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Screech

Colleen screeched. She has suffered a cold and cough the past few days. Today she feels better. … better enough to read the label of the cough suppressant I got her. DM, dextromethorphan. Look at all the other chemicals that are in the bottle! Nuts! None of them are needed. None necessary. And probably seriously toxic in larger quantity. Huh!? Really!? My bad. I read the label on Nyquil and Dayquil and decided the other ingredients were not for cough. But, the chemicals? Unnecessary chemicals? Well, I have managed to do bad today. For the average consumer, reading the label is not too educational. But, geez, I shoulda known better. Seriously.


Present – on that day

World Trade Center 2000, the millennium, we (Lisa and I) visited the Battery and went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We saw the names of our forebears who came to this country as immigrants.

2001, a crystal clear blue sky autumn day, 9/11 stands out so clearly. This is the view (my pictures) from my kitchen window. Yeah, I was close, not quite there, but close. The images are searing. When the first tower fell I was on the phone with Vicki. She told me, what my own eyes could not believe. The first tower had collapsed. From this perspective the towers appear next to each other and I thought the flames had jumped across from one building to the other. I could not fathom another plane hitting the other tower. I was fully confident in NYFD to put out a fire. I had seen them do it with my own eyes before. The towers were shrouded in smoke and steam from the dousing water and would reappear when the smoke clears. i waited in vain all day. The smoke never cleared and the buildings were gone – forever.

Twenty years later, I still have a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking of the profound loss. Another generation has grown up to see the pictures, and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We extracted a pound political pound of flesh for the heinous damage. Bin Laden died. Little has changed. The world is not a better place. It is not safer. Extremism, especially in politics is worse. We are less united. And, we are still dumb. The recent drone attack in retaliation for suicide bombing at the Afghan airport appears to have hit bogus terrorists. Pound the shit out of something to make us feel strong! History repeats. Will we ever learn? Lie to me, baby – again. I take no pride in saying I was “there.”


I’d rather not…

… pay taxes. I never did care much for the bite taxes took out of my earnings. Can you read a map? See! SEE, the colors? The USA is prominent among nations with Covid cases. We don’t have many rivals in cases and death. Great!?

“The new mandates drew praise from doctors, caution from experts and outrage from Republicans.”

Why are Republicans outraged? Outraged?! Really?! Really stupid. We have a way to mitigate Covid. It is vaccination. It’s not horse de-wormer. You won’t do it? … not even for your kids? Former “liar in chief” trump had Covid, got monoclonal antibodies, and was among the first to get the vaccine. trump didn’t need the vaccine; having Covid gave him antibodies. Follow fearless leader… down the rabbit hole. Don’t do what he did? Do what he says? Take horse de-worm pills, or, bleach, or, malaria medicine? The science is pretty clear. Oh?! You don’t believe in science. Climate change? Ya! Those hurricanes rearranged a lot of houses last week. And the wildfires, they ain’t happening either.


I’m not a camel

I’m not a camel. Not? Then why do you say you are not? Are you?… a camel? A Russian physicist taught me the saying.

Meaning: By saying you are not a camel, you call attention to yourself and people ask, “Are you a camel? Why did you say that?”

It hit the news and the drug – for large animals – is flying off the shelves in feed and garden stores. Merck says, “NO!!! It’s not for humans. It’s not treatment for Covid!”

Anyone out there listening? The shit is flying off the shelves and Merck can’t keep up with the demand. Ah! Profits! Did Merck deny it, so as to make money? Hardly! This is real. The shit don’t work!

People are not listening. The shit is flying off the shelves. I said that already? Didn’t I? Overdose on horse de-worming pills has become a major headache in poison control centers as calls flood in after people take the drug. Really! You ass – perhaps, you are a camel!! There is not accounting for stupid. And, apparently, there is no cure for it, either.

This traces back to trump and his benediction for hydroxychloroquine and UV light and even bleach for treating Covid. Yes, follow the leader, jump off the Brooklyn Bridge too. trump is a good source medical info – fat, dumb, and stupid. Yes, stupid, twice over. We’d be sued for malpractice. Why aren’t trump and fox news?

If you have any doubt, or any confusion: The stuff does not work for Covid. Period!


Calling you out

McCarthy. you sack of shit. What are you afraid of? The truth? What are you hiding? Common sense tells us that you must be guilt ridden to be threatening to keep the truth from coming to light. What was your role in 1/6 and who did you call? You were cowering somewhere in the Capitol trying to save your own sorry ass. Who did you call? And when? What will the records tell us? To level this threat, you must be covering up for many others in your Republican party too?

Declined. Not your credit card charge. But, the Mets GM declined a breath test. He was charged with drunk driving. Naturally. And the proof? There is none? Reasonable doubt? Lack of proof is still evidence. If you were not drunk, a simple test would have proved it. Add lying, to your sack of shit.

Pharma. The cost of addiction is – you guessed it – i shoulda seen it comiing – bankruptcy! It’s a mere few billions to escape all liability for the addictions you caused and the lives you ruined. You escaped your own death penalty for now and you will live out life in luxury lamenting the fact that you were caught. But, then, you never paid, in full. Drug lords! gone free.

Some days, I feel helpless in the face of the news of the day. Whether or not you agree, when is it, that the good guys win one? Truth? Justice? People slip away. Where is karma?


Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Controversy: child pornography or sex abuse of a child? Background: This album cover for Nirvana was shot in a pool. And many decades later the subject is suing for monetary compensation for child abuse. See the penis? It’s magnified – because water does that. Objects appear larger:

Objects in water appear larger than objects in the air. … The index of refraction for water is 1.33. This larger index of refraction for water means that the angle the rays of light reach your eyes is larger in water than the angle would be in the air.

Sorry, dude, your dick wasn’t/ain’t that big.

You just can’t be too careful. Anything can be misconstrued. Innocent/guilty? I would prefer not to have a court involved. You, the reader, can judge for yourself, here. Guilty or innocent? Was the point of the photo on the “cover” to depict and infant penis? Me? (I don’t think that was the case, but…) There but for the grace of …

Example: My daughter had a “sleepover.” … four or five little girls about 7 or 8 years old. Katherine got up around midnight while I was banging around on my computer upstairs. She told me she could not sleep; I gave her a glass of milk. Asking her what else she did at home, she responded that her father got in bed with her to hold her. As I was headed to do the same – lightbulb! warning! – I veered into my bedroom and roused my wife awake; you gotta go put Katherine back to bed. And, to be sure, I made it a point to tell her parents that Katherine had had trouble sleeping. Nope! This egg did not fall from a tall chicken. My point? I just wanted to clarify that objects in water appear larger.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, was first published in Henry G. Bohn’s A Hand-book of Proverbs in 1855


So close

I gotta a question that will make Fox news drool. Why? If we have now killed a planner of the Afghan attack, why, oh why, did we not kill him before that attack? And, Fox would say we should’a killed him when he was a little bitty baby. What if… how did they know, and, how did they know where to find him so quickly? Yes, we cannot reveal sources and methods. Did we just kill someone and say it was him? Sorry to be cynical, but, I “been” lied to before.

Whack a mole!! Is this familiar? Another day, another lie. It’s not easy to kill “shit.” It’s easy to get it on your shoe if you don’t pay attention. Nope, trump didn’t kill shit either. A lie from a liar, how novel is that?

“In January 2020, Mr. Trump again bragged about having destroyed “100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate.” He also said that before Mr. al-Baghdadi was killed, he had been “trying again to rebuild the ISIS caliphate and failed.”

Clearly, it was not 100 percent.” NYT


Do no harm

primum non nocere. This means “above all, do no harm.” … Hippocrates

It might do well for some physicians among us to pay heed to the lies they spread. WTF. These docs are dishonestly turning a profit on misinformation to gain fame and fortune. It is indeed unfortunate that the lies lead to infection and death from Covid.

We cannot stop the lies of Fox news who proffers horse pill remedies as treatment. I have seen much suffering and needless sickness leading to death. There are too many ways that social media aids in spreading falsehood. Media outlets like Fox openly tout lies for television audience and profit.

And now, there are physicians among us with fame on social media who are spreading lies. I do not understand anyone (any physician) whose lies result in death is not pursued and thrown out of the profession. I took an oath…


Did you miss the 411?

My post yesterday had technical problems. Eh? It happens to us all. Lots of people are skeptical of the Covid vaccine. Why? All the other mandatory childhood vaccines are good. Ya gotta have ’em in order to go to school. Maybe you’re special. Or, maybe you’re dumb? Abbott got his – the vaccine and covid and monoclonal antibodies. There’s a lot of contradiction right there! WTF. 45? The would be trump – had covid (hospitalized!!) and monoclonal antibodies and the vaccine. Right, do what he said not what he did! Note: three vaccinated US Senators just tested positive for covid. Karma! It’s come ’round to bite your ass. Alabama, Mississippi and all the other “red states” are feeling the weight of covid. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. NO ROOM AT THE INN!!!!

Someone once told me – at any given time, only 25% of people are listening to you. 411


Pushin’ up daisies

Get vaccinated! It’s a fact that vaccination helps. Death is up in low vaccination rate states. It’s fact. Karma. People are rushing to get 3rd vaccines – booster. Meanwhile, in poorly vaccinated states, ICU space has run out. Get sick, show up, wait – there are no hospital ICU beds. Do it! Get vaccinated! Or, you may be pushin’ up daisies. I REPEAT! WE OUT OF ICU BEDS!

Can you read? How about look at pictures? Look! Covid infection hot spots vs low vaccination rate states. It matches. You may choose to ignore facts. That may result in sickness and death.

Yeah! Do what I say, not what I do. Abbott had the vaccine. He got covid. He got monoclonal antibodies. Yeah! The bastard! He didn’t do what his mouth said.


Karma

Disinformation. Lies. Untruth. Influencer?

Fuck me!

Did that get your attention? Lies spread on the internet are common. People who lie abound. Those who sell us falsehoods thrive as never before. And, they make money doing it. Their trash lies are translated into multiple foreign languages and disseminate around the world. Those who would listen are stupid? But, they are dying too. Covid 19 is killing people as I write. The vaccine works. The lies work too. People who have not been vaccinated account for most of the current deaths. And, the lies keep spreading. Sad. Sadly, it seems that lies are more powerful than truth. Karma’s a bitch. This man is an osteopath. How does he continue with his outright lies? Why does he still have a license? Perhaps karma will bite him on the ass.


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.