Rationing Cancer Meds

So yesterday while I was researching and writing about the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia buying up a sport, I came across an article about the extreme shortage of cancer fighting drugs here in the good old USA.

Now we all know our drug companies are money grubbing bastards who make plenty of opioids but have a real problem supplying sufficient chemo-therapy drugs.

Fourteen cancer drugs have been in shortage in recent months, “mostly because of supply chain interruptions”. Those in shortest supply include cisplatin and carboplatin, platinum-based drugs used to treat gynecologic, breast, testicular, bladder, head and neck and non-small-cell lung cancers.

By last week, facilities in more than 40 states, including some major medical centers, reported that they were running short of at least one key cancer medication.  “We’re at a critical juncture.” “If this crisis worsens, every hospital in the United States is going to be impacted.”

“Doctors often can give patients a different drug if one is in short supply. But cisplatin, which has been limited since February, is often used as a substitute for carboplatin, and vice versa ‒ so limited access to both creates problems.”

Patients may now get the lowest recommended dose and wait the maximum interval until the next round of chemo infusion. even when the doctor would prefer to throw more at the tumor.  And though using the minimum should be enough for most people it may not necessarily be sufficient for all.

On Thursday last, a cancer treatment center in Florida and another in Tennessee said that they were about to start rationing care.

Now folks, this is the United States of America, the richest country in history.  And while we are the biggest consumers on the planet, apparantly we no longer make anything here.  “Drug shortages have been a problem in the United States for at least a decade, and the shortages were exacerbated during the pandemic, said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc, which provides global supply chain mapping and monitoring.”

Although cisplatin and carboplatin (the drugs in shortest supply) are manufactured by five companies, all rely on a single supplier in India that was shuttered over the winter for “safety reasons.”

Read “dirt.”

The irony is that these essential platinum-based drugs are in short supply in large part because they’re so inexpensive.

Cisplatin costs $15 a vial and carboplatin $25, said Matt Christian, director of supply chain insights at the U.S. Pharmacopeia, a nonprofit that sets standards for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Now you know why our drug companies are more interested in opioids and not cisplatin.

Because companies stand to make so little from these medications, they have little incentive to create backup plans in case raw material suppliers or manufacturers run into trouble, Christian said. “It’s hard to incentivize redundancy if the price is $15 a vial.”

I can see it in the Board Room now.  “Well we’ll have to let some of those cancer patients die.”

Manufacturers have no incentive to improve their process or product safety.

Plus, with such a small profit margin and because companies don’t want to reveal their competitive advantages, production is a closely guarded secret.

That means the American medical system doesn’t know when a factory is shut down in India or a raw material shortage affects the drug supply, so hospitals can’t plan ahead or encourage other drug companies to pick up the slack.

Drug companies are generally scum.

“Structural changes are needed. Congress should add regulations to require data-sharing, offer incentives to protect the drug supply, manufacture more medications in the U.S., and create a stockpile of essential drugs.”

Don’t hold your breath.

But fear not!  The FDA is addressing the problem!

“Amid an ongoing cancer drug shortage, the United States Food and Drug Administration has been working with Chinese drugmaker Qilu Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to import the oncological medication cisplatin.

This is the first time that a Chinese pharmaceutical enterprise has won the right to export drugs available in the Chinese market to address medicinal shortfalls in the US.

The FDA has authorized the temporary importation of cisplatin from China in an effort to ease an acute shortage of cancer drugs in the US, according to an update posted to the agency’s website.

Qilu said that it “has initiated temporary export of cisplatin injections with vial and carton labels in Chinese into the US market. The cisplatin injections from Qilu are marketed and manufactured in China and are not FDA-approved”, according to the FDA statement.

Qilu said in a statement on its official WeChat account that it received an urgent email from the FDA in March, calling for cisplatin supply amid US drug shortages. In a short period of time, the company went through material preparation and translation, and proposal application. Soon after, the FDA launched a quick approval process. On May 23, it approved the temporary importation of cisplatin from China. A week later, truckloads of cisplatin were shipped to the US.

Despite some US politicians advocating decoupling, the temporary US imports of the unapproved Chinese drug again underline the strong economic and trade ties between the two countries, which is underpinned by China’s resilient industrial and supply chains, according to Chen Jia, an independent researcher on international strategy.

“It is not the first time and will not be the last time for the US to resort to supplies from China to ease its supply and demand imbalances in the domestic market for certain goods, and China has always been acting out of principle, humanitarianism and free trade to not distort the trading or reap excessive profits,” Chen said.

“The US is touting so-called de-risking while at the same time strengthening purchases of Chinese goods, which ironically contradicts its so-called decoupling attempts. The US should abandon the decoupling mindset to show respect for time-tested free trade principles, and put US people’s interests, instead of political interests, in a core place of its state strategies,” he added.”

from the China Daily – June 7.

I guess the FDA solved the problem.  Strange tnhat the Commies have enough on had to export to America.

Pretty sad.


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Saudi Crown Prince Buys Golf!

Let me begin by stating flatly that I am not a golfer.  I have no interest in the game. As an Italian kid who grew up on the lower economic rungs it’s not a game which ever crossed my mind.

It was played in clubs which I could never join and it was an expensive sport to play.  Besides I hated the clothes golfers wore. The only times I ever set foot on a course were when I was required to as part of a company golf day for very good clients.  Golf, dinner and a prize for best score.  I didn’t golf.  I drove a cart with a young lovely handing ut beers at each hole.

Usually  on weekends this time of year golf tournaments are on TV, playing softly in the background.   I am not watching.  It’s just on.  It’s the time of year when there is no college basketball or football, no hockey, no NFL.  Pro basketball is just about over.

So the channels cover golf and Indi-car racing.  Golf announcers are always low key and at least one has an Australian or Scottish accent.  They all drone about the history and the glory with a cloying reverence, especially during the Master’s at Augusta.

Oh, the reverence!  No mention that the tournament had no black player till 1975.  Augusta National was just as segregated as the rest of Georgia as were all the clubs where one can play.  And not just blacks.  The clubs wouldn’t admit Jews either.  Jews built their own clubs.

So today, the PGA announced that it was merging  with the LIV Golf League, the rival league launched last year and backed by the Saudi Crown Prince.

. Nearly exactly 12 months ago, LIV Golf launched outside of London. The PGA Tour’s response came in the form of a letter, disparaging the new Tour and handing out suspensions for 17 players, which included future Hall-of-Famers Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, among others. Two months after that, 11 LIV golfers filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, a suit that was actively continuing as of Monday. That lawsuit and any other pending litigation between the two tours is now dropped as a result of the merger.

The pro golfers who played in LIV tournaments played for the money being thrown at the game by the Saudi National Investment Trust. The Saudis are trying to “sportify” their image.  I’m sure the Crown Prince, undoubtedly a murderer of Jamal Khashoggi, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about golf.

Anyone know any prominent Saudi athletes?  Didn’t think so.

So not only has the PGA done a complete about face with the announcement that shocked the world of golf, but it has teamed up with a murderous dictator trying to improve his country’s image by buying up whole sports.

On top of that the PGA sold out and turned its back on those golfers who remained loyal and who passed up the big money offered by an odious autocrat.

If the news is surprising to pro golf fans, given the vitriol and angst that has defined the men’s game in the last 12 months, it was just as stunning to PGA Tour players. Multiple members have confirmed there was no indication an agreement like this was on the table, nor that it was even being discussed.

The PGA preached loyalty to the tour and convinced players not to accept that 8 and 9 figure money, based partially on loyalty and partially on the source of the money.  Many players, including Tiger Woods and Rory Macilroy objected to the violation of human rghts in Saudi Arabia and publicly stated so.  They wouldn’t play in a league which was obviously just trying to softer the Saudi political image.

Today PGA golfers found out the PGA itself was taking the money and they found out on Twitter.

Nice.  What’s that old adage about following the money?

Seems the Saudis can buy anything including respectability.

Farms in western Arizona are growing alfalfa – one of the most water-intensive crops – in an area where there’s a shortage of water. Thes farms are foreign-owned and are shipping the crop to Saudi Arabia, where it’s illegal to grow because it takes too much water.

Today our “ally” cut oil production by one million barrels a day; I guess gas prices are to low here.

, Besides, golf is a dirty sport that’s wrecking the planet.

The 30 or so golf courses in the Salt Lake County of Utah drink up around nine million gallons of water a day to stay pristine green – that’s more than 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Managing the turf on golf courses also means using carbon-intensive fertilizers, lots and lots of pesticides, plenty of mowing and, in many cases, clearing forests or trees that were soaking up carbon-dioxide.

Could have built affordable housing instead.

More reason not to watch or play.

Who knows.  Maybe the Saudis will buy the National Football League!  Or Pickleball tournaments!

PS – This week the United States of America, with drug companies no one seems to be able to touch, found itself short of certain cancer fighting drugs.  It got so bad we had to order them – from China.


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Happy Birthday Pamela!












September 2021

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The Eulogy – 06/03/2005

On what would have been her 60th birthday we placed her ashes in their final resting place after a short service. I spoke these words to our family over the bronze box.

“How painful the words of John Greenleaf Whittier:

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”

This might have been a happy day. What might have been Joann’s raucus 60th  birthday party. On her last birthday with us two years ago, our daughters and I were already making our plans. Lots of over the hill gags, an  AARP membership, a senior citizen discount card, the latest age spot removal cream…perhaps a shawl; a gathering of family and friends.

Joann, of course, was already laughingly saying not to plan anything because she was having none of it. There was no way we were going to get her out to any surprise party. She was staying home that day.  She would not dress. She didn’t want anything. “So don’t plan it because I won’t be there!”

Men and women make plans….and the gods laugh at us.

Instead of a happy birthday celebration today, we are gathered together to place Joann’s mortal remains in a final resting place.

It is fitting that she is close to Nana and Poppa. She is physically closer to them now than she was in the last 25 years. Although separated by the miles, she never missed calling every Saturday until Poppa passed away and then calling Nana until one day she realized it wouldn’t matter much if she skipped a Saturday now and then. She called even though it depressed her to know the essence of her mother was slipping away.

She loved her family – her sister and brothers, nieces and nephews and of course, her girls.

One of our more observant friends in North Carolina called Joann a closet intellectual when she caught her listening to an album of Elizabethan music. Joann’s knowledge of art, music theater and popular culture was much greater than she ever let on. Her taste in music was, to say the least, eclectic. To this day I cannot listen to Antonio Carlos Joabim’s Brazilian albums that she loved so much.

Her collection of Christmas music ranged from popular to medieval Spanish, Italian and French. She loved to visit the art galleries when in Las Vegas because they weren’t crowded. She stood in silence studying a carved set of rosary beads carried by Henry 8th of England and the uniform worn by Czar Nicholas  2nd at his coronation. She passed that quiet love of art, music and theater to her children.

She made friends easily because she was genuine and always herself.

A grad student at Wake Forest University was working at the bank in Charlotte during the summer and later full time. She was a young girl from Massachusetts in North Carolina during the 1970’s – she was there because the scholarship money was good. Otherwise she didn’t have much to spend and she lived alone in a small apartment.

Joann invited her to the house during the July 4th holiday. Our grad student never forgot the barbecued steak – “You fed me when I was hungry” she would later quip. She never forgot the kindness. Later she worked at the bank in Rhode Island and my girls got to know her as the “bagel lady” for always bringing fine bagels when she visited.  Joann and I went to her wedding.

A single act of kindness made a friend for life.  Joann was like that. Checkout girls from the grocery came to her funeral.  When Michael died, she anonymously gave his virtually new clothes and his wheelchair to a single mom with a Michael of her own. I still have the letter from the young woman which was passed back to Joann through the school. That young woman realized that those gifts meant that someone had noticed her trials and cared enough to think of her in the hour of our sorrow.

Joann knew what was important and what was not. On our 30th anniversary in 1993 just before I left for London, she gave me a bottle of sand for an hour glass asking only for “more time”.

When I forgot what was important I need only look at a snow globe on my desk which she gave me. It contained two geese on an icy pond. Engraved around the base was a quotation from the “Meditations” of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius – “Remember this – it takes very little to make a happy life”

Joann’s remains will be placed in a quiet room in this building; a place where, when one of us feels the need, we can sit and be with her. In her niche will be a picture of her and I – the way we were in 1963.

As the years go by, we too will pass away and there will be fewer visitors until in the end no one living will remember her. The room will be quiet and the decades will pass. The occasional stranger will walk by and see the name and our picture just as we do when we come to these places and see the names of others.

As we are, she once was. As she is, so we will be.

Joann was not much for religious services. I think she gave up on prayers when, too many times, her prayers were not answered.  Perhaps no one was listening. Perhaps the answer was “no”.

She prayed for Danny, who would have been 32 today. She prayed for Michael. She prayed for others. Then she prayed no more. She continued however to live a life of quiet virtue – always compassionate and always kind to others.

So let us take a moment of silence to reflect on our Joann, the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the mother, and the love of my life – the girl I was so excited to take to the senior prom all those years ago.


Let us, her family. carry her ashes to her final place.

The door of the niche will be closed – the next time it is opened it will be opened for me.”


JoAnn would have been 78 today.  Our son Daniel, who lived only 9 days, would have been 50.

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“Kill the Gays,” Uganda and DeSantis Pastor

Well the attack on gay people goes on, not just here in Florida but in spots around the world.

The president of Uganda signed a punitive anti-gay bill on Monday that includes the death penalty, enshrining into law an intensifying crackdown against L.G.B.T.Q. people in the conservative East African nation and dismissing widespread calls not to impose one of the world’s most restrictive anti-gay measures.

Lots of evangelicals in Uganda.  The results of decades of “missionaries” spreading the gospel of Jesus.  Could do with a few more atheists.

What happened to “Let he who is without sin…….?”

Nope.  Seems these good self-righteous Christians will not drop the stone.

The law calls for life imprisonment for anyone who engages in gay sex. Anyone who tries to have same-sex relations could be liable for up to a decade in prison.

The law also decrees the death penalty for anyone convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” a term defined as acts of same-sex relations with children or disabled people, those carried out under threat or while someone is unconscious. The offense of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” carries a sentence of up to 14 years.

The legislation is a major blow to efforts by the United Nations, Western governments, civil society and rights groups that had implored the president, Yoweri Museveni, not to sign it. On Monday, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union all condemned the enactment of the law, saying it undermined equality and the right of all Ugandans to live free from discrimination and persecution.

President Biden called the law “a tragic violation of universal human rights” and said his administration would “evaluate the implications of this law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda.”

The speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Anita Annet happily announced on Twitter that President Museveni had signed the bill into law. “I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country,” she wrote.

The self-righteous can be so proud of themselves.

The law’s passage has stoked fear among L.G.B.T.Q. people, many of whom have begun fleeing Uganda. Gay rights groups say hundreds of gay people — facing rejection from their families, discrimination at work or mob justice in the streets — have reached out to them in recent weeks seeking help.

The legislation also represents a major victory for many of the country’s religious groups, whose members had organized street protests urging lawmakers to protect children and what they portrayed as the sanctity of the traditional African family.

The Rev. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, the archbishop of the Church of Uganda, said in February that gay groups were “recruiting our children into homosexuality.”

Sound familiar?

The situation in Uganda is so bad even Ted Cruz spoke out against the legislation!!  When’s the last time any of you readers have agreed with Ted Cruz?

“Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse,” Cruz actually tweeted.

That would be the same Ted Cruz who in 2015 claimed gay people were waging a “jihad” against Christians.

Seems just about everyone whose anyone with half a brain is opposed to the new Ugandan law.

Except one that I know of.

Ron DeSantis’ pastor.

As The Daily /Beast first reported, Tom Ascol, the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, blasted the Texas Republican Senator, who surprised many when he called Uganda’s new “Kill the Gays” law “horrific & wrong.”

Pastor Ascol, who delivered the invocation at Governor DeSantis’ second inauguration, has been called the man who could bring evangelicals from Donald Trump and deliver them to Ron DeSantis.

On Tuesday Ascol tweeted, “Tell it to God, Ted.”

He then quoted the Book of Leviticus, writing: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

“Was this law God gave to His old covenant people ‘horrific and wrong’?” Ascol asked.

Ascol two hours later tweeted, “Amazing how many professing Christians, even self-designated ‘conservative’ ones, are embarrassed by God’s Word. Just quote some unpopular words of God & watch what happens. Many so-called Christians react the same way that unashamed unbelievers do. It’s a commentary.

Ascol didn’t say whether or not he supports the execution of LGBTQ people.  I guess he is merely debating it.

The Daily Beast also reports, “Ascol’s tweet…certainly seemed to suggest that the execution of gay people had a biblical blessing,” and notes that “even on careful reading, most reasonable people would assume Ascol was suggesting that Uganda’s anti-gay law is not intrinsically ‘horrific and wrong.’”

Ascol, The Beast adds, “has repeatedly called for homicide charges against any woman who has an abortion for whatever reason. He has compared choosing to terminate a pregnancy to retaining a killer for hire.”

“’It’s like saying if I don’t murder someone, but I just contracted a murderer to murder someone, I’m not culpable,’ Ascol said on a Christian radio show in 2022.”

The tweet posted to the top of Ascol’s Twitter page says, “If your commitment to the authority of Scripture is limited by cultural sensitivities then it’s not really Scripture’s authority to which you are committed.”

Eh, bat-shit crazy IMHO.  I believe he is mentally ill.  He is a perfect example of evangelical power spread in Africa by the good “missionaries.”  Kenya is next.

This bible nut job came in second in a run-off election for leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.

And if you elect Fascist Ron, he will be up there giving the blessing.

Vote “No” if you want to be free.


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Eh, Is the Air Any Cleaner?

Well the beginning of hurricane season will soon be upon us here in Florida and it will be our turn to see what climate change brings us.

Of course we all know climate change is a leftist fraud.  The weather is the weather and belching carbon and smoke into the air we breathe has nothing to do with it.  Shit happens.  Draughts, torrential rains, floods, tornados, hot summers, melting ice caps, rising sea levels – shit happens.  Just Mother Nature going through one of her one hundred or two hundred cycles.

So sayeth the oil, gas and coal companies.

And even if fossil fuels have something to do with it, it is all too big a problem to be solved.  Climate change is both much bigger than we are and yet also our own fault, The best we can do is be virtuous and watch our own carbon footprint.  Recycle.  Use less plastic.  Put a sweater on in winter.  Bicycle to work.

So sayeth the capitalists.

Heaven forbid we come to believe environmental destruction is a by-product of unregulated capitalism.

To exist, capitalism cannot accept limits to growth; capital must constantly expand its production and hence consumption; it must break down barriers to expand markets and access to natural resources for raw materials and exploitable sources of labor. Since capitalism is inherently expansionist it eventually and inevitably must degrade the environment. Because of its expansionist quality, capitalism inevitably destroys the natural conditions of production (land, water, other resources, and labor).

Never mind that paragraph.  You’re thinking outside the box again.  Time to spend more time at the organic food market.  It will make you feel better.  After all, you are doing what you can.

So how have we been doing with this approach?

It is 2023. CO2 in our air is at 421 ppm, up 50 percent since we started treating the atmosphere like a sewer. The planet has warmed at least 1.1 °C (1.9 °F).

But do you know the trends?

“In the last 30 years we have emitted more CO2 into the atmosphere than in the rest of human history. In 2022 alone, CO2 emissions from burning oil and coal increased 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, while annual government subsidies to fossil fuel corporations doubled, to $1.1 trillion. The trajectory of our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and their warming effects are indistinguishable from a no-policy, business-as-usual, avoid discussion -at-all-costs approach. The long-predicted effects of human caused climate change are emerging with the dread of knowing we might have avoided them and the fear that we may fail to avoid much worse to come.”

The hard work of individuals reducing operational carbon footprints of institutions is commendable.  That said, I’m sure those efforts would be lauded by the companies that endowed professorships to help maintain their ability to treat the planet as if it were a business liquidating its inventory and cash out as fast as possible.

Companies like Saudi Aramco, the $1.7-trillion company responsible for more than 4 percent of GHG emissions since 1965.

Capitalism destroys rain forests, over fishes the oceans, pollutes fresh water, belches into the air. Capitalist profit is the reason poachers kill the rhinoceros for it’s horn. Capitalism is in the end not sustainable and will result in societal collapse. The problem remains how to replace it and with what.

Unfortunately most of those in the environmental movement in general, are unable to think outside of capitalism. It appears inconceivable to most people that there might be a future economic system that isn’t capitalist. You certainly won’t hear it in school.
One would think that, if they fully understood the role of the normal workings of the capitalist system in causing environmental havoc, people with concern for the environment might begin to understand that another social, economic and political system is not just possible, but essential.

Thinking about a sustainable future is made more difficult when roughly half the population of this country believe environmentalism and “tree huggers”  (remember that one>) is a lib plot to bring socialism and thus something to be opposed.

On Saturday, May 13, Texas Governor Abbott signed a legislative proposal into law that will impose a new tax on electric car owners.  Per the new law, those registering electric cars in Texas will be required to pay an initial $400 fee, with a recurring $200 annual renewal. The law goes into effect on September 1.

“This is extremely important to make sure people are paying their fair share and that we have adequate funding for the preservation and maintenance of our highways in the future,”

Applause from Exxon.

West Virginia’s Senator Manchin voted against Bidens environment al budget.  Coal, ya know.

We as people are simply unable to envision a sustainable world without unfettered capitalism, which is exactly what capitalists want us to believe.

One would think that the major world universities might be able to develope a sustainable economy if they put their collective minds to it.  Unfortunately, fossil fuel corporations havd funded “Chairs” for this very purpose which just about guarantees nothing sustainble will come out of it.

We have all seen the “ideas” about what to do — live more simply, recycle your plastic water bottles, purchase “green” products, purchase carbon credits to offset the global warming effects of an airplane trip, impose a tax on all fossil fuels (a carbon tax), etc.

All these ideas give the illusion that it is possible to solve the ecological crisis without confronting capitalism as a system. And it is capitalism’s necessity to grow the economy forever and the single overriding goal of obtaining more and more profits that are at the heart of the environmental problems we face.

Oil companies keep drilling and fracking around the world.  China’s chimneys are the biggest belchers of smoke into the air as it races to achieve its goal of being the world’s number one economy.  Brazil is destroying the Amazon forests.  Texas will be taxing electric cars.  Air pollution levels have not improved.  Recycling hasn’t made a dent.

Half the government spends all of its time worried about drag shows and calling the opposition groomers.

Every country at the international conferences on the environment agrees to do something then goes home and does shit.

What me worry?  (Remember Alfred E. Neuman?)  I’m going on 81. The planet won’t get too hot nor will we run out of energy before I go.  Besides, we have nuclear war to worry about (Moscow was bombed yesterday.  That hasn’t happened in a while folks), a pandemic (very possible) and now AI.  Artificial intelligence may kill us all.

“Green capitalism” is an oxymoron.

You young folks have any ideas?  Put down your phones.


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If Poetry Could Raise The Dead

If poetry could raise the dead
the earth would bleed where they had bled
to flow back into fallen soldiers
who would rise, young and filled with wonder

and they would laugh and smile again
the millions, shaking dirt from tousled hair
turning unmarked faces to the sun
looking round to hug their friends

as well as former foes; gathering
to share a coffee, a schnapps, a sake
wondering which poet wrote the lines
which brought them back to life.

And leaning against the stone
they would gather to go home
strong and virile cobbler, butcher, Kansas boy
as all the nations wept with joy on their return

and they would work, create
have children, celebrate,
watch football, cut grass, harvest
live, love and die in their own bed

for if my poem could raise the dead
your gentle Seiji, Hans, Yuri and Tom
would rise in triumph and come home
never to see war again.


The American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach


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The Messenger – 1967

When your son was killed that summer night
you were filling up the car,
you didn’t know ‘till you saw my face
what I already knew.

While you slept your husband died
on a hill outside Dak To,
you had no idea when you awoke
but I already knew.

It was I who was the messenger,
in blue adorned with gold
who brought the news that changed your life,
my duty that his truth be told.

It was I who ordered that his friend
escort his body home,
completed all the paper work
no wish of yours too small.

Each day the names came in to me
the casualties of war
for each there was a messenger
to knock upon a door.

No one ever shot at me
that Summer long ago
‘cause someone else went in my place,
while I stayed safe at home

The Army in it’s wisdom
chose me to bring the dread,
my unit left without me
left behind to serve the dead

but when I saw your names my friends
I pray that you did know,
I’d have gladly died beside you
not to have to tell your moms.


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Tomb – for Memorial Day

The Cenotaph
A grey slab ‘neath the Arch de Triumph.
Eternal flames and flowers.

Before the Great War
there was no monument
to the nameless, faceless dead,
no great tombs to the common man.

No stone edifice honored
the rotting carcass mass,
no shrines to his humanity,
though he conquered emperors and kings.

The Great War brought a new perception
of the human condition,
to its dignity, attaching it to everyone,
even amongst the most pitiable.

The lesser tribal glories faded,
we asked ourselves how might we recognize
our membership in the greater tribe of man?
And so, from the nameless, faceless mass

we chose a hero of our story,
of the decline and rebirth of despotism,
of blind leaders and deluded masses
old wrongs perpetuated and new ones imposed,

of revolution leading to war
and war leading to revolution,
of peace stillborn
of hopes aroused and then again betrayed.

Yet blind we are still
to the humanity of the “other”
by embedded thought
our vision is confined.

So how better to honor
those unknowns who fed the guns
and absolve our guilt, being ever mindful of their fate,
the doomed, conscripted, nameless, faceless ones?


The Unknown Soldier leaving the Capital – 11/11/1921






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Ok! Truth or Prank!!

He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.

Psalms 104.5

Sometimes you think “This must be a joke!”

You look around, suspect you’re being pranked.  Your mind says “No, this can’t be true!  No one can be this stupid!”

Ok.  Here goes.

We have all heard of the Flat Earth Society, a group of men and women who insist the earth is flat and come up with hilariouss “proofs” of same.  Everyone laughs.  They know and we know they are having fun.

Well what about when a GOP district chair in Georgia does it?

When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.

Psalms 75.3

A recently elected Georgia GOP district chair Kandiss Taylor revealed that she believes the world is flat and that the proliferation of globes is part of a conspiracy, Rolling Stone reports.

During an interview on her podcast “Jesus, Guns, and Babies” (yes. you read that right) with David “Flat Earth Dave” Weiss and Matt Long, the trio discussed what they deemed the biblical evidence that the planet is flat. Taylor told Weiss and Long that the more she learns about flat earth, it “doesn’t make sense the other way.”

The people that defend the globe don’t know anything about the globe,” Weiss responded. “If they knew a tenth of what Matt and I know about the globe they would be Flat Earthers.”

Later in their discussion, Taylor lamented the volume of globes she sees in her everyday life is proof of a conspiracy to brainwash us.

“All the globes, everywhere. I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background,” she said.

“Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe’ — they’re everywhere,” she added.

“And that’s what they do to brainwash,” she continued. “For me, if it is not a conspiracy. If it is real, why are you pushing so hard everywhere I go? Every store, you buy a globe, there’s globes everywhere. Every movie, every TV show, news media — why?”

Taylor, who’s also a firm believer in former President Trump’s claims of a stolen 2020 election, was elected the GOP Chair of Georgia’s 1st district in April.

Prior to her recent win, Taylor, like Trump, claimed her 2022 bid for Georgia governor against Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican primary was “rigged” and refused to concede despite only winning 3.7 percent of the vote.

Yet she made no claims of a fraudulent election process when she was elected as Georgia’s District 1 chair. “When they can’t cheat, I win,” she said in a text message, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.

Taylor used her 2022 campaign to promote additional false conspiracy theories, claiming the GOP leaders were secret Communists and Democrats were satanic pedophiles.

Kandiss claims she got all of this flat earth knowledge from reading her bible.

Now Kandiss is married with children, has a Masters Degree from Georgia Southern and has spent most of her working life in education, teaching third grade snd serving on school boards.

If you were forty something and met her in a bar you might think “What a bright, intelligent attractive woman!”

Apparently you would be dead wrong.   She is bat-shit crazy.

Or maybeshe was being pranked.

Nice going Georgia GOP District 1!



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