sad. Could someone accept the same explanation after their child was hit by a drunk driver? It was the “heat of the moment.” Hey, you forgot your training? Twenty six years experienced, the officer should get a pass on the only mistake she’s made? Yes, apparently, she was carrying a yellow taser.

­Cat? I got twins – fraternal and identical. The difference between a taser and a gun are pretty obvious. It about as obvious as telling flowers apart. When I was neurosurgeon, operating on the wrong side of the brain was enough to end your career. There are mistakes and there are unforgivable mistakes. While this mistake is unforgivable – the investigation must go on? Or, are we in the Old West: “Let’s have a fair trial, and then hang ‘em.” Firearms have consequences. Hand gun death and mass shootings go on with far too much frequency.


Speechless

A young black man is dead because the police could not tell the difference between a taser and a gun. Duh!? Really?! I’m speechless. In this case, why not an eye for an eye? Shoot the police officer’s son. Come on?! I’m trying to process the information. It’s senseless. I am sad. Is this the best excuse for the death of a young man? Administrative leave? The poor dead boy is gonna be dead a very long time. Any excuse is poor compensation for his life. Speechless


All on the same day in the news

What is a dingy person?

To be a little bit, ditzy, not all together there. Usually refers to a shallow or not too bright person.

Tucker is worried that white people are being replaced. With what?

NYC may get an Asian mayor.

August, Georgia – The Masters golf tournament with all it’s faults and anti-feminist sentiment got an Asian champion.

The police shot and killed a black motorist in Minneapolis near where the trial for George Floyd’s killer is underway.

An officer in Virginia was fired for pepper spraying a black army medic.

Yo! All on the same day and near the same place. Nuts! Stupid is as stupid does. With all the attention and sensitivity following George Floyd’s death, the police just can’t seem to resist “stupid.” It is like Matt Gaetz thinking he’s bulletproof. His name is mentioned too. Shake your head. There’s no accounting for “stupid.”


Hen’s teeth

It’s a rare event – to be impeached. It’s a rare event to experience/see a solar eclipse. Hey, I’m just reflecting upon the fact that I have experienced more impeachments of POTUS (two) than of solar eclipse (one). I ain’t proud. It’s a unique feat to be impeached twice as POTUS. Just sayin’…. let’s hope he (trump) doesn’t come around again in my lifetime… or in yours. So what? He was acquitted. I still haven’t seen another eclipse. That would be a (bought) solar filter on the front of my lens. The Senate had their own blinders on too.


Golden idol

Didn’t a golden idol bring down the Jews? History repeats. More likely, it’s bullshit. This is seriously happening in america. And the faithful are lapping it up. Disdain and derision come to mind. Daffy, dummy, dunce, doom…..

“According to the Bible, the golden calf was an idol made by the Israelites when Moses went up to Mount Sinai. In Hebrew, the incident is known as ḥēṭ’ ha‘ēggel or the Sin of the Calf. It is first mentioned in Exodus 32:4. Bull worship was common in many cultures. Wikipedia

Have you checked lately? The earth is flat. It is. Yes, it is!


Contemplate

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep….

Jump to LyricsTurn! Turn! Turn!”, or “Turn! Turn! Turn is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s and first recorded in 1959. The lyrics – except for …

Ecclesiastes 3 is its biblical reference quoted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after the Capitol was attacked in January.

It’s near cherry blossom time in Washington, DC. We celebrate both proudly and not. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912, mere decades before Pearl Harbor. Only recently The African American Museum was opened and recounts the shame of slaves. It’s only a mere 400 years since slavery began in America. The contemplative waterfall within the museum is healing. And in a small display case within is a ship model demonstrating how the slaves – humans!! – were transported stacked and lined side by side within a ship’s hold. A certain percentage loss (of life) was calculated as spoilage during the trip. Stacked like cords of wood! Horrifying? Yes, our history is not always a proud one. Recently, a mob stormed the gates of the Capitol. Terrorists attacked our nation’s capital.

Crowds of Trump supporters swarmed past barricades and breached the Capitol Building on Wednesday (Jan 6). Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Contemplate: we are a nation with a complex history with a mistaken belief in manifest destiny:

“What was Manifest Destiny? Propounded during the second half of the 19th century, the concept of Manifest Destiny held that it was the divinely ordained right of the United States to expand its borders to the Pacific Ocean and beyond.Nov 18, 2020…”

It has always been easy to distinguish between good and evil; truth and lies. NOT! We do our best. Or, we do not. Largely, I would tend to “follow the money.”

“A popular current text, the King James Version shows 1 Timothy 6:10 to be: For the love of money is the root of all of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – the Apostle Paul.

There is no honor in what has recently occurred. There are those among us who would subvert the will of the majority. There is much to contemplate in the good and the evil that presently swirls. Lies, truth, spin, turn, each of us must contemplate and then vote peacefully. Free elections are a bedrock of our democracy. Do not let men with guns and loud voices take that away. Liken them to Al quaeda and the Taliban; they have tried. They will not succeed.


We know… we’re not telling you how we know

“Turkish intelligence made a tape of Mr. Khashoggi’s interrogation and killing, which they played for Gina Haspel, then the C.I.A. director. Not long after, the agency told lawmakers that it had concluded Prince Mohammed was culpable in the killing.

Because the recording was collected by Turkey, an allied country, it was not within the power of the C.I.A. to declassify a transcript of the recording, at least not without the blessing of Ankara, current and former officials said.

The report was not expected to officially confirm other details of the murder, such as the hit team’s use of a bone saw, the assassins’ request that a message be passed to Prince Mohammed that their mission was complete or the crown prince’s earlier threats to use a bullet to silence Mr. Khashoggi.

Such details are part of the mosaic of facts that led the C.I.A. to conclude Prince Mohammed gave the order to kill Mr. Khashoggi. But the entire set of facts the C.I.A. used to draw its conclusion remains classified to protect the agency’s sources of information and methods of collecting secrets in the kingdom, according to American officials.”

I’m not quite weaned from commenting on the politics of the moment. Here’s a good one. The US passed a law that un-classifies classified documents. But they don’t have to tell you how they know the facts. Huh? Well, we know you did it. How we know, we don’t have to tell you. Oh! It makes perfect sense. Tell me anything. And then use the argument – “Because, I said so.” Ha ha. Ok, I want to believe this. Confused?? Ok! I’ve lost it. They have video tape! Can you believe that? – believe the video OR believe they have video? Meanwhile this video was not made in the US so it cannot be declassified. Oh! Do I remember Catch 22?

Ok! Where are we and what the F’ is all this leading to. It’s diplomacy! This is your first warning. After this you get two more. Then we drone your ass. Got it? It used to be simple: You do the crime. You do the time. I got to say everyone has gotten a lot of press over this. Biden called the Prince’s daddy to complain. No one should lose their head over this… at least no one at the top (head) of government. I fail to see any humor in human dismemberment.


Deja vu all over again

The reference is attributed to Yogi Berra. Indeed, the second impeachment is deja vu. The recalcitrant Republican Senators stand with party and have ignored the truth of their own experience. The outcome appears as a foregone conclusion. Insanity – doing the same thing over and hoping for a different result. The Republican voter base is more feared than the truth of insurrection. This was a political trial. Next up: criminal charges with an impartial jury. Be afraid, you f’n bastard, be very afraid. You don’t have enough money to bribe your way to acquittal on this one.


Who’s at the door?

A few years back Japanese girls were committing suicide because hidden video cameras could see right into their very bathrooms. Tracking through our electronic devices and public video makes it easy to follow many people who are simply unsuspecting consumers going about their activities. The data is there. Many people have access though not necessarily our government or the FBI. The data reveals who was at the trump rally and who went to the Capitol and who went in. The data was extracted involuntarily. If you committed no crime, you are safe. And if you did, see ya. They can really do this! It’s good to have a pristine conscience.


Madness

“An anthropologist was in a jungle studying two native tribes, the red feet, and the Blackfeet. They were alike in all ways except 2: the color of their feet, and red feet always told the truth while Blackfeet always lie.”

You meet an Indian (wearing a mask) and she says, “I am a truthful red feet.” Which is she?

Over night MTG stated that her view had changed when she says what she read on the internet opened her eyes and decried, “It was all lies.”

Do ya wanna tell me you didn’t say this too? Bitch, is that you holding an AR-15?

And her royal asshole’s response is pretty typical of what one might expect from some one who’s contrite about her remarks. You could almost say, “I’m rubber you’re glue, everything you say bounces back and sticks to you.”


Four years

It was four years ago on this day… we were at the women’s march in Newark, DE. I would have been in DC for the protest but Colleen was chicken, But we were out there. I am reminded because Carol sent me pictures of her presence in NYC at the parallel protest. Four years ago this day… and now it is Biden on Day +1. What a difference.


Image

Safe again


Right to the bitter end

ig·no·min·i·ous/ˌiɡnəˈminēəs/ Learn to pronounce adjectiveadjective: ignominious

  1. deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.

Lie, cheat, pardon… repeat. People are scrambling to buy pardons for money from POTUS. FOLLOW THE MONEY $$. They will and you will go to jail. It’s pretty stupid to advertise your crimes. Stupids still believe the Capitol invasion didn’t happen. They deny. The rest of us and the WORLD saw it. We can dial it up and replay criminal insurrection you (trump) committed. And the arrested stupids who posted and identified themselves are going to jail. Did you pardon them too? Oh!…no?…. they didn’t give you money?

Cheat, lie, pardon… repeat. Now we are blatantly announcing pardons are for sale. FOLLOW THE MONEY $$! We just can’t seem to get over the criminal mob (Mafia) behavior of asshole in chief. I am not constrained from calling trump out with disdain. He’s gone very very soon. I sincerely hope justice will follow him and he will soon be incarcerated. There is no other way to account for the criminal activity this past president has thought he could get away with. The madness ends. All you did will be fixed and you will indeed be locked up. And, I think they will follow the money because you are too arrogant, no, too stupid, to cover the trail.

ig·no·min·i·ous/ˌiɡnəˈminēəs/ Learn to pronounce adjectiveadjective: ignominious

  1. deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.

Millions

“Mr. Trump is set to depart office on Wednesday with an approval rating of 29 percent, the lowest of his presidency, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

About 75 percent of the public said Mr. Trump bore some responsibility for the violence and destruction of Jan. 6, which put the lives of the vice president and members of Congress at risk and resulted in five deaths, according to the survey.”

Baked Alaska?! They arrested someone named Baked Alaska in connection with the riots. Of course, they did.

25% of people in the poll said it was ok to storm the Capitol and wreak havoc, destruction, and murder. 29% of whatever number they are using is a lot of millions of people who are with trump and his hatred and lies. That is a lot of millions. There are a finite number of Republicans in the Congress who support trump. That number is near complete support among the Republican numbers. After 2016 and 2020, I think that polls are misleading. They lied to me and misled me into believing the streets are paved with gold and moon is made of cheese. Fool me once…. Not in my wildest hope is 25% or 29% a number to take to heart. That’s a whole lot of people who aren’t getting it. There simply is no scenario in which it is ok to carry the Confederate flag into the Capitol of the United States. None. Zero. 0% In truth of fact, there are millions who say it’s ok.


Get out!

So much to say so little time. Turned (you) out! Get out of our house! Here’s three voters who helped vote you and your fat ass out. Backwards, you got it all backward. You did not win. And this time around we were paying attention and were ready. No amount of cheating or your version of an alternate reality can make it anything less. And there is an excellent chance you will be indicted and convicted and be LOCKED UP! Delicious!? It’s another day, the collective nightmare will end and ‘barr(s)’ will have a new meaning in your pathetic life. Oh, did I say? I did not vote for you either. Today is the eve of “eviction.” This is a real post not a wish or fantasy. Do you know/can you guess – how much we will miss you?


Chilling!

“Can I fly with my AR 15?

If you want to fly with an AR 15, or really any rifle, you’ll need a rifle case. You can fly with a gun, it’s completely legal. … You’ll need to have all firearm components locked in your checked baggage, too. This includes magazines, bolts, ammunition, stocks, basically everything.Aug 28, 2017
Flying With Your AR 15 – 80% Lowerswww.80-lower.com › 80-lower-blog › flying-with-your-a…
Search for: Can I fly with my AR 15?What weapons can you bring on a plane?Firearms

Yes, you can take your favorite gun along for a plane ride. But you must know that you need more than a nice hard-sided case with lock for any firearms. They cannot be loaded and ammo must be properly packaged in the same container as the firearm.Dec 9, 2018″

Airlines are reporting more weapons are being brought through commercial airlines into the Washington DC area ahead of the inauguration next week.

That’s pretty chilling!

And foreign governments are doing their bit to help destabilize the US government too. That would include China and Russia among the players implicated.

Washington DC has a “Green Zone” now. 20, 000 troops are deployed to protect our capital against terrorist incursion by Americans. Americans? Something is deeply broken. Lies are truth to many. There is fake news that has made its way to the core of our population. The seeds of distrust extend in all directions. The effectiveness of trump’s lies is bewildering. Magic. It’s magic.

“What does magic mean?1a : the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces. b : magic rites or incantations. 2a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.”

Qanon has got to love the “supernatural” part of the definition. trump has accomplished this through a continuous litany of repeated lies.

‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32)


Profile: terrorist

Last week I did not know who you are. This week you are known to be an extremist who craves attention. Shame! You carry a gun into the chamber of the Congress as your right to declare you are stupid. You refuse to follow rules and to not go through the metal detector because you are special and have the right to threaten other Congressmen. You tweeted locations for Congressmen during the riot inside the Capitol. You aided and abetted the rioters. Perhaps we should add traitor to your title as well. You have been noticed. Loud, stupid, carries a gun. The right to bear arms does not include the right to threaten. We are a long way from the wild west days past.


Duh!

When my kids were little, they would cover their eyes and no one could see them. Duh! Right! Cover your eyes!. In order to communicate to thousands, maybe millions, you need to be able to have access to the site. Can anyone join up? I’m not “law enforcement” scout’s honor! Encrypted or not, how do I read your drivel once I am granted access? Oh, you will be invisible? Got it. You covered your eyes?! They have contests for hackers to outdo one another. It only takes “About 3,600,000 results (0.59 seconds) ” a half second to find several million hits on hackers. Yeah! Some real bright bulbs are out there. Ok, ok, it took a bit longer and a full length movie to find Bin Laden. But, I daresay, someone’s out there listening as we speak. Go ahead, you wanna do what? where?


Qanon

Qanon shaman viking riot capitol
Image: David Reinert holds a large "Q" sign while waiting to see Trump

QAnon is the umbrella term for a sprawling set of internet conspiracy theories that allege, falsely, that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.

QAnon followers believe that this clique includes top Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros, as well as a number of entertainers and Hollywood celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres and religious figures including Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. Many of them also believe that, in addition to molesting children, members of this group kill and eat their victims in order to extract a life-extending chemical from their blood. – https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-qanon.html

QAnon[a] (/ˌkjuːəˈnɒn/) is a disproven and discredited far-rightconspiracy theory[2] alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshippingcannibalistic[3][4][5]pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against U.S. president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal.[6] QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “Storm”, when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested.[7][8] The conspiracy claim is entirely fictitious.[9][10][11][12]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

REALLY?! I mean REALLY?! The woman in red is an elected member of Congress. Nut! Nuts!! She is most definitely the face of Qanon just as the Viking hat nut job is as well. … and the man dressed in a big “Q.” Two of three are recognized as nuts from quite a distance away. Greene (in the red jacket) is sinister. She is the ideological evil step mother portrayed so vividly in fairy tales. She is the public face of evil in Congress. She is not alone. Too numerous to mention – cruz hawley jordan gaetz and many others I have not singled out are all part of this crew. Do not allow these extremists to prevail. Congressmen did not vote for impeachment because they feared harm to themselves or their own families because their very vote for impeachment would endanger them all. Sheep. Mice. They behaved shamefully caving to the mob and its threats. America must now face the challenge of Qanon an extremist group that has no place. Qanon is not entitled to confuse freedom of speech with hate speech and lies. And yes, this is all worth repeating. Qanon is not America. But if we fail to treat this infection it will take over the body and kill us all.