Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Let’s get to the point–the US is woefully and inadequately prepared for mass cases of Ebola.  The individual case in Dallas is enough to show that even given the proper protocols, health workers are still at risk.  Now consider that the hospital failed to properly diagnose Mr Duncan on his first visit.  If these can happen in a world-class facility in Dallas, your local hospitals and clinics are even less prepared to deal with Ebola!

Taking a page from history, here’s the next point.  Inmates are secluded from the general population on Rikers Island such that even an escapee from the facility has a natural barrier between him and society.  The same principal was applied at Alcatraz.  In more recent times, we have the detainees in Guantanamo.  On the civil side of the point, Ellis Island served as a landing zone and allowed introduction of only the “qualified” into the country.  Now fast forward.  We have already deployed military resources to help in Africa.  It is time to deploy them here as well.

The recommendation I’d put forward is to station a Naval hospital ship offshore–a few miles perhaps off of the Carolinas.  Staff it with military trained to deal with Ebola cases–the decontamination processes are not that foreign as military are trained for decon from Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological (NBC) environments anyway.  Any and all diagnosed cases–even strongly suspected ones–are transported to and housed on the ship.  It’s a well-controlled, self-contained environment with the ability to receive supplies and patients via helicopter.

If we fail to contain Ebola cases early on, the risk of it being widely introduced into the general population is high.  Once that happens, facilities and healthcare workers will be quickly overwhelmed, only adding to the risks.

The US is running out of time to develop a strategy for containment and treatment.  Start this plan now and we may save hundreds if not thousands of lives!


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shirley-templeAt the passing of this legend of the silver screen and former US Ambassador to two nations, we should pause to honor her.  She wasn’t a celebrity as we know them today:  Naked, Drugged, Profane, Abused, Abusive, in Jail, or in Rehab.  This was a woman of class and distinction.  The nation should recognize her for her service.

Shirley Temple was born on 28 April 1928.  It is too late for the President to order flags at half-staff—if he hasn’t thought to by now, it won’t happen.  This petition is to get him to do SOMETHING.

I propose 28 April 2014 be declared “Shirley Temple Black Day”.  Join me in this please.



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Group Think


There is a Spirit of Oppression that is spreading over America.  It feels like a cold, black, wet, musty blanket being pulled over my face, chilling my body while forcing me to struggle for breath.  It’s a pod underneath my bed, waiting for me to fall asleep so that it can take over, making me into a conformed being—sedate and functional but anything but independent.

In a land of free speech, that speech comes with a price if it is not inline with what an element of society wants to hear.  Speak against something that the liberal mainstream wants to hear and you are decried as a hater, a bigot, or called intolerant.  Say it in the wrong setting—which could be anywhere—and you can find yourself blacklisted, unemployed, ostracized, or fined.

Where was this sensitivity and misplaced moral justice when the American Indians were being exploited?  How did slavery come into existence?  How did women ever NOT have the right to vote?  How did we evolve words such as Nigger, Spic, Jap, Chinc, Chicano, or Kraut?

Imagine if every White person who utters the now famous “N” word were fined or ostracized!  Imagine if every Black person who throws out “Honky” were met with the same!

Sadly, the efforts to achieve racial acceptance and parity have fallen behind the efforts to achieve the same for homosexuals!  That’s not to say that racial intolerance is acceptable but the Gay community is far more open in its attack on those opposed to them.  Just ask yourself when the last Black Pride march was!

Group Think in America is coming—actually, it’s at the doorstep.

We will be encouraged and indoctrinated to think the way certain elements want us to think.  This has actually been going on for years amid denials to the same.  The prevalence—the obligatory format—of TV shows with gay characters is staggering!  The outing of musicians and athletes seems to be a contest of who can be next and who can get the biggest outing!

When the indoctrination fails, we will be hushed and shamed into silence—if such is possible.

For those who still remain vocal, we will be unemployed.  We will be fined.   We will be shut down by the same society that calls us intolerant.

If it were possible (yet) to imprison us or to send us to re-education camps, they would do so.

Group think dictates that the group not tolerate non-compliant thought or behavior even if in doing so, it means attacking those who are considered intolerant of the group’s position.

Should we be surprised?  Not at all.

The cloud sweeping across America is evil.  Evil hates good, morality, ethics, and legality.  What evil will do is attack the foundations of goodness, question morality, offer situational ethics, and change the laws.

The attacks have been going on for decades.  Only now has the oppression of it really become a stench!

Evil is called good, good is called evil!

Islam is praised and embraced!

Christianity is condemned!

Natural is unnatural, unnatural is natural!

Babies are killed before taking a breath of air into their lungs and it is justified as a woman’s choice—the “embryo” has no choice or legal standing!

What a disgusting place this has become!

I don’t think any of my readers need to worry much about me going on about such things–I’m so fed up with the way things are going that I don’t think I really care to waste my time or the electrons necessary to express my thoughts!

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To my distant cousin, sorry to see you leave us so soon.  You had the world at your feet and traded it for what?

I hope you are at peace now.

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Traveling up and down the Interstate every week, I tend to flip stations a lot.  The variety of radio stations and offerings got me thinking one day about my favorite songs.  Not too many people care what songs I like but maybe this will make you stop and think about YOUR favorite songs.  Some of you will wonder why in the world I like a particular song.  The reasons vary:  Instrumentation, especially horns; rich, layered vocals; memories; the artist; variations in the song from.  You’ll recognize these in many of the songs I chose.

The list started as a Top 10.  I soon had 15 so went for 20.  Then 25.  I stopped when I felt I had a  good list.  No particular order.  Only two artists have more than one entry and they’re both women.  There are few men in my list.  The gamut runs from 1960s to 1980s.

Maybe I’ll come back and rank them at some point but for now, here’s the list.  (Music Videos next!)

How many of these would be on your list?

1  Supremes – Reflections
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_-RTvyijc&feature=related  (Loved China Beach!  OK, Dana Delaney and Marg Helgenberger!)
45 RPM  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhH-iNk1ZV8

2  T’Pau – Heart and Soul (Carol Decker)
Love the way she backs her own vocals… rich layering… catchy, feel-good tune

3  Poco – Rose of Cimmarron
Just a good steel-guitar song with good vocals.  Saw them in concert in 1979 and I’m sure they played this… just didn’t appreciate it as much then as I could have.

4  Paul Mauriat – Love is Blue
It’s the horns!  And the reminiscence of childhood

5  Basia – Time and Tide
Horns again!  What force on the keys!  Complex vocal layering, Strong voice from Basia–one of a few Polish recording artists

6  Mariah Carey – Vision of Love
Her breakthrough song that really showed her potential.  I ran out and bought this on cassette single, never expecting I’d like any of her other music.  I was right.

7  Whitney Houston – I’m Your Baby Tonight
Distant cousin, my favorite song of hers. Another cassette single purchase.

8  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – If You Leave
British music was just sooo good in the 1980’s!

9  Paul McCartney and Wings – Band on the Run
My favorite Paul McCartney song, Beatles or Wings.  Great opening!  The song carries the theme of so many of my favorites–it changes up between how it starts and how it ends.  Notice that there are no Beatles songs in the list?

10 Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
Takes me back to England, 1984, a good time in my life

11 Madness – Our House
Another trip down memory lane… England in the ’80s… and more horns!

12 Kansas – Dust in the Wind

13 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Head to Toe

14 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Lost in Emotion

15 Martina McBride – Independence Day
Besides it being Martina…

16 Cathy Dennis – Too Many Walls

17 No Doubt – Spiderwebs

18 Carly Simon – That’s the Way I Always Heard it Should Be
Cool video  with cameos by Art Garfunkel and George Harrison.  A rare live performance by Carly–one of my first pop crushes.  Seems I recall walking through the living room in the summer, lights off, my dad sitting in his chair, smoking… my mother up in her room…

19 Carly Simon – Anticipation
Same Central Park Concert.  I had this song on one of my first Time Life albums back in ’75.  The studio version is great but couldn’t resist posting this one.

19 Alphaville – Forever Young

20 Paul Young – Love of the Common People

21 Damn Yankees – High Enough

22 Laura Branigan – Self Control
Gone Too Soon!  And weird video!

23 Peter Schilling – Major Tom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsN3icByqUo (Extended Version, Animated)

24 Danijel – Dzuli
My first Eurovision, 1983, watched live on BBC while I was in England.  And who said those Jugoslavs couldn’t rock?  Seriously!

25 Badfinger – Day After Day

26 Mocedades – Eres Tu
The only Spanish song in the list… learned it in 8th Grade Spanish Class…

27 Coven – One Tin Soldier
Long intro by poster but GREAT SONG and MOVIE!!!

28 Men at Work – Overkill

29 INXS – Never Tear Us Apart

30 Billy Idol – Eyes Without a Face

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I have been up and down, back and forth, and at times, in a very dark place.  It seems too as if I’ve been away from here for a very long time.  I have lacked the interest in writing, the time to write, and topics to write about.  Well, maybe a few of those are true.  When motivation leaves, the time is filled with other things.  And when that time is otherwise filled, looking for topics typically does not happen.

The planes of St Louis’ Lambert Field are flying overhead as I sit here in my one-bedroom apartment.  Not the nicest apartment, not the worst.  Had I taken more time to scout the area, I doubt I’d be here.  Had I taken advice from others, I doubt I’d be here.  Actually, even as some knew I was looking, no-one offered advice.

In my first week here, I felt trapped!  I wondered at the terrible mistake I had made in moving in.  Even now, as I’ve gotten accustomed to it, I wonder.  Daily, I find small jumping spiders or thousand leggers crawling here and there.  I MUST get some spray!  It’s an old place and I’m just above the basement.  I’d HATE to go down there and see what’s lurking in the cobwebs and shadows!!!

I was really depressed.  The feelings of being trapped stemmed from having a 13-month lease!  There were so many things wrong about this place.  I was told there was an apartment available on the third floor (lower rent) only to be given a first-floor apartment.  The response was that they had no third-floor vacancies.  I think they lied but oh well!  At that point, I had nowhere else to go, or so I thought.

I was undercharged on my move-in even though I had $300 off the first month (hence the 13th month!!!—which they didn’t tell me up-front either!!!).  The girl in the office—the same one who told me I’d be upstairs—said they were short about $11.  Never said anything about me having to pay it and since it was her mistake, I figured I shouldn’t have to.  Two days later, letter on the doorstep saying I owed $13 and change and telling me how important it was to pay my bill in full and on time!  I was indignant!  Of course, I went and complained.  They took my payment and pulled their copy of the letter from my file.  Still…!

The floor above me creaks!  I hear people back and forth all the time!  The entry door slams!  Used to wake me up.  The parking lot is too crowded.  My door always gets stuck shut from the heat and humidity.  And my gas isn’t on.  Decided I don’t need the stove/oven and just won’t bother.  It’s just another expense.  I have a refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster, and microwave.  I’m a guy!  What else do I really need?

So what’s the up side?  It was immediately available and is at least $250 cheaper than an extended stay room.  I don’t have to check in and out and can keep food in the fridge week to week.  I got the discount on the first month as well.  But the coup-de-grace is that it’s only 5 minutes to the office.  I drive 2.5 miles each way.  Co-workers have newer, cleaner, and more convenient apartments near shopping and other amenities—and they drive 25 minutes or more each way to work!  I mean like they pay $100 or more above what I pay.  Trade offs!

In the long run, despite the negatives and all—including the spiders and creep-crawlers—it’s really not that bad.  I’m getting used to it and have tried to make it comfortable.  I don’t want it to be too comfortable because it’s not home.  But a little comfort isn’t much to ask for.  It’s a crash pad Monday through Friday, or sometimes Sunday through Friday.

There’s a reason for me to be here—in St Louis, at the office where I work, and at this apartment.  I hope to find out that reason one day.  If and when I do, I’ll let you know.  But right now, I have another unrelated blog post to write and it’s getting late.  All for now.

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