My Poem: ‘We Are The People’ Now on line at Poetry Pacific.

“I have never taken a bus in my life—they’re gross.”  Ivanka Trump

We Are The People

On the bus
The vast majority of us
Stand next to others we don’t know
Strange faces . . . colors, smells, beliefs
The other people
Crowded on a pre-dawn morning
On our way to work
Then home again—and maybe later
Two days off
Or not.

We have known dismal, late night rides . . . almost alone
Or waiting for the next one coming by
We do this almost second thought
Simple necessity of life and|
Lack of money, chauffeurs, maids
We are the maids, chauffeurs
Blue and white collars
Making world go round
Clean up the mess—pay taxes
Fight the wars
For those
Who never stood beside us.

So it goes.

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Allostatic Load

This is part of an article I saw this on the Internet,  ‘Health’ by Emily Baron Cadloff

Turns out, I’m not alone. Nancy Sin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says that in stressful situations like this, there are physiological responses in our bodies. “Our stress hormones increase. We prepare to fight or flee,” said Sin. And as this pandemic continues and isolation drags on, “we’re having a lot of these physiological adaptations, each time we feel stressed, each time we feel worried. And over time, these repeated hits, physiologically and psychologically, can accumulate.”

That accumulation is called the allostatic load, essentially the damage on our bodies when they’re repeatedly exposed to stress. And while it feels like I’m doing nothing most days, my brain is still dealing with the anxiety and strain of this pandemic. I’m exhausted not because my body is working hard, but because my brain is.

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Good for a laugh!

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

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We Will Meet Again



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Palmer Report

Robert Harrington | 5:00 pm EDT April 14, 2020
Palmer Report » Analysis

It’s not like we weren’t warned. During the 2016 presidential campaign, British entrepreneur and CEO of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Richard Branson, related a shocking story about Donald Trump. Branson said:
Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people. He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre.

When I first heard this story in 2016 I believed it immediately. My acquaintance with Donald Trump’s littleness tracked back to the 1980s. I always knew that Donald Trump was unfit to be president of the United States, what I didn’t know in 2016 after hearing the Branson story, and what has unfolded for me over the years, is that Donald Trump is also an evil monster.

It began, around October or November or December of 2016 I believe, when I found out that Trump is a child rapist. This was on the heels of the discovery and broadcast in October of 2016 of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, wherein Donald Trump openly confesses to Billy Bush that he is a serial sexual predator. It was a near career-ending moment for Mr. Bush, scion of the family that brought America two presidents. The scandal barely touched Donald Trump.

Since then, of course, Trump’s presidency has been a daily horror show of unbelievable stunts, racist utterances at Charlottesville and other places, traitorous proclamations at Helsinki and other places, illiterate tweets, childish taunts, shockingly divisive, deeply personal insults made about reporters, other politicians and anyone who demonstrates inadequate zeal in praising him.

Trump has shown, over and over again, as he did to Richard Branson, that no occasion is too solemn, no tragedy too deep, no national risk too ominous, that he can’t make it all about his favorite topic, himself. As Mr. Branson told us when relating his story about the lunch he had with Trump on that distant day many years ago, two full hours is barely an adequate time for Trump to hold forth on the single topic of personal vengeance against people who committed the more than forgivable sin of being unable to help him. What it also told us is this is nothing new. Donald Trump has always been a flawed, petty, vindictive, hateful, stupid and evil man, and he always will be.

Ask yourselves this question: what would it take for you to vow to commit the rest of your life to destroying someone else’s life? I can only think of something on the order of, say, they’d murdered someone so dear to me that it ruined my life. But refusing to lend me money? I suppose that would be disappointing under some circumstances I can imagine. But would I vow to destroy them, would such an idea occur to me, even fleetingly? Of course not. I assume those of you reading this are normal human beings and, as such, you feel pretty much the same way.

With this as a background is it any wonder that Trump is simply too dysfunctional to lead us out of this national crisis? Of course it’s not. Trump has not only failed America entirely, he has cost untold thousands of deaths with his egotistical meddling with the work of medical professionals and his failure to take responsibility and appropriate action to head off this horrible coronavirus pandemic. Trump has, at last, graduated from child rapist to murderer, just as I always suspected he one day would.

In the midst of all we are going through right now, we must also endure Trump’s endless braggadocio about how great he is and what a wonderful job he’s doing, about how “nobody’s ever heard of closing down a country, let alone the United States of America.” What he meant by that, of course, was when he announced restricted travel from China and Europe. Trump to the contrary, lots of people have heard of that, of course, and it was a small token of what he could have done, but it did not constitute the “closing down” of the country in any case. Meanwhile the United States has the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world. Trump has not saved “tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of lives,” as he disingenuously claimed.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with all this, permit me to come crashing to the point. I’m seeing a lot of blather these days from people who formerly identified themselves as “progressives” about how Joe Biden is “just as bad as Trump,” and I’m wondering just exactly what drug-induced world such people occupy. It certainly couldn’t be the same world that sane and sober people refer to as reality.

If as disappointed “progressives” these people intend to destroy, not just the lives of five people, as in Mr. Branson’s story about Trump, but the lives of every man, woman, child and animal on the planet, then I submit that they are the ones who are “just as bad as Trump,” not Biden. I wonder what kind of ego a person would have to have to think that inflicting the world with four more years of Donald Trump is just vengeance on the world because a politician promising to enact their pet political agenda lost the nomination. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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Trump Talk

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This is excellent!

Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting
You are not crazy, my friends

Julio Vincent Gambuto
Apr 10 • 9 min read

*Gaslighting, if you don’t know the word, is defined as manipulation into doubting your own sanity; as in, Carl made Mary think she was crazy, even though she clearly caught him cheating. He gaslit her.
Pretty soon, as the country begins to figure out how we “open back up” and move forward, very powerful forces will try to convince us all to get back to normal. (That never happened. What are you talking about?) Billions of dollars will be spent in advertising, messaging, and television and media content to make you feel comfortable again. It will come in the traditional forms — a billboard here, a hundred commercials there — and in new-media forms — a 2020–2021 generation of memes to remind you that what you want again is normalcy. In truth, you want the feeling of normalcy, and we all want it. We want desperately to feel good again, to get back to the routines of life, to not lie in bed at night wondering how we’re going to afford our rent and bills, to not wake to an endless scroll of human tragedy on our phones, to have a cup of perfectly brewed coffee, and simply leave the house for work. The need for comfort will be real, and it will be strong. And every brand in America will come to your rescue, dear consumer, to help take away that darkness and get life back to the way it was before the crisis. I urge you to be well aware of what is coming.
For the last hundred years, the multibillion-dollar advertising business has operated based on this cardinal principle: Find the consumer’s problem and fix it with your product. When the problem is practical and tactical, the solution is “as seen on TV” and available at Home Depot. Command strips will save me from having to repaint. So will Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. Elfa shelving will get rid of the mess in my closet. The Ring doorbell will let me see who’s on the porch if I can’t take my eyes off Netflix. But when the problem is emotional, the fix becomes a new staple in your life, and you become a lifelong loyalist. Coca-Cola makes you: happy. A Mercedes makes you: successful. Taking your kids to Disneyland makes you: proud. Smart marketers know how to highlight what brands can do for you to make your life easier. But brilliant marketers know how to rewire your heart. And, make no mistake, the heart is what has been most traumatized this last month. We are, as a society, now vulnerable in a whole new way.
What the trauma has shown us, though, cannot be unseen. A carless Los Angeles has clear blue skies as pollution has simply stopped. In a quiet New York, you can hear the birds chirp in the middle of Madison Avenue. Coyotes have been spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge. These are the postcard images of what the world might be like if we could find a way to have a less deadly daily effect on the planet. What’s not fit for a postcard are the other scenes we have witnessed: a health care system that cannot provide basic protective equipment for its frontline; small businesses — and very large ones — that do not have enough cash to pay their rent or workers, sending over 16 million people to seek unemployment benefits; a government that has so severely damaged the credibility of our media that 300 million people don’t know who to listen to for basic facts that can save their lives.
The cat is out of the bag. We, as a nation, have deeply disturbing problems. You’re right. That’s not news. They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time. Sorry, we have other shit to do. The plain truth is that no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender, political party (the list goes on), nor even our socioeconomic status, as Americans we share this: we are busy. We’re out and about hustling to make our own lives work. We have goals to meet and meetings to attend and mortgages to pay — all while the phone is ringing and the laptop is pinging. And when we get home, Crate and Barrel and 3M and Andy Cohen make us feel just good enough to get up the next day and do it all over again. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem when you barely have enough time to close them to sleep. The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.
Well, the treadmill you’ve been on for decades just stopped. Bam! And that feeling you have right now is the same as if you’d been thrown off your Peloton bike and onto the ground: what in the holy fuck just happened? I hope you might consider this: what happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has… never… happened… before. If we want to create a better country and a better world for our kids, and if we want to make sure we are even sustainable as a nation and as a democracy, we have to pay attention to how we feel right now. I cannot speak for you, but I imagine you feel like I do: devastated, depressed, and heartbroken.
And what a perfect time for Best Buy and J. Crew and Gwyneth Paltrow to help me feel normal again. If I could just have the new iPhone in my hand, if I could rest my feet on a pillow of new Nikes, if I could drink a venti blonde vanilla latte with two pumps of syrup, then this very dark feeling would go away. You think I’m kidding, that I’m being cute, that I’m denying the very obvious benefits of having a roaring economy. You’re right. Our way of life is not ruinous. The economy is not, at its core, evil. Brands and their products create millions of jobs. Like anything in life, there are brands that are responsible and ethical, and there are others that are not. They are all part of a system that keeps us living long and strong. We have lifted more humans out of poverty through the power of economics than any other civilization in history. Yes, without a doubt, Americanism is a force for good. It is not some villainous plot to wreak havoc and destroy the planet and all our souls along with it. I get it. But its flaws have been laid bare for all to see. It doesn’t work for everyone. It’s responsible for great destruction. It is so unevenly distributed in its benefit that three men own more wealth than 150 million people. Its intentions have been perverted and the protection it offers has disappeared. In fact, it’s been brought to its knees by one pangolin.
And so the onslaught is coming. Get ready, my friends. What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the only effort even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw. The air wasn’t really cleaner; those images were fake. The hospitals weren’t really a war zone; those stories were hyperbole. The numbers were not that high; the press is lying. You didn’t see people in masks standing in the rain risking their lives to vote. Not in America. You didn’t see the leader of the free world push an unproven miracle drug like a late-night infomercial salesman. That was a crisis update. You didn’t see homeless people dead on the street. You didn’t see inequality. You didn’t see indifference. You didn’t see utter failure of leadership and systems.
But you did. You are not crazy, my friends. And so we are about to
be gaslit in a truly unprecedented way. It starts with a check for $1,200 ( Don’t say I never gave you anything) and then it will be so big that it will be bigly. And it will be a one-two punch from both big business and the big White House — inextricably intertwined now more than ever and being led by, as our luck would have it, a Marketer in Chief. Business and government are about to band together to knock us unconscious again. It will be funded like no other operation in our lifetimes. It will be fast. It will be furious. And it will be overwhelming. The Great American Return to Normal is coming.
From one citizen to another, I beg of you: Take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud. We get to Marie Kondo the shit out of it all. We care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive Facebook post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, in every Zoom birthday party. We are a good people. And as a good people, we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in five, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get.
We can do that on a personal scale in our homes, in how we choose to spend our family time on nights and weekends, what we watch, what we listen to, what we eat, and what we choose to spend our dollars on and where. We can do it locally in our communities, in what organizations we support, what truths we tell, and what events we attend. And we can do it nationally in our government, in which leaders we vote in and to whom we give power. If we want cleaner air, we can make it happen. If we want to protect our doctors and nurses from the next virus — and protect all Americans — we can make it happen. If we want our neighbors and friends to earn a dignified income, we can make that happen. If we want millions of kids to be able to eat if suddenly their school is closed, we can make that happen. And, yes, if we just want to live a simpler life, we can make that happen, too. But only if we resist the massive gaslighting that is about to come. It’s on its way. Look out.

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